Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 8: Psykana Division

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Hey everyone, Reecius here with another Astra Militarum review! This time: Psykana Division. For more informative articles, check out the Tactics Corner.

While the Imperium tends to fear and shun Psykers (for good reason) those strong enough to master their powers prove useful assets on the battlefield. The Psykana Division fields them en masse, where their combined psychic might allows them to crush their enemies!

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Overview:

This is an exciting formation that brings some serious psychic might to the Astra Militarum player (or any Imperial player, really). It is a tad pricey, but it is very potent. You can really bring some powerful support with this formation.

Special Rules:

Empyric Link: The Primaris Psyker knows any powers  known by the Wyrdvane within 12″. For every 5 Wyrdvane Psykers within 12″ of the Primaris, he adds 1 to his Mastery level until the end of the psychic phase.

Encouraging Presence: While Wyrdvane Psykers are joined by a Commissar, they harness Warp Charge on a 2+ instead of on a 4+. If they Perils, he executes one of them randomly and they suffer no effect of the Perils. If they fail a psychic check, he executes one of them as well.

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Tactics

Now this is an excellent formation! It combines a reasonable price tag with great rules and fun models that you don’t see all that often. That’s what formations should do, in my opinion!

So clearly, this is a psychic powerhouse. You get a ton of Warp Charge, lots of powers to choose from, increased efficiency in casting the powers and decreased risk from Perils. All of those are really solid perks.

For me, the real strength of this is the Wyrdvane Psykers. You get essentially a 5 wound psyker for a measly 60pts. With the addition of the Commissar, they’ll run you 85pts per unit. The Primaris, possibly up-gunned to Mastery Level 2, is 50 to 75pts. That leaves you with a total price tag of only 305 to 330pts. You gain 9 powers and anywhere from 5 to 8 warp charge depending on how you place the models and how many Wyrdvanes are still alive. The Primaris has access to all of the powers of the Wyrdvane Psykers, too, which is fun. However, I actually see him as acting more of a Psychic Battery, himself, feeding dice to the Wyrdvanes to allow them to get their powers off more efficiently.

The main casters will be the Wyrdvanes themselves in most cases, in my opinion. With a 2+ to get a power off and no risk of Perils other than shedding an expendable Wyrdvane, you have very reliable casters. Which psychic discipline you go with will vary from game to game but I personally dig Divination, here. Automatically getting Prescience is awesome for Astra Militarum, but then the other powers, particularly Forewarning, are also solid. You could play them defensively, buffing your shooting units in the backfield, or mix them up for a multitude of different battlefield roles.

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You could have some fun with powers like Biomancy, as a Iron Arm could get deadly for these units! You could even make a good case for Pyromancy with these units where the various powers could all be very useful for a unit played aggressively, charging up field going for objectives. Daemon Summonning is also a strong consideration for them as they can do so quite reliably and again, don’t care too much if you perils. Likewise, using them to cast Vortex of Doom all over the table for some brutal D shots is also a solid game plan if that needs to be done! They are flexible in what they can be kitted out to do, which is one of their strengths.

I would give this Formation an A++ if it only required 2 units of Wyrdvanes, but, 3 isn’t too much. You can pair them down to save points by only including a Commissar in 1-2 units if you wanted to, but that really reduces their efficiency.

In all, I am a fan of this formation. It is fun, filled with character, effective and not too pricey. It can be played in a number of different ways from attacking the enemy to support of your other forces. And for a laugh, you could combo this with something like the Librarius Conclave to REALLY crank up the pyschic phase to an 11!

What do you all think about the Psykana Division? And as always, Frontline Gaming sells GW product at up to 25% off, everyday!

 

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24 Responses to “Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 8: Psykana Division”

  1. eddyqw January 29, 2016 3:19 pm #

    What do you think of trying to create a daemon-summoning list? The chances of casting the WC3 daemonology powers are pretty solid when you harness on a 2: 87% on 4 dice (and 72% chance of perils, so the Commissar is going to get trigger-happy). If you took 2 Psykana Divisions, you’d have 16 dice per phase from them, plus whatever you can squeeze out of a third detachment (I don’t think you can realistically run 3 Psykana Divisions)

    Now a rules question. From the AM codex: “each Commissar must be assigned to a different unit from the following list, which they then cannot leave: Company Command Squad, Platoon Command Squad, Infantry Squad, Special Weapons Squad, Heavy Weapons Squad, Conscripts, Veterans, Ogryns, Bullgryns, Militarum Tempestus Command Squad, Militarum Tempestus Scions.”

    Wyrdvane Psykers aren’t on that list. Its pretty obvious that GW intended for the Commissars taken in this formation to be able to join the Wyrdvane units, but as written, I don’t think they can. Perhaps a FAQ entry is needed?

