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March 30, 2012 by darrell
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Brush4Hire has sent us in a 35pt Retribution army list for Warmachine, what will Andy & darrell think of it?
My 2 cents
Household riflemen suffer from having to compete against 2 other better units that can shoot, i.e. Invictors and the Mage Hunter Strike Force, the latter of which cost the same amount of points.
Halberdiers for me, are one of the better units RoS has. Stats wise they’re not that impressive, but it’s all the extra rules they come up with that make the unit shine especially with the Officer.
Move 9 inches in shield wall (1 more armour than the Invictors); on the mini-feat turn on the charge (which you should get), I think you’re looking at an effective Mat 8, P+S 14 + 3d6 per warrior with the option to CMA, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to place things and still hit with having ranked attack.
If something wants to charge them, then due to set defense, they’re at Def 15.
The Hydra isn’t typically great, but when loaded up with focus, it does do fairly well with Vyros’ battlegroup ability (Birds Eye) and Kael’s Phantom Hunter.
I have to say I’m slightly surprised about the opinion on the Pheonix, which I think is very good for 10 points; I’d have thought what with the talk about Invictors, you’d at least want a Jack with reach.
The problem with Hydra is a focus problem. All the of the Retribution warcasters lack the focus to really pump up a Hydra. Often you’ll have upkeep spells and their own offensive spells that take priority. That’s why the new Heavy warjacks are so great. They don’t require as much focus from our casters. One more comment about the Phoenix, the Phoenix Field makes him the hardest of the old heavies to take down. Auto-heal without spending focus for his shields is gold. Get a bad roll or need more healing drop a focus and effectively get two chances to bring his shield back to full. It’s why I prefer the Phoenix over the Manticore nearly every time.
The Hydra doesn’t really have a focus problem, what with its ability to retain it with Focus Battery. Give it 3 focus the first turn, and you should be fine. If your opponent is silly enough to hit it with little hits, then that’s a bonus.
The Hydra you should be using to shoot with (with 3 focus, it’s gun is range 15, power 15), and it’s Vyros and Kael who help it out the most what with it being allowed to ignore LoS.
But at 9 points, and not being all that great at melee in addition to the competition elsewhere (Banshee being used with Witch Hound?), I’d still give the Hydra a miss.
The Phoenix field does make it harder to kill, but anything that would wreck a Manticore is still going to wreck a Pheonix. You’ll probably find people only attack it knowing that they’re going to wreck it.
Not so much a Hydra problem, but a warcaster problem finding focus to share.
Agreed, most wise opponents know to take down the Phoenix as quickly as possible and in one turn if possible. That way the Phoenix Field doesn’t come into play. The big catch is it will take all of an opponents’ force to take one down, and if too many dice don’t roll their way the Phoenix can come back to life fairly quickly. I ran a game last week. The Phoenix was damaged, but the force generator made it and with an Arcanist next to him, his Phoenix Field and one point of focus he was at fixed next turn.
I LOVE the new heavies. They are much tougher and the Banshee is outstanding! They are game changers, because Retribution has warjacks that can take some hits and not fold, finally.
Like Andy, I have a favorites list, just slightly different: *new* Banshee — tough, powerful jack that does it all Phoenix — depends on caster, but this jacks does everything well and is an arcnode Mage Hunter Assassin x2 — dangerous ladies=winners Fane Knight Skeryth — hard hitter lacking in most other units Dahlia & Skarath — cool abilities that protect the more fragile Ret. units, tough little snake
Yes, it is amazing more do not venture into the land of Ios. They’re one of the best armies, but they do require some finesse. The Phoenix is much like the Dawnguard Invictors that you love so much, Andy. It has a great toolset of powerful ranged attack, reach in combat (so you can still shoot a target after an attack or even use his arc node) AND is an arc node. This is huge with Kaelyssa as she can use her spells from a safe distance. She’s a physically weak warcaster and needs to keep her distance, but at the same time needs to cast her spells as she can shut down enemy warjacks/warbeasts with her *energy syphon, arcantrik bolt, backlash* spell, or sniping solos from a safe range. 10 points is a lot, but at least one Phoenix for her has been well worth the extra two points invested as it brings out the best in this warcaster. I like the Manticore for his raw power and reduced points, but with Kael you may want to consider one Manticore and one Phoenix. Fleetey has a good point with Halberdiers at ten points with their UA, they provide a tough as nails force that can hold the line or be devastating offensively. I like them better for 50 point games when you can take them and Invictors. Glad to see the Warmachine reviews back and thanks for the good advice Andy. Always good to hear your take, especially on the army I’m playing. cheers!
