The Road To Templecon: Cardfloppery

I feel like the blog has had a very heavy Retribution focus lately, and to players of lesser, round-ear factions I apologize, but it’s what I’ve been wrapped up in as I prepare to close out the 2014 gaming year in a couple of weeks at Templecon. I will continue to play Retribution for a short period after Templecon, but only until I have enough Skorne models painted to start putting them on the table and figuring them out… assuming I can come up with a paint scheme I want to run with.

That said, Retribution… I’m bringing Incissar Vyros with me, and am currently trying to muscle through a unit of Dawnguard Destors so that I can pony my way around the Iron Arena. The Destors are the very last unit in the Retribution arsenal for me to actually try out. I own to units, but it’s only been recently that I’ve actually gotten around to assembling them and trying to figure out how to use them. I’ve never had an abundance of luck with cavalry, so there was never a huge a mount of impetus to get them painted… but when it comes to High Command? Well, that’s a different kettle of fish. When it comes to defending a location against a swarm of attackers, a single card that can sit there with 7 Health is a real thing.

(Yes, we’ve used this picture before, but I just really like it… Hi Faultie!)

I’ve had some difficulty finding my feet with the Retribution deck. I like a deck where I can spam out cheap, highly effective stuff – Daughters of the Flame, I love you. The Retribution divisions of High Command, however, tend to have a significant price to Purchase or Recruit cards. Granted, there are power levels to match, and I’m talking about a High Command: Faith & Fortune faction so they don’t have the advantage of having four or five expansion currently available to them, but with the impending release of Ultimate Weapons we’re seeing more options to work with. Hello, Mage Hunter Infiltrators… Yes, yes, I’m excited about Paragon Rahn as well, but one thing at a time.

My current deck consists of some of my favourite models from the tabletop, with three of my favourite warcasters.

Dawnlord Vyros, Blue division
-Arcantrik Force Generator
-Arcantrik Force Generator
-Phoenix
-Phoenix
-House Nyarr Destors
-House Nyarr Sentinels
-House Nyarr Sentinels
-House Shyeel Battle Mages
-House Shyeel Battle Mages
-Wrath of the Retribution
-Combined Arms
-Combined Arms

So three resource cards, including the ever important Wrath. Given the higher average cost of Retribution cards, getting the resources flowing is critical to the deck’s success. The Battle Mages are excellent at stalling out a single powerful enemy card (and only 3 CMD to Purchase), and the Destors, as previously mentioned, are Def 7 when they’re outnumbered. Additionally, a legitimate tactic in High Command is loading up as many VP’s for purchase as you can. Retribution doesn’t yet have the ability to max out on the concept, but 7 of the 12 cards in the Blue division are worth VP’s.

kaecardKaelyssa, Night’s Whisper, Green division
-Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
-Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
-Mage Hunter Strike Force
-Mage Hunter Strike Force
-Mage Hunter Strike Force
-Soulless Expendables
-Soulless Expendables
-Nayl, Soulless Assassin
-Nayl, Soulless Assassin
-Wrath of the Retribution
-Arcantrik Innovation
-Scyrah’s Blessing

The Green division has a sore lack of VP’s – only 3 cards – but it brings with it not only a second copy of Wrath of the Retribution (and again, I can’t stress how important I’ve found it to be that Retribution decks get their resources rolling fast), but also cheaper cards that can be spammed or played with minimal resources in hand. Nayl is built for the late game, being potentiall 5/4 for 3 CMD, but it’s the Soulless Expendables that make my Iosan heart sing. I will happily pay 1 CMD to purchase a 4/4 warrior card that I can play with very minimal resources. Also, both Ossyan and Kaelyssa can hamper opposing cards’ ability to destroy the Expendables, making them a potential threat over multiple turns, rather than one-shot wonders. I’m really not a huge fan of how few VP’s there are in this division, but you don’t bring Green for VP’s.

Lord Arcanist Ossyan, Purple division
-Imperatus
-Imperatus
-Imperatus
-Banshee
-Gorgon
-Gorgon
-Arcanist Company
-House Shyeel Battle Mages
-House Shyeel Battle Mages
-Wrath do the Retribution
-Arcantrik Innovation
-Scyrah’s Blessing

You may have noticed that there’s no Warjacks in Kaelyssa’s division. Ossyan’s trying to make up for that a little with four heavies and a light. That still puts the deck with a heavy Warrior focus, which raises the question of why, with the addition of the Purple division, we have two Arcantrik Innovation’s in the deck. Why? So we can hopefully more easily afford the Wrath of the Retribution’s when they come up. In this division we bring nine cards that are worth VP;s, including that precious third Wrath. The Gorgons and Banshee are a little more situational, but you just wait until you play against Circle Orboros and you plant some Gorgons on critical locations.

The impending Ultimate Weapons, as showcased in the No Quarter #58, is offering me a lot of food for thought for these three divisions. The Hyperion – Still only 1 VP, by the way – could easily take two slots in the Purple division, especially with Arcanist Savant Emyliss Shyeel making it easier to get Colossals and Battle Engines onto the board. The Mage Hunter Infiltration Force can slot into either the Green or Blue divisions, and the House Nyarr Invictors – another warrior card with a VP value – could bring a new dimension to Blue as well.

I’ll be bringing the deck as it stands to Templecon, but I make no promises about whether it’ll stay unchanged once the Privateer store opens…