Witch Coven of Garlghast & the Egregore
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The witches of the Coven are seldom separated, and their powers are tied to their interwoven relationship. Wrapped in darkness and strange wind, their power reaches its true apex when the sisters ritualistically encircle the Egregore and enter a perfect conjunction. Though individually each sister lacks the raw destructive power of a Cryxian warwitch, together their conjoined magic enables them to see the patterns of fate connecting the present to the future and grants them the strength to reach out and twist those patterns into new shapes conforming to their desires.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on the Coven
- 3 List Building Advice
- 4 Other
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. (Click the link for a full rundown.)
- Arcane Nexus - When a witch casts a non-channeled spell it needs LOS to the target but the range is measured from Egregore. When a witch channels through an arc node, it works normally.
- Coven - This is a long, complex rule that boils down to four main points: (1) The witches are separate warcasters with separate activations but they count as a single warcaster for most effects (number of attachments, upkeeps, FA, etc); (2) They share a single focus pool that 'resides' on Egregore and is equal to 3x the number of witches in play; (3) Their CTRL area is measured from Egregore; (4) Egregore can't be affected by 'focus-reducing' abilities.
- Perfect Conjunction - If Egregore is completely within the triangular area formed by the 3 witches, then when a witch casts a spell the attack roll is boosted.
- Ritual Blade - 0.5" reach, POW 3, P+S 7 melee attack
| Curse of Shadows
|Target model/unit suffers -2 ARM and cannot make free strikes. A model can advance through an affected model if it has enough movement to move completely past its base.|
| Ghost Walk
|Target friendly Faction model/unit gains Ghostly for one turn.
| Infernal Machine
|Target warjack in the caster's battlegroup gains +2 SPD and Murderous.
|Target friendly Faction model/unit gains Stealth. Models are not affected while out of formation.|
| Stygian Abyss
|On a critical hit, the target suffers Blind for one round.
| Veil of Mists
|Place a 4" AOE cloud effect anywhere completely within the caster's control range. This AOE does not block friendly Faction models' LOS. While in the AOE, friendly Faction models gain Pathfinder and can move through obstructions and other models if they have enough movement to move completely past them.|
Feat - Nightfall
While in the Coven's control range, enemy models have their LOS reduced to 5". Nightfall lasts for one round.
- Construct - This model is a construct and is not a living model.
- Stealth - Ranged and magic attacks targeting this model from a point of origin greater than 5˝ away automatically miss. This model is not an intervening model when determining line of sight from a model more than 5˝ away.
- Black Mantle - Friendly Cryx models gain Stealth while B2B with Egregore.
- Circular Vision - Models never gain a back strike bonus against this model.
- Companion [Witch Coven of Garlghast] - The Witch Coven of Garlghast is not a unit, and models in the Coven are independent models. The Coven can allocate focus to warjacks normally. The Coven can have only one Skarlock Thrall.
Egregore's version of the Companion rule is quite different to the standard version.
- Steady - This model cannot be knocked down.
- Sympathetic Link - When Egregore would suffer damage, it can spend 1 focus point to reduce the damage by 5. Assign the remaining damage to one or more Witch Coven of Garlghast models, divided as you choose. Coven models cannot spend focus points to reduce this damage. A Witch cannot be assigned more damage than it has unmarked damage boxes. Egregore does not suffer that damage.
- Pathfinder - This model treats rough terrain as open terrain while advancing. While charging, slam power attacking, or trample power attacking, this model does not stop its movement when it contacts an obstacle.
- Unarmed - This model has no weapons.
- Black Industries
- Dark Host
- The Ghost Fleet
- Infernal Machines
- Scourge of the Broken Coast. Egregore gains Dodge in this theme.
- Slaughter Fleet Raiders
No changes since 2018.01
Thoughts on the Coven
The Coven in a nutshell
The Coven are a real ball to play. They are difficult to learn yet highly rewarding once you master them. The Coven are delivery specialists, their toolkit is geared towards getting your army into the enemy line intact. Without exception every one of their spells improves mobility somehow or reduces enemy shooting capabilities.
