Greeeeeetings to all and to all Hello! Today I present for your reading based delight the latest part of my Wrath Review. This time it is the Retribution of Scyrah falling below the Eye of… …me… …and then you.
So to begin with we have the fluff that introduces the elven Time Lord, Ossyan, the new warcaster. Now I do not think have seen a new character achieve so much in his first appearance before. He is a guy desperate to prove his worth, the worth of his house and to make up for the actions of Goreshade back when he was alive, since he served him and did not stop him, though Ossyan had no direct link to the “work” being done, he feels the guilt anyway. We get an insight to how exactly his thought processes work and how he uses his powers. He is an intelligent Elf and no mistake. If you have interest in the Retribution fluff then this will be an important read as it is pivotal stuff right there! I will not go into detail since it is so important to the ongoing storyline of Retribution, and to some extent Cryx, that I do not wish to spoil anything.
(Time) Lord Arcanist Ossyan
It’s so very true…
I have got some play time in with him so there is far less Theorymachine this time. Ossyan is an interesting play and despite some bashing when he was first spoiled, I have found him to be very effective. His stats are pretty mediocre in many ways. At def and Arm 15 he is fairly vunerable. He is not good for melee at Mat 5 and mediocre at ranged with Rat 6. He is a ranged centric caster though so anything you’re shooting at (and you probably will be) will need boosting to hit in all likelihood. Having said that, you are more likely to be shooting low Def models that happen to be near high Def ones. His sword Locus has the Dispel ability but if you are using that, its already to late. His gun, the Chronophage Cannon, has a wonderful ability whereby on a direct hit you place a 4 inch AOE over the model hit. This stays in play and even moves with the model that was hit. Everything within that bubble suffers -2 Def. This is a nifty ability that I like a lot. So far I have yet to have it bite me in the butt by the opponent running the model near anything of mine. I’d say that most of us will know when to make use of this and when not to so its unlikely to hurt all that much. As is the way with Retribution, the weapons are both magical. In fact it is easier for me to state at this time that I will say if it doesn’t have a magical weapon, as there are fewer non-magical weapons.
- Shatterstorm: Nifty little upkeep spell that applies a Pow 8 AOE to a model you destroyed with a direct hit from an attack. Useful for many units, my personal favourite being a Mage Hunter Strike Force. Just to create a lot of blast damage at a higher Pow than would be the case if they came with an Aoe. You can apply it to Stormfalls as well to give them a second Aoe effect on top of their normal one. Not sure, but I think that this is not the most effecient use since it requires a direct hit to trigger and the Mage Hunters have the Rat advantage. Another option is a House Shyeel Battle Mage unit, since they are immune to blast damage they can punch away with their 2 fists and potentially cause a lot of harm.
- Quicken: This upkeep is popping up a lot more now. It grants +2 Def against ranged and magic attack rolls and +2 Spd. Many and varied are the uses of this but it can be great for slow stuff like the Arcantrik Force Generator to get further up the field in the first turn. and good for your Mage Hunter Assassins to threaten up to 16 inches and be harder to hit in return. I won’t go into anymore as the spell has been around for a while now.
- Chronomancer: Ossyans signature spell is upkeepable. This grants his battlegroup the Future Sight ability. Others have poo pooed this spell as not worth while but I have managed to get good use out of it so far. I find being able to try to hit high Def models without a boost can allow you to boost damage instead or save focus for additional attacks in melee. It is very useful for Ossyan himself with his gun. Keeping focus even if you do not use it after this allows you to buff your armour instead and potentially survive something you wouldn’t normally.
- Arcantrik Bolt: Standard direct damage spell, causes stationary to jacks on a successful damage roll, which when combined with some other abilities can remove a jack from the game for a complete turn.
- Admonition: This one has been around for a while as well. Your standard “Get me outta here” spell, allows you to move the model effected away when an enemy stops within 6 inches. Be warned that, due to the spells wording, if you chose not to move the spell still expires. Probably best to move anyway in which case.
