Hey all, here again to bring you another exciting “Dark Horse” list. I am fulfilling another request for one of our valued readers, though I am also fulfilling one of my own desires as this is my favorite warcaster for the Retribution faction and have been playing him since MK II came out. I am going to be focusing upon, as the title would suggest, “Garryth the Blade of the Retribution.” I will first point out where this is under the “Dark Horse” articles to me it is by no means a “Dark Horse” list, in my opinion of course, lol. Some of the models have been selected based upon what they can do for Garryth while others will help out the whole army. There are even models in the list due to the fact that they are able to function on their own without support from the warcaster, as when I take a look at him you will see that he is one that can be greedy at times with his spells and abilities. So here is the list:
Dahli Hallyr with Skarath 9
10 Dawnguard Sentinels with Officer and Standard 11
House Shyeel Artificer 3
House Shyeel Artificer 3
House Shyeel Battle Mages 5
House Shyeel Magister 2
House Shyeel Magister 2
Lanyssa Ryssyl 2
Madelyn Corbeau 2
Mage Hunter Assassin 2
Mage Hunter Assassin 2
Lets take a look at our warcaster now. Garryth has above average SPD, now combine this with the fact that he has built into him the pathfinder ability, gives him a very decent threat range, also he has immunity to free strikes. The combination of these 3 abilities alone means that all you have to do is clear a charge lane and get line of sight to the target you want him to destroy. He has a MAT that is way above average for a warcaster, though don’t get to excited as he isn’t up there with the Butcher but not far behind either. His RAT is just barely above average, though when combined with one of his other abilities, Arcane Assassin, it goes a long way. He has above average DEF, but this is to make up for his below average ARM and life bar. He has an average FOC stat to where if he was to camp all of his focus then he has the same ARM as a Khadoran warjack. All this aside he has 2 hand cannons and 2 melee weapons with below average POW+STR, though again this is because of his Arcane Assassin ability as well as the fact that his melee weapons have Grievous Wounds built in (this is where if you hit a model with the model loses tough, can not heal or be healed, and can not transfer damage) and he is also a weapon master with his melee weapons. He also has stealth naturally built in. Since I keep bringing up the ability of Arcane Assassin I guess I have to tell you what it does. Arcane Assassin allows Garryth to ignore focus adding to a model’s ARM, as well as ignoring spell affects that add to DEF or ARM. Keep in mind this will not let him ignore spells in general, for example with spells that put him at a minus to hit will still work (such as Ashen Veil) as he just ignores spells that add to DEF and ARMFor everything he has he is in my eyes a very good warcaster.
Now for Garryth’s spell list, to me this is where he is lacking a little. I will start of with my favorite spell of his Mirage, this is an upkeep spell that costs about half of his FOC to cast (the friendly faction model/unit gets to place completely within 2″ of its location after the upkeep is paid). I mention the upkeep part as being key for this spell as you will not get any use out of the spell if facing an enemy that can get rid of upkeeps. Gallows is a spell that costs yet again half of his focus but it at least has average range and POW, as well as the added affect that if you hit an enemy model then that model is pushed D6″ towards the point of origin. Psychic Vampire is an upkeep spell for Garryth that whenever an enemy model casts a spell in his control area that model takes a point of damage and he heals a point, though this is counter productive to his feat, which I will discuss later. Lastly he has Death Sentence, which is a below average range spell and cost, an offensive upkeep, that allows for friendly models to reroll missed attack rolls against the affected model/unit. Now to take a look at his feat. While in his control area enemy models can not be used to channel spells nor can they cast spells, models also can not spend focus while in his control area and can not be placed. With the fact that models can not cast spells while in his control area one can now see why his Psychic Vampire spell and feat contradict each other.
As for the list lets take a look at his battlegroup. The Aspis is there for one reason, to take the hits for Garryth. The Aspis is able to use its Shield Guard ability to take the hit of a range attack that you don’t want to have hit Garryth. Normally Retribution light warjacks only has 6 damage boxes for its force field, however the Aspis has 10 damage boxes for its force field. It also has an ability to repair D6 damage to its force field each maintenance phase, this will allow for the Aspis to protect Garryth for a longer period of time. Though this model is not out yet I have seen it used as a proxy and it does work great. It also has beat back on its weapons to help push enemy models out of the way when you are trying to clear charge lanes. The Gorgon for me is only ever used with Garryth, though I know it has still has its uses but I can only ever get it to be effective with Garryth and only under the right situation. If I am playing against a warmachine army then this is where the Gorgon shines. I like to give it a focus and have it run to engage a key model that is able to spend focus, if some how I can get it on a warcaster then that is even better. I will have it engage a model in this fashion for one reason, I usually will use Garryth’s feat on that turn so a warcaster or warjack is unable to spend focus and the Gorgon also has the Force Lock ability, an ability that keeps models from advancing while in it’s melee range. This means on a feat turn that the warcaster or warjack is unable to spend focus so they have to deal with the Gorgon without focus and they can’t move away from it. Granted there are ways around this but that means they have to do their order of operation properly to free up whatever model that is Force Locked. In an ideal situation I have gotten the Gorgon on the warcaster to Force Lock him/her, Garryth uses his feat, now the warcaster can’t get away, and Garryth is more than likely within charge range for the following turn.
