Psychic Awakening 4: Ritual of the Damned. First peek

Games workshop just gave us our first official glimpse of Thousand Sons rules for the upcoming release of the latest Psychic Awakening installment.

The story is an often used one: Magnus must be stopped. (Though we know he did nothing wrong.) He wishes to ‘speed up’ the advancement of mankind by creating something that will propel us into an advanced state of psychic beings.

You may be asking yourself, ‘Aren’t there side effects for doing something like forcing evolution on a species?’.

Pleeeease. It’s Magnus we’re talking about here. I’m sure he’s researched all the side effects and I’m sure at worst you’ll experience a mild headache…. and a pretzel shaped, mutated arm growing out of your butt. Doesn’t that sound fun? Sign me up.

Mutations… pffff. Evolution has a price silly Imperium! What’s not to trust about a purple nearly naked daemon with horns for nipples?

Ruleswise this article was -extremely- lite compared to what we’ve been shown.

Unfortunately there’s not a lot to show. Here’s what we know:

  • There are Nine Cults you can dedicate your army to. This is revealed to be a PER DETACHMENT restriction. (This makes mixing and matching quite difficult since we have a 3 Detachment limitation.)
  • The article shows us 1 Cult based Psychic power, one Warlord Trait, one Relic, and one Stratagem.

Let’s start with the most confusing of these which is instantly in need of clarification from GW:

So in my turn, I would like to turn a 1 into a 6. That’s fine and dandy. But if in my opponent’s turn I would like to turn one of his 6’s into a 1, does that count as a modified dice roll in any way? That is to ask: Can my opponent take the result that I’ve altered, and choose to re-roll that result? (IE: Ghost helm, or Command Point Re-roll). This needs clarification.

The good news is this is a Relic, so quite often you can choose your relics before your game, on a game by game basis. (check your tournament scene to be sure. Some lock in those options.) The Bad news is it’s 18″. So it’s quite easy to avoid for your opponent.

Cult of Timex: Takes a Lickin’ and keeps on Tickin’. This is very easily tied into any list and promotes the use of expensive infantry. The obvious choice is Scarab Occult, however beware of the range limitation of 6″ (plus the Thousand Sons bonus.)

This Psychic power coincides nicely with:

Hocus Pocus… now you see me…. 9″ away. How about boxing your opponent in on Turn 1 with a giant, blue blob of Rubric marines? Set them up in cover, stay 9″ away but 12 should be fine. Flamers might be useful here?

It could be tricky going second, but used correctly this could be a very big deal. If you go second, you may elect to deep strike this unit instead of using this Strategem. However, if you are playing against a very static, shooty fire base army, there is a lot of merit in getting your troops out there quickly. Don’t forget this gives you a nice pocket to start deep striking in as well.

The ‘gotcha’ here is if you’re playing against someone that can elect to re deploy before the game. This could leave you out in the cold. Not that you care, because you’re made of dust. This would include such meanies as: C’tan deceiver, Alpha Legion, Eldar, etc.

Duplicity: Also know as “Peek a Boo” by the children of Fenris. (Whoops, too soon?)

So this Warlord trait is married to a Cult type. We have no idea if this will mesh well with the “Duplicity” powers, but we now see yet another Deployment option for Thousand Sons. This included with the Deep Strike stratagem, and the Risen Rubricae Stratagem, and the Dark Matter Crystal Relic. There’s a lot of relocation options for your army here.

The bad news is this is a Warlord trait, and quite often you don’t know if you want to use this until the game has begun. It’s also VERY limiting in that your redeployed units must remain in their deployment zone.

Speaking of Cult of Duplicity, they’ve given us a few extras to chew on:

DUPLICITY: From Latin: to be Two-fold, to double. These guys could be good with 3D printers.
Another Duplicity Power. Specializing in….you guessed it; Duping you.

Duplicity Power: Sorcerous Facade: With a WC value of 7, it’s not easy. But what this does is give you the ability to essentially mimic (one could say “duplicate”) the Dark Matter Crystal. This would save you a relic which has a once per game use, and then gives you the option of saving the Crystal for when you’ve been multi assaulted and MUST free up those units. It does say “unit” so it’s not limited to Infantry.

So I heard something about a special book…..Oh my….
“Perfidious”? Does everything in this book have to make us look so… untrustworthy?

Perfidious Tome has the perfidious effect of kicking you in the butt. Note the timing of this: At the start of a Battle Round. To my knowledge, aside from a CP reroll (which would be asinine) there is no way to change the result of this roll. That means some sucker like me has a very good chance of giving my opponent a free Command Point! No thank you GW, I’ll just stick to the ol’ Helm of the Third Eye.

It’s Early, but here’s what I think…

The second Magnus starts doing stuff, everyone else gets REAL good at their job. Grey Knights start killing daemons, heck even Dark Angels get off their crusty old rock and start pretending to be good guys.

There’s a few decent things here. A quasi Apothecary psychic power in TIME FLUX, is very utilitarian, but it is tied to the Cult of Time(x).

And being able to redeploy is fine and dandy, but Thousand Sons suffer from not having a lot of damage coming outside of the Psychic Phase. None of these peeks give us anything like that. The other stuff we’ve seen from the other factions can directly relate to a lot of increases in damage potential.

The Warlord Traits, and even the Relics seem okay, but really they have to be AMAZING to knock Dark Matter Crystal, and Helm of the Third Eye from being the go to choices of this army.

So far the elephant in the room is the rumour about a power which increases damage of a weapon! Even with our limited understanding of what is coming for Thousand Sons, if this rumour is true, then everyone is going to gravitate towards 20 man Rubric Blobs with 2D Bolters.

Otherwise there’s some fun stuff to try. A lot of it is already out there with other ‘shadowy’ sneaky type armies. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for more sneak peeks.


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