Eldar Farseers, Psychic Powers, and in defense of Runes of Fate!

 I love Eldar Farseers.
 Farseers! They're why I was first drawn to playing Eldar as my army - peerless masters of the mind, reading the changing currents of the future to steer their dwindling race away from the path of extinction. Woo! Gives me chills!
 Especially now in 6th, Farseers have gotten a lot of massive buffs (and a few knocks, but the balance is massively positive). So! Let's dig into it!

First of all, Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Ulthwe the Damned - greatest Farseer of them all, both in the lore and in the rules.
This guy is a *beast,* rolling in at more than double the points of a base Farseer, but with T4, a 3++ Invulnerable, Mastery Level 4 (woo!), the ability to re-deploy D3+1 units after deployment (allowing you to counter-deploy even if you deploy first), the ability to get Warp Charge Points back on a 5+ after a successful Psychic test - AND, his staff an AP3 Force Weapon with Fleshbane (?!)

This guy is one of the three most powerful Psykers in the entire 40k universe (with Kairos Fateweaver and Ahriman), and is the only one who can negate a Perils attack anytime he wants (if he has the Warp Charge to spend).
He also gets Runes of Warding and Runes of Witnessing base. Which, while they are situational, can be amazing.

The downside is that he comes in at, as mentioned before, twice the points cost of a base Farseer, and can't take a Jetbike or any other fancy wargear. In my experience though, he can cast so many powers and is such a beast in combat that he's more than worth it. Plus, ELDRAD!

Now, for the normal dudes-
Farseers come in many shapes and sizes (duh), 
but they're all variations on the same theme - 
a wicked combination of buffer, debuffer, and
sheer Psychic beatstick!
For pure efficiency, you can't beat a base Farseer.
For 100 pts you get three Psychic Powers from any/all of the gnarly powers of Divination, Runes of Fate, and Telepathy. There's nothing else in the game that so easily benefits any army - and a Guide/Prescience Farseer with a single roll on any of the three tables is pure gold and dirt cheap for what you get.

That said, throw some extra points into the mix, and you can make some truly terrifying Farseer combos.

My personal favorite Farseer (and Warlord) is a Farseer on an Eldar Jetbike (or, Jetseer). It's still a very cheap upgrade, adds durability, flexibility, and incredible speed. He can get where you need him to, and get out just as quickly if things get too hot. He can be equipped with a dazzling array of wargear to add on top of that, but be careful to keep him streamlined and don't overspend on things you won't use.

That said, some of the wargear options that really shine are:

1.) Mantle of the Laughing God-
If you don't mind taking the Farseer out of a unit, in exchange for Stealth/Shrouded and a re-roll to cover saves, this is an ideal toy. It turns a Farseer into a mobile buffing/fire base who can zoom around with a 2+ re-rollable cover save and just go nuts. He could either sit in the backfield with buffing powers (and maybe the sniper rifle he can take), or tear on up into the opponent's backfield. I've had a Jetseer with the Mantle and Telepathy powers zip up turn one and completely shut down two full Tactical squads - making one run with Terrify, and the other sit on their thumbs with a lucky roll on Hallucination. And that was just one turn!

2.) Spirit Stone of Anath'Lan-
This nifty item lets you use powers that cost more than 1 Warp Charge for just 1 Warp Charge. However, if you use it (actually use it, not just have it on the Farseer) it costs the Farseer his 4++ for that round.
On foot, that means losing his/her only save. On a Jetbike, however, the Farseer still likely has a decent armor and cover save, so I include this on my Jetseer every time. Being able to cast three powers/turn is just so good, it's well worth the points.

3.) Singing Spear-
The Singing Spear is dirt cheap, gives the Farseer a S9 ranged attack at 12", and doesn't impact his CC attacks at all (new in 6th, in 5th it used to cost you a CC attack to replace your Witchblade). It's handy to have this, as with a Farseers BS5, it's a very real threat to any vehicle on the table, even with only one shot.
There are other weapons you can take as well for other perks (Shard of Anaris for Fearless and an AP on your attacks, Firesabre for decent AP, the Long Rifle for a little very long-ranged dakka) but for me, the price of the Singing Spear and its very high strength are what really make it shine (heh).

Farseers can also take Runes of Warding and Runes of Witnessing to give them a once-per-game bonus to Deny the Witch/a single Psychic Test re-roll respectively. However, personally I think they're too expensive for what they do. Eldrad gets them default so I use them, but I wouldn't buy them for a normal Farseer.

Psychic Powers!

Let's talk Psychic Powers!
Psychic Powers are what really let you define your Farseer's role in your army, keep en eye on where you plan to put your Farseer before rolling on a table. For me, I use Eldrad in a Seer Council and my Jetseer solo. Because of that, I tend not to roll on Divination for either (I know, Heresy!)
But hear me out- a lot of the best Divination powers only affect the Psyker or the unit he's in, and I'll get a lot more use out of powers I can use with more flexibility. If I put a Farseer in a unit of Dark Reapers or Rangers, then heck yes, I'd roll like crazy on Divination and hope for the Ignores Cover power. Or, if I wanted to be crazy, I'd kit a melee-themed Farseer and roll hard for the re-roll everything power.
BUT, as it is, Eldrad is leading a small unit with an awesome Invulnerable save, and one of his major goals is to make sure that they survive. One of the best ways to help that is to get Fortune - and the best way to get Fortune is to take four rolls on Runes of Fate (RoF).
Runes of Fate is a minefield of mediocre powers with some pure gold scattered in there, I roll on it with Eldrad angling for Fortune (for the reasons above) and Doom - which is one of the single best powers an Eldar army with a lot of Shuriken weapons can have!

