Oooooooooh, nelly! We’ve got our hands on a doozy, the new Wrath of Magnus supplement and in this article, we shall review this beauty covering dataslates, Psychic Powers, special rules and wargear. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.
This review is based on a first reading of the book, so take it was a grain of salt. I may miss something and my initial opinions may change. Let me know if you disagree with me on any points in the comments section. Also, click here to read a review of the special formations and detachments in the book!
What a cool book! So much awesomeness in this tome it’s hard to know where to begin. We won’t spoil any of the fluff (as it is awesome!) so no worries, there. What we will do is focus on the rules as there is a lot to talk about.
So, first up: the army wide special rules. There’s some cool stuff in here!
Chaos Space Marines
- Any Chaos Space Marines detachment may be from the Thousand Sons. If they are, they have the following modifications:
- Only may include Ahriman and/or Magnus the Red as unique special characters. So, no other chaos special characters in your army unless you include them in another detachment. I dig it, it is true to the fluff that way.
- Units that can take the Mark of Tzeentch must do so. Pricey, but read on to see more of the cool special rules.
- You can’t take models with any other mark. Restrictive but cool, IMO. This is a 1k Sons army, after all.
- All units that can take Veterans of the Long War (VotLW) must do so….for free! Nice! That is actually pretty bad ass.
- Daemon Princes must be Daemons of Tzeentch.
- Psykers from the Detachment can choose to generate all of their powers from the Discipline of Tzeentch.
- Blessing of Tzeentch: any unit with VotLW that is affected by a blessing has their invul save improved by 1….WOW. Basically you get an extra (and awesome) buff layered on top of every blessing for free. That is incredible and really helps to offset the high cost per model of the Thousand Sons by increasing all of their durability.
- Perhaps you just might, maybe see some Chaos Space Marines with this…maybe?! Haha, throw an Exalted Sorcerer into a unit of 20 CSM with the Mark of Tzeentch and they all rock a 5++ and are Fearless! Eh, probably not, but a man can dream, right?!
A combo that will really resonate with some players will be to use this on a Lord of Tzeentch on a Disc with the Sigil of Corruption to get that sweet 2++. Edit: MoT limits you to a 3++ maximum, sorry. -Ed
- Blood Feud: Space Wolves and Thousand Sons don’t like one another…any unit with VotLW reroll failed to hit rolls when attacking Space Wolves, but Wolves in return get Hatred (Thousand Sons). Pretty brutal but probably benefits Wolves more as even though they only get it for one round, they tend to be much better in melee. Characterful rule, though.
- Legacy of the Rubricae: Rubric Marines are troops.
- Arrogance of Aeons: Warlord gains Adamantium Will and can reroll a single dice with they Deny the Witch.
- Undying Form: Warlord gains Eternal Warrior.
- Aetherstride: Warlord and his unit are not slowed by difficult terrain and do not suffer the initiative penalty for charging through difficult terrain.
- Lord of Forbidden Lore: Warlord knows an additional psychic power.
- Walker of the Webway: Warlord and his unit gain Deep Strike. If they already had Deep Strike, they do not scatter when Deep Striking.
- Lord of Flux: Enemy units within 12″ of your Warlord treat all terrain, even open ground, as difficult terrain. Additionally, any enemy units that run, trubo-boost, move flat out or charge within that radius must take dangerous terrain tests.
Some really solid Warlord Traits in there! I think this really gives the Strategic table a run for its money. I especially like Lord of Flux for the chance to deal incidental damage and slow units down. Eternal Warrior is always hot, and the ability to Deep Strike with a unit–potentially without scattering–is excellent.
- Astral Grimoire: In the movement phase, the bearer of a friendly infantry unit within 12″ and that unit gains the Jump unit type. Confirmed that this is an “friendly” infantry unit, so Battle Brothers would count. Jump Zombies, Terminators, etc. are now a thing! -Ed.
- Seer’s Bane: A Daemon Weapon with the following profile: Strength as user, AP 2, Force and Daemon Weapon with the Bane of Wisdom rule: the strength of the weapon is equal to the bearer’s Leadership characteristic (except against vehicles) as strength and the target’s Leadership characteristic as their Toughness. Use the targets normal Toughness for the purposes of Instant Death.
- Helm of the Third Eye: Gives the bearer and their unit Overwatch even if they have Slow and Purposeful, and gives them BS2 Overwatch if they do not have S&P.
