Why Play Grymkin?
Because you’re a rebel. Because you want to literally be the stuff nightmares are made of. Because the idea of old time fairie tales with the terrible endings is exactly your jam. And because fuck Menoth.
Grymkin are an unusual hordes army with some unique mechanics to boot. Moreso than other factions, they have a list of very dedicated specialists. While you can overwhelm in that area, this also means the enemy can predict what kind of gimmick you’re about to pull. Still, with the right balance and composition, you’ll find plenty of tricks and methods to get out of any situation.
Grymkin are specialists. They do one thing, and they do it very, very well. The King of Nothing is a blaster, the Wanderer is mobile, and the Child will beat you to death with a doll. This continues into their units and warbeasts. This means that you can make a fairly balanced lists by simply checking off units, but that’s not the only fun part.
There are a few areas that Grymkin excel. One is that, while not necessarily hard to put down, they are hard to keep down. They have a large number of spells and abilities to bring back grunts. They also make use of corpse tokens, meaning that in a 1 for one trade, they will usually come out on top.
Trickery is another area they excel. They have ways to gain control of enemy units, ambush, flit about the battlefield, and generally approach from an angle that your opponent has difficulty defending.
One weakness of note is that their list is small and they don’t have much in the way of minions. This means that you have far fewer options than you might otherwise.
- The Child: This is, weirdly, your melee brute warlock. High strength, MAT, and the ability to deal more damage when damaged herself, she’s an absolute terror in melee. The Child is designed to sacrfice a bit. Abuse lets warbeasts hit harder and move faster in exchange for damage, wailing makes casting near them impossible, while Tantrum can get a heavy hitter another hit, including The Child. Force hammer is a decent punch with a good AOE, but is expensive for what you get.
- Her trump card, Wrath, lets her boost the FURY stat of all her beasts, which is rediculous as it sounds.
- Overall, the Child favors being up close and personal and having warbeasts that do the same. Rattlers and Cage Ragers are particularly good fits which benefit her tremendously, especially with their high hit boxes. Otherwise, she is all about her battlegroup. Ranged support and healing are good things to have as she has no real ability to regulate that.Karianna is a good addition as well.
- The Dreamer & Phantasm: For all us insomniacs out there. The Dreamer is a support character mainly designed to debuff enemies and frustrate opponents. All in pajamas.
- For starters, Call to Sleep doesn’t do damage, but makes any warrior hit stationary. On a crit, you get to control a non-warnoun for a turn before they lock up. Useful. She also can go incorporeal every other turn, and, finally, she can replace enemies that get boxed with a phantom model of the same size. Phantoms are great, giving enemies a penalty to it. The small one paints targets, the medium can channel, and the large one can bulldoze and also cancels upkeeps when it gets killed. While nothing to rely on, they are exactly what they are designed to be: annoyances.
- Her spells are where she shines. Abyssal gate is a potent single target spell that lets you place the damaged model anywhere, Artifice of Deviation creates cover for you, and rough terrain for enemies, enfeeble criples the enemy, manifest destiny gives friendlies an extra die while discarding the lowest, and Mirage grants Apparition. It’s a good mix of defense and offense, only lacking in AoE effects.
- Her Trump, All Fall Down, activates when a friendly model is disabled and causes any model that kills one of yours to be knocked down. It lasts a turn. Overall, somewhat iffy, but can certainly be a deterrent, especially for anything relying on multiple attacks. One note is that this works on warnouns of all flavors, and can utterly cripple combat heavy leaders.
- The Dreamer...is a bit odd. She is heavy in her support, so her list should be geared toward force to multiply. Manifest destiny can be destructive under the right circumstances.
- The Heretic: Hooo boy. The Heretic is, more or less, an anti-Harbringer. He can’t be knocked down, can’t get back struck, cannot be targeted by enemy spells, and has the same auto hitting blade with dispel. However, where Harbi is a force multiplyer, the Heretic just likes watching his enemies lose their spells.
- His spell list is loaded with debuffs. His only buff is Fury, which gives a hefty bonus to melee damage at the cost of defense. The rest is just messing with the enemy. Gallows is a moderate power hit that drags a model, hex blast removes buffs, and rebuke removes the ability to do orders or special attacks. Wall of fire is a nice method of creating an obstical that also burns people.
