Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Psychic Powers in 40K.....or "How I learned to embrace Benders"

Lol.. I snowmobiled his title! I'm so freakin' fuunny.. can you see what I did? I'm not homophobic... I took out 'Spoon' ..

Psychic powers. They got quiet sp. "quite" (let's get this snowmobile a rockin' properly lol) the shake up in 6th Edition didn't they? With a standard set of disciplines much like fantasy they really opened up the utility of the spoon benders in the grim dark future.

But are people really looking at these new tools "properly"?and  (I promise this snowmobile won't just focus on literacy amongst the blogerati here at Sons!) I say that because a lot of the time I see or hear people say something to the effect of "well unless you can take divination what's the point". The Divination Discipline and more specifically Prescience is the golden child of this new aspect of 40k.(Golden Child.. what a film! Whatever happened to Eddie Murphy...Dr Dolittle? c'mon..) Rerolls are king in a dice game, just ask Blood Bowl players, and mitigating the chances of bad rolling and improving the chances of getting a great roll for a unit for either shooting or combat is hyper powerful....but its not the whole story. Nid players for example are probably the next most vocal about the joys of Biomancy powers; having used the list and Discipline myself I know this to be a terribly frightening prospect to face. But still I come across players that seem genuinely surprised that they have been enfeebled twice and shot to death by gaunts.Generally speaking, the trend seems to be for Enfeeble NOT to stack.. depsite my personal opinion that it does.. I now play it that it doesn't stack.. Best way I think, play at a disadvantage and when it gets ruled in your favour in a future FAQ..well...sweet! But yeah, in an army that can field 20-30 psychic powers, stacking Enfeeble sure does fuck people up good! Much like Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop.. seriously.. Dr Dolittle - it still hurts.

With my new foray in to daemons I've been thinking more and more about the uses for differing Disciplines as well as list builds that can really push the psychic power envelope and the obvious weakness this would create if you face good psy defense but also the crushing victories it can produce against the unprepared. 

Also Tau are now on the scene, and to me, seem to be the new hotness. You WILL need to have a plan for playing Tau, and for me psy powers are a very good way to do this. With a lot of powers using stats as a way to prock (shit dog, I don't even have an opinion on what word this is supposed to be??!) effects and Tau stats being average at best (cos its all about their wargear #pimpmytau), psy powers may just be the key to unlocking the bristly little porcupine - "I'd love to bristle HER porcupine" is an actual line used by Ven during his University days... that is a Tau army.

I'm going to go through the Disciplines with my thoughts (and maybe Vens too Yup. 'Sup.), ideas, uses and tactics - but first a quick battle report that instigated this deeper thought in to Mind Bullets and the like.

So I played a vassal game with the following list:

2 level 3 Keeper of secrets - 2 gifts
2 horror units
allied level 3 chaos sorcerer Where does this jobber hang out? With the Cultists? Most maledictions are 24" right, so this is a defensive dude right? 125 or so points? Protecting 50... 
10 cultists
3 level 3 flying prices with 2 gifts and one had a portaglyph.

So that's 18 levels of psy powers!!or 18 psy powers - far less than Psychic Choir Nids, but far, far superior in psychic ability due to widespread access to "Level 2"..

I played what passes for a standard tau list at this early stage:

commander with drone controller in a unit of 6 marker drones
2x3 missile suits
rip tide It's one word bitch. Riptide. 'Nuff said. 
2 kroot and 2 fire warrior units
9 broadsides with missile drones I think even at this early stage most Tau players have moved on from 3x3 Broadies.. 

I rolled everything on the telepathy discipline and went first. We're playing Relic.
With a lot of maledictions most things were out of range turn one. But I managed to advance and get invisibility off on both keepers. All three daemon princes let rip in to a crisis team with guns and a few psychic screams that had taken some hits from the daemon weather table and took them out for first blood.
Your going first with FMC Psykers with Psychic Scream and he DIDN'T reserve those shitty small fire warrior units (which are small due to the points balance on the rest of the list above) in order to down play the likelihood of your First Blood? Really? 
My next turn I lost my warlord despite invisibility to marker lights and lots of shooting. A daemon prince was grounded and had one wound left, but I had used a large piece of terrain to protect myself from the worst of the firepower. But I cant afford to loose 2 Mcs a turn.

Turn 2. All my maledictions are in range. I proceed to puppet master the riptide and shoot a broadside unit, killing most and causing them to run. I terrify the second unit, causing them to run. I hallucinate and pin the 3rd. The second crisis team is destroyed with 2 psychic screams and Lash of despairs. The Riptide is hallucinated and cannot do anything next turn. I dominate a few other squads and I charge and kill the pathfinders.

So, that's game then. 
Job done. 

Opponents turn 2. His shooting is almost none existent, especially when he fails a dominate on one squad to shoot. Nothing dies apart from the crippled daemon prince. His broadsides have run off the table and he can only manage snap shots from other key units. He concedes as next turn I have three charges lined up against the rest of the army that can't cause any meaningful resistance. That or I could just kill the rest of his scoring units.
See told you. 

