27 December 2009

MKI comes to a close... is it the end of Broken imbalances?

I have been playing Hordes now for around 2-3 years, sticking mainly with Trollbloods the vast majority of the time.

With the finalization of the MKII rules eminent and the fact that MKI will most likely never ever be played in our LGS again it is time to retire my MKI numbers and start up some MKII stats. The MKII stats will be more inclusive, there will be a column just for me but I will be collecting stats from around ten other Troll players as well. It is sad to step away from this being a personal thing, but in the future the blog will be better for all the Troll players not just me. It appears the broken imbalances will be erased in MKII, but for now we will have to wait and see.

So here they are in all their glory... the numbers!

The first set of numbers is my overall win/loss percentages with each Troll Caster since the first day I picked up the Troll battlebox. In the first months of playing, my poor Trolls almost never ever won, unless you count 8 tough rolls in a row against rKaya on my third or fourth game when my Impaler then moved in and one shot her. Since that time the numbers have been better putting most my averages at almost 70% win. Here is the list.

Army W L D PCT
Cygnar 19 8 0 70.370
Cryx 10 19 0 34.483
Khador 14 3 0 82.353
Protectorate of Menoth 13 3 0 81.250
Mercenaries 3 0 0 100.000
Skorne 15 9 1 60.000
Trollbloods 6 1 0 85.714
Circle of Orboros 9 5 0 64.286
Legion of Everblight 14 4 0 77.778
Warmachine 60 33 0 64.516
Hordes 44 19 1 68.750
Totals 101 51 1 66.013

As you can see I struggled against Cryx ALOT, but there at the end my winning streak of 7 was the second longest streak of my MKI career, then best streak I had was with Grissel, Horthol and Longriders with 11 in a row.

The next set of numbers I started collecting was killing blows. This stat was to keep track of which one of my models ended up with the caster kill. I started collecting them about the time of the release of the Hero and you don't caster kill every win so the numbers are smaller. Here are my results.
Warcaster/Warlock Killing Blows (top 10)

* Trollkin Hero - 10
* Earthborn Dire Troll - 9
* Borka Kegslayer - 7
* Grim Angus - 6
* Troll Impaler - 5
* Trollkin Champions - 4
* Madrak Ironhide - 4
* Grissel Bloodsong - 3
* Dire Troll Mauler - 3
* Mulg The Ancient - 2

As you can see, the Hero took some names. His MKI incarnation was downright brutal the turn after I sacrificed a few Champs to get the Hero into position. My Earthborn also seemed to always get a caster dead or get him close enough for a few Champs or Grim to pick it off afterword. MKII has killed the Heroes assassination capabilities making him more of an infantry killer but the Earthborn and nowadays probably Mulg will gladly fill those shoes.

My last stat was the caster win stats, mainly because I wanted to see how my goto casters did AND because I can't help myself.

Caster W L D PCT
Borka Kegslayer 9 2 0 81.81
Calandra Truthsayer 6 5 0 54.55
Grim Angus 29 12 0 70.73
Grissel Bloodsong 19 7 0 73.08
Hoarluk Doomshaper 1 4 0 20.00
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia 3 5 1 33.33
Madrak Ironhide 26 10 0 72.22
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender 5 2 0 71.43

While Borka owns the best percentage, by and large my favorite two casters to play were rMadrak and Grim. These two presented each end of the spectrum for Troll playstyle in MKI and were usually the best options to keep my opponents on their toes. If they planned for a Brick they had to hope they didn't see Grim. Grissel needs mention as I won a lot with her and she and Borka are my only two first place tourney finishes.

The new numbers should be bigger, better and more inclusive. Some won't be on the blog for a bit, but they will get there. We will have what was there before, but this time we will include not only each caster's win percentage, but their percentages against each faction.

On a side note I am looking for a way to setup on online form where those giving me numbers can input them on their own instead of sending them to me, then I can just open the inputs and update the blog. If anyone has that expertise they are willing to lend it would be fantastic.

Also I would like to welcome a few new authors to the Scrum. The ever popular and insightful Sevwall is a very experienced Troll player and is quite active on the PP forums. Kaptain Von is a newer Troll player than spends much of his time on the dark side of the game over in Cryx land and will provide an excellent point of view about Trolls. I have always thought Cryx to be the army that is most like Trolls, though many will say it is Menoth or Khador. And finally Josh Gardner a.k.a General Nemo from the PP forums, he has typically been what I would refer to as 'The Voice of Reason' on the forums. I am still looking for a couple more to contribute here if anyone wants a place to post Troll musings AND announce upcoming events in their local LGS.

12 December 2009

Ave! duci novo, similis duci seneci...


My name is Von, or at least I answer to that name on the Internet, and I'm a recovering Trollblood hater. I used to play Trollbloods (back when Primal first came out... ahh, the memories) and quite enjoyed throwing down with the battlebox, but I fell foul of the received wisdom that said you had to take the same boring, stodgy, slow-moving army in every game and fell out with the faction for a while, somewhere between Evolution and Metamorphosis.

What I've seen of Mark II has convinced me to come back. The Whelps, the Thumper and the Pyg Bushwhackers have convinced me that there's enough viability in running more warbeasts and ranged pieces around the mutually supportive melee core. I'm not going to pretend that the Trollbloods are a 'ranged faction', but I'm not going to bore myself by taking only melee pieces and spending the first three rounds of each game slogging forward and removing casualties and doing nothing else either.

