Well folks, this has sort of been a long time coming. Handcannon Online, Removed From Play and The Scrum have been fast friends basically from the inception of all 3 sites and it's been tossed around that we should merge for about 2 years now. Now, it's finally happening. And you though the reference from that podcast was a coincidence? So here are the pertinent details and why no one should freak out.
So, without further ado, The Scrum has joined forces with Handcannon Online to leach from its underbelly all the page views we can get! But in all seriousness we are very happy to join the Handcannon crew to bring bigger and better things for the hobby, The Scrum and Hanncannon!
The podcast will actually be hosted, linked and posted on HCO from here on out. This should give a much more consistent downloading experience and a smoother relationship with iTunes. This also means better access to special guests, more frequent content(we hope), and a lot of cross blog content that will be more interesting for everyone.
At this time we have transitioned all podcasts from our main page to Handcannon's Scrum Page. You can get the most current episode here Episode 39 Were we have on super special guest, owner and operator of Broken Egg Games Jason Flanzer. All further episodes will be hosted from that page.
Articles, Guides and Hobby Content
All the rest of our content will be made available through The Scrum for the time being until we've merged our data from Blogger to Wordpress. So you won't loose access to until until such time that we have everything finished. At that point you will see a direct site redirect.
On a more personal note... Dallas and I, once again, want to thank you guys. The readers and listeners for making all of this wonderful nonsense that we do for you possible. You let us fill your ears and minds with our ramblings and without you we would just be making out spouses crazy. So keep on listening and reading folks so we can all be just a little more crazy and slightly better informed then before!
In all seriousness though, this year I will be playing Trollbloods as my competitive tournament faction and have already been getting a few games under my belt, but haven't posted up the first few battle reports largely due to playing like a chump and getting used to not overextending on the fury system again. I have won two out of the three games, but this one here is the first one which I felt that I played well enough in to be considered for a battle report.
This match was Trollbloods against Mercenaries, my Gunnbjorn list had been doing pretty well but this opponent had at least one Galleon in all of his three lists, and so I had opted to go with eDoomshaper for threat range and ARM cracking, my opponent went for Bart so I felt like I had gone with the right matchup here.
> Mulg the Ancient...........................> Galleon
> Rok..............................................> Galleon
> Mauler..........................................Max Forgeguard
> Night Troll.....................................Gobber Tinkerer
Min Kriel Warriors...........................Aiyana and Holt
> Standard and Piper........................Piper of Ord
> 2 Caber Throwers
Min Krielstone and Scribes
The scenario rolled up was Rally point, and the terrain saw a forest on each player's right flank just beyond deployment zones, a hill on the opposite flank and a few rocks as impassible terrain/cover in the dead centre of the board.
My opponent won first turn, deploying both Galleons and Bart dead centre of the board, with Forgeguard either side of them, Ragman, Piper and McDougall behind the colossals and A+H just off to my left of the forgeguard, so quite central overall.
I also deployed pretty centrally, with (from left to right) Mauler, Rok, Axer, Mulg and Night Troll. Kriel Warriors filled the gaps between them and the Krielstone was camped behind but centrally, with Doomie and the Runebearer just off centre to my right.
One each to the Galleons, Bart drops Hot Shot on the the Galleon to my left, his Forgeguard run to make a screen in front of the Galleons who run up behind them. His various support solos and units hang out at the back ready to give support as soon as it is needed.
Runebearer gives Harmonious Exaltation to Doomshaper, who drops Wild Aggression onto Mulg and 5 into the Krielstone before advancing a few inches. Mulg runs up, the Night Troll runs directly in front of him to protect him from drags, Axer runs up behind a rock for cover, Mauler and Rok both get Caber Throwers in front of them who are in turn surrounded by grunts for take up to again prevent any drag shenanigans. Krielstone runs up and gives +2 ARM, focusing on the left side as Mulg is pretty safe.
