Thousand Sons Tactics Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

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thousand sons tactics

Welcome to our complete guide on Thousand Sons Tactics Warhammer 40k 9th Edition!

thousand sons tactics warhammer 40k
Magnus the Red by Koowanchee

“I did nothing wrong…” -Magnus the Red

If you agree that Magnus did nothing wrong, read on. If you’re skeptical, you can give it a read anyway, but fans of the Thousand Sons lore from previous editions are going to love them in 9th edition Warhammer. 

As much as their opponents wish they could just “dust buster” the Thousand Sons tactics away, this army can be persistent and quick-striking. (The 1000 Sons are, of course, made of dust and encased in armor.) Aside from all the obvious jokes you can make about “dusting off your favorite army,” the Thousand Sons tactics are among the more challenging 9th edition models to paint–but the visual reward with these Warhammer models is extraordinary. 

Introduction to Thousand Sons Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

The Thousand Sons had a rough start, having been introduced in 7th Edition Warhammer. They were especially weak in 8th Edition, and you have to play them in a particular fashion (see our tactics at the end of this guide) to ensure success with them. As Tzeentch, the new Thousand Sons Warhammer codex is complex. Compared to previous editions, Cabal points are seriously strong, and the Scarab Occult models are a bargain buy when it comes to building your list. 

In this guide, we’ll review why you should play the Thousand Sons army, how to execute the Thousand Sons Tactics and Stratagems effectively, and what tactics our team recommends using with them. Seriously, check out the “Pew Pew No No” and the “Maybe Not Magnus” tactics for particularly unconventional plays. 

Now, let’s dig into our guide for Thousand Sons Tactics Warhammer 40k 9th Edition!

Play Thousand Sons Army If You

  • Want to play an Egyptian analog. Thousand Sons are basically Space Egyptians with psychic powers.
  • Like armies full of metallic red. That’s their go-to color.
  • Are a fan of automatons and cyborgs in your sci-fi and Warhammer lore.
  • Want an all-psychic Warhammer 9th edition army.
  • Wish to play an army more focused on offensive powers.
  • Need an army that can take down Grey Knights and resist small arms fire.
  • Are ready to paint intricate Warhammer models and want to push yourself as a painter. 
  • Don’t want to focus on an objective-based game.
  • Want to kick ass with your Magnus character model (but before you decide to use the Magnus Character, make sure you read our tactics).
  • Want to include some “glass cannon” characters in your army.

Thousand Sons Warhammer 9th Edition Stratagems

thousand sons tactics
Loyalty Without End by Nemris

Thousand Sons Battle Stratagems

Ensorcelled Infusion

What it looks like: Tangoing with chaos is the Thousand Sons’ domain. They harness the powers of the warp itself, imbuing their vehicles with deadly empyric energies. 

Mechanics: This stratagem lasts until the end of the Shooting phase. Receive a +1 to ranged weapons’ Armour Penetration. Use this when you select an Arcana Astartes Psyker to shoot and it’s within 6 inches of a Thousand Sons Vehicle. 

Cost: 1 CP

Unwavering Phalanx

What it looks like: A successful phalanx unit is one that stands together. These strong foot soldiers become even more resilient when they focus their energies towards a common goal. 

Mechanics: This Stratagem is for use in the other player’s Shooting phase. Use this stratagem when your opponent selects Thousand Sons Scarab Occult Terminators or Thousand Sons Rubric Marines. Until the end of your opponent’s Shooting phase, the attack’s Damage characteristic gets -1 (minimum 1) every time your opponent’s characters attack the selected units. 

Cost: 1 CP (if your selected unit is comprised of five or fewer models) / 3 CP (if your selected unit is comprised of six or more models)

Wrath of the Wronged

What it looks like: Bitterness and anger over being wronged fill the 1000 Sons champions’ souls.These thoughts permeate the Rubricae, incurring extreme wrath, exerted upon their enemies. 

