Tzeentch, Lord of Change
Tzeentch, the Great Schemer, the Changer of Ways, sits perched at the hear of his ever-warping domain, withing the Great labyrinth, where he has plotted and schemed since before the beginning of time. The minions of Tzeentch are as diverse and tricksy as the Lord himself, and they prefer distraction to confrontation, redirection to all out war. But, when the situation arises that battle must be met, the armies of Tzeentch march in the changing, coruscating glow of their warpfire, and woe betide any that are touched by that mutating flame.
Tzeentch units are almost the exact opposite of Khorne, preferring ranged combat to melee, and this is reflected in their stat lines.
The Tzeentch abilities to keep in mind is that all Tzeentch units add 3 to their Leadership when manifesting Psychic powers, and all Tzeentch units reroll unsuccesful saving throws of a 1. The additional Leadership is fairly meaningless, unless you Perils and have a chance to take a Leadership test at Ld10, even when under the effects of a special ability that lowers Leadership (I'm looking at you, Shadow in the Warp), as the two modifiers are applied at the same time. This means that yes, Horrors will go down to Ld9, but your Heralds and Daemon Princes/Lords of Change will still be Ld10.
Lords of Change
Greater Daemons of Tzeentch
Where Bloodthirsters are flying death-machines that ply their bloody trade in melee, Lods of Change are flying death-machines that can safely remain in the air, raining fire and lightning down upon the enemy below.
Lords of Change have a fantastic stat line, though not as extreme as the other Greater Daemons, 6's across the board (excepting Wounds and Attacks, both at 5) is nothing to poke fun at.
- I can fly!
Character (Precision Shots all day)
- Instant Death (get used to reading this)
Skyfire (I guess?)
Lords of Change make excellent mobile firing platforms, they are Mastery level 2 by default and should always be upgraded to Level 3 if you have the points. One of the main reasons they are so strong as shooting units is their Ballistic Skill. With BS6 they hit on 2's, and reroll 1's, hitting on 6's the second time around. This means that you hit with the vast majority of your shots, so you get the full effect of your firepower.
While the Lord of Change can make for an effective assault unit (you have Smash, so they are AP2, and can be Str10 if you want) but since this requires you to be on the ground, and hence more vulnerable to shooting attacks, you need to choose your targets carefully. Isolated units, lone tanks, these kinds of targets are worth assaulting, if you can't get a decent target for your shooting attacks this turn.
Nothing. Well... I say nothing. I would avoid the Lesser and Greater Rewards for Lords of Change, as they do not modify you well enough to justify the points. An Exalted Reward or Hellforged Artifact are worth considering, if they suit the playstyle of your army (look to the Wargear section for a discussion on Hellforged Artifacts).
For Psychic Powers for a Lord of Change, I would strongly recommend getting 2 Change Discipline powers, aiming for Bolt of Change and Infernal Gateway. If you take a Level 3 Lord of Change (and I hope you do) I would advise taking the third skill from Divination. Almost any Divination power will be useful, with the exception of Foreboding (you can't Overwatch anyway). Notable mentions include Perfect Timing, giving Ignores Cover to the Lord, Misfortune applying Rending to a target, and Scrier's Gaze making your Reserve rolls a virtual guarantee.
A Note on Vector Strike:
Yes, as a Flying Monstrous Creature the Lord of Change may elect to Vector Strike. In 7th Edition, there really is no reason not to, if there is a target to hit, preferably another Flyer to get the most out of it, but even a ground target if for no other reason than you can, with no drawbacks.
Heralds of Tzeentch
Tricksters of the Lord of Change
Heralds of Tzeentch are an incredibly powerful HQ choice for any army that includes Pink Horrors. They enhance the abilities of the squad they join to more than double their normal damage potential, if you give them the right upgrades.
The Heralds themselves are pretty poor, when taken at face value. At only Toughness 3 and with only 2 Wounds, they are incredibly fragile, and every effort should be taken to protect them from fire. They are a shooting unit, even though their Ballistic Skill of 4 leaves something to be desired, their real strength comes from their Loci.
- Lesser Loci: D3 Blue Horror counters per dead Horror rather than 1. We'll get to Horrors in a minute, but this is a bad upgrade. Not worth the points.
Greater Loci: Replaces the Strength statistic of the entire unit to a random value each turn. Terrible upgrade, has a 1/2 chance of improving your Horrors, yes, but Horrors are terrible in Close Combat.
