Retribution of Scyrah
The Retribution is an extremist paramilitary organization that grows increasingly influential in the secluded elvish nation of Ios. For reasons not fully understood, the Iosan gods are all dead or dying which is causing Iosan children to be born without souls, putting their race on the brink of extinction (as seems typical of elves in all fantasy worlds). The Retribution believes the cause of their dilemma is the use of magic by humans, and have decided the best solution is to kill every human arcanist. Given that the Iron Kingdoms are populated with thousands of humans with arcane ability of some degree, this is a hopeless task.
So far, the other nations are largely unaware or unconcerned with the Retribution's activities, so you might say they have been hugely unsuccessful in their stated purpose. In recent years the Skorne have mounted a large invasion onto Iosan soils and this has preoccupied the Retribution and the main Ios military. On the other hand, the conflict has resulted in much more of the military coming under the banner of the Retribution, vastly increasing their options.
- 1 Retribution of Scyrah for Beginners
- 2 Theme Forces
- 3 List of Models
- 4 Mercenaries that work for the Retribution
- 5 Other
Retribution of Scyrah for Beginners
Retribution is visibly more advanced than the other nations of the Iron Kingdoms, with "smooth"-looking quasi-futuristic weapons and armor that incorporate lots of gentle curves. "Cyperpunk set in a Steampunk world" is an apt description, especially in regards to the warjacks and the House Shyeel models.
Of course, there is a lot of model variety and in this Faction's case it is divided pretty much along the lines of the different Houses. There are the robe-wearing battle mages, the cloak-wearing assassins, the heavier armour of the Dawnguard, etc.
On the table, the Retribution is characterized by high-quality self-sufficient units, combined-arms warjacks, and slightly weaker warcasters. They are also geared more toward assassination- style gameplay (which reflects their background), but also bring a strong alpha-strike quality to the table.
If lightning is Cygnar's thing and fire is the Protectorate's thing, Retribution's thing is force fields, force weaponry and tractor beams.
Retribution warcasters tend to be focused on support and geared towards a specific aspect of the faction (usually based on the house they belong to), though they often work well outside of their obvious niche. Additionally they tend to stick to the middle of the overall power curve of the game due to the faction's extremely potent infantry.
Casters like Ravyn, Eternal Light and Lord Arcanist Ossyan are geared heavily towards supporting Retribution's significant ranged options while Adeptis Rahn plays a strong positioning game and both Dawnlord Vyros and Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard heavily favor warjacks. Of special note is Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn, currently the only warcaster in the game with neither a weapon nor damage-dealing spell who instead lives off of a host of powerful support abilities that work well with almost any troops in the faction.
That's not to say Retribution warcasters can't get in to the mix; Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard has the best defensive stat line in the game on a fast cavalry model who starts off hitting hard and reaches the upper echelon of warcaster damage output when he hits full Synergy. Likewise Thyron, Sword of Truth has great defense against ranged attacks, allowing him to close with the enemy and engage his respectable melee weapon. Others like Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper and Garryth, Blade of Retribution prefer to hang back and support their armies with accurate gunfire.
- House Shyeel jacks all sport Force Fields of various strength. Most of the time, enemy attacks have to take down this field first, and only thereafter can they start damaging the jack's grid. These jacks have a separate Generator system, which grants them their Field Dependent abilities. If the generator is crippled, most of these abilities are gone. A jack can spend 1 focus/turn to recharge its fields, and remove D3+1 damage points from it, unless the Generator is crippled. They have above-average SPD with average DEF and ARM and lower base damage output.
- House Vyre jacks lack Force Fields, but are more heavily armoured, and have built-in special abilities on their guns and themselves. They have average SPD with average DEF and slightly above-average ARM paired with average damage output.
- Every heavy jack (with the exception of Hemera) has two melee initials and a gun, giving Retribution battlegroups a level of flexibility not found in other factions.
The effect of this is that Retribution players have the options of taking the right warjack for the job and (in the case of heavies) always having access to a boostable magical ranged weapon. The downside of this is that Retribution heavy warjacks tend to come with a high points value.
The light warjacks tend to be specialized to a role and thus don't suffer from the same point jump that the heavies do when compared to their counterparts in other factions. The Griffon is notable for it's high SPD, good ARM, and solid damage output, while the Harpy and Siren both carry a potent mix of ranged and melee capabilities.
The MK2 Battle Box contained Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper, Griffon, Chimera, and Manticore. Due to re-balancing on edition change this is no longer a valid caster choice for official Journeyman Leagues, so ensure that if purchasing for one you buy the new version.
