Battle 008 – 50pts Retribution Vs. Skorne – Where's the Hype?

This week I played a 50 Pt battle against Kassem’s Skorne force.

After a couple sub-par games at 25pts inadvisably taking a Hyperion I wanted to try it out at 50pts.IMG_2437 copyMy List:

Max Sentinels + UA
Max Invictors + UA

Kassem brought 2 casters he had never played before and ended up going with a Zaal list:

*Cyclops Raider
*Reptile Hound
*Reptile Hound
*Reptile Hound
*Reptile Hound
Max Praetorian Swordsmen + UA
Min Immortals
Min Immortals
Ancestral Guardian
Ancestral Guardian
Ancestral Guardian
Hakaar the Destroyer
Extoller Soulward
Extoller Soulward
Kovas (Starts game in play due to tier benefit)

This was a pretty scary list that I could see some obvious synergy but I didn’t know what to expect from it on the table.

We were playing the Scenario Balance of Power (12 x 6 inch zone in middle of table and 2 flags that take away opponents control points)

Kassem won the die roll and chose 1st player.  I’m ok with this because I really wanted to pick the side of the board with less terrain because it would serious get in the way of my Hyperion.


Kassem deployed Zaal near the middle of the board with the Krea to his right and the Cyclops to his left. The Swords me were in front and to his right. 1 unit of mortals were infront and to his left.  The other Immortal unit was on his left flank. Between the 2 groups were the Reptile hound, Marketh and the Kovas.

The Ancestral Guardians and Hakaar were AD’d spread out across the board.IMG_2422 copy I pre-deployed Hyperion in the open space near the friendly flag.

Issyria and the Arcanist went beside him and to her left were the Sentinels with the Invictors behind them.  The MHSF deployed in front of them all with an Assassin on each far flank.IMG_2423 copy I’m still proxying Issyria with Aiyanna for now because of a pre-order mishap with a local retailer.IMG_2424 copyHere is the Board and we are ready to go.IMG_2420 copy Skorne Turn 1

Everything more or less ran up the board.

-Swordsmen spread out between the 2 houses
-Immortals and Solos moved up behind them
-Krea moved up behind Immortal and gave DEF/ARM buff
-Cyclops and Zaal moved up behind them put Inviolable Resolve on ImmortalsIMG_2428 copy

On the other side
-Reptile hounds and Ancestral Guardians run up
-Immortals run up behind with Marketh
-Kovas moves up in front of a buildingIMG_2427 copy

IMG_2426 copyRetribution Turn 1

Let me preface this by saying I’m not good at this game. With that said we can continue with the battle report.

-My left assassin goes first to get out of Hyperion’s way.  She charges the leftmost Ancestral Guardian.  She flubs her damage roll and does 2 points.
-Hyperion runs up with Arcanist focus to get into shootig range.
-Issyria moves up and feats and fires a Sparkleburst shot into the Ancestral Guardian surrounded by Reptile hounds. I was hoping for a crit which would have removed 3 of them from the board. Sadly no crit but I did 7 damage to the AG and decent damage to each of the hounds. She also puts IR on Hyperion and admonition in herself.

IMG_2430 copy-The Strikeforce moves up and all fire on Hakaar.  Why you ask?  I’m not sure.  I was a bit fixated on the synergy between him and the Ancestral Guardians.  I probably would have been a lot better off if I’d taken out the Swordsmen this turn instead

-The sents and invictors ran up behind the MHSF.IMG_2432 copy

So that was a pretty shitty feat turn for Issyria.  Especially because her play style kinda revolves around getting ahead in attrition with the feat then desperately trying to stay ahead before your opponent can kill all your shit. I think its pretty obvious it would have been better if I’d waited another turn.  The Strikeforce probably would have been able to take out about half of the Swordsmen without the feat. Too much discussion. More Battle Report!

Skorne Turn 2IMG_2437 copy

-Kassem’s Swordsmen charge in on my strikeforce. They have trouble hitting the DEF14 and kill about 4 of them but it ties up most of them.
-He runs a reptile hound into melee with Hyperion
– 2 other reptile hounds charge in under last stand.  With LS and Fank they’re rolling 5D6 to damage.  Which sounds awesome but with Hyperion at ARM21 that dice minus 13 which means he barely scratches the paint.
-The rest of his stuff moves up behind puts out buffs, etc.

