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!


  1. good article, and i agree completely. he still sucks against a decent guard list though, when i see Mephiston i just thing 'great, 250 points that isn't spent on more AV13/assault marines/attack bikes/anything else in the codex ;)

  2. I disagree that there would be other "better" choices. He certainly has his weaknesses, which is why he should be used in certain ways against specific armies. In Killpoints I love him against Guard, because he WILL get a killpoint out of you, and if you don't kill him in one go, he will go for another. He denies areas to Objectives, and he can actualy run rampart through gunlines if he hits a flank and hides behind the wrecks.

  3. Good read mate.
    100% agree that he requires a support element.
    Forward push from a unit that is almost as much of a threat.
    Confuses target priority, draws fire - thereby reducing the incoming fire.
    Whilst I do support the idea that he can be used as a 'Deathstar' on his own, I personally find that he is far too easy to deal with when on his own and in enemy lines.
    Atredies is correct, Killswitch mentions it in the article, IG have plenty of low AP fire power, in numbers and across a variety of units.. GK do not..
    A large tournament presence of GK means that Meph has a place indeed, his hood, mobility (linked to his own psychic ability - conversationally, not always stopped by GK as LIbbies are actually not as common as we all thought they would be to start of with) and his ability to munch small units easily is incredibly useful.
    Atreides point is well made, there are some armies and builds that he is not a problem to. There are alot of others, to which he is a real killer..
    Always will have a place, long live the lord of the vampyre...until plasma and melta lay him to rest..

  4. i guess so. maybe it is just that the people i have played don't know how to use him (this is certain in a few cases), or maybe i have just been lucky (i almost always kill him in a single round of shooting after his initial charge, but that is odds on with a lot of melta). i just never seem to have any trouble with him. yes he usually gets a kill point, but then he dies in short order, and anything else worth 250 points would also have got that kill point.

  5. As an addition to that.. Killswitch...Whilst I do not disagree with you, the most likely first casualty for the IG player from Mephiston is likely to be a chimera or a disembarked unit.
    Perhaps a tank.
    IG forces are built around ~20 units...all of which cost fuck all.. Meph killing one such unit is NOT a reason to love him in KP games..
    Now hitting that flank and using the wrecks... ;)

  6. Plasma pistol bro ;) Its awsome!

  7. Behave mate. Hits alot? sure. glance alot? fuck yeah! Pen's? half the time at best! Actual wreck where you can charge troops inside.... 9% of the time.. vs a rhino chassis (av11 side armour) and that's a figure that doesn't take into account disembarking from a wreck on the other side to Meph!

  8. Mine always wounds meph before I charge in, just for added effect ;)

  9. Genius! Perfect application of force!