Retribution of Scyrah Tactica

Retribution of Scyrah Prime Army Tactica

Work in progress

Shadows of the Retribution

General Playstyle

Shadows of the Retribution is a fairly flexible Army that can build into one of two broad playstyles. Light Mage Hunter infantry boasts high DEF and Steath with decent infantry-based shooting and highly-mobile units, while House Ellowuyr focuses on melee infantry with strong hitting power and survivability. The Army cares little for enemy defensive buffs with easy access to Blessed weapons, allowing them to scalpel out important solos and support models to cripple the opposing force.

The army draws primarily from the House Vyre stable of Retribution warjacks which sacrifice the Field Generator of the Shyeel warjacks for higher base ARM and powerful effects on their ranged weapons such as Momentum and Armor Piercing. One downside of this is that there is only a single character warjack in the Army, Moros, but the heavy Vyre chassi has a lot of powerful options to make up for that.

Warcasters

Garryth, Eye of Vengeance

Garryth is the epitome of ranged warcasters, packing a powerful sniper rifle that can be used to snipe out key targets, apply debuffs, or put serious hurt on to harder targets. As the Army’s Scout Warcaster his kit is largely geared towards supporting his battlegroup but he still packs some reasonable infantry support in the form of Mortality and his feat.

Stats

SPD 7, RAT 7, DEF 17, ARM 14, and ARC 6 are the key stats you want to be aware of. ARM 14 means he’s very vulnerable once you hit him, so leverage his high native DEF and Prowl ability to keep him safe.

Abilities

Unstoppable, Reposition [3”], Pathfinder, and Prowl combined with his high native DEF make Garryth extremely cagey. Keep him at the max range of his gun as often as possible and take advantage of any concealing terrain you can to keep him safe while still doing a lot of personal work with his rifle.

Field Marshal [Pathfinder and Prowl] gives his battlegroup cohort models a huge advantage on terrain-heavy boards. Look for places you can take advantage of this to shoot from the safety of Forests where Stealth will make it difficult for your opponent to retaliate.

Weapons

Void Singer is a RNG 13 ROF 1 POW 12 Blessed Magical sniper rifle with 3 attack types:

Armor-Piercing lets him take out moderately-tough solos and attachments in one hit or put big dents in harder targets

Dead Reckoning gives him Eyeless Sight, allowing him to bypass Stealth and Forests as well as Spells

Witch Mark is key to making the best use of Mortality. The key is pick targets that he won’t automatically kill but which you want to be able to throw more attacks into in subsequent activations. Multiwound infantry are a great target as Mortality will effect the entire unit, but don’t dismiss the power of this combo on harder targets like cohort models, tougher solos, or even leaders.

He also has a MAT 8 RNG 1 POW 11 Blessed, Magical, Weapon Master blade in case he does end up in melee, but you’re rarely going to build a strategy around this and with Unstoppable it’s often better to walk away from melee and use his gun. Still, good to keep in your back pocket when the game starts getting down to the last few models.

Spells

Fire Group is just a solid buff for the battlegroup, but make sure you think about whether you really need it before casting. It can be tempting to just get it up early in the turn to give yourself wiggle room, but Garryth is going to have lots of uses for his 6 focus on any given turn so better not to spend it if you don’t have to.

Mortality is a huge debuff for Retribution. It costs a heavy 50% of his total focus, so you definitely want to use this with Witch Mark as often as possible to save the boost to hit, but –2 DEF and ARM makes a big difference in damage against just about any target. Removing Tough and Healing is the cherry on top. In theory you can cast this at two different targets per turn but it’s going to be tricky to pull off with only AAT and ARC 6.

Repudiate is a situational spell that can be very useful in certain situations. With Mage Hunter infantry already packing Blessed on their weapons this spell isn’t going to be as useful for stripping DEF and ARM buffs as it might be in other Armies, though it can still benefit your cohort models or Ellowuyr infantry (or strip a buff that isn’t related to DEF and ARM).

Warpath should be cast turn 1 and upkept for most of the game. Combined with his Field Marshal this just gives his cohort an insane amount of movement. Use it to attack and retreat, move a warjack before it activates to get unexpected ranges and angles of attack, or extract jacks from melee before their activation so they can shoot freely (remember, Disengagement only happens during normal movement).

Feat

His feat is a little strange, but clever use of it can leave your opponent in some really uncomfortable positions. Any time an enemy model ends movement or is placed in Garryths control range you can immediately make a ranged attack at it with any friendly model in his control range that hasn’t already made an attack from the feat. This can be as simple as getting a chance to kill an enemy infantry model before they make their attacks or you can take advantage of the Harpy, Banshee, or Arcantrik Force Generator’s ability to push or knockdown enemy models to effectively negate the rest of the enemy model’s activation. Other fun combos are Eiryss 1 or Sphinx’s to strip focus off of an incoming enemy warjack or Sirens to take control of the enemy model and use it to attack one its allies.

