An Economic Guide to Warmachine: Retribution of Scyrah


Today’s analysis centers on the militant elves of the Retribution of Scyrah. I reached out to my local Retribution expert, Jonathan Kallenbach, for this article. I will reference the lists from the ATC more often today as well. This article covers the monetary cost of playing Retribution in all of its themes. I changed a few formulas around this week to better weight the data.


The Retribution of Scyrah fields only 12 warcasters total. Retribution’s warcaster models are mostly small based as well. As a result, the entire roster costs only $229. Two factions list smaller casters rosters, Convergence and Grymkin. These limited factions own only 6 warcasters or warlocks each, and oddly enough, Retribution’s roster costs less than Grymkin’s. Warcaster models for Retribution run an average of $16.58 per model, which will be used in the theme analysis later.

Active Duty Roster

The Season 7 Active Duty Roster only matters for the Champions and Masters formats. I often use it as a cross section of the faction, which helps with the larger factions. Since the ADR represents 33% of the faction, I put it up mostly for consistency sake. I will stick to the more popular warcasters for this article. Anyways, this season’s ADR totals to $78, which includes the MK3 battlebox Hylenna comes in.

Character Warjacks

Retribution possess an extensive warjack arsenal, though they call them “myrmidons.” Five of these myrmidons bond to particular warcasters, which makes them character myrmidons. None of the Retribution themes allows character myrmidons outright, but the rules allow you to bring them with their bonded casters in any theme.


The Retribution of Scryah has four theme forces, one for battlegroup and three for infantry. I usually do not include Mercenary options in my theme force analysis, but I made an exception for Retribution. Although the faction works with few Mercenaries, Retribution considers most of them “partisan.” Partisan models count as friendly Faction models to the faction they are partisan with. I only brought these partisan Mercenaries into the conversation this week, as Retribution has one or two non-partisan Mercenary options. Their partisan mercs may count toward points, be used as free cards, or both, depending on the theme.

The first column here represents the average cost of a warcaster model (I use “caster” as my generic term). Forges of War does not allow Vyre warcasters, so the cost of Goreshade and Ossyan were left out. The “CPP” columns represent the cost per point of battlegroup, core, and filler, respectively. “Core” encompases the models and units that contribute toward free cards. The first theme uses its battlegroup points toward core, while the rest do 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 (usually 3) multiplied by the average overall cost of those cards. “Overall cost” and MSRP mean the same thing in this article.

I will continue my typical analysis of themes. Jonathan helped me fine tune Retribution’s Field Allowances for better analysis. Just to save time, each theme analysis will be done assuming the lists are built to achieve maximum free cards. I will point out any economically relevant theme benefits, but if you want to see a full list of theme benefits for Retribution, I suggest that you consult the official theme document.

Forges of War

from Mike Ireland’s NOVA Open pair

Forges of War focuses on the arcane craftsmanship of House Shyeel. When I covered Circle in the last article, we saw that some factions have restrictive battlegroup themes. Usually, battlegroup options that are excluded in one theme are picked up in another. Retribution takes a different route, as the faction has only one battlegroup theme. Forges of War allows myrmidons from House Shyeel exclusively, and it does not permit warcasters from House Vyre. Recent releases for House Vyre make the restriction much more painful than it was originally. The changes to the battle engine and its absence from this theme also reduced its popularity over time. Only two of thirteen Retribution players took Forges of War lists to the ATC this weekend.

The Shyeel myrmidons comprise the core of this theme. The mages from House Shyeel fill out this theme force, and they support their myrmidons superbly. The House Shyeel Arcanist unit costs $3.57 per point and may only be taken in Forges of War. Their solo counterpart, the Arcanist, costs $10 total. Every theme list in Retribution includes this 2 point solo, and they all use the model as a free card option. The Arcanist’s support abilities place it near the top of the list for best support solos in the entire game. The theme brings House Shyeel Battle Mages as the only other unit option. They come in at an even $3 per point.

The recent release of the Vyre light kit eclipsed many Shyeel lights, like the Griffon. Although the Griffon boasts strong rules and much competitive success, the Vyre lights stole the show nearly completely when they arrived. However, the Griffon still reigns as the light option in this theme list. Valued at $2.38 per point, this Shyeel myrmidon ranks pretty well in economy. House Shyeel’s heavy myrmidons provide little to discuss economically, but their colossals do. Retribution fields colossals at 34 and 36 points, making them the only faction that can successfully place three colossals on the table in one list. The 34 point Helios places 10th highest for colossal/gargantuan cost per point, but the dual kit costs a fairly standard $110 MSRP. For reference, 24 “gargossals” exist in the game, and 15 of them cost $110 to put on the table. All of the remaining kits are more expensive.

Vyros2 fields one of the most popular versions of this theme list. He combines the Bird’s Eye passive with the Easy Rider and Synergy spells to great effect, and his feat allows for even more aggression. Rahn makes the best use of the infantry the theme allows, as no one supports the Shyeel mages like he does. Hylenna supports her myrmidons well. Her battlegroups can hit hard, but she also brings very nice armor stacking to the table.

