Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Thousand Sons (9E)
- 1 Why Play Thousand Sons?
- 2 Faction Keywords
- 3 Special Rules
- 4 Warlord Traits
- 5 Stratagems
- 6 Tactical Objectives
- 7 Secondaries
- 8 Wargear
- 9 Psychic Powers
- 10 The Nine Cults
- 11 Unit Analysis
- 12 Tactics
Why Play Thousand Sons?
As one of the founding Legions, the Thousand Sons have, along side their pantheon opposite the Sons of Mortarion, been promoted to full Codex Status. Alongside this there has been a small release of new models (some being shared with Age of Sigmar.) If you love Convoluted Schemes, Tzaangors, Robots, Space Wizards with Mind Bullets, or Twisting Bodies in Unnatural ways; then this is the army for you!
Boasting some of the most powerful psychic powers in the game, Thousand Sons armies are for the connoisseur of Chaos Space Marine commander; encouraging play with trickery, deception, and multi-layered planning. The army allows you to manipulate the dice, the board and even your opponents units. This encourages you to play with finesse, rather than purely brute forcing your opponent into submission. Alternatively you may simply believe that Magnus Did Nothing Wrong.
- Almost every unit has a way to cut through armour saves. As the Inferno Bolt offers a reliable AP-2.
- As Masters of Magic you get a boosted range on all your powers; so you can buff/debuff/shoot mind-bullets from even farther away.
- Exalted Sorcerers act as a mid-way point between a Choppy Murder Lord and Flimsy Spellcaster.
- Fairly fresh sculpt-wise and also contains the first Primarch to be introduced to Modern 40k (Magnus).
- Great Synergy between units in the Codex and with other Chaos Armies. Thousand Sons are able to provide and receive a range of game-changing bonuses to and from Daemons & Fellow Heretic Astartes - all the while without stealing the spotlight from Your Dudes.
- Invulnerable saves everywhere.
- Lets you take the fight to the Space Chads as you have ascended to become An Enlightened Mage Warrior Riding on a Disc of Magic.
- Nine Sub-Factions to select from that influence your play style.
- Stratagems, Relics and Powers with the Ability to Deep-strike pretty much everything.
- Three Psychic Disciplines and Nine Cult powers to choose from, and multiple Psykers across the army as Sorcerers lead the rank-and file troops. The Thousand Sons are true masters of the Psychic Phase with access to a large toolkit of powers for any situation. Even Eldar will watch in envy as you cast into the double figures.
- Tzaangor models (except those with Chainswords and Guns) as well as the Mutalith Vortex Beast can also be used for an Age of Sigmar Tzeentch army. Letting you eke out extra mileage for what you paid for.
- While 9th has hit the Thousand Sons like a sledgehammer in a lot of ways, one thing we can be thankful for is that it's finally given an environment where Magnus is actually somewhat survivable. With the ability to throw any unit into tactical reserves, we can at least guarantee that Magnus will get at least one turn on the table to try and buff himself to the gills to survive, and actually get to deal some damage before being lascannoned in the face. Additionally, with the more terrain heavy boards, and new terrain rules, hiding Magnus is actually a reasonable possibility to keep him alive for a turn... Maybe. His wings are HUGE. However, the less vehicle heavy meta that appears to be forming means players aren't packing the firepower to punk out a knight a turn, so Magnus is somewhat more likely to be able to actually survive your opponent's shooting phase.
- Although the sculpts are quite good, the overall range of units to choose from is small.
- Unlike previous edition, we now get the incremental cost for spamming Smite. Fortunately Grey Knights got this too so we can't be too pissed off. (and GW has promised that the 9th codex will give us some kind of psychic buff to offset this, so we'll see)
- Consistently miss out on new releases due to Keywords; leaving you frustrated to see other Chaos getting new toys you can't use.
- Magnus is a huge investment of money, time and points. He costs a lot, and you will want to put a lot of buffs on him to make sure you make the most out of him, otherwise he's just a gigantic target for your opponent.
- Reliance on your Psychic synergy means Anti-psyker units like Sisters of Silence, Culexus Assassins, GC Sancti/Magi/Abominants and Tyranids (especially Hive Fleet Kronos) will give you no end of problems if not eliminated quickly.
- Some models were ported in from Age of Sigmar in lieu of getting new stuff like the Death Guard. Which is a con due to the fact that the models don't look at all like they belong in a 40k setting.
- Subsequently, your HQ's are your biggest threat as well as the linchpin of your buffs; meaning most people will focus them first. If this happens your army can take a huge hit very quickly and struggle to recover.
- The Thousand Sons have a very limited armoury and find it hard to access Plasma and Melta weaponry. Also, lacks any real anti-tank as a whole, aside from helbrutes, which can be unreliable, and smites, which can be played around easily. I guess you can always ally in some CSM for Havocs...
- The Thousand Sons can't take some of the Forgeworld models that are available to other Chaos Legions. Specifically the Hellforged Rapier, Chaos Hellwright and Chaos Hellwright on Dark Abyant; as well as any unit that cannot take Thousand Sons and Tzeentch keywords. (This may be unintentional and could be FAQed, but until then assume it isnt't)
- You can also cripple your army on your own; as constantly casting means a high chance of rolling Perils of the Warp and blowing yourself up.* Possibly the biggest con of the Thousand Sons in 9th is a couple of the secondaries: Abhor the Witch and Assassination are SO strong against the Thousand Sons that they have been consistently described as "a free maxed out secondary". With so many of their units being psykers, Abhor the Witch is often comically easy to score, and with many of our psykers being characters (and often bringing than 4+ of them) makes them both count for more points for Abhor the Witch and makes them valid Assassinate targets (and, yes, you absolutely can score both off of one model). Pending a nerf or removal of Abhor the Witch (possibly/hopefully in CA 2021) playing a typical T-sons list is effectively starting at a 30 point deficit.
The Thousand Sons are one of the middle releases of 8th edition, and experience has shown this to be a negative rather than a positive. Contemporary Codexes either copy elements and features of previous releases, or build upon lessons learnt from player-feedback leading to power creep. You are now quite reliant on splat-books. It's also a grey-area about when GW will revisit the entire army again. On the other hand, 8th Edition was marked by continual change, with unit entries being rewritten and tweaked constantly both in Chapter Approved, FAQ's, White Dwarf and now Psychic Awakening so take that as you will. Despite this you should get your hands on the following in the listed order:
- The Most Recent FAQ and Errata: For rules clarification and fixes.
- Codex Thousand Sons: Released February 2018.
- Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned: Grants rules for the Nine Cults and additional stratagems and the latest point costs.
- Chapter Approved 2019/Munitorum Field Manual: Additional missions and useful points updates. (Ritual of the Damned also includes latest points so skip this unless you want it for other armies.)
- Codex Chaos Space Marines, Version 2: Released in April 2019. Allows you to Ally in the new units from Shadowspear and Vigilus Ablaze.
- Index: Forces of Chaos: For all your Forge World needs.
- Start Collecting: Thousand Sons: A good launching off platform for new players. Contains Ahriman (weird for a named character but there's not much else), 1 unit of 10 Rubric Marines, 1 unit of 10 Tzaangors, and 2 Tzaangor upgrade kits, in case you want them to have the chainswords and pistols (you don't).
- Thousand Sons: Legends PDF: For 'Legacy Units' and Wargear options (eg. Combi-Plasma's and force axes.)
The main keywords you have to keep track of for your army are HERETIC ASTARTES, and THOUSAND SONS. Being a God-Specific Legion, everything must also have MARK OF TZEENTCH, before they can receive any god-specific buffs and psychic benefits. This also locks you out from certain units such as the Blood Slaughter of Khorne and Kytan Ravager.
Keep in mind that even though you can 'soup' a list using the HERETIC ASTARTES Keyword, you can't give the THOUSAND SONS Legion keyword to any unit that isn't listed in their respective army lists; either in the Index: Chaos or their own codex. So you can't have THOUSAND SONS Warptalons, for example.
- Brotherhood of Sorcerers: If your army is Battleforged, the range of all psychic powers cast by units with this ability is increased by 6". Mainly affects characters, but also applies to Sorcerers embedded with Rubrics and Scarab Terminators.
- Cults of the Legion: Every THOUSAND SONS detachment can be assigned a cult. Every unit gains the CULT keyword, as long as they do not have TZAANGOR, CULTISTS or is a named character. Every <CULT> PSYKER automatically knows the cult's psychic power, in addition to the other powers they know.
- Disciples of Tzeentch: Tzeentch flavored objective secured, same as all the other ones.
- Death to the False Emperor: Just like vanilla CSMs, rolling a 6 to hit in close combat against Imperials lets you perform a bonus attack. People usually tend to forget this one but seriously, this little friend could change a loss into a win.
- Hateful Assault: If you charge, are charged or perform a Heroic Intervention, get +1 Attack. Anyone with the keyword THOUSAND SONS with the exception of TZAANGORS and CHAOS CULTISTS gets this. This makes it less likely for your rubrics to get bogged down in melee (though they still easily can be).
- Malicious Volleys: Heretic Astartes models using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the normal attacks (2 for bolters, 4 for storm bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
- Target is in Half Range
- If the firing model is INFANTRY and didn't move during the previous Movement Phase
- If the firing model is a TERMINATOR, BIKER or HELBRUTE.
- While useful for nearly every other Marine army, do remember that your Bolters are standardly AP-2. Making you better than Fire Warriors but at worse Strength.
- Aetherstride: Your warlord can advance and charge in the same turn, and can re-roll failed charge rolls. Great for a Daemon Prince focused on self-buffing and Warptime. Remember that advancing changes your movement characteristic for the movement phase. Warp time is specifically worded in a way that you move 'as if its the movement phase' meaning that you move again at that speed.
- Arrogance of Aeons: Re-roll failed Deny the Witch tests you take for the Warlord. When facing enemy psykers, this is great.
- High Magister: Add 1 to any psychic tests for your warlord. The go-to for any Exalted/Terminator Sorcerer.
- Lord of Forbidden Lore: The warlord knows 1 additional psychic power. In most armies this would be kind of iffy, but in your case you have so many powers to choose from that this is a viable option. This is Magnus the Red's mandatory warlord trait.
- Note that the trait does not specify a Lore, so you can use this for cross-access powers, but still only applies within our three base choice. Otherwise it would be...insane. (Steeples fingers and cackles while looking at Lores from other armies).
- Otherworldly Prescience: Improve your warlord's invulnerable save by 1, to a maximum of 3++. Did I hear someone say "Daemon Prince with a Storm Shield"? This is Ahriman's mandatory warlord trait.
- Undying Form: -1 to all damage taken (minimum 1). An alternative for your Daemon Prince if you expect to face lots of D3 and D2 weaponry.
These help to reflect the unique (and not so unique) tactics and strategies used by the Thousand Sons on the battlefield:
Codex Chaos Space Marine Copy-Pastes
Your bread and butter stratagems reprinted from Codex:Chaos Space Marines.
- Blasphemous Machines (1 CP): Use before a vehicle attacks in the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, that vehicle can ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons or for advancing and firing assault weapons.
- Boon of Tzeentch (1 CP): The infamous boon table returns, now on 2d6 and triggered after a non-DAEMON (note that this means putting your Sorcerers on Discs will deny you access to this Stratagem) THOUSAND SONS CHARACTER kills any CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER in the Fight phase. A single CHARACTER can benefit from it multiple times, and duplicates turn into 7. Notably, the benefits you get differ from the ones in the vanilla codex.
- 2: Spawndom. Replace your character with one of the gribbly things, set up within 6" of his former position and 1" away from enemy models.
- 3: All of the character's ranged weapons get a 6" range boost.
- 4: +3 movement
- 5: 6+ FNP save or +1 if you already have this ability
- 6: +1 to psychic tests
- 7: Pick any result other than Spawndom or Daemonhood.
- 8: Enemies targeting this character get -1 to hit rolls in the Fight phase.
- 9: +1 to damage of melee weapons.
- 10: +1 T
- 11: +1 W
- 12: Daemonhood. As Spawndom, but replace the character with a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch instead.
- Chaos Familiar (1CP): Use at the start of your Psychic Phase; a THOUSAND SONS PSYKER can swap one power known for another from the Dark Hereticus, Tzeentch, or change disciplines. Notably better than the vanilla one available to the Chaos codex due to having three disciplines to choose from. As always, great for giving your Aspiring Sorcerer's something that isn't a debuffed Smite. The wording also allows you to switch into a power from any of the 3 spell lists, even if they normally could not take a spell from it.
- Daemonforge (1 CP): Select a THOUSAND SONS DAEMON VEHICLE in either the Shooting or Assault phase. You can re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. A Forgefiend is now scary again and a Tendril Maulerfiend can do some serious shredding.
- Fire Frenzy (1 CP): Use on a THOUSAND SONS Helbrute unit that did not move this turn. It may fire all its weapons twice, but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. Another CSM Stratagem and quite good. Consider a Helbrute with two gun arms to take advantage of this.
- Great Sorcerer (1CP): Use at the end of your Psychic phase; a THOUSAND SONS PSYKER can attempt to manifest one additional power.
- Killshot (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase if you have a Predator within 6" of 2 other Predators. Add 1 to the wound roll and damage for all of the Predators' attacks against Monsters and Vehicles. Again, the same as CSMs and regular Space Marines by extension.
- Now only effects baseline Predators, not Hellforged ones. Probably hard to coordinate fire with a shrieking daemon, but it still sucks to not have.
- Linebreaker Bombardment (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase if you have a Vindicator within 6" of 2 other Vindicators from the same Legion. None of them can shoot their Demolisher Cannons. Instead, pick a spot within 24" of all three, and roll a D6 for each unit within 3", adding 1 if the unit has 10+ models and subtracting 1 if it's a Character. On a 4+, the unit takes 3D3 mortal wounds.
- Veteran of the Long War (1 CP): Select a THOUSAND SONS INFANTRY unit. They add 1 to all their to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. Works wonders with Scarab Occult Terminators or Rubric Marines, especially in conjunction with Prescience. Note that you can use this in both the Shooting and Fight phases, meaning you can really catch your opponent unaware with your blob of Tzaangors.
Thousand Sons Codex Uniques
Your unique stratagems to distinguish the army:
- Baleful Vortex (1 CP): Pick a Mutalith Vortex Beast. It can use another power this turn.
- Cabalistic Focus (1 CP): +2 to a casting roll for a THOUSAND SONS PSYKER within 6″ of at least 2 other THOUSAND SONS PSYKER. Lend Magnus your energy! Too bad it is only for ONE cast and not the whole phase, so choose wisely.
- Use when magnus is casting his Smite for a much better chance at nailing something with 2D6 mortal wounds.
- Coruscating Beam (3 CP): use during shooting if you have a thousand sons warlord that did not move. Instead of shooting with the warlords weapon, pick two points that are 9" apart and visible to the warlord. Draw a 1 millimeter wide line between the two points and roll a d6 for each unit the line crosses (-1 if it's a CHARACTER). On a 4+, deal 1d3 mortal wounds. You probably won't bother with this one, it's extremely underwhelming for its cost, definitely needs a buff.
- Cycle of Slaughter (2 CP): Choose a TZAANGOR unit at the end of the Fight phase, it can fight again. This works on all Tzaangor units whether its a big group of footsloggers or a flerd of enlightened getting two rounds of +1 damage on their divining spears.
- Note that while this is a Tzaangor-only stratagem, it also costs 1 CP less than similar stratagems from other armies, such as Grey Knights' Honor the Chapter, which lets you save CP for other things.
- Fated Mutation (1 CP): Just before a unit of Chaos Spawn fights in the Fight Phase, you can choose the result of the Mutated Beyond Reason ability, rather than rolling for it. In addition you can also reroll the number of attacks each model makes during that phase.
- Inferno Bolts (1 CP): use before the battle. select one Thousand Sons vehicle. One of its combi-bolter, combi-melta, combi flamer, or twin heavy bolters gets an upgrade. Its AP becomes -2 for the bolter part of the weapon. Not bad on a Land Raider. Sadly also not too good on a LR, as you pay 1 CP for AP- 2 on your twin-heavy bolter instead of -1...
- Relics of the Thousand Sons (1/3 CP) Your standard relic stratagem. 1 Point nets you an additional relic. 3 Points nets you two.
- Sorcerous Pact (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a Thousand Sons Character attempts to summon a unit of Tzeentch DAEMONS to the battlefield using a daemonic ritual. You can roll up to four dice, and your character will not suffer any mortal wounds for rolling doubles or triples. Fuck knows what happens if you roll quadruples.
- Soul Flare (1 CP): Use when a Thousand Son Aspiring Sorcerer or Scarab Occult Sorcerer is slain. Roll a d6 for each enemy unit within 6" and subtract 2 if the unit is a character. On a 4+, cause a mortal wound. Very situational, but potentially useful if your Rubric Marines or Scarab Terminators get swamped.
- The Flesh Change (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a THOUSAND SONS CHARACTER... they die. But you now set up a free Chaos Spawn within 6" of the fallen character and 1" away from an enemy model. The Stratagem explicitly says this does not cost reinforcement points in matched play. On paper this sounds like garbage, but it also says any phase so presumably you can use it in the opponent's phase too.
