Friday, November 20, 2009

The Ethereal Council: The Tau and Psychic Powers

A common complaint of Tau players is the complete and utter lack of psychic power protection. This is not a rant but more of an explanation. The current Tau Codex was written back when psychic powers were a rare thing on the battlefields of the 41st millenium. Few armies used them extensively save for Tyranids, Necrons and Eldar so there was little need to include any wargear or units that had some psychic protection. There certainly weren't any powers that were over the top and certainly none that rivaled the power of having more guns than your opponent. There simply wasn't a need for psychic power defense during the time when Codex: Tau Empire was released.

Nowadays psychic powers seem to be coming to the forefront of 40k with the release of Jaws of the World Wolf, Lash of Submission and who knows whats in store for us when Codex: Tyranids is out. There are now powers that are defensive in nature, some that cause casualties and other they can move your enemy's models around. With such powers now being thrown about left and right these days, psychic protection is getting close to a necessity. I predict that the next Tau codex, whenever it's released (could be many years yet), will have some wargear or unit with psychic power defense, even though Tau don't register in the Warp. It's a simple matter of giving the army a fighting chance against the witchcraft of Space Wolves, Eldar and the Chaos Sorcerers of the 40k Universe.


suneokun said...

Agreed. Still I enjoyed the psychic 'testing' phase of fire warrior... it was amusing.

The Tau are now 'aware' of the warp and warp skimming is possible. Who's to say what anti-psyker guns/shield etc they'll form against JoTWW.

Until then, Orks and Tau will struggle.

I can't wait for the 'warp in a box' utility belt.

Swift Hunter said...

"warp in a box" belt you say... great idea! I'd love to see my opponent's face when I say "oh... sorry, but my Fire Warriors have an WiB belt upgrade... =D "

Sholto said...

Warp defence? Shoot the psyker! :)

Maybe we'll get some new allied races who've joined the Greater Good, bringing knowledge of the warp with them.

Old Shatter Hands said...

haha! like it, Sholto, like it.

But that's a good point, allied races could bring it in.

Flekkzo said...

Orks don't do defence, Orks do offense, and they have psykers:)

I personally would like it if they went the clean technical route with the Tau. Psychic shield drones that certain units can take. That way it is a reaction to psykers without adding psykers.

I just wish the new Tau codex could arrive soon. I like to start fresh and I feel like reading about Tau stuff:)

Pearlygates said...

I also think that the next codex should have a new auxilary race that use psychic powers, plus they should probably be an Elite choice.

With all the new alien species joining the Tau Empire, surely there'll be a race that is psychic! But what will the Ethereals make of such powers? maybe they'll reflect on it in the same way as close combat and class it as uncivilised behaviour, depending on the purpose of their pychic abilities.

OSH, as for the next codex, when I picked up a new crisis suit to replace my busted units I broke two weeks ago, I ask a member of staff at GW when it is due out and he said next year! possibly around may.

Lucas said...

They might use somthing like a kroot shaman to be psyker/antipsyker. They might make a drone that uses nagitive warp energy to counter psykers.

Raptor1313 said...

I can see them go both ways: give us psykers in an allied race (...or maybe the kroot just ATE some psykers and grew a psychic hood?) or give us wargear that defends against it.

Frankly, I think a good psychic defense follows either the Eldar Runes of Warding, or the basic psychic hood. Give us either a blanket defense against psychic powers, or the ability to acutely counter them.

As it is, 'shoot the psyker' is fun and all, but not necessarily the easiest/most readily employed strategy, depending on where the psyker is.

That being said, I think there are only a few psychic powers I'd really worry about. If a Lash Sorcerer is close enough to use it, chances are the guy's close enough to eat a crap-ton of missile/plasma.

Jaws of the Bull-crap Wolf...kinda hurt, but again there are range issues with it, at least, and it can't drop tanks.

Anything else we have is just screwed, though.

Past that, most other psychic powers are support-type powers, be it Doom, Guide, or something like Null Zone. Or they're melee buffs, and that just seems a little redundant if you're going to go kick some Tau.

I wish...but then again, I'm skeptical of any kind of rumor and the like.

Pearlygates said...

Me too Raptor1313.

I thought that it seemed quite soon since the last tau codex release for the next to be coming out, but that's wot I was told!

I'm skeptical like you, be anxious at the same time!

Carrying on with the psuchic talk, as tau are none psychic, they should say that tau can't be phased by pychic abilities or of something similar.

The kroot shaper gaining a psychic ability would be good, gives you a better reason to field one.

Old Shatter Hands said...

A kroot shaman would be really fluffy...I really like that idea.

I'm also skeptical about a codex release in May, as Nids will be coming out in Jan/Feb for sure and then its supposed to be Blood Angels (which I am also skeptical about to be honest). Still, one can hope.