- Not a spell, exactly, but Godlike Power deserves mentioning. He can cast any spell that an enemy warnoun made in his control range, the only limit being he cannot upkeep spells that aren’t on his card. This is, obviously, going to be situational, but it can lead to a lot of amusing results. It also forces the enemy to consider buffs, considering you are likely to just take them for yourself. Use it as a deterrent.
- His Trump, Reckoning, grants a buff to attack and damage against one specific unit or model, shifting as that unit gets removed.
- The King of Nothing: Meet your blast stick. With no weapon to speak of, a stat line that screams sorrow outside of his FURY, what does the King Really offer? Well, for starters, if a warbeasts in his group is destroyed, he gets a free spell. Anyone near him takes an ARM debuff, but you really don’t want him that close.
- In terms of spells, he has a nice list of ways to do damage. Ashes to Ashes is a low POW fire attack that can jump to nearby targets, Burning Ash makes a cloud that hinders attacks, Dust to Dust is a moderate POW single target attack that removes boxed models from play. Host of Shadows lets his battle group move through terrain and obstacles, Sands of Fate lets him swap places with a friendly model, and Scything Touch gives a unit an armor debuff while they are in melee. Overall, his list is geared heavily toward offense, with the only arguable defense he has is the (not insignificant) ability to swap places with a trooper in his control range.
- His Trump, Taste of Ashes, does damage to any model that kills a warbeasts and does the same damage to nearby models.
- As you might guess, the King of Nothing doesn’t really like his wargroup. Cheep and plentiful are what you’re looking for, so crabbits are a decent pick that can use their shield guard to keep the King alive and, when they inevitably die, you can use them to fuel his magic. The rest of your army list will need to work around having little support. Luckily, Karianna, the Lantern Man attachment, and Death Knell are all great support units that can keep your army going and let the King happily blast away.
- The Wanderer: Shockingly, the Wanderer is all about mobility and finding paths. He comes with panfinder, and a somewhat odd lantern as a weapon. It’s spray combined with his decent RAT works to ensure whatever gets hit by it will get hit by his allies in short order, giving free charges and bonus movement as well as losing stealth and defense. Add the long distance spray, and watch your foes cry. In melee, he can beat people with reach and adds a continuous fire effect. He also comes with two unique tricks. The first is Attuned Spirit, which lets him use an animus once without spending FURY. Crossroads lets him place 3 markers at the end of his turn relatively nearby. If any markers are left, he can hop to it during Maintenance. If an enemy bumps into it, one friendly model gets to move up a bit. Overall, a nice boost to mobility
- The Wanderer’s spell list looks like he gets some control of fate as well. Fog of War grants his allies concealment, Repudiate negates upkeep spells and animi and causes damage to whoever is maintaining it, Star-Crossed causes enemies in control range to roll an extra die...and drop the highest, while Veil of Mists creates a nice AOE that blocks enemy line of sight while giving your group the ability to pass through anything in the AOE like it wasn’t there. His spells are entirely support, having no damage at all. This isn’t necessarily bad, but he’s overall not a high damage warlock.
- His Trump, Divergent Path, allows him to transfer wounds once for free and then teleport to his road markers. A nice “oh shit” button.
- The Wanderer is almost purely a support warlock, having little in the way of offense, but boy does he deliver on the support. His lantern light alone gives his allies a tremendous boost whether they are melee or ranged units, Fog of War can grant concealment, which is particularly useful to the Witchwood. Attuned Spirit basically begs you to choose an animus you like. Crabbits are oddly useful in this regard for granting dodge. Cage Rager can give blessed and magical weapons out to others, while gorehound can grant Sprint. Overall, not excellent pickings, but useful as boosts.
- Zevanna Agha, the Fate Keeper: Old witch, now as a warlock. Guess as an old woman, she experimented and decided she goes both ways. The only Grymkin warlock that one might consider traditional...and is also a battle engine. As such, she’s very tanky, but also has more difficulty with tarpit screens. Unlike other Grymkin, her Old School rule means no Arcana, just the standard once per game feat.
- Her walking house gives her two stomps while she flings carrion crows. The stomps are decent P+S, though you should avoid dedicated combat units. Luckily, they have reach. Carrion Crows don’t do damage, but instead create a mid sized AOE cloud. Living or undead models get blinded, and anyone that enters or ends their activation suffers a point of damage.
