How to play Thousand Sons in 8th edition

   We paid much attention to the Thousand Sons legion after its release. Now, let’s find out, how do they play in the 8th edition and what’s changed. We’ve chosen this legion since Death Guard is waiting for the new book and a lot of new units coming soon, and the others don’t have unique units yet.

   Let’s start with the biggest – let’s start with Magnus. In 7th edition, he was a choice not for everyone, but now there’s no reason not to include this guy on your roster. Now, when there are no warp-charges, he doesn’t require the whole roster to be built around him and casts spells independently. Sure, the magic is now much weaker, but Magnus has his own Smite with D6 or even 2D6 mortal wounds, which is really scary. Besides, he is now a much better close combat fighter, nevertheless, his defense is now worse. On the other hand, now you don’t need to bend over to improve his invuln – you just can’t. Another thing that makes him more independent. Also, Magnus is now 200 points cheaper. Now he is a versatile destroyer of everything, available for any player.

   Considering the fact that the magic is not so effective now, there’s no need to take as many Sorcerers, as you used to. A couple is enough until we get our own psychic discipline. One of them can be Ahriman – he’s still a good caster, much cheaper and effective in close combat. The others should better be Exalted Sorcerers, since now they cost like usual ones, but have invuln, and buff friendly Thousand Sons units. The only disadvantage is that they can’t take terminator armor – so you might need a usual sorcerer if you want to use him with the pack of terminators.

   Speaking about terminators. It’s nice that their weapons are now effective even against 2+ armor. Another good thing is that their bolters now shoot more. Two wounds, of course. Surely, give them rockets and Soulreaper cannon. Why not flamer? Nevertheless, it hits automatically, rend is worse. And 8 inches range doesn’t let you use it after coming from reserves. But it’s the best way to use them. The new deep strike won’t let you set up really close to the enemy, but you don’t need to. 12 inches is enough for the maximum effectiveness. The bad thing is that their leader is no longer a full-fledged sorcerer – he’s just the same undeveloped version as his colleague from rubrics squad.  And another bad thing is that they have only 5++. Even with the chance to get 4++ from All is Dust special rule. Loyal terminators still have shields with constant 3++, but 4++ for Thousand Sons with the chance to be improved by 1 is considered to be balance-breaking… It’s worth taking 1-2 squads to fight enemy infantry all over the battlefield by coming from the reserve. Try not to get stuck in the close combat, since your shooting is much more effective.

   Rubric marines have mostly the same pros and cons as terminators. The shooting became a bit more effective, the defense – a bit worse. Tests show that they perfectly destroy almost every kind of infantry. Flamers are still ambiguous. If you like to risk, getting closer to the enemy and relying on D6 – it’s your choice. Theoretically you can burn down a lot of things. But if you prefer something more reliable and easy to use – bolters are still your choice. It’s awful that their sorcerers know only Smite, ant this Smite is even not a full-strength one. Use them traditionally – take a Rhino and roll over the objective markers. These guys are quite durable and they will hold them tight.

   Tzaangors have become a bit better. Rend on their blades, re-roll to hit against all characters, not only the ones with relics (since there are no relics yet) And now they have 5++. Just the same invuln that terminators and rubrics have. Kind of weird, isn’t it? The main purpose of this squad is to compensate small numbers of our army – take more of these horned beasts and throw them to the enemy lines, distracting attention.  They’ve become tougher, so now they can be a problem for the enemy.

   As you can see, all these units are effective against infantry, but can’t deal serious damage to vehicles and monstrous creatures. So, you must take 2-3 Predators in your army. Or Hellbruts with lascannons and missiles. May be, there;s a reason to use land raider – mostly not for the transportation (no good close combat units), but as a fire magnet and fire platform. Defiler can be a serious threat since now it’s finally become better. It’s not very important, what exactly you choose, the main thing is not to forget about vehicles with heavy weapons. Otherwise, you risk appearing helpless against big units.

   In general, Thousand Sons army looks nice. A lot of high rend shooting, durable squads, dangerous (because of Smite’s) characters. Perfect Primarch. Ins obvious that we have to wait for the codex to get our own magic, strategems and relics which will fix some difficulties. We lack a cheap infantry unit with heavy weapons like Havocs – so, let’s hope something like this will appear in the codex. The bad thing is that we lack possibilities, given by the 7th edition magic. From the other hand, most units have become cheaper because of that. Besides, you can still summon demons. And it’s a topic for another discussion… Looking forward to the full-scale codex!