Finally, after so many editions (I think the last was 3.5 Edition?), we can finally bring the Thousand Sons Legion back to the tabletop again in all their psychic glory. They are my favorite Space Marine Legion because of the really awesome fluff (thanks to the cool novels penned by Graham McNeill) and also because they're Sorcerer-Soldiers that can wield arcane psychic powers. Grey Knights? Pftt. Nope, the Thousand Sons is where you want your psychic Space Marines. In fact, Grey Knights were created when Games Workshop decided that they wanted a really cool psychic-based Space Marine chapter, but realized to their horror that the only psyker Space Marine Legion had fallen to Chaos. So they created Grey Knights. The Grey Knights are merely ripoffs of the real badass Psykers, the Thousand Sons. That's why you can field these bad boys on the tabletop and laugh at your opponent's Grey Knights as those silver Thousand Sons wannabes get rolled over in the psychic phase by your awesome Chaos dudes.
Additionally, the Thousand Sons have the coolest battle-cry ever (though it's more of a battle-whisper than a battle-cry). "All is dust." Just saying it out loud sends chills down my spine.
|Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill. Get it. No, seriously, it's an awesome Horus Heresy novel, one of the best.|
Why play Thousand Sons
Do you even need to ask? Sorcerer-super soldiers. Let's not bring the monster that is Magnus into the list yet - just the Exalted Sorcerers alone will dominate the entire pyschic phase by themselves. Their default weaponry are anti-MEQ with AP3 Inferno bolts, they have cool psychic powers (um...well, mostly), almost all your standard units including the Tzaangors have invulnerable saves which can be improved with the Mark of Tzeentch and Blessing of Tzeentch (if you cast a blessing on your dudes), and the models are very, very beautiful. A bunch of Sorcerers flying around on Discs of Tzeentch and spamming Witchfire and an assortment of psychic powers is just awesome. Not to mention they have access to a pretty wide range of psychic disciplines, making them flexible. Well, the downside is that they all have to take at least one power from the Tzeentch discipline, which drastically reduces your chance of getting the powers you want for the specific discipline you have in mind.
The biggest reason, though, is the fluff. Their fluff is awesome. That's all the reason you need.
Thousand Sons Special Rules
Any Detachment with the Chaos Space Marines Faction can be from the Thousand Sons, who retain the Chaos Space Marines Faction and treated as such. So...you remain Battle Brothers with Chaos Daemons, and Space Marines and Loyalist Legions who have Hatred against Chaos Space Marines still have Hatred against you. You're just a specific Chaos Space Marine Legion, that's all, but that doesn't exclude you from belonging to the Chaos Space Marine Faction.
On the other hand, if you choose to be specifically Thousand Sons, you have sweet bonuses. Sure, you can't take any Unique units other than Ahriman and Magnus the Red, and all units that can take the Mark of Tzeentch must do so (a hefty 15 points per unit, ugh), and your Daemon Princes must all be Daemons of Tzeentch, but the bonuses you receive outweigh those restrictions.
All your units get Veterans of the Long War for free. Yes, you read that right. Free. Okay, it's just 5 points, but if you've plenty of units, it'll add up. Your Sorcerers can also choose to generate all of their psychic powers from the Discipline of Tzeentch if you so desire, and considering that you've got some awesome new powers in addition to the beloved Doombolt, I don't see why not. The only two useless powers are the Primaris, which you'll get for free and outside of your Mastery Levels anyway because of Psychic Focus, and Boon of Mutation (which will turn your Rubric Marine into Chaos Spawn), so you've a great chance of getting the other awesome powers with the other 2 mastery levels (if you choose to upgrade your psykers to Mastery Level 3 - and you should!).
You also have the Blessing of Tzeentch, which bumps up the invulnerable saves of a unit by 1 whenever it's affected by a blessing (Boon of Mutation counts too), and your Veterans of the Long War can re-roll failed To Hit rolls in every round of close combat against Space Wolves while they have Hatred against the Thousand Sons because they have a Blood Feud. Okay, now that's not so good considering you don't want your Psykers to be locked in combat against melee orientated Space Wolves who will rip your poor Rubric Marines to shreds. Ugh. Not to mention, it's pretty pointless because you already have Hatred (Space Marines) from the Veterans of the Long War in the first place, so unnecessary. Unless you're relying on units like Maulerfiends or Chaos Cultists to get that Hatred because they don't have Veterans of the Long War, and they'll still get ripped apart in close combat by Space Wolves anyway. Derp. Thanks to the Legacy of the Rubricae benefit, you can also take Rubric Marines as Troops instead of Elites, and you have access to Chaos Artifacts of the Thousand Sons (more on that later) which are pretty cool. And you have a better Warlord Traits table. Yay.
Mark of Tzeentch
This gives your unit +1 to his invulnerable save. Hell, yeah. And if you're taking the standard Thousand Sons units like Rubric Marines, Scarab Occult Terminators and Exalted Sorcerers, they already come with it included in their points cost, so don't worry about it and enjoy that 3++ invulnerable save (stacks with Blessing of Tzeentch)!
Arrogance of Aeons: Gives your Warlord Adamantium Will and he can re-roll a single dice each time he Denies the Witch. Can be powerful against fellow Psyker armies, but if you're up against say, Tau, or Adeptus Mechanicus (Skitarii, Cult Mechanicus, Imperial Knights, etc.), this is pretty much useless.
Undying Form: Eternal Warrior. Hell yeah! Now we're talking. Your Exalted Sorcerer has 3 wounds, this is going to make sure he doesn't get Instant Death-ed by Battle Cannons, Demolisher Cannons and other S8 and above weapons!
Aetherstride: Your Warlord and his unit can charge without caring about difficult terrain. No slow, no reduction to Initiative, etc. Awesome, especially if you deck your Exalted Sorcerer out with Seer's Bane and turn him into a melee monster. Will be useful, especially when used for Monstrous Creatures hunting.
Lord of Forbidden Lore: Your Warlord gets an additional psychic power. Hell, yeah! Great trait! Gives you a better chance of grabbing that additional psychic power you always wanted!
Walker of the Webway: Your Warlord and his unit can Deep Strike, or if they can already Deep Strike, they don't scatter. Awesome. This can make for some interesting shennigans.
Lord of Flux: Enemy units within 12" of your Warlord treat all terrain as difficult terrain, and they must take dangerous terrain tests when Running, Turbo-boosting, moving Flat Out or charging. Hmm, interesting. I guess this can be useful, especially to discourage charging or denying an Objective.
Icon of Flame: Uh, Soulblaze to bolt weapons and only bolt weapons. No point taking it. Seriously.
Gift of Mutation: Uh...a free roll on the Boon Table that thankfully ignores Chaos Spawn rolls. But you can't turn your guy into a Daemon Prince in power armor either. Risky, because there's a chance those 10 points you spent will gain you absolutely nothing in return (Better luck next time!), so...pass.
