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Surviving in a competitive meta with Thousand Sons

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#1
Heliomanes

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I've got a big tournament coming up, and am in list building and testing mode for the next few weeks. I know everyone is playing in very different milieus, but some of us are trying to make the most out of our Thousand Sons in the deeper end of the pool, so to speak. My environment is pretty competitive, so I thought I'd make this thread for this kind of discussion - we should share our thoughts and experiences, and maybe we'll figure out some fun and thematic tricks and tips. My goal is more or less to have fun and hopefully not get stomped into paste - I don't think I am a good enough player to expect much success, nor do I think playing a Thousand Sons based army is a really competitive choice these days.

To get things started, I'd like to begin with list format. If you want to play Thousand Sons as something more than just Codex: Supreme Command Detachment for Chaos Soup, then I think you will have to play a Cult of Magic detachment and a Cult of Duplicity detachment. There are arguments to be made for Cult of Prophecy due to the relic too, but that adds more value to soup again rather than the Thousand Sons as a cohesive army.

From this premise, I think we have two alternatives. Duplicity adds value to rubricae and scarab occult primarily, so we will want a batallion to fill out those troop slots with dusty boys. Cult of Magic adds value to characters primarily, so we will want a supreme command detachment or a batallion with cultists and/or tzaangors, since they will not benefit from the cult bonuses anyway.

So the two choices are:
1. Duplicity batallion + Magic supreme command
2. Duplicity batallion + Magic batallion

If we accept this as the foundational premise, then we can start thinking about what those detachments should look like. Let's start with the Duplicity batallion.

2 HQ
3 Troops

Troop slots are fairly easy. Rubrics get access to the duplicity teleport spell, and have increased a lot in utility. We all love the idea of infiltrating 20 rubricae, both for the shooting aspect, but mostly because then we have  a guaranteed wall of troops in front of our fragile spellcasting characters, allowing us to move up midfield. I think that choice is a slam dunk. Big units also maximize the utility we get from one use spells and stratagems such as weaver of fates, veterans of the long war, and so on.

For the other two choices I am tempted to add two 5 man Rubric squads. The local tournaments usually play a variant of ITC rules, so people often get kill points or need to clear away troop choices, engineers etc from objectives. Rubrics are hardy enough to make this a bit more effort than cultist squads do, and small squads are easier to hide from line of sight. We can even teleport them up close to the enemy, away from line of sight, thus not letting them target our characters. With the dark matter crystal and the duplicity spell, we can do stuff like this throughout the game.

HQ is a bit more difficult, but I think I will always take Ahriman here. Named characters do not get the cult specific bonuses anyway, so why not take him in the detachment with the lowest bonus to the character choices? The other HQ could be a cheap sorcerer - I think the Cult of Magic detachment could make better use of the points investment - they relish in mobile characters like winged princes and exalted sorcerers on disks.

Speaking of. The Cult of Magic detachment should either be a supreme command, or a batallion. I've tried both, and find myself gravitating towards a batallion lately, but this depends on a lot of factors. How cp hungry are you? How much of a problem is it to give away points by adding small cultist units? Do you need a chaff screen to avoid enemy deep strikers or infiltrators?

Lately I've been playing this:

2 Daemon princes as HQs, one with wings, +1 to cast and devestating sorcery.
2 10 man cultist squads
1 20 man tzaangor squad, with brayhorn.

This is fairly comparable in point cost to the Supreme command detachment, adds some sorely needed command points, and having the tzaangor squad in deep strike adds some more utility to the list as a whole. They are big enough to take over some contested objective, add more chaff to the character blob if needed, or lock someone down in combat - while still being a farily cheap investment - I think. The cultists are still easy kill points / secondary points for my opponent though, but just running two squads at least minimizes this a bit. Still not sure about how to run this optimally.

Thoughts on a third detachment:

These two detachments are pretty much a whole army, but we have some more points left over to add some fun units of scarab occult termies, allies and so on. I've been thinking a bit, and what I would really like in a force like this, apart from more big squads of rubrics or termies to shield our characters, is a way to buff our spellcasting abilities.
As far as I know, we have 3 ways to do this en masse.

1. Magnus and his reroll bubble. Rerolling 1s is good, and Magnus has become stronger now that we have a stratagem to heal him on casts of 9+. But I've been shot off the table too many times running a Magnus list, being seized on etc. I've been hurt too many times, man.

2. Cult of Change and their relic - the Crest. Changing 1s to 6s and 6s to 1s is insanely good. It both buffs our spellcasting and reduces that of our opponents, allowing us to take real control of the psychic phase - which is really thematic, fun and viable. The problem is that we, with the rules as written, will have to take a relic from the cult our warlord is a part of. So we give up on the whole Mini-Magnus from Cult of Magic and other fun relic choices by doing so. I've sent an email to the tourney organizers to see how they interpret this, but for the moment, this seems very steep and restrictive.

3. Locus of Conjuration from Tzeentch daemon allies. Basicly, for 2 cp you can target a character from the daemon codex, and it will give reroll failed casts to all nearby tzeentch daemon characters. I know the ETC interpreted this to mean that you could target someone from the book, but that the effect from the bubble applied to things like Thousand Sons daemon princes and exalted sorcerers on disks, since they were both Tzeentch and daemons according to their keywords. Again, I've sent an email to tourney organizers just to make sure.
This could potentially open up a few neat combos for us, and give us more reason to add more sorcerers on disks as our HQ choices, all clumped around a daemon character like a herald on disk or a Lord of Change.

Just a few thoughts so far. If you've read this whole wall of text, thank you so much for indulging me. Hope my thoughts make sense, and can't wait to hear what you have been thinking on the subject, my fellow sorcerers.


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#2
BrainFireBob

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Waiting on FAQ.If Magister lets you take the WLT and relic of a second Cult, 1K Sons get a nice boost
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#3
BrainFireBob

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Website connection issues, so second post.

Cult of Prophecy, vanguard, tri shooty brutes, pyrrhic brazier, is good.

Cult of magic, shard, supreme command, is good.

Duplicity battallion is good, esp with Risen Rubricae.
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#4
Heliomanes

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Good points. Hope the FAQ gets out in time for the tourney. If not then I'll just have to plan around how the organizers interpret the rules. Really hope the FAQ opens up some of the restrictions though, it seems really silly to punish attempts at a multi-detachment Thousand Sons with restrictions, while allowing the Supreme Command Detachment in a Chaos Soup list to get access to all of the bonuses.

