Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Tau Empire models are here!

The Tau Empire.  Deep in the hearts of every member of the Lords of Terra lies the festering fear of what might happen should the light of the Tau Empire reflect off their golden doors.    

The only shining light in the grimdark and a hope for a lasting peace among the stars has received its 7th Edition due.  And with their new arsenal, those Lords of Terra fear correctly. 

The Tau Empire has learned from its various enemies and, as they are wont to do, have developed devastating new technologies in relative blinks of the eye.  This collection of scientific discoveries could propel the decisive blows in the Third Sphere Expansion.

As usual the minds of Games Workshop saw infuriatingly fit to force additional purchases on some Tau Generals.  The Codex itself contains everything you need to play the army…  Except…  The rules for the Tidewall Rampart of course.  They put that rule set in the Kauyon Campaign Expansion.  In addition, anything that was new was placed in the Kauyon book and nothing else.  One might think it fine to simply get the Kauyon Campaign and be done with it, except that anything NOT new is not in it!  So the old codex does in fact work with the Kauyon Expansion and the two do form all you need to play Tau.  The new Codex is all you need if you don't wish to use the Tidewall Rampart or Tidewall components in general.

So what's changed?  Well there are really significant changes alright!  Let's start with the Lord of War Gargantuan Creature KV128 Stormsurge.  The model is ridiculously awesome for starters and reminds one immensely of the SDR-04-Mk XII Destroid Phalanx (built on the Spartan chassis) from Robotech with it's two huge missile wracks for arms.  It also has stylings of the Broadside Battlesuit with the KV128's shoulder mounted Pulse Blast Cannon.  What does this thing do?  Well that big cannon fires at Heavy 2 and its beam widens as it projects out going from a single shot Destroyer class weapon within 10" to dispersing to as much as a STR 9 AP 5 large blast at targets within 20-30 inches.  It kills MEQ if they get closer than 20".  This unit will underscore the importance of pre-measuring and agreeing with opponents so there is no argument later, because an inch matters with this weapon!  Don't need the extra D weapon or don't like dealing with the complicated distance changes in profile?  You can switch it out for a Pulse Driver Cannon which is just a large Ordinance blast (str 10 AP 2).  Done.  It's an extra 15 points, and I think it is a tough call.  But I probably favor the Pulse Driver Cannon just because Markerlights means it almost never misses.  It also fires a Twin Linked Smart Missile System, and its signature Cluster Rocket System which is fired up to 48" with a whopping 4D6 missiles at STR 5 AP 5.  Whuuuuuut?  That is a lot of missiles!  Its most devastating missiles are its four 60" Destroyer Missiles.  STR 8, AP 1; and here's where the fun part is:  Markerlights can give them the D characteristic.  Wowa.  This thing is a gun boat.  It lands probability on peoples heads and shatters anything that isn't diving for cover.  It is a horde breaker, Clearly it can help you drop a Wraith Knight as well.  Then there's it's random Twin linked Flamer just because it can (a little Wall of Death action never hurts).  However my guess is people will pay the extra five points to turn it into a Airbursting Fragmentation Projector  which is the old "experimental" weapon the Tau got in 4th Edition.  The Frag Launcher is a barrage and does ignore cover at AP 5 so it's actually a REALLY nice addition to the suits already impressive suite of anti-personnel measures.  So much firepower.  It does its best work against squishier targets but in no way should it be entirely considered anti-personnel. The real kicker though is that when it drops its Stabilizing anchors it doubles the rate of fire in the shooting phase (specifically)…  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Dayam.  4D6 x 2 Cluster Rockets?  It is expensive too, so anyone who though t they might get a little home cooking on the cost is mistaken.  Like all Tau it cannot fight to save its life in close combat, especially if its Stabilization Anchors are down because it cannot stomp when they are down.  So one has to protect it from being silenced by fearless throw away units and the like.  But since the Netlistrs of the universe rarely make use of "subpar" units like those, those same self styled Netlisters may be in for an unpleasant shock.  I anticipate that we may well see these on the field soon.  VERY soon.

