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Made in us
Renegade Kan Killin Orks

Since the rules PDF dropped, my friends and I have been playing non-stop Shadow War using our Necromunda book (recently exchanged for the SWA official book when one of us got it in hand) and by far my favorite kill team has turned out to be the Dark Eldar, who fit the bill exactly when you want a close combat focused, glass cannon kill team. I've tried to make Harlequins work several times, but they seem to be massively hindered by the fact that they are capped at about 1/2 of a good Wych cult's members, and they just aren't *that* much better in melee.

The Dark Eldar, on the other hand, have a few really great bread-n-butter equipment combos, scale excellently with the Combat tree (which is where you'll probably be putting most of their skills) and hit that sweet spot between being killy enough that they'll down most shooting focused targets reliably in a single round of melee, and being cheap enough that you're not incredibly mad about every lucky overwatch hit.

So, where do you start with a Wych kill team?

First off, it's smart to determine whether you want to have a shooty leader or a melee focused leader. I have tried both, the Blast Pistol is a pretty solid weapon for its price and you don't really want to pass up having at least one somewhere in your army. The only shame of it is you're kind of wasting the potential of 3 attacks base, so it might be worthwhile to equip your Syren with at least a chainhook+venom or a mirrorhelm or somesuch other fairly cheap upgrade to make her into a solid bully. The Agonizer also isn't a bad weapon at all, quite reasonably priced in SWA, and it gives your leader a niche of hunting high-value heavy weapon enemies and the like that you really want to stay down. Blast Pistol+Agonizer is a bit pricy, given that the Syren is no more durable than your bog standard wych, but as long as you're keeping her on the periphery she'll likely be ok. Another option is to turn the Syren into a third bloodbride and give her a Gladiatorial weapon, probably a shardnet+impaler so she can take on opponents with fancy weaponry thanks to her statline's natural resistance to Parry. If you go this route, Blade Venom isn't a bad add on her.

I recommend Shooting skills if you choose to focus on the leader's use of a Blast Pistol (especially if you run her Knife+Blast Pistol with no melee gear) and if melee focused the Stealth table is great for keeping your leader alive because your opponent WILL be trying to focus them down.

From there (Never thought I'd be saying this) 2 bloodbrides are pretty much a no-brainer. 2/3 of the Gladiatorial Weapons are just little bundles of discount joy and the extra attack and LD on the specialist for only 20pts (most specialists cost nearly that much more and grant no stat boosts) is just gravy. The two weapons you should be focused on for these gals are the Hydra Gaunts and the Shardnet+Impaler. Equip a specialist with Hydra Gaunts and Mirrorhelm for a fantastic bully, great at carving through low value and especially single attack targets with ease. The Shardnet on the other hand is great for sending up against opponents with upgraded melee gear, and IMO should be kept to just that in order to keep her from being overly expensive. With 3 attacks base, the Shardnet, and S+1 you probably want to save the pocket change for incidental upgrades on your other girls.

The mix of Debutantes to Wyches is really up to how confident you are in your model micromanagement. Debutantes would be an absolute no brainer if it weren't for the drop in WS (Actually usually a more important stat in SWA than Attacks, the opposite of 40k), because your first few missions you'll want advancements on your Syren and Bloodbrides before you even consider putting any on Wyches, so by the time you get down to considering them, you'll probably have moved up from Debutante anyway. I would probably recommend maxing yourself out on Debutantes for a starting killteam, because your opponents aren't going to be high skilled enough to make the WS3 really hurt.

Basic Debutante build almost always IMO is a Chainhook and Blade venom. -3 rend with rerolls to wound and 2 attacks base gives them a solid edge on most basic trooper opponents, and when they do land that hit, they're very likely to kill even if their opponent is sporting decent toughness and save. For only 90 points, this is one heck of a bargain for a basic trooper.

For your wyches, you may want to consider grabbing a splinter pistol or two in your killteam, especially if you haven't got a blast pistol Syren. Occasionally an opponent's model will be up on some obnoxious to reach platform, or is holding a flamer on overwatch, and it's worth it to pop a shot at him. Also, it's nice to have one shooting focused member for the sole purpose of eating up overwatch shots, because you're likely to be able to take a more conservative move that puts you in heavy cover if you're planning on shooting out. That way, you can try to bait overwatch shots rather than taking them on models who want to be moving up aggressively and getting in good hiding positions/charging. If you're planning on taking any kind of Shooting skills on a wych, definitely take Soulseeker rounds with their splinter pistol just to make them a bit more reliable.

Other than that, once again hook and venom is a highly effective low cost combo. I generally will skip Grenades, as their range is low for Wyches due to S3 and plasma nades are only a small blast. Not horrible because they have good strength and rend, but if you get the chance to use them, you probably could have just charged because even Debutantes are I6 and are really good at spotting out hidden models. Not worth the 5pts over a splinter pistol which also gives a highly significant 1->2 attacks base boost.

Gameplay wise, you want to close to melee as quickly and safely as possible, charge in with an expendable to suck up the inevitable overwatch, and then get as many gals into combat as you possibly can with as many enemies as possible. The gals are highly durable in melee (in Shadow War: Rendageddon a 4++ is crazy durable) and generally three possibly protracted 1v1s are better than a sure-thing 1v3 with 2 surviving enemies able to shoot you. Once you're actually in melee, a Wych is only very slightly edged out by a Harlequin in terms of combat power for far fewer points. The hard part is actually getting the girls there without being shot to pieces. The best defense you can put up against that is keeping your troopers cheap wherever possible. If you can possibly get to 9 members so you can take 2 casualties before bottle, you're going to be happy you did.

