Episode 102: The Psychic Phase
In this episode, we talk about the psychic phase. We cover the rules and the probabilities behind casting psychic powers. We also talk about the various types of psychic powers and how you should use or plan for the psychic phase in your games. This is the final phase to be covered in our series of tactical podcasts.
The psychic phase for a few armies is the most important phase in the game, while for other armies it’s not a thing at all. But many armies in the game have access to psychic powers and they can be really useful when part of an overall strategy.
How the psychic phase works:
- Generate powers, before game starts.
- Casting a power; choose a psyker and power, then roll the dice
- Denying a power
- Perils of the warp
- Resolve the power; choose the target of the power if necessary.
- Repeat, but not the same power unless smite.
Probability of casting a power/denying a power:
- WC5: 83.3%
- WC6: 72.2%
- WC7: 58.3%
- WC8: 41.7%
Powers are almost all between 5 and 8, you can see the chance of success 7 or more is almost even odds, so you can’t count on these powers to go off.
With a CP re-roll:
- WC5: 95%
- WC6: 90%
- WC7: 80%
- WC8: 68%
Re-roll strategy: if WC 7 or less, re-roll a die with less than 3. If WC 8 or more, better to not bother unless its a 1.
Types of Psychic Powers
- Smite (Increase by 1 each time)
- “Targeted” smite
- Conditional damage powers (4+, etc.)
- Damage plus a Debuff
Smite at WC5 is the most reliable and you can cast it multiple times unlike any other power, but the +1 each time means it becomes unreliable past WC7. You also need to be the closest and typically 18” range.
Additional damage powers are useful to take along with smite if you want to stack damage using a single psyker.
- Strength, Toughness, Attacks, leadership,
- Heal wounds
- Bonuses to hit/wound
No limit to stacking buffing powers on a single unit if desired, you can make them durable, fast, lethal, or any combination. Often used in combination with stratagems, relics, and traits to make a unit extremely powerful. When looking at a codex for the first time, you will often look for these stackable abilities to take an average unit and make them ridiculous.
- Minuses to hit
Similar to stacking buffing powers, you can stack debuffing powers, but typically you rely on a few that impact either saves for really tough Alpha opponents (Jinx, Death Hex) or movement for assault or board control units (Restrain).
Relying on Psychic Powers
What is the WC limit you semi-rely on without modifications to the roll?
Psychic powers often have powerful in-game effects, but…
- Stratagems are almost always guaranteed to go off
- Relics and traits always work
Psychic powers are never 100% reliable.
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