Behold, friends, my decades of fealty have come to fruition. This December, Chaos (especially of the Tzeentch-loving variety), sees its star ascend at last.
So as everyone who knows me knows, and as many of you who may have begun to become familiar with my writings have no doubt begun to realize, I spend an unhealthy amount of time plumbing the depths of the Endless Internet to keep abreast of the latest wargaming rumors – particularly those related to Warhammer 40,000 (40k). I was therefore quite aware of the numerous rumors regarding the possible Chaos books/miniatures/kits coming from Games Workshop (GW) at the end of the year. The whispers spoke of some sort of Thousand Sons codex, the second Fenris campaign book, and even a possible additional Traitors book. Of course, there was also some blather about Sisters and/or Imperial blah blah blah … but honestly who could hear any of that once they mentioned Thousand Sons. Aa-and then … Friday night … the images ….. my mind exploded.
My first taste of the Thousand Sons.
To really make you understand, I need to stop here and check myself. I need to take you back in time to the heady days of yore … to a legendary time I like to call Last Thursday. Fortunately, as a true devotee to the Ruinous Powers, a quick trip back to the Eye of Terror and time manipulation is easy-peasy. So, on that dreary and forlorn afternoon, I was speaking to my brother regarding these rumor matters, as I often do. We chatted a little regarding his up and coming Genestealer Cult army, as he is still basking in the glow of that amazing book and its accompanying models, but then I turned the conversation to the impending 40k Chaos Space Marines (CSMs). As I recall, the conversation went something like this:
Me: “So I think that the Thousand Sons will be either getting their own book, or they will be a big part of the Fenris 2 Campaign book and then broken out as their own book in the LE, sorta like the daemons were in the first book.”
Dirty, Xenos-loving brother: “Maybe. I doubt it though. They’ll get their own book. Not even sure Fenris 2 is coming yet.”
Me: “Pretty sure it is. Oh, and I heard today that there will be another Traitor Legions book after the Thousand Sons book, later that month. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were just some sorta art book, but it could be an actual CSM supplement about the original Traitor Legions. At this point, GW has proved that almost anything is possible. How cool would that be?”
Xenos-embracing brother: “They are never making a Legions book. The rumormongers most likely just got their facts a bit screwy. It’ll be something like “Thousand Sons, A Traitor Legions Codex” or something similar. And MAYBE, you’ll get the second Fenris book too. We’ve seen Magnus, so we know you’re getting something Thousand Sons, but beyond that … yeah. No.”
Then then there was something about a longing for Ork love or some such equally un-Chaosy thing that didn’t really matter.
That brings us back to now, looking back on a glorious weekend of confirmed White Dwarf leaks that not only verify a plethora of Thousand Sons kits (Ahriman on a Disc???), but also confirm a Traitor Legions CSM supplement that actually provides everything I’ve been pleading for in my various Tentacle articles regarding the original nine legions that betrayed the Emperor (special rules, formations, relics, warlord traits, etc). My head is still spinning. Seriously, we are about to embark upon the single greatest month (December 2016) of 40k history in this hobby that has ever been (or likely will ever be). At long last, after trying virtually every other method of conducting business, GW has finally decided to listen to their own customers. We’ve entered a new Age of Wonder.
I can’t remember having a weekend where I was so excited about 40k – and I love this hobby. The Warp has gaped open and the laws of reality are breaking down… There will really be a Thousand Sons codex?? Well, no. Nothing so pathetic as that. The Thousand Sons get a monstrous two-book Warzone campaign set that details the return of their Daemon Primarch Magnus, their revenge upon the Spaces Wolves and the probable destruction of the Wolves’ homeworld, AND the equivalent of their own codex as well. A can feel the tears welling up… Also, we get a full, reimaged plastic model line of Thousand Sons including Thousand Sons rubrics and terminators with new special and heavy weapon options, exalted sorcerers, Tzaangors (really!?!?), a new Ahriman riding a Disc, and a towering, fully realized model of Magnus himself? I think I can actually hear my wallet crying … but it better shut up or so help me…
But, there’s more!?! There will be that Traitor Legions book as well, and Great Father of All that is Tentacley … there are Thousand Sons on the cover of this book as well! What? There are Thousand Sons dice too?? If I weren’t so gushing with this article, I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m gonna go broke this December. I lost a game of 40k I played against my nephew’s tyranids on Saturday and my wife’s fantasy football team put the Beatdown on me on Sunday. I barely noticed. I told my children that they’re all getting empty Thousand Sons model boxes for Christmas this year. And a kickstarter that I’ve pledged almost $200 to closes in a little more than a week as well.
None of it matters. I can’t stop grinning or texting my buddies to share my exaltation. I’m getting both Thousand Sons and Traitor Legions books. All in December. So, though this week I give my thanks to He who really matters for the blessings of my real life and the things that truly matter, here and now, I’d like to offer thanks to the mighty Tzeentch for delivering my hobby dreams this year.
Santa Tzeentch has come early this year, bestowing his mutations to all the boys and girls (pretty sure he doesn’t care if you’re naughty or nice), and we should all give our thanks.
Wrath of Magnus
Since we will all see the truth soon enough, it seems hardly worth the effort to try to predict the future regarding what this book will actually be. Having said that, I’d hardly be a proper servant of the Architect of Fate if I didn’t do so anyway, so here goes.