Synergies

Garryth definitely prefers a large battlegroup, especially cohort models with strong guns. Fortunately he has access to a lot of very potent ranged warjacks so it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

  • Aeternae hit like trucks with POW 8 Armor Piercing guns, and if you take any Ellowuyr models (such as the Warden Executioner who also has solid ranged weapons) it can fully-fuel it ranged attack every turn thanks to Accumulator.

  • Banshees are perhaps the best heavy warjack in the Army and Garryth makes great use of their Momentum guns.

  • Harpies are, in my opinion, Garryth’s best friends. As light warjacks they are quite a bit cheaper than heavies while still packing an amazing RNG 12 ROF 2 POW 13 gun with Thunderbolt. Two or more of these bring solid firepower into light and medium targets as well as powerful control elements for harder targets. Flight makes his Field Marshal partially redundant, but the increased flexibility of Warpath with a Flight model can be game-changing.

  • Moros is Garryth’s character light warjack. It’s fast, packs a trifecta of weapons with Paralysis, and with his Bond can use Acrobatics and Unstoppable to go right through the enemy line and take out vulnerable support, solos, or leaders. I never leave home without it.

The rest of the warjacks available are useful, especially those with guns, but those four really stand out to me.

Other models of note

  • Arcanist Mechaniks are key to keeping his battlegroup running off of his ARC stat of 6. If you can bring one for every warjack until you hit their max I would generally do so.

  • The Arcantrik Force Generator doesn’t directly benefit from a lot of Garryth’s kit, but it pack a lot of ranged firepower on its own and can be extremely effective under his feat. It also boosts the RNG of nearby warjacks by 2, which can stack with Fire Group for some absurd warjack ranges if you can position it correctly.

  • Eiryss 1 has a great gun and it’s really hard to go wrong with her in any list, but Disruptor Bolt can be especially funny on Garryth’s feat turn if your opponent isn’t ready for it.

  • Warden Executioners are pricey but pack a pair of strong guns and can hold flags well. Plus as mentioned above they can be used to fuel any Aeternae in your battlegroup.

  • Sylys is a decent pick as he allows Garryth to upkeep Warpath for free and Arcane Secrets and Spiritual Conduit are nice to have as a backup to Witch Mark.

List construction

Generally when I build a Garryth list I’m taking my 3 Arcanist Mechaniks and 2 Harpies right off the bat. Moros usually ends up in there next and I like taking at least 1 heavy, usually either a Banshee or Aeternae. From there I think it largely comes down to personal taste; the battle engine is powerful but doesn’t benefit from his battlegroup buffs and each of the shooting warjacks has a compelling use-case depending on your game plan. I don’t generally use much infantry with him, but Mage Hunter Strike Force can be good in larger games to deal with opposing infantry and score zones while being fairly independent.

Ravyn, the Eternal Light

Ravyn is an interesting mix and one I’ll admit I’m not sure I’ve entirely wrapped my head around yet, but I’ll do my best. Like all Shadows of the Retribution warcasters she’s not afraid of making kills on her own, but she also packs some interesting Battle Plans to push her infantry up to 11.

Stats
Ravyn’s stats are fairly average for a mid-field warcaster, with the addition of ARC 7 putting her at the highest ARC stat of the Army. MAT and RAT 7 are both important to her combined-arms “gunkata” playstyle if she decides to start taking the fight to the enemy, but DEF 15 and ARM 16 aren’t anything special and she needs to be very careful if she decides to start getting in to the thick of things.

Abilities
Dual Attack and Quick Work are her two built-in abilities, allowing her a lot of flexibility in her attacks. You can charge in, kill something with her spear, and take a free shot before you even use her initial ranged attack.

Her Battle Plans are unique in Faction, providing a nice selection of buffs for her infantry or herself. She can hand out Tough or Swift Hunter, or use Precision Strike to allow friendly models with 10" to ignore each other for the sake of LOS and movement.

Swift Hunter is of particular note here as it is often most effective when used on herself. With Swift Hunter, Quick Work, and Dual Attack Ravyn becomes a veritable infantry blender, more than capable of wiping entire units of light or medium infantry on her own. I’ll go in to more detail on this in the Weapons section.

Weapons
Oh hey look it’s the weapons section. Ravyn has two weapons; Hellebore (ranged) and Blade (melee).

Hellebore is a RNG 12 ROF 1 POW 12 Magical gun with the Pistol advantage. For one focus you can give it AOE 2 POW 12/12 but personally I rarely find this useful. Pistol and Dual Attack means she can use her ranged attack to targets within her melee range without any penalty. This is very important if she wants to go full Lawnmower Mode.

Blade is a RNG 2 POW 13 Magical Weaponmaster with * Attack Thresher.

