I figured it was time to discuss one of my favorite Imperial Guard units, Psyker Battle Squads. To be honest, they are pretty rare to see on the tabletop, but every arm-chair quarterback has them on their lists. They are teams of Sanctioned psykers that have not completed their training, so they are accompaned by overseers. These overseers are their protectors, and often, at least when I play, their executioners.
They are a rare breed on the tabletop for a couple reasons that isnt related to their usefulness on the battlefield. It is the model. They only come in metal, and come in a variety of poses, that if you looked at them from more than 6" away all the look the same. They are by far, the some of the worst models I've seen. Sorry GW, but the models for them suck, are metal, so very few people field them.
Here however is a solution to the model, empire flagellants. For around $25 dollars you get 10 plastic models. Excellent. Now you only need to get some round bases, and some guns. I went and bought some World War 2 german gun pack for 4 or 5 dollars and a local model store, and was set. There you have it, and hence the pics that you see for my Psyker Battle Squads. I own enough now for 3 full squads. At that price compared to the metal, who wouldnt.
Psyker Battle Squads really get no upgrades. Choose how many you want and decide if you want a chimera (you do). You get 4-9 Sanctioned Psykers and an Overseer. They come with leadership 9, WS2 and S2, and are otherwise a standard imperial guardsmen.
Psyker Battle Squads special rules:
Psyhic Choir, this simply means that only one of the psykers needs to have line of sight. You measure from your choice of sanctioned psyker.
Ultimate Sanction, perils of the warp hurt, as any such event the overseer will quickly shoot D3 of your psykers before their heads explode. Note that for powers effects that get off.... double 1's, the power of the attacks are based on psykers before they blow, not what remains.
Soulstorm, I was originally so excited about this power, it was my first intended purpose with this unit. Sadly, I tend to roll alot of ap6, since its a random D6, and thats when they dont scatter off their target. However, it is a nice back up power when weaken resolve is not of any use. The power is a shooting attack, 36" range, str equal to number of sanctioned psykers alive, ap D6, assault 1 large blast. Sounds awesome, 100 or so games later, much less valuable on the table top as the next power. When in Chimeras though remember you can move 6" and use this ability out of the top hatch. Mobile firing platform.
Weaken Resolve, by far what I have them on the field for. This is where they shine. Remember that they should not be the backbone of your army, and if they are, you are in for a suprise the first time you face a fearless army. This power is used during the shooting phase, but is not a shooting attack. Simply choose one enemy unit within 36" and within line of sight. For the remainder of that turn, if you get the power off, that units leadership is reduced by the number of psykers you have, to a min of 2 leadership.
First off, not a shooting attack, so those chimeras can haul ass 12" and still get your ability off. Second, if it is ever needed, those psykers do have pistols, and they can be shot when the power is used. Basically, move that chimera, and you should only rarely get caught within psychic hood range. You out range the hood, with great mobility. While these might seem to fall into the cheese category for non psyker battle squad users, it really is not. Those pistols in over a hundred games really have only killed 1 or 2 models ever. You fail if your opponents are that close to you.
Second thing, weaken resolve is fantastic for breaking units that are either on an objective, too close to you, or near their own board edge. If along their own board edge, (heavy weapon teams), simply lower leadership, kill 3 models, and watch them run off the table edge. Ork Nob bikers, no problem, simply lower leadership, and watch them run 3D6 off the table edge, the same goes for jump packers, marine bikes etc. Please note that the power only effects their leadership during your turn, not your opponents, dont get carried away.
I use Psyker Battle Squads normally in small numbers, normally 4 or 5, but never no more than 8, and then their overseer. I always put them in their chimera for manuverability, and to protect them. If for any reason you ever lose your overseer, every pysker suffers perils and goes by by. Note that this has only happened to me once in 100 or so games which suprised my opponent as he didn't know they even had the rule.
They are a strong elite unit, but they are often not the All-Stars you'd expect them to be, and in some games are pretty much powerless. They are however a lot of fun to use and if used right, and can be the bane of your opponent.
this post was reposted to add to the Weapons of the Imperium posts with a few adjustments.