The Grymkin are the denizens of the wilderness of Urcaen beyond the protection of the gods - essentially hell for all intents and purposes. Grymkin are not undead, or demons, but have both souls and physical bodies. The warbeasts are the nightmares of the Defiers given flesh and blood. For millenia they tormented the defiers before they learned to control them. The lesser Grymkin are those wicked souls who end up in the wilds of Urcaen and are judged and transformed by the Defiers as an eternal punishment.
The Defiers themselves are five humans who were banished to the wilds of Urcaen for refusing Menoth's law. Their wills were so strong that they each became demigods dedicated to opposing Menoth and punishing his creation, which they see as corrupt and wicked.
For centuries, the Defiers awaited their chance to return to Caen to unleash their wicked harvest on Menoth's civilization. It was not until the Old Witch devised a way to create a portal to Urcaen through which the armies of the grymkin could pass that they got their chance. The Old Witch's motive for unleashing hell on earth was--oddly enough--to use the Grymkin to slow the spread of infernalism that would one day unleash an even worse hell on earth if left unchecked.
If Infernals ever invaded Caen in full force, it would mean the end of the world and the eternal torment of all living souls. The Grymkin, then, are the world's twisted salvation from annihilation.
The Grymkin playstyle is based around punishing the opponent for taking certain actions and has a heavy emphasis on reaping corpses to power their abilities. They are melee-centric and have the most limited ranged abilities of any faction. Even Minions are able to out-shoot them.
The faction is described in the Announcement video.
Grymkin for Beginners
Limited Release Faction
Main article: Arcana
Grymkin warlocks use Arcana instead of feats. A Defier warlock is assigned 3 Arcana Cards before the game begins, one is their unique Trump Arcana, the other two can be any from the "general pool" that the Grymkin player wants for that game. Each Arcana can only be used once per game. A warlock can play only one Arcana card per turn.
Grymkin warlocks tend to have an above-average stack of FURY, thus an above-average CTRL area. Many of the Arcana cards work in CTRL area, however some of them are tied to the warlock's command (CMD) stat. Be on the lookout for that, as there's no direct connection between the FURY and the CMD of the warlocks (for example The King of Nothing with his highest FURY stat bears a miserable CMD1).
Where to start
If you loved Uno, where you could throw cards into the pile mid-turn to mess with your opponents, then Grymkin will definitely be an appealing army for you. Grymkin is a close-combat oriented faction, where building up synergies between your units is just as important as messing with the enemy's force during their own turn via the Arcanas.
Grymkin is much like the Legion in terms of newbie friendliness: if you start it as a newcomer in an established gaming community, expect a very steep learning curve, as veteran players will rarely give you easy opportunities to use the Arcana mechanism to the max. However, in a gaming group with other new players you can often experience gotcha' moments, by shutting down key units and/or mechanisms your enemies rely on.
Grymkin has 2 themes: the infantry-heavy Bump in the Night, and the monster-centred Dark Menagerie. You will almost never see this army played outside these 2 versions, as they are flexible enough to let you play with most of the models from the faction, and have bonuses attractive enough to favour them instead of the left-out entries.
Unlike many other factions, Grymkin does not have a battle box. Instead, they got a Grymkin Wicked Harvest Army Box on their 2017 release, from which you can field a 50-pts army in the Bump in the Night theme force without any further buying. It contains The Heretic, both heavy warbeasts, a Gorehound, and one full unit of Hollowmen with their command attachment, Piggybacks, and Dread Rots. You also get two support solos, the Witchwood and the spider-assassin, Lord Longfellow.
This army lets you a glimpse into the core concepts of the faction, namely movement machination and board control (via the Witchwood and the Gorehound), corpse gathering (with the Dread Rots and the heavy warbeasts), and the power of the Arcanas, which can be leveraged by the Heretic's simple but powerful trump card.
- On further expansion you might want to consider adding a Death Knell battle engine into your army, that has great synergy with the corpse gathering mechanisms, and supporting your army with extra ARM and corpse token distribution.
- From the solos the Glimmer Imp should be high on you buying list. He is a MAT/RAT fixer utility solo, and defended by stealth from direct fire.
- If you want to get into the Dark Menagerie theme, you definitely want to get Lady Karlanna Rose, and several gremlin Swarms. The former is an excellent beast tuner, while the latter is an obnoxious Incorporeal model, perfect for area denial, and annoying your opponent in general.
As a first warlock the Old Witch might look like an appealing choice for Hordes players, and especially Warmachine players from Khador. Though she is definitely an interesting choice on her own, she is the only one, who must omit the use of Arcana cards, thus you won't learn this very important part of the faction, until you pick up another warlock. As said, The Heretic is a good all-round warlock, with great support spells. If you favour the monster-heavy approach, look for The Child for a rather straightforward face-beater, or for The Dreamer, with more elaborate tools. The Wanderer and the King of Nothing have a more steep learning curve, and only advised for veteran players jumping into a new faction, or for brave newbies. The Wanderer relies heavily on movement shenanigans and denial, while the King of Nothing is an unarmed offensive spellcaster, whose aura hurts friends and foes alike.
Grymkin Theme Forces
Bump in the Night is an infantry-focused theme.
Dark Menagerie is a warbeast-focused theme.
Grymkin Models and Units
- Zevanna Agha, The Fate Keeper (Grymkin)
- Note that this is Old Witch3, and Old Witch1&2 are Khador warcasters.
- Old Witch3 is the only Grymkin warlock to have a traditional feat.
- The Heretic
- The Dreamer
- The Child
- The King of Nothing
- The Wanderer
Grymkin Deep Lore
When Menoth came back from his battle with the Devourer Wurm to give his so-called "gifts" to humanity, five individuals with tremendous will of their own rejected him so strongly and fundamentally they ended up tapping into some part of the divine power all humans have in their souls. In retribution for this, Menoth threw them in to Ur-Caen where they were trapped, tortured by their own nightmares, for thousands of years.
The Old Witch Zevanna Agha knew of them and looked for a way to set them free to further her own plans. She managed to find a lady in an insane asylum and use her as a conduit to negotiate terms and arrange to open the gates to Urcaen for them. The rest of the faction are manifestations of their willpower, or in the case of the beasts; their nightmares made manifest. The only thing the Grymkin warlocks are truly scared of is their warbeasts which are in truth their own nightmares. It's said the only time you would hear the true names of the Defiers is on the breath of the beasts when they lose control and it comes for them.
Other and older grymkin found in previous editions of Iron Kingdom literature featured the folkloric story of Gristle and Flay and the third brother. Anecdotes of gremlins in the machines, and why gremlins hate cats. Stories of the Old Man of the Swamp, or the rusalka bog nymph.