Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Retribution of Scyrah

Welcome back, good reader, to the ninth installment of the Journeyman League Guides on Line of Sight. This time we will be tackling the xenocidal elven Retribution of Scyrah, taking you down two unique progressions in two different theme forces.

Here again is the progression of the official Journeyman League, remember that you must keep the same models in your list from the week before.

Week 1: Zero points total, you must use your factions battlebox or equivalent. No themes allowed.
Week 2: 15 points, battlegroup models only, no themes. 
Week 3: 30 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. 
Week 4: 45 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. Caster Swap (optional)
Week 5: 60 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 
Week 5: 75 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 

With all of that out of the way, let us begin.

Week 1:

The Retribution battlebox is perhaps the best battlebox that exists. Helynna is a very strong caster, with some competitive top 3s under her belt, and her ability to hit and run with her Warjacks under Rhythm of War and her damage stacking with Hand of Destruction is pretty immense. She also has the most powerful ranged weapon in the battlebox level games with the incredibly potent ability to move enemy models hit by it around, delaying melee engagement until guns have reduced enemy models to dust.

Helynna
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Week 2:

We are looking ahead to Forges of War and Legions of Dawn here, and so we really do not want to put a Vyre house chassis jack in our list. The best option for this week is almost certainly the Hydra, a warjack that can easily output a range 15 POW 15 shot every turn and then move 6 inches around after the fact. It has two open fists, allowing for nasty throw shenanigans, and it helps with the hit and run theme of this list.

Helynna
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Week 3:

We are now in our third week, and along with that comes our theme options. As I already mentioned above, we are going to be heading into Forges or War with Kaelyssa and Legions of Dawn with Goreshade 4. With that in mind, each version of the list is going to start looking distinctly different.

Legions of Dawn:

This list is going to start off without as many free points as the Forges of War list for the first few weeks as we do not already have qualifying cards in our battlegroup. Also of note, we are losing 2 points next week as Goreshade 4 has less Warjack points than Helynna.

With that in mind, this week we will be bringing in the slightly awkward minimum unit of Sentinels with their Command Attachment. With Wall of Steel and Deceleration, their ARM against shooting is rather impressive for single wound dudes. This is further bolstered by Helynna’s feat and the units mini-feat Iron Zeal to give them a very impressive +10 ARM swing against guns and +8 against melee. Additionally, Vengeance gives them enough attacks to effectively blend other units and if you can get 4-5 of them into a heavy it should melt.

Next week we will be maxing out this unit and getting a free card to go along with it!

Helynna
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Dawnguard Sentinels (min)
- CA

Forges of War:

This theme is the Warjack theme of the Retribution, and that means you get to start taking free cards right away. The first thing we want to do is pick ourselves up a unit of House Shyeel Arcanists. These guys are going to give your focus economy a huge boost, and the best part is that they are free in theme!

With the points we spend, I am going to suggest my personal favorite module in this theme force, which is Elara 1 with a Gorgon. Elara simulates the same movement silliness Rhythm of War brings with Speed of Death, and the Gorgon is another great source of debuffs with his spray.

Finally with our last two points, let’s put an Arcanist Mechanik in there. This guy helps out our focus economy even further (allocating is for non-Retribution players) and increases the melee output of our heavies, which is awesome for 2 points. He can even repair things in a pinch if needed.

Helynna
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Elara 1
- Gorgon
Arcanist Mechanik

House Shyeel Arcanists (free)

Week 4:

It’s caster swap week! Helynna is one that you could absolutely play through the entire league with virtually identical lists to the ones that I am suggesting, so if you are really enjoying her (or just do not want to paint another Warcaster!), go ahead and do so!

Legions of Dawn:

Goreshade 4 is a Warcaster who can kind of do it all. He has an ARM buff, a DEF debuff, and ARM debuff, a cloud wall, a time walk feat, and the ability to completely neuter enemy spells with Field Marshal [Arcane Vortex].

He turns Dawnguard into super lethal killing machines, and he ensures that they will always get to do a proper alpha with his feat. If your opponent comes into you and kills a model with their heavy, that heavy goes stationary and you get to hit it with everything you have left. If your opponent backs off and gives you a turn, you’ve bought a turn of full on attacking. With a cloud wall and at low point levels, you can often hold his feat for a long time.

This week, we are going to maximize the unit of Dawnguard Sentinels so that we can maximize their damage output, and simultaneously get ourselves a free Dawnguard Scyir. This model gives out tactician to Dawnguard, which is going to be very useful for your Sentinels who all want to be base to base and still charge, and next week when we get our Destors it will let you do all kinds of crazy things.

Let’s also add an Arcanist Mechanik to beef up your Warjacks and ease Goreshade’s focus economy.

