Retribution- An Analysis


Ok, with the intention of reminding you all that i am still alive, and that i haven’t forgotten about my blog (just haven’t played any games recently or painted anything either), i have decided to do an analysis of all the Retribution casters, and what i think of them. I will be going in the order they appear in the Retribution book. So, without further ado, i give you…

Garryth, Blade of Retribution

Garryth is one of my favourite casters to play with in small point games (15, 25). His stats are amazing, with an above average Spd and Mat (7 and 8 respectively) and a brilliant Def (16). He lacks in armour, but it’s not something i’m worried about.

Usually when i run Garryth i like to keep his Jacks on the low side, a Griffon (yeh i know, not even spending his full +5 jack points) is my current setup and keep the infantry restricted to stuff that doesn’t really need the suport of the caster (Dawnguard, Mage hunter strike force). With regards to solos, i can’t bring myself to play Garryth without Nayl (and equally, can’t play Nayl with any other caster) i’m just a stickler for the fluff in that respect, but i also like to thrown in a couple of Mage hunter assassins and maybe a Magister.

My Main tactics with Garryth is run him around like a loony, never spending his focus (except for Mirage, which goes up Turn 1 on Garryth and never goes down). I generally never cast any of Garryth’s spells, and will only use his focus so the Griffon can keep up with him (1 focus for +2″ move and 1 for running). Literally all i ever do with Garryth is run him around on the flanks waiting till i can get that inevitable assassination run. When the assassination run becomes available, i’ll charge Garryth into the face of the caster (or as near as i can) pop my feat and then if need be gallows the opposing caster closer. Being a weapon master Garryth hits like a truck, spending focus to boost to 4 dice, couple that with ignoring spell effects and overboosted power fields, i don’t know any caster Garryth couldn’t finish off.

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper

Ok, our local PG’er is going to say “i told you so!” when he reads this, but Kaelyssa is fast becoming my goto caster. I love her, and if it wasn’t for how cool and badass Rahn is she would easily be my favourite.

Stats wise, Kaelyssa is pretty damn good. average Spd (6) for Bution, and high Rat (7) means she does her job well (shoot people!) she again has a high Def (16) and again lacks on the armour, but as said before it’s not something i’m worried about, i’ve basically resigned myself to the fact that if our casters get hit, they are going to die (unless you’re Xerxis, partial annihalation ftw)

I like to play about with Kaelyssa, and my lists do tend to fluctuate a lot, there are no staples i take in every list with her (except mage hunter assassins, but they’re a staple in every Bution list). Her spell list is pretty damn good, having Arcane reckoning and Banishing ward for protecting her troops against enemy spells, i’m usually torn as to whether i put AR or BW on Mage hunter strike force to save them from AOE’s. She also has Arcantrik Bolt for dealing with enemy jacks, and coupled with Eiryss (normal or epic) makes for a deadly combination (arcantrik bolt makes them stationary, Eiryss disrupts so they can’t shake it off). Backlash also helps deal with fellow Warmachine casters, especially ones with High armour such as Butcher, Karchev and Stryker on feat turn, that single point of damage can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Rift is a nice utility spell, especially for blocking charge lanes, i usually tend to throw it out their just to mess up the enemies plans when i find i’ve got spare focus.

‘What about dealing with Hordes?’ i hear you cry, well that’s where her gun and to a lesser extent, her sword come into play. When she hits an enemy model with it she can ‘suck’ any fury or focus off the model and add it to her own, meaning you can hit a warlock, take that fury he was camping with the intetion to transfer, then use that fury to Boost the damage. With a range of 12, it can surprise an opponent, especially when coupling it with my favourite of all her spells, Phantom Hunter, making her just like a Mage hunter strike force, ignoring LOS. And to top all this off, she has True sight aswell, so that one pitfall the MHSF can’t deal with (Stealth) she ignores aswell, wooo!

The only downside to Kael, is knowing when to pop her feat. You have to time it just right, leave it too late and it’ll effectively become useless. Judge this well.

Adeptis Rahn, the caster who should have a cool title

Ah Rahn, my first true Bution love. i heart this guy. If i could have his soulless babies, i would. but i can’t. because he’s fictional and i’m a male.

Anyway… Stats wise Rahn is below average. His Spd is low for Bution (5) his Mat is average (6) and his Def is sucky compared to all our other casters (14), Despite having force Barrier (+2 Def against Ranged) it’s not high enough to save him when it comes to the crunch. His focus however, is a whopping massive 8(!) meaning he is definitely our Magic Caster.

