Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spotlight: Warwitch Deneghra

I'm not entirely convinced this belongs in a spotlight article, since I'm considering contacting Privateer Press to have her removed from the game (obviously I've got the clout to make that happen), but unfortunately I'm a sucker for flattery so here goes.

How to lose your opponent in ten games

Even though I've been strong-armed into introduce you to Warwitch Deneghra, it was never agreed that I had to be entirely serious while doing it, but the information in the article remains valid, and I mean everything I say.

Warwitch Deneghra is the most powerful caster in the game. There I said it, and anyone who disagrees suck **** by choice. Warwitch Deneghra is so powerful, that she destroys games she's not even in, and I'm not making fun of you either.
I find the most common response to pDenny from all factions is the foetal position. It doesn't help, but it saves time. - CareyBear
If you choose this caster, you will be fleeing a mob of angry gamers with pitchforks, and you will lose whatever friends you had managed to make in your meta.
Warwitch Deneghra: Abilities
In clear contradiction with reality, Warwitch Deneghra actually died in the fluff. This is clearly a mistake, since nothing can kill her in the game. As always Battlecollege will answer most of your questions about abilities, but she cannot be locked down, cannot be shot, and she has one of the best spell lists in the game.
Warwitch Deneghra: The Withering
E.B. Farnum: God damned quagmire of piss and bull shit! Withering is defined as being capable of wreaking complete destruction, but also exhibiting a lack of respect, being rude, or being discourteous. It's like the person who named the feat prophesied the actual effect it would have on the game, because this feat is the death of armies and entertainment alike.

The first round we run, and the second round we win the game. It might take your opponent a couple of more rounds to quit or die, but the result is always the same. In most games we simply win, since his caster is taking a nap, and getting hit on anything above snake eyes, while taking five additional damage on every attack, but occasionally we have to settle for killing his entire army and making him cry.

Sometimes we have to charge our own guys in the back for extra range, but only when your opponent decides to lose later rather than sooner, and stays back where he thinks it's safe. Then you shoot his entire army, and he quits the game, burns his miniatures, and the mobbing starts. If the mobbing doesn't start immediately, it's because they're in the alley outside your house with torches.
Warwitch Deneghra: List construction
In the words of Dick Durkin: We need to get bigger guns, BIG FUCKING GUNS! and almost anything will do. Nyss Hunters, Croe's Cutthroats, Pistol Wraiths, Dougal MacNaile, and the Withershadow Combine are prime candidates, and the more guns you pack into a list, the more your opponent will hate you. I'd recommend Croe's Cutthroats, since it fits well with the second requirement, and most people don't know what to expect from them either. Nyss Hunters will usually do better, but since you're winning anyway, you might as well do it with a unit most people write of as worthless.

Things with stealth, because otherwise you might lose a model before you can win. In one game at the Danish Masters I made a horrible mistake, and I lost a Warwitch Siren (get two of those by the way, not debatable). It was terribly embarrassing, and I had to do it again the following game, so it would look like it was intentional.

Bane Thralls, because the turn you win, they swing with MAT 10, and inflict 32 damage on average dice, each. They can also run up to a napping caster, and inflict Dark Shroud without even giving him the added defense (since he can't engage or be engaged while napping).

Satyxis Raiders are also fun, and even though they don't actually have stealth, they're quite hard to hit so that's fine. They can charge a gazillion miles, and take down Khador heavies with all the debuffs we have, while being immune to blast damage and doing all sorts of crazy shit.

Skarlock is a given, and a couple of chickens for good measure, and then you're done. If you have points left over, bring more guns (Saxon Orrik is nice). If you still have points left over, it's because you didn't bring enough guns, so rectify that mistake. If you still have points left over, include a Lesser Warlock, because killing Karchev on full camp, with an angry piglet, on average dice, is just what you need to make him bring out the pitchfork.
Warwitch Deneghra: List examples
The list that brought out the pitchforks, had less guns than I would have liked, but that's just because I wanted to avoid winning, until I could win on attrition or scenario instead (incidentally, that makes people even angrier, who knew!). It didn't work though, and I kept winning in round two.

Warwitch Deneghra
- Nightwretch
- Nightwretch
Skarlock Thrall
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
- Officer & Standard
Croe's Cutthroats (Croe and 5 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Rorsh & Brine
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Deneghra: How to win
In the words of Al Swearengen: Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. It's not really that hard, since most games will end with The Withering and a ranged assassination anyway.

