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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Polonius wrote:Psyker Battle Squad
Its primary ability, Weaken Resolve, can lower the leadership ... Combine with any shooting to cause fall backs, or pinning to pin the squad, and a Warmachine worthy combination is formed.

The PBS also has a large blast shooting attack with 36” range, APd6 and the same strength as members of the squad.

The squad can take a chimera, and shoot its large blast out of it (it’s an assault weapon), and all psykers can use their powers from inside transports now, making Weaken Resolve from inside a Chimera the new power unit in 40k.

This unit also is only 110pts, with a 55pts chimera added if desired.

Still, for a shockingly low price and with no real competition for the elites slot, a PBS with Chimera is basically the must have unit from the new codex.

I want to talk about this unit, because I really don't think it's all it's cracked up to be.

Given that the PBS must be in a Chimera (and 8+ strong) to be effective, let's pretend you buy a Battlecannon Chimera (we'll call it "Chimedon" ) with what is effectively a 10-model non-Scoring Conscript unit (worth 45 pts):

Chimedon - 120 pts
BS3 AV12 / 10 / 10
size: 1 Tank (may *not* be Squadroned)
Tank Transport (10)
Turret Chimedon Battlecannon - R36" S9 AP* Heavy 1 Large Blast
Hull HB

Special Rules - "Wonky" - When firing the Battlecannon, roll a d6 - on a 1, the Battlecannon Misfires, roll a d3 and remove that many crew and reduce the S by that much (Misfires are cumulative). If the Battlecannon does not Misfire, roll a d6 - on a 1, the Battlecannon Jams and does not fire this turn. If the Battlecannon does not Jam, roll a d6 - this is the AP for the shot.


Is this really worth 120 pts?

I don't think so. Even though it doesn't directly compete on a slot-for-slot basis with AV14 Russes or IF Bassies, it definitely competes on a point-for-point basis. The sheer amount of Wonky rules for the unit would normally make it uncompetitive. As a Tank, it is categorically inferior to just about anything else in its price range. For the exact same points, one can just take an AV14/13/11 S10 AP2 Ordnance Demolisher.


So unquestionably, you're taking PBS for Weaken Resolve. You're paying at least 165 pts for a unit that does absolutely *nothing* on its own. It's going to be hanging out as the most fragile "fighting support" Tank with LOS to the enemy. For Weaken Resolve to work, you need to throw enough Pinning or wounds to force a test on a non-Fearless unit in LOS. That is a *lot* of conditions:
1. You need to have a unit on foot that you can target. 5E encourages Transport heavy and Tanks that block LOS.
2. That target cannot be Fearless, of which, there are plenty.
3. You need to pass a Ld test.

4p. You need to score a Pinning wound. This isn't so easy.
4p-r. Ratlings aren't reliable (10 shots, <7 hits, 3+ wounds, maybe 1-2 kills), and would have to be exposed within the same 36".
4p-b. Basilisk Battery does better, but you're basically trading the 3rd plate for the opportunity to force a Pin. Big deal. That means, you just paid 165 pts to get them to do nothing, instead of actually killing more stuff.

4b. You need to score 25% wounds. This isn't too hard, and the best case is that you get somebody to break and run away. But you're paying 165 pts to do this, on top of whatever gunner you had. And it's not guaranteed, as you need to pass that ld Test.


And if you really need to pass Ld test, you probably need to be like Lash and take multiples. Now, you're dumping 300+ pts into PBS units. Is that really a good idea with this combined unit being so fragile?

Personally, I have a very hard time thinking I'd pay 20+% of my points on PBS units.


Now, don't get me wrong, this is an interesting unit, and it is situationally good. But it is not good in a general take-all-comers environment. There are so many restrictions and conditions here, it's a real problem.

I think people are grasping for a "good" Elite unit, and this is indeed the best Elite pick, so they're making this better than it really is.
____

minor cleanup.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 21:27:20


   
Made in ca
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Calgary

I'm going to tentatively say that your logic seems to make sense, but I'll not be making up my mind until I hear some other tacticians' responses to this.

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Plano, Texas

And i just figured out how to get a PBS to fit into my Armageddon army.
Thanks DD!!

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JohnHwangDD wrote:I think people are grasping for a "good" Elite unit, and this is indeed the best Elite pick, so they're making this better than it really is.

Well put. Yet another argument vanishes from the "It's fine, really" pile and gets added to the "Worst. Codex. EVER." pile.

With that out of the way, I find it sad that the metagame is such that even Weaken Resolve is a subpar ability. I mean, -8 Ld should be huge. In Fantasy, it would easily be broken as a spell, as far as I understand (correct me if I'm wrong here). There really is no hope for the Imperial Guard, is there?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/05/08 21:17:39


"The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas." 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Well, if we're going to talk shop, I'm game. Absent psychic defense, the PBS will get off it's power 5/6 of the time, meaning it will accomplish something. 1/18 of the time, or every third game, the unit will lose d3 models to perils of the warp.

Weaken resolve does nothing against fearless or mechanized troops, a flaw I mentioned. Only a few armies are fully and always fearless, and obviously if you play those often weaken resolve is less good, but many top units are actually not fearless: assault terminators, nob bikes, chaos lords, and nearly anything eldar.

Against non-fearless troops, it's makes any shooting dramtically better. If a squad is under half, or outflankers can escort a squad off the table, weaken resolve can essentially destroy a unit that would otherwise shurg off loses.

As for being 165pts that accomplish nothing, that's not strictly true. The Chimera still has two heavy weapons to fire, and the High Strength blast is decent against vehicles and great against units in cover, and that's a secondary option.

Maybe I over sold the PBS, as I don't think it's mandatory in every army, but I think it's a game changing unit in that a truly top tier guard army could be built around the unit. It's the reverse of a Pro-am unit: it's a unit that gets better the better your opposition is.

I'm also no totally sold on the need for a chimera. Sure, 10 T3 guys aren't going to last too horribly long, but in 4+ cover they'll take some dedicated shooting. That makes the unit a 110pt unit (roughly the same cost as an anti-tank squad), that can launch a S9 Ordnance shot at APd6.

Even against Runes of Warding, Weaken Resolve pops about 37% of the time, and when it does, it'll be deadly against whatever eldar unit you want to make run away.

I'd disgree with the notion that there is grasping for a good elites unit. Marbo is good, ratlings are good, Grey Knight termintors are good. PSBs have the potential to be great.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Thanks, Polonius.

I factored the Ld test as a 2+ to not Jam, and the Perils as effectively another 2+ test to not Misfire. Yes, I deliberately overrated the Misfire somewhat to account for AntiPsyker, rather than adding another layer to "Wonky".

Also, please note that the "accomplish nothing" was qualified as "on its own" in a Weaken Resolve context - you can't just hang one of these units out there and expect it to do anything.

If you want to go talk about the secondary S9 pie plate effect, then you're back at looking at the Chimedon-equivalent Tank and comparing with other Tanks.

My point here is that I think that the PBS is oversold, that it's not actually a "must have" that should be in every list. I'm not at all sure that one would build around them like Lash, but I completely agree that it's good, and can be a game-changer.

With all of the S5+ SP5+ "Ignores Cover" weapons out there, are you sure you'd hang them out without a Transport? One Whirlwind drop converts these from X=9 "scary" to X=5 "annoying".


Anyhow, thanks for your comments! Most likely, actual experience will be between our POVs.

   
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Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

Read Big Troy's Battle Report on using just one of these squads vs. a Nob Bikers army. To summarize, he basically tabled the Nob Biker army on turn 2! The unit is certainly meta-game changing, as Polonius mentioned. It's not necessarily an auto-include, but it is a highly competitive option in the guard codex and it does force certain builds to think about how they could win vs. an IG army with just one of these units.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

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Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

Agamemnon2 wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:I think people are grasping for a "good" Elite unit, and this is indeed the best Elite pick, so they're making this better than it really is.

Well put. Yet another argument vanishes from the "It's fine, really" pile and gets added to the "Worst. Codex. EVER." pile.

With that out of the way, I find it sad that the metagame is such that even Weaken Resolve is a subpar ability. I mean, -8 Ld should be huge. In Fantasy, it would easily be broken as a spell, as far as I understand (correct me if I'm wrong here). There really is no hope for the Imperial Guard, is there?


I think you are just dedicated to losing. It seems most competitive players are really liking this codex. Have you checked out the Battle Reports forum at all?

So far, you have ONE person saying it's a subpar ability and lots of people actually using it with great success so maybe, just maybe, it actually isn't a subpar ability.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

@Ozy: I'm thinking that PBS is a situationally good unit, say, 3/5 overall, whereas others are saying it's 5/5.

