One Thousand Reasons to Play Thousand Sons
1 - Rubric Marines:
Rubric Marines are the best looking marines in the entire game. There are some power armor contenders, looking at you Sanguinary Guard, but in my opinion, Rubrics are top of the pile. The ornate trim-work can make even the newest painter look like a champ. Block in the colors, shade, then edgehight and BOOM, you got yourself a great looking model. And the champions have dope capes and staves and stuff.
2 - Tzaangors and Vortex Beasts
So Rubrics are not your style, huh? Well, you are wrong, but whatever. In that case, this is the only army that gets Tzaangors. Half bird, half man, half monster (I never claimed to be great at fractions), Tzaangors are definitely interesting. For most of 8th Edition, Tzaangor bombs (units of 20 Tzaangors teleported to close range that would then charge in) were a strong part of the 40k meta. In addition, you also get access to Tzaangor Enlightened. These are just like Tzaangors, but they ride flying magic beyblades and either stab people with spears or shoot them with magic bows. Sadly they have been absolutely awful since they came out. There is also the Tzaangor Shaman, which also flies on a magic beyblade, but he is a character and was a great way to sneak in an extra smite in a non-HQ slot. Then there is the Mutalith Vortex Beast. What is a Mutalith Vortex Beast, you ask? Well, like the Tzaangor, it is also a delightful combination of parts and bits. Honestly, this thing kinda looks like someone took their bits box and started just glueing stuff together. And I love it. It has a giant magic vortex on its back and a tentacle face...so, of course I love it. Sadly, its current rules are worse than the Tzaangor Enlightened so you will never see one on a table.
3 - The Color Scheme
Thousand Sons (lots of time called 1k Sons or Tsons) have a brilliant default color scheme. The royal blue with gold trim and yellow highlights on the head crest thingies looks great. And their preheresy/30k paint scheme is literally Iron Man’s paint scheme, so as you can imagine, it looks pretty fantastic.
4 - MAGNUS THE RED!!!!
So if you read my introduction article you will know that this model is probably the biggest single reason that I currently play 40K. Honestly, it is such an eye-catching sculpt. This bad boy was released over 4 years ago, so some of the newer centerpieces may have more going on (looking at you Mortarion and Belakor), but I just really love this model. And I know some people hate the nipple horns, but they are just jealous they can pull them off like The Crimson King.
5 - Tzeentch Daemons
So, at the time of me writing this, Thousand Sons and Daemons have not received their 9th edition codex, so this may change. But, as of now, all Thousand Sons models have the Tzeentch keyword and can therefore play very well with Tzeentch daemons. For instance, currently The Changeling gives all Tzeentch Daemons a 6+ feel no pain. Guess who is a giant Tzeentch Daemon that everyone wants to shoot off the table? (Hint, checkout point 4). Thousand Sons are not the best when it comes to hordes (Well survivable hordes. The aforementioned Tzaangor bomb is a glass cannon), Thousand sons struggle, but Tzeentch Daemons can give some very nice options for horde units. Also, they have some interesting tech pieces, but I am sure we will look into those in a later article.
6 - You’re a Wizard Harry
This probably should have been the first point, but I seriously love the aesthetic of the army so much that the rules are somewhat secondary in my mind. However, the rules are either a huge selling point, or a giant NOPE! for players. Tsons are the masters of the psychic phase. In 8th edition, this largely meant pumping one thousand mortal wounds directly into your opponent’s army. This made the Tsons the most splashed army as you would run a Supreme Command detachment, usually with Ahriman and 2 or 3 other characters. This means that most of the time, your success completely hinges on the back of the psychic phase. Did you roll hot and get all your powers off? Hooray! Happy days ahead! Oh, you rolled really poorly, failed all your spells and your warlord took 3 mortal wounds because he perils even after a reroll? Ouch. This can make some games really swingy. While Tsons have some ways to pump up their casting to make things more reliable, it still is just two dice. A plus 3 to cast does not do much if you roll snake eyes. On the flip side, your opponent’s unkillable death star looks real cute when you snapped off Death Hex and removed their invulnerable save. Also, Magnus is a real tough cookie with a 3++ and minus 1 to be hit. Side note, having a super long psychic phase feels great against Tau and Necrons who get to just look on sadly as your mind melts their army.
7 - The Lore
While many of the Chaos legions have some seriously tragic backstories, it is my personal opinion that the Thousand Sons, Magnus, and the burning of Prospero is the most tragic of all. If you are new to the game, I will not spoil anything (other than that Prospero might burn, that is kinda in the name and is literally the name of an older box set), but this is really a fantastic story. On top of that, you have great novels about Magnus the Red in the Primarch series. In these you get to see the exploits of the chapter before their downfall. You also have some fantastic stories about Ahriman and all the ‘fun’ things he gets into.
8 - Brothers in Heresy
This point is very similar to the point I made about Tzeentch Daemons. If you play Thousand Sons, you will notice that we are denied some of the base Chaos Space Marine toys. Obilterators? Nah. Lord Discordant? No way. Warp talon, Raptors, or Havocs? Pff, not gonna happen. Honestly, for all the cool Tsons only models we have access to, there are more things that we do not get. But despair not my heretical friend, because we share keywords! That means you can run normal CSM with Tsons and get the best of both worlds. Mixing both in the same detachment is probably not the best idea, but taking a Patrol of Chaos Space Marines to grab some Slaanesh Obliterators can really help with the lack of anti-tank shooting available to Tsons. Sadly though, more often than not, it is the reverse of this. You mainly see mostly Chaos Space Marine armies that dabble in a little bit of Thousand Sons as two or three of our psychic characters can really provide a lot to an army.
9 - Smite Thy Enemies
In 8th edition, the entire army ignored the increase in casting cost to smite. That meant that every psycher could hurl off mortal wounds all game long. These guys would absolutely wreck elite armies. Oh you have a Custodes Bike Captain with a 3++ invulnerable save? Take 10 mortal wounds. Oh Gulliman is here? Boom, Smite, Smite, Smite, the G man is down for the count. The flip side was that hordes could really cause you some problems. What are 10 mortal wounds to 150 Ork Boyz? 9th Edition has also hurt, as it removed the army’s ability to endlessly smite your opponent, so now the army is actually using the 19~20 different spells they have access to. Hopefully when we get our 9th Ed Codex, it will bring more flavor to the psychic phase, and make mind melting our opponents even more exciting.
10 - 1000 - MAGNUS DID NOTHING WRONG!
Well, I mean, he really did not do anything wrong. Honestly it is all the fault of Leman Russ and his dirty space dogs....