With the release of the 2018 edition of Chapter Approved things have now changed. The Open Play stuff is cool but not my cup of tea, I love Narrative Play but what I’m most interested in right now is Matched Play. The thing with Matched Play is that it works in Narrative too. It is just all about a level play field. So with that said, let’s take a look at the shape of things to come.
My main army in 8th edition is Thousand Sons. And since I’m a hipster at heart I’ve actually played both Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators all along. Now, while these units look awesome they have struggled in a game that mechanically favours tons of wounds and buckets of dice. Overcosted and underperforming, the dust units are everything the Chaos Cultist is not. But come Chapter Approved this might change.
I thought I’d take a look at points and see where this leaves the Thousand Sons. The general theme of the Chapter Approved changes is to buff not nerf. While individual units and wargear may have received points increases most things have gotten points drops instead, and hopefully gotten more competitive because of it. For Thousand Sons this is most definitely the case. For example, a unit of ten Scarab Occult Terminators fully kitted dropped 54 points. 3 points per model, 5 points per Soulreaper Cannon and 7 points per Hellfyre Missile Rack. While the Scarab Occult Terminators are still among the most expensive Terminators in the game the points cut is still quite substantial. And most welcome.
The Rubric Marines also saw a modest cut of two points per model. At 16 points per model and a minimum of 2 points of wargear they are still expensive. They are in fact one of the most, if not the most expensive Astartes Troops unit in the game. The big change is the points cut on the Warpflamer, it is dropping five from 15 to 10 points a pop. Still expensive but the Warpflamer is a badass weapon. A five man squad with four Warpflamer and an Aspiring Sorcerer with a Warpflame Pistol (down to 3 points) is now “only” 131 points compared to its old cost of 165 points. Now that’s an impressive cut. I’m not saying that this unit will be the most competitive pick but it will be easier to squeeze that unit into a list now. And once on the table top it will perform quite well. It is faster than you would expect since it can Move and Advance before unleashing their sorcerous flames.
To further push the use of Rubric Marines the humble Chaos Cultist saw a slight price hike. Going up from 4 to 5 points per model they are most definitely loosing some of their competitive edge but they are still substantially cheaper than a barebones unit of Rubric Marines, have more wounds and more board presence. I will continue to bring Cultist but I might drop from 40 to 20-30 bodies. Now if you used to tool up you Cultists with Flamers and Heavy Stubbers the increase is softened somewhat since both those weapons got a bit cheaper. Hopefully we’ll see more Rubric Marines in the game but the top choice is still Tzaangors, and they remained unchanged.
There is a ton of changes, I’ll run through the rest of the changes. First up is the Sorcerer and the Sorcerer in Terminator Armour. While the Sorcerer is weaker than his Exalted Overlord, with a weaker statsline and no Aura ability. But the Terminator Sorcerer have one thing going for him and that is his Familiar. The Familiar give him a +1 to his Psychic tests. Reliable spell casting is an amazing ability. He used to be 140 points with Familiar, Stave and Inferno Combi-Bolter but dropped down to 122 point. You’re still in! The normal Sorcerer on foot might have a spot in a tight list where every point counts but he looks a bit too mediocre even with the 5 points drop.
Speaking of mediocre, the Chaos Spawn got a big drop, going down from 33 points to 25 points. I think the Spawn at this cost is quite interesting. While still not very good on paper I think you might be able to make the unit work on the tabletop. For a measly 125 points you get 20 t5 wounds, moving 8″ and potentially hits like a ton of bricks (at WS 4+ but hey, you can’t have everything). Thousand Sons have a stratagem that allows you to pick mutation and re-roll the number of attacks. Not bad and like I said, points wise in a interesting spot.
Another group of units that have problems hitting stuff are the Daemon Engines of the Thousand Sons. Curse with WS and BS 4+, while cool looking and decent, they haven’t had it easy with their inflated points costs. Guess what? Yeah, every got cheaper. It’s like Oprah: You get a Daemon Engine, and you get a Daemon Engine. The Maulerfiend and Defiler dropped 20 points base, the Forgefiend dropped 19 points and the Heldrake 18 points. Some of the wargear got cheaper to, like the Forgefiend guns. My newly finished double Hades Autocannon is now less than 150 points, 29 points less than before (I was hoping for 40 so rather pleased). A triple Ectoplasma Forgefiend is now 160 rather than 197 points. A Lasher Maulerfiend clocks in at only 132 point. That’s now bad at all. I will most definitely look to these models when building my lists in the future.
The big warpbeast, the Mutalith Vortex Beast got a 25 points cut and look rather attractive at 125 especially if you bring units that have synergies with it. Tzeentch close combat units benefit the most but unit user strength bases shooting can be buffed to. It is a big maybe for me mostly because I’m not a fan of the model.
A model that I do like is the Land Raider, I still don’t own one because they’ve never been good enough to justify the cash spent. Are they getting better with Chapter Approved? Yes, very much so. The base cost is cut down to 200 from 239 and the twin lascannon drop another 10 points each. So basically a 60 points cheaper now. That’s a lot but the Land Raider still suffer from some basic mechanics in the game – namely getting tagged and hugged in the Fight phase which will render the model useless. The Land Raider really need something to deny this from happening, much like Imperial Knights.
Look here, another seamless transition, from one walker to another – let’s check out the Helbrute. The Helbrute is a real winner getting a 12 point drop and its wargear drops too. Close combat is getting cheaper, a double power fist Helbrute got 22 points cheaper, and shooting is cheaper, Las/Missile Brute dropped 27 points. They all look quite attractive points wise. And since I love walkers colour me happy. Back in 7th I ran three Helbrutes in my CSM list all the time. Is it time for a comeback? Yeah, I think so. I just need to convert some heretek battle automata to count as Helbrutes.
That’s the breakdown. Now I’m off to write some lists and see what I can do with the new points. It’ll be interesting to see what allies can be worth taking. I might do a post on that too.
Keep on keeping on!