I suspect, as 5E evolves, that the novelty of this unit will die down and it's effectiveness will become worse as people learn to counter it.

   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

JohnHwangDD wrote:@Ozy: I'm thinking that PBS is a situationally good unit, say, 3/5 overall, whereas others are saying it's 5/5.

I suspect, as 5E evolves, that the novelty of this unit will die down and it's effectiveness will become worse as people learn to counter it.


And see, I really don't think people are saying it's an auto-include, they're just saying it's a unit that you can build a really, really powerful build around. It's the new hotness, and some of the zest will wear off, but I don't think anybody is as gung ho about the unit as you seem to be thinking.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

I will probably include one in a "tournament force" as it really hurts several of the powerbuilds out there (and it fits my theme of Renegade IG).

One thing I look for in a codex is a lack of any "auto-include" units. If a unit is an auto-include, it's probably due to a power imbalance (see Lash). But if a unit is very competitive and potentially very powerful, I see that as good design as it allows (or forces) me to think very strategically. Now that I've decided I want a PBS, how do I make the most out of it? Ratling sniper squads? Massed Ordinance? Do I include a fast vehicle to escort broken units off the table? Those are fun and rewarding decisions I now have to make.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

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Made in us
Rough Rider with Boomstick





Philadelphia

The unit is awesome, but easilly countered. Very True, However it just happens to make a very strong impact on most of the top armies currently running amok in the metagame.

Thats what he means by "metagame changing event"

Auto include, no.

Auto win, no.

Guaranteed to turn certain matchups completely on thier heads, yes.

Its that yes that makes them a virtual auto include in the current metagame enviroenment, but like anything once people adapt to it it will becomd less effectve. In order to do that, however, the metagame must change.

Metagame changing event.

Q.E.D :-)

Big Troy, The Samurai Gunslinger of South Philly

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Made in fi
Junior Officer with Laspistol







Ozymandias wrote:
Agamemnon2 wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:I think people are grasping for a "good" Elite unit, and this is indeed the best Elite pick, so they're making this better than it really is.

Well put. Yet another argument vanishes from the "It's fine, really" pile and gets added to the "Worst. Codex. EVER." pile.

With that out of the way, I find it sad that the metagame is such that even Weaken Resolve is a subpar ability. I mean, -8 Ld should be huge. In Fantasy, it would easily be broken as a spell, as far as I understand (correct me if I'm wrong here). There really is no hope for the Imperial Guard, is there?

I think you are just dedicated to losing. It seems most competitive players are really liking this codex. Have you checked out the Battle Reports forum at all?

I am, yes. Were it not for the painting and modelling, I'd be completely burnt out. Winning might not be everything to me, but being a punching bag still stings.

"The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas." 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





San Francisco

JohnHwangDD wrote:
4p. You need to score a Pinning wound. This isn't so easy.

The Psyker Battle Squad is a decent-bordering-weak unit that is made awesome by the Griffon Mortar. The Griffon is cheap, and it's 12" - 48" range compliments the 36" range of the PBS. The "Accurate Bombardment" rule means that they're far more reliable than any other pinning unit. A Griffon can reliably force saves on dangerous units; it is especially ideal for hitting the survivors of a popped transport, where it can usually score hits on every surviving model in the squad.

A PBS and 2x Griffons costs 300 points, and will generally pin a unit 3 or 4 times per game. That may not do much against MSU armies, but it can be game-changing against many lists.

The Griffon may be the best unit in the new IG Codex. I'm not at all surprised to see them going for so much on eBay.
   
Made in us
Banelord Titan Princeps of Khorne






Yea, something that completely hoses certain armies and makes the meta game go completely the other direction is hardly powerful or game breaking. I mean, who takes inquisitors with mystics against demons or drop pod marines? Or Librarians with null zone?

Totally overrated.

Veriamp wrote:I have emerged from my lurking to say one thing. When Mat taught the Necrons to feel, he taught me to love.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Polonius wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:@Ozy: I'm thinking that PBS is a situationally good unit, say, 3/5 overall, whereas others are saying it's 5/5.

I suspect, as 5E evolves, that the novelty of this unit will die down and it's effectiveness will become worse as people learn to counter it.


