Beating the Doom of Malan'Tai

One unit has stolen all the headlines in the last couple of weeks, the Doom of Malan'tai. Ok, so it's big and scary, and I know it steals all your souls and can get itself up to 10 wounds, but love it or hate it, it's here to stay. You may as well get used to it, and learn to deal with it! Ok, so once the FAQ is out, we'll have some answers to the questions on embarked units and cover saves, but until then, let's see if we can cope him!

There are generally 3 ways to deal with this beastie:

  1. Kill it! Two words, instant death. That's the main way of dealing with monster, since it will probably have so many wounds that you don't really stand a chance with small arms fire. So, grab those S8+ weapons, shoot it lots, and hope it fails that 3+ invulnerable save. If not, get in combat with a S8+ walker, which is immune to Spirit Leech and only needs one save to be failed to kill him. The last option is to try and beat him in combat and run him down, it's tough to get enough wounds through that invulnerable save though.
  2. Avoid it! It can only move 6", and then its spirit leech happens before it runs. If you have a mech army, run away from it. It's almost certainly going to arrive on the battlefield in a spore, so it'll get leech off once, but if you keep out of 12" of him, he can't get you. However, assuming he is deploying in a spore, he'll always get a round of leech in regardless. Also, keep your force spread out, so he cannot Leech lots of units at once.
  3. Neutralise it! Spirit leech doesn't effect vehicles, to you can always tie up the Doom with a walker. Be careful if his strength is quite high, but if you can get him to S4 or lower, even a Sentinal (or better, an armoured Sentinal!) or a War Walker can keep him pinned in place. If you've finished dropping your troops off with their transports, you can use the empty vehicles to cage him in, so he has to move where you want him to.

With those thoughts in mind, let's look at each of the armies, and some of my ideas on how to combat the Doom. Some may seem very obvious, but are included for completeness.

In alphabetical order:

Chaos Daemons
From range, Tzeentch daemons are your best bet with Bolts of Tzeentch. In combat, a Bloodthirster with Unholy Might or a Soul Grinder, with the latter being the best choice since it can't get 'Leeched' in the process.

Chaos Space Marines
From range, missile launcher armed Havocs are very effective, as are the ubiquitous Obliterators. Defilers and Dreadnoughts can hold him up nicely, and put on some S10 combat attacks, the defiler being the more reliable choice. In combat, the pick of the bunch in my opinion is a Slaanesh lord, on Daemonic steed, with Blissgiver - you can avoid Leech range, charge and you just need to get him to fail one save with your D6+5 attacks on the charge, just don't roll a 1!

The Ordo Malleus are lacking in S8+ weaponry, other than vehicle mounted ones. Grey Knight dreadnoughts are the best option. Psycannons wound on a 2+ with no saves, but since the doom will probably be high on wounds, you might not finish him off. Grand Masters are the best in combat, with their S6 force weapons tearing through all Tyranids, including the Doom, as long as you can keep passing your psychic test with Shadow in the Warp in effect. A Callidus assassin might be just the ticket to take the final couple of wounds off the Doom.

Dark Eldar
Spam Dark Lances and Blasters. Simple as that really. Use your speed to keep clear of the Doom and just shoot him as you see fit. There aren't really any reliable close combat solutions, but with many DE armies having 20+ dark lances in them, there should be no problem getting one past his invulnerable.

If you want to shoot him, then I think Fire Dragons are the most likely to finish him off. Alternatively, a Falcon with either a missile launcher or a bright lance, combined with its pulse laser, stands a good chance. If you must go into combat, my choice would be Karandras with his 7 S8 attacks on the charge and ability to stay out of leech range, fleet in and charge. Like the Dark Eldar, use your speed to steer clear of the Doom where possible.

Imperial Guard
You basically got to shoot this guy to pieces. Missile launcher or lascannon heavy weapons squads, Vendettas, meltagun armed veteran or special weapon squads are your key units here. Vehicle wise, almost all the S8+ weapons are big blasts, which aren't ideal since they would be better targetting squads of warriors. If you need to keep him busy, armoured sentinals are great, since he will need at least 6 wounds before he can hurt them.

I think you have three options here, all of which are rare in most 'normal' Necron armies. Firstly, shoot him with Heavy Destroyers and hope for that failed save, second get stuck in with Pariahs and a Lord with Warsythe or third, if you must, take a C'Tan that kill him with one wound (and no save). If you do need to hold him up, then Wraiths are probably your best shot, their invulnerable save, Ld10 and S6 will actually give them a good chance against Doom in combat.

Combat wise, you'll already have a lot of power klaw Nobz around. If not, Tankbustas can get plenty of S8 shots going his way, and with no vehicles in the Tyranid army, they'll actually do as their told. But above all else, Deff Dreads and Killa Kans are great units to engage Doom due to their S10 and immunity to Leech. Kannon batteries are good potentials, especially being BS3.

Space Marines
Missile launcher devestator squads, land speeder typhoons (especially with Multimeltas too) and combi-melta sternguard are your main shooting options. In combat, it's all about Thunder Hammer terminators and Dreads. Dreadnoughts (especially Ironclads) are fantastic units to kill Doom, or at least keep him tied up in the interim. Cato Sicarus and Dark Angel Masters will give your army Ld10, effectively reducing your wounds from Leech by 1 each time. A Librarian with Null Zone will ruin Doom's day. Don't forget Legion of the Damned with their invulnerable save and double melta option.

Tau Empire
There's only really two ways to reliably kill Doom with Tau, railguns (especially the TL ones on broadsides) and seeker missiles. Use your markerlights to make sure things hit, and just hope he fails that save!

If you have a Nids v Nids game, then you've only got a few real options in my opinion. Carnifexes are too risky with Ld7. If you must go into combat, the Swarmlord is a much better option, but even with Ld10, could die to a bad roll for Leech, if he gets in though, you'll have one dead Doom. The best way to deal with them is Hive Guard. That 24" S8 Assault 2 gun that doesn't need line of sight - that's an ideal Doom killer!

Witch Hunters
In combat, by far the best option is Penitent engines, for the same reasons as Space Marine Dreadnoughts. Exorcists, Multimelta armed retributors and inducted missile launcher teams are the best shooting options. If you have to, Meltagun armed Dominions are an option, but they involve getting close. To protect against Leech, use your acts of faith to gain an invulnerable save on your sisters.

So there you go, a few ideas on how to combat the Doom of Malan'Tai in your games. Do you agree, or do you have some other tricks up your sleeves?

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