Grymkin

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The Grymkin are the denizens of the wilderness of Urcaen. (Caen being the mortal world where Warmachine and Hordes is set, and Urcaen being the afterlife world to which humans pass when they die.) This wildnerness is beyond the protection of the gods and is essentially hell for all intents and purposes.

Grymkin are not undead or demons, but have both souls and physical bodies. The Grkymkin are led by The Defiers, five mortals who rejected the god Menoth in person, and were banished to Urcaen as eternal punishment. There they suffered endless torment at the hands of nightmare creatures of their own worst imaginings. Over thousands of years, the Defiers learned to control these nightmares and became demigods themselves.

Centuries later they have been released into Caen by the Old Witch, who hopes to use them to slow the spread of the Infernals.

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Limited Release Faction
Grymkin are designed as a "Limited Release Faction". This means the Faction has a much smaller model selection than normal Factions, and get new models infrequently.

In compensation and to stay competitive, the synergies within the Faction are strong, list-building is flexible, and/or models have completely unique abilities. Some Limited Factions even have rules that affect the core rules of the game.

Grymkin for Beginners

Faction Aesthetic & Playstyle

Grymkin are inspired by the dark fairy tales of old, including Biblical tales of sin. Their warbeasts are the nightmares of the Defiers turned flesh & bone, the other Grymkin being corrupt or evil souls given form by the dark magic found in the wilds of Urcaen. Many of their troops thus draw direct comparisons to the troops of other factions, especially the Hollowmen (who are the souls of deserters, as seen on the current models which draw reference to Winter Guard & Trencher infantry) & Piggybacks (which features several pieces of Khadoran iconography). Grymkin fight with a wide range of weapons, many of which are crude improvisations such as the Dread Rots' farm equipment or the Neighslayers' hobby-horses. Many of their models directly parallel Biblical sins, such as the Piggybacks representing greed or the Hollowmen representing selfish fear.

Grymkin like to play up the table, in their opponent's face with very above average melee output and several powerful abilities which increase their staying power once engaged (such as the Death Knell's aura or the Sacrifice arcana). However Grymkin are extremely slow (the Cage Rager is SPD 4, and the Skin & Moans SPD 5) and must typically weather several turns of opposing shooting before they can sink their teeth into the enemy. This isn't to say that they lack for range options (Lord Longfellow & the Hollowmen provide comfortably average to above average output), but the real power of Grymkin comes online once they can charge. Grymkin rely on skirmishers to get themselves up the table, and their delivery is by far the hardest part of playing the faction.

The faction is described in the Announcement video.

Grymkin's primary unique mechanic is the Defiers' lack of feats (Zevanna Agha still has a traditional feat). Instead, these five warlocks use arcana cards. At the start of the game, the Grymkin player will select two arcana cards from a generic list, plus a card provided by their warlock (called their Trump arcana), for a total of three. Arcana generally trigger off enemy attacks and are always thrown down on the opponent's turn. They represent the wilds of Urcaen bleeding over into Caen, warping the world and providing a substantial battlefield-wide effect. Knowing what arcana to bring and when to use them is a key skill when playing Grymkin, as well as one of their most rewarding mechanics.

Starter Sets

Unfortunately, Grymkin does not have a battlebox. There was an "All In One" Army box that went on sale when the Faction was released in 2017, but it was a limited production and you're unlikely to find one these days.

Worthwhile early purchases

The best warlock to start with is The Heretic. He has a solid spell list, and defensive rules which are good at preventing being assassinated. His trump arcana is powerful and easy to use, and behaves very similarly to the generic arcana. The Heretic generally prefers lots of troops, and is great as your first Bump in the Night warlock. The Child is a good second warlock, featuring a similar compliment of useful spells, good rules, and straightforward arcana. The Child also happens to be best in Dark Menagerie, and forms a fantastic pair with the Heretic.

The Wanderer or Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper are probably the next best warlocks to try out. The Wanderer lacks for a damage increasing spell, but has far more defensive tech thanks to Star-Crossed & his very unique trump arcana. Old Witch3 is an extremely powerful spell-slinger, who has a traditional feat and thus plays the most like other Hordes warlocks. It is the same model for Old Witch 2 as well as 3, so she's also a natural jumping on point for Khador players.

The Dreamer and the King of Nothing are the most complicated to use of the Grymkin Warlocks. The Dreamer can create Phantasms out of her models which are destroyed, which makes her adept at a potent control style of play that leverages the natural toughness of the Grymkin heavies. The King of Nothing has a very unique, and potentially suicidal, rule in Master of Ruin. He's capable of dealing an incredible amount of damage, but must put himself into remarkably awkward spots to do so.

