Retribution of Scyrah CID Dynamic Update
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Forget slayer spam is still a thing, ignore the imminent circle update and Exemplars and giant statues and big tortoises that move faster than a jet plane, because something magical happened this week. A Ret update! On Friday, just as everyone had given up for the week, against all odds, the dynamic update dropped. Because I have nothing better to do other than drool in excitement until I can get some games in this weekend (in the past). I’m gonna give a blow by blow consideration of the wide reaching changes, my knee jerk reaction lists, and the next week, some battle reports.
Starting at the nub of the issue for many Ret players, our themes were seen as a little counter intuitive, unproductive and well…stifling. A jack theme no jack caster wanted to take, three theme with a minimal selection of units and one over-bloated theme that is my personal favourite.
Shadows of the Retribution
Shadows used to be my least favourite theme, I’m not big on Mage Hunters, they’re squishy, low damage even against jacks and pretty one trick ponies. The old benefits used to be:
- For every 20 points of Retribution units in your list, get a free solo
- Warriors get take down
- +1 Starting roll
They are now:
- For every 20 points of Retribution units, get a free command attachment or solo
- Still take down
- Ambush for 1 Mage Hunter Infiltrator unit without a command attachment
- Lys Healer, Fane Knight Guardian and Moros available in theme
On the surface, the changes don’t look too huge, at least, the first one doesn’t. But now you can take Eiryss 3 for free which is great for squeezing an extra 2 points into a list. The change from +1 to starting roll to ambush is an interesting one. For projecting threat and bullying the board, less great, for actual game impact… Amazing. This swings the theme from the home of Vyros2 or MHSF to more of a melee focused list, though MHSF still serve a solid role. The addition of Moros is great. A super fast jack with stealth makes him tricky to pin down, and the addition of an extra shield guard will make the likes of Vyros 2 happy. Lys healer seems to be more quality of life than anything world changing. All in all, I’d give this change a 7/10.
Legions of Dawn
Still lacking Nyarr units and the Trident, Legions was a little thin on the ground, it was basically sentinels or nothing. And whilst I have no beef with a 22 point melee unit like the sentinels, it felt very one dimensional. During CID it was pretty clear no one had a clue what theme benefits this needed. It flitted from +2″ deployment to +2 Speed (IMO great and not OP) before it settled where it did…
- For every 20 points of dawnguard models or units, get a dawnguard CA or a small based solo for free
- Jack marshalled jacks get flank
- +2″ Deployment
They are now:
- For every 20 points of dawnguard models or units, get a dawnguard CA or a small or medium based solo for free
- Ret jacks gain Tactician Dawnguard
- +1 Starting roll
- Ghost Snuper, Fane Knight Guardian, Imperatus Artificer, Lyss Healer and Souless Voidtracer available in theme
Hmm. Flank was niche, and whilst great on paper, taking anything more than budget jacks ate into your free points. We can all agree +2″ deployment was amazing, and exactly what the slowest theme in faction needed. Now… Tactician Dawnguard means you can use your super slow infantry as a blocker for your jacks, who can mop up by charging through them. +1 to starting roll is great… if you win… But it doesn’t help the infantry project the threat they need to be relevant in scenario. The extra models are great, especially Imperatus. Issyria already liked Legions, being able to take a real heavy hitter under feat and crusaders call is gravy. Ghost snipers have a special place in my heart, but rarely see the table, Legions doesn’t have issues cracking armour, but long range threat is useful. The artificer is the moneyshot here, with +2 DEF and immunity to blast the likes of Destors, Sentinels etc become actually almost hard to hit! Overall a 5/10, theme benefits are meh, models are good.
Forges of War
Ahh the squishy jack theme! Where blast immunity runs rife with shield guards and most jack casters don’t have more than 1 upkeep worth having turn 1… Well, (almost) everything has changed.