Exalted Loci: Increases the Strength of all Psychic Powers cast by the Herald and unit by 1. Amazing upgrade! This turns Horrors and heralds into Psychic powerhouses! Literally every Herald of Tzeentch should have this Loci.
- Great synergy with Horror units
Strong shooty Psyker
Access to powerful Blessings
Terrible in Close Combat
A little pricey after upgrades
With the Locus of Conjuration, Heralds of Tzeentch become incredibly dangerous, on par with some of the Greater Daemons in this list (at shooting anyway). They have access to strong Psychic Witchfire powers from the Change Discipline, and strong Blessings from Divination. Never even consider sending them into melee if you have a choice, as they will simply disappear back into the warp before you can say "Surely Guardsmen aren't strong enough to take out my HQ!"
Buff their Mastery level as far as your points will allow, and take the Exalted Locus of Conjuration. Ignore Rewards on Heralds of Tzeentch, they don't provide enough benefit and the Heralds are too weak to make good use of them.
Bolt of Change and Infernal Gateway. I cannot stress enough how powerful these two powers are, they're amazing! As for your obligatory non-Change power, it's a toss up between Divination for the chance at something good (to be fair there are a lot of good powers to be had) or a roll on Malefic Daemonology. The most useful power there is Cursed Earth, and if you get it, congratulations! Personally I would roll of Divination, just for the guarantee of being able to take Prescience if I don't like what I roll and still have a useful power.
Because footslogging is fun!
Exalted Flamers (from Burning Chariots) received a slight upgrade in 2014, in the form of a White Dwarf update, allowing them to be taken on foot. They take up a Herald slot, and are Independant Characters.
- All the power of an Exalted Flamer, none of the TNT chariot weakness
Those brilliant Flames!
- Still can't move and shoot.
Frankly I love these guys on foot, at the very least they are ten times more likely to get a chance to shoot than their Chariot-riding counterparts. Their main issue is that they take up a Herald slot, which means they take up a Loci of Conjuration slot in your force organisation, but I would still recommend taking one if you feel like it.
And lest we forget, the weapons of an Exalted Flamer are not Psychic Powers, amking them both more reliable and more situationally useful, allowing things like Overwatch. This can be used in conjunction with the Blasted Banned to activate a firestorm of shooting when being assaulted.
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
Misshapen creatures of pure Warp energy, the Pink Horrors of Tzeentch embody the Changer of Ways' distaste for everything natural and unchanging. The Horrors warp and mutate constantly as they stride across the battlefield, their forms ever changing, and when unleash the fires of Tzeentch upon their enemies the results are as varied and unpredictable as the Horrors themselves. Troops in the field have reported everything from blasts of fire, to freezing blasts of ice, to clouds of caustic acid that eat away at all inorganic matter, leaving their victims naked and unarmed on the battlefield.
Pink Horrors are the basic troops of Tzeentch armies, and set the tone for the whole army. They are a Brotherhood of Psykers unit, with a single Psychic power. They do, however, generate an extra Warp Charge per turn for having more than 10 Horrors, and an additional one if their unit contains more than 15 Horrors. Always remember that when a Brotherhood of Psyker manifests a Witchfire attack, only a single member of the squad needs to have line of sight, as it is that member of the squad that manifests the power, using the collected energies of his fellows. That lone model also takes on the risks, and if you roll Perils of the Warp, that model must pay the price.
Powerful ranged unit
- Generally weak to everything
Models lost equate to a loss of damage potential
Die almost instantly in Close Combat
Pink Horrors have the potential to be the single most irritatingly powerful unit in your army. They also have the potential to be completely useless. This is the dice you are dealt when you play Tzeentch, I suppose. They are surprisingly resilient with their re-rolling saving throws of a 1, and their shooting attacks can do an awful lot of damage.
The Blasted Banner is decent if you have extra points to spend. It is low strength and has no AP value but sometimes every little bit counts, if that dangerous enemy unit simply MUST die this turn, it's a good option. Note that despite many opinions to the contrary, the Blasted Banner may NOT be used in overwatch, as the Banner can only be activated when the unit makes a shooting attack. Horrors cannot overwatch with their Psychic power, and so the Banner cannot activate.