Other good early purchases
- Arcanist Mechanik - an auto-include on your buying list. Currently, he can enter into all of the theme forces, and offers near-unparalleled warjack support for a mere 2 points apiece, and worth buying three straight away (max FA).
- Eiryss1 - one of your most expensive solos (the most expensive on a small base), but you can get her for free in every theme force. Her Disruptor Bolt attack can be game winning, crippling enemy warcasters and warlocks. Her epic version, Eiryss2 is a bit cheaper, and she focuses on stripping off enemy support spells from vital units.
- House Shyeel Artificer - a big, floating support model with a magical zap and big smashy hulk hands, the Artificer is primarily taken in the few Themes he's allowed in because of his ability to grant Force Barrier to a friendly model or unit, making them harder to hit with ranged attacks and completely immune to blast damage. Once he delivers his buds, he contests zones and makes himself unchargeable or Combo Smites baddies with his big ol' mitts.
- Houseguard Thane - In almost any list where you're bringing Houseguard models, you'll likely want at least one Thane. Desperate Pace and Firing Solution make it relevant throughout a game for all the Houseguard units, but in a pinch, it's capable of troubleshooting against solos or late-game outliers.
- Mage Hunter Assassin - a deadly hunter with stellar damage output and excellent mobility. If you build the Shadows of the Retribution theme, look no further.
- Sylys - one of the most popular warcaster attachments, he is a great supporting solo for offensive spellslingers, and for those who like free upkeep spells or occasional spellslinging if they don't bring an arc node.
Starting a Theme Force
Theme Forces "compartmentalize" the full range of your Faction's models into smaller subsets that are thematically related to one another. By restricting yourself to a narrower range of models, you unlock additional in-game benefits which vary from theme to theme.
Theme Forces aren't compulsory, but the benefits of playing in-theme are so great that most players never play out-of-theme.
When you first start playing you should ignore theme forces, and just buy and play a few models you like the look of. Also, you can't even use Theme Force rules in games under 25 points.
However you should start looking into themes sooner rather than later, because otherwise you might end up owning, say, 80 points worth of models but can only field a 25 point theme force (because very little of your collection work together in the same theme). You should focus on collecting just one or two themes to begin with, not every single one in the Faction (unless you're a "Collector Completionist").
Defenders of Ios
|Models allowed in Defenders of Ios (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2018.09
(★) Because these models are specifically allowed in this theme, they don't use up your Mercenary slot.
- This is an infantry theme force, formed around the Houseguard, complemented by troops from other houses and the Nyss exiles.
Forges of War
|Models allowed in Forges of War (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2018.10
(★) Because Sylys is specifically allowed in this theme, he doesn't use up your Mercenary slot.
- Retribution's warjack-centric theme. If you want stompy elf robots, look here (dominated by House Shyeel's jacks, however).
Legion of Dawn
|Models allowed in Legions of Dawn (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2018.11
- Another infantry theme force, this time focusing on the more elite Dawnguard troops.
Shadows of the Retribution
|Models allowed in Shadows of the Retribution (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2018.10
(★) Because she is in the list of allowed models, Eiryss doesn't use up a Merc slot.
- The ninja theme! Lots of stealthy skirmish infantry with good DEF and maneuverability, but poor ARM and hitpoints.
List of Models
- Last Updated: 2019.02
- None at the moment
Mercenaries that work for the Retribution
- Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath (Lesser Warlock and Companion)
- Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan (Warcaster Attachment)
- Eilish Garrity, the Occultist
Just before the launch of the mk3 ruleset, the game developers did a series of Insider articles about what they saw as each Faction's "Core Identity". Although it's a little dated now, it is still an interesting insight to how they view Retribution 2016.05 Retribution Preview.
Ask a human from the Iron Kingdom about the nation of Ios, and the first thing that they will tell you is "elves live there". That is also about all they can tell you. Ios is closed, its borders sealed for generations, and those few outsiders who test this threshold never return. Even the Orgoth did not test this enigmatic nation. The little trade Ios conducts with surrounding nations is done at arm's length, often arranging for merchants to leave goods at the border for the elves to retrieve. The isolation of Iosans was something Immoren took for granted, like wind or the tides. No more. While knowledge of elven aggression remains far from common, every nation has suffered the tramp of their myrmidons and felt the heat of their wrath.
