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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

A few years ago I bought the CSM codex with the intention of playing fluffy TSons. However, it turned out I didn't have time for it and since then a new codex and a new version of the BRB came out. From what I've seen it changed quite a few things and my previous army plan just didn't work anymore.

I want to streamline my collecting as much as possible and I want to avoid buying units I won't really use so I need a plan of how to build my army up. Ideally I'd come up with a 2000pts list and get going, but unfortunately I lack experience to know what it should have. Plus, by the time I get to that point the rules are bound to have been updated.

So I'm looking for advice for a general structure for a fluffy TSons list, i.e. the must haves, the maybes and the don'ts. I'd also appreciate advice on what would make up a good 500pts list so I can prioritise those units in order to start playing as soon as possible.

Firstly, my ground rules. 1) All units have mark of Tzeentch. 2) No obliterators, because of fluff. 3) No default CSM, only TSons as core troops. 4) I'm unsure how the Heldrake, Helbrute, Forgefiend and Maulerfiend fit into the fluff so any opinions on this are welcome. 5) If it's not covered by any of the above, fluff correctness will be the deciding factor

The way I see it, in the final ~2000pts list I will obviously need 1) one sorcerer, 2) 3-4 Thousand Sons units with rhinos, 3) 1 unit of Termies, 4) A Land Raider, 5) A couple of predators/vindicators 6) I honestly have no idea about Heldrake, Helbrute, Forgefiend and Maulerfiend fluffwise or functionwise.

For the initial 500pts list I imagine I will go for a sorcerer, one squad of TSons with a rhino (these two are necessary for the fluff) and I guess a predator.

Advice and opinions are all welcome.
 

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Interesting.

You could certainly consider tzeentch daemon allies, but I'll stick with codex CSM

Firstly the necessary stuff. Obviously you need a sorcerer with MoT or Ahriman to unlock TS troops, but I have no idea how to field those effectively. There's nothing stopping you just having a throwaway sorcerer with MoT and nothing else and then later figuring out where best to put him. I suppose the termi/land raider idea opens up the possibility of giving him termi armour and joining them

Troops are a bit of a pain so I'd take two units of TS in rhinos and no more. Maybe boost the unit sizes up to seven but no way would I go for the sacred number nine (or whatever it is) for no in game benefit. They're expensive enough as it is. Obviously they're overcosted and not great units but for an army as cool as Thousand Sons it's worth it. Take havoc launchers on the rhinos and you should be looking at a couple of troop choices worth 200-250 points each

With those core units out of the way you'll have overspent thus far but still have lots of points to play with and solid choices from elites, FA and HS could still give you a solid army that wins games.

Terminators are a good idea because the MoT is beneficial. I'd be all over a unit of five in a land raider with three chainfists and a heavy flamer. Converting the two fists to chainfists should be fairly simple by cutting away the bottom two fingers and sticking on two of the small chainblades that come with the combi bolters. I'm planning to do that with one of my termies. If you can strip two or three hull points from a knight via shooting this unit should be able to finish it off on the charge, and even if the opponent doesn't have units like land raiders, a knight etc. you don't pay much to upgrade power fists to chainfists

Other units in the codex don't benefit as obviously from the MoT but I'd still run a couple of units of melta bikes- with the mark since that's one of your rules. Paying for the mark isn't great but even with the extra costs of a MoT chaos bikes are still a good unit. I'd take units of four or five and take two melta guns and melta bombs for the unit leader. Maybe a power weapon on one or both of the champions since they can get a turn two charge but that would definitely be optional

So with the HQ, two units of TS in rhinos, termies in a land raider and two units of bikes I'd be looking at vehicles since they fit your theme and don't need any kind of tzeentch tax. Predators, vindicators, maulerfiends and heldrakes are all solid choices. I don't see any fluff issue with using daemon engines. I wouldn't take them for my Alpha Legion but for legion of sorcerers that live in the Eye of Terror it seems fluffy that they'd have demonic vehicles like heldrakes, though in the case of the heldrake you're already paying for AP3 on your marines' bolters so AP3 isn't something you lack