Spell Familiar: A must-take for your Exalted Sorcerers and Sorcerers because it allows you to re-roll Psychic tests. No, seriously. If you're bringing a Psyker, make sure he has this. Just do it. You'll thank me later.
Disc of Tzeentch: A flying disc that grants the bearer a jetbike and +1 attack. Pretty cool, allows your dude to zip around the table grabbing objectives or charge into whatever tasty victim that's waiting for you to squash him with your Force Stave.
- Power Sword: What do you expect? User's Strength, but at least gives him AP3, but that's about it.
- Chainsword/close combat weapons: Nothing. Seriously, nothing. Your dudes get an extra attack for having two close combat weapons or a chainsword and autopistol, but that's about it. No AP, no bonus to Strength, nothing.
- Force Stave: A weapon to stave off Loyalists. Okay, bad joke. Gives +2 Strength, AP 4, Concussive and best of all it's a Force weapon. Meaning your Sorcerer/Aspiring Sorcerer/Exalted Sorcerer can cast Force and Instant Death your enemy while giving you that +1 to your invulnerable save because it counts as a blessing - just cast it when you have leftover Warp Charges even if you're not planning on charging your unit into close combat. Trust me, you'll want that extra +1 to your save.
- Autopistol: No. Just no. Nobody cares about a 12" S3 AP- shot. Does give your Tzaangors shooting options and doesn't deprive them of their bonus +1 to attack thanks to pistol counting as a close combat weapon in that aspect, but spending 10 points upgrading your entire squad of budget Tzaangors (30 if you've 3 squads) doesn't seem like a good idea.
- Inferno boltgun/bolt pistol: Both are S4 AP3, meant to kill Space Marines and their equivalents, but the boltgun has 24" range and rapid fire while the bolt pistol is stuck at 12" range but does grant that +1 to attack. Um...yay? It might not matter much because your enemies will be hiding in cover far away, but it's better to force them to make 4+ saves than 3+ saves.
- Inferno combi-bolter: Your Terminator weapons, they're also S4 AP3, meant to terminate Space Marines and their equivalents, and like the boltgun has 24" and Rapid Fire. However, they're also twin-linked, all the better to make sure you don't miss those AP3 shots. Yay.
- Warpflame pistol: Unless you're facing hordes, don't bother. S3 AP5 for 5 extra points is not worth it. As a template, it does have its uses, ignoring cover and still granting that +1 attack, but that S3 and AP5 will hurt it, especially with the Warpflame rule allowing your victims to gain Feel No Pain (6+) when they pass their Toughness test. Well, considering you're using it on T3 targets, you do have 50% chance of actually inflicting D3 wounds with no armor or cover saves allowed, so it's not so bad. Again, as I said, depends on the hordes. Just don't use it on Space Marines and their equivalents.
- Warpflamer: Now we're talking. A template weapon (which means Ignores Cover) wiith S4 AP4, you can pretty much equip your entire squad of Rubric Marines with them and watch your enemies cry when they get caught out of cover. As with Warpflame Pistol, beware of accidentally granting them Feel No Pain, but of you have 4 (or 8, because there's no such thing as overkill when it comes to purging these xenos and Loyalist scum) templates dropping on a horde, you'll be dishing out so much AP4 damage they'll die before they can take that Toughness test. Theoretically, anyway.
- Heavy warpflamer: A beefed up warpflamer from above, this time with S5 AP3 to make sure Space Marines and their equivalents stay dead. Template means Ignores Cover, but as with the other Warpflame weapons, make sure you kill all of them before they take the Toughness test. Otherwise an excellent weapon to barbeque hordes hiding cowardly in cover, even if they have power armor.
- Soulreaper cannon: 24" assault cannon, with lower strength and AP - S5 AP3, if you want to be specific. Has 4 Rending shots, so let it rip. On the pricey side, though, but generally worth it, especially if you take a 10-men Rubric Marine squad. Do it. That's an order.
- Hellfyre Missile Rack: Your standard missile launcher, but shoots 2 S8 AP3 missiles instead of 1. Awesome. Can make for anti-tank or anti-vehicle weapons in a pinch, and Instant Death Space Marines and their equivalents.
Chaos Artifacts are pretty awesome, even if they have that element of risk to them, and the Thousand Sons' inventory have some impressive stuff. Most of them are worth taking, if you have the points, because they provide quite the nice bonuses.
Unique Characters' Chaos Artifacts
The Black Staff of Ahriman: Allows our dear chap Ahriman to use the same witchfire power up to 3 times in the same Psychic Phase. So if you roll Doombolt, you can spam it 3 times with him. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Oh, and it also gives him +2 Strength and AP4 in melee combat, and counts as a Force weapon so you can Instant Death any Monstrous Creature you want.
The Blade of Magnus: The Blade of Madness...ahem, I mean Magnus is an awesome weapon that lets Magnus use it at his own S7, but grants him AP2 (which he gets anyway since he's a Flying Monstrous Creature and automatically gets Smash!), Force, Soul Blaze and Transmogify. What's Transmogify? Well, if you roll a 6, it automatically becomes Instant Death (if you haven't casted Force already) and turns your dead victim into a Chaos Spawn under your control. Yes, you read that right. AWESOME.
Crown of the Crimson King: Grants Magnus the Red a 4++ invulnerable save and an immunity to Perils of the Warp. Awesome.
Chaos Artifacts available for us mortals
Astral Grimoire: This. This so much. The bearer or any infantry unit within 12" of the bearer becimes Jump infantry. Stick an Exalted Sorcerer carrying this into a Terminator squad and watch them jump 12". Most people will suggest Warpsmith and his Obliterators in the Cult of Destruction formation for Jump Obliterators, but I'm all about fluff. Sorry. I'm sticking with Jump Scarab Occult Terminators.
Seer's Bane: A Daemon weapon - in other words add +D6 attacks, but risky because a roll of one will automatically wound the wielder with no armor and cover saves allowed (invulnerable saves are allowed, though, and you've got quite the high one!), and to add insult to injury the wielder is reduced to WS1 for one Fight Phase. Oh boy. On the other hand, it has quite the profile - yeah, Strength is user's, but it doesn't matter because of its ability, Bane of Wisdom. Against non-vehicle targets, you basically use your Leadership value as your Strength (S10 for Exalted Sorcerers!) and the target's Leadership value as his Toughness. It's also a Force weapon, so Instant Death is still possible, not to mention you use his normal Toughness to check for Instant Death (and you've S10 here!). I haven't mentioned the AP2 yet, have I? Yes, this monstrous weapon has AP2. So all your Terminator armor is useless against this. Awesome, and can be used to utterly destroy even Gargantuan Creatures such as Wraithknights in melee combat.
Helm of the Third Eye: If you want to stick a Sorcerer into your Rubric Marine squad, you should take this. It grants units with Slow and Purposeful (in other words, Rubric Marines) the ability to Overwatch, and if they're Fast and Accidental, they can fire Overwatch at BS2 instead. Cool.