At the end of his turn his reptile hounds that were Last Standed both are removed from play.

IMG_2435 copyRetribution Turn 2

-My sentinels move up and clear off as many MHSF as they can by killing an Ancestral Guardian and some swordsmen.
-Strikeforce go and take out a bunch more swordsmen.
-Issyria goes uses AA to have Hyperion attack an engaging Reptile hound. but misses.
-Hyperion moves up and boosts to hit on some Immortals (there were 4 under the template) boosting to fish for crit aaaaaaannnnnd……  no crit. Kills 2 of them anyway.
-Invictors move up and kill some more swordsmen.

IMG_2441 copyIMG_2439 copy Skorne Turn 3

This turn it starts to get pretty bloody.

-The Kovas moves up into a juicly little region surrounded by 6 Senitnels 1 MHSF and 2 Invictors. 1 thressher attack and everything except for the 2 Invictors is dead.

BeforeIMG_2442 copyAfter.  Ouch.IMG_2443 copyAfter that blow.

-The swordsmen clean up the rest of the Strikeforce and sentinels.
-His Immortals on the other side charge Hyperion under Last Stand.  I was pretty afraid of losing him this turn but they didn’t do too bad. Not even taking out all of his left side. and of course after his turn ends they are all gone.

Kassem gets 2 points for dominating the zone.IMG_2445 copy Retribution Turn 3

-Hyperion moves up and fires a Sparklebust shot into a juicy clump of immortals and swordsmen.  Again I fail to crit with my boosted shot but I still manage to kill 2 swordsmen and an Immortal.  Thresher cannons take out Marketh and another Immortal and swordsman.
-Invictors move up around the Kovas and try to finish him off in melee.  They leave it with 1 box. The other Invictors finish off the swordsmen.

IMG_2447 copy
-Issyria decided that discretion is the better part of valour and made a run for it behind the cottage on the left side of the board.IMG_2449 copy Skorne Turn 4

-The Kovas kills all the invictors engaging him
-The Reptile hounds take a chunk out of hyperion.
-The Immortals charge in a and kill some invictorsIMG_2450 copy
-Zaal charges Hype as well doing pretty serious damage.
-The AG and Krea also charge in and eventually Hyperion falls.IMG_2451 copy Retribution Turn 4

Not much I can do on this turn so my remaining Invictors try to clean up some Immortals and do a very bad job of it, killing only 1 of them.  IMG_2452 copy

Victory to Skorne!

Thoughts on the battle:
-I have read lots of battle reports with Issyria and the overwhelming majority of them are losses. There is a lot of hype surrounding how strong she is for Retribution but so far it seems like it has yet to really pan out. Maybe it will just take more time for us to get a handle on her playstyle.
-I need to learn how to use her feat more effectively. Its really important to get so far up on attrition that your opponent can’t come back and so far I have not had a game with her that I was able to be nearly that successful.
-I had really bad target priority in this game and used my feat and a 10pt activation to remove one 4pt solo from the board.

Please leave any other thoughts, tips on using Issyria, or belittling my poor tactical skills in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Battle 008 – 50pts Retribution Vs. Skorne – Where's the Hype?

  1. I have only played one game with Issyria so far, so take all this with a grain of salt. My experience has been that she’s fun, but she definitely can have late game problems. Anyway, here are my thoughts in no particular order.

    Timing the Feat is pretty tricky. My gut says to Feat early rather than wait. Ideally, you want to time it to coincide with your first charge, so that you can shoot, then get the chargers in there to jam and do more damage. It’s always hard to time Feats like hers that require you to be engaged to some degree, but are terrible if you’ve taken too much damage.

    Related – I like Halberdiers with her. Again, I only have the one game of practice, but with a Houseguard Thane and Crusader’s Call, you have a 15″ charge threat. Her Feat and the Halbs’ Mini-Feat work really well together too. Overall, it’s a good unit for getting the alpha strike and jamming at the same time.

    I also think she wants a Phoenix or Chimera. One reason is that Blinding Light helps hit a unit on a non-Feat turn. It’s also a serious attrition advantage against ranged units and offensive spellcasters. I don’t know what difference it would have made in this game, but I do think channeling Blinding Light is going to be big for her. Phoenixes are also solid models which can deal with a wide range of targets, and aren’t easy to shift out of zones.

