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Had a fun-battle last night, to test out some units I'd not used, and it threw up some questions (which probably warrant different threads).
Malus seemed expensive, but given that DE are generally high points I didn't worry too much ... Until my opponent almost choked when I told him cost. (He choked more when I said I had a more expensive figure on the table).
The battle was against Gobbos so I was distinctly outnumbered.
I separated Malus from his unit to go Demonic a& Frenzy on a bunch of squig herds, and he did fine until the dice failed him on an attack and the squigs got to fight back. Then he was pasted due to being only a 2W character.
(Which given the pv surprised my opponent)
Is he overpriced?
I'm torn - And as I have a rematch next week, I'm debating whether to replace him with a cheaper general.
A tricky question, one that I believe depends on how you view Malus. Using him outside of a unit of Cold One Knights makes him vulnerable, and the enemy can drag him where he wants to have him.
More interestingly, if we let him join the CoK unit, we get the benefit of the whole unit not having to roll for stupidity every turn. Now if we let Malus go frenzy, the whole unit will go on a killing spree, not to mention the incredible boost to his stat line he gets.
I think this is how he is intended to play - to be stuck in a unit of Cold One Knights, granting them unrestricted movement every turn, then going frenzy in the right time, when your attack wave is set, and dishing out lots of attacks (with rerolls for Malus) turn after turn as you run down one unit after another. Possibly in tandem with a unit of Witch Elves that will frenzy on the same target unit.
He's an elite character I'd say, and difficult to get right to pay off. I wouldn't use him in tournaments, but I'd definitely try him in friendly games. I can't say whether he is overpriced - statswise, he is, as a better equipped Dreadlord on Cold One will cost you much less, but his Daemonic part may actually pay off. You have to experiment to find out whether he works for you - try to take him for the rematch and let him remain in the unit of CoK, and frenzy at the right time.
It was the part about Malus possibly nailing his own unit in his Frenzy that put me off letting him rip while still attached to the unit, and really makes me question his value.
Although I may have read the rules wrong, I'm sure there's a chance he'll frenzy on friendlies in base contact with him. (I'm at work at the moment so can't recheck the rule)
Allow me to give you a simpler response:
For fewer points, you can get a much more survivable Dreadlord suped-up with some nice items and a mount. Admittedly, you can take Malus as a hero, and Spite's rule is nice, but he simply isn't worth it. His armor save is unimpressive and he's got no Ward. For that reason alone, he's not a good idea - so many points for a frail hero. On the offensive, the Warpsword is nice but really not truely effective unless you're fighting high AS enemies like Chaos. Otherwise, you'd be better off with a hero with a lance.
Malus (and most characters) are overpriced and generally useless. As AVS agent said, you can get a Dreadlord for less points who would still be better. I would only use a character for his special rules, so maybe only if you're using a lot of cold ones?
Still, he is way too expensive for me to take.
Also, as well as fighting his own unit, they fight back. So as well as killling your elites, in a worst case scenario you will have wasted 300pts+ and Malus won't even reach the front lines.
Worshipper of Dice
Last game: Victory Dark Elves vs High Elves & Orcs & Goblins
WDL: Dark Elves:37/6/8 Space Marines:7/3/3