Archive for the ‘Imperial Guard’ Category

IG Codex Review in 6th – Part three: Psyker Battle Squads

Due to changes to the ease of regrouping and other rules that have hit the effectiveness of Weaken Resolve, the Internet has fallen out of love with Psyker Battle Squads and they have disappeared from the vast majority of Guard lists. The Internet is wrong.

It’s not just about understanding how the Rules have changed, it’s about understanding how the Game has changed.


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Ally Template – Hybrid Guard

Imperial Guard are an ally we haven’t really discussed in much depth but have joked about as being the best ally in nearly every case. This is unfortunately too close to the truth for comfort given we’d prefer one army to not be heads and shoulders above the rest but unfortunately Imperial Guard work very well as Allies. Why? Because the limitations upon the Fast/Heavy/Elite/HQ Force Organisation slots isn’t that huge and Imperial Guard can bring a lot to the table through a single Troops choice and still bring impressive options through the other FoC slots.

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Army lists – Australian 40K Masters

This weekend will see the Australian 40K Masters Tournament, and all indications point to it being a blood bath.

The roster of 16 competitors is made up of winners of the State masters events and RankingHQ’s top ranked players in the country, who claim they will be throwing their best armies at one another in hopes of taking home the prize.

I think the thing that really makes this event competitive though is that these are all people who have hit the Podium at event after event in order to qualify, and it has just sunk in that one of them has to come 16th this time! Nothing wrong with that, just qualifying for a National Masters event grants bragging rights, but still… I hope it’s not me lol.

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Nightmare Guard (Army Build)

After I won the State masters with an IG/GK list that I called ‘not optimal’ I’ve had quite a few requests in the Chatbox and email for an example of what I would rather have taken instead. For your viewing pleasure, I present Nightmare Guard.

This is a variation of the army build I will take to the Australian 40K Masters this weekend. The idea is to take the firepower-orientated, reliable but slow and predictable Imperial Guard army and meld it with the close-combat orientated, haphazard fast and unpredictable Chaos Daemons. The result is something I’ve had a lot of fun playtesting.

There are some extremely powerful armies and talented players coming to this event so I’m not going to jinx it by claiming this is one of better builds, but I do think it has the tools to deal with most threats including the ubiquitous Necrons.

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Imperial Plasma and you: a Primer on how to kill your own soldiers

Reach out and touch somebody.

Greetings, Imperial Citizens! Thank you for purchashing this Primer on superior Imperium Plasma technology with your hard earned throne gelts. In this handy little book you can learn the proper application of your Plasma Gun, when to fire a full salvo with little risk of being detonated and perhaps you may learn to drop your weapon before it blows up.

Most likely however, you will just blow yourself up.

With the transition to 6th edition still well underway people are still uncertain about how the new metagame is forming. It’s understandable just like when a block rotates out of Magic: The Gathering and a new set of cards or some reprints come through; new strategies must be made, old ones must be adjusted and entirely different decks are made in a few months. Magic is quite incredible in the regard of people able to adapt to an entirely new metagame in a short space of time and figure out what works.

We’re still stuck deciding if we want transports. I guess that’s the difference between the competitive communities, if one has a larger fan base.

And doesn’t have Warseer.

One of the big things that seems to be popular is that with hull points making tanks more reliable to kill that people are shifting more towards anti-infantry options to deal with things no longer in metal boxes. People are sometimes ditching tanks in general but many people are making hybrid lists.

What amazes me is that everyone has now got the idea in their head that because of this, their list needs as much anti-infantry as possible and thus take every weapon slot as either a plasma pistol, plasma gun or plasma cannon. Space Marine Captains dual wielding plasma pistols, the new meta!

This is not only a terrible thing to do but also goes against the entire idea of a balanced list, one that 3++ is the new black and myself at Melta Martini advocate. Whilst plasma has by definition got better due to the simple fact that there will be more infantry to use it on, I feel the need to tell people how to use plasma, when to use plasma and how to incorperate it into a decent, balanced list.

Let’s discuss the key features of plasma first. Plasma weapons are usually 12-36″ range assault weapons, with strength 7 and AP2. Plasma pistols are pistols by nature with a 12″ range. Plasma guns are rapid fire and have a nice range of 24″. The Plasma cannon is a heavy blast weapon with a mighty range of 36″. All Plasma weapons have the Gets Hot! rule, which means if you roll a 1 to hit with them, you take a wound and need to pass an armour save or die.

Now we know what plasma is, what is plasma useful for? The obvious reason you’d want to use plasma is because of the AP2. AP2 basically means you never get an armour save under any circumstances, as a 2+ is the highest you can go. This means that you have a good chance of scoring more wounds (or the same amount of wounds on more durable targets) on higher armour targets, the higher the better. The 7 strength also means that we usually either wound on a 2+ or, if in some cases a monstrous creature comes around, a 3+ or a 4+. It still means you most likely wound anything you hit with it if it doesn’t have a good invulnerable save. AP2 took a buff as well through the vehicle damage chart and strength 7 means you can threaten light armour (AV10-11) quite easily with your plasma weapons, either stripping hull points or using that AP2 on a penetrate.

Plasma isn’t all rainbows and sunshine though, so what are the bad points? The main thing is the Gets Hot! rule. Whenever you fire a plasma weapon you have a chance of killing your own dude. You’re granted an armour save (which is unusual for a weapon that ignores armour) but in the end, you’re firing a risky gun that may kill your own men. The men handling these weapons are either characters, heavy weapons teams or something in a normal squad that had the opportunity to take a new gun; you’re squandering not only your own men but what those men could have been if you didn’t blow them up. Hope that you don’t roll a one. The other minor thing is the lack of volume of fire, and many people agree that weight of fire is usually better than single, stronger shots.

Going over all that, what is plasma bad at doing or is simply outperformed by something else? Plasma is generally not good at killing light infantry. A plasma cannon can turn Boyz into melted goo but it can’t be fired when you move, because Blast weapons aren’t allowed to be snap shots and manueverability is important when it comes to Orks. When the same shot can wound a Boy on a 2+ with no armour save and do the same to a Sanguinary Guard, you’re better off firing at something else. On top of this, you might be able to threaten light armour but that doesn’t mean you’re going to use plasma as anti-light armour. Plasma should be used to kill heavy infantry but can also be used to threaten light armour if you really need it.

When you look at it this way, think of plasma like the inverse of a missile launcher. A missile launcher is an anti-light armour tool that can be used in a pinch against heavy or light infantry. Plasma on the other hand should be used as a tool to deal with heavy infantry but can also be used to kill light infantry or light armour in a pinch. Another cute thing is that Plasma is actually better when your own model has a higher armour save to absorb the Gets Hot! wounds (and also worse, because that model will cost more so if it does die, you lost a greater investment.) It’s a shame however that terminators generally don’t get plasma weapons and the only thing you can get with them is possibly a combi-plasma. Funny, that the best and potentially worst platform for plasma can’t get it.

To summarise then: Plasma is great at killing heavy infantry and monstrous creatures. It can kill light infantry and threaten light vehicles but should not be taken for either of those reasons, just that you have the option to do so if your primary target is not available. Plasma compliments missile launchers very well. Plasma can also kill your own men so don’t spam it in your units. Bring enough plasma so that you have redundancy but not enough that you’ve forsaken everything else. You want balance, not overwhelming the enemy with your own bodies.

I hope this post has helped you to decide if you really want that extra plasma gun or you want 3×5 devastators with 4 plasma cannons or not. Know what plasma can do, what it can’t do and make sure that your list is balanced.

WA ‘Ultimate’ Masters Battlereport – Game 1 IG/GK vs SW/IG

Last weekend was the Western Australian 40K Masters tournament, better known as “The Ultimates”. This is an extremely slick and professional event, run by a team of die-hard enthusiasts lead by Luke (Malignant from the popular World’s End Radio podcast ), and is without a doubt the highlight of the gaming year in this state.
You can see an article I wrote just before this event about Analysing Scoring Systems to find the minimum required in order to score maximum points (and then compare it to actual results if you like: spoiler alert I follow it to the letter as much as possible.)

