Confronting the Warlock, the Seer Council, the Warp

And now, the promised (and much-delayed) post on the Eldar Warlock!
*Although I am shooting myself in the foot here, for my tips on how to beat a Seer Council, follow this link.

With no less than five games under my belt using a Seer Council (on foot, no less) against Blood Angels, Salamanders, Space Wolves, Imperial Guard/Daemons and Space Wolves/Eldar, I have some solid numbers and data to back up what I'm going to say here.

 So! The Warlock. Warlocks offer an unimpressive profile, at a meager S/T of 3, with a single attack and Leadership 8. All of that on a hefty price-tag, just shy of a terminator.
But, looking a little closer, a Warlock comes with a 4++ Invulnerable save, a Witchblade/Pistol combo (for +1 attack), and a single Psychic Power from the Runes of Battle Discipline, unique to Warlocks and Spiritseers.
The Witchblade has Fleshbane and Armourbane, making that S3 far less of a hindrance, and can be upgraded to a Singing Spear (with no penalty to attacks) adding a 12" S9 AP- ranged attack. The Pistol is a classic Shuriken pistol, and as such has the auto-wound/AP2 Bladestorm rule.

All of that combines to make the humble Warlock a fairly solid counter to anything from a Great Unclean One to a Wraithknight. Those bruisers really rely on being hard to wound, being wounded on a 2+ and forcing their less-than-stellar saves is nasty.
Against tanks, S3 + d6 is harmless. S3 + 2d6 (avg. total of 10-11, maximum of 15) isn't. And the S9 ranged attack is even more dangerous (I've popped two Land Raiders with a Guided Seer Council).

Psychic Powers
My personal favorite thing about the Warlock though is the Psychic Powers! The things Warlock Powers can do are brutal. Especially if you have several and all of them go off.
Now, it has to be said here that Warlocks are only Leadership 8, so it's entirely possible for them to messily fail Psychic Tests all over the board.
However, I personally ran them in five games, and was lucky enough to only have them fail a roll once (and it wasn't a perils). It's not a guarantee that they'll work, but it is solid evidence that they can be reasonably reliable and not just a waste of points.

Mightiest spoon-benders in the galaxy!

For example, say you have a squad of Guardians facing down a unit of Terminators. Numbers to numbers, those Guardians are hosed. But! If there's a Warlock council nearby (and/or one leading the squad), it's not so cut and dry. Here are the possible curses (or blessings) each individual Warlock can cause:

Enemy can't run                   (or, run moves are +3")
-3 Leadership                       (or, grants Fearless)
-1 Weapon Skill and Init.     (or +1 WS/I)
-1 Armor Save                     (or +1 Armor Save)
-Stealth/Shrouded                (or +Shrouded)
-1 Strength                           (or +1 Strength)
Or, shoot a Heavy Flamer    (or restore 1 lost wound to a friendly model)

So, for example, say you get lucky with powers, and have a Warlock leading the Guardians, plus a five-man Warlock Seer Council nearby (6 total). Then you could have:

Terminators with a 3+ Armor Save, WS/I 3, leadership 7 (or 6), hit with a Heavy Flamer,


Guardians with S4 or who run d6 + 3", allowing them to avoid combat for more rounds, get closer to shoot more, or have a far better chance of surviving/winning combat.

Throw in a Farseer to hit those ld. 7 Terminators with Psychic Shriek, re-woll to-wound or re-roll successful saves, or grant the Guardians a 4+ Invulnerable save - and all of a sudden the un-killable terminators are in a really bad spot.

Granted, the Terminators always have the chance to Deny the Witch, and the Warlocks/Farseer could gleefully fail their powers - but you don't need all of them to go off for it to be a devastating turn.

**It's important to note here that a Warlock's Blessings (except for Restore) can only affect his own unit. So a Guardian squad led by a Farseer will only get a single blessing, and you won't know in advanced what it is.
That makes a much stronger argument for a de-buffing Seer Council. They can curse the heck out of anything, and the Farseer tagging along can make everything any friendly units nearby do just that much nastier.

Wargear (re: Shiny toys!)

