Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Grymkin

One of the things that tends to happen at the beginning of a new year is the start of a Journeyman League at a lot of Local Game Stores. 

This means experienced players dive into new factions, and new players try the game out (and hopefully keep playing!), and the question that pops up quite often is simply. "What do I add to my list each week/time that points increase?"

This is actually a fairly tricky question, especially if you don't know the faction you're playing very well (yet). You're locked into whatever you decide to play, and you also have to be thinking about the long term usefulness of models you purchase for the faction. Some planning is needed. 

Over the next month or so, I'll be writing articles covering every faction in the game, usually after talking to someone who knows the faction very well! 

For this first one, I'm sticking with my guns and writing about Grymkin, and in the second half I'll share Chandler's thoughts on the Protectorate side of things. 

First of all, let's go over the timeline for the journeyman league points jump. We'll be using the standard schedule. 

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. 

An important note: You can play a game of Warmachine and Hordes legally up to four points down. Sometimes this is highly recommended so that the next week you can add a more expensive model to your army. Note that the most expensive model you can add to your army during the league will then be 19 points. 

Grymkin!

Week one:

Grymkin doesn't have a battlebox that you can buy with all the models included, so the Journeyman Packet gives you the following as your starting zero point list. 

The Child
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare

I'm going to be completely honest here, the Child is possibly the strongest Journeyman caster in the game. She can end games on her own, survive almost any other box alpha striking her, and then she has a Cage Rager backing her up. With Lightning Strike from the Gorehound, she can go in, kill something, and sprint out every turn. 

Also, you get access to all of the Arcana right off the bat, and tailor made feats are even better in low points games. 

Week two: 

There are only a couple of combinations of battlegroup models that can make it to 15 points here. 

Planning for Dark Menagerie: 

The first, and one I would recommend in general, is simply to add a Skin and Moans to the mix. At 15 points, he fills the slot perfectly, gives you another heavy Warbeast that, while a touch pillowfisted, hits alright with Abuse and is more accurate than the Cage Rager. Furthermore, it's a fantastic purchase for the long term. If you are planning on playing in Bump in the Night and swapping away from the Child in week 4, I do not recommend this route.

For week two, my ideal pre-Menagerie build looks like this:

The Child
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare

Planning for Bump in the Night:

The second option is putting a pair of Crabbits and a Rattler in the list. I wouldn't recommend this just yet unless you are playing against the Cryx battlebox a lot and having trouble mitigating the Reaper's drag gun. Crabbits will solve that problem nicely.

A Rattler will really come into the realm of terrifying if people add infantry in Week 3, but even without that it can kill a lot of light Warbeasts and Warjacks on its own.

Another way to go is a Gorehound and Frightmare, but the Child doesn't do a ton for either of these and they don't do much for her, so prepare for a couple weeks of suboptimal list design in sacrifice for later on. A pair of Gorehounds is something I would not consider adding no matter what at this point. 

My ideal Pre-Bump in the Night list looks like this:

The Child
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Week three

This week you have to make a choice: do you stick with the beast theme and play in the Dark Menagerie theme force or do you branch out into infantry and play Bump in the Night. 

Bump in the Night:

This theme force is pretty weak for the first week, as you don't get a ton of mileage out of infantry with The Child, and you will not get a free solo or attachment no matter what you do since they require 20 points of models to get that benefit.

That being said, if you want to go this route, you can either bring Neighslayers or Dread Rots or Hollowmen as your unit of choice. 

I would recommend playing Neighslayers, as many factions won't be bringing in lots of infantry guns to kill them and you can keep them alive with a Crabbit or two. They also give you a nice 5 man unit to play with and learn positioning with rather than a ten man unit, and they'll kill most of the battlebox heavies with average dice. 

If you're a little more experienced with the game, and feel like a ten man unit is more your speed, Dread Rots can be very strong as well. 

Keep in mind that out of our four casters who want to play infantry, each likes a slightly different flavor. 

Heretic: Dread Rots and Neighslayers
Wanderer: Neighslayers
King of Nothing: Neighslayers
Old Witch: Dread Rots and Neighslayers

I would bank the remaining three points for next week here. This will let you bring either full Hollowmen and their CA or another unit and a pair of Trapperkin. 

