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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Re-examining the Seer Council (Part 1): Wargear

I'm not sure that I specifically try to find uses in units that the Internet says are bad. There may be something to that too, but I also like to believe that people write things off before they ever give them a fair chance. I feel like people had an all-too-spontaneous reaction to the new Fire Dragons, Guardians, Wraithknights, Wraithlords and Falcons. But at least those have still been getting enough attention that some people are coming around and giving things a try. What I haven't seen anyone say anything other than "NO!" to is the Seer Council.

Why? Up to 12 psykers with access to excellent wargear and what are in my opinion the best powers in the entire game. And they're not worth even attempting to use because you can't ensure having heavy flamers and rerollable saves? Oh right, and Mind-strike Missiles (let me get to those later). I am reading the opposition to this correctly, aren't I? The Seer Council is on the whole cheaper than it used to be and while it may take some adaptability to use now, I think it is better than ever due to better wargear, more versatile powers and more destructive potential in the form of multi-faceted psychic combos.

First of all, the wargear is fantastic now. The Eldar Jetbike is unbelievable. It gives more movement than it ever has and protects our Farseers from S6/7 weaponry. It gives a jink save that is great additional protection when combined with Conceal. And it also provides us with twin-linked shuriken catapults that are ferociously potent now. The Singing Spear has also been buffed because it is no longer a 2-handed weapon (though it does only hit vehicles at S9 when thrown), therefore you get your bonus attack in close combat with it and that's something Warlocks need badly. Both the Eldar Codex and the Iyanden supplement have access to weapons that can make our Farseers a credible threat in combat, potentially very powerful with the right psychic buffs.

I don't have the Iyanden supplement, but I've seen the rules as they were posted all over. I like those artifact weapons much more than the two we got in the codex. The Spear of Teuthlas is basically a rending singing spear and would be a fun, effective and fluffy choice in a Seer Council. The Soulshrive is very powerful and gaining +1S for each kill wouldn't be hard to start up if you had a Warlock buff you from S3 in the first place. And the Celestial Lance would be a fine choice and would be something like what the Laser Lance Autarch used to add to my Council.

In short, the Council is faster, tougher and stronger than it was. It received a number of buffs that came in the form of new wargear and changes to the old gear. They have more attacks than before and more access to AP2, 3, and rending. All of this does one very exciting thing in my opinion: it frees up the need for an Autarch HQ or another assault unit to bail them out of assaults where they could get tarpitted. With an open second HQ slot, I can take another Farseer to reinforce my chances at getting some of the various powers I think will benefit this unit greatly.

And this is where I want to take this series of posts. I want to talk about the Warlocks' powers next. I'll go over what I'm hoping to get and why. I'll also cover ways I expect you can make the most of the less-than-optimal powers. The Farseers will come after that and may need multiple posts on their own because they have three disciplines available. All of them have powers that can greatly boost the unit, but because they're random and there are more results than the Warlocks' powers, I want to be thorough when talking about what to do when you don't get the best of the powers available.

Returning to GK Storm Ravens for a moment, if you want to run a Seer Council, you just have to accept that Mind-strike Missiles are stupid and will remain stupid for a while. Luckily not all GK players use Storm Ravens and not all 40k players use GKs. Playing against one might mean reserving the Council and slapping the Raven down with a Crimson Hunter. Really though, with about 700 points invested in this unit, you'll have to go into that game knowing you've got a handicap because 200 something points on the other side negates almost half your army. I'm going to be completely ignoring these missiles while I write about the Council. I don't think Deathstars are the most competitive way to play anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal to negotiate something with your friends so you can play with a list that's meant to be a unique good time. You know, rather than losing games before they start due to a rock, paper, scissors style match-up.