Greetings and welcome to another retro rant review.
As promised on yesterdays primer, this week I’m going to cover the Falcon.
Ok First Impressions of this tank would make me think it should function as a gunboat /MBT, although it can fill the former adequately the latter is a complete misconception, A hammerhead/ russ this aint, more like the bastard offspring of a predator+ razor with fast skimmer rules tacked on
Falcons did not feature in my armies for a long time due to them not doing what I want/expect them to do throwing down 200 points on a tank I expect heaps of dead things to rub my hands together over (I was…disappointed)
Now my mech armies will likely always feature at least one if I can find the quantity of points required.
So lets look at the blither in the book with snowmobile in a suitably tight wearing space elf shade of fuchsia.
It claims the Fail-con bear with me is ‘the’ primary Battle-tank of the Eldar ? and also that it is a dreaded sight to the enemies of the eldar yeah ? maybe turn 5 on an objective. It is .
It has a twin role on the battlefield MBT!? as it has a small passenger compartment to carry a small squad of fighters to the battlefront some really expensive T3 fighters in a squad size too small to be effectual into the jaws of death / assault/ melta range, sounds like a plan, if you have a date with a 70 virgins …. or rescue a beleaguered unit ie, ‘run away’ when resistance proves too fierce A tactic our gallic cousins across the channel have been perfecting for centuries and now a staple in the repertoire of most Eldar commanders .
It carries a lethal assortment of heavy weaponry Oh lol , did you really write that ? the pulsar is ‘ok’ everything else does not compare favorably with its imperial equivalent especially with cost and accuracy as factors. Eldar heavy weps give me special nerd rage. and advanced targeters that allow it to fire devestating salvos whilst on the move. 1 BS 3 wep @ 12″ or a kinda limp wristed volley if it only moves 6″, My bullsh*t detector hit 11 for a second there. as with all Eldar tanks, the Falcon is held aloft by powerful anti-grav motors that allow it limited flight. Indeed, many Falcon pilots specialise in flying hidden within the clouds only to dive from the skies, pulse lasers and shuriken weapons spitting death into the ranks of the enemy. non Apococrap rules please ?
So you can probably tell GW failed to design a set of rules that makes the tank work as described above, however Its still a damn fine choice for reasons I will discuss shortly.
Usual fast skimmer stuff applies to the falcon. Initial observations for me, the first thing that raises an eyebrow is the BS, for a super advanced 115 point (naked) grav tank with “advanced targeters” this is pretty shabby coupled with the fact that the weapons available are all a bit expensive and generally meh, having lost shots on the pulsar and starcannon, less shots plus poop BS = Fail).
While we are on the subject Its worth discussing the weps here, just want to get one thing out the way , the falcon is never going to kill much, ever . If you want something killy, buy a prism, the falcon genuinely sits in the Jack of all trades master of none camp oddly enough I do not think any of the weapons save maybe the BL are a ‘bad’ choice.
Pulse laser: Compares directly to an imperial auto cannon and as such is superior (as it should be) but available in pitiful quantities. Good range good str and good Ap and 2 shots, sounds good does it not ? Sadly however its not enough shots to compensate for the cruddy bs , its not enough shots to threaten troops and its not very reliable on armour 12 or above, in fact against armour (tanks) I think it compares directly (on average) with a single ML armed marine, great stuff for a mbt main weapon im sure you will agree ……. I think if it had just one more shot or 1 higher str or lance or a combination of some/all of those it would be bang on.
Shuriken cannons: , the upgrade on the chin is more or less a must unless you are really tight on points, if you are going ultra cheap taking one as your secondary weapon is not a terrible choice as its cheap and multiple shots means you might hit something.
Scatter laser: A popular Choice due to the range, relative cost effectiveness and multiple shots, with a scatter, chingun and pulsar you are looking at 9 shots !! just don’t expect many casualties on anything with an armour save , however due to the volume of shots this can work as a light transport buster.