Ossyans feat is fairly simple. All enemies inside the control area roll 1 less damage die on ranged attacks (their targets do not have to be in the control area). All friendly models targetting an enemy model inside the control area with a ranged attack get one extra damage die. All kinds of awesome here, I love this feat. First of all every ranged attack you put into the army becomes pretty brutal, including Aoes (Though not Shatterstorm Aoes as they are part of a spell not a ranged attack). Stormfalls using brutal shot gain the hitting power of charging sentinals (Pow 12 weapon masters) from 12 inches away. Meaning they can likely aim for additional Rat. The Arcantrik Force Generator is awesome under the feat, being capable of a minimum 2 shots at Pow 14. Heavy rifles gain extra killing power with their armour piercing shots. Thus far I have found that Ossyan has great potential to be one of the more competitive casters out there. He’s no, EDenny, but his feat allows an epic ranged alpha strike to neuter the hitting power of the enemy before they can get to you.
This is okay, cetainly not the worst out there.
Warjacks: Non-character Mymidons without force field damage boxes, Hypnos. Units: Houseguard units, Stromfall archers, House Vyre units(!). Solos: Arcanists, Ghost Snipers, Sylys Wyshnalyrr. Battle engines: Arcantrik Force Generators.
Tier 1 benefit: +1 to game starting roll, requires models above in army.
Tier 2 benefit: free UA for Houseguard Rifles, not out of FA. Requires 2+ units of houseguard rifles.
Tier 3 benefit: For each Arcanist in the army a myrmidon gains Advance Move. Requires 2+ Arcanists.
Tier 4 benefit: Ossyans upkeeps may start on the table with no upkeep cost required turn 1. Requires Hypnos.
Ossyan has an answer to nearly everything, except stealth. His ranged armies will struggle with stealth but this is the main concern of most Retribution players in any case, if the Privateer press forums are anything to go by. I find him competitive and think he comes close to Rahn and Ravyns power levels. In 2 caster games he compliments Ravyn very nicely and visa versa He can deal with massed infantry using Shatterstorm and heavies get mullered by his feat turn. Full of win.
Probably the main thing missing from retribution has been a reliable shield guard light. Well now its here. Its 2 beat back fists make it essentially a battle mage jack. It is durable since it sports the Phoenixes Phoenix Field and 10 field damage boxes. Shield guard makes it a wonderful bodyguard for any caster. On top of all this it is a steal at 4 points! Next up are some of the toys that Ossyan brought to the Retribution party…
The art for the Banshee does not exist on the interwebz…
This ‘jack is absolutely awesome. 10 points gets you your first Myrmidon from House Vyre. With no forcefield to use we instead have standard Def 12 Arm 19 and the same damage boxes as the Nomad Merc ‘jack. It wields 2 swords, 1 long and 1 short, the the P+S 17 one has reach, the other does not, but does have P+S 14, both have critical Grievous Wounds. Then we have a shoulder mounted gun, so it can’t be effected by the loss of systems, with Rng 12 Pow 14 and the Momentum rule for knockdown/slamming shenanigans. Easily the favourite thing Retribution got for forumites. This ‘jacks final ability is why it has the name it does, Wailing. Wailing prevents orders (giving or receiving) and spell casting withing 5 inches. Well worth remembering when things get up close and personal.
The second House Vyre myrmidon. 2 open fists following a 1 big 1 small theme at P+S 15 and 13 respectively as well as being Blessed. Again, a shoulder mounted gun. This one is an infantry killing monster. Rng 10 Pow 12 with Vortex Blast. Vortex Blast means that if you miss, nothing happens. If you directly hit then all models within 2 inches are pushed towards the hit model in your chosen order, you place a 3 inch Aoe over the model hit and everything under the template takes a Pow 12. Note this is not blast damage, so girded models still need to fear it. A nice gun indeed and a nice ‘jack to go with it at 9pts. Its stats match the Banshee as does the damage grid.
