An Economic Guide to Hordes: Grymkin
by Micah Walker · Published · Updated
Today’s economic analysis covers the Grymkin faction. The article will be significantly shorter since this is a limited faction, but I hope to bring the same quality number crunching. I asked Jay Larsen to be my guest for this article as he has done very well in major tournaments with Grymkin recently.
The five Defiers and Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper create Grymkin’s warlock roster. The Defiers use arcana instead of feats, the trademark distinction of this limited faction. Zevanna Agha, or Old Witch3, inflates the average cost of Grymkin warlocks significantly. Her battle engine version of Scrapjack costs $125 on its own, whereas the five Defiers cost $140 altogether. I used the average cost of a Defier for my analysis in this article.
The Active Duty Roster, or ADR, shows the allowed warlocks for the Champions format. The Masters format also uses these models. I usually use the ADR as a cross section of a faction, but with only six warlocks in faction, I should be able to work them all into the article. Once again, I am just including the graphic for reference if you are interested in the Masters or Champions formats.
Grymkin has only two themes, which makes my life incredibly easy this article. Bump in the Night fields the twisted infantry hordes of the Grymkin. Dark Menagerie showcases the eternal nightmares embodied by Grymkin warbeasts. Each warlock has a their own unique flavor and tend to prefer one of the themes over the other. Although Dark Menagerie boasts a stronger competitive presence, each Grymkin model has its own established place in the faction thanks to the community input during the faction’s creation.
The first column here represents the average cost of a warcaster model (I use “caster” as my generic term). The “CPP” columns show the cost per point of battlegroup, core, and filler, respectively. “Core” encompases the models and units that contribute toward free cards. The second theme uses its battlegroup points toward core, while the first does not. The “Filler” points show the number of points needed to reach 75 after Core. The “Free Cards” column shows the number of free cards multiplied by the average overall cost of those cards.
Bump in the Night
Grymkin infantry fill the ranks of Bump in the Night. The theme benefits provide some nice buffs for the Grymkin units. Rise from the theme complements the Tough rules on Dread Rots and Piggyback. Piggybacks set the low end of the curve at $3.00 per point, while Dread Rots embody one of the more expensive at $4.17 per point. Murder Crows, who cost $4.22 per point, gain ambush from the theme as well. Jay Larsen picked Neigh Slayers as his favorite unit in faction. These odd little Gremlins are the game’s only small based cavalry models and run $3.75 per point.
The Death Knell contributes to the core of the theme in addition to the Grymkin units. While battle engines may be optional in other factions, every Grymkin player should own exactly one Death Knell. The model provides a defensive anchor for every list and facilitates the corpse economics of the faction. The Death Knell sells for $85, the most common MSRP for battle engines.
Jay selected three warlocks from the ADR to run in Bump in the Night. Technically, he said that King of Nothing could run in both themes. King of Nothing does not buff anything (in fact, he debuffs his own models), but his Sands of Fate spell requires warrior models to work. His cloud wall helps some of the squishier infantry, like the Neigh Slayers, make it down the board. Jay also mentioned the Wanderer as preferring the infantry theme, as this Defier can jam opponents with high defense infantry very well. Old Witch3 is the best infantry warlock in Grymkin according to Jay. Not only does she protect her infantry from shooting, she has a strong recursion game with her Arcane Machinery.
Grymkin’s warbeast theme contains a few unusual twists. First, Dark Menagerie grants free points for every 15 points of warbeasts. That means my usual battlegroup target number, 75 points of core, allows for 5 free cards! In addition to this, only Crabbits and Gremlin Swarms may be used as free cards. Finally, Gremlin Swarms gain the Serenity rule as well as an increased Field Allowance. Dark Menagerie lists require Gremlin Swarms to the point most players buy four of these $16 solos. Their popularity has made them scarce in local stores, though I know a guy who carries them.
The Skin and Moans ranks as one of the best warbeasts in the game. Grymkin players often field up to three of them in Dark Menagerie lists. These lanky horrors cost $2.33 per point. Jay chose Rattlers as his favorite light warbeast. The Rattler rates highest for cost per point of all battlegroup options at $3.13. The 8 point light provides the infantry clear that the list needs to function, though, and one or two of them find their way into most Dark Menagerie lists.
