Monday, October 26, 2009

Pseudo Seer Council

I noticed this post over on Way of Saim-Hann about seer councils getting banned in some places. His suggestion was to replace the council with a normal jetbike squadron with a warlock upgrade and a farseer, and this made me want to explore that option just for the heck of it. I'm still in the process of building my Eldar forces at the moment, so I'm constantly fiddling with lists and this is one unit that I hadn't considered. I've got a strange feeling that this might be a more cost-effective option than a true seer council.

Quick Comparisons
Damage Output: The real seer council clearly wins here, with templates, higher strength, and a better AP value.

Range: Shuriken cannons on the guardian jetbikes grant the pseudo seer council the ability to reach out and touch someone twice as far away even if only a third of the squad can fire at that range. This seems like a pretty significant advantage.

Durability: The regular armor save is identical, but invulnerable saves help a ton, and guardian jetbikes don't get them. Warlocks win hands down.

Perks: Other than the shuriken cannon option, the guardian jetbikes don't have much they can take. The warlocks get all kinds of cool options, which makes them more versatile but also more expensive. The one perk the guardians have that the warlocks don't is that little "Hey, we're scoring units!" line.

Point Cost: A warlock with a jetbike ranges from 45 to 69 points depending on upgrades. A guardian jetbike ranges from 22 to 32. That's a pretty significant difference. For the same number of points, I should be able to field twice as many models... and that changes some of the above assumptions. Twice as many shots and twice as many wounds to destroy makes me think that the pseudo seer council might be a more efficient buy.

Minimal Squads
Farseer (Jetbike, Fortune) 115
3x Warlocks 135
Total: 250

Farseer (Jetbike, Fortune) 115
Warlock (Jetbike) 45
3x Guardian Jetbikes 66
Total: 226

I don't know if anyone would want to field either squad this way. I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but I wanted to run the numbers just for the sake of knowing the cost difference. At this point, there really isn't much difference in point totals.

Maximum Squads (within reason; taking 10 conceals would be dumb)
Farseer (Jetbike, Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, Singing Spear) 163
10x Warlocks (1x Enhance & Singing Spear, 1x Embolden & Singing Spear, 8x Destructor) 556
Total: 719

Farseer (Jetbike, Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, Singing Spear) 163
Warlock (Conceal, Singing Spear) 63
12x Guardian Jetbikes (4x Shuriken Cannons) 304
Total: 530

At this point, there are much more striking differences. The most obvious is that the pseudo seer council costs almost 200 points less. That's a whole extra unit you could field (maybe two if you skimp on upgrades). The difference in saves is not quite as drastic when the pseudo council gets a 5+ cover save from conceal (although the real council still wins here, obviously). The real council is still the king of templates, but the pseudo council can unload twelve S6 shots at 24", an option the real council doesn't have.

I'm really not all that great at the math aspect of this hobby, but I'd be willing to bet that a pseudo seer council plus another unit can dish out more pain than the real seer council. I've spent too much time and money collecting bits for my real seer council to make the switch anytime soon, but I have to admit that I'm tempted.

Any thoughts? Is it more cost effective? Or are all of the templates really worth it?
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