Mechanics: Use this stratagem when you select an Arcana Astartes Infantry in your Shooting phase or your Fight phase. Gain a +1 to that attack’s [ound] roll whenever the unit attacks.

Cost: 2 CP

Internal Fusillade

What it looks like: In an effort to increase lethality, the Thousand Sons use invocations to imbue their weapons with sorcery. The glow of psychic power surrounds these weapons.

Mechanics: Use this stratagem when you select an Arcana Astartes Infantry unit. This Stratagem lasts until the end of the phase. Whenever a model in the selected Arcana Astartes unit shoots a bolt weapon, that weapon gets an extra attack. 

Cost: 1 CP

Inhuman Savagery

What it looks like: The horns and beaks of the Tzaangors tear into opponents’ flesh with a savage ferocity. Inspired by the fury of combat, they persist in their frenzied rage. 

Mechanics: Use this Stratagem when you select a Tzaangor unit to fight in the Fight phase. This Stratagem lasts until the end of the Fight phase. Whenever a model in the selected Tzaangor unit performs a melee attack, you’re permitted to re-roll your hit roll. 

Cost: 2 CP

Vengeance for Prospero

What it looks like: Still angered by the Scouring of Prospero, their home world, the Thousand Sons crave revenge against the sons of Leman Russ or anyone else who stands in their way. Though the Space Wolves destroyed Prospero millennia ago, the strong resentment remains and fuels the Thousand Sons’ vengeance. 

Mechanics: To use this Stratagem, select a Thousand Suns unit in your Fight phase. This Stratagem lasts until the end of the phase. When the Space Wolves are the target of a melee attack from a model in that unit, you are permitted to re-roll the wound roll and the hit roll. 

Cost: 1 CP

1000 Sons Epic Deed Stratagems

1000 sons tactics
Pre-heresy Thousand Sons by Dilvish585

Great Sorcerer

What it looks like: Those not succumbing to the madness associated with Tzeentch worship can wield the power of the warp. Mental fortitude, major power.

Mechanics: Get one extra psychic power this turn for a specific Thousand Sons Psyker model this turn. This Stratagem is for use in the psychic phase.

Cost: 1CP

Malignant Pact

What it looks like: The Sorcerers toss souls to the warp–and in return, they harness immense powers.

Mechanics: When an Infernal Master model is not successful in making a pact during the Command phase, use this Stratagem. Choose a Thousand Sons Cavalry unit or a Thousand Sons Infantry within 6” of the model that failed, and that unit takes 1 mortal wound. In exchange, the pact is now successful.

Cost: 1 CP

Thousand Sons Requisition Stratagems

Sorcerous Arcana

What it looks like: Imagine a glorious hall filled with the implements of sorcery acquired by Magnus and those who followed. These are the hallowed halls of Tizca. 

Mechanics: This Stratagem is for use prior to the battle, and you use it while you are mustering your army. To use this, your Warlord must have the Thousand Sons keyword. This Warlord gains one Sorcerous Arcana Relic (that they can mechanically possess). Every Relic in your army has to be unique; you can’t use this Stratagem to give two Relics to one model. This Stratagem can only be used once, the exception being if you’re playing a Strike Force battle or Onslaught battle. If you’re playing a Strike Force battle, you can use the Stratagem twice. If you’re playing an Onslaught battle, you can use the Sorcerous Arena Stratagem three times.

Cost: 1 CP

Aspiring Magister

What it looks like: The desire to gain the rank of Magister Templi among the Thousand Sons is great. To aid in this quest, many Thousand Sons gather relics of power.

Mechanics: This Stratagem goes into play while you are mustering your army prior to the battle. To use this Stratagem, choose a Thousand Sons Scarab Occult Sorcerer model or a Thousand Sons Aspiring Sorcerer model. Your chosen model can choose from the following lists of Arcana Relics although they aren’t a Character:

Thousand Sons Arcana Relics for Use With Aspiring Magister
  • Coruscator
  • The Stave Abominus
  • Skaeloch’s Talon
  • Incanandaeum

The rule: every Relic must be assigned to a different model, and each Relic must be unique. 