And see, I really don't think people are saying it's an auto-include, they're just saying it's a unit that you can build a really, really powerful build around. It's the new hotness, and some of the zest will wear off, but I don't think anybody is as gung ho about the unit as you seem to be thinking.

Well, maybe not any more...

But earlier, somebody actually said this:
Still, for a shockingly low price and with no real competition for the elites slot, a PBS with Chimera is basically the must have unit from the new codex.




As I see PBS, it's a good tool against Orks, Tau, and Eldar; not good against Nids or CSM; and questionably good against SM.

I like having the option, although, for all the effort of adding these, I'd *far* rather have had Squats and Beastmen, along with mutable Platoons.

   
Made in fi
Junior Officer with Laspistol







Dave47 wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:
4p. You need to score a Pinning wound. This isn't so easy.

The Psyker Battle Squad is a decent-bordering-weak unit that is made awesome by the Griffon Mortar. The Griffon is cheap, and it's 12" - 48" range compliments the 36" range of the PBS. The "Accurate Bombardment" rule means that they're far more reliable than any other pinning unit. A Griffon can reliably force saves on dangerous units; it is especially ideal for hitting the survivors of a popped transport, where it can usually score hits on every surviving model in the squad.

A PBS and 2x Griffons costs 300 points, and will generally pin a unit 3 or 4 times per game. That may not do much against MSU armies, but it can be game-changing against many lists.

The Griffon may be the best unit in the new IG Codex. I'm not at all surprised to see them going for so much on eBay.

Oh, I liked Griffons even when they were 75pts with no special rules. With the barrage dice reroll ability, they're a wonderfully reliable unit against 4+ save armies, easily racking up the kills. Even against opponents too tough to easily harm, they're a solid option merely because of the price. For the cost of one tooled-up Executioner, you could have a squadron of three, merrily lobbing trios of pinpoint barrages on opponents. I assume you can still reroll the scatter die on shots 2-3 on multiple barrages as well.

"The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas." 
   
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Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

Agamemnon2 wrote:
I am, yes. Were it not for the painting and modelling, I'd be completely burnt out. Winning might not be everything to me, but being a punching bag still stings.


You seem self-defeating. It seems instead of using the things that are competitive in this codex you'd rather moan and maintain the crutch of the crappy things. Maybe my attitude is different, I do continue to play Dark Angels after all so my outlook is uncommonly optimistic.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

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Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

JohnHwangDD wrote:
I like having the option, although, for all the effort of adding these, I'd *far* rather have had Squats and Beastmen, along with mutable Platoons.


You're assuming it was an either or choice. I highly doubt the designers said, "Well, we can have PBS' or we can have Squats. Hmmm.... I think we'll go with PBS'." And frankly, I'd rather have these than either Squats or Beastmen. These are at least original (instead of WHFB transplants)!

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





San Francisco

Agamemnon2 wrote: I assume you can still reroll the scatter die on shots 2-3 on multiple barrages as well.

Yup. I just double-checked:

Main Rules: "Once the first marker is placed, roll a scatter dice for each other barrage weapon fired by the unit."
IG Codex: "When a Griffon fires its heavy mortar, the controlling player can re-roll the scatter dice if he wishes."
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

JohnHwangDD wrote:
Polonius wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:@Ozy: I'm thinking that PBS is a situationally good unit, say, 3/5 overall, whereas others are saying it's 5/5.

I suspect, as 5E evolves, that the novelty of this unit will die down and it's effectiveness will become worse as people learn to counter it.


And see, I really don't think people are saying it's an auto-include, they're just saying it's a unit that you can build a really, really powerful build around. It's the new hotness, and some of the zest will wear off, but I don't think anybody is as gung ho about the unit as you seem to be thinking.

Well, maybe not any more...

But earlier, somebody actually said this:
Still, for a shockingly low price and with no real competition for the elites slot, a PBS with Chimera is basically the must have unit from the new codex.


Hey, a new blazer might be the must have item for a wardrobe, but you don't wear it every day, do you? By must have, I meant any serious IG player should have the unit at his disposal, not necessarily in every list.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

OK, that makes more sense.

   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

JohnHwangDD wrote:OK, that makes more sense.


Well, I could have been clearer.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Banelord Titan Princeps of Khorne






JohnHwangDD wrote:As I see PBS, it's a good tool against Orks, Tau, and Eldar; not good against Nids or CSM; and questionably good against SM.


