Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

Image result for adeptus mechanicus symbol

My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

Featured Post

Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mechanicum army!

Sorry, been too busy to post on my blog. Writing a battle report takes hours (I've no idea why it takes so long for me to write one), and I just can't spare the time these days. I have three books to read for class and I've only gotten two done so far, never mind I'm not understanding a single word the damned authors are saying. Oh well...I can't say I like studying about postmodernism and stuff. Anyway, onto non-academic topics...

I managed to have a Horus Heresy game last Saturday with my new Mechanicum army! I had an Archmagos Dominus, a Magos Dominus, 2 Castellax battle-automata with mauler bolt cannon, 2 Castellax battle-automata with darkfire cannoons, 2 Thanatar siege-automata with plasma hellex mortar - one of them with the Paragon of Metal because I couldn't afford the points otherwise, and a Vultarax stratos-automata with arc blaster. Rounding my army of Cybernetica automata off is a Knight Errant with Blessed Autosimulcra as my Lord of War.

Against them was the venerable Adeptus Custodes, which included a Terminator squad and 2 Custodian squads or something. And a HQ, and a Custodes Dreadnought. The Terminators' weapons are wicked, and they could cause Instant Death. Ouch.

The game went well enough, and I actually almost tabled my opponent. He slew my Knight Errant, destroying the revered war machine. Ouch. And he killed one Castellax battle-automata. However, those were the only casualties my Legio Cybernetica army suffered, and I wiped him out. There was one time where I rolled a double 6s for the 2 (I rolled a 2 for the D3 stomp blast plates rolls) and I ended up removing the Terminators from play after they survived the Knight Errant's reaper chainsword with their invulnerable saves. Yeah, it was hilarious. I think he only had 3 or 4 models remaining by the start of turn 4 and I was about to wipe them out with my Thanatar siege-automata's plasma mortars.

Admittedly, we both probably did a lot of mistakes with the game, so...I don't know. We need someone more experienced to guide us through Horus Heresy, but it seems my 7th edition knowledge has gotten rusty. I've forgotten most of the 7th edition rules and it takes some getting used to. I know I'm probably going to get a lot of flak here - especially from the purists and hardcore gamers - but I prefer 8th edition to 7th edition. It's a lot more streamlined, faster, easier and less annoying to play with. But that's just my personal opinion.

Legio Cybernetica Mechanicum army!
Speaking of 8th edition, I had a game with my Thousand Sons afterward, against a Salamanders army of Dreadnoughts. The guy brought 10 Dreadnoughts. This time, it was my turn to get tabled, and I only managed to take out maybe 3 or 4 Dreadnoughts and a few Space Marines, but he still had at least two Redemptor Dreadnoughts and all his Venerable Dreadnoughts left on the table. Damn, the weakness of my Thousand Sons army is anti-tank. With only the Contemptor Dreadnoughts and Leviathan Dreadnought for anti-tank, I wasn't able to fight much against an army of Dreadnoughts, not when my army was composed mainly of AP -2 anti-infantry firepower. Oh well. Got to go back to the drawing board for that one. Sigh.

Anyway, that's what I have for now, and I hope to update on you guys more! Perhaps I'll get a Knight Valiant to bolster my Thousand Sons army - the Death Hex and Thundercoil Harpoon combo seems too good to pass up on. We'll see! Until then!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Better, Beta Bolters!

Holy Emperor! Games Workshop has seen fit to introduce better bolters! You can check the details in the Warhammer Community website here.

What's new? Basically boltguns and all rapid-fire bolt weapons now fire twice their shots not only when they're within half their maximum range, but also when they remain stationary during its previous movement phase or if the model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion or Vehicle.

That just means my Deathwatch Intercessor gunline just got a lot more powerful! And so did my Scarab Occult Terminators! Oh, wow. Just wow. I don't know about my Rubric Marines, but we'll see. But I can't wait to see how this works in tandem with my Deathwatch Intercessors, even my Deathwatch Veterans with storm bolters and my Scarab Occult Terminators. Terminators seem to have gotten a lot more deadly! I wonder if they're still worth taking for their price...

Anyway, I'll be asking my opponents for permission to use this rule (and they most definitely will welcome it, since they mostly play Space Marines). Hmm, well the xenos opponent might not like it against my Deathwatch, so we'll see!

Um, I wonder how this will work for assault boltguns (assault 2), or even stalker bolt rifles. Like, there's no longer any point to taking Heavy 1 stalker bolt rifles since bolt rifles fire twice the number of shots at just 6" range less. The assault and heavy variants of boltguns need some love too.

Anyway, for the Emperor!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Deathwatch and Mechanicum

All right, a little update on my Warhammer 40,000 projects. So basically I've finished building my Primaris Hellblasters. I only needed a 5-men squad. Apparently, in order for my Deathwatch army to use a Relic Leviathan Dreadnought, I need a non-Relic Heavy Support unit. I used to get around this by fielding a Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought with twin autocannons or twin lascannons, but I sold both of them. Oh well. That's fine - that's why I brought the Primaris Hellblasters for. I just needed them to fulfill the Heavy Support slot while providing 5-10 long-range AP -4 plasma shots. I honestly don't know if they'll do the job better, but let's try them out in a game. And I love the Deathwatch shoulder pads, they look so cool.

I also painted my third Knight! My third Imperial Knight is one I magnetized, so while I usually run him as a Knight Gallant (to maximize the use of the House Yato Household Tradition...ahem, I mean House Griffith Household Tradition), I can swap his arm weapons out to turn him into a Knight Crusader or a Knight Paladin or Knight Warden if absolutely necessary. I hope the black and gold paint scheme looks nice! Now he fits right in alongside my other Knights! Plus they are the same color as the Draconian Armored Defenders, which is basically the Imperial Guard regiment that doubles as their Household retinue. I don't play pure Imperial Knights, I find it more fun to play a combined Imperial Knight and Imperial Guard force.