GhostKeels which are 130 point Elite choices, have topped a lot of discussion boards.  It's chock full of new toys for sure.  The Battlesuit itself is on the medium oval sized bases, smaller than the Riptides of course.  The multi-tracker and Blacksun filter are handy and pretty standard stuff for the suits of a Tau Empire force.  It's signature weapon, the Fusion Collider fires a small Melta Blast at 18" or you can switch it out for the six shot Cyclic Ion Raker, which also has the same overcharge ability as other Ion weapons to make a large blast at STR 8 out of it which will kill Scouts and Scions alike with equal ease.  The Electrowarfare Suite is silly good though.  It doubles the bonus for having Stealth and Shrouded when being shot from over 12" away… And they have both which means they are 2+ cover saves in the open unless the enemy is really close.  Wow.  More fun is that they can kinda play decoy and draw fire, then when you do fire at them (let's say with an Ignores cover weapon since you were all thinking it?) then the Ghostkeel can, once per game, force those shots to be Snap Fire after being targeted!  So yeah.  To boot they also get the Twin linked Flamer so charging them will be no picnic either if there's a unit of three of them.  Between their cover saves and their Stealth Drones, these tough 5 Battlesuits are really not going to go down easy to anything but a charge.  And that’s if they leave much more than a smoldering boot where you were standing before you try the charge.

Another small but significant change:  the Devilfish is now a Fast Attack slot.  That does open up a couple interesting new possibilities.  For example, kroot have never been able to deploy starting in a Devilfish, but now they can.  Sniper Drone teams can also if their rapid firing Sniper Rifles need to take a less enemy infested position before they get their day going.  So there's that.

Continuing on with the tour of Battle Suits, the BIG change happened with Crisis Bodyguards.  You no longer need Farsight to field the huge number of them.  They now come in a unit of 1-9 Crisis Bodyguards.  Wow.  Now I know some people who would rather not have to take Farsight to get all that and now they can!

But it doesn’t end there.  Normal Crisis Teams can now be nine strong.  Yes really.  The number of suits you can now field is just insane though is that really the way to go is another question altogether.  I don't actually know if it's a good idea at this point but that is just a lot of ablative Drones and filthy firepower.

The last Battlesuit that needs mention is the Commander.  It has another battle armor option, the XV86 Coldstar suit (a High Output Burst Cannon and Missile pod effectively take up two of the Commanders Support Systems when you do this).  The Coldstar Battlesuit gives the suit the Flying Monstrous Creature rules (minus Fear, Smash and Vector Strike) which means really fast and his Drones "disappear" when he Swoops.  Getting your commander to a safer location got a lot easier and of course that makes him difficult to hit.  The special Burst Cannon is assault 6 and twin linked so it's not missing and can get to rear armor and/ or even act as an anti-air unit with a High Output Burst Cannon and Missile Pod both.  Really is a pretty fun option, albeit his toughness of 4 still makes him a bit lonely up there.

Breacher Teams are new.  The Tau Empire now has another troops choice option!  Breachers remind me of the way Japan would carry around or drop in their "woodpecker" field guns in world war II, only in this case they carry around a "Tactical Support Turret" that can be a Missile Pod or a Smart Missile System that sort of disappears when you move.  Reminds me of how Guardian Weapon platforms work except the unit can't move.  They only come in ten man squads which is different but a non issue and are stat-wise like Fire Warriors.  They do however carry a completely different rifle:  the dread Pulse Blaster, plus they carry the Field Amplifier Relay.  Basically what that means is, their weapons are like the StormSurge's weapon, changing Strength( from 6 to 5 to 4) as range increases and the AP changes too (from 3, to 5, to nil respectively).  At 5 inches it is a deadly Assault 2 marine killer.  At 5-10 it's killing Guardsman and at 10-15 it's taking its chances.  the Way I foresee these being used is as shock and awe troops who will rush up in Devilfish's while their compadres blast open the cans from behind them, spilling out all the occupants and then evaporating them in one big deluge of close quarters fire.  Reprisals will no doubt be swift in the coming at that range but then, there may be nothing left.  Enemies will learn to prioritize Devilfish's more if these guys are in the force!  Breachers can pretty much wipe out a Wraithguard squad in one volley (welcome news to many!), for a lot cheaper than some other options and those are the kinds of high value targets the Breacher is designed to deal with.  They aren't more expensive than a Fire Warrior either so that's the good news.  Shorter range and varying effectiveness (getting stranded could mean losing the unit without a peep) may limit how many squads of them you'll really want of course, unless you want an absolutely hyper aggressive Tau force (and that is a fun idea with Ghostkeels around too).  The Field Amplifier they come with can help that ideal, giving them a 5+ invulnerable save as long as they have a Guardian Drone alive with them.  It is a hearty unit as troops go, but they only operate at danger close.  Breachers are economical and effective.  They could also play as line defense.  When the enemy draws near the gun line,  they pop out and fire, forming a protective line in front of more important assets and blazing away.  Darkstrider is allowed to join this unit also which isn't listed in the old codex obviously but is in the new one, yet not in the Kauyon book that I found so that was an oversight.  Someone correct me if I missed it.