- Vengeance for Prospero (1 CP): use this stratagem before fighting. For the rest of the turn, the units Death to the False Emperor triggers on a 4+ instead of a 6+ if targeting SPACE WOLVES.
- Warpflame Gargoyles (1 CP): Any VEHICLE (but not a HELBRUTE or Heldrake) can roll a D6 for each other unit within 3" (friend or foe) at the start of a Fight Phase, subtracting two if the unit being rolled for is a VEHICLE or CHARACTER. On a result of a 4+, the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
- Great on any of your melee vehicles like Maulers and properly built Defilers. There's nothing like the feeling of giant demonic monstrosity burning everything around it as it rips apart your enemies.
- Webway Infiltration (1/3 CP): Do the Eldar thing, and deep strike ANY THOUSAND SONS INFANTRY unit from the webway, arriving more than 9" from the enemy. Can spend three points to deep strike two units instead.
- Use on a Tzaangor unit with Brayhorn (+1 charge), cast Gaze of Fate, keep a CP for additional reroll and enjoy your turn
12 charge (GW hates turn 1 deepstrikes... unless you bought Drop Pods, apparently).
- Use on a Tzaangor unit with Brayhorn (+1 charge), cast Gaze of Fate, keep a CP for additional reroll and enjoy your turn
Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned
Supplemental stratagems from Psychic Awakening to further distinguish the army:
- Adepts of the Immaterium (1 CP): Use this Stratagem if a THOUSAND SONS PSYKER from your army would suffer Perils of the Warp. That PSYKER does not suffer Perils of the Warp.
- Indomitable Foes (1 CP):Use this Stratagem when a RUBRIC MARINES unit or SCARAB OCCULT TERMINATORS unit from your army is chosen as the target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, improve that unit's invulnerable save by 1 (to a maximum of 3+).
- Infernal Fusillade (1 CP):when RUBRIC MARINES or SCARAB OCCULT TERMINATORS unit from your army is chosen to shoot in your shooting phase. Until the end that phase, models in that unit can shoot twice with Rapid Fire weapons if that unit did not move this turn.
- Magister (1 CP): Use this Stratagem before the battle, after nominating your Warlord. Select one THOUSAND SONS CHARACTER model from your army that is not your Warlord and determine one Warlord Trait for it, it is regarded as your Warlord for the purposes of those Warlord Traits. Each Warlord trait in your army must be unique (if randomly generated, re-roll duplicated results). You can only use this Stratagem once per battle.
- Risen Rubricae (1 CP): Use this Stratagem when you set up a RUBRIC MARINES unit from your army during deployment. That unit can be set up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9" away from the enemy deployment zone and any enemy models. You can only use this Stratagem once per battle. Imagine a unit of 20 Rubrics with 1 sorcerer, 2 soulreaper cannons and 17 warpflamers. Drop them behind cover and watch your opponent cower in fear.
- Sorcerous Infusion (1 CP): Use this Stratagem after resolving a psychic power manifested by a THOUSAND SONS model from your army, if the result of the Psychic test for that power was 9 or higher. If that model's unit contains any models that have lost any wounds, select one of those models to regain up to D3 lost wounds. Otherwise , if any models in that unit have been destroyed, you can return one of those models to the battlefield with all of its wounds remaining, placing it in unit coherency.
- Yoked Automata (2 CP): Use this Stratagem at the end of your opponent's Charge phase. Select one enemy unit that finished a charge move within 1" of any THOUSAND SONS CHARACTER (other than a TZAANGOR unit) from your army that phase, one RUBRIC MARINES or SCARAB OCCULT TERMINATORS unit from your army that is within 12" of that enemy unit, and not within 1" of any enemy units can perform a Heroic Intervention as if were a CHARACTER, and when doing so can move up to 2D6" instead of up to 3". That unit from your army must end that move within 1" of that enemy unit and not within 1" of any other enemy units, other it does not move.
- 11 - Ritual Slaughter
- Score 1 VP if you destroy at least nine models at the end of the turn.
- 12 - Psychic Supremacy
- 1 VP if you pass a Deny the Witch test during the turn.
- 13 - Vengeance Long Awaited
- 1 VP if at least one enemy unit was destroyed, D3 VP if it was an IMPERIUM unit at the end of the turn.
- 14 - Arcane Rites
- D3 VP if you hold at least one objective, while your opponent holds none at the end of the turn.
- 15 - The Wrath of Magnus
- D3 VP if an enemy unit was destroyed during the psychic phase of the turn. Cue Smite spamming.
- 16 - Power of the Cabal
- Score 1 VP (to a max of six VP) for every two psychic powers you have successfully manifested at the end of the turn. You're Thousand Sons: if you don't make at least 3 VP off of this, you're playing the wrong army.
- Purge the Enemy
- Did somebody say Infernal Gaze and Doombolt? Targeted Smites will do nicely for picking characters out of the enemy formation. If you manage to isolate one, you can also Death Hex away their Invulnerable save. It's also worth noting that Tzaangors get bonuses for killing enemy characters.
- Bring it Down
- Thousand Sons are not particularly good at killing tanks, and we more often have to mindbullet them to death due to our lack of plasma and melta.
- Titan Slayers
- If you're trying to bring down a knight, you're almost certainly going to have to mindbullet it to death. This is possible, and you can Death Hex away ion shields and pray for 6s, but it's not optimal.
- Slay the Warlord
- As with most armies, we can make more points with assassinate in almost all situations
- One of your bread and butter secondaries. Sadly it requires a psychic character, so the rubric sorcerers can't do it, but things like this are what Tzangor Shamans are there for. Brotherhood of Sorcerers may also increases the range of the power we need to cast, but this has yet to be confirmed in a Q+A.
- The other Bread and butter secondary for Thousand Sons, sadly we can't take both. This one is what you take if you want to spend fewer points on Shamans, or construct a death ball around the center. It will almost certainly be our best if BoS applies to the ritual, but in any case we have more than enough psykers to get off three casts.
-Abhor the Witch
- "Arhiman, what the unholy fuck is one of Leman's objectives doing here? Get this out of my tower!"
- No Mercy, No Respite
- Thin their Ranks
- Considering that our boltguns are Ap -2, this can be extremely good for us. (to say nothing of throwing a brayherd at the enemy). This combined with hateful volleys will make shredding enemy light infantry pathetically easy, and mindbullets can blast anything else to dust, allowing us to gather points quickly.
- Heavily dependent on your army. If you decide to go heavier on the rubrics, you'll be decently resilient (though not disgustingly so) particularly with defensive spells in place. However this is a bad take for Tzangor blobs, particularly if what you're fighting has blast.
- While We Stand, We Fight
- "Keep Magnus alive, the secondary". Easier said than done as the big red hen is somewhat fragile despite his overwhelming firepower. If you bring Magnus, bring this, because even if you lose him, the next two models down are more likely to survive and grant you 2/3rds of the points.
- First Strike
- It's worth considering somewhat, particularly if you feel like Warptime launching a few units forwards for an early strike, or using BoS for a bit of spell sniping. However, it maxes out at 8 VP, and you can get far more with your other secondaries.
- Battlefield Supremacy
- Engage on All Fronts
- This is somewhat easier for Thousand Sons to do as most of our support comes from psychic powers rather than auras, and those powers have their range boosted by BoS.
- This particular secondary benefits a great deal from Cult of Duplicity, as totally not DA JUMP allows you to bamf your marines into the backline with ease. Could be very useful with a unit of terminators, just be sure to give their sorcerer the defensive spells.
- This secondary is very mediocre for the sons. We're decent at holding our ground, particularly with psychic support, but not well enough to focus this many potential points into it, particularly when we're better suited to other secondaries
- Shadow Operations
- Raise the Banners High
- Much like with Domination, we're okay at holding, but not good enough to warrant placing this many eggs in that particular basket. There are better ways to earn your points
- This can be an interesting one, as spells like Doombolt can easily keep the enemy back, while Warptime and Sorcerous Facade can move our forces into the center quickly, allowing us to secure the position with Rubrics and then hold while cultists dig for relics.
- Repair Teleportation Homer
- As always, a tricky one. Unlike the Death Guard, we're very well suited to getting into the enemy deployment zone with Sorcerous Facade and other tricks, but will have a hard time holding there, especially if we get there during the psychic phase, as you can only start the action at the end of the movement phase.
The Armoury of the Thousand Sons shares alot in common with the Chaos Space Marine and Loyalist armouries, with the Iconic Inferno Bolters and Soulreaper Cannons the stand-out exceptions.
A large, but not exhaustive, list of the various types of weaponry used by the the forces of the Thousand Sons;
- Autogun (0pts) - Now coming standard on Cultists, S3 D1 Rapid Fire with a 24" range.
- Autopistol (0pts) - The other cultist option, a S3 D1 12" pistol.
- Baleflamer (20pts) - S6 AP-2 D6 2D auto-hits at 18 inches, so roughly the same as Torrent range. Allows you to avoid the Heldrake's mediocre ballistic skill.
- Battle cannon (0pts) - The former classic pie plate now rocks a Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 Damage D3 profile. Since you will likely only have one of these, namely on your centerpiece Defiler, consider focusing your command rerolls onto its D6 shots.
- Bolt pistol Legends(0pts) - Your standard sidearm for most troops. Boltgun profile with halved range and Pistol 1 instead of Rapid Fire.
- Boltgun Legends(0pts) - The standard 40k infantry weapon, simple as ever with S4 Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. Now AP-0, which kinda sucks.
- Combi-weapons - All are bolters with another weapon strapped on. Under the new ruleset, you can use the other weapon as many times as you want. You can even fire both, though you take a -1 BS penalty if you do so. All of these cost precisely the same as the special weapon + 2 points. Allows your unit Champions to actually contribute to the shooting.
- Combi-bolter (2pts) - Literally 2 bolters in one, gaining Rapid Fire 2 rather than 1.
- Combi-flamer (8pts) - Being a combi-weapon means it can fire both modes in the same phase, but at -1 to hit. The flamer automatically hits. You work it out. Fantastic because you lose nothing over the Bolter but simply gain a lot of shots once you're in flamer range.
- Combi-melta (15pts) - The combi with the most different weapons. The melta is the star of the show, so just think it as that plus some anti-light ability. It's worth firing both parts against MEQ out of cover and lighter, but hit some big targets with it or it's a waste.
- Combi-plasma (11pts) Legends - Can be fired safely, or overcharged; the latter of which should never be done on most units without the ability to reroll 1s somehow. The bolter part actually does less work than on a combi-melta, it doesn't do anything the plasma gun can't. A plasma gun that hits light infantry harder.
- Demolisher cannon (0pts) - Your big-boom tank weaponry, sadly finds itself in a bit of a bad spot: Offering d6 shots and a very random d6 damage, this gun might be able to go after heavy infantry thanks to the Blast rule, but can also be good enough to hunt vehicles with a good roll.
- Ectoplasma cannon (20pts) - Heavy D3, S7, -3 AP, D3 damage. Considering Forgefiends have three of these babies and don't immediately kill themselves on a single 1 to hit, these are plenty scary. Arguably another way to bring Plasma into your army. However the Hades Auto-cannons are mathematically equal or superior (i.e. score more unsaved wounds) against every combination of toughness/save up to 8/2+. On top of that they have more range. So basically its a no-brainer -- only take this in place of the daemon jaws where its your only ranged option.
- Fatecaster Greatbow (2pts) - “Bows? In my 40k?” It’s more likely than you think. 24" Assault 2 S5 AP-1 D1.
- Flamer: D6 autohits at S4 for your cultists.
- Hades autocannon (20pts) - 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2, higher range, strength and average damage than the Ectoplasma cannons at the cost of lower AP. Strictly a better choice than the ectoplasma cannons, as they equal or outperform the ectoplasma cannons vs every combination of toughness/save up to 8/2+.
- Havoc launcher (6pts) - It's a frag only missile launcher at +1 strength. A bit unreliable, but it makes your Rhinos into something resembling a battle tank.
- Heavy bolter (10pts) - Three shots with S5, AP-1 2 damage and great range. Will now finally be worth taking. Plus, they're good for one-shotting all those 2W marines and they're steal.
- Heavy flamer (14pts) - It's a flamer with +1S and -1AP. See Flamer.
- Heavy stubber (2pts) - Only 2 points, marginally useful for an objective-camping or deepstrike meatshield cultist squad.
- Heavy warpflamer (17pts) - AP -2 Heavy flamer. Carried by Scarab Occult Terminators. If you deepstrike them, you're out of flamer range. Replaces the ICB, not great, and you're better off with a SRC anyways.
- Helbrute plasma cannon (16pts) - 36" Heavy D3 S8 AP-3 D2, each hit roll of 1 causes a mortal wound after all other shots have been resolved, generally better off taking the twin lascannon for the Helbrute, as it has longer range, more consistent shots, higher strength, higher AP, much higher potential damage output. The one caveat is that if you roll a 1 with the Plasma cannon and the Helbrute survives you get a free Crazed roll so it has the potential to cause more damage but it is much more inconsistent and probably still not worth it.
- Hellfyre missile rack (15pts) - Only available to Scarab Occult Terminators, 24" Heavy 2 S8 AP-2 Damage D3, Can now finally, finally, be fired in addition to the model's other weapons.
- Inferno bolt pistol (0pt) - An AP-2 bolt pistol that is for Exalted Sorcerers and Aspiring Sorcerers.
- Inferno boltgun (0pts) - The Rubrics' standard gun, an AP-2 bolter. Costs nothing and is exclusive to them. A really nice gun, for the absolutely cheap price of nothing you get an AP -2 Bolter? Yes please!
- Inferno combi-bolter (3pts) - Same as the above but with twice the shots. Yes please.
- Lascannon (25pts) - 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D6, probably one of the strongest heavy weapons in 8th ed with the chance to output a redonkulous amount of damage with really high AP. That said, you'll fume for every damage roll of 1 you make. But that's what Gaze of Fate is for, isn't it?
- Magma cutter (6pts) - Interestingly Magma cutters have now become a 6" pistol 1 at S8 AP-4 D3, meaning they have a tiny bit of range and can be used while your Maulerfiends are munching on tasty vehicles.
- Missile launcher (20pts) - Your Helbrute's only off-arm ranged option. Choose between Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 and Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 Damage D6 both at 48" range.
- Multi-melta (22pts) - It's a Meltagun with double the range 24" same profile as above.
- Plasma pistol (5pts) - Same as the Plasma gun except 12" pistol 1 instead of 24" rapid fire 1. Also has the ability to SUPERCHARGE for extra strength and damage but with the same risk of instant death. Since you can use them in melee and they're only 5 points, they might finally be worth taking now.
- When deciding whether or not you want to up-gun your sorcerer, you'll be choosing between this and the warpflame pistol. What it really comes down to is if you value the range plus the overcharge shot or not. But on average the warpflame pistol does way more damage unless the plasma pistol is being fired at a 2+ wound model, so keep that in mind.
- Predator autocannon (40pts) - Thankfully much improved. Similar to the Autocannon except Heavy 2D3 and an extra 1 Damage. That means on average double the fire rate and triple the total damage. Comes stock on the Predator but can be swapped for the (also improved) Twin lascannon.
- Reaper autocannon (10pts) - 36" heavy 4 S7 AP-2 D1, Deffy comes stock with one of these, usually used after the Battle cannon to try and pick off any survivors. Note the reaper version of the autocannon only does 1 damage per wound and is really just a glorified 4 shot Hv-Bolter without the extra damage given how the strength and toughness chart works in this edition.
- Shotgun (0pts) - 12" assault 2 S3 AP0 D1, if the target is within half range it gets +1 strength. Carried only by cultist champions.
- Soulreaper cannon (10pts) - Exclusive to Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators, This bad boy is a 24" Heavy 4 S5 AP-3 D1 dakka cannon. Since the only two units that can bring it ignore the penalties to moving and shooting with heavy weapons, it's essentially a shorter range, higher AP heavy bolter that you can run up the field to your heart's content. For just as many points as a Heavy Bolter, it's also a steal.
- Twin heavy bolter (17pts) - 36" Heavy 6 S5 AP-1 D2. Mathematically, twice as good as a regular heavy bolter for less than twice the price.
- Twin heavy flamer (28pts) - Still has some of the issues of the standard flamer, but the extra dakka (2d6 hits) does come a long way to upping the hoard mulching potential for these.
- Twin lascannon (40pts) - Take 1 Lascannon and double-up on them, Heavy 2 instead of Heavy 1 but otherwise identical to regular lascannons.
- Warp Bolter (3pts) - 24' Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D2. Exclusive to the Index daemon prince.
- Warpflame pistol (3pts) - Flamer Pistol with massive AP, meaning you can inflict a bunch of auto-hits even in melee. Cheap as shit.
- Warpflamer (8pts) - An AP-2 Flamer exclusive to Rubric Marines. The last word in overwatch scenarios. Costs half of the Rubric carrying it, so might be worth it to include one or two in a squad. Murderous in Narrative play though, where Wargear has no cost.
