Tzeentch is the Chaos God of magic and manipulation, the Changer of Ways.
While his daemons are the manifest will of Tzeentch, the multiple mortals that follow him live in secrecy and plot to destroy civilization from within.
Will you lead the Tzeentch Arcanites to war using your arsenal of subterfuges?
Thanks to Colin for provided some awesome images for the post. You can check out his own blog here.
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Background and Lore of the Tzeentch: Arcanites Warband
Tzeentch sits at the centre of the Crystal Labyrinth, an ever-changing fortress impossible to understand by a mortal mind.
Natural laws do not apply in the dominion of Tzeentch.
But it’s in the cities rebuilt by Sigmar that his mortal followers thrive.
The Arcanites are divided in several cults often even hidden from themselves, secretly plotting against each other and every other inhabitant, constantly in search of new secrets and magic artifacts.
They can live undetected by the other races thanks to their illusionary magic.
The Kairic Acolytes go to a great length to conceal their meetings where a Magister or a Kairic Adept would teach powerful spells or plot the next course of action.
The best Acolytes are blessed with boons like occult scrolls or Vulcarchs, magic-hunting carrion birds.
The Tzaangors are the more bestial side of the Arcanites. They come in multiple forms but always avian in shape and their elite, Skyfires and Enlightened, can be found riding Discs of Tzeentch.
Tzeentch has been particularly interested in Chamon, the Realm of Metal, and its ever-changing properties. The Bloodwind Spoil is close to the archway to Chamon and therefore heavily populated by Tzeentch followers.
Tzeentch Arcanite warbands called Covens have been occupying abandoned towers in the despoiled territory to perform their dark experiments and influence the warring warbands pitting them against each other.
But how do they play on the tabletop?
Let’s take a look at their fighters and bone-crunching abilities.
What changed in Warcry: Agents of Chaos Book for the Tzeentch Arcanites Warband?
Note: The new Warcry books released with Tome of Champions 2020 brought some changes in how Thralls, Monsters but especially Allies work. The roster of available leaders has been massively increased and it’s now possible to use more than one as a “Hero” (1 in matched play and up to 3 in a Narrative campaign).
Link to the 4 new books:
– Warcry: Sentinels of Order (all Order warbands updated)
– Warcry: Harbingers of Destruction (all Destruction warbands updated)
– Warcry: Agents of Chaos (all non-warcry specific Chaos warbands updated)
– Warcry: Bringers of Death (all death warbands updated)
In the Agents of Chaos book, Tzeentch Arcanites Covens saw their size swell to 25 options with 9 new fighters of which 8 are new leaders.
The new fighters are:
- Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch on Disc
- Tzaangor Shaman
- Magister on Disc of Tzeentch
- Ogroid Thaumaturge
- Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch
- Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch
- Kairic Acolyte with Paired Cursed Blades
The new abilities are: Locus of Sorcery, Brutal Rage, Warptongue Blade and Lord of Fate.
Master of Destiny increased its range to 12″.
Overview and Points for the fighters in the Tzeentch: Arcanites Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
- Magister on Disc of Tzeentch: 285 points
- Magister: 190 points
The Magisters of Tzeentch are powerful wizards on their own.
Their ranged profile is the same across many leaders of this warband: 3-10″ range, 2 Attacks, Strength 3 and 3/6 damage. Strength can be further upgraded with Locus of Sorcery, available to all Arcanite Coven leaders for a Double. It allows to add up to 3 to the Strength characteristic of the next ranged attack, but 2 attacks at higher Strength means more chances to do some damage.
The melee profile is also the same across many fighters: 4 Attacks at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage. Even this can be increased with Utter Words of Arcane Power, available to all fighters of the Arcanite Coven for a Double. It allows to add 1 to Attack and Strength of the next melee action, bringing attacks and Strength to 5 for these fighters.
Another ability available to all Leaders is Master of Destiny, that for a Triple enables to increase the value of all other abilities up to 6, now upgraded on a range of 12″. The concept is that you trade a high Triple improving all other abilities. It is extremely situational as if you have a high Triple you could just rather use it directly on other abilities.
