I’ve been toying around with one of the more expensive and interesting units in the game–The Eldar Warlock Skyrunner Council–also known as the Seer Council.
This unit has a long history in the game. In 8th edition 40k, it is a squad of at least two Warlock Skyrunners and can get up to nine per unit. They have access to Runes of Battle Powers, Runes of Fortune Powers, and once you have seven in your squad, the unit can use a d6 smite. I always take Protect/Jinx and Quicken/Restrain on my Council.
Another really important power for this unit is Focus Will. I put this on my Farseer who is in the same detachment as them. +2 to cast makes it so your Runes of Batte powers like Quicken and Protect are very likely to go off, and that is what really makes this unit tick.
They also have four Shuriken Catapult shots per bike, like Shining Spears, and can be upgraded to throw Singing spears. Singing Spears have one shot that always wounds on twos, ap0, and d3 damage.
In combat, they have two attacks each that always wound on twos, ap0 and d3 damage.
This is a very tricky to use but incredibly powerful unit. I take 9 man squad, which comes out to 495 points if you give the whole unit Singing Spears (five points per model.) They have a 4+ invulnerable save and 4+ armor save, so they are pretty vulnerable to Death Hex or Null Zone.
The tricks behind this unit start with your detachment. You’ll want to upgrade whatever detachment you choose to take them in (I do battalion–they want a lot of CP to function properly) to a Windrider Host. This gives them access to the super useful hit and run strat called Nimble Escape. For 2CP, these guys can make either a fallback move or a full movement if they have no models within one inch of them after they fight. That means the opponent can’t even interrupt and swing at you!
This is an absolutely insane ability. It gives you the ability to leverage the units outstanding shooting and psychic ability and then use it’s slightly less powerful combat stats to escape a reprisal from your opponent. You can quicken into your opponent’s army, smite a target, shoot a target, and then escape! Charge an enemy unit within 16” or 22” of a wall or building, and then go hide! It’s the most Eldar thing I can think of, and it’s very powerful. This unit is as slippery as Slaanesh’s whispers.
Let’s talk about Craftworld traits. You have a few options here, and it all depends on the rest of your army and how you want to use the Council.
Alaitoc: This is probably the best choice if you want to take this squad to major. The inbuilt -1 to hit can be stacked to a -3 to hit with various buffs, and will probably keep your 500 point unit alive for longer.
Children of Prophecy + ____: Children of Propehcy is great for getting your powers off. There will be turns when you fail Focus Will (+2 to cast) and whle turning ones into two is a little situational, when it comes in clutch it will always feel like the right choice. As for the other choice, that will depend on your play style. A decent one is Superior Shurikens for +4 inch range on your Shuriken Catapults so you can play the unit super cagey.
Hunters of Ancient Relics + Hail of Doom: This is if you want a hard hitting council. +1 attack near objectives makes this unit into a serious combat threat, and the -1 AP on your Shuriken Catapults really starts to rip units to shreds. This is the loadout I usually go with.
Saim Hann: If you’re playing with bikes, Saim Hann is always an option. Saim Hann makes them virtually impossible to hide from with a Quicken. SInce the unit really works by utilizing the hit and run strat, if you can set yourself up for success by gaining an extra 6 inches (or 12 with quicken) when you’re thinking about your movements.
Some List Ideas
Here is a list directly from LVO 2020. I know Jack Harpster (17th overall) and Mike Butler ran this, and apologies if anyone else did that I’m forgetting about.
Craftworld Battalion <Mixed>
- Eldrad Ulthran <Ulthwe>
- Warlock <Saim Hann
- 3×8 Storm Guardians <Ulthwe>
- 9 Shining Spears (Exarch w/Star Lance and Skilled Rider) <Saim Hann>
Craftworld Supreme Command <Alaitoc> Windrider Host
- Warlock Skyrunner
- Farseer Skyrunner (Field Commander–WIld Rider)
Harlequin Battalion (Frozen Stars)
- Shadowseer (Warlord)
- Troupe Master (Kiss)
- Troupes x12 (3 kiss, 3 embrace)
- Troupes x11 (3 Kiss, 3 Embrace)
- Troupe x5
- Solitaire (Cegorachs Rose)
This list has a ton of cool tricks, and I highly encourage you to check out Jack’s Art of War episode about it here. It is what inspired me to get interested in the Seer Council. My version is a little bit different; I pushed some points around to change Yvraine into Maugan Ra because I love him.
What I learned from playing a few games with the list, is that the Troupes basically give your opponent a problem to deal with for a turn or two until they are vulnerable enough to send the Council in for a Hit and Run attack or the Spears in for a crippling blow. Hell, you could even send both in if you only need to Quicken one of them to get em’ in range. There are so many options for play in this build. It is super fun.
Another list option is just run two or three units of Spears alongside the Council. You need to make sure you’re getting enough CP to get two or three turns out of the hit and run strat with the council, and factor in using Seer Council and a reroll here and there.
In this idea, the Spears basically function as the Troupes do in the above list, but they hit way harder, and are also more expensive.
You can pair Council with Grotesques, Guardians, Mechdar and more. You just want to make sure you don’t give your opponent any easy wrapping targets. That’s why I like Jack’s list. You can’t wrap Harlequins, and they are great at unwrapping things like your Storm Guardians in a pinch because the Troupes get about a billion attacks.
There are tons and tons of things you can do with Seer Council. If you want a challenge to play that rewards you for thinking tactically, or if you’re just a masochist, I would really recommend trying this unit out the next time you get to play a game against another human.
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