All may be dust – but that shouldn’t get in the way of righteously kicking face in the name of Tzeentch, Magnus and the Long War! If you’re a true follower of Tzeentch, you’ll know that all change is good – indeed, playtester Justin Curtis has all sorts of good news and tactical tips for you!
Who Are They?
The Thousand Sons are the chosen Chaos Space Marines of Tzeentch, the God of Magic and Change. Once, they were a learned brethren of sorcerers and psykers, every man a scholar and a warrior both. However, in an attempt to reverse the rampant mutations that blighted their Legion, the mage known as Ahriman damned his kin forever, transforming all but the most potent psykers into mindless dust trapped in power armour. Now, across the galaxy, ancient Thousand Sons Sorcerers lead warbands of automata-like Rubric Marines in search of knowledge and revenge, unleashing sanity-shattering powers and annihilating their foes in hails of warp-blessed ammunition.
How They Play in the New Edition
You may remember Justin from our Chaos Space Marines Faction Focus; to refresh your memory, he’s both a playtester who helps balance the game and a top-tier tournament player.
Justin: I was asked to help shed some light on how things will be changing for Thousand Sons in the new edition, so here are some highlights for my fellow Sorcerers to look forward to.
First off, they’ve designed a whole new secondary objective archetype just for us! Though the Aeldari, Tyranids and even certain Librarians may disagree with this statement, we’re definitely one of the best-positioned armies to make use of the new psychic actions mechanic.
Traditionally, our models interact with the game almost entirely by shooting or punching (or Smiting) each other – the actions mechanic has been introduced to allow a more thematic means for armies to interact with each other or with the battlefield itself.
In game terms, this is usually expressed as a secondary objective – an action that can be performed to achieve victory points. Psychic actions can only be performed by Psykers, and this means there’s a direct means for Thousand Sons players to influence the outcome of the game via their mastery of the Psychic phase.
Psychic Actions and Secondary Objectives
While we’re here, now’s a great time to check in on psychic actions and how they interact with your battles. Justin was right to be very excited about these – Psyker-heavy armies have three rather excellent secondary objectives to choose from in their matched play battles, giving you plenty of ways to score some all-important victory points. Take Mental Interrogation – your front-line Psykers will be able to score you points, presumably representing knowledge torn from the minds of the unwilling! Even if it doesn’t secure you victory, it is a great excuse to do an extremely evil laugh.
Cool, eh? Back to Justin for more tips…
Justin: Here’s another big one! Have you ever watched our dear Primarch get blasted off the table before he even gets an opportunity to protect himself? Well, the return of the Strategic Reserves mechanic ensures that you can keep Magnus safe when necessary and be certain he’ll get a chance to act before anyone gets to point any heavy weaponry in his direction. While there is a price to be paid for making use of Strategic Reserves, I think we can agree that it’ll be well worth it in cases where it helps Magnus live.
Justin: This edition presents some new challenges and opportunities now that Psykers can no longer manifest powers after Falling Back. While not as concerning to us as it may be to some – after all, a Daemon Prince can handle itself in combat, and the Black Staff of Ahriman isn’t just for show – it’s important to know that you’ll need to properly protect your Characters when the need for their powers outweighs their ability to scrap. If you don’t think your Sorcerers are up for the fight, you’ll want them safely behind a line of devoted bodyguards to ensure your Psychic phase isn’t disrupted.
Justin has a few units he’d recommend (as do we!), starting with…
Scarab Occult Terminators
Justin: Speaking of bodyguards – the way Characters are protected in the Shooting phase is changing, and you’ll need to respond to enemy attempts to punch through your lines and attack your Psykers. As mobility isn’t exactly a strength of the Rubricae, I’d highly recommend a unit or two of Rubric Marines or Scarab Occult Terminators from the Cult of Duplicity. Sorcerous Façade is a great means to reposition these slow-moving but resilient minions to protect your own Characters… or make an attempt at assassinating your foe’s favourite hero.
Magnus the Red
Of course, every Thousand Sons army will want to at least consider taking Magnus – but what if you don’t want to pay the Command points for an Auxiliary Detachment? Well, good news – thanks to the Supreme Command Detachment, you won’t have to!
The Supreme Command Detachment ensures that adding some of the 41st Millennium’s most legendary commanders to your army doesn’t penalise you on Command points – after all, Roboute Guilliman, Mortarion and Magnus the Red were all supreme tacticians! This Detachment is the perfect way to add Magnus to a Thousand Sons force, refunding you for a single Brigade, Battalion or Patrol Detachment.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!