His Spell list really matches his abilities as a battle mage aswell, having a lot of move around kind of spells. I’m going to review these spells one by one and go through their uses in battle, starting with my most used…

Telekinesis: this spell is genius, it gives Rahn that 2″ extra movement he needs to keep up with the army. But, don’t underestimate the offensive side of this spell, i’ve lost track of the amount of times i’ve TK’d a caster through an arc node, and turned him around so that his back is facing the rest of my army, effectively reducing his Def by 2.

Force Hammer: awesome spell, a Rng 10 Pow 12 slam spell. Slams can be useful for knocking down the enemy, and anyone he may contact on the way, knock him into an equally sized or larger model for the additional damage die, add in the feat and you’ve got a Pow 12 +4 dice slam there. nice.

Force Field: when i originally read this i thought ‘oh great, a spell that makes my caster immune to blast damage when i’m immune anyway’ but then i slowly came to terms with the rest of the spell… The ability to control enemy AOE’s, the immunity to Knock down or collateral damage, meaning a jack slammed into you is not gunna mean anything. Amazing. and an upkeep that should be up on turn 1, and stay up until the feat turn.

Polarity Shield: this spell is so useful, especially if you put it on shield walled Houseguard halberdiers, with Dawnguard sentinels behind them so they can make use of Ranked attacks.

Force Blast: This spell is so useful for when your enemy is tightly packed together and causing you a pain in the ass, throw a jack in towards them, and blast them all 4″ away in various directions, for even more screwy-ness if it’s an arc node, then cast polarity shield on it so they can’t charge the thing.

Chain Blast: Now, i’m kinda wierd about this spell, cause although i use it all the time, it has never done anything worthwhile for me. Never. it either deviates miles off course, or just does no damage whatsoever. I can see it’s potential, and how good it could be, but for me it never ever works out.

Feat: now this is the only let down for me, cause i kinda feel that you have to take loads of battle mages to make the most of it. Also, i feel if i lose a unit of mages before the feat turn then i’ve lost the full scale of it. I suppose that’s just me, cause i hear tales of people only running one unit of mages and 2 magisters with Rahn.

Ravyn, Eternal Light

Ah Ravyn. Quoth her, Nevermore. I used to run Ravyn all the time, she’s absolutely evil with a full Ranged army for her feat turn, and Mage Hunter Strike Force become the singular most dangerous object in her arsenal for that feat turn (Ignoring LOS and boosted Attack rolls). But, that strength is also her biggest weakness. She’s so linear, one dimensional.

Her spell list is exciting, with Snipe and Vortex of Destruction being the biggest standouts. She also has an amazing ability in that when she kills a model she can shoot her gun, with gun fighter and virtuoso it has the potential to wreak havok. But that’s just it, it’s Potential. I’ve never had Ravyn in a position where she is able to do that.

I suppose Ravyn is alright, she has average stats compared to the other Bution casters (Spd 6, Mat+Rat 7, Def 15, Arm 16) and her Gun can cause an aoe, which is awesome. But i can’t help but feel that she should be running a gunline army, and to quote a podcast i listen to a lot ( “Gunline is not spelt Funline”

Dawnlord Vyros

The enigma for me. i’m gunna talk about what he is on potential, then i’ll talk about how he is for me.

Potential: Awesome stats, Mat 8, Def 15, Arm 17, P+S 14 reach weapon, Flank with friendly warjacks, Bird’s eye so he ignores cloud and forest effects, and intervening models, meaning he can charge a warcaster that is sat behind a line of infantry. His spell list is handy, Inviolable Resolve is almost made to be stuck on Sentinels or Halberdiers, Mobility is fricking ace (+2 Spd and Pathfinder for Battlegroup, countering Vyros’ low Spd of 5). Hallowed avenger can be useful for stopping that rampage through your infantry, and Stranglehold bypasses the new shake off effects. Eliminator can be useful to get Vyros to where you want him, but with a cost of 3 and the 1 you’ll probably need to boost, it will be very rarely cast.

Actual: God damn i can’t use this guy. I want to cast Mobility to get my jacks in there, but then i can’t get the flank bonus. i imagine (mainly thanks to PeteZ) this amazing feat turn where a Phoenix charges into infantry and goes sick on them, buying attacks with the focus he gets from the last model killed, but it never happens! I imagine these impossibly hard to kill sentinels with Armour 19, but then they get smacked down and i feel sad! I just can’t get used to this guy, i’m not excited when i play him, and i often get myself caught in silly situations with him trying to pull off those once in a lifetime assassination runs.

But there you have it, my analysis of Bution casters one by one. any comments you might have or thoughts on how i could use these guys better please feel free to post below.


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One Response to “Retribution- An Analysis”

  1. The Kindness of Strangers « Lost Hemisphere Says:

    […] aside: Jase Fox has posted an overview of the Retribution warcasters over on Barbed Thorn. Go. Read. […]

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