Runes of Fate-

0.) Guide. Re-roll to-hit with ranged attacks. This is a really good power, and while it doesn't affect close combat attacks the way Divination's Prescience does, the range on it is longer, allowing you to use it more effectively across your army. It's a very handy power, and with the number of powers in RoF that are mediocre, you'll almost always have something you don't mind trading for this.

1.) Executioner. This is a weird power, but it's practically guaranteed wounds, at range, from a model (the Farseer) that doesn't have much ranged fire to speak of. You could get lucky and Precision Shot someone's precious commander or special weapon, or you could take that Wraithknight or Daemon down a peg (both still wounded on 2+, nice!)
It's not great, but I won't toss it out if I do roll it.

2.) Doom. Re-roll to-wound vs. the target unit, AMAZING. I always keep that one.

3.) Eldritch Storm. Large blast that wounds or glances on a 2+, and can cause a penetrating hit on a 6? Powerful ability, especially with how nasty glancing hits are now with Hull Points. I like to get this one too.

4.) Death Mission. People hate this one, and point to it as an example of how the entire tree is crap (and it is why I don't roll on RoF for my Jetseer) BUT, imagine this on Eldrad. WS 10, Init. 10, with 4 + D3 attacks each round, Fearless, Wounds on 2+, at AP3 and  a 3++.
Now, I'm not saying it's the best use of Eldrad, but just imagine how scary that is to a Wraithknight, Daemon, or blob squad. Throw in some Warlocks, and it's a blender.

**The biggest problem with this is that, once cast, the caster can't cast any other Psychic Powers for the rest of the game - which is crap, and I think goes a little too far. But, endgame, or in a pinch, it's not a bad power for Eldrad to have. Very cinematic at the very least!

5.) Fortune. Re-roll failed saves. It can be cast on the Farseer's unit or any other friendly unit within range. Pure win. Especially good with Seer Councils or Wraithblades/Wraithknights/Dire Avengers with ++ saves.

6.) Mind War. My least favorite of all of the powers. roll d6 + Leadership with a target model, if the Farseer's total is higher, the target takes wounds equal to the difference (with no armor or cover). If they're tied, the target gets BS/WS 1 until end of turn. BUT, if the Farseer loses, then he gets BS/WS 1. This is especially bad if you're using Eldrad and it's the turn you get assaulted. As such, this is the power I swap for Guide every time I roll it.
The other equivalent power to this one is Telepathy's Primaris, Psychic Shriek - which I think is better. Shriek is a 3d6 test against the opponent, and it's a whole unit, so you stand to do more wounds, and there's no drawback to the target passing the roll. The only advantage(s) Mind War has over Shriek are that it can potentially be a Precision Shot (giving a chance to snipe a hidden Character/IC from the unit) and can also drop the target to WS/BS 1. But, the potential to lose (especially against the high Leadership any Character you'd want to snipe is likely to have) makes this a throwaway for me.

All in all, an interesting mix of powers, with a definite emphasis on dealing lots of wounds, which is nice. This entire tree benefits a great deal from having the Farseer in a gnarly unit (Fortune) and having Warlock/Hemlock support (especially for the Ld/save penalties Warlocks can cause).


"These are not the Objectives you're looking for"

Even with the Runes of Fate table unique to Eldar players, the Telepathy table is still one of the best sets of powers to give your Farseers. For sheer shutdown power, Dominate, Terrify, and Hallucination are brutal, especially against low Ld. units/units hit with the Warlock Ld. drain. A Farseer with these powers (and the Stone of Anath'Lan, whether on a Jetbike or not) can potentially make three different enemy units do nothing for a whole turn.

I love rolling a Jetseer with all Telepathy, taking the two best for the opponent(s) I'm facing, then swapping the least of the three for Psychic Shriek, which is nearly always a winner.


"That was supposed to be an ambush? Please."

Anyone who has played with or against Psykers anytime recently knows how powerful Divination is, and in an Eldar army it's just as brutal - but Eldar have the most rolls on the table, with access to the most/highest Mastery Divination-capable Psykers in the game. There aren't that many other Psykers out there that are Mastery level 3, let alone 4, and can take Divination. And Eldar can have anywhere from one to three of these (with Iyanden Allies).
I find my favorite powers are the "target unit gains a 4++ save" and the "Psyker and unit have Ignores Cover," although that second is only useful if he's in a unit that has any sort of ranged attack. In a unit of Dark Reapers, it's brutal. I've also have a field day running Guardian blobs with a 4++ straight into enemy lines.

It always helps any army to take both Guide from Runes of Fate and Prescience from Divination, to be able to grant two units/turn that re-roll to hit when shooting (and one in CC as well).

In Conclusion-

So, how do you run your Farseer(s)?

That's it! I hope at least some of that was informative.
Good luck, and happy Gaming!