Howdy fellow gamers, Mr.MoreTanks here to talk today about one of the most infamous Eldar units in the game, and one that can dominate the psychic phase, the Warlock Conclave. Here we see a unit that’s got the ability to punish demons with their access to Sanctic Demonology psychic powers or Runes of Battle can be used to buff your brotherhood of psykers. Either way, there are some options that can really be a boon against some enemies. As always, for more great 40k articles, be sure to check out the Tactics Corner! Let’s crack into it, nerds!
The Warlock Conclave has got some neat little gimmicks and options going on. The main choice we’ll face is whether or not to run our Warlocks as Skyrunners or not. The Warlock as infantry has a fairly average stat line for Eldar. WS & BS 4, S & T 3, 1 W & A, I 5, Ld 8, and no armor save. However, thanks to rune armor, we’ll be rocking a 4+ Invulnerable Save. The Skyrunner shares all of these states except has T 4 and a 3+ Armor Save. This also turns the Warlock from an Infantry unit into an Eldar Jetbike. This is a big boost to the potential of the Warlock, and something that cannot be underestimated.
- Rune armor, gives us a 4++ aka Invulnerable Save.
- Shuriken pistol, you know it, and it can occasionally throw out an AP 2 shot, which can be very nice.
- Witchblade, a close combat weapon that has Fleshbane and Armorbane. Gives the unit a little combat power, although with only 1 Attack don’t get any crazy ideas with them.
- Eldar jetbike (Warlock Skyrunner only),
- Ancient Doom, you know, it. Eldar hate Slaanesh, and vice versa.
- Battle Focus, though they lose it if they become Skyrunners, its still a great rule.
- Fleet (Warlock only)
- Brotherhood of Psykers, this one is a little different than normal though, thanks to the following special rule.
- Communion of Minds, the Conclave will generate dice equal to the number of members, they do not have individual powers. Instead, they have a number of powers (and Mastery Level) based on the number of squad members; ML1 at 1-3, ML2 at 4-6, ML3 at 7+. If you lose models, your ML will go down and you’ll have to choose a power to forget. This really takes a lot of teeth out of the unit but does not make it totally useless. If you’re unable though to afford a unit of 7, then just stop at 4 or 5 probably.
- Can generate psychic powers from the Demonology Sanctic table or Runes of Battle table disciplines.
- For 35 points a pop you can add another nine Warlocks.
- Any of which can swap their Witchblade for a Signing Spear for 5 points. These things are pretty nifty, being used in either melee or ranged combat.
- 12 inches, Strength 9, AP -, Assault 1 and Fleshbane
- melee, User Strength, AP -, Armorbane and Fleshbane
- The entire unit may be upgraded to Warlock Skyrunners at 15 points each.
At first glance, the lack of options in terms of Psychic Disciplines may seem like a major strike against the Warlock Conclave, and to be fair it is to a degree. It is easy to simply reduce the Conclave to a war charge generation pool, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad option, it is a pretty expensive way to bump up your psychic dice pool. If that’s all you intend to use your Warlocks for, I’d highly recommend keeping them on foot. While it makes them far more squishy, they’ll be pretty easy to hide, and you’ll be applying plenty of nasty pressure with the rest of your units so that the enemy won’t really have time or an opportunity to deal with them.
If you plan on fighting against Demons, and to be honest, you should, considering the Sanctic table is quite impressive. Now, without a doubt, Runes of Battle is by far a better all around table, but Sanctic has some very big potential I think. Vortex of Doom alone is fantastic, though unreliable. Banishment will just shut down Demons hard. Cleansing Flame though, in my opinion, is the big winner. That power is fantastic, and can help to clear out a wave of Marines that have disembarked from Drop Pods. As Skyrunners, this is where the Warlock Conclave can excel. Being able to move forward into an advantageous position and then blast multiple units with Cleansing Flame, and finally hop away in the Assault Phase with your Jetbike move.
Warlock Conclaves pair well with, shockingly, Farseers. Beyond being the obvious wound pool for Farseers, Warlocks also give them a little more combat bite with their Witchblades. I think if you’re going to run the Conclave this way, you really have to make the Skyrunners. The suitability from the improved Armor Save and increased Toughness as well as being able to use their superior mobility to stay away from serious threats. Unsurprisingly, the formation of the Seer Council is essentially just how I’d run the Conclave. Though having to buy at least 2 Farseers and 5 Warlocks isn’t an insignificant investment, and if you’re buying this formation, you’d be crazy not to buy them jetbikes as well. We’ll go further into this formation in another article.
The Guardian Stormhost may also have a Warlock Conclave within it, the formation has been gone over at some length in another article. The strength of the Conclave though can be put to good use for sure though. The unit becomes the perfect place to stick the obligatory Farseer from the formation. With the right buffs, that unit can do some serious damage to enemy units, particularly in assault; this shouldn’t be a major option though, think of this as more of a counter assault unit to free a unit of War Walkers or the like.
Overall, the Warlock Conclave doesn’t have nearly the power it used to have. If you’re planning on bringing them, you should bring them to really help your Farseers have more dice to work with. With little durability, and a higher point costs, and no way to guarantee the powers you’d really need to justify using them aggressively. They’re certainly not what they once were, but they aren’t totally useless. Jetbikes with a Farseer is likely the best way to run these guys if you plan on it, but it’s going to be an investment that honestly will probably be best spent somewhere else. Thanks for reading gamers, tell us what you think of the Warlock Conclave in the comments, and as always, may the dice be ever in you favor.
What are your thoughts on the Warlock Conclave? And as always, Forntline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, everyday!