- Staff of Arcane Compulsion: Melee weapon, Strength +2, AP 4, Concussive, Force, Repelling Sweep: enemy units charging the bearer or his unit suffer a -2 penalty to their charge roll.
- Coruscator: Ranged weapon: 12: range, Strength 4, AP 3, Pistol, Blast, Soul Blaze
- Athenaean Scrolls: If the bearer passes a psychic check with two or more of the same number on the dice, the power can’t be stopped by a Deny the Witch roll.
Holy crap, some powerful kit in there! Even the Daemon Weapon (which normally are a bit lame) is very good in this case being also a Force Weapon. You can do some work on your opponent with that weapon, and if Fatey is around to reroll that damn 1 when it pops up, then the weapon is highly reliable, too.
The Athenaean Scrolls will be highly popular for that caster that has a particularly strong psychic power that you really want to get off. I am also drawn to the Astral Grimoire as it works on Friendly units, giving you a HUGE range of units it can work on. That increased speed and mobility are very powerful.
Discipline of Tzeentch
- These are the same as in the Chaos Space Marines book (Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Boon of Mutation, Doombolt and Breath of Chaos) with four additional new powers.
- Siphon Magic: WC 1, Blessing that targets the Psyker. Anytime friendly psykers successfully manifest a power within 18″ of the caster, he gets an extra Warp Charge die he can use in that phase.
- Baleful Devolution: WC 2, Focused Witchfire, 18″, Strength 6, AP 2, Assault D6, Transmogrify: to wound rules of a 6 cause Instant Death. If a model is slain in this manner, they become a Chaos Spawn under the Tzeentch player’s control.
- Treason of Tzeentch: WC 3, Malediction that allows the caster to take over an enemy unit and have them shoot as if they were one of your units in the shooting phase, counting as having held still. The unit then must take a pinning check.
- Gaze of Magnus: WC 5, Beam, 18″, Strength D, AP 1, Assault 1, Soul Blaze.
Again, WOW. Some powerful attacks in there. Gaze of Magnus, while having a high Warp Charge, is devastating! A Beam D weapon? Yikes. Similarly, Treason of Tzeentch can be utterly devastating. Shooting an entire enemy unit at another enemy unit can change the course of the game. I don’t know if you would take this school over the others very often as there are a number of so-so powers, but for a model that can slang a high number of Witchfires like Ahirman, it may be appealing in come instances.
Armoury of the Thousand Sons
- Warpflame Weapons: These are your standard flamer weapons but with one better AP (Heavy Warpflamer is AP3, for example) and Warpflame. Very powerful weapons! I love Flamers and these are exceptional versions of them.
- Inferno Weapons: the standard AP3 Bolter weapons Rubric Marines are known for. The new ones are the Inferno Combi-Bolter (AP3 Combi-Bolter) and the super, mega awesome Soulreaper Cannon! This beast is the Assault Cannon looking weapon and packs a wallop: 24″, Strength 5, AP 3, Heavy 4, Rending.
- Hellfyre Missile Rack: 24″, Strength 8, AP 3, Heavy 2
Man, those Soulreaper Cannons are sweet! The Chaos “Cyclone Missile Launcher” is very cool, too. I think Thousand Sons players will be very pleased with these bad boys.
- Ahriman: at 230pts, he’s pricey, but he also packs a punch. He’s Fearless, has 3 wounds (great for a sorcerer) and is Mastery Level 4. All cool. He makes Rubric Marines Troops and knows dang near every school of psychic powers: Biomancy, Daemonology (Malefic), Divination, Ectomancy, Geomortis, Heretech, Pyromancy, Sinistrum, Telekensis, Telepathy and Tzeentch…wow! He bears his customary Black Staff which allows him to attempt to manifest the same Witchfire up to three times, is Strength +2, AP 4 and a Force weapon. The kicker is that he can take a Disc of Tzeentch for +1 attack and changing his unit type to Jetbike, which gives him considerable mobility.
- Ultimately, I think he still falls pretty short. He’s expensive and while yes, Mastery 4 is cool, you can get a Mastery 3 Exalted Sorcerer for 185 points that can also take the all important Spell Familiar. I would love to be wrong and see someone rock Ahiriman who flies around blasting people with Witchfires, but I just don’t see him getting much tabletime outside of cool Formations.