A bit basic, sorry. But I mention it as until that game I had never really rated telepathy. In one game id shut down a tau army due to their low leadership and reliance on shooting which I could shut down or just pinch and use against him. I was brutal and to be fair, probably a little galling for my opponent. But if he'd had a rune of warding Farseer allied in? Totally different ball game. My point? Id used a discipline id always assumed was sub par and at the instigation of a friend, tried something new and just wrecked face with it. What new tricks could you use in your army??Rumour has it RoW is not to be board wide, it really is dependent on just what the range is..if it's like Shadow for Nids, it really won't be that scary, except if it possible to get it onto a durable eldar unit (Wraithguard? lol) or a super fast one (more likely) to bring into place. Still, just kill the pointy eared fucker when it gets close to you..

So the Disciplines. I'm spit balling here as I'm deep in play testing so it wont be exhaustive. Which means I'd also appreciate anyone else's thoughts on uses or tactics with these (like Ven):


The golden child. A discipline to a certain extent lives of dies by its primaris power and this has the best. Not the best power but the best default power. The primaris can always be taken even if you roll something useless, so the better the primaris power the less risk of disappointment. Divination covers a few bases but really does benefit shooty units or large units and in this game of guns and blobs its usually the go to power set for most people. Ill probably not add much to anyone's understanding on this one....eeeeeeverybodys played with or against it.

Big popular combo's here: 
1) Paladins with Coteaz for Prescience and potentially 4++ or Misfortune to make the enemy reroll successful armour saves. Or for the budget version, just a Malleus Inquisitor with TDA, Cannon and Psychic L1 just for the Prescience. 
2) IG Blobs with Autocannons, Power Axes..combined with Rune Priests at Mastery 2 - Prescience plus misfortune or the 4++ = sweet. 

Prescience - Blessing. re rolls to hit in combat and shooting. Be it a ten man strike squad to really make those psybolts stick or a fifty man guard blob that reeeealy wants those power axes to hit. This is the power that you turn to and always know you can have. Ever seen a big bolter armed Death Company unit shoot and then charge with prescience...its messy.Prescience Punishers... ;) Messier. Or as messy... less blood, more pulp. Prescience Psycannons on Purifiers or Paladins.. Prescience fucking anything is nice!

Foreboding - Blessing. Gives a nearby unit counter attack and over watch on your basic Bs. Another buff for shooty armys. More attacks and unsullied firepower to deal with charges. Stick a bubble wrap squad round key units and their sacrifice will probably be a costly one for the enemy.Again, a power that benefits GK..

Forewarning - Blessing. Gives a nearby unit a 4++ save. Brilliant for keeping your troops alive in this age of the Helldrake. But can find a nasty combo with daemons when combined with the Grimore of true names. Able to give anything a 2++ save. Like those flesh hounds or seekers maybe?? Ouch. Solid power that just keeps key units ticking. Nice on grey knights too with nemesis swords for basically a free storm shield in combat.Don't forget the beauty of throwing it onto a 50 man unit of IG..Platoons love this bollocks. Azrael can't be in every army.. but if you are allied to a Wolf.. then you can get this bad boy on 2 blobs..

Misfortune - Malediction. 24 range that makes a unit re roll successful saves. Yea...that's right....powerful. Drastically reduces the survivability of anything you want to aim a pop stick at. Really benefits shooty army's (seeing a pattern here) as most of the time its weight of fire nowadays and not AP that's really thinning the herd. Anything to up the chances of a terminator eating dirt to an auto cannon shot is a good thing. Importantly it works on cover saves too.
Lovely power.. Null Zone is a beauty, Doom is a beauty.. this is their statistical love child.. And it truly does provide a useful buff to shooting versus massed models (IG Blobs or Orks) and 2+ TEQ equivalents. Is it actually Null Zone esque - does it make you reroll Invulnerable saves too? I can't remember, this is a nice power versus most armies.

Perfect Timing - Blessing. The psykers unit gets the Ignore Cover rule. Aegis Defense Line and guardsmen... meet properly applied bolter shots. Again another godly power that makes shooty armies weep with joy. My point about weight of fire above is suddenly made all the better because your AP can suddenly actually do something for a change. Blob squads suddenly start dying like they should do no matter how much they try and hide behind that 50 point wall. With daemons and tzeentch it makes those horrors suddenly a lot better and less prone to just giving out free feel no pain and removing fire warrior and kroot squads. But on the flip side. It makes nurgle marked stuff cry.A nice straightforward power, no muss no fuss.. just fucks up cover reliant units - Shrouded Nurgle bitches at T4 now.. Bikes, Jet Bikes.. especially those pissy Reavers.. a rule designed to make Grey Knights better if you ask me..in fact, our "Holy Paladin" GK just have the Emperor's Divine Grace stamped all over them.. It's nice for Tzeentch too sure, if you didn't have to rely on casting and Deny the Witch not happening..

