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i have been having the toughest time picking between these two armies. i love the fluff for both of them. i just don't know how the two armies play. so could someone tell me the strength and weaknesses of these two armies, what the customary tactics are with each? thank you very much!
You get to pick between 2 of the toughest, stoutest armies in 40K.
First, is there anything particular that you're wanting to do with your army? Do you like painting ooze & sludge, or crisp lines and bolts of energy? Do you like infiltrate, special weapons? Do you like psychic powers? Ok...enough.
Advantages of Nurgle: Plague Marines are probably the most well-rounded marine in the game. Tru grit gives them a bite at both ranged and c.c.. The +1 toughness aids in both ranged and c.c.. They are a slow army that takes advantage of infiltration and special weapons. They have little support when it comes to long-ranged fire power, except for preds, dreads, defilers, and landraiders. Their daemons (like their marines) are decent in all scenarios, but for most players, they leave something to be desired. Oh, and they are extremely fun to convert and paint.
Advantage of Tzeentch: Thousand Sons marines are the most durable basic troop model in the game- bar none; but with this staying power comes enormous drawbacks. They are also the slowest army in the game, have limited weapon options, and cannot take veteran skills on their base troops. However, Thousand Sons marines can move and shoot at the full 24" range of the bolters. Their aspiring champions take full advantage of Tzeentch Psychic powers, and provides both tank and swarm stopping potential in every basic troop squad. Due to their slow nature, most T.S. armies will from time to time make use of rhinos. Thousand Sons, like Death Guard, are very limited on their long-range support. Preds, dreads, defilers, & land raiders are their only options. As far as their daemons go, they, like their marines, are expensive. Most players avoid them, but the daemons are very capable of decimating swarm units.
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edit: posted at the same time as rabbit
okay, I've been playing tzeentch for almost/about 3 years now, but i'm not particularly well versed in nurgle, so here goes.
Tzeentch/ 1000 sons, is a typically slow army, as they always move as though in difficult terrain. 1ksons are expensive troops, but as such, their staying power is comparable only to necrons, (as 1ksons have 2 wounds). Seeing as they are slow, rhino's are your friends.
Your other troops are flamers (I'm going to ignore horrors because they SUCK) these are NOT to be used as rank and file they are just too fragile to use as such, I use these basically to get rid of masses of medium armored CC specialists (examples, genestealers, eldar aspect warriors) as they are basically troops with doombolt.
your other good friends are psychic powers. as your basic troops are unupgradable, the duty of CC specialist and heavy/special weapons falls to the aspiring champions. in other words, in other legions, the aspiring champs are there to help the rest of the squad in close combat, and provide support. In a 1ksons army, the rubric marines are there to protect the aspiring champ (AC), so don't feel bad about spending 100+ points on one, (just make sure that all the upgrades are useful).
another thing that 1ksons is a little short on is anti-tank. the easiest remedy is typically with tanks. the general consensus is that a predetor with 1 autocannon, 2 lascannons, and demonic possession is the best layout.
HQ choices for 1ksons are often used for support as opposed say, a khornate lord, that goes around and wrecks your opponent's army. typically, you only need an LT or two that run around with your marines and fire off Bolts of Change. One layout that I personally like is using a greater demon, and have a LT follow the squad with the demonvessel around, and when the demon comes out, you still have a character with the squad of rubrics to replace the AC (don't spend a lot of points on that one!!)
there arent very many options available to 1ksons, but it is a rewarding army to play well, and even though the troops are very resilliant, it is still a challenging army to play competetively.
I wish you the best of luck, and hope my information is helpful.
A couple more things:
Thousand Sons typically have plenty of tank busters, what, with the Bolt of Change psi power. What they're missing is long-ranged tank busters. Just saying.
Against most weapons, the Thousand Sons marine is the most durable basic troops, following by the Necron Warrior, followed by the Plague Marine. Actually, in most scenarios, the Plague Marine is just the slightest bit less durable than the Necron Warrior.
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this is exactly the kind of info i was hoping to get, thank you. right now i think i am leaning torwards nurgle. there seems to be a lot more conversion possibilites, but keep the info coming! are there any exceptionaly good battle reports you would recommend?
Have you thought about playing a Black Legion army with a Nurgle emphasis? OR, a B.L. army with a Tzeentch emphasis. On a personal note, I've had the most success out of all my chaos games with a B.L. army with Nurgle emphasis. Oh, and I used to be a Death Guard player, but have since been spoiled by the Black Legion variety.
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i havn't really thought about it much before. what are the advantages to being a black legion army with nurgle emphasis? if i plan on attending tournaments, would it be worth it to go the black legion route? i don't know, i am a rather fluffy player and like the idea of a choas army completly devoting themselves to a single god. though i am open to other options.
I completely understand the desire to have your army devoted to one god. I was that way once, now I'm a pagan (in game comment of course).
Advantages to Black Legions: There are just so many...where to start. For one thing, the main benefit of going B.L. is the access to the entire chaos codex (save for those things that are limited strictly to one army, such as the basilisk for Iron Warriors and the likes).
B.L. can use any mark and any daemon, and believe me, this is a serious advantage. They can use non-marked marines or marines marked with the MoCU (mark of chaos undivided), rather than one of the cult markes (i.e., Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, Tzeentch). This significantly reduces the cost of your ranged support units. For instance:
6man chaos marine squad with infiltration & 2 plasma guns (no mark or MoCU)
For you, especially, going B.L. opens up the option to take heavy weapons, as neither Death Guard nor Thousand Sons can take them in their troop squads. This means that you can take an 8man havoc squad with 4 autocannons & tank hunter, as your primary tank-busting unit. This squad has excellent range.
You also have access to obliterators, which are one of the best options available to chaos players (I would say the best option in fact). General rule of thumb is to take 1 obliterator per 500 points of your army, that is, if your army has access to them.
What does all this mean for you? Basically, you can field either Plague Marines or Thousand Sons Marines as your basic infantry, and then use obliterators and heavy weapon havoc squads for your long range support. Your h.q. should be devoted towards the same god as your troop, in order to preserve the marked marines as troop options (all of this is outlined in the chaos codex under the Black Legion guidelines).
I think I'll need to say a bit more on this subject, but I have to go finish making coffee. I'll come back later with my caffine inflated brain, and well talk some more.
Oh, and yes, this army is highly competitive. In my opinion, Black Legion, along with Alpha Legion & Iron Warriors are the top 3 most competitive chaos armies (take this with a grain of salt).
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My army is not really devoted to one god. I have nurgle termies (5 toughness on a 2+/5+ is to good to ignore, and i can get heavy weapons) with a few token plague marines to soak up fire (they are chosen all of them because theyd be elites anyways) I have a horror/flamer squad because the fire the can put out is astounding, (they horrors are there to soak up wounds from instability and the like)
so if you cant choose which way to go, you can get both. nurgle tend to die quickly as there arnt evnough of them (APCs are a good choice here), while tzeentch's warriors seem to have more numbers then your ork opponent cuz each guy has 2 wounds. that being said, nurgle can get special weapons, and tzeentch gets free sorcerers. combine them, and you get an army that can survive horrendous amounts of heavy firepower (i play against guard and necrons frequently so i have to make my armies solid), while dishing out a fair amount.
the key is to have your army mesh together, because while regular marines are very flexible, cult marines are not. so get some on either side and support it with a solid base of undivided marines (this way your opponent dosnt know where daemons are gonna pop up from) and tanks, for something that cant be killed, even with 2000 flashlights (damn conscripts)