Lots of great input in the chat on this one. For my two cents I avoid bringing invictors for melee unless I have a plan to flank with them. If I have a jack that can easily provide them that flank bonus they are gold, but if not they are a little low on POW in melee. Their ranged game is always strong, but at 10 points they had better bring their whole hybrid package. The riflemen have their flaws, but they do have one big thing going for them most dedicated ranged units don’t; they can still be useful shooting for at least one turn after things get into melee. ‘Whites of their eyes’ Give you a turn to clear your other models out of melee before activations or clean up those last few damage boxes left on a hard target. It’s the only thing that makes them unique, so you better have a plan to use it.
Glad to see war machine videos coming out. Including the very critical analysis of the army list
I love playing those Iosian Elves, but as I’ve said I find I have a core set of choices that I keep falling back on.
Invictors are hands down, one of my favourite units in the game… As Darrell would say… “they just do it!”
Perhaps Darrell and I will do a video series on the Retribution book… Of you fancy that drop a comment below.
Yes! Cover Retribution! You have been begged, warned, threatened, or encouraged…whatever gets the job done. They’re the least know and least played Warmachine faction and it’s good to get more of the word out about them.
Is your “go to” list: Kael, Manticore, & Invictors? Anything else? What’s your favorite warcaster?
Hydras are great, just have one of those arcanist next to it to give it its first focuspoints, than smack it with the arcanist to generate its own focus, than you have 2 the next turn due to its battery.
Yes, I’d love to see a few Retribution videos. I dont really know about them too much and would like to find out more
These warmahordes critical army lists videos are the deal regardless of faction. Whether it be the video itself or the comments there after. You will always have something very useful in the realm of Privateer Press…
thats the good thing about warmahordes, there is no unit in the game that is truly bad there are just better options to pick.
I totally agree, However with this being the case I find myself wanting to own atleast battlebox armies of each faction. Just to get the feel of how they work in combat.
Which is not as pricey with me still being a solid cryx and trollbloods player.
So it is hard to resist owning a little of each, as opposed to buying and creating one broken army after another, then watching them get nerfed with FAQ’s
As we see other “cough” game makers do I don’t buy into its a total slip or mistake in the original codex gig. Too much money changing hands and we see the same stunt over and over with each new codex release.
Dawn, Sadly, Retribution has no slick, resin-plastic battlebox like every other major faction. This is something Privateer Press really should address, because if they don’t, it will seriously limit the amount of Retribution players. Who wants to start Warmachine as a new player without a battlebox? Who wants to pay more for Kael and her battlebox group? Who wants a crew without a card deck? Ret is finally beginning to flesh out and have a few more choices and be more evenly matched with other Warmachine armies. The new heavies go a long way. Sadly, the battle engine Tick isn’t all that wonderful. Here’s hoping their colossal makes up for it.
Right on my brother in arms, so to satisfy my interest what would be the perfect battlebox for this faction if I was to take this one to task.
Based on your knowledge of them…
You are correct on them not being used much atleast not where I game at. To think of it I have never even played a retribution player.
…and I have 2 yrs invested in playing this game.
The Ret. battlebox set (it’ll only ever be sold as a battlebox once Ret. Light jacks are made plastic) is generally considered to be
Kael Griffon Chimera Manticore
As said in the video, Kael is rather general in that she has a little something for everything (although depending on which other starter set you’re up against, she can be a bit dull).
The Manticore I like; out of all the Ret. Jacks, he has the potential to do the most damage in close combat, in addition to being fairly flexible with his shooting (tip, most of the time, you’re better off spending that focus to boost his strength).
The Griffon and the Chimera I’d struggle to recommend. You can certainly make cases for them on their own, but together they’re coming in at 10 points. The Manticore is rather greedy with regards to focus, so having to fuel 2 other Jacks is just stretching it a bit.
If you started playing higher point values, chances are you’ll not use those light jacks at all so you’re wasting your money. Personally I’d swap the Griffon and the Chimera for a Pheonix.
The Pheonix typifies Ret as a faction in that he can do alot of things (arc node, hit reasonably hard in combat, decent gun, good at clearing out infantry) in addition to the fact that he finds his way into alot of lists once you expand. Money wise, he is also cheaper than buying the 2 light Jacks.
If someone was starting Ret. as a faction, I’d probably suggest
Kael Pheonix Manticore.
Nice list, Fleetey. Kaelyssa is a good warcaster, but much like Deneghra, she’s not always the best choice for a beginner. I played a charity warmachine tourney consisting of five rounds, each round, receiving a different battlebox. The two I found the most difficult to run were Skorne and Retribution (in fact, I was run over in both).
