The Universe’s best Surgeons: Codex Drukhari Review of Covens

The necessary Evil in an otherwise pure society, Coven’s are the answer to the age old question. How can a dying race sustain itself with mass slaughter of itself. The Flesh wielders of the Coven’s solve this problem. On the table top, they are the Eldar version of durability. Previously, Coven lists could put up some seriously durable units. However, as 8th evolved and everything became even more deadly, their claim to fame dwindled. Come the 9th ed book, their role has been the same, but how they go about it now is different. Read on to explore what Coven’s have to offer the True Kin

Rankings

As before, I will be using the same grading scale, reproduced below

  • Competitive: This is a codex entry (unit, stratagem, item, etc.) that has a place in essentially any competitive list built with this faction regardless of unit choices or is the source of a significant force multiplication effect for other units.
  • Efficient: This is a codex entry that can stand on its own merit in a matched play list but works best when combo’d up with other units or in specific situations to become very powerful but may not always be seen.
  • Situational: This is a codex entry that may not pass as competitive on its own merits but can be made effective in a creative list, as a meta-buster, or in a specific combo or scenario where it ratchets up in power to potentially very high strength but otherwise will not be seen very often.

Before we dive into everything on offer, it is worth noting that all Coven units (except for vehicles) gain the Insensible to Pain ability, which confers a 5+++ feel no pain save. This gives them back some durability they lost with the 5++ save, and they are able to get to that save via Power from Pain (PfP) too. Overall, they have more durability late game, but less up front, making them a much more nuanced army to play. Personally, I am a huge fan of this change.

Obsessions

Coven’s offer the three named Obsessions, and their associated WL traits, relics, and strats, as well as the 10 build-your-own traits. I think the Coven traits are some of the most interesting of all the obsessions.

The Prophets of Flesh

The clear winner of 8th edition, this obsession offers a bunch of interesting things. First, at the start if your command phase, Character, Grotesque, and Monster units each regain a single wound. This is a decent buff to punish your opponent for not finishing off a unit / model. It is not game breaking in and of it’s own however. 

The second part of their trait is a trans-human ability…. with restrictions. The models in the Coven can not be wounded on a natural roll 1-3, just like Trans-human with all the same wording. However, there is a caveat. If the attacking weapon is Str 8 or more, they can ignore this. 

Seriously? Dark Angels terminators getting this for free is not game breaking, but DE units have to have a weakness to balance them? (Here is hoping Marines of all flavors see this caveat added to them as well)

That aside, this is not a bad ability. It certainly has some play, and I think blobs of Wracks with this will be quite annoying. Overall however, this Coven does not do enough to impress me. Their WL trait, relic, and strat are all good, but not great. Solid, but there is better. Efficient

The Dark Creed

Now, this one is very interesting. I am strongly considering building around this coven. All coven units, including vehicles, pick up a 6″ aura, subtracting 1 from enemy units LD and for combat attrition tests. A 5 point upgrade on our boats, Grisly Trophies, also confers a -2 LD within 3″. This can combo easily for a -3 LD. Remember, Incubi (who are absolutely amazing) have an ability that keys of LD checks. We also have smite like abilities in Phantasm Grenade Launchers (PGL) that keys off LD. Finally, the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue can also subtract 1 from Attrition tests. This means, against a proper target, a single kill can end up taking several other models with it. It is hard to pull off, and is not available against many units in the game, but when you can, it is well worth it.

If that were all this Coven offered, it would be nice but not phenomenal. The second part of their trait is that in Close Combat (CC), if they target a unit with lower LD than themselves (which they lower from the first part of their trait), they may add +1 to hit.
So what, I hear you say

So Talos, I respond. 

Without getting to much into it (as I want to have something to write about in their section), a Talos Gauntlet  is now Str 8, AP – 3 and 3 damage. It is still -1 to hit though. Turn 3 of PfP offsets that, and this Obsession lets them start to hit on 2+ on t3. That is good. That can be very good. DE don’t offer a ton of punch vs Heavy Infantry, which are becoming a lot more prevalent as well. This lets Talos offer a rather unique roll in the codex. 

