Musefolk! Midsouth Gaming is proud to be cross posting a select handful of our articles here on Muse. This is part of an on going series written about everyone’s least favorite elves. You can catch up here. This segment was brought on by recent Retribution discussions on Muse. A lot of points were put forward about what is good and what isn’t. It got me thinking about some of the core aspects of the game. I decided to take a look and highlight some of the good things–and the bad things–about playing Retribution. This ties in with one of the key concepts of Warmachine or Hordes: understanding what your faction can do. Good: Arcane Assassin, Phantom Hunter (Seeker), and ranged defense. Retribution has a lot of abilities that cause first time players to say “it does what now!?” Arcane Assassin and Phantom Hunter are two of those abilities. In essence, they allow a model or unit to ignore defensive measures including the armor bonus from overboosting, spell buffs and even line of sight. At first, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Ignoring line of sight doesn’t mean much when compared to abilities that amplify raw damage output or increases stats. Those are hard numbers that show concrete results. The real effect is more conceptual, but once on the board, you see the greatness of this rule. Is your opponent behind a cloud? Behind a jack or a beast? Behind a giant wall made of reinforced steel ten feet thick? Not a problem for Phantom Hunter. A target has nowhere to hide. If you’re in range, you can shoot them or potentially charge them. Add in Arcane Assassin and their ARM and DEF buffs are useless to the ever-seeking bullet flying at their face. This sets up some great assassination tactics. You can casters hard–at their base ARM–and deal enough damage to kill them after only a few attacks. There are several units that have Arcane Assassin in Retribution. The most notorious is the Mage Hunter Strike Force. It’s an eleven-man unit–with the UA, who is required for Phantom Seeker–with POW 10 crossbows and POW 9 swords. They also have jack hunter, which greatly increases their damage output against Warmachine. Kaelyssa can also give a jack in her battlegroup Phantom Hunter. Putting that on something like a Banshee, which has a gun that slams targets, allows you to knock down models through battle lines, making them easy pickings for the Strike Force. These rules also cause your opponent to be very cautious. Move up too close and they’re bound to get shot down by a hail of bolts coming from that dark patch of woods. Retribution also has some of the best ranged defense out there. This mainly comes from the Force Barrier ability and Discordia’s Kinetic Field imprint. These create a bubble of either added DEF or ARM and immunity to blast damage. This gives Retribution a leg up in the gun line meta. The fact that Battle Mages and the Artificer have this inherently is impressive as well, making them good choices when facing an opponent with a lot of shooting or AOEs–like everything in Protectorate for instance. It brings their DEF up from average to hard-to-hit-even-while-aiming. Add in warcaster spells like Force Field, Deflection and Quicken, and you’re looking at an army that is a potential hard counter to the other gun lines in the game.