Star cannon: I personally like this it has good range str and ap and means the tank is throwing out 4 ap 2 shots per turn @ 36″ and beyond, with 5 str 6 shots and 2 str8 it should still make an adequate light armour killer with FNP being on the rise this may come back into popularity.
EML: A good choice on the falcon as it gives you another str 8 shot out at 48″ which means this falcon can now be a reasonable hunter of light armour at long range with 3 str 8 shots, the EML offer some good flexibility too as against meq you fire the pulsar, krak and the shuricannon and aginst geq or relatively unarmoured spammy opponents you can give em the plasma ap 4 pinning goodness, cannon and pulsar. I also like the fact you can move twelve and choose to fire either the pulsar or shuricannon and still pop off a plasma missile as its str 4. If your army features multiple EML’s you can force multiple pinning checks too ;o)
Bright lance: My personal opinion on this hunk of shit is to never take it ever on anything… at most of the targets you are going to end up shooting at, this is effectively just a short ranged missile launcher for approximately double the cost of a higher bs marine equivalent . If it was str 9 and on a bs 4 platform it would actually be better than a lascannon (as it should be) currently its worse and more expensive and often less accurate. Were I an an Eldar I would be scavenging lascannons from the battlefield to replace my BL’s with especially the TL ones :oP
On a falcon though I suppose there are some pro’s to putting it on, it is after all another str8 shot with ap 2, so it sits well next to the pulsar, however you just paid 30 points to make your falcons pulsar work how it should have in the first place. go book yourself in for chemical castration. I suppose at a stretch you could use this version to try and hunt medium armour , the lance will hit once in a while…..
So we have established that it lacks much punch , infact the ease of cover saves and mass of fnp/inv stuff kicking around now I would say the falcon is probably at its least killy since rules for it were first published, despite this the falcon is still a good choice and after discussing the upgrades I will elaborate on the beating heart of the Falcon in 5th.
Vectored engines: Pointless unless you are planning on landing in DT at the end of a flat out move on an already expensive tank, its best to avoid additional cost unless you have something specific in mind.
Star engines: Eldar skimmers are fast as is and you should be able to keep the falcon outside of melta range (unless some BA cocksucker lands 4 melta guns next to it , bugger all you can do about that) or 24 ish inches of that objective….. so you can save some points here as I dont think they are really required, they are useful tho and if you have something specific in mind then don’t count em out, but if you can live without em save yourself 15 points.
Holo’s: Poxy 4th ed rules gave us holo’s that make a tank tougher including in h2h (wtf ?!) rather than shifty and tricksy and difficult to shoot at, like a holo field should. Even still, if you are going to buy holos for anything let it be a Falcon, these coupled with having 3 weps and its natural agility are what makes the Falcon remain a viable choice in spite of its failings. the bloody thing just wont die !!? These are expensive as hell and AP 1 weps now screw with it, so play carefully and try to keep out of melta range, you can use melta proof serpents to block enemies getting within 6″ if needs be. with cover or flat out and maybe if you want to make extra sure fortune, these are the secret ingredient that makes falcons golden in 5th.
Spirit stones: If you take Holo’s definitely consider these as you are going to see quite a few more stunned results than normal, you want to keep the falcon mobile at all costs, immob results are just bad ju ju :o(
Ok Allow me to Expand a little, it cant shoot very well and it cant carry enough troops and to carry them anywhere useful it will often likely expose itself to its worst enemy, melta, however, it can carry a nice cheap SCORING unit of 5 avengers , referred to as DAVU or dire avengers upgrade which makes the tank itself scoring while they are safely within.
An idea is to pop Eldrad in too as the falcon can hover behind the main front line of serpents giving out fortune and dooming stuff, claiming cover for itself and sniping targets, heres the kicker , if you can keep it alive and most importantly mobile and 24 ish inches from an objective, you swoop in and take it on turn 5. This is obviously better if you have taken 2nd turn as its now yours and there is a good chance bubby across the table is not going to get much more than another turn to kick you off it . Good luck killing the falcon and its contents including Eldrad in one turn in the late stages of the game, at very least I would say you now have a guaranteed contested objective , however if you are good with the old tank shocks you can shock a unit right off an objective and win in the 11th hour.
