Friday, 9 March 2018


Oops, wrong set of magical evil guys...

There we go, that's the one.
So Thousand Sons have come out with their own Codex and if you want some magic, it's all David Copperfield up in this shit.  Unfortunately, with all the awesomeness that is in this codex, it is inevitably going to be nothing but codex "Goat-BOIEEEZ".  You'll see why.

To start us off, them special rules.  Well, they don't really have any.  Other than summoning and Death to the False Emperor but, since all Heretic Astartes come with those, they're not really special.  However, if you have a detachment where all units have the Thousand Sons keyword, then every psyker can add 6" to any psychic power they manifest.  Normally I would move onto the units but since many of those units rely so heavily on the psychic powers, I'm going to go over those next.

There are 3 psychic power tables in this book, the Discipline of Change, which is unique to this codex, the Dark Hereticus discipline, which is also found in the Heretic Astartes codex, and the Discipline of Tzeentch, which is found in the Daemons codex.  That's access to 18 psychic powers.  Now not all characters have access to each one but we will go through that as they come.

First up is the Discipline of Change and the first power is Tzeentch's Firestorm, WC 7, pick a visible unit 18" away, roll 9 D6's, the unit suffers a mortal wound for each 6.  I like this one, particularly if your dice get hot.  Boon of Mutation is a neat one where you cast it on a non-daemon character within 3" and they to roll on the Boon of Tzeentch stratagem table.  I'm not sure this one will see a whole lot of play as there are only a couple results that are any good and it's a 2D6 chart, but getting an extra 6" on a warpflame pistol is pretty cool.  Glamour of Tzeentch gives enemy units a -1 to hit when they target the targeted Thousand Sons unit, it's 12" range and WC7 which is good.  While Doombolt has a WC of 9 it is possibly my favourite power.  If the power is successful you pick a target within 18" and deal D3 mortal wounds to it, THEN, in the target's next movement phase it MUST HALVE it's MOVE characteristic AND CANNOT ADVANCE.  I'll let you mull that over for a minute cause that is powerful, particularly with the potential 24" range.  Temporal Manipulation is pretty good for a character/vehicle/monster heavy army as it's WC6 will heal D3 wounds on a Thousand Sons unit 12" away.  It's only WC6 and it heals your dudes, it's good.  Last on this list is Weaver of Fates which gives a unit a 5++ or improves the invulnerable save by 1, to a max of 3++.  It's WC6 and 18" range.  Another good one when paired with Glamour to keep your dudes safe.

The Dark Hereticus discipline is the 6 powers in the Heretic Astartes codex, we all know and love these so I won't drag this one on.  Infernal Gaze WC5 magic missile, Death Hex WC8 removes invulnerable saves, Gift of Chaos WC6 6" D3+3 magic missile if you can roll over the target's T, Prescience WC7 gives target +1 to hit, Diabolic Strength WC6 gives target MODEL +2S and +1, and Warptime WC6 move again.

The Discipline of Tzeentch is old hat as well, showing up in the Daemons book.  Boon of Change WC 7 roll a D3 and get an boost, Bolt of Change WC8 does D3 mortal at 18" and turns dead characters into spawn, Gaze of Fate WC6 is a free re-roll, Treason of Tzeentch is WC8 18" you roll 2D6 and if you roll over the target character's Ld you can control him until the end of the fight phase, Flickering Flames WC5 target tzeench daemon unit 18" away gets +1 to wound, Infernal Gateway is WC8 that does D3 mortal wounds to nearest unit and D3 to units within 3" of nearest model.

Really, if you are going psychic heavy, you can seriously load up on powers and just go hog wild without having to worry too much about running out of powers (since each power can only be attempted once per phase).  There are stratagems to help you out with this as well, The Great Sorcerer allows one of your psykers to attempt to manifest an additional power, while Cabalistic Focus adds 2 to your psychic test if the caster is within 6" of two other friendly Tsons psykers.