If you're up against some heavy duty tanks, you simply destroy their army instead. If you're up against a tank caster with a beast/jack army, you lock him down and annihilate his army with Bane Thralls and angry piglets. If you're up against... ah what the hell, you get the point.
Warwitch Deneghra: Summary
Warwitch Deneghra is stupidly powerful, and designed in a way that will remove all joy from gaming (Yeah, yours as well). Even if an opponent should ever manage to win, it will be by using a Menoth list tailored specifically to taking on your list, and only if he knows the list in advance.


  1. Fun article :)

    So which caster should PP have included in the battle box instead? pGaspy?

  2. Without a doubt. He's a good caster with a battlegroup, and he introduces a player to all the different mechanisms :)

  3. Got to say, when I started playing Warmachine and was getting into battle box games, I couldn't quite believe pDeneghra's feat. I've been using her exclusively and am looking around for a second caster at the moment, but it's good to have an explanation of how silly she is for the unknowing and inexperienced.

  4. Seconding pGaspy. I've never liked the Warwitch as a battle box caster, because she stops your opponent from doing things, and nobody learns how to do those things (i.e. use rules, play the game) by being told they can't (i.e. Crippling Grasp, Withering, Stealth, Parry). Asphyxious doesn't play Deneghra's denial game and therefore the opponent actually gets to learn about charging and running and other fairly basic stuff. And how to say "four Breaths of Corruption in one round sucks", but hush.

  5. At least he can work around those four Breaths of Corruption in a rematch :D

    Knowing what pDenny does, makes no difference at all for a newbie.

  6. Any good ideas for playing pDenny against a ranged list, say Cygnar with lots of guns or eLylyth with Ravagores and bolt throwers?

  7. Shadow Pack is a problem, but if you bring the Satyxis setup from my latest list, you should be able to mess him up badly.

    The thing is, that it's a ranged list that packs a stupid melee punch as well. Satyxis Raiders (Power swell), Nyss Hunters (Weapon masters), and Croe's (Poison against living) can really make a mess of things.

    Against Legion you rush him, and take him down in melee. Satyxis Raiders hitting a Ravagore with Parasite and Withering (run in a Arc Node), will do 3+ (4d6+14), and 3+ (3d6+13) each, so a Ravagore goes down to three of them (two if you roll just slightly above average).

    eLylyths feat will be devastating, but you can engage him with the Satyxis from turn one if you allow him to go first, making his ability to pull a flawless feat turn very unlikely. If he has RavagoreS and Bolt throwerS, he probably won't have the models required to free up his heavy guns before it's to late.

    It's tough, but the Satyxis/Nyss/Croe's list should make for a fair fight.

  8. Cygnar isn't to bad, as they don't have stealth battlegroups. You just need to remove his anti-stealth on feat turn, throw out a crippling grasp and take his mauled jacks down in melee (you still have 20+ weapon masters).

    A few lists will be trouble, like dual Cyclones, but without Cyclones he's in deep trouble. Most Cygnar casters are also horribly vulnerable to pop & drop.

    If you do come up against Cyclones, they've got one weakness: 10" range. Run a node around (or through if you're a brave man) and have Deneghra Feat, Parasite one, and Cripple the other.

    With Dougal both Croe's and Nyss can fire from outside the templates, and should be enough to kill them both, and he's down 18 points. Then spread the Satyxis out to screen and occupy the center, and you should be way ahead of him.

  9. Sounds really interesting :) The Satyxis setup you mention, what does that include? I was thinking about a list like this, but I think it might lack a Satyxis Raider Captain:

    Warwitch Deneghra +5 points
    * 2x Nightwretch 4 points each

    Bane Lord Tartarus 4 points
    6 Bane Thralls 5 points
    * Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3 points
    Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist 2 points
    Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile 2 points
    10 Nyss Hunters 10 points
    2x Pistol Wraith 3 points each
    10 Satyxis Raiders 8 points
    * Satyxis Sea Witch 2 points
    Withershadow Combine 5 points

    I think the hard part about playing vs shooty legion is making sure that your caster doesn't get shot to pieces. Taking cover is a good thing ofc, but isn't always enough. Bolt throwers can shoot you out of cover and even every beast that tries to harm your caster in any way, will be able to boost both to hit and damage, as the opponent is most likely going all out at this point. At least that's what usually happens to me :) I don't have that much experience against Cygnar yet, but after reading what you posted here about them, I actually don't find that too intimidating :)