- Her biggest special rule is Arcane Machinery. Once per turn any time during activation, she can use Arcan Machinery to get a variety of effects. Arcane Calibrations reduces the cost of spells, Divinator lets her battlegroup re-roll failed attacks, Hellhole returns friendly grunts to play, Range Amplifier lets her cast a spell at extended range, and Vexing Alignment increases her control range
- Of course Zevanna is going to have a beastly spell list. Boundless charge gives one target bonus movement and pathfinder while charging, Curse of Shadows is a nasty debuff that reduces ARM and lets your models pass through them without reprisal, Respawn brings back a warbeast, scourge is a moderate POW AOE that knocks down anyone hit, and Windstorm lowers the range of enemy attacks.
- Her feat, Hour of Reckoning, lets her use all of her Arcane Machinery at once. Look at that list. Drool.
- Zevanna is probably the most straightforward of the Grymkin and is the only one not suffering from overspecialization. She can support her troops, battlegroup, and toss some nasty spells. Keep her out of melee and you should be just fine. A few noteworthy additions: Hollowmen with their attachment are damn hard to kill with her restoring them each turn and them restoring themselves with each kill. Cage Rager and Skin & Moans both love boundless charge while the Old Witch can appreciate Frightmare’s ability to ignore stealth.
- Crabbit: These little guys come in pairs. They are relatively fragile and are pretty dismal in a fight. However, their elusive animus and shield guard make them very annoying to deal with. They themselves are highly mobile with bounding leap, so can potentially get into position far faster than they normally would. Useful if you need to fill slots and take a guard.
- Frightmare: You keep this guy around to fling it’s acid blast around, but it has other uses. It regenerates and can ignore stealth and cloud effects with it’s animus. But seriously: acid blast is a mid pow AOE that does continuous corrosion. In melee, it can throw people with it’s open hands. Not the most exciting unit, and you may need that boost to land a direct hit, but the acid is worth it.
- Gorehound: Speed is the name of the game with this warbeast. Very fast with a decent MAT, though leaves a bit to be desired with it’s bite. However, it doubles a warlock’s effective control range for itself, can pass through terrain, obsticals and models, and has prowl. It’s bite can pull an enemy model toward it at reach. Finally, it’s animus grants sprint. These guys make amazing flankers. While not the most durable, they can pounce on out of place solos or pull a model out of formation.
- Rattler: Your light combat beast. Decent MAT and P+S with it’s two claws make it a painful up close experience. Berserk means that for each kill, it makes another swing. Potentially, this lets you clear tarpits in a single round. Overtake lets you keep the pressure on. It’s animus grants it countercharge. The Rattler is pretty much what its name implies: it’s designed to shake your opponent and be aggressive. Be weary, though, as it doesn’t take as well as it gives.
Grymkin heavy warbeasts make extensive use of corpse tokens. To get the most out of them, they need a steady supply. Murder is, of course, the simplest, but there are a few support units to consider fielding alongside them.
- Cage Rager: Of the two warbeasts, the Cage Rager is the more defensive option. Decently high ARM and the ability to use Arcane Vortex to negate spells is useful. Warlocks can use it to channel spells as long as it has a corpse token, and they can spend them to upkeep spells. The trick is getting them. It’s P+S and offensive options leave a bit to be desired. It’s animus can give magical and blessed on tap, but you may need to support this beast to get the most out of him.
- Skin & Moans: The more aggressive of the two, at first blush, you might question that. High MAT but low P+S and ARM means this guy starts low. However, it gains STR and ARM for each corpse token it gains. It also can spend them to regenerate d3 damage. This puts it’s potential end point at the higher end. It’s animus grants pathfinder and lets it bushwhack.
- Clockatrice: A flying heavy support chassis (SPD6! ARM 18!), with all the annoying rules you could ask for. Its P+S is definitely not why you bring this mechanical nightmare, as it's comparable to a light. However, it's your best ranged warbeast with a magical assault SP8 POW12 gun that applies slow on hit, fixing your average at best MAT. It can place itself 3" within its current location once one of its aspects get crippled, once per turn. Finally, it's a construct (and autorepairs d3 on in the maintenance phase). Need to run hot? Leave 3 fury on this birb, it doesn't have time for frenzy checks.
- Dread Rots Attack of the killer pumpkins. On their own, they are a decent MAT weapon master with tough. Not bad, but nothing to write home about, either. However, their two abilities are worth noting. First, each time a model gets a kill, it gains a corpse token. Second, nearby units that could gain corpse tokens can taken them from the models. Considering they have no use for them, this makes Dread Rots useful for gathering corpse tokens for your heavy warbeasts, making sure they have some to spend and hold. The trick is to be aggressive and keep the beast nearby to siphon the tokens. Also, note the “at any time” rider. Nothing is stopping a Skin & Moans from regenerating three times and then taking the three corpse tokens for it’s offense after.
