lördag 20 juni 2015

Reckoning and the Retribution!

So I figured I would talk a bit about the Retribution releases in the latest expansion book for Warmachine; Reckoning.

I think Reckoning was a really great book for every faction, they all got several nice and useful models and the amount of chaff was pretty low. But since this blog doesn't deal with non-Elves, we'll keep to the important part; the Retribution models.

Thyron, sword of truth

The biggest elf on the block!

New warcasters are always very exciting as a Retribution player, since we have a lot fewer than everyone else there's still a lot of room for new playstyles and options for our new casters.
Thyron really embodies this; he brings a bunch of new abilities to the faction, many who have been desired for a long time.

Thyron has a very solid statline, with SPD 6, MAT 7, DEF 15, ARM 16 and 18 boxes he is decently fast, hits well and can take some hits before going down. He has a single weapon, Remembrance, which is a P+S 13 magical weapon with Reach and Weaponmaster, meaning that when Thyron hits he hits hard.

His special rules further strengthens his martial theme, with Blade shield (+2 DEF vs shooting attacks), Riposte (if you miss him in melee he gets to swing back at you) and finally Field marshal [Cleave] (each model in his battlegroup can, once per turn after killing a model, make an additional attack). It's a good set of abilities, they're all fairly situational but they further increase his survivability and the damage output of both himself and his warjacks. Cleave synergises very well with his feat, since a warjack (or Thyron himself) can charge a model blocking a charge lane, kill it, Side step and then use the Cleave attack on the intended target, thereby not losing you any attacks.

His feat, Blades of vengeance, grants Thyron and all friendly Faction members who activate in his CTRL area an additional dice on melee attacks and Side steps.
This is a typical Retribution feat in that it grants more dice and a little side effect, but contrary to other feats' side effects (Swift hunter, +2 RNG on spells) this side effect is really good. Side step is great on any of our melee jacks and works well with most of our infantry, especially the Infiltrators and the Battle mages. The mages can do some real scenario work with Side step and Beat back.
The extra dice is of course good for all our melee infantry, but I think it synergises best with his jack(s).

His spell list reads kind of like the wishlist of a Retribution player:
Assail is the single target jack buff I've been wanting for ages. It combines focus efficiency and a movement bonus in a great package. The only drawback is that it's expensive to cast, meaning you're unlikely to cycle it, and it prohibits you from getting all your three upkeeps out on turn 1.
Ground zero is probably not the most exciting damage spell in the game, but it offers some scenario potential with the push effect. Since this is Thyron's only damage spell it means that he is unable to deal any damage at range, it's all about the melee!
Onslaught How long have Retribution players asked for Pathfinder for their infantry? Forever is the answer! Vyros2 did provide a Pathfinder spell but it was a clunky one that doesn't mesh with his preferred playstyle so it has been largely ignored, but here finally is a Pathfinder spell that all our melee infantry can make great use out of!
Spellpiercer We already have a lot of models that ignore bonuses from spells, but those models generally boast weak attacks. Now your Dawnguard and Houseguard can also enjoy ignoring DEF and ARM buffs, and as an added bonus your entire army can now kill ghosts without a problem.
Storm rager There's the age-old mumbling about how Ret can never get any damage buffs because Arcane assassin and the Strike force, but here it is, a bona fide damage buff that you can put on any of our crazy solos!

In my opinion Thyron is a great package that offers a lot of new things to the faction, both solutions to old problems (Pathfinder) and interesting spells that buff many of our jacks and solos. I don't think he'll end up being as strong as Vyros2 or Issyria, but he's definitely in contention for the third place.


"Fade to black..."

When asked about which warcaster you'd most want a character jack for, I don't think most Retribution players would answer Garryth. But a character jack he got nonetheless!
Despite being in league with our worst caster, Moros is pretty decent. It's a bit ironic that out of all our casters, Garryth is probably the least likely to actually include Moros in a list.