Key models outside the Warlocks:

  • The Death Knell should absolutely be an early purchase. It's defensive aura is incredible, and it's ability to shuffle around corpses makes maximizing the awesome power of the Skin & Moans much easier.
  • The Gorehound is the go to light, and shows up in many lists. It's combination of speed & extended control range means its rare it won't do work.
  • A Cage Rager is highly recommended, both for it's defensive suite of abilities and it's hard hitting power as a heavy warbeast
  • The Skin & Moans is arguably Grymkin's signature model and it is definitely the key to why Dark Menagerie is such a strong theme
  • Crabbits show up in a multitude of Grymkin lists thanks to their diversity of defensive abilities
  • A pair of Clockatrices is one of the best battlegroup points-only battlegroups you can run, and they are miles above the best models with which to play with arcana
  • The Malady Man is a support unit which can be used in both themes to great effect, providing defensive pressure with the Monkey or by supporting troops with Desperate Pace.
  • Dread Rots are still a solid option, despite being outshone somewhat by the revamped infantry released in Grymkin Wave II. They can be run in both themes, and pair especially well with Def-fixing abilities such as the Clockatrice's spray or the Glimmer Imp's aura.
  • Grave Ghouls & Neigh Slayers are a big part of what makes Bump in the Night so powerful; it is rare to see Bump lists that don't have at least one of those models.
  • Gremlin Swarms & Lady Karianna Rose are the models that make Dark Menagerie unique, and it just so happens they pair especially well with the Heretic & the Child.

Unique Core Rule: Arcana

Main article: Arcana

Grymkin warlocks use arcana instead of feats. A Defier warlock (Zevanna Agha does not use arcana and instead has a traditional feat) is assigned three arcana Cards before the game begins, one is their unique Trump Arcana, the other two are drawn from a pool of generic arcana available to all the Defiers. Each Arcana can only be used once per game, and only one arcana can be used per turn. All the arcana are triggered by enemy action, and most work inside the Defier's control area (twice FURY, generally 12-16 inches). However some trigger off CMD; a key skill of Grymkin is being able to internalize which arcana does what and how best to use each of them with each caster. Of special note here is the King of Nothing, whose CMD of 1 effectively means those arcana which trigger off CMD he cannot effectively use.

Starting a Theme Force

Theme Forces are integral to playing Hordes in Mk3. Grymkin has two themes, Bump in the Night and Dark Menagerie. Bump in the Night is an infantry focused theme, with a strong emphasis on skirmishing. Dark Menagerie is Grymkin's warbeast theme, providing free additional corpses at game start as well as access to the extremely potent scenario piece, Gremlin Swarms. While at release and in the two years that followed Dark Menagerie strongly outshone Bump in the Night, Grymkin Wave 2 in the spring of 2019 provided a wide variety of new options for Bump in the Night, as well as opening up list building in both themes with a new heavy warbeast (the Clockatrice) and a powerful support unit (the Malady Man).

Grymkin Theme Forces

Neigh Slayers Command Attachment

You will almost never see Grymkin played outside their two themes, as they are flexible enough to let you play with most of the models from the faction and have powerful bonuses which let their models shine.

Bump in the Night

Bump in the Night is Grymkin's 'everything' theme, with theme benefits which help their infantry.

Dark Menagerie

Dark Menagerie is a warbeast-focused theme with an emphasis on bricking (forming a largely impenetrable bubble of warbeasts somewhere on the table) and scenario play.

The models allowed in Dark Menagerie are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.07   (Edit)

Warlocks

Warbeasts

Battle Engines

Units

Solos

Minions

  • Up to one minion solo
  • Up to one minion unit

Grymkin Models

Unreleased Models

Last Updated: 2019.03

Warlocks

Warbeasts

Battle Engine

Units

Solos


Other

Minions that work for Grymkin

Last Updated: 2019.06

Unreleased Minions

Grymkin Deep Lore

The warbeasts are the nightmares of the Defiers given flesh and blood. For millenia they tormented the defiers before they learned to control them. The lesser Grymkin are those wicked souls who end up in the wilds of Urcaen and are judged and transformed by the Defiers as an eternal punishment.

The Defiers themselves are five humans who were banished to the wilds of Urcaen for refusing Menoth's law. Their wills were so strong that they each became demigods dedicated to opposing Menoth and punishing his creation, which they see as corrupt and wicked.

For centuries, the Defiers awaited their chance to return to Caen to unleash their wicked harvest on Menoth's civilization. It was not until the Old Witch devised a way to create a portal to Urcaen through which the armies of the grymkin could pass that they got their chance. The Old Witch's motive for unleashing hell on earth was--oddly enough--to use the Grymkin to slow the spread of infernalism that would one day unleash an even worse hell on earth if left unchecked.

If Infernals ever invaded Caen in full force, it would mean the end of the world and the eternal torment of all living souls. The Grymkin, then, are the world's twisted salvation from annihilation.

When Menoth came back from his battle with the Devourer Wurm to give his so-called "gifts" to humanity, five individuals with tremendous will of their own rejected him so strongly and fundamentally they ended up tapping into some part of the divine power all humans have in their souls. In retribution for this, Menoth threw them in to Ur-Caen where they were trapped, tortured by their own nightmares, for thousands of years.

The Old Witch Zevanna Agha knew of them and looked for a way to set them free to further her own plans. She managed to find a lady in an insane asylum and use her as a conduit to negotiate terms and arrange to open the gates to Urcaen for them. The rest of the faction are manifestations of their willpower, or in the case of the beasts; their nightmares made manifest. The only thing the Grymkin warlocks are truly scared of is their warbeasts which are in truth their own nightmares. It's said the only time you would hear the true names of the Defiers is on the breath of the beasts when they lose control and it comes for them.

Other and older grymkin found in previous editions of Iron Kingdom literature featured the folkloric story of Gristle and Flay and the third brother. Anecdotes of gremlins in the machines, and why gremlins hate cats. Stories of the Old Man of the Swamp, or the rusalka bog nymph.