I'm determined not to play the Trollbloods the same way I played them last time (Champions + Krielstone + Impaler + Axer + Mauler + Fell Caller + a warlock of my own choice, the only thing in the list that ever changed), and to actually learn how to paint tartan this time.

While I'm here I'm going to be writing about: my fonder memories of the Trollbloods from Mark I; my long-standing love of trolls and trollkin in the IKRPG; experiments in colourschemes and the like; eventual reports on actual games and the transition into Mark II; and other stuff. Stuff tangentially connected to Trollbloods in some way, shape or form.

Let's see how this works out.

06 December 2009

Madrak Ironhide: The Thornwood Chieftain and You

By Josh Gardner (PG_General Nemo)
Madrak Ironhide has been an iconic character for Trollbloods since the start of HORDES, having solidified the infamous “Brick” as our primary mode of victory (Supposedly) early on in HORDES MK I. The power of our chief “Brick” warlock, however, has increased thanks to the release of Metamorphosis and HORDES MK II Field Test. I am writing today to muse over the newer incarnation of Ironhide, and put forth some ideas for making him a tournament winning warlock.
First, we’ll have to look at his raw stats:
Ironhide is a fast little trollkin with his 6” of movement, and this helps him keep up with his advancing troops. The importance of this is obvious, of course, since he prefers to stay close to the front of the fight. Eight strength makes him fairly high powered in the realm of warlocks, and he wields it well with his moderate MAT and RAT scores. His DEF is hittable at 14, and his ARM is far from unsurpassable by moderate POW attacks, but looking at any Trollblood stat in a vacuum is fruitless, since our faction relies on stat improvement to get the job done much of the time
Ironhide’s Fury is a low 5, but thanks to the newly updated Field Test rules for Frenzying (Found HERE), this is less of a problem. He still can’t run more than three warbeasts safely, and certainly no more than a single heavy, without a pack of Whelps to give them some Comfort Food. Overall, I don’t find his low Fury stat to be inhibiting, and I do not find myself needing (Though we all want) more Fury when I carefully plan my turn.
The Chief has access to a few choice abilities that help define his play style and keep him alive long enough for a devastating feat turn. His Talisman of Subdual stops full tilt beast assassinations on Madrak, preventing the winged monstrosities of Legion from spearing him from across the table (With a charge, anyway). While situational, players will definitely be thankful for this ability in Claw and Fang scenarios or any time Madrak is on the ropes against enemy warbeasts. A far more commonly used ability can be found in his Scroll of Grindar’s Perseverance, which will also help in thwarting assassination attempts on Ironhide. Lastly, Critical Grievous Wounds is Madrak’s ace in the hole. Combined with his thrown Rathrok attack, Madrak can assassinate warlocks from a distance, getting a P+S of up to 19 that can’t be transferred.
Madrak’s stats and abilities are not what make him great. What gives this warlock his edge is his spell list:
Carnage is perfect for Ironhide’s force composition, which usually consists of melee troops with moderate MAT scores. This spell bumps them up to levels of accuracy comparable to warcasters like the Butcher of Kardov, or legendary swordsmen like High Paladin Dartan Vilmon. This spell is great for Madrak’s feat turn, letting his troops become hyper-accurate killing machines! Its high cost, however, means that using it will limit Ironhide’s ability to transfer damage, which is somewhat mitigated by his Scroll of Grindar’s Perseverance.
Madrak’s signature spell, Sure Foot, has gotten a bump in efficiency in the MK II Field Test. Now that Sure Foot is an upkeep spell, Madrak has more Fury to spend on attacks, animii, and his newfound best friend, Carnage. The increase in defense helps a lot of our low defense troops avoid the attacks of common troops and forces warbeasts and warjacks to use much needed resources to kill them. The universal presence of Tough in our troops, coupled with the knockdown prevention of Sure Foot, makes our troops survivable, particularly Kriel Warriors with Stone-Forged 4+ Tough.
Last is also a signature spell of Ironhide’s: Stone Fall. Many have touted this spell as useless, and I disagree. While situational, I hardly think a spell that knocks enemy models down in an AoE useless. I would gladly invest 4 Fury on a boosted Stone Fall to try and knock down a group of models that stand between me and my mark. This spell has the major drawback of being fairly inaccurate thanks to Ironhide’s Fury stat of 5, but the spell is not without its uses.
Madrak Ironhide’s most important asset, in my opinion, is his feat, Crusher. With the long list of accuracy and damage increasing abilities that Trollbloods have access to, and the large number of warbeasts with reach, this feat can be absolutely devastating to enemy troopers. The limiting factor here, though, is his small control range. This requires that Madrak be close to the action, but this does not necessarily make him more vulnerable.
Army Composition
Madrak has weaknesses, most of them involving his low Fury stat, but he relies on his army and his feat to make his already impressive forward momentum into a devastating push. Next, I will detail some of the specific models that I like with my Ironhide lists.
The MK II Field Test Axer is the one model, if I had to pick, that I truly wish to stay the same in the final rules. At 6 pts., the Axer is a steal: MAT 6, Reach, Thresher, and arguably one of the most useful animii available to Trollbloods. Combined with Carnage, this warbeast can hack through troops like a hot knife through butter. Rush is the main draw here, letting the Axer or our other heavy hitters get the jump on the enemy. The Axer is in absolutely every Ironhide army I play, and that is because he is Madrak’s best friend.
Mulg the Ancient, while disliked by many in the Trollblood community, is a marvelous addition to Ironhide’s armies. Mulg performs two roles in an Ironhide list, unlike similar heavies like the Earthborn and Blitzer. First, he is a tank that can cause huge amounts of havoc in one on one fights against warbeasts and warjacks. Secondly, he is an infantry lawnmower with the help of “Are You Gonna Eat That,” Carnage and Crusher. This gives him plenty of extra movement to charge, engage and eliminate enemy troops, as well as destroying hard targets. With Carnage bumping him up to MAT 9, he only needs to buy attacks and sometimes boost damage against key targets.
Everyone loves the Impaler, and his benefit is obvious in any army: He slams things. In an Ironhide army, though, he helps the Chief with his favorite trick, the thrown Rathrok assassination (Or, “Chop and Drop,” as I like to call it). Another great use for the Impaler, though, is as a melee troop-killer under the effects of Crusher. With Carnage boosting the Impaler’s MAT to 7, he rarely needs to boost against troopers to kill them.
Alternate choices for his battlegroup are rarely poor, with elemental immunities, Shield Guard and damage bonuses always being helpful, but I cannot stress enough that Ironhide needs a heavy hitter to counter enemy warjacks and heavy warbeasts. Without it, he has to rely on his troops to take down hard targets, which is a dubious task against many factions that can prevent the big push that the Trollbloods need to accomplish this.
Another must for an Ironhide list is a Trollkin Hero. Why, you ask? MAT 8, Reach, Cleave, Weapon Master, Relentless Charge; These are all great abilities individually, but no model combines them quite like the Hero. This model is practically built for Crusher, even having a backup attack in case of a poor attack or damage roll! Weapon Master means he can bring down units like Man-O-War and Cataphracts as well as squishy high defense troopers (Thanks to that MAT 8 and Carnage). At least one goes in every Madrak list I bring, and a second one at higher point levels is a fantastic choice.
For troops, Fennblades are my first choice, thanks to reach and moderate P+S weapons. Their low pt. cost allows them to be a core screen of troops for Ironhide without taking away from the tools of the army. Kriel Warriors also come to mind, since they benefit from greater speed, but lack speed when they pray for accuracy and power, and vice versa. The point investment for Kriel Warriors is also greater, but the survivability is greater compared to Fennblades. The choice is one of personal preference, since both can really shine with Ironhide.
Champions are another obvious choice, and are a great backup from breaking hard targets, not to mention they are harder to kill as a general rule. I recommend these for the traditional “Brick” army build that is centered (Literally and strategically) on the Krielstone Bearer and Sure Foot, but not for a forward Crusher build.
Support models are plentiful to Trollbloods. Any of them are viable, but some are limiting factors. I dislike the Krielstone Bearer in my MK II Ironhide lists, since the change to Sure Foot allows him to fire and forget the spell and not stick right where he is. It is helpful, but restrictive to your movement. The Stone Scribe Chronicler is a great addition with the inclusion of reach warbeasts, and allows your troopers to have some serious damage output. Charge of the Trolls also potentially makes Scattergunners a nice utility unit for the otherwise single-minded warlock. The Fell Caller is a nice solo for Madrak as well, having high speed, two base attacks and weapon master. On top of that, he has his trademark Fell Calls, but that is icing on the cake for this beatstick.
In summation, I think that with practice and correct army composition, Madrak Ironhide’s non-epic incarnation is a potentially potent warlock with the ability to dominate the field in close combat. His major weakness lies in his low fury stat and vulnerability to ranged attacks (Or rather, a lack of support for the models that would counter them). It’s important to look at Madrak for what he is: A troop killer. It is also important to make sure that an army is composed to cover his weaknesses. I see nothing on this warlock that I would like changed in the Field Test, save for a higher Fury stat, but that is just a dream I doubt will be realized. Play the game, Trollkin, and have fun!