Defenders of Ios

from Zach Dick’s ATC pair

Defenders of Ios draws from the Houseguard, the Nyss, and the specialized infantry from the noble houses of Ios. Thematically, this force represents the more rank and file infantry of Retribution and Ios. Basically every model that lacks a Shyeel, Dawnguard, or Mage Hunter keyword shows up in this theme. The positive side of this is that Defenders of Ios provides something for every warcaster in Retribution to work with. Unfortunately, the Nyss did not receive the theme force I had hoped for, and you can find them all here.

The core of Defenders can be made from any combination of allowed units and battle engines. The Arcantrik Force Generator, or AFG, anchors this list fantastically. Since battle engines represent a significant point investment, I love seeing them contribute toward theme points. The AFG’s economy does not quite match its high power level, as this battle engine runs $5.00 per point. That being said, the AFG broke out on the competitive scene late 2017 and is a battle engine to watch for in 2018. Many Defenders lists now field two of them.

The mainline unit of Defenders of Ios is the Houseguard Halberdiers. The unit picks up the Advance Move, which combines nicely with their native speed and rules set. The 2017 build of this list called for three units of Halberdiers, but that list’s popularity continues to decline with the increasing popularity of the AFG. Halberdiers cost $3.85 per point, relatively high for the theme. Like the AFG, they make up their value on the table.

Elara2’s stock soared with the release of Defenders of Ios, and she still retains that popularity. She was the most widely taken and second most played warcaster in all of Retribution at the ATC, although her performance came up short. As far as other warcasters, they all work well, too. Jonathan put it this way when I asked him: “Defenders and Legions are broadly playable in Retribution.  Virtually all of the casters can build a viable list in either theme.  Defenders has a far more robust list of allowable models and is likely to be the best choice for a new Retribution player to start collecting.”

Shadows of the Retribution

from Nicolás Díaz Dueñas’s ATC pair

Shadows of the Retribution uses a smaller set of models than Defenders. The theme draws from the ranks of the Mage Hunters for its core. Mage Hunter units are few in number but low in cost. Mage Hunter Infiltrators cost the most at $3.85 per point, and they mirror the in game cost of Halberdiers at 13 points. On the other hand, Mage Hunter Strike Force comes in at affordable $2.50 per point for a 16 point unit. These two units create the meat of most Shadows lists since the other two units have character field allowances.

The Free Card cost remains under the normal curve as well. Retribution lacks medium based models in general, and larger models drive up overall costs. Mage Hunter solos all have small bases. Eiryss2 and Eiryss3 own the highest ticket prices, but character restrictions prevent them from appearing in the same list.

Issyria and Ossyian tune up Strike Force with deadly precision. Both warcasters have feats that buff the ranged potentials of Shadows. They also share the ability to buff the speed of the melee forces as well. They have their differences, though, as Issyria preys on stealth and ranged models while Ossyian cracks armor and stops recursion. Interestingly enough, only one Shadows of the Retribution list from the ATC took a warcaster besides Issyria. Elara2 favors the melee side of the theme, which makes sense when you consider the lethality of Mage Hunter Assassins.

Legions of Dawn

from Patrick Logan’s ATC pair

Legions of Dawn is our first incomplete theme in this article series. The document notes that you may take “Nyarr” models and units in this theme, but those models do not currently exist. Fortunately, the Dawnguard core of the theme does exist. Oddly enough, Legions of Dawn is the only Retribution infantry theme to restrict its core to a specific keyword. Only the three Dawnguard units contribute toward free points in Legions, while the other two themes allowed that honor to any Retribution unit, including Cylenna and the Nyss Hunters.

Dawnguard Sentinels provide the foundation for Legions of Dawn. I consider this unit to be one of the top weaponmaster units in the game. Sentinels possess tremendous economic strength as well. The unit box costs $65 total, and it includes the 4 point command attachment in addition to the 18 point unit. Dawnguard Destors represent the complete opposite to Sentinels. Their combat efficiency suffers from the unpopular lance rule, and their cost per point sits at a high $5. Dawnguard Invictors bring the ranged option for the theme at a reasonable $3.25 per point.

Free Cards turn out a little different in this theme. The dual kit for Sentinels and Invictors includes the command attachments for the units. Because of that, I set the dollar cost for those models to $0 for the sake of Free Cards. Not many units include the officer in the unit box, but it always helps the overall price. I hope that Privateer Press continues this trend with future releases and resculpts.

As Jonathan mentioned, basically every Retribution warcaster can run Legions of Dawn. It will be interesting to see how the future release of Nyarr models influences this. Jonathan did select Legions as Hylenna’s prefered theme. Sentinels with armor buffs refuse to die, which makes them all the more of a threat. Issyria and Kaelyssa were the two most popular Legions of Dawn warcasters at the ATC, and Vyros also made an appearance with the theme.

Winners and Losers

Myrmidons (Average $2.59)

The Banshee and the Phoenix set the cheap end of the curve at $1.94 per point, as expect for 18 point heavies. The heavy warjack kits for Retribution cost the standard $35. Imperatus earns the real MVP status, though. This insanely strong character heavy can be your for just $2.50 per point.