A good upgrade for the unit, amazingly good for it's price, is the Iridescent Horror upgrade. If you use the Iridescent Horror to make the shooting attack of the squad, the shots benefit from Precision Shot, as the Iridescent Horror is a Character.
Definitely roll on Change for these guys, unless you're taking a themed Summoner army. The chance to get another cast of Bolt of Change or Infernal Gateway is too good to pass up. Take not that if you do roll one of these powers, you cannot manifest the same power from a single unit twice in a turn, so distribute your Heralds among your Horror squads according to what powers each rolled, making sure the Herald and the unit do not share a power (besides Flickering Fire, of course).
Flamers of Tzeentch
Bearers of the True Fire of Change
The flames spewed by Flamers of Tzeentch aren't true fire. Instead, the flames that wash over the enemies of Tzeentch are the true embodiment of the mutating powers of the Warp. Victims of the Flamers mutate hundreds or thousands of times as the flames burn away their essence, and what is left once the flame dies out is best left undescribed.
The Elite units of Tzeentch, Flamers are a situational unit, but one that fits into many armies. They are Jump Infantry, capable of moving across the battlefield extremely quickly, and they are one of the most resilient tzeentch units, with Toughness 4 and 2 Wounds making them the equal of a Herald of Tzeentch in that regard. Their primary weapon is the Flames of Tzeentch, a Strength 4, AP 4, Assault 1 weapon, that carries the Warpflame effect. Large units of Flamers can cause an incredible number of wounds with this attack, but even small units can be devastating in the right place at the right time.
- Flamer attack means no rolling to hit.
High speed due to Jump
Multiple wounds makes them resilient to enemy firepower
- Short range
WS2 means they are still terrible in melee
Large units cannot fire all flamers on the turn they Deep Strike
Flamers are great units, when used in one of two ways. Large units, 6-9 in number, can be devastating when they get close enough to use their Flame weapons, often wiping out the enemy unit they target. When used this way, try your best to protect them either with other units tying up enemy units that could potentially charge the Flamers, or simply with good positioning.
Another way of using them is to take a minimum strength unit of 3, and placing them in Deep Strike Reserve. When 3 Flamers Deep Strike they can be positioned in such a way that all 3 may fire immediately, something all but impossible for a squad with more than 3. When used this way, they are almost a throwaway unit, intended to Deep Strike as close as possible to an enemy unit that is susceptible to their attack or isolated, and immediately Flaming that unit. Often your Flamers will scatter, or Mishap, or will be destroyed after their first turn, but since you are only spending 69 points for this unit, it is not so great a sacrifice to lose them quickly.
Nothing. The Pyrocaster upgrade grants them nothing at all beyond the chance to spend even more points on the Pyrocaster. Basic units are as good as Flamers get.
Screamers of Tzeentch
Tzeentch's Soaring Predators
As Khorne has his Hounds, Tzeentch has his Screamers. Soaring through the insubstantial pathways of the Warp, on tides of pure energy, the Screamers of Tzeentch hunt the realms of real-space and the insane pathways of the Warp, ever hunting for those souls they may devour.
Screamers of Tzeentch are an oddball Tzeentch unit, being as they are the only dedicated assault unit dedicated to the Changer of Ways. With Strength and Toughness 4, 2 Wounds and a surprisingly decent Weapon Skill of 3, Screamers are in fact a decent close combat unit, though I would not advise pitting them against the likes of true dedicated melee specialists.
The Screamer's main claim to fame is their choice of weapons in Close Combat. Each Screamer may either use their full complement of attacks (at a base of 3 Attacks each) OR substitute all of their normal attacks for a single Lamprey's Bite attack, inflicted at Strength 5, AP 2 and with the Armourbane special rule.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Screamers are Jetbikes. This grants them a number of advantages, including not being slowed by terrain, increased base movement speed, the ability to Turbo-Boost up to 24" in addition to normal movement, as well as handy special rules like Jink and Hammer of Wrath. In fact, with the combination of Jink, Turbo-Boost and quite literally any form of cover, Screamers can achieve a 2+ Cover Save quite easily.
In addition, they have the Slashing Attack special rule. This enables the Screamers to make a special attack at any unengaged enemy unit the Screamers Turbo-Boost over, hitting that unit D3 times per Screamer at Strength 4 and AP-. Wounds from this attack are always allocated using the final position of the Screamers after their Turbo-Boost.
