Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone! Today, since I have some free time, I decided to answer some user submitted questions regarding Thousand Sons/CSM and Eldar. I always try to answer emails and questions whenever I can but I think that posting and answering them on my blog would be good fun for the whole family, so read on for the questions/answers and feel free to submit your own questions.
The first question comes from Odifasa11 who posted a question on my youtube video about Wave Serpent tactics:
"Hey bud so have a question for you. I am tring to figure out if I should take two wave serpents in my 1850 army or 7 dark reapers. I play against a....lot... of marine bike armies and saim hann jet bike armies. So the reapers are just great at denying them their jink but so is the WS. Could you give me some ideas on how I should do this.To answer this question, I want to point out that you could very well could (and probably should) include both serpents and Reapers. Dark Reapers are amazing, especially now that they can take S8 shots. I run Reapers with a Tau Buffmander who can tank for them very well and give them essential USRs such as Tank/Monster Hunter and Ignores Cover. Ultimately, mechanics that ignore cover on weapons that are generally going to ignore armor are pretty OP in 40k right now, so why not take full advantage of them? Reapers ignore jink saves, as you pointed out and are low enough AP to ignore most things that will rely on Jink saves (or they can trash Skimmers in the open) while Serpents just ignore cover in general with their serpent shield.
2x farseers plane no upgrades
2x 20 guardian defenders w/2x weapon platform
2x 7 warpspiders no exarc
1x rangers unit of 5
and either the DR or the WS"
Since you are going pure Eldar and not including any Tau allies, I would actually be careful with how to use Reapers. This is because they are only T3 3+ save models and therefore, without anything to tank for them, they are prone to getting shot to pieces. One solution around this problem is to buy them a Wave Serpent to start the game in-thereby making them immune to first turn shooting as long as their Serpent is alive. So to make these suggestions work, you'll need to re-work your list and approach IMO-as you will see that both Reapers and Serpents can add a lot to your list.
I would change your list by dropping a Farseer, 2 Spiders from each unit and the unit of rangers. This should give you an additional 236 (185 after adding in a unit of 3 Jetbikes) points to work with on top of either adding 2 Serpents or Dark Reapers. The reasoning for these changes are: (1) two Farseers seem overkill and unless you are trying for Fortune really hard, one is sufficient to effectively buff your army; (2) I have found that units of 5 Spiders seem to be the "sweet" spot for the unit, any bigger and the shots are generally wasted; (3) Rangers are relatively easy to kill as there are so many things that already ignore cover and can wipe them out-I would change them to a unit of 3 Jetbikes for some late game objective grabbing.
Then, you could add a unit of 5 Dark Reapers w/ Star Shot (s8) and an Exarch with an EML w/ Fast Shot for 212. You should have enough points left over for 2 more Wave Serpents and maybe some change left.
your final list would look something like:
2x 20 Guardian Defenders w/2x Weapon Platforms
Wave Serpent for 1 of the Guardian Defenders
1x 3 Windriders
2x 5 Warpspiders
5x Reapers, 4x Starshot, Exarch, EML, Fast Shot; Wave Serpent
Anyone else can feel free to chime in on this list/matter as I think that Reapers without something to tank for them need a Serpent to hide in until they are ready to kill stuff and every Eldar army can use at least 2 Serpents unless they are going for a very specific build =).
My second question involves Thousand Sons I got from Daniel:
"Greetings. I am new to Warhammer 40k and I came across one of your blogs where at the end it stated if I needed help than send you an email. So here I am.
I am looking at TSons being my prary focus because of two reasons. One I love the background reading material and also they just seem to fit my play style from other games. Low numbers, but difficult to kill and can hit hard.
And than two. 90% of the blogs / posts online say you can't win with a TSon focused army and the challenge of doing so intrigues me. So my question is how would I go about setting up an army of TSons starting at 750 pts and moving up to 2000? And what sort of tactics would I use with said set up?
There are so many different blogs out there that I am now confused so I thought I would try and ask you personally.
Thank you very much for your time. And just so you know, be blunt and brutal if that's your way. Your not going to hurt my feelings any.
Daniel Wiggins (aka Wiggy)"
To start off, I want to say that Thousand Sons have some of the coolest back-story out of any other army and that is what primarily drew me to them in the first place back in 3rd (even when Thousand Sons were simply an entry in the main rulebook). With that said, it is true that Thousand Sons are hard to win with, especially when you consider the top armies around today that can generally overwhelm and outclass a Thousand Sons army in the area of Psychic Powers, Firepower and Close Combat. Therefore, to make Thousand Sons work, you need luck, skill and a decently built army.
In terms of building your army:
The key to a good Thousand Sons army is to just have enough Thousand Sons in them to suit your fancy and then add in as many support elements as you an fit. Too many Thousand Sons with too little support elements and you have a very weak army that can't fight it's way out of any situation!
The foundation of your army, since you are playing Thousand Sons, must revolve around a Sorcerer HQ that has the Mark of Tzeench and a unit or two of Thousand Sons. Therefore, a typical HQ will be about 140ish (Spell Familiar, Mark of Tzeench, 2 extra Master levels) and 270 points for a unit of Thousand Sons at 10 Strong w/ Melta Bombs on the sorcerer- you are looking at 410 points just to start off with.
From there, you will want to add in things that can offset their weaknesses as much as possible. These weaknesses include (but are not limited to) being wiped by a lot of anti-infantry shooting, getting bogged down in combat, only having a 24" range and generally being too expensive for what you pay for.
Adding Rhinos or Land Raiders might be a worthwhile investment as they can protect the Thousand Sons from small arms fire and get them in range while the Land Raider (as the current meta stands) is pretty resilient and provides some decent firepower on the way. Obliterators, Havocs and Predators can also fill the long-ranged firepower deficiency rather well as you can just equip them to suit whatever you face the most. A unit of Terminators and/or Chaos Spawn can help with the Close Combat department in terms of tying things up/killing them while your Thousand Sons shoot things dead. Helldrakes are really good at dealing with a lot of infantry and opposing Flyers.
Therefore, some amount of things from the above list is probably a good place to start-now in terms of lists...
Sorcerer: Mark of Tzeench, +2 Mastery levels, Spell Familiar, Melta Bombs (goes in Rhino)=145
8x Thousand Sons, Rhino=254
This gives you 11 points to work with to get to 750 and is an ok army for Thousand Sons. You have ok Psychic offense from the Thousand Sons/Sorcerer, a good amount of AP3 from the Thousand Sons/Hell Drake and some ok Assault/shooting from the Obliterator and you can throw the Thousand Sons into combat too if you needed. There are also 3 scoring units which is a good number for 750.
Going up in points limit, I would add another unit of Thousand sons (so have 2 at 9 each) and give them each Rhinos, add in another Hell Drake and fill up on Obliterators. You can also add in some Demon Allies as some Divination from Tzeench Heralds is nifty as is a unit of Screamers for close combat/anti tank. An extra Sorcerer in there can't hurt either.
In terms of playing the list, you will typically want to roll on Telepathy as much as possible (so 2 rolls) and hope for Invisibility or Hallucination. Psychic Shriek is a good power to fall back on too. Then you just try to get your Thousand Sons in position to shoot stuff dead while throwing the rest of your army up there to distract your opponent from the fragile and vulnerable Thousand Sons. Hopefully, by the end of the game you have more alive and have the objectives =). Hope this helps!