The Cult of Prophecy vanguard with the Pyrrhic brazier is a good addition. Lasbrutes seem cheap enough, and potentially rerolling their damage dice can be interesting. Maybe this will pair well with a Daemon detachment, adding 3 Exalted Flamers? Currently the Brazier works on anyone close enough, even non-Thousand sons.

With ITC restrictions this can become an issue though, as we have a max of 3 detachments. So Duplicity, Magic and either Prophecy, Daemons or Change. Or some other configuration - but letting go of Duplicity and/or Magic seems like a hard sell.



#5
MillionsSons

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2. Cult of Change and their relic - the Crest. Changing 1s to 6s and 6s to 1s is insanely good. It both buffs our spellcasting and reduces that of our opponents, allowing us to take real control of the psychic phase - which is really thematic, fun and viable. The problem is that we, with the rules as written, will have to take a relic from the cult our warlord is a part of. So we give up on the whole Mini-Magnus from Cult of Magic and other fun relic choices by doing so. I've sent an email to the tourney organizers to see how they interpret this, but for the moment, this seems very steep and restrictive.

3. Locus of Conjuration from Tzeentch daemon allies. Basicly, for 2 cp you can target a character from the daemon codex, and it will give reroll failed casts to all nearby tzeentch daemon characters. I know the ETC interpreted this to mean that you could target someone from the book, but that the effect from the bubble applied to things like Thousand Sons daemon princes and exalted sorcerers on disks, since they were both Tzeentch and daemons according to their keywords. Again, I've sent an email to tourney organizers just to make sure.
This could potentially open up a few neat combos for us, and give us more reason to add more sorcerers on disks as our HQ choices, all clumped around a daemon character like a herald on disk or a Lord of Change.

Just a few thoughts so far. If you've read this whole wall of text, thank you so much for indulging me. Hope my thoughts make sense, and can't wait to hear what you have been thinking on the subject, my fellow sorcerers.

 

Oh my god I hadn't realize the relic can only be used if the Warlord is from the same cult.... seriously ?????

I was planning to use that amazing relic but now it's impossible.. the warlord has to be from Cult magic which is the only real boost

 

The road to disappointment continue on this PA update. making list become so much more complex than before, for a bonus not so great...



#6
Prot

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Again I think this is an oversight from GW. It's not the first or last time it will happen. Don't panic until an FAQ hits.

 

On the subject, thanks for the topic. It's much needed and I think it's something a few of us are battling through on the tabletop. 

 

Your basic suggested layout or starting point is pretty nearly identical to what I've been playing lately. The only real variation I have is with the Rubrics. I have had some really bad match ups where the Rubrics disappear really quickly. So I stopped taking over 10. This allows more sorcs as well which is a good thing. (Min squads = more support powers in those squads for the big hitters).

 

The secondary effect of me doing this is I take a vanguard (I think) of Cult of Time with Scarabs.

 

I've had some good, some not so good, and some great games with this.

 

It's a tricky unit, but if it works its something that can start on the table now with Duplicity (juggling units around) and/or in Cult of Time I have had a turn of getting 4 Termies back. I lost that game (against AdMech) but for a second there it was close thanks to CoT.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

As a side note, I had a game last week against Genestealer Cult. I failed a VERY critical Duplicity relocation power. This left a bad hole in my deployment zone. My opponent tried to capitalize on it and hit hard with a 20 man squad from deepstrike shenanigans.

 

I had a 10 man unit of Scarab Occult spread like a massive football team daring him to assault them. They were approximately 8" away from my squad getting assaulted. I told my opponent after he charged I was going to play "Yoked Automata". (He could have canceled it with his strategem).

 

I roll 12" (very high but it would have worked with anything 6" or more). So all 10 termies 'Intervene' and annihilate that squad.

 

I set this up a long time ago, and you have to be thinking of it a turn or two in advance. But by taunting him into an 'easy' kill, this long, winding squad has a real probability of reacting.

 

Here's the beauty of it... after I wipe his squad from the Termie intervention, I have set up for a non-moving turn next turn, to basically hit the rest of his infantry including HQ's with Fusilade from the 10 termies. It was game ending.

 

So it all went my way. I understand it's not always like this, and it hasn't been, but it showed me more value in the termies than we previously had and I wanted to share that tactic with you guys.


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#7
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2. Cult of Change and their relic - the Crest. Changing 1s to 6s and 6s to 1s is insanely good. It both buffs our spellcasting and reduces that of our opponents, allowing us to take real control of the psychic phase - which is really thematic, fun and viable. The problem is that we, with the rules as written, will have to take a relic from the cult our warlord is a part of. So we give up on the whole Mini-Magnus from Cult of Magic and other fun relic choices by doing so. I've sent an email to the tourney organizers to see how they interpret this, but for the moment, this seems very steep and restrictive.

3. Locus of Conjuration from Tzeentch daemon allies. Basicly, for 2 cp you can target a character from the daemon codex, and it will give reroll failed casts to all nearby tzeentch daemon characters. I know the ETC interpreted this to mean that you could target someone from the book, but that the effect from the bubble applied to things like Thousand Sons daemon princes and exalted sorcerers on disks, since they were both Tzeentch and daemons according to their keywords. Again, I've sent an email to tourney organizers just to make sure.
This could potentially open up a few neat combos for us, and give us more reason to add more sorcerers on disks as our HQ choices, all clumped around a daemon character like a herald on disk or a Lord of Change.

Just a few thoughts so far. If you've read this whole wall of text, thank you so much for indulging me. Hope my thoughts make sense, and can't wait to hear what you have been thinking on the subject, my fellow sorcerers.

 

Oh my god I hadn't realize the relic can only be used if the Warlord is from the same cult.... seriously ?????

I was planning to use that amazing relic but now it's impossible.. the warlord has to be from Cult magic which is the only real boost

 

The road to disappointment continue on this PA update. making list become so much more complex than before, for a bonus not so great...

 

 

There's a strat to take an additional Warlord trait, but truthfully, the vast majority of PA is difficult to make in to anything usefull. The cult of duplicity is the only one that really seems to have consistent effects on an army wide scale.

