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that damn doom and how to drop it.

the internet seems to be full of people whining about how ridiculously over powered and utterly invincible the Doom of the Malan'tai is.

in my experience it is a powerful adversary but it is not stupidly over the top and it is definitely not invincible.

I have played against it at least ten times and it has yet to survive a game.

 

even when maxed out it is toughness 4 with 10 wounds and a 3+ save. so it is no more difficult to kill than a squad of space marines.

oh yes! sorry, I forgot that most people think you need AP 3 guns and power weapons to have a chance of killing space marines. WRONG!!

if it has a 3+ save, technically it should fail 1/3 of all saves taken. if you cause 3 times the number of wounds it has it will probably die.

the best ways i have found of killing it are the same tried and tested ways of killing anything. shoot it or hit it, lots of times with basic weapons. if you haven't got lots of basic weapons in your army then shame on you for powergaming (also you will probably lose against any army that does have lots of basic weapons)

it is only toughness 4 and does not have eternal warrior. so you need to wound it 3+ times with S8+ weapons.  as there are no tanks in a nid army this is a good target for your anti tank weapons. (after you've shot down his warriors of course)

it is fearless and only has 3 attacks so beating it in combat is not as difficult as you would think.

I have beten it up with orks, dropped it with a daemonprince, killed it with bloodletters, crushed it with bloodcrushers, and amusingly finished it with an instrument of chaos (it had only 1 wound left so was only S1 and caused no injuries but took no wounds in combat I won by 1 cos of the icon and he failed his no retreat save)

if it is on its own you can mob it.

anything with a 12" charge (i.e. beasts) can assault the doom without suffering from spirit leech.

clobbering it with assault terminators is a good idea. 3+inv from storm shields will be very helpful and thunderhammers will squash it.

if it is in a combat where other nids are involved you can make it take lots of no retreat saves by killing the other nids. you can also make the other nids take a lot of no retreat saves by killing the doom with a S8+ combat attack.

(I had the remains of a mob of stormboys (5ish) in combat with the doom and 3 hive guard when they were charged by warriors. it was highly uneventful with the warriors missing, the hive guard missing, the doom missing, and all but 1 of the stormboys' attacks failing to injure the doom. the one that did wound it was from the nob's power claw causing instant death. as the doom had 10 wounds both the warriors and the hive guard had to take 10 no retreat saves and they all died, itwas some horrendous rolling on the saves. the stormboy nob managed to cause 25 wounds with a single hit!)  
 

important things to bear in mind when facing the doom.

1. people who use this character are trying to screw you over with abusive rules, so return the favour ;D

2. it is not a synapse creature (they will conveniently forget this, especially if they drop it in in a mycetic spore)

if there are no synapse creatures within 12" of it at the start of its turn, then it will have to take instinctive behaviour tests. admittedly it does have a leadership of 10, but if it does fail the test then it can't use its cataclysm power. so keep it out of synapse range by shooting synapse creatures.

3. spirit leech happens at the beginning of the shooting phase so it can't run to get into spirit leech range. if you stay over 12" away, it can't spirit leech you. once it is on the table you can just walk away from it (just like the swarmlord).

4. cataclysm is a psychic shooting attack so; if you have a space marine librarian you can cancel it with a psychic hood,  a farseer with runes of warding will make it test on 3D6, etc. also it has to have LOS to the target and you get cover saves

5. under the rules for cataclysm it says; "after the power has been used, but before additional wounds have been gained due to the absorb life ability, the doom of the malan'tai suffers D3 wounds. no saves of any kind can be taken against  these wounds."

so technically even if the power doesn't work (i.e. it misses, is nullified, or the doom fails its psychic test) the doom still has to take D3 wounds that it can't save against.

this is great because it means that if it has less than 4 wounds left then, (as long as you are not within 6" during its shooting phase or you pass your Ld tests), it has a good chance of killing its self if it uses cataclysm. so it is most vulnerable when it first arrives.

6. according the the FAQ (july 2010) spirit leech does not work if you are in a transport vehicle. so you can drive up next to the doom in a transport vehicle and shoot at the doom without suffering from spirit leech. fantastic if you are fielding really shooty troops in open topped vehicles. (so battlewagons with deathrollers full of shoota boys are ideal)

7. if it is deployed on foot, it is most vulnerable in the first turn so shoot it down quickly. if it is in a mycetic spore (much more likely) then you won't have to worry about it for at least 2 turns so concentrate on shooting down synapse creatures and troops. well placed jamming beacons and masters of the fleet can be very useful (keeping that storm in reserve is not always the best plan).

8. it is not a scoring unit so it can't win objective missions on its own and it is only worth  a maximum of 2 kill points in other missions.