Goreshade 4
- Hydra
- Chimera
- Griffon
- Chimera

Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir (free)
Arcanist Mechanik

Dawnguard Sentinels (max)
- CA

Forges of War:

Helynna is getting swapped for Kaelyssa in this theme force. Kaelyssa lets you really play to another specialty of the Retribution - assassination - while still retaining a lot of the interesting tricks that you might already be used to. Refuge is a great spell for both Kaelyssa and any of her battlegroup, and her feat is incredibly strong into both gunlines and melee armies. It’s also really fun to use her gun to steal focus or fury from enemy models and then boost damage into them with their own resources. With Phantom Hunter, your assassination threat is always on the table, and Blur and Banishing Ward can keep your pieces safer from reprisal.

This week, we’re going to add Discordia to the party. This warjack is extremely strong and adds a layer of protection on all of your models against ranged attacks. I really like putting him on Elara 1 myself, but if you are having problems keeping her alive, he is better on Kaelyssa where Refuge can simulate Speed of Death just fine. Try it both ways! The Journeyman rules force you to keep the same models, but they don’t force you to keep the same battlegroup if you have more than one battlegroup controller.

Kaelyssa
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Elara 1 (free)
- Gorgon
- Discordia (or on Kaelyssa)
Arcanist Mechanik

House Shyeel Arcanists (free)

Week 5:

This week we’re adding the rest of our support into our Forges of War list and drastically increasing the speed and ranged output of the Legions of Dawn list.

Legions of Dawn:

This week, we are going to add a maximum unit of Destors into the list. These guys are very fast and provide you with a flanking force that can harry your opponent with guns for a few turns before committing on a devastating melee charge.

With tactician from the Scyir, you can even charge through Sentinels, reposition back, and then have the Sentinels charge through them in turn to screen once again.

Goreshade 4
- Hydra
- Chimera
- Griffon
- Chimera

Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir (free)
Arcanist Mechanik (free)

Dawnguard Sentinels (max)
- CA
Dawnguard Destors

Forges of War:

For this week, we cannot get access to any more free points and, frankly, we need another Arcanist Mechanik and some other stuff anyway. With that in mind, let’s put another pair of Arcanists in the list, and then toss in a unit of House Shyeel Battle Mages for spot removal and even more control shenanigans.

Kaelyssa
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Elara 1 (free)
- Gorgon
- Discordia (or on Kaelyssa)
Arcanist Mechanik
Arcanist Mechanik
Arcanist Mechanik

House Shyeel Arcanists (free)
House Shyeel Battle Mages

Week 6:

By now, you are hopefully feeling pretty comfortable with the list you have built, with multiple weeks of playing under your belt. We are going to finish off our lists with aplomb here as the Forges of War list gains a mighty Phoenix and the Legions of Dawn list picks up a pair of Dawnguard Destors and another Scyir. These are great combat solos that greatly improve the quality of life of the two units in your list.

Legions of Dawn:

This week, we are finishing off the list with two Dawnguard Destor Thanes and a Shyeel Artificer to make our Sentinels harder to shoot. The Thanes make the Destors much more resilient tomelee while also giving you two more high quality activations, and the Artificer is great for putting force barrier on things. .

Please note: If you are able to get a Dawnguard Trident, I would absolutely recommend adding one of those and another Arcanist Mechanik instead. I know they are difficult to get outside the USA, so for the main portion of the guide, I will leave it out.

But seriously, they’re amazing and if you can get one, get it.

Goreshade 4
- Hydra
- Chimera
- Griffon
- Chimera

Dawnguard Destor Thane
Dawnguard Destor Thane
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir (free)
Shyeel Artificer (free)
Arcanist Mechanik

Dawnguard Sentinels (max)
- CA
Dawnguard Destors

Forges of War:

We are adding a Phoenix in this week. At MAT 7 and boasting an impressive melee weapon, this guy is the premier beater of the Retribution (non-character) warjack stable. This also gets us one more free card, and your options are fairly diverse. I like putting in a second unit of Shyeel Arcanists for helping out with the focus economy. I also don’t hate bringing a House Shyeel Artificer for Force Barrier and his Smite attack (plus he looks really cool!) or even bringing in Eiryss 1 for even more assassination threat.

Whichever you choose, let’s also slap a Soulless Escort on the Battle Mages since we have a free point, and every Ret player needs at least two of these guys.

Kaelyssa
- Phoenix
- Hydra
- Manticore
- Griffon
- Chimera

Elara 1 (free)
- Gorgon
- Discordia (or on Kaelyssa)
Arcanist Mechanik
Arcanist Mechanik
Arcanist Mechanik

House Shyeel Arcanists (free)
House Shyeel Arcanists (free - remember, this could be Eiryss or an Artificer if you prefer)
House Shyeel Battle Mages
- Soulless Escort

Conclusion:

Retribution has an incredibly diverse and interesting set of models right now, and these guides will give you a fantastic start to your collection as well as provide you with two competitively slanted lists to play.

I would recommend, post Journeyman league, turning the battlegroup for the Goreshade list into Imperatus and Chimera and using the extra points to get yourself more units (Invictors are surprisingly good!), and as I mentioned at the beginning, Helynna is perfectly capable of running both of these theme lists well should you not want to swap casters.

And again, these are just suggestions - follow them faithfully, swap in your own ideas, or do something completely different - these are all valid choices.

Thanks for reading everyone, see you next time when we tackle….MINIONS.