 

Magic amps up one character, but even so, you're unlikely to do more than 3-6 extra wounds in a given turn. This is good, but it won't change the game.



#8
CrystalSeer

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Again I think this is an oversight from GW. It's not the first or last time it will happen. Don't panic until an FAQ hits.

 

On the subject, thanks for the topic. It's much needed and I think it's something a few of us are battling through on the tabletop. 

 

Your basic suggested layout or starting point is pretty nearly identical to what I've been playing lately. The only real variation I have is with the Rubrics. I have had some really bad match ups where the Rubrics disappear really quickly. So I stopped taking over 10. This allows more sorcs as well which is a good thing. (Min squads = more support powers in those squads for the big hitters).

 

The secondary effect of me doing this is I take a vanguard (I think) of Cult of Time with Scarabs.

 

I've had some good, some not so good, and some great games with this.

 

It's a tricky unit, but if it works its something that can start on the table now with Duplicity (juggling units around) and/or in Cult of Time I have had a turn of getting 4 Termies back. I lost that game (against AdMech) but for a second there it was close thanks to CoT.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

As a side note, I had a game last week against Genestealer Cult. I failed a VERY critical Duplicity relocation power. This left a bad hole in my deployment zone. My opponent tried to capitalize on it and hit hard with a 20 man squad from deepstrike shenanigans.

 

I had a 10 man unit of Scarab Occult spread like a massive football team daring him to assault them. They were approximately 8" away from my squad getting assaulted. I told my opponent after he charged I was going to play "Yoked Automata". (He could have canceled it with his strategem).

 

I roll 12" (very high but it would have worked with anything 6" or more). So all 10 termies 'Intervene' and annihilate that squad.

 

I set this up a long time ago, and you have to be thinking of it a turn or two in advance. But by taunting him into an 'easy' kill, this long, winding squad has a real probability of reacting.

 

Here's the beauty of it... after I wipe his squad from the Termie intervention, I have set up for a non-moving turn next turn, to basically hit the rest of his infantry including HQ's with Fusilade from the 10 termies. It was game ending.

 

So it all went my way. I understand it's not always like this, and it hasn't been, but it showed me more value in the termies than we previously had and I wanted to share that tactic with you guys.

 

Glad they're finally working for you.



#9
Heliomanes

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Interesting observations, Prot. Honestly I have had very different experiences. My Scarabs have been destroyed by the now abundant anti-primaris D2 shooting, while the Rubrics have been able to weather the storm and thus protect my characters. Would you mind sharing the list you used?

I have been considering trying an auxiliary support detachment from the Cult of Time, just to add a big Scarab unit. I think it might be worth the single command point just to avoid the unit tax. The only thing I want from that cult is that single unit anyway, everything else feels more at home anywhere else.



#10
Heliomanes

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I'm still reeling from the 1-2 punch of the disappointing Ritual of the Damned FAQ, and the local tourney judges kindly responding and informing me that they decided that the Locus of Conjuration aura cannot affect Thousand Sons. Not terribly heartbroken, just takes a bit of wind out of my sails when it comes to list building. I imagine many of us were playing around with various relics from Ritual of the Damned too, but alas.

Still, I think Archaeinox commented in another thread that this doom and gloom is a bit unthematic and called for a return to our scholarly arrogance. So I center myself and rise through the enumerations. Back to the task at hand.

This coming saturday I have a trial match versus an Imperial Guard player, followed by a 3 match mini tournament on sunday. All of this is more or less preparation for the larger tourney in the beginning of March. I'm considering the following list:

Cult of Duplicity batallion:

Ahriman on disk
Sorcerer (Duplicitious tactician WLT via magister strat, dark matter crystal)

5 Rubrics
5 Rubrics
19 Rubrics

Leviathan dread, claw and butcher cannon

Cult of Magic batallion:

Daemon prince, wings, claws, devestating sorcery, +1 to cast relic.
Exalted sorcerer, disk
Sorcerer

20 Tzaangors
10 Cultists
10 Cultists

Cult of Time auxiliary support detachment:

9 Scarab Occult terminators.

Not sure how strong this will be, but it has a few options. Scarab blob infiltrates, Termies deep strike turn 1 via dark matter crystal, Leviathan is teleported turn 1 through the duplicity spell. Tzaangors deep strike in turn 2 via stratagem to take an objective or go into speedbump formation if needed. 5 man rubric squads hold objectives, cast gaze of fate via stratagem, and if needed teleport themselves to block shooting at my characters or grab an objective/linebreaker.
Point is basicly to use the rubrics, terminators and leviathan to shield the mortal wound output from the characters.

But I am sure it has room for a lot of improvement. I would be very happy to hear your thoughts.


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#11
Archaeinox

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I think, in an event where there will be a plethora of different lists to encounter, you will find yourself getting some mileage out of the Scarab Occult having Time Flux. You might need to, again, ask your TOs if you can even take that aux support detachment. ITC events in my area do not allow it. Small details..

 

I really want to see you fling that Leviathan up the table. 

 

I don't have any critique on the list. I think it takes advantage of all the tricks we can do and remains fluffy but powerful. I too believe Duplicity and Magic will be the way to go, moving forward.

 

Regarding teleporting the Leviathan up: Make sure you Cabalistic Focus that sucker. I've been trying to do turn 1 teleports and I failed each one in a three round event. OOF.


Edited by Archaeinox, 11 February 2020 - 03:29 PM.

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#12
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Well for starters I don't really have a set list anymore. I'm literally just trying everything, or I was trying everything.

 

There's some stuff I really like about your list, and some stuff I might not try at a tournament. And as far as the Termies I thought you were kind of negative on them? I hope you aren't using them because of my experience, because I confess they've been hot garbage in some match ups too. Like Necrons for example just chew them to pieces with ease. When I had great success it was against a Genestealer Cult army. 

 

I think the Termies have play, my problem with them is the list starts to feel very... one dimensional after a while. You look around the board and you realize you are exceptional at taking out low end/mid end Infantry, and everything else has a heavy reliance on the psychic phase. The Termie missiles are great though which is why I go from 5 to 10 but rarely anything in between.

 

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer so I'm not really going to add to the pile of negativity that has been growing and getting worse since the FAQ (thanks for that GW). But I've been having a very, very hard time playing pure TS, however I think we all want to. The Cults are really poorly executed, but have a fun, cool core concept. 