01 December 2009

Arc-Nodes ~ Part 2

So the poll results have been in for a while.  According to the 24 that voted, the best arcnode in the game is Thorn with nine votes.  Second place belongs to the Revenger and Deathripper and third is owned by the Phoenix.

Being a numbers guy, using the MKII pdf all the Warmachine arc-nodes stats were put on a spreadsheet so I could rank them.  My criteria was simple, offense was unimportant to me as I wanted to analyze only their effectiveness as an arcnode.  So I ran the numbers under three different base attack numbers and ranked them according to their ability to take a hit and still be able to function as a node.  Again I did not take into account any offensive abilities only defensive, and I did not take into account that the node can't be used in melee.  After I did that I compared to point cost to arc-node survivability to see which one was the best for its points. Here is what I found.

1 ~ Pheonix ~ Rebribution
2 ~ Lancer ~ Cygnar
2 ~ Revenger ~Protectorate
4 ~ Chimera ~ Retribution
5 ~ Deathripper ~ Cryx
5 ~ Nightwretch ~ Cryx
7 ~ Thorn ~ Cygnar
8 ~ Renegade ~ Magnus Mercs
9 ~ Blessing of Vengeance ~ Protectorate
10 ~ Defiler ~ Cryx
11 ~ Guardian ~ Protectorate

What it boiled down to was whether or not the arc-node could stand to take much of hit and/or stay out of harms way.

