“Commander.” Scout Telmarious said to Commander Abeo, leader of the local garrison stationed at Helmanus IV. Telmarious was the far forward insertion force of his Salamander chapter, sent to clear the way for his stalwart brothers. Readings of fluctuations in the warp in this area of the galaxy warned of a potential incursion, and Telmarious was sent to sniff out the area.
Commander Abeo briefly glanced up from his massive gleaming metal desk. It was neat and tidy, with only a few adornments. “At ease.” Abeo hissed.
“We’ve been sent to prepare the area for our upcoming forces.” Telmarious said sternly.
“I know why you are here.” Abeo said. He reached into a desk drawer and pulled forth a large cluster of crystals, the brightest blue Telmarious had seen. “What do you make of this?”
Telmarious was drawn to it. It shimmered and gleamed in the light. “What is it?” Telmarious asked.
“It was pulled from a cavern beneath the Hive City. There are many more where this came from, but they only appeared when the warp fluctuations started.” Abeo stated. “Something is foul.”
Foul indeed, but Telmarious could not resist reaching out to the crystal.
Power, Life, Change. It spoke to him. SPOKE to him.
As Telmarious touched the crystal there was a flash of light, and he found himself inside the crystal. Locked in a prison of his own making. He tried to pull his pistol to blast his way out but he found he could not move.
Abeo leaned closer to the crystal, in each facet was the face of another victim, with each victim his power grew. Abeo smiled a toothy grin. “Soon.” He purred, “Soon I will make my offering.”
All Telmarious could do was scream.
Who is Tzeentch
Tzeentch is the master of schemes amongst the chaos gods, sometimes creating new schemes just for the sake of it. He is the puppet master with strings all across the 40k universe, pulling on heartstrings and wooing those seeking knowledge, power, and magic. He is the king of all that is sorcery, and ever changing entity who’s plans change as much as those who enter the warp.
Tzeentch units boast one of the best natural invulnerable saves in the game, with most having a 4++ natural save. With some luck, that can ruin an opponents day. Combine that with the +1 generic save stratagem and you can have large blocks of units or big baddies with a 3++ save.
Tzeentch also has some of the best shooting amongst the Chaos Daemon pantheon. A 30 man unit of Pink Horrors, with the right buffs in place, can put out 90 shots at strength 4-5 (with Boon of Change), and can have +1 to wound as well. That can devastate a lot of units on the field today. They also have a fantastic unit with their Flamers of Tzeentch who have a 12” pistol flamer. So you can deep strike in and still shoot d6 shots at -1 AP and also shoot them in close combat if needed. Fantastic! With the Flickering Flames power I was able to do 21 wounds to a Crimson Hunter and took it down in one volley. Lucky sure, but that is the nature of Tzeentch.
Tzeentch also has some great psychic powers with Gaze of Fate that gives you a reroll once in your turn, basically a free command point. You also have Flickering Flames for +1 to wound, which can be huge, turning a perhaps lackluster attack into a devastating one. Bolt of Change, while harder to get off, can really put on the hurt as it allows you to pick any unit within 18” for D3 mortal wounds. Great to snipe off a wounded character. Infernal Gateway is also harder to get off, but can be quite damaging when put into the right unit. Last Treason of Tzeentch is super funny and could really ruin an opponents day when you take over their character and charge into their unit, killing them with their own models. Just imagine taking over a beefy character and smashing their screen unit.
Since Tzeentch is the god of fate, it is only natural that there is a lot of luck in the Tzeentch codex. They have a lot of random elements and if you know anything, you know that random is something you can’t count on and therefore isn’t highly competitive. Their loci, while interesting, is very random as well. In the fight phase you roll 2D6 and discard the highest. What is remaining becomes misses when rolled by the other player. Hopefully you roll a 3 and a 4, one of the average rolls on 2D6, so their 3’s miss in combat. Like I said, very random. Their main Horror standard is also super random needing 6’s on 9 dice to cause a mortal wound. Might be tons, might be nothing, all for one CP. Their psychic powers have a higher casting rating, making them more difficult, and therefore unlikely to get off. You also have a great relic in the Impossible Robe, giving you a 4+ invul save (taking you to 3+ with Ephemeral Form) and allows you to reroll one roll, but if you roll a 1, wearer is slain. Fickle Tzeentch.