- Exalted Sorcerer: an even craftier Sorcerer than the normal Sorcerer! Jokes aside, this guy is pricey at 160pts base but is pretty studly. He has an extra wound, point of Initiative and BS over a normal Sorcerer. He starts out at Mastery 2, and can go up to 3 for 25pts. He comes stock with the Mark of Tzeetch and can use all of the same powers as Ahriman. He also gains access to Chaos Rewards and Artefacts as well as a Disc of Tzeentch. Once per game he can use his Lord of the Silver Tower ability similar to a Chapter Master. It is range: Unlimited, Strength 9, AP 2, Heavy 1, Blast, Lance. Oh, and did I forget to mention? He’s also Fearless…boom!
- He is not cheap, but he gives you a lot. With Mastery 3, an extra wound, good mobility on a Disc and the ability to take a Spell Familiar, he’s very reliable. The Helm of the Third Eye would work great for him, allowing him to even further amplify your psychic dominance when used n concert with say, a Sorcerer Cabal. The Athenaean Scrolls would be another solid choice for him, allowing him to increase his odds of getting off that vital Invisibility, for example. The question comes down to if you think paying the premium price is worth it for the perks over the simpler, cheaper Sorcerer. For me, the Fearless bonus alone makes him awesome for Chaos who can really struggle with morale. Slap him in a big unit of Tzaangors or Cultists, etc. and they become very reliable.
- Tzaangors: ported over form Age of Sigmar, this light infantry unit is pretty cool! Tzeentch armies can be very light on models, and that is where Tzaangors come in. Rocking a Guardsman statline but with WS and T 4, they’re not bad. The 6++ save is a bit rough, but that is not a big deal: they’re cannon fodder and that extra 16.67% of durability does add up with big units. They come stock with either 2 close combat weapons, or with an Autopistol and Chainsword. One of them can be upgraded to a Twistbray (Sarge).
- At 70pts for the unit of 10, and the ability to go up to units of 30, these guys are great for board control, taking objectives and forming the grist of an all Tzeentch Deathstar. With a 6++ and T4, they’re significantly more durable than your average light infantry unit. I think these guys are great for upping your model count and adding some durability to a Tzeentch army. Honestly, these will probably for the default troop choice in most Tzeetch armies that don’t utilize other detachments for that role. Objective Secured is still a tournament winning ability.
- Rubric Marines: Not much has changed about these guys…unfortunately. Sigh. Well, they got some new options but as is, are still massively overpriced. 23pts per model, 150pts for the first 5 including the Sorcerer who can only take Tzeentch powers (although, thankfully those are improved a bit). They can take Warpflamers on any model which could be VERY powerful…but then you’re paying 30pts per Rubric Marine. Ouch. The real kick in the pants though, is that you can only take 1 Soulreaper cannon per 10 models.
- They are still very underwhelming, unfortunately. The new models are just beautiful but I doubt you will see them outside of their formations which make them significantly better. Yes, they can go up to a 4++ quite easily (Edit: they jump to a 3++ due to a base 5++, +1 for MoT, +1 for Blessing of Tzeentch for a 3++) thanks to the Blessing of Tzeentch special rule, but Tzaangors just give you a lot more, IMO. I want to be wrong, though! Let me know in the comments if you think they’re worth taking now outside of casual and narrative play. Their formations certainly breathe a lot more life into them, but do you all think they could be taken as Troops in a CAD and succeed? With that 3++ though, in their formations allowing you to reroll 1’s, they become VERY durable. That is likely going to be the secret to making them work, but it puts some strong limitations on your list building options.
- Oh, and did I mention the models are amazing enough times? Check out the sprues, so much to work with!
- Scarab Occult Terminators: So beautiful….but so EXPENSIVE. Holy cow, these guys cost a lot of points. 250 base for 5, including the sorcerer, and another 40pts per Terminator thereafter. Are they worth it? Let’s dig in to find out more. They have normal Terminator stats but with a Power Weapon on each model. Interestingly, they don’t have Slow and Purposeful like the Marines, but they do have AP 3 Combi-Bolters which is pretty cool. The Sorcerer is Mastery Level 2 with a plethora of psychic disciplines to choose from and an extra wound which is nice. The unit can take a Heavy Warpflamer or Soulreaper Cannon per 5 Terminators and interestingly can also take a Hellfyre Missile Rack per 5 (so two heavy weapons in a unit of 5).
