Monday, July 19, 2010

Why hello... we have psychic powers...

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Today we will be covering the wonderful elite choice of the Imperial Guard of...

Psyker Battle Squad

As I am sure some of you are aware of by now, (or at least I hope you are) I enjoy varying up my lists on a consistent basis, not only to keep things fresh for my opponents, but for myself. This helps me as a player by better knowing how my codex acts and how my opponents might react to different styles of play and units I might field.

However, this also can lead to some units not being played to often, one of those, woefully underplayed by myself, happens to be the Psyker Battle Squad. Mainly due to my own lack of thinking about them when I am creating a list, much to my own determent!

First their equipment and upgrades. This is pretty basic, equipped with CCWs and Laspistols, no upgrades available except the ability to increase their numbers to 9 psykers and 1 overseer from 4 psykers and 1 overseer and all between and the ability to buy a chimera as a dedicated transport.

Second lets hit their special rules. First off they are Psykers (except for the Overseer), so they can cast 1 psychic power a turn. Considering they only have two different powers, this isn't such a huge deal. The second special rule is the Psychic Choir special rule which states that the entire squad is treated as a single psyker, a nice thing making it so you only have to roll psychic tests once, instead of once for every guy in the squad... however this does have a downside which is the last special rule. Ultimate Sanction states that instead of suffering Perils of the Warp, the overseer instead kills off D3 psykers... but if somehow he happens to die... they suffer Perils instead.

Now for the important stuff right? Their powers. First off is Soulstorm which is a large blast template with the strength of the number of psykers alive in the unit (yes thats right it can be Str 9) and an AP value of your roll on a D6. Oh... and just in case you really needed to... its assault... so if you wanted to shoot it at a squad 6 inches away... you can then assault them... which might seem silly... but they do have 3 attacks a piece on the charge...

Second power is the one you most likely have seen used... as we definitely have around our FLGS, is Weaken Resolve which states that the Psyker Battle Squad chooses a unit within 36 and line of sight and reduces their leadership by the amount of psykers in the unit down to a minimum of 2. Quite a nasty combination when dealing with non-fearless or non-stubborn units, causing them to run away, and if early in the game, off the board. Really nice due to the fact this is not a shooting power which means it can be cast on pretty much the entire board turn 1 if you placed your unit in a chimera and let it go. It also has been very useful in keeping units pinned down by the shots from Ratlings or Veterans with sniper rifles or a squad of mortars.

Over all the Psyker Battle Squad can be quite a nasty thing to use even its point costs are not that high! I mean 165 points is the max you can put in this unit! Besides that they add a varied, surprising aspect to your army that your opponent might not be prepared to fight against, both with the large blast template and with the ability to reduce the leadership on an opponent. So why not try them out sometime?

Until next time, burn some heretics, kill some mutants, and do it always....



  1. I dont play much anymore, but im just curious, does imperial guard have anything in any of its force slots that isnt good? I mean most Codeces have good units but its very rare for them to have Troops, Elites, Fast, and heavy all be very good and competative. Just checking perhaps im reading something wrong.

  2. @Captain Obvious - The guard codex got seriously beefed last time, and as a veteran of 10 years of playing the joke army, I'm enjoying every minute of it! To answer your question though, Storm Troopers aren't that great... they're handy, but high priced, and tend to need a specialised role in mind. This means they suffer in take all comers lists. I don't see Ogryns all that much either. But as these two units are competing with the Psyker Battle Squad, ratlings and Marbo, it could be down to a wealth of options and they are the poorest, rather than them not being any good.

    As for the psyker battle squad itself, weaken resolve is a brilliant power to make use of. Kill 25% of a unit that is testing on LD2, and they ARE running. I also play Orks, and just last week my Ork bikers, led by Wazzdakka Gutsmek, were undone by the PBS. They turbo boosted onto the table. They were sent running by a 25% morale check. They rallied. He didn't get enough on me that turn, so I went for the squad. Only managed to stun the chimera. They sent them running again. Rallied, and ran again (and were now at the point that they couldn't rally) so fled the table. That 165 outlay saw off almost 500 points worth of stuff by turn 4, and then proved to be a continuing thorn in my side for the remainder of the game. They are well worth taking - I can say that as both a giver and reciever of the pain they dish out! :oP

  3. Ah the pbs. I am a fan but I just don't have the models for them. Interesting note, I went to GW to check to see how much they were and the metal pack of 3 is gone... does that mean that there are plastics coming soon?

  4. I haven't heard anything about plastics... though personally I use flaggellent bodies with some cadian bits stuck on. This works out great for me, as my penal legion are cadian bodies with flaggellent arms/weapons stuck on!

  5. @Ginge and Capt.

    Well, the same can be said for PBS as there are plenty of armies who are fearless and plenty of armies who are stubborn where a large black template might seem good but really was expensive for being unreliable and forcing you to roll multiple times to get a result that may or may not be good (ask a tau player about how seeker missiles piss them off)

    As for Storm Troopers and Ogryns... lets just say I personally have a strong affinity for both of them, and when i get to posting about those you will see why I think they are worthwhile Elite choices.