Seeing the flexibility in play styles this Coven offers, and the amazing WL trait it offers, this Coven will probably be seen quite a bit. Competitive

The Coven of the Twelve

This Coven feels like the writers wanted to make sure it had a minor and major trait. 

The Major trait, is that each time a unit makes a CC attack, improve the AP of it’s weapons by 1. This nets you Ap -2 Wrack blades, and AP -3 Monstrous Cleavers. Remember too, they still have Blade Artists to improve their AP further on 6’s to wound. This is very strong.

Then….

Then…

The second part – When performing an action, models may still shoot and do the action. 

Ugh.

Coven are not known for their shooting. 
A max squad of Wracks can pack four, that is 4, guns. 
Grotesques can give up their best CC weapon for their gun, and pay extra for it too
Talos and Cronos typically can’t even do actions
And Haemonculus got shafted even worse than the Archon did. 

On a Kabal or even Cult unit, this could be good. Here, it is just bad. 

But the first part, that AP, is so nice…

Add in a decent WL trait, a terrible relic, and a fun but situational Strat, and all together, this coven is simply Efficient

Build your own Coven

The 10 options presented here are some of the most unique and fun builds I have seen in a build your own set. Some have already been used to pilot wins at tournaments, and I doubt we have even scratched the surface of what this book can do yet. As before, if a trait is All Consuming, it can not be combined with any other trait.

  • Artists of the Flesh (all-con): At first, I didn’t like this one. Especially as it is All Consuming. It reduces the amount of damage done by each attack by one, to a min of one. Sadly, it doesn’t apply to vehicles.  
    But, Covens now sport a 5++. Reducing even a 2 damage attack to one makes them a good deal more survivable. Combined with some heals available from a Haemonculus, this can open up some very, very durable builds. Competitive
  • Dark Harvest: This trait allows units, other than vehicles, to do a mortal wound on a 4+ to an enemy unit after it charges. This is ok, but really not great. It requires you to get multiple charges off and then you have a 50/50 chance of doing a single mortal. It could add up in a Multiple Small Unit (MSU) style build, but that tends to not be the best style for Covens to play. It is a neat trick that is outclassed by everything else really. Situational
  • Dark Technomancers (all-con): This old favorite is back. Ranged weapons fired by this unit may choose to effectively overcharge. If they do, they add 1 to wound and to the damage characteristic, but any natural 1’s to hit cause a mortal wound to the shooter’s unit. If the bearer is a Vehicle or Monster, they take d3 mortals. 
    A few things of note with this. First, it does not state that the shooter themselves take the mortal, only that their squad does. This lets the bearer keep firing and kill of their squad mates
    Secondly, remember that all Coven units pick up a 5+++, helping them ignore these mortals
    Finally, if you can auto hit, you can’t wound yourself.

    It is this last bit that has people really interested. Instead of doing the venom spam from before, there is now a shift towards Wracks. One wrack per 5 may take a liquifer gun, with a max squad size of 20. This can give quite a number of shots (avg 14 shots) with +1 to wound at Str 4, ap -2, and a modified 2 damage. That is a fairly strong profile. The only other weapon I would consider overcharging would be Splinter Cannons. It does nothing to help them wound, but it does kick them up to 3 damage a pop. 

    This option has been a winning part of most competitive DE lists in their rise to prominence. Competitive To the point of being Broken. 

  • Experimental Creations: Models with this obsession add 1 to their strength characteristic. Sweet and to the point.