The first unit up for scrutiny is the Daemon Prince, and he is pretty much the same one as we all know and love, except he now gets a 4++ and can cast 2 powers per phase AND he can choose his powers from all 3 of the lists.  Lets make him your warlord and give him Otherworldly Prescience which now gives him a 3++, then cast Glamour for a -1 to hit and Diabolic Strength to make him S9 with A8 (if he has 2 sets of talons), hitting on 2's, re-rolling 1's, and wounding most infantry on 2's.  If you take Boon of Change instead of Glamour you could be S10 or have A9.  OR you can take Temporal Manipulation and just fucking heal himself every turn.

I found this after searching Exalted Sorcerer, I don't need any other excuse.
The Exalted Sorcerer is basically a Chaos Lord who is magic.  All other stats and abilities are the same except he has some different weapon options and only a 5++.  He does not have access to all the powers and is limited to the Change and Hereticus disciplines, but can cast 2 powers.  He does come in at 112 points (no weapons) and you can put him on a disc for another 20, so you pay for that extra zappy goodness.

The next 2 are the non-exalted sorcerers, one of which comes in terminator armour.  They are basically the same with some deductions in the stats department, but they are still casting 2 powers.  The dude in terminator armour managed to sneak himself a familiar, which adds 1 to the first psychic test each phase.  I don't know why no one else got this option, but for 9 points (why 9?) its a fucking steal.

For all the relics they give you, there are only 2 worth taking, and one of them can almost be replaced with a stratagem.  So really, there is only the Helm of the Third Eye.  Finally a chaos army gets an ability to gain command points, which you can on a 5+ any time your opponent uses a stratagem.  The Dark Matter Crystal is the other one and it lets you pick up the bearer OR an infantry unit within 12" of him and deep strike them elsewhere on the table in the typical fashion, ONCE per battle.  This does not count as falling back if the unit was within 1" of an enemy unit.  As I said, this relic is nearly replaced by Webway Infiltration which lets you put a unit in reserve for 1CP, or 2 units for 3CP.  They can then deep strike onto the table...yadda yadda yadda.  The crystal can get you out of sticky situations though.

Hey, we got cultists.  They are the same as everywhere else with all the same options and quantities.  I won't bore you...

The Rubric Marine is the poster child of the army, those mindless automatons led by a Junior Sorcerer.  The Sorcerer can only cast a single power, his smite is neutered at a single mortal wound or D3 if cast on a test over 10, and he only has access to the Discipline of Change, but it's an extra caster.  The Rubrics themselves come with some of the deadliest standard equipment in the game, everyone of them carrying a -2AP bolter.  Upgrades include an -2AP flamer, or the soulreaper, which is a 24", Heavy 4, S5, -3AP gun.  Don't worry, they don't suffer the -1 to hit penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons.  Now, while only 1 in 10 can take one of those cool cannons, ANYONE can take a flamer.  A unit of 10 of these guys, with 2 flamers and a soulreaper, it will kill 7 marines in one phase with 0 bonuses.  You can then cast Prescience (from an outside source cause junior doesn't have access to that power) on them and use VotLW to up that to 10.  This unit will cost 250 points, but I'm not done telling you all the great things about it.  For attacks that have a 1D stat, which is most of them, they can add 1 to their saving throws(this includes their invulnerable save).  Junior can cast Glamour on them which means that it will take approximately 240 attacks at S4 hitting on 3+(4+ because of Glamour), to bring down that 10 man unit.

The Rubric Marines also comes in terminator form, the Scarab Occult, and with their inferno combi-bolters will absolutely lay waste to infantry.  They are slow, but they can deep strike which is important for that surprise round of -2AP to the face.  And they are actually quite inexpensive, a unit of 5 with a Soulreaper only coming in at a little over 200 points and only 15 points higher than a normal terminator squad with a reaper autocannon.  Ironically, their terminator armour does not make them any more durable against small arms fire, but anything that has an AP value loses a little bite as the Scarab Occult have the same rule that gives them a +1 to their saving throw and not take the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons.  So, if you happen to get Weaver of fates off on either of the marine units, they will have a 3++ against weapons with 1D and high AP.