  10. God damn it, I need a Skarlock as well ofc. Gotta take something out, but what???? Seems like the list has everything it need except a Skarlock and A Raider Captain :)

  11. This was the setup I used, and despite being hard to manage on the table, it's a disgusting list.

    Warwitch Deneghra
    - Nightwretch/Deathripper
    - Nightwretch/Deathripper
    Skarlock Thrall
    Croe's Cutthroats (Full)
    Nyss Hunters (Full)
    Satyxis Raiders (Full)
    - Sea Witch
    The Withershadow Combine
    Gorman di Wulfe
    Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
    Satyxis Raider Captain
    Warwitch Siren
    Warwitch Siren

    In a round of shooting it can put out more than thirty shots/sprays/blasts, and it has twenty available weapon masters (thirty against living models, since Croe's have Poison).

    Roughly half the models Advance Deploy, and they all have Pathfinder. It's not a guaranteed win, but it's a fair fight :)

  12. I cooked up this list, as I've wanted to give Blackbane's some playtime again (haven't used them since DM). Your list seems really interesting, but contains a lot of stuff I'm not used to run, so I'm thinking trying it out a bit at a time. So I'm going with Dougal and the Nyss Hunters here, to try em out, and then I'll probably try out the Cutthroats later ;)

    Warwitch Deneghra +5 points
    * 2x Nightwretch 4 points each
    * Skarlock Thrall 2 points

    Bane Lord Tartarus 4 points
    6 Bane Thralls 5 points
    * Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3 points
    10 Blackbane's Ghost Raiders 9 points
    Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist 2 points
    Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile 2 points
    10 Nyss Hunters 10 points
    Pistol Wraith 3 points
    Warwitch Siren 2 points
    Withershadow Combine 5 points

    Comments and ideas are, as always, welcome ;)

  13. I think the list will do well, but I found the ranged variant slightly more powerful, since melee threats are vulnerable to several feats in the game.

    Activation sequence, room on the table, and time restraints aside, it's the most powerful list I've ever made.

  14. Uh, one thing though. With pDenny I'll take Deathrippers every time, as she has enough debuffs to make them eat through Khador heavies.

  15. You might be right about the ranged version being more powerful. For a long time I've had it as personal project to figure out a list where the Blackbane's would really shine. I've given them a break like I said, but now I'm back at it. I'm not sure it's possible to build a list arround them like you can do it with banes for instance and maybe this is just stupid :) All the time when I build a list and I want to take bb's, there's always something I find would fit better into the list. I'm hoping to find some casters and models that work really well with them, as well as a kind of concept for the list, like a battle plan for how the list should be run vs different kind of opponent lists.

  16. I actually decided to play the pDenny list in my game Friday. It was a very good game vs eVayl. I didn't get to destroy that much of the opponents list, but I did kill some of his stuff. I forgot about the magic spray of his Sorceress, but luckily enough, it didn't kill that many Blackbane's. I then decided that it had to die, for the Blackbane's to be able to do their thing :) I actually think that the Blackbane's more or less won me the game, when I ran them into his ranks, and engaged all kinds of things with them, making his activations a hell. His Angelius was a bit annoying though as he could still push the Blackbane's with it's animus. I should have done more to kill it, but in the end it didn't matter. I won by doing a Scourge knockdown on Vayl and shooting her with 5 Nyss hunters and then charging her with 5 Blackbane's. There was nothing she could do about that in her current position :)

  17. Yeah xD Even though I haven't played that much pDenny outside of battlebox games, it felt like a really good list. I actually think it's powerful enough to be a tournament list. It does have 40 models though, which is a bit much I think. The most important thing for me though, is that I found the list very fun to play. Now I know you feel different about playing pDenny :) but as this is my first game with her in like a year I'm not that much up to speed on how to play her. Maybe after a couple of games I'll realize that she's stupidly powerful and put away for some time :)

  18. It does depend on your meta. If you're facing eCaine, eHaley, eLylyth, and Kromac all the time, then stick with her in good conscience.

  19. It varies a bit what I'm facing, but mostly Legion and Khador. Just got my army transport not long ago, but before that, all my Cryx stuff was at a friends place. He has a gaming table and I do not, so the logical choice was for my army to occupy one of his shelves, heavily surrounded on all fronts by Khador and Legion xD We mostly try out all kinds of different stuff, and do what we can to make the games enjoyable for both. But sometimes I do face the really good casters like eLylyth, Saeryn, Old Witch and so on.