- Bottom line: these stunningly beautiful models are just too expensive. When you factor in the bells and whistles, a unit of 5 runs you around 300pts. That is just flat out too much for 1 wound models. Now, in their formations where they can reroll saves of 1 (which yeah, an army with built in 2+ reroll saves….I die inside a little bit) they clearly become significantly resilient. With a base 4++, easily buffed to a 3++, again rerolling 1’s, they become super tough. But that takes a lot of points to pull off and essentially writes your list for you. Not complaining about it, just noting that if you want those uber-Terminators, you pay through the nose for it (which is probably for the best).
- While the formations solve the durability issues, the Scarab Occult Terminators also don’t hit super hard. AP 3 Combi-Bolters is awesome but if their target unit is in cover or 2+ armor, it really blunts the impact a lot and a Strength 4 Power Sword is…well, a Strength 4 Power Sword. The AP 3 Heavy Flamer is boss, though. What do you all think about these fellas?
- The man, himself: Magnus the Red: The big cheese, the head honcho, the main event! This is what everyone has been so excited to see, and for good reason! The return of a Primarch to the current timeline of Warhammer 40,000! This is so cool, and something most of us never thought would happen, but here we are. Let’s dive into this beast.
- He’s got an impressive stat-line! Also, against what many had speculated he’s not a Gargantuan Creature but a Flying Monstrous Creature. This to me is a good thing. He is more accessible to “normal” play. This may not jive with the mental image many have of him, but I’d rather see him on more tabletops than not, so this was the right call, IMO. He rocks WS and BS 7, Strength 8, Toughness 7, 7 Wounds and Initiative, 6 Attacks, Leadership 10 and a 4+ save. He also weighs in at 650pts, base, so not cheap. He’s got a host of special rules:
- Adamantium Will
- Daemon of Tzeentch
- Deep Strike
- Eternal Warrior
- It Will Not Die
- Psyker level 5
- Veterans of the Long War
- Unearthly Power: harnesses Warp Charge on a 2+
- The Lord of Flux Warlord Trait
- Omniscient Eye: Magnus has LoS to every model on the table when determining the targets of his psychic powers.
- Knows the Gaze of Magnus ability and all of the Tzeentch and Change powers. This is his biggest weakness as the powers he has access to are more limited. Gaze of Magnus will be the go to in most cases, but summoning in more units is always awesome, and a second option for a D shot isn’t bad, either.
- His wargear is similarly impressive: The Blade of Magnus is Strength user, AP 2, Force, Soul Blaze and Transmogrify (which can turn models into Chaos Spawn). The Crown of Crimson Kings gives Magnus a 4++ and lets him ignore Perils…wow!
- So there he is and what a beast! With a blessing on him, he’s rocking a 3++, is highly mobile, can see everything on the table for mind bullets, and generates and harnesses Warp Charge like a boss. His lack of diversity in powers is a bit of a drawback but his purpose is pretty clear: he blasts things with magic laser beams and can also kick their butts in melee. I see him as a mobile gunship, flying around reliably blasting high value targets and hidden scoring units with psychic powers. His speed and ability to ignore LoS in the psychic phase really makes him a scary model. He’s highly durable and doesn’t really need a lot of support. If needs be can come down to the ground to tango with his powerful Blade of Magnus, he most certainly can. Is he worth 650pts? I think so. He’s very hard to hurt, he packs a vicious punch and is versatile. Is he worth 650pts compared to other units you can take for those points? Eh, maybe not, but that will depend on the player. I don’t think you will go wrong if you decide to put him in your list and the combos you can pull with allies such as Fateweaver get nasty, but also eat up most of your points. What combos do you think you can pull with Magnus? Do you think he is worth the hefty price tag? And it bears repeating: what a bad ass model! Which head option would you go with?
There’s some cool stuff to be had in the Daemon section of the book and one, big issue, lol. Pink Horrors….GW, what have you done!?
Melodramatics aside, let’s dig in!
- Warp Storm of Tzeentch: They have an altered version of the Warp Storm table which is slightly more Tzeenthified!
- Daemonic Gifts of Tzeentch: There are some new Loci for Tzeentch units which compliment or replace the older versions.
