Adeptis Rahn – Retribution Warcaster

Adeptis_Rahn.jpgAmong the most powerful arcanists born in a generation, Adeptis Rahn Shyeel is a master of force manipulation and arcane science. His movements send ripples through the air, and with but a thought he can generate storms of kinetic force capable of rending metal and bursting flesh. With a wave of his hand men and machines alike are swatted aside as easily as gnats, and it is just as effortlessly that he brushes away entire volleys of incoming fire.

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Basic Info


See also Interpreting the Statblock
Below Average
Below Average
Above Average
Above Average
WJ Points
Hit Boxes
Base Size

Feat – Arcane Alignment

Rahn's feat gives additional range, accuracy, and damage to magic attacks made within his control area.

Weapons and Attacks

  • Balance – Average power melee attack
    • Magical Weapon - This weapon can damage incorporeal models.
    • Reach - This weapon has increased melee range.
    • Beat Back - Immediately after a normal attack with this weapon is resolved, this model can push the target model 1" directly away from it. After the push the attacking model can advance up to 1" in any direction.
    • Critical Smite - On a critical hit, the target may be slammed (or you can roll damage normally). You gain the POW of the weapon on the slam damage, but not collateral damage.

Special Abilities

  • Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
  • Force Barrier - This model gains a DEF buff vs ranged attacks, and is immune to blast damage.


  • Chain Blast - A moderate POW AOE with decent range that deviates an additional AOE on impact.
  • Force Blast - Target model in this caster's battlegroup. All enemy models within 2" of the target are pushed 4" directly away from it.
  • Force Field - A self-range upkeep spell. The caster cannot be knocked down, and does not suffer collateral nor blast damage. Additionally, the caster can choose the deviation direction of any AOE (friend or foe) that deviates within their control area.
  • Force Hammer - An offensive spell with moderate POW that slams target non-incorporeal model d6" regardless of base size.
  • Polarity Shield - An upkeep spell. Target model/unit cannot be charged or slammed by models that activate in their front arc
  • Telekinesis - Target model is placed completely within 2" of its original position. A model can only be affected by this spell once per turn.

Thoughts on Adeptis Rahn

Rahn in a Nutshell

Rahn is a potent spellcaster and can greatly impact the board with his offensive and utility spells.

While Rahn can be a highly offensive assassination caster, his abilities are highly versatile and also allow him to play well with denial/attrition and scenarios.

Thoughts on when/how to use his spells and feat

Rahn comes with an incredibly potent anti-melee spell: Polarity Field. Reducing the threat range of melee combatants by 3" and denying the charge damage bonus adds significantly to his forces' survivability. Warjacks and big hitters such as Sentinels are prime targets for this spell. Force Field serves a similar role against opposing armies that rely on blast damage to destroy high-DEF models, such as the Mage Hunter Strike Force.

Rahn's primary strength, regardless of the win condition, is battlefield movement of both allied and enemy models. Force Blast has multiple uses in this respect: warjacks can be disengaged from melee, properly positioned warjacks can allow Sentinels an additional charge, and flag capturing becomes significantly easier. Similarly, Telekinesis allows 2" more threat range from or to any one model and facilitates easy back strikes.
Pelting a high DEF, low ARM heavy like Warpwolves and Angelii with stormfalls after being TK'ed around either destroys them, or prevents a charge if they survive since they are no longer facing any models.

Offensively, Rahn can easily clear out groups of low-ARM models with Chain Blast, especially with Arcane secrets from Sylys to give a more reliable way to clear out low ARM models. Force Hammer is Rahn's primary method of assassination; it can be cast directly on an opposing model for damage and knockdown, but can also be cast on another model (even an allied model) that has been positioned correctly to knock down an opposing model that cannot otherwise be hit due to line of sight, high DEF or spell immunity. MHA love auto hitting attacks since these choke artists cannot seem to hit with MAT 7.

Typical Army and Strategy

Rahn can do some impressive things regardless of his army composition, however, the most notable things that are typically placed in his lists are an arc node or two, and one or two units of House Shyeel Battle Mages. The arc nodes extend Rahn's influence to enormous distances and the Battle Mages add damage output and movement shenanigans that outright assassinate warcasters and warlocks, or at the very least knock them down and pull them closer for other models to finish off.

When playing Rahn, the idea isn't to look at the board as a miniatures game, but rather as a pool table. Force Hammer and Telekinesis can cause havok in the enemy lines and setup kills by the rest of the force.