Before the sooth-saying can begin, we must consider GW’s newest release. This gives us a glimpse at what to expect, and with a bit of effort, I can tease out my prognostication. Obviously, since the campaign appears to be broken into two volumes and one contains the narrative background, I can predict that that will detail the coming of Magnus the Red at the head of a host of Thousand Sons to Fenris and the ensuing battles in that star system. However, I predict that Fenris itself will be destroyed and that the Imperium, particularly what’s left of the Space Wolves will be forced to withdraw from the system in humiliation. I also think that the Space Wolves themselves will be declared heretics, though they will still see themselves as true to the Emperor and his Imperium. Wankers.
As for the rulebook portion of the campaign, I predict this will prove to be mostly a Thousands Sons codex in all but name. They get new relics, a detachment and I believe the majority of the dataslates, formations and warlord traits mentioned will pertain to the new Thousands Sons units/detachment, though not all. The Space Wolves will probably be thrown a bone (Ha!), and get a formation or two as well. I also suspect that some of this material will pertain to Tzeentch daemons, and that these will be blended into the Thousand Sons army to a similar degree that Khorne daemons were in the Khorne Daemonkin codex. Lastly, I note that the blurb mentions several psychic disciplines – but not NEW disciplines. I suspect that the Tzeentch discipline will be wholesale replaced with the updated discipline of Change that the Tzeentch daemons received in the first Fenris campaign book. And all sorcerers in the Thousands Sons army will still use the current psychic discipline system and there will be none of this pre-8th edition wishlisting, assignment of specific powers going on.
Addemdum: So after writing the first draft of this article, today we’ve begun to hear some sketchy rumors about a new Lore of Tzeentch psychic discipline for the Thousand Sons and some other interesting details — some of which line up with what I’ve predicted above. Not sure about these rumors. I’m sure they will prove true in some fashion, but they just seem to vague for me to really discuss at this point. Again, we’ll soon see.
‘Nine is the magic number this month, as within this 136-page softback supplement to Codex Chaos Space Marines are army special rules, exclusive Detachments, Warlord Traits, Tactical Objectives and Chaos Artefacts for each of the Traitor Legions – the nine legions who followed their Primarchs into treachery and heresy as they turned from the Emperor’s light. (avail 10 Dec)
As for this book, it’s hard to make coherent predictions about what it will be, without finding myself projecting what I want it to be. Still, taking what the Facebook blurb into account, I’d say we should take it at face value. It’s a beefy book at 136 pages, so I’d say probably a third to half of it will be dedicated to art and background material (hopefully new) regarding the original nine Traitor Legions. The remainder of the book will be dedicated to the rules for these Legions as it lists in the blurb – new formations, warlord traits, and relics for each of these specific Legions. I’ll go ahead and predict that there will be a couple different detachments that these Legions can layer their specific formations into, though I suppose it’s possible that they’ll each get their own complex detachment (though I doubt it). Finally, unlike many of the naysayers out there in the Endless Internet, I predict this will not be a compilation of older material from the various Chaos sources this year and that the “special rules” for each Legion will, indeed, be Chaos chapter tactics. I predict it’s pretty much gonna be all new material.
So What Does It All Mean?
So having had my brain blasted by the mere reality that this stuff is actually happening, and that it’s only weeks away, what do I think it all means? How will this shape the lives of CSM players in the here and now, and indeed, into the years to come? Well, after a deep breath, and I’m talking a really deep breath, and a moment of contemplation, I can tell you this. All of this will not replace the base CSM codex. Instead, as we should now completely expect, these rules will layer over the top of that relic of 6th edition. These two books will not push us into the competitive spheres of Eldar or Space Marines. Instead, I fully expect this to land us squarely in the Khorne Daemonkin codex power-level spectrum (though call me crazy, but I suspect that the Thousand Sons stuff will be slightly more powerful than that). But you know what? It’s all alright.
I’m totally serious. To me, and many hardy Veterans of the Long War, it was never about the power level of the CSM codex. It was about the blandness. It was about stripping away all the flavor of the original nine Traitor Legions and then forcing us to accept cardboard-flavored Renegades like Crimson Slaughter. And you know what? This is it, baby. The Big Nine are back, and the renegade Chaos posers can stand aside. GW is listening — they are! Sure, it would have been nice if this were a whole new codex that just replaced the 6th edition one, but it is what it is. I know we’re jaded. I know we’re bitter. And I hear the cries of despair that we’ll still be weak because it’s all predicated on an old and pathetic codex filled with overpriced units. Maybe. But don’t listen True Devotees! Lies! It’s all lies! This is our time. The Traitor Legions are returned and we’re doing so with style. If nothing else, if we ARE defeated, at least we can do so with our chins held high and that briny, tingley flavor of our chosen Traitor Legion on our forked tongues. Besides, I suspect there will be some cool and powerful combos to be had out of all this glorious Chaos taint, cursed be the Naysayers!
Oh, and the Galaxy is gonna really burn this time… Wait and see.
So, after 25 years of praising Tzeentch, spreading his word, mutating his enemies, building his armies, smack-talkin’ all Space Wolf players, and offering up my devotion to his causes … I’m not saying this manifestation of the Thousand Sons as their own true faction is due to my faith alone. I’m not, not saying that either.