    This doesn't mean however, that other new codex stuff is bad or worse than ours, it just means those players who play them haven't figured out all the cool ways to use their stuff. I mean take a look at the Space Wolves Elite choices and tell me they don't rock your socks off! Tyrinids are nothing to laugh about, or Blood Angels either.

    Yes some Codices aren't as nice all over, but in the ones released since 5th edition, along with Orcs (yes commandos and tankbustas are good... trust me...), happen to have good things all over, its just a matter of learning how to use them in -BALANCED- lists that TAKE ADVANTAGE of their bonuses.

  6. In the last Apoc game I played the psyker squad on my side took a structure point from a bane-blade and blew up a Land Raider Terminus. They also took down a sterngaurd squad's leadership to the point where they failed a leadership test and broke. After that the other side started paying attention to them and killed them.

    I don't know how effective they are in a normal game but I can tell you I was impressed with them in the Apoc game.


  7. Just remember Mon-keigh all your psychic powers are belong to Eldar
    I do have to say the PSB is a thorn in my side. I think it is yet another edition to a codex which is insanely balanced in all its aspects.
    That does not really mean you can win all the time though. you still have to know how to wield the big hammer known as the Imperial Guard.

  8. Guard was nasty in 3rd edition........Steel Legion what? Just putting that out there.

  9. Yeah Mechanized combat was in the early stages in 3rd and really did make a big difference.

    One of the reasons I played SOB entirely in rhinos and immolators.

  10. Ah 3rd ed... back when I was playing Catachans :oP

  11. captain obvious, one more forum for you to hate on IG for. IG does have something awesome in every slot (except HQ) However, there really aren't that many things that stand alone as awesome. Imagine a PBS all by its self. Sure you might get a str 9 large blast at AP 1 (if you're lucky) but weaken resolve doesn't matter much unless you have something else in the army to take advantage of it. Its not just the 165 point PBS running around fearing your shit off the board. It's another squad too that is needed to cause the wounds and in the case of the nob bikers, I'm sure it was several other squads.

    The IG codex is so well written because each unit needs so much support. It has to work as a machine. There isn't some badass terminator assault squad just running around by its self knocking teeth in.

    Back to me saying there isn't an awesome HQ choice. I lied, there is, creed and kell are badass. But not in the way mephiston or a wolf lord are. They're only awesome when you put them in the machine that is an IG army just like every other unit in the IG codex.

    The codex does have awesome things in each slot but that's because the army needs to function as a whole. There is never just one part doing all the work.

  12. @CVinton - They weren't Nob Bikers, just Bikers... assuming you were referring to my example. But yes, the psykers weakened resolve... it was then the demolisher, heavy weapon squads and guard squads that did the wounds that made me run.

    As for HQ, I'm personally quite fond of Straken. Tag a medic in there, a couple bodyguards, maybe even a priest for good measure, and you have a hell of an assault unit. It's not the best assault unit out there, but its a hell of a lot beefier than most opponents expect when they line up against a guard army. Uncounted times I've sent Straken and co off ina valkyrie and just dropped them among the enemy backlines. They then run merry hell taking out all the support elements of the enemy army, whilst the rest of my army deals unhindered with the stuff he sent to advance on me.

  13. Im sorry but 95% of the guard lists could play themselves just like the old Nids did. Ill always be a guard hater.....Someone has to do it.

  14. I've never met a little plastic army guy that could roll dice on its own! Also, what are you doing on here? Don't you have some groveling to do or something? :P

  15. CVinton uses reasoned argument to make his point. Captain Obvious has used a statistic that, if he's honest, he's plucked out of mid air. I think CVinton wins this one.

    Personally I've never liked Tau. I seem to have a lot of trouble with them, and always have. I have argued that they are designed to kill guard. Troops vs troop, I'm outranged by something that kills me on 2s. I wound him on 4s and he gets an armour save. The main strength I have is Tanks, and in hammerheads and broadsides Tau have some of the best anti-tank in the game. I feel like they are designed as my nemesis. I would never argue that they are a point and click army that are overpowered or require no skill though. To do so would take something away from my opponents who have bested me, not to mention make me look like a bit of a sore loser - ie I didn't lose cos I was outsmarted, I lost because his codex is overpowered/his list is easy to play.

    My advice to you Obvious is to dislike Guard, consider them your nemesis, and try to raise your game against them. Appreciate your victories all the more. But lay off the excuses. It's undignified.

  16. Except that Captain Obvious doesn't play anymore so he doesn't get a say! LOL jk jk.

    In all serious I think CVinton is correct and just stated what I have been in a different fashion. That lists now a days aren't just units of termies running over things. The new codex format MAKES you take different things and guard is the most shining example because we have always done it, so we are used to it, so it didn't take long for Guard players to adjust to the new codex.

    As we see more players get comfortable with Nids and Blood Angels we will see the same thing.

  17. Capt Obvious and I are real life friends and our play arguments might have their intentions missed in an online format. He'll say blatantly "I hate guard" just to get me going.

  18. Ah... climbing down off my soap-box then :oP

  19. Hey, he does it for the hate. He's a Marine, you'll have to excuse him. :p

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