He has many synergies with spell casters and myrmidons, and so both are usually found in abundance in his lists. House Shyeel Battle Mages and House Shyeel Magisters in particular gain significantly from extra positioning and the damage potential of his feat. Non-spell caster units also benefit greatly from the extra survivability and mobility. Many of these units also make good use of offensive Telekinesis, and provide the necessary follow-up to a successful Force Hammer.

As a magic-high 'caster, arc nodes are a must-have for Rahn for the following reasons:
  1. So he can safely use all of his focus each turn without needing to overboost his power field. He doesn't really have the durability to cast more than a one spell and some upkeeps himself. The Chimera is a great arc node to be able to rush up quickly and remain relatively safe due to its Apparition move and ability to buff DEF. This is a great 'jack to use for two Chain Blasts on turn one directed at light troops that can be a problem later on. The Phoenix is a bit better if you are looking for a front-line arc node that still provide some screening for Rahn.
  2. Force Hammer. Since it slams models directly away, having a few other directions for this spell to come from is incredibly useful. A Chimera sneaking around a flank and Force Hammering a 'caster into range of House Shyeel Battle Mages, Magisters and Telekinesis during Rahn's feat turn is generally a game winner.
  3. Seriously keep Sylys Wyshnalyrr in mind when building lists with Rahn. The free upkeep is handy for Polarity Shield or Force Field and his Arcane Assistance ability lets you roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die on boosted spells. This allows Rahn to hit DEF 17 on average rolls with either Telekinesis or Force Hammer which equals end of game with a heavy or Mage Hunter Assassin in range. Sylys also increases Rahn's spell ranges, which can be handy if his arc nodes are wrecked or engaged.

Elara is also worth mentioning, as on feat turn she can charge and double Side-Step then deliver two fully boosted convections into an opposing caster that was 23" away at the start of her activation. Playing her as a super solo would involve banking on a productive feat turn, since she is not an exceptional melee power house or spell slinger on her own during any other turn. This does play into Ret's all-or-nothing play style, and is incredibly fun.

Drawbacks and Downsides

Rahn is a very strong caster when it comes to offense and utility, but has the drawback of being based almost purely on magic. He is very vulnerable to anti-magic abilities and his impact on the fight can be limited by models such as Orin Midwinter, Druids of Orboros, Choir of Menoth, or models with Spell Ward, Banishing Ward, and Sacred Ward. Castigate, Orgoth Seal, Psychic Vampire, Bestial, Arcane Vortex, Whiplash, and many other abilities can hamper Rahn as well, all in different ways. Lamentation is at least not usually much of a problem since arc nodes let you cast outside of its influence usually.

Tricks & Tactics

An example of Rahn's assassination run:
Up from 20" away. Needs: Battle Mages (aka Mittens), Rahn and any arc node. Sylys is nice, but not necessary.
  • Run an arc node to within 8" of the enemy.
  • Rahn moves to get the arc node into his control area, feats, clears a lane to the 'caster (using Telekinesis, Chain Blast or Force Blast) and then uses Telekinesis on the enemy 'caster.
  • Mittens walk forward and start pulling the caster towards your lines (18" threat). Their boosted Magic Ability scores will hit just about anything. After two hits, the target should be knocked down.
  • If target is still alive, anything with decent damage output should be able to finish it off.

Theme Force(s)

Rahn's Theme Force: Charge of the Battle Mages

Originally found in Forces of War Machine: Retribution of Scyrah
An Adeptis Rahn force can be chosen from any of the options available to the Retribution, but a themed or Tier list can only be built from a select number of units, warjacks and solos. The units required to unlock the special list abilities for Charge of the Battle Mages are as follows:
Battle Engines
Retribution non-character myrmidons
Houseguard UnitsHouse Shyeel Battle Mage Units
Arcanist SolosHouse Shyeel Battle Mage Magister Solos

Tier 1
Army uses only models/units that are among those listed above.
House Shyeel Battle Mage units become FA U.
House Shyeel Magister solos become FA +1 per unit of House Shyeel Battle Mages.
Tier 2
Two or more heavy warjacks.
Add a free Arcanist solo to the army that does not count toward its normal FA.
Tier 3
Three or more House Shyeel Magister solos.
Battle Mages gain Advance Move
Tier 4
Four or more House Shyeel Battle Mages units.
Begin the game with your upkeeps in play

Thoughts on Charge of the Battle Mages

This theme army is set up around inflicting the maximum amount of damage possible on Rahn's feat turn and provides oodles of battlefield control. Dawnguard units aren't on the list, however, so the army is essentially going to be full of glass cannons who happen to be immune to blast damage. Outside of Rahn's feat turn, it relies on myrmidons and Houseguard Halberdiers to act as shield/tarpit units. Assassination is an obvious choice when using this theme army, as the tier 3 benefit moves the mages even closer to the opponent, and the tier 4 benefit makes it more difficult for the opponent to respond with charges. The theme's two primary weaknesses are anti-magic effects and lack of access to the excellent Retribution character solos (which could deal with an opponent's anti-magic effects).