    This does nothing for wracks, who have poison weapons, but Grotesques don’t mind going up to base 6. It helps them deal with the T5 heavy infantry that is around now. Likewise, for Cronos. Talos go to base 7, and able to get to str 9 in CC now is a good bump. This trait seems to be for the more elite and heavy options coven have, over the line troops. Good, but not amazing. Hilariously, this can give you S8 raiders with a possible 6 attacks each, hitting on 4’s. Efficient

  • Hungry for Flesh: You may re-roll charges for units with this obsession. Another short and sweet one. With the new PfP t2 advance and charge, this is a very strong option to get down the table effectively. Most of the damage a Coven army will bring is in the fight phase, and this helps them get there well. Efficient
  • Masters of Mutagens: In that aforementioned fight phase, every time a model with a poison weapon (so mainly wracks we are looking at here) makes a natural 6 to hit, they automatically wound. This does not work vs vehicles.

    I actually don’t like this. Wracks have a base ap of -1. Blade artist triggers in the roll to wound stage, which this Obsession bypasses. Being able to kick up those ap -2 attacks I feel will do better for you than the few that would pass through and auto wound. Situational

  • Master Torturers: Reduce the cost of the Torturer’s Craft stratagem by 1. As a refresher:
    • The Torturer’s Craft – 1/2 CP: This strat is used when a Coven unit fights in CC, and allows them to re-roll the wound roll. Characters and Wrack units of 10 or less pay 1 CP for this, everyone else, 2. This is solid. Gives some very good reliability and with Wracks being much better in combat now, really lets even your basic troops punch above their weight class. In the past, re-rolling wounds via Doom was a large part why people with bring Craftworld allies. Getting this as a strat goes a long way towards helping Mono-faction play be better. Competitive
       
      This is a very strong strat, which you want to be able to use a lot. This obsession effectively lets you use the strat for free on Characters and units of 10 or less Wracks. It also makes it much cheaper on Talos (who love this) and Grotesques who also want their 2 damage weapons to connect solidly. I think because of the fact this is not all-con, it pushes this up to be a Competitive choice.
  • Obsessive Collectors: Now, this is an interesting one. Every time an enemy unit is destroyed by a model with this obsession in CC, that model regains d3 wounds. Nice, but not amazing.

    Additionally, if the attacking unit was a Wrack unit, d3 models come back instead. This, combined with the WL trait to bring back wracks, can make for some very tricky units to remove. If your opponent does not fully pick up a wrack squad, being able to bring 2-6 models back each turn can be quite powerful, especially once they hit that 5++/5+++ mark.  Competitive

  • Enhanced Sensory Organs: Models with this obsession do not allow their targets to gain the benefit of light or heavy cover. Heavy cover is not used a lot, and as stated before, Coven don’t offer a ton of shooting. Decent, but there is better. Efficient
  • Splinterblades” Exploding 6’s in combat. I love exploding 6’s. Not many people do, and I am not sure why. 41 attacks from wracks, with re-roll 1’s, should net you about 8 extra attacks, which offsets the 7 that miss (just on napkin maths here), netting you about 42 hits total. That is a lot of hits out of a 20 man wrack squad. This is even good on Grotesques, Talos, and Cronos. It effectively offsets your misses, and when combined with re-rolling ones (via a Real Space Raid Archon), it pushes your attacks up to nearly or greater than 100% efficency. Competitive

So, there we have the Coven obsessions. Some very strong choices here, both in the named sets and in the custom. I am really not certain what the best option is, and I like that. I think there is a lot of flexibility for different styles of play, which can, in their own builds and bents, be quite strong.

Units

Covens offer one Special Character and 5 additional units. Overall, they have a fairly solid selection to choose from, focusing more on the CC aspects then the ranged.

Haemonculus

Credit to Rayph

Haemonculi have seen a few changes this edition. They have lost all abilites to change wargear. Since GW has decided to only allow the weapons that come on the spruce for xenos armies, the Hamey has seen their choices drop. RIP any conversions, but you can still use them technically, as all Haemonculi have exactly the same kit.

Their profile is fairly solid, with movement of 7″, a str of 3 (which doesn’t matter due to all their weapons being poisoned and a toughness of 4 with 6 wounds. Four attacks is decent, and if he uses his scissorhand, he can pick up an additional 2 attacks.