Precognition - Blessing that targets the psyker. Can reroll all hit, wound and save throw dice. Can be used to help tank units a bit by putting the psyker at the front. But be careful, look out sir can bite you on the ass once you've lost a few wounds. Can buff the combat potential too. But as most psykers with access to divination tend to only have 2 wounds its of situation use. The best use to date I've found however is the exception to this.....the Lord of Change... especially if he rolled the 3+ save for his gift. It makes him a real beatstick with his +2 strength staff.Absolutely how it gets used...all the time! 90% of the time.. most of the time.. Bit like Sex Panther this.. Coteaz certainly uses it this way to tank wounds on 3+ Grey Knight units - non-Chimera stealing Purifiers for example - they can pew pew all day with Coteaz tanking the AP3 shots.. of course, this just requires a decent opponent to smash the unit with AP2 and we pray to God Coteaz makes his 2+ LoS! rolls.. or he's dead as AP2 comes on S6+ weaponry..

Scriers Gaze - Blessing. Allows you to roll 3 dice when rolling for reserves, outflank and mysterious terrain. Its main use of course being the reserves. The ability to keep scoring units off till late game and get flyers in as soon as possible is just great. Indeed these are useful abilities, for me, this ability is a wasted power unless you are Mastery 2 or higher. It is very, very useful to get reserves in as reliably as possible - whether that means on or off.. but the 100 odd points invested in a psyker to just get this? meh. It's a boon power, nice if you get it, definitely don't worry if you don't..certainly don't build an army around it! I think that's a point to take away from Psychic Power discussions.. don't rely on any one power if you cannot get it! Prescience sure.. it's a Primaris, but don't build armies around dice rolls.

If divination is the Golden Child, then Telekinesis is the Ginger Step one.Surely Pyromancy is the ginger haired step child? It fucking sucks.  I wont lie I may ask Ven to throw his wisdom wisdom indeed... Wise one.. Yoda some say... on this as he swears its great for Nids but of all the disciplines this is the one I'm having trouble with. Its not that the powers are bad its just they are a very mixed bag.But for Nids... they all contribute something to certain units, so you have to think about the balance of your army, the make up of your psykers and the role it all plays in the army.. you know, like a good Nid should.. You know with divination you probably going to be able to buff a unit somehow, and with pyromancy your probably going to pew pew something and with biomancy your probably going to up your resilience somehow. But Telekinesis you could end up with anything really, even all the direct damage powers all work in very different ways. You really need a spoon bender that can turn their hand to anything to utilize it. Maybe that's why its good with nids...shooty flyrants...I'm also thinking marines in pods where they either get some pew pew or some protection from the counter attack or can just redeploy once the alpha strikes happened.hmmm.. decent idea, Gate'ing away from danger or relocating to maximse output is a solid idea in theory, but this largely depends on opponent and I'd wait and see just how deeply Tau penetrate the tournament scene before investing heavily in pods.

Assail - Beam. S6 ap - strikedown 18 inches. So its a beam, So utility for sniping there and models hit half their initiative for a turn, but it doesn't work on Mc's. So I see it really as a character in unit debuffer just before you charge in and then challenge them. Makes sure they hit last or just plain refuse the challenge instead. Handy on an Mc who wants to squish the unit and not get bogged down in a challenge or just plain doesn't want a big pointy stick hitting him before he gets to swing.Generally, I'd agree with this being a crap power. It's a shitty Primaris and 9/10 times, I'd keep the roll I ...rolled.. Not a fan at all.

Crush - Focused Witchfire, 18 inch range S 2d6 and has a random ap. If you roll an 11 or 12 you wound or penetrate automatically. So your looking at a random ap s7 hit most of the time. Random power is random. Ill go on a limb and say this is probably the worst power in any disciplineNo way - see "Inferno" in Pyromancy or "Heamorrage" in Biomancy as EASY opposition for this illustrious title.... Other than a cheap and possibly lucky auto hit on a vehicle before you charge it, I cant think of solid use for it other than just hoping the dice gods are on your side and letting you roll a 5 or less on the psy check, a good number on 2d6 and then a low enough number on the ap...all to cause one wound....all seems a bit hail mary to me.The 2D6 strength is decent enough for most transports, the low AP is also decent if you get it, with 1/3 of a chance to get a bonus. The auto pen is sweet if you get it, but tbh, Objuration is a far, far better power. 

Gate of Infinity- Blessing. Removes the Psyker and his unit and lets them arrive via deep strike within 24 inches. Very powerful tool especially with abilities that can allow save deepstrikes (like say Farsight in a unit of Terminators) or homers. Allows a deathstar or key unit to avoid too many turn of shooting as they cross the field or allow last gasp objective contesting.Absolutely brilliant for late game contests with Zoanthropes. Adds to the utility of the unit and means they can deploy most of the game out of sight (if buffing with TK Dome) or can hide til they are ready to strike via Objuration or Crush. Remember that psychic powers are done psyker by psyker, not unit by unit, so the Zoeys can Gate, then when in better position, can unless Objuration or even better, unleash a pair of Psychic Shrieks against a target with low leadership that may end up being in the back field *cough* Broadsides *cough*.. or other shit. For Nids, it can also means more.. it can mean teleporting Synapse units into position. If you run Primes, it can deliver these far further up field and they can split off in the movement phase and go contest multiple objectives.. plenty to do for Nids with this power PLUS a host of other powers.. uniquely, Nids have true units of psykers.