A large, but not exhaustive, list of the various types of melee weaponry used by the the Thousand Sons:
- Blade of Magnus - Magnus's big beatstick. Gives big red X2 strength, AP-4 and 3 damage, as well as turning slain characters into a spawn that you still have to pay for in matched play. Good weapon with a REALLY bad effect. Never pay for a chaos spa-whanoblblblblnfkjsdn, in matched play, it’s a waste of points.
- Brutal assault weapon - Cultist melee weapon that gives them an additional close combat attack; free sidegrade to make classic choppy cultists.
- Chainsword - Now a bit more than just a close combat weapon, gives an additional attack using its profile if you have one on you. Not bad for dual wielding. If you have two, you do indeed get two extra attacks.
- Daemon jaws - The dino-head of the Forgefiend if you don't have the Plasma-Head. AP-1, D2.
- Daemon Prince Weapons - All of these have the same cost.
- Daemonic axe - -1 to hit, S+1 AP-3 D3. Never take this - it only beats a second set of talons against T8/2+/5++ or worse, which is incredibly niche.
- Hellforged sword - SUser AP-2 D3. Never take this - a second set of talons costs the same amount for the same damage output, but does it with attacks, not damage, which is better against hordes.
- Malefic talons - SUser AP-2 D2, makes 1 additional attack; your Daemon Prince comes with one stock for free. The second one, which costs the same amount as the other options, adds another 2 additional attacks (3 total).
- As a result, this is always better than a sword and almost always better than an axe, so it should be your automatic choice.
- Defiler claws - Deffy doesn't suffer -1 to hit when he give you 6 wounds to the face.
- Defiler scourge - Deffy DOES get 3 extra attacks with this if he's got one. This will get you 3x S12 AP-2 3Dam on top of his 3 claw attacks.
- Disc of Tzeentch's blades - 1 additional S4 attack.
- Divining Spear - S+1 AP-1 D1 but is increased to D2 on the charge.
- Force weapons - Effectively the same as a power weapon but with D3 damage. And all that without having to forego using other powers.
- Helbrute fist - S:x2 AP:-3 D:3 just like a Thunder Hammer, but you don't have -1 to the attack roll.
- Helbrute hammer - The other Helbrute option, Sx2 AP-4 and d6 damage, but imposes a -1 to hit penalty. Overall, the fist is much more reliable.
- Heldrake claws - S:User with AP-1 and d3 damage and +1 to hit against flyers. You have to take them on your 'drakes. Use them to shred through some hapless character in the enemy backline.
- Hideous mutations - The Spawn's claws and tentacles. Very respectable at AP-2 and 2 damage.
- Lasher tendrils - The Maulerfiend's other option. Gives 6 extra attacks at AP-2 D2 to shred your way through any infantry you encounter.
- Maulerfiend fists - Powerfist without the -1 to hit and with a flat 3 damage.
- Mechatendrils - Gives the Warpsmith two extra basic melee attacks.
- Power scourge - Grants 3 additional attacks with this weapon, which hits at AP-2 and 2 damage. Helbrute with a Power Fist + Power Scourge? 5 Fist attacks, 3 Scourge attacks.
- Power weapons - Got a general reshuffling this edition, with each option getting changed to make it generally more balanced.
- Power maulLegends - S+3 AP-1. Packs a punch in general, but is especially effective against GEQs, these also do well against armies like Harlequins who have an army-wide invulnerable save yet are still terribly squishy.
- Power axeLegends - S+2, AP-2. Lost the unwieldy rule and is all the better for it, even if these are slightly more expensive than the other 2. These are now a jack of all trades and make a good fit for "take all comers" armies.
- Power sword - S+1, AP-3. Focused mostly on armour penetration, these are good at facing MEQs and completely strip armour from GEQs, however these become a terrible choice against invulnerable saves.
- Power fistLegends - Sx2, AP-3, D3 damage. Lost the unwieldy rule like the axe, however it has a -1 to hit now. However it still packs a solid punch of d3 damage. Helbrute Power Fist ignores the -1 to hit and does a flat 3 damage per swing.
- Tzaangor blades - Chainswords with AP-1. Amazing.
Despite ten millenia of conflict the Thousands sons aren't keen to let loose their entire armouries of rare and powerful artefacts onto the battle field. Those relics that do get to leave the halls of Tizca, can be found here:
- Athenaean Scrolls: If you roll a double when making a successful Psychic test for the bearer, your opponent cannot attempt to Deny the Witch or attempt to negate the power by any means (stuff that makes casting harder without negating still works, like debuffs to psyker tests from e.g. Shadow in the Warp, and the wording seems to imply passive negation will also work, as is the case with Sisters of Silence). You can still suffer Perils, and if you die from Perils, the power does not go off. Totally useless if the enemy cannot deny in any way. Even if they have psykers or other denial, because most denial is on 2d6+0 (average 7), it's most useful when you can cast powers on double 3s (Smite, Temporal Manipulation and Weaver of Fates from Change, everything from Dark Hereticus that isn't Death Hex or Prescience, and Gaze of Fate and Flickering Flames from Tzeentch) or, even better, double 2s (Sorcerer in Terminator Armor with a Familiar, Smite, Infernal Gaze, Flickering Flames), but even in the latter case, it will only increase your odds of casting through a denial attempt from about 74% to about 77%. Far too niche for general use (that Sorcerer would actually usually be better off with a Prismatic Staff, if you did take him), but if you make a list totally reliant on a psyker (especially one with limited choices, like a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch) pulling a power off (like Warptime), can be a justified use of Relics of the Thousand Sons if you find yourself facing a denial-heavy list.
- Coruscator: Replaces an inferno bolt pistol, meaning it can only be taken by a Sorcerer/Exalted Sorcerer variant, tripling its rate of fire and improving its damage by slightly less than 1, statistically: Pistol 3 R12 S4 AP-2 D1d3; as with most pistol relics, it's seldom worth it. It's unquestionably strictly better than the stock weapon, because of the tripled rate of fire, and against anything with 3 or more wounds, doubled damage, giving you six times the normal output - but that's 6 times better than a weapon that started out pretty worthless, so it faces pretty strong competition; the Helm of the Third Eye and the Dark Matter Crystal are both usually better, so for almost any army and almost any matchup, this is worth neither your free relic slot nor the CP it would cost to bring it as an additional. Still, it's easier to find a spot for it than the Seer's Bane.
- Alternate take: this is the one relic that is a flat damage buff. Nothing tricky or situational, and as a pistol it can even be fired into combat. It's just raw bonus damage for a unit that's getting stuck in, which is sometimes just what you need.
- Dark Matter Crystal: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, you can select the bearer or a Thousand Sons Infantry unit within 12" of the bearer and redeploy it anywhere on the battlefield more than 9" from enemy models, even if it was previously locked in combat. The chosen unit does not count as falling back if they were within 1" of an enemy. Your Daemon Prince Warlord will love this (as long as he's the bearer - if someone else is, he isn't a valid target), but it's absolutely excellent in general. Remember, it won't work on any of your fast attack, heavy, flyer, or lord of war choices, but will work just fine on any of your Troops, Flamers, or Terminators.
- Helm of the Third Eye: If your army is Battle-forged and the bearer is on the battlefield, each time your opponent uses a stratagem, roll a die: on a 5+, you gain 1 CP. This has the potential to be extremely useful, but also has the chance to do absolutely nothing. As long as you manage to keep the bearer alive, chances are high you will get at least 1 free CP from it. Also very useful against armies like Imperial Guard who love to throw out stratagem after stratagem.
- Prismatic Staff: Replaces a force staff, is a force staff. The bearer can shoot and charge in the same turn that they fall back. Because you can already fall back and shoot with anything with FLY, you'll get the most ranged bang for your buck on a Sorcerer in Terminator Armor, or you can put it on a Sorcerer/Exalted Sorcerer on Disc, Tzaangor Shaman, or Jump Sorcerer for the melee.
- Seer's Bane: Replaces a force sword or power sword, is a force sword, and the user's strength is doubled when targeting a psyker or any units that include any models with a leadership characteristic of 9 or higher. Like the Scrolls, this is too niche for general use, but a reasonable choice for the Relics of the Thousand Sons stratagem, if you are facing an army heavy in the units it works against, like Ultramarines (it procs on every Ultramarines unit, so long as the sergeant is alive) or Necrons.
Being the premier Sorcerers of 40K, the Thousand Sons get a whopping three disciplines to use (plus more based on their Cult). Whether you want to shit out mindbullets, buff allies, debuff enemies, or any combination of the above, the Thousand Sons will have it covered. Listed based on your random generation rolls:
Dark Hereticus Discipline
A slightly retooled version of the Psychic Discipline found in Chaos Space Marines.
- Infernal Gaze (Warp Charge 5): Pick an enemy unit within 18" (24" with BoS) to have a staring contest with and roll 3 dice; any results of a 4+ cause a mortal wound. While not as spammable and reliable as Smite, it can target specific enemy units rather than just the closest.
- Warptime (Warp Charge 6): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 3" (9" with BoS); that unit can immediately move as though it were the movement phase. Can't be applied more than once in a turn. Still FANTASTIC. Even better for the Thousand sons than other CSM legions as their legion trait lets you cast the spell from further away. Units moved with this power still suffer -1 to BS for moving with Heavy Weapons.
- Note: FAQ states that units that arrive from reserves or have been relocated cannot move except when piling-in or charging.
- Prescience (Warp Charge 7): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 18" (24" with BoS); that unit adds 1 to their hit rolls (shooting and close combat) until the next psychic phase. Tougher than the others to pull off, but rightfully so, as this power can be a tremendous force multiplier for your army. However, do not cast this power on any unit that already hits on a 2+, unless it is carrying a lot of plasma and you're very determined to keep it alive through overcharging. You will be wasting the effect since a to hit roll of 1 always fails to hit, regardless of modifiers.
- Prescience provides greater gains in efficiency when cast on units with lower stats or a large number of shots, (e.g BS4+ becoming 3+ is an improvement of offensive output of 133%; BS3+ to BS2+ is 125%. Likewise, on units with better shooting attacks, the increased offensive output is more useful. Especially devastating on a unit that can both shoot and charge in the same turn, Such as Scarab Occult. As if you needed another reason to drop a Sorcerer behind them when they deepstrike.
- Think about this in a close combat standpoint. Cast this on a blob of Tzaangors and that's a lot more hits. But on the flip side it's smart to cast this on units like your Scarab Occult Terminators as they will hit on a 2+ in shooting and close combat as well as get DttFE on a 5+. Or if you're feeling really mean throw this on Magnus and see any high wound and high toughness imperium unit cry as he wipes an entire unit per turn
- Death Hex (Warp Charge 8): Target an enemy unit within 12" (18" with BoS) - they cannot take invulnerable saves. There is a very crucial difference between Death Hex and Null Zone; Null Zone is a 6" bubble around the psyker, whereas Death Hex has a longer range that the Sons extend even further and can choose a specific target, which arguably makes it much more flexible. Since you're only unable to target characters in the Shooting phase, you can strip Girlyman or Cawl or Celestine of their invuln save and then rip them to pieces in close combat.
- Diabolic Strength (Warp Charge 6): Targeted model gains +2 strength, +1 attack. Magnus the Red can cast this, and is nasty as hell when he's under its effects.
- Gift of Chaos (Warp Charge 6): Targets an enemy unit within 6" (12" with BoS). Roll a die. If you roll higher than the unit's highest toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos Spa.... err, an unnameable beast to your army. Or use it on an enemy squad and turn 4 to 6 single wound models to slag with one spell.
- This is diabolical if used right. In order to use it right, give the power to a sorcerer, put that sucker in terminator armor and deep strike him with other termies near the enemy's HQ and go to town, with BoS and a cheeky drop you can cast it the turn you arrive. unfortunately, the unspeakable costs points in matched play as per the rulebook FAQ.
- Alternatively you could just stuff a vanilla Sorcerer into a Rhino to get him to an enemy character. Add a havoc launcher and/or rubrics to butter up whoever you're going for.
- NOTE: This is only effective against low-toughness characters, so don't expect it to work on Space Marines or Orks. But against factions with important buffer characters or expensive low-toughness models, it can shine.
- No use against Marines or Orks? Having a 1/3 chance(5 or 6) of instantly murdering a Captain or Warboss sounds pretty damn worth a try. Plus, there's nothing more brutally, cruelly, dickishly satisfying than watching your opponents honorable Captain, Warboss, Farseer, or even named characters devolve into a heap of screeching, flailing, chaos-infused flesh.
- Don't you dare try this on Tyranid HQs. You will fail miserably.
Discipline of Change
A Psychic Discipline available to all Psykers in the Army. With the ability to change those used by Sorcerers leading Rubrics and Scarab Occult units you'll find yourself dipping into here often to replace Smite.
- Tzeentch's Firestorm (Warp Charge 7): Select an enemy unit within 18″ (24" with BoS) of the psyker and visible to him. Roll 9 dice, the enemy unit takes a Mortal Wound for each roll of a 6. More *FUN than Infernal Gaze, for the same 1.5 MW on average per activation, while being at +2 difficulty. Against low-toughness targets, Gift of Chaos will do MUCH more work, but Firestorm has triple the range even before Brotherhood of Sorcerers is factored in, and it can hurt T6+. *enjoyment may vary
- Boon of Mutation (Warp Charge 7): Select a friendly Thousand Sons Non-Daemon character within 3" (9" with BoS). Roll 2D6 and consult the chart on the Boon of Tzeentch stratagem to see which result applies to that character for the remainder of the game. It's the entire chaos boon table rolled into one spell without having to spend command points for the stratagem. This makes the chaos boon table actually worth checking as everything on the chart except for double 1's will benefit the character somehow and you can save your command points for if you do end up rolling snake-eyes.
- Glamour of Tzeentch (Warp Charge 7): Target a friendly Thousand Sons unit within 12" (18" with BoS): enemies have -1 to hit rolls against that unit. Great for keeping a valuable unit (e.g. Magnus) alive.
- Doombolt (Warp Charge 9): Deals D3 Mortal Wounds, 18" (24" with BoS), the target also gets its movement halved for a turn, and it also can't advance. Expensive, but can utterly ruin a target's Movement phase, especially against very speedy armies that heavily rely on both advancing and charging to get in close.
- Temporal Manipulation (Warp Charge 6): Select a friendly Thousand Sons Model within 12" (18" with BoS) of the psyker, that model immediately heals D3 wounds. Just as planned, the god of change bestows us with a healing spell. The obvious choice is to use this to keep Magnus in peak form, however because it only specifies a T Sons model, you can also use this to heal your daemon engines, other characters, or your metal boxes.
- Weaver of Fates (Warp Charge 6): A Thousand Sons unit within 18" (24" with BoS) gets +1 to their invulnerable save (up to a maximum of 3++) or a 5++ invuln if they do not have one. Same as it always was, it just decided to... Change... its home.
Discipline of Tzeentch
A Psychic Discipline exclusive to Daemon Princes and Magnus. Other Psykers may take powers from this discipline through the use of the Chaos Familiar Stratagem.
- Boon of Change (Warp Charge 7): An ok, but not really power. Select a Tzeentch Daemon unit within 18" (24" with BoS) and give it a mutation! D3 - 1 is +1 Attack, 2 is +1S, and 3 is +1T. Good for buffing up Magnus, a Daemon Prince, or one of your Daemon Engines.
- Bolt of Change (Warp Charge 8): A targeted Smite. However, auto-causes an enemy unit within 18" (24" with BoS) to take d3 Mortal Wounds! If you kill a character, it becomes a spawn! Also it says clearly in the codex that you have to pay reinforcement points for the spawn in competitive games, which is fucking stupid.
- Gaze of Fate (Warp Charge 6): If manifested, you can re-roll a single die roll later that turn. Free re-rolls are always useful and it does not eat a command point.
- Treason of Tzeentch (Warp Charge 8): Looks cool on paper; in practice, not so much. You can choose an enemy character within 18" (24" with BoS), except the enemy warlord. It is then yours for the Shooting, Charge and Fight phases! Edit: as well as beating the WC8 you must also then roll HIGHER than the target's leadership on 2 dice, considering that most Characters have a higher-than-average Leadership value, this power becomes vastly unreliable and a very rare sight.
- Alternatively, if you have a decent number of LD-dropping factors in your force (mutalith vortex beasts cannot help, as they apply their debuff one phase too late, but some chaos allied units can) and the availability of a reroll, you can set up a rather easy grab. takes work and doesn't fit every list, but its doable in a pinch and can turn the game if you manage to take over the right target.
- Fun Fact: IG Tank Commanders have the leadership of a basic guardsmen squad which makes them a very good target for this. Watch the face on your opponent's face when they realize the tank they outfitted with all the best guns turns on them.