As far as aesthetics go I'd just avoid units that can't be given Thousand Son helmets (I think there's a TS terminator upgrade kit so you're alright there). Chaos spawn would be fluffy and I agree that obliterators would be out of place in a legion of sorcerers ad rubric guys

I'd be interested to see what you come up with. Might write a list myself later on for fun :good:
 

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Ok... if you are going True Thousand Sons first I would wait about 2-5 weeks, as it seems like that is when Daemonkin Tzeentch is likely to have its rumours spread all over the interwebs.
The other major thing to consider is actually pretty much all the old Legions don't really exist anymore :(. Most splintered in to sub factions what called themselves by other names and have endlessly changes of who is warlord of the force and power struggles.
So in that instance you are faced with a WWSD (What Would Sorcerer Do) or WWAD (What Would Ahriman Do) type of thing.

Sorcerers.
Rubric Marines.
Cultists could just be lackys who are following.
Terminators have great rules in game, but they aren't Rubric due to the rules they have and would need to be led by a Sorc if you are going to pretend. Or it could be that these guys are Thousand Sons who weren't home during the Rubric, so didn't get Ghosted.
Spawn are failed Sorcerers or enemies you zapped.
Land Raider: Could be crewed by Rubric with no harm.
Vindicator: Could be crewed by Rubric with no harm.
Predator: Could be crewed by Rubric with no harm.

Now the fun part... this is depending on if you are using by any means necessary to rebuild the legion, or your one is happy to play with daemons and daemon forges.
Chaos Lord: Not rubric, though it could be that he was a Thousand Son who weren't home during the Rubric, so didn't get Ghosted. OR if the Sorcerer in charge is using a lot of effort to control this one in subterfuge to make it appear as this guy is the leader to the enemy. OR of course the Sorcerer might be rebuilding his chapter by making new Thousand Sons with the Geneseed.
Daemon Prince: Daemons.
Possessed: Kinda iffy one as they could be those who were possessed during the Rubric rather than turn in to Ghosts.
Helbrute: Angry Dreadnaughts I would guess no, unless you are bargaining with Daemons. Though classic Dreadnaughts would work as they have the same stats anyway.
Mutilator: Daemons again.
Warp Talons: Daemons again.
Heldrake: Daemon Forge.
Obliterators: Daemons again.
Defiler: Daemon Forge.
Forgefiend: Daemon Forge.
Maulerfiend: Daemon Forge.

Chosen, Bikers, Raptors, Havoks are all a no as they aren't rubric. Though it could be that these guys are Thousand Sons who weren't home during the Rubric, so didn't get Ghosted.
 

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I see the reasons for not using stuff like bikes, terminators and havocs, but with TS heads, shoulder pads, colour scheme and the mark of Tzeentch is it really such a big leap of the imagination to pretend they're dust under their armour? In game terms obviously they aren't rubric marines but as long as there isn't any exposed skin you can make them look just like rubric marines and let the imagination do the rest
 

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I sometimes like to think about the best ways to build up fluffy armies (mainly based upon the Horus Heresy novels) for the Traitor Légions in 40K. The Thousand Sons are maybe the most difficult to adapt because of a lot of gaps or incoherency between the codex and the fluff (or, maybe, the fluff as I understand it).

- Before being definitely turned towards Chaos, the TS were, for the majority, psykers, and their organization was matching the different types of powers existing within the Legion. Basically speaking, this looks close to the "Brotherhood of Psykers" concept (not available for CSM, though ... there is an impressive project of a pre-heresy TS based upon the Grey Knights codex here : http://www.warseer.com/forums/showt...usand-Sons-The-Forces-Of-Prospero-Project-Log).

- Ahriman was a Corvidae, an Order specialized into Divination powers. Neither CSM, not Ahriman, have access to Divination (Tzeentch daemons do, however), apart from a Crimson Slaughter relic. The Telekinesis of the Raptora Cult has also ben wiped out from the 40K TS. Fluffy speaking, that could be explained by the fact that Tzeentch took those powers off the Legion, but I have never read something even close to that.

