Waves of Witches

How to beat those cowardly High Elves?

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Victor simic
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Waves of Witches

Post by Victor simic »

Just was thinking while reading the new book (for the fiftyeth time)about our new option to take Witch Elves as Core when fielding Hellebron as the Army General.

Now Witches are very fragile, unarmoured, easily led around by the nose `cos of Frenzy, and now WS4. They also find it difficult to Wound heavily armoured foes due to their lack of Strength.

Now to counter the lack of Strength, we can put Manbane on a Hag to lead the unit, AND give the Standard Bearer the Banner of Murder for Armour Piercing. Together these aren`t cheap upgrades, but do make the Witches hit harder that`s for sure.

The idea I had (and I know I`m not the first), is to field a predominantly Witch Elf Army, obviously led by Hellebron. Now, I haven`t worked out a list yet, but I figured I`d get some feedback on this concept and the following brainstormed thoughts anyway.

Multiple units of minimum sized units of Witch Elves, say, ten units of five models. The idea here, is to mitigate the chances of your only two or three units getting led around by the enemies skirmishers/sacrificial troops. By spreading ten units of five Witches over the battlefield, hopefully not too many would be dragged out of position. I would probably also field a larger unit or two as Hellebrons bodyguard (15-20 models), and another to get some static CR (I know static CR isn`t really the point with Witches, but I like to have at least one for the purpose).

More than one CoB ? Probably just two. The idea being to be able to bestow Blessings on two units instead of just one. This would be kinda expensive, but could be quite effective if used carefully.

Lots of Harpies. These critters would prove invaluable as March blockers and screening troops. I`d go for as many as possible. Again, lots of small units. Dark Riders could make an appearance, but their cost would take too many points away from getting more Witch Elves.

Assassins. Again, not too many `cos of the point drain, but at least two probably three. These guys would be very fluffy in a Witch Elf Army, so including three (or four !) wouldn`t be cheesy IMO. They could supply the punch in a low Strength Army. Lots of Rending Stars, Touch of Death, Manbane etc. I`d even give one the Venom Sword to give someone a nasty surprise. Cloak of Twilight on a couple of Assassins would really piss opponents off. Essential.

Manticore or not ? Should Hellebron be mounted on a Manti or not ? Tempting to say yes for the added impact, but once again, the points could be given to more Witches. Thoughts ?

Magic. Tempted to take none. Maybe a defensive set up with a Lvl 1 on a Dark Pegasus for mobility. Undecided.

Executioners. Kinda have to include some even if just for fluffy purposes. they ARE the Temple guards after all, and with the new fluff, are tied even closer to the Khainite cult, and by implication, to the Witch Elves. They would also add much appreciated Strength and Killing Blow Attacks to the mix, which would be very useful. Thinking about maybe one unit of 15-25, or two units of 10-14.

Cavalry or no ? I like the idea of an all Infantry force (apart from Flyers that is). Seems kinda in character. Maybe Dark Riders, but I reckon Harpies could do the job. In the old fluff, COK`s seemed very close to Khaine, so maybe a unit would not be UNfluffy. I`m still more in favour of all Infantry.


So you get the picture. In my minds eye, I envisage at least ten units of 5-7 Witch Elves, with another two larger units (15-20) to basically give CoB Blessings to. Although the Blessings would be bestowed on which ever unit found itself in a position to best benefit from them. The exe`s would also be around to benefit from CoB Blessings if in good position. There would be about five (or more) units of Harpies fluttering around to screen and take out War Machine crews/Missile units, and generally harass. Hellebron on a Manti and multiple Assassins lurking in various units would supply the grunt. I also like the idea of a couple of units of Shades with Great Weapons just to put the cat among the pigeons.

My very loosley thought out tactics are for the Shades and Harpies to get stuck straight in, hopefully causing alot of headaches throughout the enemies battleline as well as behind the lines. While your opponent is dealing with these threats, the Witches hot foot it into Close Combat as soon as possible. Assassins strike at Characters, or flit about on the CoT hitting vulnerable targets.

All in all, it`s still a fragile Army, even with stiffening units and Characters, but it would be lots of fun to play with IMO. A strong theme, and the potential to look stunning on the battlefield are strong motivators for me as well. Some Magic heavy and/or Missile heavy Armies could make a mess of this set up, as could some heavily armoured cavalry forces. Well, no Army is without its weaknessess, this one just has a few obvious ones to exploit.

Any thoughts on how to configure such a bloodthirsty horde ? Any thoughts on how to increase its competetiveness ? I`m going to work on a list, and try to playtest it as soon as possible. I just find the concept of a Witch heavy Khainite flood sweeping the battlefield very appealing. I know its not cold, measured, and efficient like some imagine Druchii to be, but I reckon it could scare the bejesus out of some opponents, and even get some results if designed and played carefully.