Apart from this, the Magisters don’t have their own special ability. The one on Disc of Tzeentch can fly and move 10″, has 25 Wounds and Toughness 4.
The simple Magister has 22 Wounds, lower Toughness (3) and Movement (4″), but is also much cheaper.
Tzaangor Shaman: 285 points
The Tzaangor Shaman is identical to the Magister on Disc, except he is… a little more birdy…
And he has 30 Wounds, making him more resistant, especially with those juicy attacks in melee upgraded with Uttered Words of Arcane Power.
Ogroid Thaumaturge: 285 points
The Ogroid Thaumaturge is a bestial wizard, in the true sense of the word.
His ranged attack is the same as the Magisters, with the same Locus of Sorcery available.
His melee starts similar but then Strength increases to 5 and damage to 2/5. Furthermore, as soon as he gets 15 Wounds allocated (out of a total of 32), he can activate Brutal Rage for a Double to increase his melee attacks to 5, permanently for that battle.
It’s an interesting ability because the next turn he can be combined with Uttered Words of Arcane Power to get 6 Attacks at Strength 6!!!
Furthermore, you can heal back the Thaumaturge if required, without losing the bonus.
He is expensive but definitely a valid fighter to consider with Toughness 4 and 4″ Movement.
- Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch on Disc: 285 points
- Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch: 195 points
The Gaunt Summoners have the same ranged profile as the Magisters.
The one on Disc of Tzeentch has also the same melee profile, 10″ flying Movement and Toughness 4. He has however 28 wounds.
The normal Gaunt Summoner has a weaker melee profile with only 3 Attacks, same Strength (4) and less damage (1/4). He has also lower Toughness (3 versus the 4 on Disc), Wounds (22) and Movement (4″).
Both summoners have access to Warptongue Blade, that for a Triple allows to roll as many dice as the value of the ability and on 2-5 allocate 1 damage to an engaged enemy, 3 if you roll a 6. Statistically you have good chances to do some damage even on a low Triple.
Quick curiosity, if you are wondering why you can’t find the Summoner on Disc under the Tzeentch voice of the GW webstore, it’s because historically Gaunt Summoners have been bind by Archaon the Everchosen who discovered their daemon name, hence they can be found in the Slaves to Darkness pages.
Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch: 260 points
The Curseling has the same weapon profile of a Magister. The only difference is the increased damage on critical hit for the melee attacks (2/5).
An important difference because with Toughness 5 this becomes the most resistant fighter serving Tzeentch, complemented by 28 Wounds.
As all fighters in the warband Uttered Words of Arcane Power can increase his damage output, making him the best choice if you need a melee focussed leader.
Fatemaster: 250 points
The Fatemaster is the only new leader that has no ranged attack. His weapon profile is similar to the Curseling with the increased damage (2/5) but with the nice addition of the 2″ range that compensates with his lower Toughness (4) and Wounds (25).
He can also fly 10″, making him an interesting choice to consider despite his high cost.
Complements his profile the best supporting ability available to the Tzeentch Arcanite: Lord of Fate. For a Triple you add +1 to all melee attacks of friendly fighters within 9″.
Combined with Uttered Words of Arcane Power, some fighters can become powerful killing machines.
- Skyfire Aviarch: 280 points
- Tzaangor Skyfire: 235 points
Of the elite Tzaangors, the Skyfires are the most expensive and the one with the longest range, up to 20”.
Their bows have Strength 4 and damage 2-5 making them hard hitters.
Their melee attack is also above average, with 4 attacks at Strength 4 and damage 2-4. Add to this a flying movement of 10” and you have an extremely versatile model.
It will cost you a quarter of a warband in points but then with Toughness 4 and 20 wounds (30 for the Aviarch) they can survive for some time.
Their special ability, Guided by the Future, costs a Quad and works only against enemy units that have not been activated yet. You can then add up to 6 to the damage of hits and critical hits for the next attack action.
As a Quad is not a game-changer ability, you need to be in range (and with their movement that’s not a problem), you need to activate before your quarry and then you can do up to 28 damage with the Aviarch in melee assuming you roll only 6s.
