GW Broke Age of Sigmar with Disciples of Tzeentch (sorry)

tzeentch broken AoSApparently it’s not just 40k that’s suffering from rules creep anymore. Check out how GW broke AoS with the latest Disciples of Tzeentch book.

Today I want to gripe about GW and complain that they broke Age of Sigmar with the latest Disciples of Tzeentch book. Power creep is bound to happen and I get that, but what they did with that book was write some rules, seemingly didn’t playtest it at all, and then decide what’s the best way to make this game not fun. Enter the pink horrors.

Disciples of Tzeentch (2020)

Pink Horrors

Let me start by saying Tzeentch is an army I have been playing since Age of Sigmar came out, I bought a used craigslist army and used them for a long time. Tzeentch is by far my favorite chaos god and I think some of the lore surrounding his followers is the most interesting. Not to mention the greater daemons look amazing. However, even playing them I will not support the no-thought process or apparent lack of playtesting they did with the rules in this book. I was hoping the FAQ would address it as well but apart from some minor nerfs it is still stupidly broken and ruins friendships, marriages, (ok that is getting carried away), and what are otherwise fantastic games of Sigmar.

Let’s look at the root of the problem: Pink Horrors

Horrors of Tzeentch: Move 5”, 6+ Save, 10 Bravery, 1 Wound.

They have a missile weapon: Range 12”, 3 down to 1 attacks (more on this later), hitting on a 5+ (4+ when this unit has 20 or more). Wounding on a 4+, for 1 damage. Then a melee attack range 1”, damage table attacks (1 up to 2), hitting on a 5+, wounding on a 4+, for 1 damage. This unit ignores wounds and morals wounds on a 6+, also it contains a leader (+1 attack), 1 in 10 can be a hornblower (re-roll enemy battleshock tests of 1 if within 6”), and 1 in 10 can be icon bearer (If you roll a 1 for battleshock return D6 slain horrors of Tzeentch and no models will flee). This unit is a wizard when it has more than 9 pink horrors and you can add 1 to its casting roll if wholly within 12” of friendly Tzeentch daemon hero. They have a unique spell that is cast on a 6+ adding 1 o hit rolls for attacks made by them.

200 Points for 10, max unit size is 20, and is battleline. Expensive and seem to not be great but here is the kicker and this is where they get stupid.

When a pink horror dies, replace it with 2 blue horrors, then when a blue horror dies, replace it with a brimstone horror. They all have the same stats (minus the damage table attacks), and you must kill off a pink horror before killing a blue horror and then kill blue horror before killing brimstone.

This is such a bad idea for a variety of reasons so I will make a list.

  1. For a 200 point battleline unit your essentially getting 50 wounds of models with a 6+ shrug that you can bring models back to. If you make them 20 models that is 100 wounds worth of models you can bring models back into.
  2. If you roll a 1 in the battleshock phase (or use a destiny dice) you receive a free D6 pink horrors back, giving you an additional 5-30 wounds…. EVERY BATTLE SHOCK PHASE. (Edit: GW re-FAQed this the day after this article went live)
  3. There is a spell you can cast to return an additional D6 Pink Horrors to a unit that goes off on a 7. Sure if you roll a 1 the unit is destroyed but the gain far outweighs the risk.
  4. If you take the Tzeentch army not only will they have to chew through 100+ wounds of models, but you can turn one teleport and charge this unit and prevent them from retreating.
  5. You can potentially give them rend making them even better.

pink-horror hor daemon chaos

Disciples of Tzeentch Changehost:

Consists of 1 Lord of Change and 8 of the following (Horror Heroes, Exalted Flamers, Horrors, Flamers, Screamers, Burning Chariots). At the start of your phase, your Lord of Change can pick 1 (down from 2 it started with) and set them up anywhere on the battlefield more than 9” from enemy units.

Which it then gets better when you select the host duplicitous army you gain the following abilities:

  • Enemy units within 3” of a unit cannot retreat.
  • When a unit is destroyed once per battle you can burn a CP and roll a dice, on a 5+ return that unit to the battlefield… If they somehow managed to burn through 100 plus wounds on one of your horror units you can bring the entire thing back on a 5+.
  • Re-roll casting rolls for friendly deamon wizards while within 9” of general
  • Add 1 to save rolls for artifact bearer.

Follow me here, you take your one drop army and set it up granting you first turn. Then you teleport the unit of 20 pink horrors within 9” of the enemy army. Using your disciple dice, you guarantee the charge so that they get into combat and your opponent cannot move away from them until they chew through 100 + wounds of models.

This doesn’t even investigate the flamers’ teleport list with -1 rend where they can basically one shoot half an opponent’s army off the board. (Another list that I can’t believe they didn’t playtest). And oh yea flamers become a battleline.

Let’s build this list:

Hosts Duplicitous Disciples of Tzeentch:

  • Lord of Change (general) – 380 points leader 1 of 6
  • Changecaster – 110 Points leader 2 of 6
  • Changeling – 120 Points leader 3 of 6
  • Blue Scribes – 120 points leader 4 of 6
  • 20 Pink Horrors – 400 Points Battleline 1 of 3
  • 10 Pink Horrors – 200 Points Battleline 2 of 3
  • 10 Pink Horrors – 200 Points Battleline 3 of 3
  • 3 Screamers – 80 Points
  • 3 Screamers – 80 Points
  • Changehost – 180 Points Battalion
  • 130 Points in endless spells.

A battle will go as follows: you drop everyone down in one drop, your opponent then deploys their army. You take the first turn teleport 20 pink horrors somewhere get the free change with disciple dice and wham bam you have 100+ wound unit tying up whatever you want because your opponent cannot retreat. You then take all the middle ground objectives for at least 2 turns because nobody can chew through 100 wounds that regenerate models and have a 6+ shrug. You win, happy fun times….


If you made it this far thank you for following my rant, I have never been disappointed in GW rules like this. While some armies are more powerful than others (Hallowheart, Flesh Eaters, etc.) there has never been an army where if it was going against someone and I saw it I would just pack my stuff up. It’s not fun to play against which completely ruins the game for the other person. GW had a chance to address this in the FAQ and they dropped the ball, if I was organizing a tournament, I would seriously consider outlawing both the host duplicitous and eternal conflagration covens from the tournament and potentially outlaw pink horrors all together.

It would just ruin it for everyone, and we saw that happen at Warhammer World a couple of weeks ago when the only armies able to beat a changehost is another changehost and that is stupid.


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About the Author: Travis Perkins

An avid homebrewer and Detroit sports fan (yes even the Lions). I am new to the world of wargamming and very much enjoying the journey. If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to comment on the article or email me at perki116@msu.edu
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