Staff of Arcane Compulson: A cheap artifact that is also Force, grants +2 Strength, AP4, Concussive...wait a second, so it's a Force Stave? Yeah. A Force Stave with an extra ability, Repelling Sweep, that forces charging enemy units to subtract 2 from their charge roll. Not too bad and has its uses.
Coruscator: Um, a magical pistol with Soul Blaze, Blast at S4 AP3 and 12". Generally not worth it, I think.
Athenaean Scrolls: A useful artifact that, if the bearer successfully casts a psychic spell that has 2 or more dice of the same number, it cannot be stopped and denied. Basically, no Deny the Witch for your opponent. Very useful, especially if you're casting expensive spells like Treason of Tzeentch and want it to absolutely go off.
|Who's the best Psykers in the Imperium? That's right - we are! ...except that we're cast out of the Imperium...|
Well, being Thousand Sons with the Mark of Tzeentch, some may say we've gotten the short end of the stick because we're forced to take at least one power from the Discipline of Tzeentch. The bright side is that if you've always wanted your Sorcerer or Ahriman to be an all-Tzeentch psyker, your prayers to the Dark Gods have been answered. You can choose to generate all your powers from the Discipline of Tzeentch now! But if you want variety, then there is a lot of other psychic powers available for you to explore. I'm sure Biomancy, Daemonology (Malefic), Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis and Telepathy have already been covered and can be found in the Rulebook, so I'll just cover Tzeentch, Ectomancy, Geomortis, Heretech and Sinistrum because they all conveniently appear in Wrath of Magnus.
Discipline of Tzeentch
First of all we have the main discipline for the Thousand Sons, and the compulsory power. Take note, even though you're forced to generate at least one power from this Discipline, you automatically get the Primaris for free thanks to Chaos Psychic Focus. On the other hand, the Primaris is pretty much useless, so too bad.
Primaris: Tzeentch's Firestorm: Warp Charge 1, a 24" witchfire that fires S D6+1, Assault 1, Blast, Inferno. The randomized strength makes it too unreliable, and even if you roll 6 and get S7, it's pointless if your opponent makes an armor save against the AP- attack. And that's assuming you didn't scatter your blast off to the void. Basically, try not to cast this spell unless you're feeling really lucky.
1: Boon of Mutation: Uh...another terrible power. Sure, the boons might be sweet, but you're likely to roll and get absolutely nothing (Better luck next time!) or accidentally turn your poor Character into Chaos Spawn. Yes, well, you can only cast it on a Character, after all. Generally, not worth the risk, especially when you're forced to re-roll the moment you think you can transform your Character into a Daemon Prince in power armor, only to realize that turning him into Chaos Spawn doesn't grant that re-roll. Just...don't risk it.
2: Doombolt: Now this is the power you want. Because it's awesome, and quite frankly because it's Doombolt. Even the name is cool. A S8 AP1 beam that allows you to roll 2D6 to determine the range of the explosion when you roll an Explodes! result? Yes, please. Best of all, it only costs 1 Warp Charge. This is the premier, the one and only, and the signature Tzeentch power, and you definitely want to roll on this badass power.
3: Siphon Magic: At 1 Warp Charge, this isn't a bad power by any means. In fact, it can be pretty useful. It allows you to accumulate Warp Charges whenever a friendly Psyker within 18" successfully casts a psychic power (the Warp Charges can only be used by this particular Psyker that's blessed by it though). This can come in handy especially if you use the Thousand Sons Grand Coven that gives you the benefit of allowing your Psykers to manifest an additional psychic power, so even if your dude is Mastery Level 1 and just cast this spell, you can at least cast the Primaris to try your luck (since you've nothing to lose) or Force. Even if there's no other Psykers around, you can at least grant yourself that +1 invulnerable save thanks to this being a blessing.
4: Breath of Chaos: A breath of fresh air, uh, I mean corrption that's a template witchfire. Don't be fooled by its super-low Strength (only 1!?), this power wounds on 4+ because of Poison, and glances vehicles on a 4+. And with template, that means you can hit multiple targets if they're all bunched up together. Costs 2 warp charges, but its utility is undeniable. Yes, 1d4chan prefers Doombolt, but even Doombolt only has 1/6 chance of glancing that AV14 Land Raider. Your Breath of Chaos has 50% chance - three times more likely - of glancing that AV14 Land Raider.
5: Baleful Devotion: Focussed witchfire with 18", S6 AP2 and Assault D6. Awesome. Best is its rule, Transmorgify, which if you remember big bad Magnus's blade earlier, causes Instant Death on a roll of 6 and turns your victim into Chaos Spawn under your control. Awesome.
6: Treason of Tzeentch: Pretty pricey at Warp Charge 3, but you control any enemy non-vehicle unit within 24" and have them shoot at their own allies. Awesome. After the treacherous shooting, they must then take a pinning test. Hah! And take note, it's UNIT, not models. So you can control a whole unit of say, grav-centurions, and have them wreck havoc on the Terminator Deathstar that's approaching you. Muahahahaha! Just as planned.
Special: Gaze of Magnus: A power available only to Magnus, and just as well because it costs 5 Warp Charges, it's a Strength D A1 beam with Soul Blaze. DESTROY! Well, if you're not bringing Magnus, then ignore this because you'll never be able to roll on it. I wish they'll replace Boon of Mutation or the Primaris with this. Ugh.
A pretty sinister discipline that possesses both offensive and defensive powers, you can't go wrong with this. Some of the powers are situational, yes, but the Primaris, the other offensive power and Blessings are awesome.
Primaris: Fury of the Gods: Hell hath no fury like a God scorned. A witchfire that has 18", S5 AP3, but is a blast. Not too bad, can deal with Space Marines and their equivalents as long as you don't scatter too badly. It's pretty cheap at 1 Warp Charge, so spam it if you can. A pretty useful and neat offensive psychic power.
1: Warp Fate: Psyker and his unit can re-roll all failed saving throws. One word: awesome. Doubly so if you manage to snag this for your Thousand Sons Sorcerers. Not only do you get to re-roll all failed saving throws, this being a blessing means that you get that +1 to your invulnerable save. Cast it on your Exalted Sorcerer and the unit of Scarab Occult Terminators that he joined, and laugh very loudly as they shrug off almost everything your opponent throws at them. Costs 2 Warp Charges though, but worth every psychic energy.
2: Empyragheist: The other offensive spell of Sinistrum, this one is a beam that stretches for 20", and is S6 AP4 with Pinning. Granted, it's not Doombolt, but if you roll this instead of Warp Fate, you can either stick with this for high strength shots or replace it with the Primaris for anti Marine and their equivalents. Not ideal, but not too bad either. More reliable than Tzeentch's Firestorm, at least.