I also got myself a Vultarax Stratos-automata and I plan to use my Castellax-achea Battle-automata as Castellax Battle-automata with Darkfire cannons and automata power blades for Horus Heresy games, so I'm also looking forward to that. Let's see what happens! I can't wait!

Well, I can't wait to paint and assemble my Mechanicum army. They will look really fun! And I hope I can play them in a Horus Heresy game sometime. Anyway, we'll see!

Mechanicum Army complete!

I finally have a 2,000-point Mechanicum army! Yay! Ave Omnissiah!

So perhaps this blog can remain Adeptus Mechanicus, after all! Well, technically it's Mechanicum, but I'm hoping our Legio Cybernetica units get Warhammer 40,000 rules eventually. For now we'll just play with our Legio Cybernetica automata in Horus Heresy. I hope I can get a few games in for my Mechanicum. One day. Good thing we have groups online to look for games.

I also have 2 (or 3) battle reports coming up. One was Deathwatch and Imperial Guard versus Tyranids, and the other is Thousand Sons versus Imperial Guard (and Thousand Sons versus Imperial Guard and Space Marines, I played two games in a row - more details in the battle report, which will come sometime soon-ish, next week).

For now, this is my Mechanicum Army.

Archmagos Dominus with machinator array (using a Tech-priest Dominus for this)

Magos Dominus with machinator array (using a Tech-priest Enginseer for this)

2 Castellax battle-automata with mauler bot cannons

2 Castellax battle-automata with darkfire cannons and automata power blades (using the Thousand Sons Castellax-achea battle-automata to represent these)

Vultarax Stratos-automata with blessed autosimulcra

Thanatar siege-automata with plasma hellex mortar

Thanatar siege-automata with plasma hellex mortar and paragon of metal

Knight Errant with blessed autosimulcra

There you go! Mechanicum army complete! YAY!

Might expand my Thousand Sons collection next by getting a Thousand Sons Legion Praetor, two squads of Sehkmet Terminators and converting a Drop Pod into a Dreadnought Drop Pod, but that will be far into the future.

Monday, January 14, 2019

"New" Imperial Knights for Horus Heresy!

Well, um...we have new Knights for Horus Heresy. Yeah. Cool, I guess? Except that the Horus Heresy community isn't very fond of fielding entire armies of Knights, so I have no idea what to do. Anyway, we'll see. I hope.

You can find the announcement in Warhammer Community here. Alternatively, here are the rules for the Armiger Talon and the rules for the Knight Dominus. Seems like they'll be a lot more flexible than their Warhammer 40,000 counterparts. If I'm reading it right, you can take 2 conflagration cannons or mix and match your weapons for your Dominus, as well as take three siegebreaker cannons. Wow.

Anyway, just to let you guys know about it, and I'll focus on selling my stuff so that I'll have some money for Horus Heresy. Maybe. We'll see. I have an idea about using the current pastic Skitarii and kitbashing them with Cadian Shock Troops to create Horus Heresy pseudo Skitarii to run them alongside my Legio Cybernetica Mechanicum force, but as always, things remain to be seen. Because, you know, money.

One thing they forgot, though. They forgot the Knight Preceptor. Whoops. So no las-impulsor and multilaser turret for your Warhammer 30,000 Knights, even though these were supposed to be rare and ancient weapons. Heh.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Changing things drastically

Yesterday, I made the decision to sell off whatever Adeptus Mechanicus forces I have (except a single Tech-priest Dominus, which I will keep for sentimental value). I will probably no longer play Adeptus Mechanicus again. I always wanted to, but it just didn't work out for me, because I am stuck with either Imperial Guard or Thousand Sons. Adeptus Mechanicus just doesn't fit my playstyle or in my menu anymore. It's very sad, but I think it's best to let go of my Adeptus Mechanicus and hand them over to someone who actually plays them.

With this, I probably will not get a Knight Castellan as I originally intended. I'll just sell off my Adeptus Mechanicus and stick with what I have.

I also made the decision to sell away my Militarum Tempestus Scions. I'm selling all of them in one go because they don't really fit into my list either. As much as I love them, they are just not doing it for me right now. Don't get me wrong. They are extremely powerful and I have won a lot of games with them where they outright obliterate the enemy with lots of plasma. But I want to focus more on tanks and Imperial Knights, or heavy armor. And I think my Deathwatch is actually a lot more fun to play with than my Militarum Tempestus Scions. So I'm getting rid of the Kamikaze Troopers and stuff. I feel like I no longer need them, and I think other people will be happy to play with them. I'll focus on my heavy armor lists.

Goodbye, Kamikaze Troopers!
Funnily enough, my friend was looking through what I have and he complained that I don't have enough infantry. Well, I don't need so much infantry. I'm a treadhead. I play with Leman Russ tanks. I want to focus more on tanks and artillery, and even my artillery is minimal. I love my tanks and will not be letting them go. Well, most of them anyway. I sold my Leman Russ main battle tank, but I will never sell my Leman Russ Executioner tanks. I still have all three of them, plus my Leman Russ Annihilator tanks. I wonder if I should sell the Leman Russ Annihilator tanks because I don't really use them much, but I guess I'll keep them for now.

With that, my Skitarii and Kamikaze Troopers will be sold, and I'll focus on Astra Militarum, Imperial Knights, Deathwatch and Thousand Sons. Hell, I wouldn't focus much on Deathwatch because I only want a small detachment of Deathwatch to help out my Imperial Guard. I don't need any more Deathwatch dudes, at least not at the moment. I'm happy with what I have. Perhaps in future I might get Deathwatch Terminators, but for now I'll stick with what I have.

