At the tournament at the Game Chamber in London that Nick, Aaron, and I attended a few weeks ago, we met a Retribution player named John. When John discovered that the three of us write battle reports, he jumped at the opportunity to have a game. It took awhile to set up a time, but finally, on Thursday we managed to have a game. John brought two 50 point Retribution lists, and I likewise brought two lists I’m trying to experiment with for the upcoming tournament.
We rolled Supply and Demand for the scenario… a central 12″ zone with 2 objectives, on friendly and one enemy. If the objective is uncontested, warjacks or warbeasts within 4″ can charge for free, and you can’t dominate the central zone if your enemy’s objective is in your warcaster’s CTRL range (we didn’t have a copy of the 2014 Steamroller package handy, but I remember that rule was in 2013 and I was pretty confident it was still there in 2013… if they’ve removed it… oops!). It also has Killbox, joy of joys… ah well. I suppose I had better get used to it!
John had elected to bring an Issyria and a Ravyn list… I was really hoping to get a bit more practice with the Harbinger, but while she can pretty well deal with anything my opponent throws at me… she still struggles against Snipe’d Mage Hunters (14/14 stats will NOT keep her safe, that’s for sure!). I considered… I would basically have 2 turns (if I played it correctly) for the Harbinger and her troops to eliminate the Mage Hunters before they would be free to perforate poor Harby… and if that list happened to be rocking 2 Vanquishers, I would’ve gone for it… but it wasn’t. Instead, my eFeora list has 2 Vanquishers… and at ARM17, Feora is a lot less worried about the Mage Hunters under Ravyn’s Feat ending the game prematurely.
In the end, I had to take Feora. John, as predicted, took Ravyn.
We rolled initiative, which I won, and I chose to go first. John took the side of the table that had elevation (and a safer spot for his warcaster in the Killbox), and we set up.
My army is as follows:
Feora, Protector of the Flame (eFeora, Feora2)
– Reckoner (Bonded)
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Exemplar Errants UA (Officer and Standard Bearer)
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
The Covenant of Menoth (“The Book”)
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Allegiant of the Fist
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
I kinda like the list, but it I lament the lack of Rhupert (who is in my OTHER list with THOSE Errants, instead of here). Having played it now, I think the Devout is mostly wasted… useful/needed when eFeora is running a Judicator, but pretty pointless in this list. With that stated, I’m probably going to drop the Devout, bring in Gravus for the Book, and then find something else to spend the extra 2 points on… maybe another paladin? I dunno.
Regardless, John’s Ravyn list was as follows:
Ravyn, Eternal Light
– Sylys Wyshnyler (“Nailer of Wishes”)
Arcantrik Force Generator (AFG)
Mage Hunter Strike Force (min)
– Mage Hunter Strike Force UA (Officer)
House Shyeel Artificer
Dawnguard Sentinels (max)
– Dawnguard Sentinel UA (Officer and Standard)
One of the more unique Ravyn lists I’ve seen, but I like it! The synergy between Snipe on the Hyperion, plus the +2 RNG bonus from the AFG, means that the Sparkleburst cannon can reach out 16″ while aiming (!)… and with free boosted hit rolls on Feat turn, even those POW12 Thresher cannons on Hyperion will be serious threats! Also, I love the AFG… if it only had some way to boost damage, it would hands-down be the best battle engine in the game. As it is, it’s pretty middle of the road… good synergies, hard to kill, but not bonkers-crazy-good.
Both Hyperion and the AFG had to be set up first, and they went down near the hill on John’s side of the board.
Thus established, I placed my Vanquishers and Reckoner closer to John’s huge bases (figuring that Ravyn wouldn’t be far away from Hype, and hoping that a few lucky deviations from my Vanquishers’ 4″ Pie Plates o’ Fire could put him on his back foot!), with Feora smack in the middle of the table and the Devout next to her. The Covenant went to the right side near the Allegiant (who was kept far away from the boostable guns of the Hyperion!), while my Paladin when across the table from those both (probably a mistake? Both the AFG and Hype have magic ranged weapons, and the AFG has Gunfighter so I couldn’t engage it and be safe either!). My Choir went near my warjacks, my Vassals behind the Vanquishers, and I held the Errants and Wracks aside for Advanced Deployment.
