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Author Topic: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop  (Read 1317 times)

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Offline flatworldsedge

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Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« on: July 25, 2017, 08:32:20 AM »
Hi all,

Hoping people could give me their thoughts or point me to resources on this topic.  In crafting background and preparing to fight a friend with Tyranids, it struck me that Eldar should be exceptionally well placed to fight Tyranids from a fluff point of view.

Tyranids seem to be significantly a threat that grows exponentially, especially through things like genestealer cults.  What starts as a tiny problem rapidly escalates into major problem. 

Farseers you'd think then should be well placed to spot all those potentially dangerous little sprouts of cults whilst a targeted strike can nip them in the bud.  Eldar also seem well placed to deliver that kind of targeted strike - specialists, deploying concentrated force, using the webway to move swiftly.

Clearly the fit skews drastically when you start talking about Hive Fleets and the sheer, present force in that case, but do people agree with my thoughts about Farseers tackling cults and that early stage spread of Tyranid presence?

Am I over-reading into the effectiveness of Farseers on this point - is it something other races' psykers would be just as good at?

All thoughts appreciated as ever!

Offline Saim-Dann

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 08:49:44 AM »
G'day Flatworldedge!
Haven't played enough to really give a solid answer on this topic. As an Eldar player, I hope your right. However, as a Nid player, I hope your wrong.

Smite and this other blessed shooty power that was used against my Doggies stripped a lot of wounds every turn. So up against frailer beings like hordes, I can see the Farseer lowering the numbers for a unit of Scorpions/Banshees to then clean them up.

I also will be interested in other responses to your theory... Be well!

Offline Irisado

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 12:17:36 PM »
I think that you need to be a bit wary about the ability of Eldar psykers to deal with Tyranids.  The invasion of Iyanden is testament to that.  In fact, if you haven't already read the narrative of this you may find it to be helpful in answering some of the questions that you have.  It has been so long since I read it that I cannot recall the details, but I would be surprised if the role of the Farseers in tackling the Tyranid invasion were not described to some extent at least.
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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 12:52:47 PM »
I do agree that Eldar would probably be able to nip a Genestealer Cult pretty quickly, especially as their culture would prevent such subterfuge from going on. However, not all Tyranid attacks are sprouted from a cult insurrection. Lyanden happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time and got stuck in one of the tendrils of Hive Fleet Kraken.

I think once the Shadow in the Warp rolls around, the Farseer's ability to see the future is sort of a moot point.

And when the Hive Fleet rolls in, well, that's basically it.
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Offline flatworldsedge

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 02:03:26 PM »
Thanks guys - much appreciated thoughts, and the Iyanden/Shadow of the Warp (SotW) points are very useful.

Re-visiting the Iyanden background, I guess there's a large amount of politics/personality in here.  Eldrad/Ulthwe warns Kelmon/Iyanden, but the warning is misinterpreted and ignored.  So, the Tyranids are not an invisible threat as Eldrad has foreseen their coming, yet neither are so easy to detect that Kelmon sees them without specifically seeking.  When he does finally search for them (nearer the event, so easier to find) it's suggested their presence on the skein is clouded - so perhaps the SotW does have some effect on their detection in the future.

That said, it's not really the main Tyranid Hive Fleet I was thinking of here.  Big Tyranid army vs. big [other faction] army, I think there are those who could make a much better fight of it in the fluff and on the tabletop both.  In terms of the fight for Iyanden, there's maybe more said in how little is said about Farseers in dealing with it (maybe due to SotW?) - things are "fixed" chiefly by good old fashioned action heroics from Yriel, his corsairs and spear.

I'm thinking quite specifically as Eldar being well suited to detecting the spread of the smaller insidious Tyranid influence before it reaches that kind of threat level.  I see Eldar as very good gardeners - catching the rogue weed/parasite before it becomes an infestation; be that in Eldar society, or more likely in others.  You'd imagine a few human settlements have been wiped from the face of the galaxy as they're predicted to harbor a genestealer cult in years to come - in Path of the Seer, there's an example of a similar thing with a small Imperial town that in three generations time will be fall to chaos, so it is eradicated with a surgical strike before anyone there has really done anything wrong.

Appreciate all thoughts on any points here, yet it's especially those on this gardening/cult hunting that I was initially after, rather than all out battle related.  Thanks!

