After the NuMarines Codex was released, I saw the power imbalance and started experimenting with non-traditional Chaos lists as a way to bridge the gap. I'm currently exploring what you can do with Thousand Sons and could use some advice.
One of the ones I've been running is a Daemon Primarch list featuring Mortarion and Magnus, which has enjoyed moderate success. At the same time, not everyone likes playing against 2 Lords of War and games can get repetitive. So I decided to put together armies for the Primarch's respective legions.
I posted a written battle report in the NuMarines thread in the main CSM forum. In this game, I took Magnus, Ahriman, 6 Sorcerers on Disks, a couple Terminator Sorcerers and a bunch of Tzaangor. My opponent was playing Imperial Fists with Intercessors, Infiltrators, Dreadnoughts and Repulsors, he gave up after the second turn.
While I am under no illusions about how this list would perform against other factions, there were 3 things that really stood out.
- Magnus had buffs for a -1 to hit and a 3+ invul save. He shrugged off a lot of wounds and that meant more against a NuMarine army. They have weapons with a lot of shots, when they don't wound, they waste offensive potential at a higher rate than, say, Dark Eldar or Tau, who have similar firepower spread out over more units.
- The Sorcerers were Characters. I was careful about placement and my opponent couldn't target them very efficiently. This also caused him to waste shots, his Repulsors were firing 40 shots to kill a single Sorcerer. That's egregious.
- My opponent deployed to counter Magnus and it backfired spectacularly. He massed his Dreadnoughts and Infiltrators in the path of Magnus, who (along with the Sorcerers) laid down a ton of mortal wounds with Smite / Infernal Gateway / Doombolt. Magnus was hitting at S 18 in cc, which let me confidently divide attacks across multiple foes.
What I took away from this game is a better appreciation for the vulnerabilities of NuMarines. When I say vulnerabilities, another way to think about it is "what tactics put an opponent at the least disadvantage fighting this overpowered army."
First off, they fight best at range, guns are their best offense. In general, high mobility opponents who can close the gap quickly are better off than those trying to fight from range.
Second, they are vulnerable to psychic spam. Psykers are not the most points-efficient HQ option in a PEQ army, there won't be a lot of denial in top NuMarines lists. This gives armies like TS an avenue to go after low model count units with smite and reduce their effectiveness early in the game (if not destroy them - I killed 2 5x Intercessor sqauds first turn with smite.)
Third, they are vulnerable to character spam. Their shooting effectiveness drops when they can only target the closest unit, they are wasting shots every time they go after single models. Through careful placement, I was able to ensure they were just shooting one unit at a time.
Fourth, they have big, clumsy bases limit their movement. I was able to pin a Contemptor in place to prevent it from falling back, this kept Magnus in a fight instead of getting shot up.
Wondering what other people's experiences have been with Thousand Sons versus NuMarines. Is there anything specifically that stands out to you? Can you give me examples?