Warmachine Hordes Grymkin ADR Specialists Tactics Part 1

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Dumbledore

Happy Holidays guys and gals! I did want to start off reminding people that I'll be giving away some gift cards to a few lucky 'fans' who follow me on facebook, or twitter for the holidays! 

Okay enough selling myself. I've been super excited about ADR season 7, and I thought today I'd start a conversation with a few tips/tactics that I use with specialists.In addition I'm hoping to hear some tips from all of you guys!

What is ADR?

ADR stands for Active Duty Roster. Every 6 months (ish) Privateer Press releases another group of 4 casters for each faction. These are the only casters on ADR for that season. These casters are the only casters eligible to be played in Champions. For Masters events if a player brings only casters on this season's ADR they get an extra benefit, Specialists. Specialists are essentially 40 points of "sideboard" that follows normal army rules for FA and theme restrictions. These models may be swapped in before any game, after lists have been selected. Here's the exact order of things.

During an event the following is the order at the start of each game!
1. List Selection
2. Vanguard/Specialists
3. Arcana
4. Pick Upkeeps for Deployment (within Theme Force)
5. Roll to go first.

I've long since said that the best thing about Grymkin is the flexibility that Arcana bring. I feel like when you couple that with some of the specialist model/units we have access to, we have the most flexible faction in Warmachine.

Specialist Tips

So here I'll go over some specialist candidates. We'll talk about when I'll bring them in, why, and some things to remember when using them.

Mad Caps (4)

I bring the Mad caps in for two reasons. Whenever the opponent will have issues removing them either due to no long range shooting, or when facing large melee infantry swarms. Mad caps cost 4 points, for 4 points I could buy 8 Cast Imps (I know FA). So basically I want to ensure that by taking Mad Caps I'm getting at least a few turns of imp generation!

Madcaps are great into infantry swarms of any shape or size: 

  • I don't need to roll to hit. So into high def swarms of Kayazy or Satyxis they severally mitigate their def skew.
  • It's not an attack. So things like self sacrifice don't work on it.
  • It's also not blast damage, despite being a template. Infantry swarms thinking Solid Ground will keep them safe are in for a fiery surprise.
  • They light things on fire, which is great to help get around tough, or mini feats that added armor for a turn.

Madcaps are also great units to secure scenario zones with. Their low model size, and willingness to hang out near the back makes them ideal zone scorers as the rest of your list screams up the table. Also a Cast Imp can be placed in b2b with a flag and not explode. And if that cast imp activates and moves away, it was ruled he doesn't "contact" the flag and it won't cause him to explode either.

So when going up against swarms of infantry (dark host banes, Immortal Zaal, etc etc) consider adding in a Madcap Or two! 

Glimmer Imp (4)

For high defense problems Cask Imps can't solve, consider the Glimmer Imp.

The imp comes in for me versus any army that has a high def spam, on models I know I need to kill. Fyanna2, BloodTrackers, WarpWolf spam, StarCrossed the list goes on and on. As a whole the Grymkin Faction has mediocre mats, and I want to ensure I don't roll dice praying for above average hits to stay in the game.

The Glimmer Imp has Stealth for a delivery tool. He's a respectable def 14, and arm of 10 with 5 boxes. He has two ways to lower a targets defense, and they stack! 

  • Paralyzing Gaze: While in the models command range (5), Enemy models with Line of Sight to this model suffer -2 def. 
    • You guys know I'm a sucker for anything that doesn't need to hit. The Imp's speed 6, so this is basically a -2 def swing on a 17 inch stick!
  • Eye Thief: First this is kind of messed up, the dude steals your eye with a spoon. If he damages a living or undead model (and he can autopoint with Scoop) with his spoon that model suffers Blind. Blind amongst other things is -4 MAT and DEF. 
    • The imp is speed speed 6, with a .5 spoon (anything larger would be a ladle?) so 9.5 he can charge with an effective mat of 7. 
    • Also position him in places to take free strikes. Engage models and blind them if they decide to ignore the imp, and move elsewhere

So while it won't happen often, this 4 point model can swing a models defense by 6. Be sure not to block the Enemies LOS to this model when you're going in to kill things! I think the number and frequency of high def models in the meta make the Glimmer Imp a super valid addition to any specialist roster. 




