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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On Farseers and Psychic Powers (Part 1 of 2)

The first post I put up on this blog is a thread I started on a forum. I'm just going to copy and paste it so I can use it as a test for formatting and whatnot. Thanks for bearing with me while I set up here.

On Farseers and Psychic Powers (1 of 2)
I wanted to lay down my line of thinking where it comes to Farseer powers on the off chance that some of it may not be obvious to everyone. The point of this is to help people decide on which powers to take, whether to swap out and why. The last FAQ is part of what prompted some of this thinking.

First and foremost, the question is do you think you might want to swap for BYB powers. Fortune is the premier reason to keep our codex powers. If you rely on Harlequins, Rangers or Dire Avengers to do damage then Doom may be a good reason too, but most Eldar lists I make personally max out on S6 which only benefits from Doom against MCs. If you need Fortune for your list to survive, then you're alreaady partly done deciding. But how about other powers? Let me go through them.

Codex Powers
Guide: Guide is still a functional power, but there is now absolutely no reason to take it by itself. You should take a different power for the same points and swap for Prescience if you need to re-roll misses. This gives some minor flexibility. Otherwise, guide is useful when using Eldrad with codex powers or with a Farseer using Spirit Stones to cast Fortune too.

Eldritch Storm: The purpose of this spell is two fold, do damage and spin vehicles. It does very little damage especially compared to Psychic Shriek so I don't really recommend it based on that. Spinning tanks to shoot side and rear armor is cool, but again I see this as something that comes with Eldrad. It's too situational to set out with this in mind.

Mind War: Shooting attack and model sniping. Psychic Shriek does more damage and disallows cover. The point here is sniping characters or special weapons. I don't think it is FAQed so that LoS! can't be done, though so it's utility in that role is somewhat diminished. Like Guide and Eldritch Storm, I don't recommend taking this unless you a) get it with Eldrad, b) need a cheap power that you might swap for BYB powers or C) need Fortune, but also want a way to kill models that can ID your Seer.

What is to be gained from this? Fortune. Also Fortune. And don't forget Fortune either. Of our powers it is the only one that has no replacement in Divination or Telepathy. If you spam S6 like I do, Misfortune is way better than Doom. Prescience is better than Guide. Psychic Shriek is better than Eldritch Storm and Mind War under most circumstances. Now that we cannot cast powers on units outside of the transport we are embarked upon, many powers further lose their usefulness. Doom is not good inside a Falcon, but Guide can help it shoot. Guide is much less useful in a Wave Serpent. You could guide some guys inside, get out and shoot or you can Guide the Shuriken Cannon on the bottom, but are these things worth it? Dire Avengers guided without Doom will see their damage output bottleneck at the wounding stage. Fire Dragons don't need Guide to get their job done.

There may be some situational reasons that I am over-looking here. Mostly in lists based around Wraith units, I expect. But I think you would be hard-pressed to find a player who really needs any codex power outside Fortune. Now that powers can't be cast from transports many of their uses are negated. This means that in general Farseers are less useful in tranports while the ones on Jetbikes have more flexibility in how they can cast powers. Farseers on foot and on bikes may be good solutions for many people. Sometimes I need mine in a transport though and in my opinion that leaves me with the few options I outlined above.

For the record, I take Fortune on a Seer in a Serpent and either Fortune or Prescience on a Seer in a Falcon.

As an addendum to the original post, I have talked to my gaming group about FAQ update to Eldar Farseers casting from their transports. We have decided that the most sensible ruling is that the FAQ was written to prevent people from abusing the Eldar Codex powers' lack of LOS requirements so that they could cast Fortune, Doom and Guide on units outside the transport. My group agrees that Eldar powers may be cast under the provisions stated in "Declare a Target" on page 67 of the main rule book. I'd advise any Eldar player to clear that up with their gaming group if there is any doubt about it.