So its been many months since I have made a post.
While things have been a little quiet I have still been getting in a game a fortnight, usually against gators. My irrational hatred for Gators and Rask means I didn't really feel compelled to post another whine fest about why I have problems with them.
As those feeling percolate over the months and my gusto for games improves, a fore mentioned feelings of inadequacy against Gators have frothed up into a brimming broth of opinion about my faction, The Retribution of Scyrath.
I suppose I'm a veteran player but in my gaming circle I'm still one of the newbs, although also one of the more active players who plays in tournaments. My group still hand out solid beatings of the caliber that maybe only half of the active tournament scene could muster. They are talented skilled and intelligent opponents to say the least.
Amid my endless frustration against Rask my opponent offered to switch factions for the game. He crafted an eVyros list and I put down a Rask list. Although he is a very skilled player and managed to put on the pressure a few times I mostly felt in control with Rask and pulled out the win.
Not being the most confident in my own experience I still think its about time to give my opinion on whats good in Ret and whats not. Some neat tricks and some dumb ones and overall strategies and tactics one can employ to gain success on the table-field.
Ten Things I Hate about Epic Vyros "Bird Dick on a Horse"
So its a normal Monday morning, class is settling in early in the semester and then the new guy who the other girls have been talking about saunters in on his pony. You cant help but get lost in his birds eyes and your mind wanders over his dual purpose sword and gun. As he sits down next to you excitement flushes through your veins like turds after the morning tea coffee.
Who is this mysterious epic hero?
Let the romance float for a little while longer. Any engagement in dialogue will reveal a dim witted jock covering up for a terrible spell list with someone else's smooth lines.
"Hey babe, Synergy and Easy Rider" he winks and smiles confidently.
But be brave, throw your mind back to what the other girls in the toilets were saying.
"I heard he has twister and lock the target."
"Oh my god, why would you need both of those"
"For variety I guess?"
fade out with condescending girlish laughter that only female teens are capable of.
Ignore those other skills that he flaunts around, yes he may have an amazing horse, impact attacks, ride by attacks, and the oh so amazing quick work but even with all of this he is still a mere shadow of his former self in Prime school.
And the rumors are true, he does have the herpes of feats. He may tell you hes on medication, he may also tell you that it has made him sterile so you wont get knocked up or horrifying disfiguring blisters. But is it really worth the risk? One wrong move and you can cause yourself more damage with him than any ill meaning challenger might, he may in fact set you up to allow someone else to take advantage of you.
Trust me, keep away from this guy.
Now I suppose you just cant take my word for it so Ill have to give some opinions or "facts"
This guy has a solid stat line, in fact one of the best in the game as it stands at this time.
His defensive stats are through the roof and arguably need to be, as he is capable of attracting quite a lot of attention. He has the mobility to be a threat, Ill give him that but most opponents know not to get too close or block charge lanes or sit in rough terrain.
Even if you can deliver him, and he has all of his focus, which he often wont have he will be mat 10 on the charge and mat 8 on subsequent attacks. That's in the realms of pretty darn good, and power 14. But delivery is still an issue, and on any caster that will die to those attacks they are likely in the places you cant reach him, any other will likely be able to tank/transfer off the damage.
I thought he was a bit of a boss but after failing to kill a Scythean, Carnivean, Mauler or whatever on multiple occasions and dieing the following turn I kind of realise he really wants to stay back like the rest of our softer skinned casters.
Hes like a hot date that needs to go home because his mother said so, after dinner but before the movie. He looks like he wants to be right up there, and he can be but he cant finish the deed. Either he has problems with delivery or hes just not as potent as you may have given him credit for. His prime version for example with the same focus but more armor if he upkeeps IR can fit into tighter spots, and hit more consistently and considerably harder as long as he has a warjack nearby, which thankfully Retribution now has a stonking great hulk of a Hyperion that is pVyros's best bestest buddy ever.
