Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Art of War pt 3: The Seer Council

I really do like Farseers. I think that is why I have always have had an Ulthwe themed Eldar army. Honestly besides the Avatar of Khaine is your only real good HQ choice in the list. I have had smatterings of Seer council advice in a few blogs but I decided for part 3 of the art of war to just cover Farseers and Seer Councils as they are the real backbone of the army. They tie everything together and let all the units do their thing and do it well in support of each other.
The basic Farseer clocks in at 55 points. You get a Ghost Helm, Witch Blade, shuriken pistol and Rune Armor. You then buy your upgrades and psychic powers.


Singing Spear- I hardly every buy this option for my Seers unless I am running two of them. I then equip the Warlocks with the Seer with Singing Spears as well so I have a nice short ranged anti tank, thanks to the strength of 9 against vehicles, / support unit. This option should be considered carefully. As your Farseer only has one base attack you only get 2 attacks in close combat. This can be bad if you are taking on a big unit. Granted as long as you have a warlock with enhance and a doom on the unit you are fighting you will make every attack count and pretty much everything that hits will wound.

Runes of Warding- No Farseer should be without runes of warding. In fact unless you have no threat of facing psykers you should always have this upgrade. Although some forum guys say its a waste to give it both your Seers if you are running two . I ignore this as I want to make sure my opponents psykers are taking tests on 3d6 even if I loose a Farseer. This upgrade really is a thorn in the side of Librarian and Rune Priest heavy armies. Eldar are the best psykers in the game so make your opponents remember that.

Runes of Witnessing- You should always equip your Farseer with this upgrade. Even if you have given a Warlock Embolden in his retinue you are much less likely to fail any psychic tests when you are taking them on 3d6 and taking the lowest two.

Spirit Stones- This is also an upgrade I think of as required. Having the ability to use two psychic powers a turn is very important. It allows you to doom a unit or guide it and cast fortune on the Farseer and his retinue.

Eldar Jetbike- This option is best for a second Seer or if you are doing an all mech list. The mobility you are afforded is awesome. You can get the Farseer into range where his powers are most effective and needed and then move him into cover and out of sight. Things do get expensive very quickly though when you start handing out bikes. You must not be tempted to have the ultimate Seer Council of doom at the expense of the rest of your force. I keep the council small so it can easily get behind objects that block line of sight. You can't do that with 11 models in the squad.

Psychic powers

Fortune- This power is probably one of the best and most important powers to take for two reasons. First it increases the squads survivability by a lot. You can take large amounts of shooting and come out relatively unscathed. Second this really frustrates your opponent and he will either throw everything he has at the council or just leave it alone as he feels he cannot hurt it. Playing Eldar is basically like playing the odds. This power gives you much better odds.

Guide- Like Fortune this is a nice power to take if you are running a seer that is going to be near units on a permanent basis. I use this power quite a bit with my Pathfinder units. Re rolling misses gives them a much better chance of getting AP1 hits. Again you are getting the odds to play in your favor. You really do want to doom any unit that the guided unit is shooting at to really make sure it takes the maximum amount of wounds and saves.

Eldritch Storm- Even though this power is only strength 3 it is a large blast template it is very very useful and not often used. You get 2d6+3 armor penetration and it spins the vehicle in a random direction. It is also pinning. SO you can wreck a lot a havoc with units that are clumped together. I only really use this power though when I am using Eldrad. My other seers are pretty lean on powers for points purposes.

Mind War- This is one of my favorite powers. Being able to inflict very large number of wounds with one roll is pretty nice. Granted its is really only effective when you use it on models with low leadership. This is a nice power to take out all those pesky heavy weapon, special weapons and power weapons. Your opponents really loose heart when they loose their precious power fists and plasma guns. Combine this with fire from the retinue and you can really cut down squads to make sure you wipe them out in close combat. Try to avoid models with invulnerably saves unless its a high one and their leadership is like 8 or lower.

Doom- This is the power that really strikes fear into opponents. Any ability that gives you the ability to re-roll wounds is powerful. This power is so great because you cast it once and any failed wounds the affected squads takes until your next turn can be re rolled. This means massive casualties between shooting and 2 assault phases. Dooming a unit can really discourage its use. So besides the obvious effect of more wounds it is also a demoralizing power.

Warlock Retinue

My Warlock retinues are usually pretty big. At least 6. One Warlock should have Embolden so you can re-roll any failed leadership rolls, which includes psychic tests. One with Enhance so you hit most enemy units on a 3 and go way before them in combat with an initiative of 5. I like to also give 2 Warlocks Destructor so you can deal with large units before you charge them. Destructor is pretty devastating against anything with a 4+ or worse armor save.
If you are mounting your Farseer on a bike I limit my council to 4 Warlocks as the unit gets expensive really quick. I do 4 so I can give the Warlocks the power list I just mentioned.
The Farseer and his retinue is a very powerful unit. They can take out just about anything with very little problem. You can afford to be a little bold, but do not damn the torpedoes so to speak. You want this unit to stay alive so use it intelligently.

OK that’s another 2 cents about the Seer Council. I will have another battle report up Saturday. I got a test run in for my prototype Adepticon list versus one of our local Chaos Marine players. It was not pretty. Th list did very well though.

Until then........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I'm not sure the Runes of Witnessing are really a "must-have" if you're already including Embolden (and have enough grunt warlocks that you're not going to lose your Embolden lock right off the bat). LD 10 re-rollable is insanely reliable, and that's 10 points that you could surely find use for elsewhere (an additional Destructor on a Warlock, for example). Where I see it really shining is when you're facing Nids or other Eldar - canceling out Shadows or enemy Runes is definately worth the points.

  2. Granted I use Eldrad Ulthran a lot so I just always have them. I include them in most lists especially for tournaments, because you never know what you are going to come up against. You do have a point though. As long as embolden is in the unit a re roll at LD 10 is pretty much a sure thing.