3: Armor of Hatred: Awesome blessing that grants all friendly units within 12" of the Psyker Fearless and Adamantium Will. Wait, what? Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators are already Fearless, and so is your Exalted Sorcerer. Uh, whoops. Well, at least you get Adamantium Will, and a 4++ invulnerable save against any wichfire powers. What's that? Oh, right, your Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators already have a 4++ invulnerable save against everything. At least this costs only 1 Warp Charge, and pulling it off will net you a 3++ invulnerable save, so maybe consider keeping it if you don't have any other blessing (and it's better than Force if you're not planning to charge anyone, because you at least have Adamantium Will).
4: Diabolic Strength: A blessing that adds 2 to the Psyker's Strength, Toughness, Initiative and Attacks. One word: awesome. If you get this, make full use of it and charge into your enemy!
5: Warp Lure: Targets an enemy Psyker within 24", your Psyker rolls 2 D6 and adds his Mastery Level to the highest result, while the other Psyker rolls 1 D6 and adds his Mastery level to his result. If the enemy Psyker's reslt is higher, nothing happens. But if you draw or have a higher result, then the target sfffers a Wound with no saves of any kind of allowed, and can only harness Warp Charges on rolls of 6s in his next Psychic Phase. If your result is at least 3 points higher, the poor enemy Psyker forgets a randomly chosen psychic power - for the rest of the game. Yowzah! Do take note that it's pretty situational, so if your opponent didn't bring any Psykers (Tau or Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus, Skitarri and Imperial Knights), this power is all but useless. Trade it for the Primaris.
6: Death Hex: An enemy unit within 24" suffers -2 to their invulnerable saves, but you can't make it worse than 6++. If your opponent is bringing stormshields, shield generators, void shields, etc. then this will be big. 2 Warp Charges, though. If not...well, I guess this will be useless. As I said, situational.
The Dark Mechanicum rises! Uh well, not the Dark Mechanicum per say, but this discipline is great for taking out enemy vehicles and buffing your own. So if your opponent is bringing an armored company of plenty of Imperial Knights, you might want to roll on this. I hope you brought tanks of your own, though, otherwise you'll be stuck with pointless vehicle buffing spells when you have no vehicles of your own.
Primaris: Corrupt Machine: An enemy vehicle within 18" is corrupted! Choose a weapon, you and your opponent roll off, and if he gets higher, nothing happens. If you draw, then the weapon you chose can only fire snap shots during your opponent's turn. If you win, you can shoot with that weapon at another enemy unit using that vehicle's BS, so pretty awesome. Especially when you consider it's only costs 1 Warp Charge! Grab that Thermal Cannon or Rapid-fire Battle Cannon on the enemy Imperial Knight and have it shoot at his own allies!
1: Boon of the Iron Beast: Blessing that allows a friendly vehicle within 24" to ignore all Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned damage results AND grants it Power of the Machine Spirit. If that vehicle already hs Power of the Machine Spirit, then its BS goes up by 1. Awesome. You still use it even if your Psyker is embarked on a transport, but obviously he can only target the vehicle he's riding on. Pretty cheap at 1 Warp Charge too.
2: Scrapcode Curse: A focussed witchfire that does D3 Strength 1 AP- Haywire hits to an enemy vehicle unit (yes, UNIT, not model) within 18" Hell, yeah. At 1 Warp Charge, this is a steal, especially if you roll hot and glance 3 hull points off that Imperial Knight!
3: Dark Invigoration: Target friendly vehicle within 24" recovers 1 Hull Point or has a Destroyed weapon repaired, or is no longer Immobilized. You pick. Not only that, it now has It Will Not Die. Awesome. And only 1 Warp Charge. Yes, pretty sweet. Again, your Psyker can cast this when embarked on a transport, but he can only target his transport. Well, makes sense. Stick him in a Land Raider and watch it never die! Literally!
4: Fleshmetal Hide: A bit more expensive at 2 Warp Charges, this adds 1 to all Armor Values (Front, Sides and Rear) of all models in one of your friendly vehicle units within 24". If your target isn't a vehicle, then that lucky squad of infantry all get +1 to their Toughness. All of them, yes. Again, if your Psyker is embarked on a transport, only his ride gets the benefit. And since AV15 exists, the Land Raider your Sorcerer is embarked on is nigh unkillable. YAY! Unless your opponent has plenty of Haywire, of course...
5: Electromortis: 18" Haywire beam. Cheap at 1 Warp Charge, won't do much by itself, but will at least glance one Hull Point off that vehicle, so not too bad either.
6: Flayerstorm: Focussed withfire that costs 2 Warp Charges and strips D3 Hull Points off an enemy vehicle unit within 18". That's not all! Additionally, for each Hull Point that vehicle loses, you can inflict D6 Strength 4 AP6 Rending shots - yes, RENDING - on another enemy unit within 12" of the target vehicle. You can choose different targets for each Hull Point lost if you wish, so awesome. Take note, because there is no shooting profile for this, your opponent cannot take any saves of any kinds. No cover saves, armor saves or invulnerable saves. Tough luck, dude. Just make sure you don't roll a 1 or 2. Take note that because there is no shooting profile, you can use this on zooming flyers without worrying about lack of Skyfire or Snap Shot-ting.
This is...ectoplasm? I've no idea what the common theme for this discipline is because you have all sorts of assortments of offensive spells as well as...ninja movement spells. Yes, you read that right. There's even one power that performs that cliched ninja body-switch jutsu (trick) that we've all seen in anime (you thought it was Magnus, but it was I...Ahriman!). I guess this is an offensive discipline, but unlike Sinistrum, it's a very good, flexible and useful discipline with no situational powers.
Primaris: Warpshock: A cheap, 1 Warp Charge spell that is an 18" S5 AP4 6-shot witchfire. You can't go wrong with this one. It's dakka, it's cheap, and it kills anything that's not in power armor.
1: Empyric Shield: A defensive blessing that grants your Psyker 3++ invulnerable save. I don't know how to feel about this because Thousand Sons already have that 3++ invulnerable save. However, Mark of Tzeentch and Blessing of Tzeentch has no restrictions on how low your save can get so you can theoretically buff it to 1++ invulnerable save, but in reality it shouldn't stop you from getting 2++ invulnerable save. A pity, because if you have the maximum number of units in your Favored of Tzeentch formations, you can re-roll those saving throws of ones. Turns your Exalted Sorcerer into an unkillable monster where anything short of terrible dice re-rolling or a roll of 6 on a Strength D weapon will not kill him. Or if you're using a Daemon Prince, you'll be able to buff his Invulnerable save to 2++ and get the re-roll of 1s because of his Daemon of Tzeentch rule. Again, awesome. Worth the single Warp Charge it costs.
2: Daemonshriek: A cheap Haywire spell that costs only 1 Warp Charge, but only has 9". However, it's nova, so it hits automatically, and you can use it to target flyers without needing to worry about Snap Shooting. It will never miss, but you've to get close to your target to unleash it.
3: Coruscating Blaze: 2 Warp Charge witchfire with 18" S5 AP4 like the Primaris, but deals D6 shots instead of a straight 6. On the other hand, it has Lethal Discharge, which allows you to roll a D6 for every other enemy within 6" of the target after you've finished shooting it. On each 4+, the respective enemy unit will also suffer D6 S5 AP4 hits that are Randomly Allocated. Sweet. Spread the love!