 

I keep going back to Magnus. I hate him and love him. The more pure I make my TS, the more I rely on that psychic aura he projects. Short of a Noctlith crown (which uses a precious detachment) I don't think anything else works enough. When going pure TS in a competitive environment I find those really bad psychic phases are game killers. It's very hard to come back from those.

 

In your list I think you have a lot of stuff I've been using. I don't think I would personally use a Leviathan. I'd rather work in a Knight detachment with Wardogs which I get more mileage out of (even though it chews up my TS detachments ). I even have a Knight detachment, TS core with Ahriman, and Magnus detachment. It puts some fear into people. The problem is you can only use one cult.

 

Anyway, in my pure TS lists, I've been using my 2 x twin lacannon Contemptor. I think it's a bargain and fills a huge problem I have of taking down armour. At 168 points it's okay if I lose it early.


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#13
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Well, I am back from the 3 match one day tournament and the list seemed to work well. It was a mix of Nova and ITC missions and was intended to be a kind of preperatory thing for the big event coming up next month.

First matchup was against a pretty allright Imperial Guard list based around a brigade, with an assassin, 6 leman russes (some of them were tank commanders), a drop group of plasma scions and some other stuff.
I infiltrated the rubricae midfield, onto an objective, but with the whole squad in cover. Got first turn, flew up with my characters, redeployed termies in a bubble around them in case of deep strikers and went to town. Tons of mortal wounds, then shot twice with prescience, veterans of the long war etc. Tzaangors were kept back to take care of the assassin if necessary due to their rerolls against characters.
Long story short, I heavily outdamaged him primarily due to the mortal wound output, and most of his big tricks whiffed due to a combination of all is dust, weaver of fates, cover, the +1 invuln stratagem etc. Solid win, but we both made a lot of mistakes - and his list wasn't the hardest.

Next one was hilarious. Thousand Sons vs Grey Knights. He tries to null deploy as well as possible, allowing me to infiltrate onto a huge ruin in the center of the board with the rubrics, dark matter crystal my termies up to another one, and conga line them so that he'd have to get through both units to take my characters. What little units he has within sight and on objectives get blasted off the table due to smites and inferno bolters. I have total board control for the first turns, and kill unit after unit.
Then, disaster. He deep strikes everything he has, and largely whiffs - except for the big one. I've made a movement mistake due to greed and trying to defend my characters from the multiple deep strikers, he gets off an absurd Vortex of Doom which levels my entire character blob. He wins big, but I have plenty of points due to my early lead.

Third - Blood Angels with a Primaris base, and a ton of support characters pushing a jump assault force containing a huge unit of death company, some sanguinary guard etc. Lemartes, Sanguinor, Smash captains, and at least 3 others granting them tons of buffs, fnp, rerollable this and that.
I infiltrate up my Rubricae again, but just a few inches in front of my deployment zone. Again in cover and holding an objective. He gets first turn.
Most of my stuff is out of LOS, so he can only shoot the rubricae, but largely whiffs. Then he tries to send in the Smash captain with his blob of sanguinary guard, and he stops me from firing overwatch. And he misses the charge.
My turn, I dark matter crystal my termies to circle around just behind the block of rubrics. My characters fly up, and the Cult of Magic daemon prince goes ham. He lives for these kinds of situations. Lots of small units and support characters in close proximity to each other. He flies up, unloads his AOE spells, and warp times back. The rest die to smites and bolters.
His turn, he brings in Lemartes, Sanguinor, two more support characters and the big unit of death company. Gets the charge, denies overwatch. Rubrics use the strat to buff their invuln save and try to hold the line. 3 survivors from a unit of 19.
In my turn they fall back, and in my psychic phase I just destroy everything. The Prince alone does an absolutely incredible 32 mortal wounds in that phase alone, even killing a few of my own termies which the aspiring sorcerer immediately returns through time flux.
Massive victory to the Thousand Sons.

The winners:
Prince from the cult of magic. Infiltrating rubrics with defensive buffs. More sorcerers for more smites.
Having a 5 man rubric squad on an objective, casting gaze of fate through the familliar strat.

Ideas that mostly worked:
Cult of time Scarab Occult used in conjunction with the Dark Matter Crystal. When used well, I get a big unit shielding my characters, much like the infiltrating rubrics. When deployed poorly, I have to leave them behind to die and they underperform. They take some practice to get used to. Two matches I returned a grand total of 2 termies, another match I got 7 back in 3 turns, and they were just a immovable wall in front of my sorcerers. Swingy, but good, and I like how they reward tactical play.

Things that rarely worked:
Anything involving duplicitous facade. I never really got the teleport to go off, and made big mistakes by not playing my Leviathan as aggressively as I should have because I hoped he would teleport somewhere else. Same with the small 5 man rubric squads that did not objective camp and I had hoped could make some trick work through the redeploy, either through catching line breaker or something else. Very rarely worked.

Things I will definitively switch out:
I never really got any use out of the Duplicity warlord trait redeploys, since I infiltrated my Rubrics a bit conservatively, trying to shield characters and take midfield rather than to get up in their grill and hope the bolters mangle them. In the future I might rather get the +1 to cast trait on my exalted sorcerer to get more powers to go off - they ended up being my primary damage output after all, and most of our powers are pretty taxing. +1 does a lot to make them more reliable.

All in all this was a fun event with a lot of interesting armies, and the list was fun to play. Still, I harbor no illusions that I could do much against the winning list. I got to see how top ranked Iron Hands dismantle other competitive armies, and don't even know how to begin to deal with something like that. I'm more hopeful than I've been in a while though.
 


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#14
Dolchiate Remembrancer

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Nice report Helio.
I'm a little shocked that the Duplicity spell and WLT didnt help you.
That kind of mobility and ability to mess up an opponents deployment is golden.
Why do you think it didnt work out for you?
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#15
Archaeinox

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Well played friend.

 

I'm not shocked Duplicity didn't work out as well for you. I'm committed to making it work, and I think a sorcerer with High Magister is the one that will have to fling the terminators somewhere. Recently I've been having them cast the spell on themselves to teleport turn 1 but it has always failed.. Not good! I'll be avoiding Dark Matter Crystal, because I'll be using that relic slot for Helm of the Third Eye. If I end up giving up on Duplicity, I will be making the battalion Change or Knowledge.

 

Again well done. 

