[WM/H] Road to SmogCon: Retribution List Building

As we discussed before, my basic Hydra build is looking a bit like this.

[Warcaster]

  • [House Shyeel heavy of some sort]
  • Griffon
  • Sylys Wyshnylarr

Full Dawnguard Invictors / Nyss Hunters (always an option, and could serve in other faction contexts)
Full Houseguard Halberdiers
Stormfall Archers

PLUS – exact choice dependent on cash and points available
Aiyana and Holt
Unit Attachments for Invictors and/or Halberdiers
Eiryss + Arcanist

I’ve been noodling around with possible ways to make this build concrete – trying to use as much of the stuff I already own as I can, for economy’s sake, without compromising battlefield effectiveness too far. If I can get away with spending £45 or so on the two infantry units and an Arcanist, I’ll be happy.

The Dawnguard vs. Nyss option is something that’ll ultimately be decided by factors on the edge of gameplay. One: will I seriously follow through on that idea to build a pGoreshade Theme Force at some point? (If so, the Nyss could appear in all my Warmachine forces, and strike me as an extra-special-value purchase just for that.) Two: will I actually be able to get hold of them? (I’ve seen one box on shop shelves and Privateer Press’ UK supply line has these… moments of intermittency.) Three: would I prefer to build and paint Dawnguard than my third unit of Nyss Hunters? (Almost certainly.) Four: how many of the Retribution casters will prefer an in-Faction unit? (I’ll have to look and see. Might be a future post in that.)

Anyway. The lists.

First option:

[Warcaster]

  • Manticore
  • Griffon
  • Sylys Wyshnylarr

Full Dawnguard Invictors
Full Houseguard Halberdiers
Stormfall Archers
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

The Manticore is, in a word, refreshingly simple. Although it’s a bit of a beast in terms of the focus it wants allocated to it (I’m hazarding two per turn of actual fighting), it can pump out three shots a turn, a Covering Fire AOE in a key point, or swing at P+S 18 in melee before factoring in the buffs from an Arcanist who may or may not be present. I’m leaning toward Aiyana and Holt rather than Eiryss and the Arcanist; their Harm will be of use for everyone, not just the ‘jacks, and doubly so for warcasters who lack a damage-intensifying buff, and Holt has proven himself quite capable of winnowing down small units or solos whether Harm is up or not. By contrast, Eiryss seems to lose effectiveness against Hordes armies, although the Arcanist remains an effective choice come what may.

[Warcaster]

  • Hydra
  • Griffon
  • Sylys Wyshnylarr

Full Dawnguard Invictors
Full Houseguard Halberdiers
Stormfall Archers

Unit Attachment for one of the units
Arcanist

This one’s actually quite appealing to me. It’s going to cost a bit more and I won’t be using any of the support stuff I already have, but it seems to have a stronger kill condition in the big shots from the Hydra and Dawnguard (who’ll probably get their UA, since the Halberdier one feels… nice, but unnecessary), and it also means that I get to take a Hydra to Hydra. Plus the Manticore’s arms are in a bit of a mess from the magnetising efforts.

[Warcaster]

  • Phoenix
  • Griffon
  • Sylys Wyshnylarr

Full Dawnguard Invictors
Full Houseguard Halberdiers
Stormfall Archers

Arcanist
Soulless Escort for one unit – probably the Halberdiers.

This one keeps in the in-theory-it’s-brilliant-but-in-my-hands-kinda-lacklustre Phoenix aboard, with the Arcanist to keep it swinging hard, and spends its last point on a little bit of extra tech for one of my units. Putting him in the Invictors concentrates my Flank a bit but ensures someone’ll be getting a good swing in regardless of where the ‘jacks are. Putting him in the Halberdiers, who are likely to bear the brunt of enemy magic (at least of the ‘kill things’ variety), means that enemy spellcasting assets might have to come a bit closer to do owt to ’em, and thus brings said assets within reach of my hurty bits – also, it puts a pseudo-Weapon-Master in there, who can potentially charge off with a surviving Halberdier and attempt to spoil someone’s day once the distance is closed. Putting him in the Stormfalls seems either spectacularly dumb or potentially surprising, in a kind of “and if you come for them, he’ll chop your nards off” kind of way, but I think it’s probably the former. However, it’s tied for ‘most expensive’ and doesn’t use any of my existing toys.

 

You may now commence belching

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