Dont get me wrong eVyros can be forward in your army, but its the usual retribution situation of, don't send a warcaster when any girl with spiky hair can probably do the job better.
With this result Vyros really needs to bring more to the table than his pretend assassination potential, which sadly is pretty limited.
I have almost never cast this spell, why oh why would they take eliminator away and give us Twister instead. Its like taking a transformers jigsaw puzzle away from a 6 year old boy and giving him a Seasame Street kittens fit-the-shape toy and telling him to stop blubbing. There is always potential with eliminator, and Sylys just makes it easier. giving us twister in stead is like coating your testicles in peanut butter in the hopes that those longing looks the neighbors schnauzer were giving you are not being misinterpreted.
Its, A, trap.
Lock the target:
Once again we loose a better spell for this one. Its common for warcasters to get one signature nuke spell and a bunch of other stuff but instead eVyros gets a bad aoe nuke followed up by an even worse control nuke, and its made more insulting by being worse than its original version. I have won games using Stranglehold, its a great spell. I have done nothing but look at Lock the target and continually wonder why I took eVyros and not pVyros. You have some potential to do something maybe with this spell, but anything that you would want to control with is likely to be either too hard to hit or damage, and your not going to have the Focus spare after upkeeping synergy and casting either deflection or easy rider. You'll likely waste the focus to probably fail to lock something down that something else cant take advantage of to kill you or your arc node.
Waste, Of, Time
Alright here is something that supports his army and benefits him in a way. When you upkeep it it gives you the same effective armor against shooting. But it doesn't help in the front line if your charging or receiving a melee oriented retaliation. its good for helping the troops get there against raged blast damage but then so is an Artificer. The thing it doesn't do is effect your jacks, who are the ones that could benefit the most from high damage ranged attacks because they are reasonably fragile as they are and want to keep back and whittle down a target before engaging it. Especially if your spamming light jacks to take advantage of synergy.
Situational but useful if not obsolete.
Sure Ret needs this, this is great. But its at a cost. As eVyros starts to boil down here it always seems that he is about exchange at a cost. I know buying into a genocidal race of endangered isolationist human haters comes with its tropes but embedding them into its leaders in game play style is getting a bit too carried away at the expense of playability. On a 6 focus casters cost 3 is asking a lot, and its a real kick in the wickets when he doesn't get to benefit from it. I mean people argue about Mirage being a high investment spell before you see return but Easy Rider isn't even an upkeep. Still it will help deliver those Deflection assisted Sentinels even better, as long as you keep everything within control.
So here it is, the "Signature" spell for eVyros. Except it isn't, its someone elses. Someone who arguably does better with it because he has better light jacks in his faction. We only really have one light to take advantage of this spell. Its fine on our heavies, but again the focus investment on heavy jacks that are essentially multi purpose in their applications, weep a little bit when they are shoe horned into beat stick by a dick on a horse with a bird on his shoulder who cant jump a log to save himself.
Really this spell should be renamed to Paganergy, or Griffonergy because that's what it inevitably leads itself to.
But wait, what about its effects on the V man himself I hear you harp. The bottom line is your better off keeping the focus to make more fail attacks rather than spend it around to make or hope your griffons can add to the chain, on things that are easy enough to hit or are in range. Oh its not all that bad it can be pretty brutal but it still seems misplaced most of the time. Aside from the Griffon Rets lights are just not made for smashing face. On the heavies its a strong spell but unless you build one dimensional jack spam lists your tool box will be very limited. basically it boils down to a +1/2 mat/str buff for 2 focus and an upkeep. Which is ok
It, Is, OK
Anecdote. I ran into a Retribution opponent at the last big tournament who was from another city, while comparing lists I asked him how he planned to deal with the heavy armor cracking. He pointed to eVyros, 2 griffons and a Banshee and said, they will do it, they can smash through anything. When we were paired up to each other I decided to put it through the test and ran Ossyan with Hyperion against him. Tactfully I removed his Griffons and Arcanists and the Banshee couldn't do the job. While Ossyan ended up engaged with said banshee with one box remaining Vyros failed to do the job himself trying to attack Ossyan camping and behind cover. That's the point where I thought if he was pVyros he would have got the job done. I won the game and solidified my position as top Ret player.