 

Also not shocked to see a brick of rubric marines with Indomitable and Weaver do well. That combo is nuts.


Edited by Archaeinox, 17 February 2020 - 12:18 AM.

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#16
Prot

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Helio 

 

thanks for the in-depth overview. I appreciate the time you took and we can all gain something from it. 
 

some of my own thoughts......

- Duplicity warlord trait is entirely usable but only in certain situations. For me I tend to be mega aggressive with a block of Rubrics. I thief retreat them if I get seized on. Or I move everything outward if I can.... when I seize. Always trying to set up for a first turn Fusilade. 
 

- I sometimes think of pulling Duplicity out but it lets me be super aggressive in the right games and sometimes opponents make reactions to deployments that I adjust thanks to the trait. I don’t think Duplicity is amazing but I will say it has totally ruined some of my games as well. If you guys recall, I was very peeved GW made our powers too tough to pass. This will never change now, but it burns me the Eldar got so many great powers including some that boost psychic tests. Duplicity gives us a WC 7 power! I’ve lost a large rubric squad failing the stupid power 3 times in one game. This is not uncommon. 
 

- I always try duplicity powers on a termie with familiar and/ or using our strat to boost. Or around Magnus but yes it is fickle and I question it too. 
 

- Cult of Time is something I give to a vanguard or whatever has a high number of termies. This is why I try to take 10 but it’s just so expensive, and while I’ve had huge games of healed termies, they’re still just kind of..... well... fancy Rubrics. 5 is probably best. My issue is they are probably better with Duplicity because if their lack of speed but I love healing the, and always being aware of the higher cast number to use our strat to bring more back. 
 

- on Cult of Magic, who were you using to get Gaze of fate from if the DP was never used for it? Will you continue to do this?

 

- will you keep the Leviathan? Ours has more range than the loyalist one by,t I find for recollection it’s always better to keep those kind of fire base units nearby but that anti Sorc explosion scares the heck out of me. I’ve had some game ending experiences from that rule on our dreads. 
 

- my performance from my lists usually include Magnus. I think it’s the aura though. It’s so important to get these powers off to have a chance. I wonder if you’d consider him if your leviathan continues to dissapoint?  I personally think he’s more survivable now but at the same time I know he dies too fast and Ive been lucky.  
 

thanks again. Honestly as soon as I saw you played Astra I thought uh oh. Those lines of conscripts combined with Cadia Stands has whooped me a few times. But you took it down. Same with grey knights.... that could be a nightmare match up. That’s a great result.  


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#17
MillionsSons

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Well, I am back from the 3 match one day tournament and the list seemed to work well. It was a mix of Nova and ITC missions and was intended to be a kind of preperatory thing for the big event coming up next month.

First matchup was against a pretty allright Imperial Guard list based around a brigade, with an assassin, 6 leman russes (some of them were tank commanders), a drop group of plasma scions and some other stuff.
I infiltrated the rubricae midfield, onto an objective, but with the whole squad in cover. Got first turn, flew up with my characters, redeployed termies in a bubble around them in case of deep strikers and went to town. Tons of mortal wounds, then shot twice with prescience, veterans of the long war etc. Tzaangors were kept back to take care of the assassin if necessary due to their rerolls against characters.
Long story short, I heavily outdamaged him primarily due to the mortal wound output, and most of his big tricks whiffed due to a combination of all is dust, weaver of fates, cover, the +1 invuln stratagem etc. Solid win, but we both made a lot of mistakes - and his list wasn't the hardest.

Next one was hilarious. Thousand Sons vs Grey Knights. He tries to null deploy as well as possible, allowing me to infiltrate onto a huge ruin in the center of the board with the rubrics, dark matter crystal my termies up to another one, and conga line them so that he'd have to get through both units to take my characters. What little units he has within sight and on objectives get blasted off the table due to smites and inferno bolters. I have total board control for the first turns, and kill unit after unit.
Then, disaster. He deep strikes everything he has, and largely whiffs - except for the big one. I've made a movement mistake due to greed and trying to defend my characters from the multiple deep strikers, he gets off an absurd Vortex of Doom which levels my entire character blob. He wins big, but I have plenty of points due to my early lead.

Third - Blood Angels with a Primaris base, and a ton of support characters pushing a jump assault force containing a huge unit of death company, some sanguinary guard etc. Lemartes, Sanguinor, Smash captains, and at least 3 others granting them tons of buffs, fnp, rerollable this and that.
I infiltrate up my Rubricae again, but just a few inches in front of my deployment zone. Again in cover and holding an objective. He gets first turn.
Most of my stuff is out of LOS, so he can only shoot the rubricae, but largely whiffs. Then he tries to send in the Smash captain with his blob of sanguinary guard, and he stops me from firing overwatch. And he misses the charge.
My turn, I dark matter crystal my termies to circle around just behind the block of rubrics. My characters fly up, and the Cult of Magic daemon prince goes ham. He lives for these kinds of situations. Lots of small units and support characters in close proximity to each other. He flies up, unloads his AOE spells, and warp times back. The rest die to smites and bolters.
His turn, he brings in Lemartes, Sanguinor, two more support characters and the big unit of death company. Gets the charge, denies overwatch. Rubrics use the strat to buff their invuln save and try to hold the line. 3 survivors from a unit of 19.
In my turn they fall back, and in my psychic phase I just destroy everything. The Prince alone does an absolutely incredible 32 mortal wounds in that phase alone, even killing a few of my own termies which the aspiring sorcerer immediately returns through time flux.
Massive victory to the Thousand Sons.

The winners:
Prince from the cult of magic. Infiltrating rubrics with defensive buffs. More sorcerers for more smites.
Having a 5 man rubric squad on an objective, casting gaze of fate through the familliar strat.

Ideas that mostly worked:
Cult of time Scarab Occult used in conjunction with the Dark Matter Crystal. When used well, I get a big unit shielding my characters, much like the infiltrating rubrics. When deployed poorly, I have to leave them behind to die and they underperform. They take some practice to get used to. Two matches I returned a grand total of 2 termies, another match I got 7 back in 3 turns, and they were just a immovable wall in front of my sorcerers. Swingy, but good, and I like how they reward tactical play.