I also sold my Deredeo Dreadnought. He has been overshadowed by my Leviathan Dreadnought and Contemptor Dreadnoughts for my Thousand Sons, so I don't really need him either. Might as well make some money off him. Same goes for my Assassins. I never used my Assassins, so I sold them as well. It's unfortunate, but that's the main reason why I'm selling a big chunk of my collection away. I need money. I need to pay bills and do other stuff, and probably fund my current armies, so I'm trimming down my collection, selling the models that I no longer play, and focus on building up the stuff that I do have. Well, Deathwatch and Thousand Sons no longer need new models. I like them as they are right now, and I have no plans of expanding their forces. I have everything I need for both of them. Maybe I'll get Deathwatch Terminators down the line, but we'll see.

I'm thinking of getting Armiger Helverins next, but I just don't know. I might not. They don't fit in any of my lists right now. I'm happy with my current Imperial Knights lineup. Yesterday, I had a game. Okay, it was completely one-sided, and my opponents' Blood Angels had no answer to my Knights other than the 2 Leviathan Dreadnoughts, a Deredeo Dreadnought and a Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought that he borrowed from me. And my Knights wiped them out. The poor guy was almost tabled by the end of my turn 3, with only his Captain, Lieutenant, Mephiston and a squad of Terminators (still stuck in combat with my Basilisks) left. But my Knights and 2 Leman Russ Executioner tank commanders just obliterated everything on the table. Without the proper anti-tank or list to deal with Knights, they literally just stomp over anything.

One of the next models I plan to get is probably the Carnodon tank with volkite weapons because that's so cool. But I'm not sure I like the look of the Carnodon tank, so...yeah. I might get a bit into Horus Heresy and buy a bunch of Thousand Sons stuff, like Sehkmet Terminator Cabals, but I don't know. I already have the Castellax-Achea battle-automata, so it only needs a few more stuff to expand into it. I dunno. We'll see. The 30K stuff fascinates me, and while a part of me wants to play Solar Auxilia, I still have no idea what to buy. Forge World stuff is so expensive (that's why I sold all the models I will not be using). And I want to make sure I can use the same models for 40,000, otherwise I'll be wasting my money and selling them off again. Well, the Sehkmet Terminators probably will be used a lot because they are Thousand Sons. We'll see. I already have a good base for my Thousand Sons, what with the Contemptor Dreadnoughts - especially the Orison Contemptor Dreadnought - so I can easily build a 2,000-point list just from buying a couple of Sehkmet Terminator Cabal and using the Guard of the Crimson King Rite of War. Problem is that I won't be able to use Solar Auxilia or Mechanicum allies otherwise, which sucks. Oh well, we'll see.

I might not play Horus Heresy at all too, given the complete lack of opponents, so this might just be a pipe dream. Like I said, we'll see.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Mustering an army

So I finally had a chance to paint my models and tally up my collection. Seems like the only thing I have left to expand is my Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knight armies! Well, my Imperial Knight army is basically done, I just need to get a single Knight Castellan. Eventually. I'm selling off some of my Guard to raise the funds for that (and also to pay off some bills). I am wondering if I should get a couple of Armiger Warglaives/Helverins to support my Knight Castellan or if I should just expand my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. I have no plans to go over 2,000 points for my Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knight army, so it's either one or the other.

I do not plan to play full Imperial Guard or full Deathwatch army, so I am no longer collecting stuff for them (except a Carnodon tank, which I'll get from Forge World eventually). They're meant to be allies, and the same goes for my Imperial Guard and Imperial Knights. I'll keep hold of my Kamikaze Storm Troopers for now, because I have no plans to sell them either. I hope to run a Tempestus Drop Force sometime, but I have no idea how to go about it. Right now, my current armor and artillery list seems a lot more suitable for my playstyle and allies than Storm Troopers/Militarum Tempestus. :(

But this is about my Adeptus Mechanicus task force. For now, I have about 5 squads of Skitarii. So 2 squads of 5 Skitarii Vanguard with 2 plasma calivers and omispex (Alpha has a taser goad for one of the teams), a squad of 5 Skitarii Vanguard with 2 arc rifles (Alpha has arc maul), 1 squad of Skitarii Rangers with 2 arc rifles and omnispex (Alpha has arc maul and arc pistol), 1 squad of under-strength Skitarii Rangers with 3 galvanic rifles, an omnispex and a single transuranic arquebus. I can probably just get a base for one final sniper Skitarii Ranger, or buy a new box of Skitarii. We'll see.

If I don't want to go down the Skitarii route, then I can buy 2 Kastelan Robots. Or perhaps just get 2 Armiger Helverins/Warglaives. In any case, I'll have a long time to think about it, so I don't think there's a need to rush.

Finally based my Knight and painted him black! Looking good! I can't wait to finish painting him as I did for his comrades!

I also finished painting two of my Leman Russ tanks and the Leviathan Dreadnought.

Of course, the Leviathan Dreadnought's weapons (all magnetized) were not exempted from being painted...

I also procured a Thousand Sons Castellax-Achea Battle-automata for my Adeptus Mechanicus army. They are meant to take the place of Kastelan Robots, their Aether-flame cannon serving as an incendine combuster. I can't wait!

Thousand Sons Hellforged Dreadnought army, almost complete.

As you can see, I painted all the weapon options for the Leviathan Dreadnought, whch are all magnetized.


