All the new Retribution of Scyrah stuff from the command book came out on Warroom earlier this week, and I wanted to put in my share of baseless speculation before I put anything on the table. I also have a Goreshade 4 list that I'm interested in trying.
Starting at the top after the jump!
Alive-again Goreshade is interesting. He has the same solid statline and weapon he's had in his two previous (Cryx) incarnations: the P+S 15 Voass with automatic Freeze (swoon). He has Field Marshall [Arcane Vortex] which means that he and his army are more or less as immune to spells as you want them to be. This is huge, and having the ability to completely shut down your opponent's magic is a big reason to take Ghyrrshyld.
His spell list has a lot of winners. Ghost Walk is incredible, as are Hex Blast and Mage Sight. Frost Field is one of the best Mat buffs I've seen, and unlike, say, Scything Touch, Frost Field affects a whole unit. I'm not 100% sold on Revive. I've used it successfully with Mordikaar because Ferox have the right mix of durability and offensive power for it to be worthwhile. I'm very optimistic about Sentinels and Revive. Sentinels are amazing regardless, so I'll definitely build a list with them and see how much Revive gets cast. Last is Backlash. The meta is 'jack heavy right now, so it can definitely work. You just need to build for it and put in the work to cast it and whittle down the target. It seems like a decent way to keep pressure on the opponent's 'caster when it comes up.
His feat is weak sauce, but has some interesting internal synergy. You want to jam the opponent, and then have them not be able to clear your jam, resulting in their stuff becoming stationary for your turn (which is when you kill it). It's complicated, and your opponent can get around a lot of it just by killing stuff. Ghost walk lets fast units get behind the opponent's front lines, which is annoying enough to deal with even when things don't end up stationary afterward. Models can be Revived into these positions as well.
My thoughts for Ghyrrshyld right now are Sentinels and a fairly 'jack heavy build with maaayyyybe some Mage Hunters to take advantage of Backlash. Lots of Focus support, since any extra is potential spell denial. Warjacks with long-ranged weapons like the Banshee and Hydra seem good, and the AFG might be a nice piece to add some control and give Warjacks more range to hit awkward places with Mage Sight. He seems to want combined arms. More than that, I'll have to learn by playing him.
Final, minor fluff gripe, but am I the only one who wanted Goreshade to stay undead? That would've been cool. Oh well I guess.
Hemera is decent. A great include with Issyria, and solid with everyone else. It's quite toolboxy for a very reasonable 16pts, but its melee output is bad. Still, if your 'caster really likes arcing a spell or two, Hemera is a good second or third heavy to help out with that.
A good combat solo with some fun abilities. Don't forget that you can still use Last Word and take a Tough check. A great target for spells like Storm Rager, and very solid for 5pts.
Priest of Nyssor
This one has a pretty decent set of tools, and will be extra good backing up Nyss Hunters, since Mat 6 Rat 6 is on the cusp of great, and that little boost up to 7 helps a lot.
House Shyeel Arcanists
They're slightly hardier than Arcanist Mechanics, and have Empower, but not Concentrated Power. They do have a magic attack, so Rahn will like them. They seem good, and give a lot of added options for Focus support. If you really want to run 'jacks at peak efficiency, you can hand out 9 Focus between 2 units of Shyeel Arcanists and 3 Arcanist Mechanics, plus an additional point to every 'jack within 3" of a Helios if you want.
They seem fine. Not as good as Sentinels+UA, but significantly cheaper. Perhaps a UA will set them apart. They can go up to Mat 8 with the Priest of Nyssor, and gain Hard from Aelyth if you want to invest a bit more in the unit.
Spears of Scyrah
An interesting unit, though I do wish they had a little more flavor. They hit hard, and are difficult to deal with unless you can ignore their Stealth. You can proc Vengeance on demand by using Shield Guard, which is a neat deterrent, though it will cost you a model. You can attach Eiryss 3 to give them AD and the extra threat of Eiryss.
Fane Knight Guardian
A good combat-oriented attachment. If your 'caster is going to be near the front lines, the Guardian will help a lot. Thyron, both versions of Vyros, and Garryth will all benefit.
House Ellowuyr Swordsmen Command Attachment
This looks pretty fun. Practiced Maneuvers is always nice, but the Defensive Strike mini-Feat is what I'm really excited for. Defensive Strike on a big unit can dish out a lot of punishment.
Defenders of Ios
The first (and better) of our two new theme forces. It can include any Warcaster, non-character 'jacks, Houseguard (and House Ellowuyr) stuff, Stormfall Archers, Fane Knights, Ghosts, Lys Healers, Arcanist solos, Battle Engines, and Sylys (Nalyrr of Wyshes).
You get free stuff for taking Houseguard, solos and Stormfall Archers gain Reposition, and Halberdiers gain advance move. All these benefits are solid, and worth looking into Defenders of Ios for. Halberdiers with Advance Move can jam a preposterous distance, and Reposition on Stormfalls and Ghost Snipers is also great. I'm liking the idea of this list with, say, Ossyan or Issyria, who can benefit from a lot of what it does without restricting their options too much (they both like MHSF, but that can be worked around).
Shadows of the Retribution
You can have any Warcaster, non-character Warjacks, Arcanist Mechaniks, and Mage Hunter stuff.
This very restrictive list does not come with proportionately great benefits. You get +1 for the starting roll, which is good, and free stuff for taking units. You can also have warrior models ignore Tough and RFP with melee attacks. You can spend your free points on expensive character solos like Eiryss and Narn, which is cool. +1 to starting roll can be significant for some armies too. The ignore Tough and RFP is bleh for the most part. It can certainly shut down stuff like Trollbloods and recursion, but doesn't make this list as interesting as either Forges of War or Defenders of Ios. There are enough interesting things you can do with it that I'll probably give it a try, but I'm not super thrilled.
I feel like this release puts Ret more or less on par with other factions in terms of having units with overlapping roles. Sentinels and Ryssovass cover a lot of the same ground, but at different costs and with different synergies. Apart from the overall high quality of troops and 'jacks in the Retribution, this gives us a little added depth, as well as some fun tricks with units like the Spears or Aelyth.
Goreshade 4 is well balanced. He'll be in competitive pairings if he can get mileage out of his Feat and (more importantly) Revive. Here's my experimental list for him:
Lord Ghyrrshyld the Forgiven (*28pts)
Arcanist Mechanik (2pts)
Arcanist Mechanik (2pts)
Arcanist Mechanik (2pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (18pts)
*Command Attachment (Officer and Standard Bearer) (4pts)
Cylena Raefyll and Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (19pts)
What I'm looking for from this list is versatility and control. The 'jacks are good at both ranged and melee, and there are enough of them to spread the net of spell immunity pretty far. I feel like the Nyss and Sentinels will make a good team, with the Sents going up the middle at their lower speed, and the Nyss able to skirmish and either shoot or melee. Frost Field on either unit will help both out in melee. I might end up swapping the Nyss for MHSF, but for now, I like the options of jamming with both a high(ish) Def and high Arm unit for the Feat. Ghost Walk will also let the very speedy Nyss get into some interesting places on the Feat turn.