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Grymkin are designed as a "Limited Release Faction". This means the Faction has a much smaller model selection than normal Factions, and seldom gets new models (one new model every year or longer).

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.

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.

Grymkin for Beginners

Faction Aesthetic & Playstyle

Aesthetically, Grymkin are slightly cartoonish nightmare creatures, like something out of a twisted fairy tale.

The Grymkin playstyle is based around punishing the opponent for taking certain actions and has a heavy emphasis on reaping corpses to power their abilities. They are melee-centric and have the most limited ranged abilities of any faction. Even Minions are able to out-shoot them.

The faction is described in the Announcement video.

If you loved Uno, where you could throw cards into the pile mid-turn to mess with your opponents, then Grymkin will definitely be an appealing army for you. Grymkin is a close-combat oriented faction, where building up synergies between your units is just as important as messing with the enemy's force during their own turn via the Arcanas.

Grymkin is a challenging army for new players both as the player and as the opponent. New players will find the selection and timing of Arcana usage an added challenge on top of the rest of the game's intricacies and they may find the "gotcha" aspect of the arcanas off putting when used against them.

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 Menageri, and forms a fantastic pair with the Heretic.

Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper is probably the next warlock to try out, with a diversity of powerful spells & abilities especially good at delivering a large portion of your Grymkin army directly to the enemy's jugular. Old Witch 3 has a traditional feat, meaning she loses out on arcana and the ability to tailor her battle plan to the enemy at that level. This makes her a good jumping on point for traditional Hordes or Warmachine players, especially those who play Khador and can use Old Witch 2.

The Dreamer, The Wanderer, and the King of Nothing are all much more complicated casters to use well, each with their own suite of unique powers which radically change how you play the game. The Dreamer's phantasms are great at controlling space, but you only have three and thus knowing when to use them is a skill all to its own. The Wanderer wants to play up the table, but has relatively few obvious ways to manipulate his army's output and can sometimes feel pillow fisted coming from the Heretic or the Child. The King of Nothing is by far the most difficult Grymkin caster to start with, as his primary ability is an aura which hurts both friends & foes, not to mention his CMD of 1 preventing the use of some key arcana.

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.
  • A unit of Dread Rots is often seen in many lists, both as a cheap jamming unit (which can occasionally do very real work), and as an efficient source of corpses for the Death Knell.
  • The Gorehound is the go to light, and shows up in almost every list. It's combination of speed & extended control range means its rare it won't do work.
  • A Cage Rager or two 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 suchc a strong theme
  • Crabbits show up in a multitude of Grymkin lists thanks to their diversity of defensive abilities

Unique Core Rule: Arcana

Main article: Arcana

Grymkin warlocks use Arcana instead of feats. A Defier warlock is assigned 3 Arcana Cards before the game begins, one is their unique Trump Arcana, the other two can be any from the "general pool" that the Grymkin player wants for that game. Each Arcana can only be used once per game. A warlock can play only one Arcana card per turn.

Grymkin warlocks tend to have an above-average stack of FURY, thus an above-average CTRL area. Many of the Arcana cards work in CTRL area, however some of them are tied to the warlock's command (CMD) stat. Be on the lookout for that, as there's no direct connection between the FURY and the CMD of the warlocks (for example The King of Nothing with his highest FURY stat bears a miserable CMD1).

Starting a Theme Force

Theme Forces are integral to playing Hordes in Mk3. Unlike the main Factions, starting a Theme Force with a limited faction is much more simple. For starters, there are only two Grymkin themes. They are essentially the "Warbeast Theme" and the "Troops Theme" so pick which one you prefer.

Grymkin Theme Forces

Neigh Slayers Command Attachment

You will almost never see this army played outside their 2 themes, as they are flexible enough to let you play with most of the models from the faction, and have bonuses attractive enough to favour them instead of the left-out entries.

Bump in the Night

Bump in the Night is an infantry-focused theme.

Dark Menagerie

Dark Menagerie is a warbeast-focused theme.

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

This list was last updated: 2019.01   (Edit)



Battle Engines




Grymkin Models

Unreleased Models

Last Updated: 2019.02



Lesser Light Heavy

Battle Engine



Minions that work for Grymkin

Last Updated: 2019.01

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.