View Full Version : [RET] Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper

03-14-2017, 08:58 AM
By: Frunobulax
As this is not my work all information is presented as is.

OK, I want to give a little back to our Elvish community. I'm not the most experienced Retribution or Warmachine player, so please feel free to criticise, comment and correct. Think of this as a starting point.
This is a tactica summary of the first Retribution Warcaster I "got", and is still my go to caster in many cases.
I would appreciate contributions to Synergies especially, as I don't own every model (shame), and there will be some I missed.
I used Dawnlord Ed's Mk2 guide for inspiration, and copied a bit from Battle College too.

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper


Kaelyssa is the foremost strike force commander of the Retribution’s mage hunters. Her sergeants claim she can hear the heartbeats of the enemy and taste their movements on the wind. Those wizards caught in her sights are left defenseless as their own magic is negated or turned against them. To Kaelyssa her calling is a dangerous but thrilling endeavor, and with every mission she extends the depths of her formidable talents.

Kaelyssa is a Retribution Mage Hunter Warcaster with a great personal shooting game and some nice tricks she can enable her warjacks and troops with.

Kaelyssa’s stats are fairly typical for a lot of Retribution ‘casters – decent DEF which will require elite levels of RAT and MAT or boosting to hit, but ARM is on the low side – just enough to keep out most blast damage but not much more.
Her speed is average, so she’ll never be far behind, and Pathfinder means terrain won’t slow her down so much. MAT is not great (about the same as our generic troops), but hopefully you won’t be needing it, and RAT is a little better but not elite levels. She can hit DEF 14 on average but will need a boost to reliably hit casters or high DEF solos.
She has a Focus of 7 which is enough to get the job done, with a decent sized control range for her ‘jacks to wander and arc spells through if needed. Also, her Feat covers her control range, so it’s easy to keep most of her army in this bubble.

Weapons and Attacks
Kaelyssa has a magic sword and a magic gun, but it’s the gun which is the most effective and fun.
Vengeance is a short range, moderate POW magical sword. No longer does it have the Energy Siphon ability (sadface) but you don’t really want to be in melee anyway.

Her Runebolt Cannon is where the fun starts. It is decent range with up to three shots with Reload, but kind of low POW. No matter – it comes with a choice of three attack types:
◦ Dispel: Upkeeps and animi expire. Pretty obvious how this works and how to use it.
◦ Mechanikal Seizure: Causes ‘jacks to become stationary.
◦ Energy Siphon: A great ability which is what strikes fear into camping warcasters and warlcoks. Hit a model, steal focus and fury from it and buy / boost with their own focus.

Stealing focus and fury of course limits the number of transfers, so unless they are camping a lot, assassination is always an option. Combined with True Sight and her spell Phantom Hunter, she can ignore stealth, clouds line of site and pesky concealment and cover too, she is a strong threat for ranged assassinations. And if she doesn’t finish the job off, you’ve left an exposed ‘caster / ‘lock with little or no transfers, prime for the rest of your force to pummel.
Against Hordes, even if she isn’t in range of a warlock, she can hit a front line beast, steal the focus and mess up their fury management by leaving them three short.

Kaelyssa’s feat is called The Vanishing, and is purely defensive, so if you don’t like that kind of feat, you might be frustrated. It allows her to give Stealth to everyone in her control range and also prevents charges and slam power attacks. Note this is Friendly Faction only, but that’s not too much of a problem since most of our Mercs are Partisan anyway.
At first glance this feat sounds underwhelming, but when your opponents realise they can’t charge you as well as shoot you, it can quickly annoy them and enable you to deliver your army safely for the first hit.
You will want to be using this feat early – often turn one if you go second, or turn two if you go first. It basically prevents your opponent from delivering maximum damage to your force right when they want to.
If your opponent wants to reach you, they must run, in which case they don’t get an attack and you can counterattack next turn. Or they can hang back, in which case you pressure them for scenario and probably get your alpha strike.
Be warned for things which ignore Stealth of course, especially Eyeless Sight, True Sight, flares and sprays.

Skills and Abilities
Kaelyssa has innate True Sight and Pathfinder. Sadly, she lost Witch Hound in the recent transition. She has the [Reload] ability for her gun, which requires Focus for each additional shot. True Sight helps her hit lots of things that don’t want to be hit – don’t forget it ignores clouds too – and with Pathfinder she can sit inside a forest sniping things out with a healthy DEF to ranged attacks. True Sight also works for arcing spells, where your arcnode is more than 5” away from a Stealth target.

Kaelyssa’s spell list is not quite the anti-magic toolbox is once was, and she no longer has any direct damage spell (nuke). However, she picked up a few nice replacements.

◦ Backlash - Deals damage to the controller of target enemy warjack whenever that warjack is damaged.

Potentially really strong with more warjacks about. Cracking the armour is the key. Synergises well with Mage Hunter Strike Force’s Jack Hunter ability, so you can damage a caster while they wreck the ‘jacks. Win-win! Light ‘jacks might well die before much damage is put on the ‘caster though. Regardless, this spell can soften up a ‘caster for later attacks or assassination runs.

◦ Banishing Ward - Low cost, low range upkeep. Enemy upkeep spells and animi on the model/unit immediately expire, and the model/unit cannot be targeted by enemy spells or animi.

Useful in certain match ups, and improved to work on animi. Get it up early if you think a model/unit will need it. Now Kae doesn’t have Witch Hound, there is more reason to cast it on a Warjack, but units make good targets. Sentinels can’t be wiped out by Affliction if they’re warded!

◦ Blur - Target friendly Faction model or unit gains a good DEF bonus against ranged and magic attacks.

A new spell for Kae – great for delivering units without being shot off the table. Combined with her Feat, your unit should get to the action without being shot.

◦ Phantom Hunter - A model in the caster's battlegroup can ignore concealment, cover, stealth, & LOS when making charges and attacks.

Such an amazing spell, another reason why Kaelyssa is so hard to hide from. This spell has changed slightly – it’s no longer an upkeep, but this means that it can be put on up to three models per turn. It also now ignores Stealth which makes it more useful for warjacks. There are some great synergies with ‘jacks which I’ll mention later, but Banshee knockdown and Hydra 15” POW 15 regardless of blocking models or terrain are two of the best.

◦ Refuge - Cast on a friendly Faction model in short range, at the end of an activation during which the model hit with an attack, it can make a full advance and cannot be targeted by free strikes during the movement.

Another really strong upkeep spell. End of activation movement is always good and can be used in many ways – ‘jacks can shoot then move back out of range, or forwards for the extra movement. Kaelyssa can yo-yo forwards and backwards behind a wall or into a forest, or simply out of range, shooting fury off front line beasts and staying out of range. As it’s an upkeep, you can cycle it between Kae and Banshee for example, for some hit and run chaos.