Things that rarely worked:
Anything involving duplicitous facade. I never really got the teleport to go off, and made big mistakes by not playing my Leviathan as aggressively as I should have because I hoped he would teleport somewhere else. Same with the small 5 man rubric squads that did not objective camp and I had hoped could make some trick work through the redeploy, either through catching line breaker or something else. Very rarely worked.

Things I will definitively switch out:
I never really got any use out of the Duplicity warlord trait redeploys, since I infiltrated my Rubrics a bit conservatively, trying to shield characters and take midfield rather than to get up in their grill and hope the bolters mangle them. In the future I might rather get the +1 to cast trait on my exalted sorcerer to get more powers to go off - they ended up being my primary damage output after all, and most of our powers are pretty taxing. +1 does a lot to make them more reliable.

All in all this was a fun event with a lot of interesting armies, and the list was fun to play. Still, I harbor no illusions that I could do much against the winning list. I got to see how top ranked Iron Hands dismantle other competitive armies, and don't even know how to begin to deal with something like that. I'm more hopeful than I've been in a while though.
 

 

Thanks for sharing, very interesting to read. 

What was your list ? I'm curious cause it seems you were using all Duplicity, Time and Magic ? So three detachments?


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#18
Archaeinox

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Since the OP, and many of us here, use Duplicity I wanted to make a point to ask how all of you think Duplicitous Tactician is strengthened or weakened by the new ITC packet where basically you know who goes first AND there is no seize roll...

 

It would really suck to take that warlord trait before deployment only to find out that you deploy your entire army 2nd anyway. Is that a fair statement or am I missing something?

 

Oh and Prot I think he gave Gaze of Fate to an aspiring sorcerer camping somewhere in relative safety. I do it sometimes. It's easy to cast, and if you are pushing other high value stuff into the enemy's face, an Aspiring Sorcerer in a squad across the table won't be top priority to be targeted. Sure sucks when he dies though. 


Edited by Archaeinox, 17 February 2020 - 01:09 PM.

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#19
SirVulkan

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Just a note that ITC missions are updated.  https://www.frontlin...ns-are-updated/

 

This means no more Seize which means you no longer have to worry about your sneaking rubrics not getting fusilade off before dieing and you may not need the duplicity warlord trait as a backup but is still useful.  I always hated Seize.  The deployment is all standard now, deploy all models before opponent so going first does have a drawback.  Duplicity could be more useful with the changes to the way secondaries can get 2pts a turn for things like king of the hill or recon.  holding objectives is more important now which rubrics can do pretty well.


Edited by SirVulkan, 17 February 2020 - 01:35 PM.

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#20
Prot

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Since the OP, and many of us here, use Duplicity I wanted to make a point to ask how all of you think Duplicitous Tactician is strengthened or weakened by the new ITC packet where basically you know who goes first AND there is no seize roll...

 

It would really suck to take that warlord trait before deployment only to find out that you deploy your entire army 2nd anyway. Is that a fair statement or am I missing something?

 

 

 

I think ITC diminishes the WL trait a bit, but ITC is such a small part of the gaming community here that I'd prefer not to discuss it in such a bubble. (ITC changes the weight of a few units and actions and we already have a huge ITC/40K debate ongoing in the Amicus Aedes area).

 

It is a fair question but depending on if they still do "you go, I go" deployment, then there's some value in redeploy after seeing where your opponent places things.


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#21
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Very glad to see the response to this comment. I feared that the forum kind of sizzled out with the Ritual of the Damned FAQ, and am very glad that there's a bunch of us trying to make Thousand Sons work and cheering each other on. And thanks for all the kind words, truly appreciated. We might be damned by our actions as well as our nature, but we are still a Legion, and that carries with it a sense of fraternity that I am glad is not entirely lost since our fall from grace.

I'll try to respond to some of your points and questions, sorry for not responding to each of you directly. Let me know if there is something I've missed that you'd like answered. No harm intended, I'm just scatterbrained.

The list is posted in this thread, and consisted of a Duplicity batallion with rubrics, a Magic batallion with tzaangors and cultists, and an auxiliary support detachment from the Cult of Time, bringing a big unit of 9 Scarab Occult terminators. Since it worked pretty well, I do not think I will change up this formula much, maybe switch the HQs around a bit at most, but more likely I'll just change minor details like how I use by extra warlord trait stratagem.

The only detachment I might have switched up is the third one, but then I would either bring daemons (which is probably the most competitive choice available to us, but I really want to go monofaction) or a small detachment from Cult of Mutation for the spell, which I find that I have severely underestimated. It can halve movement of a unit, and does not even need to have LOS of the targeted unit, just a terrain piece close by. This is pretty much the same as the massively valuable Tremor Shells stratagem that marines get, but it works against flyers, knights ++. Again, this is something you'd take a patrol or an aux support detachment to get access to, not a batallion.

The combo of cult of time scarabs and the dark matter crystal worked wonders though, so I will play around more with them and try to make them work. They rarely made their points back in killing power, but tanked a lot, and having a big unit meant I could circle my characters, which a 5 man unit would be unable to. Then I'd remove casualties in a manner which disallowed the enemy from targeting the characters, and in my own phase shuffle them around, or even regrow the unit by placing the time fluxed terminator or terminators back in coherency in an entirely different part of the original unit, conga lining out to contest or take objectives. So they gave the big unit a weird kind of movement flexibility.

Regarding the Duplicitous Tactician warlord trait, I just don't think it's for me. I find that I get more stuff done with this force by playing less of an alpha strike style and more in the manner I've described above. Take and hold the center or somewhere between the center and my deployment zone, present one or two big, defensive targets in cover, and do everything possible to keep this up and buffed while my sorcerers do most of the damage output. If someone gets to my characters I've more or less lost, so that zone is going to be heavily defended. My game plan is pretty much to hold half objectives, and make sure that you're unable to do the same, preferably by crippling your ability to hold your third objective (if total 5 or 6), but rarely by stretching out to take the enemy deployment zone.
Against deep strike or infiltrate heavy lists I'll have to make this circle around my characters anyway, and I'll try to hold the same objectives anyway, so there's not much to redeploy reactively, if that makes sense. I'd do my thing anyway. I could see how it could save you when things go really bad and you're seized upon, but in my recent games I've only presented 1 or 2 targets anyway, since I always planned to teleport or warp time the rest turn 1 anyway, so it made sense to place them defensively.