Tides of war. This feat is a reactionary feat. Much like pVyros a lot of it has to do with your opponent, where as pVyros cares about your army composition eVyros cares about... well nothing really. eVyros is a poker face wrapped in a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox, trapped in a coconut in a fist that belongs to a monkey that's too dumb to realise that letting go is the only way to get his hand back. Tides of War could be known as all or nothing, or perhaps Oh Fuck Oops.
Its a feat that can be good with a large amount of skill on your own behalf but can be equally nullified by your opponents level of skill. Its not going to dominate your table for one round or demolish half the enemies army, it may be a win condition if you are clever and your opponent doesn't see it. Really Tides of War is a feat which hedges on your skill being greater than your opponents, and your ability to force his hand. The problem with forcing your opponents hand is, as any Sun Tzu student will tell you, an enemy forced into an uncompromising situation fights... well... uncompromisingly. It should come with a warning which reads, "results may differ." and "contains traces of potential"
While one can get giddy with the potential of racing your minis around the board while out of activation and block charge lanes and such, you must be aware that when one door closes another opens, and you may be creating windows of opportunity for your opponent as much as closing them.
What does Vyros do?
Vyros is a tank. His feat gives him a turn of potential control while he possesses the stats to take a beating and return the favor. I believe he is NOT an initiator or an assassin. He can wade up the field support his infantry and get them there. More so he is an APC, he delivers things. If Vyros were a courier company he would be Sub60, both in the rapidity in which he can deliver an army and the amount of time you can expect the game to be won or lost.
What doesnt Vyros do?
He does not assassinate. He does not control. He reacts in the best way possible and its usually in more subtle ways than by delivering a mat 12 p+s 20 Griffon. Synergy can be a trap in that the more links in the chain the more chances for failure and if your relying on Vyros to be an integral part of that chain and not just a synergy upkeep bot your putting him at unnecessary risk. Retribution has Mage Hunter Assassins for a reason, and going through all of that effort and focus to deliver a Griffon which may end up doing as much as a 2 point model un assisted just doesn't work out to be making good fight in my head.
Tips, Tricks, Strategy, Tactics, Traps
The Ying Yang approach
In dark corners of the forums you may hear tale of the worst model in the game of Warmachine and Hordes. Something so evil and vile, something so useless and harmful to itself that it is shunned by any with a clue. I am talking about the souless contrivance of a malicious game designer known as Nayl. People have termed him the last Nayl in the coffin of the Retribution, and players have talked about killing him themselves although he was fighting for their army.
Take heed of these warnings but don't flee just yet. Warning theorymachine follows.
Nayl really jumps off the shelf and shines a whole face melting new level of luminosity when paired up with eEyriss and eVyros.
Nayl is in a unique position under eVyros feat with that extra 7" of positioning. If he runs the turn Vyros feats he can be moved potentially 21" up the board, which is a nice 12" away from any potential power attacks trying to throw it back at Vyros.Which lets be honest, is the one thing you never want to have happen with Nayl. But to ensure he gets that movement to really get stuck in there where he will be most annoying and cause the most disruption you need to force your opponent into making a kill. Eyriss is a great combo to run alongside Nayl. Need to give that Jack focus? kill Eyriss and Nayl walks right up next to your caster, free strike him if you dare. Need to clear Nayl out so you can kill Eyriss? Eyriss can now reposition to safety or an even more annoying spot. Throw Narn in there and you have a potential assassination run waiting to happen also. All while Vyros was at least 12" away feeding his bird.
Here be Griffons.