Speaking of weapons, a Hamey comes in with a splinter pistol, Haemonculus tools, and Ichor injector, and a Scissorhand. This gives him some flexibility in combat. He almost always wants to dedicate a single attack (which is all he is allowed to make) into the ichor injector, which does a mortal on a hit. His remaining attacks can either go into the Haemonculus tools, which is a 1 damage 0 AP poison 2+ weapon, or the scissor hand, which is a poison 4+ but is AP -2 and grants two extra attacks. The scissorhand is almost always the superior option. He does have blade artists as well to help a few more attacks kick up an extra AP.

Haemonculi also have two unique special rules. The first is Master of Pain, bringing back the +1 toughness aura. This time it is limited to just core units within 6″ though, meaning he does not benefit from it anymore. This is a nice buff, pushing wracks up to t5, Grotesquest to t6, and Talos/Cronos to t7. All of those are decent buffs, with the Pain engines being the least impactful. Honestly, it is the Wracks that make me interested in keeping this bubble nearby.

The second ability that a Hamey brings is Fleshcraft. This allows him to act as an apothecary, healing either a Grotesque or Pain Engine unit for d3 wounds. There is no ability for him to revive either of those models, which is probably fair but stings a little when compared to the Marines Apothecary. Still this is a nice buff to help your Coven units keep on ticking.

Overall, Haemonculus offer a decent number of buffs. They are not a great damage output unit, but they do offer some decent buffs. With some of the available WL traits, they can offer some great utility. Competitive

A Haemonculus can also be upgraded to a Master Haemonculus for 20 points. A Master Hamey pickes up the ability, Alchemical Maestro, as well as getting access to the excellent relic the Poisoner’s Ampule and the amazing WL trait, Twisted Animator.

Alchemical Maestro is a neat ability that allows a Master to, once per battle, be restored to life when they die on a 2+ with d3 wounds. This is a nice ability that helps increase the durability of the Haemonculus. Combined with the aforementioned relic and WL trait this makes a Master Hamey a very good upgrade. This also unlocks the ability to upgrade a unit of Wracks to Haemoxytes, which, spoiler, are also good. Overall, look for this option to be used often. Competitive

Urien Rakarth

Coming in at at cool 100 points, Urien is locked into Prophets of the Flesh. Taking him does take up your Master Haemonculus slot for them, and his WL trait is the Obsessions specific one, Diabolical Soothsayer. Having the Trait locked to him kinda hurts, as the Master Hamey trait is much better.

Otherwise, what does he bring to the table? He costs the exact same as a haemonculus upgraded, but has an extra pip of toughness (which is nice), less weapons, and a few extra special rules.

On the weapons front, he has the typical Ichor Injector and the Haemonculus tools that a regular Hamey comes with. These are not bad, but really feel lacking on a special character. He also has the Casket of Flensing, slightly improved from last edition. It is now a 12″ auto hitting 2d6 weapon, at str 3, ap -2, and a whole one damage. The best part… it can only be fired once per game. For a once per game weapon, this thing is the epitome of underwhelming. Getting a max 12 shots, you should just barely kill one space marine….

And that is his only ranged attack. Not even grenades to chuck.

So, onto special rules for him.

He has the same ablity of a Master Haemonculus, Alchemical Maestro. His is called Sustained by Science. Other than having a differnt name for…. reasons… it is exactly the same ability. He also has the Fleshcraft and Master of Pain abilities that a regular Hamey gets.

His first special rule is Haemovores, which lets you roll a d6 for each enemy unit within engagement range and, on a roll of a 6, do a mortal wound. Again. Underwhelming. Seriously, this is so bad the only good thing is they didn’t try and make it a relic or WL trait….

Secondly, he ha a Clone field, which gives him a 4++. Combined with his 5+++, this gives some durability, especially with his next rule, Contempt for Death. This allows him to halve any damage he takes (rounding up). Between those three and his high toughness and regeneration from the obsession, he is one of the hardest infantry characters in the game to kill. 81 bolter shots should do it, or 10 heavy eradicator shots in half range.