John dropped Ravyn near the middle of the table with Sylys and the Artificer (beautiful model, neat rules… I’m a little stunned that this is my first time ever playing against one!), and the Dawnguard going out to my right (across from the Covenant and Kicky Monk). The Fane Knight took up position on the far right, and he was done.
I dropped my Errants as close to the Sentinels as I could (they’d be mulched by Hyperion, sure, but I was pretty sure I could clear out his infantry faster than he could clear out mine!), with the Wracks spread out along the front line where Feora was heading (when going in a burnt out building on the left).
Lastly, John dropped his MHSF across from my Errants (curses!), and we were ready to go!
Menoth Turn 1
Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the board before our first turn… but such is life sometimes (or I *did* take the pictures, but they turned out so badly that the owner of the game store, Tim, who owned the camera I was borrowing, elected not to upload them!).
Regardless, Feora allocates 1 Focus to each warjack, keeping the last one for herself. The Errants go first, running forward to get within range of John’s MHSF, with the Book activating behind them and running forward.
The Allegiant walked forward and dropped into Shifting Sands, while the Paladin just ran behind cover near the Wrack on the left side of the table. I elected to move my warjacks before Feora, just to help a bit in the “unpacking”, and so my 3 heavies all ran forward.
The Hierophant activates and sings Harmonious Exhaultation. Feora went next, moving up behind a fence and casting “Escort”. The Devout moved up next to her.
Lastly, my Choir activated and sung “No Shooting” on my warjacks, catching all of them… sure, it wouldn’t protect them from Hyperion, but it WOULD protect them from the MHSF, and that’s pretty important too!
With that, my turn was done, and it was over to my worthy opponent!
(That’s Nick in the background of the first picture there… he had come by to pick up Issyria and decided to hang around long enough to give some moral support to my opponent… that’s loyalty for ya!)
Retribution Turn 1
John started by having Ravyn sing the song of her people (“MY FOCUS! NOT YOURS! MINE!”), and we were off.
Ravyn went first, moving forward slightly and casting “Snipe” on the Mage Hunters. She spent 1 Focus to make her gun shot into an AoE, and fired it towards my Errants… it was out of range, but scattered to hit one, which it killed and I Self-Sacrificed it off to another nearby Errant. She then cast Vortex of Destruction n herself, and finished.
Sylys moved up next to her, and the Artificer moved up and used its “Forcefield” ability (+2 DEF and immunity to blast damage to friendly models within 3″… that’s a NEAT model!).
The Hyperion walked forward, fired its Sparkleburst cannon, which scattered harmlessly away. The AFG ran forwards onto the hill next to Hype.
Next, the Mage Hunters activated and moved laterally closer to the middle of the table, and opened fire on my Errants. Needing 7s to hit, the majority of the shots flew wide, but one or two struck true and dropped a few Errants. His Sentinels run forward to stand in front of the Mage Hunters. The Fane Knight moves up behind several Sentinels, and John finishes his turn!
Menoth Turn 2
The battle is well and truly joined at this point… it’s time for a little payback!
I upkeep Escort, and allocate 1 to both Vanquishers and my Reckoner. Feora camps the last few Focus, and we’re off.
The Choir activates first, moving forward and singing “Battle” on my warjacks.
The first Vanquisher goes next, moving forward 6″ (thank Menoth for Escort!) and firing a shot towards Ravyn… it sadly scatters onto only the Hyperion, which it lits on fire but is immune to blast damage from the Artificer.
I activate a Vassal, which moves forward and gives “Ancillary Attack” to that Vanquisher, but this time the shot scatters away completely harmlessly.