Cost: 1 CP

1000 Sons Strategic Play Stratagems

Schemes of Change

What it looks like: Fate is complex. One small event can have an unpredictable impact on the outcome of larger battles.

Mechanics: This is only a usable Stratagem if your army contains only Thousand Sons Detachments. This Stratagem is designed to be used when you’re playing a mission that makes you select either Agendas or secondary objectives once both players show their selections. This Stratagem allows you to choose one of your Agendas or secondary objectives and replace it with another one. If you use this Stratagem to do this, notate your army roster and make sure your opponent is aware of its use. With this Stratagem in play, the usual rules for selecting Agendas and secondary objectives still apply. In the event that you and your opponent both have rules allowing you to select new Agendas or secondary objectives, you both make new selections before uncovering them at the same time. 

Cost: 1 CP

Risen Rubricae

What it looks like: Rubricae emerge silently for the coup de gras, arriving just in time to make a difference in the battle. This plan was hidden, made decades ago, and its effectiveness has the potential to turn the tide of war.

Mechanics: This Stratagem is for use during deployment. Use it when setting up a Rubric Marines unit. You can set the Rubric Marines unit up anywhere on the battlefield so long as it is greater than 9 inches away from any enemy models and enemy deployment zone. You may only use this Stratagem once.

Cost: 2 CP

Webway Infiltration

What it looks like: The Thousand Sons know how to make use of the webway, using the multitude of winding paths it contains to outflank their enemies.

Mechanics: This Stratagem must be used during your deployment. For an expenditure of 2 CP, you can set up one Thousand Sons Infantry unity in the webway instead of on the battlefield. If you want to spend 3 CP, you’ll get to set up two Thousand Sons Infantry units in the webway. For each unit you set up this way, during the Movement phase in the Reinforcements step, you can set them up anywhere on the battlefield over 9 inches from your foe’s models. You can only use the Webway Infiltration Stratagem once.

Cost: 2 CP / 3 CP

Implacable Guardians

How it looks: When fire approaches their masters, the Rubricae are optimal defenders, absorbing the storms of fire as devoted guardians. 

Mechanics: This Stratagem is for use at the beginning of your opponent’s Shooting phase. Choose one Arcana Astartes Character model (except Magnus the Red). This Stratagem remains in effect until the end of the phase. If the Arcana Astartes Character model you’ve chosen is within 3 inches of friendly Scarab Occult Terminators or Rubric Marines units, your opponent’s models can’t target your selected model with ranged weapons.

Cost: 1 CP

Coruscating Beam

What it looks like: When the Thousand Sons unleash the power of Silver Towers on the ground beneath them, devastation is sure to follow, obliterating enemies at an alarming rate.

Mechanics: Use this Stratagem if a Thousand Sons Warlord is on the battlefield in the Command phase. Choose one point on the battlefield and place a marker on it. At the beginning of your next Command phase, put another marker on the battlefield within 9 inches of that marker’s center and draw a line between both markers’ centers. For each unit that would go through or over, roll one D6. Add 1 if the unit you’re rolling for contains 11 or more models. Subtract 1 if you’re rolling for a Character. If you score a 4+ on your role, the unit takes D3 mortal wounds. Once this happens, remove the markers. You are only permitted to use this Stratagem once. 

Cost: 3 CP

Vector Strike

What it looks like: This is an aerial assault from Thousand Sons Heldrakes containing daemons. These ironclad fliers are adept in their domain, tearing at the enemy as they fly.

Mechanics: Use this Stratagem after you make a Normal Move with a Thousand Sons Heldrake model in your Movement phase. Choose one enemy unit that the model moved across (though it can’t be a Character with a 9 or less Wounds characteristic). Roll a D6. If you roll a 2+, the unit takes D3 mortal wounds. If the unit is able to Fly, on a 2+ it must take 3 mortal wounds instead. 

