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What part of Tzeentch's plan is this?
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch have gone from one of the best troops points could buy, to one of the worst lickety-split.
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch have condition after condition, making them slaves to the whim of the dice gods like never before.
Even with the Pink Horrors myriad of problems, they perhaps may have one saving grace. Can having one trick really make for a good unit though?
How does a unit go from good to bad? Well it is simple, take away all the good stuff and give random stuff in return. Looking at the differences between the 5th edition and 6th edition codex is the simplest way to see the immense changes to Horrors. Here is a side by side comparison.
(Click to Enlarge)
Compare & Contrast
- Point reduction 17 to 9 points
- Reduction invulnerable save 4+ to 5+
- Loss of Warpfire and Bolt of Tzeentch
- New set of special rules
- Now Psykers
--Cheaper, but at what cost---
Horrors got the biggest point reduction of any of the basic Daemon troops. In return they lost a lot, but gained one Weapon Skill! The point reduction is justifiable, but the changes are so dramatic, the unit bares almost no resemblance to the previous edition making it hard to swallow for many players.
--Now only 1/3 less survivable--
The first thing most players will notice is the loss of a decent invulnerable save, now they are just like every other Daemon. In return Horrors got the ability to re-roll 1s which we will talk about later, but generally isn't that good in practice.
--Shooting for Less--
This biggest change (by far) is the loss of WarpfireRange 18, Strength 4, AP 4, Assault 3 and Bolt of TzeentchRange 24, Strength 8, AP1, Assault 1. Now, Horrors must rely on psychic powers to deal any damage! There no guarantees when it comes to the effectiveness of a Horror unit; the designers had a good idea going, but made Horrors so limited by removing these powers.
--A whole bunch of what?--
Blue HorrorsFor each Pink Horror is slain in close combat one unit locked in combat suffers one Strength 2 AP- hits for each slain Horror. All unsaved Wounds caused in this manner count towards the assault result, Magic Made ManifestA unit of 11-15 Pink Horrors generates 2 Warp Charge points instead of 1; a unit of 16-20 Pink Horrors instead generates 3 Warp charge points., Blasted StandardOnce per game, declare using the blasted standard. This is done immediately before the unit makes a shoorting attack or attempts to manifest a Witchfire power. If it does so, any unit hit by that attack suffers an additional 2D6 Strength 4 AP- hits are all things that in one way or another attempt to fill the gaps created by the total nerfing of this unit. It is almost as if the design team decided to randomly throw ideas at the unit in the hopes of creating something fun, but instead just adds more rules to remember.
--Change Psychic Powers for Horrors--
Flickering Fire of Tzeentch -- Primaris 24 inch range, strength 5, AP 4 Assault 2d6 Soul Blaze, Warpflame. Each additional warp charge used after the first fires an additional D6 shots.
This is the go to power for Horrors and basically replaces Warpfire from the previous edition. It is good strength power with randomly generated attacks. Being the most likely power for Horrors, also means it is most likely to leave opponents running around with Feel No Pain everywhere. It also can pool Warp Charges to get more attacks, but at the cost of taking more Horrors.
Unless your plan is take lots and lots of Horrors that focus on units one at a time Flickering Fire will often end up doing more harm than good.
Perhaps the worst power in the game. It has a variable strength (2-7) with no armor penetrating value whats so ever. I cannot say how much this power sucks, just skip and be done.
The best power out of the bunch. All you need is pass your psychic test and hope they don't Deny the Witch. Beams auto hit units and with a base strength of 5 will most likely kill at least two models. The AP2 though is the real selling point-- cutting through any unit. Take the base 90 point unit of Horrors and you have a 50/50 chance of getting this power.
Cannot get this power because you are not Mastery Level 2
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch have condition after condition, making them slaves to the whim of the dice gods like never before.
Putting it all Together
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch suffer from over design, with six special rules alone, Horrors are disabled by the weight of book-keeping amounting typically to poor results.