OMG, really? That's only 2 out of three of the top tier lists running the metagame right now. You're right, PBS is worthless. Oh wait, what if you could maybe...oh I dunno, lower the leadership of the Lash Prince/Sorcerer so they can't cast lash. That would be pretty freakin' awesome too I would think.

Veriamp wrote:I have emerged from my lurking to say one thing. When Mat taught the Necrons to feel, he taught me to love.

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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

whitedragon wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:As I see PBS, it's a good tool against Orks, Tau, and Eldar; not good against Nids or CSM; and questionably good against SM.


OMG, really? That's only 2 out of three of the top tier lists running the metagame right now. You're right, PBS is worthless.

Oh wait, what if you could maybe...oh I dunno, lower the leadership of the Lash Prince/Sorcerer so they can't cast lash. That would be pretty freakin' awesome too I would think.

First off, I never said that PBS was worthless. I rated it at 3/5, not 0/5.

Secondly, unless you have a completely different version of the IG Codex, Weaken Resolve stops at the end of the IG Players turn, so it is completely useless against enemy Psykers. Therefore, it doesn't affect casting Lash at all.

Please read more carefully.


   
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Towering Hierophant Bio-Titan



UK

JohnHwangDD wrote:Secondly, unless you have a completely different version of the IG Codex, Weaken Resolve stops at the end of the IG Players turn, so it is completely useless against enemy Psykers. Therefore, it doesn't affect casting Lash at all.


Okay.. a prince is fearless. Okay, fine. Its a larger (er) model & being hit by a large blast means it'll be hit fairly often & will take no armor save 1/2 the time on a D6 ap roll. (with only having a 3+. Yeah, it either gets a 4-5+ invunerable this is true). Its still good though & it effects lash princes

A lash sorc. Fearless - no. He can be run off the table. This also effects lash sorcs.

PBS effects lash pretty well.

No, im not taking one. I think id need to structure a good chunk of an army around keep the PBS alive & well (although good call on the Griffon/PBS combo O' doom. Good synergy!) and alone it is only a 12/10/10 vehicle before it becomes horribly weak & possilbly dead. It still does awesome things though & can throw out str 9 ap3.5 pie against things like sinapsed nids.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/05/09 14:18:41


 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Friend of mine just sent me this:

"The Tyranid Codex, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There's a reason why this codex is the worst hell on earth... Hope. ."
Too be fair.. it's all worked out quite well!

Heh.  
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






on board Terminus Est

I also rate PBS at 3/5. Just because it excels versus a couple of meta lists does not make it game breaking. It's effectiveness it truly determined by local metas. With no GW GTs this year I am not concerned about national or even regional metas.

G

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




St. George, UT

That power scares the crap out of me. But then right now my two only two playable armies are Speed Freeks Orks and Tau.

Armies with no psychic defense and low LD are going to get raped any time the PBS is on the table.

See pics of my Orks, Tau, Emperor's Children, Necrons, Space Wolves, and Dark Eldar here:


 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Wales,UK

I agree with the OP by and large, my PBS are currently sitting gathering dust on the shelf right now since everyone around me either uses alot of tanks/mech/fearless troops or has defence against it :/.

Certainly not a bad unit though!
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Jayden63 wrote:Armies with no psychic defense and low LD are going to get raped any time the PBS is on the table.

True. And the biggest problem with PBS is that your opponent needs to cooperate by fielding low-Ld foot infantry without Psychic defense in the first place. And then, he's going to have to leave the PBS intact for it to do it's stuff. The sheer conditionality of their being good is their biggest weakness.

And as Polonius touched on, this is a combo piece. In many ways, the PBS is an Eldar unit, in that it requires coordination and support from 2 or 3 units to really shine (Transport to protect the PBS, something else to Pin or wound, and possibly a 3rd to perform escort duty). FWIW, in Magic, strong decks avoid 3-card combos, and try to focus on 2-card cluster combos... This may explain a certain additional amount of aggravation that I have with the unit.

When you get right down to it, PBS is a gambler's unit. It is either going to be awesome, because the stars are going to line up just so to support the uber combo going off, or it is going to be decidedly sub-par and fizzle. If you need to win big, and are willing to lose or draw a majority of your games to do so, then this is your kind of unit. If you are more inclined towards playing things that drive consistent effects, then this is not your kind of unit.

I try to avoid gambling, so I won't take this except as a "spoiler" unit for particular games.

   
 
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