Different combinations of spells can be used to get around seemingly impenetrable defenses. Ghostwalk lets units charge around Free-Strike zones with impunity. Curse of Shadows let's them dive deeper. Extend that reach with Infernal Machine. Run past another wall of models with Veil of the Mists.
Another aspect to consider is the impressive spell assassination power of the Coven with their almost-always-boosted boosted magic attacks and the second-best focus score in the entire game (second only to the Harbinger of Menoth). The Coven's control area is frankly enormous, combined with Cryx's access to high speed arcnodes (made even higher by Infernal Machine), any model relying on defense to stay alive within 28" of your arcnodes is in imminent danger of death.
Just as important as the Coven's capabilities are their crippling weaknesses. First off they are easy as hell to kill, seriously though. Secondly they do nothing in melee by themselves.
Second off, the Coven should win once they deliver your army. When you hit the enemy, you need to execute an Alpha Strike, wipe out enough enemies so that the counter attack is unable to break you.
Coven's special rules, translated for Newbies
The Coven have a huge number of tricky rules with some odd interactions. They're fully covered in the #Rules Clarifications section below, but to recap the main mistakes new players trip up on:
- They are not a unit. They are 4 separate independent models, with separate activations. You can activate a witch, cast spells, then activate some of your army, then activate the next witch, and so on.
- This lets you cast Infernal Machine on multiple warjacks each turn.
- Egregore is a solo, and so can score and contest scenarios. He can run even if the witches cast spells or use their feat.
- Each Witch is a warcaster, and can score scenarios. So between Egregore and 3 Witches, you can theoretically score 4 points a turn.
- The witches need to be in CTRL range to cast spells, they need LOS to the target, but range is measured from Egregore.
- This doesn't really matter if you're using an arc node, instead. Those work as per normal.
- Perfect Conjunction is measured to the outside of your base edge. The other 2 witches don't need to be in Egregore's CTRL range.
Nightfall is an incredible feat. The best way to use this feat is to cover your advance as the lines close. Abuse the fact that enemy models can't declare charges vs models more than 5" away, because they can't see them. Even though they can still walk and attack, the extra 3" movement and +d6 damage that a charge normally gives you is essential to many army compositions, and by denying it you gain access to alpha strike capabilities.
Timing is critical to this feat and it is best used in the early game. Turn 2, maybe 3 at most.
Lastly, note that the feat affects all LOS, not just LOS to your models. You may be able to stop your opponent from casting spells/buffs on their own models, too.
Your spells curtail your enemies shooting, improve your movement, or sometimes both. Given the Coven's massive control range and feat, you are all but guaranteed to get the jump on the enemy.
- Curse of Shadows
- Place it on an armored target you need to be remove, a jamming unit you want to ignore, or on a clumped group of enemies you want to surround and crush.
- You can use it to move through enemies and get the back strike bonus, but this is often incompatible with doing a charge (due to the "must keep charge target in melee range" clause).
- Ghostwalk - Does what it says on the tin.
- Infernal Machine - This spell is more useful for the SPD bonus than the Murderous bonus, and is going to have two major uses:
- Get your heavy-hitting warjacks to their destination.
- Rush arcnodes into threatening locations. Combine with other spells to push them deeper into enemy lines.
- Occultation - Normally cast on a vulnerable or high-value target on the first turn, and let it drop off when the lines have closed.
- Stygian Abyss - This is the only nuke spell the Coven has. While it is somewhat humble in terms of it's power, Perfect Conjunction makes the critical effect likely. Also, with a FOCUS stat of 9, even high-DEF models can easily be sniped off the board.
- Veil of the Mists - This spell has pretty great utility. Block line of sight early game to protect your valuable units on approach. In the late game drop it on enemies to walk through other models to allow ingenious and wicked attack vectors.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- The Coven is remarkably easy to kill.
- Eregore has low defense, so heavy attacks don't need to be accurate to hurt the Coven.
- Witches have low armor, so accurate attacks don't need to be heavy to hurt the Coven.
- Apart from their feat helping deliver your army, they don't buff your army's survivability. Thus they can suffer in a drawn out fight.
- The Witches often want stealth, but that forces them to be in B2B contact. AOE attacks can then hit all 4. With their low armor, even blast damage is threatening.