However, with Strength 4 it also means that you have 50% chance against average Toughness to do no damage whatsoever and having 2 attacks ranged (3 with the Aviarch) or 4 in melee, statistically you can do up to 3 or 6 damages more than a normal attack round.
Uttered Words of Arcane Power for a Double probably represents a better option, allowing to add +1 Strength and Attack to the next melee attack.
Now you have these Tzaangors on 5 attacks at Strength 5 at least for one single round and it costs you only two dice.
- Englightened Aviarch on Disc of Tzeetch: 260 points
- Tzaangor Englightened on Disc of Tzeetch: 200 points
- Englightened Aviarch on Foot: 220 points
- Tzaangor Englightened on Foot: 150 points
The Enlightened are the other half of the Skyfire box and can come in 2 variants: flying on a Disc of Tzeentch 10” or on foot for 5” Movement.
They have only one weapon profile with range 2” and 4 attacks (5 the Aviarchs) at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage.
As all other Arcanites they have access to Uttered Words for a juicy +1 Attack and Strength, while the Aviarchs as all leaders can use Master of Destiny.
The Enlightened also have their own special ability: Guided by the Past that for a Triple behaves similarly to the Skyfire ability but you need to choose a miniature that already activated that turn.
Use with care because if your enemy is too close and you let it activate in order to use this ability, he could do some serious damage to the Enlightened with only Toughness 4 and 20 wounds (30 for the Aviarchs).
- Twistbray: 175 points
- Tzaangor with Savage Greatblade: 105 points
- Tzaangor Mutant: 90 points
- Tzaangor with Savage Blade and Arcanite Shield: 85 points
- Tzaangor with pair of Savage Blades: 75 points
The Tzaangors are the tough infantry of the Arcanites and come in different shapes and tastes.
The Twistbray is the leader option, and as the Aviarchs, he has access to Master of Destiny and not much else. 25 wounds but Toughness 4 grant him some survivability and he is cheaper than the other Aviarchs, but also less Attacks (3) at Strength 4 with same damage (2-4).
All other Tzaangors have 15 wounds and same movement as the Twistbray (5”).
The one armed with Savage Greatblade can do more damage on a critical (2/5) but loses 1 in Toughness (3). Same resistance also for the Mutant that has however 4 attacks at Strength 3 for damage 1/4.
The Mutant has his own special ability allowing him to roll up to 6 dice for a Double (Vicious Beak) and for every 4+ do 1 mortal wound to one single nearby enemy.
Another good use of a Double would be Uttered Words bringing him at 5 attacks at Strength 4.
The last 2 Tzaangor options trade Toughness for number of attacks: for 85 points you can have 2 attacks at Strength 3 but Toughness 4 (Blade and Shield) or for 75 points you can have 3 attacks, same strength but Toughness 3 (pair of Blades).
Tzaangors are slightly cheaper than Kairic Acolytes so it could be convenient to have a mix of them for some melee support leaving the Acolytes shooting from distance.
- Kairic Adept: 150 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Scroll of Dark Arts: 135 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Cursed Glaive and Arcanite Shield: 90 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Cursed Blade and Arcanite Shield: 85 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Paired Cursed Blades: 85 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Vulcarch: 70 points
The Acolytes also have different options available and that includes a leader: the Kairic Adept
Outside of the generic ability available to all Arcanites and Master of Destiny for all leaders, the Adept does not offer anything new outside of being the cheapest leader.
Acolytes ranged attack has 10” range for 2 attacks (3 for the Adept) at Strength 3 and damage 1-3.
In melee they differentiate a bit, with the Adept hitting at 2” range for 4 damage on critical hit. The Acolyte with Cursed Glaive has same melee weapon profile as the Adept.
The Acolyte with Cursed Blade loses 1” range and 1 damage on critical (1/3) to his melee attack but he is also 5 points cheaper than the Glaive (for 1 Attack more).
The Paired Cursed Blades trade Toughness (3) with more Attacks (4 with 1/3 damage).
Where things get interesting is with the Scroll of Dark Arts with the sorcerous bolt becoming 4 attacks at strength 4 for damage 2-4. His melee profile is the same as the Blade and Shield.