4: Infernal Claws: A cheap 1-Warp Charge blessing that adds 1 to the Psyker's Strength and Attacks, and allows him to deal 2 extra S5 AP- hits every time he hits his opponent in close combat. Not too shabby. Would be fun to combo with a Daemon Weapon like Seer's Bane, but the rolls of ones are too risky, and to be honest the Exalted Sorcerer equipped with it would be fighting Monstrous Creatures where the S5 AP- won't do much damage anyway. Still can be useful if he's facing down a tarpit, I guess. And if anything the extra Strength (if he's not using Seer's Bane) and Attack might help. On the other hand, this will buff your Daemon Prince and help him a lot in combat.
5: Ghost Storm: Spend 2 Warp Charges and any single unit within 18" can basically fly 18" across the table. As in fly because all terrain within that 18" counts as open ground. Of course, make sure you don't take off or land in Dangerous Terrain otherwise you still have to test for it, and they count as having moved if you need to fire their Heavy Weapons. Which doesn't matter to you because your Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators are Relentless. So go ahead and fly those Slow and Purposeful Rubric Marines across the table to grab that objective, and then chuckle to yourself Tzeentch-style, "just as planned."
6: Soulswitch: The aforementioned body-switch jutsu (technique) where you swap your Psyker and his unit with another friendly unit within 24". You can only do it with non-vehicle units though, so no swapping with your Helbrute or Heldrake or Land Raider. You can pull this off even if your targeted unit is locked in combat - cast several psychic buffs like Infernal Claws, then swap your poor Rubric Marines out with your Terminators with AP3 power swords and your buffed Exalted Sorcerer to annihilate the confused horde/Loyalist Marines/Space Wolves who were deluding themselves that they can ever rip our good old dusty automatons to shreds.
If the word Geo didn't already hint to you that this discpline is based around earth powers, then...well, you're clearly not a geography or geology student (not that they teach geology in school). A mix of offensive and defensive spells, most of them have something to do with terrain. As I said, earth-based powers. So yeah. Bring your opponent back down to earth with this discipline! Or...not.
Primaris: Rockmaw: A little on the expensive side at 2 Warp Charges, this forces an enemy unit within 18" to take a Dangerous Terrain test with no armor saves allowed, but invulnerable saves are allowed. No effect on flying flyers. Cute, but generally not worth it - you're hoping for your opponent to roll ones, and on top of that he can take invulnerable saves, so...not very reliable. Spend your Warp Charges elsewhere.
1: Ley Leach: A blessing that heals D3 wounds on a friendly non-vehicle Character within 18" and gives him and his unit It Will Not Die. Sweet. Now this is pretty useful, and costing a mere 1 Warp Charge, it's awesome.
2: Rupture: A 1 Warp Charge malediction that does a single S5 AP4 hit that Ignores Cover on every unit within 6" of a given point - you can choose that point anywhere within 24" of your Psyker. Additionally, all terrain within that 6" of that point becomes dangerous terrain. Not sure how useful it is when it only does one hit. Works better against multiple small units but why would they be bunched up within 6" of each other? Huh. Not convincing.
3: Torturer of Worlds: Cool name, not so cool ability. All units within 18" are suddenly on difficult terrain, and cannot Run, Turbo-boost, or move Flat Out. No effect on flying flyers, as usual. Situational, could be useful if you're trying to stop bikers or turbo-boosting units from running away to capture Objectives, and if you want to prevent your unit from being charged - which can be useful for your Thousand Sons. Other than that...I dunno. Costs only 1 Warp Charge, though, so maybe it's not so bad.
4: Earthly Anathema: A blessing that gives a friendly unit within 24" Move Through Cover, all their weapons get Ignores Cover, and they don't need line of sight to shoot an enemy - so they can shoot them as long as they're within range. Best of all, only costs 1 Warp Charge. This is a great spell. Especially for your Thousand Sons and their AP3 inferno bolt rounds - those cowardly Loyalists hiding in cover? Well, we'll get to them no matter how difficult or dangerous the terrain, and shoot the hell out of them with Ignores Cover AP3 inferno bolts! Awesome.
5: Profane Ruination: An anti-building or anti-Ruins withcfire with 24" range and costing only 1 Warp Charge. If you target buildings, roll a dice - they get glanced on a roll of 1-3, and penetrated on a roll of 4-6. If you target Ruins, roll a dice for each unit within those ruins, including those half inside half outside. On a 4+, that unit suffers D6 S6 AP- hits, Randomly Allocated. Hiding in the Ruins ruined them. Works very well if your opponent brings Fortifications against you, so you can laugh and say, "all those walls mean nothing to me" before penetrating them. Otherwise just ruin the squads camping in Ruins...except that AP- does nothing because y'know, Armor Saves. Ugh. Can Instant Death Imperial Guardsmen and other units with Toughness 3, though (then again they only have one wound each, so that's kind of pointless).
6: Worldwrithe: Another cool-sounding name that...well, writhes the world. Jokes aside, what it does is this: Your Psyker choose a piece of terrain wthin 24" and line of sight. You basically pick up that terrain and all the models inside it to a different location on the table, but must be on open ground and within 24" of its starting position, and 1" away from any other model or other terrain features. Any models that are part of the unit who's halfway inside the terrain must all spill outside the terrain, like disembarking from a vehicle. The models running off the terrain must take a Dangerous Terrain test. Even if the entire unit is inside the terrain, the whole unit must also take a Dangerous Terrain test. Cute. There's some potential there - I don't know if you can move Objective markers, though, but you can basically teleport your units 24" across the table, risking the Dangerous Terrain as you do so, then Run them out of the teleported terrain to capture an Objective. Or teleport enemy units and the terrain away from the Objective marker so that you can Run a unit in and score it. Several ways to go about it, but at 3 Warp Charges, I don't see it being very practical and you have more reliable and useful powers to spend your Warp Charges on.
Wrath of Magnus brought us several new units as well as updated the rules of a couple of existing ones. So what are they, and are the updated ones better? Let's find out.
|Never piss off Ahriman. Never.|
One good way of kitting him out is to give him a Disc of Tzeentch and Seer's Bane and have him fly around hunting Monstrous Creatures and Gargantuan Creatures. His high leadership of 10 will mean he'll be Wounding anything on at least 4+, and since most Monstrous Creatures and Gargantuan Creatures don't have that high a leadership, you'll be wounding them on 2s - add the +1 attack the Disc of Tzeentch grants you, and another D6 because Seer's Bane is a Daemon weapon, you'll be bringing even Wraithknights down in a single phase. Of course, the Wraithknight will end up squishing your poor Exalted Sorcerer in return, but probably worth it. Hunt anything from Riptides to Stormsurges to C'Tan and Wraithknights. Still useless against vehicles though, with the Exalted Sorcerer's Strength being only S4 (Seer's Bane doesn't work on vehicles) so don't go charging Imperial Knights thinking he'll be able to do the job.
