Psycannons are weapons utilized by the Ordo Malleus and Grey Knights. They are based on the bolt pistol, firing bolts heavily impregnated with negative psychic energy. The bolt is devastating to the psyches and physical bodies of psychic creatures, such as psykers, daemons, and the daemon-possessed. As if the negative psychic energy was not enough, each psycannon bolt is also silver-tipped and inscribed with anti-daemonic symbols.

The Psycannon can also be used in conjunction with a device called a Mind Impulse Unit. The Psycannon is linked to the mind of the user and is fired by mental intent. This has the advantages of allowing the user to fire the weapon while keeping both hands free, and allowing the user a greater intimacy with his weapons internal workings, such as ammunition count or barrel temperature. In addition, if the user is a psyker, they can infuse their own power with that of the weapon, adding to its already devastating effect.

The Words of Faeit is a weekly post, dedicated to my thoughts on the strategy and tactical side of the game. They are not to be written in stone as "No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength" (or "no plan survives contact with the enemy"). Quoted from Helmuth von Moltke.


Autocannons have been by far one of my favorite weapons in the game. 12 years ago I decided to play a chaos army simply on the fact that I could take Veterans as a troop choice (now called chosen) and infiltrate an entire army with 9 squads of them. 5 Guys with two autocannons per unit. I loved them.

Then we came around and IG came out. I already had an Imperial Guard army, so I was dumbfounded when a better ranged and twin linked version of the autocannon was available to me with the new 5th edition codex. Needless to say, I very quickly had 6 custom Hydra Flak Tanks. They are the standard of my Imperial Guard lists.

With a huge Imperial Guard army, and lots of Inquisition, it was a beautiful thing when the stats for a Psycannon were increased to S7 and given rending. While the range was shortened, it is now listed as my favorite weapon along side my twin linked Hydra Autocannons.

So if you cannot tell, I love being able to blow light armour up quickly. I have always felt that destroying your opponents light armour was invaluable, as now it strands him, and the flow of the game can be dominated. However, with psycannons there is an issue, and that's efficiency.

Efficiency is one of the most important aspects of list building to me. I want my units (all of them), doing their job from the get go, and to be able to handle their job every round of play. So the problem becomes, how do you reach the far corners of the map with something like psycannons.

The most efficient way I have discovered is to run your units with full numbers. Purifiers for instance in squads of 10. Giving them scout for a pregame movement into range of the enemy will be all you need to get all your shots off. With your units having scout, they simply deploy somewhere into midfield, and fire their full round of heavy shooting. A full squad of purifiers would give you 16 shots with psycannons.

So in order to use these guns efficiently, it is by far best to run them with Grand Masters using Grand Strategy for scout moves. In fact I have a list with dual Grandmasters, and a ton of psycannons that I am working on. It is a rediculas number of shots.

Target Priority is the next thing. Never waste shots by bad target priorities. This doesn't have so much to do with psycannons, but with most guns in general.

To me it is amazing that you can get so many of these guns into a list. Now that I have used them in games against 15 vehicles in it, and destroyed all but 2 after 3 rounds of play, I am going to stick with them. Are they the best gun in the game? probably not. There are a lot of good guns out there. But just having a good gun is not going to win you games, you need to know how to use it, and use it efficiently.

3 Comments:

  1. ok, i love Psycannons too, i undestand it, but What i dont is why so many on one unit, it has proven enought to me just to put 2 autocanon at full 4 shots, 8 shots has been enough to stop av11 and 12 transports. so when you talk of 16 shots, that seem ALOT more than needed to me.

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  2. Ok, just let me add, Im talking Master Crafted PSycannons, for what it counts

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  3. 16 shots = 12 hits. Thats 4 pens, 2 of which are negated via cover. It takes 3 pens on average to destroy a tank. With so many shots, you can weapon destroy/immobilize a tank this way as well.

    I also often combat squad out depending on the mission. I do not like to shoot at a tank more than one time to destroy it.

    8 twin linked shots = 7.5 hits approx but we will call it 8 for sake of arguement. Now out of those 8 we get just slightly above 2 pens statistically. Enough to damage the tank and kill it most of the time. If it gets cover, your only getting 1 pen.

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