The Adeptus Mechanicus armies not doing very well without any proper tanks of our owns

I also painted my Basilisk artillery. And my Leman Russ tanks too. They look okay now. They are no longer pure black or plastic color, so I'm pretty pleased with that. I can't wait to field them alongside my Knights! From my experience, they work really well with Deathwatch, so I wonder how they'll work alongside Knights.

Now all I need to do is get a Knight Castellan for my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. That leaves me wth 238 points. I can either finish up with a 2nd Battalion for my Skitarii, or I can get another 2 Kastelan Robots to make my Adeptus Mechanicus a Legio Cybernetica Cohort. Or I can drop an Onager Dunecrawler to make way for 2 Armiger Warglaives/Helverins. We'll see. I'll take my time to decide it!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Genestealer Cultists

Just have to put this out here, esspecially after seeing the awesome models and video on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page. We even have more details on Warhammer Community!

Needless to say, the Genestealer Cults are getting a lot more models, so let's keep an eye out, for they will strike when least expected. Guardsmen of the valiant Astra Militarum! Stay vigilant, and do not allow these filthy heretics and xenos scum (though are they really xenos, though?) infiltrate our ranks and harm our Imperium!

Edit: Oh, and guess what?! Not only do we have new Genestealer Cultists, we also have a new expansion for Blackstone Fortress! In the form of Ambulls! Check out the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page for more details! The Dreaded Ambull has arrived!

Funnily enough I'm currently reading the Ciaphas Cain series and am reading Caves of Ice right now, so the Ambull's appearance couldn't be any more fortuitous!

And apparently we have Ambots for Necromunda. Huh.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Beginner's Guide to playing Thousand Sons

All right, so you've read all the awesome lore on the Thousand Sons, beginning with A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill and culminating in Ahzek Ahriman's amazing exploits in John French's Ahriman Collection. Or perhaps you enjoyed how the Thousand Sons kicked the Space Wolves' asses in Chris Wraight's War of the Fang and Wrath of Magnus. Whatever the case, you've fallen in love with the Thousand Sons' lore and psychic mastery, and plan to run an army of Sorcerers, dusty automatons and warpbound Daemon Engines.

Unfortunately, you have no idea where to start, or how to begin crafting your army. You see, building a Thousand Sons army requires finesse, intelligence and skills. Just like the scheming cult of Scheming (uh, okay, that was redundant), you'll need to plan each and every aspect of your army to the most intricate detail...okay, maybe you don't. This a tabletop game, after all, so don't take it too seriously. Anyway, this here is a guide for beginners to have an idea of what the army can do, and how to start. building their Thousand Sons army.

A couple of disclaimers before I begin. This is an article for the beginners to the Thousand Sons faction. In other words, if you're looking for tournament-winning netlists, if you're trying to chase the meta and craft the strongest list, if you're attempting to min-max, if you're intending to build a super-competitive list that will crush every opponent in your friendly local gaming store, or if you're searching for the ultimate cheesy list, then you're out of luck. This place is not for you. And if you're a beginner, here's my first piece of advice: don't chase the meta. Play with what you like. Buy the models you love. Before you even dream of participating in tournaments or ITCs or the Las Vega Open or whatever, play a few games with whatever you like. The meta will always change, but your love for the army had best not change...otherwise you'll be wasting a lot of time and money when the next FAQ or Chapter Approved drops. Besides, you ought to learn to crawl before you run. Before you even think about jumping straight to tournaments, make sure you know what you're doing in casual and friendly games first.

Some of you might be unfortunate enough to wander into areas where the meta is super-competitive and where everyone is a win at all costs player. My advice for you if you're in that situation is...well, find a new local gaming store and make new friends. Honestly, this whole competitive, win at all costs attitude and mathhammering bullshit are unhealthy. Not just unhealthy for the hobby, but also detrimental for socializing and having fun. Warhammer 40,000 is a game. The point is to have fun, not to scream, argue, rules-lawyer, squeeze out as many advantages as you can, min-max to the point where your opponent becomes frustrated. This is a tip that is relevant not just to Thousand Sons beginners but to all beginners. Make sure you come into the game with the right attitude, and not just seeking only to win and crush everyone you meet. Otherwise, a couple of months into the game, and you'll find that nobody wants to play against you. Don't be that guy. Even though Imperial Knights are dominating the tournament meta right now (at least until the last couple of weeks), don't go and buy a bunch of Knights because chances are, you won't be able to find an opponent in your friendly local gaming store. Unless your meta is full of Knights and uber-competitive players who are seeking to practice for their next tournament...then good luck. But that's not an environment for a beginner, so best to get out of there and find a more beginner-friendly environment.

Now that advice is out of the way, let's begin with Thousand Sons proper. So what exactly distinguishes Thousand Sons from the other armies?

That's right. Our psychic potential. The whole point of playing Thousand Sons is because you love their psychic powers. We have the most psychic powers in 8th edition, with access to not one, not two but three psychic disciplines: the Discipline of Change, the Disciple of Tzeentch and the Dark Hereticus Discipline. We can even out-cast the filthy Aeldari or Craftworld Eldar. We have more psychic powers than our Loyalist brethren. If you've read the lore, you should know that this makes sense. The Thousand Sons is a Legion of Sorcerers, of Warlocks, of Psykers. It was this reputation that saw our Primarch and Legion censured at the Edict of Nikea, and we were banned from using our psychic powers since then. However, prior to that faulty judgement, the Thousand Sons Legion was among the most powerful Legions. With potent psychic mastery, we could smite any enemy with nary a thought, lift tons of boulders with our minds alone, and wreak apocalyptic havoc on entire worlds with our willpower. Nothing could stand in our way.

