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Saturday, 30 June 2012

40K 6th- First Impressions- Psychic Powers

The reason the Black Ships exist
Hi all,

so, the penultimate post for this series of reviews. Hopefully it hasn't been too dull a read for you :) as is traditional, I've saved the best for last: Psionics.

There are 5 disciplines- Biomancy, Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis and Telepathy. Each has 6 powers and a Primaris Power- if you don't like the power you rolled, swap it out for the Primaris power. You can have each power more than once per army (unlike W"arhammer Fantasy) but they are still random- you essentially swap out a Psykers existing powers for the chance to roll some awesome.

Biomancy are all about endurance. The Primaris Power is Smite (disappointing), but then they do get some great powers. Iron Arm gives the Psyker himself a Str and T boost and Eternal warrior (yes please, Hive Tyrant.) Enfeeble targets an enemy unit, and inflicts -1 Str and T and they treat all terrain as Difficult (that's pretty handy- T3 Paladins that can't reach you.) Endurance gives a unit Feel No Pain, It Will Not Die (5+ regen for W or HP) and Relentless. So Tyranid Warriors like that. Life Leech is a S6 AP2 Assault 2 power. You need to roll to hit, but if it does a wound the caster gets 1W back. Warp Speed gives the Psyker +d3 I and Fleet. Finally, Haemorrage is a Focussed Witchfire power- the target must take a T test or suffer 1 W, no armour save or cover save. If that model dies, pick another model (friend or foe :) ) in 2" and do it again. Keep going until one passes the test, doesn't die from it or there aren't any more targets in 2".

Space Wolves, Space Marines, Blood Angels, Imperial Guard and Tyranids get access to Biomancy. In all honesty I think it's a bit of a waste on Blood Angels- they've got the same or better available through their own Codex. Vanilla marines could benefit, but I think the big winners here are Space Wolves and Tyranids, mainly because they have access to plenty of casters so get some redundancy. Plus it's a set of combat buffs, for combat armies.

Divination is the Gypsy deck. It's Fortune telling- and if you use this, you worship Tzeentch. Just saying. The Primaris Power is Prescience- a Blessing which gives a unit re-roll to hit. So its' the Eldar Fortune spell. (This discipline is going to be popular.) Foreboding is a buff for the Psyker and their unit- they get Counter Attack, and can Overwatch at their own BS.(This is going to be very popular.) Forewarning is a buff to give a unit a 4++. (Sooo popular.) Misfortune is a curse, which forces a unit to re-roll saves. (What's that, you're not taking anything else? There's 3 left.) Perfect Timing is another buff on the psyker and the unit they are with, their shots now have the Ignore Cover rule. (Well, you need one to swap out for Prescience, remember?) Precognition is a buff for just the Psyker- he can re-roll to hit, to wound and saves. (That's um, that's not bad!) Finally, Scrier's Gaze- yet another Blessing, roll 3 dice and choose the result you want when rolling for Reserves, Outflank and Mysterious Terrain. (Sold!)

Space Wolves, Blood Angels, dark Angels, Grey Knights and Eldar can be full on douche bags with this discipline. I can't think of any of them that lose out (well, Eldar double up slightly, but what the hell). Thanks to the fact that these are mostly blessings, you don't even need to worry about Deny the Witch Rolls. This is my go-to discipline right now.

Pyromancy- ah, pure offence. Lots of Soul Blaze to keep the home fires burning. Flame breath is a Heavy Flamer with Soul Blaze (finally, a proper Flamer!) Fiery Form gives the psyker a 4++, +2 Str and Soul Blaze on CC attacks (handy for challenges?) Fire Shield targets a unit and gives them 4+ cover unless they are hit by Soul Blaze or Melta, and if they get charged the assaulters take 2d6 Str 4 AP- hits. Inferno is a Flamer Blast weapon (with Soul Blaze.) Spontaneous Combustion is a Focussed power, which is cool enough for me to take the discipline until I roll it- the target suffers a wound with no armour or cover saves allowed- if it dies, place the small blast marker and all models take a Str 4 AP 5 Ignore Cover hits- perfect for hordes. Sunburst is a Nova power, so hits ALL units in range (except the psyker) with a Str4 AP5 assault 2d6 Blind Ignore Cover hits. Finally, Warp beam is a warp Charge 2 power, which is Str 8, AP 1, Melta.

Space Marines, Dark Angels, Grey Knights, CSM, and Guard get Pyromancy powers. If you want offensive powers, this is a no-brainer- none of the armies which can take Pyromancy have powers which compare.

Telekenesis is the tricksy deck. There's lots of powers to wrong-foot or hinder the opponent. Assail is a Str 6 Strikedown Beam, which is useful (remember that units affected move as in Difficult Terrain.) Crush is a Str 2d6 focussed witchfire power, which auto-kills on an 11 or 12, with an AP d6- handy for tanks. Gate of Infinity allows the psyker and his unit to redeploy by Deep Strike within 24", and since it's a Blessing it can be cast into combat! Objuration Mechanicum is a curse which forces the enemy to re-roll To Hit and To Wound rolls of 6 (remember, Snap Fire and Overwatch are BS1) or inflicts a Haywire hit on a vehicle squadron. Shockwave is a S3 Assault D6 Pinning power- which isn't much until you realise that it is a 12" Nova power. Telekine Dome gives a unit a 5++ vs shooting- which bounces shots up to 6" onto another target for each save. Finally, Vortex of Doom (Warp Charge 2) is a Str 10, AP1 Heavy 1 Blast! (Though if you fail the test, then the template is placed over the Psyker...)

Space Marines, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Grey Knights, CSM, Guard and Nids get Telekinesis powers. None of them will feel sorry for taking them... although my gut feeling is that Nids and Chaos will benefit the most, maybe Grey Knights thanks to their Elite status.

Telepathy is the curse discipline. Psychic Shriek is a decent Witchfire power, which inflicts 3d6-Ld wounds on an enemy unit, ignoring armour and cover. Dominate forces a unit to pass a Ld test to move, shoot, run or assault. Mental Fortitude is a Blessing which auto-rallies a unit and grants them Fearless. Puppet Master is a Focused Witchfire power which forces the model to shoot as if they were under your control. Terrify strips a unit of Fearless, makes them Fear all enemy and immediately take a Morale test. Invisibility is my personal favourite- they are Shrouded and Stealthed (+3 to Cover), if they assault the enemy cannot Counter-Attack and count as I1. Hallucination is Warp Charge 2 and gives a random effect- from being pinned to fighting a combat against themselves.

Space Marines, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, CSM, Eldar, Guard and Nids get Telepathy. Eldar will enjoy the mucking about that it brings to the table. Nids will enjoy the fact that they can strip enemy perks and so get a leg up in combat.

Overall, these powers aren't too horrendous, and are a nice addition. They can buff a unit to great effect, sure, but there's nothing there I fear more than a fully tooled up Leman Russ Squadron. It's a really nice set of additions to the rules, which on the face of it doesn't seem to be too overpowered.

Comments, as always, are welcome.


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