Traitor Legions Armies – Part 3

Hey everyone, we got Reecius here from the Las Vegas Open with the third and final article in this series! This time we cover: Thousand Sons, Death Guard and the Emperor’s Children Traitor Legions!

If you want to catch up on the first two articles in this series covering the rest of the Traitor Legions, read part one HERE, and part two, HERE.


In this article, we will cover the last three Legions in the book, but remember, while I personally feel that these are fun, themed warbands, that doesn’t mean that this is the only way to play them. Let your creativity run wild and draw inspiration from the very cool Black Library novels or just your imagination.


The Thousand Sons

The Sons of Magnus are a very appealing army. They both look amazing (especially with those awesome new kits!) but also have excellent special rules.

I was immediately drawn to not only the amazing new Scarab Occult Terminators but also to the magnificent Magnus the Red model which simply had to find its way into my list!

To this end, I built the list around the Sekhmet Conclave core Formation for the Thousand Sons Grand Coven which grants the psykers within it the ability to attempt to manifest one more psychic power than their mastery level would normally permit. The Sekhmet Conclave grants +1 Toughness to units within it so long as they are in range of at least two other units from the Formation. The idea of Toughness 5 Terminators and a Toughness 8 Magnus sounds pretty good to me!

As that accounts for most of the army’s points after you kit the Terminators out with all of the fun weapons they can take, you aren’t left with a ton of models. So I decided to add in the Tzaangor Warherd to beef up the model count and take advantage of the awesome new Tzaangor models.

This Formation fulfills the Auxiliary requirement for the Grand Coven, and also gives the units within it Fleet, which is a great rule for the assault oriented Tzaangors. With three units of ten, and the Sorcerer kitted out to be level three, that brings us to a full army with a bit of room to add the kit you want.

We end up with five powerful psykers and cheap Tzaangors for board control and objective-hunting duty, beautiful Scarab Occult Terminators for flexible deployment and decent hitting power, and of course, the man himself, Magnus the Red! While expensive, he is a beast on the tabletop and delivers potent psychic and melee punch.


Death Guard

Ah, the good old Death Guard. These gents have some incredible special rules that have a lot of the Death Guard players I know very excited for what they can do. There is a LOT to love with the new and improved Death Guard, and I anticipate seeing quite a few of them on the tabletops.

The special rules for the Death Guard Vectorium detachment gives them re-rolls of 1’s on their Feel no Pain (FnP) rolls which is amazing. On top of this, they get Stealth when enemy units fire at them from over 18″ away…wow! So good.

But wait folks, that’s not all! Just for being Death Guard, they also get free FnP 5+ on all units with Veterans of the Long War (VotLW) and Fearless and Relentless which is just so good, and perfectly represents their famed resilience on the battlefield! They do get a -1 to their Initiative but that is more than a fair trade. This makes just your bog standard Chaos Space Marine (CSM) a beast for a bargain price point.

With the above in mind, I opted for the Chaos Warband core detachment. It gives you a ton of units that take great advantage of the above special rules, plus Objective Secured (ObSec) which is critical to winning missions.

I was seriously spoiled for choice with this set of combos. Terminators with Fearless, FnP and +1 Toughness (due to the obligatory Mark of Nurgle) sounds pretty solid to me. I’ll take three units of them, each with a combi-weapon to drop down into the enemy backfield and cause some havoc.

I’d then opt for six units of regular Chaos Space Marines, all hopped up on the power of Nurgle! With a 5+ FnP rerolling 1’s, Relentless, Fearless, T5, a special or heavy weapon and power axe on the Aspiring Champion, these gents are quite a value for what you get. ObSec and the benefits of Favoured Scions are just icing on the cake.

Toughness six bikers? Yes please! And I’ll take a unit of five. Again, with FnP 5+ rerolling 1’s and Fearless, these boys can take a beating. They provide a great retinue for your Chaos Lord and Sorcerer in this army and can pack a pair of special weapons. Your Sorcerer can provide additional buffs or try to summon in some Daemons to keep your model count up while the Lord punches things in the face. This unit will often be doing the heavy lifting in your army.

With Relentless, you’d be remiss not to bring some Havocs to the field! With all of the awesome buffs making them super durable, they become even more effective. I’d opt for three units of five, each with four autocannons, missile launchers, or even lascannons if you’ve got the points (but always four of the same heavy weapon for efficiency), and then they can hold the backfield laying down covering fire for the rest of your army.

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for anything else, so a single Spawn unit as your auxiliary choice and you’re good to go! A tough, fun army to play that has some surprising mobility in it.


Emperor’s Children

Finally, the Emperor’s Children, the Legion I am personally most pumped for! They, like the Death Guard, have some simply fantastic special rules. They gain Fearless and FnP 6+ for all units that have VotLW (which, again, they all get for free) and with their Icon of Excess, their FnP jumps up to a 4+ save, which is great! They also gain the ability to swing one last time in melee if they’ve been killed before attacking. That’s really cool, but as they are pretty much all Initiative 5 or better, it may not kick in that frequently.

The real fun though, starts with the Emperor’s Children Rapture Battalion detachment which gives them all Combat Drugs, granting one of six fantastic benefits.

I’d begin my Rapture Battalion with a Kakophoni. This gives you some awesome special rules to bring your Warband to life. The Detachment gives your Noise Marines Split Fire, Shred on their sonic weapons and +1 Strength to all sonic weapons if you take the maximum number of units. Nice!

This gives you a LOT of firepower. Three shots a piece at Strength 5 with Shred is no joke. I’d also consider throwing a doom siren and power sword or lightning claw on the Champion.

That’s a fair bit of points, and to beef out the army a bit and add some mobility, I would consider adding in the Raptor Talon. Raptors that are Fearless, I5 and have FnP 6+ with Combat Drugs, are considerably more deadly on the battlefield. Bring double special weapons on each unit and a power weapon on the Champion to boost them a bit further and you’ve got three speedy, punchy units, though they can be a bit fragile.

For the Chaos Lords in the two Formations, I’d opt for a Chaos Lord on Bike with a power fist and lightning claws and the same kit but with a jump pack for the Raptor Lord. It’s a bit pricey, but you get an Initiative 6 model that can swing either quickly or at Initiative 1 with the fist and still gain the bonus attack for the two weapons.

Alternatively, you could opt for the Chaos Warband for a much larger model count and take big units of Chaos Space Marines with the Icon of Excess to gain very durable units. Either way, I think you will be enjoying your army quite a bit!


So there you have it, folks! Nine different ways to play nine different Chaos Legions, each with a unique play style and character. Hope to see you at the Las Vegas Open this coming week!

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