With the imminent arrival of 8th edition I decided to actually get my hobby back and do some work on my Thousand Sons army. I got a list down and I’m working towards finishing it. Everything is built and just need paint.
The list is built for Narrative Play using Power Points (PP) rather than Match Play points. Power Points (or total Power Level or Power Ratings, pick your poison) are an approximation of the average cost of the unit. I decided to build a battleforged list clocking in at 50 PP. That is about a 1000 points in matched play (I think).
Narrative Play with PP is enough precision for me, I’m not really a competitive player. I like to tell stories with my toy soldiers. That’s my primary goal, but that said, I still like to build good lists and make the best of what I’ve got.
Thousand Sons look like a fun faction to play come this edition. They bring some quite durable and dangerous units that look amazing on the tabletop. The new Rubric Marines are among the best models Games Workshop ever produced. Combine this with one of the best backgrounds and fluff and you got yourself a winner. At least in my book.
So without being especially good at the game or even an avid gamer I’ll try and give a little breakdown of my thoughts on the Thousand Sons. I’ll start with the list I made and the units in it.
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Battleforged – Patrol Detachment – 50 Power Points
Exalted Sorcerer (7) – Force Stave and Inferno Bolt Pistol
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour (8) – Force Sword and Combi Plasma
Rubric Marines *10 – Aspiring Sorcerer with Inferno Bolt Pistol, 8 Rubric Marines with Inferno Bolt Guns, 1 Rubric with Soulreaper Cannon, Icon of Flame (14)
Rubric Marines *5 – Aspiring Sorcerer with Warpflame Pistol, 4 Rubric Marines with Warpflamers, Icon of Flame (8)
Scarab Occult Terminators *5 – Scarab Occult Sorcerer with Inferno Combi- Bolter, 2 Scarab Occult Terminators with Inferno Combi-Bolter, 1 Scarab Occult Terminators with Inferno Combi-Bolter and Hellfyre Missile Rack, 1 Scarab Occult Terminators with Soulreaper Cannon (13)
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That’s it. The list’s got a low body count, just 22 models, and it’s rather slow as it is completely on foot. But it is also quite mean with loads of low AP attacks and it can steadily dish out 5-7 mortal wounds per turn. The actual maximum of mortal wounds per turn is 21! Oh, I forgot about the Icons, they deal a mortal wound on a roll of 6. So 23 mortal wounds a turn.
The slowness of the list can (and will) be mitigate by use of the psychic power Warp Time. The ability to move twice a turn is golden for a slow army like this. With 8th edition you can pick your Psychic Powers; if randomness and dice rolls isn’t your particular fancy. This is great, especially with a knockout power like Warp Time. Both Sorcerers will have this and probably Prescience for a +1 to hit too. The Aspiring Sorcerers will have to make due with their scaled back version of Smite.
The changes to deep strike are most welcome too. There is no more randomness or chance as scatter and mishap is a thing of the past. Now you just set your unit down more than 9″ away from the enemy at the end of any of your movement phases, including the first. And guess what; the Scarab Occult Terminators and the Terminator Sorcerer can both deep strike like this.
When they drop in they can unleash their Inferno Combi-Bolters at rapid fire range. That’s four shots a pop. If the Sorcerer manages to cast Prescience you got a real hammer in your hand. Just look at this damage output: 16 S4 Ap-2 D1, 4 S5 Ap-3 D1, 2 S8 Ap-2 D1d3 and 2 S7 Ap-3 D1. And don’t forget about a couple of mortal wounds from Smite.
Once the shooting is done they can try and charge something. 9″ is a tough charge but by no means impossible. In close combat they have the potential to bring the pain yet again. The Terminators all have Power Swords which is a pretty sweet weapon in 8th. Again hitting on 2+ (with Prescience) – 8 S4 Ap-3 D1, 2 S6 Ap-1 D1d3 and 2 S4 Ap-3 D1d3. And remember you can charge any unit in range not just the one you just shot up.
Rubric Marines and the Exalted Sorcerer will both up the pitch at a slow yet purposeful pace. They are the anvil to the Scarab Occult Terminators. The damage output is less as the Inferno Bolter are not the Combi type. But low Ap fire is quite deadly and with the new to wound table they can put wounds on anything with T7 or less rather reliably. If the squad with Warpflamers ever get in range they’ll surely go to town on whatever squad caught in their sorcerous flames – 4d6 S4 Ap-2 D1 and another d6 S3 Ap-2 D1 auto hits. Let the Galaxy burn!
The Exalted Sorcerer also allows Thousand Sons Infantry to reroll invulnerable saves of 1. This is a really handy ability. The All is Dust ability protects the dust brothers from most weapons in the game – if the Damage characteristic is 1 you gain +1 on your saving throw (both armour and invulnerable saves). Both Rubric Marines and the Scarab Occult Terminators have this rule but don’t worry, a saving throw of 1 always fail. The Terminators aren’t invincible.
It is a small force but I think it will be fun to play. I’m already looking on ways to expand my force. The Thousand Sons can’t bring all the units that regular Chaos Space Marines can bring so this limits my options a bit. But I think I need some bubble wrap/screening units like cultists to protect my Rubricae, some long range threats to draw enemy fire (Helbrute or a Forgefiend) and maybe a close combat threat of note.
Keep on keeping on!