A group of witches who exercise control over life and death, and the fury of nature to control the battlefield.
Tactically Coven units are great at working with cover to their advantage. Many of their abilities do not require line of effect. So they can hide behind cover while attacking without penalty. Most witches can deal hex damage, and the hex Augment gem is often a good marketplace buy for them.
Let's take a look at some core models from the faction...
Witches are often subject to frightening and bizarre exaggeration or vilification. Portrayed as monsters who seduce husbands, lead wives astray, murder children and eat the flesh of babies. In most cases this is just old superstition and propaganda disseminated by the Covens enemies. Blood Mothers are not “most cases”!
The Blood Mother is a powerful buffing support model for the Coven. She is a witch, and like most witches, she has Hex Siphon and Curse. Hex Siphon allows you to grant a witch an extra action point when you kill someone with hex damage (e.g. curse). Can really help you push a little extra to swing things in your favour. The key fact about Curse, it’s not a projectile, so it ignores cover and elevation. She’s reasonably survivable with VIG 2, and good value bringing 1 Mark to your unspent mark pool. The weakness is her buffing ability whilst powerful, can be situational.
Though far from common, there are many men who align themselves with the Coven. Some do so simply because the Coven is the local power structure, an authority that has aided their simple woodland community for generations. Others do so because they share the philosophical ideology of the Coven, and accept their place at the bottom of that political hierarchy.
The Axemen are the “odd” model in the Coven. They lack the Witch keyword, the Hex Siphon trait and so on. However, they serve an important role. With VIG 3 and the Sturdy trait, they are very hard to kill. Walk 1 is their only movement option, so they are very slow; this can be mitigated with the Sigil of Speed from the Marketplace. Often the sigil is a good late-game buy to help a single Axeman get to an objective and either hold it or use Wild Swing to force an enemy model out of the scoring area. They are exceptionally good value bringing 2 marks to your starting unspent marks pool.
Small woodland communities are frequently strongholds for Coven support, and it’s no coincidence that many members learn the craft’s connection to nature first and foremost.
The Wood Mother is a versatile model for the Coven. She is a witch, and like most witches, she has Hex Siphon and Curse. As always with Curse, it’s not a projectile, so it ignores cover and elevation. She’s reasonably survivable with VIG 2, but a little expensive bringing 0 marks to the game.Where the Wood Witch excels is she brings her Grimalkin familiar with her, which can act as an origin for ANY spell, cast by ANY witch. The Grimalkin is very fast, and that makes it almost impossible for your enemy to hide from your curse. She also has the ability to shapeshift into a Raven. This grants her a mobility that is unmatched by any other Coven witch.
These black cats are usually female, a little larger than average, and much much smarter. Their kind have willingly served members of the Coven since the days of the organisations founding.
You get a Grimalkin as a surrogate model for every Wood Mother you field. The Grimalkin is a little squishy at VIG 1, so consider taking an appropriate amulet to protect. Especially because to maximise the value you are going to want to be able to run the Grimalkin into danger to act as a big range extender for your witches spells (most likely curse). That’s the other thing with the Grimalkin, she’s fast, Walk 4 makes her the fastest model in the game that isn’t flying.
Learning the healing arts is a route that has brought many a village girl into the fold of the Coven.
The White Witch. One of the only models in the game that can reliably churn out healing. She is a witch, and like most witches, she has Hex Siphon. She’s reasonably survivable with VIG 2, and good value bringing 1 Mark to your unspent mark pool. She is also an example of a 2AP model. Most models in Deneb have 1AP, a rare few have 2AP, and they are generally ones that have no direct form of dealing damage with AP, the White Witch is no exception. These 2AP models are often excellent at grabbing objectives (being able to move and “use” all in the one turn). All of her unique abilities without upgrades cost 2AP, so she is still generally doing one thing a turn. Where the 2AP comes in is if you need her to move twice, or move and “use” as noted earlier, or with the Mend Flesh upgrade.
So that’s the basic Coven Models done, the core rules also include a couple more advanced options for the Coven.
The Bone Maiden, with her ability to summon animated limbs, animated skeleton and the very nasty skeletal abomination. She is best in 5v5 games of mostly living models that are going to go on for a while. Pulling off her necromancy tricks requires quite a bit of planning but can turn a game around where you’ve lost a few models!
The Puppeteer Crone and her Wood Effigy surrogate are a devastating combination when used well. Able to control opponent models, as well as damage, buff or de-buff them by having her or her allies target her Wood Effigy. She does rely on synergies with other models to either guarantee skill check success or maximise her effects, but orchestrate that and she can really mess with an opponent’s plans.
Full art, rules and unit cards for these models can be found in the free rulebook download in the rules section.