Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spotlight: Blood Witches & Hag.

The crucial thing to remember, when running Blood Witches is, that Blood Witches allow you to purchase one of the most awesome "solos" in the game. When you can make that mental distinction you're well on you way to getting the most out of them. You should never ever field the Blood Witches without the Hag, since they're a piss poor unit without her.
Blood Witches: Are normally used to run up and tie down units without magical assistance or weapons, and they do this very well. Turn one you run up in range and try not to get to many models killed by shooting, and turn two you feat and charge/run in. This means that your opponent has a lot of Incorporeal models blocking lanes and/or swinging at him, and even if you don't get your gang bonus with free strikes later, you can easily kill most shooting units on free strikes.
On occasion the Blood Witches will be able to charge, and at MAT8 and with two attacks each at PS12/10 they will kill most medium infantry, and with the special abilities you could easily create havoc. (Cloud walls, or extra casualties against very low ARM units like Assassins). Don't ever count on your witches killing anything though: if they stop a unit from a round of shooting they were worth it! If they do kill things, all the better.
Blood Hag: The real power behind the unit, she features Stealth, a mini-feat, Entropic Force, and even a backup dispel if needed. The Blood Hag is slower, but you still need her to get the unit swinging, so she should be within nine inches of the witches, but make damn sure you're no further up the field than absolutely needed, and if you have something to protect her with that would be great as well. She's rather hard to get rid of with Incorporeal and Stealth, but she needs help.
Now the Hag is really a defensive model, so after her witches die horribly she should probably retreat to safety. Against some armies she never leaves it at all, and I keep the Witches as defense for my caster as well, but make very sure your opponent doesn't have anything that gets increased power from killing living models, because eMadrak or the likes will laugh and kill you, if you protect your caster with living models.

The Hag is there to shut down Tough, and oh dear god this makes some units and casters cry. Originally I purchased the unit after running into pIrusk and his 4+ Tough, Immune to Knockdown, Fearless band of merry men, but there are many models that will mess up your game by rolling those Tough checks, so here's what the Blood Hag does.
a) One shot, move up and negate Tough: This will most likely get her killed, but the expressions when Trolls just die is worth it. Having a caster roll a Tough check usually spells disaster, so getting her in there to prevent it can save you games. Remember she also prevents healing, so Harbinger will loose her paladins, and several defensive feats will be negated.

b) Dispel. Withershadow Combine dead or busy?, then go stab your Warcaster/Unit/Warjack. It's a POW10 and you don't need to damage anything to remove the effect, so 1-2 damage on a Warcaster or Light Jack, probably nothing on a Heavy Jack, and one model missing from a unit could easily be worth it, when it means getting rid of Crippling Grasp or the likes.

c) Mini-feat. Now I've already talked about the uses for this ability, but pay special attention to the fact that you can do this while running, and that it takes effect when the activation ENDS. This means you can charge with the Witches, feat and then default to run with the Hag so she can keep up, hit with the witches, and when it's all over they fade to incorporeal. This is really really no holds barred annoying for an opponent to deal with, since Incorporeal usually works the other way around, so you get to hit them when they hit you.
You should note, that the Hag's ability has been hit by an errata, so it does NOT block transfers on Horde Warlocks, but it does prevent healing so Harbinger will be crying, and so will a lot of the units that sacrifice themselves for each other. If you play competitively, you should pay notice to the units that sacrifice themselves in order to "heal" a comrade, because he WILL sacrifice himself, and the heal will be prevented, getting you two kills for the price of one.

Update: 21.07.2011
Since I wrote this I've discovered a few more tricks I'd like to share. The one bad thing to say about Blood Witches is, that a lot of their better tricks rely on the mini-feat, so timing that is crucial.
  • Sweepers: Blood Witches are pretty good at saving other units. If you have a unit bogged down by enemies, and you need them free, Blood Witches can do it. If you walk/charge in to kill them, you would normally just end up blocking your own unit just as well. Since Blood Witches can go Incorporeal after they attack, you can simply engage to free up the unit, and then go Incorporeal to allow the unit to pass unhindered.
  • Assault: Sometimes a juicy target will be protected by a line of skirmishers, with the intent of blocking access to them. Blood Witches can feat, then clear that line, and go Incorporeal to allow other units access to the second line behind it. This will often be worth the sacrifice.
  • Cover: Amongst the Blood Witches we find a time tested tradition, of stabbing each other in the back. This happens, because the special attacks on their melee weapons do not specify "enemy" models. If you have something living you don't really need, do feel free to get yourself a nice cloud cover instead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow so buying these for my tier 3 pSkarre list very very nice.