Finally, the cheapest unit of the warband is the one armed with Vulcarch. The bird allows him an interesting ability that for a Double prevents disengaging to one unit within 20”. No line of sight required either so in certain situations can be a life changer, and for a Double nonetheless.
The bird provides also an extra attack (3) to the melee profile of a fighter otherwise similar to the Blade and Shield.
On the other hand, the Vulcarch loses also 1 Toughness going down to 3, while the rest have 4 and 10 wounds (20 for the Adept).
As for the other fighters in this warband Acolytes can use Uttered Words, however they can only use it for their melee attack and with damage 1-3 on average (1-4 for Adept and Glaive) it would be best used on other fighters.
Abilities for the Tzeentch Arcanites Warcry Warband
- Uttered Words of Arcane Power (Double, Everyone): Add 1 to Attack and Strength of the next melee attack.
- Vulcharc (Double, Acolyte with Vulcarch): Pick an enemy fighter within 20” of this fighter, until the end of the battle round it cannot disengage.
- Vicious Beak (Double, Tzaangor Mutant): A change to do up to 6 damage on an engaged enemy.
- Locus of Sorcery (Double, all Leaders): Add up to 3 to the Strength of the next ranged attack action.
- Brutal Rage (Double, Ogroid Thaumaturge): If at least 15 Wounds have been allocated to this fighter, add +1 Attack permanently for melee attacks.
- Guided by the Past (Triple, all Tzaangors Enlightened): Add up to 3 to the damage of hits and critical hits for the next melee attack action targeting an enemy fighter that already activated this battle round.
- Master of Destiny (Triple, all Leaders): Add the value of this ability (to a maximum of 6) to any ability used by a fighter within 12” of the leader.
- Warptongue Blade (Triple, both Gaunt Summoners): A chance to do some damage depending on the value of the ability and dice roll on an engaged enemy.
- Lord of Fate (Triple, Fatemaster): Increase by 1 the melee attacks of friendly fighters within 9″.
- Guided by the Future (Quad, Tzaangors Skyfires): Add up to 3 to the damage of hits and critical hits for the next attack action targeting an enemy fighter that did not activate this battle round.
Strategy and Tactics for the Tzeentch Arcanites Warband
Tzeentch Arcanites present an average Toughness, more resilient than Tzeentch Daemons, but still no one able to withstand powerful attacks except the Curseling.
The Tzaangors on disc give the warband extreme mobility with 10” flying movement and the 20” range of the Skyfires; but even the infantry with movement between 5 and 4” have decent speed.
This warband has good ranged options, from the 20” of the Skyfires, the 10” of the Acolytes and most Leaders and the 2” of most Tzaangors, that allows them to soften the enemies before closing the gap and finish them at close distance.
The basic ability, Uttered Words of Arcane Power, for a Double can provide a bit more oomph to an attack sequence, increasing that Strength of 4 to an excellent 5 on most fighters and the Tzaangor Mutants can dish a bit of free damage for a Double as well (Vicious Beak).
Locus of Sorcery can increase the ranged attacks instead, but only of leaders, and you can rarely afford to have more than one.
Unfortunately, the abilities of particular interest end here as Master of Destiny needs to use an awful high amount of dice to pump the Tzaangor abilities up to 6 and the Guided abilities are really situational.
And the Triple value has to be high (at least a 5) to do statistical more damage of Uttered Words against Toughness 4 or greater. Against low Toughness is however much more efficient.
Guided by the Future requires a Quad because it does not have any range limitations and up to 7 damage on a 20” range is indeed quite powerful.
However, you have to rush to activate before your target or you will not be able to use the ability. In melee it has the same considerations as Guided by the Past where Uttered Words can statistically do more damage on a lower ability score.
And this leaves us with the last ability of the normal fighters: the Vulcarch.
If you failed an attack and you are worried your enemy will eventually disengage and run to take an objective, you can prevent it with the Vulcarch for a Double. Or force them to kill whatever they are engage with before changing position.
It can be really situational and most of the time you have enough range to dispose of your targets but considering this Acolyte is the cheapest unit in the warband it’s a useful addition.