The Child represents the classic beast brick warlock option. She riles her warbeasts up to a frenzy and hits hard herself. The Dreamer also supports warbeasts, especially the ranged Frightmare. Her Manifest Destiny spell turns up the melee potential of all of her beasts. Jay favors the Heretic when it comes to Dark Menagerie. His combination of spells and arcana push the Skin and Moans to godlike levels. The Heretic also controls board space well with his spell kit, and his spell cloning ability expands his arcane presence even further.
Winners and Losers
Warbeasts (average $2.52)
Two light warbeasts bookend the small Grymkin roster. The infantry eating Rattler costs the most at $3.13 per point. The Frightmare, who is the only ranged beast in the faction, comes in at $2.00 per point.
Grymkin also offers a lesser warbeast option. Crabbits come in pairs for $15 outside the game and 7 points inside the game. More often than not, they will be a free card option in Dark Menagerie.
Solos (average $5.01)
Lord Longfellow, the gentleman spider, beguiles us with his affordability of $2.00 per point. The Cask Imps chaotic behavior is mirrored by their half point cost, which makes the $12 per point. They have the third highest cost per point of any model in the game.
Units (average $4.37)
Piggybacks squeal into the winners column with their $3.00 per point price tag. Continuing the Cask Imps’ trend, Mad Caps cost the most for a Grymkin unit at $8.75 per point. The artillery unit has a hidden price, though, because it creates Cask Imps throughout the game. Mad Caps and Cask Imps are a pricey duo.
I always ask for a sleeper pick for 2018, and Jay opted for Hollowmen. The Hollowmen box includes the Lantern Man Command Attachment, and together they cost $3.13 per point. Interestingly enough, “Hollow Holden” became a Hollowman when he turned Grymkin. His model will be a character weapon attachment for this unit, but its release date has not been announced yet.
Warlocks (average $44.17)
The cheapest warlock to play is the King of Nothing, but you may want to reach past him for the Heretic. The Grymkin demigod sells for $18 and synergizes with nearly every faction model.
Old Witch3 retails for more than any other warcaster or warlock in the game. This battle engine caster ruins mathematical curves with her $125 price tag. From what I hear, she earns her place on the table anyways. She makes a strong showing in both factions that she appears in.
Economic Advice for New Grymkin Players
Privateer Press released the Grymkin Army Box upon launching the faction. Their online store no longer carries this package, but local stores may still have them in stock. Many of my local Grymkin players bought two boxes as a way to affordably field full sized lists right away.
Battlegroup themes tend to provide affordable yet powerful list options. Dark Menagerie is no exception. The difficulty of acquiring this theme rests in the rarity of Gremlin Swarms. You can kitbash Gremlin Swarms by adding the marching band gremlins from the Death Knell to an old medium based wreck marker. This conversion is 100% tournament legal as long as it has a round lipped 40mm base.
Avoid the Mad Caps and the Cask Imps if money factors in at all. These models provide a comical experience but require disproportionate monetary investment.
Jay’s advice is to “settle on a couple of lists (likely ones that have a proven track record) and play the heck out of them.” If you need to know which ones have a proven track record, you can find them here.
Upkeep and Updates
A hearty thank you to Jay for graciously answering my questions about Grymkin. I recommend listening in to his podcast, Chain Attack. Usually I prioritize supporting your local store, but if you like buying minis online, check out Jay’s website. He is my go to guy for foam trays, which my local shop doesn’t carry a variety of. No one is paying me to say this. I genuinely appreciate what this guy does for the Warmachine community.
Once again, thank you to Conflict Chamber for providing the clean list graphics.
As always, if there is something you would like to add or something I got wrong, leave a comment. I hope to be back again later this week with the article on Convergence.
Let’s keep those dice rolling!
Wargamer, miniature painter, and now blogger for Midwest Wargaming. I love crunching numbers, and I can nearly guarantee that my articles will be the most boring, but you will learn something, damn it!
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