I’ve had a good run at this event since I started 40K, and won it in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Since I’ve only had time to get to a single 1 day event since the new book dropped I was so excited to see how I’d fair in 6th Edition.

Army: IG/GK 1800pts

Disclaimer: My preferred models didn’t arrive until the day after the lists were due, so I ended up adding a splash of GK. For anyone wondering, this is a good army but not a recommended ‘optimised’ list.  If you want to know what’s wrong with it, ask below.

Company Command Squad Plasma gun x3 Chimera
Platoon Command Squad (Flamer x3)
Infantry Squad  (Autocannon)
Infantry Squad  (Autocannon)
Special Weapons Squad (Flamer x3)
Veteran Squad, 180 pts (Plasma gun x3) Chimera
Psyker Battle Squad (I know! At a 6th edition event!)
3 Vendettas, 2 Manticores

Inquisitor Coteaz
10 Grey Knight Strike Squad 2 Psycannons 5 Halberds
Aegis Defence Lines  Quad-gun

Now on with the show. Where Kirby has been doing some excellent top down tactical pictures, I’ve gone for a close-up narrative forging approach, just as GW intended. It’s Cinematic 😀

Game 1 – Purge the Alien, Hammer and Anvil

My first game was against Tom White’s Drop Pod Space Wolves. This is a tradition for us; he’s a top 10 player in the country, on both the Australian ETC and Western Australian ATC team, and we used to frequently play the last round of tournaments against each other but have somehow consistently been playing 1st round ‘random draws’ instead for quite a while! At least it gets it out of the way early.

At least I was thoroughly ready. I had 10 Warp Quake capable GKs in the list (never got a casting off). If I lost first turn (I did), I could try seize it (I didn’t). If that failed, I could reroll it with Coteaz (failed), and even if none of those worked, I could take free shots at anything that landed within 12″ of Coteaz (several landed 13″ away). I was THAT ready. It’s just a shame nothing worked 😀

Tom’s Army:
Space Wolves with 7 Drop Pods, Rune Priests, Wolf Guard, Grey Hunters
Imperial Guard Allies: Primaris, Veterans, Vendetta, Hydra cus aint no flyer gonna get no free pass.

The wolves deployed all long fangs and the guard infantry on their 24″ line, while I set up in a castle formation even more deserving of the name now that it can build an Aegis wall around itself. Coteaz took the front corner to maximise the coverage of his 12″ bubble, but with 2 sword armed (ie cheap) GK in front of him to take the first wounds.
The first wave arrives:

Tom’s army is well-designed, allocating some pods to long fang units so they can drop empty later in order to force his first wave to be the bulk of his army. The first wave dropped just outside the aegis wall, mere inches from my own men, and started to blast away with rapid fire and meltaguns.

Tom strategically placed Wolfguards in terminator armour to absorbed fire or pass it around to less important models. The new ‘Deploy 6″ from pod’ rules are a huge bonus to this sort of army.

Longfangs opened up from backfield, and added to the mayhem. The vehicles weathered the storm well, only a few HP lost, but I was forced to have two entire infantry squads go to ground to reduce casualties due to the amount of rapid firing bolters.

My own turn one was a matter of extremely focussed prioritisation. Warp Quake and Prescience were both blocked by the Space Wolf rune priest, but I managed to get a Weaken Resolve off on the enemy Guard Squad. That probably seems like an odd target, but it was the only thing not sure to rally, it had a high value Primaris Psyker attached to it, and it was armed with 3 flamers – to IG that’s more threat than half a dozen plasma guns!

They broke and started a long trek off the board. Next was taking out the most likely enemies to be in assault range, before it was the Wolves next turn, with more pods falling and the survivors from the first wave surging forward – game on!

What followed was an extremely close range game of street-fighting, especially when a pod actually managed to land within the aegis and a squad of Wolves crept down the left flank and into charge range with guardsmen. My guardsmen squad was reduced to a single member, who broke, fled and then remembering this a was KP game rolled double 1s to get back into the fight.

Down the other end of the map, my Vendettas arrived before Tom’s hydra and Vendetta, so took some shots at Long fangs. As his vendetta and hydra arrived behind my own, I had two wheel around into hover mode to take out the side armour of the hydra and drop a flamer squad to burn long fangs in hopes of giving them too many targets to deal with.
Tom made the right choice under the circumstances by charging the Flamer squad with longfangs rather than trying for a more difficult KP from the Vendetta, but it was too little too late.

By this time, the Space wolf attack had been reduced to scrap metal. I think all the 40k players missed the 15 Minute warning so it ended with me getting a full turn less, but that had no impact on the final score as despite the damage suffered and models lost from units, I’d only lost 2 full KP.

20 points for Primary (KP), Secondaries (Warlord, First Blood) and Tertiaries (Victory Point margin).

One note from this game is that the growth of Plasma as an alternative to Melta in 6th actually makes fighting off the sort of pod army that used to be IG’s nemesis easier to handle than it has been in the past.
Another is Tom’s observation that he might have done better by dropping in closer, risking weathering whatever Coteaz’s storm bolters and psycannons could do, and getting a higher chance of a turn 2 charge with the survivors. That would have been a different game, but it’s certainly true that even a single Grey Hunter will often beat an entire Guardsquad in combat.

There’s always the first round of the next tournament to find out 😀

Emperor’s Legion Battle Report – Round 3: Grey Knights versus Imperial Guard

This was a very unfortunate mission. There’s a lot of
controversy with Hammer & Anvil currently in how it actually works as a
balanced mission format. I think it can work as a deployment type BUT you need
to be careful in how the mission parameters are set out. For example, this
mission used random number of objectives and Big Guns Never Tire. Um. No. This
allows armies which have silly ranges such as Imperial Guard and Tau to sit
back and shoot willy nilly at you because they can sit on objectives with their
firepower units and actually score with them.

Anyway, so I drew up Vince who was using IG. Great. I knew
Vince had an advantage. Vince knew he had an advantage. Everyone knew Vince had
an advantage on planet bowling ball. Time to set about removing it ^^. Vince’s
list can be seen below and he won-roll off for side – not much is different
between the two sides and we roll up four objectives – so no biggie who gets
first placement. Vince places his in the back corners of his deployment zone
and I put mine just over 48” away – this allows me to place my scoring Dreadnoughts on the objectives and be in range of his. Only one of these
objectives has cover however but it allows me to punish the side armor of the
Imperial Guard vehicles.
Vince’s list:

CCS w/4x Plasma Guns, Chimera
10x Veterans w/AC, 3x Plasma Guns, Chimera
10x Veterans w/AC, 3x meltaguns, Chimera
PCS w/4x flamers, Chimera
Infantry Platoon w/AC, Chimera
Infantry Platoon
2x1x Vendetta


Vince won roll-off for deployment and going first but
luckily we had Night Fight rolled up so it’s less likely for me to get shot off
the board. He deploys his Russes and Manticore in the very back on his
objectives with the Demolisher supported by Chimeras rolling up the middle. The
Vendettas with Infantry Platoon/PCS are in reserve obviously.

I deploy with my Dreadnoughts and Chimeras around my two
objectives – trying to put as many scoring units as possible onto my objectives
from the get go. Two Dreads + Coteaz go on the left objective where there is
cover whilst the Rhinos and Razorbacks spread out in midfield to avoid being
taken out all at once by the Manticore.

Imperial Guard Turn 1

The Demolisher moves up into range of the central
Rhino/Razorbacks with a Chimera moving up for support and the rest positioning
themselves for shooting lanes. Vince forgets all about searchlights throughout
his shooting phase which is lucky for me but is shooting is pretty off
regardless with improved cover saves stopping a lot of damage (we rolled to see
what would have happened otherwise and it would have likely been a destroyed
Rhino/Razorback and a few more Hull Points lost across the army). The end
result is just a few hull point strippings across the board and no serious
damage done.