SPD 6, MAT 7, RAT 6, DEF 12, ARM 16
6 pts
Death shadow - RNG 8 POW 12 magical gun with Paralysis (living enemies hit have their DEF reduced to 7 and can't run or charge for one round).
2x Blade - P+S 13 swords with Grievous wounds.
Same grid layout as a Gorgon.

Affinity [Garryth] - Moros gains Apparition.
Duelist - +2 DEF vs melee attacks.
Field dependant - While the Generator is crippled, Moros lose Stealth and his gun.
Special issue [Garryth] - Moros can be taken in Garryth's theme forces.

Moros is definitely nothing earth-shattering, and I think he's probably our "worst" release in this book. I still maintain that he's pretty solid though, if this is the worst model you got in a book you did good!
He's got the standard bump in MAT and RAT that most character jacks get, and he brings some decent hitting power plus Grievous wounds, which can make a real difference in some matchups. His gun is great, and if you can protect him I think that's where you'll get the most out of him. Casters with Admonition will make great use out of this guy, especially Ossyan who wants to bring a lot of high-POW shooting with questionable accuracy.
Duelist means he might survive for some time in melee, although with the crappy base defensive stats that all Myrmidons except Imperatus are riddled with, it's far from a given. DEF 14 is not high enough to jam with in my experience.
Finally Stealth is a great rule to have. It might not do anything vs Legion but it will be very useful in the Troll and Skorne matchups, where you might want to drop Ossyan.


Such an awesome piece of artwork. I really hope the model lives up to it.

The big (heh) thing in this book are the new colossals. Every faction except Mercenaries got one (and Mercenaries already had two so they don't get to complain about missing out) and ours is so far the only colossal without a gun that deals damage, and it's also the cheapest colossal so far points-wise.

SPD 5, STR 16, MAT 6, RAT 5, DEF 10, ARM 19
64 boxes (same grid as Hyperion)
17 pts (!), FA 2.
Tractor beam - RNG 12 ROF 1 gun with no POW but Rapid shot [3] (3 initials) and Force grip: models hit by the Tractor beam can be pushed up to 3" in any direction.
2x Inferno fist - P+S 20 weapons with Open fist, Continuous fire and Flame burst (when you box an enemy model with this weapon, enemy models within 1" of that model suffer Continuous fire).

Immunity: fire
Field dependant - While the Generator is crippled you lose Force barrier, Force gate and the gun (I really hate Field dependant...)
Force barrier - +2 DEF vs Ranged attack rolls and immune to blast damage.
Force gate - You can spend focus during your activation to gain the Force gate abilities. For each focus you spend you gain one ability of your choice. They last for a round.
 - Broadcast power - Each friendly Myrmidon within 3" is allocated 1 focus. Myrmidons can only receive 1 focus per turn from Broadcast power (so no using it twice or stacking it with multiple Helioses).
 - Distortion field - Helios gains +2 DEF and Poltergeist (models that miss Helios with an attack are pushed D3" directly away).
 - Repulsor field - When you hit Helios with a melee attack you are pushed 1" directly away.
Virtuoso - Shoot and fight in the same activation!

The Helios is a really interesting piece. The lack of a damaging gun hurts, but you get a lot of utility and staying power instead. The main army support comes from the Tractor beam. Being able to pull models closer to your army to kill them, or away from your guys so they're safe is a really powerful tool. RAT 5 makes this ability unreliable or costly against anything with a DEF higher than 10, but you can expect at least 1 hit against models up to DEF 13. If you absolutely need to hit you can boost, but that will cost you Force gate abilities.
Force gate is the other thing that makes the Helios such an interesting piece. Broadcast power provides a lot of focus efficiency if you field several warjacks in addition to the Helios. Since this is an expensive colossal you're probably not doing that in a lot of lists, but with for example Vyros2 Griffon spam or Kaelyssa's Force wall it is a very powerful option. Distortion field and Repulsor field mesh together to make the Helios into the most survivable model in the game. Being DEF 14 vs shooting is very good for a colossal, this means that Slag trolls will need 9s to hit you, meaning even boosted hits stand a real chance of missing. In melee the enemy need something to stop the pushes or they will get a maximum of three attacks onto the Helios per enemy model. Couple this with Inviolable resolve and the Helios becomes ridiculously hard to remove.
Finally, but definitely not least, is Immunity: fire. This might not seem like such a big deal, but being basically immune to Legion and Protectorate shooting is a fantastic advantage in those matchups, especially since you are probably dropping Griffon spam into them anyway.