- The Rubric of Ahriman turned the less psychically powerful TS into Rubric Marines. Rubric Marines, by the rules, may not be fitted with Terminator Armour. So, fluffy speaking, it could mean that the whole Scarab Occult has been wiped out by the Wolves upon Prospero or that all its surviving members have not been affected by the Rubric (and are, therefore, only usable as Chaos Sorcerers in Terminator Armour).

- The same kind of reflexion may be extended to Jump Packs and Bikes, for instance (even if it could also mean that Rubric Marines have not been able to use such devices after transformation).

- It seems that the TS (or some of them) are somehow able to summon the souls of their dead brethen into mortal bodies, and also using their geneseed to create new TS. These are the only two (known, but rare) ways to line up 40K true non-rubric TS as usual SM, Havocs, Raptors, Terminators (for which specific bitz exist), Chosen, ... without the VoTLW (as all TS from that time are now Rubric Marines or IC Sorcerers).

- The 40K TS operate as small warbands seeking for Knowledge. That would cut off access to (large scale) daemon forges, as far as to huge bunchs of cultists (as they don't care about religion and worship), and these cults members are far more intellectuals than warriors. 40K TS are also Tzeentch's favoured agents into the Materium.

Considering all of the above (sorry for the long text), I would say that the most "fluffy" 40K Thousand Sons army list would consist in :

- The basics : one or two Sorcerers marked by Tzeentch (maybe with Pyromancy, which is a good complement to Tzeentch powers or Daemonology,), with a Spell Familiar (pre-heresy mentor spirit) and, maybe,the Book of Magnus, with two units of Rubric Marines in Rhinos, from the standar CSM or the Crimson Slaughter codex (if Divination is needed).

- Around those, some vehicles (Land Raider, Vindicator, ...) that could be "possessed" and ... Tzeentch daemons as allies (or, better, the TS warband being allied to a Tzeentch daemons army) : Screamers as bodyguards of the Sorcerer (if he stands upon a Disk of Tzeentch), Horrors to help with psychic powers, Lord of Change/Heralds (for Divination), Flamers (with Pyromancy discipline for the Sorcerers, making up one of the most "large scale burning" list of the game) or Chariots.

Something half way from a Screamerstar, a Daemons summoning or a "Let make it burn" list (depending on choices made about the psychic disciplines and size of the different units).

[edit] I wrote that up while the previous answers were written too. Reading them, I agree with the "Rubric Terminators" (even if it has not been directly planned and integrated into the Codex), the use of Chaos Spawns (the final state of the TS degeneration) and the fact that some could have been away from the planet at the time of the casting of the Rubric of Ahriman.[/edit]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies! They're great reading.

I'm a bit surprised by how some of you say that only the Thousand Sons unit can be considered rubric. Whilst by the rules only they are rubric, what's wrong with considering any other CSM to be rubric as well if they wear power armour (even though it won't be reflected in the rules) as Squire has said?

Some places state that the ones affected were those who have already started mutating (which I guess overlaps with less psychically powerful) so I don't see how Termies cannot be considered rubric (and same goes for any other unit with power armour). I do see most of you are agreed on rubric Termies, I'm just still confused about all the other power armour units and with this view you don't even have to assume they were away when the rubric was cast. Or am I missing something story-wise? The only issue I see, is that this wouldn't be reflected in the rules which I'm not bothered about.

I'll keep everything else in mind. And just one last question. When choosing my first Heavy Support vehicle to buy should I go for a Predator or Vindicator so that I could play it on a 500pts scale?
 

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Some places state that the ones affected were those who have already started mutating (which I guess overlaps with less psychically powerful) so I don't see how Termies cannot be considered rubric (and same goes for any other unit with power armour). I do see most of you are agreed on rubric Termies, I'm just still confused about all the other power armour units and with this view you don't even have to assume they were away when the rubric was cast. Or am I missing something story-wise? The only issue I see, is that this wouldn't be reflected in the rules which I'm not bothered about.