No worries… I have yet another Vanquisher! It moves up and fires at the Artificer in front of Ravyn… the shot scatters onto Hyperion again, damnation. Fine. The Vassal moves up and gives it an “Ancillary Attack”, which I fire at the two closest Sentinels. The shot hits, and obliterates both easily. That’s more like it!
Of course, now John is going to get his Vengeance attacks with the Sentinels, so I had better do my best to blunt that a bit!
The Book activates and gives the Errants Fire-infused weaponry… just in case.
My Errants activate and charge. 5 of them successfully charge his front line of Sentinels, while the other 4 (including the Officer and Standard) just run up to tie up other troops. The Charge attacks are successful for the most part, and 4 more Sentinels are dropped. Sadly, due to the surviving ones and a bit of bad luck/placement on my part, none of my Errants get their Quick Work shots off! Curses! That would’ve helped a lot… I’ll have to be more careful about how I position them when charging troops with Reach in the future!
The Seneschal activates, walks forward, and takes a shot at a Sentinel that flies wide.
The Allegiant walks forward and drops into Shifting Sands again.
On the other side of the table, the Paladin walks forward and drops into “Stone-and-Mortar”, which is good because I forgot that without Vilmon he CAN’T drop into “Impervious Wall”! Whoops! Anyway, never used it this game, so I didn’t cheat… but it was by accident and not by design!
Feora goes next, taking a Focus from a Wrack which explodes. She moves into the Killbox as far from the Hyperion as she can get, and the Hierophant and Devout follow up behind her.
Retribution Turn 2
John starts his turn by confirming that the fire on the Hyperion does not go out, but also fails to wound. His Sentinels then take their Vengeance attacks, killing a few of the Errants (and wounding the Officer but failing to kill him).
Ravyn allocates 3 Focus to Hyperion, upkeeps Snipe for free and pays to upkeep Vortex of Destruction.
Ravyn goes first, moving towards the middle of the table… out in the open…
But I digress. At this moment, Ravyn pops her Feat. She takes a shot at my Allegiant, which is out by a fraction of an inch, but still safely out.
The Artificer walks in front of Ravyn and uses its Forcefield again, while Sylys runs up next to the Artificer to block LoS to Ravyn.
The Hyperion goes next. It walks forward and opens fire with its big gun at my closest Vanquisher, which it hits, boosts damage, and inflicts moderate damage on. The Thresher cannons (a total of 4 attacks between the two sides) hammer into the warjack as well, but despite all of them hitting, the warjack remains fully functional.
The AFG goes next. It moves up and fires the large, powerful AoE at my Vassal… easily within range, it hits, but thankfully nothing else is in the blast. The Vassal is reduced to a fine powder, though, and the AoE remains as Rough Terrain.
Next, the Mage Hunters activate and open fire. 5 of their shots go into the Book, each hitting and inflicting a single point of damage (great ability, that!), with the final shot killing it. The last 2 Mage Hunters open fire at my Seneschal, but both fail to wound.
The Sentinels shuffle around a little and take swings at the Errants, killing off all of them but 1 (the one engaging the Officer, thankfully!).
The Fane Knight charges my Seneschal, hitting and inflicting light wounds with the Impact Attack, and then inflicting 21 points of damage on the Charge attack… I briefly consider Self-Sacrificing, but the Fane Knight still has 1 more attack, and I’ve only got 1 Errant left, so I instead let the Seneschal fall and keep my remaining Errant.
With that, John has finished his turn… he has, however, failed to contest the central zone which still has 3 of my warjacks, and as a result I score my first Control Point! Woo!
Menoth Turn 3
So I’m going to get at least 1 more Control Point this turn, since the central zone can’t be contested until John’s next turn. If I try, I can probably charge the Vanquisher with a couple Focus at John’s Objective to destroy it (1CP) and dominate the central zone (2 more CPs), bringing me to 4… and then “all” I’d have to do is kill whatever he moves into the zone to contest with… which will probably be Hyperion and a bunch of other stuff… hmm. That could be tricky.
Or, you know, I could just kill Ravyn.
I upkeep Escort, allocate 2 Focus to each Vanquisher and 1 to my Reckoner, and we’re off.
