Tactica Tuesday: Tzeentch Psychic Powers in Warhammer 40k

I’ve always thought that it’s quite fitting that psychic powers are randomly generated now, rather than being selected individually. It seems far more suitably Chaotic to me that you have limited control over what your Sorcerer will be doing each game, and adds a bit of variety into my Thousand Sons squads. I tend to go for the Discipline of Tzeentch, and while I do diversify into the Pyromancy and Telepathy in larger games, let’s start with the signature lore of the Master of Manipulation.

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At the entrance to an abandoned mine, Grey Knights try to stop a cabal of Thousand Sons Sorcerers.

First off, the primaris power is (aptly) Tzeentch’s Firestorm. A relatively straightforward power that (almost) wouldn’t be out of place in the Pyromancy discipline, the Firestorm deals a blast template’s worth of hits with the chance for further wounds through the Inferno special rule. As benefits the nature of constant change that is Tzeentch, the strength is randomised each time the power is cast,

The first power, Boon of Mutation, is also the one I’m most unsure about. At the cost of a single strength 4 hit, the Sorcerer gets to unleash the mutating energy of change and roll on the Daemonic Mutation table – which covers everything from being elevated to the ranks of Daemon Prince to spawnhood! As with so many of Tzeentch’s schemes, this is incredibly random and it can be a hit-or-miss power. It’s certainly a fluffy one with a lot of potential, but it’s also the main one I tend to switch out for the primaris power on my HQ Sorcerer(s). This way, I avoid the admittedly low odds of my 100-odd point HQ choice being turned into a spawn. I do like it on Aspiring Sorcerers, since if they get Spawned it’s not as bad due to their lower points cost, and if they reach daemonhood they’re not penalised for their lower ranking – a Daemon Prince has the exact same stats regardless of whether it was an Aspiring Sorcerer or Ahriman himself.

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Clash of the titans! Two powerful psykers duel.

Doombolt is a bit more straightforward, providing a medium-range beam attack that can hit vehicles or elite troops with equal ease. It’s a nice counterpart to the Inferno-loaded Botlguns of the Thousand Sons, balancing out their anti-infantry efficiency with a bit of anti-vehicle firepower. Since the powers are rolled randomly you sadly can’t select which Sorcerer gets what, but I find this power to be most effective on an Aspiring Sorcerer in a small squad of Thousand Sons, say around five. This way he can target a vehicle without my having to sacrifice too much firepower to do so.

Finally, we reach Breath of Chaos. This is quite possibly my favourite of Tzeentch’s powers, at least as far as in-game rules go. It complements the Thousand Sons weaponry very well, offering another short-range attack that cuts through armour like a wet paper bag. It’s also very short-ranged, being a template, which coincides with the sort of range I like my Thousand Sons to be in. Since their Boltguns are rapid fire, it’s ideal to disembark from a Rhino within 12″ of the enemy, unleash Breath of Chaos and then mop up the remainder with rapid fire Boltgun shots. While it’s not bad against vehicles, I don’t think it’s really what the power should be used for – if the template clips and glances a vehicle, fantastic, but I don’t go out of my way to aim it at them. However, Breath of Chaos just seems to be a power that really works well on the Thousand Sons to me, and I love having it on any of my Sorcerers when I roll it up.

Leave a comment with your own thoughts on the Tzeentch discipline, and which powers you prefer. I’d be interested to hear if I’m being too cautious too with Boon of Mutation, maybe I should take more risks (though these risks inevitably seem to result in my Sorcerer Lord getting spawned….).

Thanks for reading! I’m off in a completely different direction now to paint some more Grey Knights for tomorrow’s final kill-team game. I’m going to be quite sad when it’s over!

Take care,

Ben

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