Infantry may not be the stars of Warmachine, but that doesn’t make them any less important. From screening high priority targets to overwhelming a foe with sheer numbers, infantry plays a critical role, especially in the armies of Cryx. Today, I’m taking a look at the Revenant Crew of the Atramentous
IN SHORT: Zombie pirates! They may not hit hard or shoot straight, but these rotting corpses JUST WON’T DIE!
STRENGTHS: The Revenant Crew won’t frickin’ die! Their ability, Deathbound, restores all lost grunts in the Maintenance Phase within 3” of the leader. All of them! The only catch is if the leader dies. When that happens, all grunts that were killed before the leader are removed from play, so opponents will try to kill some of the Revenant Crew and then off the leader. Even with that exception, Deathbound makes them a real pain to get rid of. Their support solo, Captain Rengrave, can even add new crew with Death Toll [Revenant Crew of the Atramentous] by killing living models. Because, you know, Deathbound isn’t sick enough on its own.
The Revenant Crew also benefit from Point Blank and Gang. Point Blank allows them to use their pistols in melee, giving the Revenant Crew two melee attacks per model. Gang gives the +2 to attack and +2 to damage rolls in melee when another crewmember is engaging that target.
On top of that, Captain Rengrave can provide an additional +2 to all attack rolls if the Revenant Crew have line of sight to him. With all of these bonuses in play, their base MAT 5 and RAT 4 can become very respectable MAT 9 and RAT 6! This can, of course, be combined with the huge selection Cryx warcaster debuffs for even greater accuracy.
With multiple attacks per model and plenty of way to get attack roll bonuses, Revenant Crew can surprisingly accurate in melee.
Revenant Crew also have an excellent unit attachment in the Revenant Crew Rifleman. For 1 point a model, Riflemen bring a Range 14 POW 10 shot with Combined Ranged Attack, and 3 can be added to each Revenant Crew. That may not seem like much with RAT 4, but with all 3 riflemen combining their attacks, this suddenly becomes RAT 7 POW 13. Add in Rengrave, and that’s RAT 9 POW 13! There are a lot of juicy solos and even warcasters that will not enjoy being on the other end of their shots!
And yes, Revenant Crew Riflemen benefit from their own version of Deathbound called Death Ties, which is basically the same, but worded for the unit attachment.
WEAKNESSES: Revenant Crew have poor base stats, both offensive and defensive. DEF 13 ARM 12 doesn’t scare anyone. They’re easy to put down. It’s getting them to stay down that’s the hard part.
They’re also expensive. We’re talking roughly a point per model expensive. That’s Bane Thrall/Knight expensive. They also don’t hit very hard. Even with Gang, they’re melee attacks are only P+S 11 and POW 12 for the pistol shot to the face. Revenant Crew are damage sponges, not damage dealers.
Protecting the leader can be difficult at times, and you want to protect the leader. Their durability comes from a gimmick, which a smart player can bypass completely by killing the leader last. This makes their durability harder to use than, say, a unit that relies on high base stats.
Finally, these pirates do not like remove from play effects, which completely bypass Deathbound. Watch out!
SYNERGIES: Revenant Crew work well as a pure damage sponge, shielding the squishier parts of the Cryx army, but there are two warcasters that stand out above the rest: Terminus and Epic Skarre.
Terminus loves a posse of undead, and he makes them better by giving them Tough while in his command range. What’s worse than a big blob of Revenant Crew? That’s right. Revenant Crew with Tough! Terminus also likes to sacrifice Revenant Crew to incoming fire because, well, they get back up! I personally like to hide the leader behind Terminus while sacrificing other Revenant models around him.
Epic Skarre can use her feat to prevent the Revenant Crew leader from being targeted, which effectively protects the entire unit. Just be aware that her feat prevents models from being target, but they can still be damaged by other means such as slammed models or deviating blast templates.
JUST FOR FUN: Take a max squad of Revenant Crew, add 3 Riflemen, and bring Rengrave along for the ride. Now team them up the Scaverous and a pet Skarlock.
Between Rengrave’s Death Toll and Excarnate attacks from Scaverous and the Skarlock, the Revenant Crew could easily end the game bigger than it started! How’s that for a tar pit unit?
SUMMARY: Seriously, who doesn’t like zombie pirates that simply refuse to die? The Revenant Crew aren’t going to steal the show by themselves. What they will do is soak up a ridiculous amount of damage that would otherwise pound the squishier parts of your army, and that is an addition I welcome in my Cryx armies.