The most recent NQ held another set of "Tiers of Distinction." The one they presented for Dawnlord Vyros was particularly interesting to me. Let's face it - Retribution Tier Lists stood at the start of Mk II developments, they were the first of their kind - and you can tell it by looking at them. Here, I'm going to take a look at what I consider a revamped Vyros Tier first and foremost. Enjoy!
While the new tier is still very Dawnguard themed (DUH), there are noticable differences. For example, the exclusion of Destors. On the jacks side, it says "Non-character warjacks with Field Dependent" which is as interesting and foreboding a tidbit as were "Doomreaver Solos." For troops, he can have small-based dawnguard units and houseguard units. And for solos, he can have dawnguard solos, houseguard solos and arcanist solos. All in all, very general descriptors - it covers all heavy jacks to date, and dawn- and houseguard units bar the Destors. He can still have Destor Thanes!
The tier requirements have also softened up noticably. The Forces of Dawn tier requires you to take 2+ Sentinel units, Destors + Thane(s), and what? three heavy warjacks? You'd be at 37 points minimum, and still at a loss for shooting, or those oh-so-cool invictors.
But this tier's requirements are: Battlegroup has two or more heavies - check, no deal. Army has two or more units - of any available? How cool is that. Set and done, give me Invictors and Halberdiers. The Army includes at least four Warjacks - on a mixed caster like Sailor V, and with the existence of Gryphons, that's also no problem. The absolute minimum size for Tier 4 is therefore: 24 points. That'd give you:
Dawnlord Vyros (-6)
Halberdiers (min) (4)
Halberdiers (min) (4)
Certainly not outstanding, but you still have a point to play around with, and you get: a) -1 discount on battlegroup heavies, b) advance move for one battlegroup heavy per two units (which, with SPD 6, is quite ridiculous), and c) a freely allocated focus for those warjacks on the first turn (which seems sensible because they may be out of his CTRL after doing the advanced move).
Reviewing it, you can say that this Tier list focuses a lot on Vyros battlegroup, all the benefits affect it - and nothing else. With advance move and mobility and a free focus to run or charge, those heavies can be up the field very fast, or even get the drop on an enemy that moved to far out of his deployment on the bottom of turn one. I'm not sure that that is a viable strategy, though. I might go ahead and proxy some of that to give it a try, but probably not at tier 4. Tier three seems enough, that frees up another 4 or 8 points, giving me a lot of choices for the units, and plays a lot more like a regular Vyros list.
I do like the background behind the Theme Force. What's cooler than an Elf seeking to become Emperor of Elvenkind, with the Retribution cult as his stepping stone? An ambitious elf that uses the dawnguard as his private army and tucks in houseguards from his own house to destabilize claims that he's using the dawnguard as his private army! Very cool and sorta classy, I'm liking Vyros even more. :)
Until next time, farewell.