I’m going back to Epic Armageddon today, to take a look at Thousand Sons Disc Riders – in particular those in the EpicUK list.
I see Disc Riders as the Scouts of the Thousand Sons (yeah, I’ve been playing too much Team Fortress 2 again, expect more random references). They’re the main unit Thousand Sons have that offers serious mobility and speed without having to resort to transports, and as such I tend to use them mainly for objective-grabbing and the crossfire bonus. Their high movement speed makes them ideal for both, and I’m sure any Epic player knows how potent the crossfire bonus can be. I always think that it’s even more important for Thousand Sons, since their offensive firepower isn’t as potent as some of the other Chaos Legions. On this note, Disc Riders come in a formation of nine in the EpicUK list, which allows for a decent conga-line style spread if you want to chance it and try to catch multiple enemy units in the crossfire. This is risky due to the low armour of the Disc Riders – something I’ll mention in a minute – but can really pay off, especially if your opponent has run out of activations.
Due to their high speed, Disc Riders make the perfect unit to quickly jump on an objective. That 70cm double move is pretty much the fastest in the army, and allows them to quickly redeploy to claim or contest – even if it’s only to deny your opponent They Shall Not Pass.
The downside to all this comes in their armour and offensive capabilities. Unlike the Rubric Thousand Sons, Disc Riders are essentially sorcerers and so lose the reinforced armour bonus. This does make them very vulnerable, and often seems to result in them becoming a priority target. You can (in the EpicUK list) upgrade them with a Daemonic Pact to summon Screamers as a meatshield, but for me personally that winds up with the unit becoming too pricey and too much of a points investment.
Unfortunately Disc Riders do share the Thousand Sons trait of a less-than-spectacular offensive value – while they do have a combat value of 3+, it’s not supported by anything and puts your Disc Riders right in the face of danger, relying on your 4+ save to tank incoming hits. I do realise, perhaps in particular to Guard players reading this, how ridiculous that sounds – he’s compaining about a 4+ save! – but I’m looking at it in the context of the army as a whole. As such, I always use Disc Riders as more of a tactical solution than an out-and-out offensive unit, using them to harrass and threaten objectives rather than hurling them into combat. They’re a very decent unit, and one that fulfils an important part of the army, but in my experience you need to consider where they’re going and what they’re doing more than you do with, say, your more resilient Rubric units.
As always, please feel free to chip in, I’d love to hear what you think :)