Grey Knights Turn 1

I have two real priorites here – stop the Manticore from
shooting and stop the Demolisher. The other Russes I can’t really do anything
about without access to their AV13 sides and I just need to try and minimise
the damage they can do with spreading out – I’d rather stop the S10 ordanance
blasts for multiple reasons (AP2 on demolisher, multiple blasts from Manticore
which ignore cover, etc.). My left flank all shuffles to see the side arc of
the Demolisher – it’s still AV13 but S7 plasma can now damage the Demolisher
and S8/10 has that little bit better chance of damaging it. The rhinos and
Razorbacks all move up with a few angling for side shots on the Chimeras but
the key here is pushing across the field as fast as possible – all Grey Knights
stay inside.

The Dread + Chimera on the right flank line themselves up
against the Manticore but I pre-measured wrong previously so the Psyker blast
is out of range of the Manticore.

I spotlight the Manticore and Demolisher and begin shooting.
My right flank firepower knocks a hull point off the Manticore and immoblises
it (nuts…) and also drops a hull point + stuns one of the Chimeras there. The
left Psyker squad is able to destroy the Demolisher all by itself with two
glances from Plasma and a pen from the Psyker blast – this leaves my Dreads
free to start working on Chimeras. The midfield Chimera which was supporting
the Demolisher explodes and takes with it over half the squad inside. The
undamaged Chimera on the right flank takes side shots from the other Dread and
is also stunned and down to one hull point.

Imperial Guard Turn 2

The Imperial Guard midfield is already gone and the weak
sides of the Chimeras are still under pressure. Fortunately the arrival of some
much needed extra firepower comes in with the two Vendettas. One Vendetta goes
up each flank flying over the Imperial Guard objectives straight towards the
Grey Knight objectives. This is going to my biggest issue as the Vendettas can
bypass my Grey Knight Marines and sit on my objectives – if Vince is able to
remove the Psyker squads he can control those back objectives since Heavy
Support vehicles may score but they don’t contest (i.e. infantry units win out
here). I perhaps should have therefore placed my objectives more towards
midfield to force the Vendettas to hover if they wish to drop their payload
without flying off the board (i.e. not give them a nice straight strafing run
before they drop off the Guardsmen).

Marbo also comes in and he drops in near my right objective.
This is all the movement Vince really does – the Russes move backwards a bit now
that Night Fight is gone and they are in range so the shooting begins. A Dread
on the left is exploded by the Manticore with a hull point dropped from the
other. The lone Dread is dropped to a single hull point and the Chimera on the right is destroyed with the Chimera
exploding and killing most of the squad inside with only some Plasma guys and a
Psyker left. The other Chimera with Coteaz is also wrecked and several Psykers
die from follow-up firepower but the squad sticks around.

Grey Knights Turn 2

See? Scary firepower IG has but luckily I’m well into
midfield with the bulk of my army so I can start pushing his army into a
corner. Unfortuantely though I’m already in a pickle with the Vendettas as I
just stated – if my Strikes continue moving forward, I’m not going to have much
on my backfield objectives. I trust in my ability to clear the IG lines quickly
and send units back towards my objectives and/or deal with the Vendettas before
that time comes. Placing objectives is important!

The very diminished squad of Psykers on the right moves up
to drop Marbo and move back towards the objective there whilst remaining in
area terrain for improved cover saves if they hit the dirt. The core of Grey
Knights continues moving up through the middle with one Psyback on the left
flank. One of the large squads + a small squad hop out in the middle to level
three Psycannons and a bunch of stormbolters at the side of the left-most

Shooting begins with most of my units shooting diagonally
across the board to drop vehicles in their side arcs. The Manticore is
destroyed and the full health Chimera on the left flank is Wrecked and the one
Hull Point Chimera on the right flank is also Wrecked. The Veterans on the left
are pinned but the CCS on the right is fine. Marbo is destroyed by the weakened
Psyker squad. Both Vendettas lose a Hull point with the right flank Vendetta jinking.

Imperial Guard Turn 3

Vince essentially has Vendettas and Russes left with some
associated Guardsmen and special weapons but the core army is evaporating
unfortunately. The Vendettas continue their straight line run across the battlefield and bypass my army entirely – essentially it’s looking like we are swapping objectives due to my poor placement. The CCS moves around the Chimera to shoot at the exposed Grey Knights of the large squad and the Russes again reverse a little bit. 

Shooting sees the final Dread on the right die and a handful of Grey Knights from the large squad with some associated damage to the Henchmen squad on the left who’s looking a bit thin now as well. Disembarked large Strike squad’s Rhino is immobilised.

Grey Knight Turn 3

I’m really feeling the pinch in terms of those Vendettas flying over my main battle lines atm.

Regardless, I have to continue pushing the Imperial Guard
off their objectives at the least and although Vince is feeling like the game
is all wrapped up – I know what those Vendettas are going to do and if I can’t
drop them or the game doesn’t last a serious amount of length so I can try to
shoot the Guardsmen off the objectives, he could snatch a draw out of this. So,
the small squad on the left and big squad in the middle converge on the pinned
Veterans – aiming to use them to get much closer to the Russes. The other Rhino
moves towards the right IG objective whilst moving into the Vendettas back arc
to snap fire a bunch of Psycannons at it. The other small Strike squad
moves laterally to do the same.

Shooting sees no damage done to the flyers. The Veterans on
the left are removed however after a successful charge from both Strike squads
who spread out in a big circle in front of the Russes. The Chimera wreck was used to limit incoming Overwatch firepower into the initial squad to ensure as little possible damage was done.

Imperial Guard Turn 4

Flyers uh move forward. Vince had the debate here whether or not he should go into hover mode now or next turn. I pointed out it’s Turn 4 and for once, we weren’t running out of time so Turn 5 was the earliest it could finish. I.e. don’t hover/get out now as I have more time to kill you. He kept zooming but obviously had limited attack vectors.

This left the CCS + Russes to try and do as much damage as possible. The CCS dropped a couple of the Strikes from the smaller squad on the right flank and the Russes reduced the large squad five members (including the Justicar though) and the small squad to one member. Firepower from the Chimera drops the henchmen squad on the right as well.

Grey Knight Turn 4

At this point I feel I should have sent the other large Rhino based Strike Squad back towards one of my objectives the previous turn leaving the smaller squad to handle the IG remaining there.

The large Strike squad moves up to the Russes to assault both in combat and try for some lucky shooting one to death since the MC Hammer can only do so much. The other large squad in their Rhino moves up to the remaining Chimera + Platoon with the final Strike squad running towards the objective. The Psyback and lone Strike Marine on the left move back towards my home objective.

The immobilised Rhino repairs itself, the small Strike squad kills the CCS so I get the bonus point for commander kill and the Dreadnought is able to drop the final Chimera which disgorges the Platoon in front of my Strike squad. They kill all but the Heavy Weapon Team. The other large Strike squad manages to Rend a Russ to death and smashes the other in combat ensuring no more AP3 pie plate death.

Turns 5-7

No more pictures sorry. Game winds down as Vince is able to clear the right objective even with the Strikes + re-mobilised Rhino moving back and half clears the left objective by killing the Dread and the henchmen squad. However, before he kills the henchmen squad they force the Platoon to flee in combat which continues fleeing the next turn and then is tank shocked to flee further and engaged by the lone Strike Marine. This along with the lone HWT being killed ends up with a 2-1 objective advantage to me as the game ends  Turn 7.


Game ends 19-6 my way with myself holding two objectives and
Vince holding one. He killed my most expensive HQ for his extra point and the
loss of my extra point whilst I did everything else for the bonuses.

So an interesting game with some major mistakes on both
sides. Vince didn’t utilise his searchlights Turn 1 which would have done just
a bit more damage to my army and stopped so much of it from getting into
midfield so early backed up by a lack of recovery movement/positioning. I
didn’t place my objectives right nor counter their placement with proper
recovery movement to make it more difficult for Vince to even think of claiming
them. Otherwise we saw a classic case of whatever Imperial Guard shoots at,
soon dies but if you get up close to Imperial Guard, they die faster. Getting
into midfield was key and by not having my objectives up there, my plan was
potentially fragmented.