Then you have a Primaris power which against most targets actually helps your opponent more than hurts them. Still, Horrors do have some uses, but it relies on luck and how many ruins are on the board.
Pink Horrors are no longer the go to unit for cheap troops, unless you have a Tzeentch themed. What makes Horrors so bad isn't the cost or even survivability, it is Horrors are extremely unreliable. One commentator summed it up perfectly,
Think about it.. pass powers first, deny, roll # of hits, roll to hit, roll to wound, then armor saves. When shooting at a unit with a Psyker, the deny is even worse. No basic attack should ever be denied.
No unit should ever have these many hoops to jump.
To compensate for the hoops, Horrors have a special ability like Blue HorrorsFor each Pink Horror is slain in close combat one unit locked in combat suffers one Strength 2 AP- hits for each slain Horror. All unsaved Wounds caused in this manner count towards the assault result, which is intended to generate extra attacks in combats you most assuredly lost. Horrors have Magic Made ManifestA unit of 11-15 Pink Horrors generates 2 Warp Charge points instead of 1; a unit of 16-20 Pink Horrors instead generates 3 Warp charge points., which would be impressive if they could generate more than one Witchfire power per turn, instead it only is effective with Flickering Fire of Tzeentch24 inch range, strength 5, AP 4 Assault 2d6 Soul Blaze, Warpflame. Each additional warp charge used after the first fires an additional D6 shots.. Sure the idea of 4d6 shots sounds impressive, but it requires taking lots of Horrors. Large Horror units still only generate one power and make little difference otherwise.
As you can see we have conditions galore when it comes to Horrors, 9 point model cost making them a bit more palatable. Horrors are one of the few units in the Daemon Codex with any shooting ability and that should count for something. Making Horrors any good, is hoping for Bolt of Change24 inch range, Strength D6+4, AP 2, Assault 1, Warpflame, Beam. Bolt of Change24 inch range, Strength D6+4, AP 2, Assault 1, Warpflame, Beam reduces some of the variables associated with Witchfire powers and can hurt any non-vehicle unit in the game because it is a Beam weapon.
What happens though when a unit survives an attack from a unit of Horrors?
Interestingly enough they usually get Feel No Pain from WarpflameAt the end of each phase, any unit that suffered one or more unsaved Wounds during the phase, must take a Toughness test. If the test fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 Wounds with no armor or cover saves allowed. If the test is passed, all models in that unit gain the Feel No Pain (+6) special rule. Any model that already has Feel No Pain gain +1 to all Feel No Pain special rule rolls.! This design decision makes no sense and causes brain aneurysms just thinking about it! The excuse being "Chaos is fickle". That statement alone makes it sound like the design team knows the idea is dumb. What happens when your opponent survives even a few shots from WarpflameAt the end of each phase, any unit that suffered one or more unsaved Wounds during the phase, must take a Toughness test. If the test fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 Wounds with no armor or cover saves allowed. If the test is passed, all models in that unit gain the Feel No Pain (+6) special rule. Any model that already has Feel No Pain gain +1 to all Feel No Pain special rule rolls.? He gets even better Feel No Pain! Why would I ever want to take Horrors now knowing that if I don't kill my opponent it only makes them stronger?! Talk about making an entire psychic discipline horrible.
What about Heralds of Tzeentch for Horrors?
Unlike most of the Locus available to other units the ones for Tzeentch are pretty terrible! With only Exalted Locus of ConjurationThis model, and all models in its unit, add +1 to the Strength of all hits caused by psychic powers that they manifest having any use, but at the cost of 25 points!
What about Horror extra options?
Taking the Iridescent Horror is only good for challenges and nothing else. Then you have the one shot Blasted StandardOnce per game, declare using the blasted standard. This is done immediately before the unit makes a shooting attack or attempts to manifest a Witchfire power. If it does so, any unit hit by that attack suffers an additional 2D6 Strength 4 AP- hits for 20pts adding extra hits that fail, if you don't manifest, hit, or your opponent denies.