Objuration Mechanicum - Malediction, 24 inch. Target unit has to reroll all rolls of six to hit and wound and also takes a haywire hit if a vehicle. Useful from stripping down hull points on flyer and very very good at shutting down tesla weapons. Is also useful for taking the teeth out of sniper weapons and precision strikes from characters and Tau units with the upgrade that allows the same. If nothing else it mitigates some of the weight of fire some units can throw out. Those big sniping kroot squads don't look too scary now do they? For me, this is a good way to Glance-strip a vehicle. I run plenty of Zoeys and Swarmie can access this discipline too if I need more Dome's...so I often have 2/3 of these across the army and they can be used to excellent effect. It is one way that a Nid army (sans Flyrants) can deal with fliers and vehicles. Now, normal vehicles can be S4 glanced via Furious or MC smashed.. but Land Raiders are better to deal with from range, as are some other vehicles that may end up with nasty shit near them.. And yeah, FUCK YOU TESLA!

Shockwave - s3 Nova ap - assault d6 pinning. 12 inch range. I've developed a new respect for Nova powers. If you have good mobility (Mr Flyrant) you can really put your self in the sweet spot, pop the power then charge one of the units, very disruptive. With pinning this really does go well vs low ld gun lines. You hopefully pin a unit or 2, munch a 3rd and then only have to take some snap shots in the next shooting phase from nearby units...now what gun line army do we know that has low leadership problems?? coughcoughTaucough.... Now THIS, this is possibly the worst power ever! Let's review...get bang in the middle of the enemy army and pop this power off? Combining a relatively disposable unit like Zoeys that could Gate in and then the next psyker pop this off is nice, but throwing a Flyrant into there? fuck that.

Telekine Dome - Blessing. Friendly unit in 12 gets a 5++ save against shooting. Also every time you make the 5+ save you can bounce the shot to an enemy within 6 inches. Situational but powerful. Gives a unit an Inv that normally couldn't have one (Nids) and can bounce back some of that plasma that seems to be kicking about nowadays. Benefits a unit thats really getting up close and needs to weather one last turn of fire before the charge (again Flyrants spring to mind here though drop podding marines of any flavour can use this to good effect). The issue of course is that it wont save you from protracted concentrated firepower....it'll just make your demise that much more costly for the enemy. My favourite and the power I am looking for for my Nids ... twice... I love to put this power on my large Gargoyle mobs (2 * 30 of them with poison), it's not a cover save it s an Invuln.. throw in FNP from Endurance or if you are keeping Nid powers, Catalyst. I look to get my Psychic Choir supporting from the third wave back.. Zoanthropes throw in this support - with 6 power rolls per unit of 3, there is a decent enough chance of hitting the power, with 2 units of them I'll get the 2 I want... now, whilst this may bear out statistically, it sometimes doesn't rock in til the very last moment and this can be a real stressor. I like to get it in early as I can then switch out to telepathy for Shriek - I'll come to that later. An alternative strategy, with vehicles creeping back into the game, is to gamble a little, if I roll up Gate (just over 1/3 chance) on the first Zoanthrope in a unit, I can keep Warp Lance, or again, if I roll up Gate on the first Zoey I may switch to Telepathy for Shriek. Anyway.. the point is TK DOME ROCKS! Fuck you Tau, you can't marker light this fucker! YEAH! 5++ and then 5++ FNP makes 60 Gargoyles a right pain in the arse.
Now, it doesn't make them king.. After all, with other Allied Psychic power nonsense it can get pretty nasty - prescience blobs with Misfortune or Enfeeble (IG Primaris Biomancy, SW Master of Runes for Div double) yeah, this will mess up your shit.
Tau markerlights expended to up Ballistic Skill and Storm of Iron can get pretty hairy too for the Gargs - principally because they are T3 with no way to fix that shit, being wounded on 2's is a tough deal.
So they do not get made crazy good, but sitting pretty at a distance to be annoying fuckers with a 5++/5++ screen is lovely. With poison and this double tier save, they are pretty tough to remove for some armies AND a high priority - remember, it's also 60 S4 shots before a charge with the Swarmlord often adding Preferred Enemy or FC to one unit.. I personally prefer PE as it buffs the shooting and then the charge effectiveness of one unit.
Not really talked about the "bounce back" - G Dogg got it right above.. the better the weapon you are firing at the Gargs, the worse it is for you.. I will often try and flood the board with these guys and do it in your DZ or face ASAP - not only does this pin some armies in their DZ and allow me to control the game, but for others, they simply can't deal with them and they are fucked from then on.
But, start rapid firing plasma at these guys, lobbing batte cannons etc at them.. I love it! Sure, I don't get the FNP from really high strength stuff, but each one I save I can bounce back to a unit of MY choosing within 6" of the Garg unit. 6" of the Garg unit is pretty big.. especially when lobbed in your face.. I once got First Blood (at the GT Final actually) with this - killing off a (pre-FAQ) small Ravenwing command squad...bouncing their Plasma Talons back on them! lol!!! Anecdotal, rare .. but small arms bing back and hit with their own S and AP, so it is decent all the time, exceptional rarely.    

