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Why Thousand Son Rubric Marines Fail

It's an inflammatory title, but it's hard to escape the depth of failure for this unit. I think the strength of the feeling here stems from how much I wanted the Thousand Sons to succeed after decades of being second fiddle to the other Chaos Cults.

I also really wanted them to come back strong after being so maligned in the lore and fluff. Since having their home world crushed and their honour dragged through the mud, I wanted them to have the battlefield presence they deserve as powerful psykers.

But let's get to the point; the Thousand Sons Rubric Marines fail in their battlefield roles.

Here is a table listing the average abilities of our comparison units. To remind you of them, they were chosen for roughly equivalent army roles, points cost and wound size. They were paired Librarians, tactical and Chaos Marine squads led by their Mastery Level 1 psykers, and a bike squad with a Librarian.

Click to see the failure.

Now on the surface, it doesn't look that bad. They not the worst in terms of point efficiency, as that honour belongs to what most competitive players refer to as the tax HQ. But this does not reveal the nuance behind the Rubric Marine issues.

They are the most effective shooting force, according to the table. But they cannot leverage that shooting ability at all times. Slow and Purposeful means that they cannot fire over watch. Furthermore, they are fairly easy to neutralise with some cover.

Their defensive efficiency, whilst good, is going to be completely ignored when faced with a massive amount of lasgun shots. At that point they are no tougher than normal, flesh and blood marines. This is a failure of fluff to crunch. And again, their advantage in the invulnerability save is matched by hiding behind some trees.

Their psychic potential is the worst of the bunch, which is a real shame for the psychically gifted Thousand Sons. And what's worse is that they are locked into a single psychic discipline.

Our penultimate issue with the Rubrics? These numbers are before Legion and Chapter tactics. Imperial Fists can shoot better, Alpha Legion can infiltrate. Iron Warriors and Hands are tougher. For that matter, so are Emperor's Children. For the life of me I cannot see why they weren't given Feel No Pain... they literally have no flesh to feel pain. Once those tactic are included, literally every other Space Marine army becomes more efficient.

So what? Don't use them?

I can't say that, and I know I for one will be starting up a Thousand Son army in the near future. You can treat them as a Warp Dice battery. The issue there is that daemons do it better. But we don't play this game just for the battles. We do it for the hobby and the coolness factor of having an army of dust filled armour suits shooting warp flames.

But I just want to put in the final nail in the coffin for the Rubric Marines, and settle who is the strongest psychic/shooting combined force in 40K.

Eldar do it better...

All is dust.

Thanks for reading.

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