- You can have some mental moments with this power. For example, there is a stratagem in the knight codex that allows a knight to become a character... I know it's unlikely due to the high leadership, but the look on your opponents face when you steal their shiny new Valiant or Castellan is priceless
- Flickering Flames (Warp Charge 5): A friendly Tzeentch Daemon unit within 18" (24" with BoS) gets +1 to wound rolls when shooting. Makes your Defilers, Forgefiends, and Heldrakes much scarier. Can also make Tzaangor Enlightened a credible threat to most vehicles, as they would wound on a 4+, plus whatever automatic wounds you rolled to hit. Another cheeky thing you can do is cast this on any sorcerers that are riding disks, as that gives them the daemon keyword; while not very flashy, a inferno bolt pistol wounding on 3s could be useful. Might make the coruscator do some work, still probably for fun games only.
- Infernal Gateway (Warp Charge 8): If manifested, identify the nearest visible enemy model within 12" (18" with BoS) of the psyker. Enemy AND friendly units within 3" of the targeted model take d3 mortal wounds, or d6 if you manifest this with a 12+. Ideal for punishing enemies that like to huddle close to characters with auras, but watch for friendly fire.
The Nine Cults
So with the introduction of Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned, the Thousand Sons have received expanded rules and details on how to dedicate your detachments to one of the nine cults of the legion, with each cult granting a psychic power that is automatically known by every psyker who isn't named or a birdman in addition to the other powers he already knows, a warlord trait and a relic. Note that you can only take the relic if your warlord is from the same cult as the relic (this has been FAQ'd; you can also take the relic if Magnus is your warlord).
Cult of Change
The Cult of Change is anathema to order. They are the great unravellers, launching their armies wherever civilisation and reason exist. Similarly, in places of utter anarchy, the cult appears to impose their ever-shifting will.
Thematically the Cult represents the Fickle Whims of Tzeentch, ensuring that no one direction is fully travelled as the great plans of Tzeentch unfold; leading entire worlds to fall into anarchy before waiting till the last minute to decide the status quo was fine all along.
Mechanically the Cult is focused on debuffing your opponents units and interfering with their psychic phase, whilst simultaneously buffing your Warlord and own psychic abilities.
- Psychic Power- Disturb Reality (Warp Charge 6): Select one enemy unit within 12"(18" with BoS) of the caster. -1 Ld and Attack until YOUR next Psychic phase.
- Warlord Trait- Fickle Nature: You can re-roll charge rolls made for this Warlord. This Warlord can shoot and charge in a turn in which it Falls Back.
- Relic- Capricious Crest: Once per turn, when a Psychic test is taken for a model that is within 18" of a model with this Relic, you can change the result of that Psychic test as follows. If that model is from your army, you can change any roll of 1 to a roll of 6. If that model is from your opponent's army, you can change any roll of 6 to a roll of 1.
Cult of Duplicity
The Cult of Duplicity is unique within the Legion in that it both is, and is not, guided by a unified desire. The Sorcerers of this cult are by their very nature deceivers, at once appearing fractured and singular in their purpose. As such, it is impossible to know whether the sects within the cult are acting independently or as part of a singular, terrifying plan.
Thematically the Cult represents all the loner space-wizards who think they know better than each other, banding together to prove that working alone is the best way to get things done as a group.
Mechanically the Cult provides a great deal of pre-game and in-game manipulation of units whilst recharging your own or your opponents command points.
- Psychic Power- Sorcerous Facade (Warp Charge 7): Select a Cult of Duplicity unit within 6" (12" with BoS) of this psyker. Remove that unit from the battlefield, then set it up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9" away from any enemy model. That unit is treated as having moved this turn.
- DA JUMP: Chaos edition! Even better, in fact, since it doesn't restrict you to just Infantry. Send your opponent into fits by lobbing Defilers and Leviathan Dreadnoughts clean over their front line!
- Warlord Trait- Duplicitous Tactician: At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins, select up to D3 CULT OF DUPLICITY units from your army. Remove these units and this Warlord from the battlefield and then set them up again following the normal deployment rules for those units and the mission being played. If you redeploy a TRANSPORT model, all units embarked inside remain so when it is set up again.
- Relic- Perfidious Tome: At the start of the battle round, roll one D6 if a model with this relic is on the battlefield. On a roll of 1 your opponent gains 1 Command Point. On a roll of 4+ you gain 1 Command Point. It's something that has tactical applications (even if you and your opponent are all out of Command Points you have a 4+ of getting a CP) but at the same time might have devastating consequences, your opponent just might be one command point short of achieving his strategy to win the game and "Oh, fuck, I just rolled a 1!"
Cult of Knowledge
The Cult of Knowledge are drawn to the many curios hidden throughout the galaxy, particularly tomes of eldritch learnings, dark secrets and paradoxical logics. Through such lore, the cult is able to extrapolate the weaknesses in their enemies and in the fabric of reality itself.
Thematically the Cult represents the librarian and collector aspects of the Old Legion. Searching far and wide for the most obscure tomes and treatises that will give them a greater understanding of the universe, to provide an edge against their opponents. They then use this knowledge to change the tide of battle in Deus Ex-Machina ways.
Mechanically the Cult provides minor re-rolling buffs and fails to show how ultimate knowledge of everything can help you win.
- Psychic Power- Psychic Delve (Warp Charge 6): Select one enemy unit with 18" (24" with BoS) of the caster. Reroll wound rolls of 1 for Cult of Knowledge units against it.
- Warlord Trait- Ardent Scholar: When a psychic test is taken for this model, you can re-roll dice rolls of 1.
- Relic- Incalandion's Cry: Model with warpflame pistol only. Incaladion's Cry replaces a warpflame pistol and has the following profile: Range 12" S6 AP-2 Damage 1 warpflame pistol.
Cult of Magic
The Cult of Magic is dedicated to the pure and unfettered use of sorcery. Their bloody campaigns are launched to secure arcane objects held by Imperial, xenos and other Chaos forces. These artefacts are then used as foci in the weaving of devastating spells.
Thematically the Cult represents the raw power of the warp tamed and manifested by the most powerful Sorcerers in the Army.
Mechanically the Cult is, unsurprisingly, based around boosting the psychic capability of your army, adding in an extra smite-like power and helping with casting.
- Psychic Power- Astral Blast (Warp Charge 6): Closest enemy unit within 9" (15" with BoS) suffers D3 mortals and each unit within 3" suffers 1 mortal. Only the 9" range is affected by BoS range increase.
- Warlord Trait- Devastating Sorcery: When this Warlord manifests a psychic power that inflicts 1 or more mortal wounds on an enemy unit, increase the mortal wounds inflicted on that unit by 1.
- Relic- Arcane Focus: When a Psychic test is taken for a model with this Relic, add 1 to the total.
Cult of Manipulation
The Cult of Manipulation is deceptive, using its tendril web of influence to sway the actions of its enemies. Vast networks of mortal and daemonic spies allow the cult to oversee their plots as they unfold through assassination, possession and the wreaking of pure havoc.
Thematically the Cult represents the lies and deceptions of Tzeentch to steal victory at the last moment.
Mechanically the Cult provides some close-combat manipulation and the ability to steal the weapons of your opponent characters for a round.
- Psychic Power- Attempted Possession (Warp Charge 6): Select one enemy Character within 18" (24" with BoS) of the caster. Target suffers 1 mortal and -2 to psychic tests unit your next Psychic phase.
- Warlord Trait- Beguiling Influence: Subtract 1 (to a minimum of 1) from Attacks characterstics of models in enemy units whilst their unit is within 1" of this Warlord.
- Relic- Sorthis' Reflector: When a model with this Relic is chosen to fight with in the Fight phase, you can select one enemy INFANTRY model with a Leadership characteristic of 9 or less that is within 1" of that model. Select one melee weapon that enemy model is equipped with until the end of that phase, the model with this Relic is treated as only being equipped with that weapon, and it can only make attacks against that enemy model's unit. When resolving each of those attacks, you cannot re-roll the hit rolls and you cannot re-roll the wound rolls.
Cult of Mutation
The Cult of Mutation embodies the transfiguring aspect of Tzeentch. Not only do they embrace the warping of flesh, but also the warping of reality itself. By their hand civilized planets are transformed into Daemon worlds and entire populations moulded into grotesque abominations.
Thematically this Cult represents the guys who aren't afraid of letting Tzeentch Gift them freely with multiple appendages and orifices.
Mechanically the Cult gives you some terrain manipulation and boost the Close-Combat ability of your Warlord to be on par with a Chaos Lord.
- Psychic Power- Warp Reality (Warp Charge 6): Select a piece of terrain within 18" (24" with BoS) of the caster and an enemy unit with 3" of the terrain. Halve the Move characteristic and -1 to advance and charge rolls until your next Psychic phase.
- If you aren't against a little inter-god mingling, this can combo very impressively with the Chaos Daemon Fortifications, both of which count as terrain after being set up. Skull Alters have Daemonic Ritual and a very reasonable Power Level, and so can be dropped in wherever would would need them, though they do muck with Psychic Powers, which might not be your cup of warp juice. Fecluent Gnarlmaws, meanwhile, while a bit tasteless fluff-wise, combine beautifully with this Power. It helps keep enemy units nice and close, so that they can eat up the Mortal Wounds caused by the Gnarlmaw's Sickness Blossoms ability. Send Mr. Slimux out to plant some gardens and make sure the enemy sticks around to properly... appreciate them.
- Warlord Trait- Touch of Vicissitude: When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by this Warlord, an unmodified hit roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage.
- Relic- Exalted Mutation: SORCERER model only. Add 1 to Strength, Toughness and Attack characteristics to the model with this Relic.
Cult of Prophecy
The Cult of Prophecy is guided by incessant whispers that bleed from the warp. From these they divine the outcomes of multiple futures, and seek out events that can be twisted to their own purpose.
Thematically the Cult represents Manipulation of the future with all the uncertainty of Tzeentch thrown in for good measure.
Mechanically the Cult adds a little more dice manipulation shenanigans and the ability to infuriate your opponent trying to charge your Warlord by walking away after overwatch.
- Psychic Power- Divine the Future (Warp Charge 6): Roll a D6 and set it aside. Until your next Psychic phase, you may replace a single rolled dice for hit, wound, advance, charge, psychic, morale, or Deny the Witch rolls for a Cult of Prophecy unit.
- Don't cast this with your warlord. Since all psykers with the Cult of Prophecy keyword can cast it, it is best used by a backline Aspiring sorcerer. You should mainly focus on using it to make crucial morale tests if you roll low, or to make a long charge if you roll high. Combine this with gaze of fate to highly increase your chance of making a charge even from 9".
- Warlord Trait- Guided by the Whispers: Once per turn, after this warlord fires Overwatch, it can immediately move up to 6" as if it were your Movement Phase.
- Relic- Pythic Brazier: When a unit within 6" of a friendly Cult of Prophecy model with this Relic is chosen to shoot or fight with, you can re-roll one hit roll, one wound roll, or one damage roll.
- You mostly will want to use this in a detachment with Daemon engines that have D3 or D6 damage weapons, particularly Defilers. Since Daemonforge allows you to reroll all failed hits and wounds already, this relic allows you to just focus on rerolling the damage, which statistically can double the output of your Dd6 weapons.
- As per the Ritual of the Damned FAQ, this relic only affects friendly Cult of Prophecy units.
Cult of Scheming
The Cult of Scheming is perhaps the most insidious of the cults, for the creation of convoluted plots is to them a form of profane worship. Every conquest and withdrawal is a perfectly planned manoeuvre, a single step that leads towards some unseen master stroke.
Thematically the Cult represents the Just As Planned aspect of Tzeentch embracing the idea that win or lose you won in your own way (and participation medals all round).
Mechanically the Cult offers some niche objective control and minor command point manipulation, thoroughly failing to deliver the above theme.
- Psychic Power- Seeded Strategy (Warp Charge 6): Select one friendly Cult of Scheming unit within 24" (30" with BoS) of the caster. Unit can shoot/assault after it Fell Back.
- Warlord Trait- Grand Schemer: Whilst they are within 3", friendly CULT OF SCHEMING units gain the Disciples of Tzeentch ability, if such a unit already has the Disciples of Tzeentch ability, each model in that unit counts as two models for the purposes of determining who controls an objective marker.
- Relic- Cha'qi'thl's Theorem: Once per battle, in any phase, you can use Cha'qi'thl's Theorem if a model with this Relic is on the battlefield. If you do, select one Stratagem. Until the end of the phase or until after that Stratagem is used by a model with this Relic's controlling player (whichever comes sooner). Ignore the Command Point cost of that Stratagem. For obvious reasons, use only on 2-3 cp strats.
Cult of Time
The Cult of Time is similarly enthralled by the future, as well as the present and past. They view the flow of time as an unwrought resource that can be shaped into a weapon. By their victories, ripples are sent both forwards and backwards in time, so that their enemies may be defeated before they are even engaged.
Thematically the Cult are masters of manipulation of Temporal Realm, re-writing events and history to more favourable outcomes of their goals.
Mechanically the Cult allows you to restore lost models to units, cast more powers per turn and squeeze an extra turn out of a character.
- Psychic Power- Time Flux (Warp Charge 5): An infantry unit within 6" (12" with BoS) of the user has a lost model revived with all its wounds restored. An unmodified 9+ to manifest the power revives d3 models instead.
- Warlord Trait- Immaterial Echo: In your Psychic phase, if this Warlord casts a psychic power with a Psychic Test result of 9+, this Warlord can attempt to manifest one additional psychic power that phase. Only one additional psychic power can be manifested as a result of this Warlord Trait per phase.
- Relic- Hourglass of Manat: The first time a model with this Relic is destroyed, at the end of the phase return that model to play with D3 wounds remaining placing it as close as possible to its previous location and more than 1" away from any enemy model.
- For maximum trolling (since you are a Disciple of Tzeentch after all) give to a character that you plan on casting Boon of mutation on (meaning not a daemon prince or sorcerer on disc) and cross your fingers for spawndon/daemonhood, if your plan miraculously/inevitably succeeds you get a new spawn/Daemon Prince with in addition to having your old character be brought back up with any buffs they may have got from Boon of mutation.
- A NOTE ON DAEMONIC MOUNTS: Notice that Daemonic Mounts give the model the DAEMON keyword. This is both good and bad. Good, because this means you get buffed by nearby Heralds (+1 Strength is nice) and get affected by several powers that wouldn't normally buff them, so if you want to go Daemonkin you have some synergy right there. (This is absolutely confirmed in the Designers' Commentary.) Bad because things like Grey Knights are that much stronger against you. Keep it in mind when you choose your Lords and Sorcerers. Remember that despite having DAEMON you do not gain god specific bonuses. For example, Ahriman with a disc has both DAEMON and TZEENTCH keywords but he does not gain +1 to his invuln because he lacks the Ephemeral Form special rule. This applies to all mounts.
- Note: Characters on demonic mounts have the Cavalry keyword. This disqualifies them from many stratagems and psychic powers as they are only applied to infantry, bikes, Daemon Princes, and helbrutes.
- Note 2: This does mean they will benefit from the Locus of Trickery if you brought any tzeentch daemon characters in a daemon detachment. They will NOT generate the aura, but will be able to use the buff if near the daemon character.
- Daemon Prince - This entry and the Daemon Prince of Tzeentch entry are treated as the same now with the Rule of Three for Organized Play.
- Daemon Prince of Tzeentch - No longer the one man army he used to be, though his melee is still rather powerful. Use him to support other units with his 6" bubble and psychic powers. 8 wounds means he can't be targeted by shooting if he's not the closest unit, so keep him behind another unit that can match his 8" move speed. As a psyker, he knows Smite and two powers, and you have quite the options to pick from; that said, consider focusing on the Tzeentch discipline, since he's the only guy who can use those powers other than Magnus. He also buffs both models with the same Legion and Daemon Allegiance keywords. 8th Edition made all the melee weapon options for them the exact same cost, so now it's a choice between two more attacks (Talons), doing 1 more Damage per attack (Sword), or having your Strength, AP and Damage by 1 better at the cost of -1 to hit (Axe). The Talons are probably still his best equipment choice unless you're desperate for something to kill vehicles with, but even then, 7 attacks at -2 AP are nothing to scoff at. Like the Death guard daemon prince, the Thousand sons DP apparently sacrificed his gat for more psychic dakka
- Important thing to realise is that these daemon princes can cast 2 powers each psychic phase compared to the traditional 1. At no extra points cost. They still get the ephemeral daemon bonus which is what a normal daemon prince of Chaos dedicated to Tzeentch gets. This makes them seriously worth considering even outside a thousand sons detachment. They also have access to All 3 disciplines This makes these extremely versatile units with the ability to totally fuck stuff up in psychic and combat and providing useful buffs to other units around them. Consider surrounding them with Tzaangor for a fast screen with some damage output that also fits the requirements for most of their buffing psychic powers.
- Daemon Princes cannot take The Seer's Bane, Coruscator, or Prismatic Staff, as they do not have an inferno bolt pistol, force staff, or power sword to replace. They CAN, however, still take the Dark Matter Crystal, Athenaean Scrolls, or the Helm of the Third Eye.