Vortex of Doom- range 12, s10 ap1 heavy 1 blast. A pretty good terror weapon, but needs to be on a relentless psyker somehow; so again I'm thinking a flyrant but it quiet as easily could be on a terminator or bike libby. Could be quiet nasty on a deathwing drop turn one before those skimmers get their jink and you've used those scouting bikers to get the nice drop. Terror weapon sure.. for the poor fucker that throws the Vortex! lol.. a Bike Libby is a cool idea, certainly for fun anyway. It's a weapon that'd only get used in rare occasions, I suppose it could draw fire but you've got to put it with a unit that can either take that attention focussed on them, or on a unit that is utterly disposable - unfortunately, I don't know of a psyker that is truly disposable..Isn't this fucker Lvl.2 Mastery as well? Nah, it's 1.. maybe good for lol's on a unit of Zoeys that have Gate of Infinity too.. or perhaps on a Tervigon that didn't need Iron Arm that turn (like that happens) or Endurance cast on it from someone else.. 

Pyromancy "...Fuck off home. No one likes you, you stink of shit and you are useless. You get picked last for the team for a good reason. You fucking suck. And you wear shorts from the 80's.. Kevin Keegan called and wants his shorts back. No-talent mother fucker...." Taunt levelled at him that haunts the Killswitch to this day. .. xx ;)

This is your pew pew.No one cares. Almost all offensive in some respect so suits chaos marines well. Also has a high number of ignore cover powers too, so not a bad shout if you don't have much of that already No one cares or have a problem with plague bearers, nurgle things in general or aegis lines.

Flame breath -No one cares. s5 ap4 flamers, soul blaze. Its a heavy flamer. This makes it about as meat an potatoes as you can get. Everyone knows what to do with one. You put in on a unit that's going to drop in or zoom up close, get a nice shot lined up and then toast the fire warriors/necron warriros/aspect warriors...generally any thing with "warrior" in it as they seem to always have a 4+ save.. ho hum. Soul blaze is a little bit of a book keeping bonus after the event.

Fiery Form - No one cares.Blessing. Psyker gets a 4++ save and +2 strength and soul blaze. Nice for a Inv save on a cheap warlord (such as I did with my marines). The plus 2 strength is nice as most marine libby analogues usually carry a power axe for a nice S7, but maybe think about a force staff to get that magic strength 8 and pwn some t4 noobs. This would be devastating against a lot of multi wound cav found in the daemon codex. It is slightly situational, as again, as with precognition, most magic users tend not to be combat monsters.... but there are exceptions.

Fire Shield - No one cares.Blessing. Targets a friendly unit in 24. Gives a unit a 4+ cover save so long as its not soul blazed or melta. Also if the unit is charged the enemy take 2d6 s4 hits at I 10. Odd one this one but the key here I think is its range oddly. The defensive buffs are good, not great but good. So you can get good mileage out of it in game..but...late game..well...late game this little beauty gets put on any of those scoring units running for those objectives. Go to ground in the open for a 2+ savewhat have I missed here? GTG in the open just +1 cover save right? so 4+ goes to 3+ surely? in the open.. for a normal unit... or help beat off any last gasp charges (own up..whos charged a shoddy unit of one or two in to a troop unit last turn just to get in contesting range??? I know I have), and with the range you can do this on fairly far flung units (maybe even somthing going for the linebreaker Vp)

Inferno -No one cares. 24 inch s4 ap5 assault 1 blast. Has ignore cover and soul blaze. Cheap and cheerfull ignore cover ability to kill plague bearers and aegis hugging guardsmen. A quick note on soul blaze...basically there's a 50 50 chance that a soul blazed unit stays alight each turn and takes a further d3 s4 ap5 ignores cover hit. Ok its not amazing but with so many little squads going to ground and getting silly cover saves now every little helps. As I say if your army doesn't have any ignore cover abilities then this is better than nothing.

Spontaneous combustionNo one cares.Focused Witchfire, range 18. target model takes a wound with no armor or cover saves. If it dies place a inferno shot as above over the model. Now, as an aside a bug bear of mine as a daemon player is people that insist on deep striking their plague bearers...who cant run and have to stay clumped up...its why I take a mix of them and horrors. Punish these people with this power and inferno...punish them till they stop making me mad.
Sunfire -No one cares. Nova, range 6 s4 ap5 assault 2d6 ignores cover and blind. Blind? on a nova with that many shots? Hit Tau gun lines hard. Much like with shockwave. Hit multiple units and charge one, next turn the return shots are all a bit limp wristed. In fact even average Initiative models have a good chance at failing. If your pskyer is in a unit that not really combat monsters, then charge the unit that's blinded as they will be ws 1 and so return hits in combat will be drastically reduced. If you have a combat orientated unit with a psy user then love this power and hug it like a small puppy....wait, I do care.. I like small puppies.. Sunfire? Oh yeah, still don't care.
Molten Beam - No one cares.12 inch Beam (duh..) S8 ap1 assault 1, melta. Its a melta gun right? Wrong. Its a melta gun that doesn't have to roll to hit that goes through multiple models (losing a point of strength as it goes) and potentially causing havoc. You can easily catch 2 vehicles with this and so get a s8 melta and then a s7 hit on the one behind. Vs high armor infantry you can catch 5 or even six models and have a good chance at killing most of them....and it snipes. Id be looking at things like paladin apothecaries and Dark Angel Banner bearers out of position to insta gib them.Cathes 5 of them? with a 12" beam...with proper squad spacing, cause you know..the opponent KNOWS you have a squad real close with a Ap1 Beam gun! No it doesn't Voice..your just being over generous there..

