Grymkin player here, but only passingly familiar with Cryx, so grain of salt.
So first, the Heretic. Going through the models: -Heretic -- A pain to assassinate, basically the only shot is getting into melee with something decent. 15/15 with 17 boxes is ok, but he has Divinity (no KD, no blind, no back strike bonus), sacred ward (no spell assassination) and freaking 4 Crabbits (shield guards that can each expect to survive about 2 good shots), which is an unreasonable amount at almost any point level. -- He can, and will, steal any spells you cast within 14" of him, and use them against you next turn. Upkeeps kinda get around this, as he can't upkeep the spells he stole, so he only gets 1 round of it, and only if cast in that range. --Watch out for his melee threat. He has an autohitting P+S 13 with Dispel, and so long as the Gorehound is alive, he can sprint away after. --For me, he generally sits in the back upkeeping Fury, casting Wall of Fire to control where infantry go,and waiting to use his arcana. He may occassionally try to use Gallows to extend threat range, especially with the Cage Rager being both slow, and an arc node, or Rebuke to mess with units. His last spell is Hex Blast, so don't expect a super-important upkeep to stay. --while I'll cover arcana later, his personal one is Reckoning. Basically, when you kill a FF WARRIOR model in his Control range, his entire army gets +2 hit/damage vs the model/unit that killed said FF warrior model. If that targeted model dies, he can choose another enemy model/unit to get +2 hit/damage versus, with no limit on range. --To limit reckoning, try blocking his ability to get to the model that triggered it. So if you killed a Dread Rot with a Shrike, then get the rest of your stuff to block his ability to engage said Shrike. If he can't get to the Shrike, his Arcana is wasted.
--Crabbits -ummm...this is a lot. And they're really only good as shield guards. If everything goes perfectly (Rose + Fury + Reckoning), then he can get up to three MAT7 P+S15 attacks out of one, but if that ever happens, I want a video of it because that is absurd.
--Cage Rager -big, slow, tanky anti-magic buddy. SPD4, P+S 17, 1" reach, beatback. DEF10, ARM19. Animus gives blessed and magical. So long as it has a corpse (it'll start the game with one, due to theme) it is an arc node. Gains corpses when it kills enemy living/undead, up to 3. Can spend corpses to either Arcane Vortex (cancel a spell targeting a model within 3"), or upkeep a spell for free. -Either chuck a lot of spells in its direction to force it to lose the corpse, kill it with jacks, or run away (watch out for Gallows in this case)
--Frightmare -Honestly, I don't like this beast. It has a RNG 10 AOE3 POW13 continuous corrosion gun, and that's basically it. Not a big concern.
--Gorehound. -Solo-sniper. Fast, extended control range, ghostly & stealth, animus gives sprint. Typically ranges on the sides to harass the flanks, one good hit from ANYTHING (DEF 14, ARM13, ~20 boxes) should drop this.
--Rattler -ha. haha. hahahhahahahahaha. This beast is stupid. It is made to murder entire units of dudes, and with Berserk and Overtake it most certainly can. I love it. Counterplay is to shoot it (crabbits may be a problem), spread out, or send jacks after it. It only has 3 fury, MAT6 means it can be expected to miss. Do NOT let it within 10" of your dudes.
--Gremlin Swarm -if you have access to magic weapons, they're a minor annoyance. (Incorporeal + Stealth, but bad stats). If the only magic weapon is on your caster, you will hate them. Try to keep them away from your jacks. They do bad things to jacks.
--Dread Rots -mediocre weaponmaster chaff. Low DEF, Low ARM, Tough, P+S 10. Pretty much anything will kill them. Their primary roll is to provide triggers for Arcana, and hopefully send bodies to the Cage Rager (if they kill a model, they get the corpse. Another model can then get that corpse).
Rose - DO NOT TOUCH ROSE! She's a support solo who gives Ancillary Attack (eh. MAT of the beasts are too low for this to be reliable), Enrage (+2 STR. This is what will be used almost always), or pull fury off nearby models. HOWEVER, if you kill her, his entire army gets +1 to attack/damage rolls for the next turn. It is almost never worth it to kill Rose.