- For every 25 points of Ret warjacks get a solo for free
- Warjacks get shieldguard
- Friendly models can have upkeeps on them turn 1 and are free turn 1
- For every 30 points of Shyeel models or units, get a free solo or a Shyeel Arcanist unit for free
- Add Discordia, “solos with battlegroup controller”, Fane Guardian and Dawnguard Trident available in theme
Yup, free units! A unit definitely not worth 7 points in my opinion, but free is an excellent price tag for them. With all the other changes to battle mages, this is no longer the blast immune fun fest, but now make a spammable skirmish line. The addition of Discordia, even in her slightly nerfed form is pretty solid, as every caster appreciates a Spray 10 at RAT 6 and the imprint. Being able to take Elara makes less battlegroup centric casters a little happier too, as she can yo yo skirmishing jacks on flanks without much support. Now you can take 5 heavies, all the arcanists you can dream of, and still have 30 points left over for chaff and support. It’s not slayer or crusader spam, but it’s a start! 8/10
Defenders of Ios
Saving the best for last, Defenders has always been my favourite. Houseguard units got me into the game when I knew nothing about them and my first ever assembled unit, the Rifles only ever saw the table once… Maybe they can again?
- For every 20 points of ret units and battle engines, add a weapon crew, a command attachment or solo for free
- Solos and Stormfall Archers get repo 3″
- Halbs get advance move
- For every 20 points of ret units and battle engines, add a weapon crew, a command attachment or solo for free
- Solos, Stormfall Archers and Electromancers get repo 3″
- For every houseguard unit, one ret unit without ranged weapons in this army gets advance move.
The downside here (a very very minor one) is the likes of the ryssovass and Ellowuyr swords need a houseguard unit to move them up, which means a houseguard unit isn’t moving up. Heavy rifle teams are cheap however 😉 7/10 – Needs carapace on Heavy Warjacks. (I kid. This theme was great. Still is great, the ability to take more than just halbs is great!)
Models – Casters
Remember the last time you saw Goreshade on the table? No, not the Cryx ones, the Ret one. Yes… Ret have Goreshade 4. No, you’ve never seen him on the table. He was pretty sad and was a clear flag for me that CID could do some great work for the game.
His feat was reworded entirely. It used to be everything gets concealment, if an enemy ends their activation near a ret model they become stationary. Now its if an enemy kills a ret model with melee attacks, they’re made stationary and Goreshade gets the souls. Instead of relying on ret models not dying, the enemy is now punished for killing them! YAY! ret models rarely survive a hit anyway and the combined bonus of collecting souls means his counter punch is even tastier. Low model count armies that aren’t cold immune will hate seeing this… But there’s more.
Cut: most of his spells. Gain Dauntless resolve (+3 ARM and tough for warrior model/unit), Freezing mist (cold based Burning Ash), Hand of Ice (cheap ARM Debuff) and Light of Wrath (AoE to remove Stealth and DEF Debuff). These are some top quality changes. Ret get a snazzy cloud wall to play with, an ARM and DEF debuff on one caster.
All in all I can see Goreshade with a pair of Phoenixes, or a Chimera and some Hydras with a swarm of Infantry bodies on the field. Clouds keep them a little safe, then when it’s feat time use the AFG to clear LoS to a caster, lay down Hand of Ice and Light of Wrath and a couple of shots later, they’re down. If the Houseguard rifles get to aim, effective RAT 9, POW 12s tend to finish off most casters. Sentinels make an excellent tarpit with Dauntless, especially with a Lys Healer backing them up. SO MUCH POTENTIAL. 10/10
Another substantial re-work. Ravyn hasn’t seen much play time since the nine voices went silent. She lost some jack points and vortex of destruction, picked up sprint and native weapon master. Combined with her feat, it’s a little tricky but you could in theory Charge something, kill it, get a feated Quickwork shot, Swift hunter 2″, Take her standard ranged attack, swift hunter, buy a melee attack, quickwork… and so on, Then sprint back to safety. Fairly corner case, But the whole package lets Ravyn project enough to mix it up at the mid range.
