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 Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven

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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Wed Nov 21 2018, 19:53

Thus far, I've generally focused on Kabal and Cult for my DE armies. Partially because I like the speed aspect, partially because I prefer a ranged focus to a melee one (the main Wych units I use are Reavers with Blasters), and partially because I prefer many cheap units to a few expensive ones.

However, more recently I've all but lost interest in my jetbikes and would instead like to supplement my Kabal army with some Coven (which I've rarely bothered with up till now). Hence, I'm looking for some advice and tactics about how best to go about this.

Currently, I own:
- Urien
- 1-2 regular Haemonculi
- 5 Wracks
- 6 Grotesques
- 1 Talos

1) Is this enough for a decent supplementary force? If not, what do I need more of?

2) Does Coven work in transports (I'm thinking mainly of Wracks and Grotesques here), or should it always start on the board?

3) I love the idea of Master Regenesist on a Haemonculus but will I be crippling myself if I take it over Diabolical Soothsayer? Also, is it ever worth taking Parasite's Kiss on a Haemonculus?

4) If my Coven stuff starts on the board (rather than in transports), I'm assuming that the Talos and Grotesques just walk forward. But what about Wracks? Do they advance or are they just there to sit on the backfield and hold objectives?

5) Are there any Coven units I shouldn't bother with?

6) Assuming that I'm using Coven, are there any Kabal units that I should leave behind (because they don't go well together or because Coven makes them redundant)?

And of course, any other advice would be most welcome.

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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Wed Nov 21 2018, 20:25

I’m primarily a Covens player.

With what you have so far, you could field a semi-decent distraction Carnifex patrol. It will effectively soak up a turn or two of shooting but you shouldn’t expect much more of it.

To field an effective (good at killing stuff) Coven detachment, I would personally bring a minimum of three Talos, 8-10 Grotesques, Urien, Haemie with Vexator. Vexator is the ONLY relic you should field with Coven. If your opponent chooses to charge the Grots or the Talos, it will most likely be something you don’t want swinging first. For that reason you must always be aware of where your Vexator mask is in relation to your heavy hitters and your opponent’s as well.

One unit of five Wracks are just objective holders. Optimal number would be two units of five and one unit of ten for Black Cornucopia. Plus ten Wracks can actually do well in close combat.

Also PoF Coven and Grotesques in max sized units will soak up a TON of firepower. I’ve had numerous opponents shoot there entire armies at my large Grotesques units and not kill even half the squad. Talos and Grotesques can also punch Knights to death in one turn with good rolls (or the re-roll wounds strategem or Doom). In summary Coven units are amazing and should instantly improve your DE force.
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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Wed Nov 21 2018, 20:35

Oh forgot to address your questions. Always take Diabolical Soothsayer.

As for Kabal units you’re going to want some shooting to balance your force so Ravagers, RWJF, Voidravens, are all good choices. Venoms filled with Kabalites + Blaster are also good. So as long as you have some long ranged shooting in the list capable of killing or severely crippling a tank at range, you should be good. In list I normally bring three Ravagers and three flyers to supplement my Coven battalion. A lot of people will try to kill the Ravagers first which leaves your Coven stuff unmolested as they move up to get in charge range.
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Red Corsair
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Thu Nov 22 2018, 02:29

Coven is great, but gets utterly boned by picket line blockers. You definitely need a kabal to clear that crap preferably using the void raven since it can clear things like scouts in the movement phase, thus allowing your grots or talos to move up freely. Talos are harder to block, but they can still slow them down if you can't clear a screen and be over an inch which is still annoying. Theres no wrong answer in regard to what to by next, more talos and more grots, you need talos in order to make grots anyway so it makes sense to start there, but with 3 more grots you can already field a vanguard. Small grot squads are actually awesome for board control and the detachment stays cheap.
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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Thu Nov 22 2018, 16:35

Thanks for the advice, guys.

@sweetbacon wrote:
I’m primarily a Covens player.  

With what you have so far, you could field a semi-decent distraction Carnifex patrol. It will effectively soak up a turn or two of shooting but you shouldn’t expect much more of it.

To field an effective (good at killing stuff) Coven detachment, I would personally bring a minimum of three Talos, 8-10 Grotesques, Urien, Haemie with Vexator.  

Is it really necessary to bring Urien?

Also, could 3 units of 3 Grotesques work, or does it need to be one big unit?

