23 July 2014

The Art of Trollbloods War by TheGreatBlah

The following series of articles are a summary of the Trollkin Military treatise attributed to Horfar Grimmr, a high ranking Molgur general, bloodthirsty warrior, strategist and tactician, wielder of Rathrok and purportedly greatest Trollkin warrior to have ever walked Caen. 

These ancient runes were found and transcribed into modern Trollkin Runes in 482 AR by Stone
Scribe Elder Gron Runeknuckle and have become one of the foundations in Trollblood military strategy.  The Kriel Stones containing the body of this work can still be found in the heart of the Glimmerwood and many great Trollkin Chieftains have made the trek to study the work in its entirety.  The size and power of this collection of Kriel Stones are great as is the body of work contained within.  In these trying times it is the hope of the United Kriel that's it's location can remain secret to the Trollbloods and the work can be preserved for future generations.  It is purported that some of the greatest Chieftains of the United Kriel have studied it's work including; Madrak Ironhide, Grissel Bloodsong, Grim Angus, Horgle Ironstrike, Horthol, and Calandra Truthsayer.  Rumor persists that all United Kriel leaders have or will study from these powerful stones firsthand.

While studying from them directly is recommended for the power contained within the runes themselves adds much to the process, the runes themselves should be available to all Trollkin far and wide.  It is for this reason that I will attempt to provide a summary of each of the stones so that all leaders in the United Kriel can receive at least the knowledge contained in the runes if not the power of studying them directly.

This body work can be divided into three main categories

A) Positional Strategy
   Stone 1) Planning
   Stone 2) Battle
   Stone 13) Spies
B) Expansion Strategy
   Stone 3) Planning the Attack/Expansion
   Stone 4) Positioning
   Stone 5) Force or Momentum
   Stone 6) Weakness or Strength
   Stone 7) Armed Conflict
C) Situational Strategy
   Stone 8) Adapting to the Situation
   Stone 9) Enemy Intentions
   Stone 10) Field Position
   Stone 11) Terrain
   Stone 12) Environmental Attacks


This collection of stones was inscribed in the order by which the have been numbered by Scribe Gron and are typically studied in numerical order.  It will be through some effort, but each of the Stone Shards will be sent out as they are made available by my team of scribes.  Learn well my Trollkin brothers, there is much contained within the body of work Gron unearthed and truly Horfar's scribe must have been a favored child of Dhunia or more likely the Devourer, for with his runes Chieftan Grimmr's legacy continues.  Though we now sever the Earth Mother instead of the Wurm, we are Trollkin, and we will not be denied our rightful place on Caen.  May those who threaten our Kith and Kriel find themselves unprepared and on the wrong side of our axes.


Though some have started calling me an Elder Scribe, the ways of the warrior burn deep within me.  It is this warrior that has trouble sleeping knowing there are so many that need these words.

Kithkar TheGreatBlah, former Piper of the Glimmerwood Kriel.

NOTE: The First Stone is nearly ready for distribution and should arrive within a few days the Kriel Shard Bearers bear the distinctive mark of the Rocksong Family Mercenary Clan


22 July 2014

21 July 2014

Trollblood Toolbox ~ Where To Start


Updated 07 July 2014  ~  See The Visual Companion by Celedor


The question on the Trollblood forums that is the most common is where to start and what to begin with when starting a Trollblood force.
There are many good choices in the Trollblood arsenal to choose from and picking the ones to begin with can be difficult. The first stop for any Trollblood player should be the Warpack; the Warpack has a few good things going for it. First of all it has some of the most solid Light Warbeasts available. Secondly is has a caster that helps showcase the way Trolls play and helps you begin to learn when and where to apply buffs. Finally, the cost is good, for what you get the cost is unbeatable.

Core Concepts: Strategy, Tactics, Placement.... Part 1

Hello and welcome to the Scrumcast...

Oh crap, sorry about that. Sometimes I just miss those corny intros.


Intro

So way back I wrote about different strategies and tactics I would utilize to try to get the most effectiveness out of my army. I wanted to bring some of that back but start with a broader topic about the fundamentals of this game.

Now for many of you the topics covered in this article may seem rudimentary. I would urge you to not dismiss them because of this. Knowing these things and executing them in each game, turn, and move is completely different. Doing these things in a timely manner is to master the basics of this game.


Define it for me

So let's jump in by defining what I mean by strategy, tactics, and placement. Strategy is your over all vision of how you see the game playing out. Tactics are the means to which you achieve the milestones defined by your strategy. Placement is how you enable yourself to execute the tactics you are planning to utilize.