Take a good hard look at the Phoenix folks, its a monster, due to its force field you can't take out the node with one well placed hit... just not gonna happen so you'd better have a couple attacks ready to finish the job or it will finish you and then get channeled through again.

In the percentages the Phoenix only barely, and I mean barely beat the Lancer.  While Thorn is essentially the same, when you factor in point cost, if your just looking for a node there is no comparison.  Cheap and maneuverable the Lancer plays its role as a node quite well, along with Set defense and quite good armor with its shield.

Other nodes of note, and Many Cryxians would agree their nodes are not the best.  They are far from the worst however.  Unless of course you look at the Defailer!  Seriously though, out of all the factions Cryx is still most likely to bring them just for the node over anyone else which makes their middle of the road place in the line make them Cry.  Out of all of the nodes they are among the hardest to hit and the cheapest to field but if you do hit one, its lights out.  The only reason the Defiler is so low on the list is becuase of the cost.  I ran one sheet putting the Ripper at 3 instead of four and I can see why Privateer Press didn't do it.  But that is a flaw in thier new point system more than anything else.

Bottom of the Barrel as far as nodes are concerned, yup Protectorate's own Guardian.  The Blessing of Vengeance was quite low too, but lets face it, the BOV has some serious offense to offer any Menoth player.  The Guardian on the other hand with its high cost isn't really a good choice if your bringing him for the node.  Protectorate players would probably be better off bringing the Revenger for a taste of a good arcnode.  But if you like the Guardian, like the BOV, the node is more of a perk and not the reason you bring them.

For a numbers guy this one was fun do to, someday I will figure out a way to factor in offense of the jack along with the usefulness of the node but its a bigger fish than I have time to fry.

PP forums discussion can be found HERE.  For a lengthy spreadsheet pm me on the forums.

Sevwall's Fieldtest Thoughts: Warbeasts

My thoughts on each model as it is now in MKII, with potential Feedback possibilities if the model fails to live up to my expectations. I will try to evaluate all models as if it were the only rules they ever had, unless I am suggesting feedback, in which case I reserve the right to draw on old rules. I will revisit this later on.

Models I have not played with are left blank

Models rated 1 to 5.
1 = Total Junk
2 = Underpowered
3 = Balanced
4 = Overpowered
5 = Broken

Mauler – 3
Perfect. Expensive, but with a killer animus and capable of trashing most heavies in a turn, especially if he gets his own animus thrown on him. Great stats. Good chain attack. Pretty close to perfect, ina balanced way

Possible Feedback: None

Blizter – 3
Another model that I feel is fine. I will say that I think its high time they standardized all of our heavies at 5 fury, but I would really hate it if his points increased, so I’m fine with 4. The ability to charge and boost is extremely good, especially since instead of riling he can just boost shots at people and hope for a hit. And if he hits, a boosted 13 can really put some hurting on, well, anything. Two handed throwing a model (maybe your own) followed up by a boosted 13’s and 0-2 additional unboosted 13’s is a pretty cool and efficient way to end a game. Again, he suffers for his cool ranged junk with reduced, but still effective, melee potential.

Potential Feedback: Make his animus push people 3”, to standardize it with ‘bump’ and affect people with reach. That, or make it cost 1.

Eathrborn – 3
We have some pretty balanced heavies. At the cost of 1 point, he trades the reliability of the Mauler’s animus for the ability to steal the POW of opponents weapons. This will easily get him to P+S 17 or higher against most heavies, so unbuffed he exceeds the Mauler, minus the chain attack. He is also a pathfinder, and has a great animus, which he gets inbuilt. He is incredibly versatile, and well worth the extra point over the mauler while being a completely different type of model. A wonderful way to create diversity in a faction

Possible Feedback: None.

Mulg – 3 (Flawed)
Mulg is an interesting model. He has the distinction of being one of the few models almost guaranteed to kill [I]anything[/I] in his melee range, almost more so than a buffed Mauler. Reach is incredible, as is his MAT and the P+S on his weapons. The main problem comes with his SPD, which is very slow at 4, and AYGTET (Are You Going To Eat That) makes up for it in a way that is quite possibly broken. You see, AYGTET is a nifty cornercase thing, and its hard to trigger it yourself because tough will screw you up a decent amount of the time. In come the whelps. With poor DEF and no tough, they easily trigger AYGTET. So, Mulg moves 4”, and starts charging around corners 16”, which is a problem.

So remove it, and give him snacking, right? Well, no, because then he is lackluster. Sure, he kills things, but he costs a ton, isn’t too much more survivable than a Mauler, and has an animus that is possibly the worst in the game.

So he is a 3, because overall he is both underpowered and overpowered, like two huge weights on a balance beam, and as such sort of balances out. But he could be tweaked to be a balanced model

Possible Feedback: Remove AYGTET for snacking. Increase SPD by 1. Change Runebreaker animus to be a 3” ‘disenchant’ that causes Enemy Animi and Enemy Upkeeps within 3” of the caster of the animus to immediately expire. He gets a bit better overall, gets a real animus that is worth paying heavy points for, and loses the insane threat range while still retaining a threat advantage over normal trolls.

