Goatboy here and again today we take a quick look at the new Thousand Sons Codex. SPOILER: It’s Solid!
Goatboy here and again and wow its already a crazy week. I should be getting back from LVO with hopefully more wins then loses. But this isn’t about that – it instead is a quick look at the new Thousand Sons Codex. I think it is a strong addition to the Chaotic Soup we have right now with a lot of powerful abilities and options amongst all the choices. It even has “new to 40k” units that add a lot to the army. It is a pretty exciting release as a ton of stuff has me wanting to paint up some blue, gold, and maybe some purple skin here and there.
The Good Stuff
First lets go with what I think is the best from the book. I really like how in a lot of ways it is a distinctly different book from Chaos Space Marines and the Death Guard codex. It isn’t nearly as full of stuff as Death Guard – but I think that is to its advantage as it doesn’t feel nearly as scatter shot as the sons of Nurgle. The Tzaangors don’t feel like a slapped on addition to the army as they have a distinct set of skills that will definitely help out their slow and plodding brothers. In fact I really expect to see mostly Tzaangors and Cultists as others start to mess with the book. It isn’t that you can’t play the Thousand Sons – it is just the mutated Cultists backed by strong spell casters is just too good to pass up.
Speaking of Tzaangors the disc guys are a great addition to the army. They are basically like Eldar Jetbikers with a decent gun (24″ Assault 2 Str 5 Ap -1 Damage 1) plus ways to hit better and stronger. They are also Daemons so things that affect Tzeentch Daemon can also affect these guys as well. They are also pretty cheap for a 2 Wound model. The Shaman already boosts their damage output by letting them hit on a 2+. A few spells here and there and you can easily get them hitting for Strength 6 as you mixed in some of the Tzeentch Daemon boost spells. Even the jump assault versions are not terrible – with a Decent Spear that can cause more damage on the charge. I wish the unit could be bigger. The Shaman is a powerful Elite choice who can throw out a Change Spell as needed. This army will be casting a lot of spells throughout the game.
The Tzaangors themselves got a nice boost with an updated to Strength 4 and Toughness 4. They look to have a flat 2 attacks with both hand to hand weapon choices (Chainsword/Autopistol or Tzaangor blades). They can get up to 30 models strong so mixed with the Webway Stratagem they can easily be a very painful unit to come in through the warp, Warptime forward (Cast from 9 inches away), and charge the enemy. They also have a double attack stratagem at the discounted rate of 2 Command Points as well. I can expect a lot of armies mixed with either a Nurgling Detachment or Alpha Legion to have a very crazy turn of damage.
The next new thing is the Mutalith. You know it as a bits box for random crazy daemon creations but now it is a viable unit for your army. You can either pick one of the abilities or roll 2 random ones in a game. They will go off based on a damage chart (Starting at a 2+) and range from some interesting mortal wound abilities to bring the weapons of the unit down a -1 to the AP. There is even one that lets a unit reroll the charge. My favorite thing is that there is a 1 CP stratagem that lets you cast another Mutalith ability that automatically goes off. As it takes more damage it starts to get more erratic and the ranges double on the abilities. It also even regenerates a wound a turn as well. It isn’t too bad in close combat as it can throw out up to 12 attacks at strength 7. It has a good deal of wounds (14) and it isn’t too expensive of a unit. It sits at the Heavy slot which makes it a very strong choice in an army that normally doesn’t run a ton of stuff at the Heavy slot. Oh and all their powers target “Tzeentch” units so combos work wonders for them.
The final amazing unit in the book is their own updated Daemon Prince. It sits at the same point cost as all the others and loses access to Warp Bolter just like their Death Guard brethren. But it does gain the Tzeentch Daemon ability (Ephemeral Form) and access to 3 sets of Spells to choose from. Of course as most are thinking – sure that is great but only being able to cast one spell a turn means it is most likely only having one cast Warptime and the others throwing Smite at your opponent. Well the Thousand Sons Daemon Princes got a nice little extra boon of getting to cast another Spell a turn. Yup – you can now have Daemon Princes with a bonus spell to cast each turn. This means you can easily cast your beneficial spells for your units and still throw out a needed Smite or two. You can also set up your Daemon Princes to become targeted Mortal wound machines with all the targeting options available from the 3 sets of spells. I think if any army needs a Supreme Command Detachment of 3 Daemon Princes, expect them to be Thousand Sons.