Upkeep Hot Shot, 3 focus to the Hot Shotted Galleon. Forgeguard advance up to keep up the screen and are given tough by the Piper. McDougall gives Artillerist to the powered up Galleon and Aiyana just about manages to get close enough to hit a Kriel Warrior with Kiss. Fortunately the left hand Galleon rolls terrible for his 2d3 shots, getting 3 of them which thanks to the spacing only kills two Kriel Warriors and a boosted attack roll with the Harpoon misses the Caber Thrower in front of Rok. Bart switches Hot Shot onto the other Galleon and pops his feat. The other Galleon only has a few guys in range and again rolls poorly, killing one Krielstone scribe with a scatter and another Kriel Warrior.
Bart's feat I knew would be coming this turn, it doesn't make it any less annoying but I see an opportunity to kill Aiyana and Holt and decide to go for it. Mauler advances to toe the left zone and puts Rage onto the Caber Thrower, Kriel Warriors use Fervor and run/charge. One Kriel Warrior runs into the two Forgeguard right in front of Aiyana and Holt and the Caber charges him, the other Kriel Warriors run up to gum up and block charge lanes with two more getting charges onto the right hand flank. Thanks to Steady and Fervor they only have to put up with being MAT4, managing to kill one of the Forgeguard and then the all important one, he hits the Kriel Warrior and slams him 2 inches, enough to hit two Forgeguard, Aiyana and Holt but falling half an inch short of the Gobber Tinkerer. One of the Forgeguard dies, Holt dies but Aiyana is left on 1hp, the brave Kriel Warrior sadly does not pass his tough check. Aiyana needs to die, so Rock advances into Bart's control area and is consequently knocked down, but Doomie arcs a Primal Shock through him which auto kills her. Doomie also drops Refuge onto the Night Troll, and ditches a fury point. Other beasts advance, but otherwise remain out of charge range of the Forgeguard.
Upkeep Hotshot, 3 focus to the left hand Galleon. The right side Galleon gets Artillerist and Powder Rations before rolling up 4 shots, fires them all at the Night Troll hoping for kind deviations and blast damage rolls. Two of them manage to land on the Runebearer, but he rolls a triple one for the first damage roll and he passed a tough check on the second one. The Night Troll comes out unscathed, the Forgeguard clean up most of the Kriel Warriors, with only the standard and Piper left but they pass their command check. Bart cycles Hot Shot onto the left hand Galleon who opens fire at the knocked down Rok, getting the maximum 6 shots which do average damage, he then hits and drags him in with the Harpoon and he subsequently dies to the auto hitting melee attack. The piper again gives the Forgeguard tough.
Leech all fury, upkeep both spells. Time for my feat turn, losing Rok was a shame but it was important to kill one of his two damage buffers and I felt Rok to be more expendable than the Mauler. Runebearer goes first, giving Harmonious Exaltation to Doomie who pops his feat, is annoying about 1/4 inch away from dropping Rage on Mulg, but also needs to advance closer to the Axer and Mauler, dropping Rage on 1 for 1 fury, and on the other for free. He primal shocks a Forgeguard just to ditch some of the fury to leech back what I am feeling pretty safe to say will be a lot of fury on the board. Krielstone uses +2 ARM and +1 STR and then the Mauler charges the Galleon, wrecking him with his last attack and saving the Axer from having to commit there. He instead walks up to a bunch of Forgeguard and threshers all three of them, killing two out of the three, buying one more attack to kill that last one who had passed a tough check previously. The Night Troll charges two Forgeguard, killing them both and using Allure and then advancing via Refuge behind them all. Mulg charges into the other Galleon and proceeds to wreck him too, killing him with his final attack from his affinity.