Other than Battlesuits, other benefactors of the new codex were the Ethereals.  They can now get Recon Armor for 5 points which is nice and/or a Hover Drone which is a new upgrade that basically is a "get out of terrain free" card.  Its not the most exciting 5 points I ever saw especially since those guys should be in a unit at all times and so even if he has the Drone, no one else does!  I think they missed an opportunity here…

Those are the units that are new but there's also a big addition to the model line as well:  The Tidewall components.  There's a fair number of rules to be aware of!  It actually consists of Tidewall Shieldlines, Tidewall Droneports, and the magnificent Tidewall Gunrigs.  These can be used separately or combined to form a couple of different things called the Tidewall Gunfort and the Tidewall Defense Network.  The Tidewall Rampart is another thing altogether whose rules come in the boxed set.  The obvious ploy here is to get you to buy more components for it even after you purchase the Tidewall Rampart if indeed you did.  Units on the Tidewall Shieldline, the Tidewall Gunrig and on the Tidewall Droneport re-roll 1's to hit!  Those units riding them don’t count as moving when the Tidewall hovers forward (though they cannot themselves move) but it doesn’t like to move over difficult ground, so there's a limitation.  The Tidewall Shieldline isn't just a cool name.  If its riders make a cover save, watch out!  Each successful cover save gets a roll and on a 6, the shot hits the guys shooting at them!  Kinda like the Necron shields you can purchase for their elites.

Tidewall Gunrigs are pretty cool.  They fire an actual Twin linked Railgun! It's the big version and it can put hurt down field.  The added toughness is nice and only Tau can fire it so leaving it behind wont give your enemies a big 88 to fire on you if they overrun your position or more likely, when you tactically reposition.

Combining three of these that must stay within 6" of each other forms a Tidewall Gunfort, and the Gunfort can fire all three guns simultaneously adding 1 to the STR of Submunitions and and Armourbane to the solid shot.
The Tidewall Defense Network is one of the things you can build.  It basically is a square of Shield lines and a Gunrig or Drone port in the middle.  The Defense Network makes you stubborn so if you don't want an ethereal for that duty you can build on of these.  You need four Tidewall Shieldlines to do it though so even if you purchase the Tidewall Rampart, you won't have enough pieces to do it.  Sigh.  More GW price gouging.

So this is a quick rundown on the new lineup of models from the Tau Empire.  More to come!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tactical Comments on Range

There are some basic things that better generals recognize more readily.  Being a good sport and being good at the game are both goals for players who want to win tournaments.  Ranges are something you learn as you play the game and you become progressively more aware of what enemy units both can do and actually do.  That refers to both charge ranges as well as shooting ranges.

There's little shame in not recognizing the threats early on, but as you improve your skill set there are some very important distance considerations you must make.

First and foremost, deployment.  Put simply, you need to measure, before you do anything, how many turns it will take the enemy to crash into you if they are a mobile close combat force and if they are not, how many turns it takes to get to the objectives which will inform you on how much time you can afford to take in getting tied up in melees.  If the answer is that the enemy can be on you in two turns, and you're not disposed to defending against it especially, you need to consider retreating in round one as a viable option.  Fortunately games do not have infinite length, and the extra round can seriously reduce the time a capable melee force has to operate against you.  The more you steal from the strength of an enemy, the more you increase your own chances.  In a recent tournament, I was faced with a Tyranid army full of Forge World horrors, one of which had an ENORMOUS flamer template centrally in his deployment.  I measured the distance, knew he could decimate my Chaos Raptors in round one, and retreated everything to either side.  As a melee only army pretty much, my Night Lords would have liked nothing better than to advance and we had initiative but the reality of the battle dictated that it would be walking into certain death.  Adding his movement plus the template size...  Cowardice is a perfectly legitimate answer to that kind of problem because it forces the enemy to make a decision as to which side he wants to go towards.  It also signals to him that he must advance if he wants to catch you, and once he has advanced beyond the point of no return, you can express your speed, close, and lock him up before he annihilates you in a phase you're outclassed in, which is what happened.

