Friday, June 5, 2009

Thousand Sons?

Honestly, I really want to like the Thousand Sons. I dig the fluff and the tragic history. It's the whole seeking of knowledge, even if it turned out terribly, terribly wrong. But, I've got two problems with it...the rules for the Thousand Sons, and the chaos codex itself.

The Thousand Sons
So, what perks do they have?

Pros
-Mark of Tzeentch
A 4+ invulnerable. These guys don't REALLY care about cover. They bring it with them, effectively.

However, the real question is how often you'll be rolling that 4+. Marines are often killed just by slamming enough wounds on 'em; it's the 3+ you're usualling leaning on.

-Fearless
Hey, when YOU'RE an automaton of the Dark Gods, not a lot fazes you.

-Inferno Bolts
AP3 bolters. Most folks get no saves unless you're in cover. Nail folks unless they've cover, then it's making 'em roll on the 4+. This would be cooler without cover.

-Slow and Purposeful
Shoot them bolters! It's combined with 'The Sorcerer Commands' where if you lose the sorcerer, you only get 1d6 for S 'n' P. Still, you can move up, rapid-fire bolters, and then assault.

Bottom line? Thousand Sons carry their own cover and excel and whipping AP3 bolter shots at infantry.

Cons
-Cost
This is the big one. 23 a head for a Thousand Son, and 60 plus psychic power for the sorcerer. A unit is EXPENSIVE. A minimal unit (4 sons, Sorcerer w/ Doombolt) costs you 162.

-Capability
This is the other big one. Thousand Sons carry...a bolter. That's it. No pistol, no grenade kit. Do you want a flamer? You have to take Winds of Chaos on the sorcerer. Do you want anti-tank fire? Bolt of Change on the sorcerer. Get into assault? Call for a friend, or take Warp Time on the WS4, S4 Sorcerer with Force Weapon and pistol.

Overall? They're expensive, and one-dimensional.

Overall
Use of the Thousand Sons must take into account their shortcomings. Ok, that's a bit of a normal thing, but in the case of the Sons they can't kill vehicles and, well, 5th is in part about nuking vehicles and holding onto objectives. At least K-sons can hold objectives out of cover without really caring about it. They also need melee support.

On the Chaos Codex
Dreadnoughts suck. Same cost for a loyalist (90 + 10 for the multi-melta) and you get the berserk chart. They get a case of the stupid, essentially. It gets comical when a Dread yells and runs up to something like a Seer Council...which promptly beats it down.

Lack of mobile multi-meltas. What I WOULD NOT give for a Land Speeder equivalent. Taking 3 bikes with two meltaguns is NOT the same thing. Nor is taking a small raptor squad with multi-meltas. Nor is a crazy-assed Dreadnought.

So, how do I try to compensate for this?
As I've hit up thus far, Thousand Sons need melee support, and the ability to kill armor. So, here's the first list I've cooked up.

Thousand Sons Draft, 1850
HQ
Daemon Prince
Mark of Slaanesh, Wings, Lash of Submission
155

Daemon Prince
Mark of Slaanesh, Wings, Lash of Submission
155

Elites
4 Chaos Terminators
3 combi-melta, one fellow with heavy flamer/powerfist
150

4 Chaos Terminators
3 combi-melta, one fellow with heavy flamer/powerfist
150

Troops
6 Thousand Sons
Aspiring Sorcerer w/ Doombolt
Personal Icon
228
Rhino
35

6 Thousand Sons
Aspiring Sorcerer w/ Doombolt
Personal Icon
228
Rhino
35

6 Thousand Sons
Aspiring Sorcerer w/ Doombolt
Personal Icon
228
Rhino
35

Heavy Support
Defiler
150

Defiler
150

Defiler
150

Total: 1849

How does it 'work'?
Well, honestly, it needs the Lash to get the most out of the Inferno Bolts and the Battle Cannons. With that, I can acutally do damage instead of force heaps of cover saves.

The Terminators, Defilers and Daemon Princes are all capable of dumping plenty of pain onto things in hand-to-hand. That covers that.

The Daemon Princes, Terminators, and Defilers all have the potential to pop vehicles, though admittedly the termies are reliant on the K-sons to get into position. The Thousand Sons can fire off a single anti-tank shot, I suppose. At the least a Rhino can cruise 6" and then the Sorcerer can pop out of the top and say "I THROW TZEENTCHY AT YOU!!" and try not to fry his brains.

