Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tau Help Desk: Commander Farsight

Help Desk Query:

Recently when I bought some Crisis Suits a Farsight model was included.  First do you recommend using him?  Second, how big of a bodyguard if you recommend him? I do have enough crisis suits to field a full guard and the mandatory elite crisis team.
I have experimented a little with the full 7 man body guard each with 2 shield drones against my Dark Eldar and it is a pain to kill requiring my entire army charging in and still requiring the sweeping advance to kill the unit
p.s. If it matters a friend has an  ork army that I play relatively often

Image taken from Games Workshop without permission. 

Help Desk Response:

Interesting question as I have been toying around with some ideas ion how I would use Farsight lately. A word of warning, I have never fielded Farsight but I have seen him played in many instances. I think the Tau Community has lots of insight though so definitely look to comments on this post for good tips. I am sure ol' Pearly Gates has used this renegade before. One thing I know is that the "Farsight-bomb" is well-known on the internet but I am not sure it works really well. While I am known for deep striking my XV8s, Farsight is 170 alone and far too expensive to risk tossing out there and hoping for a good scatter roll.

With O'Shovah, your entire army gets Preferred Enemy: Orks and free bonding knives for every Shas in the army. OK. Great. What a neat gimmick.Too situational.Honestly if you getting charged by orks, preferred enemy will not help you. Bonding Knives...ok I could use those for free why not? But really neither buff is not going to make your army much better.

Unforunately, he limits your access to Tau units, the most notable restriction is on Kroot units. An army that takes Farsight cannot field any Kroot so you're limited to Fire Warriors as your troops choice. While, I played without Kroot for about a year or so, they've made it back into my list and are there to stay. They are too valuable as outflankers in my opinion.

He is not a bad choice however. Farsight provides you with a close range unit that can protect your vulnerable units from the assault.

As a Shas'O, Commander Farsight is a daemon in close-combat. With I5 and four S5 power-weapon attacks, he is the only model in the Tau range that can hold his own in the assault. On top of that he has access to a rather large bodyguard. At first, you may be tempted to field Farsight with a large bodyguard of 7 Shas'Vre suits. Personally I wouldn't do so.  Instead I would make his unit compact with drone support. I'd make each Bodyguard unique to allow for wound allocation. I'd make them close assault specialist by giving them twin-linked flamers and a second weapon of your choice(fusion, missile or plasma) with Hard-Wired Multitrackers, supported by Shield Drones. I'd keep their points down so you can field more support units.

My overall battleplan would be to keep my distance, using the world renowned Tau firepower from a distance. I'd let them enemy close and when the time was right, I'd released Farsight to attack the enemy once they are in striking distance. It's important not to drop too many points of Farsight and his Bodyguard. You are going to need support units that can dish out damage from afar so you can whittle units down to manageable size for Farsight to swallow.

Start there and remember, experience is the best teacher. After a few games, you'll begin to realize where his strengths lie and what kind of Bodyguard he should be fielded with.

One last point, avoid Terminators and any units capable of causing any instant death wounds. Farsight, while expensive, can be killed by a single punch from a powerfist as he does not have Eternal Warrior. 


Kroxitau said...

The Far sight bomb is a fun tactic, especially with positional relay and pathfinders. I wouldn't say he would be good in a competitive list, but here is a fun one that is silly:


Farsight bomb
7 bodyguards with fusion blaster, plasma rifle, targeting arrays and hard wired multi-trackers

A Shas'el with twin linked missile pods and a positional relay

A twin linked flamer crisis suit

2 squads of firewarriors,

7 pathfinders in a devilfish with d-pod

5 piranhas with a disruption pod and all have flechette dischargers

a railhead.

This list is all about deep striking the farsight bomb on turn 2 using the positional relay, and then marker beacon on the pathfinder's devilfish to re-roll a bad scatter.

The Farsight bomb is a big unit so you will need the option to re-roll, trust me.

Use the piranha wing to block assaults on the Farsight bomb, you will need to detach the drones from that squadron so you can cover a lot of different angles, between the piranhas and the drones you should be able to protect them from getting assaulted.

The hammerhead should try to make itself a big threat and hope that you can blow up any tanks that use large blast templates first.

Use pathfinders to remove cover saves on any unit you are shooting with the Farsight bomb. 23 shots that ignore armor and are high strength should kill at least one unit each turn, especially with their boosted BS, and the enemy not getting cover due to markerlights.

It will be a tricky game and it is definitely not optimal, but it is a fun list to use and I have had my fair share of wins against opponents who are not expecting it.


Pearlygates said...

Well, OSH, how could I not possibly comment on Farsight...especially after you state the obvious that I MUST HAVE used this renegade!