  20. Go ahead and keep her then, but make sure you notice if the eye twitching begins :)

  21. Hehehe :) Usually can't stick to only one caster for too long at a time. Right now I'm playing both pDenny, Terminus, Mortenebra and thinking about giving the coven another go.

  22. What about this list....
    warwitch deneghra +5
    deathripper 4
    nightwretch x 2 8
    leviathan 9
    skarlock 2

    BLT 4
    6 bane thralls 5
    -UA 3
    gorman 2
    10 mechanithralls5
    1 brute 1
    necrosurgeon 2
    pistol wraith 3
    warwitch 2

    For the last 5 points I have been between bile thralls or WSC.
    I like to run them in 2 groups that meet in the middle with the leviathan shooting over mcthralls and the banes going with gorman for some screen or black oil/ rust.
    Any contstructive comments ?

  23. PDenny is the caster I use predominantly because she was the caster that was in the battlebox I bought when I first got into playing Warmachine. I bet I've played well over 25 games with her now against many different lists and, despite being told by numerous people that she is an 'autowin' caster, I've never come close to winning a game with her! In fact I got so tired of losing games that I put her on the shelf and started playing Mortenebra instead, now I sometimes do win games. I might not be the world's best player, but I don't accept that she is as powerful as people claim. Especially not for an inexperienced player. For starters she's extremely weak, then there's the fact that she's weak and did I mention that she's extremely weak. This means that, despite all her tricks, she'll die to a gnats fart. All it takes to lose a game with her is to mis-judge your opponents charge distances by half an inch and she's dead, even to a light warbeast or solo.

    Just out of interest, if you're wondering what kind of a list you'd need to run to lose that many times with pDenny, it's:


    max mcthralls

    min biles (another 'powerful' unit I just don't get)

    some arcnodes

    a slayer (I know, they're shit)


    couple of sirens

    That's about 35pts!

    I can't play Banes because I'm too poor to afford £50+ for a unit but the other stuff is pretty standard so where am I going wrong?

    P.S. I really like your site, it's definately the best WM/Hs site I've come across so far so thanks for the effort, I enjoy reading your stuff!

    1. I hope you've found the new one as well :)

      As I see it, your problem is army composition. A single unit of Mechanithralls will be blown of the table before ever reaching the enemy, so invest in a Necrosurgeon so you can bring some back. The best would be to save up for something else though, like Banes, Satyxis Raiders, or Nyss Hunters.

      Bile Thralls are great, but not so much with pDeneghra. it's not a bad choice, but with pDeneghra there are much better units out there. The Slayer is indeed shit, but if money is tight...

      Give me a list of the models you have available, and a rough budget for new purchases, and I'll see what I can cook up for you.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Hi Lamoron,

    Thanks very much for your reply,and appologies for the slow response!

    Yes, I've found your new website. I've also found the archive of Cryx tactics that you've put together on the PP forums. Thanks very much for taking the effort to put these excellent resources together.

    I've actually got quite a few modeels squirreled away, and I recently got bought some styxis raiders + UA and captain.

    I've just signed up for the Machinations:Anomaly league at my local gaming club and have decided to concentrate on 2 casters (mortenebra and pDenny) with a few solid lists.

    The models I have that might go with pDenny are:

    lots of arcnodes(2x all of them except the Nightwretches)

    lots of heavies (2xcrabjacks, Reaper, Seether, Slayer)

    min Biles

    max Mechanithralls or 2x min mcthalls

    max Stayxis Raiders

    Stitch thrall and Necrosurgeon

    Pistol Wraith

    Machine wraith



    I'm pretty skint at the moment but I wouldn't mind spending another £20.00 or so on new models.

    What would a decent 25 an 35pt list look like out of those models?

    How about:

    pDenny (+5)

    Deathripper (4)

    Ripjaw (5)

    skarlock (2)

    max Stayxis Raiders, UA and Captain (12)

    max Mechanithralls (5)

    necrosurgeon and co. (2)


    Does that look any good? What would you change? What would you add to make it up to a 35pt list?

    thanks for your help


  26. I would never field pDeneghra without a Warwitch Siren to power boost an arc node, and several things that can shoot. The pDeneghra pop'n'drop is infamous for a reason :D

  27. OK, I'll give that a try and let you know how it goes! Thanks for the advice.