Second List, going over the new things: Dreamer --oh god, this will be a lot. She's very complicated, and probably Grymkin's best caster. --On the surface, squishy. But she is very much a back-line caster (so hard to get to), with Wraith Walker (so incorporeal every other turn), and can throw up Artifice of Deviation to hide in (5" AOE, friendly models gain cover, enemy models treat as rough terrain). So I have never had her assassinated. --Her only gun does no damage, and only effects living enemy models. So...the Black Ogrun? On a hit, the model hit is stationary. On a crit, the model hit makes a full advance, 1 attack, and THEN is stationary. --Her spell list is GOOD. Artifice of Deviation (already mentioned), Abyssal Gate (8" range, can place a model within 3" of current location if it was damaged, so good threat extender/DEF debuff, as you can turn the model around), Enfeeble (Target model gets -2 to attack/damage rolls), Mirage (target model/unit gains apparition), and freaking Manifest Destiny (models in battlegroup gain additional hit/damage die, drop lowest). --Her Arcana is...ok? Triggered when you disable a FF model in her control range, for the rest of the turn whenever one of your models destroy/RFP a FF model, at the end of its activation your model is KD. Fortunately Dreamer runs lots of beasts, so you don't kill a ton in one turn, so maybe 1-2 models typically get hit by this arcana. --FINALLY, her phantasms. When an enemy model is killed within her Control Range, she can replace it with one of three phantasms (must be of equal or smaller base size). The phantasm has no weapon, but can activate that turn. The small one provides Mark Target and Annoyance. The medium-based one is an arc node. The large one has bulldoze. There can only be one of each out at a time.
Skin & Moans --the muscle of Grymkin. Kill it before it powers up. --Starts at ARM16, P+S16, but gets stronger as it gains corpses, +1 ARM/STR per corpse, to a max of 3. With MAT7, SPD5, 2" reach, 4 Fury and an animus that gives pathfinder, there is very little that can survive a fully corpsed, Manifest Destiny'd Skin&Moans.
Glimmer Imp --on it's own, not threatening. However, gives -2 DEF to any enemy models within LOS and 5". So he's a walking DEF-debuff.
General Advice- -Learn the Arcana. You control when they are triggered, don't get surprised. -Special attention should be given to the Sacrifice Arcana, as that one is brutal. If a FF model dies within control range, ALL other FF models in range heal to full. So DO NOT try to chip down models. You need to take them down one at a time. -Heretic struggles to deliver his troops. All he's really got is Wall of Fire, which is good vs troops, but you can work around it. You should be able to get the alpha on him, make sure it hurts. If you're running the Skarre list, the Rattler should be your primary concern, the rest you can swarm over with your superior numbers. If you're running Gaspy, probably the Dread Rots are a higher concern, as your Stalkers will not like P+S 15 Weapon Masters. -Dreamer is GOOD. Be aware this is a tough fight. You need, absolutely need, to take out beasts as soon as possible. She doesn't really do anything for the Dread Rots, so they are a minor annoyance. If playing Skarre, the Rattler is probably an even higher priority, as Dreamer + Glimmer Imp fixes the one big issue with the Rattler (accuracy), so it WILL eat your entire units. If playing Gaspy, take out the Skin&Moans asap, then Cage Rager. If you take those two down and still have 2 Slayers, you're golden.
Sorry for the giant post. I started and couldn't stop.
I actually managed to read doopsie 's post, there's some really good stuff there. Don't worry about the Crabbits, because you don't shoot, however, if you do take a potshot with your Nightwretch, make sure he doesn't jump a Crabbit in, because if it "accidentally" dies, he can trigger Sacrifice.
The most important thing is literally to ask what his Arcana do and remember them ALL game. They are forced to take their Trump, so Reckoning for Heretic and All Fall Down for Dreamer, and 2 more. One of the two will almost always be Sacrifice, because it's amazing. Remember, he can only trigger one per turn, so give him situations where you force him to trigger and if he doesn't, change your game plan so he doesn't have a reason to trigger another. The mind games work both ways. Honestly, Grymkin has so many unusual things, I'm sorry to say, but it's almost impossible to win your first game. You really need to know them to beat them.
Actual game play: you should always drop Skarre. Your Slayers will never be up to snuff (and to be honest, I'm not a fan of your Asphyxious list, way too much Repair dudes), but feated Stalkers can really put the hurt on Grymkin Beasts and you outthreat them by a mile. If you see a way to run in Dark Shroud to his heavies and get to them with Stalkers, feat and do it. Do this before the Skin & Moans gets corpses! It will only be ARM 16, so easy pickings.