His last special rule is Sculptor of Flesh, letting him add one to the Str and LD of Core Prophets of Flesh unit within 6″. This is nice for Talos, Cronos and Grotesques, and can be replicated better with a custom trait of Experimental Creations which does not then require those units to stick right by him.

So, Urien in a word; Underwhelming. He seems to still be paying for his 2nd edition codex crimes. He was usable last edition, he is best left on the shelf this. Situational at best

Wracks

The troop choices for Covens, the only option they can take. Now able to be in units 5-20, they have a t4 and 2 attacks base. Combined with their 5+++ from Insensible to Pain and the 6++ from PfP (which can go to a 5++), they have a good bit of durability. Surprisingly so. Considering that they can get d3 models restored to them, and pushed up to t5 from a nearby Haemy, Wracks offer the greatest durability that DE can put up for a troops unit.

On the offensive front, Wracks come armed with Wrack blades. These are poison 4+, at ap -1 and 1 damage. For ranged options, one for every 5 models may take either an Ossefactor or a Liquifier. With the prevalence of Dark Technomancers, the Liquifier is the obvious pick (although after expected nerf, the Ossefactor may be a strong pick. It is Poison (2+) with ap -3 and 2 damage. )

Additionally, the Acothyst (the Sargent upgrade) may take a Hex rifle, Stinger pistol or Liquifer. Only the latter of these is worth taking sadly. He may also trade out his Wrack Blade for a Venom Blade, Agoniser, Electrocorrosive whip (only way to get one of those now), Scissor hand, or a Mind Phase Gauntlet. None of the melee options are really worth the investment.

The typical build right now is 2 Liquifiers in a 5 man unit, shoved into a Raider and zooming about the board. This is an issue in the competitive scene at the moment, but fixing it is not simple. I will not touch much on this now, except to say this. If you remove Dark Techno Liquifiers, DE struggle to have a ranged threat that (a) has decent AP and (b) is 2+ damage which they can take enough of. That needs to be addressed along side the inevitable DT nerf.

Wracks, like their Wych and Warrior cousins, may be upgraded if there is an accompanying Master HQ; in this case, a Master Haemonculus. Urien counts as this, which is more a mark against him, but overall a Master Hamey is fairly decent.

Wracks become Haemoxyites, and like the other units of this type, are limited to a max size of 10. For an additional 2 points per model, they get to improve their Invul save, starting the game at a 5++ and moving to a max 4++. Additionally, the first time each phase their unit fails a saving throw, the damage of that attack is made into 0. This makes them surprisingly durable, and combined with the ability to bring models back in their squad from a few different sources, can make chip damage towards them quite difficult. If they are your only medium infantry unit, they tend to get focused down easily. But among Grotesques, Raiders, and Talos, they tend to get ignored, allowing them to be a decent 100 pt action unit that can sit and hold something all game with little chance of getting picked up.

Overall, both Wracks and Haemoxytes are very good. The former being very meta and right now Competitive, while the latter are more composition dependent and are such Efficient.

Grotesques

Once spammed in mid 8th edition, this unit still has some good play in 9th (although for the love of all that is cruel, can we please get a new kit… one that is not mono pose?). Primarily used as a Liquifer unit, Grotesques still offer a significant melee punch as well. Clocking it at 4 wounds, they are able to absorb a good bit of damage before their damage out put drops any.

With an innate toughness of 5, boosted to 6 from a nearby Haemonclus, they have a nice bit of durability. They are also infantry, and have a 6+ save, so if in cover they can make use of the Hunt from the Shadows stratagem to get a 4+ save, which can make them very resilient vs small arms fire. That aforementioned Haemonculus can also be healing back any chip damage they may take.

