Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ahriman Ascending

I got my Wrath of Magnus books a couple of weeks back and I meant to post something about it but didn't get around to doing it. Then I had my first game using the new rules last weekend.

The Thousand Sons are back - big time!

I must say when I first read the rules I was slightly disappointed with the unchanging points-cost, and the fact that the fancy new weapons (warpflamer, reaper cannon) just add even more points to an already expensive army.

Then I remembered that the magic in the Thousand Sons lies with the ... magic!

For one, the revamped Tzeentch powers are simply awesome! But best of all, your sorcerers now have access to some amazing psychic disciplines, which gives your army amazing flexibility.

For example, in my game on Sunday, I faced a White Scars army with 3 Land Raiders, plus 2 other tanks. So each and every sorcerer who could, rolled at least once on Heretech (of course we also had Tzeentch, Telepathy and Divination). And the result was crazy.

But first, here's the list I used. We were in a rush, so I used the list that was quickest to deploy:

War Cabal:
Exhalted Sorcerer - mastery level 2, Seer's Bane
5 Scarab Occult Terminators - with heavy warpflamer
  in a Land Raider with dozer blades dedicated transport
8 Thousand Sons
9 Thousand Sons
Land Raider with dozer blades

The White Scars loyalist scum was using some kind of formation that had 3 Land Raiders - 2 Crusaders (one of which was the Warlord, carrying a Techmarine and 2 Servitors) and a Redeemer, the Land Raiders carrying 2 squads of 5 Assault Termies (3 with thunder hammer & storm shield, 2 with lightning claws). They also had 5 Space Marines with plasma gun in a Rhino, 10 Space Marines with a melta gun in a Drop Pod, and another Tecmarine with 2 Servitors in a Razorback with twin-linked lascannon.

So I gleefuly gave Ahriman, his Exhalted Sorcerer and the Scarab Occult Sorcerer Heretech spells, on top of Tzeentch and Ahriman's Telepathy.

The Heretech spells are just deadly against vehicles. On Turn 1, the White Scars Warlord Land Raider Crusader got hit by multiple castings of Flayerstorm and Scrapcode Curse, and was quickly wrecked (glanced to death). Scrapcode Curse gives D3 haywire hits, and Flayerstorm reduces the target by D3 hull points. Crazy stuff.

Flayerstorm also hits nearby targets with D6 rending hits everytime it brings down a Hull Point. Later in the game, the second Land Raider Crusader was killed with it, and a nearby Rhino blew up because of it.

Seer's Bane on the Exhalted Sorcerer is really good. The Artifact is expensive, but at S=Ld, and you know how good the sorcerer's leadership is, he easily hacked the loyalist marines to bits. It's a daemon weapon, and I of course would have to roll a 1 when I used it.

When I first read about them, I kinda scoffed at the Scarab Termies. But I love 'em now. Fearless Termies with AP3 combi-bolters and a heavy warpflamer, not to mention getting a level 2 sorcerer to boot. It's awesome. Combined with the fact that they and their dedicated transport Land Raider infiltrated, they almost scored First Blood by wiping out a 5-man Space Marine unit in Turn 1 (First Blood was scored in the Psychic Phase, when the White Scars' Warlord Land Raider Crusader was toasted).

It was a truly brutal game. Just as before, and since CSM Codex 3.5, the Thousand Sons are best used aggressively. By Turn 3, the White Scars had lost all 3 Land Raiders, a Rhino, all 10 Assault Marines, all 15 Space Marines, the Drop Pod and all 4 Servitors. Only the Razorback and 2 Techmarines remained. The loyalist scum duly conceded. The Thousand Sons lost 6 Rubricae and a Termie.

I'm itching to try out more games with this new super-magic Thousand Sons. I just tweaked the twin-Land Raider list I used to include a Rhino - in the game, the Thousand Sons squad on foot didn't do much at all. And I do need to remember to re-roll 1s, and Hatred Space Marines, and the Exhalted Sorcerer's Lord of the Silver Tower.

I do have another War Cabal list that I'm curious about - just 1 Land Raider for the Termies, an additional budget-sized Tzeentch sorcerer, Rhinos for both Thousand Sons squads and a Predator. But the list I'm most curious to run is Ahriman's Exiles combined with a CAD - a total of 8 psykers and 17+d6 magic dice, on top of 2 squads of Rubrics, a Heldrake, a Land Raider, and the curious fact that the Exiles cast on 3+.


Keep them dice rolling.