Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Old/Order/Darkling Covens

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These rules have be succeeded by the Cities of Sigmar Battletome.

Why play Darkling Covens[edit]

  • Most of the old Dark Elf foot troops ended up here. This faction is one of the few elf factions with universal battleline units, making them useful allies.
  • Like the Freeguilds, it operates similarly to line Combat style sprinkled with wizard commanders.
  • Lots of conversion options using models from other ranges, such as the Daughters of Khaine.

Pro[edit]

  • Can field many cheap Wizards, allowing for many Unbinding, Realm spells and Endless spell chances.
  • Has a dragon.
  • Great selection of battleline units.

Con[edit]

  • Model poses are excruciatingly static, which could also be a pro depending on your point of view. This can also be remedied somewhat by doing some conversions.
  • Currently only two leader options.
  • Reliant on allies to fill positions the army currently lacks, such as cavalry or a beatstick.

Rulebooks[edit]

There isn't currently a Battletome for Darkling Covens

  • The Grand Alliance Order book has all the Warscrolls and Battalions.
  • This should be supplemented with the Grand Alliance Order Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
  • Allegiance Abilities are in the General's Handbook 2018.
  • Matched play points are in the General's Handbook 2018.
  • Alternatively up to date Warscrolls can be found in the WH AoS app.

As with all factions you'll want:

  • The core rules are either downloadable or in the Core Book.
  • Games taking place in a Realm need the Realm of Battle rules from the Core Book.
  • In you want to take advantage of realm specific artefacts you'll need the Artefacts Of The Realms section from the Malign Sorcery book.
  • Matched play battleplans are split across the Core Book and General's handbook 2018.
  • All books should be supplemented with any updates from the FAQs.

Allegiance Abilities[edit]

Lethal Coordination: When working out the number of models a unit of Dreadspears, Bleakswords, or Darkshards contains for the purposes of any abilities, you add the number of friendly Dreadspear, Bleaksword and Darkshard models within 6".

Tyrannical Ruler: If a friendly Darkling Coven unit has to take a battleshock test while within 3" of the general, you can choose for the unit to take a mortal wound instead of taking the battleshock test.

  • Also, your general has access to two more Command Abilities:
    • Command Underlings: A friendly Darkling Coven unit within 12" can run and shoot/charge in the same turn.
    • Inspire Hatred: A friendly Darkling Coven unit within 12" of the general can re-roll wound rolls of 1 until the next hero phase.

Command Traits[edit]

  1. Merciless: If an enemy unit fails a battleshock test while within 12" of the general, D3 additional models flee.
  2. Arrogant Prowess: The general can reroll hits of 1.
  3. Sustained by Misery: The general heals D3 wounds in any combat phase where a model is slain within 12" - the general does not need to be the one doing the killing.
  4. Master of the Sorcerous Arts: Add +1 to casting/unbinding rolls. If the general is not a wizard, then the become one and can cast/unbind like a Sorceress.
  5. Effortless Grace: Add +1 to the general's saving throws.
  6. Impossibly Swift: Attacks that target the general suffer a -1 to hit.

Darkling Covens Artefacts[edit]

  1. Shadowshroud Ring: Once per battle, can choose to fly until your next hero phase, however you reduce the maximum range of your attacks, spells, and abilities to 3" while you do.
  2. Incorporeal Retainer: The owner can ignore wounds or mortal wounds on a roll of 6.
  3. Anklet of Epiphany:Add 6" to the range of spells cast so long as the caster is in/on a terrain Piece.
  4. Decanter of Egos: Once per battle you can add 3" to the movement characteristic of all friendly Darkling Coven units within 6" during the movement phase.
  5. Heart of Woe: If the model is slain in the combat phase, each enemy unit within 3" suffers D3 mortal wounds.
  6. Shadesliver: One melee weapon owned by the model gains +1 damage to its profile each time it inflicts a wound in the combat phase. for the rest of the battle, and is cumulative.

Warscrolls[edit]

The common keywords of these warscrolls are: ORDER, AELF and DARKLING COVEN.

Leaders[edit]

  • Sorceress: Much better than she seems. A basic 1 spell/unbind Wizard, with awful Save, but you can kill one Darkling Coven at 3" to give her +2 to cast for the turn. Her usefulness lays in her unique spell, which at 7+ to cast, deals a unit at 16" a mortal wound, and gives it -1 to hit rolls until your next Hero phase. This can be better (mortal wound aside) than using Mystic Shield on one of your units (especially since Mystic Shield only gives rerolls of 1 to Save now) because it will turn off abilities of the unit that make something on a hit roll of 6+. Also, it's better if you are attacking a big unit with some of yours because it will affect all of its attacks, even if it splits them between your units. To top it off, if you sacrifice one of your models, you cast it on 5+, and the sacrifice will be offset because of the mortal wound you deal with the unit, very nice. Just be wary that you'll have to take Battleshock for the unit with the sacrificed model because all losses count.
  • Sorceress on Black Dragon: Also counts as Behemoth. A Dragon with worse melee stats than usual and, sadly, only 5+ Save. She has the same "sacrifice" ability of the basic Sorceress and a unique spell that, on 6+, makes you roll 6 dice and deals a mortal wound to a unit within 18" each time you get lower than the best To Hit value of that unit. So, to an elite unit with 3+ to hit you only deal an average 2 mortal wounds, but against a basic unit with 4+ to hit you deal an average 3 mortal wounds, making it quite useful. Most wizards tend to hit on 4+ so they'd be good targets. All in all, not a great unit, but not terrible either (combo that spell with word of pain like a proper druchii).
    • Could also be used as the army's objective grabber with its 14" move when healthy