House Vyre Electromancers

I imagine this is what an Iosan boyband would look like.

When spoilers started trickling in from Lock and Load these guys definitely caught my attention. I thought they were going to be our 3-man character unit but instead they turned out to be similar to Stormfall archers, a small unit with a big toolbox. They're probably not as great as I think, but I really love the concept and will be trying them out a lot when they're released.

SPD 6, MAT 6, RAT 6, DEF 13, ARM 12, CMD 9
3 guys for 4 pts, FA 2.
Inducer bolt - RNG 10 POW 12 magical gun (damage type electricity) with three different attack types, just like Stormfall archers. The types are:
 - Energy leak - For each hit a warjack suffers, it can be allocated one less focus for one round. Models immune to Disruption are immune to this effect as well.
 - Lightning generator - D3 electro leaps if you hit the target.
 - Pulse fire - Target suffers D3 damage rolls instead of one.
Storm inducer - Reach magical weapon with P+S 11 and Cortex damage (when you hit a warjack, it suffers one damage in the first available Cortex box).
Immunity: electricity

I think this unit has great potential. A lot of people have complained about their short range and how it will get them killed, but I think you can hold them pretty far back early game and still do work. They can bounce Electro leaps off of your warjacks into important enemy infantry and solos, and from a safe distance. Electro leaps in general are a great tool since they offer us a good way to remove support models that are hiding out behind other stuff. Now sure, the MHSF can also do this, but if the support model has Stealth or high DEF the MHSF are unreliable. Electro leaps get around all that. It will be extra fun if you're playing a scenario with objectives, since you will have two targeting beacons to bounce your Electro leaps from. Also fantastic for unjamming your colossal or warjacks. Energy leak would have been great if it worked on colossals, but as it is it might as well not be printed on the card, it will never be used. Pulse fire is a situational tool, but under the right circumstances it will deal a lot of damage to heavier targets. Couple it with Kiss of Lyliss and/or Ossyan's feat and watch them blow up a heavy by themselves.
Also this is finally one of the fabled Vyre units for Ossyan's theme force.

Soulless voidtracer

"You shall not cast!"

These guys really came out of nowhere. There were no rumours at all about them before Lock and Load so they were an extremely pleasant surprise.

SPD 6, MAT 6, DEF 13, ARM 13, CMD 5
1 pt, FA 2.
Two-handed sword - P+S 12 magical sword with Reach.

Arcane vacuum - When a model in this model’s command range is targeted by an enemy spell, before the spell is resolved the enemy spellcaster takes D3 damage points. 
Spell ward

Definitely our best release in this book if you ask me. These guys provide so much for a single point that it's just ridiculous. They're Stealthed and Spell warded which is great when you want to contest zones. Arcane vacuum means you can park one of them behind any of your important models and watch them become immune to Druid and Battle mage pulls, Hex hunter bolts etc. Since Arcane vacuum stacks if you have two of them, you can do that and watch Aiyana become very uncomfortable about casting Kiss of Lyliss. Even casters might think twice about that debuff when it might result in 6 points of damage to them. It's great to have another filler option for the 1 pt slot, it's fantastic that it's also an amazing piece at that. I'm pretty sure these guys will replace Soulless escorts for most players.

Since Warmachine players seem to love rankings I figured I would end the article by ranking our releases in this book from best to least best (can't really call it worst since none of them are bad). So with the best at the top and then going down:

1. Soulless voidtracers
2. Helios
3. Thyron, sword of truth
4. House Vyre Electromancers
5. Moros

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