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Are Rubric Marines Overcosted?: Psychic Potential

So after looking at the assault values, the only thing I can really say about making the Rubrics more defensively capable is to remove the Slow and Purposeful. If you wanted to maintain the fluff, then have the unit be Relentless unless in the presence of their Sorcerer, in which case they become SaP.

Anyone else think that acronym was done on purpose by the designers?

Anyway, the Relentless rule is going to allow them to fire in overwatch, actually making them a shooting unit. You can't be considered a shooting unit if your firepower is roughly equivalent to a standard jack-of-all trades tactical squad, especially when they can shoot in more situations than you can.

But let's look at the real selling point of the Rubric Marines; the Sorcerer surrounded by meat shields. I mean dust shields.

And at this point, hard statistics fail us. Psychic powers are very much what are called incalculables.

Incalculables are game mechanics which don't have an easy to quantify positive or negative effect on your units success. Whilst it's easy to see that doubling the number of shots on a bolter makes it stronger, it's harder to see the benefit if a unit can get that ability rolled for on a random table, and then only maybe being allowed to use it, and may in fact end up killing itself in the process of casting it. Which then may be denied by the opposing player.

In short, to many variables mean the psychic potential is difficult to quantify... which is why you get swings in the usefulness of the mechanic in 40K. You have to give your best guess on how the power is going to affect the game rather than sitting in front of a spread sheet and adjusting numbers.

But fortunately for us, we don't have to quantify it.

All we have to do is be able to compare the psychic potentials of each unit, and not the real value outcomes of those powers. Which gives us this!

Click to embiggen.

So first we compare the total psychic levels. This is easy to compare and leads directly to warp charge generation.

We can then look at known powers, which will usually be two per psyker. Unlike Master level 2 psykers, we can't pick from different disciplines, meaning we will always get our Primaris plus one.

We can then look at powers per turn... which in the same as the Psychic level.

Then we just take an average of all these things, and we have a value for the Psychic potential of each unit, or at least a comparative value. Then we do our usual trick of dividing points cost by this potential, and we have a value to compare everything with.

And to no ones surprise, the paired Librarians comes out on top. This is why you'd take them (beyond getting a cheap HQ unit), so it's no wonder they're more point efficient for their Psychic prowess.

But what's probably unforgiveable is that the Thousand Sons, the most powerful and renowned psykers of the 40K universe, competing with the Eldar for most gifted with mind-bullets... are the worst in terms of point efficiency.

What's even worse is the absolute sad truth of their psychic versatility. They can only take the Discipline of Tzeentch, whereas every thing else on the study gets access to the Librarius disciplines, and the majority of the Basic Rule Book disciplines. They're not even that psychically erudite!

Arguments about shooting, and defensiveness aside, this is the real failure of the Rubric Marine unit.

The Thousand Sons should be psychically flexible. Despite having maybe 5 units on the field, those 5 units should be able to alter their psychic powers from battle to battle to suit the enemy. This would have made them a real tournament wild card, and would have made them as much of a new comer success as the Genestealer Cults.

But they're not.

They're inflexible, and totally at the whim of dice rolls for what powers they get. Whilst some may think that suits their fluff well, I think it's an unnecessary handicap, and a real missed opportunity for a very flavourful and unique army style. I strongly encourage tournament orgnisers to change that part of the Rubric rules, and allow them to use any psychic discipline they want for each battle. You will not be regretful.

With my rant over, we have but one more thing to look at. The average efficiency of the Rubrics as compared to the other competing units. I may not do that until after Xmas, but expect to see regular updates for tomorrow and the day after.

Until next time!

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