The Choir activates and sings Battle again.
The full-health Vanquisher goes next, walking forward 6″ and firing at the Artificer. I boost to hit, hitting him, and boost damage on him, killing him outright (woo!). Sylys is lit on fire but is immune to blast damage (since it happens at the same moment as hitting the Aritficer). That’s okay… with the Artificer gone, Ravyn is no longer immune to blasts, and I have clear Line of Sight to her.
The other Vanquisher moves forward and opens fire on the elven warcaster, boosting to hit… and hits! Nice. I boost damage and inflict 10 points, but the blast thankfully fails to kill Sylys.
“Why thankfully?” I hear you ask? Ah, we’ll get to that.
The Vassal activates, moves up, and gives the first Vanquisher an Ancillary attack, which it fires at Ravyn… needing an 8 to hit… I miss. But the scatter is only an inch, so it still tags Ravyn, and the blast does a few points of damage (she’s camping 2 Focus and is at ARM18, so at dice-9, I was happy to get anything!).
Now, at this point, she’s at 5 health and on fire. At dice-4 from fire damage, I’d need to roll a 9 to kill her… if I can get a couple more points on her, I’m almost guaranteed to kill her assuming that the fire doesn’t go out… and I have a way to make sure that it doesn’t!
I activate Feora… which was a mistake, because I forgot to activate the Hierophant first. Whoops. But, such is life… she walks forward as directly towards Ravyn as she can, and JUST gets her within 12″ to ensure the fire won’t go out.
I briefly consider ending my her activation there, but then I have an idea… I pop her Feat, drawing in 3 Focus from the 3 burning targets within her CTRL (Hyperion, Ravyn, and Sylys… see why it’s good he didn’t die?). I swap the fire from the Hyperion over to a Mage Hunter, and then cast “Fire Step” for 2, moving forward 3″ and putting Ravyn within range of Feora’s 10″ spray… which I then use, boosting to hit, and hitting! Nice!
A POW12 against ARM18 is Dice-6, and she’s got 5 health left… I roll without Focus remaining to boost… and get a 12! Down goes Ravyn!
Victory to the Protectorate!
Phew! Well, if that had all gone Pete Tong on me, I could *probably* keep Feora more-or-less safe… but I still had 1 shot from the Reckoner (with a Focus to boost the hit). I also forgot to pull in a Focus from a Wrack, which was silly of me… I could’ve used it to boost the damage roll (getting an 11 or better on 3d6 is much, much more likely than on 2d6!) or have given it to the Reckoner on Feora’s Feat to allow it to boost to hit AND damage. I got a bit lucky, but all things considered, I was pretty confident about the assassination run (and the eventual death-by-fire if I couldn’t outright kill Ravyn!).
John played a solid game, but Ravyn shouldn’t have been so far foward… parking her behind the AFG and Hyperion but just inside the Killbox would’ve given me a much, much more difficult time… no way to get Line of Sight to her, and elevation to fight against even if I did… plus having to kill the Hyperion would’ve been very difficult at the very least. Sure, I could cast “Ignite” on the Reckoner, given it 4 Focus and sent it off to roll Dice+1 for a charge attack plus 3 bought attacks (and the Assault shot, of course), which I’m sure would *hurt*, but that would be Feora’s full stack for that turn, which would leave none for the Vanquishers (who would probably try to light the Sentinels and Mage Hunters on fire instead). Either way, it would’ve been a longer and more dangerous game if that was what he did.
Also, I managed to tie up his entire Eastern flank with my unit of Errants… basically 14 points worth of my models (full Errants plus UA plus Seneschal plus Book) against 25 points (or so) of John’s troops. And even when that flank collapsed next turn (as it was bound to do), I still had the Kicky Monk there to tie things up and make a general nuisance of himself, mucking around and punching things to death at DEF17.
Anyway, John was a lot of fun to play against, and I’m looking forward to our next game! Thanks for reading, and as always comments, questions, and clarifications are very welcome!