Eldar Unit Tactica: Farseers, Part2

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With the new Eldar codex and the introduction of the new, savvy Autarchs, players might find it easy to overlook the "old" Farseers as viable leaders for their Eldar forces. The Farseer rules and points values have changed a little, making several combinations of Farseer equipment & psychic powers stand out from the crowd. Now, I realize that this has been done before and that some of my ideas are probably not new. But review tactics never hurt anyone and you just might catch something that you missed before. Enjoy Emlyn

Overview: Farseer

The points cost for the new Farseer went up a little. His stat line stayed pretty much the same, but his toughness did decrease by one. This makes Farseers susceptible to Instant Death when suffering a Perils of the Warp test. Bummer!
On the brighter side, Ghosthelm, Witchblade, and Shuriken Pistol are all standard gear now. Likewise, the overall price for these upgrades and the Farseer is slightly less than what the old Farseer would have cost with the same gear.
The rules for the Ghosthelm have changed, as well. The save vs. Perils of the Warp is improved (very necessary due to the lower toughness), but you no longer get the bonus against Demons. IMHO, this is okay, because if your Farseer is in close combat with a Demon you've got more problems than a Ghosthelm is going to be able to fix!
Overall, the Farseer is a good bundle for the price. He needs psychic powers, of course, but he makes a good independent character who can really add to the overall strategy of an army as we'll see below. Furthermore, the Farseer might be one of the best psychics in the 40K environment.

Psychic Powers

One of the best things about Farseer powers is that they don't need LOS to the target. That means that they can target a unit that the Farseer can't see, but another unit may. It also means that you can keep your Farseer behind cover and "bless" units who are on the other side of that cover.
Doom- this power helps to offset the low strength of some Eldar weaponry and the Eldar close combat. This power also has an incredible range. In fact, the range for Doom matches or exceeds the majority of Eldar small arms. So all of the sudden, your relatively weak Shuriken Catapults aren't so weak anymore.
One of my favorite uses of this power is to Doom a unit who is going to receive a charge this turn. This way all volleys fired at them and combats that involve them are very much already in your favor. Furthermore, the power lasts through your opponent's next turn. So Doom is still in effect even in the next assault phase.
Another use for Doom is with Wraithguard. Since you can re-roll to-wound rolls with Doom (not just failed to-wound rolls), you can re-roll any Wraithcannon hits that failed to achieve Instant Death.
Eldritch Storm - This power is relatively weak against high toughness, well-armored infantry. While it has the potential to pin them, it has to cause a wound first. That can be tough with its mediocre strength. Against swarms of gaunts or light infantry it can be very potent. However, the coolest part about this power is the ability to spin enemy vehicles like a top. Nothing is more frustrating than having your Vindicator pointing the wrong way!
This power never scatters and has a decent range. Since the power is used during the shooting phase, consider using it to spin a vehicle around to get some rear or flank shots with other guns (using the power first, of course). However, against infantry, I'd recommend the opposite. Use the ranged weapons first and the Eldritch Storm later. After all, if there's a chance to make them fall back from the ranged weapons, why would you want them pinned instead?
Fortune - This power can be a godsend if when keeping your troops alive. The range is poor, so you're probably going to end up using it predominately on the Farseer's own unit. This can be especially handy with jet bikes or warlock squads who already have a fairly good save. After a few rounds of trying to kill Fortune-enhanced troops, your opponent may grow to hate this power.
Like Doom, this power lasts until the next Eldar phase. Thus, you could theoretically keep a unit Fortuned all game. The power is pretty expensive (the most expensive, in fact). So make sure that you have a definite use for it. You want to be using it constantly to augment your force and keep units alive.
Guide - This is one of my favorite powers. This power helps to remedy to poor BS Definition: Battle Sister or Ballistic Skillof many Eldar units (vehicles especially). It's not too expensive and can be extremely handy. Again, the range for this power is very poor. So expect to attach the Farseer to whatever unit will benefit from the power or at least keep him close by.
Units with high rates of fire or who can amass large numbers of dice when shooting will benefit the most from this power. Also, this power becomes doubly beneficial when combined with Fast Shot or Bladestorm. Remember that twin-linked weapons will not benefit from this power (so no catapult jet bikes).
Mind War - If you have problems with opponent's characters, this is the power for you. It is relatively inexpensive but can make your opponent think twice about bringing his points heavy character within range of your Farseer. You can't use this power twice in the same turn, but combining this power with some well directed fire and / or a well placed assault, you could bring down a main character in one turn.
Keep in mind that both the target and the Farseer must be unengaged to use this power. Still, with a little bit of doing, you should be warring with the mind of an opposing player's troop every turn. Also, no matter how much you want to do it, you can't Mind War units in vehicles. J