Twilight Sisters (7)

Okay I know a lot of you have them in the main list, but I thought they were worth a mention. For all the reasons I'm going to cover to bring them in, the converse is true of when to sub them out.

At 7 points if you're not getting mileage out of Grim Returns they are too expensive. They have a magic weapon, with Grievous Wounds and Death Rattle. But no real survival ability, mediocre mat, and an uninspiring pow. Death Rattle is nice, but at range 8 it's rare they get to use it, and see the following turn.

So what are they good at? Brining people back to life. Grim Returns is a range 5 magic ability that returns one destroyed grunt to play with 1 box of life, within 3 inches of the targeted model. The model returned must forfeit it's combat action the turn it was returned. This won't work on models that were removed from play, so against Masters of War or other themes/list with heavy RFP I keep the ladies on the bench. However against other armies this can be tipping point for winning attrition grinds. Both Piggybacks and Neigh Slayers are 2.2 point per model. For pure point value they are the clear favorite to "return". In addition Piggys screen well for the sisters,helping to ensure the sisters can Return models again next turn. With Neigh Slayers longer threat range they can often be far enough back to get returned, then charge off to be useful. Be sure to not over kill with neigh Slayers, and to keep a model at the back end of command for future Grim Return Targets

So if you aren't looking at a ton of RFP consider the sisters! I've also brought them in when I really wanted grievous wounds, but there is a better way to prevent healing...

Death Knell (13)

I'm not going to go over Bring out Your Dead, Special Delivery, or Warmth of the Grave. I feel like most Grymkin players already know why the Death Knell is "good". However I do want to go over how good Entropic Force is, and why the Death Knell warrants Specialist consideration. 

Entropic Force: While within 5inches of this model, enemy models love Tough, and cannot have damage removed from them.

It's a Calliope Cart via Rob Pickering, robert.pk11@gmail.com 

It's a Calliope Cart via Rob Pickering, robert.pk11@gmail.com 

So when do we want Entropic Force? Well versus MeowKeda denying tough and preventing the removal of damage shuts an entire list down. It's a great ability that make Typhon easier to kill. Doomy3 certainly doesn't like to see it on the table either. The list goes on and on, but having a 5 inch base with a 5 inch radius of Entropic Force can be a game changer!


To wrap up this up I'll quickly (really I'll try not to ramble on) hit on the warbeasts I think are super solid Specialist additions.

Crabbit (7): 7 Point shield guards with 13 boxes. They also are beasts I don't min doing nothing and sitting back on scenarios like Spread the Net.

Rattler (8). Mat 6, 1 inch reach and PS13. Berserk and Overtake. Into infantry swarms he'll do work for you. 10 inch threat before the fun begins! Pair him with the DeathKnell to mop up tough guys, or a Glimmer Imp to clean up higher def models. 

Cage Rager (14) WraithBane. 2 costing range 6 spell that grants Blessed and Damage Type Magical to their weapons. We can't count on having an objective to grant it, in addition sometimes we want more than just one attack to be magical. This isn't even counting the number of times ignoring Arcane Shield, or Blur has won me games.

FrightMare (9) See in the Dark. Range self 1 costing spell that allows the spell caster to ignore cloud effects for LOS and ignore stealth. A lot of the Grymkin casters have the potential to do a ton of work themselves. Ensure that we can always "see" stealth models or ignore cloud walls can be paramount. 


There we have it! Well over 40 points, but a I hope that provides you with a foundation to start your Grymkin Specialist journey! Are you guys using anything in ADR i missed. I did exclude Rose and Eilish, but I feel like they explain themselves! As always be sure to follow me on social media! Have a happy holidays! And I really am honored that so many people read my Mile High Delusions over the last year.