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Monday, May 24, 2010

Armies in 5th: Psychic Powers: Introduction & Defenses


As the giddiness of having Blood Rodeo (un-linked...) on YTTH fades we move onto an ever increasing facet of the current 40k universe. I’d also like to point out atm two of my fingers are strapped so ignore any typos (you should see the other guy...). So I’m doing a different Armies in 5th style of articles here based are important concepts of 5th edition. Don’t worry, I will get to more armies here but I thought expanding on some basic gaming concepts with more transient concepts might be helpful for aspiring battlefield generals. If you guys don’t think so just give me a kick.

As I’m sure you guessed from the title we are looking at psychic powers and their impact on our plastic minis! I’d like to say after the SM book was released I said psychic powers were making a comeback and go me for that *ego stroke*. Whilst psychic powers haven’t gone back to the insanity of 2nd edition, they are once again a prominent feature in most 40k armies to date. This also includes an increase in psychic defense and I imagine by the end of 5th edition most armies should have a 40-50% chance of nullifying psychic powers.

So let’s look back before 5th edition. There really weren’t many psychic powers that were game changing. Eldar could bring Doom & Fortune which just laughed at pretty much every power out there (though some say Lash was good...). Outside of that there was the occasional good spell like old Fear of Darkness but for the most part, psychic individuals seemed to be based around buffing themselves in combat (i.e. old Mephiston, 4th ed Libbies, Warptime, etc.). Whilst some of those style powers still exist, psychic powers have become a lot more useful in the shooting, movement, utility and defensive categories.

Why then are psychic defenses so important? Psychic powers still aren’t massively game changing like they were in 2nd edition but they are generally much better than what you would normally get for the points or when rendered inoperable such as Blood Lance or Fortune, can make certain armies less effective. For the ability to nullify opponent’s psychic powers whilst bringing your own to the table? It’s an investment you will not regret; so take psychic defense!

What the rest of these articles will then look at is different army’s psychic powers. I’m going to ignore crappy psy powers like WH, DH, Tau (cause they have like..none), Orks, etc for the moment but if they get re-released with new powers, we will of course look at them! On a final note before this article signs off, armies with extra psychic defenses such as WH/DH/SW have an extra advantage, especially if these extra defenses are inherent. Extra rolls to stop something are good. Other armies which don’t have psy defense (CSM, Tau, Orks, Necrons, etc.) just have to deal with them until they are updated, though Tau are really the only good army which can’t take psy defense anyway.

3 pinkments:

kennedy said...

It's funny how true this all is.

I find that in any army where you can bring psychic defense, you should. Generally, it seems like most of the books are getting some way to do this and more powerful psychic powers, which make the psykers worth considering over other "more traditional" (a.k.a. 3rd and 4th ed) choices.

My Eldar were the undisputed kings until I let it slip that psychic defense was good (by beating people over the head with an enormous sign that said "Bring a Librarian. He's good. I swear.").

I like the new psychic landscape, although I figure some of the new books will be able to slap psykers around like a cheap hooker. Regardless, it makes the game more interesting.

Chumbalaya said...

I love that psychic powers are finally awesome. It's like magic in WHFB, only not as stupid.

The best thing about the new powers is that they go from simple guns and buffs for the psyker to army-wide buffs, board manipulation, movement, killer powers, and potential game-changers. The variety is awesome.

The_King_Elessar said...

I like this article idea. :p

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