Let's Strategize

So once you know the scenario and opponent you are facing you should begin thinking about your path to victory. In this game we have a few paths to victory; Scenario, Caster Kill, and Clock. Now I know someone out there is going to start yelling about their screen "ATTRITION!!!". So let me explain, attrition is a means to any of those victory conditions. If attrition is as deep as your strategy goes, what will you do when you hit end game? For example when you finally choose scenario as your path to victory, will you have the pieces available and in place?

Of course you cannot expect everything to go as planned, after all your opponent has a brain too. So when working out your strategy it is key to identify the pieces that enable your path to victory. If you lose those pieces you need to have a back up plan. This may seem like I am telling you to be precog, but really with some experience you can identify the general flow of the game. And if something does happen that you never expected, in future games you can account for it.

The last piece for working out a sound strategy is identifying the pieces your opponent has that will hinder your path to victory. Again this takes experience and knowledge of your opponents army, so in each game you will be better able to do this. Sometimes you may even have to choose a different path to victory due to certain problem pieces. Identifying this before deployment is key to a winning strategy.

If you can come up with a basic strategy before deployment starts you are on the path to giving your opponent a great game. To wrap up this article lets try to lay out a very basic game plan.


Example???

The scenario is close quarters and I am playing Grim Angus vs. Cryx. I determine my best path to victory is scenario via dominating my flag. I set up 4 milestones;

Score turn 2 and contest the opponents flag
Clear my flag on turn 3 to score again, contest enemy flag, make Grim difficult to kill.
Clear my flag again turn 4 using feat for back to back points.
Clear my flag turn 5 for the win.

I know based on my milestones Grim and my flag cleaners are the key to victory. I can sacrifice much of my army as long as I have enough attacks to continue clearing my flag off. As for my jammers, I just need enough bodies to prevent my opponent from scoring back to back multiple times. Looking at my opponents deployment and army list I can determine the issues they will present and roughly what turn I will need to deal with them.

If I were to lose Grim, its game over, but if my opponent is able to swarm my flag or remove my enough of my flag cleaners I can attempt to audible to a caster kill. Because of the scenario and my mad grab for control points, my opponent is more than likely moving their caster forward to grab points of their own. If all hell has broken loose and there is no chance of getting their caster I will grab as many control and kill points as possible to help my tie breakers.

As for identifying the problem pieces my opponent has we know Raiders jamming into my flag can be a problem. As can a bile thrall getting too far forward and removing my flag cleaners. We won't dig much deeper than that for the sake of simplicity.


Next Time

That's all for part 1 of this series. Next time I will attempt to tackle tactics and give some examples from a game on vassal.

Thanks for reading,
-nosrek

15 July 2014

With Our Powers Combined!




Next time on the Scrumcast we have one of our old pals and very special guest on with us to talk about breaking down basic strategy. You'll be pleased to know we are kidnapping Bloodrath from RFP and HCO to rap with us about stuff we know nothing about! You can check out his work here in his Graduate Level Gaming Articles.




07 July 2014

List Philosophies: 2 and 3 List Format Theory

Quite a few Scrumcasts ago I spoke about the elusive third list. This sparked my interest enough to actually write about it in addition to rambling in your ear. So this series of  articles will focus on the core Philosophies behind how we build in this meta. These are also entirely my opinion and are most likely false.  So, feel free to discuss with me as we go on this adventure into hyperbole together!


The Goal
I want to foster meaningful conversation about how to choose lists and warlocks for tournaments at the 50pt level. So, with that in mind I will share my ideas based on my experience and what I think is strong for our faction. This unfortunately will mean I'll be discussing lists that not everyone can play. The biggest example would be Runes of War. I'm going to start by using my current tournament builds as examples and then I would use that as a point of reference to build off.

Getting Started
After discussing this with other players in my area I decided to expand my original idea from only 3 list events to include 2 list event building as well so that's where we are going to start. But before we get into lists I think it's important to talk about the climate of SR2014.

We are seeing a large shift in the larger meta to Warcasters and Warlocks with a large amount of board control or with control feats to maximize their effectiveness in scenario play. This tends to be a bit of a problem for us as a whole as our standard list builds can tend to be a bit slow over all. This I think is what has caused a recent shift in Troll list building. In addition we have also started seeing a shift toward armor spam from a number of factions. This has not been a huge problem for us in the past. However, to keep up with the changing Meta I feel like we need to focus on what we can do well as a faction to present our opponents with the biggest problems.

So, what are Trolls' greatest strengths?
- High model count tough army
- Fast infantry with reach or AD
- Runes of War
- Resilient Warlocks
- The Beast Brick

Starting out I think there are a few ways to build that work toward a goal of answering bad match ups or asking tough questions. For instance. Here is what I bring currently to a 2 list event.

