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 I underestimated the Covens

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DestroyApathy
Slave


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Join date : 2013-08-02

PostSubject: I underestimated the Covens   Wed Jun 24 2015, 23:23

I am not a particularly prominent poster on forums, but I have been so taken with the Haemonculous Covens Supplement - typified by a great game last night - that I felt compelled to post somewhere for people to share. This not particularly a Battle Report, or Army List, even though it's sort of both, so figured it best to go here in General Discussion.

Since the release of the new Haemonculous model and those plastic Wracks along with our the new codex last year, I had my eyes on building up the gribbly section of my Dark Eldar. But being extremely busy it’s taken me a long time to properly sit down and read the Covens Supplement. I had used the formations in games a little and thought they were great, but it wasn’t until reading the stories in that book that I KNEW I had to build a full Haemonculous army. So during a visit to Warhammer World – Inspired by their AMAZING gallery exhibition - I treated myself to my third Pain Engine, and some Skaven Stormfiends, to take my total Grotesques (Only 1 actual Grotesque model  the rest all conversions) up to 10.

Well my main adversary - my Dad - is a HUGE Space Marine guy, and has about 14,000 points of Iron Hands successor chapter of his own creation (Black Lightning). He was pretty giddy about seeing his new codex in action, and I was really looking forward to seeing them too. But seeing as everything he already uses has become better, cheaper and even more adept at capturing ALL the objectives, I was a little intimidated. So instead of coming up with the most ‘competitive’ army I could, I figured, forget it, I’ll run a really thematic Coven army, have fun bashing some stuff, but with no Objective Secured and not a great deal to sort out all those vehicles, I thought it would be an uphill struggle –albeit a fun game – and would be a good run out for his new Marines. Sort of like a pre-season friendly, where a team will play someone in the division below just to get them stretching.

BUT, my army TOTALLY wiped the floor with the marines. NOTHING could kill my Grotesques, Raiders or Pain Engines. I was jumping out of transports, splattering entire units (but always taking two turns, thus locked in combat in enemy turn), still being able to get back into the transports and shifting around.

Despite his 6+ FnP rolls, without exaggerating being successful on over 50% of his roles (it was almost unbelievable how many he made), I still chewed through his army, and ended up winning both the Maelstrom - Deadlock - and the Eternal War - Purge the Alien- (we always just roll on both tables and go at it)
So, it might have been a fluke, plus rustiness getting used to new toys/formations in the new SM codex, but my Dad is an extremely good player, and his army is no joke, so very happy with the way the twisted Covens performed. I’m gonna stick with this army for a bit, have LOADS of fun re-enacting the craziness of Coven raids, and maybe even win some more games. I even intend on making a note of how all my Haemonculi die, so they can suffer the derision of their peers when they commit the faux par of dying in the same way more than once (how mundane and disappointing).

The armies we used are detailed below. My main success was getting my Grotesques WELL CLEAR of all the now super-buffed Strength 10 stuff – Assault Cent (Now St10 instead of St9) and the now 6 attacks!!! on the charge St10 Iron Clad. Both would have rinsed through any Grotesques they’d simply breathe on.

Coven Army (1750) – Coterie, Grotesqueire and Scalpel Squadron
3 x 3 Grotesques (All in Raiders with Nightshields. All with Aberation with Scissor Hand. 2 of which from Grotesquerie – rolled FnP 4+)
Urien (From Grotesquerie), plus 2 x Haemonculous (both with Scissorhand)
8 x naked Wracks
Scalpel Squadron - 2 x 5 Wracks in dual-cannon Venoms. Both with Ossificators (WHICH WERE GREAT)
3 x individual Talos (All Chain Flails, 2 x Heat Lance, 1 x Splinter Cannon (couldn’t find 5pts for third Heat Lance)
1 x Parasite Engine

Marines (Iron Hands) (1750) – Gladius Strike Force - (Demi + Whirlwind one – so he received ALL three Combat Doctines (SOOO many rerolls) + Combined Arms Detachment - CAD
Chaplain + Assault Centurions in drop pod with No Scatter Forge World upgrade
Librarian with Grav Centurions in a pod
3 x Tac squads, 2 in pods
Iron Clad in Dreadnaught in Forge World Assault Drop Pod
2 x Whirlwind + Land Speeder (the formation which makes it a full Gladius)
2 x 5 man Scouts (from CAD)
Deimos Pattern Forge Wolrd Predator with Plasma thing (3 x Plasma Cannon shots that don’t get hot)
NB: Almost all units have Objective Secured
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chickendinner
Hellion
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Join date : 2015-06-12

PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 09:32

I love the coven's book and I love how this has worked out for you, it's unfortunate I'm too much of a purist for my kabal To bring myself to get some coven units.

It's funny how I had a similar experience as well against tau yesterday, I hope you don't mind if I hijack your thread to share it.

