Even with all the Pokemoning, the Valkyria Chronicling, The D&Ding, the Game Developing, and the Painting, the hobby I look forward to the most is playing Warmachine. The Coven being capable again, simply because of a meta change, is glorious, and I will continue to use them for a very long time. Though I’ve not gotten many games in recently, I did manage to get three in over the last few weeks. Two at a Team Tournament, and one on Tuesday. Two with the Coven, and one with a very enjoyable list, I think I’ll talk about the concepts and enjoyment I get out of it next week. The Coven games were very enlightening, and they highlighted a few spaces where I may not have had the best original concepts.
Read on, and we’ll get into both games!
So, Last time I had settled on a list.
That list lasted exactly one conversation. The day before I made my way to the team tournament, I sent an message out to my teamates telling them what I was going to bring. One of them said “I like a Kraken in the Coven list”
I didn’t exactly agree prior, but he made good points. The Kraken with 4″ reach and Infernal Machine could really clear a lot of infantry if the opponent just runs in to jam. Additionally, the Kraken can block LOS to the witches and Egregore if needed, which is a solid benefit as long as there isn’t any shadow fire on the board. Nightfall is one of the few effects in the game that prevents targeting a Kraken, and that can often mean delivering him exactly where and how I need him fairly unmolested. He is also one of the best beaters that is available to the Coven, with an extremely aggressive 14″ threat range, Immune to knock down, Stationary and Disruption. It is a great machine.
After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go with it, and strap that giant bad boy into my list. It now looked like this:
Witch Coven of Garlghast
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders x10
This. This is a list I like. Its fast: Deathrippers threaten spells into vital models, the Kraken has Infernal Machine, Blackbanes have apparition. It Ignores Terrain: Kraken has pathfinder, Blood Witches get Ghost Walk every turn thanks to the Scarlock, and Blackbanes have Incorporeal. It hits infantry hard, and hits jacks hard. It has Dark Shroud and a way to protect against spells.
What I like most about this list is its inability to care about what the opponent is doing. Unless they have Magical damage in the list, I can run amuck. Stealth on both units of Infantry, Incorporeal and apparition additionally on one. A Colossal with three arc nodes bullying weaker scenario presence. Continuous Fire, Blessed Weapons, Dispel, Curse of Shadows, Veil of Mists. All of it delivers my army where and when I want it and in whatever condition I would like it to be in. The list, I hoped, would work.
Coven Game 1
So, I was eager to try the list out. Late to the team tournament, though, I was unable to play in the first round, and the second round, though I thought it was a decent matchup for the Skarre list, ended up being tilting in the other players favor (Rhaaaan!!). The first time I was able to try out the new and improved Coven list was in the last round of the tournament against a Melee Cygnar list lead by Beth Maddox.
the Coven is meant to deliver well against ranged. It very much tells gun lines to go the hell home, with all the specialized defenses you need to get around. Against some melee armies I’d really just rather have my other list: Black Spot with Overtake and 20 Satyxis Raiders is really rough. However, his other list was a very gun-boat style Kara Sloan list that I was not going to just take in the teeth, and Cygnar is the home of Arcane Shield, and no one likes to see that spell more than Blood Witches. I don’t remember the exact composition of the Cygnar list, but it was something very close to this:
– Stormclad x2
Storm Guard x6
– UA + 3 Guns
Give or take a few solos.
This game was harrowing because I didn’t know how it was going to end until the very last moment. I won the roll, and made sure to take the flag behind the trees, where my casters would sit, as well as the wall in case it became important to have one. One of the things that the Coven does so well is feat early and steal the tempo of the game. I am almost of the opinion that it is better to go second with them to score first, get +3″ of deployment and to get all the benefits of going first because you steal their whole second “push” turn with your feat. Guns, Melee, spells, it doesn’t really matter. After I’ve popped the feat and and its back on my turn, I always feel as if I had gone first anyway. Its a strange, and very invigorating feeling.
Here, with Curse of Shadows, Blessed, and Infernal Machine, I was able to take apart the Storm Lances pretty easily. With his lack of Magic Weapons, the Blackbanes were able to wander about pretty much uncontested and unmolested, though their whole reason to be failed when I charged into the Storm Guard with 8. I Kill only one (under Iron Zeal, with Dauntless Resolve), but light the other 7 on fire. three go out. Two don’t burn. I kill two. I don’t call that a very good day, but it is what it is. I really wanted to have more of them burn. Arc nodes threaten Stygyan Abyss all over the board, so I feel he was worried about his solos getting sniped out, which is a thing I do enjoy doing. I capped the Flag behind the trees on turn 3, and he trampled over to contest the turn after, leaving me up 1-0. I wanted to go for his caster, though, So I moved in the arc node and launched 2 boosted Stygian Abyss at Beth, neither Crit, but I do some damage. Ghost walk and some charging blood witches later, though, and its all over for her. I didn’t know what I was going to do about the Stormclad and the entire Cygnar army in my guts the following turn, and was glad to have ended the game there.
Even though it seems like the Coven doesn’t do much more than toss out Abyss here and there, Curse of Shadows and some Ghost walk, it all seems worth it. Curse is magnificent for clearing yourself up, allowing you to simply advance through their models, and if you need an extra +2 to hit, its right there. Veil of Mists and Ghost walk allowing all sorts of cool movement maneuvers really make them unpredictable, and I like that.
Coven Game 2
This was a little less formal game, played at the game store, though it was on clock, using SR2016. so, you know. Casual.
He was playing his Kreoss list, and I was going to play coven even before I got there. I’m going to hit my 20 games, damn it.
His list was close to this:
Again, I chose to go second, again I picked a side advantageous to the Covens weaknesses, and again I popped my feat on the bottom of one to steal the tempo of the game.
This seems to be one of those tailor made games for the list. Its a gun line with a little support and a small unit to jam/impact the game. I can feat to get my army into range of their forces and stop from being shot in the face and take scenario presence. I was able to ignore the Flame Bringers due to dispel, gang, Curse of Shadows, Ghost Walk and Incorporeal. Defenders ward was a thorn in my side for the Blackbanes, but I should have gone with the Blood Witches first to simply remove it.
On the bottom of turn two, at scoring time, I was able to clear and hold two flags, thanks to the Kraken’s impressive threat range keeping Kreoss back during the feat and the Blackbanes having nothing in the list that really could threaten them. Ragman, champion that he is, held the far flag for the whole game, and the center was contested after that round by a Recokner and a Vigilant.
I had hoped that the coven would be scary into a gunline, and it seems true. Kreoss feat was strong, but I needed so little work out of my infantry, and instead relied on the Kraken to do the heavy lifting all game. That won’t always be the case, but I expect that to be the case into gunlines, where I can engage and distract gunjacks and beasts long enough for either an assassination or scenario win.
This one, it was scenario, as he was unable to take the Kraken down without the alpha strike and get anything even close to the far flag that ol’ Ragman was holding down.
Their is so much to the Coven, and I look forward to another swath of games with them, and even getting them painted sometime soon. (soon being 3 years, I do think). Let me know what you think about the list, any tweaks to the army, and what type of list you’d pair with them!