So what does that mean when translated into the tabletop? Well, you want to begin your Thousand Sons army by first creating a core of Sorcerers. You can bring Ahzek Ahriman. Thanks to John French's Ahriman Collection, and even his sympathetic portrayal in Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons, I've really taken a liking to the guy and I would never field a Thousand Sons army without him. You don't necessarily need him though, if Named Characters aren't your thing. Keep in mind that Ahriman can cast 3 psychic spells and deny the witch 3 times, and he gets a +1 for both tests. This makes him one of the most potent psykers in the game. Never leave home without him, but of course even without him you still have a strong array of options.

If you're invested in the competitive scene, you'll probably know that people spam Daemon Princes of Tzeentch (but if you already know that, why are you here reading a beginner's guide? Shoo! Go away! Go play in your tournaments and get into Best Coast Pairings!). There is a very good reason why they do so - Daemon Princes are extremely powerful and can rip things up in combat. Most people would advice that you take a second set of malefic talons instead of the sword, because you get another 3 attacks. And in this addition, volume attacks are king. That said, the sword does do 3 damage and the axe grants the Daemon Prince more AP and more Strength, so pick whatever you will. The malefic talons would be most useful for all situations, though, especially since you're going to cast Diabolic Strength on the Daemon Prince anyway. What? You didn't forget that Thousand Sons is a psyker-heavy army, did you? Of course you're going to be buffing your units. More on that later.

However, spamming 3 Daemon Princes of Tzeentch is not going to earn you any friends. Take 2 if you must, though 1 is a good number in terms of theme, fluff and access to the Daemon discipline. After all, there won't be many Daemonic powers you'll want to take from Disciple of Tzeentch. Gaze of Fate is undoubtedly the most versatile, effectively granting you a free command re-roll for your turn. Infernal Gateway is a bit niche and can backfire, and Bolt of Change is a bit expensive at Warp Charge 8. Boon of Mutation isn't going to be very useful for most of your army, and you probably have nothing to cast Flickering Flames on - sure, you can cast it on your Forgefiend or Heldrake, but if it's the former, you don't want your Daemon Prince sitting back in a gunline and just buffing your Forgefiend. There's an argument to be made for the Heldrake, certainly, but if you're not having that in your army, then Flickering Flames is pretty pointless.

Also take note that despite their appearances, Daemon Princes are Characters. In other words, as long as you have something between your Daemon Princes and your opponent, like...say, Cultists or Tzaangors, Heldrake, Maulerfiend or a Leviathan Dreadnought, they'll be forced to shoot at those instead of your Daemon Prince. Always make sure your Daemon Prince has a bunch of meatshields to protect him from your opponent's shooting. Snipers are another thing altogether, but there's no avoiding that, and his high Toughness means that most sniper shots are just going to bounce off his thick hide anyway.

So the rest of your HQ slots should be filled by Exalted Sorcerers. That's where the Exalted Sorcerer box comes in useful. It gives you three Exalted Sorcerers, and you don't even have to run all of them as Exalted Sorcerers. Normal Sorcerers, or use the bits for Aspiring's entirely up to you. Don't feel forced to build and field 3 Exalted Sorcerers just because they all come with the box. If you're planning on running 5-men Rubric Marine squads, you ought to save at least one of them to be an Aspiring Sorcerer. But make sure to build at least one on disc, and the other two on foot can either be an Aspiring Sorcerer or a gunline Exalted Sorcerer to provide re-rolls for hit rolls of ones.

Whatever the case, Ahriman, Daemon Prince or Exalted Sorcerers (or even Sorcerers in Terminator armor with a Familiar) should be the core of your army. You're playing Thousand Sons for the psychic powers, after all. Brotherhood of Sorcerery grants us an extra 6" to our casting range, so we have 24" Smite! Make full use of it! Additionally, as I said earlier, psychic powers can be used to buff your units. Diabolic Strength on a Daemon Prince will allow him to tear even an Imperial Knight apart. Or you can just use it on an Exalted Sorcerer with dual power swords. Yes, there is an option for Exalted Sorcerers to take two power swords - it grants them an extra attack. Nonetheless, don't forget to buff your Characters or units with Diabolic Strength, heal them with Temporal Manipulation, or keep them alive for longer with Weaver of Fate and Glamor of Tzeentch. Again, you're playing a psychic army. Make sure to maximize the use of your psychic powers. Otherwise you're pretty much wasting the potential of Thousand Sons. Always remind yourself during your psychic phase - who has cast his spells, and who hasn't? Is there any power that I forgot to cast? Who needs what buffs? How many more mortal wounds can I throw? Stuff like that. SORCERY is the name of our game, so spam those psychic spells, fellow brothers!

Next, the bread and butter of our army. Rubric Marines. Soulless automatons, silent golems, dust trapped within power armor. You should know the fluff by now. In trying to save his Legion, Ahzek Ahriman cast the Rubric and accidentally turned all of the not very powerful psykers into dust. At least they're no longer mutating into Chaos Spawn...bleagh, I mean that which must not be named. Ahriman cured the Flesh Change, even though it wasn't in the way he expected.

Rubric Marines

Since this is a Thousand Sons army, you'll definitely want to get these guys. What's that? They're not competitive? Hey, you're supposed to be a beginner, right? Why the hell are you talking about competitive already? Get out of here. Ahem. Anyway, these guys are indispensable for any fluffy and thematic Thousand Sons army. How can you have Thousand Sons without Rubric Marines?