- Tzaangors: Thousand Sons' Kroot. No, seriously, they're Kroot. As Troops choice in a Combined Arms Detachment, they're very underwhelming, actually. I mean, they're more expensive than Chaos Cultists - 20 points more...actually, 5 points more since your Cultists have to take mark of Tzeentch. But if you want to play fair, then you need to upgrade your dudes with autopistol and chainsword because the Chaos Cultists come stock with that AND get a Twistbray because the Chaos Cultists have a Cultist Champion by default. Add that up and they still cost 25 points more. So if you're taking them to save on points (because Rubric Marines are so expensive), then don't bother. Chaos Cultists are cheaper. Not only that, Tzaangors have Guardsmen statline. Even Veterans of the Imperial Guard are cheaper by 10 points, and they have rapid-fire lasguns so even if you get the autopistol they're cheaper by 20 points (30 if you want your Twistbray to oppose the Veteran Sergeant). Just swap the WS with BS and they're basically the same, admittedly the Tzaangors have higher Toughness but Guardsmen have a better armor save, which can be improved by buying them carapace armor. On the other hand, Tzaangors have a 6++ invulnerable save that's improved to 5++ if you cast a blessing on them (but why would you waste your psychic powers on these guys?!) so in terms of AP they do benefit a little. Not only that, they have a cool Relic Hunter rule that allows them to re-roll all failed To Hit rolls in close combat if their opponents are carrying relics. Like Chaos Artifacts, for example.
On the other hand, they have an excellent formation, so if you want to take them, take the Tzaangor Warherd Formation (more on that below), which turns them from overly expensive Cultists/Guardsmen to terrifying close combatants cheap for their cost.
So what's the new changes that Wrath of Magnus brought for them? Well, now you have more options. You can, for example, now equip all - yes, you read that right, ALL - your Rubric Marines except the Aspiring Sorcerer with warpflamers for 7 points per model. That means you can have 4 warpflamers in a 5-men squad and 9 in a 10-men squad. But if you're taking 10 Rubric Marines, then you might as well leave that 9th slot open for a soulreaper cannon, which sadly can only be taken by every 10 Rubric Marines for 25 points. 5-men squads can't take this awesome weapon. Yes, I know it's sad. There's also the 5-point warpflame pistol the Aspiring Sorcerer can swap his inferno bolt pistol for, but while cute, it's not worth it so don't bother. That said, as a template weapon it does have its uses, but S3 AP5 means you'll end up giving your opponent Feel No Pain instead.
Warpflamers might at first seem stupid because of the aforementioned warpflame gimmick granting your enemy's units Feel No Pain or improving it by +1 every time they pass that Toughness test - and they will pass it most of the time. If you get lucky (or your opponent gets unlucky), you deal extra D3 Wounds with no armor or cover saves allowed, but that's pretty unlikely. However, take note that this is a S4 AP4 template - so it naturally Ignores Cover, and you'll be unleashing it on hordes, most of whom have a measly armor save of 4+. With 4 (or 8, which is pretty much overkill) warpflamers, you'll be dishing out plenty of wounds and wiping out the hordes before they can take that Toughness test, especially if they have not much armor and your template Ignores Cover. So don't underestimate these things. Furthermore, if you stick a Sorcerer or Exalted Sorcerer with Helm of the Third Eye to grant your Slow and Purposeful Rubric Marines Overwatch, you'll be dealing 4xD3 Wounds thanks to 4 Walls of Death. That will scare off any horde unit attempting to tarpit you. Awesome.
Don't forget you have an Aspiring Sorcerer, so your standard Troops actually generate 1 Warp Charge automatically, and if he gets Doombolt, all the more power to you. Otherwise, just spam Force to bring your Rubric Marines' invulnerable save up to 3++.
Soulreaper cannon is nice, but you have to take 10 Rubric Marines in a squad just to unlock it, which is generally not worth it given how expensive these guys are. You're better off splitting them into 2 squads to camp on objectives, which they excel at because their resilience (and Walls of Death if you have Helm of the Third Eye and 4 warpflamers) makes it incredibly hard for your opponent to remove them off the objective marker.
|Scarab Occult Terminators, ready for action!|
- Scarab Occult Terminators: The counterpart for Grey Knight Paladins, these guys are the elite, psychic uber-Terminators with better invulnerable save that can be buffed further with blessings. They are very pricey, their base cost starting out at 250 before you even begin kitting them with exotic wargear and other options. Things to take note of is that their Sergeant is a Scarab Occult Sorcerer with Mastery Level 2, so he gives you 2 Warp Charges and can take a 2nd psychic power from anywhere except Daemonology Santic or Loyalist-specific disciplines (or you can go all-Tzeentch), so make use of him whenever possible. Even if you didn't roll any useful spells, just cast Force for the blessing to gain an +1 bonus to your invulnerable save, courtesy of Blessing of Tzeentch. Now you have 2+ armor save, 3++ invulnerable save Terminators with no Slow and Purposeful - they can Run and Overwatch, while firing their soulreaper ccannon and hellfyre missile rack on the move because of their natural Relentless!
Though the Mastery Level 2 Psyker-Sergeant alone is worth the extra points, it's worth noting that while most of their stats are the same as normal Chaos Terminators, the Scarab Occult Sorcerer does get an extra WS AND wound, the whole group has a Leadership of 10, 1 more than normal Terminators, not to mention Fearless. I won't say much about their inferno combi-bolter - while AP3 is good, cover saves and all that render that pretty pointless. That said, forcing 4+ or 5+ cover saves is better than Loyalist Marines making 3+ armor saves. Even with that added benefit, those don't really justify the heftier price tag. After all (Mastery Level 2 Psyker aside), even if you kit out normal Chaos Terminators all with Mark of Tzeentch, which improves their invulnerable save and they still get the Blessing of Tzeentch plus their Veterans of the Long War is free because they're in a Thousand Sons Detachment, their cost only goes up to 120 points at most. They even have more options than your Scarab Occult Terminators, with power fists, chainfists, lightning claws, combi-whatever. So why would you take them over Chaos Terminators?
I'll be honest. The Psyker alone is worth all those extra points. Your Chaos Terminators will not get that Blessing of Tzeentch unless you specifically purchase another Chaos Sorcerer for that sole purpose (125 points with Terminator armor, so 245). But again, for 5 more points you get Fearless, an AP3 weapon and access to more Psychic disciplines (but 1 less body). That's more than worth it.