Horrors I covered in the Daemons book review, so I won't go into great depth.  If you include them in your Thousand Sons detachment you will lose the +6" to your psychic powers, but you can summon a unit and they are surprisingly durable if you keep a couple points available for splitting.  Flamers and Screamers are in the same boat.  All the details on their uses are in the Daemons review.  These last 2 units really add mobility to the army, which is something that this army is sorely missing.  However, since adding them into a detachment loses the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, it would probably be smarter just to take a detachment of Daemons.

Also in that boat, it must be a cruise liner or something, are many of the vehicles of the Thousand Sons.  Helbrutes, Rhinos, Predators, Vindicators, Land Raiders, Defilers, Forge and Maulerfiends, as well as the Heldrake are all here much like they are in the Heretic Astartes book.  They also all have their respective stratagems, Linebreaker Bombardment, Fire Frenzy, Kill Shot, Daemonforge etc etc.  Warpflame Gargoyles is new, you pick a Tsons vehicle (except Helbrute or Heldrake) and EVERY unit within 3" of it takes D3 mortal wounds on a 4+(6+ for characters or vehicles).  That could be potentially good if you rush that empty Rhino in their face.  They may not think to kill it because it's empty.  Another new one is that you can give a vehicle Inferno Bolts giving a "bolt" weapon on a vehicle -2AP...for the whole game.  Yes, you use this stratagem at the start of the battle and it lasts the whole game.  Now, since this is a "before the game" stratagem, it is not limited to only one use, which means you can give your Helbrute two fists with combi-bolters and have him firing 4/8 shots at -2AP.  Which is probably not the best use of that stratagem, but man oh man would it be cool?

However, it is the next couple choices that tell why the codex should have been called Codex Goatmen, the Tzaangors. They are halfway between a Marine and a cultist, but way closer in points to a cultist.  WS3+, S4, T4, 5++, and a -1AP weapon that gives it an extra attack.  You can take them in units of 30 for fewer points than the above 10 man Rubrics squad.  We are not quite done yet as they can get +1" to their advance and charge rolls and re-roll failed hit rolls when targeting a character.  Combine all that with a -1 to hit them from Glamour and a 4++ and you have a very durable unit that can really hurt you in the fight phase.  Now I have watched a number of games where players are using these guys as a screening unit and that is just a shame.  Cultists are the shield, these guys are the counter punch that the cultists shield.

They even have their own Character, the Tzaangor Shaman.  He is 90 points, which puts him on par in cost with a Sorcerer point wise and stat wise, but the Shaman comes with a Disc and can re-roll his first failed psychic test.  He also makes all those Tzaangors you will be taking better by adding one to their hit rolls.  Put them next to a Prince and they are hitting on 2's and re-rolling 1's.  Down sides, he can only cast 1 power, he only has a 5++, he has no weapon options, and only has access to the Discipline of Change.  SO you'll have to get 2 of him...

We are not done being men who stare at goats, we have the Enlightened yet to go.  These guys are pretty damn cool.  16 points each for a Primaris Marine stat line, a 5++(no other save though), a jump pack, and a +1S -1AP spear that's 2D the turn they charge.  For an additional point you can swap that spear for a S5, -1AP, Assault 2, 24" fatecaster greatbow.  Plus, regardless of phase or turn, for each hit roll of 6+ you make, you do not need to roll to wound, the attack automatically wounds.  Saves can still be made as normal, but you don't have to roll to wound.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  You better be, the Shaman's +1 to hit aura.  Wait, cause we also have Prescience that adds another +1 to hit, and lets say it's a Prince or Exalted that cast Prescience, so you'll be re-rolling 1's too.

Ok, lets run some numbers on these guys, and lets assume they are within 6" of a Shaman and Exalted and have Prescience on them, which is not that crazy to happen in a game.  With the greatbows, a unit of 9 (for under 150 points) can put out 18 shots, 11 will hit with 4+, automatically causing wounds, and 6 of them beat a 3+ save.  Of the other 6 hits, 4 of them will wound dealing another 2 wounds for a total of 8 wounds, against marines of course.  Imagine that, from 36" (move plus weapon range) away this unit of 9 dudes can nearly wipe a 10 man marine squad.  If you remember, the Rubric marines had around the same damage output for 100 points more.
As for their spears, the numbers will essentially be the same except they are dealing 2 damage a piece the turn they charge.  Hell, lets imagine that two of them can't make it to combat so they can stay within range of the 2 auras that make them so deadly, that's still 14 attacks, 7 causing autowounds, and half of those beating a 3+ save.  They will kill a rhino in a single round of combat...what other 150 point unit can do that?

