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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The House Shyeel Artificer.

The best damned elf out there.

"He's an elf in a Gator suit"

Wikipedia has this to say about the word Artificer:

An artificer is a member of an armed-forces service who is skilled in making devices as needed in the field. The specific term "artificer" for this function is typical of the armed forces of countries that are or have been in the British Commonwealth.

From this we can infer 2 things. 

1: Ios probably is or was a member of the British Commonwealth. Rule Brittania.

2: One can expect an Artificer to potentially provide a solution to an otherwise sticky situation. Much like liquid soap.

An online dictionary says this about the word Artificer:


1. a skilled craftsman
2. a clever or inventive designer
3. (Military) a serviceman trained in mechanics

From this we can further understand that:

An Artificer is someone that uses skill or creativity. An artificer builds things.

In this way an Artificer is three things to a Retribution player.

  1. Soap
  1. Skills
  1. Structures

Structures require plans, with the right plan an Artificer can enable victory. Artificers are not trained to float around and fart out Force walls. Artificers are highly trained Shyeel Battle Mages, Mages who have gone through many rigorous years of discipline and structure. Thus an Artificer understands structure, he understands your army structure and his role in it. An artificer understands that he is part of the fundamental structure of your success, like he understands the fundamental structure of the universe. Great generals will know that the Artificer is an integral pillar of support for the structure of his list design and army composition. Lastly without structure there is no strength, no learning. The Artificer understands there is no learning without pain, and there is no pain without damage and if you don't have a good learning and training structure the damage you sustain will not be supported. Thus through structure the Artificer is your ultimate support.

Soap. Like many sticky situations, the best way to fix them is with the wanton application of soap. It's surprising how just a little soap can turn a shitty disaster into a mere memory. Also Soap should be your best friend. Soap gets you paid, soap gets you laid. Soap is the catalyst for modern civilization. Never drop your soap, keep your soap near you at all times at least within 3 inches. Soap works because it has 2 parts, a hydrophobic part and a hydrophilic part. Just like your artificer part of it wants to be in the shit and part of it wants to be out of it. This is why your artificer floats, to keep out of the shit. Because he keeps his feet out of the shit he can be where you need him to be, getting stuck into the shit with his shit loving fists when you want him to be. Just like soap your Artificer loves to attach himself to shit and push it away. Finally if you have ever played call of duty, you know soap is your talented and reliable friend.

Skills. The Artificer has 3 fundamental skills. The value of these skills is calculated through the exchange of your mind. None of these skills are worth anything if you are unable to apply them meaningfully. The Artificer is the master of his skills, you are not. The Artificer realizes he is a soldier in your army, like he realizes he is a weapon in your arsenal. If you don't know which end of the sword to hold, it's not his fault. If you wear your shield on your wrist and not your arm it's not his fault. If you place your eye socket on the sight before you fire, it's not his fault. You must learn to utilize the full extent of the Artificers skills. Then like anything that requires great skill to wield successfully, 2 things will happen.

1. You will look like and be a bad ass.
2. You will out maneuver, out wit and out play your opponent.

With these three S's you can begin to master the art of fully applying your Artificer to the face of adversity. 

Throughout fantasy culture, Artificers are steel fisted bad asses.

Firstly the magnificent flying suit that our wonderful Artificers adorn gives them a built in advantage in 4 ways.

1. Pathfinder, see Soap.

2. Force Barrier. The Artificer is the Duck to the Rain of your opponents artillery. While a direct hit will still take him out, he completely ignores blast damage. Think of a duck in a flack jacket. While the shotgun blast will effortlessly bounce off from far away, a direct hit will still see him stuffed.

3. Power Gauntlets, Beat Back, see Soap.

4. Beefy Stats. 2 high power fists, good armor respectable defense 8 boxes and a very solid mat make this guy an Iosan Iron man. Or as a Minion player once said with great respect. An elf in a Gator suit.

Packed into this already awesome member of elven society are the skills with which you may use to artifice victory.

The problem here is that the Artificers magic ability is 6. This doesn't mean he is bad, it just means you as a player need to use your skill to roll good dice, or pick a target where a skill of 6 has a good chance of hitting, like rocks and giant hunks of metal or dwarves.

The first power armored duck.

The Artificers abilities are:

Force wall. This turns every elf within 3 inches into a flack armored duck.