Another weakness is their general low toughness. This makes weight of fire, even from things like bolters, very damaging to your forces. A 4+ invul only goes so far against large pools of wounds. Put your +1 invul on key units to keep them in game as long as possible, and don’t forget to take morale tests on ones that even autopass as you may get that 1 to bring back slain models.
Another big weakness for Tzeentch is their lack of close combat prowess. Most of your units are only hitting on 4’s, and only have a few attacks, making them not the best units to charge with. If you get locked in combat, you can see your units flash away from moral tests left and right due to casualties and you won’t be able to do a ton back.
- Fluxmaster/Changecaster – These will be the core of most of your HQ units as they have the all needed +1 to strength to all Tzeentch units within 6”. This is the key to getting your Horrors up to a good base strength as their shooting attack is based of the units strength. They also have access to some great powers as well. I like to have one Changecaster in the back with Gaze of Fate and a Fluxmaster deep striking in with flamers to be able to get in place. Don’t forget about their 5pt Staff of Change, which increases their smite range by 6”. Very nice.
- Daemon Prince – The Daemon Prince is a great overall unit that will give a lot of benefit to your forces. Rerolls to 1 to hit are fantastic for your large blocks of Horrors. Not to mention with Maelific Talons they get 7 attacks at AP2 and 2 damage each!
- Pink Horrors – Pink Horrors are a great core unit with their 4++ save and good shooting attack. They have lots of ways to buff them with Heralds and psychic powers so watch out for big blocks of them.
- Flamers – This is my favorite Tzeentch unit. 4++ save and their pistol flamers are fantastic weapons. Great in overwatch, great in close combat as they get to use them in your shooting pahse. Since they fly, they can also fall back and then shoot. They are a great deep striking unit in blocks of 6 as that is 6D6 shots you can dish out on a unit. At toughness 4 that is typically 10-11 AP -1 wounds on a unit. More if you have a Herald and Flickering Flames in play. Another great role they can take is that of a screen. If you are facing an assault heavy army, put them in front and force your opponent to charge them, eating up all those flamer shots. Great unit!
- Exalted Flamers – While a bit spendy, the Exalted Flamer in this form or on the Burning Chariot is your main way of getting a lascannon type shot with mono Tzeentch. In this form, being a character, you can hide them in a flamer unit and deep strike in together, laying waste to their target unit. Their flamer shot is also better, being strength 5 and AP -2.
- Screamers – This is your main close combat unit and one that can impact flyers. They have a great power in flying over units and causing mortal wounds and their close combat attack is no joke. Each one gets 3 attacks with a strength 6 AP -3 and 2 damage each. Pretty beefy.
- Blasted Standard – Gives you a one shot ability where you pick a the closest visible unit within 9” and roll 9 dice, each 6 is a mortal wound. Very random.
- Magical Boon – Allows you to cast one extra power. Great for smiting off that last wound then casting Flickering Flames on your unit to get the best of both worlds.
- Locus of Conjuration – Allows rerolls of psychic tests within 6” of a character. You are going to probably need to plan a list on this, loaded up with characters.
- Born of Sorcery – Adds 1 to the first psychic cast you make. Not bad. Gives you a decent chance to get off those 8 powers. This should give you about a 70% success rate.
- Incorporeal Form – Reduce all damage by 1 to a minimum of 1. Pretty good for a Lord of Change.
- Warp Tether – Reroll morale within 9”. Not too bad if you are fishing for 1’s.
- Lorekeeper of Tzeentch – Add 6” to the first power you cast. Good for those buffs you want/need to get off. Gives you more flexibility in placement.
