Toys for the Boys Ė The fireprism
The New eldar codex has seen many changes, some reasonably subtle whilst others have been more drastic. Many of the veteran eldar players will be rejoicing that those shelved units, like the swooping hawks, shining spears and jetbikes amongst others have been given a new lease of life.
The next must use toy for eldar commanders is the fireprism, that with its recent boosts its become a much more appealing HS choice. It was always an appealing model, but was outshone on the battlefield by the other eldar heavy supports, in the main being wraithlords and its nearest competitor the falcon. So what makes the prism worth taking now, and what role can it serve it your eldar army.
Reliability. Having a BS of 4 may seem like a minor thing, but it can make a huge difference over the course of a game of 40k, especially when it concerns a one shot weapon like the prism cannon. In fact I have found when talking to many eldar generals that played ultwe under the old codex that what attracted them to the ultwe army at first was not the powerful seer council, but the extra bs for its compulsory guardians. Also the wraithlord has always been a popular choice for mounting Anti-tank weapons for the very same reason. The prism also has another brucie bonus up its sleeve. When two prisms combine fire into a more powerful shot, its shot counts as twin-linked. When you invest a lot of points into a unit, its nice when it can reliably perform the roll you have it earmarked for. The fireprism ticks this box.
Tank hunting. Imperials take there strength nine lascannons for granted, whilst tau with there str 10 railguns are known to laugh at enemies packing armoured units. Now at last eldar have an equivalent weapon. The prisms concentrated beam is a perfect compliment to elders other prime tank hunters, and allows ranged sniping of enemy armour with its massive range. The other bonus of the combo shot is that you can hide one tank whilst the other shoots, letting you narrow the amount of return fire your going to take.
Infantry kill: The dispersed shot is going to work wonders against hoards of orks, tyranids or Imperial guard and similar troops. When up close the Shuriken upgrade can finish off survivors, picking off those gaunts you rolled a one to wound, or just add weight of damage to especially big units. Again its enormous range is going to let you punish your opponent from afar with as little return fire as possible, always a bonus.
Marine KILL: When two prisms get together is when things get really interesting, and it doesnít get much more interesting then when facing marines and equivalents like necrons. When that banked shot lands on a nice big squad its really going to hurt your opponent, and its not unfeasible to wipe out an entire squad in one turn. Against drop-podding marines the prism is like money in the bank, and your opponent is going to have to think very very carefully about where he tries to land.
Survivability. When tricked out with a holo-field the Prism becomes one serious headache to remove. Spirit stones also ensures that when the prism does get rocked it can hide itself ready to pounce when its set to go again. The falcon is probably still slightly more survivable, due to its second heavy weapon. With the prism one weapon destroyed result is going to seriously hurt, leaving it with only its secondary weapon. But still it could be worse .
Range: The fire prism brings the only really long ranged weapon and eldar player has onto the battlefield. This gives great tactical options that arenít available any other way. Like Sniping the enemy in cleanse missions from right at the back of the board as one example. Or supporting the left flank of your army, from the other side of the battlefield in an advanced refused flank manoeuvre.
Versatility: The final and perhaps most important thing that the prism brings to the battlefield is versatility. The prism cannon is the eldarís assault cannon equivalent. If you need it to target tanks, it can do it well with its focused beam. If your facing hoards of troops its dispersed shot canít go far wrong. If you find yourself with an assault squad thatís proving hard to hit then a combined shot is your friend. Maybe you even need a bullet sponge to take the heat off whilst your waveserpents close in the fireprism can perform that task as well.
When alls said and done the Prism is a great heavy support choice, and you could do worse than including one[or three] in your eldar army. It they right circumstances they have the potential to be more devastating than any other eldar heavy support. There are certainly circumstances in which youíd want to use a different heavy support, but the choices sure got a lot harder to make, and if you have a spot for versatile machine capable of fulfilling any battlefield roll then you could go a lot worse than adding a fireprism into your arsenal.