Now, the combo. With Dual Attack and Quick Work Ravyn can charge a target and make her initial melee attack. If that kills the target Quick Work immediately triggers, giving her a free ranged attack which can target another model in her melee range with no debuff thanks to Pistol. After making that ranged attack she can continue making her initial ranged attack for a total of three attacks and no focus spent.

But it gets better. If she uses her Swift Hunter Battle Plan on herself first she can move 2" after each kill with a ranged weapon. So going off that first combo she could potentially kill her charge target, shoot something and kill that, move 2" and shoot again and then move another 2". After that she can continue buying melee attacks; every melee kill gives her a ranged attack, every ranged kill gives her a 2" move.

On top of that the Blade has * Attack (Thresher), so if you can charge a packed group of infantry you can use Thresher instead of her initials and potentially kill multiple models with her first attack, then trigger Quick Work to make a ranged attack (remember, it’s still only 1 Quick Work shot even if Thresher kills multiple models) and continue the chain from there.

Spells
Much like the rest of her kit Ravyn’s spell list has a bit of a generalist vibe. Tides of War and Open Fire are both buffs to her battlegroup specifically; Tides of War does benefit her as well but the more warjacks you have the more beneficial it is. Snipe and Apparition are great on any model but especially effective on units where you’ll simply have more models to benefit from the buff. Veil of Mists can be very strong in the right situation but takes some practice to learn to use effectively.

Generally I’d say you’re probably not casting all of these every game. 3 upkeeps on an ARC 7 caster is manageable (especially with Sylys) but if you’re trying to cast Tides of War, use Open Fire on key warjacks, making attacks with her, and allocating you’re still going to burn up her Focus fast. I would recommending building the list around a gameplan that she can support with part of her spell list rather than trying to build a list that leaves her struggling to have enough Focus to do everything you want her to do.

Feat
Ravyn’s feat is pretty straightforward. All friendly Faction models in CTRL get boosted Attack Rolls and Swift Hunter. This is a classic “press button for murder” sort of Feat; you’ll want to cast it pretty early when you have more models to benefit from it and use it to try to cripple your opponent’s force before they have the chance to deal do much damage to you. Giving out Swift Hunter allows her to use one of her other Battle Plans for the turn which helps free up some options.

Synergies
Ravyn likes guns. Jacks with guns, infantry with guns, solos with guns, doesn’t matter. Mirage, Snipe, Battle Plan: Precision Strike, and her Feat all push you towards building in as many ranged attacks as you can and taking a big first strike to try to start the game ahead of your opponent.

A lot of the same battlegroup models stand out to me for her as for Garryth. Jacks with guns are great, Sylys is solid (though again he maybe depends on how many points you have kicking around since Ravyn has zero offensive spells to benefit from Arcane Secrets).

Infantry is where I think she deviates more from Garryth. Obviously as a Battle Plan caster she is incentivized to bring models she can use those on and the obvious standout is

  • Mage Hunter Strike Force are Ravyns classic bread and butter since the days of Mk2. With Snipe and her Feat on a unit with the Commander CA they can take incredibly accurate shots from 15" away, ignoring most LOS blockers and defensive buffs. I would think long and hard about building a list for Ravyn without a least 1 unit of MHSF.

  • Ellowuyr Warden Executioners make the list again, this time because of the ways they benefit from Swift Hunter on her feat turn. Thanks to Dual Attack and Side Step you could have a Warden Executioner moving up to 8" during their Combat Action which gives them all sorts of weird positioning that is going to be difficult for your opponent to predict in a lot of situations.

  • Narn gives out Sprint to nearby Mage Hunters, which includes Ravyn. This can be very useful for getting her out of trouble, especially if you don’t want to spend the Focus casting Tides of War. Remember that Sprint and Reposition do not stack, you have to pick one of them to trigger at the end of your activation.

  • Spears of Scyrah can make interesting bodyguards for Ravyn thanks to Inhuman Resolve letting them continue to block movement even after dying. For extra annoyance you can give them Tough using her Battle Plan and with Shield Wall making them immune to Knockdown when B2B they can continuing standing in the way as long as they keep making Tough rolls.

List construction
As mentioned I never leave home without at least one unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force with the Mage Hunter Commander. Narn is generally a good choice along with one of the Eiryss’. After that I think it’s worth deciding whether you want to lean in to Open Fire and Tides of War or not; if so than you can definitely make good use of extra attacks out of the Banshee, Daemon, or Harpies guns with Open Fire. Reposition on Harpies is always funny thanks to Flight. At least one Arcanist is always a good idea in Shadows, with more if you’re bringing a larger battlegroup or have points left over.

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Nice write up, any plans to add Thyron and Kaelyssa.

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Thanks! I keep meaning to come back to this and just haven’t had time, I’ll try to update it soonish!

Looking forward to it.

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