- Analysis Paralysis: The sheer volume of combinations and possibilities the Coven is capable of means that they can potentially devour your clock in a tournament setting.
- The rules interactions, dear lord the rules interactions. The number of times these girls have needed an Infernal Ruling is ridiculous - make sure you read all the Rules Clarifications (at the bottom of this page).
Tricks & Tips
- To gain extra distance on the first turn, start by running Egregore and two Witches and having them run forward. Have the final Witch cast all your spells then charge a target beyond Ergregore (Stealth models don't block LOS). This way you can have 3/4 of your models run the first turn.
- Infernal Machine on an arcnode allows for the Coven's highly accurate spells to reach insanely far. If the opposing caster relies on defense to stay alive, keep an eye out for the chance for the assassination.
- If an enemy is trying to hold you back by body blocking your warjacks, they are probably in a relatively tight formation. Drop a Veil of the Mists to run right past them (Ghostwalk if you don't want to take Freestrikes).
- The feat is measured from Egregore, but triggered during a Witch's activation. So you could feat, then activate Egregore and run him forwards to get more of the enemy affected. This is risky though, as it makes it easier for the enemy to attack Egregore.
List Building Advice
A typical game is going to open with the Coven and their army running hard down the center pushing deep into the board. Place your spells wherever they are needed, Occultation against ranged infantry, Veil of the mists in LOS choke points, Infernal Machine on arcnodes or assault jacks, and throw the occasional Stygian Abyss through an arcnode to snipe solos. These spells should allow you to setup the board grossly in your favor.
Use your feat early, and move as aggressively as it allows you to. The LOS restriction should prevent enemy charges so, provided you stay out of their move plus melee range, you should be practically untouchable. Along with the setup of your previous spells, you should be in position to either obliterate the enemy or move so firmly on scenario the enemy is going to have to overreach like crazy.
The turn after your feat, leverage your position. Crash into their lines using superior positioning, you are going to have to. Once the delivery is complete, your advantage is going to wither remarkably fast. During this time the use of spells might change too. Curse of Shadows is going to be less about reducing armor and more about allowing you to walk through units. Ghostwalk is going to be less about terrain and more about avoid free strikes. Given how mobile the Coven's can make their jacks through free-strike immunity and two different spells that allow you to walk through other models, the game is more than likely going to end one way or another with one of your warjacks loaded with focus next to the enemy.
If you can't end on an assassination you the advantage you built in the first few turns should be gone by the fifth turn of the game. The Coven is going to be exposed and open as your lines suffer in a drawn out fight thanks to how easy it is to kill Cryx units in general. Perhaps your opponent played overly defensively and you can win on scenario, but usually desperation makes the other outcome much more plausible.
As a delivery specialist, all those awesome units you want to use but get shot on the way there are suddenly usable. Bane Warriors can have their stealth back. Getting the Kraken and Deathjack right in the middle of the enemy is far easier. Your units will reach farther and your enemies reach will be shorter. Units that are already fast will be able to charge very effectively on enemies.
The Witch Coven is a debuff caster with an anti-shooting feat, meaning that they are more or less theme independent. They require at least one good warjack for Infernal Machine, but that doesn't narrow things down massively, and they also want a handful of arc nodes to land those curses of Shadows and boosted Stygian Abysses. Theme - Black Industries of course gives the free arc nodes you want - but its core selling point (carapace for all jacks to survive shooting) doubles up with their anti-shooting delivery system of a feat so it's far more common to use the Coven in an infantry theme where they can deliver units almost unscathed. And no, that doesn't narrow things down much.
You'll want a few arc nodes so the Witches can hang back.
- A Kraken can do work with them. It gets sped up with Infernal Machine, and Veil of Mist can let it "skim" over many models that would normally block it.
- Originally released in Warmachine: Apotheosis (2005)
- Helleana has her hands at her sides.
- Morgaen has her hands over her head.
- Selene has one hand on her head and one hand on her blade.
- Sculptor: Jason Hendricks & Kev White
Other Cryx models
Rules Clarifications - Coven Specific
Rules Clarification : Egregore & Companion
Rules Clarifications - Standard
| * The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
Note to Editors