Lets Kill Shining Spears

Tactics, March 26, 2018

Alright so, it’s kind of random to just pick out Shining Spears but they represent a really tough target for Thousand Sons to take on. I’ll break down the most point-efficient methods for killing Shining Spears.

Why Shining Spears?

Shining spears make up a really challenging enemy for Thousand Sons to take on. They’re fast, have 2 wounds each, and come with a great 3+ save and a nasty 4++ save against shooting attacks. This is tough for Thousand Sons because their mainstay weapons are geared towards eliminating good saves, which the 4++ negates. On top of that you have to cut through multiple wounds.

The good news is, there are options (and good ones). What I’ve done is gone unit by unit using the Mathhammer tool to calculate ROI across the options available to the Thousand Sons. You get to reap the reward with the results below.



Unit Options ROI
Tzaangor EnlightenedBows, Auto-wounds not factored in40%
DefilerBattleCannon, Autocannon, Flamer, Combi-bolter32.4%
PredatorAutocannon, Heavy Bolters, Combi-bolter, Havoc Launcher32.1%
PredatorAutocannon, Lascannons, Combi-Bolter, Havoc Launcher32.1%
Forgefiend2x Autocannons, Plasma Jaw31.7%
HelbruteAutocannon, Krak Missile27.6%
DefilerBattleCannon, Lascannons, Flamer, Combi-bolter27.4%
HelbruteHeavy Bolters, Krak Missile27.1%
Scarab Occult TerminatorsSoulreaper Cannon, Missile Rack, 4 Combi-Bolters, RF Range26%
HelbruteLascannon, Krak Missile21%
DefilerBattleCannon, Autocannon, Combi-Bolter, Havoc Launcher18.4%
Forgefiend2x Autocannons17.5%
Forgefiend3x Plasma15.7%
Predator3x Lascannons, Combi-Bolter, Havoc Launcher15.2%
Rubric MarinesSoulraper Cannon, 8 Bolters14%
HelbruteAutocannon, Frag Missile0%

Shooting Thoughts

Some interesting things stood out in these results:

  1. There’s not much a difference in effectiveness between the Heavy Bolter / Lascannon side-sponsons. So, why not opt for the cheaper option?
  2. If you take a Forgefiend, pay for that extra Jaw Plasma
  3. Defilers are pretty good with that Flamer, but take it away and it’s pedestrian. Consider though, you need to get in close for this to work.


One big thing that stands out against Shining Spears is they are susceptible to melee attacks, which bypass their 4++ invulnerable. So, let’s take a look at how some of the common melee options work against them

Unit Options ROI
Tzaangor BombTzaangor Blades84.5%
Daemon PrinceWings, Talons51.6%
Cultist BombBrutal Assault Weapons51.6%
HelbrutePower Scourge, Heavy Bolter46.9%
Tzaangor EnglightenedSpears, Auto-wounds not factored in43%
MaulerfiendLasher Tendrils40.7%
Magnus, the RedDid nothing wrong34.8%
Scarab Occult TerminatorsSoulreaper Cannon, Missile Rack, 4 Combi-Bolters, 4 Power Swords, 1 Force Stave26%
Exalted SorcererDual Power Swords25.6%

Melee Thoughts

It should be no surprise that hitting them with melee attacks are way more efficient than trying to shoot them down. Most of the ROI’s here are not all that surprising except for the Cultists, perhaps. Run them in another detachment as Khorne Cultists and you’ve got a nasty “bomb” with the ability to reset (tide of traitors), warptime, and have at it (twice).


Your best options here are pretty clear. If you’re going to shoot them, your best option, far and away, is to engage them with Tzaangor Enlightened. Having a Shaman escort them will certainly improve these odds. Your best option though, is to get them into close combat. If you can, you can also try to make use of a Tzaangor Bomb and prevent them from being able to retreat.