Mage Hunter Strike Force - Retribution Unit35014_MageHunterStrikeForceWEB.jpg

Mage Hunters are expected to function in extreme circumstances, such as surviving hand-to-mouth deep in enemy territory while isolated from friendly support. At home in any environment, they learn to scavenge and improvise, and to kill without hesitation. Their first priority is always the elimination of enemy arcanists and mechanikal constructs, which they believe harm Scyrah.

Strike Force Commander - Retribution Unit Attachment

Veteran teams led by senior commanders are well versed in advanced Retribution techniques. Slipping past the outer defenses of an enemy base, they fire bolts through intervening walls to kill without a trace. Working alongside other soldiers in the Retribution military, these teams apply similar methods to erase vital targets before they can even join battle.

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Basic Info


Statistics

See also Interpreting the Statblock

Infiltrator
Commander
(UA)
Eiryss3
(UA)
SPD
High
Average
High
MAT
Average
High
High
RAT
High
Very High
Very High
DEF
High
High
Very High
ARM
Low
Low
Low
Point Cost
Average
?
?
CMD
Average
High
High
Base Size
Small


Hit Boxes
Single
Few
Few
Unit Size
6 / 10
+1
+1
There are two possible unit attachments for the Mage Hunter Strike Force - the non-character Strike Force Commander, and Eiryss3 - who is shared with the Mage Hunter Infiltrators and gets her own page as her abilities are very different. You can take only one UA.

Weapons and Attacks

Mage Hunters and Commander UA
  • Crossbow - A nice solid RNG, and decent POW.
  • Saber - A low POW melee weapon.

Eiryss & Soulless Escort
Refer Eiryss3's and/or the Soulless Escort's page for full details.

Special Abilities

Mage Hunters and Commander
  • Combined Melee Attack - Models with CMA may combine their attacks into a single super-powered attack. You gain +1 to hit and damage for each model participating in the CMA.
  • Pathfinder - This model isn't hindered by rough terrain or obstacles.
  • Stealth - Attacks made against this model from more than 5" away miss automatically. This model does not count as an intervening model if it is more than 5" away.
  • Arcane Assassin - This model ignores any spell effects that grant a bonus to ARM or DEF. The model also ignores ARM bonuses arising from focus overboosting a powerfield.
  • 'Jack Hunter - Gain an extra die on damage rolls against enemy 'jacks
mage-hunter_commander.jpg

Commander only
  • Officer - This model is the Unit Commander of any unit it is a part of (instead of the Leader model). When this model is destroyed, the Leader model then becomes the new Unit Commander.
  • Tactics: Advance Deployment - This model deploys after both sides have finished their normal deployment. This model may deploy up to 6" further than the normal deployment zone. The unit retains this Tactic even after this model dies.
  • Tactics: Phantom Seeker - When making an attack with this weapon this model ignores LOS, concealment, and cover. The unit retains this Tactic even after this model dies.

Eiryss only
Refer Eiryss3's page for full details. In terms of the unit, however, she grants them Advance Deployment and also, as long as she stays alive, she grants them Fearless and Reform. (Reform - This model may advance 3" after completing its action.)

Soulless Escort only
Refer Soulless Escort's page for full details.



Thoughts on the Mage Hunter Strike Force


Mage Hunter Strike Force in a nutshell

Mage Hunter Strike Force (MHSF) are a defining unit for the Retribution. Everyone should own at least one unit with their Commander UA. They are a ranged damage unit great at picking off infantry and laying down light damage onto Warjacks. It seems natural to shoot stuff, but the Jack Hunter and Arcane Assassin also apply to melee attacks. At times four dice on a charge attack damage roll is worth it. Just don't get bogged down.

Arcane Assassin is a highly coveted ability that helps define the unit. If they can get a clear shot on the enemy warcaster (made easier by their UA), they're likely to do a few points of damage each.

Their melee weapon, while low in P+S, is still more useful than first glance. Combined Melee Attacks allow them to deal respectable damage when charging or jamming. Your opponent rarely expects models holding crossbows to clear a jam, but they are pretty competent in melee (especially against 'jacks). Though the crossbow is generally the better choice, sometimes CMA and 'Jack Hunter make a charge better than shooting.

With colossals walking Caen, the need for Mage Hunters is greater than ever. The Strike Force practically always hits and free damage is just what's needed. Under Ossyan's feat, one can expect around 50 damage dealt by a full unit.

Thoughts on the various attachments available

The Strike Force Commander in a nutshell
The only reason to not field the Strike Force Commander with the Mage Hunter Strike Force is that you want to field Eiryss3 instead. Advanced Deployment on a skirmishing and shooting unit like this is just good. And Phantom Seeker means that the Strike Force ignores just about everything except Stealth, making it one of the Retribution's best shooting units. There's no good way to hide from them - even blocking LoS doesn't do it, and they become very scary for low ARM casters like Nemo1 and the Harbinger of Menoth.