This brings up one of the most important tactical tenets you will ever hear for war games:  just because you can assault doesn't mean you should.   Just because you can shoot doesn't mean you should.

Ranges matter.  Measurements beforehand not only warn you of disaster, but they also make certain there's no...disagreements... later as to distances on charges.  I have found that sportsmanship is very much appreciated.  Sometimes the way to avoid arguments about your opponents turn is to preempt them in yours.  To win tournaments, you must be thinking actively about sportsmanship.   Announcing and getting agreement on the relative distances between two units on my turn (lets say 13") then informs both of us that his 6" move will leave him with a 7 inch charge (9" if through cover).  Reminding him of it later won't seem pedantic if you've already agreed.  You're going to need that information anyways, so it creates a good habit in you of anticipating his charges as well as giving you the info you need to decide on your final positioning.  All in all, sportsmanship might be the best outcome of all on that practice.

Drop Pods present another challenge on ranges.  Experienced Generals know that a drop army or ones that acts similarly can physically cut you off from objectives and so the threat from them is not just from their firepower (as they tend to be bristling with special weapons whenever you see "drop" type armies) but from their effective use as gates that slow you down.   In this case the distances from you to the objectives become VERY important as you must plan at least an extra turn to get to them because of the new "terrain" the drop armies create.  It also may call you to try and dominate the midfield very early on to force him to split his drop up more.

The other range to be aware of against drop armies is this:  6".  That is the distance you DO NOT want Meltaguns dropping in on your tanks.  So if you know this and can use a unit or terrain to cut off at least that much distance outward from the tanks, you will suffer significantly less.  This is referred to as bubble wrapping quite often and the wrapping doesn't necessarily need to stand up to the firepower as much as simply be a barrier against the probabilities of losing the tank to the Melta special rule.  Even in deployment you have to be thinking about ranges.

During the critical first turn, you also need to look at ranges for melta weapons if you use a tank heavy force.  A Dominion squad can be 36' up the board in turn one and meltas have a 12" range meaning that there is almost nowhere a Dominion squad can't reach turn one!  In a recent game i played against Grey Knights, my Adepta Sororitas caught his Dread Knights quite by surprise with this and losing them both was crushing blow to his chances.  The game was nigh over before it began. So the first turn requires your utmost focus on ranges and how far things can truly go and fire.  If you're sporting a pair of Land Raiders and you want to live to see turn two, may want to sacrifice some position to keep them safe initially.

In other phases I see people carelessly move their figures after a successful close combat or perhaps Eldar do it in their shooting phase using their Battle Focus, perhaps euphoric over their victory or their near miss with death as the case might be.  Whatever the reason, you should ALWAYS be checking the enemy ranges to your miniatures before you consolidate or move (as the rules specifically do not let you go back and fix it once you actually start moving a model).  Measure the threat range from the enemy to you, adding in their movement rate and decide if you can escape the worst of it or even if you want to.  If there is no way to escape the worst of it, there are a few things to do.

1,  Circular deployment.  By circling up as wide as you can, you mitigate a great deal of the enemy's ability to hurt you with blasts and templates as well as cutting off ground for their flyers.  Leave nothing in the middle of the group for him to target so that blasts only hit the outside of the ring of soldiers and not the center.  Given you cannot escape the enemy retribution, you can mitigate it significantly.  But you'll only know this by being aware of the enemy ranges and being very conscious of your consolidation moves.

2.  Remember to place the important figures in the back of the unit UNLESS you know they have deep strikers in which case you want to put a couple of bodies on the back side of the unit just to make sure the important models don't get skewered.

3.  Consider not making the move that would get you there in the first place.  While it is quite satisfying to see an Ork Horde Detachment fling its mighty Ardboy blobs at hapless Militarum Tempestus soldiers, completely secure in your victory, remember what I said:   Just because you can charge doesn't mean you should and whatever small gains you may get from seven dead Scions could be inconsequential in comparison to, say, walking into First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire! range of a supporting blob squad!  Sometimes it is better to forgo the closer target and set your sights on assaulting the potentially offensive blob itself later.  For surely you can shoot the Scions and cut them below combat efficacy without the need for a potentially damaging shooting response, a phase orks suffer in!