As was said, kill the Rattler and/or the Gorehound as well if you can. If you have the opportunity to kill his battle group but leave the Cage Rager alive, you should. It's slow anyway, the rest of the list does way more.
Now, if he knows Cryx, he knows you will drop Skarre and will probably drop Heretic. Between Wall of Fire and Rebuke, your units are going to be little more than cannon fodder I fear, so all you can do is make them trudge forward until they can do something. Like I said, your Stalkers and Tartarus are going to be the real players in this game; between the three of them and the feat, they can get a lot of work done. Try to take out some Dread Rots with Blood Rain if you can. Sacrificial Strike is the best thing against Gremlin Swarms as it's magical and ignores the Stealth. Gremlin Swarms is how Grymkin players stall on scenario, they are also really annoying if your jacks start their activation B2B with it and can also deal major damage to jacks as a special action.
Dreamer has a lot of tricks, but doesn't stop you from doing much, so this would actually be your best case scenario. Enfeeble stinks, but it's not as bad as Rebuke + Wall of Fire. You will outthreat her with the Stalkers and the Banes can even match the threat ranges of his heavies, at least the one that he doesn't put Apparition on.
EDIT: Stalkers are a great counter against the Sacrifice Arcana, as they stop healing. This will give you an extra turn to finish of the mangled heavies.
1) So Grymkin won't ALWAYS take Sacrifice, but they absolutely will when playing in Dark Menagerie. Just to clarify.
2) I'm going to disagree on always drop Skarre, as Gaspy3 has given me fits time and time again. With Mobility, the Slayers outthreat everything Grymkin have, Cloak of Ash and Calamity are highly annoying, and Unyielding puts the Slayers in the ARM range where really only the heavies can hurt them. At 75 pts, I've beaten this list exactly once, and that was due to my opponent making lots of mistakes and giving me perfect triggers for the Arcana.
3) As both lists are Dark Menagerie, his heavies will already start with 1 corpse. So the Cage Rager is already an arc node, and the Skin&Moans is ARM17, P+S17.
4) Gorehounnd is NOT a threat. It is an annoyance. Rattler is a HUGE threat into the Banes.
5) Yeah, Stalkers are good at shutting down Sacrifice, no denying. My concern would be that, assuming Wall of Fire/Rebuke/Rattler keep your infantry out of the game, can the lights get enough work done? And if going against the Heretic, don't count on their DEF saving them, as Heretic can always go in and personally smash them with an auto-hitting P+S13, then (if Gorehound still alive) sprint back to safety.
These are both incredibly helpful posts. I can't thank you both enough! It's like hearing from both sides of the table. I have plenty of time to study and practice against these lists, and I'll be doing just that while taking your advice.
I'm not sure if Calamity should be much of a problem, due to the Cage Rager. Maybe I'm taken off by the lack of the ever present Death Knell (not viable at 30 points), but I'm under the impression that Slayers can also not really hurt Grymkin heavies, especially considering the lack of Grievous Wounds. This list is also not maxing out on Slayers and instead has 7 repair models that are basically free corpses.
Right, I forgot to account for the free corpse, still P+S 17 Stalkers will have a field day.
Very true, but it does give his caster access to Sprint and I figured if you've already decided to not kill the Cage Rager you might as well kill everything you can get your hands on.
Stalkers should outthreat even the Heretic himself, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue. However, I agree, Heretic is the worst case scenario, I just don't have enough faith in Slayers to save the day. They're straightforward (mediocre) beatsticks and Grymkin don't play by the rules. In my opinion, neither of the given Cryx lists are an optimal drop into either of the Grymkin lists. None of the possible outcomes will be easy, but if I were put into this situation, I would probably pick Skarre. She has all the tools needed to deal with the situation, whereas Asphyxious is banking on the Grymkin not being able to break his Slayers, which is not a very good game plan to me.
EDIT: glad to know it's helpful boxfox, don't hesitate to ask if anything is unclear.
To clarify re: Heretic killing Stalkers, was thinking more in a "Stalker charges Skin&Moans, kills or nearly kills it, then Heretic moves up and trivially kills the Stalker" sense. If a fully-powered Stalker manages to get a charge on Heretic, it's probably gg.