Black Templar and the Mastodon

Forge world recently released 40K rules for the Mastodon Super-Heavy:


Imagine three 10 man Crusader squads (with PF/LC Sword Brother and extra PF on Initiate), plus Helbrecht, Grimaldus with two Cenobytes,  and 6 Sword Brethren (i.e. Honor Guard) with Relic Blades and Banner of the Emperor Ascendant all loaded into the Mastodon… Turn 1, move up 12″, then Flat Out another 6″…. Turn 2, move up 6″, disembark everyone another 6″, then activate Helbrecht’s Crusade of Wrath and charge 2D6″ (with re-rolls because of Fleet) with all 40 models.

Everyone has Fearless/Hatred from Zealot and FNP from Grimaldus’ Cenobyte Servitors, plus everyone within 12″ of the Banner have +1A, so even your basic Initiate has 4 S4 AP- attacks (with re-rolls to Hit) on the charge (becomes 5 attacks if they suffer a casualty from Overwatch), while your squad leader Sword Brethren are rocking 5 x PF or 5 x LC attacks each and the Honor Guard Sword Brethren are hitting with 4 x S6 AP3 attacks each, again, all with re-rolls to Hit.

In terms of survivability, it has AV14/14/14, 10HPs!!!, Immunity to Melta extra dice, and 2 Void Shields (plus Super Heavy rules, which mean that any Explodes result just inflicts another D3 HPs, vice destroying it). Thus, the Mastodon is totally immune to S7 and below attacks (except for Lance, Haywire, and Gauss weaponry, of course), which takes A LOT of the potential enemy arsenal right out of the game.

So, that means that, AFTER stripping the two Void Shields, it would take an average of the following to destroy the Mastodon:

-45 x BS4 Lascannon or Grav Cannon/Amp shots

-90 x BS4 Melta or Krak Missile shots

-30 x BS4 Railgun or Bright Lance/Dark Lance/Blaster shots

-18 x BS4 Haywire Blaster shots

-90 x BS4 Gauss weapon shots

-90 x S8 PF/TH attacks in close combat

-30 x S10 Wulfen TH attacks in close combat

So, really the only things that a Mastodon are really vulnerable to are Assault Centurions (Armourbane S10 attacks really do a number on it), massed Haywire shooting (which is pretty hard to come by in 40K, outside of Kataphron Breachers and Skitarii Vanguard), and VERY massed Necron Gauss shooting… that and of course D shooting/attacks (i.e. Wraithknights, Wraithguard, Imperial Knights in close combat, etc.)… everything else is going to have a very difficult, if not impossible, time bringing down the Mastodon before it delivers it cargo of Zealous BT Crusaders into assault.

Grimaldus and the Skyhammer Annihilation Force

One combination which creates a highly versatile assault force goes as follows:

-Chaplain Grimaldus with 2 Cenobyte Servitors
-Command Squad with Banner of the Emperor Ascendant and Drop Pod
-Skyhammer Annihilation Force with:
*2 x Devastator squads, each with 10 Marines and 4 Grav Cannons, Drop Pod
*2 x Assault squads, each with 5 Marines, Jump Packs, an Eviscerators, and a Vet Sgt with PF/LC
-2 x Scout Bikers with Locator Beacon, 5 Bikers

-2 x Assault Centurion squads with melta guns

-2 x Fast Attack Drop Pods

Attach Grimaldus and Cenobytes to Command Squad and their Drop Pod (I am working off the assumption that Cenobytes count as “Wargear” and so Grimaldus can still attach to other units with them in tow, kind of like Iron Priests with Cyber wolves can attach to other units; this is controversial and some don’t agree with this interpretation, but for now, I am going to go with it).

Use the Scout Bikers to bring in the Devastators, Assault Marines, and Grimaldus Command Squad precisely where you want them. Make sure the Assault Marines are within 6″ of Grimaldus, his Servitors, and the Banner. With their ability to charge turn 1, they combine quite handily with the +1A, Zealot, and FNP handed out by the Grimaldus, Servitors, and the Banner. This means that the Assault Marine squads each get 4 x S4 AP- attacks, 5 x S4 AP3, Shred attacks, and 3 x S8 AP2 Unwieldy, Armourbane attacks on the charge. Throw in Zealot for Fearless and re-rolls to Hit and Feel No Pain for better survivability and these units should be able to roll up even very tough opponents in close combat.

Devastators combat squad to provide four different units that each put out 10 x Grav shots a turn to deal with hard targets and the Scout Bikers provide fire support, objective grabbing, and even the ability to charge and add some more weight in combat when required on later turns.

Finally, the Assault Centurions provide vehicle popping power with their melta guns and Sieg Drills, plus they benefit quite a bit from Grimaldus, Cenobytes, and the Banner to make  them more durable, potent, and reliable.