This is usually the go to Deck for big gribbly psykers...not so much spoon benders but tank benders YOUR A TANK BENDER! This is where you usually find your nids and daemons defaulting to.

Smite - range 12 s4 ap2 assault 4. A little out of place sometimes I feel. In a discipline where your really going for things to up your resilience, your primaris is a short ranged shooting attack. At least its not a bad one as its ap 2. Nice for softening up any infantry it works pretty well with slannesh princes as they are trying to get in 12 inches any way for their lash. So its just more shots on the pile really  weight of fire is king and all that.weirdo little power this. "shit" is another word for it.. like you say, not bad if by your nature you want to get up close.. but otherwise.. just why? I mean, its OK, but I know from a Nid point of view I never want to go to this disciplines Primaris.. useless fuckwit power. I guess if you can Enfeeble a small marine unit and want to finish it off with a dude just a few inches away then OK... but nah.. I'd still rather Psychic Shriek or from a Tervigon angle.. lob a large S5 blast at them with Cluster Spines. Still, a great NOOB power to kill Spesh Mareenz!

Iron Arm otherwise known to Ven's wife as his cock. - Blessing. Your psyker gets D3 to their strength and toughness. Its frankly insane. When you can have a toughness 10 Great Unclean one or Toughness 9 most other things your resilience just shoots up. Your looking at all this s7 spam needing 4's 5's or even 6's now to wound.more FUCK YOU Tau! Combined with flight or good saves and FNP! this causes a terror weapon that cant be ignored. It also adds eternal warrior, so even on more mundane psykers like marines or even the lowly imperial guard psyker it suddenly boosts their combat potential up to the point where "you know what,actually I DO want to accept that challenge". If you can combo it with precognition or fiery form etc etc at the same time, then the world is your clam shaped thing. If you see an Mc with this power then worry. What about 4 or 5? I'd defo worry then too...I'd worry that the fucker had a special loaded dice for Iron Arm rolling! Not a lot sensible to say here.. it's an obvious power that is absolutely special. In some circumstances it can make you literally invulnerable. Only got bolters left? T9 now? Fuck you! Can't hurt me pricks. Just great. 3+ save isn't all that good on MCs, but with higher than normal toughness you can really put the hurt on the enemy - or kinda the opposite really..

Enfeeble - Malediction. Single unit in 24 inches gets minus one toughness and strength. Yes I suppose it does up your resilience by making an assault unit weaker; but the real gem of this power is the toughness reduction and the fact it STACKS. If you can even get 2 of these on to a unit then suddenly basic weapons are wounding on 2's/multiwound models are being insta killed by bolters/rains of fish/general mayhem. Seriously the stacking of this power just spells death to a unit if you play it right. The number of useful situations where you bring down the instant death threshold and the to wound roll for shooting (and combat, but this is a shooty game mainly) is mind boggling. Id probably rate this as the best power going. "fact is STACKS" - many disagree. I WANT it to. But I don't think it does. It was ruled that it doesn't stack for the UK GT Final and you'll have a hard time proving it either way frankly - but for the sake of it, I now exclusively play that it DOESN'T stack - so when/if it gets errata'd or FAQ'd, my response will either be "meh" or "whoot!" and defo not "fuck! I'm fucked! I've been cheating!"
It is still an immense power - being wounded on 3's by Fleshborers is frankly insulting... instagibbing Wraiths with MC Devourers is lovely.. being able to wound T6 stuff on 5's even makes a difference to the masses of horde S4 nids rock..

Endurance - Blessing. You get FNP it will not die and Relentless. Obviously the big one is feel no pain. This ups the resilience of everything and anything. M'cs love It will not die too as this keeps them ticking over nicely. But don't under estimate the relentless ability too. It turns even basic troopers in to good all rounder's by being able to rapid fire and then charge too. A great little utility power if you think about it, much more than the 5+ fnp that everyone see's initially.Agreed, FNP is great, IWND! is too.. Relentless is sweet. It's not the Holy Trinity or anything here as usually the unit benefitting from this power will only ever exploit 2 of these bonuses... for example, units that can rapid fire typically only have one wound or can do it anyway...the one wounders have no use for IWND! and conversely, the stuff that benefits from IWND! are usually MCs with multiple wounds or their equivalent (Heldrake/Demon Engines) and don't have Rapid Fire weapons.. But FNP is the one that is universally awesome. Especially good on large units as they form a horrific tarpit if you have the numbers, a save and FNP. See my comments above re TK Dome from Telekinesis.. Gargoyles love this. IG Blobs would love this too with the Divination 4++ and the Primaris Psyker from IG accessing Biomancy and getting 2 rolls for this..