Our last non-LOW unit, is also a new one to 40k although it has made its mark on AOS (fantasy before that).  It is the horrible tentacle monster, the Mutalith Vortex Beast.

This was one of the less risqué pics after typing in tentacle monster...
This guy is an interesting piece of work, having mediocre stats and weapons, but an interesting ability that involves a chart.  At the start of your shooting phase it can use it's Warp Vortex to choose one of the results from the table, OR you can roll a D6, resolve the ability, then roll again.  I LOVE this, being able to choose or get 2 random abilities.  I hope we can see a little more of this from GW, particularly with the future Ork codex, but I digress.  Each time you attempt to use one of the powers, regardless of your choice of activation, you must roll a D6 and meet the requirements of the Vortex Power chart found in the damage table.  It starts at 2+, so for the first while it's pretty reliable.

Warp Flare deals a mortal wound to each enemy unit within 9".  Chaotic Infusion sounds like a raw vegan dish at a hipster restaurant, but it gives +1S to a chosen Tzeentch unit within 9".  Temporal Flux allows a chosen Tzeentch unit re-roll charge rolls this turn, or, if already in combat, to attack first as though it charged that turn.  Ephemeral Touch improves the AP value of all melee weapons in a chosen Tzeentch unit by 1.  Maelstrom of Madness places a -1Ld penalty to a chosen enemy unit within 9", this is cumulative with multiple uses of this power to a limit of -3.  Beam of Unreality is basically Infernal Gaze that targets the closest enemy unit, roll 3D6, for each 4+ the unit takes a mortal wound.

We have one more interesting ability, and that is when the MVB gets down to 7 wounds or less, the range of each ability is doubled, but it takes a mortal wound if the roll to see if the power is successful is a 1.

It's time for the big man himself, the Daemon Primarch who did nothing wrong, Magnus.  Weighing in at a hefty 445 points, Magnus is pretty damn dangerous, but where to start.  Well, lets start with his stats, seems like the conventional way to start.  Now they do degrade as he takes damage but I'm just going to discuss him a full capacity.  He moves 16" which is pretty damn far, has S8 which means when you take into account his weapon he wounds almost everything on 2+, he is T7 with 18 wounds and a 3+/4++ (which can be easily boosted to 3++).

He's got some special rules too, like the Crown of the Crimson King which gives him his invulnerable save and lets him ignore wounds caused by perils on a 2+.  When he casts smite it deals D6 mortal wounds, or 2D6 on a test over 11, which is actually over 9 since he starts with +2 to all his psychic tests.  He has a 9" aura that lets Tsons re-roll 1's to hit and 1's when casting psychic powers.  He can cast 3 powers but knows 4 from any of the 3 disciplines, and deny 3 gaining the bonus to both casting and denying.

We must not forget that he kills things, with his big ass blade.  The Blade of Magnus is Sx2 (putting it at 16), -4AP, and 3D. Sure, it doesn't do a ton of damage, but every time it kills a character you can buy a spawn as reinforcements...he adds to your army as he takes from theirs.  With 7A, he is doing some serious damage even if his blade only does 3D

Really, Magnus is fairly straightforward to use, but is a pretty big points commitment so you better be prepared to keep him alive.  Glamour, Weaver, and Warptime will be the likely powers he should take, and he should likely use them all on himself.

So that is everything we need to know about the units, and I've gone over a hand full of stratagems and the useful relics, but I'm not quite finished...
The Warlord trait High Magister adds 1 to any psychic power your warlord makes, you can give this to the Sorcerer in terminator armour, the one with the familiar that no one else gets, and use the Cabalistic Focus for an overall +4 to your psychic test.
Finally, the coup de gras, the Coruscating Beam.  I have been waiting this whole post to talk about this thing as I fucking love it!  So, you know how the space marines captains always had this orbital bombardment thing they could do, well Tsons got one.  It's 3CP, and it requires your warlord to be a Tsons character that did not move and instead of shooting with him you pick 2 points on the table 9" apart, draw a line between each point and each unit that touches that line takes D3 mortal wounds on a 4+(5+ if it's a character).  There is no range, anywhere on the table visible to your warlord, ZZAAP!