An example of a 9-girl starting team:

Syren with Blast Pistol
Bloodbride with Hydra Gauntlets
Bloodbride with Shardnet and Impaler
Wych with Splinter Pistol and Soulseeker Rounds
Wych with Blade Venom and Chainhook
Debutante with Chainhook
Debutante with Chainhook
Debutante with Chainhook
Debutante with Chainhook

Comes even to 1000. My top priorities for my spare points if I don't have to replace any of my girls is going to be Blade Venom on my Debutantes to up their reliability in causing wounds, and a Mirrorhelm on my Hydra Gauntlet Bloodbride. As it currently stands, even though my Debutantes are only wounding on 5s vs T4 and 4s vs T3, I've got enough girls to get to combat reliably and tie up all but the most numerous enemy teams, and with 2 attacks on everyone I'm very likely to win when I get there.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/04/18 22:32:18

Made in ca
Loyal Necron Lychguard

Palm Beach, FL

I'm worried there will be an errata saying the -3 save on the chainhook is a misprint.
Made in us
Renegade Kan Killin Orks

 MasterSlowPoke wrote:
I'm worried there will be an errata saying the -3 save on the chainhook is a misprint.

I don't see why there would be (it's a good upgrade, but it's hardly in "broken" territory when you compare it to Blade Venom or Splinter Pistols for your points). In the case of total disaster, you could just clip the weapon off the chainhook bits and run them as open hand with blade venom.

I think getting to 9 models is pretty vital. Luckily, I've got a pretty good stash of DE bits, and I assembled my wyches with little regard to WYSIWYG anyway, so I already had a lot of double melee weapon wych models.

I also am happy to use the offhand razorflail bit as a chainhook because razorflails really don't seem to have a niche at all. Compared to Venom+Hook flails are flat-out worse (10pts more for -1 rend vs -3 rend, AND you have to have them on a bloodbride)

bitswise, if you have any Venom kits you've probably got offhand dagger or offhand chainhook bits (I think the Venom crew comes with 1 of each). I'm not sure what the base wych kit comes with for offhand weapons other than the one razorflail. Unless you're amenable to either breaking WYSIWYG or attempting the fiddly process of cutting a pistol off the hand and replacing it with a knife (in which case, the Wych kit offers plenty of spare knives and various weapons) it's hard to break that 9 model mark and still have the vital upgrades on your leader and two specialists.

In terms of the optimal gang build you can have with just a base wych kit, not going for any conversion cutting or reaching for bits from other model kits, I think shooting for a 7-model gang is probably optimal, and only having 1-2 debutantes.

I can see it being conceivable that the rend on the chainhook was meant for the Razorflail. If so, that would give the Razorflails a niche and make them usable, but knife/chainhook would still be the basic starting gear for a debutante, and they would still be very good.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/04/11 15:13:27

Made in us
Galloping Guardsman

Lakewood, Colorado

What are your thoughts on arming my basic Wyches with Splinter Pistol & Wyche Knife? I haven't had a chance to look at the rulebook but want to start getting a gang together for when it is available separately.
Made in us
Renegade Kan Killin Orks

 NH Gunsmith wrote:
What are your thoughts on arming my basic Wyches with Splinter Pistol & Wyche Knife? I haven't had a chance to look at the rulebook but want to start getting a gang together for when it is available separately.

Splinter Pistols are solid buys, their biggest advantage is reliability over the raw power for points you get with a chainhook or blade venom investment. I think a blast pistol on a syren is indispensable and several pistols are generally good.

Reason being that occasionally, you do need to engage in a shooting war. the Corrosive Slick environment (a random table you roll on at the beginning of the game, it's not entirely uncommon) really screws over factions that want to do a ton of running and charging, meaning your best bet as a wych team is not to risk too much, to just hide+move up as close as possible and engage with pistols.

You can also use a Splinter Pistol in melee, giving you Poison 4+ attacks, which helps against some factions and sort of kind of mitigates the need for Blade Venom. But most importantly it diversifies you from a team that can ONLY engage in melee.

If you were building a team out of just a wych box, nothing else, I would split up the Razorflails and proxy each one as a Chainhook and build:

-Syren with Chainhook and Blast Pistol, Mirrorhelm
-1 with Shardnet and Impaler
-1 with Hydra Gauntlets, Mirrorhelm
-1 with knife and Chainhook (Off-hand razorflail)
-3 with Pistol and Chainhook
-3 with Pistol and Knife

That makes use of as much of the good bits in the box as possible and gets you good alternate models. The only thing I would want more of is offhand chainhooks or knives in order to make models for my debutantes (which really want to have knife/chainhook/venom, with BS3 pistols are kind of a waste and that loadout is super cheap and still quite deadly). If you are a Dark Eldar player in 40k and have access to bits from the Venom kit, it comes with 2 right-handed wych knives, these are very useful for making alternate builds with no pistol, enough so that I would recommend digging them out of your bits box.
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