You also have access to Thousand Sons specific weapons. Your heavy warpflamer may cost 5 points more, but it has the same Strength and lower AP (AP3 versus AP4), which allows you to roast Space Marines and their equivalents in cover, though beware of that warpflame rule (you should be able to kill them all, and even if you don't, you have 1/3 chance of making them suffer D3 more wounds with no saves allowed) that gives them Feel No Pain or a bonus to their existing Feel No Pain. Your soulreaper cannon, though 5 more points than their reaper autocannon, is not twin-linked, has 2 less Strength and 12" less range. However, your soulreaper cannon has 2 more shots, is AP3 and has Rending, which is more awesome. Soulreaper cannon over reaper autocannon anyday. Not to mention, you have the option to swap another Scarab Occult Terminator's combi-bolter for a hellfyre missile rack for 20 points, which is basically a 2-shot krak missile launcher with half the range. Useful for taking out vehicles and transports with lower AV, and can even threaten Monstrous Creatures. Not bad at all - especially when you consider you can take TWO heavy weapons for your 5-men Terminator squad as opposed to only one for normal Chaos Terminators. As I said, worth every point. Take note, they're incredibly expensive so you can't spam them even with the Sekhmet Conclave, and while they excel at killing Space Marines and their equivalents, pose a huge threat to Monstrous Creatures and are great at even clearing out hordes if you give them the heavy warpflamer, they suck against other Terminators and their equivalents (those with 2+ armor saves). It's not like you'll score a 6 with your Rending shots all the time...
Lord of War
|Magnus, the big cheese himself!|
While his stats are awesome and his blade is deadly (see Blade of Magnus above for details), what you want is his psychic powers. Magnus has Unearthly Powers, which means he harnesses Warp Charges on a 2+ - you'll basically succeed in casting any and all of your powers unless you're super unlucky (well, the Chaos gods are fickle after all). He may only be able to cast 15 powers from the Tzeentch and Change disciplines, but that's all you want, really. Why? Because you'll be too busy spamming Gaze of Magnus for that Strength D AP 1 18" Soul Blaze beam, AND Prismatic Gaze for that other 18" Strength D AP1 witchfire. And if you have enough Warp Charges left over, you'll be casting Treason of Tzeentch and Doombolt. Oh, and cast Siphon Magic so that you can boost his 4++ invulnerable save to 3++ with Blessing of Tzeentch. Don't forget his Daemon of Tzeentch allowing him to re-roll failed saves of 1, and you will basically have an unkillable monster who can avoid most Strength D weapons by flying around (in other words, keep him Swooping around). Ah, and I almost forgot - Magnus will never suffer Perils of the Warp, no matter what. So abuse his psychic powers freely.
And remember when I told you to cast Siphon Magic earlier? It's not solely for the 3++ invulnerable save. The best tactic is to make sure you cast Siphon Magic for Magnus first - this is very important! Once you do that, have all your other Psykers within 18" begin spamming psychic powers - with spell familiars and stuff, they should succeed most of those powers. Thanks to that, Magnus should be able to accumulate a huge bunch of dice for his Warp Charges pool, and you can begin casting your 5 Warp Charges Gaze of Magnus and 3 Warp Charges Prismatic Gaze. I'm not sure if this counts, but apparently the friendly model might include Magnus himself because Rule as Written only says friendly model without writing "other than the Psyker", so whenever he successfully casts a spell, you can add another dice to his Warp Charge pool - I'm not sure about this because that sounds incredibly cheesy. Best to discuss this with your opponent and come to an agreement before insisting on this.
So yes, if you can afford him, put him in your Thousand Sons army. I'm serious. He's so totally worth it. He's probably not for friendly games, though, so if your opponent is playing friendly without Wraithknights, Imperial Knights or any other super-heavies/Gargantuan Creatures, try not to bring him around and spoil the fun.
Formation Based Detachments and Formations
Thousand Sons Grand Coven
This is the specific Formation Based Detachment for the Thousand Sons Legion, and is used to buff your Psykers, by perhaps allowing them to cast an extra psychic spell above their Mastery Level (so your Aspiring Sorcerer can cast both Force for +1 to invulnerable save and Doombolt if you're lucky enough to roll that despite only being Mastery Level 1). Can be good, especially for Psykers, given how they can re-roll Perils of the Warp. Awesome. As with most Formation-based Detachments, the Thousand Sons Grand Coven requires at least one Core choice and one Auxiliary choice. You can have 0-4 Comand choices, 1+ Core and 1+ Auxiliary, just like all the others (except Imperial Guard, whose Cadian Battlegroup requires 1+ Command choice, 1-3 Core for each Command choice, and 1-3 Auxiliary choices for each Core. Why, I have no idea). The Command Benefits are:
- Lord of Fallen Prospero: Mandatory Warlord Trait re-roll for your Warlord. Make sure you're rolling on the specific Thousand Sons Warlord Traits table, though. They're much better.
- Masters of Arcane Knowledge: As stated above, all Psykers can re-roll their Perils of the Warp rolls if they're unlucky to suffer from it, and they get to cast an extra psychic power above their Mastery Level. Hell yeah. Now we're talking.
Favored of Tzeentch: All your Thousand Sons Formations have the Favored of Tzeentch rule, which allows you to re-roll failed saving rolls of ones if the Formations contain the maximum number of units. Not very practical, and will probably never see play unless you field a Tzaangor Warherd with 1 Exalted Sorcerer and 9 squads of Tzaangors because the other Formations are just too expensive. Just forget it.
- War Cabal: Led by Ahriman or a Daemon Prince or an Exalted Sorcerer or a Sorcerer, you can have 1-3 Exalted Sorcerers or Sorcerers, 1-3 squads of Rubric Marines and 1-3 squads of Scarab Occult Terminators. A very good and flexible Core Formation that you can keep cheap if you play it right (hint: don't try to get the maximum units just for that Favored of Tzeentch bonus), it provides quite the balanced list for you to customize and tailor accordingly to your needs. Makes use of all the new models, yay. The best is its Oracular Guidance that allows any of your War Cabal unit to re-roll failed To Hit rolls of 1s whenever the Psyker that's part of that unit successfully casts a spell. Combined with whatever blessing you did to buff your invulnerable save, this is incredible. Given how psychic orientated the Thousand Sons are, almost all your units will benefit from this just from casting a simple power such as Force, and this also allows them to re-roll To Hit rolls of ones not just for their AP3 inferno bolts but also any witchfire powers that has a weapon profile. Oh, and in close combat too. So yeah, awesome.
- Sekhmet Conclave: Magnus the Red, Ahriman, a Daemon Prince, an Exalted Sorcerer or Sorcerer with 3-9 units of Scarab Occult Terminators as his bodyguard. The best thing? Units from this Formation adds +1 to their Toughness as long as they're within 6" of at least 2 other units from this Formation. While it's going to be tough and impractical to keep your Terminator squads bunched up, the purpose is to buff say, Magnus himself to up to Toughness 8 while keeping 2 Terminator squads 6" either side of him (they're about 12" away from each other, enough to capture different Objectives). This means Magnus is totally immune to bolter fire, and those pesky Eldar weapons with their S6 only wounds him on 6s now. Suck it, space elves. That Black Library of yours now belongs to us Thousand Sons! Ahriman will gladly take it from you.