The Warlord Traits and Relics have some powerful options as well. We have seen the Scrolls already but there are 2 relics that will probably be debated over. The Helm of the Third Eye lets you get a chance to get a Command Point whenever your opponent uses a Stratagem. The other powerful one would seem to be the Dark Matter Crystal. I really like the Helm as any chance to get Command Points will be powerful. Mixed with one of the Tzeentch Daemon powers to get a reroll charged a turn and you got a good way to always have access to Command Points throughout the game. Warlord Traits you have some decent ones – the best seems to be either the Otherworldly Prescience power that gives you a +1 to your invulnerable save or Forbidden Lore that gives you another Psychic power you can know. Aetherstride seems alright as well as your Warlord can Advance and Charge. The +1 to your Inv saves mean you can easily have two 3++ turds on the table top.
Stratagems look to be pretty decent with the mentioned Webway portal option, double attacks with Tzaangors, and neat Mutalith tricks. I really like the Warpfire Gargoyles you can use on a Rhino. If you get near the enemy you can burn a CP to cause all units within 3″ to get a chance to take some Mortal Wounds. This is pretty neat as you need a way to drag your Rubrics around the table top and having some Rhinos/Walls that can still be a threat is something pretty useful. The Stratagems feel very flavorful for the Thousand Sons.
The Not Awesome Stuff
With all of this you would think this Codex is the Bees knees? Well it’s good but a few things got knocked down a few ticks. Magnus is not nearly the beast he was as he lost the reroll 1’s power for his saves. This is a pretty big deal as he is expensive and will end up getting targeted a lot. He does have access to a lot more spells with an already built in “heal” spell that he can use to keep from dying all the time. Mixed with a few Daemon powers and you got a pretty mean Primarch. He also got tweaks to his Smites and other changes. He did not get a sweep like attack which is kind of bummer. I see him more as a floating tank as he has access to a lot of Targeted damage spells and with his built in bonus’s to casting as well as built in damage mitigation with perils – he is very dangerous. He needs some bubble wrap to keep protected for sure.
But let’s move on from that and look at a basic list outline. You know I love me some Daemon Princes so expect them to be the Backbone of my army list. Will build the whole thing with Tzeetnch but I expect most armies to be some kind of mixture of Gods.
Sample Thousand Sons List
Thousand Sons Battalion
HQ: Daemon Prince, Wings, Malefic Talons, Warlord – Otherworldly Prescience – Warptime, Bolt of Change
HQ: Daemon Prince, Wings, Malefic Talons, Helm of the Third Eye – Weaver of Fates, Tzeentch’s Firestorm
HQ: Daemon Prince, Wings, Malefic Talons – Death Hex, Infernal Gaze
Elite: Tzaangor Shaman, Temporal Manipulation
Troops: Tzaangors X 30, Brayhorn
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Cultists X 10
Alpha Legion Battalion
HQ: Chaos Lord, Jump Pack, Chainsword X 2, Hydrablade
HQ: Sorcerer, Jump Pack, Prescience, Diabolic Strength
Troops: Cultists X 40, Mark of Tzeentch
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Cultists X 10
FA: Warp Talons X 10, Mark of Tzeentch
This sits right under 2000 pts so I am sure you can add a few things here and there. I also went with all Tzeentch to make sure it feels at least a bit fluffy. Most likely the Alpha legion side would be full of Slaanesh nonsense but I really wanted to make sure I could Mutalith a ton of different options in the army. The Warp Talons have a ton of options to get boosted up too – so they could come in very powerful when hitting the enemy. Plus you have some targeted Mortal Wound options throughout the list. Sniping characters with some Targeted removal can make for a very powerful army. Everyone gets something interesting. I also think there could be a very crazy Leadership bomb option when you build out with some Night Lords, Mutaliths, and some Butcher Cannon Contemptor dreadnoughts. The Mutalith abilities are all almost all cumulative so the one power that gives a -1 to the Leadership could be pretty crazy with some duplicate rolling on their Table.
Overall I am excited about the army as it has a lot of play with the new Mutaliths and Tzaangors additions. I am sad that Magnus might be sitting on the sidelines – but he didn’t need to be on every table top.