Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spotlight: Warwitch Siren


Do we really need a spotlight on the Warwitch Siren?

I think we do, because even if our beloved Warwitch Siren has become one of the most common models in Cryx, I see a lot of people playing them well below their potential. I'm a bit sorry to say, but this actually includes me, so this article has several pieces of advice I've stolen from other players along the way, and I'm working hard on making the most of this incredible solo.

The Warwitch Siren could probably claim the throne as "best two point solo" in the game, and even when using her below her potential, she will cause opponents so many headaches, that she can basically win a game on her own.
  • Stealth: Not only does her defense rank up there with many Warcasters, but she laughs at most ranged attacks in the game, and her armor isn't to shabby either.
  • Power Booster: In a faction of Focus starved casters, having an extra Focus handy is something you simply cannot value high enough.
  • Seduction: Every man in the Iron Kingdoms will abandon their wives, and women will go lesbian.
  • Venom: You thought the first couple of abilities were enough, but we also get this little pearl. A magical spray attack, mounted on a speed seven model with immunity to free strikes.
  • Parry: From running away, to lining up sprays or seducing a model behind the lines, this ability makes her a goddess on the battlefield.
  • Shadow Blade: A magical reach weapon, that applies Shadow Bind on hits. I just can't understand how that weapon made it into the hands of a two point solo, but I'll take it!
So we have a nigh untouchable model, with an answer to almost anything, and a ton of utility to boot, so why on earth is she just two points? I could say that she can't do it all at once, and I could say that her MAT 5 limits her offensive abilities, but truthfully I just don't know. With that out of the way, we get to the interesting part: Using the Warwitch Siren.

Turn one is often spent running. This is because you loose a lot of choice, if you decide to exploit the Power Booster in the first round, since it leaves you behind the army, and horribly out of position. If you decide to use the Power Booster, you will need to accept, that the Warwitch will play little or no part in the game beyond that. Assuming you did run into position, you receive a mind blowing amount of options in turn two.
  • Lock down: A Warwitch Siren can run 14" and has reach. She has Parry as well, so she will run where she wants, and when she wants. This means that she can lock down an entire unit on her own, and her Shadow Blade features one of the best free strikes in the game. Even if a model survives her free strike, she will stop that model in it's tracks, as long as she hits. The model will stop just inside her reach, be at -3 defense, and still be engaged. This use of a Warwitch will usually get her killed, but sometimes her defense pulls through, and if you choose her target carefully, you increase the odds of this result by miles. When choosing a target, remember her pathetic MAT 5, because even with free strike bonus, you will miss models with high defense.
  • Power Booster: It's just an awesome ability, and gives you the option of pulling that extra spell/boost in a round, while still running a jack/node into position. Since it's a spell, you can sometimes lock a few models down while Power Boosting, but make sure you don't advance out of range, because Power Booster is usually more important.
  • Seduction: When the opportunity presents itself, this ability can win games. Seduction means the ability, to move a model, without even touching your dice. This ability is so powerful, that I loathe the times I forget about it, because so many other abilities are more obvious. There's no dice involved, so you can be sure it works, and that's a rare thing in a game of dice. You can do anything with this ability, from having Dartan Vilmon hit the Harbinger in the face, to moving models out of control zones. You can have high defense models present rear arcs to your Bane Thralls, or simply remove that annoying model threatening a free strike on your Warcaster.
  • Offense: A magical spray with magical ability 7, causing corrosion. There's nothing I don't like about this ability, and being placed on a fast platform, that can go where she likes due to Parry, just makes it better. It really shines against low defense, high armor, single wound models, that will simply melt on the following round due to corrosion, even IF they're all but immune to the actual damage from the attack. This is probably her most used ability, but I've begun considering the implications of using it to much, as it always results in her death.
  • Defense: Non-reach models cry when hit by her Shadow Blade, as they're stuck for a round and with the exception of magical ability, they're useless. They can't move, they're engaged, they can't retaliate, and unless saved by another model/unit, they'll be stuck for as long as the Warwitch Siren keeps hitting. As I said before, this ability allows a Warwitch Siren to lock down entire units, but it also makes her an exceptional defensive model. Park this lady in front of an army, and your enemy MUST deal with her, before being able to get anything past her. Usually most heavies will ignore a PS 11 free strike, but if they're hit by this one, they'll stop instantly, and be parked with -3 defense, in front of an entire army.
The sheer amount of options become mind boggling, and the power behind each one is undeniable, so why do I constantly feel that this model could do more? I think it's because most people commit her too early, so they loose her options very quickly.

The Warwitch Siren isn't exactly fragile, but any dedicated effort will take her down. She usually won't go down to the odd shot, or stray blast, but if you don't keep her safe, an opponent will nail her. Remember that having stealth, is no excuse to stand in front of the linear obstacle, instead of behind it.

This usually means, that like the Pistol Wraith, a Warwitch Siren get's one round to justify her existence. In my games she usually ends up doing lock downs or defense, and I've had a few games where I've lost nothing but her, and one or two random models to stray blasts. She plays her part incredibly well, but I'm always baffled when she survives, and usually end up doing something inconsequential, or stupid, as a result.

You have an incredible tool at your disposal, so make sure you're using it right, before throwing it away to spray some random grunts. The Warwitch Siren can turn games around on her own, so don't waste her life on inconsequential actions, because choosing the right action can win you the game.


    1. Mate I'm loving this blog and these "spotlights". Having a big influence on my game as a new player to Cryx and Warmachine. Thanks for taking the time to put it up - it's very much appreciated!

    2. Likewise!

      I love the fact, that my ramblings are actually useful to others :D

    3. Wait - you run her turn one? I've been under utilizing her.... I always opt for power booster turn one. Thinking back I likely never needed to. Then late game she sprays some random grunts...

      Thank you for mentioning the turn one run. That's a tactic. Many posters do a good job explaining abilities or good list match ups but they forget to talk about how to actually use a model. I'll give the first turn run a shot this weekend.

      Thanks for providing insight into how to position her.

    4. Let me know if it works out for you. I'm always looking for feedback :D