Spellwise, she lost the rarely used eliminator and vortex of destruction to get counter measure (no ranged attacks within 5″ of model/unit) and Open Fire (one battlegroup model in control can make a melee or ranged attack).
First thoughts immediately go to Hyperion. Between snipe, her feat and open fire you have just enough focus to cast open fire on one Hyperion for a boosted range 16 aoe 5″ followed by hotswapping snipe onto the next Hyperion and another open fire! Add in an AFG for +2″ range and you have a budget Harkevich! Ravyn still hates things with stealth and clouds, but ret have a few ways of dealing with those now.
Countermeasure is cute on units like MHI or MHSF. They’re DEF is high enough they’re awkward to remove for some armies, and can lock down ranged attacks against them almost completely to cause some order of activation issues. Running the Spears of Scyrah right up to Double Judicators doesn’t sound terrible. She’s now a far stronger caster! 8/10 simply for her feat being boost and not additional die… I’m greedy.
Models – Jacks
At 16 points for a pair of pillows and admittedly acceptable gun with poor RAT and range, a 2 point drop and some RFP, the daemon “carved out a niche” for itself in the Dev’s own words. it’s something you bring when you know there’s a lot of recursion or souls around. 6/10 Daemon doesn’t hit all the right notes, but it’s definitely better.
A nerf! But a justified one in the eyes of PP, as it’s what got Disco in theme, allowing any caster to take her in Forges. Her spray no longer stops spell casting and instead reduces DEF by 2 and stops orders being given or received. Against Medium based models (or just tough models) this could prove to be quite useful. Her bond was changed so that when she imprints, Rahn gets it too. Extra ARM for Rahn is nice, and whilst he was already immune to blast damage, this lets him protect support a little better than just picking the direction things deviate in. Gonna give this a 7/10
The Gorgon has always been… Interesting. The only light with a gun for a long time, the speed debuff was great, but there were very few things it could tag that couldn’t then kill it back. It had a niche with Elara 1 where it could scamper away. Forcelock on a 12/16 chassis has always been a little laughable. The Gorgon changed a few times through the CID process and finally settled on making it Spray 8. This means the likes of Issyria and Ravyn could consider one or two (still on Elara I guess) as Ret have very few options for clearing out infantry efficiently. Fun Fact, under Issyria’s feat and Sentinels with Inviolable Resolve, the spray isn’t particularly likely to kill sentinels, meaning you could use it as an emergency line clearer. I’ll give this an 8/10. It doesn’t make the gorgon an auto include, and doesn’t fix the innate problems with the jack, but its world’s above where it was.
A massive points drop! PP was very reluctant to actually make Hyperion better. So we’re still stuck RAT 5 crit fishing with 2d3 piddly guns that could have maybe seen a covering fire rule. It’s not flashy and it all skews around that one special rule. But it’s now Range 12. It’ll see some niche use with Issyria, as always, and now Ravyn. I used to run one with Garryth for Sentry. 6/10.
A small points drop. 18 points for Hypnos was a bit of a hard sell, as a jack that wasn’t particularly durable and brought some niche special rules. The gun is a budget Tanith’s, but Ghost Shot definitely has uses, especially when it counters things that tend to be a hard counter to Ossyan. Like the Daemon it’s based on, it has a little trouble in melee, but its arguably the best melee jack we have Vs high DEF thanks to MAT 7 and shadowbind. 7/10
A 2 point drop and a MAT buff. Finally! Ret get a jack with noteworthy MAT! Imperatus has always been fun, with janky assassination angles and being quite hard to kill… That is until grievous wounds was everywhere. Now GW is a little less common, Imperatus makes a great addition as an assassination piece for most armies in Legions. Let’s go straight to the 10/10 here.
