Retribution 2013 – A Year in Review

2013 was a wild year for the Retribution. Between the emergence of Vyros2, the additions of Infiltrators and other releases slated for early 2014 this faction really looks, plays, and feels decidedly different than it did before.


My lists like most players I know endured more than a few changes, and I played 5 of Ret’s casters in tournaments this year and just thought I’d share a bit of my experiences. Unsurprisingly, Garryth and Vyros1 were the casters I didn’t play. Try to contain your surprise. I’ll be covering the lists I’ve had success with concerning the ‘main 5’ in Ret.


Starting with my most commonly played caster and my favorite one still in the game: Kaelyssa.


This list isn’t anything really new and truth be told it hasn’t changed except for the last 5 points that aren’t Myrmidons, units, and Arcanists:


Kaelyssa +7

Discordia 10

Banshee 10

Phoenix 10


Sylys 2

Arcanists x 2

Lanyssa Ryssyl 2


Full Halberdiers with UA and Soulless 10

Full Sentinels + UA 11


My most consistently played list of the last two years netted me a 3-1 record at the Spring IMC, 3-2 at Lock and Load tournaments, and maintained a roughly 75% win clip throughout  the year. The only times I really ran into trouble with it was largely on terrain riddled battlefields.  Large amounts of difficult terrain were really it’s only weakness. No particular matchups gave it to much of a headache, it’s greatest weakness other than terrain is generally accuracy at range. Kaelyssa is very accurate, and Discordia can be, but oftentimes missing with the big guns on the Banshee and Phoenix can really cripple a turn.


It also is a cripplingly slow list often early in a game.  No AD, the afforementioned lack of pathfinder, and the lack of a real speed buff on the Myrmidons means feating just to position properly often cost me a turn or two just on positioning. The solid points of the list remain a good defense vs most shooting lists, great spell defense answers, and having two units that absolutely wreck medium ARM heavies while still being accurate enough to hit Bonejacks and Angelius still makes a scary combination.


I tried it a few times with Eiryss3 and Infiltrators instead of the Sentinels and despite my early skepticism it performed very well.  Having a good jam unit that in a way STILL has spell hate between Stealth and Mage Killer often gave me a much more forward board presence while threatening hard targets, a bunch of boosted POW 11s can still be quite effective as a front line if you select the targets properly.


I also tried it sans Discordia and the Soulless and with the Infiltrator package, and that seemed to really be the key ticket to the list. Discordia is such an underrated heavy in the Warmahordes community and I always loving having her in a list but in the future I think she’ll probably go into Issyria or Ravyn’s lists. Kaelyssa needs mobility to back up her assassination and feat threats, and a metric ton of accurate infantry on the table works the best.


Next up is the mercurial and the caster I tend to swear at oftentimes more than my opponents: Ossyan.


Ossyan +6

Banshee 10

Hypnos 9

Arcanist 1

Houseguard Thane 2

Eiryss3 + Full Infiltrators 11

Full Halberdiers + UA 9

Full Houseguard Riflement + UA 10

Lady Aiyana and Master Holt 4


While I admit Ossyan wasn’t a tournament staple of mine this list has done very well for me so far and presents what I consider to be a more balanced alternative to using Ossyan. Building for attrition and killing a targeted portion of the enemy’s list instead of just trying to win the game on feat turn is the name of the game with this list.  It’s doing good so far. I greatly respect Hypnos in this list, I know he’s greatly maligned but in the right matchup he’s nothing short of money.



Next, my pride and joy of scenario games: Rahn


The Rahn List that for me hasn’t changed since I started playing it at the Spring IMC:


Rahn +6

Phoenix 10

Phoenix 10

Aspis 4


Arcanist x 2

Mage Hunter Assassins x2  4


Full Nyss 10

Full Sentinels + UA 11

Battle Mages 5


It’s frighteningly straightforward. Often that’s is it’s strength however.  Two weapon master units, 3 Myrmidons to target with Force Blast to clear zones/flags and early threat models like the MHAs really give me the ability to be aggressive in the early game and make my opponents respect their insane threat range with Telekinesis. Overall this list is by far my most successful list in tournaments for the year as far as number of wins.  Besides a few fumbles in dice I can only recall 3 total losses for it in the whole year compared to over a dozen wins.  He went undefeated at the Spring IMC and I could have easily played him more if my comfort level with Kaelyssa wasn’t as high.


Opponents who don’t bring Colossals or tremendous armor can often struggle to match Rahn’s combination of Assassination, Scenario, and support characteristics.  My only real flexible spot in the list right now is the Aspis.  I haven’t had Shield Guard come up much in games with this list, but it’s Beat Back and Ridiculous amounts of shields have given me the ability to hold and take scenario zones/flags when  needed. I could see subbing him perhaps Eiryss2 and a Soulless attached to the Sentinels. This list does have some spell weaknesses which is why I drop it most commonly vs non-Mountain King Trolls and non-Mammoth Skorne.


I don’t build this list to fight Stealth matchups, so the Thane and Riflemen don’t seem to factor in to the future plans for the list, neither does Eiryss3 as speed and Jam aren’t needed nearly as much with a caster with Polarity Shield the fact Rahn is just as content to move his opponents models rather than tie them up.

My updated playtest version drops the Aspis and the MHAs for the Fane Knight and Eiryss2.  Seems to work well but does lose a slight amount of early punch. Updates on that will be talked about in future Into the Arena Episodes I’m sure.


The big daddy himself, Vyros2.