Mango Blast. This spell pushes war casters out of shield guard, infantry out of shield wall, something to be slammed into something else later on. It opens lanes and closes distances, it makes what looks un movable movable.

Polarity Field. This is your late game shit in the fan maneuver. Got an empty zone, have an enemy that needs to charge in to get somewhere? Needs to charge to do damage to respected armor 17? Pop up the polarity field and walk in.

Just like your game progresses through stages the Artificers abilities are useful at different stages through the battle.

Early on he will be providing Force Wall. To do this he will always be within 3 inches of your caster and potentially covering some other troop type, like sentinels or invictors. The Artificer loves to hang out with dawn guard, he thinks they are real cool guys. Unlike Mage hunters, when he hangs out with Mage hunters your war caster gets shot, this makes him sad, your dawnguard get shot, this also makes him sad. Mage hunters do not like the Artificer, Mage hunters expect to die, they are the Marines of the Retribution. Your artificer is a talented and skilled individual, he does not expect to die. Therefore he is in the rear with the gear.

As the game advances, opportunities will arise for you to make use of Mango Blast. Do not use this skill lightly, there are only 4 situations where Mango Blast should be used

1. To win a game.

2. To score a point.

3. To secure some other tactical objective, like removing the last point of health on a warbeast.

4. To break up shield wall.

Some times in situations 3 or 2 charging or entering melee may be better.

Situation 4 should occur only if there is no ranged or blast threat to your caster, or a large amount of your infantry.

In the case of situation 1, Mango Blast can be used effectively in the following situations.

Targeting a model with shield guard, to push what it is guarding out of its guard range. This will work with ranged assassination vectors that are enabled with a Banshee or Strike Force.

Targeting a nearby model to push or pull the War caster in to a threat range or out of melee engagement so it can be shot or slammed.

Targeting a model to push nearby models out of a zone.

Targeting an easier to hit model behind or near cover, on or near a hill to push or pull another harder to hit model away from its defensive position.

This spell should predominantly target: models defense 12 or lower. War jacks and war beasts, colossals and gargantuans. Something you couldn't otherwise charge for better results. Don't be fooled by the limited application of this ability. Through practice this skill can be learnt to be the first step in the sequence that leads to a victory.

Finally we have Polarity Field. The Artificer is structured, skilled and his mind is clear. Because of this the Artificer is in the zone, more so the Artificer needs to be in the zone, he lives in the zone. When he's not within 3 inches of your caster he's in the zone, it's just him.

Because of this when he is in the zone, it's probably late in the game and his skills have not been called upon for best effect, or he has been supporting as best he can and now things are on the wire. On the wire in the zone. On the wire in the zone where the Artificer loves to be.

But when the Artificer is in the zone, other opponents might want to be in the zone too. Being an elf of many talents the Artificer has a few way of keeping people out of the zone, his zone.

Prevention is better than cure, and Polarity Shield is all about prevention. If the Artificer can keep his enemy out of the zone simply by looking at him funny, then he is happy in a job well done.

Now there are few and far situations where polarity shield has value on a single solo, it is the rand of strategic currency. However he can at least make some use of it to try and slow down an otherwise inevitable situation.

The thing is if your Artificer uses polarity shield, one of 4 things are going to happen net turn.

1. You will lose on scenario

2. Your caster is about to die

3. Your Artificer is about to die.

4. You just didn't lose on scenario.

Because the use of Polarity Shield usually warrants imminent loss, the Artificer is naturally apprehensive to use this ability. It is for all intents and purposes a last ditch maneuver.

Thankfully more often than not the Artificer can use his fists late game and simply push out those annoying hard to kill pieces and let you score scenario.

This here comes the final and most important part about the Artificer.

noun: artifice; plural noun: artifices
  1. clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others.
    "an industry dominated by artifice"
    synonyms:trickery, deviousness, deceitdeceptiondishonesty, cheating,
    duplicityguilecunning, artfulness, wiliness, craft,craftiness, evasion,
    slyness, chicaneryintriguesubterfugestrategybluffpretence;

  2. An Artificer uses artifice to win. He may be big and obvious but it's his tricky little movements, a push here a pull there. He comes out when not expected to enable a game winning play. The number of times people don't expect a Magno Blast to or a simple beat back to win a game... I could probably count on both hands...

    Ask not what your Artificer can do for you, but what you can do with your Artificer.

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