Of the leaders, another ability noteworthy of mention is Lord of Fate of the Fatemaster, that increases of 1 the melee attacks of all friendly fighters within 9″. Further buffed with Utter Words and while hoping Tzeentch smiles on your dice, you can be in for a sweet treat.
The distribution of points between the elite options and the infantry allows you to have a warband around 7 to 8 models, allowing to out-manoeuvre most other warbands. Careful that the new leaders are however much more expensive.
This should be used at your advantage together with the mobility and the eventual use of the Tzaangor abilities.
Play for the objectives and keep the enemy at distance until you are ready to close the gap and finish the job, but go for the kill only if necessary, to avoid your average Toughness to be tested unnecessarily.
The Tzaangor Enlightened are good leader options, in particular the one on Disc, while a Skyfire is a heavy hitter with high wounds that can complement an army otherwise made of Tzaangors or Acolytes in various proportions.
Fatemaster, Ogroid Thamaturge and the Gaunt Summoners are also good options, while if you want a veritable tank, your best option is a Curseling.
Which one to use depends on personal preference, but a good mix allows to get the brute strength of Tzaangors (Mutants in first line) and the decent range of the Acolytes (keeping the Vulcarch in consideration also for his low cost).
Pros and Cons of the Tzeentch Arcanites Warband
+ Good ranged options
+ Versatile with high mobility
– No heavy hitters
– No powerful ability
Some thematic warbands for the Tzeentch Acanite Covens
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.
Power to the birds: Skyfire Aviarch, 2 Skyfires, 1 Tzaangor Mutant and 2 Tzaangor with pair of Savage Blades. Quack!
We don’t like birds: Curseling, Fatemaster, Acolyte with Scroll of Dark Arts, Acolyte with Vulcarch, Acolyte with Glaive and Shield and 2 Acolyte with Paired Cursed Blades for an almost entirely human warband.
For raw power try to mix a Curseling, an Ogroid Thaumaturge and few Tzaangors.
How to buy a Tzeentch Arcanites Warcry Warband
Note:all prices used are standard Games Workshop prices. It is possible to get the different things cheaper (check the links for prices).
The Tzeentch Arcanites can be found mostly in 3 boxes, unfortunately there is no Start Collecting or other discounted box available at this time.
If you still have Silver Tower (or can get it) you have a good starting point.
The first box for 25£ gives you 10 Tzaangors with plenty of assembly options, for example 1 Twistbray, 1 with Savage Greatblade, 2 Mutants and 3 each with pair of blades or blade and shield.
The second box would be the Tzaangor Enlightened that contains 3 miniatures (25£). From this box you can assemble Enlightened on foot, on disc or Skyfires.
With a bit of expertise, you can magnetize the Enlightened to be able to use them on disc or on foot as you prefer. However, if you want both leader options, the Aviarchs, you will need to buy at least 2 boxes.
The last box is the Kairic Acolytes with 20 miniatures for 30£, giving you plenty of options to assemble an entire army of Acolytes.
The new heroes added to the Arcanite Covens are all available in individual blisters:
- Magister for £10
- Magister on Disc of Tzeentch for £23.5
- Ogroid Thaumaturge for £25
- Tzaangor Shaman for £20
- Gaunt Summoner for £17.5
- Gaunt Summoner on Disc of Tzeentch can be found in the Slaves to Darkness section (£24)
- Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch for £15
- Fatemaster for £25
On a side note the Warhammer Underworld warband (15£) contains 470 points of miniatures if Vortemis is used as a Magister, completing the roster a Tzaangor with Greatblade and 2 other Acolytes.
Could be an interesting option for some alternative models or to start a Tzeentch Arcanite warband maybe integrating with an Enlightened box.
Tips on painting a Tzeentch Arcanites Warband for Warcry
Do you have an awesome Arcanites Warband?
Then I really want to display them here.
Tzeentch is one of the most well-known of the Chaos Gods and is present in a variety of games from Games Workshop making easier to find tutorials online of all types.
Acolytes and Tzaangors were also available in the game Silver Tower (of the Warhammer Quest series) so it’s possible to find multiple guides online.
Unfortunately these miniatures are not an amazing fit for the Contrast paints because of all the details but you can find in-depths guides for particular portion of the miniature like the Discs or the Vulcarch.