Hi there everybody!
It might look like I'm spamming all over this forum room but so be it, since I've been thinking for some time about this "issue": is the Moloch worth its points?
With its 52 points it's one of the most expensive individual models in the game and the first among the creature class on par with the Cyclops. However is it really that powerful? I'm sure it's my inexperience in the game and certainly there's the bias of me being mainly a Mortan player but I'd be very grateful to have your point of view on the matter (don't mistake this post for a complaint
Let me explain by comparing it with other high points creatures.
The Cyclops has a lower melee (6 instead of 7) and lower defense (12/13) but higher missile (6/4), magic (5/3), 5 action tokens instead of 4 and most of all 33 life points (22+11) instead of 18. The subfaction ability allows it to restore 3 life point for each AT spent, even if the warlord isn't a reaver. It can see through haze effects, doesn't suffer free strike bonuses and has horror. The Moloch for the subfaction ability suffers half damage from pow 4 or less. It has horror, reek (affects only livings) and undead (pros: no need for psychology tests, cons: no received tactics, no fighting styles [hopefully it can receive AT]). All in all I think the Cyclops has more survivability.
On the damage output the Cyclops has again the upper hand with pow 4 missile attack, pow 3 attack costing 1 AT, and pow 7/2 AT attack. On the contrary the Moloch has a pow 5 with the cool septic spit and a pow 4, range 2 normal attack, both for the cost of 2 AT. The cyclops may have lower melee but can use fighting styles and its attacks are more versatile.
Regarding tactics the Cyclops has a self tactic that hits every models touched by a 6 inches line with pow 2, the Moloch has the great flesh hammer that inflicts D6 direct damage to base contact models if it charged and death breath that prevents enemy charges and applies -1 leadership (it's an enemy tactic, therefore not very reliable). I believe that on the tactics they are balanced, maybe the Moloch has a slight advantage.
The other creature I want to cover briefly is the Fleshpounder.
48 points for a creature with 1 point less in melee, defense and leadership, but 32 LPs (22+10). Its strength relies in its free D3 LPs regeneration and very useful abilities. It's able to knock down damaged models that fail the armor test, gain +1 movement when damaged by ranged attacks, has +2 to its charge distance and the obvious horror. In addition his power 4, 1 AT, 1 RNG attacks can instead inflict 2D3 direct damage. In short I believe that for a slightly lower survivability than the Moloch when crossing the board (it can however close the distance very quickly) the Fleshpounder has a more fearsome damage output.
The Fjellgangr costs 10 points less (42), it's less resistant but again on the offensive it outshines the Moloch against both single or elite models and large units.
Of course the Moloch supported by a Necromagus or better by a Mortifex increases both it survivability and damage output, but this combo it's very costly in terms of points. For example to give it an extra attack (+2 AT) the warlord has to spend at least 2 AT of his own, 1 AT assigned and 1 for otherworld breach (to use the free attack given by furor malorum the spellcaster needs to kill 5 enemies, not considering the costly 3 AT spell ancestral rites). On its own it is still a fearsome creature, but the others surpass it, especially if the Mortan warlord isn't a Mortifex.
Against large units the Moloch gets bogged down due to the lack of multiple targets attacks or cheap 1 AT ones. It can be devastating on the charge with the flesh hammer tactic, however it's not that easy for him to pull it off. The reek ability is great and frustrating for the opponent sometimes (especially against enemies affected by death breath) but it's very chance-related and unreliable. Its 18 life points are not much against pow >5 attacks, which are not uncommon. And finally his average 4 AT can be painful sometimes
In conclusion the Moloch is a great addition to the warband, personally I love it and I would take as many as I can, if anything just because they are very cool monsters. However it is very costly and I feel like it still misses something for it to be worth 52 points. I believe that a greater chance to charge and come in base contact is all it takes. A MOV of 4 or at least a +2 on the charge are very appropriate for a cavalry creature.
To come to the point, as i said, I'd like your opinion, advices, critics and (why not) even approval of some of my observations.
Thanks for the attention (it is a long post
) and I look forward to hearing your answers.
Have a nice weekend!