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++Thousand Sons Unit of the Week++


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++Ahriman++



New codex, new discussions about units! As we already have in other faction sections, this is the Thousand Sons Unit of the Week series, where each week we select and dissect a datasheet found in the book, and discuss how we use the unit in-game, favoured loadouts and combos, essentially how to use these units best. What have you found that works, and what doesnt? Please try to stick to the idea of making the unit in question work, as opposed to pointing out other units that might do a better job - we'll get to those in time!



This week, we will be discussing Ahriman, Chief Librarian of the Thousand Sons and Sorcerer Supreme!



What are you thoughts, and how best would you use the unit?


  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around?
  • To Disc, or not to Disc?
  • What <GREAT CULT>, loadouts, spell relic and Stratagem support do you prefer and how much does it depend on the above choices?
  • Are you buffing this unit, and if so, how?
  • Are you building as a damage dealer or buff-provider?
  • Uses in Matched, Narrative and Open Play
  • How have they fared for you in-game?

Over to you.



++Thousand Sons Unit of the Week Index Link++


Edited by Xenith
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Normally I'd try to alternate between units from different force org slots, but Thousand Sons are in a special place with maybe more HQ's than anything else, so I thought we could pick apart Ahriman this week. 

 

He's a bit of a strange fish, as while you can take him in any detachment, and they keep their <GREAT CULT> rules, he stops you from taking the great cult specific relic - so he's maybe not the best choice as a warlord.

 

That said, he has super reliable casting and an extra deny over a Rehati Exalted, in addition to 3 powers from the spell lores instead of two. 

 

Ahriman on disc = 180pts

Exalted w/Rehati on Disc = 150pts.

 

For those 30pts you get reroll all psychic powers, knowing an extra power from Change/Vengeance, an extra deny, extra wound, and flat 3 damage on the staff, but lose choice of warlord trait and access to a cult relic if he's the WARLORD. 

 

Personally, I kind of see Ahriman as the choice to get off those key powers you need to make the army work - Glamour, Weaver of Fates, Temporal Surge/Presage/Twist of Fate, as these are the big ones you're likely to try and command reroll if they go wrong. As such, I'd leave the damage dealing spells to exalted or other sorcerers.

 

Thoughts?

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Ahriman is the main man, so it's hard not to consider him (I am looking at the unopened box right now... one day soon). I think he's pretty much what it says on the tin. You have a better caster at the cost of some Warlord considerations. If you want an Exalted on disc it makes sense to make comparisons to Ahri the man.

 

There's also the background aspect, Ahriman is a major character so having him in your list is cool :P

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Seems we don't have too much to say on the Big Baddie! 

 

I seen this battle report from Glasshammer Gaming using Ahriman to good effect, with firestorm, surge, doombolt. A bit generalised, maybe, but you can use those inbuilt rerolls to fish for the 9+ on Firestorm without needing the scrolls or cult of magic warlord trait, doombolt is cast reliably for a flat 3 MW, then you can either smite or surge as needed. 

Edited by Xenith
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  • 4 months later...

Right, so a quandry I'm in over Ahriman, and one that's lasted a while, is whether to use Ahriman for buffing or damage output. The two options I'm considering are:

 

1)

Ahriman, on foot, weaver, glamour, presage (smite)

Time Exalted, disc, athenaean scrolls, firestorm, doombolt, immaterial echo (smite+timeflux)  (gets ~3+3+2 MW's)

 

Or 2)

Ahriman, on disc, firestorm, doombolt  +/presage, twist of fate, gaze of hate, (+smite) (gets ~2+3+2 MW's)

Time Exalted on foot weaver, glamour, prism of echoes/orrery/crystal (+smite&timeflux) 

 

What do I need more reliability with - damage output, or getting my defensive buffs up? I guess I could stick the scroll on the buff exalted to make sure glamout is guaranteed every turn, then immaterial echo lets him get an unblockable glamour off, then a extra smite?

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I think either is viable, depends on how your dice are for attack is the best form of defence after all :P For Ahriman's capabilities a disc is well worth considering, to get him where he needs to be? That is good for both attack and defence. What do you feel you are lacking in your games most? Failing that let the dice Tzeentch decide, or better yet try both and see which you like?

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No

He's a bit of a strange fish, as while you can take him in any detachment, and they keep their <GREAT CULT> rules, he stops you from taking the great cult specific relic - so he's maybe not the best choice as a warlord.

 

 

 

Wait... what?   Why does he stop you from taking the cult specific relic?   

 

You obviously can't give him the relic, why not another character?   you can even use High Acolytes to give the other character the cult specific warlord trait you want.