That also brings up a very old conundrum in 40k:  Do I shoot at all, if it risks missing a charge?  With random charge distances and consolidations and so on, it is perfectly reasonable to ask yourself that question.  If your unit is a primarily melee oriented unit and you're confident in your ability, then weather the overwatch and don't risk missing the charge.  If you're a middling melee unit, you might need the help in lowering the enemy numbers.  My mind goes to the few times I have had to charge with my Tau Fire Warriors.  I have done this to get free movement before as well as to contest objectives and with Aun'Va making them stubborn, it's really not the risk it sounds like.  In those instances, I simply had to take my chances on missing the charge because I knew my strength lie in the Carbine not the cudgel.  Whereas my Chaos Raptors are quite likely to fire ONLY their meltas guns and not much else before a charge because missing the charge is not an outcome they can really afford.

Whether the range be in close combat or in the shooting phase, consolidation or with Battle Focus the goal is the same:  be elite by making sure you are cognizant at all times of the risk; and exhibit good sportsmanship by preempting the arguments ahead of time.

And now for some gamer humor, click this link!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chaos Space Marines in 7th Edition

As some know I have always enjoyed the Night Lords ever since I learned of the way they like to fight and their mercenary, dispassionate and somewhat ambivalent attitude towards the fanaticism of their peers.

Chaos Space Marines have seemed to suffer since 4th Edition Codex yanked the identity away from Chaos Marines and though it was finally returned to them in some measure with the Daemonkin book and also the latest Chaos Space Marine codex, the ultimate issue is that the codex has some fairly awesome things in it but lacks certain UTILITIES that some Codex's take for granted.

This has no bearing on whether the CODEX is good or bad.  some do get wrapped up in that kind of debate but what's the point?  IF a good General can still play and win with them, then I think it a better use of time to look at how than to become so overcome with indignation that you miss the opportunities.

In 7th Edition, there are a few things that matter a great deal:  Objective Secured units, speed and hard core punching power enough to face the prospect of a Wraith Knight among them.  Chaos Marines are "bereft" of Gravity Weapons (at this time), Drop pods to deliver them and are without the comforts of any Formatons to really reinforce the naturally melee oriented nature of Chaos Marines.  Let's face it, Space Marines just have more platforms to fire from, so Chaos Marines pretty much need to embrace melee if they want to get a competitive edge)

I would point out that Chaos Space Marines still have some incredible advantages you can still use and if you're willing to adjust your list to the new realities, then here's a few things you can do to make a Chaos list "7th Edition able".

You need enough weapons to slay the mighty Wraith Knight in one go.  The Stomp and other effects of a Wraith Knight make it absolutely imperative that any army do this.  Where best to find them?

Well to know the enemy is half the battle so let's take a peek.  The Wraith Knight is I5, so this informs our choice somewhat.  We really do need something that goes before the Wraith Knight.  We need initiative so we need to hold a Mark of Slaanesh if it gets in melee.  We also know that the Wraith Knight has six wounds , so no matter what we decide to use for this task, it needs to be able to take out NINE wounds (Because the Scattershield can defray wounds for the thing).  This is a tall order.  Who can do all this?

Points are the issue here.  The enormous amount of fire it takes to do nine wounds to a Toughness 8 creature is so crazy that while you may wish to tenderize the thing a bit with shooting (never a bad idea), melee would be less points intensive in the long run.  How much less?  On paper you might consider hitting it with an endless stream of AP fire but we have to be honest in realizing that 9 Obliterators that cost 684 points couldn't do it unless they had three rounds to devote to it and they all never died!  Three LasCannon Predators certainly would need at least that much time also, and are 420 points; and they would need 4 rounds, which will never happen.  That is how extreme a threat the Wraith Knight is against shooting.  So we have to consider melee, even expensive melee units, as a probable alternative to all these other expenditures.

The two answers I see for Chaos Marines are these:

1.  The Black Legion Hand of Darkness.  Easily the best answer.  A simple Chaos Lord on a Bike can get the charge off, hiding in a unit for a round if necessary until ready to strike.  With the Mark of Slaanesh, The chaos Lord is striking at Initiative 6 (and therefore first), Attacking once on the charge (because the Hand of Darkness says so) hitting on 3's which a Familiar will help with to re-roll, wounding on 2's because the Hand of Darkness has Fleshbane; and since the Hand of Darkness is AP 1, it will cause instant death when and if the Scattershield does not deflect the blow.  Softening up the Wraith Knight just a bit should allow the Chaos Lord his shot at glory.

