The battle against my sleep pattern continues, and thus more Thousand Sons warbands are being rolled!
My next Champion will also be Mighty, but this time I’ve opted for a Beastman – a brutal native of the Planet of the Sorcerers who’ll act as chieftain for any disposable Tzaangor I end up taking. Hopefully he’ll get a nice big retinue and put lots of T4 W2 bullet catchers on the board.
Once again, I end up with a fairly mediocre starting profile: a level 5 Hero. Being a Beastman, he has a chance of starting with Chaos Attributes (although he doesn’t get any); he also starts with two rolls on the Followers table, since he must have come from a tribe somewhere.
My first group? Seven Tzaangor with two Chaos Attributes, and they got Weapon Master (for bonus Weapon Skill) and Long Legs – better at fighting and quicker at getting in there. Tzeentch be praised!
The second group are a bit less spectacular; two ordinary Beastmen with bows and only one Attribute, which turns out to be Limb Loss. This is one of the fiddly ones, but in practical terms it means they’ll have the combat prowess of exactly one Beastman between them. Goodness knows how they fire their bows – maybe one of them holds it and the other one nocks and pulls?
My Champion’s Mark of Tzeentch results in a magical Parrying Blade (not going to say no to that) and two Chaos Attributes. The first one’s Regeneration, which is pretty good and compensates for his lack of armour; the second one’s Crossbreed, which starts off a flurry of rolling on subtables and counting on fingers to determine exactly which bits of him originate with which creatures. He ends up being half-Beastman, half Cold One – the head is pure Beastman, the upper body and upper limbs are a weird composite, and the lower bdy and legs are pure Cold One. Given the birdlike appearance of the Tzaangor, being half lizard isn’t entirely mental, and it’s not hard to imagine that he merged with his steed when he first acquired the attention of the Changer of Ways. In terms of characteristics, I have to average out the two profiles; this means he’s faster than the average Beastman, no longer quite as skillful in combat, but significantly braver and more strong-willed. He’ll also inherit some of the Cold One’s special rules – I forget exactly what they are in this edition, but it’s usually some combination of stupidity, scaly skin and a repulsive smell.
As a Mighty Champion he has d4+4 further rewards: I rolled five, which means I can make another three rolls on the Followers table.
The Rewards turn out to be a bit of a giggle. Firstly, Blood Substitution: apparently my Beastman Champion has Leeches in his blood, which results in a complicated on-hit procedure for dousing melee opponents in d6 S1 hits per turn until the leeches have had enough. Secondly, Frenzy, which is passed on to every Follower he has so far as well. Thirdly, a beak – quite appropriate for a Tzaangor, and nets him an extra attack. Fourthly, a tail, which doesn’t do anything but completes his Cold One hybrid body. Finally, Manikin – which scared me for a minute until I realised it’s the one where a miniature version of himself is growing out of his face.
The final profile looks a little bit like this:
Meanwhile, the first Followers roll produces another Beastman Hero. This one’s a 15, and so technically outclasses my Champion (that’s awkward). Perhaps he’s my Champion’s father – the power behind the throne, who dedicated his mutant offspring to Tzeentch and ‘advises’ the tribe without putting himself in harm’s way? He comes with d6+2 Attributes, but I end up with only 3. Blood Rage is a T bonus and situational frenzy – for tidiness’ sake I might be tempted to pass along the frenzy from the Champion instead, although I like the idea that this older, wiser Beastman can keep his cool slightly better than his brain-dead half-lizard offspring. His other two are Cloven Hooves – utterly valueless on a Beastman – and Tentacles, replacing his left arm.
The last two sets of Followers are more straightforward; another batch of 8 Tzaangors (with Hideous Appearance this time, so they cause fear), and 3 Minotaurs who end up with 3 Attributes: +2 I (nice), a Silly Walk (not so nice) and stupidity, clearly trying to imitate their leader’s reptilian stride. There are a lot of subtle ties between the units here – the bloodgreed on the Minotaurs is reminiscent of the Blood Rage reward on the Follower Hero, for one thing – and it does feel like they’re all one tribe of various-sized Chaotic nasties.