Even though most people will tell you that Rubric Marines are not competitive, blah, blah, blah, I will once again stress that you're just a beginner. You're not here to chase the meta or look for advice on competing in a tournament. You're not going to the Las Vegas Open or any ITC in the near future. You're here because you want to start a Thousand Sons army, and that means starting a fluffy, thematic, actual Thousand Sons army. Remind yourself why you want to start Thousand Sons again. Is it because you want to compete in tournaments? You want to win trophies and competitions? You want to crush every opponent you meet at your friendly local gaming store (good luck finding a game in future)? If not, then screw all that hyper competitive nonsense. If you love Rubric Marines, get them and field them. Period.

But don't worry, all hope is not lost. Rubric Marines aren't rubbish or hopeless as some of the win at all costs crowd would have you believe - and they mostly exaggerate and rely on hyperbole. So if someone tells you Rubric Marines are garbage, chances are, his mentality is garbage and you'll do well to avoid playing against someone like him. As a beginner, your goal is to have fun, and to build a fluffy and thematic army, not to chase the meta. In any case, Rubric Marines can still pull their weight in most environments, especially that of your friendly local gaming store. They have AP -2 boltguns, which will help mow down hordes with low armor saves, deal very well with power armor units such as Space Marines and their equivalents. Particularly against other Space Marines, Veterans of the Long War synergizes very well with your AP -2 inferno boltguns to utterly raze them to dust. Make sure you do not forget All is Dust. It is very easy to underestimate Rubric Marines because of the amount of multiwound weapons such as autocannons and supercharged plasma guns, but keep in mind that the vast majority of small-arms fire are still lasguns, boltguns, autoguns or their equivalents. Meaning you'll get that +1 save against those. Hell, you'll get a 4++ invulnerable save even against the T'au's AP -3 plasma rifles. This means your Rubric Marines are not only elite Marine equivalent killers, they are also extremely resilient against small-arms and will take a lot of attacks to put down. I once had a squad of 5-men Rubric Marines who weathered wave after wave of Cultists attacks (about 40 Cultists with chainswords) and survived for 3 turns. That's how sturdy they are. And there was one time I frustrated an opponent because they were having 2+ armor saves in cover against his Primaris Intercessors' AP -1 bolt rifles. Yep, that's right. 2+ armor saves in cover against AP -1 bolt rifles. Don't ever underestimate All is Dust. Also, don't forget that your Sergeant is an Aspiring Sorcerer. In other words, your Rubric Marines have a psyker hidden within them! Make sure to cast baby Smite, or at least make use of the psychic potential to do Discipline of Change spells such as Tzeentch's Firestorm! Again, you're playing Thousand Sons because they are an army of psykers! Don't forget that your basic troops also can cast psychic powers!

You'll want at least 1 box, 2 if possible. With the Exalted Sorcerer box from earlier, you can make 2 5-men squads of Rubric Marines and use one of the Sorcerers as an Aspiring Sorcerer. Keep a spare with soulreaper cannon just in case you feel like running 10-men Rubric Marine squads with soulreaper cannons one day. If you can get a second box, great! Since we have the option to swap all inferno boltguns for warpflamers, that's exactly what I did with my second box. Hence I have 2 five-men Rubric Marine squads armed with inferno boltguns, and a squad of 10 Rubric Marines, 9 of them armed with warpflamers (the Aspiring Sorcerer has a warpflame pistol to fit with the theme). You don't necessarily have to follow me. You can just grab a single box of Rubric Marines and do 2 five-men squads with 2 warpflamers each. Or just run 20 inferno boltguns. Or do a 20-men squad and put them in Webway Portal. Use your imagination. It's your warband - customize and find your own strategic style!

The second Troops choice we have are the Tzaangors. As much as I personally don't use these guys, Tzaangors are pretty cool too. Thousand Sons may be an elite army, but they do have the option to field hordes of Tzaangors to compensate for their otherwise low model count. You probably might have heard people complaining about the codex being Codex: Tzaangors instead of Thousand Sons, and how Thousand Sons is more an army of Tzaangors and less that of Rubric Marines. Well, once again, don't listen to those people. You're not here to build a competitive list and dominate your friendly local gaming store scene. You're here to learn how to start a Thousand Sons army.

Tzaangor Warheard

That said, Tzaangors are pretty useful. They can hold objectives (though you might as well get cheaper Cultists or even an allied Battalion of Brimstone Horrors if all you want to do is to camp in cover and hold Objectives). But the reason you're bringing them is because of the sheer volume of attacks they can put out. Bring a 30-men horde of them, use Dark Matter Crystal and teleport them across the table, and have them charge whatever you want dead. Make sure to spend 10 points for a brayhorn to reduce the charge distance by 1". Once they get in, they'll probably deal an insane amount of damage - 30 Tzaangors on the charge is nothing to scoff about. And if you fail to kill the target (a Knight, another horde, or whatever), then spend 2 Command Points on Cycle of Slaughter for your Tzaangors to fight against. Best to equip them with Tzaangor blades (and cheaper in terms of cash too!), but chainswords do provide that extra attack, so it depends on what you really want. I personally think the AP -1 will be more useful in most cases, though.

Normally it's enough to bring a single 30-Tzaangor blob, and fill the rest of your Battalion requirements out with Rubric Marines (especially 5-men squads). Don't feel forced to take Tzaangors, though! If you love them, then all the more you should field them and wreak havoc across the battlefield with these lovable mutants. But if you don't and you prefer to keep your force entirely power armor (like me), then by all means, drop them out of your list and don't buy them. A pure Rubric Marines force is still perfectly viable in casual settings. As I said, if you're just starting out your army, then you should be playing in a casual environment where people aim to have fun and not mathhammer to the point of calling Rubric Marines garbage when they're not.

If you're bringing a Tzaangor army, or at least a horde of Tzaangor, then you'll have the option for more Tzaangor units such as Tzaangor Shaman and Tzaangor Enlightened. Or you can just bring them even without the normal Tzaangors, it's entirely up to you.

