Next up is one of the most feared caster on our roster,…in Mk2 – Ravyn, the Eternal Light. Sadly Ravyn has fallen from grace and out of favour with a lot of our players. She was a terror on the battlefield under the last edition of the game with her Theme Force – Will of the 9 Voices granting a bonus to the roll to go first, a free Mage Hunter Assassin, focus for your jacks on the first turn but most importantly giving Mage Hunter Strike Force and their commanders a field allowance of Unlimited. With the balancing to MHSF as well as the loss of this punishing Theme Ravyn slid by the wayside. But Mk3 and our Themes are all about finding the right list and the right combo and our faction shouldn’t write anything off without giving it a try.
As we’ve already covered 2 casters building from Helynna as a base I’ve decided to brake the mold as many Journeyman leagues do and build towards her kit from the start. If that’s not an option your build from the battlebox casters shouldn’t be much different until you can swap out for Ravyn at 45 Points, it’s more to give you a few options and not be repeating how to build Helynna up to 45 Points again.
The thought here with Ravyn is to see if we can’t replicate the fear that Wot9V brought to the table and remind people why they feared our lists. With that in mind I’ll be building towards the Shadows of the Retribution Theme in line with the rest of our Journeyman series to try to cover each of the Themes and the new ADR roster.
0 Points The start you get
The set loadout for the the Battlegroup isn’t one that’s great for Ravyn. In a faction where the majority of our jacks have a gun, and a caster who’s feat boosts their accuracy in shooting and movement shenanigans based on it I’m looking at 2 lights with no ranged attacks. It’s not ideal, but without completely breaking the mold for the Journeyman rules it’s what we’ve got. Here’s some thoughts on how to make it work for you though:
+ Manticore, Chimera, Griffon
Having access to an Arc node means cycling Snipe can be far easier and doesn’t require you to give up Ravyns involvement, or put her too far forward and in danger to get it out. Both lights can also be pretty effective at packing a bunch on bodyguard duty with free boosts to their damage rolls available. The Manticore is going to do well at least having a variety of options of how to control and contribute to the battlefield as the game pans out. Having a 16 inch range covering fire means messing with your opponent is that much easier.
15 Points Call to arms
+ Min Mage Hunter Strike Force with Command attachment
1 pt remaining
Getting our first troops on the ground is going to be important and without the points for a full unit you can invest in the Command attachment right away instead. Having away to see through Clouds and Forest as well as blocking models is what made people fear Ravyn back in the day so time to share that fond memory with your new Journeyman friends.
If your restricted at this stage to just battlegroup then your likely looking at adding a Hydra instead. This gives you a real ranged punch every turn. The knock on effect will leave you having to miss out on the Spears, an Assassin and the Arcanist which is going to be a push but if this is the case try find some better friends that let you play with more fun lists.
30 Points In the Shadows
+ Theme – Shadows of the Retribution
+ Min Strike Force & Commander
+ Arcanist Mechanik
+ Eirys1 Mage Hunter of Ios (free)
At this level I pick up another min unit of MHSF and Commander building the infantry threat and allowing me to spread out more and pose more options. I also pick an Arcanist Mechanic to give a bit more punch to my jacks and ease the burden on Ravyn for supporting them. Thanks to the Theme benefits I can take a free solo and Eirys1 takes the spot without question a huge jump in benefits as well as free points as you now gain +1 to the roll to go first, and your Melee attacks from warrior models deny Tough rolls and RFP. The addition of Eirys telegraphs the list as one that is going to try to assassinate you and that isn’t wrong, but she also adds a degree of board control being able to Disrupt warjacks and spot removal especially with being able to shoot through things or inflict auto damage and deny Tough checks at range. She’s going to be your opponent’s number 1 target so learn now to keep her safe but threatening.
45 Points Time to upgrade
If your playing by the rules then this is the level you finally get to trade out for Ravyn, if your locals didn’t want you firing off volleys of shots at your caster a mile away fair enough, but now they don’t get to avoid it any longer. Welcome to the party.