Axer – 4
Okay, reach thresher on a MAT 6 beast with POW 15 is a touch over the top. Just a tiny, tiny touch. The real problem is Befuddle, because in combination with an Axer, you can arrange units in semicircles and get an axer a backstrike thresher at MAT 8 ignoring shieldwall. Pop the feat and you cannot miss DEF 14 or less with this tactic. Add a Mauler animus and there is hardly a unit you will not completely remove from the table.

But enough about that. The axer by himself is almost fine. Its not the beast so much as the animus that really puts him into ‘always take’ territory. But that’s just because it’s an animus that fits us so well, its not really a broken animus. So he is fine. Mostly. Boy this one rambled.

Possible Feedback: Reduce POW of the axe by 1. He is less effective at killing heavies, but not much else.

Bouncer – 3
Its funny. He hasn’t done much in my games, but his reassuring presence makes me fear range much less. Personally, I’ve stopped taking him so much, because I’ve been facing more melee lists that ranged lists. But in a tournament I might take one to help guard my caster. Bump is a slightly underpowered animus because most opponents can position around it, but its acceptable. He hits well enough for a light. Another all around good beast.

Possible Feedback: Increase POW of shield by 1. Tiny tweak to make him a bit more palatable.

Pyre – 3
Well, I’m less happy giving this guy a 3, but his animus is okay, he automatically sets people on fire in melee and at range, and he hits well enough in melee, especially if you buff him. Solid. Just Solid.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. You will get used to this feedback.

Slag- 2
Possible Feedback: +1 RAT. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. He is also not quite as nice as an Axer. The extra STR does not do much for him over his cheaper bretheren. That said, his animus is the same as the Pyre, so if you are expecting heavier targets, take him, and if not, take the Pyre.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT, +1 ARM. If he is going to be a 6, lets make sure he earns it.

Winter – 2
Again, lackluster. Not bad, just meh. Really, for a ranged beast, this guy really has trouble hitting broads and barns and whatnot. The inbuilt stationary effect is quite good at preventing jacks, beasts and casters from targeting the Winter troll. Luckily for them, his bad DEF and ARM make it easy to whittle him down at range enough that a single charge attack will waste him. He just needs a little tweek to be okay.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT, -1 point. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. Why is this guy 6 when the winter is 5? Is auto-stationary really all that much better than auto-fire? One kills infantry, one stops models. Seems almost a wash for me, especially after playing him a few times. He drops just as fast as a Pyre. He should cost the same amount.

The Animus Conundrum – 2
So, the Slag and the Pyre have the same damn animus. The difference between crit fire and crit corrosion is so unnoticeable and meaningless that is only bears mentioning so that I can summarily dismiss it.

I get two beasts with the same animus. Both the Brute and the Protector have Safeguard. But they are in different factions. In a game where animus are important and influence what beasts you take (See: Axer) having two similar beasts (all arounders) with the same animus is so very strange. Why exactly would you take the Pyre and the Slag in the same list? If you do, why should you be punished for it by being deprived of another animus? If the animus is so critical that you double up, you damn well double up, or take Bone Grinders so that you have a backup.

One of them needs to lose the animus. Ironically enough, I think Acidic Touch works better on the Slag than Flaming fists work on the Pyre. So I’m thinking the Pyre should lose his animus for something else,

What should it be? Well, I’m not lucky enough to be a designer (yet… hire me!) so its not really in my prevue to create an entire new animus. But if the Slag is anti-heavy, and so is his animus, then it makes sense to give the Pyre an anti-troop animus. I like the idea of giving “It Burns” out as an animus. But again, I am not a designer.

Tommorrow…. Maybe nothing! But maybe Units.

30 November 2009

Sevwall's Fieldtest Thoughts - Warlocks

My thoughts on each model as it is now in MKII, with a list of potential Feedback possibilities if the model fails to live up to my expectations. I will try to evaluate all models as if it were the only rules they ever had, unless I am suggesting feedback, in which case I reserve the right to draw on old rules. I will revisit this later on.

Models I have not played with are left out.

Models rated 1 to 5.
1 = Total Junk
2 = Underpowered
3 = Balanced
4 = Overpowered
5 = Broken

Madrak - 3
Seems quite acceptable. Surefoot is a spectacular defensive spell, and as an upkeep it allows him to send people off under its effects without having to recast it every turn. Stonefall is a poor offensive spell, but really his axe is all he needs to affect things at range.

I am undecided if he needs any changes. I feel like he needs reach, but that may just be wishful thinking. I’m going to say he is probably fine as is.

pHoarluk - 2
Wow, he has really turned into a true denial caster. Purification is a nice ability, especially since it can remove animi now, and there are some nice defensive animi out there. Past that, he seems nice if a little underwhelming. He works well with beasts via Goad, but his offensive potential is very limited, and Death Sentence and Stranglehold are very short ranged for him. One major problem is that he needs to recast his upkeeps when he Purifys, and that he is often out of easy range to recast his spells. So range is a problem, and he is a tad underpowered…..

Possible feedback: Something as simple as a bond that turns a beast into a channeller seems reasonable. It lets him effect the battle without putting himself at too much personal risk. Since his repetoire of offensive spells is limited, this should not swing him over into the ‘too good’ range.

