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The Great Crusade > XV: Thousand Sons > A Thousand Sons combat doctrine & fluff

Title: A Thousand Sons combat doctrine & fluff

Dallas Drake - February 27, 2010 03:04 AM (GMT)
''The Thousand Sons were well known for their avoidance of close combat, instead relying on their mastery of the psychic arts to win battles. On many occasions, the Thousand Sons would accomplish by guile and trickery what other Legions would pay dearly for in blood.''

Hi guys,

I need some avid advice & answers to a few questions. I plan on beginning a pre-heresy Thousand Sons army, 1500-2000 points using the 5th ed. Codex: Space Marines.

Firstly, to what extent were the Thousand Sons 'anti' close combat? Where they a totally shooty army? I'm finding it hard to get a grasp of how they fought and what units they used etc. I plan on using;

- A Librarian, leading a Terminator Assault Squad in a MKII Land Raider, these will represent Ahriman and his personal bodyguard (converting thunder hammers to be 'thunder khepesh' is just one idea, however I don't want Assault Terminators if they are un-Thousand Sons, and regular Terminators just don't appeal.

- Tactical Squads in Rhinos, I'm happy with these - got some nice ideas.

- A Devestator Squad, 4 x missile launchers - no issues with this.

Then I get stuck, shall I add a Predator or maybe a Dreadnought? I like the idea of using a unit of Sternguard as veterans (not just because it works well with the Librarian in game terms but because they have special ammo much like the post heresy Rubric Thousand Sons). I've seen lists with Scouts too but that just doesn't seem right to me. What would be fluffy to fit with the Thousand Sons theme yet still a solid choice? Or, to put it another way, if you saw a Thousand Sons army what would you expect them to field?

I'd really appreciate any help here! I plan to buy 'A Thousand Sons' too asap!


Uzthizzar, Librarian-Sorceror - February 27, 2010 07:35 PM (GMT)
Hey Dallas
Those are some very good ideas that you have there, particularly "Thunder Khepesh"! As you can probably guess I am a PH TS buff too :)

I would think that a TS force would be lead by a Librarian such as Ahriman or Phosis (or maybe my dear Uzthizz) surrounded by his Red Sect of followers, so Terminators (type depends) or Veterans for them. As for the rest of the army, I would think that it would consist of shooty troops like devastators and sternguard (i like the idea of spec TS ammo VER VERY VERY much!)

In response to your asking "how anti close-combat were they?", they weren't that anti close-combat, but they were a passive and subtle legion who prefered tactics rather than rash actions such as the 'cutting-the-foe-into-the-tiny-bits-and-pieces-with-a-axe-ploy' which was the hallmark of the SWs and the WEs; "the Thousand Sons accomplished their victories through guile and deception as often as by strength of arms" Scouts if you wanted to use them could be like acolytes who carried the Librarians 'Anti-S-O-B-Stuff' and magic things or like a retinue (think Inquisition but not Inquisition).
It would be really great if this stuff could help you because you've had some great ideas which have had an impact! I am sure though that there are others who are more competent than me who could and would help you.
Thanks Uzthizz

Gagoc TheAncient - February 27, 2010 10:42 PM (GMT)
Well, from Collected visions they had Jump-Pack Assault squads and Terminator retinues armed with close combat weapons. They even had Landspeeders.
So there were parts of the Legion who specialised in CC and Fast Attack, it's just that most seemed to be shooty orientated Tac, Support and Devastator squads.
They probably even had their own versions of Sternguard.

Uzthizzar, Librarian-Sorceror - February 28, 2010 11:45 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Dallas Drake @ Feb 27 2010, 03:04 AM)
''I plan to buy 'A Thousand Sons' too asap!"

I concur entirely :0

Diggerydoom - March 24, 2010 01:27 PM (GMT)
I'm not sure if this is in the right place but...

I was trying to figure out the Thousand Son's markings and ended up attempting to layout the structure of the legion.