At first with Vyros2 I wasn’t 100% sure where to go with his list. He’s a very different caster in almost every way than anything we’ve seen in Ret before, and that’s  not bad, just required different thinking. I have no real issues with running him non-Tiered, I’ve had considerable success doing so on multiple occasions because he is just that flexible of a caster. My most successful non-tiered variant with him:



4xGriffon 16

3xAspis 12


Lanyssa Ryssyl 2

Arcanist x 2

Eiryss2 3


Full Sentinels +UA 11

Full Halberdiers + UA 9


This list was concieved out of my desire to play Vyros2 more forward than most Ret casters. With Deflection he can really support his infantry and with Lanyssa the extended charges for the already speedy Halbs and Easy Rider to get them into a solid position really did make a considerable impact every game I played this list. The Aspis inclusion is one I’ve been criticized for a few times, and I understand the reasoning for running almost pure Griffons.  My reasoning for the Aspis stems from not having any large bases to hide Vyros2, wanting to give my Griffons more survivability by not letting them get taken out early by Menoth/Legion shooting, and with Beat back they really can be excellent setup pieces.


The Regenerating shields in this version especially makes a difference because you can the Aspis as a running Tarpit on low POW infantry (Flameguard, Steelhead Halbs, etc) and ifthey survive (which they likely will) you may get a regeneration and a synergy trigger out of them because they only have to hit once and in a Synergy Army that isn’t hard.


However, I do believe at this point in time he is best in Tier, and the version of him I’ve run the most and have had most success with:


Tier 4 Guardians at the Gate



4xGriffon 16

3xAspis 12

Phoenix 10


Arcanist x 2

Destor Thane 4


Full Sentinels + UA 11


The Triple Aspis can easily be substituted around for more Griffons but this is the version I’m going to stick with until I have a compelling reason to change it. The Phoenix gives great emergency infantry clearing in addition to a big threat on just 2-3 Synergy chains. With a ton of boxes, high speed, and Phoenix Field he can get a lot of work done and has for me in this list.

I fully admit I’m currently running a 5 Griffon and 2 Aspis combination.  Positioning the two Aspis remaining in the list seems to do almost the same thing and the extra Griffon is of course money.


Finishing with the Threat Range queen herself, Ravyn:


I find Ravyn to be a caster for which there is no decidely wrong way to play her.  Between her Battlegroup, solos, melee unit choice (if any), and Solos to round out the list her skewing potential is off the charts and her favorable matchups  only appear to be getting better.


My most successful list in tournaments this year:



Banshee 10

Banshee 10


Arcanist x 2

Ghost Sniper 2


Lady Aiyana and Master Holt 4

Max Mage Hunter Infiltrators 8

Max Mage Hunter Strike Force + UA 10

Stormfall Archers x 2 10


I fully admit the Ghost Sniper was purely an accidental use of 2 points.  He did however prove useful picking off support models/solos like widowmakers, beast handlers, and getting the last few points of damage in the right column for Jacks. That 2 point slot is 100% open to interpretation.


When I approach a caster and try to make lists for them, I try to find a use for any/all spells on their card. I really missed the use of Locomotion with Ravyn when I played Hyperion.  I realize Snipe is a great on the big guy, but in a meta like mine that kills colossals like it’s an olympic sport, I really wanted my Myrmidons to be not only damage dealing models in the list, but also setup models for the rest of the army.  They proved to be that in spades in the games I played this list in. I had her take out 2 excellent Haley2 players playing vastly different lists in subsequent rounds of one of our local tournaments.


Having the Locomotion gave me the alpha strike on a Harmed Stormwall after walking the Banshee over a wall then charging the Stormwall, a move that my opponent was admittedly unprepared for. Having Wailing inserted into the middle of an opposing army can buy you a turn or two more of shooting in the right matchup was well. With Veil of Mists you also have something that  is very dangerous in Retribution: heavies with access to Pathfinder on a stick. And a 13” charge threat. Not shabby.


In addition to messing up units, the Wailing on the Banshee can stop a spell assasination literally dead in it’s tracks as well. Crit Grievous wounds gives you backdoor assassiination in case your shooting doesn’t get it done for you.


I’m not saying the double Banshee version is better than the Hyperion+Eiryss3 insertion, but it creates a dangerous and accurate way to make the middle of the board VERY tenuous for your opponents models to occupy. Having the Knockdown also sets up the Stormfalls for the killing arrow shots, and that’s never a bad thing.




I look forward to 2014 and I can’t wait to see how our new releases impact the meta both locally and nationally. I fully expect this to be Ret’s best year for con showings and will probably have a much larger impact on the list builds of other factions, something that we didn’t have the ability to do before.

Look forward to more articles on Ret throughout the year.  Picking up Cygnar again for the first time in over 3 years is definitely going to be a fun challenge and I’m maintaining my Menoth collection for Into the Arena games as well.

Thanks for reading!




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  1. Matthew said:

    thank you so much for the article. 🙂 i remember you playing with vyros1 during 1 of the episodes of ITA? did you enjoy it?:D

  2. joelker41 said:

    I did. His tier list is very fun and bakaryu’s list is quite good. I was mostly just posting this article to review what I had success with because there were questions on it. I’m looking forward to writing more this year although the next month will likely be Cygnar.

  3. DontStop said:

    Nice write up. I would have liked to have seen more of your opinions on upcoming releases that have been spoiled and reviews on the few models we know stats from in the Vengeance book. Oh well, still a good read.


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