    The timing on Ancillary Attack can be a little tricky. I don’t know if you had any trouble with it, but I sure need to practice more.

    You analyzed your game pretty well. I think Issyria needs to go after anti-Infantry stuff first, then let the infantry screen the second wave stuff like the Hyperion go after harder targets. The MHSF and Invictors should have cleared off as much of that infantry as possible, and then the AG’s, even full on souls, would have been much easier to deal with because you wouldn’t have been jammed up yourself.

    • I think you are right about needing an arc node. I just REALLY like her with Hyperion and its hard to handle a 24pt battlegroup when she really wants more units.. In this game I didn’t need help hitting much but in other matches I might rely on BL a lot more.

      I went with Sents instead of Halbs with her because Halbs get 1 turn of asskicking while sents can do it all game and get over the top on her feat turn. The threat range of the halbs with Thane under CC is a force to be reckoned with though for sure.

  2. I’m certainly no expert on Issyria, and you know my running theory that she should have both an AFG and Hyperion (both for safety and because they both are awesome under Feat).

    The more I read (and see) Issyria, the more she strikes me like the Haleys… a fragile, FRAGILE warcaster that has 1 Feat turn to get as much work as humanly possible done, but basically is incapable of doing “work” herself (yes, Haley has both a gun and some attack spells, but honestly, if you’re using either you’re doing something very, very wrong… probably). With Haley, the trick is to NOT Feat too soon… you really need as much to be under that bubble as possible (either your own stuff with Haley1 to get additional attacks on things that are in range, or enemy stuff to buy yourself anther turn).

    Anyway, doesn’t help you since you don’t play Haley. But just an observation to say I get your pain.

    Now, for advice… I like this list, honestly, although I think the Invictors AND the Sentinels together might be a bit much. You don’t need Riflemen due to Issyria’s Feat, I suppose, and the Invictors are a great team-up wth Hyperion to get that Flank bonus. No question there.

    About the only I would suggest is maybe screening the Hyperion a bit better. If you can keep that alive (by judicious removal of ARM-cracking on the other side of the table), Issyria is a lot more potent for as long as you can keep that model protected, and if it comes down to losing your Sentinels or your Hyperion… lose the Sentinels! Even if you just run them between the enemy and Hype… it’s easier to whittle down your infantry than it will be to kill Hyperion late game (especially with an Arcanist or two to keep him fully functional).

    Anyway, just my two cents.

    • I’m not sold on the AFG with her. No AA and takes up points that could be used for infantry. I think a Banshee with always be more worth the 10 points than the AFG. Not that is garbage just that the Banshee comes out on top in comparison.

      I don’t think screening was a problem here either. Hyperion was the last thing to die in this game except for a few Invictors. Part of the lack of screen in this game was due to terrain. Hype had to go on the outside because the fence was going to to be pain in his ass but the Sentinels were happy to run up the middle. Maybe the Vics could have gone on the flank with Hype to soak up some fire. I certainly had too much Infantry clumped up in the middle of the board to get much work out of them this time.

      So in summary. You are wrong. You’re always wrong and your parents were wrong to bring you into this world. 😉

      But seriously thanks for the input. We frequently see things very differently and I like to get the other side of it.

      • I just wish I could give more valuable feedback… Retribution is *kinda* like Cygnar, but tends to be both better and worse than Cygnar in many ways.

        As for the AFG vs Banshee… well, to a large extent that will boil down to how Focus-starved Issyria tends to be with a Hyperion. For sure the AFG operates better without Focus than a Banshee does… and the ability to not be charged natively is pretty freakin’ powerful (meaning you don’t *really* have to screen it, although your life will unquestionably improve if you have the troops to do so!).

        Anyway, I accept that I am frequently wrong. I’m probably wrong here, and my parents were DEFINITELY wrong to inflict me on the world. But here we are… gotta make the best of it we can!

  3. The more games I get in with her the more I realize having two arc nodes is just too much utility to pass up. Even playing at 35 points I find myself taking a Phoenix and Chimera. Another thing I’ve been finding, load the chimera up first turn and in the later turns either the combo smite or two handed throws will pay dividends. It has pretty much gotten to the point where I prefer two of the little guys.
    The AFG; she will make it shine on her feat turn, just as well if not better than Ossyan. The question becomes can she get more out of another unit Also have you tried Imparateus (sp?) with her?

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