I'll keep everything else in mind. And just one last question. When choosing my first Heavy Support vehicle to buy should I go for a Predator or Vindicator so that I could play it on a 500pts scale?
You also said you wanted a fluffy army.
if you are going to ignore in game rules you could basically have what you like in your army. As a 30k legion they had pretty much the same as everyone else had.
The trouble with expanding in to 40k though for TS is that not many survived with becoming roboghosts. Those that did were pretty much 95% likely to be highly skilled sorcerers. The rest were away from home at the time.
Chaos in 40k isn't the happy community that the rule books allow. Most of the time they are killing each other in revenge attacks for things done up to 10 thousand years ago. Equally with the eye of terror being a warzone they tend to butt heads over resources a lot. Lots of Thousand Sons were hunted down over the years by Space Wolves and Dark Angels since the heresy. Unlike most of the other legions, then tend not to make more Thousand Sons as there isnt much geneseed to spare to make them. But fresh fallen chapters make good replacements of cannon fodder.
Powerful Tzeentch Sorcerer are also prized possessions of CSM warlords as they are something that could give yhem the edge in war, so long as they can be brought to heel. This normally requires offering them something or just enslaving them after killing all the people they were hanging around with. In addition the powerful sorcerers might have a few rubric with him what can come in useful to the lord of the warhost.

But yeah, if you want a fluffy TS army as the above post said, you kinda have to go Greyknights if it is Thousand Sons reborn. If not then you are limited by various rules that mean you could just be anyone.

Also the eye of terror is wierd, time bubbles happen. You could have a whole Chapters worth of true Thousand Sons just waiting to pop out the warp and find their chronometers are 10,000 years out of date.
 

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Sometimes, the rules don't match the fluff. And this is especially true for the Thousand Sons.

Terminators could easily be considered as Rubric Marines when led by a Sorcerer. They would only "miss" the Inferno bolts. Vehicles could be driven by Rubric Marines (or be possessed), Havocs could be Rubric too (but only with a 6++). For Raptors, it's more difficult to imagine because Rubric Marines are slow, and that doesn't fit well with assault units (except, maybe, for some bikers). Warp Talons could be the result of TS who saved their souls into the Warp to avoid being hit by the Rubric of Ahriman, or TS whose soul has been brought back from the Warp into bodies.

But the most difficult point to overcome is that Rubric Marines units are (fluffy speaking) led by a Sorcerer which, by the rules, is only available as an IC HQ.

If you want to keep it fluffy, the idea just above could also be a solution : adding Chaos Space Marines from another Chapter or Legion to the TS core of the army (technically speaking, not an ally if they come from the same Codex).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmm I see about all the other units. I see a lot of TS termies online so together with a sorcerer it should be fine. From the others, I'm only disappointed in the Havocs being iffy, but oh well.

I also just found out about bringing allies and specifically Tzeentch daemons. There seem to be a few lists floating around for TS allied with daemons. Does it fit with the theme and possibly make up for some TS weaknesses?
 

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If a "Tzeentch Daemonkin" codex is about to be released, it will probably provide new opportunities for Thousand Sons (or any other Chaos Marines dedicated to Tzeentch), new fomations, special rules, new stuff maybe, ...

Does anyone has any idea about the time we would have to wait for it ?

For the current situation, I would say that the TS lack fast attack and mobility. Allies need a HQ and one Troop, with one Elite, one Fast Attack and one Heavy Support as options.

HQ : Lord of Change, Herald or Daemon Prince (the latter may be chosen within the Thousand Sons detachment too), or any special characters.

Troops : Pink Horrors

Elite : Flamers (good for mobility as they are Jump Infantry)

Fast Attack : Screamers (good for mobility, and may be joined by a Sorcerer with a Disk of Tzeentch)

Heavy Support : Burning Chariot, Soulgrinder or Daemon Prince (if your HQ is a Lord of Change)

From this base, you are able to build up every type of list (from soft to harder ones, a couple of them being even likely to make your friends run away from you ... I guess you may easily find out some examples over the Internet if that is what you seek :D )
 

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Sometimes, the rules don't match the fluff. And this is especially true for the Thousand Sons.