Borka – 2
Borka is a weird one. Obviously Mosh Pit is hugely powerful. He gets an extra fury each turn through the keg carrie. Yet he seems… lacking. Boring maybe. Bum Rush is very hard to pull off, since it is much, much more limited that Counter Charge in that you have to move in a straight line. Cooler may as well be blank for all you will cast it. Yet he isn’t really bad in any way. Just slightly lacking. He seems to be geared towards beasts, yet has such little capability to run them.

Possible Feedback. Forget the pseudo Fury 6 from Keggy, just make him a 6. It helps him run the beasts than his feat and his spell list want. Keggy would lose Top up, and gain nothing in return. This keeps it as a small buff. Keggy would then have a sigular, but important purpose.

eMadrak - 3
Played with him a few times. He seems alright, just fine really. He is one of the two casters who seem to make Mulg a bit over the top. But Warpath is otherwise cool, he threatens nicely in melee with his big axe and even a possible Vortex of Destruction. The feat still rocks.

Possible Feedback: He wouldn’t be broken with reach. If pMadrak gets it, eMadrak would too.

eHoarluk - 3
What can I say? He is fun now, he has a cool but not crazy spell list. Wild aggression is a huge buff, but Warmachine shows how balanced it is. Refuge is simply cool. The only real issue is the feat. If you do not have a turn where you can charge (as happens in games vs fast opponents or opponents with shutdown feats) you do not have a feat…..

Possible feedback: The feat should grant +3” of movement regardless of whether you charge or not. Aside from that it seems fine.

Calandra – 4
We run into a problem here. Calandra is fine. She really is. Not overpowered. But Befuddle is. It is the answer to every problem you can face on the field. Unit? Turn them around to give you backstrikes and prevent them from charging. Or just clump them and send an axer or a scattergunner to wipe them out in a single attack. A possible 20” threat on the spell (Rush + Bonegrinders.. its even further if you charge) is just a little too much for this crazy spell.

The rest of it is fine. Her new feat was a stroke of genius,

Posssible Feedback: Befuddle at RNG 10 is too much. Make it RNG 8 again.

That was the easy part. Tommorrow….. Warbeasts!

Fury, Trolls, and the Hordes MK II Field Test

By Josh Gardner (PG_General Nemo)

PhotobucketAs a Trollblood player and frequent reader of the Privateer Press Trollblood Discussion Forum, I am used to hearing complaints about my beloved faction. I hear anything from “We are too slow!” to “We don’t have fury management!” and I must say that I am disappointed not in my faction, but the doomsayers who yell outright fallacies and conjectural falsehoods about our brothers in blue, and I am here to dispel these illusions.

First, we address the “issue” of fury management. I will lay this out clearly for my readers, and they may not like what I have to say, but it is my view on the subject: There is no such problem with Trollbloods. A lack of a unit like Paingiver Beast Handlers or a solo like the Forsaken does not at all put at as at a disadvantage. The first argument I will hear after stating this is that we have too many low Fury warlocks for our high Fury warbeasts. My answer is “So what?” Just because your Dire Troll Mauler has 5 Fury, it does not mean you must force all of it, and if you do, it is because you really need to hurt something. Chances are, thanks to that high Fury warbeast, that its target is dead. If he is likely to frenzy, it is the responsibility of the player to compensate by either making sure that when it frenzies it attacks an enemy model, or that the warlock, low Fury or high, has as much room for that Fury as possible. If the warlock can’t hold it all despite its best efforts, he or she should prepare for the worst case scenario and do both. I have no sympathy for those who have a problem doing this, because it is in their power to prevent it. You made a simple math error? Fine. I do that too. You gave all your warbeasts way too much Fury for your chosen warlock to handle responsibly? Then you should expect them to frenzy.

Immediately, the next argument will follow: “Why should I have to try so hard to keep my beasts from frenzying when all other factions have a way to deal with this?” Well, Circle lacks the ability to manipulate Fury and Threshold outside of specific warlocks, so that leaves only Legion and Skorne who have a consistent way of dealing with high Fury loads. The answer to the aforementioned question, however, is that we pay for having the most five Fury heavy warbeasts of any faction in Hordes. We have The Dire Troll Mauler, The Earthborn Dire Troll and Mulg the Ancient, all of which are frequent fliers in Trollblood lists. Skorne has only one five Fury warbeast: The Titan Bronzeback (I exclude Molik Karn in this for sake of consistency), and it is arguably less common in Skorne lists, in MK I or II. Circle has no five Fury warbeasts, and neither does Legion. So, we have an even simpler answer to this question of ours: Because it is how we are built as a faction. We pay a frenzy tax on our warbeasts, and it is a fair one in my opinion.

More boosted attacks always equal more dead enemy models, especially with the speed (Rush, Barroom Blitz, Scroll of Grimmr, Goad, Warpath, etc.), power (Rage, Acidic Touch, Fists of Flame, Stone Strength, Charge of the Trolls, etc.), and accuracy (Carnage, Charge of the Trolls, Wild Aggression, Fate Blessed, Good Omens, Barroom Blitz, etc.) that our warbeasts can bring to the table, along with a litany of free slam, charge and knock down effects. Our heavies are deadly, very, very deadly, and potentially frenzying after going all out is definitely not a problem when all these are factored in.