Life leech - S6 ap2 range 12 assault 2. If you cause a wound you get one back too. Another great one for MCs who can keep their high wound stat ticking over. On my slannesh princes it has the same strength and range as the lash and so really does work well in keeping them in the sky while adding to their dakka.Shit.. if you need it, you're in trouble. It can make the differnce to a close combat monster who needs to drain a wound or two back before he charges.. From a Nid point of view.. no thanks. Swarmie has used it a couple of times, but I'd prefer so many other powers over it.. I don't think it is about being a crap power actually, just that others are more useful. I get that for the Demons (who can readily access higher level psykers) it can be a useful addition to Lash and other psychic shit they can pump out.. For these things, yeah for sure this is decent because they are fast enough to get there and use it.. not the case for Nids.. God I wish Nids had access to masses of FMCs with Mega-Brains..

Warp Speed - Blessing. + D3 to Initiative and attacks and gives you fleet. Does nothing for your resilience but does amp up your hittyness. Again, brutal on mc's but also tips the damage output of normal psykers into the passable stage.Shit - can help to create the CarniGon (Crushing Claws, Warp Speed Tervigon)... which is expensive and a bit of a novelty. Fun though.. Especially if you know you will throw that guy in so someone else gives him FNP.

Haemorrage - Focused Witchfire, Range 12. Target model takes a wound with no armor or cover saves if it fails a Toughness test. If it dies then go to another model within 2 inches (doesn't have to be the same unit interestingly) and carry on till someone passes. A lot of people look at this power with a bit of distain. It doesn't seem great. What you need though is a biomancy heavy list (say nids) and if you can get a few enfeebles and a few of these off you can rip through units.Shit - although what The Voice says is very true - with combinations, most of these powers have their place. If Enfeeble stacked.. but it is still hyper useful versus a Blob of IG who've been Enfeebled once that turn already.. Toughness test on a 2? hard.. but it still won't go that far through these blobs because there is a 33% chance of stopping it cold by passing..and that can easily happen the first time you test.. hence the "Shit" verdict.. and that is considering the addition of Enfeeble to the equation..

Last but not least. My new fave discipline. I never really thought about it, but this really does have the tools to shut down almost any army. I was always one of the "I need Divination or their poop" crowd. But now I'm a convert. In my humble opinion. If your having trouble with Tau or Necrons...then get this Deck in your list asap.

Psychic Shriek - 12 inch, Witch fire. Roll 3d6 and subtract the targets ld. Take that many wounds with no armor of cover. I love this spell. You may notice a lot of powers have a 12 inch  range. It really has pushed me down the path of mobile psykers who can be in the enemy's face and keep ticking.I think this Discipline didn't rise to some level of prominence for this reason.. there was no super speedy way of delivering these kinds of psykers into the enemy prior to massed Princes in the Demon book - My nids could teleport a zoey unit nice and close to zap a couple of Shrieks.. but it was risky and not a full on strategy - the same is true for podding Zoeys actually, far safer too..  It seems to be the sweet spot for a high proportion of the good powers. This power decimates low ld units. Tau will cave like a big hole under a mountain to this power. Ill take it on my slannesh princes without.a.single.second.thought. when playing the fish men. Its that good. Put it on the Doom in a nid list too for double 3d6 fun when you pod in.Yeah, not thought of this tbh as I do love that mega strength blast - I'll try it out though.. It's a good idea.. It is also a way to remove Broadside units quite quickly, I've been toying more with podding Zoeys for this very reason.. the ability to swap out powers each game makes them very versatile..

Dominate - Malediction, range 24. While effecting a unit they have to pass a Ld check to move, shoot, run or declare charges. To help shut down Tau shooting this is a joy. I mean, against most things its nice just to see battle plans have hiccup when they fail one of them but with Tau and their average at best ld you can rely on it causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Just pick units not near an Ethereal (or just kill it with extreme prejudice first). Also good late game on troop units making a break for objectives.Little fish heads swimming around back and forth in their invisible goldfish bowls as they have no idea what the fuck it is they are supposed to be doing..their shitty little minds dominated by the massive one-titted behemoth flying overhead.. lol. Yeah, I can dig it.

Mental Fortitude - Blessing. 24 inch range. Rallies a falling back unit and gives them fearless. Great on things like cultists to keep them put. But nice range so you don't have to actually baby sit them. i wonder if this could be a pseudo-Synapse for rare synaptic web failure..