On Vince’s side, after the forgetfulness of the Searchlights
there was no movement to maximise what he had in spades – shooting. Although I
think too much of his shooting was wrapped up in the blasts of the Russes +
Manticore (without enough direct shooting when the Vendettas were off the
board), sitting in Chimeras which were sitting still and letting them get
destroyed and the Guardsmen bailing out too close to my army allowed me to
essentially go from unit to unit at will in terms of destructive power. Some
more mobility and reactive approach after my army started moving through
midfield would have provided more longevity and pushed delays at me to allow
the firepower to drop a few more models/vehicles before I actually got to his
main lines.

All in all an enjoyable game and one which was more
challenging for me than it looks which I can put squarely on my shoulders ^^.
Vince still needs to practice unfortunately – movement is key kiddo!

Barrage Weapons – The Vehicle-Wrecking Super-Snipers of 6th Edition

Barrage Weapons – The Vehicle-Wrecking Super-Snipers of 6th Edition

In a prelude to the Heavy Support part of my Imperial Guard review, I am going to have a look at the way the rules governing Ordnance Batteries, Barrage Weapons and Indirect fire have changed. There are a lot of subtle changes, but what they add up to is a range of tanks that have become the Vehicle-Wrecking Super-Snipers of 6th Edition.

The focus of this article is on the best of the Barrage weapons, so it is very Imperial Guard-orientated, but many of the rules also apply to Whirlwinds and simlilar units. Whether you use IG as your primary force,  are considering allying in some Ordnance Batteries or are just likely to face them, you need to know these rules.

New: Includes the IG 1.1 FAQ  changes

Indirect Fire

The new rules for barrage weapons combine a lot of the old advantages of direct and indirect fire when they give the user the option that “Barrage weapons can fire indirect” (page 34), but give most of the advantages of indirect fire to anything that is a Barrage weapon.
Disadvantages: The only penalty firing indirect is that unit does not get to reduce scatter by their Ballistic Skill.
Advantages: None. That’s right; the old advantages that firing indirect meant you ignored intervening cover, hit side armour and counted the blast as coming from the centre of the marker are now default to all Barrage weapons, whether firing indirect or not.
When to fire Indirect:
Because it means the unit does not reduce scatter by BS and now does not grant any advantages, there are only three times you will want to fire Indirect:
  • When you don’t have Line of Sight to the target
  • When the target is within minimum range
o   This is a HUGE improvement to some weapons, especially the Basilisk and Colossus that previously could not even fire on enemies within 36” and 24” respectively. Not being able to reduce the shot by BS is a tiny price to pay for this new utility.
  • When the firing unit has a rule that says it cannot fire directly
o   For example the Colossus, DeathStrike and Griffon (see update below)

FAQ Update

Update: A new FAQ was released by GW today:
“Page 53 – Ordnance Battery, Griffon Heavy Mortar.
Ignore the reference to direct fire.”
The reference is “A Griffon heavy mortar cannot fire directly.”
“Page 53 – Ordnance Battery, Colossus Siege Mortar.
Ignore the reference to direct fire.”
The reference is “A colossus siege mortar cannot fire directly.”
The effect of these changes is that both of these weapons are no longer required to fire indirect, and therefor can reduce scatter by their BS if they can see their target and it is not within minimum range. The effect is similar to an improvement from 0 to 3 Ballistic Skill, and makes both vehicles even more appealing.
(The Deathstrike will probably be updated in a future FAQ when GW remembers it exists.)


Previously vehicles could only fire indirect when they had remained stationary. This reduced the utility of indirect-only vehicles like the colossus, which would never be able to fire in turn 1 of Dawn of War.
This restriction is gone, meaning that all vehicles with barrage weapons can move, and because “vehicles are relentless and can fire ordnance weapons counting as stationary” (page 41) you can fire when coming on from reserve.
Tip: Keeping fragile gun tanks in reserve is now much more viable as there are no penalties for moving and they can fire indirect either way. Consider using reserves if both you and your opponent have a Manticore or equivalent.
Tip: Because there are no penalties for moving, you should nudge your barrage tanks every turn. There’s always the chance the 3+ to hit will help you against a surprise charge by an enemy unit. Even if they are miles away, get into a habit.

Barrages Weapons against troops

Barrage Weapons are better than ever against non-vehicle units. 
  1. Cover saves from barrage are from centre of blast marker – which in many cases means they will not get a cover save at all if not in area terrain. Even an Aegis defence line does no good if the blast marker ends on the same side of the cover as the enemy.
  2. Sniping – you are free to place your blast marker over any enemy model in the unit; there is no requirement to cover as many as possible. (Page 33). You then work out how many enemy models are under the marker, and roll that many wounds. You then roll the amount of wounds as if they came from the centre of the blast marker. 
    1. This means that if you place the marker on a particular model, for example a Commissar in a unit of guardsmen, and score a hit and 6 wounds against the unit, you roll all wounds against the Commissar until he is either dead or you run out of wounds. Characters can try to use Look Out Sir! Rolls to avoid taking them, but luck only lasts so long.
If it’s not yet clear, between this ability to allocate wounds to a target and the fact that cover is only taken from the centre of the blast, these big guns are some of the best weapons in the game for sniping targets and avoiding wound-allocation shenanigans.
As a bonus, all Barrage weapons cause a pinning test (page 34)– it is no longer at minus 1 to their leadership, but works whether you fire direct or indirect.

Barrage Weapons against Vehicles

Barrage Weapons are better than ever against vehicles.
  1. First is the big change; the vehicle is hit any time any part of a blast marker ends up over the vehicle or its base. Previously it was a full strength hit only if the centre was over the vehicle, otherwise a half strength hit  usually to low to do any damage. Imagining that all barrage weapons can scatter an extra 2.5 inches and are thus now BS5.5 is only half the picture – the other half is the new ability to wreck several targets at once.
  2. “Hits against vehicles are always resolved against side armour” 34
  3. “assume the shot is coming from the centre of the blast marker” makes them likely to avoid giving vehicles most cover saves
  4. Most barrage weapons are also ordnance, which as a rule that allows 2 dice and pick the highest (page 51) when rolling to penetrate vehicles.
The downside to all this is that the popular AP4 and AP3 barrage weapons are now less likely to get an ‘explodes’ result since they don’t have bonuses on the vehicle damage chart, but it’s a small price to pay for the amount of hull points they are going to strip.

Barrage Weapons against Flyers

Do not work. They can’t snapfire, and cannot fire at Flyers. Never mind, you can’t have everything.

Barrage Weapons against Ruins

Barrage weapons always hit the highest level that is under the hole in the centre of the marker (page 100). Note that this is a rule for all barrages all the time, and is not just when firing them indirect, so it is possible for the enemies of the Imperium to cower deep in their lairs and caves and stay safe. Send in the flamers, boys.

Multiple barrages

In 6th Edition, if a unit fires more than 1 shot, place the marker and roll for scatter. Subsequent shots only need to roll the scatter dice, which shows the direction the next template should be placed in. If a hit is rolled place the blast marker touching any part of any marker that has already been placed (note it does not necessarily have to be placed touching the original marker and does not have to be centred on a model, so you can often get more hits on other units).
“Then allocate wounds caused to model closest to the centre of the appropriate blast marker” – which gives you another chance to snipe models out of a unit.
Tip: This is important if you are using multiple barrage weapons at tournaments. Scatter dice are funny things, and it is really hard to ever get two people to agree on the exact angle. If you think it’s bad with 1 scatter roll, try doing three, when your opponent really really doesn’t want you to be able to vapourise their favourite model they were up until 3am painting before the tournament.

Rolling near the target is great advice but only takes you so far, so what I have done is “invented” a little tripod; by lucky coincidence the Large Blast is the same size as a CD, so if you take the clear transparent top from a spindle of blank CD/DVDs and cut it so that it has 3 legs, you can use this to place the original blast marker and then move it. This gets you maximum fair amount of casualties without demolishing your Sports Score – and scored me a ‘Hobby’ point as a bonus.

Multiple Barrages and FAQ 1.1a

GW released a new FAQ on the same day this article was published, and it included the following:

  • Q: In a multiple barrage, do you determine all of the hits and all of the Wounds separately for each blast, or do you resolve all of blasts in one go? (p34)
  • A: Work out the total number of models hit by each template, then proceed to allocate Wounds and remove casualties as normal for the models hit by each seperate template.