Another stellar improvement. Speed 7 makes it an iconic piece. PP have really tried hard to make our characters actually feel like characters. Discordia has that spray, Imperatus at MAT 8, Hypnos has Ghost shot and shadow bind. Hemera has reposition, mark target and a funky gun and now, Moros! Speed 7, parry (acrobatics with Garryth) and 1″ reach means it can actually dart in and out of melee like a true assassin jack! It’s in Shadows too, so you can almost have an entire list where the only non-stealth model is your caster! Fun times. Sticking him on Elara 1 could be a good call, and with the Spears around, keeping Elara alive isn’t too hard. 9/10.
I’ve never liked the 18 point ret jacks. Neither were particularly hard to kill and neither offered much utility other than a bigger stick. The Phoenix got a point drop and a mat boost. Still a little pricey for a jack of all trades, but an arc node, the phoenix field and a decent sword make it a great anchor for an army. 6/10
Models – Units
Starting with the most expensive paperweights I ever bought, Destors lost quick work, assault and gun fighter. They picked up Dual Attack, the lance cannon got bumped to POW 14 and gained a special rule, so if you hit something with the lance, you auto hit with the gun. MAT 7 Cavalry are already pretty damn great at hitting just about everything, so landing a hit on a caster would be game over. Something a little unique to this unit, you can charge the front line with the lance, use the quick shot to dig out some support, then Repo 3″ from the front lines for a little protection. Casters like Goreshade and Issyria could do good things with them. If you can’t fit a cloud in front of the unit after they charge in, set it so anything charging them gets -2 to hit, coupled with dauntless resolve, unyielding and the new Artificer, you have a unit that might actually be worth 20 points. 8/10
Went down a point, nice. At 15 points they’re now cheaper than a unit of houseguard rifles, 5 POW 14 shots a turn at aiming RAT 10 should clear out the bulk of anything dug in front of them. The UA picked up reposition 3, meaning they can still advance towards zones whilst clearing out hard to hit enemies, or make sure they’re not quite so bunched up after charging with their .5″ reach. 7/10
Controversial… FA 4, dropped to 8 points lost their most iconic ability in favour of Set Defence. What does this mean? DEF 15 is solid vs a charge, but DEF 13 ARM zip means they’ll die before they get there. Reach 1″ is nice and you can now spam them as relatively cheap bodies on the field. There are arguments on both sides here, “You can take a free artificer and give them force barrier back!” Yeah, but that’s a free solo slot gone, or makes the unit effectively 13 points for what they were already doing plus set defence. I’ll reserve too much judgement here until I get them on the table, but I can’t say I’m jumping for joy. 3/10.
Another change I’m not too enthusiastic about. Infiltrators went up to 15 points and gained combo strike. Combo strike is gold, we all know that Shadows had an issue hurting anything tougher than a wet tissue, and now infiltrators can either stab at MAT 8 with two POW 11s or a single POW 14. It’s not epic, but its the best the list can get and a massive utility boost. 15 points is my clincher though, I feel it’s at least 1 point too expensive for what they bring to the table, 5/10
Gained CRA to make up for their appalling RAT for an elite unit. PP explicitly said this unit would never hit RAT 7, but after seeing the likes of the Blood Pack, I still feel Hunter would have been appropriate, the minifeat is still holding this unit back from being amazing. The UA actually does something now! Unfortunately it’s a granted ability, and I have a special place in my hate box for the vast quantities of granted abilities Ret has (compared to the abundance of tactics in other factions) but magic weapons on the MHSF might not seem like much, but when you need it, you NEED it. 6/10
