ZOMG some Tactics: Psykers

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ZOMG some Tactics: Psykers

Post  Lore Weaver on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:44 am

I'm writing this thing on Tactics for you all to enjoy and think about.

I've been playing a lot of psykers lately and I have noticed quite a few things about the nature of the 6th Edition psyker. I will focus this on the 3 tree's I'm most familiar with, as a service to you (so no random conjecture on shit I haven't used). The tree's we'll be focusing on will be Biomancy, Telepathy, and Pyromancy.

Now, the key thing to consider when picking your psychic powers (which happens *before* you deploy your forces, but after deployment style is known), is what battlefield role will your psyker play? Will he be a force enhancer, debilitate the enemy with maledictions, turn himself into a one man killing machine, or blow thine enemy to tiny bits? While your pondering these great mysteries, you'll also need to consider the planned effective range of your psyker.

When selecting powers, consider the nature of the powers in the tree you're about to roll from. Here's a summary of the three tree's of which I have knowledge.

Biomancy:
- 1 Blessing that targets any unit within 24"
- 1 Malediction that targets any unit within 24"
- 2 Blessings that improve the Psyker (both of which are fantastic)
- 2 witchfire powers with a 12" range
- 1 witchfire primaris power with a 12" range.

Pyromancy:
- 1 Blessing that targets the Psyker, giving a 4+ invul
- 1 Blessing that targets a unit, giving a 4+ invul within 24"
- 24" range Witchfire
- 18" range Focused Witchfire
- 12" range Beam
- 6" range Nova
- Primaris Heavy Flamer (with Soul Fire)

Telepathy
- 3 24" range maledictions
- 2 24" range blessings
- 1 24" focused witchfire
- Primaris 12" witchfire of random killy

Now, the key thing to consider is the nature of these abilities, and their range. Then you ask yourself, where will your Psyker be throughout the game? Which tree's are most likely going to give him something useful to do every turn? If I switch between tables, will the primaris power help me if I get something that's not in-line with what I want?

Consider Ahriman, A lvl 4 Psyker that gets three rolls on the above tables. He has the unique ability that he gets to fire 3 witchfire powers in the same turn. Do you want to turn him into a shooting power house by rolling 3 times on Pyromancy? Or do you want to grab the primaris powers from Telepathy and Biomancy to augment his shooting, albeit at 12" range. The one thing I've noticed is that a 12" range is not very effective for a psyker. It's difficult to get within a 12" threat range for Ahriman, unless you infiltrate him. If you do infiltrate, there's still a fair amount of care that goes into playing out his powers, and that 12" threat range will not be realized until turn 2 in most games. What else will Ahriman do with his time? If all he's got are out-of-range witchfire powers, he's not doing much with his 4 warp charges.

Consider a standard psyker and the above three trees. If you're level 3 and want 1 of 2 powers from a tree, chances are > 80% that you'll get one of the two that you want. Looking at Biomancy, if you're happy with either Warp Speed or Iron Arm, you've got a high probability of getting one of the two. If you dedicate all three of your picks to Biomancy, you'll likely get a force multiplier (in the form of Endurance or Enfeeble, which makes attacks more effective and survive-ability more effective), or at least get some sub-par shooting in addition to one useful power (Hemorrhage and Lifeleech are both... average due to short range and target dependence).

Now apply that thinking to other trees. What are the types of powers that you'd like to receive. Consider a lvl 4 Psyker with both Invisibility and Hallucination? Consider a lvl 2 Psyker that picks twice from the Telepathy tree, what will his effective range likely be?

Once all this is determined for you, it's time to place your psyker on the field of battle. This is the most key moment in the game for you, and games can be won or lost depending on this decision. You've sunk a lot of points into your Psyker, if he's not doing his thing every turn, those are points that you could've spent somewhere else. Are you relying on him to melt faces with his 18"-24" range witchfire powers? Or are you using him as a force multiplier? (I've buffed one unit, while giving my squishy rhino a 2+ cover save).

With that, I hope I've provided some food for thought when you're playing your Psyker.

Lore Weaver
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Re: ZOMG some Tactics: Psykers

Post  Roland on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:10 am

Your comments about battlefield role are spot on.

I have a Lvl 2 Psyker for my game vs Mark last night. Rolled both powers for Biomancy, Iron Arm and Warp Speed. Huzzah!!!

Except.... the only units he could join were 2 10-man CSM squads. One was in a rhino, so no go. I put him with the other one, but due to relatively slow movement and constast harrassing fire, he was kept out of combat until the last turn. By then, I forgot they had to be triggered in the movement phase. D'oh!

I think they would have at least been useful if I'd attached them to my oblits.

Learning curve. Ow.

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