Well, there we go.  Another long and winding path that, if you're reading this, have trekked with me.  I think this book has some punch to it, a lot of good AP weapons, and a lot of mortal wounds, plus some serious durability.

Til next time, keep them dice rollin.

Legions Maxximus is next weekend!  March 16-18.  Check out the ACTIVITIES LIST, and a time lapse video of a table being set up from last year.

Also check out the newest episode of Off the Hook, a pop-culture centric tv show that the owner of Maxx Collectibles, Garth, hosts.  Around the 6 minute mark you will see yours truly, doing an interview and talking about the upcoming Legions Maxximus 2018.  I'm not an actor so be prepared for a rather nervous nerd on tv.

That looks like the least amount of plugging I've done to date, but there is over 30 mins of video content there.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


WARNING!:  There are unpainted AND proxy models in this battle report.  If you are not prepared to, or capable of, handling the fact that some people play some games with unpainted models, or pretend that certain models are different ones before spending money to buy them in case things don't pan out the way they planned on it working out, then this battle report is not for you.  They are my models, not my opponent's.  He paints all his models.

In this third round of the Escalation league, I wanted to use this game as a staging point for an upcoming tactics post on summoning.  In the league I am playing Heretic Astartes, and if you have read my last 2 reports you'll know I have not been consistent in my Legion choices.  Well, I believe that has come to an end.  This match pits my army vs Shaun's in...


I really wanted to ease into the summoning, so I thought I would take a fairly rounded army and only have around 400 points for summoning.  For 1500 points that's still a pretty big chunk of army, but I was also facing Necrons, who are kind of on the bottom tier as it is without a codex and no points updates in the Chapter Approved.  This was a fairly one sided game but Shaun is a great guy and he stuck it out right til the end, and walked away in good spirits.  He is looking forward to getting a Codex and a re-match.

My list was:
Battalion:Word Bearers
Tzeentch Daemon Prince with axe and Warp Time.  He was my warlord and he had the Word Bearer Warlord trait that boosts his aura abilities by 3"
Sorcerer with force sword and plasma pistol and Mark of Tzeentch.  I knew I'd be facing some Wraiths so I took Death Hex, and since I had a bunch of Cultists I though the Tzeentch spell that gives the 5++(or adds one to ++ save roll).
20 cultists with brutal weapons and 2 flamers
20 cultists with brutal weapons and 2 flamers
10 cultists with autoguns and heavy stubber

Vanguard: Word Bearers
Dark Apostle with the black mace
5 Terminators, 5 combi-plasma, 3 axes, 2 chainfists
Helbrute, 2 fists, 2 combi-bolters
5 Possessed

Shaun's Necrons list was:
Lord on Command Barge, Veil of Darkness.  He was the warlord and had the 6+FNP warlord trait
20 Warriors
10 Immortals
5 Immortals
5 Scarabs
6 Wraiths
Doom scythe(flying thing with big ass laser gun)

So I win the roll off to deploy first and start with my Terminators.  A picture being a thousand words, here are some pictures of our deployment from my point of view.

I win the roll off to go first, he fails to seize and I push everything forward.  Now you can see from my deployment that this is going to leave a big gap in my backfield and I did this on purpose.  I even pretended to "debate" it with myself, sorry for the trickery Shaun.  I was sacrificing my Sorcerer to do this, but I was hoping that he would Veil his warlord and Immortals into that gap and I could turn around with my Prince and a couple things and summon some stuff to wipe them out.  Mainly this would also bring his large unit of Immortals away from the Cryptec so they would not be getting their 4+ RP.  That was my plan.
I dropped in my Terminators right in front of that big unit of Immortals and shot them up pretty bad to press the fact he needed to move them.  I was even able to make the charge with the Terminators into that unit of Immortals and the Warriors next to them.  I killed a handful of Warriors and brought the Immortals down to 2.  This left him with a choice to burn 2CP to keep them from fleeing or risk losing them, he chose to burn the CP.