Three quick points: The good news about Kael is after some games to practice with her, you’ll see she can be very good. Sticking with her is fine, but you might also like Dawnlord Vyros. He’s not as fragile and less likely to be picked off. Plus, he has some solid spells, which are more straightforward.
Warjacks…hmmm, Manticore is great. The problem with dropping the two lights is there’s no arcnode. As mentioned, take the Phoenix as an arcnode. He brings pain be it shooting, chopping (his big sword gives him reach, quite valuable) and you can cast spells threw him at opponents. Kael needs an acrnode, Vyros is debatable. ….but, the new Banshee is just too powerful to leave behind! I suggest if you use Kael-Phoenix, Vyros-Manticore, then team them up with Banshee and fill the team out with Mage Hunter Assassins, Arcanists & Ghost Sniper.
So, here you go: Kaelyssa (-7) Phoenix (10) Banshee (10) Mage Hunter Assassin (2) Arcanist (1)
Vyros (-6) Manticore (8) Banshee (10) Mage Hunter Assassin (2) Ghost Sniper (2)
Well it depends a bit on what you want from a battlebox. Most Battleboxes are 11 points and are just Jacks and casters in addition to being more about giving a feel of what the faction is actually about, as opposed to being the best combination.
Kael is probably the best introductory caster (with the above conditions), because again, she represents Ret’s fondness for having things that can do more than one thing. Also she’s probably got the best feat when you’re dealing with those point levels / restrictions (i.e. just Jacks).
If you follow the PP suggestion of using Kael as your starter caster, then you want an arc node. If you’re wanting to keep costs down, then the Pheonix replacing the 2 light Jacks is cheaper, which means you can’t fit a Banshee in.
Someone playing Warmachine with ret as their first faction, isn’t going to like Vyros’ feat, especially compared to the other battlebox casters. The feat itself is highly situational (that is being kind) and at 11 points just doesn’t really compare to feats that knock everything down, freeze everything in line of sight, or buff armour by a chunk.
Edit, I will add (it may seem I am being very critical) that the Banshee is a very good Jack, while the other things in your list, such as the Arcanist (all Ret armies should try to fit this solo in) and the Mage Hunter Assassin (MHA) are very good recommendations..
Thanks for the critique, Fleetey. Always good to have someone looking over my shoulder. Apologies, I should have clearly stated, my list was for a 15 point starter army, not a proper battlebox.
Vyros is easier for beginners not because of his feat, but because he’s more durable and his spells are easy to master/understand. I often run Kaelyssa before Vyros, but for a beginner I think he offers an easier introduction into Retribution.
Usually, I decide a caster first. To be honest, I like them all and run whichever sort of army fits my mood. **Have been running a crazy Rahn + Battle Mages + Discordia lately (no splash damage plus Discordia’s field, niiiice). I often surprise opponents at how hard a battle mage can hit.** My auto-includes are MHA and Arcanist. Also, the Phoenix makes many of my lists. After that, it depends on which units you like and your warcaster. With Ravynn you’ll want all the shooters you can. With Vyros, you might consider Halberdiers to hold the line or hit hard on the charge.
Nice input guys,
Its a shame you guys are not local and hanging at the same game store. Sure would like to do a 35pt. list of cryx against Retribution. Just to see how I would weather the match up
I hope somebody here locally jumps on that faction
If I knew I was facing a Cryx force, Ret can do very well. They have many ways to deal with ghosts and even some units who do not grant soul tokens. Where do you play? If you get anyone interested let Fleetey and I know, we can help give them some advice to get them started. (Hope you don’t mind me volunteering you Fleetey.)
Milford, ohio place called eastside games and cards
Store owner is a war gamer as well and has like 7 tables and probably the most terain I have ever seen at any game store. He is living the dream
I also have 2 game boards in my garage one for 40k 6×4 then a 5×4 for malifaux and warmahordes. both are always under construction…
I have found you are never done building on them .
Its a hard sell for retribution without the battle box though for the newbie
I can try offer advice, although “I’m more of a pick something because you like the look of it” rather than a “play the faction with the best things possible” kinda guy.
I got into this game to play with big stompy things, but if you were to look up RoS lists (prior to the release of the most recent Jacks anyway), it was not uncommon to see 35 point lists with only one Heavy Jack and the rest infantry (mainly because RoS infantry is very strong).
I’ll note that the P+S of Ret. Jacks are balanced around the existence of the Arcanist being able to give out his Jack buff, so if you don’t include this little chap, then you’re hindering yourself.
You can make a case for most things in the RoS book. Some of it might not be “optimal”, but they have their uses. In my opinion, the only real duff things in RoS are Nayl (for many reasons) and the Dawnguard Destors (this might change depending on the new version of Vyros coming out).
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