- Rehati War Sect: Magnus the Red leads 3-9 Daemon Princes or Exalted Sorcerers, whichever you prefer. As long as your Daemon Princes and Exalted Sorcerers are within 18" of Magnus, they can harness Warp Charges on 3+ and have line of sight to every unit on the battlefield for their psychic targets. Awesome. Do take note that all your Daemon Princes and Exalted Sorcerers must be upgraded to Mastery Level 3 Psykers (and why wouldn't you anyway?). On the other hand, this is so expensive that if you take this Formation, you will not have enough points left over for Scoring units and other miscellaneous squads or whatever (we're talking about standard 1,850-2,000-point games here). You probably will not be able to afford a Thousand Sons Grand Coven with this as your Command unless you go up to 3,000-point games. Worth it if you do, though.
- Ahriman's Exiles: Ahriman's version of Rehati War Sect where Ahriman leads 3-9 Exalted Sorcerers. Same as Magnus's Rehati War Sect, except that while Ahriman and the Exalted Sorceers within 18" of him can also harness Warp Charges on 3+, they don't have line of sight to everything. Cheap version of Rehati War Sect, basically. You can probably purchase those scoring units with those 390-420 points now.
- Lord of the Legion: Magnus the Red, Ahriman, Daemon Prince or Exalted Sorcerer. This isn't really a Formation, but a flexible choice for you if you want to bring Magnus the Red for your War Cabal, but cannot afford the incredible expensive Rehati War Sect or cannot afford having 2 Cores (War Cabal and Sekhmet Conclave). Abuse it however you can, if you find yourself short on points.
- War Coven: 1 Daemon Prince or Exalted Sorcerer or Sorcerer leads 3-9 Exalted Sorcerers or Sorcerers. Choose a discipline from Biomancy, Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis or Telepathy. All your Sorcerers can cast spells from that discipline on a 3+. Too bad there's no Daemonology Malefic or any of the new disciplines from Traitor's Hate. One fun way to run this is to have 10 Sorcerers all equipped in Terminator Armor, and you can turn this into a deathstar. Choose telepathy, and hope at least one of them rolls Invisibility. Now they're basically unkillable, can re-roll any failed saving throws of 1, have both invisbility and their invulnerable saves buffed to 3++, and make sure you cast Terrify before using Psychic Shriek. Add Seer's Bane and Astral Grimoire for maximum rape, and they can jump all over the table while whacking the living whatever out of anything with their Leadership 10. Beware, you can't spam Psychic Shriek because the new FAQ says a single unit can only cast the same type of power once, so no spamming 2 or more Psychic Shrieks from the same Deathstar if you joined them all together.
Not very practical because you won't have enough points left over after this, and you thus cannot capture many objectives.
- Tzaangor Warherd: 1 Exalted Sorcerer or Sorcerer shepherds 3 units of Tzaangors and another 0-6 units of Tzaangors or Chaos Spawn (just no). This is what makes Tzaangors viable. As mentioned above, they're pretty pointless if you take them as pure Troops choice just for Objective Secured or to save on points in a Combined Arms Detachment. When taken in this Formation, however, Tzaangors can now Run and charge in the same turn, making them the beasts that they are. They have a nice bonus that adds 1 to their Strength and Initiative for the ensuing Fight phase if you roll 9 or more in their charge, but you've to be really lucky to get that so I wouldn't count on it. Still, the ability to Run and charge in the same turn makes them cheap tarpits with somewhat decent stats that can tie up your opponent's heavy hitters for a good while.
- Daemon Engines: Defiler, Forgefiend, Helbrute, Heldrake or Maulerfiend. Not a Formation but a flexible choice for you to pick and choose whatever you want or need. Personally I think you should just take a Heldrake and be done with it because...here be dragons, and quite simply, Heldrakes are one of the best units in the Chaos Space Marines codex. Baleflamer that's a S6 AP3 torrent? Vector Strike? Flying dragon with AV12 almost all around? Yes, please. The others are pretty cool too, if I am to be honest, but seriously, nothing beats a Heldrake.
- Legion Armory: Chaos Land Raider, Chaos Predator or Chaos Vindicator. Again, not a Formation, but another flexible option for you to kit out your Thousand Sons Grand Coven accordingly. If you've the points for a Chaos Land Raider, you might as well take an Exiled Sorcerer instead, and besides you can already take one as Dedicated Transport for your Scarab Occult Terminators in your Core choice, so why waste your Auxiliary on this? Chaos Predators are a good choice because they provide cheap BS4 lascannons and can sit on the backfield and camp on an objective in your deployment zone, being as resilient and hard to remove as your Rubric Marines. Vindicators too have their place, with their S10 demolisher cannon, but their pitiful range usually means you don't want them to be sitting in your deployment zone camping on an objective unless you're waiting for an alpha strike or drop pods to drop in front of him (in which case he'll get melta-ed to death before firing that demolisher cannon of his). Vindicators can work in an aggressive list though, since your Slow and Purposeful Rubric Marines can do the camping while they move out to demolish stuff.
Building your army
Simple. Just buy one box of Rubric Marines, one box of Exalted Sorcerers, one box of Scarab Occult Terminators and you're done. There's your War Cabal waiting for you. Add in a Heldrake to complete the Thousand Sons Grand Coven, and if you're feeling rather ballsy, throw in Magnus the Red as your Command choice and voila! A 1,850-point Thousand Sons army, just from buying a few boxes! They won't be cheap, but they're much simpler to assemble (I mean assemble the army, not assemble the models) and easier to keep track of. To fit in Magnus in your list, just cut out 5 Rubric Marines and 1 Exalted Sorcerer. See my previous sample build list or look out for my future possible build lists and their detailed analysis (more like the fun and fluffy and thematic ways of using those lists) that will pop up soon for more details. But yes, you can start simple, and expand your Thousand Sons Grand Coven from there.
Or, if you don't like Rubric Marines, just buy Magnus and 3 boxes of Scarab Occult Terminators, and your Sekhmet Conclave is complete. Add in a Heldrake to fulfil the minimum requirements of your Thousand Sons Grand Coven, and voila! The possibilities are endless.
Obviously you want Magnus to be the one to benefit from the Sehmet Conclave's bonus, so you can switch it up to an Exalted Sorcerer being the Lord of the Legion instead. You'll have 2 extra Exalted Sorcerers left over, but I guess you can either sell them or save them for an expanded collection of Thousand Sons (perhaps a War Coven). Either way, your entire army can be built from 6 boxes and a total of $427.75. That sounds a lot, so spread it over a few months (it's not like you'll assemble all the models in just a month).
A sample list would look like this:
Sekhmet Conclave (1,520)
Magnus the Red (650)
2 squads of 5 Scarab Occult Terminators with heavy warpflamer and hellfyre missile rack (2x285=570)
5 Scarab Occult Terminators with soulreaper cannon and hellfyre missile rack (300)
Lord of the Legion
Exalted Sorcerer with Mastery Level 3, spell familiar, Astral Grimoire (230)
Chaos Predator with twin-linked lascannon (100)
I hope you find this post useful, and I'll see you guys next time!