Tzaangor Shaman provides +1 to hit rolls of friendly Tzaangor units within 6", which will make a huge difference for your 30-men Tzaangor horde. But you can also hold them back and have them escort a group of Tzaangor Enlightened with fatecaster bows. These guys do an automatic wound on a hit roll of 6+, so with a Tzaangor Shaman buffing them, they automatically wound on hit rolls of 5+. Even better, the Tzaangor Shaman is a psyker. While he normally only has access to the Discipline of Change, you can use the Stratagem Chaos Familiar to swap his power out for Prescience from the Dark Hereticus Discipline. What this means is that your Tzaangor Enlightened, along with buffs from both the Tzaangor Shaman and Prescience, will not do automatic wounds on a 4+ hit roll. Keep in mind that these Tzaangors are relatively fragile and will die to a stiff breeze, so don't over-rely on them. They will do terrible damage, yes, but they have their weaknesses. Find ways to mitigate them - hide them behind a 30-men horde of Tzaangors, for example. Or use Glamor of Tzeentch of Weaver of Fates to improve their survivability! Usually the Prescience and other buffs mean that you would want to take 9 Tzaangor Enlightened in a single unit to benefit from the single buff...but you should already know my stance on super-competitive attitudes by now. I honestly think 3 is enough, just zoom them around and have them be a nuisance. Don't cheese your friends out, okay? If you min-max, people won't find you fun to play with, and you'll have trouble finding games in the future.

Next is the Sekhmet Conclave, or the Scarab Occult Terminators. You probably heard countless times about how terrible Terminators are this edition. I'm not going to argue because I'm too tired, but I'll reiterate. Buy them, play them if you love the models. Scarab Occult Terminators are gorgeous and they look awesome. That's more than enough for me. I honestly would get at least one box of Scarab Occult Terminators, regardless of the meta or what other people say. Sure, they'll die in any competitive meta, but you're a beginner and I'm a casual player. We'll find ways for Terminators to work in our meta. Another thing is that our Scarab Occult Terminators are a lot more survivable than other Terminators because of our Discipline of Change that can improve the invulnerable save or give them a -1 to get hit. Stack them with All is Dust, and you will have a really resilient unit that will not die unless you roll a lot of ones. Even so, their inferno combi-bolters are downright insane. Deep Striking about 9" away means that you'll be in rapid-fire range most of the time, and that's 4 shots per Terminator. They can also take a soulreaper cannon for every 5 in the squad, and these things dish out a nasty amount of Strength 5 AP -3 firepower. Wow! Not convinced yet? The Scarab Occult Sorcerer can cast a spell. And they all have AP -3 power swords. Combine that with Veterans of the Long War, and not many enemy units will be able to survive melee with them. I'm serious.

Sekhmet Conclave

The one other unique unit to the Thousand Sons will probably be the Mutalith Vortex Beast. They are good, with a bunch of different powers. Do take note that they will be a gigantic target so you will want more than one of them if you do bring them. They have a bunch of fancy powers that range from dishing out mortal wounds to buffing your units in melee (again Tzaangors, which is why people complain about the codex, but honestly, it's just a couple of units). They are also a good threat in melee, but that's not why you take them. You take them for the Mutalith Vortex powers!

Image result for mutalith vortex beast

Don't forget that the range of his powers doubles when he's at less than half his wounds! But he will sort of degrade in terms of getting the powers off. Aw...

Now, the last things to consider are the tanks and Daemon engines that the Thousand Sons have access to. As much as they will be useful, don't go too crazy on them. Yes, you can field an armored Thousand Sons list with 3 Predator, Land Raiders and Vindicators, but that will take up most of your points and you won't have enough left over for psykers. You might as well play Iron Warriors instead or something if you want to play armor. That said, they can still be useful. The Mutalith Vortex Beast, for example, will buff your Maulerfiends and Defilers in melee. As mentioned, your Forgefiend and Heldrakes will benefit from your Daemon Prince's Flickering Flames (or you can use Chaos Familiar to swap out a power for your Exalted Sorcerer to Flickering Flames). Plus they all have access to the Stratagems Blasphemous Machines and Daemonforge! Don't underestimate them - they definitely have a place in a Thousand Sons list, and synergize well with many of our psychic powers and buffs.

Predators, on the other hand....yes, many people take multiple because one Predator is going to get shot off the table before it can fire back. But 3 might be overkill...even if you're taking them for the Killshot Stratagem. That said, you can take 3 Predators if you want to. Just make sure you remember why you're playing Thousand Sons. Don't get too carried away with armor or Killshot that you forget the main strength of your army. Vindicators are too short-ranged for my liking, and honestly, the damage they deal could easily be covered by the sheer number of mortal wounds you put out during the psychic phase. You would probably need a Predator more than a Vindicator, but remember that you don't necessarily need a Predator. You have a ton of different options at your disposal. But if you love Vindicators, just bring them along. They have their place, I guess? Find a way to make them work, have them push upward in front of your Rhinos.

