The Ret experience part 1: list building and testing. 

Mk3 play has been going on for about a month now. I have played 8 games or so.

Not enough games to really call it a full playtest really.

The main issue for me is this mk3 void that presents itself right now. Before in Mk2 the meta was formed and changed a bit from time to time but you knew what to build for and what to expect. Now it’s all open and anything goes. Sadly for me, that means out of 8games 6 were hard counters I had no game against with the available lists.

Don’t get me wrong these counters can be answered by the faction and some might be really rare and in no need of a list focus but there’s nothing to indicate you will face those lists or not at all.

Simply put its rock paper scissors but instead of those 3, the options are infinite and you have no clue what option to choose and any option is the best and worst choice at the same time.

That’s how it feels right now. Mostly because I’m always busy with work, sports and other hobbies and having long and deep thoughts about list building just doesn’t happen. In the past I found out what lists were being played with success and I tweaked those to suit me best, saving me a lot of time and research. Since pretty much every player out there is still testing the waters and tweaking lists, that’s not an option right now.

Playing Rahn and Issyria as a list pairing has the disadvantage that both casters like arcing and casting their required spells. For Rahn landing the TK’s at the right moment on the key models is important, for Issy being able to put Blinding light out there is a key element.

When I see a Mercenary list with a dwarven Colossal in it my reflex would be to play issyria and use blinding light to render the ranged capabilities of the colossal inert by applying Blinding light. This is pretty much what it’s for. However one 5 point solo by the name of Orin Midwinter, cancels that plan completely. And as such my Issyria list has no answer to all the shooting in the list.

My Rahn list isn’t suited to deal with this list either as colossals laugh at Rahn and make him a sad panda.

So this would be a hard counter built in that makes my pairing useless if I end up facing any Merc player using a dwarven colossal and Orin (and I’m sure they’ll be buddies  most of the time)

Another example is Raseth, who makes arcing within 16″ of him impossible, having the same effect on Issy’s blinding light. If I wanted to stop ranged attacks and limiting Rahns effective range enormously as well. Forming another hard counter to both lists.

Example number 3 was my last game vs Vindictus, whose feat renders all the ranged wpns in Issyrias list useless under his feat, except for 2 shots from Hyperion’s main weapon. In the same turn his army gets into position I have no answer as none of my attacks are allowed and the turn after things charge and I am left with small change and no options to turn the tide.

My rahn list would have to depend on battlemages and rahn + 2 shots from the jacks during that feat turn and I’m not sure it would fare much better at that point.

So 3 situations where both lists would offer no real solid answer at all.

This makes one thing painfully clear, Rahn just like in MK2 has no place in MK3, the counter are endless and he doesn’t present the same skew or doesn’t ask hard questions like other casters.

The Issy list is pretty solid but it needs a pair that can deal with the brutal anti-ranged skews out there.

I will be looking at eVyros next in the hopes of moving into melee territory and hopefully finding that answer, even tough I fear anti-ranged has a twin called armor cracking and it will just stomp that idea as well.

The Vyros2 list I looking like this on paper:

Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard – WJ: +27

–    Aspis – PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)

–    Griffon – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)

–    Griffon – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)

–    Griffon – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 5)

–    Griffon – PC: 8

–    Imperatus – PC: 22

–    Griffon – PC: 8


Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress – PC: 3

Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2

Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2

Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2


Dawnguard Invictors – Leader & 9 Grunts: 16

–    Dawnguard Invictor Officer & Standard – Officer & Standard: 4

–    Soulless Escort – PC: 1

Heavy Rifle Team – Leader & Grunt: 4

The HRT is there to have some form of ranged dmg output which can dent something with heavier armor and doesn’t need help hitting.

Lanyssa will have to be tested out, maybe she’s a good addition, maybe I will want to swap her out after a few games, we’ll see how reliably I can use her hunters mark.

The soulless is a point filler really and it does make it slightly harder to remove the invictors with spells, plus disbinding could come in handy.

The rest of the list pretty much explains itself, cheap Griffons, imperatus for the heavy lifting and an aspis to give Vyros that extra bit of protection from ranged.

The HRT is a personal touch and just like Lanyssa I will need to evaluate how much value I get out of it. But if really want to play the HRT in MK3 and this seemed like a good spot to drop it in for the time being.

I have heared the pairing Issy / Ossy isn’t a bad choice, however I feel that puts all the eggs in the ranged basked and I’m foreseeing a heavy anti ranged meta popping up…

Time will tell, I don’t have nearly enough games under my belt in MK3 to really draw conclusions and lot’s of list building and testing ahead of me.

More of my ranting on this later.