Thursday, 24 November 2011
Mephiston - He's Still A Pimp
He is a god. No one can stand before his might. Yes, Mephiston is everyone’s lover boy, but how does he fare nowadays?
I recently took him to the recent Onslaught Cut & Thrust tournament held in Bristol. Mephiston took to the board, and crushed everything before him, bar the unlucky spell in my last game where he “only” managed to kill a unit of Black Templar Terminators and a unit of Marines (worth about 370pts together). Over the course of just 2 games against Grey Knights, he stacked up a fairly high ratio, killing around 25 Purifiers, 3 Razorbacks, Crowe, 2 Dreadnoughts & a strike squad. That’s just from 2 games.
Now some people think it’s the end of Mephiston due to the fact that Grey Knights contain a plethora of Force Weapons. Let me give those BA players a breather when I tell you this is not the case. GK players fear Mephiston more than anything. Most of my opponents simply stated that they cannot think clearly on how to deal with my army, because of Mephiston. Now this is completely psychological. How do I do this you ask? I will explain.
First, looking at Grey Knights, we see a lack of AP 1 or 2. This is the case for most armies out there which, even with a few meltaguns, has a hard time dealing with Mephiston. The main reason is LOS issues. By supporting Mephiston with your own vehicles, your opponent will rarely be able to draw a bead on him. By pushing him up whilst remaining hidden, your opponent has no way of telling where or when you will commit Mephiston to assault. By assaulting, you are reducing the likelihood of him dyeing. Psyk-out grenades are nasty, so you must keep a keen eye on where you can push him, and sometimes you simply cannot commit until you have demolished the chance of losing him to a charge. This applies to other armies with dedicated tough Assault units such as TH/SS Terminators.
In this example against Grey Knights, I would make sure the Purifiers are all either separated, pushing Mephiston up one flank, or killing them all in one go. This is not always easy, but bare in mind that putting a GK player under this sort of pressure can lead to some mistakes. For example, rather than hiding his Purifiers, my opponent left them out on foot and decided to shoot at full output to prevent my vehicles advancing any further. This meant that Mephiston could fly over and assault the Purifiers head on, killing all of them before they struck. Rather than putting me under pressure by having to deal with the Razorback first, I now have a clear assault to his one reliable source of killing Mephiston (Force Hammers & Halberds).
Now this is a fairly good situation for Mephiston, and some armies simply cannot handle him (Space wolves with no Bear lords or Las/Plas, Tyranids etc will struggle). This puts you at a Psychological advantage, so use it. Make him consider Mephiston at all times, whilst your plan instead revolves around the rest of your army. Try use him as a huge null zone, scaring your opponent in advancing in an area which Mephiston can threaten (his threat range is huge with wings + fleet).
In some games, I have seen him simply hide behind a scoring vehicle on their Capture & Control home base. This basically prevents any sort of advance onto their objective, as anything you try to commit will have him to deal with and there’s no way around it. He will get the charge off most of the time, so this is something which can keep him dangerous, yet is also his biggest weakness. Always have a plan for his consolidation. For example, I would look at the terrain nearby before committing the assault. Make sure that when you hit the flank of an MSU squad, you can finish them off and have somewhere t consolidate behind or into, as the return fire or assault may threaten Mephiston which is too big of a risk to go through at times.
The army list built around Mephiston should also contain at least one sort of forward element. Be it a Land Raider or a MSU bum rush army like my own, you must have other threats which put your opponent under pressure. Without further support, your opponent will only have Mephiston to worry about, which reduces the impact of this psychological effect. Take into consideration what you would do if faced with Mephiston and another 2-3 units? Would you commit to those units first, and how do you prepare for the inevitable assault since you cannot see him? Well its difficult, which sometimes can screw with your target priority. This applies to your opponent as well.
Mephiston is what I call a horror tool. The chance of him causing huge damage to almost anything with the ability to hit almost any target you wish is such a huge hazzard for your opponent which cannot be ignored. Use that tool as you would any deathstar, some games shove him down your opponents throat and shout “deal with that if you can!” or simply hide him and utilise that psychological threat which can slow down your opponent completely.
I hope this will give all those Blood Angel players a breather, and I can safely tell you all not to fear Grey Knights, but instead, give them something to fear.
So tell me, how do you use Mephiston, and what lists do you tend to use him with? I say, long live the Vampire lord, for non can stay his wrath!