Rhinos are other transsports are important too. While a Land Raider might be too expensive to field in a Thousand Sons army (but still cool if you really like them!), Rhinos are relatively cheap and can help ferry your slow Rubric Marines across the table. Although you're supposed to camp them in cover to maximuze All is Dust and a 2+ armor save, there are times where you need to bring your Rubric Marines right up to the enemy, and footslogging just isn't going to work, even with Warptime. Particularly huge units of Rubric Marines with warpflamers - they really require the aid of a dedicated transport to bring them to the frontlines where they can incinerate things with their 8" warpflamers. I would recommend that you at least buy a Rhino. Two would be great, but not more than that...Thousand Sons are not meant to be a mechanized infantry army that relies on APCs to transport them around, so don't devote too many of your points into dedicated transports. You want them disembarked to cast as many psychic powers as possible, and to unleash hell with their AP -2 weapons. Otherwise you can just play Iron Warriors or something if you want to go mechanized. Even World Eaters might be a better option for a mechanized lists, since you want something to transport your Khorne Berzerkers up the field. With the exception of warpflamer Rubric Marines, I don't think you necessarily need Rhinos for your Rubric Marines, and you certainly shouldn't be spending points on Rhinos for your Cultists or Tzaangors (in terms of fluff and theme, it's a little weird, even if it does happen - can you imagine Tzaangors riding inside a Rhino?).

Last but not least, I'll introduce you to Forge World units. As you may have notice, the Thousand Sons don't benefit from having a lot of the units that the other Traitor Legions may have. We don't have Obliterators, Multilators, Havocs, Chosen, Raptors, Dark Talons, etc. However, thanks to Forge World, we have a bunch of stuff that's available to us that otherwise wouldn't. Lots of people would praise the Scorpius, for example, as a good source of indirect fire.

However, what I like is this:

The Osiron Contemptor Dreadnought looks awesome, and while there are no rules for it, you can run him as a normal Hellforged Cotnemptor Dreadnought with butcher cannons and soulburner. The Deredeo Dreadnought and Leviathan Dreadnought are als excellent options. They have really cool wargear and weapons! But don't feel like you absolutely have to go Forge World. If you're not a big a fan of resin or Forge World, then the primary codex itself is packed full of options. However, Forge World allows us a lot of options that we would never think about otherwise, and unlocks a ton of armor and mechanized walkers. Again, don't get too carried away and field like 3 Leviathan Dreadnoughts or something. You're playing Thousand Sons, not a Dreadnought or armored army. If you want to play a Hellforged Dreadnought army, you might as well play Alpha Legion instead of Thousand Sons. Dedicate a majority of your points to psychic powers (like Sorcerers). The armor and Dreadnoughts are there to support your psykers, not be the core of your army.

As Thousand Sons are an elite army, you should be able to easily hit 2,000 points just from buying a couple of boxes here and there. Speaking of which, when talking about Thousand Sons, there's the big guy himself. The Lord of War, and the Primarch of the Thousand Sons, Magnus the Red.

Magnus will make a great centerpece in your army. Keep in mind, though, that once again the above advice applies. Don't field Magnus in friendly games and avoid bringing him to casual games unless your opponent is also bringing Lords of War such as Roboute Guiliman, Mortarion or Knights. Magnus will be great against Knights, so if your meta is full of Knights, by all means bring him along (or even ally your Thousand Sons with Knights). Otherwise you'll be deemed as unfriendly if you bring him to a casual game with no Lords of War...and that really sucks, to be honest. But he gets shot off the board quickly by any competent player if you don't protect him, so there is that. Most likely, as a beginner, you'll be facing people with...say, Grey Knights or armies that don't have Lords of War, so go easy with the big guy, okay?

That's all the advice I have for starting Thousand Sons. Always remember the reason why you're playing Thousand Sons. You're not starting the army to dominate the meta and win tournaments. You want to have fun with the psychic powers that Thousand Sons have. Focus on that as the core of your army and build from there. The list should support your pyshic core and potential, not have your psychic potential support your Tzaangor hordes or armored list (though it certainly is most capable of doing that, and never forget to buff your auxiliary units with psychic powers!). As long as you keep that in mind you should be able to have lots of fun with this army.

For the Emperor! Vengeance for Prospero! Even if the rest of the Imperium shuns us, we will continue to remain secretly loyal to the Emperor!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My aim for this year!

Well, it's 2019...actually, it's already January 2nd, so I'm a little late on this. But the aim for this year is to return this blog's roots to Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights. Of course, I'll stick to my Thousand Sons as well, because I love my Thousand Sons army and their automata stuff to death. As well as psychic powers - who doesn't love psychic powers? But if possible, I hope to have more games with my Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights. I managed to get one of the kids to agree to play his Knights and Baneblade against my Knights, so perhaps I might be able to field my Knights more often...however, as you all know, in a casual meta such as the one in my area, I don't think there will be many people who will want to play against Knights. I know quite a few people who aren't exactly willing to play against Knights, so it might be tough to find games for my Knights to play against.

Thousand Sons, on the other hand, would be fun and awesome to play with and against. So I think it's safe to say that you'll be seeing more of my Thousand Sons on the tabletop. The problem is my Adeptus Mechanicus and Knights. Similarly, I shouldn't have a problem fielding my Imperial Guard with Deathwatch against most people. I had a lot of fun playing Imperial Guard and Deathwatch against Orks lately, and Deathwatch Intercessors are so fun fielding and playing with!

Unfortunately, I'm a little short on money, and especially if I want to complete my Knight project, I might have to sell my Deathwatch. We'll see. It'll hurt to sell my Deathwatch army, but I need the funds not just for Knights, but also to pay the bills and stuff. I should find a way to earn more money, because I can't afford to keep buying new models with my meager pay. And I need to focus on other stuff, like bills and living necessities. And university stuff.

So it will probably only be March or February before I can afford a couple of Armiger Helverins and a Knight Castellan for my Adeptus Mechanicus army. For now, however, I can definitely field my Imperial Guard with a Knightly lance, so that's more than enough for me! I hope I can field my Guard plus Knights more often, but Deathwatch is certainly an option if people don't want to play against Knights.

In any case, I will see what I can sell, what I don't need, and what I'll have to get rid of. Maybe by the end of this year, we'll be able to see what I can do!