Jaws of the Bull-Crap Wolf does have range issues...I tend to get more hampered by The Tempest's Wrath one which creates a 24 inch radius of dangerous terrain for any jet-pack XV8 and skimmer in my army. That one can really foil your plans more than Jaws...

Pearlygates said...

After thinking about it, I don't think that they should give tau or auxilary units psychic powers (at least not under the title of psychic powers)but instead have it incoperated into their technology!

As an example from OSH's comment above, the tau should have a form of technical equipment/drone that confers 'Tempest's Wrath' etc.

That way it keeps to the Tau being advanced in technology and keeping them to a non-psychic army!

who's with me!!!!???? anyybody???
no?? :-(

Old Shatter Hands said...

I agree they shouldn't have any psychic powers...not at all. But I hope we'll be given something that is defensive against them. I am kind of tired of not being about to stop fortune, tempest's wrath, lash and stuff like that other than just trying to kill the psyker.

Ah well, I still love my three-fingered friends...

Pearlygates said...

I think this is where the Ethereals should truely come into play OSH;

As the Ethereals are basically the SUPREME commanders of the Tau forces, they should have 'Battle strategy' expertise that allows you to re-roll against the Eldar farseer council's pychic ability that stops their oppenents bringing in reseves, forcing unit to be played in reserves, and those other penaulties they inflict at the beginning of the game.

Then perhaps the aid of some drone, lets call it an 'Emprean Deflector' drone, for now that, I don't know lets say on a +4 you stop your opponent using their psychic attack!

Force weapons and Lash of Torment, etc, should still be allowed though seeing as they are weapons and not psychic spells.

When our little warriors have to compete against armies that excel in both close combat And psychic abilities, and we still win, I think that reflects on how well we have all become strategists in the game! Especially with all the critism that we get from non-tau players! Psychic attacks? leave it for the lesser skilled players who can't win in a straight out fight!

do I hear an 'Amen to that!' ???


oh look...tumble-weed!

Anonymous said...

The Tau already have an auxiliary race that possesses psychic powers, and so they are already very well aware that they lack psychic power themselves. This race is the Nicassar - they appear as part of the Tau fleet in Battlefleet Gothic. They are basically guide ships able to pull Tau ships through the Warp - no doubt the Nicassar are the main explanation for the apparent suddenness of the Third Expansion.

If I remember correctly, the Nicassar lose their psychic powers as they age, however, so putting Nicassar psykers on a 40K table means putting Nicassar youth in the line of fire. Nicassar psykers in 40K would not be very strong psychically if they are old, or would not be very tough or experienced physically if they are young.

Thus older, weaker Nicassar psykers could basically be represented by models with something like a psychic hood. They would be scattered into a few squads as attached characters, like Warlocks are attached to Eldar squads. Younger, stronger Nicassar psykers would be individuals led by a group of experienced but psychically inert Nicassar. Only these young psykers would have any significant augmentic psychic powers - directly offensive powers such as shooting attacks are off-limits because I recall Nicassar are supposed to be fairly pacifist themselves.

- 7eAL

Swift Hunter said...

Wow, I wasn't aware of that Nicassars. And your idea darktwister754 is just so great I really doub if it isn't cheesy :D anyway, I really like this idea and think it's the best way to incorporate psykers to Tau, if it wil ever be done (impossible =S ).

daniel said...

Maybe the Demiurg could have some psyk powers? I'd like to see some Demiurg units regardless. maybe some heavy weapons unit if GW won't psyk them up. I'd like the Demiurg heavy weapons and the Nicassars psyk additions.

Oblivion_Necroninja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oblivion_Necroninja said...

It's not that the Nicassar lose their powers with age: they just have "limited mobility" on the ground. And the Tau are trying to keep their existance a secret from the imperium.

Still (unless that "limited mobility" is caused by generations of atrophying muscles and bones in space), there is the potential to put them in some kind of battlesuit...

Alternativly, the Tau could be done up like Star Wars' Yuuzhan Vong, by giving them limited immunity (probably in the form of a 5+/6+ save against psychic powers directed against them) against all psychic powers directed at them ) to psychic powers, due to their lack of registering in the warp...

Old Shatter Hands said...

I really like the idea of giving the Tau a resistance to psychic powers, perhaps giving them an immunity all non-shooting attacks would be enough.

I would also like to see a Tau jedi type. That would be cool. someone by aun-shi with psychic immunity or some kind of power.

Oblivion_Necroninja said...

making the Tau immune to non-shooting powers would be a MASSIVE nerf to the Eldar (since they rely pretty heavily on debuff powers these days), so that wouldn't really work.

alternatively, they could make enemy Psykers roll to hit with psychic shooting attacks. Although that would make my warphead very sad indeed, he kinda deserves it for blowing up his escort...