Tuesday, 6 November 2012

40k tactics: Chaos Sorcerers

Last week, the data daemons were hard at work compiling an analysis of the new Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer, and looked at how it has changed in the new codex.

Today, I'll be looking at the in-game use of the sorcerer, and will be offering some advice which you may want to consider. Feel free to comment afterwards with any combinations/war gear that works for you.


With access to Biomancy, Pyromancy and Telepathy, as well as the chaos powers, the Chaos Sorcerer has the chance to take an offensive or defensive role. With higher mastery levels, you will have more choice, but generally certain disciplines will have a key focus. For example, a biomancer is more of a unit/personal buffer, whilst a pyro sorcerer will take a more offensive role.

Depending on what you want from the sorcerer, go with the discipline that will flow with your style. Using the Scrolls of Magnus is perhaps risky on a two wound model, but it does give you access to all the disciplines, if you're lucky, so maybe it's an additional avenue to test.

A spell familiar seems to be one of those 'no-brainer' options; something that makes successful rolls more likely, and perils attacks less so, can only be a good thing. It is a definite piece of war gear for higher-mastery sorcerer's, who are more likely to suffer from perils of the warp attacks as more powers are cast.

Keep protected.

With only two wounds, sorcerers are much more vulnerable. Consider joining him with a unit, and keep a number of models in front; with 'closest models removed' being part of 6th edition, you don't want to loose your sorcerer due to careless positioning. It's better to loose an inch or two of power range than to risk getting killed.

Also consider Terminator Armour or the mark of tzeentch, to give a better save, or a bike to increase toughness. Nurgle players might want to think about the palanquin, to double the sorcerer's wounds; but be careful about the very bulky rule, which may affect transportation.  For players without the points to spare, sticking to units and cover should be enough to help.

Fighting in combat
Generally, a sorcerer has a good set of standard war gear; the force weapon is a nice item which can spell the end for multi wound characters. For tougher enemies, such as walkers and monstrous creatures, consider taking meltabombs, or a power fist (chainfists are an option for Terminator Armoured sorcerers). A plasma pistol is also an option if you're wanting some ranged punch, but there is a chance you could roll a high strength power like Molten Beam or Bolt of Change.

My ideas
Here are a few ideas I have for different sorcerer combinations, in-keeping with themes, and how I'd use them. Feel free to test them out and let me know how they work out, or offer some other ideas in the comments bar:

The Pyro-cannon
Sorcerer: Mark of Tzeentch, Mastery level Two, Power Fist, Force Sword, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, Gift of Mutation. (Pyromancy)

This combo is one I have used with much success against vehicles and characters; the Power fist (often combined with Fiery Form) spells death for vehicles, whilst the Force Sword lets me strike at my normal initiative in challenges. his 3+ invulnerable save helps against any nasty power weapons, and the boon can offer a nice little boost to his statistics.

The Fat Bloke in a Deck-Chair

Sorcerer: Mark of Nurgle, Mastery level two, Burning Brand of Skalathrax, Force Axe, Palanquin of Nurgle, Aura of Dark Glory, Melta Bombs. (Biomancy)

For a Nurgle sorcerer, I feel that this could be an entertaining and effective unit. With four wounds and toughness five, the enemy will have a much harder time killing you off, and can only insta-kill him with Strength ten or force weapons. The bio/plague powers will be helpful in boosting your already tough units, as well as weakening the foe before the charge. The Burning Brand will be very effective against power armour, and theme wise, could be represented with a plague-spewing cannon or bad breath...

The speed daemon
A variant speed-daemon (right) in combat with a rival lord of chaos...
Sorcerer: Mark of Slaanesh, Mastery level two, bike, Force Sword, bolt pistol, combat familiar, Ichor blood, gift of Mutation. (Telepathy)

This Slaanesh sorcerer represents everything the god of excess values: speed, drugs and noise. His powers will, hopefully, boost your units whilst messing with the heads of the enemy. His high initiative will be useful in challenges, as will the extra attacks of his combat familiar. Ichor blood can help turn the tide in combat with its AP of two, especially against one wound models. The bike will get him into combat fast, and will give added protection. A jump pack is another option, if you wanted to join some Raptors/Warp Talons or deep-strike.

I hope this article was useful to you, and that you will now start hexing the enemy with your chaotic shamans and evil psykers.

(nurgle icon image property of GW, all rights reserved)


  1. sorry i keep seeing this everywhere, ichor blood ap 2.. in codex it says its ap 4 where is the ammendment for this?

    1. Hi there,

      Sorry, I couldn't find anything about it being AP2 in the current errata in the GW FAQ page.