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Friday, May 28, 2010

Armies in 5th: Psychic Powers: Imperial Guard


Quick & easy post here for Imperial Guard. Imperial Guard have two actual psychic units in the Primaris Psyker and Psyker Battle Squad but neither bring psychic defense to the table. They’ll therefore need to use Inquisitor Lords from WH or DH as Allies to get that defensive aspect in their lists. Won’t really cover their powers either as none of them are fantastic. Sanctuary is the icing on the cake against Daemons and that’s about it. Hopefully there will be some improvements for them with upcoming books and it will be interesting to see if Allies disappear. Also, both squads only have Ld9 so are more subject to failing psychic tests. We’ll look at the PBS first as it’s actually a worthy Elites choice. Both powers have a 36” range so can sit in the backfield and affect the field appropriately (they can also move & shoot <3).


Weaken Resolve – a lot of players bring PBS for this. Whilst being able to force an ‘auto-fail’ on a Morale test for an opponent’s unit (especially effective against superunits) is a wonderful trick, it’s not the PBS’s primary role. This is their utility power to be used when needed or to lower the pressure the rest of your army faces. Remember, Imperial Guard have some excellent firepower so can often simply blow units away or have them splatter upon bubble-wrap/sacrificial units. Again, this is best used against super units but it’s a lot harder to escort the unit off the board unless you’re willing to sacrifice your faster tanks (i.e. Hellhound variants & Vendettas/Valks).

Soulstorm – this is the power you take PBS for. A high strength, random AP large blast from a Chimera top hatch is well worth the 165 pts. Although it can be shut down by psychic defences, 3 of these squads can put out a lot of torrent w/3 large blasts. Add in other blast units like Manticores/DevilDogs and you can put a lot of wounds on a lot of units. This is generally why Weaken Resolve is more of a utility spell, the firepower and in particular, number of blasts, IG can bring is staggering. PBS support this.

The Primaris Psyker has the issue of being an HQ where Command Squads are generally better for orders. However, he is generally cheaper than a CCS in a Chimera so has some potential. Unfortunately, his powers aren’t fantastic.

Lightning Arc – Falls short in comparison to Soulstorm. Although more able against less hordey armies due to the random number of shots (avg. of 7), the less range, strength and low AP generally makes it less effective to the PBS counterpart. Unlike the PBS’s Soulstorm, it also requires a to hit roll. When it comes down to it, PBS are just better here and so are orders from the CCS.

Nightshroud – Considering the high Ld of most armies (and Ld10 on vehicles!), this spell generally isn’t fantastic. Unfortunately can’t be used in the opponent’s shooting phase either, otherwise this alone might be worth the 70pts for the Primaris. However, even with generally high Lds, Nightshroud is very effective on main target units. This is generally a bubble-wrap unit and isn’t much use anywhere else due to Imperial Guard’s great duplicity within their codex (and use of tanks). A Ld9 Stubborn 30 man squad w/3 autocannons which needs to be removed to get close to the tank backline of an IG army and has the added bonus of requiring an Ld test to shoot them? Not bad. Is it really worth it over a CCS? Not really but it has its uses.

Overall, IG really need to take an Inq Lord for an Ld10 hood for defence. The Primaris Psyker seems like a sub-par option in relation to other HQ choices and neither of its spells are fantastic to overcome this. PBS on the other hand offer some impressive firepower and a great utility spell so should seriously be considered.

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Don't forget the force weapon, lol.

IG are pretty weak when it comes to psykers.

Kirby said...

Aye they are. I hope Allies stays so they can get some buffs from WH/DH but at the same time everyone sees IG as "OP" so no psychic could be a GW example of "see we balance!"

MasterSlowPoke said...

I'd be real surprised if we keep Mystics after the new Grey Knights book.

HolyCause said...

IG psykers are fairly weak, but Weaken Resolve... combine that with some ordinance barrage and suddenly you have the anti-deathstar army. The only true weakness is that that army relies on templates (if not using weaken resolve) and those can be horrendously inaccurate.

Still, makes me wish I had collected guard instead of spess mehrens. For all of their liabilities, templates can produce hilarious results.

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