Goatboy’s Quick & Dirty Codex Review – Thousands of Tzaangors!

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.

I know magicks suckas – 2 powers a turn!

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.

But, but I just bought Magnus…

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
Heavy: Mutalith
Heavy: Mutalith

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.


  • Nyyppä

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that is bothered by the continuing lack of namesake units in CSM lists thanks to there being obviously better options in those books?

    • Drpx

      Well what do you need them for anyway? Their 3+ saves?

      • Nyyppä

        Internal and external balance. Good, not perfect. In that situation “you” don’t look at the list with those units and think “why would I use those when these are just plain better in almost every way”.

    • nidzillaftw

      Totally agree. There is nothing wrong with Goatboy’s list. But is it a Thousand Sons list? The whole point of getting our own codex was to make Rubrics and Occult termies a viable option. And from what i’ve seen so far, I can’t see it happening. Tzaangors are great, but if I wanted to play a horde asssault army, I’d play my Tyranids.

    • LankTank

      I know right. I personally think that cultists and poxwalkers etc should not have the heretic astartes keyword and that yiu use chaos to make lists. Yiu could still unify them under say… workd eaters, using world eater specific stratagems, but tgen they coukdnt be targeted for alot of the psychic powers and stratagems like vets of the long war. I mean id hate my list to get a nerf but I always take a minimum of 7 plague mRines even when doing a daemon cultist heavy apostles of contagion list

      • Nyyppä

        I think the good old “carrot” would work here. I don’t think a nerf is needed for the now auto take units but rather a boost to the others.

        • LankTank

          Fair point. However any buff to a heretic astarte means a sinilar buff would go to all astartes which would skew alot ofof armies. Maybe just a buff to bolters to make them more of a viable weapon rather always trying to min bolters/max special weapons? A 6 to wound causes another auto hit perhaps to represent the explosive shells? Helps curb the horde meta and the inadequecy of bolter meq a little

          • Nyyppä

            Oh, I don’t know. If I got viable morale rules for CSM so that I could play WB the cultists would not be my majority troops. Just saying.

          • LankTank

            I still wish that part of the WB trait was that it granted Codex Daemon units the Wordbearer keyword so that WB Lords etc would give buffs to horrors or Soul Grinders etc. That would have been very thematic. Even if it was only the troops listed in the CSM codex, having Plague-bearers that did not mess with your faction and also got buffed would have made complete sense

          • Nyyppä

            Sense…..GW…..how are these connected?

  • mgdavey

    Goatboy here, and again.

    • ZeeLobby

      lol, my prediction that BoLS is driven by a slightly intoxicated AI gets closer to being proven every day…

    • Bri B

      Four times in the first few sentences we’re notified that Goatboy wrote this article. Just like every Goatboy article.

    • Adam Marshall

      Comments here and again and comments here and Goatboy again.

  • JJ

    Oh look another Chaos Space Marine book…where no one will actually bring Chaos Space Marines…

    • ZeeLobby

      The days of infantry are gone. Big stompy robots and heroes are here to stay. No more trench warfare, no more trusty bolter. Alas 🙁

  • euansmith

    Classic Goatboy; only one Space Marine in a CSM list. That is, I assume that a Chaos Lord counts as a Space Marine, or is this actually the Zero Sons? Never change.

    • Mike Zoghby

      That’s my biggest gripe. I’m definitely gonna be running my dusty boys – just bummed they are obviously the weakest choices.

      • euansmith

        From the sounds of it, the Rubrics might become all squishy on the inside again if Magnus gets what he is looking for in Commorragh. This would be a shame, I think, as the haunted armour is a cool detail.

        • marxlives

          Ya, Arihman’s solution to mutation is very chaos themed. It is like wishing to see more so the chaos gods give you eyes in your stomach.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          Until you try to put one on….awkward 😛

      • LankTank

        Nah they probably just take some finese which is not bols style

    • “Zero Sons” made my day. 😀
      I really wonder how he comes up with the names for his lists…

      • ZeeLobby

        It is pretty catchy.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      Time to lead the Zero Sons into ….wait…where muh marines?!?

