Saturday, April 25, 2009

Imperial Guard Psyker Power Rocks!

After testing my various army builds over the past few weeks against some friends, I have come to the conclusion that the Imperial Psyker Battle Squad is the single, most powerful unit in the IG army by far.

Here are some things I have done with the Psyker Squad so far, in no particular order;

1) WR + DP = Turn 1, 15 strong Necron Warrior unit with Lord forced off the board.
2) WR + NS = Turn 4, Callidus kills 8 Plague Marines, and finishes off the rest in close combat, taking a super tough unit off an objective
3) WR + NS = Necron Lord and Immortals Deep Strike near my lines. Next turn, Callidus shows up, and all but 1 Immortal and Lord killed. Perma-fall back.
4) WR + NS = Callidus kills 7 Nob Bikers, forces fall back off table.
5) WR + Shooting = Forcing a Morale Check from shooting usually means death to a unit
6) WR + Pur = Guaranteed way of dropping an IC's LD to 3 for entire game. Worked great on Marine Commander after Callidus killed entire retinue with Neural Shredder.
7) WR + DP = Got a 20 something strong Kroot unit out of a forest and off object, securing the win for me.

WR = Weaken Resolve
DP = Divine Pronouncement
NS = Neural Shredder
Pur = Purgatus

When I use these combinations the games are pretty much not fun for me, and especially my opponent. But I can imagine the Tournament fun you can run with these guys.

So far, the most potent base for a Psyker Army I have come across consists of;

1 Inquisitor Lord w/ DP and random Retinue
1 Callidus Assassin
10 Psyker Battle Squad (with or without Chimera. I use a Chimera for protection)
10 Psyker Battle Squad (with or without Chimera. I use a Chimera for protection)

What else can you come up with?


  1. This is ridiculous. I love this squad, but your experience with them scares me on their true potential... I want to run one because they are very interesting. But I hate the fact that people think they are over powered.

  2. I don't know if 'people in general' find them over powering, but I can surely tell you the people I played in person, so far, find them ridiculously over powering.

    Every time I plop one or two of these unit on the table, my opponent has learned to make a B-line straight for their Chimeras and do everything in their power to decimate the unit.

    But I find that perfectly okay. Other armies are allowed super units and broken rules, so its about time Guard get in on that action don't you think?

  3. I'm surprised you've only looked at combining the psyker squad with callidus or inquisitor, another crazy thing is using it with the culexus assassin: having a assault 2 +1 for every psyker within 12" animus speculum... say 18+ of your own psykers? =20+ AP 1 shots. Best thing about that is the psykers don't even have to do anything for it... you can use them for some other nasty combo at the same time (IE: divine pronouncement).
    Anyone got any thoughts on the best ways to play against the psyker squad? ('hammer of witches' for example)

  4. Well, it may seem like I have over looked the Culexus Assassin, but I didn't. Its just that everyone and their mother around the net is sucking on that teat a little to hard for my tastes.

    Lets break down the difference between the Culexeus and the Callidus. We are going to assume you are using the weapon at it's maximum strength okay?

    Culexus Animus Speculum
    12" S5 AP1 Assault 20

    Callidus Neural Shredder
    Template S8 AP1 Assault 1

    Range - They are both roughly equal here.

    Strength - The NS will be hitting against T2 targets, so it will be causing Instant Death. Also, it will be wounding most everything in the game on a 2+. Instant Killing multiple wound models on a 2+? Yes please!

    AP1 - Same here.

    Firing Mode - Here the winner clearly goes to the Culexus for its 20 shots. Even the NS cannot hope to hit half as many models on a good day.

    So what we have here are two weapons roughly equal in killing power and utility. So where then does one outshine the other? In the Assassin itself.

    The Culexus Assassin

    Lets be honest here... The Culexus is so specialized in a game where Pyskers are not the norm, that you will not be using any, if all, its abilities during the game.

    As a matter of fact, to be able to get those 20 shots off, you need two Pysker Battle Squads wholly within 12" for the gun to get its 20 shots. At best, you can have the two pysker squads inside Chimeras driving along side the Assassin within 12".

    So for the Assassin to be effective, you need to drive your Psyker Squads up in the enemy's face. Once your opponent knows this trick, good luck getting both Chimeras into your enemy's line past the first turn without getting blown to bits by everything he has.

    Should I even mention that your Psyker Squads will be LD 7 during this? Heaven forbid they get blown out of their Chimeras. They might get pinned easier than normal. Plus, trying to pass their Psyker Tests has just dropped from "just about always" to "Flip a coin".

    The Callidus Assassin

    The Callidus. first off, has 'A Word In Your Ear'. So awesome this power is. Really.

    But the strength with this assassin the the safety of your Psykers AND the assassin due to Polymorhpine. With this ability, you can target ANY unit you want to kill on the board.

    Weaken Resolve at 36" + The perfect landing from orbit the Assassin does means you WILL be able to kill a powerful unit without your opponent being able to do anything about it. Unless he has Mystics of course :)

    This means you can hide and keep safe your Psykers, and only use them when you need them.

    This is FAR better than driving two Chimeras next to a lone assassin the entire game.

    Then the assassin has the C'tan Sword, a free shitty Poison attack, and Jump back. All very useful. Well, except the Poison attack lol.

    So there you have my opinions on both Assassins and their uses with the Psyker Battle Squad. Even against Psykers, I would rather just drop in the Callidus and auto kill the unit in one fell swoop instead of dodging fire and trying to get your three units within 12" of a Seer Council :)

  5. Good to hear your comparisons as i already have a callidus and no calexus, as i mentioned in my earlier post the advantage of the calexus is the fact that the psyker squad can be combined for other effects at the same time but the whole combo is a bit of a 'one-hit wonder' nice but too many weak points. The callidus approach might be less flashy but is cheaper, more reliable and potentially has more effect on the opponent (due to 'word in your ear' etc). thank you :)

  6. Yea,I totally agree with this post. A couple things I think you're missing though.

    Weaken Resolve + Psychic Hood = 0% chance of success.

    Weaken Resolve + Word of the Emperor = 1/36 chance of assaulting