Dataslate: Helbrutes Review, or "Et tu, Helbrute?"
So the Helbrute formation is here, yay! I've got a handful of these from Dark Vengeance, because they cost beans on ebay, less than $4 if you know where to look, so I'm quite excited to see some new rules to use some of my favorite minis.
First up is probably my favorite. The Mayhem pack gives you access to 3 (individual?) Helbrutes, all of which get to deep strike and gain IWND. The downside is that they must roll on the crazed chart every turn. I'm sorry, what? I get to roll on a chart that lets me fire twice, or gives me rage/fleet? Helyes! For me, the ideal way to equip this unit would be just the standard build with a multi-melta and whatever combat weapon suits your fancy. When you deep strike, you'll only need to land within 12" of the enemy to be in double tap range, and wont really scatter out of maximum range anyhow. Most of the time you'll be getting a bonus to combat, so the fist is handy, but you don't want to go pure combat because 1/3 of the time you'll be stuck shooting, but hey, firing 2 multi-melta shots isn't a bad option!
This formation lets you take a Helbrute with 2 units of cultists. If the cultist are obscuring your brute, he's going to get a 3+ cover save, but for each one you pass, a Cultist bites the dust. As if that wasn't good enough, as long as the Helbrute is alive, he gives the cultists fearless, but when he dies the cultists get Zealot, so that's even better! I'm still weary of taking a pure shooting brute in this formation, but it's not the worst option either, though personally, I'll probably be using my Plasma/Scourge in this group. It lets him sit back and blast away with his plasma cannon, or counter attack any enemies that get too close to my scoring cultists. Of any of the formations, this one would require the least reconfiguring of a list, and actually might add quite a bit to keep your cultists on the board (though they wont be able to go to ground).
The last formation is pretty interesting, though I'm not quite sure how viable. This gives you a vehicle squadron of 5 brutes, one of which is upgraded to a character with a 5++ save, who can make LOS rolls to keep himself alive. As long as the Alpha brute is alive, the whole unit gets to pick any crazed results, and applies that result to the whole unit. If you want pure shooting brutes, this is probably where to do it. If you take a couple HP of damage, you can fire back with up to 10 missiles and 20 Reaper autocannon shots. The jury is still out on this formation, as it's at minimum 500 points, and probably closer to 550-600 after giving them equipment.