@sweetbacon wrote:
Vexator is the ONLY relic you should field with Coven.   If your opponent chooses to charge the Grots or the Talos, it will most likely be something you don’t want swinging first.  For that reason you must always be aware of where your Vexator mask is in relation to your heavy hitters and your opponent’s as well.  

A bit disheartening but fair enough.

Out of interest, is there a 'best' ranged weapon for Haemonculi? (Outside of Relics, obviously.)

@sweetbacon wrote:

One unit of five Wracks are just objective holders.  Optimal number would be two units of five and one unit of ten for Black Cornucopia.  Plus ten Wracks can actually do well in close combat.  

Would you advise bringing Wracks at all (either because they're good or to make up a Battalion) or is it better to just focus on Grotesques and Talos?

@sweetbacon wrote:

Also PoF Coven and Grotesques in max sized units will soak up a TON of firepower.  I’ve had numerous opponents shoot there entire armies at my large Grotesques units and not kill even half the squad.  Talos and Grotesques can also punch Knights to death in one turn with good rolls (or the re-roll wounds strategem or Doom).  In summary Coven units are amazing and should instantly improve your DE force.  

You say that Grots and Talos can punch Knights to death but my experience with them has been the complete opposite. Granted, I haven't used massive squads, but they've nevertheless struggled to do any meaningful damage to large targets.

Also, whilst I agree that Grots are highly durable, is there anything I can do to make my opponent actually want to kill them? Otherwise, it seems like they'll just ignore the Coven stuff as it painstakingly slogs up the board, and instead focus on obliterating all my fragile Kabal vehicles.

@sweetbacon wrote:
Oh forgot to address your questions.  Always take Diabolical Soothsayer.

Sad

@sweetbacon wrote:

As for Kabal units you’re going to want some shooting to balance your force so Ravagers, RWJF, Voidravens, are all good choices.  Venoms filled with Kabalites + Blaster are also good.  So as long as you have some long ranged shooting in the list capable of killing or severely crippling a tank at range, you should be good.  In list I normally bring three Ravagers and three flyers to supplement my Coven battalion.  A lot of people will try to kill the Ravagers first which leaves your Coven stuff unmolested as they move up to get in charge range.  

Damn. Razz

It seems like I need to invest in 2 more Ravagers, 2 more Razorwings and possibly some Voidravens... and that's before I buy the actual Coven stuff. It's looking like a significant Coven force will be well outside of my current funds.

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Deamon
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Fri Nov 23 2018, 13:31

A large unit of talos can be superfast.
You move them 8" then fire at someting.
You then use the stratagem that let them move another 6-7" I forgot. You cannot charge right away but you will be in your opponent's face, ready to charge turn 2.
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Kantalla
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Sat Nov 24 2018, 10:42

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
Also, could 3 units of 3 Grotesques work, or does it need to be one big unit?
They can work OK, and mean you can make a Vanguard instead of bringing Wracks.

The problem is you can't use stratagems as effectively on three units as one unit. The reroll wounds stratagem is really good against things like Knights for example. Similar logic for Talos and Fire and Fade to advance quickly.

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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Advice/Tactics with Coven   Sat Nov 24 2018, 15:45

To realistically kill a Knight you need 7-8 Grots swinging at it with the reroll wounds strategem. Anything less and you’re going to hurt it some but not do much damage. Three units of three Grots can bully basic troops and hold objectives but don’t expect them to kill much.

Also unless you’re always playing Hammer and Anvil on Planet Bowling Ball, your Talos and Grots should be getting second turn charges with move and advances plus Fire and Fade.

8-10 Grots or 6-9 Talos supported by the Vexator Mask and Urien are a threat to almost anything in the game. I always take Urien because I want my Talos wounding Knights on 4+ rather than 5+. Also, ten Grots coming down nine inches away from an opponent’s lines WILL get their attention very quickly.

Wracks are good nuisance objective holders in five man squads but in larger squads they are good for tying stuff up in combat.

If you want your opponent to target your Coven stuff first turn keep your Ravagers or flyers in the web way so that on second turn the choice is to shoot the Coven stuff that’s in his face or your shooty stuff that just arrived.

Coven is like the rest of DE. One is meh, two are decent, three or more is amazing. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of Coven units you need as much as you can reasonably afford to make them a threat. For now, start trying o acquire three Talos (plenty on eBay) and see if your opponents will let you proxy models for Grots so you can see what a ten man unit can do.
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