The big draw however is their weapons. With 4 attacks base, and coming stock with a Monstrous cleaver that adds an additional attack, each model is putting out a decent amount of ap -2 and 2 damage attacks. They also come with a back-up weapon in the form of a Flesh Gauntlet. Pushing them to Str 6 when they use it, it is only 1 damage and 0 ap, but each natural 6 to wound also does a mortal. This is decent, but you almost always want to use the cleaver…. …. unless you traded it out for a Liquifer, which each model may exchange it’s cleaver for.

Considering that they may embark in a raider (albeit at the cost of two slots per model), a 5 man unit with 5 liquifiers will run you 225 before the raider.

Considering that for 180 points you can get 6 liquifiers from 3 units of Wracks, this does not seem to me to be the best use of them. However, for someone who has maxed those three units and wants more liquifiers, this is the only way to slot them in a patrol.

Again, I feel the Dark Technomancers has skewed the builds here, and a lot of the Grots innate strength and game play is being overlooked. They are able to do some considerable damage in Melee, and being able to be in that raider, they are able to close the distance to their desired targets well.

They do compete with Incubi for this roll, and 5 Grots with Cleavers costs what 12 Incubi will run you. The Incubi do more damage, but the Grots are far more survivable. For a bully unit to take and hold an objective, Grots are very solid.

Obsession wise, they very much like Prophets of Flesh, which if you wanted to go heavy on Talos, Cronos, and Grots, could be rather decent. Likewise, Artists of Flesh for -1 damage is nice, as is some combination of Experimental Creations, Hungry for Flesh, and Splinterblades. (This all, of course, is ignoring their current use in a Dark Techno Liquifier spam use. Mainly because I fully expect that to be nerfed. Mind you, I have no insider knowledge, just thoughts and eyes with which to see).

Overall, right now there are more efficient builds for DE than going Grot heavy, but they are very very strong. As more codexes are released and the meta changes, I expect them to have so good success.Competitive

Talos

Another unit which was popular mid 8th until the release of NuMarines, the Talos is a sleeper option in this new codex in my humble opinion. Profile wise, nothing has much changed, and in fact, a few of it’s close combat options got worse. That all being said, I think Talos have some rather strong play and are waiting for the correct general to utilize them.

Each Talos come with a Macro-Scalpel on each arm and two splinter cannons mounted on the tail. Each of the Scalpels may be exchanged for a different set of options. With two Scalpels, the Talos gets one extra attack (so 6) at Str +1, ap -2 and 2 damage.

In the first set, they may give up a Scalpel for either a Ichor Injector, or a Twin Liquifier gun. If leaning into Dark Techno, that liquifer is fairly solid, and a unit of 3 can put out 6d6 shots.

The ichor injector on the other hand is a single attack made, which if it hits, does d3 mortals. Considering the WS 3+ Talos have, and the +1 to hit from PfP on turn 3, this is a very solid pick for a Melee Talos. The fact this change is free is nice as well

The second Scalpel, (which, if you are getting rid of one you may as well get rid of the other) can be exchanged for either chain-flails or a Talos Gauntlet, the latter of which is a 5 pt upgrade.

The flails are ap 0, 1 damage, and str user. They do allow two attacks for each attack allocated to them. So, 10 if all attacks put into them, or 8 if used in conjunction with the ichor injector. They do benefit from blade artists, but this is by far the weakest option for them.

The Talos Gauntlet is +2 str, ap -3 and 3 damage. The drawback is that on the hit roll, you must subtract 1. This is offset by the turn 3 PfP granting +1 to hit.

On the tail end of things, they may exchange their two Splinter Cannons with two Drukhari Haywire blasters, two heat lances, or a stinger pod. None of these changes costs you anything extra. I personally love the heat lance options, although should the meta see more vehicles, the Haywire could be a solid pick. Talos do have an innate 4+ BS, but this can be helped in a few ways. Should they be in a Real Space Raid, they can benefit from a nearby Archon’s re-roll 1’s bubble. Additionally they may use the Prey on the Weak strat to gain re-rolls depending on their target.