Well, my plan sort of works, and doesn't work.  His turn starts off with him getting 5 of the 8 dead Immortals back, he then Veils them out of combat but just over to the right side of the canister behind the second unit of Immortals.  He uses his flier to zoom into my backfield and snipe out my Sorcerer. I was a little surprised by this but figured my Prince can still go over and punch that thing out of the sky, or at least do some damage to it.  He does a bunch of shooting, but with his Warriors locked up he only takes out about half of the red squad of cultists.

His Wraiths also come out to play and, joined with the Stalker, charge into the Terminators.  They fail to make much of an impact and only manage to kill 2.  I was expecting more from them.

I proceed pushing everything forward once again, except for the red cultists, who pull the old "Tide of Traitors" coming on the right side of the table.  The Daemon Prince holds his ground because the flier landed about 3" away from him.  I then use the Word Bearer summoning stratagem to summon 30 Pink Horrors into a nearby building.

You were already warned at the beginning.
They kill off the 5 Immortals that just came back to life, putting that unit back down to 2.  My blue cultists, the Helbrute, and the Dark Apostle are all able to charge the Wraiths and tear 4 of them apart in an amazing display of RE-ROLLING EVERYTHING thanks to the DA.  This guy is fucking golden and is the main reason I was able to do as much damage as I was able to.

On the other side of the table, my red cultists are able to shoot and assault the Scarabs, who had come around a building on the right side of the table, and kill a couple bases while my Possessed assault the front line of Immortals and do nothing.

 Daemon Prince fails to do ANYTHING to the flier...

Shaun promptly flies right the fuck off zapping the Prince for a mighty 4 wounds.  The rest of things don't go as well for Shaun as lots of his army is stuck in combat.  The Scarabs back away calmly form the cultists in a desperate attempt to score line breaker while the Lord steps up and punks the 3 remaining Possessed, but so too comes the end of the Wraiths, torn down by massed attacks and re-rolls.

My turn sees a Changecaster summoned and put right on the Relic.  He boosts the Horrors with flickering fire and they take out the front row of Immortals, leaving an open path for my Helbrute to make it to the second line of them, wiping them out and consolidating into the warlord, who then puts 4 wounds on the Helbrute.  The pile of bodies continue to drag down robot after robot, slowly winning that combat.

I also summon some Bloodletters because I had points left but they do nothing.

The bottom of turn 3 sees more of the same, just about everything is caught up in combat and Shaun is losing models faster than he can reanimate them.  The scarabs make a break for it and get closer to my deployment zone...

Then they are wiped out by 81 shots from the remaining Pink Horrors.  That isn't the only devastation as the Prince, Helbrute, and red cultists flip the Command Barge like a cop car in a riot.

The Stalker falls with the rest of the Warriors and the Cryptec which leaves the flier thing the only Necron unit alive and that is where we call it.

Victory Chaos!

Necrons have a number of pretty strong abilities, but their units are just overpriced.  I started with a little over 1100 points of army, and I think I might have been able to beat him if I didn't summon anything.  Shaun and I have played multiple times before, and I always enjoy playing him.  This win will have an asterisk next to it, and when I beat him after he gets a codex I can tack on a proper victory.

So this game could have gone a lot differently if for a couple critical moments.  First, my terminators making the 9" charge was pretty big.  It locked down 2 of his largest units which would have done a lot of damage.  Second, I don't think that his Wraiths should have gone after the Terminators, I think they should have gone after the blue cultists.  They would have done much more damage and the warriors could have held off the terminators alone for a couple turns.  The last thing that would have made a huge difference, is if he would have Veiled the Immortals and Lord just back enough, then fell back with the warriors and shot up the terminators.  With all the -2AP that the Immortals have they would have done some real damage.  As always, hind sight is 20/20.

The league is going strong and there are games being played all through the week and are full every weekend, not to mention the painting seminars that are going on.  There was one going on when we played and Shaun brought his son who spent his time painting some models.  Kind of a cool babysitting service while dad can get a game in.  Although don't use it as a literal babysitting service, that's not cool.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.