Puppet Master - Focused witchfire. Range 24. The target immediately shoots as if its one of your models.....this is AMAZING. Yes on big units its so so as you need to get the focused part off to get the right model, but that's not what its for. This targets those big scary single models that you were debating shooting off the board and then getting them to do the heavy lifting for you. Generally lead with this power in the shooting phase - fire off a salvo from the vindicator/hive tyrant/daemon prince/rip tide/ thunderfire cannon and then paste it to goo after wards. Also keep an eye on your angles. Some times an exposed character or special model may be the closest target to such a model and you can cause a few missed heartbeats as you line up the shot. My personal fave is overcharged rip tides on broadside units or Anni Barges on to their own flyers...it gives me a fizzy feeling in my tummy.
Yeah, it's cool.. it's not the coolest thing since the other side of the pillow, but it's quite good...especially if you lack the tools to get rid of a certain unit yourself.. just rape theirs.. it's the friendly thing to do..
Terrify - Malediction. Range 24. You lose fearless and have to take a break test. Also you fear everything. At WORST this causes a cheeky break test on a full strength unit. If this happens to be 20 leadership 7 kroot unit, then all the better. At best your taking a necron Quasi star of wraiths and lord and taking their fearless away prior to some pre prepared nastiness. If you can beat that unit in combat for eg, you can sweep the unit with their shitty initiative. This is not too hard for my self with some flying mc's and crush attacks. But this also opens them up to attack from things they were hithero immune to....pinning/hallucinate/Blood Angels Fear of the Dark/Guards Psyker Battle Squads/nightmare shrouds/tank shocks, the list goes on.Yup... yeah, that's it.

Invisibility - Blessing. Gives a friendly unit in 24 the shrouded and stealth abilities. Anyone charged by said unit cant use counter attack. Enemies in combat with the unit are Ws1. Another great power. Same as some others; you can use the range to protect scorers in the open/from assault late game or protect key units early game and ramp up there combat potential. In a weird way this helps vs Tau too. Yes I know I know, they can ignore cover easily.... but they have to expend marker lights to do it. If they've wasted two hits on ignoring invisibility its 2 points lower Bs somewhere else that's not lighting up your prize units.I know this is a mega power for some units.. Eldar Seer Council for example on Jet Bikes and Fortuned... Swarmlord can get a load of fun from this with Endurance cast on him... but for me, I still prefer to shut down the damage process earlier, i.e. before it gets to saves.. so for me, I like to get Iron Arm, Endurance, TK Dome up.. especially on guys like Swarmie who has been a high priority or dedicated user for Invisibility in the past.. with the advent of Tau and SkyRay/Seeker missiles - what he needs is a high toughness, FNP and an invulnerable save from shooting.. not 2+ cover which gets negated by markerlights...But for those rare games where you don't just play against Tau.. you know, like most of your games (!) you'll still get a lot of mileage from it.

Hallucination - Malediction, range 24. Roll on the table. 1/2 - Pinned, 3/4 Cannot run, shoot, charge or fight back in combat, 5/6 every model attacks own unit with one attack. This is a game winner. Its not without risk, but its very powerful. The first result doesn't effect fearless units (see terrify :P ) and the 3rd is only really good on combaty units but auto pinning a unit or just making it NOT DO A THING for an entire turn - not even attack back in combat? That's just GG right there. Removing a units ability to contribute for a turn is massive. Be it shooty units, deathstars or whatever, if you can get that off (maybe even charge it for 2 turns of unadulterated butchery) then there will be much frowny face on the opposite table edge. My favourite Telepathy power with Shriek jsut after.. Love it.. 1-4 I love.. just love. Amaze balls this is. It is just so useful.. Examples of use.. Swarmie controlling the midfield with CC denial and extended synapse web to the army from terrain and blasting a Riptide with this and just taking him out of the game. Smashing this power into large units of flesh hounds and then smashing them over two rounds with gargoyles..great power.. unless you get Broadsides to punch each other.. then they still shoot fuck out of you next turn lol!

So Psy powers. Use em or prepare for them, but don't underestimate them...especially you, you little blue skinned shooty freaks.

Anyway. Anything I've missed? Combo's you use?

Discuss :) Discussed.


  1. This snowmobile took ages! Loved throwing back a bit of old school blog tekkers! Been a good few years since I've seen a snow mobile! Miss it.. where are TKE/Chumby/Kirby these days.. Kirbs is too big time now :)

  2. very useful article, even (and partially because of) the snowmobiling. i will be referring to this quite a bit when thinking about army lists in future.

  3. Just stumbled across this, it was a fun read. VB, TKE has turned into a bitter Stelek disciple now, and spends all his time bitching about the state of the game on YTTH. Sad. 6th edition and the inability to use 1+1 face role lists to win games by weight of dice has completely killed Stelek and his echo chamber.

  4. Just love using iron arm on my flyrant. give him a set of tl devourers, biomancy, bonesword lash whip, and preferred enemy for 6 s6 shots to the av 12 in front of me after vector striking that other chimera down the field then charging ur general with my lw bonesword or a f-u i got first in the challenge s7-9 t7-9 monster with preferred enemy you. plus he makes invisible bikers not so invisible if there in cc with him for you cannot ecape SotW for average roll on 3d6 is high.

    Also I love podding 3 zoans with puppet master right next to a manticore missile launcher.... it will make the IG player cry. it only has 4 missiles. turn 1 hes used one on you. you pop in and USE THE OTHER THREE NON HIS GUARDSMEN BLOBS!!!! it is now USELESS!!!!

    Also Doom with psychic shriek is awesome. he headbutts tanks to death turn 3.