These jacks are made for the Vyros synergy chain. Link them in with Lanyssa Ryssyl giving free charges and they are a great mat 8 way to get the ball rolling for 0 focus investment. They already have path finder so you don't need to waste that precious fury casting Easy Rider but will a p+s 13+synergy really be enough to seal the deal? its backed up by a shield in the off hand, the accuracy makes them great for hitting high defense but even with 3 griffons in the chain and with Vyros your only hitting at p+s 17 before the arcanist. For the cost of 2 Griffons a Manticore will start the ball rolling at p+s 20 without arcanists or synergy. For 16 points with Synergy and Artificers 2 Manticores are batting at around mat 7/8 p+s 23/24 all with an extra attack, they charge as far, can shoot and are more survivable. If your going for more than 2 Griffons then it better be more like 6. Alternative light jacks that are good however would be the Aspis.
No, no matter how much you try to think about it Gorgons are a bad idea, more expensive than Griffons hit softer and have a horrible corner case skill that will in more cases than not turn your 5 point jack into a 5 point distraction. Compared to a Griffon this jack will not perform, it never did, and have yet to make one do something special under Vyros' feat when the opponent knows what they are capable of.
The Cavalry Division
Ive seen it in the forums, as part of the tier list. It seems like it facilitates Vyros in delivering things even better, speed 8 things in fact. The problem is they are over priced and un focused units that only get a chance to become playable in a tier list. I haven't tried it and never will, especially now we have Infiltrators why bother. The cavalry doesn't know if it wants to be shooting or charging or in melee, the thing the list gets kudos for is jamming your enemy early on. This can be a risky tactic and will lead to bad list match ups.
People still forget about this ability, for this reason I always want to have a Banshee and some equivalently ranged high power shooting in my list to back it up, the problem is the Synergy build wants to you move away from those jacks. Vyros list building is very contradictory but in the end pVyros enables a birds eye ranged assassination run much better, so leave it to him and let eVyros do synergy and delivery. The problem is Birds Eye is almost open to as much abuse from your opponents as it is from you, Moving around inside Jacks 360 melee arcs can be frustrating as you watch your jacks fail to lock anyone into place. But wait what about the Gorgon you cry. No just no it dies too easily and the effect is tied to its 2 measly G boxes so half the time you hit it once or twice and its ineffective anyway. The worst insult is when an opponent can move around behind the Hyperion and leave its melee range without Hype getting to make free strikes, Never take hype with eVyros.
These guys are made for eVyros, fearless, harder to kill and with path finding, Vengeance to make those Tides of War movements even more threatening. win win win.
In any situation where you would take Halbs over Sents the same applies for eVyros, cosidering how much more eVyros can facilitate the delivery of the Sentinels you will want to be taking them.
These guys are welcome with eVyros, they help to play well into his control aspects and enable your jacks to reach and hit their targets.
Made more survivable with Deflection for at least a turn, before they are too far ahead to be inside eVyros' control. There is the chance that a couple of Tides moves means you can have 2 threatening an enemy caster but as always with Tides of War so much depends on your opponents ability to deal with it.
Mage Hunter Strike Force
Aside from Deflection eVyros does nothing for these guys, and if your building the 9000 griffons approach the number of things you will need engaging enemy models and killing weaker jacks leaves the MHSF with little few good targets.
Solid with eVyros, better with pVyros. Because you should never ever ever under any circumstance be running Hyperion with eVyros Invictors do not have the best flank bot in the game to run around with.
Normally I wouldnt even consider talking about these guys, not that they are bad, I just dont own them. But the new ruling for thier mini feat gives eVyros feat some application, by moving the UA a little closer before activating them and feating you could theoretically get the UA 12" up the board, remaining in 10" command and marking all enemy within 8" of him for the Whites of Thier Eyes. This means the rest of the unit can be safely 14" away at max range, well still in command I guess but shooting further than 8" away. Being able to combine into combat means you can take advantage of all those Griffons, Destors, Sentinels or Destors you have rampaging around in the front ranks there.