Am I crazy to consider such a thing ? Could it work ? All comments welcome.
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Sulla
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Post by Sulla »

My draft hellebron army uses hellebron and an ASF BSB in a medium sized block of exies (BG would be better but I am trying to find a reason to include exies and ASF plus all of hellebron's attacks are a good enough reason). In this army, I just field 3 min sized units of witches to satisfy core requirements.
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Gibious
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Post by Gibious »

Being frenzied they would be immune to panic chains AND when being shot at. Unfortunatly i would not suggest giving command to the smaller squads.

But please do try it, maybe do a bit of research about how to manage these blocks. ie checkered, one whole line, zig zag...
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Post by Bbckamaja »

Since they don't have save i would maybe get units of 7 with 5 strong front rank. If dropped below 5 they don't negate ranks and without ranks of their own a large block could easely ruin your day. Small frontage is essential, if you have a lot of small units that blog each other you'll have many units that can't fight at the same time. I would take 2 units of 10 warriors to screen and take the hits. 6 units of itchs is plenty i think.

And highly mobile list will be a nightmare even with manticore around.
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Post by Crazyhorse »

I would personally want evey unit of witch elves under my command to have 10 models. I agree, put hellebron on a manticore with all the harpies and witch elves and watch the enemy try to keep up with you. Now assassins as you said are a must I say 2 as most people tend to relax after one pops out as they seem to think there will only ever be one :twisted: . Now executioners I would say 2 rather large block of 15-20 as these will be your way of dealing with thing that you need to kill ASAP so they need to be able to walk away from battles.

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Dalamar
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Post by Dalamar »

I'd do it in blocks.
5 witch elves + 5 harpies
155 points each
field about 8 of blocks like that.
1240 points,
plenty points left for Hellebron, cauldron(s) and maybe some execs for can opening
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Post by Fingol23 »

5 witch elves + 5 harpies is 105 pts
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Post by Slortor »

so only 840 points for 8 groups.
Hmm - thatll be 10 groups then :)

which would still leave 950 pts....
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Dalamar
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Post by Dalamar »

right... my mistake, was thinking 10 witches when I wrote it <.<
even better :P
10 units of witches/harpies and rest in stuff.
Enemy will be overwhelmed by sheer number of them.
Remember all witches would be stubborn so even 1 out of 5 staying alive can hold enemy infantry for very long time.
7th edition army book:
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Games Drawn: 33 (15%)
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8th Edition army book W/D/L:
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Post by Fingol23 »

I would also consider taking a death hag with Banner of Hag Graef in Hellebron's unitas this will stop her being killed by a lucky/suicidal knight charge. Also if you give the death hag rune of khaine and manbane she becomes very killy herself.
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Victor simic
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Post by Victor simic »

Good feedback. Some excelllent points.
i would not suggest giving command to the smaller squads.
Yes. Command, and probably just Hag only in the larger unit/s.
I'd do it in blocks.
5 witch elves + 5 harpies
155 points each
field about 8 of blocks like that.
1240 points,
plenty points left for Hellebron, cauldron(s) and maybe some execs for can opening
That is roughly how I see the list breaking down. I`ll probably be running a 2500 point list, so there will DEFINATELY be plenty of points for the tasty stuff.
I would also consider taking a death hag with Banner of Hag Graef in Hellebron's unitas this will stop her being killed by a lucky/suicidal knight charge.
Hmmm, not a bad idea. VERY expensive unit though. If the rest of the Army is made up of small units, the mega unit with Hellebron and a Death Hag w/BoHG will attract huge amounts of missile firs and all sorts of other unpleasantness. That`s why I`m tempted to run Hellebron on a Manticore; 1, as a major hard hitting Flying unit, and 2, as a major DISTRACTION. It would be sad to see Hellebron get popped early in a game, but if the attention given to knocking her out meant the rest of the Army getting into CC relatively intact (and therefore hopefully winning the battle), she could be a worthy 500+ point sacrifice. I`m not saying I would seek to use her as bait, but any character flying about on a Manticore is gonna attract alot of attention.

Death Hag with the BoHG is still a good idea for one of the units of Witch Elves, or even Executioners. With an Assassin AND the BoHG, ant ASF enemy units would be nullified nicely.

I`m still fiddling with the proposed list, as well as another more pressing Naggarond list, so I hope to have a version posted soonish. I just wanted feedback on the concept of a predominately Witch Elf army before I got started on the list proper.

The whole point of such a force is that it is a heavily themed severely UNbalanced list. But I believe if supported effectively, a mostly With Elf army could be devastating. Sure, there are army configurations out there that would own such a list as this, but that`s ok. I would not be proposing this concept as a tournament or all-comers army. I plan to try it against some local gamers, where I`ll have some kind of idea of whether it will have a chance. I`m also hoping that it could be devastating against the hated ASUR ! (Given their low Toughness and lack of Armour...it`s just the ASF that I have to counter).

I`m just itching to try this army out with the new CoB rules, Hellebron, new Assassins, Core Harpies, Core Witches etc. It`s just dying to be tried. I reckon GW have given us the tools to attempt such radical configurations. We just need to build the engine.

Keep ideas coming. It`s really interesting to read peoples views on how such a concept could work. I WILL try and get a draft list up ASAP.

Cheers.
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