Regarding Sorcerous Facade (aka the teleport spell) I think Archaeinox and Prot are right. It should have a dedicated caster, preferably with a +1 - or you'll have to set aside a reroll and/or cabalistic focus for a single teleport at an opportune moment. I didn't plan things like this ahead or just wanted to do something "neat" rather than something potentially game winning, and as such I found myself reluctant to invest in the use of the spell properly. In part I think this is because my opponents were good at spacing me out, and in part I think it is because my Leviathan has a loadout that isn't truly competitive. With me he is just a beautiful model (if I may say so myself) that draws a lot of firepower and attention, but rarely does much. Might be better against primaris though, with all his damage 2 output. Still, if you want to to for the whole teleporting Leviathan shtick, I think the stronger choice is a +1 to cast sorcerer of some kind, and a Leviathan with double grav. The grav cannons have short range as their only weakness, and the teleport fixes that issue.
Despite this I will keep both. I need to be able to teleport my Rubric blob out of combat if necessary, and the ability to jump something late game to grab objectives is game winning. The Leviathan soaked up a ton of firepower (surprised at how much, frankly), which adds to the resilience I need for my character blob to do their thing, and benefits a lot from warp time. His dual shooting/combat loadout makes him more of "something you can't really ignore" no matter where he is (close, far away), which I think is partly why he was able to draw and tank that much firepower. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing, he's one of my favourite models. Might experiment with a drill instead of a claw though, not sure yet.
Since you asked about the explosion - I'm not afraid, because he'll never be within 6 of a sorcerer unless I am in terrible trouble. He's more of a big scarecrow than something I buff up with auras, prescience, etc and take for the potential damage output, if that makes sense.

I used the familliar stratagem to take Gaze of Fate on a 5 man rubric squad every game. They sat on an objective and gave me rerolls. Since I just bring a single Prince and no daemon allies, I don't want to let any of his casts to go to waste, since he's the one with Devestating Sorcery and bonus mortal wound output. First few turns he uses a stratagem to cast 3 mortal wound causing spells - infernal gateway, astral blast and smite. Everything is +1, and he is absolutely incredible. Might shift out his powers to something with more range if needed, but even 15' from astral blast is quite a lot when you can fly him around freely and expect to warp time him back (keep a reroll for this) from another character, while clamping down on midfield as a base. At least it worked well in these matchups.

I've given terminator sorcerers much thought. I used to really like them, but now... I don't think they work well for what I want to do. I have to fly or run my characters around a lot to keep them centered in my defensive position, out of harm's way, and capable of smiting some good targets. I think that could get hard to do, and I often have to rely on a strong turn 1 psychic phase, which makes deep strike reserving them a bit of a sacrifice. Still, my two foot sorcerers are able to keep up most of the time, so maybe you could try the same with the terminators, if you plan your moves well. The sorcerers are just less of an investment, since I have all my big buffing warlord traits and relics on the flying guys, and you might be tempted to stack much of those things on a termie sorcerer to put that familliar +1 to cast to work, which can make any movement restriction more of an issue.

Hope this ramble makes sense and is of any interest to any of you. Again I just want to mention that I do not think I played any truly cutthroat competitive lists this time around, but did well in a semi-competitive environment of people prepping for a competitive tournament. I don't think I'm a very good player, so all of this is just me trying to put my confused thoughts into words rather than something that should be taken as gospel. Really looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts and reading all of your gaming experiences.

 


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#22
Prot

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It sounds really solid. I definitely appreciate the feedback. Until recently I’ve really not shared my games a ton because we’ve had trouble keeping active players here   
 

You didn’t say too much about Magnus. Lately I’ve made him work by yo-yoing him forward and back. My DP will give him (hopefully +1 toughness) from a power and usually this guy also takes Gaze and more or less becomes a cc character if Magnus gets in trouble. 
 

the problem with this is Ahriman largely becomes a support character making Magnus hard to hit, +1 invulnerable, etc, etc. 
 

The points aren’t that close but I’m not sure about the leviathan instead of Magnus but your Grav idea could be a lot of fun with Teleport. I may have to try it. For now when I sub out Magnus it’s for my Contemptor with 2 double las, and a decimal or with butchers ( still cheap and a Primaris killer) and finally a vanilla Multi melta. Helbrute to teleport straight into hell. 
 

Anyway, I was going to move away from Cult of Time and my Scarabs, but perhaps I should skip Sorcerous Facade and take Magic and Time. 
 

right now the only real non Thousand Sons Astartes type I’m taking is one squad of Tzaangors. They are hard to replace. 
 

As we speak I’m gearing up for our competitive season. I’m leaning towards my new Eldar since my Black Legion and other Chaos have been a disaster last year. 
 

I can see playing our ITC style weekend tour it’s with Thousand Sons but I honestly have doubt for the GT we usually have which is supposed to be a major this year. 
 

id love to though. 


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#23
MillionsSons

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Very glad to see the response to this comment. I feared that the forum kind of sizzled out with the Ritual of the Damned FAQ, and am very glad that there's a bunch of us trying to make Thousand Sons work and cheering each other on. And thanks for all the kind words, truly appreciated. We might be damned by our actions as well as our nature, but we are still a Legion, and that carries with it a sense of fraternity that I am glad is not entirely lost since our fall from grace.

I'll try to respond to some of your points and questions, sorry for not responding to each of you directly. Let me know if there is something I've missed that you'd like answered. No harm intended, I'm just scatterbrained.

The list is posted in this thread, and consisted of a Duplicity batallion with rubrics, a Magic batallion with tzaangors and cultists, and an auxiliary support detachment from the Cult of Time, bringing a big unit of 9 Scarab Occult terminators. Since it worked pretty well, I do not think I will change up this formula much, maybe switch the HQs around a bit at most, but more likely I'll just change minor details like how I use by extra warlord trait stratagem.

The only detachment I might have switched up is the third one, but then I would either bring daemons (which is probably the most competitive choice available to us, but I really want to go monofaction) or a small detachment from Cult of Mutation for the spell, which I find that I have severely underestimated. It can halve movement of a unit, and does not even need to have LOS of the targeted unit, just a terrain piece close by. This is pretty much the same as the massively valuable Tremor Shells stratagem that marines get, but it works against flyers, knights ++. Again, this is something you'd take a patrol or an aux support detachment to get access to, not a batallion.