Offline magenb

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 06:52:35 PM »
So from the fluff that I've read, a run of the mill Farseer will find big event that effect their own craftworld, such as it being attacked and then try to work out what events are the trigger points for that event happening. It is not fool proof, such as the events that happen in the last "Path of" book. Once they find the trigger points, they play the what if game and try to find the best way to stop it.

Significant Farseers like Eldrad go further ahead in time, but they are still looking for big events.

There is a quirk in craftworld Eldar, while there is the large survival of the Eldar race thing happening, they will put their own Craftworld first.

For example, Ulthewe may out right ignore a Nid/Orc infestation if it was no direct threat to them, even if it might end up trashing Alaitoc. They might put in a call to Alaitoc, and say hey guys did you notice this.. you guys might want to take care of them. It is also possible that Alaitoc's actions might redirect the threat to another craftworld, not so much out of Malice, but it would mean less Alaitoc lives lost.


So yeah Eldar are not really like Minority report, trying to fight crime at a low level, there just isn't enough of them for that sort of thing. If a cult would eventually become a problem for a craftworld, then it would see if it could be redirected to another race to minimize the loss of Eldar lives, if no other option, then they would take them out directly. It's all about survival for CWE. 



Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 09:54:03 PM »
I can agree that Eldar society itself is less likely to develop genestealer cults (higher level of psychic scrutiny, higher level of social cohesion and, presumably, control).

I also agree that Eldar are reasonably well-equipped to nip these sorts of things in the bud in other races, probably chiefly humans. This is supported by how the Empire generally views the Eldar as capricious and unreliable, who are as likely to attack them as to work with them. One reason for such seemingly capricious attacks could be to weed out proto-Genestealer cults (not to mention Chaos cults, or indeed just plain old Xenophobic human conspiracies that could pose a threat to the Eldar).

As for the Great Devourer itself, I cannot recall the fluff, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that it is too vast of a mind to really connect with or read, and its intens are too alien to really get anything useful from, not to mention probably dangerous to try to probe. Perhaps this is just my own fan-interpretation.

That being said, the Imperium also has abilities of foresight, with many types of psykers and the Imperial tarot. Goven however, that they have a far larger population to control, over a far larger area, and probably less sheer expertize and experience in effectively interpreting the nuances of prophecy (this is a fluff-based assumption), I'd reckon they have a harder time pinpointing where to strike.

Offline flatworldsedge

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 05:10:27 AM »
Thanks guys - really appreciate the input.  Helps me understand how everything interacts. 

Would Eldar ever share this kind of thing with the Imperium?  Feels from people's notes and my reading of Path of X that they don't.  They'd kill a small human colony a couple of generations before it became dangerous (say became a cult), rather than tip off Inquisitors, etc.

Guess that is the Craftworld focus and only acting on significant threats.  So you don't leave it to others to intervene as their intervention may be the trigger that manifests or magnifies the threat.  Better to do it yourself and be seen as capricious.

Offline magenb

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 05:38:23 PM »
Yeah Eldrad's tried that a few times, didn't go so well. It is easier for the Eldar to manipulate the imperium than talk to them straight up. That and by the time any paper work gets through, the cult is probably in full blown rebellion any way :)


Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2017, 01:29:13 PM »
Hi Flatworldsedge,

Since others have already mentioned the Battle of Iyanden, I thought I might suggest Valedor written by Guy Haley. Although the novel does start toward the end of the major battle written in the fluff and is focused around Yriel, much of the book does center around the Farseers' decisions and sacrifices they make in order to defeat the Hive Fleet Kraken once again, before it can link up with another Hive Fleet.

Don't want to spoil anything if you're interested in reading it. Eldar trickery being involved goes without saying  ;D. I'm not entirely certain it is what you're searching for, because much of the Farseers' rolls are limited to political and battle advisers, but they did create some crazy shenanigans 8).
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Offline flatworldsedge

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 07:01:42 PM »
Thanks MyenTal!  Just picked it up on eBay - looks like a good read!  Much appreciated suggestion!

Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Farseers vs Tyranids in fluff, not on tabletop
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2017, 08:31:26 PM »
Thanks MyenTal!  Just picked it up on eBay - looks like a good read!  Much appreciated suggestion!

No problem :D, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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