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Warhammer 40K, News: New Thousand Son Weapons

So we have a little more information about the Thousand Sons' weapons from a semi-reliable source. The rumour mill is in full swing, and whilst I'd only like to comment on official information, I just can't resist a bit of good old fashioned speculation!

First up is the Soul-reaper canon, supposedly based on the 30K rotor-canon. I... hope they're not talking about the stats, and just the design.

The rotor canon from 30K was the precursor to the assault canon we love and always stick on Dreadnoughts from 40K. For reference, the assault canon is range 24-inches, strength 6 AP 4 with 4 shots. It's a heavy weapon, and has yet to make it to any infantry that isn't a terminator... much to the average Devastator's dismay. It also comes with rending, making a highly versatile weapon, still capable of glancing a Land Raider with some very lucky rolls.

The Rotor canon is not this. It's range 30-inches, strength 3 and AP 6. Meaning the only thing it scares are... gretchin? Actually I don't think anything is scared of this. It's salvo 3/4 so, assuming average rolls, it does 0.8 wounds to guardsmen. And that's without moving! Contrast this with the humble Eldar lasblaster. Range 24-inches, strength 3, AP 5 and Assault 3.

Remember the lasblaster is a regular infantry weapon, and you'll see why the rotor-canon is underwhelming. You're better off with bolters really.

As Games Workshop is going to be pushing these miniatures, it's unlikely they'll stick with that. It's far more likely it'll follow a similar design evolution to the Assault canon, gaining in strength to give the Thousand Sons some reliable anti-light armour punch.

The other possibility is to stick with the Anti-medium infantry theme, keeping it around bolter strength and giving it the AP 3 Thousand Sons are famous for. Which would beastly at 30-inches with 4 shots.

As a middle ground, I'm guessing it will look something like Strength 5 AP 3, keeping the other stats from the rotor canon. That would keep the unit in line with being a Marine killer, and not steal the thunder from the Doombolting Sorcerer blowing up tanks with his mind-bullets. Add on Soul Blaze to make it Tzeentchy.

The Warpflamers will most likely be bog standard flamers, although as everyone and their mum (despairing at their child's life choices) has pointed out, somewhat less useful on a Slow and Purposeful platform. They'll follow the usual pattern of normal flamer and heavy flamer.

The interesting bit will be in the special rules.

Warpflame already has two modes in the Chaos Codex*. From the gargoyle tank upgrade, it gives the weapon Soulblaze, which may just be a given at this point for the Thousand Sons. The issue is that Soulblaze doesn't stack, meaning multiple sources of it are basically redundant. Once it's on you have half a chance of getting an average of 2 extra bolter shots off the next turn. Not hugely useful, but nice and fluffy for Thousand Sons.

The second use is from the Warptalon's Warpfire rules, where they cause blind on entry from Deepstrike. Again, a lackluster rule, only useful against Tau infantry and such. It'd make the Thousand Sons absolute nightmares for Necrons, but odds are they'll just get back up after being shot to pieces. 

Nothing hugely amazing here. My initial reaction, like many others, was to say AP 3 flamers, which would be awesome. It's then stepping on the toes of a Chaos Artifact; the Burning Brand of Skalthrax. Nothing wrong with that, and it means the token Lord you bring along can slot neatly into a burner unit of Thousand Sons.

The last possibility, which is pure wishful thinking, is the last bit of Tzeencthian magic. Breath of Chaos is a template weapon that counts as Poisoned 4+. It also glances vehicles on a 4+. If you could take 4 of those such flamers in a unit, that would be a whole lot of fun to deep strike in!

The Thousand Son weapons are going to have to tread a fine line though. The Rubric Marines, whilst iconic, are fluffily the silent bodyguard of a Sorcerer. If their weapons get better, it takes away the focus from the wizard himself. As with any magic, the real beardy cheese from Thousand Sons will be the stuff we can't see; the Psychic powers.

We can expect to see Soulblaze thrown around this codex, but I hope the army is not built around it. Without some formations to make the rule more worthwhile (stacking, increasing number of hits, strength of hits etc.), it's just not a particularly strong rule to work with. Unlike the Genestealer's Rending abuse you're not bringing down Wraithknights with lucky rolls, and even horde armies will just swallow the extra wounds.

Then again, the idea may be for the Sorcerer to deal with the tough stuff. God-Emperor knows an entire army Psychic-shrieking at the enemy is a really good way to deal with monstrous creatures. The Rubric Marines can then shoot the chaff, and at different targets no less!

* As an aside, can the Chaos Space Marines really have a codex? I know it's the term we used for 40K army book, but doesn't that just stick in the craw of any heretic?

Thanks for reading.

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