Cost: 1 CP

Frequently Asked Questions About Thousand Sons in 9th Edition

thousand sons fan ar
The Praecepti by Luches

Can Thousand Sons Summon?

Yes, the 1000 Sons can summon. However, the summoning rule is not in the 9th edition codex, leading to a fair amount of confusion for people who have played previous Warhammer editions.

Are Thousand Sons Evil?

Basically, yes. They do worship chaos. 

Are Thousand Sons Hard to Paint?

Thousand Sons in Warhammer 9th edition models are considered somewhat challenging to paint. This is an excellent army to paint if you’re looking to level up your painting skills. 

Why are the Thousand Sons Called Thousand Sons?

Initially, there were only 1000 made. When the Emperor decided to send them out to the Great Crusade, the Thousand Sons became full Legion strength.

What Happens when a Thousand Son Dies?

In the lore, the Thousand Son will rise again. However, it takes complex magic to do this, so such magics are unusable during a battle. All Thousand Sons rise again.

Can Thousand Sons Use Lord of Change?

[Yes/No] Thousand Sons [can/cannot] use Lord of Change in Warhammer 9th edition.

Are Thousand Sons Fun to Play?

Yes. 1000 Suns can make an impact on the battlefield with a heavy offense. If you’re into aerial combat and psychic damage, this is the army for you.

Thousand Sons Warhammer 9th Edition Tactics

The Nights at the Game Table Team has come up with these tactics to use with Thousand Sons in 9th edition. Some of these tactics are unconventional and unexpected, which allows you to take your opponent by surprise. The Thousand Sons won’t perform well in an objective-based game, but there are ways you can use them to attack quickly and with squads. 

Pew Pew No No: Thousand Sons have tricks to become impervious to small arms fire due to the +1 saves. 

Assemble the Squad: Consider squad-based play to be successful with Thousand Sons in Warhammer 9th edition. Remember that Thousand Sons are best if they’re not used with an objective-based game.

The Ultimate Mindwipe: Use your Thousand Sons’ targetable psychic powers to snipe enemy characters. Once that happens, they’ll be unable to use Relic abilities and will be even more vulnerable to attack!

Daemon Pact 4 Life: Use the daemon prince build that allows you to move if you have wings. There’s a Relic for it, so you don’t need an upgrade.

Hell of a Cabal: Different cabals have different psychic powers. Use these variances to mix and match, making a stronger army.

Chaos Rising: Use the Cult of Duplicity cult spec psychic power to let you redeploy a unit. Do this and then use the redeployed unit to snipe enemy characters.

The Warlord Mind: Take the Warlord trait for Thousand Sons that lets you do psychic action plus other psychic powers. 

Maybe Not Magnus: Your opponent will of course expect you to take the legendary Magnus the Red character. However, taking Magnus can be a bit of a trap to take in your list: he can’t stand up to firepower. Instead, take Armand or other Exalted Sorcerers and Daemon princes to gain cabal points. Magnus, unfortunately, can’t take 3 invuln. You can reroll any psychic test as Magnus and add 1-2 to the wound count, but there aren’t any weapon abilities for him to use. What a sad Primarch! 🙁 

Rubric x 20: Take a 20 man squad of Rubrics with flamers and infiltrate 9. Unless these on your opponent on your first turn. You can even get +1 to this. Use with the flamers that auto hit. 

Bring Out the Beast: Use Mutalith Vortex Beast because it’s damn annoying to kill. It also boasts a mortal wound output and happens to be one of the coolest looking models you can acquire. 

Cabal One Up: Use Rubric Marines with Icon of Flames to gain additional Cabal points.

What do you think of our tactics? Give them a try and let us know how these 1000 Sons Warhammer 9th Edition tactics work for you. 

Need More Thousand Sons Tactics and Content?

We’ve got tons more content for your reading and watching including past Thousand Sons tactics, guides, winning lists from tournaments and battle reports.

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