- Has very good synergy with a Chaos Daemons of Tzeentch detachment. Use a Pink Horror Bomb (30 Pink Horrors, 1 Changecaster for +1 Strength and Daemonspark Warlord trait if you feel like making the little guy the Warlord), fly the Daemon Prince over to them, cast Flickering Flames and watch 90 shots decimate or better (you should get about 15% casualties per shot against MEQ, and decimating is 10%....) the enemy on 4+ to hit, re-rolling 1s to hit, strength 4, +1 to wound, re-rolling 1s to wound. If you're lucky, Boon of Change could even make them strength 5 shots, which would wound Marines on 2 and Death Guard on 3.
- Very important difference between this version and his Chaos Space Marine twin is one tiny rule called Ephemeral Daemon which, instead of the traditional 5++ Daemon Save, gives him a 4++. Combine this with either the Otherworldly Prescience WT or the Weaver of Fates Psychic Power and have a Daemon Prince with an equivalent of a Storm Shield!
- Exalted Sorcerer - Knows two psychic powers from the Discipline of Change or Dark Hereticus. Can cast two powers and deny one. Their main strength is that they have the combat stats (not necessarily equipment, but not far off) of a Chaos Lord with the Psychic power of a Sorcerer. Can't take familiars (so no +1 to cast), but they do get Lord of the Thousand Sons which provides re-roll 1's to hit to units within 6" which more than makes up for it in most circumstances. Ahriman is a much better version of an Exalted Sorcerer and will therefore likely see a lot more use than they will.
- If you have a few backfield vehicles (predators, for example) then it might be worth taking one of these guys, giving him a disc and giving him Prescience/Temporal Manipulation. It's a lot cheaper than taking a Daemon Prince, he should rarely be the closest target to the opponent and you'll be buffing your ranged troops with the aura, healing some of the damage they sustain and with 24" range you should still be able to prescience anything you like.
- You could buy him a power sword and give him Seer's Bane, combined with Diabolic strength, and you have yourself a highly cost effective close combat monster swinging 5 attacks at S12 AP-3 D1d3 against any psyker or LD 9+ unit. Is also still swinging at S6 AP-3 D1d3 against other targets, which is still potent.
- Sorcerer - The future Exalted Sorcerers. They can cast two powers and deny one. They're as good at casting as Exalted Sorcerers, benefit from the +6" range but have less wounds, worse combat stats and, vitally, no reroll 1s to hit aura. However, they do make a good option for a 2nd psyker character and might be useful if you don't need a 2nd aura.
- Per the datasheet rules, Codex units can take wargear they had in Legends, since this is a Sorcerer, not a Sorcerer of Tzeentch. You can still take things like the Jump pack and Force Axe, but you have to pay the Legends point costs and the cost of a jump pack makes the sorcerer the same cost as a terminator sorcerer, making his utility very niche. Gains a 5++ save and an inferno bolt pistol instead of a normal one.
- Sorcerer in Terminator Armour - Heavy duty Sorcerer. Note that this guy costs 20pts more than the vanilla one, but if you fear for his safety this is good investment. The main reason to take this guy is to accompany Scarab Occults or units making use of the Deep Strike stratagem. Can also take a familiar upgrade that gives +1 to the first spell he casts each turn.
- If using a familiar, the 'High Magister' warlord trait and the 'Cabalistic Focus' stratagem, you can have the hardest power to cast (Doombolt) going off on a 5! a 5! You'll Almost automatically pass most others, so the warp is your oyster!
- Sorcerer on Disc of Tzeentch - Legends only. Costs 46 points more than a sorcerer with a jump pack, and can't take an Inferno Bolt Pistol or Warpflame Pistol. In exchange you get... the DAEMON keyword and the functional equivalent of a chainsword . Not a good choice, or even a mediocre one, but a couple quick notes on this guy before you completely dismiss him. One, unlike Sorcerers on Discs that are taken by other Legions, he actually benefits from the Thousand Sons Legion Trait, since Brotherhood of Psykers specifies PSYKERS, not INFANTRY, BIKERS and HELBRUTES. Secondly, while he is very overcosted, if you so desired to abuse your Smite spam privileges, his existence means that Ahriman can lead a terrifying flying wolfpack of 9 Sorcerers (3 with Jump Packs, 3 on Disks and 3 Exalted on Disks). Though stupidly expensive (nearly 1,400 points with just basic weapons), it might just be worth it for the look on your opponent's face.
- Ahriman Ahriman is one of the best HQ options that the Chaos faction has to offer, never mind the Thousand Sons. He has three psychic powers, three denials, +1 to cast/deny psychic powers at all times, relatively low cost (
166170 with disc) and the ability to remain behind a line of his own troops. He also has the Lord of the Thousand Sons aura, a damage three force stave and a native 4+ invulnerable save (compared to 5+ for Exalted Sorcerers). If he is your Warlord he has to take the +1 to invulnerable save Warlord Trait, but this is actually pretty good given it puts him at 3++. Despite being good in melee you are best off keeping him back so that he can pull the strings of your entire army with his aura, psychic dominance and ability to reinforce if required. Give him a Disc of Tzeentch as the mobility is crucial and you'll almost never want him hiding in a transport, plus many snipers including the vindicare wound infantry on a 2+, Ahriman looses the Infantry keyword on a disc making it far harder to pick him off.
- He can also be used like the machine gun he was always meant to be, traveling on a disc with a hit squad of Tzaangor Enlightened. Give him all the nuking Psychic Powers (Doombolt, Infernal Gateway and Tzeentch's Firestorm) and laugh as enemy characters flee from your 24" ranged assassin. Add in 1CP for The Great Sorcerer to let him cast Smite as well, for lols.
- Unlike Magnus, Ahriman did plenty wrong. He's one of the most
evil fuckers in all of 40kloving leaders who only wants to right his wrongs and his rules really make you feel like a cackling villainhero --- enjoy!
- Don't underestimate Ahriman's close combat abilities. Consider: Cast Glamour on him for a -1 to be hit, Diabolic Strength for the +2 Strength and additional attack, then have a couple of friendly Mutaliths give him -2 AP. You now have a tough-as-nails monster hitting 5 times (6 with Hateful Assault) at S8, Ap-3 for a flat 3 damage per attack. If you want even more attacks, you can press your luck with Boon of Change (although you'll need a friendly Daemon Prince to cast it on Ahriman unless he Familiars his way into it), or gamble with Boon of Mutation.
- Great news! Ahriman is now available on the new SC! 1K Sons kit. He comes with 10 Rubrics and 10 Tzaangors!
- Scarab Occult Terminators - Revenge is a dish best served cold. Terminators are now some of the strongest units a Chaos army can take and these guys? They hit harder, and they're even more durable. Only movement 4", but Teleport Strike counters this a bit. These guys are impressive, though it's harder to make the most of a Deep-Strike if you're trying to stay in the character's auras. Just keep them away from melee units with high toughness, multi-wounds as they lack power-fists. 5 guys lets them make 20 shots at up to 24" with AP-2 bolter shots, which will shred most infantry. Add in Veterans of the Long War and you have an infantry shredding salvo which can threaten light-vehicles. The Occult Sorcerer will also be able to chip in with his Smite power or Cult/Discipline of Change power. Don't forget these guys sport the 'All is Dust' special rule like their Rubric brethren, however with two wounds apiece and 4++ they will be drawing more powerful Dakka their way. You really should be Deep-Striking them wherever you can, and be sure to buff them with the attached Aspiring Sorcerer. They really shine in taking the Soulreaper cannon and/or Missile Rack as they don't suffer the penalties for moving; in this regard, they are like loyalist terminators with more resilience, deadlier guns and a psyker leading them.
- In a post-CA2019, post RotD world, these guys deserve a second look. The strats to double their shots and their sorcerer now knows an additional spell. If you want a hard as nails unit that can deep strike and put dakka to make Orks nod in approval, look no further.
- Sorcerous Facade from the Cult of Duplicity is a great power for this unit; as it effectively allows it to redeploy every psychic phase. This lets the unit drop in, mulch some infantry, then warp away next turn to hit another flank. Also RAW it doesn't prevent you using it if you get bogged down in Melee. So it's a lot harder for the opponent to tie up the terminators.
- Helbrute - A good DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. With the new 'all vehicles are MC' approach, a Helbrute now requires a decent amount of applied firepower to be put down instead of being a free victory point. Crazed is now a buff only rule, which makes it better than the loyalist Dreadnought. Note that Crazed is a normal shooting attack. So it can shoot all available ranged weapons at any viable target(s). Kitted for ranged combat, it doesn't seem to put out enough damage to be a credible threat, and the things you'll want to throw one kitted out for melee at are the very things that will tear it multiple new ass-holes in no time. However, Helbrutes do have their advantages. For one; they don't suffer from degrading stats compared to things like Predators and Forgefiends. This means Helbrutes move, hit & shoot just as effective at 1 wound as they do when at full wounds. Secondly there are a few stratagems that are usable by Helbrutes, including a Helbrute specific one. Lastly, Helbrutes are fairly economic on points, especially with changes from Chapter Approved. As for armaments it comes stock with a Multi-Melta and Helbrute fist without a Heavy Flamer or Combi-Bolter mounted to it. Due to poor wording of the Big Rule Book FAQ, every unit has a Close Combat Melee weapon in addition to what is on it's data sheet; Battering Assault gives its bonus attack if the Brute has two melee weapons - and not specifically two of the same weapon, meaning that even the stock configuration is at 5 attacks (and why you should never take double fists). For shooting, you should probably immediately upgrade the Multi-Melta to a Twin Lascannon, Twin Heavy Bolter, Helbrute Plasma Cannon or Reaper Autocannon and drop the second arm for a Missile Launcher - this makes for a surprisingly cheap and durable weapons platform; able to throw out a fair amount of shots across a variety of targets. The Twin Lascannon is best deployed as an anti-tank weapon, so if you were looking at brutes to do some of that for your army, take the las, otherwise for a CP you can upgrade the twin Heavy Bolter to -2 AP.
- Ranged Opinion:Stay away from the Reaper Auto-Cannon, it is trash. If it were D2 instead of D1 it would be a good choice, and more than just a glorified 4 shot Heavy Bolter. Take either a Helbrute Plasma Cannon, or if you just can't stand that you lose wounds on rolls of 1's to hit, a Twin Heavy Bolter instead.
- Alternate Ranged Opinion: Taking a Reaper is useful to keep the points of any Helbrute build low and keep your investment in your distraction unit to a minimum. A reaper/missile for example combo comes in at 90pts under Chapter Approved 2019 prices, which though not a significant saving compared to the 96pts and 97pts of the Plasma / Heavy Bolter Builds is still a saving that may allow you to fit in more bodies or other units. In small games, chances are your opponent won't have something to deal with this gun platform.
- Melee Opinion: The hammer will usually under-perform due to the accuracy debuff, but it costs as much as a pair of fists; whether you take a scourge (A8 S8 AP-2 D2 25pts) or a fist (A5 S12 AP-3 D3 20pts) depends on what you plan on fighting. Never take a fist without also grabbing a gun to put in it. With the new Chapter Approved 2019 you can take a second fist for for a mere +10 pts, so now you can dual wield for a total of 90pts for a punishing scrapper in melee.
- Tzaangor Shaman - Comes in at
9085 pts including his force stave, BS 3+, WS3+/S4A4/T4/W4, Ld8, and 6+ save that you will never use because he has a 5++. They hover about on a disk, they buff up the psychic phase using a one-use magical potion that allows them to re-roll a single failed psychic test. Uses powers from the change discipline, casting 1, and denying 1. They can buff Tzaangor units within 6" with a +1 to all their hit rolls. Because his +1 to hit aura affects all hit rolls made by Tzaangors, this means that your base Tzaangor auto pistols become slightly better, but still can't compete with the blades in terms of effective damage output. Aside from in close combat with ground Tzaangors, this aura also really shines with Tzaangor Enlightened, as it makes them hit with either their great-bows or divining spears on 2+, as well as cause auto wounds on 5+. Also keep in mind the aura affects the shaman, meaning he's hitting on 2s in melee with his force staff, so he can hold his own if need be.
As of the 2020 Forge World Index, all of the Chaos FW options can only be taken if they have the <Legion> keyword, which the Thousand Sons do not possess (Unlike chaos marines, who's datasheets have the <Legion> keyword, which is replaced with your legion of choice, all Thousand Sons units simply have the <Thousand Sons> keyword). As such, the Thousand Sons technically do NOT have access to any of the Forge World options at this time. It is unclear whether or not this was an intentional decision, but until and unless GW puts out an FAQ clarifying that Thousand Sons and Death Guard can use these units, they are not legal for use in a Thousand Sons detachment.
- Chaos Decimator - 8th edition has shown our favourite pseudo-dreadnought some real love. Movement is 10" with WS 3+ BS 3+, S7, T7, W8, A5, SV 3+ 5++ with no degeneration as wounds go down. You regenerate a wound at the start of each of your turns, and still gain +1 attack even if you drop a melee weapon (thanks FAQ). It still has all of its old weapon load-outs while sadly losing its cool flamer special rule from 7e. Stock Claw is +2S AP-3 D3 with a Hellflamer doing Heavy D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Auto Hits. The Decimator Storm Laser is as you would expect from last edition, 24" Assault 5 S6 AP-2 D1. The once horrible Soulburner Petard now has some real use with 24" Assault 2D3 S- AP0 D1, causing auto MORTAL wounds on successful hits, while to hit rolls of 1 cause Mortal wounds to the Decimator. It states that you cannot take more than 1 mortal wound a turn via this rule, so you are fairly safe using it due to your regeneration. Butcher Cannon is still reliable with 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2 causing -2 LD to enemy unit should a casualty be sustained. C-beam Cannon has also gotten some new life, 72" Heavy 1 S6 Ap-3 D3, you gain +2S and +D3 for every 24" you are away from the target, AND if the enemy suffers a casualty due to your original shot, the same unit suffers 2D6 additional S6 AP0 D1 damage. Overall the Decimator handled the transition to 8th nicely and are more attractive now than they were in 7th even with the lack of Deep Strike capabilities.
- Note that despite visual similarities to Helbrutes and Dreadnoughts, the Chaos Decimator does not have the HELBRUTE keyword.
- Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought - S7 T7 W10 A4 Sv 3+ (though we can take more of these 'relics' than imperials can), the Contemptor remains as good as it ever was. It has a huge amount of options with your typical Fist (Deathclaw) and Chainfist (Chainclaw) available, as well as some of the more Chaotic choices. New to the menu is the Kheres Assault Cannon which the Chaos Warpsmiths finally found a working version of. As of the FAQ you can now go double guns, should you feel the need - though the melee potential is wasted if you do. Butcher Cannon (36" Heavy 4, S8 AP-1 D2, causes a LD -2 debuff on enemy units that it has inflicted casualties on) and the Kheres Assault Cannon are attractive choices. On a 5+ it eats an enemy it killed in melee for healing a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting and Overwatch with a 4++ in melee. A solid choice that is a natural step up from your standard Helbrutes. Just keep it away from, well, most your army due to the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
- FW FAQ: Now the Contemptor can replace both arms for ranged weapons if you so wish, and you can take an Havoc Launcher too.
- Also per the FAQ, Chaos Dreads have the Helbrute keyword.
- Hellforged Predator - Confused to see this in the elites slot? So is everyone else! Anyway, it's a Predator that's an elite with some extra rules and guns. Standard Pred weapons with the ability to choose Flamestorm Cannons (8" Heavy 2D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Flamer), Magna-melta Cannon (24" Heavy D3 S10 AP-4 D6, roll extra dice if in 1/2 range), C-beam Cannon (72" Heavy 1 S6 AP-3 D3, +2S & +D3 for every 24" between shooter and target, causes 2d6 S6 AP0 1D additional hits if you kill a model with your first shot), and Plasma Destroyer (36" Heavy 2D3, S7 AP-3 D2). Can eat people in melee to regain one wound on a 5+, causes D3 additional attacks when it successfully charges, also has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. It's a fine choice if you feel the need to have those special weapons on a Pred platform. The damage charts for this and other Hellforged tanks are distinctive in that they actually get better in melee the more injured they get, meaning the more you need some wounds repaired the more likely you'll be able to eat some, although your movement does suffer so it gets less able to get into melee.
- Note that the extra damage to your own Psykers from a Containment Breach is pretty bad in a Thousand Sons army. You're better off taking the cheaper Predator from the codex.
- If kitted with Flamers this tank becomes a pseudo-hellhound. Take heavy flamer sponsors to intensify this and throwing out 4D6 auto-hits at 8" at -1 AP D1/D2. Most people won't want to charge it either.
- Thanks to the FAQ 2019, you can't use Killshot with Hellforged Predators
- Hellforged Sicaran - An even bigger vehicle in the elites slot? No it's not the Warp-dust kicking in, this is real life. The Sicaran is still a beast at T7 W14 3+, but as always we take it for its main weapon. The Twin Accelerator Autocannon is kicking at 48", Assault 8 S7 AP-1 D2, No penalty to shoot at FLY and every wound of 6 is jumped up to AP-3. It can move 14" between 7-14 wounds; letting you fly around the board shooting those Autocannons on 3+ (remember, it's assault, not heavy), ouch! Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, and has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
- Chaos Cultists- Your cheap choice. Cultists can be set for melee or range without paying extra points, which is nice. Flamers make them somewhat more reliable, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap and useful upgrade if you plan to camp objectives with them. They have some problems though, with poor leadership and the ability to die to a stray fart. They're doing best when the opponent forgets they exist, so try not to mention them. Also, Games Workshop tacitly approved the use of Age of Sigmar's Tzeentch Arcanites as flavourful Thousand Sons Cultists with some art in the codex. Use these if you want them to look more like someone who might have come from Sortiarius.
