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?
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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.
But how do they play on the tabletop?
Let’s take a look at their fighters and bone-crunching abilities.
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
- Tzaangor 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 the value of this ability, rounded up, 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.
Now, you could combine this ability with the Aviarch ability, Master of Destiny, shared also by all other leaders, and for a Triple you could add the value of the leader’s ability to the roll of the Quad to ensure you can add up to 6 damage to a normal hit for “only” 7 dice…
In case you are considering it, don’t, instead if you are struggling go melee and use Uttered Words of Arcane Power for a Double.
This ability allows you to add +1 Strength and Attack to the next melee attack (range less than 3”).
Now you have these Tzaangors on 5 attacks at Strength 5 at least for one single round and it costs you only 2 dice instead of 7!
- Tzaangor Englightened on Disc of Tzeetch Aviarch: 260 points
- Tzaangor Englightened on Disc of Tzeetch: 200 points
- Tzaangor Englightened Aviarch: 220 points
- Tzaangor Englightened: 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 walking 5”.
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.
This ability is so circumstantial (you’ll need at the very least another low Double for the Mutants) that is probably better to forgot it and rely on more Uttered Words.
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).
- Tzaangor 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 as many dice as the value of the 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 or for 75 points you can have 3 attacks, same strength but Toughness 3.
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: 90 points
- Kairic Acolyte with Cursed Blade and Arcanite Shield: 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 is range 3-10” 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 weapon profile as the Adept minus one attack ranged (2).
The Acolyte with Cursed Blade and Arcanite Shield loses 1” range to his melee attack but he is also 5 points cheaper than the Glaive.
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 of one unit within 20” of the Acolyte. 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 attack for this fighter with range 3” or less.
- 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): Roll as many dice as the value of the ability, for each 4+ do 1 damage to a single enemy within 1”.
- Guided by the Past (Triple, all Tzaangors Enlightened): Add half the value of this ability (rounded up) to the damage of hits and critical hits for the next attack action with range 3” or less targeting an enemy fighter that already activated this battle round.
- Master of Destiny (Triple, all Leaders): Until the end of the battle round add the value of this ability (to a maximum of 6) to any ability used by a fighter within 6” of the leader.
- Guided by the Future (Quad, Tzaangors Skyfires): Add half the value of this ability (rounded up) 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.
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 the 2” of most other 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).
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.
Guided by the Past expects the enemy to be in range (2” or 7/12” if the first action is a move) and already activated this round meaning that potentially already hit your model.
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, 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 attack an Acolyte to change 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
On a side note the Warhammer Underworld warband (15£) contains 430 points of miniatures if Vortemis is used as a Kairic Adept, 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.