It's been around since the last edition of the Eldar codex and the Seer Council was made utterly internet famous years ago by Fritz over at Way of Saim Hann (or Fritz40k or Warmaster 40K or whatever it is now..the brother loves a rebrand lol) - well, for me it was Fritz... I have been reading his blog for something like 5 years now..
Before the new codex, Gaz Jones, fellow ETC player and all round top lad, was running it to great effect maximising use of fortune, invisibility etcetera...
More recently its enjoyed a limited resurgence - primarily Stateside. In the UK, we've not been using it that much - a lot of scepticism regarding its reliance on rolling Fortune...with just 6 rolls. But I like it and have toyed with it a few times now.
The "Deer Council" concept has been pushed to its limits by "GTA" part of Team Zero Comp at Frontline Gaming and there are numerous batreps and walkthroughs on their blog - check it out if you haven't already.
It's a simple concept - join us after the jump for a cheeky look at it and how it all works:
We have to have the 2 Farseers in HQ, they need Jetbikes of course and when adding +1T and 3+ save for 15 points as well as superb 'contestability' and 'line breakage', why wouldnt you?
I do like a "Solitaire" build Autarch, but for this army - you MUST roll Fortune. One "5" from 6 maximum rolls.. you should get it... but where you get it in the sequence of rolls determines the overall effectiveness of the rest of the force as well. And times you don't get it... pray it isnt against Tau and Serpent Spam that ignores cover and play a defensive game.
I think Runes of Witnessing need to be taken on both, because at the end of the day, there will be a turn in a game where a failure to cast is utterly unacceptable. But I may change my opinion on this.
Shard of Anaris makes the unit fearless and that is crucial.
Then 8 jetbike Warlocks, aim to mix up the rolls of Runes of Battle and pray for 2+ armour as well as a smattering of other bits...now this is really the minimum size for the unit and if you are playing at 1750 or less... then this is the size I'd go for. If you are playing 1850 and up to 2250 - then I'd go maxed out 10 strong council.
Add in the Baron from the Dark Eldar portion of the list to help go first (very vulnerable going
second) and to add stealth and hit and run to the Council as well as that awesome 2++ save at the front, tanking like a boss with Fortune. He also hits at S6 on the charge and can survive quite well on his own so could just bugger off towards the end of the game as another contest unit if necessary.
I think people overlook the Council in its ability to contest as you can spit off 4 different units when it is crucial to victory.
This ties up a huge amount of points however and leaves little to play with at 1500.
Troops have to be next and I'm opting for 4 x 3-man Wind Rider Jetbike units. They can sit in reserve and just bomb around late game or hide when they come on. They also form a small MSU firing squad where we can aim to ground FMCs with multiple units of TL goodness, then charge with the Council with massed Fleshbane attacks. Again, this is a relative concept... if you are playing larger games then you can grab a 5th or 6th unit.. alternatively in larger games, you can drop a unit of Windriders - down to 3 units... and you can grab 3 Wave Serpents with Dire Avengers in them - giving you the benefits of the supporting fire and resiliency of the Serpent spam..without really spamming or diverting energy and synergy from the Council.
On the Dark Eldar side we can cheaply pick up 5 Kabalite Warriors and just buy them a Venom with extra Cannon and Grislies for the LD test reroll - psychic tests are a true LD test in 6th so that is a nice touch. If it were not for the inherent fragility of the Venoms I'd maybe suggest that Runes of Witnessing weren't needed, but I think they still are. The Venoms also bring some excellent long range poison shooting and can be greatly used to reach out on those backfield units. They also have the speed to get to where they need to be and can be operated with the Kabalites either on or off the board as walk on reserves.
I love Swooping Hawks and a unit of 6 is superb for harassment and for hyper accurate late game contesting, so they get a nod.. I'd take at least 2 units of these personally.. they are simply awesome.
Warp Spiders are a cracking unit too and they match the mobility of the army and bring in some needed firepower. They are such a strong unit that between them and the Hawks - it is tough to say which should be the "go-to" choice for Fast Attack in Eldar armies. I think really it comes down to the usage you want to get from them - Spiders are good versus a wide range of targets offensively, whereas the Hawks are only really good at murdering exposed, typically weak, troops.
When we are running at 1750+, I like to run it with Wraithknights... I'm proxying mine when I play using my Riptides (of course being hyper generous with LoS when my opponent wants to shoot!) as a £150 investment into 2 models that I may not even use very often seems excessive.. although a themey Iyanden army could be calling... I sold my 30 metal Wraithguard on eBay about a year ago in preparation for a plastic kit and I've never really gotten round to picking them up.. new Xmas bundles are pretty good value...
Anyway...that's some kinda fluffy shit and it sure as hell doesn't belong here! Focus fucker, focus!
If you are not keen on Wraithknights - I know some aren't and prefer other forms of lethality... then I think War Walkers en masse serve a very similar role. That's a lot of bright lances on very mobile platforms..
Farseer - Jetbike, Shard, RoWit
Farseer - Jetbike, RoWit
9 Jetbike Warlocks - 4 with Spears
5 Kabalite Warriors - Venom: Grislies, Cannon x2
4 x 3 man Jetbike units
6 Swooping Hawks
6 Swooping Hawks
Wraithknight - Deathsticks (read: whatever the fuck the S10 guns stock are called)
Wraithknight - Deathsticks
The cheaper LD boost is to use two sets of Runes of Witnessing on your Farseers...but I find that the Warlocks either explode their heads through Perils or fail to cast on Ld8 altogether too often...so the Grislies allow them to reroll which makes them far more reliable...
So it is mobile...hyper mobile in fact.. possibly the most mobile of all the lists we've looked at so far..it's mobility is obnoxious!
It's resiliency? Meh. A lot of T3/4 dudes and a couple of T8 big dogs.
It's long range effectiveness? Not applicable! The Wraithknights have a respectable range and with some guide or prescience they can be very good.. it is the mobility of the deathstar in this one that really does the damage and they can be in position to threaten from Turn 2.
So is this list really obnoxious by our definition? Well, that depends... if you get the magic 'Fortune' then it is incredibly resilient... a 2++ rerollable save up front followed by a 2+/4++ rerollable on about 11-12 dudes! Pretty damn resilient.. Invisibility is a possibility as is an 'extra' fortune.. Wraithknights with this are bloody resilient.
The issue with this list being obnoxious or not comes down to that magic phrase "...if you get the magic 'Fortune'..." if you FAIL to get it... this list and army is not obnoxious and it actually relies on its obnoxious mobility to keep away from the enemy and zoom in late game to contest and claim.
For me, there is a distinct lack of reliability in this army that means it will always fall short of truly obnoxious for me... this is an inherent weakness that does not even factor in the denial tools available to the opponent; Shadows in the Warp or Rune Priest's Runic Weapon, LD altering nonsense or Special Characters like Dante or Deathleaper that drop stats.. meh.. but what do I know.. plenty of people think this is an obnoxious list.. so here it is!
It is certainly obnoxious if you play it at a tournament and lady luck is on your side with Fortune dropping early in the roll sequence.. after all.. most tournament wins come from a streak of luck...lucky match ups, critical rolls etc...so why not plan for that eh? Sounds reliable....