When you consider how great this item is for Chaos Marines, you wonder why more people don't play them.  =)  Your total cost for the exercise is as little as 170 points.  There simply is no better answer.  He doesn't even need an escort into combat for this.  In fact it's generally preferable that he have none (though it wouldn't suck if you have the extra points).

2.  A second option is Abaddon The Despoiler.  He is not as effective at the task, but he would be attacking 7 times instead of 5, wounding on a 3 when charging (instead of a 2) but he would re-roll to wound (but not cause inflict Instant Death).  Ultimately this works out to be slightly less effective and also requires the use of a far more expensive chariot to the fight, a Land Raider.  Now given that in a tournament you're probably not going to have Wraith Knights in every round then if you're ALREADY planning on bringing a Land Raider, Abaddon is a better all around choice than a Biker with the Hand of Darkness whose role is a bit more specialized.  So consider him as a viable alternative given that he can be in a a unit that does the remaining damage necessary.

Okay so we've dealt with the 7th Edition issue of Gargantua's right?  We said there were three really important elements:  Killing those, plus having Objective Secured units and speed.

Speed comes in all kinds of forms.  Speed is really jut another way of saying "being where needed, when needed".  The idea of speed is taken VERY literally by some people but really, isn't this what we're really saying when we suggest that an army needs "speed"?  Most of the time we are.  The Chaos Marines have mobility via Deep Strike, Infiltration, Outflanking and traditional Jump troops and vehicles.  So the perception may exist that they aren't AS mobile as their marine counterparts which is entirely correct, does it really matter actually when there's this many ways to get where needed when needed?  You just have to embrace using them instead of always comparing thing and wishing forlornly for things that can't be.

Chaos Rhinos are inexpensive, can be Objective Secured and they are remarkably unappetizing targets after round one for enemies because of their low cost (relatively speaking) to the cost of what has to be dedicated to their destruction.  If the enemy hasn't stopped them from moving flat out in round one, killing them loses a lot of meaning (not to say they won't try when no better target exists).

5 man Chaos Marine squads are fairly hearty compared to (again) what is required to kill them and 30 Chaos Marines split into six Rhinos is 660 points of the army giving you TWELVE Objective secured units.  That's actually a lot when you consider that they can be reserved to allow the whittling of the most significant anti-tank threats before they have to come on.  5 Chaos Marines will actually do damage to many units with grenades and provide road blocking units for you at critical times.  Chaos Marines are getting three attacks on the charge from replacing their bolter with a CCW and if you go this way, then the movement of the rhinos wont impact your shooting much but you will at least be able to now handle what happens next when they get blown up with some dignity.  More importantly this gives you the ability to be where you need to be WHEN you do, as the game comes to a close.

If you don't like that solution to speed, I myself play Night Lords and enjoy the Raptors/Warp Talon speed quite a bit.  With Nurgle Raptors there isn't much of the board you cant safely reach in good numbers.

A Steed of Slaanesh adds a lot to a Chaos Lord in the ability to outflank and the Master of Deception Warlord Trait can offer the Steed of Slaanesh Lord a unit to travel safely with when outflanking. Want to make sure he has it?  Huron BlackHeart can ensure that, as he comes with it.  Acute Senses allows the mounted Chaos Lord to re-roll the side he comes in on, so this form of mobility for a unit is pretty valuable and obviates the need for a transport of course,

Nothing is more terrifying than Beasts on the march.  Necrons Scarab swarms and Dark Eldar Beast Packs aren't the only beasts around.  Chaos Spawn are very good and not talked much about.  Like the aforementioned, they are not always cutting through heavy armor with the greatest of ease but they are going to stop a unit you want stopped for quite a while and they can keep up with anything you have in the army.  Moving 12", ignoring all the terrain and then charging them means that by round two, they are locking something up and anything not well armored will not like what happens next.  Think about the Jet Bikes who constantly outwit you by simply shooting and moving afterwards and ask yourself:  can I get to them in enough time to matter?  Beasts can keep up and with a few armored hulls around to protect them on the approach, survive to see that through...

Maulerfiends are just as fast and ferocious, and don't need the cover of Rhinos because its a Daemon (5+ invul save, better than cover!).    They get less attacks potentially, but they will punch through any armor and thus make a great companion to run alongside the Spawn if that''s what you wanted to do.

Nothing moves faster than a Heldrake, so enough said about that speed and it can hover at games end.

I encourage you to look for the opportunities.  7th Edition really values Speed, Objective Secured units and the ability to take out the big boys.  Chaos Space Marines can do it all.