Terminators could easily be considered as Rubric Marines when led by a Sorcerer. They would only "miss" the Inferno bolts. Vehicles could be driven by Rubric Marines (or be possessed), Havocs could be Rubric too (but only with a 6++). For Raptors, it's more difficult to imagine because Rubric Marines are slow, and that doesn't fit well with assault units (except, maybe, for some bikers). Warp Talons could be the result of TS who saved their souls into the Warp to avoid being hit by the Rubric of Ahriman, or TS whose soul has been brought back from the Warp into bodies.

But the most difficult point to overcome is that Rubric Marines units are (fluffy speaking) led by a Sorcerer which, by the rules, is only available as an IC HQ.


If you want to keep it fluffy, the idea just above could also be a solution : adding Chaos Space Marines from another Chapter or Legion to the TS core of the army (technically speaking, not an ally if they come from the same Codex).
I love your opinions on the Thousand Sons, you obviously know them well. Is it such a big deal that a unit doesn't have a sorcerer though? As long as there are sorcerers on the battlefield somewhere surely that is enough, and in game terms if a sorcerer gets sniped out of a unit of TS the rest of the unit don't fall apart. As far as fluff goes I can't imagine a sorcerer walking ten/twenty metres away from a unit of rubrics and them suddenly stopping and doing nothing
 

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I think if I remember right in the long long ago, having a Sorcerer used to give them some bonuses... or at least took away some penalties. But this is no longer the case, and I think it is assumed that the Sorcerer who is with them told them to do something and they will continue to do it until he or someone else tells them to stop.
In game terms they should probably function like the new Kastelan Robots with their command cards.
As for release date on Tzeentch Daemonkin. not sure, but seems like if rumours are true, and on occasions they are. Then it should be the one after Dark Angels, so give it 2-3 weeks for rumours to pick up and a release 2-3 weeks after that.
 

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A big deal ? Definitely not. It's more that I'm somehow disappointed by the way GW is currently integrating the Thousand Sons in the rules ;)

I would rather imagine them as such :

- "Rubric Marines" as a package that can be bought to any Chaos Space Marines unit with the Mark of Tzeentch ("Slow and purposeful", "Aura of Dark Glory" and "Fearless"),

- "Thousand Sons covenant" as an Elite unit available to warlords with the mark of Tzeentch, each member of it allowed to join any unit, just like the "Seer (or Warlock ?) Council" of the Eldars (at a time, though, I've not read much about the new Craftworlds Codex),

- Giving Rubric Marines "Inferno bolts" if a Sorcerer is in range (12'', for instance), and preventing them from moving or charging when it is not the case (about the same thing as for the Hive Mind of the Tyranids).

I'm eager at reading what a "Tzeentch Daemonkin" could provide for improving the current situation ...
 

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Those are fantastic ideas. The mini synapse thing could be a good mechanic, as long as it doesn't cripple rubric marines when they're out of 'synapse' range like it does gaunts. Buffs when they're in range, function normally when they're out of range- that would be good

I look forward to hearing what the Tzeentch daemonkin rules are, I really liked the special rules for Khorne and it looks like it would be a fun army to play
 

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- Giving Rubric Marines "Inferno bolts" if a Sorcerer is in range (12'', for instance), and preventing them from moving or charging when it is not the case (about the same thing as for the Hive Mind of the Tyranids).
What I really want is Rubric Marines to be Relentless with their Sorcerer, and only Slow & Purposeful if there is no Sorc w/ MoT in the unit. Sort of like the old Wraithsight rules for Wraithguard units, or Clan Moulder units for Skaven without packmasters--IIRC, the 3.5 CSM codex did something like that with 1ksons.

I think you could justify Rubric Havocs by throwing them in a Skyshield Landing Pad: a chaos shrine of fel protective powers who can focus its energies to instead to guide units from the warp in to deep strike unerringly. That gives your Havocs a 4+ invuln natively, and the argument can be made that with MoT they'd be bumped to a 3+ invuln.