+ Min – Max size for both units of Mage Hunter Strike Force
+ Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios (free)
3 Points left over
The units of Strike Force both get bumped up to max increasing their impact substantially and open up access to our second free solo. Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios is a fantastic piece to take offering a magical gun and more importantly a super combat solo who can kill a lot of stuff personally with 2 Mat 8 magical blessed weapons master attacks and all the abilities to get him there. In the new Steamroller packet solos become an increasingly valuable piece and having access to effective combat solos with stealth that can threaten to do a lot to enemy forces as well as prove troublesome to remove themselves are a massive asset to us.
For my last points I could take another Arcanist allowing me to fuel my jacks without needing to use my caster’s own stack, but The strength here is going to be in the infantry so I save them over for a future purchase.
60 Points Time for some friends
With the core of the list settled and the MHSF at full strengthen it’s time to pick up my first Mercenary choice and I select Cylena and her Nyss Hunters as my friendly unit. An incredibly varied unit that gives a highly accurate ranged presence with access to CRA and Hunter allowing them to ignore Cover and Concealment, especially in a meta that loves Digging In, and bringing a Pow+Str 9 weapon master sword they pack a punch and pay their way into the list with a minimum unit till I have the points.
+ Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters Min
+ Mage Hunter Assassin
2 Points remaining
Out of the 6 Points remaining I want to keep building my collection of combat solos, and a Mage Hunter Assassin offers the speed and punch I want at only 4 Points. A high def high speed stealthed solo they offer a tremendous ability to dig deep into the enemy ranks with a 4 inch range on their Melee weapon during their activation. Pow+str 9 doesn’t seem anything fancy until you start looking beyond the raw stats. They are blessed meaning ignoring spell increases to both Def and Arm. With a chain weapon they ignore the benefits of an enemy with a Shield or Buckler as well as the effects of a model affected by Shield Wall, and boasts the Weapon Master quality. The final feather in the Assassin’s cap being the Decapitation rule – doubling any damage that exceeds their target’s Arm. With their extended Melee range and speed they also offer an easy way to undig pesky units such as Trenchers by running past them within 4 inches and deprive them the defensive bonus.
75 Points The Retribution is ready
+ Nyss Hunters to max
+ Add a Soulless Escort to the Nyss Hunters
+ Mage Hunter Assassin (free)
+ Spears of Scyrah
For my final spend I increase the Nyss to a maximum unit and give them a Soulless Escort to provide another magical weapon in the list and an extra layer of protection vs spells for the unit making them that much harder to remove. It also takes me into the spend for another free solo so my Assassin gets a partner adding another feared Melee piece to threaten with, and I’m left with 9 more points to fill to finish off the build.
The Spears of Scyrah offer Ravyn protection to play further up the board and hit like a truck against anything that gets too close to threaten her and make an excellent bodyguard unit to round out the list. Stealthed shield guarding magical blessed weapons masters with in built Vengeance means they can threaten further than your opponent would like to see Pow+str 11 weapons masters achieving all while protecting your caster, definitely worth a look.
In summary you now have a complete 75 point list with its ranged element coming from Ravyn herself and the Manticore, 2 units of Strike Force with Commanders, and a unit of Nyss Hunters along with Eirys and Narn meaning a lot of accurate shots that can ignore a lot of defensive tech between them. Stealth is going to be a problem but your ranged units can hit deceptively hard in Melee too for a ranged list especially when you add on the Assassins, Narn, and the Spears.
Beyond the Journeyman League
If you’ve tried it out and want to move the list forward the first stop will probably be to look at the Battlegroup and pick up some pieces that synergise more with what Ravyn has to offer as well as the role you need them to fill.
Our chief interest lies in the Hydra to offer an artillery piece and Ravyn’s Warjack Points accommodate a pair exactly.
The new house Vyre jacks both hold a place for Ravyn’s battlegroup filling different roles. The Harpy offers a longer range and multiple shots per turn acting as valuable support with guns that can change the odds drastically with a knockdown or forcing enemy units out of charge lanes or zones. In the Shadows list in particular Sirens also have a spot, the theme seems to remain one of our answers into recursion lists and having RFP at range as well as magical blessed weapons on tap opens up room to take Sirens. As with most Ret lists and casters our lineup of Myrmidons gives us a lot of options that are worth exploring further, let us know how it works out