- Can be used to wrap enemy vehicles into position, but Tzaangors have bigger bases (so need less models to do it) and are much better at getting stuck in.
- Rubric Marines - Once unusable, these guys have become pretty good. They have their usual loadout of Inferno Boltguns, which they can replace with Warpflamers for maximum hurt in overwatch, and the Aspiring Sorcerer can take any force weapon and a Warpflame pistol to help them if they get in melee. For every 10 models, one Rubric can take a Soulreaper cannon. The Aspiring Sorcerer got a huge buff with the codex as he is now also a fully fledged Psyker who can cast any of the Spells from the Discipline of Change. These spells are low WC rating (6 or 7, except Doombolt) and are usually the sort of spells you won't take on your HQs because you want them to take Prescience, Warptime, Death Hex, etc. If you take a few 5 man squads (or even 10 man and some Scarabs) you're going to find yourself casting a LOT of psychic powers - which is exactly how it should be! He also knows a "mini" Smite, which does 1 or d3 mortal wounds rather than the normal d3/d6. Rubrics "All is Dust" rule gives them +1 to all saves if the attack does 1 damage, giving them a 2+ save against small arms fire. It is very effective in a lot of situations but opponents grow wise to it.
- As per the 1.3 FAQ, if the Aspiring Sorcerer suffers wounds from Perils of the Warp, you may allocate it to any model in the unit.
- Interesting new addition in the codex, the aspiring sorcerer can take a Plasma Pistol. it's not much but it is at least SOME kind of plasma weapon.
- Consider taking a weapon composition of 6 boltguns, 2 warpflamers and 1 soulreaper, the warpflamers make for good overwatch and the soulreaper makes up for the boltgun shots you lose from the flamers.
- Another solid build is to take a pair of MSU squads, give everyone a Warpflamer or Warpflame Pistol and pack them into a Rhino. Such a package will reliable roast an entire MSU squad per turn, before even taking Psychic Powers or the Rhino's weapons into account and will be suicide for any thing short of a Dreadnought to charge.
- Tzaangors -
8090 points for a unit of 10 close combat monsters that are just as tough as Space Marines, have a 5++ invulnerable save, 2 attacks when equipped with a pair of Tzaangor blades (3 on the Twistbray) WITH -1 AP, a 10 point instrument that adds 1 to their Advance and Charge rolls, as well as rerolling to hit rolls when targeting a character. These guys are an absolute steal for Thousand Sons armies that need lots of fodder to protect their big guns in the back. They do a better job in close combat than Space Marines do. Pistols/Chainswords look cool but are inferior to Tzaangor Blades, as AP-1 makes them dangerous to almost everything in the game (apart from Daemons).
- They're also a surprisingly good DISTRACTION CARNIFEX, just strong enough that ignoring them will hurt, but just expendable enough that you don't have to feel bad using them as cannon fodder.
- Buy AoS ones as the Autopistol/Chainsword combo is inferior to the Tzaangor Blades and AoS ones do not have the sprue for it, so they are a bit cheaper.
- They have synergy with the Mutalith Vortex Beast, the Tzaangor Shaman (who buffs Tzaangors within 6") and the 2CP Stratagem that lets them attack twice! 30 Tzaangors deepstriking down, assaulting and attacking twice will cost you 3CPs, but that's potentially 122 attacks (less casualties). Cast Prescience for 2s to hit.
- These guys are an excellent use of your Dark Matter Crystal. Fire a unit of 30 Tzaangors to outside 9" of something, take a Brayhorn for an 8" charge and watch your opponent shit their pants at the birdy blender that just materialized in front of them. TAKE HEED. Dark Matter Crystal re-deploys the unit, but the Big FAQ for the BRB specifically only forbids Warptime from working on units setting up as Reinforcements.
- Make no mistake: with the right psychic powers, buffs and help from a Mutalith Vortex Beast or two these can be turned from above average melee troops to an absolute terror. Use Weaver of Fates to buff them to 4++, Glamour of Tzeentch for -1 to hit, Prescience for accuracy (or just put a Tzaangor Shaman next to them), An Exalted Sorcerer's re-roll aura for even more accuracy, Mutalith powers for +1 Strength or AP or both, and Veterans of the Long War in the Fight phase. At this point you'll have use about half your army for buff a single unit, but it's one your opponent won't soon forget.
- Chaos Rhino - With Webway Strike, sadly these aren't very useful for Thousand Sons. At 67 pts they're expensive in an army that is already struggling to fit things in. Their main use is to get assault troops safely forward, but Thousand Sons assault infantry (Tzaangors) are too cheap to be worth a Chaos Rhino, plus you want to take more than 10 of those. Mean-whilst you want your tanky Rubrics on the field so that their Sorcerors can cast their psychic powers.
- If you do take one, then add on a Havoc Launcher and Combi-Bolter. This at least puts out a decent amount of small arms fire, to make the price of the METAL BOX feel a bit better.
- For some players, 67 points a piece is a decent price to protect your expensive rubric squads from a harsh Alpha Strike, as any opponent worth his salt (or dust), will know they are going to have to throw a hefty amount of firepower at them. Due to this, think of the Rhino as a disposable bunker, if it dies, so be it, if it doesn't it still served its purpose considering it moves twice as fast as the rubrics.
- Termite Assault Drill: It's a neither a drop pod or a rhino, but something of both. Like a drop pod, the Termite can be deployed at the end of a movement phase close to enemy. Once deployed, however, the termite acts like a slow Rhino. At 8 inches, this thing isn't going anywhere fast. Not to mention the Melta Cutter is an Assault D3 Melta Gun. So why bother? Well the termite has some neat little things going for it. First is the transport capacity. At 12 HERETIC ASTARTES models (not Terminator, Jump Pack or Cult of Destruction), making this little drill is quite the metal box. Add in that it can deep-strike and who cares if this thing only moves 8 Inches a turn? And then there is the subject of the two Combi-Bolters (always take Combi-Bolters and never the heavy flamers) but maybe look into the Twin Volkite Chargers. Additionally, it's equipped with a Termite Drill, it's a Double Strength AP-4 and Damage 3 melee weapon. After you make all of your melee attacks, roll a D6 for every model that suffered damage but was not slain by this weapon, on a 2+ the model suffers a mortal wound. And if the target is STILL not dead, roll again, on a 3+ it takes another mortal wound. Keep doing this, with every roll requirement being one higher than the last, until you fail the roll, or the target dies. 8 Mortal Wounds on average
- Chaos Spawn - The Flesh Change sufferers you know and love. Movement 7", D6 attacks at -2 AP. Has a chance to be -4 AP, or reroll failed wounds, or get +2 attacks. S5 T5, 5+ save, leadership 9 due to being a mindless pile of flesh and 4 wounds. 5+ save means they're pretty squishy, but they can hit fairly hard. Pretty much the same as before, but there is a Stratagem that can give you one without having to pay for reinforcement points and another one that lets you re-roll their attack number while also picking their bonus effect. The first one makes for a useful surprise when one of your Sorcerers is looking like he'll die anyway so keep a couple in your cases for such occasions. For 23pts a model (post-MFM2021MK1), you might want to throw in a few gribblies in your list if you need a speed bump or meat shield for the Daemon Princes.
- Tzaangor Enlightened - Birds on discs. They have 3 different weapon options, Autopistol and Chainsword, Fatecaster Greatbow, or a Divining Spear. In addition, every 6+ to hit roll counts as a successful wound. Easy to pass over at first glance, but they have a saving grace; speed. With a move of 12", they can add some much needed mobility to your list in a way that doesn't rely on psychic powers or command points. If you take the bows, they become a surprisingly agile harassment unit. With the fly keyword, they can't be tied down in melee, unlike a lot of the rest of the army. They are also dirt cheap in terms of points/power-level.
- They are even better than you think. They get the Daemon keyword thanks to their discs, so benefit from buffs like Flickering Flames, Tzeentch Daemon HQ auras, and Boon of Change.
- The auto-wounding combined with the divining spears' D2 on the charge can be a nasty surprise for vehicles and monsters. The AP of -1 isn't much, but the amount of attacks make up for it, especially if you luck out with Boon of Change for the +1 attack. They won't take down Land Raiders, but crippling big guns on the 2nd turn (or even 1st with Warptime) with such a cheap unit is a viable strategy.
- The divining spears become an even more viable option when taken in conjunction with Mutalith vortex beasts. with their vortex powers giving them either -1 AP, +1 Strength or reroll failed charges, on top of the vortex powers stacking with each other. This can result in anything from two specific powers stacking like +2 strength bringing them up to strength 7 to wound vehicles easier, or -2 AP letting them cut through MEQ's and TEQ's with ease.
- Enlightened are also able to use the Cycle of Slaughter stratagem, so you can get two rounds of combat out of your 2 damage spears when you charge.
- Enlightened also have the Heretic Astartes keyword, allowing you to cast such classics as Warp Time, and Prescience on them to make them zoom even faster and auto-wound on a 4+ with a Shaman nearby. If you wanted your Shooty Disc Birds to be even more annoying when it comes to harassing things, auto wounding on 4+'s will please you.
- Hellforged Dreadclaw Drop Pod - This flyer/drop pod/thing is a ball of spiked sex! It can transport 10 models or a Dreadnought/Helbrute and comes in via Drop Pod Assault. Moves 15" which does NOT go down as you lose wounds, though its S and A do. T7 W10 3+ with Blade struts for melee (S User, AP-2 D2) and Thermal Jets for shooting (6" Pistol D6, S6 AP1 D1, which automatically hits all units, friend and foe, within 6" with separate shooting attacks and can only be used if more enemy units are affected than allies. Can eat things in Melee combat for a wound back on a 5+. When it explodes PSYKER units nearby take D6 mortal wounds rather than D3. The Dreadclaw hits you in the groin with 115 pts.
- Hellforged Kharybdis Assault Claw - Dreadclaw not have enough spikes? Ever wanted to field a model that weighs as much as its point cost? Well here you go! Seriously, it's like Forge World mails you a giant block of resin and you chisel it out and glue some pointy parts on (so that they know it's supposed to be Chaos). Having almost the same stats as a Dreadclaw (except BS4+, T8 and W16) but with more weapons/troop capacity/model weight and of course SPIKES. 325 pts gives you a flyer/drop pod that can carry 20 infantry into battle by either drop pod assault or like a normal transport. A fat 16 wounds and the ability to regain wounds on a 5+ after killing an enemy model in CC. In addition to the blade struts and thermal jet array that the Dreadclaw has, the assault claw can charge something that's Titanic, a vehicle, or a monster, and you have the option to instead use ONE Melta cutters attack, S16 AP-5 hitting on 2+ doing 2D6 damage. Additionally, to soften whatever you're about to forcefully-melta-sodomise, it's equipped with 5 Hvy 3 Storm launchers S6 ap-1.
- Maybe throw it at your opponent. The weight and extending spikes will bring about guaranteed victory! (And assault charges)
- Fill it with 20 Rubric Marines (2 units of 10) and drop them in turn 2 within Rapid Fire range for an auto-disembark. light up anything you can with your sexy Inferno Bolt guns and some magic since you have 2 Aspiring Sorcerers and then try to make charges with this spiked Butt Plug to really assert your dominance.
- Heldrake: AKA the Helturkey. No Hard to Hit, no Airborne, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it still has Infernal Regeneration and it's robust, but not unkillable, and arguably better than later 7th Edition because due to loss of facing it's now a turret weapon again. A price drop has meant the Baleflamer is pretty much an auto-take at this point, as it costs the same regardless. The reason for this is that being a Daemon Engine the Heldrake has a terrible BS of 4+ and moving around bumps that to 5+ on Heavy weapons. Other than shooting, the Heldrake can be used effectively in melee; with 4 attacks, WS 3+, S7 AP -1 Dd3 claws, with a +1 to hit against <FLY>. This makes the Heldrake the best anti-<FLY> Flyer in the game as few flyers can fight back. Also being a unit with <FLY> means it can charge something and then fall back while still melting faces with daemonic fire. A supreme backfield nuisance or tool to shut down an opponents heavy guns for a turn, the drake can even fill the role of flying assassin against exposed enemy characters (though it will probably fail against any TEQ units). Keep in mind the bonus to hit also applies to Jump-Packs and Jet-Bike units.
- The lack of Aircraft rules cuts both ways. It can be charged by ground units, but it can also be used to pin down enemy units as they cannot fall back through its base like they can with Aircraft. Similarly, Knights and other Super-Heavy Walkers cannot fall back across it; watch your opponent flip the table when he realises cannot Fall Back with his Castellan through any of your units pinning it in combat because they all have weird keywords.
- Chaos Fire Raptor Assault Gunship - An very powerful flyer that looks immense and fits right into the lore of the Thousand Sons. It particularly benefits from the psychic buffs on a Thousand Sons army, too. Keep Prescience, Glamour of Tzeentch and Weaver of Fates cast upon it to maximise survivability and firepower. Also keep an aura giving HQ nearby to reroll 1s to hit. Avenger Gatling Cannon (10 s6 ap-2 damage 2 shots), Quad Bolter (24 s5 ap-1 damage 1 shots) and 4 Lascannon shots (S9 ap-3 damage d6, though you need to convert on the lascannons) are the best option, even if they bring the price up to 452 pts (Chapter Approved has been errataed, the base cost of the Fire Raptor is now 280 points without wargear, not 190). Hitting on 2s, rerolling 1s, this birdy will blow the opponent away.
- If you take this monstrosity then expect all of the DAKKA to target it on turn one. You might want to take Magnus as well so that one of them gets to survive, but be careful as this might cause an unsuspecting opponent to have a stress seizure and turn into a Chaos Spawn (though only if he/she have the appropriate reinforcement points).
- Chaos Storm Eagle Assault Gunship - Less useful for Thousand Sons as the transport aspect isn't too helpful. Dark Matter Crystal, Deep Strike Stratagem and the lack of melee capacity of Rubrics takes away the urgency for flying transport.
- Think of this baby as a flying Land Raider with double the transport capacity. While it's not as tough, it's way faster and can take the same weapons, Twin Heavy Bolters, two Twin Lascannons and a Vengeance Launcher on top for a total of 10 points less than a Land Raider.
- Hell Blade - Courtesy of the Dark Mechanicus's warped minds comes one of the better anti-flyer units in the game. Only 130 points with twin helstorm cannons (Heavy 2 S6 AP-2 D3 and wound rolls of a 6 cause an additional mortal wound), with a 3+/5++ and Hard to Hit plus a +1 to hit against other units with FLY. Can swap its two Helstorm cannons for two Lascannons. With a 18"-60" movement that doesn't degrade as you take damage and a funky rule that allows it to pivot up to 90 degrees at the beginning AND end of each movement phase, you will be hunting enemy flyers in style. Pairs nicely with the stratagem Warpflame Gargoyles.
- Hell Talon - Expensive at 240 points, but considerably tougher than its baby brother the Hell Blade with 12 wounds and T7 as well as its 3+/5++. In addition to the mandatory Helstorm cannon and twin Lascannon, you can choose between three (free) sets of bombs, all used at the end of the movement phase (see below). This is a flying Predator spending 70 extra points to get FLY, Hard to Hit, 20"-60" move, 5++, no penalty to move & fire Heavy weapons and a bomb that will likely do some Mortal Wounds to a unit you fly over.
- Pyrax incendiary bombs: The anti-infantry option. Once per battle, pick a unit you flew over and roll a d6 for each model in the unit up to a maximum of 20d6. Each 5+ (or 4+ if targeting infantry) causes a mortal wound.
- Warp-pulse bombs: Pick a unit you flew over and roll 3d6 for each vehicle or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 9d6. Results of a 5+ cause mortal wounds. In addition, the unit targeted is at -1 to hit and -1 leadership until the start of their next turn.
- Baletalon shatter charges: The demolition option. Pick a unit you flew over and roll 6d6 for each vehicle, building, or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 6d6. Results of 3+ cause mortal wounds. Pick this one.
- Xiphon Interceptor - A flyer that the Thousand Sons loved to pieces during the Heresy-Era, to the point that they replaced all of their other Interceptor-Fighters with it. A solid anti-air option. Like the Hell Blade, it has +1 to hit against FLY units, hitting on a 2+ against them at full wounds. It looks cheap from its points value, but once you tack on the two twin lascannons and the Soulstalker missile launcher (Heavy d3 autocannon with AP-2 and wound rolls of a 5+ cause a mortal wound in addition to normal damage), it is well over 200 points.
- Chaos Land Raider - Make sure to make use of its transport capability, or you'd get more out of a pair of las-Predators or one of the numerous other lascannon platforms.
