Today I will look at a few models for consideration when taking the Witch Coven. Lastly, I'll share a diagram to hopefully illustrate the power and effectiveness of the Coven on the tabletop. Obviously, there are many situations you could find yourself in, but the example I will share will hopefully help you understand the true potential of the Coven.
Before I jump into looking at specific models, I want to share a couple of caveats. I first want to say that I firmly think that the Coven will be at their best in a 50+ point list. This is due to the variety of threats that the Coven can take in their own list, and their spells and abilities will allow them to deal with the additional threats your opponent might bring at that same level just as well as they would at lower levels. That said, I will be building these ladies with 35 points in mind. Also, I will try to avoid going too deep into their theme list for a couple of reasons. While I think it is a solid theme list, it does require the most popular characters and in the character-restricted environment of SR2012, I want to see what we can build for these ladies that doesn't conflict with other warcasters, in case you want to consider the Coven for a steamroller tournament paired-up with another warcaster. I'm specifically talking about including the Withershadow Combine and Deathjack here.
Okay, with that out of the way, let's look at a couple models which will be most effective with the Coven.
Seether: This is an already super effective warjack. Unfortunately, the Seether is very expensive by Cryxian standards and doesn't offer extra survivability over the cheaper warjacks, but instead likes to flaunt it's focus efficiency and ridiculously high MAT of 8. The Seether should be seriously considered with the Coven because it's focus efficiency helps the Coven spend their focus on casting spells instead of loading up the Seether with focus for getting into position. Additionally, with his natively high MAT you can cast Infernal Machine on other targets instead, giving you two heavies which can deal with higher-DEF models. Lastly, their feat will be great for allowing the Seether to get the alpha strike on your opponent since even ridiculous threat ranges will likely be nullified when your opponent can't even see him to charge!
Those are just a couple of the models that I've considered when making a Coven list because their main strength is their spell casting and their focus will be better spent casting those spells than dolling it out to their warjacks. So now let's take a look at some pretty diagrams which I think should illuminate some nifty tricks that the Coven have at their disposal. Let's start with something easy.
Let's imagine that this is the top of the 3rd turn. On your second turn you advanced slowly and popped your feat, Nightfall to protect your models from being charged or shot at. Incidentally, your opponent realized that he needed LOS to rely on his Stormcalls to disrupt your 'jacks, and your feat would prevent him from doing so. Your opponent is not a particularly smart Warmachine player and instead decides to run to engage your Soul Hunters since he couldn't do much else on his turn. His Centurion is camping on ARM 24 thanks to Arcane Shield and the Stormclad is waiting to kill anything that gets past the Stormguard, also sitting on ARM 21 thanks to Fail Safe. eNemo is sitting pretty comfortably back there, but little does he know that he is in big trouble this turn!
1) Allocate 2 focus points onto the Harrower (7 left)
2) Activate one of your arc nodes and advance it into range of an unengaged Stormguard, for easy targeting for Curse of Shadows.
2) Activate the first witch and cast Curse of Shadows (5 left) onto the Stormguard through one arc node, followed by casting Infernal Machine (4 left) onto the Harrower.
4) The Harrower can now charge through the Stormguard to get to the Firefly. At MAT 8 he'll likely hit with his attack, hopefully threshering and collecting the souls of at least one of the Stormguard. Buy another two attacks and spend any souls to boost the damage and the Firefly should be in pretty rough shape if it survives at all.
5) The Harrower is now in the way! Activate the second witch and cast Veil of Mists (2 left) covering the Harrower up so your own models can advance through him! Note that if you didn't cripple the Firefly, you might have to alter your game plan a bit.
6) Issue a charge with your Soul Hunters against eNemo. If they had a soul on them from the theme force benefit, they will easily be able to hit the old man and with boosted damage from the charge, 4 of them will make short work of him. If Nemo is camping some focus, you can run rightmost arc node past the Stormguard into range of Nemo and hit him with a Curse of Shadows.
Granted, this is an extreme example but I hope it at least illustrates the kind of play you can expect from the Witches. While you might not be able to bring the same might to bear as other Cryxian warcasters, you can simply ignore many elements of your opponents forces and run right by them. Additionally, unlike the Incorporeal forces of some Cryx warcasters, most of your movement can't be ignored or stopped with magical weapons, and that's really significant because it means that your game plan will mostly always be the same.
With that little example, I would like to share a 35 point list that I really like for the Coven. Admittedly, this uses their theme force, but you can save the characters for other lists if you used this in a tournament setting.
- Seether (9)
- Harrower (10)
- Nightwretch (4)
- Skarlock Thrall (2)
Darragh Wrathe (4)
Souhunters (max, 9)
Warwitch Siren (2)
In the example above I didn't include Darragh Wrathe but he offers so much for the Coven forces that it's hard not to take him - especially since you'll want to take Soulhunters with them anyway. Not only does he make them incorporeal on their own activation (meaning you can save Curse of Shadows for when you really need it), but with the theme list they also each start with a soul token. Since you'll be able to fairly reliably get the alpha strike with these guys, the extra soul token is a huge boon. A Skarlock is always helpful but even moreso if you want to toss around and cycle spells like crazy (which the Coven can do). An alternative version of this list replaced the Harrower and Seether with 3 Slayers so you can really spread around Infernal Machine to all of them in one turn, so you can also consider the option of running lots of helljacks with these ladies.
|Death Ride is such a powerful spell that Darragh Wrathe finds|
himself in many Cryx lists
In this list I only have one arc node but as long as you play fairly conservatively (note the placement in the example above), I think that one could be enough. This is something that I would need to playtest and alas, I don't play Cryx really to playtest it. I don't assume that I know everything but I think that the Witch Coven could be absolutely devastating when placed in the right hands and with lots of practice. They have a lot of tricks and spells that completely ignore most defenses and the only bad match-up for them would be against any Circle army sporting a unit of Druids with Countermagic. Even then, with multiple activations of your witches you can apply some nifty buffs for your own models to get to the druid leader and hopefully pop the bubble.