Jacob Holo: So which warcaster should I do next?
H.P. Holo: Those ladies with the disco ball.
Jacob Holo: You mean the Coven?
H.P. Holo: Yeah, them. Their disco ball is cool.
Requested by H.P. Holo. Sort of.
Warcasters are the stars of Warmachine, and Cryx has no shortage of powerful and fun-to-play warcasters. Today, I’m taking a look at the Witch Coven of Garlghast!
IN SHORT: The Coven has no less than six ways to help get their army where it needs to be. Six! Just keep them far away from the action. They do not mingle well with others!
STRENGTHS: Focus 9. You read that right. This is a Focus 9 caster. That control area stretches 18” out from the Egregore (the aforementioned disco ball). On top of that, the three witches can enter into a Perfect Conjunction which reduces the COST of all their spells by 1. That’s crazy good! The Coven also has a host of ways to augment mobility and ensure safe delivery of their army to the enemy. Let’s step through them.
For defense, their spell Occultation can give a whole unit Stealth. Always nice to have. Their feat, Nightfall, reduces enemy MAT and RAT by 2 and limits enemy line of sight to 5”. The feat may be purely defensive, but it’s great for that closing-in turn when the Cryx army is most vulnerable.
Infernal Machine gives our already speedy warjacks even more speed in addition to increased MAT and Terror. Ghost Walk let’s a unit ignore free strikes and terrain. They can even walk through walls. Veil of Mists allows the Coven’s army to see through and walk through anything in a 4” AOE. This can create some very surprising charge lanes!
And for the last mobility booster, they have Curse of Shadows. Put an enemy unit at -2 ARM, negate their free strikes, and let the Coven’s army walk right through them.
Let’s recap that, shall we? 2 ways to hinder enemy attacks. 1 speed increase, warjacks only. 3 ways to ignore free strikes. 2 ways to ignore terrain. 2 ways to pass through enemy troops. If you need your army somewhere, the Coven can get them there!
To top it all off, they have Stygian Abyss, a POW 12 attack spell with critical Shadow Bind (pin a model in place and reduce its DEF by 3). With 9 Focus, this magic attack is extremely accurate, and can be a great assassination vector all by itself.
WEAKNESSES: Most warcasters and warlocks operate at peak efficiency until they drop dead. Not so with the Coven where the loss of a single witch can be disastrous. Each dead witch means 3 less Focus, which shrinks their control area and prevents them from achieving a Perfect Conjunction. With a pitiful ARM 12 and only 8 health on each witch, they drop easily.
Keep them safe! At all costs, keep them safe!
SYNERGIES: Since the witches of the Coven are experts at delivering elements of your army where you need them the most, warjacks and infantry that hit like a ton of bricks are ideal, though be careful with infantry that have low MAT scores. The Coven does have a DEF debuff, but it’s a temperamental one that requires a critical hit to a single model.
Banes are a personal favorite of mine, and the Coven can augment both flavors. How about adding Stealth to the Bane Knights or Ghostly to the Bane Thralls? They can even do both at the same time with plenty of focus to spare.
Arc nodes are critical to a Coven army. Pick your favorites. Take at least 2. Don’t look back.
A skarlock is also a worthwhile addition. Have one follow a unit, dispensing Ghost Walk or perhaps helping the Coven bounce Infernal Machine from warjack to warjack.
Finally, the Coven likes a big, beefy warjack to maximize the use of Infernal Machine. Even a humble Slayer is an absolute beast with that spell. SPD 8, MAT 9 and Terror on a 6-point model? Ouch. And don’t be afraid to take multiple heavies. With 9 Focus and Perfect Conjunction, the Coven can keep up just fine and still sling some nasty spells.
JUST FOR FUN: The enemy warcaster is on the other side of the map. They have just emptied their focus casting upkeep spells and powering jacks for running. They’re safe from harm, right?
Keep all 9 focus on the Coven. Use a skarlock to place Infernal Machine on an arc node. Give the arc node a focus with a Warwitch Siren’s Power Boost. Now run that speed demon up 18” and give it line of sight to the enemy warcaster.
With 9 Focus and Perfect Conjunction, the Witch Coven can unload a lot of pain. For best results against most warcasters, fire 3 shots and boost the damage every time you hit.
SUMMARY: The Coven is not a beginner’s warcaster. Their mobility support role takes some getting used to, and mistakes can quickly become fatal. But in the right hands, no terrain, building, or phalanx is going to stop their army from reaching the enemy caster and tearing them to bits!