However as much as this tactic is very effective its just not how I feel an MBT should work even though the falcon wins you games the design is still fail in relation to what it should be, Using the davu tactic actually makes me feel like a bad person sometimes and a few players I know refuse to use it. To be fair it does have a dirty/French feel to it.
Im at a stage with my Eldar now where compared to 5th ed books I really feel the pain and each new book steals a little more from us. The BA book is a prime example and with the impending release of Deamonhunters set to put the nail in the coffin of seer councils I think we need to be practical and use every last tool at our disposal.
The DAVU falcon is too good to pass up at the moment to the point where it almost epitomizes the style of play Eldar are forced into at the moment, Cheese eating surrender monkey style ie run away lots, avid direct conflict hope enough stuff survives til the end then grab or for KP’s avoid damage as much as possible while stealing as many easy KP’s as possible its boring and frankly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
But to make that taste go away, remember…….
DAVU falcons WIN you games .
I love the Falcon , favorite tank in the game in terms of history and what it should be, it makes me sad its a Citroen now.
Eldar skimmers as a whole need an update to make them compete and tie in with existing precedents in 5th
I would move to give them all star engines as standard, and the ability to buy BS4 (maybe Star eagle aspect pilots for a squadron with one in three an exarch, can you say psychically fused/one with the tank, it IS his exarch suit.
In fact I had some great ideas for star Eagle pilots giving them special abilities with tank shocking and ramming etc.
I covered the direction I would like to see Holo’s go in last week.
I think spirit stones (not available to all tanks but buyable upgrade on others) should work like machine spirit as spirit stones would make the vehicle sentient such as to be almost identical, allowing an extra wep to be fired.
So now just like the storm raven skimmers will be able to fire a sensible amount of guns on the move, as none of them sport ordinance I do not think it is OP as it cannot be worse than a flat out TL plas cannon ?!?!? not to mention a decent falcon setup costs nearly as much as a storm raven. coupled with star engines this would allow you to move ,shoot 1 wep and then move again with the engines, bringing back the pop up attack, however less powerful now as only one gun can be fired and TLOS makes it hard to actually escape retaliation, will make fighting with Eldar more like a ballet than ever ;o)
Wraithbone reinforcement:(new) reduces stunned to shaken
Vectored engines can stay as is but to compensate for the stupid back hatches also allow you to pivot before and after a unit embarks disembarks.
Also as Eldar hulls are psychically receptive due to the nature of the technology seers should be able to freely cast into and out of them
Falcon Grav Tank come in squadrons of 1-3 models per hvy support slot, one unit per army can be upgraded to Star Eagles (separate entry)
Cost ???? Front Side Rear BS
Falcon 12 12 10 3
Tank, Fast, Eldar Skimmer*
Transport, single unit of infantry up to 6 models, 0 fire points
Access points 1 (rear access ramp)
Pulse laser Range 48 S8 AP1 pulse weapon*
Spirit of Faolchu: (Is that a pokemon ? Fail-a-chu ?): each turn if immob roll a d6 on a 6 the tank has repaired itself each Bonesinger within 6″ will add + to the roll.
Advanced targeting: each turn the falcon may chose one of the following. it may make ONE of its weapons TL or ignore cover.
The other Eldar heavy weapons will be available as usual , however I will be doing a whole article just on them and will come back and update this when they are done.
May buy all of the available upgrades ,So spirit stones,vectored engines, Holo field, Wraithbone reinforcement also one unit per army can be upgraded to Star Eagles (seperate entry)
*pulse weapons roll an extra dice to hit after each successful roll to hit up to a max of 3 hits , TL only allows re roll of first missed shot.
Well thats all for now folks, I may do the heavy weps Retro next week so I can complete this post properly.