Solo's of note
Mage Hunter Assassins: Tides of War feat moves can be game changing, again depends on opponent as much as you
Magister: His knock down spell and whipsnap really help eVyros and his battle group move around more freely and hit more accurately.
Artificer: eVyros really benefits from the +2 defense and the Artificer loves the armor from Deflection.
eEyriss: stepping her in near the end of an opponents activations to cause Technological interference can be very amusing. Again smart opponents wont let this happen.
Lanyssa Ryssyl: eVyros always always wants this solo, blah blah shes hard to keep alive, no she isnt. with an 18" threat on hunters mark she can be well back and safe until she is needed. One just needs to be able to read the table to make sure she is in the right area at the right time.
Jacks not to take and to take.
As I said Gorgons. Chimeras also don't have much use, eVyros in general doesnt need an arc node, thus a Phoenix is not so important with him. Hydras are as always a bad idea
Griffons are on the top of the list, even one kicked off by Lanyssa is an easy way to notch a point up on Synergy. Banshees are a great jack to have, either to run in tandem with a pair of Manticores or jsut one supported by the Griffons they can hit very hard, can take a few hits and moving one up to start Wailing with a Tides activation can really crimp an opponents plans. Manticores these guys are good jacks in general, its often better to have 2 than 1 to take advantage of their covering fire more fully but with Synergy they just get that much better. The Aspis also loves synergy, its cheap like a Griffon and has shield gaurd which is useful when Vyros is such a big target.
Birds eye abuse, a feat that cant be used, 18 points for one contributor or receiver of synergy, that could be 2 Manticores and 2 Arcanists, that could be 4 Griffons. eVyros does nothing for Hype and Hype doesn't care much for him, since Prime school they had a serious falling out from when they used to be like cheese and crackers.
The Bottom Line
When eVyros came out I was excited as the next elf about everything he did. I ignored the down sides and just rejoiced over Easy Rider and Synergy. I always looked at the potential of the feat. Over time it becomes apparent that eVyros is a victim of overbalance. OB has become endemic to mark II design in Warmachine and Hordes but here it suffers worse than normal. Your constantly Challenged to make choices, from list design, to play style to win conditions and strategies. From the Feat to the Battlegroup your sacrificing one thing for something else. There are no auto includes but then nothing really shines, other than one dimensional skew lists, and even then they dont shine they just kind of shimmer.
In the end I don't see, have not seen other people play with and have not had with my own experience a reason to think eVyros is all that and a bag of chips. Most of the time I'm left wishing he was pVyros, or I'm making some hideous game changing mistake with his feat, or I'm crushing some poor unsuspecting victim with his feat. He can have a decent shock factor against unsuspecting opponents but relying on gimmicks, traps and your opponents inability to read the rules and interpret them on to the table is just bad game play.
Mid level caster, front range tank with little support and assassination potential.
Good for stomping newbies or good with exceptionally skilled players.
Struggles with list balance and composition, bad spell list with an ok and a better than ok spell to make up for it, which it doesn't.
This guy will not make it into my serious tournament lists simply because everything about him is too Bi Polar and my skill level is not high enough.
Tally recording wins and loses, from games recorded on blog, since september 2014 and from certain memory over the last 3 years. (Beyond 3 years I just dont remember any games out of a 5 year history) of course its not ALL of my games but as much stunning victories and crushing defeats as I care to remember.
pVyros, W11 -L4 -. Assassin 10.
eVyros, W4 - L5. Assassin 3.
Rahn, W8 -L8. Assassin 6.
Garyth, W11 - L3-. Assassin 7.
Ravyn, W9 - L3-. Assassin 9.
Kaelyssa, W9 - L4- Assassin 6.
Ossyan, W13-L10-. Assassin 6.
Issyria,W15 - L1-. Assassin 9.Thyron, W1 - L0 Assassin 1.