Around the time of the Attack on Prospero there appear to have been 9 Fellowships, which correspond to the Chapters of other legions.

(Fellowship, Captain, Other Titles, Cult of Captain)
I-Sekhmet (Scarab Occult), Ahzeh Ahriman, Chief Librarian, Corvidae
II, Phosis T'kar,No titles, Raptora
III, Hathor Maat, No Titles, Pavoni
IV,Ankhu Anen, No Titles, Corvidae
V,Baleq Uthizzar, No Titles, Athanaean
VI- (Devestators), Khalophis, No Titles, Pyrae
VII- (Training), Phael Tron, No Titles, Raptora
VIII, Auramagma, No Titles , Pyrae
IX-Hidden Ones (Scout Auxilia), Amon, Equerry to Magnus, Unknown Cult

Alongside this there is the Cult structure. Each Thousand Son seems to have been a member of one of five cults that reflected their powers. However the cults were distrabuted throughout the Fellowships.

(Cult Name, Magister Templi, Powers)
Pyrae, Khalophis, Pyromancy
Corvidae, Ahzeh Ahriman, Divination
Raptora, Phosis T'kar, Telekinetic
Pavoni, Hathor Maat, Healing/ Lightning
Athanaean, Baleq Uthizzar, Telepathy

Apparently all the Magister Templi were Captains, but the reverse was not true.

The final ranking system in the Thousand Sons was their 'psyker ranks' indicative of their personal level of control and aptitude.

From Lowest to Highest:
(At this point the Marine had to undergo the 'Dominus Liminus'. This test divided the advanced psykers, effectively librarians, from the less psychically gifted marines. If passed the Marine could wield the 'Heqa' staff which appears to have been a force weapon)
-Adept Minor
-Adept Major

Interestingly not all the Magister Templi were Masters. Hathor Maat, Magister Templi Pavoni if specified as a Adept Major.

Finally markings- the Thousand Son star on the left shoulder pad, with cult marking in the middle. The right shoulder has the Fellowship marking (Scarab for I Fellowship)

Any further infomation would be welcome as this had been bugging me for a while-it was a good distraction from work though!

Whitehorn - March 24, 2010 02:18 PM (GMT)
Thanks for this. I haven't got far through the book but I'm working on a Codex set of rules for TS.

The Rehahti is Magnus' legion council. It wasn't made up entirely of Astartes, but I believe all Templi were present.

Diggerydoom - March 24, 2010 03:59 PM (GMT)
I thought that the Rehati was entirely Astartes- who else would have been in it?

Whitehorn - March 24, 2010 04:21 PM (GMT)
Cult leaders.

Uzthizzar, Librarian-Sorceror - March 24, 2010 07:53 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Diggerydoom @ Mar 24 2010, 01:27 PM)
Athanaean, BALEQ UTHIZZAR, Telepathy

Ooooh this I like.
P.S. Is this all in ATS? - i haven't got my shiny red gauntlets on it yet because i havent had the time....

Also; has anyone noticed the similarity of the sturcture with a Current-era Space Marine chapter?

Magos Explorator - March 24, 2010 09:15 PM (GMT)
Yes, it is from ATS.

If you're referring to Blood Ravens, there are hints about them too.

Diggerydoom - March 25, 2010 10:10 AM (GMT)
Although of course it is 9 times bigger than the blood ravens.

The Red Sorcerer - March 25, 2010 11:04 AM (GMT)
Its been a long-standing theory that the Blood Ravens are somehow descended from the Thousand Sons in some way, either founded using their geneseed or actually being a faction that escaped from the Legion's near-destruction at Prospero. A Thousand Sons drops another strong hint that this may be the case, though there are one or two problems with the theory - see discussion here - notably that the large number of psychics in the Blood Ravens are due to their recruiting practices rather than their geneseed, and their geneseed is noted as being stable (and checked regularly by the authorities due to their large numbers of Librarians). Both of these facts are in marked contrast to the Thousand Sons, whose psychic mastery came from Magnus' geneseed which was notable for being highly unstable and prone to mutation.