The combo of cult of time scarabs and the dark matter crystal worked wonders though, so I will play around more with them and try to make them work. They rarely made their points back in killing power, but tanked a lot, and having a big unit meant I could circle my characters, which a 5 man unit would be unable to. Then I'd remove casualties in a manner which disallowed the enemy from targeting the characters, and in my own phase shuffle them around, or even regrow the unit by placing the time fluxed terminator or terminators back in coherency in an entirely different part of the original unit, conga lining out to contest or take objectives. So they gave the big unit a weird kind of movement flexibility.

Regarding the Duplicitous Tactician warlord trait, I just don't think it's for me. I find that I get more stuff done with this force by playing less of an alpha strike style and more in the manner I've described above. Take and hold the center or somewhere between the center and my deployment zone, present one or two big, defensive targets in cover, and do everything possible to keep this up and buffed while my sorcerers do most of the damage output. If someone gets to my characters I've more or less lost, so that zone is going to be heavily defended. My game plan is pretty much to hold half objectives, and make sure that you're unable to do the same, preferably by crippling your ability to hold your third objective (if total 5 or 6), but rarely by stretching out to take the enemy deployment zone.
Against deep strike or infiltrate heavy lists I'll have to make this circle around my characters anyway, and I'll try to hold the same objectives anyway, so there's not much to redeploy reactively, if that makes sense. I'd do my thing anyway. I could see how it could save you when things go really bad and you're seized upon, but in my recent games I've only presented 1 or 2 targets anyway, since I always planned to teleport or warp time the rest turn 1 anyway, so it made sense to place them defensively.

Regarding Sorcerous Facade (aka the teleport spell) I think Archaeinox and Prot are right. It should have a dedicated caster, preferably with a +1 - or you'll have to set aside a reroll and/or cabalistic focus for a single teleport at an opportune moment. I didn't plan things like this ahead or just wanted to do something "neat" rather than something potentially game winning, and as such I found myself reluctant to invest in the use of the spell properly. In part I think this is because my opponents were good at spacing me out, and in part I think it is because my Leviathan has a loadout that isn't truly competitive. With me he is just a beautiful model (if I may say so myself) that draws a lot of firepower and attention, but rarely does much. Might be better against primaris though, with all his damage 2 output. Still, if you want to to for the whole teleporting Leviathan shtick, I think the stronger choice is a +1 to cast sorcerer of some kind, and a Leviathan with double grav. The grav cannons have short range as their only weakness, and the teleport fixes that issue.
Despite this I will keep both. I need to be able to teleport my Rubric blob out of combat if necessary, and the ability to jump something late game to grab objectives is game winning. The Leviathan soaked up a ton of firepower (surprised at how much, frankly), which adds to the resilience I need for my character blob to do their thing, and benefits a lot from warp time. His dual shooting/combat loadout makes him more of "something you can't really ignore" no matter where he is (close, far away), which I think is partly why he was able to draw and tank that much firepower. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing, he's one of my favourite models. Might experiment with a drill instead of a claw though, not sure yet.
Since you asked about the explosion - I'm not afraid, because he'll never be within 6 of a sorcerer unless I am in terrible trouble. He's more of a big scarecrow than something I buff up with auras, prescience, etc and take for the potential damage output, if that makes sense.

I used the familliar stratagem to take Gaze of Fate on a 5 man rubric squad every game. They sat on an objective and gave me rerolls. Since I just bring a single Prince and no daemon allies, I don't want to let any of his casts to go to waste, since he's the one with Devestating Sorcery and bonus mortal wound output. First few turns he uses a stratagem to cast 3 mortal wound causing spells - infernal gateway, astral blast and smite. Everything is +1, and he is absolutely incredible. Might shift out his powers to something with more range if needed, but even 15' from astral blast is quite a lot when you can fly him around freely and expect to warp time him back (keep a reroll for this) from another character, while clamping down on midfield as a base. At least it worked well in these matchups.

I've given terminator sorcerers much thought. I used to really like them, but now... I don't think they work well for what I want to do. I have to fly or run my characters around a lot to keep them centered in my defensive position, out of harm's way, and capable of smiting some good targets. I think that could get hard to do, and I often have to rely on a strong turn 1 psychic phase, which makes deep strike reserving them a bit of a sacrifice. Still, my two foot sorcerers are able to keep up most of the time, so maybe you could try the same with the terminators, if you plan your moves well. The sorcerers are just less of an investment, since I have all my big buffing warlord traits and relics on the flying guys, and you might be tempted to stack much of those things on a termie sorcerer to put that familliar +1 to cast to work, which can make any movement restriction more of an issue.

Hope this ramble makes sense and is of any interest to any of you. Again I just want to mention that I do not think I played any truly cutthroat competitive lists this time around, but did well in a semi-competitive environment of people prepping for a competitive tournament. I don't think I'm a very good player, so all of this is just me trying to put my confused thoughts into words rather than something that should be taken as gospel. Really looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts and reading all of your gaming experiences.

 

 

Couple of questions:

- Have you thought of 2 relic contemptors instead of 1 leviathan, for same price? They offer long range with twin lascannon which the Levi's don't. I run them because we are lucky to get two different TS models from forgeworld. Rule of cool initially but I realized they are fast and really strong in CC. I remember one holding 5 wulfens on its own for 2-3 turns.

 

- do you go for Sorcerers (88pts) or Exalted on disc ?


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#24
Archaeinox

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I just have to say I really like the in depth discussion and responses.. I'm going to edit this with a proper reply tomorrow


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#25
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  • Location:Blighty
  • Faction: Hunter Legion

Indeed, though I don't do tourney this is a great read with much cud to chew. I've finally read through my PA:TS to complete everything I've been reading lately, overall I'm a bit disappointed considering what other factions have got. It doesn't change anything however, my plans to get my Sons going remain the same. I've no idea what Cult I'll use yet, but I need to get more models done before I can worry about that so I'll be keeping up with everyone's thoughts and experiences to help me in my games thumbsup.gif


  • Xisor, Dolchiate Remembrancer and Heliomanes like this

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Painting Oaths Completed:
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In the grim predictability of online 40k, there can be only Sun Tzu quotes

SM Ironclad | IG Stormies | CSM Spidershrimp | =][= Stormies | AM Armigers | DE [Repaint] | TSons Rubrics | Daemons Keeper of Secrets




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