- High AP
Decently High Strength
Enhanced Cover Save via Jink
- Cannot Shoot
I really like Screamers. They're a fun, interesting unit that can really change the way your army plays on the battlefield. Highly mobile, surprisingly tough due to their Cover Saves, and an effective fast assault unit, Screamers excel at taking out groups of lightly armoured, weak enemies and tanks. The AP2 on the Lamprey's Bite may trick you into thinking they can go toe-to-toe with Terminators or other well armoured infantry, but you are incorrect, the limitation on attacks and low Weapon Skill of the Screamers makes these kinds of assaults a poor choice. Still, under certain situations, they can save you if, say, a single terminator has made it into your Horror unit and is about to tear through them.
One thing to keep in mind with regards to Lamprey's Bite is that, although the codex says it replaces your attacks for a single attack, this does not apply to bonus attacks, such as for charging. On the turn they assault, Screamers can choose to use 2 Lamprey's Bite attacks due to the bonus attack for charging. This helps make the Bite more feasible in melee, but I still advise against relying on it against things that can hit back. Tanks, on the other hand, can be easily destroyed by this wave of Armourbane hits.
The only upgrade a Screamer squad can take it more Screamers. And I would advise you to take them if you can, a squad of 5 or more would be preferable to make sure they destroy whatever they hit.
Burning Chariots of Tzeentch
Dear lord THANK YOU FOR 7TH EDITION!
Burning Chariots of Tzeentch can now not only live up to their potential, but are even better than we ever dared hope! The changes in 7th Edition regarding Chariots and even a few small changes to Vehicles have made this unit not only viable, but extremely potent!
Very Cool model
Can Deep Strike and fire effectively
Can't be Immobilised
Jink to Survive
This amazing vehicle comes with some crazy stats. As a Fast Skimmer, it can move 12 inches at combat speed, allowing the rider to still fire his Torrent Flamer as if he were standing still, massacring anything without a 2+ save. In addition, vehicles that Deep Strike now count as having moved at combat speed, and as such may fire normally, allowing you to Deep Strike this baby into your opponent's lines, and unleash flame upon them. When being shot at, you can choose to take hits either on the Rider or the Chariot (all shots from a given weapon type must be allocated to the same target) allowing the Flamer to take one for the team before the Chariot starts taking damage, extending its life a little. you CAN Jink with the Chariot, but I would advise against it unless you are using the Chariot to secure an objective, or Linebreaker, and cannot afford to lose it. The Rider, despite having Relentless, must still fire Snap Shots if you Jink.
All the above aside, it's still a fairly fragile but powerful speedy unit, and I recommend it in any Daemons army that needs more AP3 or Anti-Tank firepower.
The only upgrade is the Blue Horror crew, who debuff nearby enemies Leadership by 1. A decent upgrade if you have spare points, but I would avoid it otherwise.
Oracle of Tzeentch
Kairos fateweaver is an ancient and withered Lord of Change. How does an ageless Daemon creature comprised of pure energy become ancient and withered, you ask? Tzeentch threw his trusted advisor, Kairos, into the Well of Eternity, to see what would happen. Within the Well Kairos was exposed to all of time itself, all at once. Of all the Lords of Change, Kairos possesses the strongest power of foresight, or prescience, because he has borne witness to all of reality.
Rules-wise, Kairos Fateweaver is a Lord of Change with a drop in stats, a better invulnerable save, more Psychic Powers (though he is still limited in how many he may use per turn) and the Staff of Tomorrow, a Hellforged Artifact unique to Kairos that allows the controlling player to re-roll a single dice per turn. The dice you choose can be any dice from any roll, and it can even be one of many dice in that roll, though only the one selected may be re-rolled.
- Level 4 Psyker
4++ Invulnerable Save
Lord of Unreality Warlord trait
Lots of Psychic Powers
- Significant drop in stats
Less tactical flexibility
More expensive than an equivalent Lord of Change
I'll be frank, I don't like Kairos Fateweaver on the battlefield. He is a Lord of Change with severely reduced stats, notably his Toughness lowered to 5 making him vulnerable to Instant Death from Strength 10 weapons, and his Weapon Skill, Attacks and Initiative lowered to the point of making him entirely useless in Close Combat. His Lord of Unreality Warlord Trait is pretty good, allowing you to re-roll the Warp Storm result, but the question is if this benefit outweighs his cost and lack of flexibility.
