Thursday, 1 November 2012

Chaos In Focus: Chaos Sorcerers

It just stood there: the 'great enemy'. He wore crimson robes, donned over bladed blue armour, lined in gold. It was a sight both resplendent and repulsive. I rose my plasma gun to take him down, but he just smiled. I froze, then looked down at my gun; I was aiming it at my commanding officer, square in the back. I looked back at the sorcerer; my eyes pleading, his eyes laughing at me. It was then I herd the plasma discharge and felt the gun's heat upon my face...

-Scrawlings of an unknown soldier, found underneath the bound skeleton of a man found within the trench system of Solandus Prime. . 

The sorcerer; a scheming, treacherous being who draws upon the warp to wreak havoc upon the battlefield. With Codex: Chaos Space Marines Sixth Edition, the Sorcerer has noticeably changed, as has the way we can use them.

First off, we see a significant points reduction, down from 100 points for a plain Sorcerer, to 60 points. However, they have lost some of their former skill and resilience; sorcerers are down one wound, one ballistic skill point, one initiative and one attack. They also begin at Mastery Level One, with access to Biomancy, Pyromancy and Telepathy.

War gear and options is where Sorcerer's can show off their potential. As well as the previous 'terminator armour' and 'jump pack' choices, Sorcerers now have access to various artefacts, daemon weapons, and importantly, more ranged/close combat gear.

A number of choices can boost your sorcerer's resilience and combat prowess. The gift of mutation, whilst random, can be a fun little bonus for your sorcerer, and could improve toughness, attacks, grand feel no pain, and so on. As well as this, Sorcerers have the ability to take a 3+ invulnerable save (by combining a Mark of Tzeentch with a Sigil of corruption). A combat familiar also helps in combat situations, by granting further attacks.

You may also want to consider daemonic mounts. For example, a Disc of Tzeentch counts as a jet-bike, meaning +1 toughness, whilst a Palanquin of Nurgle gives two extra wounds, amongst other things.

Access to new weapons is where I have been having fun. Those who are familiar with my exploits will know I have been experimenting with a Power Fist-equipped Pyromancer Sorcerer. I swapped out the bolt pistol, since I mainly use shooting powers rather than firing the pistol, and it lets me keep my Force Sword, in case I want to strike my foe at initiative four, which is more useful in challenges.

The Power fist really helps in combat against tougher units such as walkers; in the previous edition, we had to trust the often low-success rate of the Meltabomb against walkers, and would struggle with monstrous creatures. When combined with Fiery Form, you have the destructive power of a Strength ten sorcerer, which scares even the toughest armour in the game.

In terms of psychic potential, Sorcerers are much better off than before. With the ability to reach Mastery Level Three, Chaos Space Marines have the best non-character sorcerers in the game, and as a result come with a higher chance of getting the powers you want, and more variety in powers.

 Also, with access to items such as the spell familiar, the chances of 'perils attacks' are greatly reduced. The Scrolls of Magnus is an interesting artefact too. It allows you to randomly roll a power from a random discipline, giving a chance of accessing other disciplines not normally available. It does come at a price, however, so players should be careful when using it. It is also Tzeentch exclusive.

So overall, we have a more variable, if slightly more fragile, unit, which has amazing potential in-game. Next time the Sorcerer is analysed, I will be looking at its tactical uses, and how players can get the most out of them, with different advice depending on their chaos God.

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