Here's to hoping Tzeentch Daemonkin is waiting in the wings and actually does come out, and finally makes Tzeentch a more viable army, much like it did for Khorne.
 

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What I really want is Rubric Marines to be Relentless with their Sorcerer, and only Slow & Purposeful if there is no Sorc w/ MoT in the unit. .
this I totally agree with, we actually use it as a house rule.

fluff wise I think of the thousand sons units, are described as the aspiring sorcerer was strong enough to survive the Rubric and so remained sorcerer and then took the rubric marines as his personal body guard as seems to be mentioned in the novels.

With terminators fluff wise, terminators have always been the elite members of the chapter therefore being strong enough to survive the Rubric.

I used obliterators and fluff wise made them out to be TS that were taken by the warp change but managed to make a pact with tzeentch before the total change. (although i don't use them in my TS army anymore)

I use forge fiends and heldrakes in my army and the fluff behind that for me, is that reading all the TS and Ahriman novels, Ahriman will use whatever means and resources required to get what he wants.

but yeah as others have said wait till the daemonkind codex comes out
 

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If you want your Termies to be led by a Sorcerer, then pay the points for a heavy weapon and call it a psychic power.

The old MoT used to avoid psychic tests, so it is fairly fluffy; but I doubt anyone would object to you volunteering to have your heavy flamer be subject to Deny the Witch &c.
 

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Fluffy Thousand Sons! This is my bag!

A lot has already been said, and I'm not going to reiterate the same stuff, but here's MY take on Thousand Sons. I run my Thousand very close to the pre-Heresy... they were very anti-mutuation, so I take that one step further. No negative warp influences at all. No demons. No mutations. HOWEVER, I do fluff away units with alternate models and paintjobs.

Sorcerers - Nuff said. Using the Crimson Slaughter supplement, you can give one Sorcerer the Balestar and have a Corvidae with divination.

Rubric Marines - Duh. I don't bother with any other troop choices besides these, myself.

Obliterators - This are 'warmagi', able to mold raw warpstuff into destructive force. So every time they're casting their powers, it manifests just like their weaponry. Also makes a great bodyguard to the Balestar Terminator Sorcerer, who divinations them. :)

Raptors - Assault marines, but instead of jetpacks I have them riding on whirlwinds. why not? Telekenesis, etc.

Warp Talons - really the same as Raptors.

Terminators - you could basically just say these are Rubrics, or possibly Thousand Sons with enough psychic might to not be turned to dust, but not enough to do much else. You could even paint these guys up as Thousand Sons, but give them opposite marks; Slaneeshi terminators have enough psychic strength to be faster. Nurgles use Biomancy to be tougher. Tzeentchian Termies have defensive wards, and Khorne are using battle magic.

Heldrakes/Forgefiends/Maulers/Defilers - In 'A Thousand Sons', they animate a whole Warlord with just psychic might. That's how I describe my heldrake, because any good sorcerer needs a dragon.

Helbrutes - not a fan, because too crazy, yo.

Standard 'tanks' - utterly perfect. if Forgeworld is available, you might want a Fire Raptor. it's my next purchase planned. Really nice gunship/flying tank. Helblades are really nice fliers instead of Heldrakes.


Do you have access to the old Apocalypse stuff? There was an Apocalypse Formation called a Thousand Sons War Coven. i actually just discovered it recently, and posted my own non-apocalypse version in the Homebrew section.

I've also recently come up with another idea... you can find it in this forum a little further down in the list. Thousand Sons + Necrons. Why? Because if you think about it, they work perfectly together as 'Rubrics'. They're a little slow, very durable, and their Reanimation protocals are almost perfectly fit to the same as the current MoTz. They even both have the same egyptian theme! You could add quite a few interesting formations from the Decurion to your list, though your Sorcery will only affect 'true' Sons of Magnus.
 

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Rubric Marines - Duh. I don't bother with any other troop choices besides these, myself.
No worshipful, fawning cultists hoping to be indoctrinated into the greater Secrets?
 
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