I selected the rest of the models in the list for the reason they can either support Garryth or they are able to function on their own, so lets take a look at the models that can function on their own first. I selected Dahli Hallyr and Skarath as they are able to deal with multiple infantry models, though Dahli can’t do it herself she is able to hinder warrior models. She has an upkeep spell that makes it so she can’t be targeted by melee or ranged attack by warrior models and while in her control area (of 8″) models can’t give or receive orders. She also has a spell that gives a model pathfinder and the ability to when it is hit with a melee attack the model gets to make a melee attack back once, then the spell expires. The fact that she has an upkeep spell and only one other spell that costs her have of her fury this means she can upkeep, cast her other spell, then still have 1 fury to transfer, and she can consistently do this every turn. Skarath is a very versatile heavy warbeast. Though he is not able to trash a heavy on its own as he only has one melee attack, this attack is barely above a Khadoran heavy warjack’s fist. He does have the ability to be forced so he can leap for another 5″ after performing a normal advance, this leap will ignore terrain and free strikes. Combine this with the 10″ spray at average RAT and above average POW he has a very long threat range on his range attack. As I said he won’t be able to trash a heavy but he will take care of infantry for you as well as soften up any lights in his path. The Mage Hunter Assassins are able to function on their own as they are meant to team up on something together. The fact that they have Arcane Assassin makes their ability to do double damage over a model’s ARM and the fact that they are weapon masters means they are going to do a lot of damage. They also are pathfinders that have above average SPD and have 4″ reach during their activations means they are able to get to their targets with ease, though they do have below average ARM they at least are stealthy. Narn goes with them wherever they go as he has the same SPD and pathfinder/stealth abilities, though he is able to ignore free strikes and move through models. He is also a weapon master though he is lacking the ability to do double damage he at least is able to ignore spell effects as well as the fact he has 2 melee weapons. Reason I send him in last is he has the ability to where if he kills an enemy model he gets to advance away. The Dawnguard Sentinels are the last models in this list. They are weapon masters with reach, and they already have above average MAT and melee POW. While the officer is alive they have the ability to move and make a melee attack whenever they have lost a model in the unit as a result of an enemy model. So on their own they have a 10″ threat range on the charge, add 3 more inches if they lost a model the previous turn, now combine this with the fact you have been upkeeping Mirage on them this gives them a 12″ charge threat or 15″ if they lost a model the turn before.
Now time to take a look at the support models. I like to split up the House Shyeel Artificers, one to help support the Sentinels and the other to help out Garryth. They have above average ARM and life for a solo, though they are hard to hide as they are on medium bases and have below average DEF, but like all House models they gain a bonus to DEF against range attacks and don’t suffer blast damage. The last mentioned ability is key as they have a spell that gives out the basic House ability to friendly models that are close to them, this means Garryth and the Sentinels now get a bonus to DEF against range attacks and now don’t suffer blast damage, which is key more so for Garryth as with his low ARM blast damage can do a decent amount to him. They also help by clearing charge lanes as they have a spell that when it hits a model you can either push other models close to the model hit towards or away from the model hit. The Battle Mages and Magisters all have the spell where if they hit an enemy model they can either push or pull a model a random distance, as well as knocking down the model on a critical hit. This spell helps to move models out of charge lanes or bring them closer to you. The best ability though is on the Magisters, though the spell is very short range they have a second spell that if you hit an enemy model then a friendly model close to the Magister gets to move a short distance, great for lining a charge lane up for Garryth. Lanyssa is there as she has a spell that if it hits an enemy model your friendly models get to charge the model hit at an additional distance, and without being forced or spending focus. Also she has a decent magic ability/attack spell that can be used to clear lanes out and if you get a critical hit the model becomes stationary. She does have the ability to get rid of eyeless sight/pathfinder from eye models so this will allow you to get the first strike. The last model is Madelyn, for me she is usually up near the front next to the Sentinels. She has the ability to where when she is hit by an enemy range attack she has to have a friendly model close to her take the hit. Reason I would rather have the Sentinels take the hit is because as long as they are base to base with each other they gain a bonus to ARM which puts them just under ARM of models in shield wall. But it is the ability to allow for one of my warrior models to move in the maintenance phase a good distance if there is an enemy model in her CMD range, the friendly model must also be in her CMD range but that is easy to do as she has a good CMD range. This for me is usually used to move Garryth to get him in position to charge or get him close to the Magister so when the Magister hits with his spell that allows for another friendly model to move Garryth is now an eligible model. Keep in mind that this ability of her’s is a passive ability to so it take nothing to use. Her other ability is a special action for her but she can automatically take over a living enemy warrior model to make it move and make a normal melee attack. Though this ability can not be used on a warcaster/warlock it can be used to move a model out of the way of a charge lane and possibly the model taken over can kill another model in the way of a charge lane. If you were to add up all the bonuses to charging and moving Garryth that is out there in this list, ignoring models that have random effects to moving or moving enemy models due to pushing, 18 and a half inch threat for Garryth (20.5″ if you upkeep Mirage on Garryth) and this is all before pushing models closer to you due to spell abilities.