Combining Psychic Powers

Being able to use two psychic powers in a turn is a huge advantage for Eldar Farseers. I would recommend using this advantage to its fullest potential. Here are some ideas for good psychic power combinations.
Doom / Eldritch Storm - Combining these two powers might seem a little awkward at first. However, the Storm's low strength can be offset by Doom. Primarily, this combination will be used to pin enemy light infantry, though it could also make Eldritch Storm a more potent tool against high toughness units.
Doom / Guide - This combination is just natural, like peanut butter and jelly. This combo can combine to make a good volley into a devastating volley. Furthermore, consider using this combo with a unit of Dire Avengers with dual shuriken catapults and blade storm and watch your enemies fall like wheat before the scythe!
Doom / Fortune - In instances where you need to outlast an enemy unit in prolonged combat, this combo is key. Both powers last through your turn to the next. Both powers also come into play at the beginning of the turn - this means that you can use them when your Farseer's unit is in close combat. Consider using this combo with a Farseer / Warlock Bodyguard or a Farseer and any other close combat unit (Banshees, Scorpions, or Shining Spears) and getting them stuck into combat with the enemy.
Eldritch Storm / Mind War - Again, this might seem like an odd combo. But if you're fighting enemy units who have a low leadership, try to use Mind War to take out their leaders. Then follow up with Eldritch Storm on the unit. If you can successfully kill the leader with Mind War, you're that much closer to pinning the unit down with Eldritch Storm.
Eldritch Storm / Guide- When using this combo, you should have your Farseer Guide friendly fire at an enemy unit first. Then, if the unit doesn't Fall Back, drop Eldritch Storm on them. With the casualties from the Guided volley, the unit will hopefully end up pinning and becoming that much easier to finish off.
Also, this combo can be deadly if you place the Farseer near a friendly anti-tank weapon (Falcon, Bright Lance, Fire Prism) and use Eldritch storm to try to turn an enemy vehicle around. Once done, use Guide to ensure as many shots as possible slam into the rear or flank of the target vehicle. This is especially helpful with Bright Lances and Fire Prisms with their low rate of fire, or with Scatter Lasers, Starcannons, and Shuriken Catapults because of a their low strength.
Guide / Mind War - Consider using Guide to give a volley of fire that added boost and Mind War for that pesky leader who is trying to get the target squad to stay put. You can also use this combo if your opponent is foolish enough to bring an unattached independent character within range. Guiding fire and attacking with Mind War just might give you enough wounds to give the character a very bad headache.
Farseer GearSpirit Stones - these are the essential Farseer equipment. If you don't buy anything else, buy Spirit Stones! (unless you're only using one psychic power or playing my Elathiad craft world) Spirit Stones give a Farseer the option to use a second psychic power in a turn and, as such, utilize the combinations above.
Runes of Warding - this piece of wargear is always a good choice if you know you're going up against other psychics (especially Librarians with their pesky psychic hoods! Turnabout is fair play). You can quickly ruin an opponent's day and make him think twice about his petty psychic powers with this piece of wargear.
Runes of Witnessing - with the new lower toughness of the Farseer, I expect to see fewer players using these in the future. Personally, I think this is a mistake. The chance for Perils of the Warp increases a bit, of course. But it's offset by the higher success rate for use of psychic powers. Who cares if your Farseer is still alive if he failed every psychic test?
Singing Spear - three words, "waste of time." Yeah, I know, you're all arguing with me. But hear me out. Firstly, the range is worthless. If you let the enemy get this close to you, you're going to be in close combat. If you're in close combat, you want a Witchblade and a Shuriken Pistol for the extra attack. Both the Witchblade and Singing Spear have the same rules in close combat.
Secondly, if your using your Singing Spear as a ranged attack, that means that you're not using Eldritch Storm of Mind War. If you're on a jet bike, the twin-linked Shurken Catapults are the better option (the ROF makes up for the special to-wound rule, especially against low toughness enemies). If you're on foot and you're within range, use the double fire on the pistol or Fleet and try to charge.
Jet bike- having a Farseer on a bike can be a huge advantage. First of all, the jet bike save is better than the rune armor save. That's pretty nice. Secondly, you can drift your jet bike and, in doing so, keep your Farseer uncommitted to a fight. This will let him continue to use his powers of Eldritch Storm & Mind War. Finally, units with jet bikes can become seriously annoying to an opponent when you pair them with a Farseer with the Doom & Fortune powers. All of the sudden that jet bike save becomes a huge asset and those wimpy Shuriken weapons pack a much bigger punch.

Several Farseer Options:

Here are several ideas for Farseer combinations. This list is by no means exhaustive and Farseer_Emlyn does not offer any guarantee that these combinations will perform to the standards described below J
Doomseer - Farseer with Doom. This is a very basic character whose primary purpose is to accompany a friendly firepower or close combat unit and give your opponent a very bad day. He may be mounted on a jet bike to accompany Guardian jet bikes, a Vyper squad, or even Shining Spears.
Doomspotter - Farseer with Doom & Guide, Spirit Stones. This is a very popular choice as many Eldar units have high rates of fire. Consider using this character to his fullest by pairing him with a large unit of Guardians, Dire Avengers with Bladestorm, a squad of Vypers with Scatter Lasers, Dark Reapers with Fast Shot, or a Suppor Weapon battery. I've also used this combo with a Swooping Hawk squad (Exarch with Sunrifle), but keeping the Farseer up to speed was a trick.
Assassinseer - Farseer with Mind War & Guide, Spirit Stones. This combination should be used when you're going to have your Farseer chase down an enemy character or two. The Farseer uses Guide to help friendly fire find its target as often as possible and the uses Mind War for that extra wound. A jet bike Farseer with a few Vypers can fulfill this roll very nicely.
Tank Destroyer- Farseer with Eldritch Storm & Guide, Spirit Stones. As described above, this combo can be used to spin enemy armor around and allow for some very appealing shots. This can quickly overcome the relatively low armor piercing value of Scatter Lasers and ensure maximum fire potential. Likewise, Bright Lance & Fire Prism fire will be enhanced by exposing enemy armor's weakest point to the most powerful anti-armor weaponry the Eldar have. Consider teaming the Tank Hunter Farseer up with a Guardian unit with a heavy weapon, a Support Battery, Dark Reapers, Falcons, Fire Prisms, or on a jet bike with Vypers.

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