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No

He's a bit of a strange fish, as while you can take him in any detachment, and they keep their <GREAT CULT> rules, he stops you from taking the great cult specific relic - so he's maybe not the best choice as a warlord.

 

 

 

Wait... what?   Why does he stop you from taking the cult specific relic?   

 

You obviously can't give him the relic, why not another character?   you can even use High Acolytes to give the other character the cult specific warlord trait you want.

 

 

If you take him as your Warlord, you don't unlock the Sorcerous Arcana for the Cult (see the Cult rules). But if he's not your Warlord you can still get one. 

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No

He's a bit of a strange fish, as while you can take him in any detachment, and they keep their <GREAT CULT> rules, he stops you from taking the great cult specific relic - so he's maybe not the best choice as a warlord.

 

Wait... what?   Why does he stop you from taking the cult specific relic?   

 

You obviously can't give him the relic, why not another character?   you can even use High Acolytes to give the other character the cult specific warlord trait you want.

 

It's specifically called out in the cult rules:

 

 

If your army is led by MAGNUS THE RED or a THOUSAND SONS <GREAT CULT> WARLORD, you can give the relevant Cult Sorcerous Arcana Relic to a THOUSAND SONS <GREAT CULT> CHARACTER model from your army instead of giving them a Sorcerous Arcana Relic. 

 

The access requirement for the Cult Arcana is to be Magnus or a GREAT CULT warlord, of which Ahriman is neither. 

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I wonder why this is. Is there a fluff reason? Is it trying to portray how Ahriman is an outcast?

Possibly. Could be a unintentional but I doubt it.

 

I think it's more of a balance thing. In the last codex, there was almost zero reason NOT to take Ahriman as your Warlord. He was just too good and better than exalted in every way. GW seems to have done a few things to help incentivize players from taking him all the time via better choices/options for exalted and putting in that little relic caveat. It's more of an intelligent move than just upping his points cost at least. 

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I was playing with lists the other day and was a bit disappointed, I wanted Ahriman as my warlord but the WLT he has to take isn't great :confused: I'll probably still give it a go though, see how it pans out.

 

Why not take him and make someone else your Warlord? The potential fluff reasons for him being involved, but not overtly calling the shots are as endless as Tzeentch's labyrinth... :wink:

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He's my "go to" guy for mortal wound output. These days that is about all I use him for unless I play with Magnus.

The ability to choose to reroll even if you succeed a power is very strong. I use it to fish for the 5+ MW on firestorm and super smites.

Can be used with an exalted on disc with prism and temporal surge to "yo-yo" him out in front of targets then pull him back after he goes ham on the wounds.
He can slide out in front and blow stuff up then be pulled back to safety behind a buffed unit.
If you get good enough with troop placement and reserve the cabal points to make sure you get it off, rubric squads work well if you wanna use the exalted for other things.

Firestorm and infernal gaze can target characters, look for opportunities to use this. When it goes off and they lose their bike chaplain or chief apothecary it will make dismantling the rest of the force that much easier.

When built for damage he eats dreadnoughts for breakfast. Sometimes I drop infernal gaze for twist of fate or temporal surge. Depends on my HQ composition. 

Edited by Xenoscry
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I'd been running Doombolt, firestorm, twist on Ahriman in he last couple of games - I havent needed Twist, but I think it's great to have as a backup, and Ahriman can still try to smite. 

The main reason I don't usually run temp on him is because it's an excellent spell just in general, so it goes on all of my Rubrics/SoT. It's universally useful and gets used every turn.

Since my characters will be hiding behind those units 99.99% of the time then they are always in range of it being cast anyway. This can be kinda difficult though. Your movement and positioning has to be good.

 

I don't run twist on Ahriman all the time because with our high AP shooting often the invul is the same as the modified armor. Kind of a waste.

Against big baddies it can come in clutch though! Which is usually why I use Unholy Susurrus to flex it in wherever its needed.

 

A lot of times I don't want my character casters to be exposed to a threat like Mortarion whose auras/ablities can easily catch them. So flexing a spell on a rubric squad that's in front of Morty is safer. Then spend some cabal points and boost the cast or just make it undeniable if you're feeling hot. 

 

All of that said, I do put twist on him if I run him on foot and crystal him the turn I drop 1x10 of SOT in. He gives them rerolls, supports with MW, and can take an Inv off. They then clean up whatever is in the way and you keep them together causing havok on a flank or in the back line. Your opponent will HAVE to deal with them if you get in the back line which takes pressure off the front and makes it easier to hold mid objs. A similar trick can be done with Ahriman and flamer rubrics but the durability of SoTs are just so much better.

Edited by Xenoscry
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