You could make the argument that a Lord of Change is also not intended to be a Close Combat unit, but my counter is that it CAN be. If you need a Flying Monstrous Creature to take out that lone Basilisk in the back line of your enemy's forces, a Lord of Change can shoot it full of holes with Psychic Powers and still assault it and guarantee it is destroyed. This tactical flexibility is completely lost when taking Fateweaver, for an additional cost in points.
If you like Kairos and want to take him in your army, you should feel free to do so, he is far from a bad HQ.
Kairos is an oddball when it comes to Psychic Powers. While he is a Level 4 Psyker, and generates 4 Warp Charges per turn, each of Fateweaver's heads generate their own Psychic Powers. Both know all the Change powers, and one head gains a single power each from Divination and Pyromancy, while the other head gains a power from Telepathy and Biomancy. At the start of each of your turns, you must declare which of Kairos' heads will be manifesting Psychic Powers that turn.
In 7th Edition now Kairos can suddenly burst into a true hailstorm of shooting attacks in the Psychic phase, and this indirect buff has made him a far more effective unit in my eyes. Want to cast all 4 Change powers this turn? I hope you have enough Warp Charges, but go right ahead! The other powers he generates can be hit and miss, but at his core Kairos will always have his 4 Witchfires to fall back on.
The Blue Scribes
The Blue Scribes are a pair of Blue Horros that Tzeentch has tasked with tracking down and recording every single Spell, Psychic Power and Magick in the entire universe.
First and foremost: The Blue Scribes are NOT a Herald of Tzeentch. They are one of a pair of "Oddball HQ's" that do not fit into the pattern of the rest of the Daemon HQ choices. This means that in a Primary Detachment of Daemons, the Blue Scribes take up an entire HQ slot, that could be filled by a Greater Daemon or 4 Heralds. From a force organisation point of view, this makes the Blue Scribes somewhat undesirable, but this limitation applies only to Primary Detachments of Daemons. As an Allied force, the Blue Scribes can be considered a simple Herald replacement, a much more palatable option.
Technically the Blue Scribes are not a Psyker. Every turn, the Blue Scribes roll a random power from a Rulebook discipline of your choosing, and that spell is cast automatically (during the appropriate phase). There is no Leadership test required when the Blue Scribes manifest a power, though your opponent may attempt to Deny the Witch as normal.
The other special ability the Scribes provide is Spell Syphon. Every time an enemy Psyker manifests a psychic power, the Scribes gain a Syphon token. At the start of your turn, you roll a D6 for every token the Scribes accumulated last turn. If you roll a 6, you may allocate 1 additional Warp Charge to a friendly Psyker within 12" of the Scribes. Then you immediately discard all tokens.
- Comes with a free Jetbike
Not targeted by abilities that only effect Psykers
- Poor stats
Takes up a full HQ slot
Random abilities unreliable
I would advise not taking the Blue Scribes, unless you particularly like the model/fluff or are making a themed army requiring them. At their core, they are a Herald of Tzeentch with lower Ballistic Skill, less leadership, and less reliability. Yes their Spell Syphon might allow you to apply an extra Warp Charge to an under-strength unit of Horrors every now and then, but that same unit would be far greater benefitted by simply having a Herald with the Loci of Conjuration.
Trickster of Tzeentch
The Changeling is Tzeentch's most effective minion for deception and manipulation, whole empires have been struck low by the ministrations of this most cunning deceiver.
The Changeling is a slightly more expensive Herald of Tzeentch, locked at Mastery level 1 and comes with a Loci of Transmogrification. The Changeling's main claim to fame is his ability Formless Horror, which allows the Changeling to take on the Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Initiative and/or Attacks (you may choose freely which of those stats you wish) of any non-vehicle enemy model he is in base contact with.
Fighting a Wraithlord? Well, Now you have a Wraithlord-level Changeling hitting back at him, just as strong and tough as the Wraithlord himself, though with only 2 Wounds.
- Pure crazy hilarity of some situations
Can save your Horror squad in Close Combat... maybe. Sometimes.
- Limited to Mastery Level 1
Limited to Loci of Transmogrification
The Changeling is a pretty fun Special Character, his Formless Horror rule will almost always result in some good laughs. But the question remains, is it a good choice for your army? Once again I return to my "Heralds are better" argument, the level of synergy and raw damage a Herald of Tzeentch can do in your Horror squads is just too good to overlook, even for someone as fun as the Changeling.