When firing a multiple barrage, you do not work out the hits and wounds for each template one at a time; if you did them seperately for each blast then the first blast would hit an intact squad, the second would hit a squad depleted by casualties from the first and the third would hit an even smaller squad, etc, which would be incorrect.

This FAQ does not change how the wounds are allocated, so they are still from the centre of the blast and in the case of a multiple barrage you will need to note which models were closest to the centre of each blast.

All wounds and casualties are then allocated and removed in one go, starting with the models closest to the first blast that hit, then moving on to the models closest to the centre of any subsequent ones.

Secondary Weapons

In another change, “Vehicles can move and fire ordnance, but if firing ordnance can only make snap shots with other weapons. “ This means that a vehicle can now fire it’s massive gun and still take pot shots with a heavy bolter or similar weapon. Firing 3 shots at BS1 will get you a free hit every 2 turns you wouldn’t have had before.
Tip: Don’t do it. Resist temptation to roll 3 extra dice and instead take a Heavy Flamer on at least one barrage tank (generally the one nearest the board edge vs outflankers or nearest the enemy otherwise). The Heavy Flamer is so much better than a BS1 HB, even if you only use it once per game. The heavy flamer is a great way to make opponents a lot more nervous about outflanking, because although Vehicles can’t fire on overwatch, the outflankers can’t charge on arrival so you may have time to invite them to a barbeque.
In my opinion, Manticores in particular should always take the Heavy Flamer, because they generally run out of ammo on turn 4 and now can move an impressive 18” on turn 5 to get into heavy flamer territory for the end game.

The One Gun Syndrome

The IG Barrage Tanks did not literally suffer from the one-gun syndrome, where tanks lost their weapon and became useless, but even with multiple weapons they certainly suffered a massive loss in use because it was always the best gun taken. The change to weapon destroyed results being randomised is a big plus for all gun tanks, especially these.


Open Topped

Four of the six IG Barrage tanks are open topped. Now that there is no roll on the chart for glances, the disadvantages this causes are smaller. Unless the hit is a penetration, open topped is now irrelevant.
Tip: This one is simple; don’t spend 15 points on Enclosed Crew Compartments to fix a problem the rules have already improved.

Ordnance Barrages and Night Fight

Ordnance barrage weapons can fire at a target that it cannot see, in the case of the IG Deathstrike up to a maximum of 960 inches (24 metres) away. 
It might be a surprise to find that under current rules none of these weapons can fire at a target more than 36″ away in the dark. However, since the Night Fight rules do not include an exception for weapons that don’t need to see the target be aware you need to illuminate the enemy with searchlights if you want to fire barrages, even if your firing model can’t see the target either way, and that any non-illuminated targets within 36″ will get the usual Stealth/Shrouded bonuses even if you are firing at them indirectly. 
It’s a small price to pay for the benefits of these weapons, and maybe the fact it forces players to take a more combined-arms approach using support vehicles as well as artillery will make the game more  theatrical, dramatic, spectacular, and help ensure your army machetes its own gripping path through the dark jungle of 40K legends.  
(I promised not to use ‘cinematic’ in this article)

In conclusion

Ordnance Batteries are better than ever against vehicles, better than ever against models outside Vehicles, are more versatile, able to move and shoot better, less likely to have their key weapon destroyed and cannot be stopped from firing by glancing hits.
They suffer the same vulnerability to Hull Point degradation as any other vehicle, but with the advantage of being deployed much further away from the danger zone and by the time they are worn down should have done the damage for which they were purchased.

They are effectively more accurate against vehicles, able to hit several targets with full strength at a time, and have the tremendous unique ability to snipe enemy models simply by nuking the entire site from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

Getting more from your Squadrons – Splitting by Immobilisation

Today’s topic will be about getting more use of the new Squadron rules, firstly because it seems a lot of players are still unaware of how much more user-friendly they are (it’s almost as if GW want you to buy more models!) and secondly because I’m going to be showing how you can exploit them to their full potential. And yes I do mean ‘Exploiting’ the rules, but I don’t have even twinge of conscience over it since it may help combat the Necron Flyer spam lists that are currently causing a lot of people grief.

Update: Just a few days after this article was published GW in their infinite wisdom change the immobilistion rules in FAQ 1.1; if a vehicle suffers an immobilisation result it now also loses a Hull Point. With this change, it becomes a lot less viable to use the tactic of purposefully immobilising vehicles in order to split up a squadron into individual components, and the Hydra is probably the only case where it might be even worth considering.

The Basic Squadron rules

I touched on the squadron rules in my earlier article Valkyries and Vendettas in 6th which is worth a look, but it is taking a while for it to catch on just how much more generous the the squadron rules are compared to 5th. Starting with the basics;
  1. Vehicles a squadron must remain within 4” of one another
  2. Must fire on a single enemy target
  3. Speed is judged individually
    1.                Assuming coherency is maintained it is possible for vehicles to move at different speeds and fire with different Ballistic Skills rules.
  4. Flat out is declared individually. 
    1. For example, if one skimmer in a squadron is stunned, it can leapfrog over a squadron mate to get a 4+ save while its comrade fires at full BS. (Since squadron-mates can see through one another without granting a cover save, you can fire your weapons through the open doors on the side of your comrades Valkyrie. It’s Cinematic).
  5. The closest model takes all the hits until destroyed
    1. All vehicles in a squadron as still vulnerable, but this is a big improvement over the hits being evenly ‘spread’ across a squadron immediately. The same applies for damage taken in assaults, so while a vehicle can still be damaged by enemy infantry that aren’t actually in base contact with it when they assault one of the vehicle’s squadron-mates, it is more likely that a single vehicle will take most or all of the damage results.           
And now we get to the fun part                

Abandoning Squadron-mates: Splitting by Immobilisation

“If a member of a squadron is immobilised the rest of the squadron are permitted to abandon it. Move out of coherency and treat the Immobilised Model(s) as a separate unit from then on.” (page 77). 
Not only is that a huge improvement over the old rules where an immobilised vehicle in a squadron was destroyed, there are a couple of very important things to know. Firstly, if your immobilised vehicle suffers another immobilised result it loses a hull point (pg 74), but a vehicle does not lose a hull point from just being immobilised. (Changed in FAQ 1.1)
Secondly, your ex-squadron mates have just gained the split-targeting ability of a Tau Target locking Long Fang Mofo.

How this applies to Hydras

All but one army in the game can ally to buy Hydras, but only one army can buy them individually. So for those less lucky or even IG who have better things to do with their other Heavy slots, buy a squadron of 2 or 3, and drive them into terrain each turn. If you go first, by the time your opponent’s air force arrives on Turn 2 the odds are good one of your Hydras will have become its own unit and will be able to fire independently.
You have excellent odds of all three Hydras being able to pick out flyers independently by turn 4, just by gently driving forwards and backwards on the edge of terrain until they are split by immobilisation. 
(For the record, an Aegis is not adequate anti-air defence. If the enemy don’t have air, they don’t care. If they do have air, your Aegis is dead. On the other hand, 3 independently targeting Hydras and an Aegis might make your Necron friend consider bringing a better balanced list than more Croissants than a Breakfast Buffet.)

In practice, if you have a squadron of 3 hydras deployed near terrain and nudge them, you have a 42% chance of splitting at least one from the squadron on turn 1 (not 50%, don’t even think that or you’ll get flamed by the math-hammer gang lol), and a 66% chance of splitting at least one Hydra before the shoot-phase of turn 2.
The tactical cost of this crazy little operation are negligible; Hydras are generally deployed in a corner and behind a piece of terrain for cover-saves anyway, and the height and long range of the turret weapons should avoid any real down-side.


How this applies to Ordnance Batteries

The Basilisk, Medusa, Colossus and Griffon can all be bought in groups of 1 to 3. The rules for these tanks have changed subtly but sufficiently enough for them to warrant their own article, but for the purpose of this discussion it means they can now move and fire even when firing indirect, and thus can move into terrain each turn until immobilised and not lose any firepower.
So let’s Smash ’em up, because if you like the idea of a squadron of 3 Griffons for 225 points you’ll love having three that fire independently, and all you have to do to get that is break a few treads.