From Forces of WARMACHINE: Retribution of Scyrah: Elves have always been favored by their gods, which in part led to their downfall. We were showered with gifts and important issues were blessed by signs from above. The tragedy struck when in the height of our empire we decided that gods would venture from their dominion to Caen. Disaster was immeasurable and our empire was lost. What little exist today is but a hollow echo of our greatness. But material or even lives lost are nothing compared to true lamentation: our gods are dying or missing. This brings slow extinction and we are helplessly watching our slow doom creeping upon us.
The ancient elven empire of Lyoss once lay far to the east of what is now the Iron Kingdoms. Before the rise of humans and their blunt and brutal nations, elven civilization flourished like none before or since. Their magic knew no equal. Their science opened the world to their understanding, and their achievements became legends in their own time. At the height of their power, their hubris demanded still greater deeds, and they decided to literally bridge the gap between Caen and the Veld, the home of their gods. Incredible as it sounds, they succeeded, but the consequences of success can be as, or more, tragic as failure. As soon as their gods had crossed to Caen, the bridge catastrophically failed. The resulting explosion obliterated the city, cracked the very surface of the world, ended the Lyossian Empire, and devastated the elven race.
Shepherded by their gods to forests on the western fringe of their old civilization, the elves settled in Ios and rebuilt. Their gods lived among them, and for a time, matters seemed well. It became apparent, however, that the gods were weakening. Their connection to the worlds beyond Caen had weakened, and after many centuries, they could no longer do all that they needed to do to protect their people. In desperation, they set out alone to search for a solution and a way back to the Veld. Only one returned: Scyrah, Nis-Issyr of Spring, now called the Last Goddess. For all the centuries since, Scyrah has remained in her fane in the capital, doing all she can to aid her people even as she slowly dies.
The fate of their goddess mirrors the fate of the elven race, and the Iosans have come to understand that they are dying. Their gods have vanished or perished, and all the metaphysical tasks these deities performed languish unattended. Elven souls do not reincarnate as once they did, and every year, more soulless elven children enter this world. Devoid of passions and most emotions, these tragic aberrations embody the fate all Ios. Some Iosans are unwilling to stand by and accept this slide into oblivion. Though desperately seeking answers in all directions, a few scholars noted an apparent coincidence. Around the time their gods perished—they know exactly when this occurred, for priests across their nation went mad on the same night—humans suddenly gained the ability to use magic not granted by their gods. The coincidence was too much to bear, and the elves realized that it must have been the human magicians who slowly siphoned the life from their gods. Knowingly or not, the humans were to blame, and the only way to stop the demise of their last goddess is to end the human practice.
The bands of fanatics who embraced this belief called themselves the Retribution of Scyrah. Though long a small, fringe sect, as every other avenue of inquiry has proved fruitless, many more have turned to the Retribution in order to do something. For decades, the Retribution's trained hunters have stalked human wizards and destroyed their devices, but the sheer size of humanity and its pervasive reach makes these victories little better than flees biting a horse. Despised and dismissed, the Retribution languished, having taken on a hopeless task and lacking every resource but the will to see it done. All that changed when the Mage Hunter Eiryss brought news from Khador. Nyssor, Scyir of Winter, still lived. Sealed in a block of ice, his chosen people—the Nyss—had long kept him safe. With their corruption by the dragon Everblight, a few remaining pure Nyss had been forced to move their god, and he had fallen into the hands of the Khadoran Greylords Covenant.
The news rocked Ios. The Retribution—the one group uniquely positioned to both intervene and benefit from this turn of events—capitalized on the outpouring of rage and grew dramatically. Not only did their size increase, but long-hidden allies stepped forth to support them, lending legitimacy to their zealotry. Two of the great military Houses of Ios publicly announced their support for the Retribution. This has given the Retribution access to the kind of armed power commanded only by nations, including myrmidons. Far more elegant than the clunky, steam-powered warjacks humans rely upon, these magically animated works of art have joined an arsenal of innumerable other weaponry more than equal to anything ever produced by humanity. Though some argue that the Houses support the Retribution purely for political reasons, the pragmatic goal of retrieving Nyssor is simply too important to ignore.
The Retribution is on the move and gaining support among the Iosan people. Even House Vyre has taken up arms and joined the cause. Lord Arcanist Ossyan Vyre, a relatively junior warcaster, recently clashed with Goreshade and managed to secure Nyssor's vault. Very recently, Trollbloods were driven out of the lake region and Skorne have been massing in this staging area. An invasion seems imminent, and with much of the Retribution fighting in Khador, the future may hold very difficult times for the elves of Ios.
While Nyssor is still far from safe, each arcanist, warjack, and arcane trinket destroyed loosens the noose around Scyrah's neck. Each action to save our people is justified. Our future will be cast by fire and steel.