Became a houseguard unit. This might seem like a minor change but it does a few very important things. A. They give advance move to another unit in theme for 9 points. B. You can let them ignore stealth or give them desperate pace. An extra 2″ of threat could mean the difference between having to use snipe and brutal damage and ignoring stealth is more a headache for enemy positioning than anything, but it gives a unit a solid chance of killing a Sentry Stone before the mannikins do too much damage. 8/10
Models – Solos
Destor Thane. Remember in Mk2 when he was a pretty snazzy gun platform? Great. He’s still not it. He gained the same changes as the Destors, but is also D3 RoF, meaning you could charge in and unleash 3 auto hitting POW 14s into a juicy target like a warpwolf. Add in Scything touch, Ossyan, Goreshade or Issyria and that’s some damage. Unfortunately no change to unyielding, so you’re still looking at 27 points to make Destors work, and its lost if he dies. Force barrier on him from the Artificer means he might not actually die to random Idrians however. 6/10
The big changes. Firstly his drive now stacks with Phoenix field, meaning an Aspis isn’t a terrible choice for him. 11 points gets you a decent shield guard that heals D6+D3 a turn, and when it needs to clear a charge lane could call crush, burn arcanist focus for the charge and get a few decent POW 15 attacks in. It’s not as great as with the flank of old Legions, but for any non-jack caster it’ll be useful. He gained Set Defence meaning he isn’t quite so trivial to remove after he does his big combo smite either. All battle mages went to Reach 1 too, so an extra .5″ threat is never a bad present. Force wall also changed from a 3″ bubble to a RNG 6 model/unit. It means stuff can run after receiving it, but its harder to keep support and your caster in a little protective bubble. 8/10
CMD 9, lost force barrier for set defence, reach 1 and gained veteran leader Shyeel Trooper. This means battle mages are MAT 7 or MAGIC 7 ultimately. He might genuinely be the most squishy solo in faction after the arcanists now, as losing force barrier means any stray pow 10 crossing the field is going to have him in the ER with a special episode about coping with the death of a colleague. Meh. He didn’t need to lose force barrier. 3/10
- 2x Chimera
- 2x Houseguard Thane
- Fane Knight Skeryth
- Lys Healer
- 2x Heavy Rifle Teams
- 2x Halbs and UA
- Rifles and UA
This list was a kneejerk reaction to seeing the pre-fixed defenders theme and I decided to run with it anyway. Halbs have always been premier jammers, and Goreshade giving them tough, or letting them hit pow 16 or mat 10 charges is amazing. The clouds keep them mostly safe too, and if in a pinch being DEF 15 Vs melee or 17 vs the charge can’t be bad. All the arc nodes because Goreshade loves flexibility, though this list lacks a real armour cracker other than the phoenix. The Rifles are spot removal and zone contesters, a 2-3 man CRA should take out most awkward solos and ignoring stealth means that Goreshade can focus on other things.
- 2x Hyperion
- 2x Stormfall Archers
- Houseguard Thane
- 2x Arcanist
A janky fun list I don’t expect to do well in the meta, other than vs lots of small base spam. Anti shooting makes it sad, but I can’t resist the urge to put down 3 huge bases and stormfalls on the table!
- 2x Siren
- 2x MHA
- 3x Arcanists
- MHSF and UA
- Spears of Scyrah
- Infiltrators + Eiryss
Being able to add UA eiryss for free is great, but it actually turned out better to not add her for free for that 3rd free card. Ambushing Infiltrators should be pretty easy to catch in feat range given models/units. No arc node for scything touch is not great… but Moros should make an excellent choice. Him or the spears.
- 2x Phoenix
- 2x Arcanist
- 2x Artificer
- 2x Battle mages
- 2x Arcanist units
Rahn has always felt like this should be his home. The list lacks bodies but can trade up pretty effectively, and the two phoenixes can not only get work done, but make great arc nodes. I’m really hyped to try this one!
A broad set of changes for the faction! They don’t go nearly as far as some of the re-works of other CIDs, but as a bolster to keep Ret competitive it was ultimately successful in my eyes, We didn’t get anything ridiculously OP like certain recent CIDs, but we picked up some changes across the board that’ll keep Ret in the game.
Your thoughts on the CID?