 


My ideal Bump list for week 3 looks like this:


The Child
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Neighslayers (max)

Dark Menagerie:

If you go this route, you will have an annoying 44 points of Warbeasts already, which is one point off from giving you a free solo or Crabbit. For this theme, you will be playing without a Death Knell until week 5 which is a bit of a problem. 

Without it, distributing corpses is a lot harder, so you'll need a way to buff up your Warbeasts and a way to deal with infantry. With that in mind, I recommend playing Karianna Rose, a Gremlin Swarm, and a Rattler for your paid models. This puts you up to 52 points of Warbeasts, which gives you three free models. 

Please note: if you want to caster swap in week 4, they all have one less warbeast point than the Child does, so adding another Skin and Moans will not be possible. If that's your plan, I wouldn't pay for that last Gremlin Swarm just yet. 

If your play group has a lot of shooting in it, I would recommend making those free options into two Crabbits and a second Gremlin Swarm. If not, I 100% recommend maxing out your Gremlin Swarms at 4. These guys are one of the main reasons to play this theme force, and they are a staple of the faction. Don't forget that in addition to increasing the Field Allowance, Menagerie also gives the Gremlin Swarms Serenity which can help with Fury Management. 

My ideal Menagerie list for week 3 looks like this:

The Child
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm (or not if you're caster swapping next week)
Gremlin Swarm x3 (Free)

 

 

I tried so hard to make this line up. 


 

Week four: 

Ah, the week of caster swaps. If you're heading down the Menagerie path, there aren't a lot of casters that play that theme force better than the Child does. If you are new to the game, I would stick with her since she's both simple and potent, and you've been playing her for three weeks and are figuring her out now!

If you're more experienced, I find the Dreamer much more interesting to play, and she has a lot more depth. 

On the Bump in the Night side of things, it's time to get the Child out of there and start playing with someone who supports infantry. It's also time to add another infantry unit, and you've got three extra points to play with. 

Bump in the Night: 

Alright, we get to play with Warlocks that support infantry now! My recommendation for a new player is the Heretic. He's got a damage buff, a pseudo threat range extender, and he is also pretty surviveable. 

For him, I really like a unit of Dread Rots to make the most of his Trump Arcana, or alternatively a unit of Hollowmen who become the best ranged unit in the game under the Reckoning. 

Since we set aside points for this week, I would recommend the Hollowmen and a Trapperkin to fill in the remaining three points (remember, we lose a warbeast point by changing from the Child) . You get a free solo now, and my selection is Lord Longfellow since he's incredible all the time and with the Reckoning he's even better. 

My week four Heretic list:

The Heretic
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Lord Longfellow (free)
Trapperkin

Neighslayers (max)
Hollowmen (max)
- Lantern Man

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, the Wanderer might be for you. He's got a great threat extender in his spray, and Star-Crossed combined with his unique Arcana makes him one of the most surviveable Warlocks in the game. 

I would make a more or less identical list to the Heretic with him, but instead of adding Dread Rots next week, I'd add more Neighslayers. 

If you've got the funds, give Old Witch a try. She makes Grymkin infantry work better than possibly anyone else thanks to her incredible spell Windstorm and her ability to recur d3 models every turn . 
 

Dark Menagerie:

The Child is a fine Warlock to run this theme force, and if you're enjoying her don't feel pressured to change what you're doing! Her game plan is really easy - add another Skin and Moans. They're still not the most dangerous they'll ever be (that's for next week when you get to play with a Death Knell), but they're still scary. 

With that Skin and Moans, you get another free model, and this time I'd bring in a Crabbit for free with the theme. 

My week four Child list:

The Child
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit (free)

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm x3 (free)

If you are more experienced or want a challenge or just like the look of another caster, both the Heretic and the Dreamer run Dark Menagerie very nicely. Remember that last week you didn't pay for that third Gremlin Swarm, so this time you can fit a second Skin and Moans in even with the reduction in beast points. 

I personally prefer the Dreamer here, but if you like the Heretic he would slot in well here too. All three other Defiers run this theme force nicely as well, but they're not what I would recommend if you are learning the faction. 