His Tier 3 Theme Army is significantly powerful. Pair up Discordia with some Houseguard Riflemen for added ranged punishment and the ability to take out problem solos. Advance Move for two squads of Battle Mages and three Magisters can be huge, especially in scenario play. When combined with the boosted range of his feat turn, striking your opponent's front lines on turn two is incredibly easy. Opponents who have not played against this will struggle, and Rahn's tactics work against both Hordes and Warmachine armies.

Adeptis Rahn's Theme Force: Fires From On High

No Quarter #44 (September 2012)

An Adeptis Rahn force can be chosen from any of the options available to the Retribution, but a themed or Tier list can only be built from a select number of units, warjacks and solos. The units required to unlock the special list abilities for Fires from On High are as follows:

Battle Engines
Non-character warjacks with Force Fields

Stormfall Archers
Houseguard Units
House Shyeel Units
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Arcanist Solos
House Shyeel Solos

Tier 1
Army uses only models/units that are among those listed above.
House Shyeel units and solos have FA +1.
Tier 2
One or more Hyperion.
+2 SPD for heavy Warjacks and Colossals on the first turn of the game.
Tier 3
One or more Stormfall Archers unit.
Stormfall Archers gain Advanced Deployment
Tier 4
Two or more solos with Magic Ability.
Cheaper Arc Nodes

Thoughts on Fires From On High

This theme army is significantly more flexible in terms of unit composition than the previous theme army, Charge of the Battle Mages, as long as the point level of the game is high enough, I only recommend the tier in 50 point games. The Tier 3 benefit is extremely strong, potentially allowing you to destroy a significant portion of the opponent's army if they are not careful in placing and maneuvering their models.
The Tier 2 requirement is steep, but not so bad considering you can put Polarity Shield and have an un charge-able Colossal. This denies a large portion of real estate, and watching a Hyperion run 14" first turn and a Phoenix Arc node running 16" is great for getting good board position can be demoralizing for your opponent. Combined with AD Stormfalls and an Arc-able spell like TK or Force Hammer to fix their RAT issues, there are some really threatening possibilities in Tier.



Retribution Index
Garryth - - Issyria - - Kaelyssa - - Ossyan - - Rahn - - Ravyn - - Thyron - - Vyros 1 - - Vyros 2
Warjacks - Light
(Light Myrmidion)
Aspis - - Chimera - - Gorgon - - Griffon
Warjacks – Heavy
(Heavy Myrmidion)
Banshee - - Daemon - - Hydra - - Manticore - - Phoenix - - Sphinx
Discordia - - Hypnos - - Imperatus
Warjacks - Colossals
(Colossal Myrmidion)
Helios - - Hyperion

Dawnguard Destors - - Dawnguard Invictors - - Dawnguard Sentinels - - Battle Mages - - Houseguard Halberdiers - - Electromancers - - Heavy Rifle Team - - Houseguard Riflemen - - Mage Hunter Infiltrators - - Mage Hunter Strike Force - - Stormfall Archers
Special Weapon Attachment: Soulless Escort
Special Unit Attachment: Eiryss3
Arcanist - - Dawnguard Destor Thane - - Dawnguard Scyir - - Ghost Sniper - - Artificer - - Magister - - Houseguard Thane - - Mage Hunter Assassin - - Soulless Voidtracer
Eiryss1 - - Eiryss2 - - Skeryth Issyen - - Narn - - Nayl
Warcaster Attachment: Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Journeyman Warcaster: Elara
Battle Engines
Arcantrik Force Generator

Retribution Mercenary Index
Mercenary Warcasters
We shall kill each and every filthy arcanist and all their abominable mechanika.
Mercenary Warjacks
Different types of Mercenary warjacks can only be taken by specific Mercenary models ... which means there's too many permutations to list here (in any sort of meaningful way).

However, note that the following Retribution mercenary models can control warjacks/warbeasts (in addition to the Mercenary Warcasters listed above):
Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath

Mercenary Units
Nyss Hunters - - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Mercenary Solos
Lanyssa Ryssyll - - Madelyn Corbeau - - Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath
  • Note: To field a mercenary warcaster with Retribution (ha ha ha ha), you need to be playing a game which allows 2 (or more) warcasters.

Or see the Retribution Theme Forces

Rules Clarifications

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