  • AmorousBadger

    How is it a sample *name of army here* list if GB keeps insisting on having troops from other codexes in it?

  • Simon Chatterley

    It was good to meet you at the LVO and have a chat bud. A face to the name.

    If I get back gaming in the US again I’ll look out for the pink!

    • euansmith

      “… I’ll look out for the pink!”

      Hey, buddy, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

  • Fergie0044

    Good to hear that if Magnus can’t have a 3++ re-rolling 1s then he is trash and is condemned to the shelf…

    • Drpx

      Right alongside his Rubrics.

      • Jose Luis Camarasa

        Codex: tzaangors

    • LankTank

      Everyone is bleating as though he is useless right? Still keeps warptime and +1 inv. Gets a warlord trait to cast another power. Doesnt get hurt by perils, has far more psychic powers to enhance his army allowing huge variety and rerolls 1 on casting pretty much guranteeing every cast. But you know he is now “terrible”

  • Jose Luis Camarasa

    Just like chaos space marines lists hardly has any chaos marines in them, thousand sons ones doesn’t feature any thousand son. Oh! Just like death guard lists doesn’t include any death guard marine! How unexpected!

    • LankTank

      Mine does! Stay true!

  • Matthew

    Codex: Goat herders!

  • silashand

    As expected, not a f****** Thousand Son in the lists save the sorcerer 🙁

  • memitchell

    Why is there a Thousand Sons Marine on the cover of the Thousand Sons codex? Ditto, Death Guard. And, CSM.

    What is the horde alternative for Custodes in the Custodes codex?

    • Karru

      The Custodes don’t have any, but you will be seeing swarms of Imperial Guard with them to get CP.

  • Auri

    If loyal SM had cultists (or auxiliar guard) in it, I can’t see no SM army with tactical marines.

    The same with chaos. How to fix it? Make the traitor guard available and remove the extra efficient unit of cultists from CSM codex, so pure CSM lists would have to actually include at least a couple of CSM units…

  • NNextremNN

    You should rename this List into zero Sons List …

  • Agent OfBolas

    So what’s the point of buying Chaos Space Marines: Thousand Sons … and not field chaos space marines? Sorry, but this book is missing the essential rules players were waiting for.

    In 1k sons army, Space marines and Terminators should be the mainstream, everything else should be just a background, not the other way.

  • Imatuhl

    Boo. the whole point of this was to play Thousand Sons not Age of Sigmar. As someone who enjoys reading the Thousand sons and their lore I feel a bit let down. I’m still going to field Rubrics and Scarab occult but why would they put the main focus on units that should be more supplemental.

  • Imatuhl

    Boo. My first army back in 2006 was Thousand Sons and I’ve loved the army and their lore ever since starting the hobby. I’m still going to field my Rubric, Scarab Occult but this is a disappointment. Why not add in the Khenentai Occult Blade Cabal or Sorcerer Dreadnaughts/Helbrutes.

  • Imatuhl

    This is kind of a disappointment. The Main focus of the book should be the Thousand sons. This was my first army back in 2006 when I first started the hobby. I love the Lore surrounding the army and I just don’t understand if they wanted to add in some supplemental melee units to the army Why not bring back the Order of the Jackal and the Khenetai Blade Occult Cabal. Those models would sell like hot cakes I’m sure. They could even bring in Sorcerer Dreadnought/Helbrutes. I don’t like the focus on Tzaangor’s because when I play Thousand sons I don’t want to feel like I’m playing Age of Sigmar.

  • MarcoT

    Not sure what everyone seems to be disappointed about. Thousand Sons still seem solid enough, and I’d happily play an army of them. Who cares if they don’t show up on the LVO?