Eiryss3 + MHSF in a nutshell
Eiryss3 is an anti-Hordes specialist, messing up the opponent's Fury management and even shooting fury off the Krielstone Bearer and other such models. Reform allows them to do a shoot-and-fade back into the undegrowth or behind cover, and Eiryss' combat stats are superb. But although good this is a much more specialist choice than the Strike Force Commander.

Soulless Escort + MHSF in a nutshell
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Advice on what sort of content goes under which heading}

Combos & Synergies

  • Ravyn - The infamous 'Snipe-Feat-Go'. See her page for the gory details.
  • Ossyan - His feat significantly boosts their damage output at range, Quicken lets them advance faster and be even more difficult to hit directly, Shatter Storm helps them clear infantry at range
  • Kaelyssa - Backlash on 'jacks or colossals can add pressure on the enemy 'caster, her feat can prevent the counter-charge
  • Issyria - Feat gives them the ability to ignore Stealth and fixes their dice a bit
  • Discordia, House Shyeel Artificer - Immunity to blast damage is very useful for a unit with low ARM

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • No easy way to ignore Stealth, save Issyria, so they struggle against certain solos
  • After you lose to them once, everyone knows what they're capable of due to their ubiquity
  • Low ARM means they die to a lot of blasts, try to bring your Artificer or Discordia
  • They really want their UA, so they cost as much as a Heavy

Tips & Tricks

  • Use MHSF to take out support models like Krielstones and Choir
  • Get used to measuring their max range and stick to it
  • Target priority is important--learn what models make your opponent's army tick and scalpel them out
  • Unless you're playing Ravyn, it's often better to use MHSF to get ahead on attrition, rather than go for a weak assassination run



Other


Trivia

  • The unit was originally released in Forces of Warmachine: Retribution of Scyrah (November 2009)
  • Eryiss3, one of the UAs, was released in the Warmachine: Vengeance expansion (2014)

Theme Forces this is a member of



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


Units
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
Solos
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

merc_ret.jpg
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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

'Jack Hunter

Combined Melee Attack
  • Each CMA only counts as a single attack, no matter how many participants are involved. This means, for example, that if Satyxis Raiders damage a warjack and trigger their Feedback ability, the enemy warcaster will only take 1 damage.
  • Any bonuses (such as aiming) or penalties (such as the target being behind cover) are determined according to the model leading the CMA (the attack leader).
    • If the participants have a buffs/debuffs but the attack leader doesn't ... then the CMA doesn't.
  • A single unit can perform multiple CMAs, utilising different groupings of models. eg a unit with 10 models could make one 10-man CMA, two 5-man CMAs, or five 2-man CMAs, or etc.
  • CMA for units that have more than one melee weapon
    • Once you have more than one melee weapon, charging becomes a bit complicated. There are two important rules:
      1. The first attack a charging model makes (whether it makes it itself, or contributes it to a CMA) is always its charge attack. Infernal ruling
      2. For a CMA to gain the charging bonus, then all contributors must be contributing a charge attack.
    • These two rules have a few, slightly confusing implications. Refer to the Combined Melee Attack page itself for further details (it was so long we didn't want to repeat it here).

Pathfinder
  • Pathfinder helps you move through shallow water but not deep water.
  • Pathfinder doesn't apply to involuntary movement (i.e. when you're pushed or slammed).

Arcane Assassin / Blessed / Flagellation / etc
  • Some of these abilities ignore focus being camped by warcasters, some don't. Refer the card.
  • Does not ignore feats that add DEF/ARM. Infernal Ruling
  • Does not ignore spells that add DEF/ARM via "secondary" means. Locked thread
    • For example, if a spell grants Concealment, then the target has +2 DEF from concealment and the arcane assassin would not ignore it - even though the source of the concealment itself is a spell.
  • An animus that adds DEF/ARM cast by a warbeast is not a spell so wouldn't be ignored.
  • An animus that adds DEF/ARM cast by a warlock counts as an animus and a spell so would be ignored.

Officer
  • An Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall or Assault). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.

Phantom Seeker and/or Hunter
  • Since you ignore LOS, you can draw LOS to things behind you - which is useful for gaining stuff like a Veteran Leader bonus.
    • Ranged attacks must still target stuff in your front arc, due to the 'target must be in the front arc' restriction.
    • However spellcasters can cast spells behind them, because spells do not have that restriction. Infernal Ruling
  • You can ignore LOS when declaring your charge target. You can still only declare charges vs models in your front arc, though, and you're still subject to forest's rough terrain penalty & etc.
  • The attacker ignores Camouflage, because the target does not have cover or concealment.
  • The attacker does not ignore Prowl, because the target is still "within a terrain feature that provides concealment".