Do not get me wrong, though, there are problems with Trollbloods, but Fury management is not one of them. What the Trollblood community as whole needs to do is throw aside what they wish they could have in their models, throw away what they miss about the models they have purchased, painted and played since the release of Hordes, and take a step back. Look at Hordes MK II, regardless of your faction, and judge it as though you were seeing it for the first time. Instead of complaining about how the Field Test is not living up to their expectations, play the damn game, fellow Trollkin. It will be difficult, it will be tough, but that is what defines our faction! Play games, give clear, reasoned feedback, and most of all have fun!

28 November 2009

Sevwall, Reporting In!

Hello, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Sevwall over at the Privateer Forums. I tend to write big long articles about casters, and slightly shorter (but still long) articles about the rest of the models in the faction. I will be contributing Material here for the foreseeable future.

I'm not positive, but I may also post a big long compilation of the Feedback that I send in at some point, so that may be the next you hear from me. Talk to you later.

23 November 2009

Wanted -- Trollblood writers.


Looking for a few good Trolls.  This blog needs more Trollblood goodness.  I need someone to help me with a complete listing of MKII caster and Trollblood tactics.  Co-Authors will assist in helping me write a more complete set of tactics, lists and impressions on how to use each Trollblood model to its fullest.  Things I want to accomplish in the upcoming months.
  • Complete a set of tactics with the new MKII models.
  • Help maintain and update statistics of performance versus other armies.
  • Post battle reports from your local leagues.
  • Post events and results from your local leagues.
  • Other random impressions on Trollblood stuff.
  • Even a little bit of other faction items.  But mostly Troll stuff.
If you are interested please send me a PM on the Privateer Press Forums to theummhmmguy. Or send me an E-Mail  If you do want to post to this blog as a co-author there are a few things I will require.

  • Try to post once a week
  • Trollblood Battlereports
  • Any fluff or imaginary models you might have made.
  • Trollblood model tactics.
  • Upcoming events from your local meta
  • Event results
  • Game statistics from when your Trolls play including the caster you played, the caster you played against, and the model that achieved the killing blow.
  • No adult content PG-13 or better please. 
As a final note, any co-authors that do want to post I will do my best to implement any ideas and suggestions you might want added to the blog but I will maintain Chief-Editor status.

Grim's Gunners

Grim could feel something different in the world around him but couldn't quite pinpoint it.  He of course had bigger issues at hand, with two separate Cygnar armies approaching.  He looked through is scope at one of them lead by a very old, very capable looking man. He knew Nemo instantly though he had never met the man.  His army was co-ordinated and very precise though they looked more relaxed, "Nemo would surround himself with veterans," Grim mumbled under his breath.  He swiveled his scope the other direction to take a look at the other group of Cygnar's warriors.  A mounted man he had met and barely defeated in battle only once before.  He had with him a handful of jacks including one that made Grim shiver just a little.  Though he couldn't place the casters name, he knew a Hunter when he saw one.  As he watched the two separate armies array themselves against him he caught a glimpse of something in the mounted caster's eye... yes he saw it in Nemo's almost saddened expression.  One of the two Cygnar caster's was a fake.  Some dropout journeyman with some potential, but unable to pass the final tests to become the leader Cygnar wanted.  Grim nodded to himself and decided which one of the two he thought was a phony and set his army in motion. "Cannonball," Grim said to his battle-hardened Earthborn, "I found some jacks for you to smash, you wanna go get em?"  Cannonball grinned and started off in anticipation of one of his favorite games... Beating up on Warjacks.

In what will probably be our last MKI match ever, only three people showed up for game night so we decided to play 500pt armies against each other.  I rolled highest with Grim and opted to go first, Nemo went second and Kraye went third.  Our armies to the best of my knowledge.

Faction: Trollblood TR
Points: 495
Model Count: 9
Victory Points: 18

Grim Angus Points: 76
Troll Axer Points: 72
Troll Impaler Points: 75
Earthborn Dire Troll Points: 125
Alten Ashley, Monster Hunter Points: 32
Rorsh Points: 100
Brine Points: 0
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew [2] Points: 15

Faction: Cygnar CG
Points: 499
Model Count: 9
Victory Points: 17

Captain Jeremiah Kraye Points: 87
Hunter Points: 88
Lancer Points: 76
Ironclad Points: 103
Gun Mage Captain Adept Points: 32
Journeyman Warcaster Points: 25
Major Katherine Laddermore Points: 59
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios Points: 29

Faction: Cygnar CY
Points: 498
Model Count: 26
Victory Points: 19

Commander Adept Sebastian Nemo Points: 75
Squire Points: 18
Thorn Points: 93
Gun Mage Captain Adept Points: 32
Journeyman Warcaster Points: 25
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team [3] Points: 77
Sword Knights [6] (0 added) Points: 56
Sword Knight Officer & Standard Bearer [2] Points: 27
Alexia Ciannor Points: 52
Thrall Warrior Points: 0
The Risen [6] Points: 0
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [2] Points: 43

Okay let me stat of by saying that I made these pics a few days after the game, so exact distances and movement may not be totally on.  At least you can get an idea of the flow of the game from them.  I will put some blurbs in but will for the most part only put in deaths and some pivotal attacks in the turn listings.