But instead of a coven army, I brought a freak show one. I brought a fully kitted out 600+ unit for a 1850 point game of a harlequin's cast of players with a lv2 shadowseer and the mask of secrets, various upgrades for my troupe, and then 2(!) Archon's, with webway portal, shadowfields, the armour of misery as well as the archangel of pain. I get to the game, some ask me who I'm playing, I mention tau, and they all get this look that says "get ready for you tabling". I won the game 13-1 on victory points. Unfortunately the game had to end at turn 4 because of time restriction, it would not have really mattered though since that unit multicharged into: 6 fire warriors, crisis suit team, sniper drone team, and a broadside team of three. He was not doing well in combat and he would have never been able to break my guys unless charging in with his riptides.

But here's the real kicker; that unit came on one turn late (3), took damage from various interceptor units which saw my raiders torment grenade launchers go poof before they got to do anything, failed both attempts at psychic shriek, whiffed a round of shooting from my death jester (even though, thanks to him, I made his command unit run off the board). The one thing that save the day was the archangel of pain, and by itself redeemed not only the failures of the shadowseer, but also the extra points for the second archon. And I'm not even going to get into the power of two seperate shadowfields in the same unit.

Like you, I'm really looking forward to test this build further. I feel like covens and freaks how lists, when done right, can be very competitive. It's not even the fact that I played ld7 tau that helped; with his athereal, everything used his ld10 anyways, it's just the sheer amount of tests he had to make with the -6 modifier on top as well that wrecked his gun line.
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DestroyApathy
Slave


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Join date : 2013-08-02

PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 10:03

Hey. No I don't mind at all you posting this on this thread. It is thematically the same ethos: Some people say our thematic armies are no good, but that isn't the case. Your army sounds super-fun. Glad you're digging playing the way you want to play

I love that you got to play with all the fun toys that people claim are no good. Armour of Misery is one of my favourite items to take on my Succubus. I only started to take it because I use a non-GW model that looks really cool. I used to use her as my Archon, but I really like using a Succubus (side note: I like the way the new book has better differentiated the Archon from the Succubus). She looks too armoured to be a Succubus, but when I saw that item, I thought, ooh, if I give her that, I can then use that model as my Succubus. Turns out, the -2 LD comes in VERY handy. As it happens it was against Tau that I Webway Portalled her in with a unit, her unit all died the following turn, but she then single handedly charged, killed a couple, then swept a whole unit of 10 Fire Warriors, then did the same thing to another unit of 10 the turn after in the same manner.

Anyway, I guess the long and short of the point we'd both like to make is: play the army you want to play; don't listen to those vocal few that claim certain things are 'uncompetitive'.
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chickendinner
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PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 10:15

DestroyApathy wrote:
Anyway, I guess the long and short of the point we'd both like to make is: play the army you want to play; don't listen to those vocal few that claim certain things are 'uncompetitive'.

That's so true, did I mention the list only had one venom? Well the list only had one venom. Also mandrakes. Do you know what a 2+ cover save, holding the objective in the center of the board, is like?

I have a weird conjecture about this game; a player is more likely to win with a fun creative list than with a competitive list simply because they recognise and understand not only the role of the fun units, but are also more involved in more creative ways to win that would simply not crop up in a much more one dimensional competitive list.

I should probably mention at this point that I've never been at a tournament. Plz be gentle.
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DestroyApathy
Slave


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Join date : 2013-08-02

PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 10:23

I don't mind playing at tournaments. I just take the same kinds of thematic lists I usually would. 80% of people there do. You might have one game where you get smashed in the face, but it's still a laugh.

I honestly believe that mission structure really helps too. I would HIGHLY recommend picking up the Alter of War book. That book is ripe for interesting missions. The ones in the Coven supplement are too. We pretty much tweak almost every one, but keep the essence of it. The one where you have to get off the back of the board with the bodies and slaves you have raided is extremely fun, but required a couple of tweaks to get the incentives right.
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chickendinner
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PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 10:33

Thanks, I'll definitively have a look.
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sweetbacon
Sybarite


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Join date : 2014-02-09

PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 11:03

Coven units taken out of the supplement are awesome. Having used the Corpsethief Claw + Dark Artisan in a few games, I can attest to its effectiveness. Against non-Grav or D-spamming armies, those two units working in synergy with one another are almost unkillable AND they will kill anything they touch. Plus, the Talos is a great anti-tank shooting platform with either HWB or HL. Add in a Grotesquerie or just a Covenite Coterie detachment with Haemies, Grots, and Wracks as needed and you have an army that is very hard to deal with unless the opponent tailors their list. My regular opponent, knowing he was facing Dark Eldar, filled his list full of heavy flamers and things that would wreck regular Dark Eldar. He was totally unprepared for the insane durability of the Coven units and he got wrecked as a result.

I'm tinkering with some ideas for Coven formations + Harlequin Freakshow type shenanigans for when I start facing Eldar more regularly. I can't wait to try it out.
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SaturdayNightWrist
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PostSubject: Re: I underestimated the Covens   Thu Jun 25 2015, 22:56

I was the same, I completely underestimated them. But the more I play them the more I learn and the more I enjoy using them.
I'm nearly as confident going into games with them as I am with regular dark eldar.
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