How this applies to Leman Russes

Edit: Definitely not worth doing now Immobilisation causes a Hull Point of damage.
Unlike other units, vehicles can move and fire Ordnance weapons (71), which means there is no penalty for your movement into terrain with that squadron of Leman Russes. Maybe you’ll get lucky and immobilise one!
I’d only do this with long range tanks, so almost never with a Demolisher, but russes with a range of 48 to 72″ work best in a corner deployment anyway Smashing one is well worth considering. Yes, you’re going to be hit easier in combat, but it’s not as big a difference as previously, the tanks can’t contest objectives so have less reason to be moving anyway, and if the enemy get into assault with a 72″ range tank something has already gone wrong elsewhere. 
Would I actually do this in a real game? Realistically I rarely play point sizes so large that squadrons of Leman Russes are affordable. If using Guard as allies with a force that could really benefit from long range AP3 firepower (Chaos Daemons for example) enough to take a squadron, then it could be worth considering immobilising one Leman Russ in a corner and having the other mobile.


How this applies to Vendettas

Edit: Definitely not worth doing now Immobilisation causes a Hull Point of damage.
This is slightly different; firstly if immobilised while zooming a skimmer just splits from the squadron keeps using the same speed, so this could be a positive thing. However, that can only be caused by enemy shooting, so isn’t something you can or should hope for since it also costs a Hull Point.
You can however switch into skimmer mode, and land in terrain in a corner of the board facing in towards likely targets if you want to try turn squadrons into individual units (“Skimmers take a dangerous terrain test if starting or ending a move in difficult terrain pg99”). Don’t move flat out into terrain as skimmers are still wrecked by immobilisation if flat out (pg99).
I really wouldn’t advise trying it though – certainly, it would be nice to get 9 independently fireable Vendettas, but unlike splitting up Hydra or Griffon Squadrons the downsides to immobilising a fast moving unit that is usually only hit on a 6+ are too great.

Warnings and Caveats

Before you start breaking treads it’s worth knowing how they could effect your results in 3 of the new scenarios.
  • Heavy support doesn’t score in ‘Bug Guns’ if immobilised. pg 128 – Try not to immobilise the whole squadron
  • Fast attack doesn’t score in ‘Scouring’ if immobilised pg 129 – Try not to immobilise the whole squadron
  • Purge the Alien Mission (page 127) “At the end of the game, each player receives 1 Victory Point for each enemy unit that has been completely destroyed”. This means a member of a squadron that becomes a separate unit and is then destroyed counts as a Victory Point.


The main thing this article is designed to do is show that Squadrons are significantly better than before, even if it requires going to the extreme of showing how they can be exploited. And the rules can and should be exploited, especially if your local area is seeing a lot of players exploit the 9+ Necron Flyer Breakfast-Buffet army builds while GW are still dilly-dallying about handing out some decent Sky Fire options. Currently the best options for splitting by immobilisation are squadrons of Hydras and Griffons, both of which are cheap and benefit from independent firing.
To this very day I still see lists with Dozerblade upgrades on Ordnance Squadrons; if you just take away one thing from this article I hope it would be to save those points for something more useful. 

IG Codex Review in 6th – Part two: Primaris Psyker

30 things you need to know about the Primaris Psyker

The Primaris Psykers and The IG

As I mentioned in the first article in the IG Codex review series, I’ve heard quite a few people are interested in allying with the Imperial Guard and using the Primaris Psyker as the mandatory HQ in order to get access to the rest of the codex’s goodies. This article is aimed both at them and at the many stalwart players who use IG as their primary army and are interested in how access to the new Psychic Tables has changed the only Psyker in their codex apart from the Psyker Battle Squad.

First let’s have a look what you get for your money. 


The Imperial Guard Primaris Psyker is a model with Leadership 9, 5+/5++, Toughness 3 and 2 Wounds for 70pts. He comes with a laspistol and force weapon, but unlike many IC psykers has no upgrade or weapon options available.
The Primaris Psyker comes with two codex powers by default:

  •  Lightning Arc 24″ S6 AP5 Assault 2D6. This averages a decent 7 shots, but while the illustration with lightning coming out of the psyker’s fingertips is cool does your army really need a shorter-ranged multilaser that requires a LD check and can be stopped by deny the witch? IG Rating: 5/10
  • Nightshroud: Enemy must check leadership to shoot Psyker or his squad, but even if they fail, they still get to shoot something else. Hardly worth the final word in the phrase ‘a terrible power’.  IG Rating 1/10 

What’s Changed

The Primaris Psyker has now become Mastery Level 1 with the chance to roll for 2 powers from the Biomancy, Pyromancy, Telepathy and Telekinesis Psychic Charts. 
In a nutshell, neither of the Codex powers were good enough to justify his inclusion in competitive lists under the old rules, so the Primaris Psyker’s best chance in 6th Edition relies on his access to the new Psychic Chart. 

Now we’re diving in deep the deep end to look at all 30 book powers.

First a quick refresher on how the shooting powers work

  • Witchfire – Rolls To Hit, or scatters if blast, or hits automatically if template.
  • Focussed Witchfire – Pick out models in an enemy unit if your LD test is 5 or less test.
  • Beam – fire in a line from Psyker and hit all under the line, strength reduced by 1 for every hit.
  • Maelstrom – targets all units (friend or foe) in range, regardless of line of sight, being locked in combat, intervening models/terrain and so on.
  • Nova – Automatically hits all enemy units within the maximum range, regardless of line of sight, being locked in combat, intervening models/terrain and so on.


Primaris Power: Smite
12″ Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
S4 AP2 A4
Short range terminator-tickler, combining excellent armour penetration with mediocre strength. Has to roll to hit (BS4) as well as pass Psychic Check, then pass Deny the Witch and then wounds on a 4. The short range doesn’t suit Guard, limiting the value of this power. The best use would probably be accompanying a plasma squad into rapidfire range – but that just serves to highlight how much better off you would have been to buy more plasma guns with the same points.
IG Rating 4/10
1 – Iron Arm
(Self) Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker gains +D3 Strength and Toughness and Eternal Warrior
While this is tremendously appealing to a model like Mephiston, the Primaris Psyker is a Lover not a Fighter; this has very little use for a T3 5++ character. Take the Default power.
IG Rating 2/10
2 – Enfeeble
Malediction, Warp Charge 1
Enemy unit within 24″, -1 Strength and Toughness while in effect and they treat all terrain including open ground as difficult
Very useful; the range and effect of the power combine well for a shooting army, and some of our worst enemies (jumppacks, bikers) suffer most from difficult terrain. It reduces the instant death threshold for of high toughness models, making high strength shooting much more effective.
If this was the Primaris power, I would take it by default and include a Psyker in every army. No, really.
IG Rating 10/10
3 – Endurance
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
One friendly unit within 24″ gains Feel no Pain, It will not Die and Relentless
Definitely not as useful for Guard as some armies, but there is one build that could really benefit from it: the massed Infantry Blob. It will not Die is no help, but there is a huge appeal to FNP and Relentless to allow a guard unit of 40 or so men to rapidfire and then assault. The problem is you can’t build an army around a random power.
It can also restore hull points, but doing so requires a psychic test and then a 5+ roll, making it a long shot unless you are running squadrons of vehicles in which case it becomes reasonable. Again, the problem is you can’t build an army around a random power.
IG Rating 5/10
4 – Life Leech
12″ Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
S6 AP2 A2 – Psyker regains a wound for each caused
Short range terminator-killer. It has half the shots of Smite but at higher Strength; since the ‘wound regain’ aspect is not very useful on a T3 character you are often better off with the Default smite unless the psyker is with an anti-vehicle unit.
IG Rating 3/10
5 – Warp Speed
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker gain +D3 to Initiative and Attacks, and gains the Fleet Special rule
Primaris Psykeris a Lover not a Fighter; this has very little use for a T3 5++ character.  Take Default power.
IG Rating 1/10
6 – Haemorrhage
Focussed Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
12″ Toughness test, no armour or cover saves allowed, if dead, randomly select another model within 2″ (Friend or foe), if that one is slain, continue the process until the test is saved
This power is very easy to over-rate. If you kill more than 3 models, you are probably using it on Gretchin.
IG Rating 4/10

Conclusion: Don’t roll on the Biomancy table if you are Imperial Guard.