- NOTE: while this can take a Combi-plasma, supercharging it will result in it possibly killing itself in one go. Land raiders are fairly useful for the Thousand sons as their large footprint allows them to cover a lot of space when used in conjunction with the warpflame gargoyles stratagem. Alternatively use the inferno bolts stratagem to buff the twin heavy bolter's AP.
- Chaos Predator - It does Predator things. Split fire has buffed A LOT. has access to two very relevant stratagems and if you're going with tanks there are two major roles that a Predator can fill. Anti-tank, or anti-infantry (or to a lesser degree, both). Predators hold some extra value in a Thousand sons army as they typically lack heavy firepower, Pred's will be your go-to for Lascannon fire which will prove valuable if babysat by a sorcerer with prescience giving it +1 to hit and re-roll hit rolls of 1.
- For the anti-tank role, starting at 180 points, you can grab a las-pred armed with 4 lascannons. You can give it a combi gun of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points, but it is totally fine as is without them too.
- For the anti-infantry role, starting at a slightly cheaper 145 points, you can have the Dakka-pred armed with the much improved "predator auto cannon" and Heavy Bolters sponsons. Unlike the las-pred you are definitely going to want to spring for the Combi-X and Havoc Launcher so you will at least add 8 more points, totalling out at 153 points.
- Predators having Split fire means you can mix N' match the weapons layout and shoot each weapons at whatever its best optimized for. Unlike now, in previous editions doing so was a waste because ALL of your weapons had to fire at the same target. This would lead to frustrating situations where you had to chose between how you were going to waste 50% of your firepower... either by shooting your Heavy Bolters/Autocannon at armor they couldn't penetrate or by shooting the lascannons at troops. That said, mix N' matching is generally still a bad idea. If you split your fire each round it usually means that you're not killing stuff fast enough, or at the very least slower than if you had specialized the pred into anti-tank or anti-infantry.
- For the anti-tank role, starting at 180 points, you can grab a las-pred armed with 4 lascannons. You can give it a combi gun of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points, but it is totally fine as is without them too.
- Chaos Vindicator - Heavily nerfed by the changes to blast weapons. A bit of a niche killing very heavy infantry and monsters. Far from useless however, for 125pts you get T8 and D6 Str10 Ap-3 D6 Damage shots. T5 and below infantry are going to suffer, and vehicles are going to take a beating from that much firepower. Benefits from combi-weapons and havoc launcher quite well, and a combi-melta supplements the Vindicator's anti-vehicle firepower nicely. Take it if you want something to spearhead a vehicular assault; the close range firepower will serve you well.
- Daemon Engines
- Defiler - Here's the deal, the Defiler is exactly what you expect him to be, he's a big, stompy, killy daemon engine that will inevitably draw in a lot of enemy fire because of how dangerous he is. With vanilla wargear he clocks in at 158 points. Well priced and destructive. 14 wounds, T7, 5++ invuln, Strength 16 melee attacks. Long and short-range firepower with the Battle cannon, Reaper autocannon/Twin heavy bolter and Twin heavy flamer. Smoke launchers for defense and regenerates 1 wound at the beginning of each of your turns. Effective at range and close up but with options to suit your need. Replace the Twin heavy flamer and Reaper autocannon with a Twin Lascannon and havoc launcher and ruin some vehicle's day or bring a Defiler scourge and trounce any units that try to jump you.
- The plethora of psychic powers that can make the fiends scarier can also be used on the defiler, making the Giant Enemy Crab Engine even MORE deadly and less susceptible taking massive damage in a weak spot.
- Fiends - Fiends were already a good choice in 7th edition and still are a good choice in 8th. They're durable (12 wounds, 3+/5++ and they regenerate one lost wound at the start of each of your turns) and very reasonable point-wise, they do however still suffer from their drawback of only hitting on a 4+ at the best of time. Either keep an Exalted Sorcerer close and/or target them with Prescience if you can. Fiends will be outshined by more dedicated units at their role, but they're a boon of Tzeentch if you need a solid, dependable unit to shore up your army with. Another fun thing the thousand sons can do is use the fiends (Or defilers) to play mad doctor due to the number of spells that can be used on them. want to turn a maulerfiend into the scariest close quarters monster ever? throw on any combination of Warptime, Prescience, Diabolic Strength Boon of change & the daemonforge stratagem. Want the forgefiend to cut down infantry like a machine gun against paper? give it Prescience, flickering flames, and the daemonforge stratagem, then watch the bodies hit the floor.
- Forgefiend - Or Dakkafiend. Comes standard with 2 Hades autocannons and a reinforced jaw to chomp harder on anything close-by. Can replace everything (including the jaw) with Ectoplasma cannons that have better AP but fewer shots. Bring a pack of 2 of these things and watch them output a ridiculous amount of firepower on a target.
- Something worth noting, aside from being buffable by most of the dark hereticus, Tzeentch discipline & Change discipline psychic powers. The daemon engines have the benefit of being able to use both Daemonforge AND Blasphemous Machines, meaning if someone tries to jump on your forgefiend you can use blasphemous machines to use your 8" movement to retreat, reposition and still shoot back without losing out on ballistic skill. This is still assuming your opponent didn't get the charge off, but its still a useful stratagem to have in your back pocket. Forgefiends work best in an entrenched and fortified position, preferably with a lord to give rerolls without having to use Daemonforge, and a cannon fodder shield unit like cultists. Set them up in a position to take maximum advantage of their range, where you can easily keep them defended or sitting on an objective and I assure you they will put in some work.
- Despite the lacking ballistic skill of the Forgefiend, it is superior to other Heavy support choices like the Predator in different ways. The sheer volume of dice that can be thrown from this beast makes hitting the mark more likely despite the drop in ballistic skill, whereas missing shots on vehicles like Laspreds hurts ALOT. A Dakkapred doesn't have this problem, but the Forgefiend strikes an effective medium between having the strength to destroy vehicles AND the dakka for wiping hordes. Forgefiends are also much more durable due to +1 wound, 5+invuln, plus Infernal Regeneration, AND has access to powerful strats like Daemonforge. In other words, the Forgefiend is a fantastic ranged all-comer that has more powerful assets than other choices at the cost of ballistic skill. With the Daemon keyword, you can buff the Forgefiend's Hades autocannons with Flickering Flames to bring them up to lascannon Strength that deals 2 damage each.
- Never replace the hades autocannons with the ectoplasma. The hades autocannons statistically equal or beat the ectoplasma against every combination of toughness/save up to 8/2+. Plus, they have higher range and are cheaper. Replacing the jaw is fine however as its your only ranged option.
- What buffs do normal CSMs wish they could put on 'fiends? Lords reroll 1s, Warpsmith D3 heals and Sorcerer prescience, right? Exalted Sorceror with Prescience and Temporal Manipulation can do all 3 of those buffs for 120 points.
- Maulerfiend - Or Choppafiend. They're still fast (10" base movement) and come standard with power fists and 2 Magma Cutters. Magma Cutters are considered Pistols with 6" of range now (S8, AP-3 D3 Pistols!), so the Fiend can start putting the hurt on a target right before they get into base to base contact and still shoot them in close quarters should they start the turn in combat. Pure win. They can also replace the pair of cutters with Lasher Tendrils for 1 less damage each and 6 extra melee attacks, trading punch against heavy targets for more attacks to mulch through infantry a bit quicker. Like the Forgefiends they work better in pairs and tag-teaming a target.
- This beast is basically a giant, well-disguised can-opener. It can and will crack ANY tank open in melee and eat it for breakfast, and the tendrils threaten infantry as well. On the downside, It gets slower and weaker as it takes damage, so it stops being scary at low wounds(though regeneration helps ALOT as the turns go by). It's FAST and can throw down with even dreadnoughts, but it struggles slightly with the unimpressive Weapon Skill of 4+ and with the MASSIVE attention it will draw from any opponent who prefers their tanks unmolested. Overall - not a bad choice. Should totally be a fast attack option. Whether it is better to take the magma cutters or the tendrils is up for debate, but THIS anon likes the tendrils more. Because if you spend a command point on Daemonforge, you get to reroll ALL of your melee attacks. All 10 of them. And they all have good AP.
- Forgefiend - Or Dakkafiend. Comes standard with 2 Hades autocannons and a reinforced jaw to chomp harder on anything close-by. Can replace everything (including the jaw) with Ectoplasma cannons that have better AP but fewer shots. Bring a pack of 2 of these things and watch them output a ridiculous amount of firepower on a target.
- Defiler - Here's the deal, the Defiler is exactly what you expect him to be, he's a big, stompy, killy daemon engine that will inevitably draw in a lot of enemy fire because of how dangerous he is. With vanilla wargear he clocks in at 158 points. Well priced and destructive. 14 wounds, T7, 5++ invuln, Strength 16 melee attacks. Long and short-range firepower with the Battle cannon, Reaper autocannon/Twin heavy bolter and Twin heavy flamer. Smoke launchers for defense and regenerates 1 wound at the beginning of each of your turns. Effective at range and close up but with options to suit your need. Replace the Twin heavy flamer and Reaper autocannon with a Twin Lascannon and havoc launcher and ruin some vehicle's day or bring a Defiler scourge and trounce any units that try to jump you.
- Mutalith Vortex Beast - Another import from Age of Sigmar, the MVB seems like a weird addition at first glance but it brings a surprising amount of buffs for something so ugly. Statistically, it is a close cousin to the Fiends, having +1 strength and +2 wounds but with only a 4+ armor save. It also shares the 5+ invul and the ability to regain a wound each turn, but lacks the mono-focus of its daemon-engine siblings. Instead, its main strength is the warp vortex special rule, which can buff your units or throw mortal wounds at the enemy. During your shooting phase, you can try to manifest a power by either picking one or have some FUN and roll randomly to get two. Even FUNNIER since you can GET THE SAME POWER TWICE AND YOU DON'T NEED TO REROLL (until FAQ'd). On a 2+, the power goes off, otherwise it fails. In combat the MVB can be very deadly, only held back by its weapon skill, but its two attack profiles (Betentacled Maw & Enormous claws) offer some flexibility, the maw grants you 3 hit rolls for each attack made with it instead of 1, giving you 12 attacks at full health albeit at strength user, AP-1, D1. Or you can use the claws which are only 4 attacks, but have the benefit of AP-2 and D2. Just be aware that the difficulty goes up to requiring a 4+ the more damage the Mutalith takes. Once it reaches half health however, the range of its powers doubles, but it also starts taking mortal wounds on a result of a 1. Also beware of its death throes, as it will explode dealing D6 mortal wounds to everything within 6"
- Each enemy unit within 9" suffers a mortal wound. When the beast drops to 7 wounds, this power turns from a bomb into a supernova.
- A Tzeentch unit within 9" gets +1 strength.
- A Tzeentch unit within 9" gets to reroll charges. If they are within 1", they fight first instead
- A Tzeentch unit within 9" adds an additional -1 to the ap of their melee weapons
- Enemy unit within 9" gets -1 leadership (max -3)
- Roll 3 dice. For each 4+, the nearest visible enemy unit within 18" takes a mortal wound. It's like a smite your opponent can't stop.
- Notably, the buffs it hands out affect any friendly Tzeentch unit, not just Thousand Sons or Daemons. This opens up a number of combo options for assault units from the Vanilla Chaos codex.
- Potentially terrifying on Horrors. Have a couple of Mutaliths give a 30-blob unit of Pink Horrors +2 Strength, cast Flickering Flames on the blob, and park a Daemon Prince (or just cast Prescience) and a Changecaster nearby (a Changecaster is dead easy to summon at 4 power, especially with the Sorcerous Pact). Your weedy Pink Horrors are now putting out 90 S6 shots at a 3+ to hit and a +1 to wound. Hello, target unit; goodbye, target unit. It'd only get uglier if there was a way to give their shots AP-1 or better, but we can't have everything. This set-up is equally nasty on a large squad of Flamers; they have less range and less overall shot output (54 max in a squad of 9), but they'll be shooting at S7, not S6, come with AP-1, and they automatically hit (so no need for Prescience or a Daemon Prince).
- because of its sub-par WS of 4+ but very high amount of attacks, the MVB is a prime target for spells like prescience, it can also buff itself with its own vortex powers of +1 strength, -1 AP or reroll charges if desperate, they also benefit greatly from any characters that provide reroll 1's to hit, just be careful of who is providing that aura, as anyone other than Magnus will be within range of its death throes should it die, and chances are high that anyone other than a daemon prince/primarch won't survive the blast.
- Another thing worth remembering is that the vortex powers stack if you either bring multiple beasts and choose the same power or randomly choose two powers for one beast and they end up being the same. This means that its totally viable to bring more than one beast and throw caution to the wind when choosing powers, you can end up stacking some very large buffs on certain units, or dish out a LOT of mortal wounds to enemies. They also have a 1CP stratagem they can use to randomly generate another power that auto-succeeds, meaning one beast has the potential to use three powers in one turn.
- Doesn't have the "DAEMON" keyword oddly enough, Grey knights eat your hearts out?
- Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer (Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer) - Use the Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer datasheet on page 8 of Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes. It gains the Hellforged keyword and must replace all of its Faction keywords with the following: Chaos, Heretic Astartes, MARK OF CHAOS, LEGION. In addition, it gains the following ability: ‘Machina Malefica: At the end of each Fight phase, roll a number of D6 for this model equal to the number of models that were slain by it during this phase; for each dice that scores a 5+, this model regains one lost wound. This model cannot regain lost wounds by any other means.’
- Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought - Chaos finally got the Dorito Dreadnought! A lot of people have wanted this for a while and rightfully so, it kicks ass. The Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. The Ectoplasma Battery is less impressive, 24" Heavy 5, S8 AP-3 D3 and causes a mortal wound to the dreadnought on the roll of a 1 (booooo). A third option called Dual Malignatas Saker is 48", Heavy 2 S* AP-5 D6, Roll 3d6 vs enemy LD, if it total equals or exceeds enemy L than the target model is wounded. I.e. choose Butcher Cannon Array. Greater Havoc Launcher is awesome at 48" 3D3 S6 AP-1 D1 that does not need LoS to shoot (heck yes!). Battle it out, then hide behind a rock when you have low wounds to stay relevant. Can eat things in melee combat on a 5+ to get a wound back. Has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee. All friendly units within 5" have a 5++ save (mmmmmm), and a Helical Targeting Array which can be activated at the start of a turn, stopping you from moving, advancing or charging but adds 1 to its hit rolls against things with FLY. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. And most of all remember, the cool ranch upgrade is better than the nacho cheese one. Has the Helbrute keyword.
- Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought - Whatever was sacrificed in the name of Chaos to make these available... it was worth it. This super dreadnought is a monster and priced very well for what it does. T8 W14 A4 2+, comes with Siege claw (fist) and Siege drill (chain), Hellflamer (8", Heavy d6, S5 AP-1 D2 which autohit), Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. Soulburner Ribaudkin is another arm option at 18", Heavy 2d3 S- AP0 D1 which inflicts mortal wounds, Grav-Flux Bombard is your third option at 18", Heavy D3, S9 AP-5 D2 which actually does D5 wounds against Vehicles, Monster, and Titanic while adding D3 attacks if the enemy target has 5+ models. It can eat people in melee and on a 5+ it gets a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee and gains +1 attack if you keep both arms as CCWs. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. Has the Helbrute keyword. Take the Butcher Cannon array for anti-infantry or anti-light vehicle duties, although in that case, you might be better off with the Hellforged Deredeo. Not anymore. With how cheap the butcher cannon array has become, for 90 more points (about half the cost of a Deredeo Dreadnought) you get double the butcher cannon shots, higher Toughness and better armor save. The Soulburner Ribaudkin will make Storm Shield units cry with its 2D3 Mortal Wounds. Finally, the Grav Bombard is the (interestingly) take all comers option, which can do work against both blobs and heavy targets.
- Hellforged Land Raider Achilles - Your land raider on steroid with 2 twin multi-meltas and a massive soulburner bombard that has a range of 48" with 2D3 shots. Not only is it capable of dealing massive damage and mortal wounds, it has an inbuilt 4++ which can be buffed to a 3++ if you cast Weaver of Fates on it. You WILL lose friends playing it this way as I don't have to remind you twice how much of a pain in the arse a land raider with a 3++ is to get rid of. The only downsides are its increased cost and very limited transport capacity (6 infantry models).
- Hellforged Land Raider Proteus - For a bit more points you get a LR with some fantastic additional abilities. Standard loadout but it can eat enemy units in combat to regain a wound on a 5+. You can choose to take an upgrade called Accursed Phylactery which lowers the transport size to 6, but gives you -1 ld to all enemy units within 9" as well as any unit Deep Striking within 12" must roll a D6 and on a 1 or a 2 suffers D3 mortal wounds. Interesting for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
- Hellforged Scorpius - Chaos finally gets a Whirlwind! Scorpius Multi-Launcher is going to do work at 48" Heavy 3D3 S6 AP-2 D2, shoot targets you cannot see. Can also get a Havoc Launcher, but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game and shooting. Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, may fire twice in the next shooting phase if it did not move!!! This is going to be a Chaos MVP for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
- Hellforged Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; it has a Malignatas Beam Laser, which is AP-5, Damage 2D6 and you roll 3d6 vs the target's Ld to wound. It has Undying Hatred, which lets it roll a 4th dice (discarding the lowest) to the Malignatas wound roll if it kills any model.
