An Endless Coven
I may have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of the Coven and because of that I am going to spend a great deal of time rumination on how to best play them, as well as putting them on the table to see how they actually perform. We should start that now!
After last weeks massive drubbing, I scrapped the list and decided to start over. I knew that I had only one experience with the coven that had a solid go, and that was in my lead up to spell draft some two years ago. Those games showed me that I needed to get the list as far up the field as possible in order for the coven to be safe on my side of the board while I tried to corral the opponent and create a scenario win. Often, this required that I shadowbind a key piece and take advantage of their stillness in order to score the final points and win the game. I won more than my fair share of games that way.
Well, fast forward two years, and a number of gears in that particularly grinding juggernaut have changed. Stygian Abyss now grants an effect that can be shaken. 3rd edition has come, changing the way the game is played, Satyxis Raiders have lost AD, and Bane Riders no longer have reach, Bane Thralls lost Stealth, and Bile thralls have a worse purge. Lists, it seems, must change. It was, however, a place to start contemplating about how the lists would work in a 3e world. The list no longer even fits in the points scale, though, and the ass beating I had taken from Haley 3 drilled into me that I will have to, at some time, make sure I can get around some of the spells that exist in the game. With the removal of Admonias ability to take down spells, I needed a better way.
I had been talking with a friend about their lists, and they showed me something fairly impressive. A list just shy of completely stealth, with two units of Blood Witches. Which lead me to looking at Blood witches in a stronger light. Stealth, Magic Weapons, Speed 6, Gang, Blood Shadow. There were so many positive attributes on the models, that I glossed over the best one. Blessed. It turns out, I found, that when they moved the Mini-feat from the Blood Witch, they did give her a very useful ability. Tactics: Blessed makes these models do much more work than I would have initially thought. P+S 12 and MAT 8 against base numbers really makes the unit stronger than it appears.
I’ve now started my list. Two Ripjaws, Two Nightwretches, and Blood witches. The Ripjaws are fantastic Infernal machine Targets, and the Night wretches are just solid arc nodes with their AOE 3 guns. I like that the Coven can solve many problems that a typical list can throw at me, and the Blood Witches Handle high defense. I start talking, again, with some more people about the list, and they worry that many of the Covens tactics won’t work against high armor. I can’t actually fault the logic. They have a whole pile of high mat, lowish power models with gang. Curse of Shadows will get them a little higher, but it might not be an ideal situation for taking out some of the heavier armored models. This leads to a discussion on what to take to reduce high armor to scrap, which I delightfully reply that we should take it all. I toss in Gorman, Ragman, and put the full unit of Bane Warriors in (though I am considering two min units if I am just going to use them for Dark Shroud. That gives me enough armor cracking that I should be able to take out a number of jacks, if needed. Blood Witches touch P+S 18 with everything going right (10+ gang + Dark Shroud + Rust + Curse of Shadows) Shouldn’t need more than a few to put down a big jack with that.
Madelyn, Sadly, gets flung from the list. While she has some good attributes, she is going to be of lesser effect than the Withershadow Combine. With a Free Ghostwalk and upkeeping a spell (likely Occultation or Infernal Machine) for free the trio is worth their points, but they also have ranged magical attacks and Puppet strings, both very useful. This also means I can pull the Sucker! Thralls out of the list, and the Bokur gets to go because he’s really not going to be useful. I’ve only died to ranged attacks seeing through stealth a very few times. Orin, However, stays. I almost never want to go into a game without him again. Arcane Vortex is going to be my crutch, I know it. Running behind the egregore, getting stealth and Arcane Vortex? Thank you please!
The only thing left at this point is the Satyxis Raiders. A fast unit, with reach and Magic Weapons and Feedback, is going to be very strong. Loosind AD sucks, but I can make do with that as they now excel at troop removal. So, actually, do the Blood Witches. I wonder if I am better served with simply a second unit of Blood Witches and making sure that everything works out to my advantage in the troop mirror. So much stealth can’t be a bad thing, right?
I decide, though, That I can stick with the Satyxis Raiders. They are strong. The final piece, which I take up against my will but need to use it to show its worth, is the Stalker. It is a great jack, but it forces me to remove an arc node from the list. I’ve gone from 4 to 3, and I don’t like it one bit. But, I have been told that single piece will be my lifesaver, and I should not leave home without it. We will see!
So, whats the final list? Well. I wish I could tell you. I keep trying to push new models in there or yank models that don’t have a use out, but we will see how everything works a few times (well, honestly, once?) before changing it. I do have a tournament to play in this weekend, though, so I have to get something on the board, It Currently looks like this:
Witch Coven of Gharlghast
Gorman di Wolfe
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
-Satyxis Blood Hag
Bane Warriors (x10)
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders (x10)
there are a few variations I want to try out, but I will have to get more consistent days at the shop. Its just not consistent now.
What do you think about my Coven list? Complete Trash?