The Dreamer (or Heretic)
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit (free)

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm x3 (free)

Week Five: 

Here is where the Menagerie list really comes into it's own, because week five lets you bring Battle Engines for the first time. Meanwhile, the Bump in the Night list gets access to a second combat unit. 

Bump in the Night:

Both of the lists here also get something similar. The Heretic version of the list gets a unit of Dread Rots. This Weaponmaster unit takes great advantage of the buff from Reckoning, and they also provide corpses for the Cage Rager with their Bag Man and Victuals You Can Neither Raise Nor Buy rules. 

Adding another 12 point unit makes the threshold for a free solo again, so we rearrange things a bit and add a Glimmer Imp.

If you've chosen to play Old Witch, this is also what I would play with her. 

The Heretic
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Lord Longfellow (free)
Trapperkin
Glimmer Imp (free)

Neighslayers (max)
Hollowmen (max)
- Lantern Man
Dread Rots

If you're playing a version of the list with the Wanderer, instead of Dread Rots I would play another unit of Neighslayers. Additionally, I would consider a Witchwood with the Wanderer. It's a model that can go after well armored infantry, and with Fog of War, it will always have stealth. 

The Wanderer
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbits x2

Lord Longfellow (free)
Witchwood (free)
Trapperkin

Neighslayers (max)
Neighslayers (max)
Hollowmen (max)
- Lantern Man
 

Dark Menagerie:

Both the Child and Dreamer/Heretic versions of the list get exactly the same thing - one Death Knell. No new solos, no free stuff, but a massive boost to the corpse collection of the army and the survivability of everything on the table. 

The Child
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit (free)

Death Knell

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm x3 (free)

Or:

The Dreamer (or Heretic)
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit (free)

Death Knell

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm x3 (free)

You'll find that your heavies have a much easier time making it to the fight and killing what they get to now that you give them a passive +2 ARM and corpses for when it's murdering time. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week Six:

This is the end of the line. Both of the lists played down points in Week Five, so we have a little wiggle room. 

Bump in the Night:

For this last week with both Warlocks, my choice for infantry is once again Hollowmen and CA. This unit really does it all - they can kill infantry at range, they can kill infantry in melee, they can dent up heavies at range, and they can blow things up with charges. They are probably my favorite unit in the faction. 

The two lists I would recommend look like this:

The Heretic
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit x2

Lord Longfellow (free)
Glimmer Imp (free)
Trapperkin

Neighslayers (max)
Dread Rots (max)
Hollowmen and CA
Hollowmen and CA

And:

The Wanderer
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit x2

Lord Longfellow (free)
Witchwood (free)
Trapperkin

Neighslayers (max)
Neighslayers (max)
Hollowmen and CA
Hollowmen and CA

 

 

 

Dark Menagerie:

We have a total of 17 points this week with the Child, which is perfect for a Cage Rager. At this point, we're going to rearrange our free models a bit. We now get a total of five, which we will rearrange slightly so that we are paying for two Gremlin Swarms (bringing us up to 75 points) and get three free Crabbits. The final Child list looks something like this:

The Child
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit x3 (free)

Death Knell

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm x2
Gremlin Swarm x2 (free)

The Dreamer/Heretic list can follow a similar pathway, but it will lose out on a free Crabbit because it will have to use the free solo slots to pay for Gremlin Swarms. That extra warbeast point really counts it turns out! Instead of adding a Cage Rager that they cannot speed up easily, I recommend a third Skin and Moans with the other two Warlocks. Their finalized list looks something like this:

The Dreamer/Heretic
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Gorehound
- Frightmare
- Rattler
- Crabbit x2 (free)

Death Knell

Karianna Rose
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm x3 (free)

 

 

 

 

 

And there it is, a full write up of the Grymkin progressions for Journeyman League. Of course, if you don't care for some of my choices here, that's entirely up to you! The league is about playing with models you enjoy, and while I have excluded some from this guide due to some factor or another, that does not mean it cannot be perfectly viable. 

Hopefully this was enjoyable and informative, I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for their upcoming journeyman leagues. The next one of these guides will touch on a Warmachine faction - the Protectorate of Menoth!

Thanks for reading!