The Necrotechs Workshop XXIII – Postmortem

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My MKIII Goal has come and gone! I’ve played 20 games with the coven to start off the edition, and I am excited to shift into a different focus – Using all the warcasters in the stable a few (probably 4-5) times to get reps with the entire faction.

Before that, though, I want to go through a bit of the experience with the Coven and what I learned from playing them, how I play them, and what I want to see them with. I’ve talked about them a ton, but I think, maybe, one more hash over their well trod ground could be good.

First, the list I’ve settled on

The Witch Coven of Gharlghast
-Egregore
-Kraken
-Deathripper
-Deathripper
-Withershadow Combine
Satyxis Raiders x10
-Satyxis Sea Witch
Soulhunters x5
Necrotech
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor

There is some wiggle room, here. If you’re not looking to simply tie up the enemy, speed 6 does you just fine on the run, and almost any speed 6 model will net you combat on the run, after feat turn, without strong reprisal if you’re hitting gun lines. Bane Knights can run and engage shooting models as well, though they tend to have higher defense, and the MAT 6 does them no favors.

This list is built to, if not counter gun lines, be able to play into a lot of them. They won’t do well, but it gives you a fighting change, where others are most often simply ground into undead bone powder prior to a good engagement.

Match-ups

This list, I feel, can dive into a lot of opponents lists, but there are certain lists your going to want to steer clear of, if you have the chance. This includes:

  • Lists w/ ranged weapons  that ignore stealth at greater than 18″ (Kara Sloan + Defenders)
  • Lists that have models with walking threat greater than 12″
  • Caine 2’s trick shot
  • Lists that can ignore stealth
  • Autofire Templates
  • Heavy armor spam

Other than that, which I know is a sizable chunk – Legion Shooting, Cygnar Guns, a few cav lists etc, for the most part, its a solid list. One of the big things about playing the Coven is that you need to know their feat, and what they want to do. If they have a control feat, you want to pop your feat second – Hold it, if you at all can.  I’ve heard it said that in a control matchup, whoever feats last, wins. This is true for the coven as well, as they really want to make sure that their opponent is right and proper screwed by the feat. This often means in the Control match-up you want to get the first turn and force them to feat defensively on the bottom of 1, and you get to respond with top of 2. If the game is against a defense minded army, you need to do the same. Against aggression feats, and most in the game are this, you’re going to want to go second, get your feat rolling bottom of 1, and steal the tempo of the game. It is critical to know the difference, and has cost me every matchup where I did the wrong thing. Every one.

Playstyle

As I said above, the Coven is a great control caster. they certainly aren’t the top of the heap, but they have so much going for them in the control department that makes them function superbly. Often, with fast models, the opponent will try and jam them up with a few pieces to slow them down a little bit and get time to breath. Fortunately the coven has a plethora of ways around that tactic, all sitting in their spell list. One day, when gun lines die down and I don’t need to build this list to give me an even 50/50, then I’m going to put Blackbanes Ghost Raiders back in. Control and more control.

with that in mind, the Coven protects their army as they advance and makes sure they are delivered to their targets regardless of the enemies position or plan.Ghost walk, Curse of Shadows and Veil of Mists all enable it. Curse of Shadows changes the math on heavy armored targets, and occultation can really cause a problem with long range, static guns.

The Coven plays a cagey, wily, attrition game, dealing damage with feedback or Kraken guns in order to set up the Stygian Abyss assassination towards the end of the game. Often, two boosted damage Stygian abyss is all that is need to shut a caster down. 8-10 damage with Feedback is not uncommon.

Table Side

Combining the ideas of the first and second sections, table side selection is actually pretty huge.  You’re going to want a building or a forest or something to extend with Veil of mists and possibly Fuel Cache. You’re going to want a piece of LOS block terrain, if possible, outside of 14″ of the table edge, and you’re going to want enough room so that the Kraken isn’t predictable where it goes. not all of this is easy. If you get all of this, you’ll likely be on your way to a solid victory and a happy evening. However, even getting one or two of these is sill a  solid win.

To the same effect, make sure to deny your opponent any really good places to hide, as you’ll be trying to pepper them from the get go with Kraken shots and sometimes Stygian Abyss. Make sure that you get the zone that, hopefully, has a safe place to put one or more of your Witches while still making it through the games hail of bullets.

Swinging wide

In almost every game I’ve played with the Coven, the Soulhunters have been extremely crucial to making sure that the game goes in my favor. When they die early, it starts to spell problems swiftly. Speed 9, with the charge, and reach, and 5″ reposition has put them extremely far behind my opponents line in a number of situations. In Combined arms lists, this can be bad, but not crippling. In a melee focused list this is a huge detriment, as they have to turn a major portion of the list around to deal with these dodgy, effective lawnmowers.

This is exacerbated and characterized by being able to send the Soulhunters wide out to the side when deploying and setting up for the feat and following turns. Remember, though, that if you are going to go through with this plan, place occultation on them. extending the feat (in regards to ranged weapons) even wider is an extremely useful tool.

Start with the end in mind

Remember, the Coven is a control attrition caster. They are trying to wear down the opponents time, resources, models, and ability to deal with the problems created. They have, in their list, a model with a high armor and a lot of boxes, fast models that hit hard, troop clearing, heavy disposal, Warjack punishment, knockdown, blind, an armor debuff, LOS blocking, 3 ways to move through and around your opponent and terrain, spell denial, and shooting denial. Use what you need to, but be sure that you’re going to be using them to maximum advantage. Don’t cast spells you don’t need to, because that camped focus is going to be your lifeline. without it, the coven pops. With it, they are more resilient than most people would assume. Wear their list out. Most models in the list have the ability to kill 2 or more enemy models a turn, so don’t worry about being outnumbered, worry about your positioning. You have threat range on most anything, and a pretty good defense (either high arm or high defense itself). Get your models into the position where they put the most pressure on your opponents and then make them pay for making whatever poor decision was presented them.

Finally, once the game is winding down, you should still have a better shot than the opponent at tearing away a scenario victory, and if they commit, they often will go down to either 1 or 0 focus, and you can whittle away at the, likely already weakened opponent, sometimes finishing them right there. Puppet strings helps a lot in this regard, ensuring that you get a second bite at those critical roles.

Next Man Up

So, With that out of the way, I’m gearing up to play a whole slew of casters here. The first one is Goreshade 2 while I wait on my Inflictors, Carrion thralls, and Croe. I’ll also need to pick up 8 Satyxis here one day, but we will see when that happens. Gotta get that second unit for feedbackapalooza, its going to be good times!