- Pink Horrors: What…the…I sincerely hope I am not reading these rules right (and please correct me if I missed something) but this is the most powerful troop unit in the game now by a country mile and is going to cause very real problems. Why do I say this? For one, simple reason: Split. Split is a new special rule that brings an old rule back into the game. Pink Horrors that are killed split into two Blue Horrors in each phase. So you kill a few Pink Horrors in the shooting phase: they spawn a new unit (which is a Psyker). Kill some more in the assault phase? The first unit of Blue Horrors gets bigger or you form an entirely new unit. Shave off some more in the psychic phase? Repeat the process. These then morph into a base of 2 Brimstone Horrors in the same way. All of these units are Psykers, Daemons of Tzeentch (with a 5++, rerolling 1’s), Psykers, can Deep Strike, etc. The issue is that (again, unless I missed something) a 90 point unit of Pink Horrors gives you 250 points of units: 10 Pinks (90pts) to 20 Blues (50x2pts) to 20 Brimstone Horrors (30x2pts) which can be spread out over easily a dozen units. These units can all contribute warp charge and are all able to also summon in other units…yeah. We’ll talk about this more in a second.
- Blue Horrors: Just link Pink Horrors, but cheaper. Sure they’re Toughness and Strength 2, but who cares? They give you everything Pink Horrors do at nearly half the price. They lack some of the bells and whistles but you get cheap warp charge and more psychic powers from them. They’d be an auto-take troop if weren’t for the fact that there’s an even MORE efficient choice coming right up!
- Brimstone Horrors: Say hello to the best troop in the game! If it weren’t for the fact that every choice above it creates it, these little buggers on their own merit would be king. For a measly 30pts you get a troops choice that Deep Strikes, has Objective Secured in a CAD, has a 5++, rerolling 1’s, is a Psyker and can be taken in units of up to 20, 2 wound models. Yes, they are only toughness 1, but who cares? They can go to ground in cover for a 3+, rerolling 1’s, generate Warp Charge, have an invul and come stock with 20 wounds. Anything that doesn’t have a strength value or is only strength 1 (sorry, Dark Eldar!) will take twice as much firepower to chew through these guys than the Blue Horrors….who cost more points but are vastly inferior (but are still an incredible Troops choice on their own merit). Yeah, for 30 points this unit over-performs by a mile. What do you all think? Would you like a 30pt psyker with 20 wounds, an invul save, rerolls saves of 1 and can deep strike in your army?
The issue here is that a single troops choice can spawn double digit units, all of which are psykers, all of which can summon, all of which are reasonably durable, all of which are troops, can score objectives, shoot units….it’s crazy. This is so incredibly disruptive that I am left scratching my head. How do we deal with this? If you take 6 units of Pink Horrors you will end up with a total of 1,500 points of units waiting to spawn onto the tabletop (before amplifying that output via the Loci!). If you shoot a unit but don’t kill it, you spawn legions of more units.
How would you deal with this? Do you think it’s too much or not such a big deal? Off the cuff, I am left feeling that this is way too much. Let me know your thoughts because it gets even crazier:
Daemonic Loci of Tzeentch
- Lesser Locus of Transmogrification: Causes auto-hits on units as Horrors are killed: strength 3 hit for Pinks, 2 for Blues, 1 for Brimstones.
- Lesser Locus of Metamorphosis: The bearer and its unit have It Will Not Die.
- Great Locus of Change: Roll a D6 each, the bearer of the Loci and models in its unit substitute this number for their strength.
- Greater Locus of Trickery: Roll a D6 each turn. When enemy units target the bearer of this Loci or its unit and roll the same number count as a 1 instead.
- Exalted Locus of Conjuration: This model and all models in its unit add 1 to the Strength of all hits caused by psychic powers they manifest.
- Exalted Locus of Creation: Each time a Pink Horror in the bearer of the Loci’s unit dies, it creates 4 Blue Horrors instead of two. Blue Horrors subsequently split into two Brimstone Horrors….oh sweet baby Emperor of mankind, Pooor quuueeee?!?!
So, yeah. You take a few units of 20 Pink Horrors with the Exalted Locus of Creation and they can spawn 80 Blue Horrors, each. These in turn can spawn 80 Brimstone Horrors. These can all appear in a staggering number of units, each of whom is a psyker….wow. This is not good.
What do you all think? Ignore the unit? Let them blast you with powers all game? I don’t have an answer off the cuff, but want to play it a bit to see. This combined with Daemon Summoning just creates mind numbing volumes of free units.
There you have it! One of the more exciting releases in quite some time with cool rules, brilliant models and of course, the return of a Primarch! What do you think of it?
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