Troops[edit]

  • Dreadspears: Counts as Battleline. Your usual murderous spearelves. Basic infantry stats, two-rank attacks because of 2" spear range (3 rank fighting, if base to base), and re-roll saves of 1 and 2 in combat. They also get bonuses to hit with 20+ models, and if they didn't move the last turn. Not bad, not great, but as defensive units (because they're better it they don't move) they can be good, especially in cover. Useful to do the 300 things and guard some narrow pass between two impassable pieces of terrain.
  • Bleakswords: Counts as Battleline. Like Dreadspears but with swords. Better base To Hit roll, but no extra bonuses. Each hit of 6+ gets you a new attack, and with 20+ models instead you get it on 5+, so they make 1/3 extra attacks, which generates new attacks. If you manage to give them +1 to hit with something they can be good, but they'll never be truly killy. Like it usually happened in real life with soldiers equipped with swords, they aren't particularly great at anything, but also not particularly bad at anything. In offense or defense they'll do the job, but don't expect marvels of them.
  • Darkshards: Counts as Battleline. Dakka Dark Elves. They make 2 attacks each with their crossbows, and get +1 to hit when having 20+ models and not in combat. But their range of 16" is too low, even taking into account that they shoot twice. Also, the re-roll they get to their 5+ Save is only in combat, where you don't want them to be. Overall, inferior to the range units of other factions. You can only make them shine by using them to shoot already engaged enemy units, but a shooty unit should be able to do that and also, you know, attack things far away.
    • Useful as support units for a line of Dreadspears. Take 1-2 for every 3 units of Dreadspears, use them to rain the pain on units that your spearmen are engaging. They are basically win-this-particular-combat units.
  • Black Guard: A little underwhelming for elite bodyguards, but still good. Great stats, and two 2" range 3+/3+/-1/1 attacks, which is no joke, I tell you. They also re-roll 1's to hit. They're almost unbreakable and fight in two ranks, so they're powerful and versatile. Even the smallest bonus to their attacks will turn them into mincemeats, but as it is, Darking Covens have no way of doing this, let's wait and hope.
  • Executioners: Elves whose hobby is killing people in interesting ways. At last a truly good unit. Elite stats (7 Bravery, 4+ Save), and they get each 2 3+/3+/-/1 attacks. But the brutal thing about them is that, with a 6+ to hit, they eviscerate the enemy, and instead they deal TWO mortal wounds. Yes, they get the same ability as Stormcast's Retributors. That makes them truly terrifying against things with high Saves: a unit of 10 will make, on average, seven mortal wounds in addition to the rest of their attacks. They're good against anything, but don't waste them on non-elite things, and try to protect them if you can.

Battalions[edit]

Thrall Warhost[edit]

Found in the Grand Alliance: Order book. Found in Grand Alliance Order min. 900 pt., max. 5290 pt.

1-6 Sorceresses or Sorceresses on Black Dragons, 1 unit of Black Guard, 1 unit of Executioners, 3-6 units chosen from: Dreadspears, Bleakswords, Darkshards

  • ABILITIES - Kill Them Now!: Pick a Sorceress model to be the leader of the Coven at the beginning of the game. During your hero phase pick a unit from this battalion that is within 12" of an enemy and 18" of the Coven Master. That unit can charge as if it were the charge phase and then pile in and attack as if it were the combat phase. This does NOT stop them from charging, piling in and attacking normally later that turn.

Army Building[edit]

Allied Armies[edit]

  • Order Serpentis: lizard cavalry, a hydra, & a not squishy dragon.
  • Daughters of Khaine: Fast murder Aelfs.
  • Idoneth Deepkin: Fast sea Aelf cavalry that can flank
  • Scourge Privateers: Pirate Aelfs and a sea monster
  • Shadowblades: a surprise assassin and horses.
  • Stormcast Eternals: Gives longer range attacks and tougher body

Mercenary Companies[edit]

  • Blacksmoke Battery:
  • Greyfyrd:
  • Grugg Brothers:
  • Gutstuffers:
  • Nimyard’s Rough-Riders:
  • Order of the Blood-Drenched Rose:
  • Rampagers:
  • Skroug’s Menagerie:
  • Sons of the Lichemaster:
  • Tenebrous Court: