I am absolutely shattered. So much so that I am barely coherent anymore. Over the last couple of weeks I have developed a tendency, at least twice a night, to wake up, read my clock wrong and think that I'm late to lectures and quickly get dressed and get my stuff together, only to quickly read my clock again before I walk out the door and notice that it's 4:30am. Of course I'm not coherent enough to remember that this has happened before but the real kicker is that this even happens on days that I don't have lectures. So I'm going to try and get a bit more sleep tonight, and I hope that this analysis isn't awful.
Thousand Sons are up today, and I'm also going to be rambling about Ahriman, but the Thousand Sons first. They're the second most expensive of the God specific choices, but then all of their cool gear comes as base. Perhaps what they are best known for are their AP3 Bolters, which are a real plus.
They can be a little terrain dependant though, if you're playing on a board bereft of terrain, like at Warhammer World, these things are going to work a treat. But if there is quite a lot of terrain your opponent's marines can often hug cover, especially if the centre of the board is quite terrain filled. Yes they'll still take casualties but it'll take longer to chomp through them.
Thousand Sons are also more durable than standard marines, as well as coming with Fearless they also have a 4+ invuln, and they have a psyker in the unit, so an improved deny the witch also makes them more resistant to psychic powers. Plus, their Champion has a Force Weapon. They also come with Veterans of the Long War as standard. However, they also have slow and purposeful.
Rattling through the upgrade. Gift of Mutation. No. Most of the powers are close combat oriented and although not terrible in a fight due to that 4++ and Force Weapon you're going to get more use out of them shooting. Plus there's no guarantee that the gift will be useful to you. I also wouldn't take Melta Bombs, as you're probably not going to use them.
Icon of Flame is also an option, but what you don't kill with your shots you're probably not going to kill with the potential for more normal bolter hits.
So, does this unit make a better troops choice than what is already in the Codex. Well, comparing them to a standard Chaos Marine, yes they're more durable, and yes their shooting is more scary, but the reason for that is that they cost 10pts more.
They could be considered as situational, as their shooting is only more effective against MEQs, but there are so many of them about that I'm not sure it is situational.
So, do they score better than standard Chaos Marines. Well each model is more durable, but then you'll be pumping a lot of points into a scoring unit, points which aren't going into anything whose purpose is to cause some damage. Point for point I'd say that regular marines do it better.
Is it worth making an army out of Thousand Sons. I think that a Thousand Sons build would work great against Marine armies and badly against Hordes, I also think that a Thousand Sons army would work great in a board with very little terrain and badly on a board with lots of it, and most of the time there is going to be a decent amount of terrain. In short, I'd say no. Not a bad unit, but not something that's getting me really excited.
Moving on to Ahriman. He is extremely expensive for a guy in Power Armour, and he has no option to change for Terminator armour like Njal does. He is closer to 250pts than he is 200. So you'll need to take a squad to put him with just to keep him safe, you'll want to keep this squad reasonably durable but not too expensive. So what's he got going for him that makes him worth his points?
Well, he shares Huron's Warlord trait, so he can infiltrate units. But what makes Ahriman so much more expensive from Huron is his psychic awesomeness. He can use up to 3 witchfire powers a turn, and has a Mastery Level of 4. However, his choice of disciplines isn't exactly fantastic.
I don't particularly dislike Pyromancy but it's not amazing and you won't get your full use of Ahriman with it. Same with Biomancy, I really like Biomancy but on Ahriman I don't think that you're getting his full potential out of it, as you don't want to sling him forwards.
I think that Telepathy is a decent choice for him, the powers all have an ok range and using 4 a turn could be nasty. The Tzeentch powers would make him the 'swiss army psyker' so to speak, there's a power for every occasion (albeit with a limited range). The only problem with this being is that he'd only find 1 power useful per turn. I'd probably roll thrice on Telepathy, and once on the Tzeentch powers chart.
I think that Ahriman is ok, but to be honest, I'm not a fan. If you want to infiltrate something, go for Huron, you could get him and an Obliterator for the cost of Ahriman. Although nice, I'm not sure what he gains is worth that many more points, especially considering that he's losing some of the close combat power that Huron has. I think that Ahriman's ok, but I wouldn't take him.
I know that I'm being a bit negative about the units so far, so sorry about that. But I'm not going to come out and say that a unit is good just to break the pessimism if I honestly don't rate it particularly highly. I'm sure things will pick up.