Besides hoping for Bolt of Change24 inch range, Strength D6+4, AP 2, Assault 1, Warpflame, Beam, the Internet is all in twitter, because Gone to Ground Horrors are now all the rage. Every player likes their own Gretchin unit that sits in the back, hides, but is that what you really want from your Horrors?
Anyway, let me explain how this works for those that don't know.
If you place a Horror in ruins they get a 4+ cover save, now if you Go to Ground they all of sudden get a 2+ cover save, but what makes this tactic so effective is you get to re-roll 1s making Horrors almost impenetrable...
except to assault and cover denying weapons.
This all leaves Horrors relegated to hiding out and hoping no one notices, a sad state for a unit that a lot utility in the past.
Expect to see Horrors on the battlefield because of their trick, but just like Gretchin they will go poof once engaged.
--Ways to play Pink Horrors of Tzeentch--
Death Star Configuration: 205 pts 20-man Horrors unit with, Iridescent Horror, blasted standard
Balanced Configuration: 135 pts 15-man Horror unit with no extra options
MSU Configuration: 90 pts 10-man Horror unit with no extra options
Horde Configuration: 200 pts 20-man Horror unit with Instrument of Chaos
A Word about Chaos Space Marine Allies
Horrors do make a good ally for Chaos Space Marines. They are good if you prefer them over Cultlists for cheap objective grabbing. They are also good if you want Chaos Space Marine units doing all the heavy lifting while Horrors hide. They also provide cheap ablative wounds for Heralds of Tzeentch as they cast Divination powers for buffing.
Remember unlike other Battle Brothers Daemons ICs cannot join with Chaos Space Marine units under any situation.
Overall, Horrors have problems. The problems come from treading on new design ground, and it feels like the team didn't want to go too far to risk creating a broken unit. Horrors do have a place on the battlefield, but it is very minimal. Expect WarpflameAt the end of each phase, any unit that suffered one or more unsaved Wounds during the phase, must take a Toughness test. If the test fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 Wounds with no armor or cover saves allowed. If the test is passed, all models in that unit gain the Feel No Pain (+6) special rule. Any model that already has Feel No Pain gain +1 to all Feel No Pain special rule rolls. to be a thing of past when Daemons get a new book... in like 12 months at the rate Games Workshop is going.
It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
For tactical articles feel free to email me to continue the discussion or if you discover an inaccurate interpretations of the rules-- edits will be made accordingly.
Also check out other articles in this series...
- Chaos Space Marine Tactica Link Page
- Chaos Daemons Impressions
- Breaking Down Chaos Daemons
- Bloodletters of Khorne Review
- Pink Horrors of Tzeentch Review
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle Review
- Deamonettes of Slaanesh Review
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne Review
- Flamers of Tzeentch Review
- Beasts of Nurgle Review
- Fiends of Slaanesh Review
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne Review
- Screamers of Tzeentch Review
- Plague Drones of Nurgle Review
- Chaos Furies Review
- Seekers of Slannesh Review
- Soul Grinder Review
- Skull Cannon of Khorne Review
- Nurglings Review
- Skarbrand Review
- Kairos Fateweaver Review
- Ku'Gath the Plaguefather Review
- Bloodthirster Review
- Lord of Change Review
- Great Unclean One Review
- Keeper of Secrets Review
- Daemon Prince Review
- Skulltaker Review
- The Changling Review
- The Blue Scribes Review
- Epidemius Review
- The Masque Review
- Herald of Khorne Review
- Herald of Tzeentch Review
- Herald of Nurgle Review
- Herald of Slaanesh Review
- Exalted, Seeker, Hellflayer Chariots of Slaanesh Review
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch Review
- A Look Back and Final Chaos Codex Daemons Breakdown