Friday, September 11, 2009

You Were Warned: Other Retribution Warcasters Part 1

Forces of Warmachine: Retribution of Scyrah released earlier this week, and now all is known about the Iosan army fighting to save their god. My next few articles are going to be detailing my own TheoryMachine on the faction. Right now I'll be covering the other 4 warcasters (as I already discussed Kaelyssa at length). I'll also cover the rest of the army at a later time.

I'm going to start with Kaelyssa again, but this'll just be a quick add-on to what I've already discussed. I mentioned that of all the models previewed in NQ#25, none of them were great targets for Arcane Reckoning. As I theorized, the Mage Hunter Strike Force is the perfect target. One thing that was discussed at a local store this week is that if she casts Arcane Reckoning on the Mage Hunters while they have a Soulless Escort tagging along, enemy spells suffer -5 range. Add on the fact that they have stealth and your opponent will either have to get their caster (or their arc node) within 5" (or less, depending on the spell's range), or they auto-miss (and get targeted by their own spell). Either way, it spells doom for enemy spellcasters.

Moving on, we'll begin our coverage with Garryth, the Blade of Retribution. You can't deny that he looks cool. After all, the hilts of his twin swords are GUNS. He's clearly more built towards melee than range though, as his MAT 8, Weapon Master, and ability to ignore DEF/ARM buffs, tough, and transfers clearly stand out. He also ignores free strikes, which is a plus. He'll also be hard to get to, since he can hide well with his high speed, Pathfinder, and Stealth.

His feat is all about denial. No spells (cast or channeled), no focus spending, and no placing. This feat isn't as devastating to Hordes as warlocks can still heal and force their beasts (though Circle can't appreciate losing all their place effects), but Warmachine opponents will have a difficult time weathering this feat. I proxied him for a couple of games, and in one game against Magnus he had a bit of trouble since his 'jacks couldn't get the focus that they quite possibly needed. (I probably would have won, but then the Renegade slammed the Chimera over Garryth and Magnus charged him.)

Garryth's spell list isn't terribly impressive. Psychic Vampire is useful in theory, but in practice so far it isn't that great. Because his control area is on the small side you have to get close for it to be useful, and a smart opponent will know when to take the risk. Plus it's not worth upkeeping on the feat turn. Mirage and Gallows are great for maneuverability. Mirage lets ranged units move while still maintaining the aiming bonus, while Gallows allows for some minor repositioning. It's certainly worth taking arc nodes with him to get the most out of these spells, as well as Death Sentence. This spell should always be on something until you kill it, then cast it again. It's not as powerful as the one MkI Severius has, but it's still a decent buff that could turn average rolls into slightly above average rolls.

Next on the list is Adeptis Rahn Shyeel. He is tied with Severius and epic Haley for second highest focus stat in the game (only to the Harbinger of Menoth), and while House Shyeel is known for bringing the myrmidons to war he isn't necessarily good or bad at using them. Magic is clearly his specialty; his MAT is only average and his P+S is low for a warcaster, so despite beat back and crit slam he shouldn't be seeing much melee. Instead, he should have his troops/'jacks do the fighting for him.

His feat, in my eyes, shows his main weakness: his only true support is for the Battle Mages. +2 RNG and boosty-boosty to magic will only affect these models, and maybe a second warcaster in 1,000+ (100+) point games. Nonetheless, it's still potent, as it means he can still cast a bit more. Very useful for assassination as well, as against low-ARM warcasters boosted hits and damage will leave a mark. Keep in mind that the range bonus doesn't apply if you send your spell through a Phoenix or Chimera.

His spell list is decent. Chain Blast is useful for making 2 AOE's, but unless you're facing soft infantry (such as Nyss Hunters or Kayazy Assassins) you're probably not going to do much. Force Blast can be useful for getting models away from you or your arc node. Force Hammer is expensive, but is pretty much Caine's Thunder Strike. These spells, however, won't be seeing as much play. The following three, however, are the best he's got. Telekinesis is just like the one possessed by epic Haley: move something, once per turn, 2". Reposition yourself or something else, or get an enemy model out of a charge lane (or prevent it from charging by changing its facing, which also gives you back strikes). Force Field should be cast on the first turn of the game and upkept thereafter, if only for the statement that Rahn won't be knocked down. Picking where an AOE goes is just gravy. Polarity Shield is meant for your front-line unit. They cannot be charged, which means that the enemy must either advance into melee if they can or let themselves be charged, which is great for ranged units as well as the less-than-survivable Battle Mages.

Join me next time when I go over someone I meant to have gone over already (Dawnlord Vyros) and my favorite of the Retribution casters, Ravyn, Eternal Light.