The Imperial Guard do not get access to the Divination table, which is a shame because it has a primaris power that would be useful always in every army. I am including it because you can gain access to it through allies, but apologies to anyone who wants to run a pure Guard army and feels like an orphan looking through the sweet-shop (candystore) window.
Primaris Power: Prescience
12″ Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Target unit can re-roll all failed to hit rolls
The beautiful love-child of the Guard order ‘Bring it down’ and Eldar’s Guide. Prescience allows re-rolling all failed rolls to hit and affects vehicles as well as infantry, works in close combat as well as shooting, and (unlike BID) doesn’t require the enemy to be a vehicle or MC. Whether you run ordnance squadrons, heavy weapon teams or massed infantry units, this is without a doubt an excellent power.
IG Rating 9/10
1 – Foreboding
(Self) Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker and unit has Counter Assault and shoot Overwatch at normal ballistic skill. An amazing ability if combined with a large squad of shooty troops liable to getting charged. ie, A Guard Blob Squad. Less impressive but still useful if the Psyker is in a vet squad with plasmaguns or similar. Does not allow your models to fire blast weapons, and the psyker must be in the charged squad.
IG Rating 7/10
2 – Forewarning
12″ Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Target friendly unit has 4++ save. 
It’s not a big step up from a cover save against shooting and T3 models will still die in combat, so probably best to take Prescience.
IG Rating 4/10 – It would get a higher score if it is applied to allied assault units instead of Guard.
3 – Misfortune
24″ Malediction, Warp Charge 1
One enemy unit re-rolls all successful saves. 
The range makes it combine well with a good round of shooting, making marines and terminators a lot more vulnerable. Guard’s long range firepower means our army can really take advantage of an enemy unit that has this cast on it.
IG Rating 8/10
4 – Perfect Timing
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker and units weapons ignore cover special rule. 
Cover being 5+ and ‘Focus Fire’ abilities make this less useful than it could have been, as does the fact that so many Guard weapons are blocked by armour instead of cover. However, there are times this will be useful, especially if the opponent has stealth. If not, take the primaris power Prescience.
IG Rating 6/10
5 – Precognition
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
The Psyker can re-roll all failed to hit and wound rolls, as well as saves. 
This would get a very low rating if used on the Primaris Psyker, but having access to it means you are using an ally who may benefit more. It is unlikely to be a better choice than Prescience.
IG 4/10
6 – Scrier’s Gaze
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Roll three dice and chose the result you want when rolling for reserves, Outflank and Mysterious terrain. 
Ignoring the Mysterious Terrain (since most tournament I’ve heard of don’t want to use it), this makes your Psyker into a super-Astropath.
If you are playing IG as your main army and have lots of reserves you should have already bought an Astropath for a +1 to reserves and re-roll of outflank (admittedly not as good, but a lot more reliable). On the other hand, if you don’t have many reserves, this is not a very useful power.
IG Rating 5/10

Conclusion: This is the Chart you wish you could roll on, because the worst case scenario is you get an amazing Prescience power. If you want it, get yourself a Rune Priest or similar ally.


Primaris Power: Flame Breath
Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
Template S5 AP4 A1 Soul Blaze
A heavy flamer with soul blaze. While Soul Blaze sounds fun (if a model suffers an unsaved wound, the squad stays on fire on a  4+ and takes D3 S4 AP5 (flamer) hits next turn), in reality what you are getting is a heavy flamer that can’t be used in Overwatch, requires a psychic test and grants a Deny the Witch save. Guard get Heavy Flamers without those disadvantages on most vehicles for free, or pay 20pts to add one to many squads. As with Haemorrhage, I think GW over estimated the value of a power having potential to hurt more than once.
IG Rating 3/10
1 – Fiery Form
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker gains 4++ save and +2 strength, his close combat attacks are Soul Blaze
The Primaris Psyker is a Lover not Fighter. Take the default power over this.
IG Rating 2/10
2 – Fire Shield
Blessing 24″ range, Warp Charge 1
One friendly unit has a 4+ cover save from shooting attacks except melta and soul blaze, plus any enemy charging suffers 2D6 S4 AP- hits at I10.
The cover save and the average of 7 hits (not shots) to chargers are more beneficial to Guard than most armies due to our low armour and allergy to assaults. Combined with overwatch you may have a chance of wracking up enough casualties to actually stall an assault. This isn’t a top-drawer power, but is worth keeping.
IG Rating 6/10
3 – Inferno
Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
24″ S4 AP5 A1, Soul Blaze, Blast, Ignores cover
Think of this as a 24″ range frag-missile that fires as assault rather than heavy, ignores cover and might set things on fire. When you see it like that it is difficult to justify the cost of the psyker. Could be better than Flame Breath in some cases because of the range, so consider keeping it.
IG Rating 3/10
4 – Spontaneous Combustion
Focussed Witchfire 18″, Warp Charge 1
The target model suffers a wound with no armour or cover saves allowed. If killed, center a blast marker over his and all other models sufer a S4 AP5 Ignore Cover hit.
This is a good power because it causes a wound (not a hit, a wound) with no armour saves allowed, you get to pick the target on a LD check of 5 or less and it works at a reasonable range. The extra blast afterwards is just gravy, just don’t expect it to do more than a mortar; ie very little.
IG Rating 7/10
5 – Sunburst
Nova, Warp Charge 1
6″ S4 AP5 Assault 2D6, Blind, Ignores cover
Short range attack that hits all enemy units in range with average 7 S4 AP5 (Bolter-style) shots that ignore cover, and blinds them. Any unit hit by a blind weapon must take an initiative test, if failed, all models are BS1 WS1 until the end of the next turn.
It’s a decent power, but what lets this down (for a primaris psyker) is the short range. This is probably worth keeping instead of default Flame Breath, which is also short-ranged.
IG Rating 4/10
6 – Molten Beam
Beam, Warp Charge 2
12″ S8 AP1 A1, Melta
This is a melta weapon that works as a beam, meaning it can hit multiple targets in a 12′ line, with the strength dropping by 1 for each target hit. Before you start to think how well this could combine with a melta squad, remember its Warp Charge 2 so you can’t have it. Sorry. If you can take it through an ally, you’d still be giving up the casting of two powers for this one.
IG Rating: 6/10 but not available

Conclusion: Don’t roll on the Pyromancy Chart if you are Imperial Guard. The primaris power is too weak, the rest don’t offer enough reward to be worth the risk of a random roll. The majority of these powers can be obtained in the form of cheaper, more reliable weapon options on squads.