- Tyrant of the Warp – 2+ vs Perils. I think there are better traits, but nothing is worse to losing your warlord on a perils. You also have other avenues like spending CP’s to reroll a die, or Gaze of Fate to reroll one of those psychic dice.
- Daemonspark – Reroll 1’s within 9”. A better version of the Daemon Prince power and one of my favorites.
- The Endless Grimoire –You know one more power from Tzeentch. I think there are better relics, but if you build a plan around the psychic phase you may want this.
- Soul Bane – It has a great ability, Invul Saves cannot be taken against this weapon and is AP -5! Unfortunately it is on a Tzeentch Herald so your attacks are pretty minimal.
- The Impossible Robe – Great for when you want that 3+ on a character. Gives a 4+ and Ephemeral Form bumps it to 3. Also gives you one reroll. This is a great relic that can keep you alive for quite some time.
- The Everstave – +1 to Smite. Again, there are better relics, but if you have a smite spam strategy this could come in handy.
- Boon of Change – Another randomness. Goes off on a 7 and you roll d3 to get either +1 attack, +1 strength, or +1 toughness. I have it as a backup power and fish for that +1 strength.
- Bolt of Change – A great supercharged smite, but you need an 8 to pull it off. Does d3 to any unit within 18”
- Gaze of Fate – Reroll any 1 die later in the turn. Basically a free CP each turn! Very nice.
- Treason of Tzeentch – You pick a character and roll 2d6. If you beat their leadership, you take them over and use them as yours in the shooting and charge phases. Its randomness is its downfall as you need to beat a characters leadership, and most are 10.
- Flickering Flames – +1 to wound for any shooting weapon. So good! This really ups the damage your flamer and horror units can do. Must have.
- Infernal Gateway – Pick a model within 12”. Every unit within 3” takes d3 mortal wounds and d6 if 12+ is rolled for the casting. Situational and random but could really hurt a parking lot.
Tzeentch have a lot of tools in their chest. Psychic heavy powers, good overall shooting, strong invul saves, and solid support charcters make Tzeentch a force to be reckoned with. You should be able to make a halfway decent list with just Tzeentch models. Horrors for core shooting. Brimstones or Blues for cheap screening. Flamers for purging, Exalted or Chariots for your anti tank, and Screamers for fast objective scoring, backfield assaulters, and flyer support.
You will want a fair amount of command points for the +1 invul save strat, as it is only good for each phase you will often need to use it in both the shooting and assault phases. You will also need to work on keeping your key units out of assault as even with the Loci, that is your big weakness.
Due to the size limitations for your core units, ITC secondaries like the Reaper will be easier for your opponent to get so just keep that in mind. I’m looking at Tzeentch for my next big daemon push as they seem very fun and have some good tools in many situations.
- Daemon Prince – Maelific Talons
- 30 Pink Horrors – Icon/Instrment
- 30 Pink Horrors – Icon Instrument
- 10 Brimstones
- 10 Brimstones
- 10 Brimstones
- 10 Brimstones
- 6 Flamers
- 6 Flamers
- 6 Flamers
- 5 Furies
- 3 Screamers
- 3 Screamers
- Burning Chariot
- Burning Chariot
- Burning Chariot
While this was accused as looking like a 7th edition list, I was surprised at how much it could put out in the shooting phase and how much it could withstand in return. Everything has a 4+ and I was often giving +1 invul in multiple phases with 12cp to work with. I was also able deep strike a lot of units, doing so with all the flamer units and one Herald. You need to do this with the burning chariots as they are not characters and are easily able to be picked off. Massive flamers ahoy! It was a lot of fun and was doing a lot of work against a typical Reaper/Guardian/Flyer heavy list.
Tzeentch has a lot going for them in my opinion and has a decent amount of tools to work as a mono god. I don’t care for the larger daemons as like with most armies, generals are bringing many tools to take care of such beasts. It only takes a few lascannon shots to bring your massive Lord of Change low. I really like the core units and feel you can build a pretty successful list that focuses on burning screens out and getting to the soft meaty bits.
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