- Hollowmen: Consider these to be the basic troopers. CRA and Eyeless sight do boost them into ranged punishers, however. Apparition lets them move about during your control phase, possibly to set up beforehand. When they do need to charge, they have Brutal Charge to boost their P+S to decent levels. On their own, they are good all-rounders.
- Lantern Man: And then there’s what this guy brings to the table. No gun, but grants Blood-Bound. Each living model you kill brings one of your grunts back. On it’s own, that changes Hollowmen from ‘all-rounders’ to ‘war of attrition winners.’ However, he also brings magic. Ghost Light takes control of a living non-warcaster or warlock warrior, then has it advance and attack. This is...situational, but potentially useful depending on the solos your opponent fields. Obscuring mist, on the other hand, is mean. It grants the unit concealment, meaning your opponent is taking steep penalties to attack at range.
- Mad Caps
- Murder Crows: Your typical assassin unit with decent MAT, speed, stealth, advanced deployment, and pathfinder. It comes with gang, making punishing single targets more worthwhile, as well as prey. For Prey, you choose a single model or unit, and the Crows get buffs to attack and damage, in the area of being very, very scary. While soloing out the warcaster might be tempting, it’s more useful to use on small unit you might catch off guard.
- Neigh Slayers: Light cavalry. Emphasis on “light.” Being neither particularly fast, well armored, or powerful, they do have armor piercing on their lances. However, don’t expect this to do much to any warbeast or warjack.
- Piggybacks: Your heavy infantry. Or maybe reverse cavalry...with decent ARM, the ability to do a Shield Wall, reduction of damage by a die, tough, and snacking, these piggies will frustrate your opponent to no end. Their attacks are quite potent and brutal charge boosts it to the point of reliably damaging warnouns with lighter armor.
- Twilight Sisters: While they look very different, these sisters have identical stats and abilities, though Heidrun is the commander. Low ARM, middling defense, and rather poor combat stats otherwise, they are squishy witches. Their magical ability is where they shine. Death rattle is a decen POW attack that lets you control an enemy model for a turn and make an attack. Grim Returns brings a grunt back to the unit. Finally, they can heal a decent amount. Push to shove, their daggers get brutal charge and do grievous wounds, but keep them away from the zones they need to use them. Overall, they function best as support and an occasional blast.
- Cask Imp: Way too random to be reliable. yes, high POW fire damage, big AOE, but there’s a chance it goes off turn 1 or, worse, if your enemy knocks them down.
- Glimmer Imp:
- Gremlin Swarm:
- Lady Karianna Rose: Your support and fury management tool. Ancillary attack is always welcome, Enrage gives a nice STR boost, and Shepherd’s Call can leech some excess fury to take some slack off of your warlock. If she does die, she gives a small boost to the entire army, which...is great, actually. She needs to be near warbeasts to be effective, but this means putting her on the front line. Luckily, Sorrowful Rampage mitigates that somewhat by giving a better turn if she bites the bullet.
- Lord Longfellow:
- Death Knell:
This battle engine is situational and really relies on what theme you are bringing to the table.
Bump in the Night doesn't benefit much from this. Since this theme is more infantry based you'll see a lot of slight increases to low armor units meaning it won't do much. Its toolbox abilities are nice, but the primary ability of the death knell to shift around corpse tokens just doesn't fit a theme that isn't as reliant on them.
Dark Menagerie is where this engine brings all the corpse tokens to the yard.
I'd teach you, but my Moans about to charge.
Being able to shift around tokens means that your Cage Ragers and Skins and Moans are about to go nuclear. Start off with +1 Str and +3 Arm on the Moans while within 5" of this bad boy and things start getting serious. When two of your models die or you manage to kill two of your opponents, that jumps to +3 STR and +5 Arm, turning the Moans into a monster straight out of nightmares.
All because you took this one engine to catch bodies and shove them in the Moans bags.
Cage Rager and Death Knell bring an entirely different set of problems for your foes. Counter you opponents spells and laugh as they waste focus or fury on upkeep spells as you much on tasty corpses to do those things for free.
Then pour salt on the wound by casting spells through the Rager.