The Sphinx is a cheap 7pt option for Retribution. Some have speculated that this is a particularly good jack to marshal, partly because of its cost but also due to the fact it does not really need focus. This Jacks melee weapons are NOT magical (see, much easier!) It has 2 fists similar to the Daemon, though one has reach and they are both open fists. Stats match the other two above but its interesting ability is Psychic relay on its gun, which causes -2 Def against magic attack rolls. This makes it useful for battlemages and Rahn, perhaps a good boost for Aiyanna and Holt to give Aiyanna an effective magic ability 10. Overall nothing major to write home about but good value for 7pts
Hypnos is Ossyans personal jack and is utterly awesome with him. Again the stats match the Banshee, +1 Mat and Rat. its also an Arcnode. His Affinity with Ossyan allows the only ability currently in the game that prevents forcing warbeasts, Void Lock. This is on his ranged weapon making it very useful. Void Lock also prevents allocating and channelling to/through the model directly hit. Hypnos fists have mechanikal seizure, which causes stationary on warjacks. All in all for 9pts, Pow 16 and 14 fists and the abilities make this jack something of a no brainer with Ossyan. Some have state that it is not worthwhile with other casters but I think it still has potential with the mechanical seizure and I forgot to mention that it also has Sacred ward, preventing any spell casting targeting it. All round useful.
Heavy Rifle Team:
The heavy Rifle Team is Retributions artillery piece. It is armour piercing and Pow 7. Aiyanna can make that much more effective with effective Pow 9 and Ossyans feat will add an additional damage dice. Fairly standard model with some very high damage potential.
House Shyeel Artificer:
The Artificer is a medium based battlemage solo with some useful abilities. Firstly it has Force Barrier which puts its defense into the reasonable range against ranged attacks. It can choose 1 of 3 spells per turn: Force Wall grants the Force Barrier ability to models within 3 inches. Magno Blast is a Rng 10 Pow 13 magic attack. It has a push effect for everything within 2 inches of the model hit. Polarity field prevents charging against the Artificer himself. It is armed with a pair of meaty fists with Pow 13 and beatback like the battlemages. A nice defensive piece with some utility but suffers for having a medium base.
Arcantrik Force Generator:
This Battle engine is full of shooty potential. It is not an auto-include piece by any stretch of the imagination, though I love it myself, plenty do not see the potential that it has with certain casters especially. With Ossyan it is buffed nicely by the feat for an alpha-strike turn, and can make use of quicken or shatterstorm nicely. Its Teleforce Cannon is Rng 14 Pow 14 magical ranged attack that has the utility of different ammo types: Blasted Earth buffs the Pow by 2 but it becomes Aoe 4 and leaves it behind as rough terrain. Momentum is the same as the Banshee. Rapid Fire allows d3+1 shots for your initial ranged attack. It has Range Booster meaning if it sacrifices movement to aim it gains +2 Rng. On top of that, any jacks in base to base will also gain +2 Rng. It cannot be charged due to Polarity Shield and has Gunfighter meaning it can still shoot the stuff that might reach it. So far in my games with it I have only ever moved it forwards once in each game and blasted away at the enemies army. Did I mention basic Rat 7? highest battle engine Rat. Add in the aiming bonus makes it extremely accurate. I love it.
…And thats it for Retribution. I did not include Discordia as this has been available for close to a year by now. All thats left now is the Mercs, my main faction with the most awesome caster we’ve had thus far. Anyway, if theres anything you feel the need to share then by all means post a comment, if you don’t agree with anything I have said then you are wrong and I am not. But feel free to comment anyway! (Okay thats probably not true…). I hope to post a review of Dystopian Wars at some point but I have played precisely 1 game of it thus far so I’m gonna want more experience. Anyway, nearly finished the Wrath review altogether, thank goodness. When I started it I hd no idea how much was actually involved! So I apologise it is taking so long to get through. See you next time!