The Aspis costs more than any other light at $3.50. I doubt you will see many on the table, though, with the advent of the $23 Vyre light kit. The rules and the price for the Siren and Harpy are too good to pass up.

There honestly are not many losers for battlegroup in Retribution. Each of the myrmidons brings a different piece of utility to the table, and nearly all of them pack magical guns. The average cost might be a little high at $2.59, but the diversity and flexibility justify the cost for me. Magnetizing kits when possible pays big dividends in Ret.

Solos (Average $3.20)

The ubiquitous Arcanist has a hefty price tag for its points. The most taken Retribution model at the ATC costs $5 per point, that is not so bad for a $10 model. The most expensive solo per point in Retribution is the Voidtracer. This Mage Hunter runs $6 per point for a $12 model. Once again, low point solos increase the average cost per piece.

Eiryss1 and Narn sit at the other end of the curve, costing $1.43 and $1.67 per point respectively. Oddly enough, they are usually taken as free cards. Players probably would pay for a Ghost Sniper, since this $7 MSRP solo only costs 3 points.

Units (Average $3.38)

Mage Hunter Strike Force and its two CA options start our list of winners at $2.50 per point. House Ellowuyr Swordsmen with their CA included place second at $2.62 per point. I mentioned Cylenna and the Nyss Hunters a couple of times. This partisan Mercenary character unit runs $3.16 per point.

Destor cavalry and the Heavy Rifle Team weapon crew have the worst economy at $5.00 per point. They are the only large based units in a faction with no medium based units, so this is not surprising. Halberdiers and their CA have the worst economy for small based units, but their importance to Defenders of Ios somewhat nullifies the expense.

Warcasters (Average $16.58)

Vyros2 owns the highest price of all Retribution warcasters. He also has the only large base out of the twelve warcasters. The elf on a horse costs $38.

Garryth and Ravyn both retail for $10. Garryth is more popular than Ravyn, but somehow Ravyn made it to the ATC without him. I find it funny that the two least taken casters in Retribution are also the least expensive.

I would like to point out again that the entire Retribution roster only costs $229. Retribution has the most attainable warcaster roster besides Convergence, and most of them possess reasonable table potential.

Economic Advice For New Retribution of Scyrah Players

Once again, I suggest starting with the battle box and the All in One box. Any package deal from Privateer Press presents a nice discount. Unfortunately, the Retribution All in One box includes elements of each infantry theme in the form of solos. The single unit in the box is the ever strong Dawnguard Sentinels, which are a great unit for a starting player. The All in One contains 78 points of models and Vyros1 at the price of $1.78 per point.

In regards to battlegroup, the battle box myrmidons “are worth fielding” according to Jonathan. He added that the Phoenix could be converted into a Manticore, and that two Manticores (and a sometimes a Chimera) provide a serviceable battlegroup for most Retribution casters. He also mentioned that Retribution players should acquire at least two arcanists immediately, highlighting the value of that support piece.

While I endorse Sentinels, Jonathan recommends two units of Halberdiers for the starting Retribution player. He says, “They are very solid basic infantry and get a strong bonus from the Defenders Theme.” As I mentioned earlier, he considers the theme’s unit select to be “robust” and the theme itself as “likely to be the best choice for a new Retribution player to start collecting.”

Rahn provides an interesting situation for the Retribution player. Jonathan writes, “Out of theme lists are not currently common, but if any caster in Retribution wants to try it, it is probably Rahn.  Rahn’s game is largely based around ridiculous assassinations.  Playing points behind feels most impactful late in a game, which Rahn is perfectly happy never seeing, and playing out of theme gives the option of bringing both a unit of battle mages for his feat and some of the other pieces that help enable his game, or a beefy unit for him to put Polarity Field on.” A fledgling Retribution player could use Rahn as a transition point between Forges of War and an infantry theme, since infantry models can take longer to collect than battlegroup. All Rahn needs is a unit or two of battle mages and a little practice.

Upkeep and Updates

I would like to thank Jonathan Kallenbach for his help with this article. Many thanks as well to Conflict Chamber for the ATC data.

Last week was a little busier than I expected, so this article took about three days longer to finish than what I wanted. The next two articles will be on Grymkin and Convergence. I need a chance to catch up and maybe get ahead a little, especially since the two after that will be Mercs and Minions. I have some familiar names from the tournament scene on these next articles. After these articles, I will be dones with 7 of 13 factions. I have a “half time” article planned that relates to the topic, and then I will finish the series. I am hoping we receive more information on Cryx and Legion before I get to those articles. Dynamic updates and model releases may prompt additional economic updates.

If there was anything I missed or that you think I should have included, please let me know. As always, I keep an eye on social media for a few days after posting, and your feedback is what helps me succeed at providing good content.

Let’s keep those dice rolling!


Micah Walker

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!

1 Response

  1. Andy says:

    Loving those articles. Waiting for the Cryx one and the Minions (Farrow). Thanks for the great job.

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