Of course, that doesn't entirely rule it out - its possible that the Chapter's high command have got hold of 'pure' geneseed from somewhere that they submit for tests (much like athletes submitting someone else's urine for blood tests!) and spread rumours about their recruiting practices to cover up the real reason they have so many Librarians.

Diggerydoom - March 25, 2010 01:35 PM (GMT)
urine for blood tests? novel certainly....

The Red Sorcerer - March 25, 2010 02:13 PM (GMT)
Gah. DRUG tests. Hopefully you knew what I meant. :D

fritzagelmann - March 25, 2010 02:17 PM (GMT)
If they drug tested we coulda avoided this whole mess with the emperors children, ugh, those damn rebellious children and poor parenting, its a mess.

Uzthizzar, Librarian-Sorceror - April 3, 2010 09:50 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (fritzagelmann @ Mar 25 2010, 02:17 PM)
If they drug tested we coulda avoided this whole mess with the emperors children, ugh, those damn rebellious children and poor parenting, its a mess.

So my hunch could be right...

DaemonlordAbraxes - April 3, 2010 03:31 PM (GMT)
Oh my god! Uz, i didn't know that you still signed on!

Uzthizzar, Librarian-Sorceror - April 4, 2010 10:02 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (DaemonlordAbraxes @ Apr 3 2010, 03:31 PM)
Oh my god! Uz, i didn't know that you still signed on!

Hey DLord! Haven't seen you in a while how ru? ;)

Yeah Ive been busy with work, but Im staging a comeback to the site :)

Torg - May 9, 2010 09:29 AM (GMT)
So Sekhmet is basically the 1st capt? :huh:

Diggerydoom - May 19, 2010 03:38 PM (GMT)
no that is the name of the 1st fellowship. Ahriman was the Captain. However the Sekhmet name may refer to the vetrans (terminators) of the fellowship and not the fellowship as a whole.

The Red Sorcerer - May 19, 2010 04:26 PM (GMT)
I think its pretty clear the Sekhmet are part of rather than the whole of the 1st Fellowship. At one point when the entirety of the 1st Fellowship is present (roughly 1200 marines) Thousand Sons mentions there are 81 Sekhmet Terminators. It seems likely this is pretty much their entire strength - bear in mind they are not only the most veteran warriors in the Legion but they all have to have progressed to at least the rank of Philosophus i.e. they are among the most skilled psykers in the Legion.

Magos Explorator - May 19, 2010 04:53 PM (GMT)
I'd imagine the Sekhmet would be limited to 81 total (9x9) so I'd concur with The Red Sorcerer on that one.

fritzagelmann - May 19, 2010 06:41 PM (GMT)
Are the scarab occult pulled from this pool of 81, or are they a separate entity?

The Red Sorcerer - May 20, 2010 10:30 AM (GMT)
Good question. Although at some points Thousand Sons seems to use the names pretty much interchangeably, during battle descriptions (for example on Shrike) they are described as seperate formations - the Sekhmet are the Terminators of the first Fellowship, and the Scarab Occult are the power armoured veterans. I'd be inclined to go with the second option - it is supported by Collected Visions as well, where the Scarab Occult are pictured in Power Armour. They do seem to have similar psychic mastery to the Sekhmet, so quite possibly they also have to reach the rank of Philosophus before joining the Scarab Occult.

They are almost certainly not taken from the 81 Terminatores of the Sekhmet - in the battle on Shrike, for example, Arhiman is accompanied by 300 warriors, who are 'mostly' made up of the Sekhmet and Scarab Occult. During this battle Magnus himself is also accompanied by members of the Scarab Occult, so it certainly seems they are a larger group than the Sekhmet.

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