Why Daemon Princes? A bit for attracting fire, and a bit for the melee potential. A sorcerer is infinitely more survivable hidden in a unit, but it's just a WS5, S4 power weapon that wants Warp Time to be a threat.

As much as I want to like Thousand Sons, I'm more likely to use the models and use the rules for Plague Marines or just regular guys with Icon of Chaos Glory. If supernatural durability is what marks the Thousand Sons, why not T5/FNP? It's a HELL of a lot more durable than T4 3+/4+.

Compared to the K-sons list...

Plagues as the Sons of Magnus
Well, seven Plague Marines w/ the Icon, 2 meltaguns, and a champ w/ fist are 226. 6 Sons, the Sorcerer, Doom Bolt, and an Icon is 228. The plague marines can punch out a vehicle, they can actually FIGHT in hand-to-hand, and they can meltagun stuff to death. Explain to me why I'd want to run the Sons in comparison to that? Plus, when it comes to small-arms fire (or even larger stuff, unless it's S8+ or AP2, the Plague Marines are more durable. They are, though T4(5), which is kind of annoying.

This has a crucial side-effect: I don't need to support them as much in melee. I also can expect them to pop tanks every now and then.

3 comments:

Mik said...

I like the Sorcerer in there with the unit, it's a nice touch both for fluff and mechanics. Why not take Ahriman (sp?) in there as one of your HQ choices, or Daemon princes with marks of Tzeentch? It depends if you want to field a K-son/Tzeentch list, or if you're looking more at stats. If it's the latter, I'd say it is a toss up between Plague Marines and K-sons for "toughest per trooper" contest.

dverning said...

Gah... and here you go and touch on my third army... :p (Eldar, Wolves and Tzneetch heavy CSMs)

I think you missed one important bit.. no Frag Grenades combined with S&P. Going a I1 in CC is not based off charging into cover, but instead any time you have to make a difficult terrain check to charge. (A hidden advantage of the Thunderfire that many don't realize...) Since 1KSons don't have frag grenades, they always go last on the charge.

Thus I use mine in two ways:
8-10 in a Rhino: Unless my opponent Runs or Infiltrates, first turn is usually a 12" move and Smoke Launchers. Drive another 12" if it survives, jump out, Wind of Chaos and Rapid Fire.
12+ on foot: That many 3+/4++ is rough to kill. Add in a Warptime Sorceror for some cheap CC and you're set. Makes a great mid range unit. This is what I usually run in my Black Legion.

My pure Thousand Sons:
205 Daemon Prince of Tzneetch w Wings, Warptime, Wind of Chaos
205 Daemon Prince of Tzneetch w Wings, Warptime, Wind of Chaos
296 7 Thousand Sons, Sorceror, Wind of Chaos, Icons, Meltabombs, Rhino
296 7 Thousand Sons, Sorceror, Wind of Chaos, Icons, Meltabombs, Rhino
291 7 Thousand Sons, Sorceror, Warptime, Icons, Meltabombs, Rhino
155 4 Termis, 3 combi-meltas, Heavy Flamer, Chainfist
150 Defiler w 2 CCW
150 Defiler w 2 CCW

Sadly, the above is what I run when I'm looking to play something only moderately powered. Thousand Sons are okay, but 5th's change to 4++ cover saves made them not quite as special. (Let's not even talk about Storm Shields...)

Raptor1313 said...

@Mik
I think if we're talking toughest trooper, the T5/FNP easily tips the scales. A Thousand Son will die to S3-7, AP4+ fire in exactly the same way that a regular space marine will. A Plague Marine takes fewer wounds when hit between S3-6, and unless he takes AP2 fire there's Feel No Pain to contend with.

Only when both guys are out in the open and taking S8+ fire that's AP3 or better do Thousand Sons have a marked advantage. S8+ fire that's not AP3 (such that there is that...) also negates the FNP (since PMs are T4(5) instead of straight T5).

@dverning
I'm telling you, it's the pony...heheheh. (I may not play chaos, but I can still laugh maniacally with the best of them. Sadly, the interweb's text does not capture that very well. Shame.) I did miss that about S'n'P. More FUN for the bots in blue, that...

As for the armies, they're somewhat disturbingly similar. Seems we thought along the same lines of shoring up the K-son weakness in popping vehicles and in assault, but I have to agree with you that it is only moderately powerful. There's just some stuff out there that'll laugh at all the squads that just pack heavy-duty bolters.