I have only use him once since 5th edition, and naturally it was so I could take advantage of his ridiculously huge bogyguard unit.
His bodyguards were all armed with a plasma rifle, with I think 4 missile pods and 3 fusions. and a shield drone each!

I think I also had a squad of crisis for elites, a couple F/Ws on foot and some broadsides and a hammerhead! (can't remember if I had Pathfinders too in this game).

I'm sure I don't have to add that, the Farsight-bomb as a HQ is even more ridiculously expensive! So I would suggest only using if playing Apocalypse or Planetstrike.

I used to play quite a few games with Farsight back in the day; that is until he was replaced by the Glorious R'myrs!

So these days I Play with R'myrs and his XV-89 bodyguards due to multiple reasons.

-Farsight's FOC restrictions as you've stated.
-He really needs atleast three to four bodygards to make him any good.
-His weapons aren't that great to be honest, the dawn-blade is a the second reason you'll choose him; but IT IS JUST A POWER WEAPON, (that is also good against vehicles, but lets face it, he's gonna get everything thrown at him before he gets a chance to use it.)
-Only a single plasma rifle. :-(

R'myrs comes with a shield that offers invulnables of +4 in shooting phase and +3 in close combat, better than farsight; and he has a plasma gun which is doubl-barrelled making it 24" assualt 2, farsight's plasma is standard! :-(

To me, Farsight is a more complex form of a tau army to get to grips with; It takes a long time to learn how to use your tau army and yet you still find more things to improve on; Farsight just restarts the whole cylce again for me!

ehemkeh said...

I just placed 5th in a 26 man tournament with a 1500 pt Farsight list. I just use him with two bodyguards to hold the center so the rest of the army can keep firing. He draws alot of attention and does a great job of finishing off wounded units that just need a couple of assault hits. Beat up some tough Space Wolves and Chaos Marine lists. Didn't do well against IG melta spam though ...

slxiii said...

"Farsight, while expensive, can be killed by a single punch from a powerfist as he does not have Eternal Warrior."
Nope! Keep in mind that farsights bodyguard follows the rules for a retinue, which means he CANNOT be picked out in close combat as an independent character. That means that if you have a decent number of drones and crisis suits accompanying him, he can allocate all those power fist attacks to drones, making powerfists very innefective.

Martin said...

Probably a dumb question, do the drones used count towards making the wargear unique for wound allocation?
like, 2 shield drones & 1 shield drone.. And if they do, if one shield drone is destroyed from the guy with 2, and everything else is the same does he lose that uniqueness?

another one..
if I have multiple shield drones in a unit from different folks, do they all count as the same for allocating wounds.

Still new to this 40k bidniss, not having close to 1500 points until just recently, I didn't even bother reading the special character rules, but I do kinda like this dude.
Where are the rules for R'myr? Is he usable in tournaments?

Old Shatter Hands said...

@slxii, great point there and one that every Tau commander should take in as this would apply to all Shas'Els and Os with drone controllers and the like.

@martin, wow! you have just opened up some questions that I have never pondered before. It seems that while drones are like models you would roll save for them together, but you would still have to mark them and their controller and be sure whose drones are whose in case a controller died, you'd need to know which drones go with him. tough questions.

Old Shatter Hands said...

R'myr can't be used in tournaments unless Forge World Models are allowed. I've never been to a tournament like that. People have an unnatural fear of forge world models, assuming they are over powered. In my opinion, tournaments should still ban super-heavies and flyers, but allow forge world units like the xv9, R'myr and others. Why not? They aren't any more game breaking that the new Blood Angels.

Pearlygates said...

OSH I dont play in tournements, just agianst my friends and some of the guys at my local GW; so R'myrs is ok for me!

You just remineded me of a question I was going to ask you a long time ago; - Do you not choose to buy any Forgeworld models (as they are supposed to be i.e XV89 with iridium armour, Tetras, etc) because you prefer to use models that can only be used in tournements? or do you have some hidden gems you've not shown us?

MagicJuggler said...

Easy OSH. Discount Manticores. Coaxial Heavy Stubbers allowing Leman Russes to twin-link. Autocannons on Chimeras. Centaur Siege Drills allowing Imperial Guard Veterans to Deep Strike, Move, Shoot, and Assault, in the same turn (attaching a Grey Knight Grandmaster to such a unit=fun). And other options which severely muck with the game balance.

BrokenCircle said...

I play with a custom counts as farsight built from various bits and pieces. I've been trying to find a way to balance the ridiculous killing power of him with enough support to pick off what he can't get to in time. with only 4 body guards with one drone each, all with plasma and two with fusion too, Nidsquisha as i call him killed a nurgle daemprince with warptime, commissar yarrick, three squads of guardsmen and a leman russ executioner before the game ended. It can get... silly