Primaris Power: Assail
Beam, Warp Charge 1
18″ S6 AP- A1, Strikedown
This is a beam, meaning it can hit multiple targets in a 18′ line, with the strength dropping by 1 for each target hit. It’s easy to get excited beam weapons but the low strength and lack of AP value means you should think of this in the same class as a multilaser.
Strikedown halves the initiative of a non-vehicle or MC model that is hit even if they pass a save and makes them move as if in difficult terrain, which adds some decent utility to the lacklustre shooting power.
IG Rating: 6/10
1 – Crush
Focussed Witchfire 18″, Warp Charge 1
Target receives a hit with 2D6 Strength where 11 or 12 auto-wound or auto-pen vehicles, and AP D6.
A decent shooting attack at a decent range, with average strength 7 and penetrating marine armour 50% of the time. Random strength and random AP make this a very random power.
IG Rating 5/10
2 – Gate of Infinity
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
Psyker and unit can move via deep strike up to 24″
A ‘Best of’ utility spell, if you get this in an otherwise fairly static army it can be a game-changer. If you scatter and roll a double, one squad member is killed, which Guard care less about than almost any other army.  It’s worth considering melta/plasma stormtroopers with Aerial Assault for the re-roll of the deepstrike dice, but the best use might be to get a troop unit onto an objective.
IG Rating 8/10
3 – Objuration Mechanicum
24″ Malediction, Warp Charge 1
Enemy targetted must re-roll to hit and wound rolls of a six, making this more useful than ever in a game with snap shots and flyers. Vehicles are hit with a Strength 1 Haywire hit (glance on 2-5, Penetrate on a 6). If you roll this power, keep it.
IG Rating 7/10
4 – Shockwave
12″ Nova, Warp Charge 1
S3 AP- Assault D6, Pinning.
It’s like hitting with laspistols that cause pinning tests! In other words, don’t take it.
IG Rating 2/10
5 – Telekine Dome
Blessing, Warp Charge 1
12″ friendly unit has a 5++ against shooting attacks, every save is deflected back to any unengaged unit with 6″
The 5++ doesn’t even work in combat so is just a fancy cover save, and the ability to deflect 33% of the shots sounds as Cinematic as Ninja-Jedi-Matrix but is only at very short range and unlikley to actually have much effect in a game.
IG Rating 4/10
6 – Vortex of Doom
12″ Witchfire, Warp Charge 2
S10 AP1 Heavy 1 Blast, if the test is failed centre the marker on Psyker and don’t roll to scatter.
The strength and AP are the best available, and blasts are improved. On the downside, it’s heavy and a blast so the psyker (and his squad) will have to stand still to use it, and can’t assault after casting. Without relentless rules, you are relying on your opponent coming within 12′ of you and pausing for a tea-break while you cast it.
Don’t worry though, it’s also warp charge 2 so unavailable.
IG Rating: 5/10 but unavailable

Conclusion: Don’t roll on the Telekenis chart if you are Imperial Guard.


Primaris Power: Psychic Shriek
12″ Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
Roll 3D6 and subtract the target’s leadership, take a number of wounds equal to the result with no armour or cover saves allowed.
This is an excellent shooting power, but when used by Guard it becomes potentially extremely powerful. Combined with Weaken Resolve you have a chance to absolutely gut a squad, since both are cast in the shooting phase so you can lower the enemy’s leadership before wreaking havoc with this power. Lowering the opponent’s leadership to 2 and then having them roll 3 dice can cause between 1 and 16 wounds with no armour saves!
Just be aware of the hoops you are going to have to jump through to get it off. Assuming the enemy has no psychic defence and no psyker attached to their squad, you still have to 
  1. Pass a LD9 test on the PBS
  2. Pass a deny the witch roll by your opponent
  3. Pass  LD9 test by the Primaris
  4. Pass a second Deny the Witch roll
  5. Then (as far as we know unless FAQed otherwise) still roll to hit with BS4. 
That is five potential points of failure, and that’s four too many to consider this reliable. Still, sooner or later someone will kill 8 paladins with this in a single turn and the internet will go crazy.
·         If you must know, the first LD has a 5/6 chance to pass, DTW 5/6, Second LD 5/6, second DTW 5/6 = 48.2% chance for both powers, then BS4 shot hitting = 32% chance to get the combo off. If only the range was long enough to let you try it more than once before being slaughtered!
IG Rating: 7/10
1 – Dominate
Malediction, Warp Charge 1
24″ One unit must pass a leadership test each time it moves, shoots, runs or assaults or they do nothing
The first thing you need to know is that this does not combine with Weaken Resolve. Maledictions are at the start of movement, WR is cast in shoot phase, and does not last into the opponent’s turn. That said, even without that combo a unit that has to take up to three LD checks per turn has a good chance of failing something.
IG Rating: 7/10
2 – Mental Fortitude
24″ Blessing, Warp Charge 1
One friendly unit that is falling back automatically regroups and gains the fearless special rule.
It’s good, but Guard have an order ‘Get Back in the Fight’ for this purpose, and squads regroup easier now regardless. It scores for long range, for giving you a chance to get a unit near the board edge to regroup before it has to move, and for the chance to keep a squad in assault during your turn so it can break in the opponent’s turn. Note that if this power fails, you can still try to regroup with a leadership check as usual afterwards, and if that fails and the unit is still on the board you can do the GBATF order. 
If the unit fails after all three attempts to save them, you’re better off without the worthless maggots anyway.
IG Rating: 6/10
3 – Puppet Master
24″ Focussed Witchfire, Warp Charge 1
The target shoots as if one of your models (cannot target his own unit)
You’ll learn to hate it when it is used on your demolisher or vendetta, but this one is really worth taking. Keep in mind that it affects a single model, not a squad, and you only get to pick which model on a LD roll of 5 or lower – all that to say don’t use it on the MEQ squad with one meltagun, use it on the Dreadnought. For more fun, use it enemy aircraft to skyfire against their allies or on a Manticore with limited ammunition.
IG Rating: 9/10
4 – Terrify
Malediction, Warp Charge 1
24″ Loses the Fearless Special rule if it has it, and treats all enemy units as having the Fear Special rule, and the target must make a morale check.
With Terrify you can make a fearless squad vulnerable to leadership checks you cause by shooting or assault, and have to make an immediate morale check. The order of casting is important because the morale check it causes cannot be affected by Weaken Resolve, which is cast later, in the shoot phase. However because Terrify lasts until the end of the following turn it is a novel chance to make an otherwise fearless unit vulnerable to Weaken Resolve if you can force it to take a second leadership check later, usually due to shooting casualties. 
It’s situational, if your opponent has a very threatening Fearless unit take this power, if not just take Psychic Shriek
IG rating: 6/10
5 – Invisibility
24″ Blessing, Warp Charge 2
Friendly unit has Shrouded and Stealth Special rule. If the unit charges, enemy cannot make use of Counter Assault and are at Weapon Skill one
This would be fantastic on a large Blob Squad or similar unit, but at Warp Charge 2 it’s too rich for your blood.
IG Rating: 7/10 but unavailable to Primaris Psyker
6 – Hallucination
24″ Malediction, Warp Charge 2
One enemy unit suffers one of the following hallucinations:
1-2 – Unit is pinned unless they ignore or are locked in close combat
3-4 – The unit cannot shoot, run declare charges or strike blows in close combat
5-6 – Every model inflicts a single hit on his own unit, resolved at that model’s own strengths, but using the strength bonuses, AP values and special rules of their most powerful close combat weapons if they have any.
IG Rating: 9/10 A great power, but again warp charge 2 so unavailable to the primaris psyker.

Conclusion: If you are taking a Primaris Psyker in a Guard Army, this is usually the best chart to roll on. The default power is useful, and the fact that two of the powers are Warp Charge 2 and unavailable it increases the chances of getting Dominate or Puppet Master. 

In Conclusion:

Your mileage will vary, but I rate him as a moderately competitive HQ choice for Guard, compared to the extremely competitive Company Command Squad. The Primaris Psyker is not as versatile or capable of the damage output of a Company Command Squad, and I am not a fan of rolling on the random tables with a character who can’t make good use of so many of the powers on them. 

This applies to all Psykers from all Codexes: If the default primaris power is not extremely useful, you should probably be rolling on a different table. Anything else is gambling.
When not to take a Primaris Psyker

  1. When you are allying with Space Wolves. As Psykers go, the Primaris Psyker is completely outclassed by the Space Wolf Runepriest, a bloodbrother ally to the Imperial Guard. Coming with far more weapon and equipment options, better armour and toughness,  excellent default powers and access to the divination table that Guard covet, the Runepriest is far better than the 30pt premium implies – and that’s before you add in the second best psychic defence in the game. If you aren’t allergic to allies and really want a Psyker, he’s your man.
  2. When you are allying with Eldar. Allying a Farseer for runes of warding is all the rage on the interwebs, but the rarely mentioned price is it shuts down all your own Psykers. No Primaris or PBS for you Xeno-Loving Scum!
When to take a Primaris Psyker
My conclusion was that the CCS remains so competitive it should be the first choice in most IG lists, with the Primaris as a contender for the second HQ slot. I’d personally have him roll on the Telepathy chart twice with the target power of Puppet Master. Not only does this have decent odds since there are only 4 powers available, but more importantly even if you don’t get lucky all the other Telepathy powers are above average and the default power is good.

If you want to keep it pure Guard and still want the excitement of rolling on the power tables, then the Primaris Psyker is your man.

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