That was a bad turn for Bart, he has 3 Forgeguard, Piper, Ragman, Tinkerer and Bart himself left and I have everything except Rok and most of my Kriel Warriors. Bart is forced to charge into and kill the Night Troll so that the remaining forgeguard can actually charge at Mulg. Ragman walks up and puts up Death Field and they charge Mulg, taking about half his boxes off him. Piper walks up to try to block the Axer off and McDougall quad fires a Kriel Warrior, who passes the one tough check he had to make as all the other 3 shots failed to break ARM.
I take all the fury from Mulg and the Axer, the Mauler manages to roll a 3 and pass his threshold test. An unexpected bonus but I will take it, I upkeep Wild Aggression and start with the Runebearer who walks up and uses Harmonious Exaltation on Doomie. The Mauler walks up and eats the Piper, freeing up the way for the Axer to get into the support at the back. He proceeds to do so, walking up and threshing Ragman, two of the three Forgeguard and McDougall. Doomie puts Rage onto Mulg, primal shocks through him to kill the last Forgeguard member and heals Mulg's mind, and Mulg then charges across the wreck of the Galleon into Bart and eats his face off.
Bart can always be a challenge, and a double Galleon list can bring a lot of hurt if you aren't prepared to deal with the armour. I still need to work on my unpacking of the list a little, a few guys got in each other's way turn 1 but that will come with practice. The list worked very well and I am happy with how it plays and the different options it presents.
Kept the army ticking along, throwing out the occasional primal shock and passing around Animi like candy. His feat as usual just gives so much speed to the list that it was game winning.
One rounded a colossal worth double his points, and his animus was useful all over the board. Caber Throwers with Rage do a lot of direct damage, and POW10 collateral is enough to threaten most infantry. Also ate the piper and passed a threshold check, so two thumbs up for that achievement.
Didn't do anything this game, but was used as a sacrificial pawn to kill off Aiyana which by itself justified his sacrifice. Would have been safely behind cover if I hadn't failed to roll a 6+ to kill her with the Caber bowling.
Murdered yet another colossal, tanked three Forgeguard charges and them proceeded to kill an ARM22 Bart without batting an eyelid. Easily justified his inclusion for the caster that I think gives him more than any other caster in the faction.
A steady performance from the Axer, he killed five Forgeguard, McDougall and Ragman and so earned his points back no problem. Never needed rush in this game, but was always an option that the opponent needed to be wary of.
Night Troll: 8/10
Played two key roles in the game. First of all he protected Mulg from being dragged by the second Galleon, and when my feat turn came around the Refuge Allure combo forced Bart to commit to killing him right in front of Mulg because otherwise the Forgeguard couldn't get to Mulg. Major impact.
Kept Doomshaper's fury efficiency ticking over, and actually passed a tough check for once. Quiet but efficient.
Kriel Warriors: 8/10
Steady justified their inclusion over the likes of Warders or Fennblades, Kriel Warrior bowling should have killed Aiyana with below average dice but she survived only to be Primal Shocked to death. Proved to be a pain for the entirety of the game as they usually do.
The Mauler would not have killed the Galleon without the +1 STR aura, as he filled in its final box exactly with his final attack. Other than that, the +2 ARM didn't really do much over the course of the game, but the utility always justifies its inclusion.
Prior to waging war there are five major elements that must be considered in order to make a proper evaluation or game plan to achieve success as a Trollkin General. Before you ever hit the table or even make your army lists there are factors to consider that will make you a more complete player and have you more prepared to expand your horizons in different metas and tournaments:
1) The Moral Law ~ In the Art of the War this is gaining the support of the people. In our game, this is knowing what each of your models does (i.e. know their card and have ample table experience with them.) and be consistent in the way you use them.
2) Heaven ~ Know your area, seriously, the first time I traveled to play this game I went to Seattle. Where I live if it rains you wait five minutes and the storm is over. When I was in Seattle it rained for a few days straight... wish I'd have brought a rain coat. Check the forecast and prepare accordingly, if it is 100 degrees outside don't wear a coat.
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.
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.
Oh crap, sorry about that. Sometimes I just miss those corny intros.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
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.