Going forward however is the following question: what would be the most effective way to deal with said heavy weaponry which does negate AID?
When assessing targets and target priority, we then need to look at three primary criteria: First, what is my force? What does the enemy have that can hurt that force? What is the proper tool to take on that threat?
What is my force? - The Thousand Sons, as written in their 8th edition codex, have a limited set of options. Their troop choices are Rubricae and Tzaangors, with the option of summoning or allying daemon troops. Mechanized platforms are limited to T7 with no invulnerable saves, with the sole exception of the Land Raider. There are two daemon engines, and the mutilith vortex beast. Aside from this, the entire book is a collection of sorcerers and daemon princes of various flavors.
- Troops are the foundation of any army. They give you mass, board control, and small arms fire. They are also required for command point generation. As they are a requirement,
care should be taken to optimize troop capabilities so that they can contribute meaningfully to the fight, and not become a waste of points hiding in the rear of the field.
- Brotherhood of Sorcerers turns most spells from an 12-18" range to a 18-24" range. This lines up well with the 24" range of Inferno Bolt Weapons and the Soulreaper cannon,
effectively making any rubricae unit effective at up to 24", with the ability to destroy armored targets through volume of high AP low damage weaponry.
- Veterans of the Long War can apply to any infantry unit, taking your basic infantry and giving them the equivalent of Str 5/7 weaponry depending on the target. Because this
strategem can only effect one unit per phase, you maximize its utility by running larger units.
- Psychic Defense applies on a per unit basis, as do the stratagems / relics allowing for maneuverability. These both have increased utility when you increase the size of the unit.
Putting it all together, the advantage of Codex Thousand Sons in respect to the infantry, is large blocks of tough infantry reinforced by psychic buffs and moving around using stratagems and relics. These units fulfill our core objectives of moving from outside of the enemy WEZ by means of the Dark Matter Crystal, Teleportation, or the Webway Infiltration strategem. They destroy the enemy through a combination of psychic powers and high AP weaponry at 18"-24" for rubricae, or by an 8" assault for tzaangors, both of which may be reinforced by use of Veterans of the Long War. Following, survivability is achieved by destroying the enemy weapon capabilities that deny 'All is Dust' in the case of Rubricae, or all small arms in the local area for tzaangors.
What does the enemy have that can hurt that force? - if you build your army around the concepts described above, then the answer is simple. The enemy will be required to destroy you with high rate of fire multi-damage weaponry, or by similar means in close combat. These units will normally have a range of 24-30" for infantry, with AP values ranging widely. As such, when you choose to commit your forces to a sector of the table, target priority should be assigned based off of your capability to reduce this fire within the WEZ. The less multi-damage fire coming in on your troops in the following phases, the more you will able to enjoy a local superiority that will turn attrition in your favor. You must take care to have realistic expectations of what you can destroy when determining this target priority; even if something is a bigger threat, effectively killing multiple smaller threats around it frequently reduces incoming fires more than degrading the profile on something that you are unable to remove.
The last question is the one that causes Thousand Sons players the most grief: What is the proper tool to take on that threat? The reason for that is that the codex is extremely limited in feasible options. We have Terminators, Rubricae, Tzaangors, Sorcerers, Daemon Princes, Magnus, Predators, Hellbrutes, Spawn, and the daemon engines/mutalith vortex beast. There is a large array of units which can be allied in, but as I’m looking to focus on the codex, and chaos has more options than any other faction in the game, I’m going to restrict the current topic to what’s in the codex only.
Of the units listed above, most do not meet the criteria of maneuver based units. Hellbrutes and Predators are useful for fire support, but they do not benefit from all is dust and do not have a high movement value. This relegates them to forming a fire base and supporting from the back field, which is generally of higher value to an attrition oriented force. Spawn lack an ability to quickly move to where they are needed, and their 5+ save means that large number would be required for survivability. This is likewise a unit designed for attrition.
A mention should be made for horrors of tzeentch, as they have both survivability and the ability to appear anywhere on the table via ‘Denizens of the Warp’, however, they require support to have offensive capability. Discussion of this unit may be found here: http://www.bolterand...itting-horrors/
This leaves four units which fit the criteria: Terminator Sorcerers, Scarab Occult Terminators, Rubricae, and Tzaangor. I will cover the offensive mechanics of these units in depth in my next post.
Edited by CrystalSeer, 24 November 2019 - 10:48 AM.