So, how do you kit out a Warlock?
You can put one leading any Guardian Squad (Heavy Weapons, Defenders, Storm, Jetbikes), or you can take a squad of them (if you take a Farseer).
While even one can make a big difference, Warlocks really shine in groups of three or more - reducing the chance your only power won't go off, and increasing the amount of harm/good they can do.
Warlocks also have two Wargear options: they can take a Jetbike for a hefty point cost (but granting them T4, a 3+ armor save, Jink, Hammer of Wrath, and Jetbike movement) and they can choose to take a Singing Spear for a meager 5 points and no drawbacks. On bikes with spears, Warlocks cost a whopping 55 points each (!!), and still only have 1 wound, two attacks, and leadership 8.

Courtesy of

I've actually stopped taking Warlocks in Guardian squads (keeping those squads cheap) and started running an on-foot squad of five with Singing Spears.
Why on foot? In part, because it allows them to stick with Eldrad, who synergizes wonderfully with their powers, and adds a solid CC punch (with Fleshbane, AP3, Force attacks). But also, it gives me the maximum Warlock Powers per points (which is why I take them!)
I can take five Warlocks on foot for the price of three on bikes. Granted, the bike unit is faster and tougher. But, it's much smaller, and a 3+ armor save only goes so far (although, you can always hit them with Protect for a 2+, if you get it).

Even on foot, my Seer Council with Eldrad and five Warlocks is over 400 points. And exceptionally fragile to massed-fire. I have to be really really careful with it, and it's a gamble every time I field it. Or sneeze. But, it has single-handedly allowed me to destroy three high-powered Space Marine armies that have walked all over me in the past.

Give 'em cover, keep them hidden, then abuse Battle Focus to get them where they can really put on the hurt, and fade away!

Hardcore players I've seen building lists swear by a large Seer Council on bikes, with Spears, with Baron Sarthonyx (Dark Eldar) leading them. But we won't talk about the evil twins here.

Let's close with a crazy idea-

Want to run an army that's really goofy? Take the Iyanden supplement and a "Seer Council" of Spiritseers. Give the entire unit one Warlock power and then take Psychic Shriek.
There are a number of benefits there - Spiritseers are Ld. 9, have 2 wounds, and are Independent Characters, so any that aren't in a Seer Council can be added in to any squad, not just Guardians.
Oh, and if you have any Wraith units nearby, that's a lot of Spirit Mark to spread around the table too!
I hope all of that helps! Unless you're playing against me ;)


  1. I have been running a Spiritseer Council for awhile now and they pretty much rock. With a FS and 4 guys, I have a tone of powers to rely on. In all seriousness, you need only two PSs. I have stacked 2 Horrifies and landed both shrieks, the number of wounds is amazing. Recently I have been running this crew with Fire dragons (2+ with fairly solid reliability) . The amount of pew pew that comes out of this unit is pretty intense. You could run them with an Archon and get that vaulted 2++ rerollable, and have a bunch of ablative wounds. I could also see running them in a giant guardian blob to great effect. Stellar unit, dose a number on the screamer star as well. Cutting their leadership down to nothing is pure win.

    1. Huzzah! It works!
      Thank you for that. It's always fun to try crazy ideas, even better to hear success stories with them. Being hit with two 3d6 Shriek ld tests with a -6 leadership (two Horrifies) sounds pretty brutal. Even an Ld 10 unit would have to roll 1-1-2 to avoid taking any wounds, with a likely average of 9 - 12 on the test, you can almost assume 5 wounds minimum (with no armor/cover saves) per shriek. Ouch.

  2. The best part is when your opponent realizes that the two wraithknights are not the biggest threat. Its like wait, no armor or cover saves??? And there are 20 wounds? Its great. Its also alot of fun running dragons d6+6. Give them a whirl. The spiritseer is a bit more duarable with 2 wounds (dont get punked out by a perils) and has a LD of 9. The few perils I take i can usually heal up with revive.

    1. Just updated the blog with those tidbits of information, I'd forgotten that if you have Spiritseers instead of Warlocks, they can also lead non-Guardian units.


Post a Comment