Points: 50/50
Tiers: 4
Hoarluk Doomshaper (*7pts)
* Troll Axer (6pts)
* Dire Troll Mauler (9pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
* Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)


and

Points: 50/50
Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
* Ršk (11pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Trollkin Long Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)


So here's the gist of why I went in this direction. 
Runes of War start with a solid base leaving my options open. But I compensated for it's apparently lack of mobility with a list designed to blitz across the board and be hard to clear out thus the Grissel list. It's a list that can play out of apparent bad match ups because it can simply make you lose on scenario if you don't address it properly or don't see the gimmick coming. So it really reinforces Runes of War's inherent strength in it's strong beast brick and cheap runeshapers. 

Here's the key with this setup. Both warlocks have serious board control and denail. And you can't just list chicken out of really hard denial either because they are both difficult to fight against. So it puts people in a lose lose situation if they can't charge or cast spells or can't crack armor or...you get the point. 


09 June 2014

The Scrum Cast Episode 37

Come listen to the pre Lock and Load excitement in our latest episode.  Post Lock and Load recording commencing.

Episode 37

02 May 2014

The Scrum and Handcannon Team Up for Beer and Justice

I am proud to announce a TREMENDOUS collaborative effort on behalf of www.Trollbloodscrum.com and Handcannononline.com ! Coming soon to a Lock and Load near you we will be pleased to deliver a new and exciting hobby tool. BEER!  That's right the Evil Geniuses of The Scrum and Handcannon have teamed up to enhance your hobby experience the best way we know how. So without further ado I would like to introduce you to our....

DOUBLE BARREL HANDCANNON DOUBLE IPA

Have no fear folks the beer is in its infancy now but come four weeks time it will be bottled and ready for enjoyment!  Stay tuned both here and Handcannononline.com for updates on the brewing process including step by step instructions on how we will construct our delicious brew.

03 April 2014

He's Lesser, but not Least

Hello again fellow scrummers. Today we're here to introduce, for those that haven't met him, are new friend Horgle Ironstrike. So let's get to the nitty gritty and just look at what the big guy can do.

 Picture posted by Celebros on the PP Forums


His stat line isn't bad he's decent SPD 5, so without buffs threats 8.5". He hits as accurately as a fennblade with MAT 6, and his RAT is negligible since he lacks a range weapon. Standard troll def and base 15 ARM, but a nice 17 when under the stone. He's also fearless, tough, and immune to fire attacks. He's got 8 wounds, like a good troll, and fury 4, so with ARM 17 he has some survivability (still better off then some of the Lesser Warcasters).

He's got two weapons, both without reach, and are magical weapons. His POW 11 sword also causes continuous fire, his hammer is POW 12 with Critical Ram. Though with the Stone easily made POW 12 and 13. With his Pyre or Slag animus POW 14 and 15. Or have your caster bring a Mauler and he becomes POW 15 and 16. Add eMadrak and you have up to six MAT 6 weapon master attacks, one at POW 15, the other five at POW 16 and if the target isn't dead it is on fire. So even without beasts this guy can be considered a crazy combat solo for late game.

Even with his crazy melee potential it's crazy not to take beasts with him. Mind you he is limited to Slag and Pyre trolls, though both come at a 1 pt discount if in his battle group. He also has the rule Burnt Meat which situationally allows beasts in his battle group to charge models for free that are suffering from continuous fire. So if he needs a little help in melee they can follow him in for free, or charge in after a Pyre troll sets it on fire with its gun. Speaking of guns Horgle has the 2 COST spell Hot Shot, which boosts the ranged damage rolls of one of his beasts in his battle group. This at first didn't strike me as great, but looking back now I realise that I was just being stupid. On a Pyre troll you now have focus to boost the attack roll and cast his animus on something else, because everything under that 3" AOE is going to suffer boosted POW 6. The Slag can now pay to boost its initial range attack roll, still pay for a second shot, and boost the attack roll, because the spell makes sure you get that fourth die on damage against non-living models. Initially I thought Horgle was going to receive a distance buff to ranged attack rolls, but I'm just as happy with boosted damage rolls.

Horgle's second spell is Molten Metal, an offensive COST 2, RANGE 10 spell that puts one point of damage in every column of a Jack's damage grid. It is a little situational, as it is only effective against Warmachine factions, and while it has a little more threat then his charge, it isn't nearly as effective as actually just charging.

I feel that Horgle will be a fine addition to our future endeavours in the Iron Kingdoms. Many of our casters are focused starved and won't mind a 3 COST melee monster that can also sit back and throw out Slag and Pyre animuses, while they are busy casting other spells or fueling the Krielstone. I can't wait for June to get this guy on the table. 

If you guys have any questions, comments, or suggestions throw me an email here, drop a comment below or pm me on the forums, otherwise have a good week and may all your dice roll tough.

- CrashWest