    • Lord Krungharrr January 29, 2016 3:28 pm #

      They could certainly summon craploads of daemons but I’d be a bit worried about that look over the shoulder rule. Also if using artillery with the psykanas can templates be placed over the daemons? That is would they count as enemy or friendly models for that purpose?

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 29, 2016 3:52 pm #

      The detachment gives permission for the Commissars to join the Wyrdvane Psykers.

      And yes, Daemon Summoning is a solid tactic for them, no doubt.

      • abusepuppy January 29, 2016 11:29 pm #

        I like that it enables summoning to a limited degree, but without making it crazy (since it’s still based on making use of a fragile infantry unit on foot.)

        • Reecius
          Reecius January 30, 2016 12:35 pm #

          Yeah, I think this is an excellent formation.

  2. Lord Krungharrr January 29, 2016 3:24 pm #

    i think this formation coupled with drop pods ( probably space wolves for me) and some assassins would be pretty dang fun! Just gotta be careful where to drop the Culexus to nullify enemy warp charges.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 29, 2016 3:52 pm #

      Or use them to juice his gun up to max, haha!

  3. westrider January 29, 2016 5:38 pm #

    Frankly, the only problem I see with this formation is that the GW Wyrdvane Psyker Models totally suck. I’m definitely gonna roll a Rogue Inquisitor Daemon Summoning list with this at some point.

    • Beau January 29, 2016 11:12 pm #

      I just use my CCW cultists with pistol for them. Could glue some bits on and call it a conversion if needed.

      • westrider January 30, 2016 1:09 am #

        Yeah, in the past I’ve used my culties who didn’t have any noticeable specifically chaos bling. The ones converted from old Necromunda gangers and such.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 30, 2016 12:36 pm #

      I actually really like the Wyrdvane models, personally, haha.

      • westrider January 30, 2016 1:15 pm #

        The poses just look so awkward to me. The fact that there are only three of them is also a downside.

  4. Beau January 29, 2016 11:14 pm #

    I was very excited for this formation because I love Primaris Psykers, but quickly realized as you said that they are more of a battery. Which is fine.

    My friend really wanted to try his 5 wraith knights in a unbound list recently. Gave this a go.

    5x Psykana Division (1 commissar each) = 1525 points (let my opponent take another one of those 30 point gun upgrade things).

    I luckily rolled to go first. Moved up then used my 5 2+ wyrdvanes to summon 5 units of pink horrors (4 dice per cast). I tried to place them with minimal scatter for ONE EYE OPEN and luckily none scattered back more than a few inches towards me and even better one scattered towards the WK. I then used the Pink horrors to cast 3 more pink horrors (7,7,6 dice per cast since they don’t generate any charge yet) and used the Banners they have to precision place them. Ran everything and formed a good bubblewrap/barrier. I’m at 48 warp charges now. I warn my friend that he should try to stay in combat because I will begin the psychic Shriek spam from my Primaris Psykers (some have invis too of course). He conceded before moving which was too bad because I wanted to bring in 3 keeper of secrets next turn too 🙂

    • abusepuppy January 29, 2016 11:32 pm #

      You actually cheated a bit, since conjured units cannot themselves attempt to manifest a conjuration the turn they arrive. But the fundamental strategy of calling up endless waves of daemons to tie down Wraithknights is very solid.

  5. Hush January 30, 2016 4:29 am #

    Main issue I see is with their t3 and low saves, I can’t see these surviving long. Summoning and buffing from a transport looks like best option to me but then its.more pts.

    • abusepuppy January 30, 2016 9:10 am #

      You cannot cast blessings or conjurations while embarked on a transport, only witchfires (assuming it has fire points.)

  6. Hush January 30, 2016 4:32 am #

    Although adding to my last comment blobs with good summoning would give so many bodies for the enemy to cope with. Board control masters

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 30, 2016 12:37 pm #

      Exactly. I think if you hide them and use them to just pump out Daemons they would be really good, actually.

  7. Dan May 7, 2016 7:33 pm #

    According to the Astral Militarum Codex you cannot roll on the Daemon Table for psyker Powers. The Codex states under the Wyrdvane Psykers they can only roll on Biomancy, Divination, Pyromancy, and Telekinesis.

    Have been reading this and am trying to find out how everyone is getting access to the Daemon table.

    • westrider May 7, 2016 11:32 pm #

      The AM Dex came out at the very end of 6th, before the Daemonology Disciplines even existed. When 7th came out, they were retroactively added to all the Dexes except for Nids.

  8. Alex R October 5, 2016 6:30 pm #

    Which daemons would you summon. Im trying a knight list with these as allies how would you summon and which units would you

    • WestRider October 5, 2016 8:39 pm #

      Check out the Malefic Toolbox articles. They give a pretty good primer on that.

  9. AngryPanda October 5, 2016 11:35 pm #

    What do people use to keep these guys alive? Hide behind vehicles? Fortifications?

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