Comparing Tzaangors to Bloodletters

Tactics, March 07, 2018

Think Bloodletter bombs are good? You bet they are, but Tzeentch has some new toys out with the Thousand Sons Codex. We’re talking Tzaangor Bombs!

The Bloodletter Bomb

Since the release of Codex: Chaos Daemons, Bloodletters have been found in just about every list. They feature a very straight forward strategy:

Going a bit further, you take a Bloodmaster with them for another Command Point and you’ve boosted their ability to wound.

Topping it all off, for 3 more Command Points, those Bloodletters get to fight again using Frenetic Bloodlust.

Upgraded Tzaangors

Recently, Tzaangors have gotten a huge boon with the release of Codex: Thousand Sons. They probably could have called it Codex: Tzaangors, because thats how much love they got. Here’s how they stack up against Bloodletters, when taken in a squad of 30.

Hits on Strength Attacks AP Save Wounds
Tzaangor w/ Blades3+42-15++1


When we look at these two units side-by-side, there are some simple differences between them. These numbers are calculated against you’re standard T4/3+ save Space Marines.

Without a doubt, on the first round of attacks, Bloodletters hit hard! Bloodletters get that nasty +1 to Strength and Attacks on their first round of fighting after charging or being charged.

So, in terms of dishing out the death, Bloodletters rule the day. Over 100% more efficient than Tzaangors against your standard Marines and, when you consider they can wound on 3’s against even T5 enemies (with Bloodmaster), you’re talking about an entirely different level of output.

Charging Percentages

But what about factoring in things like their ability to get into combat the same turn they arrive? Or bonuses being applied from powers like Prescience?

Let’s start without any buffs:

Amazing what just adding 1D6 to your pool does to improve your odds. However, Tzaangors have the Heretic Astartes keyword, which means they can be targeted by Warptime. This means we could bring a sorcerer along to Warptime those Tzaangors in, how does that improve our chances?

Here’s what the combined chances look like

Chance to Cast Chance to Charge if successful Combined
No Bonus72%97%70%

Which pretty much proves that if you want to run that Tzaangor Bomb, you need to bring some Warptime with you. Otherwise, you’re more likely to have those beastmen just standing there to be fired at - not good!

Which Sorcerer To Bring?

Here’s where things get a bit interesting from a choice standpoint.

Cost Re-Roll 1s Aura? Max Bonus to Cast Cost to Deepstrike
Sorcerer104 PtsNo+1-2 Command Points
Jump Pack Sorcerer128 PtsNo+1-
Terminator Sorcerer w/ Familiar140 PtsNo+2-
Exalted Sorcerer121 PtsYes+1-2 Command Points

The big question really becomes: do you take the Terminator Sorcerer or the Exalted Sorcerer? So, what is the effect of having the Exalted Sorcerer’s aura on the Tzaangors?

Out of an entire squad of 30 Tzaangors, each swinging with 2 attacks, these bonuses only yield 1 and 2 extra wounds on average respectively. Prescience has the better results of the two, even if you take an unrealistic 30 models with the aura.

Which leads me to believe that the better option here is to take the Terminator Sorcerer with a Familiar but without the Warlord trait (use it on something else, like a Daemon Prince). We save 2 command points and still maintain a hefty 83% chance to pull warptime off. Let’s not forget that we also have that Command Re-roll and Cabilistic Focus as options to us if the situation presents itself.

Also worth pointing out is the massive boost we get from throwing Veterans of the Long War onto the pile as well, boosting our hits and wounds even if we decide to fight a second time.

Command Points

One other thing to compare between the Tzaangor Bomb and the Bloodletter Bomb is what it costs to pull this maneuver off. This is where I think Tzaangors really shine. These numbers also assume you’re taking advantage of the Cycle of Slaughter and Frenetic Bloodlust stratagems to have your units fight a second time. Wounds are calculated for after saves (3+) and assuming all units survived the counter attack.

Point Cost Command Points Get Into Combat First Round Wounds Second Round Wounds
Tzaangors w/ Jump Pack Sorcerer & Prescience, Veterans of the Long War348pts482%16.933.8
Bloodletters w/ Bloodmaster291pts790%28.657.4

While the Bloodletters and Bloodmaster combination are significantly cheaper, you’re looking at triple the command points needed to pull it off. Still, we’re left trailing when it comes to sheer output and effectiveness in Tzaangor land.

Weaver of Fates

Also, one other option for thought here. As our stats above show, Prescience and our Re-roll 1’s aura only give us a marginal improvement on the total wounds that end up sticking (2). However, if we know our goal is going to be to swing again with Cycle of Slaughter, we can improve the invulnerable save to 4++ on the Tzaangors, which should have the effect of reducing wounds taken by 50% (again, on average). This means we have a greater likelihood of having more Tzaangors survive and, as a result, more wounds applied.


Tzaangors are pretty awesome, and it’s interesting to see how these fare after a round of counter attacks. On one hand, Tzaangors are an excellent choice to cut through hordes of infantry and marines. On the other hand, Bloodletters have the versatility to remain effective against higher-armor units such as vehicles.

So, if you plan to run a Tzaangor Bomb, here’s what gives you the best efficiency:

Updated: 3/8/2017

Thanks to support from /r/ThousandSons, I’ve revised some of the stats and errors made in the original posting.