Talos in 9th edition can not be used the same way they were in mid 8th. Previosuly, they were a bullet sponge, running Prophets of Flesh to increase their durability and float up the board being a threat. Now, they are not quite as durable, only starting with a 6++ and needing to wait until the end of the game to get that 5++. Their 5+++ and toughness 6 do help to give them some staying ability, coupled with their 7 wounds and 3+ save (which can be pushed to a 1+ save if they are behind dense cover via the Hunt from the Shadows stratagem), Talos can be rather difficult to shift if they are not focused down heavily. The fact a Cronos can bring back models from dead, as well as multiple ways for healing, this means a heavy Talos build can certainly see play.

Obsession wise, these mirror the Cronos above; Prophets, Artists of Flesh, Experimental Creations, Hungry for Flesh, and Splinterblades are all good contenders. I am tempted to by a Dark Creed Talos Gauntlet build as well, as hitting on a 2+ with that weapon is quite tempting.

All in all, Talos offer a lot of strong options, and already we are seeing players start to experiment ahead of the expected DT nerf. Competitive

Cronos

The final entry for Coven specific units, the Cronos has seen a bit of a change. It shares the Talos defensive buffs, but has a 4+ WS and a 3+ BS. This makes you think the Cronos wants to shoot more… but it kinda doesn’t.

Stock at 70 points, it comes a Melee weapon, the Spirit-Leech Tentacles and a Spirit Syphon. Both of its ranged options are an upgrade. Across the board, you are looking at Str 5 ap -2 and 1 damage. The Tentecales are AP -1 but do get blade artist to help. In all cases, a natural wound roll of a 6 kicks the damage up to 2.

The first upgrade gun is the Syphon, which is a flamer and immediately draws attention for Dark Techno. The fact it auto hits ignores the better BS of the Cronos.

If you want to pay 10 pts you can pick up an 18″ assault d6 gun that does exactly the same as the syphon.

Additionally, you can pay 5 points (and you should) to pick up a Spirit Probe, which gives the Cronos a 6″ aura of re-roll 1’s to wound in CC for CORE and CHARACTER units. This is really what you are taking it for.

Added to this, the Cronos has a Reservoir of Pain ability, which allows you to heal one wound per model you kill in CC for a CORE unit within 6″. Should all the models in that unit be full health, you can return a model to the unit instead, with one wound.

Considering Talos and Grotesques are core, this sounds pretty good. In actuality, it is rather hard to do. You need to get the Cronos is combat (which is fairly easy) but then it needs to kill models. With only 4 attacks, WS 4+, ap -1, and 1 damage, it is actually kind of hard to kill a lot of models. Often times I find myself trying to soften up a mulit wound target before the Cronos attacks, then just killing the models with the first unit before the Cronos gets a chance to move….

All this to say, its a neat bonus when you can snag it, but don’t rely to heavily on it. Instead, be looking to keep your Cronos within 6″ of a unit that wants to kill something, either in CC or shooting. CC is nice for the re-roll 1’s to wound bit. Either way, you want to be able and kick on Pain Syphon, a 1 CP strat that lets a unit within 6″ of a Cronos, and which just killed a unit in CC or at range, to immediately count the battle turn as 5 for Power from Pain for the rest of the battle. Yes. If you can get your three Talos to heat lance a vehicle and kill it, they can immediately kick up to their 5++ save on turn 1. This is fairly big, and something worth building around.

Overall, the Cronos itself is a support piece. One that is not amazing in all it’s jobs, but offers enough consistently to be worth taking for those times when it’s utility can spike. Efficient

And there we have Coven. A bit delayed, due to a few factors. One being I wanted to see how the competitive scene dealt with DT spam and the other being a newborn in my life. Both of those are settling down a bit now, so I’d like to do some deep dives into list ideas as well as a discussion on what the issue with Dark Technomancers is. Be looking for that.

Thanks for reading, and happy Wargaming Raiding!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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