Lord of War
- Magnus the Red - Magnus is definitely a beast, there is no doubt about that: 18 wounds, strength 8, toughness 7, 3+ armor and 4++. His Blade of Magnus is Sx2 AP-4 D3 and turns characters it kills into spawn (which you need to pay reinforcement points for.) Gets a bonus +2 to casting and deny which decreases with damage taken; that said, with Cabalistic Focus that shoots up to a +4, which may as well be an auto-harness in most situations. His Gaze of Magnus now buffs up his smites to D6 mortal wounds or 2D6 mortal wounds if you get a result higher than 11 (still a little bit more difficult to obliterate a whole terminator unit in 1 shot). He also spreads a re-roll hits of 1 and reroll any 1's rolled during a psychic test, to friendly Thousand Sons units within 9" of him. He can roll a D6 whenever he suffers a mortal wound caused by perils of the warp, on a 2+ he ignores the wound effectively giving him immunity to perils. Expect people to dump a lot of firepower into him very early to try and bring him down, as he is truly a terror if allowed to go unanswered and even worse if he gets a chance to buff himself up first.
- Surround him with Scarab Terminators or Rubric Marines though, and he's an amazing force multiplier. On the other hand, that's a waste of his close combat potential and you have plenty of other psykers to put on buffing duty. If you're using that setup, have him fly in first and then use him as an anchor for the Terminators so he can still contribute to the battle directly, as opposed to sitting on his crimson ass half the game.
- Has access to THREE psychic tables for a total of 18 powers (6 Discipline of Tzeentch powers, 6 Dark Hereticus Discipline powers, and 6 Discipline of Change powers) to pick from plus smite.
- Magnus can take Weaver of Fates to relive the glory days of having a 3++ invuln save, Glamour of Tzeentch to impose penalties against attackers, Gaze of Fate for free rerolls that don't require CP to use, and Temporal Manipulation to keep his health up far enough to keep damage tables from kicking in. Whichever ones he doesn't take, make sure somebody else does and have that guy cast it on Magnus. Diabolic Strength is also good on Magnus since it gives him 8 STRENGTH 20 AP-4 DAMAGE 3 ATTACKS!!! (Kind of hilarious when you consider that he's punching harder than a freaking titan but only beating the average damage of a vanilla mortal commisar with a power fist by 1 point)
- Offensively, you have a good amount of options available that Magnus is more likely to pull off than your other units in addition to Smite. The most notable of these are Death Hex for stripping invulnerable saves, Infernal Gateway for hitting several units at once (and with his bonus, the extra damage is also more likely to trigger), and Doombolt for crippling units that rely on their speed.
- Warptime, when combined with his high movement, gives him a guaranteed turn 1 charge. With +2 to cast, the chances of it failing are slim at best.
- Consider reserving some points in your list for summoning in the Changeling (not hard to summon at PL 5) and keeping him close to Big Red. Magnus, as a daemon, can benefit from the Changeling's +6 feel no pain aura, making it harder for your opponent to blow Magnus off the table before he wrecks half their army single-handedly. That said, even with that and all his potential psychic buffs Magnus is still at risk of going down simply because of how much firepower your opponent will dedicate to getting rid of him. There's no shame in cutting your losses when that happens and making sure he brings down as many foes as he can before he's beaten.
- Having at least one Mutalith Vortex Beast can be useful at times. The best buff would be the +1 strength, but having the -1LD makes it easier for enemy units to fail morale tests. Having several close by can turn him into a complete monster, and the wounds they can cause will soften enemy units up to get wrecked by Magnus.
- Or consider the Mutalith's -1 AP buff on top of Magnus' already-beastly AP -4 sword. Combine that with Death Hex, and the only chance the enemy has not to get auto-Spawned is some kind of save-after-the-save (which, sadly, the wretched Death Guard are lousy with).
- Chaos Sokar Pattern Stormbird Gunship - Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points and tangible money alike, it can ferry the entire army onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields.
- Chaos Thunderhawk Assault Gunship
- Hellforged Cerberus Heavy Destroyer - Jesus, this thing is expensive but nasty. So on top of the rules we've seen for the other Hellforged tanks, this beast sports T9, 22 wounds, a 2+ save and can always shoot or charge even when falling back. It also hits at S8 from its infernal hunger and rolls D6 for its containment breach mortal wounds (2D3 against psykers). It can take two heavy bolters or lascannons for sponsons and havoc launcher or combi-weapon for the pintle blah blah blah - let's talk about that FUCKHUEG gun sticking out of the front of it. It slings 4 shots down a 6 foot range with AP-6 and dealing an eye-watering 5-10D per shot (aka, 4+D6). The fun part however is how it wounds - it doesn't have a strength characteristic but instead, you roll 3D6 and compare against your target's leadership; if you equal or exceed that value, the target is wounded. This means that on average, you will wound ANYTHING in the game, which then takes an average 7 damage at -6 to their armour. Oh hey, if you kill anything with this tank in the previous turn with any of your guns, you get to roll 4D6 and choose the highest 3. Obviously, wipe something weak and then focus fire on trouble spots.
- Hellforged Fellblade - Incredibly expensive, even more so due to the Chapter Approved points Hike it got, but still the Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin, main cannon fires shells in 2 flavors, AE (your anti-everything shell), 2 shots strength 14 AP -4 and a flat rate of 6 damage per wound whatever you hit with this shell type will die. HE is anti-light/anti-MEQ with 2d6 shots strength 8 ap -3, one damage per shot makes it worthless for TEQ killing, 8 lascannons, 1 demolisher cannon and a twin heavy bolter round the arsenal out (not including your choice of combi-weapon or havoc launcher goodness), all-in all, keep this beast at around 48" range to get the most use out of at least half its weapons, good take for non-apocalypse games just don't expect to be having the room for any other expensive units.
- Hellforged Falchion - Incredibly expensive, but appears to be one of the best units in the game for deleting titanic targets (I imagine daemon primarchs too, before they're able to buff themselves, should you get first turn). 2d6 strength 16 shots, -5 AP, 2d6 damage. It'll wound anything T8 or lower on 2's, and the few T9 targets out there on 3's. Have a Sorc buff it with Prescience and keep a lord/DP around to re-roll 1's to make the target's death all but a foregone conclusion. 2 quad lascannons = 8 lascannon shots, plus a hull twin heavy bolter add to its already impressive firepower.
- Hellforged Mastodon - Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in.
- Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank - Your super LR sadly got moved to the LOW slot, however it's not letting that get it down! T8, W20, Sv2+ and holding 25 Infantry it's going to deliver a lot of
painthurt. Between 12-20w it moves 10", dumping down to 5" at 6-11 and 3" at 1-5... it will likely delivery the payload without fail. Has Quad Lascannons or Two Laser Destroyers (you will want the Lascannons) and Twin heavy bolters. Can eat things in melee and on a 5+ it gains a wound back. At the end of the movement phase when units have disembarked from it, you have to roll a d6. On the roll of a 1, one model from the disembarking unit is slain (chosen by controlling player). OUCH! Didn't think you would get the super LR without a drawback did you? At least the rules let you count the dead guy towards your 5+ heal. It also can Fall Back and Shoot/Charge still. Has Containment Breach when it blows up, causing D6 mortal wounds on units within 2d6", or if it's a psyker, 2d3 mortal wounds instead. It's hard to say if this is really worth it to take, you should probably just reach for a Kharybdis instead...
- Hellforged Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Your tank for when you absolutely need 1 unit dead. It comes stock with the infamous Dreadhammer Siege Cannon that dishes out 2d6 S10 AP -5 shots that each do 3 wounds on a failed save, starting at 2+ to hit. The randomness of the number of shots makes it ok at best for dealing with squads that are 10 man or more, but that shouldn't be your priority with this thing. You want to be shooting and those special prize units of 5 or fewer models or rival tanks. This brings us to our next point, wargear. It may also bring Heavy Bolter or Lascannon sponsons and you can give it a Havoc Launcher (if you have the points, just take the Lascannons). Its no slouch defensively either T9, 22 wounds, and a 2+ save will keep it on the board far longer than your enemy will be comfortable with. Oh and it regenerates wounds from Close Combat.
The Crimson King
The short and sweet of this tactic is easily summed up in these two words, BUFF MAGNUS!!! So take Magnus and take Ahriman on disc and either daemon princes or exalted sorcer of disc and make sure he has +1 to his psyker powers from your warlord trait. Then give Magnus all the buffs and debuffs possible from powers (-1 to enemy hits, better invulnerable save, diabolic strength, healing if hurt, if fighting Imperium armies give him prescience for DttFE on a 5+, and Boon of Change) then give +2 to Magnus' already +2 from Cabalistic focus and throw smite up the board at the nearest unit and then warp time him up the board and have him also cast as many mortal wounds as possible and then charge whats still standing. Wash, rinse repeat till either Magnus is dead or you've won
Beastmen, Beastmen Everywhere
Take an Exalted Sorcerer on Disc Warlord with High Magister (Why not just take Ahriman?), Prescience, and Glamour of Tzeentch; take a Tzaangor Shaman with Weaver of Fates. Add Tzaangor Enlightened. The net result is that the Enlightened passively re-roll 1s to hit from the Sorcerer and add +1 to hit from the Shaman, meaning they normally hit with 35/36 accuracy (and wound on 5+ to hit!), before interacting with any debuffs. You've also brought powers for bringing the Enlightened up to 4++, inflicting -1 to hit on their attackers (which will stack with the Locus), and Prescience.... which seems ridiculous, since their accuracy can't be improved any further. The reason for that is that Guided by Fate, the passive on Enlightened that lets them auto-wound, is based on a 6+ to hit - with both the Shaman and Prescience, that's now a 4+ to hit to autowound.
Fully spooled up, a maximum unit of Tzaangor Enlightened with Greatbows is looking at making 18 attacks; 17.5 should hit, with 10.5 immediately wounding. The remaining 7 are S5, so even against T6-9, that's 12.83 wounds. Against a 2+ save, 4.28 should make it through! None of the abilities being used are melee or shooting specific, so this will work with Divining Spears, but not quite as well, because Enlightened can natively Fall Back and Shoot, but can't natively Fall Back and Charge. Don't forget, Guided by Fate is not weapon specific - you can charge your Greatbows into melee, and they'll still wound a lot (with the downside of lacking any AP or high Damage), particularly since the ability works on their Disc attacks, too. You can replace the Exalted Sorcerer with Magnus, who can take Warptime, which will make all of your psychic powers more reliable and the entire deathball faster, but you'll need a new unit to pay the HQ tax on the Enlightened. If you do so, you should pay for Webway Infiltration on some Tzaangor Blade Tzaangors. The obvious choice for the new HQ is a Daemon Prince with 2x Malefic Talons, Wings, Diabolic Strength, and Gaze of Fate - Gaze of Fate will give you better than even odds on the Tzaangors making the charge. Put a Dark Matter Crystal on him, and he can teleport himself or your Tzaangor troops when needed; take Aetherstride to shove him into melee faster, or stick with High Magister to keep his buffs more reliable.
The good news is that you can scale this - the really critical piece is stacking the re-roll 1s to hit with +1 from the Shaman; even without Prescience, the maximum unit mentioned above still inflicts 7 automatic wounds, meaning it still puts 3.5 wounds on a Land Raider. That means you can a) rearrange the psychic powers as you like, and b) safely take two more units of Enlightened, if you're kitting out an Outrider Detachment, or take 1 more Enlightened and 2 more Elites (probably Helbrutes) for a Vanguard, or 1 more Enlightened and 3 more Heavies (probably Forgefiends) for a Spearhead. The glaring flaw, of course, is taking out heavy targets (which the Magnus/Prince combo does help address), so make sure you fill out the rest of your points with solutions for that - you'll ignore Toughness fine, but high armor+wounds will take more work.
You can buff this up even more by adding in a Mutalith Vortex Beast who can cast Ephemeral Touch on the Enlightened to give them -1 ap.
We Beastman now! ME SMASH!
Almost offensively obvious but here we go: Winged Daemon Prince Warlord with Aetherstride, Dark Matter Crystal, two sets of malefic talons, Gaze of Fate, and Demonic Strength. 2x20 Tzaangors with Tzaangor Blades and Brayhorn. A Heldrake with Baleflamer, and some other psyker with Warptime and Gaze of Fate. Use Webway Infiltration (3CP) on the Tzaangor units. Deploy and move your units across the table. Drop the two Webway Tzaangors 9.001" away from the enemy. Use Dark Matter Crystal on the bearer). Place him alongside his Beastman. Use Warptime to get your Heldrake in, and Gaze of Fate. CHAAAARRRGEEE! BLOOD FOR THE ...Oh, wait. Wrong Chaos god. But you get the point.
- Without any additional buffs, your odds of making these charges are 41.67% for the Tzaangor units, 47.84% for the Daemon Prince, and 72.22% for the Heldrake; you can spend CP on re-rolling to raise the Tzaangors to 65.97%. You have a 72.22% chance of having Gaze of Fate available to help with the charges, but that's unreliable as hell, since you can flub Gaze of Flame, and even if you don't, the re-roll might not help.
- Since you are completely based on a first turn Alpha Strike, if you fail your charge, all your units are exposed and probably at Rapid Fire Range. Basing your strategy on a single move is NOT a good idea if most of your units can be brought down in one hit.
- Let the Heldrake charge first and tie up those torrent flamers.
- Instead of the Drake (or in addition to it) Magnus might be used.
- Add a second HQ and a unit of Cultists for +3CP and backfield objective camping.
- Add Alpha Legion detachment. Infiltrate whatever you feel like: Berserkers? Possessed? Warpflamer Rubrics? Maybe bring some Obliterators and/or Terminators too?
One of the new tactics you can employ thanks to the release of Ritual of the Damned. Sick of that Tau, Guard, or Iron Hands player sitting in his castle every game? Take a Daemon Prince in a Cult of Magic detachment. Give him the new Cult of Magic WLT Devastating Sorcery, the new Relic Arcane Focus for a +1 to his psychic tests, and use Cabalistic Focus for +3. For this Daemon Prince from Hell, you'll want to take the psychic powers Infernal Gateway (WC8) from the Tzeentch discipline, Astral Blast (WC6) from Cult of Magic, and Gaze of Fate for insurance. Use any means at your disposal, whether it's the Dark Matter Crystal(You cannot actually use DMC on a DPoT unless he is the bearer.... In which case he does not have Arcane Focus so take your pick between mobility and more reliable Psychic tests), or Warptime slingshot, or whatnot to get him in position. Pick a really juicy target, particularly any large screen that could be within 3" of multiple enemy assets. Drone, Guardsmen, whatever. Cast everything: At +3 Infernal Gateway has a 83.3% chance of going off (27.8% chance of double MWs), Astral blast 97.2%, and Super Smite goes off at 41.7%. Thanks to the wording of Devastating Sorcery in the rulebook, not only is the main target taking an extra Mortal Wound with every power, so is every unit around him. Watch your target get obliterated by the blast of D6 + D3 + 2 Mortal Wounds, and everything 3" around him suffering D3+3, giving you a good chance of outright killing Characters caught in the blast, obliterating drones and putting a big hole in your opponent's castle to exploit. Keep your Daemon Prince screened and repeat until he is dead, and ignore any perils with a CP.
A second delivery option is a Terminator Sorcerer with a chaos familiar, he is cheaper than a DPoT and can deepstrike innately. You will however have to use the Chaos Familiar stratagem to gain access to infernal gateway so you trade some pts for CP depending on your needs, with a familiar his first cast of the phase will be at +4 if you managed to pull this off and have him in range for Cabalistic Focus. You can also give him Boon of Mutation and hope for the +1 to cast. While by no means reliable, it will give you a chance of +5.
The Psychic Phase Belongs to me and me Alone!
If you want to prove to all of your (former)friends that the Thousand Sons are the undisputed masters of the psychic phase, then take 2 Thousand Sons detachments, make one of them Cult of Change for the Capricious Crest relic, make the other Cult of Mutation for the Attempted Possession psychic power, take a small detachment of Tzeentch Demons and squeeze in the blue scribes... The net result is -1 to psychic tests while within 12" of the scribes, another -2 to a psyker of your choice via attempted possession for a total of -3, change any 6's they get to ones via Capricious Crest and to top things off they lose access to any powers they fail while within range of the scribes for the duration of the battle, since you've unlocked chaos demon stratagems by including a Chaos Demons detachment... Sprinkle demonic possession as desired.
If you don't mind going multi-god, Fiends of Slaanesh have ANOTHER -1 to enemy Psychic tests, on top of locking enemy units in melee, and the Burning Chariot can take Chanting Horrors, giving you a total of -3 to cast from Daemons alone, -5 on the chosen character. Have fun as most powers will auto-fail.
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