Deployment - Trolls went fist and I deployed in the middle of my side with Nemo to my right and Kraye to my left.

Turn 1 - DeathsAlten Tr KILL pEiryss Cg

Alten turned an winked a Grim, he knew of course that he couldn't normally shoot that far and that Grim had likely helped him.  They respected each others ability of course, and both of them could handle themselves, but that didn't stop them from competing one with another.  Not to be outdone by that wiley Troll ablino he set his sights again on the next target sensing Grim's help again he still knew hitting his target was all up to him.
Turn 2 - Deaths
Alten KILL Tr Journeyman Cg
Holt Cy KILL Laddermore Cg
Lancer, Ironclad CG KILL Brine Tr
Gun Mage CG KILL Thrall Cy

Eager to help as much as Alten did, Rorsh sent Brine running in.  No matter how hurt his big friend got he always seemed to survive when the battle was over, "Let us make Cannonball wish he got there first eh Briney, go take a hit and then take him down."

Turn 3 - Deaths
Brine Tr 2-Shots Ironclad Cg
EBDT Tr 2-Shots Lancer Cg
Kraye Cg HITS Alexia KILL 3 undead Cy
GunMage Cr KILL Thrall Cy

Cannonball did think too much, but he did think that stupid pig deserved to be out of the fight while he finished off the other jacks... They were his to smash, but he would let the pig have one at least.

Turn 4 - Deaths
Grim Tr - Alexia Cy
Impaler Tr KD Officer and SK Cy
B13 Cy KILL Gobber
Gun Mage Cy KILL Gun Mage Cg
Kraye KILL Holt Cy

Nemo thought to outflank Grim while he dealt with what must be a Kraye imposter,  Nemo would let them beat each other up a bit before he fully comitted his forces to the fight. The Gun Mage next to him said in alarm just as Nemo himself noticed what was happening, "That Troll has literally crushed him and our forces are unable to engage him, we may be too late sir." Nemo just scowled at him, he had lost some initiative but his sword knights were more than capable of taking down those beasts of Grim's.  His respect for that Troll has just increased however, his reputation for being a true hunter of men was becoming quite apparent. "We will hold because we must, but when the Trolls spell fades we will cut him off from his support"  Just as he spoke those words though, Rian of his Black 13th was cut down from Grim's friend in the Tree's... wasn't he supposed to be a beast hunter?

Turn 5 - Deaths
Alten Tr KILL B13 Rian
Axer Tr KILL Sword Knight x2 Cy
Rorsh Tr KILL Sword Knight x1 Cy
Impaler Tr KD Officer KILL SK Cy
B13 Cy KILL Gobber Tr
B13 Cy KILL Rorsh
Hunter Cg BEANS Grim Tr xFer

Turn 6 - Deaths
EBDT Tr KILL Kraye, Hunter deactivates.
Impaler KILL Sword Knight
Axer KILL Sword Knight Standard Unit Flees
B13 Cy KILL Axer

Laying on the dirt wondered what had gone wrong, the imposter Kraye finally realized he was not whom he thought he was.  He had the vague impression of being in a Cryxian ritual in which they made him who he was... but if he was not Kraye, then who was he indeed.  As he choked on his last breath he almost thought he could remember training as a junior to Kraye fresh out of the academy.

Nemo's Gun Mage was bolstered by his own success against the imposter and Nemo's ability to command.  He turned his guns up towards Grim thinking to help put this Troll to an end. As he squinted down his sights he saw Grim's rifle pointed his way...

Having done all he could to help Grim, it quickly became apparent that his last kill would be the end of him. He hunkered down in the trees pretending to be hit by the last shot from a shooter whom he thought might be better than he was.  As he lay hidden in the uderbrush, he realized that his left arm had gone numb and could feel a pool of blood forming around his shoulder, maybe he was out of the fight.  As he drifted into unconsciousness his already high respect for Cygnar grew a little more.

Turn 7 - Deaths
Grim Tr KILL Gun Mage Cy
Impaler Tr KILL Journeyman
EBDT takes out most of Thorn no kill
Nemo Hits Grim for no damage
B13 KILL Alten
B13 Hits Grim xfer to EBDT
Sword Knight Rally
Nemo Flares

Grim still couldn't shake the feeling that something was changing in the very fabric of the world around him.  He shook his head, he was not used to being so easily distracted.  Cannonball roared from the side as he tore into yet another warjack and Grim refocused, this time on Nemo himself.  It would be unfortunate to kill a general of Nemo's ability but he would do what he must.  He leveled Headhunter and fired, watching Nemo stagger but not go down.  As he leveled to fire again lightning blasted into his side.

Nemo was hurt, more than he had been in a long time.  Sending lightning powered by his own invention into Grim he watched the damage melt off him and into his giant Warbeast.  The fight not yet being over, he blasted another bolt towards Grim but missed high.

Turn 8 - Deaths
Impaler misses Nemo
Grim REDUCES Nemo to 2 Damage
B13 misses Grim
Nemo hits Grim for no damage
Sword Knights x2 KILL Impaler

Losing another one of Madrak's Impalers was not going to make him happy.  It was time to end this, he leveled Headhunter at Nemo again and found himself looking Nemo in the eye.  Nemo nodded and signaled his withdraw.  Grim nodded, put down his rifle and used the bond to let Cannonball know the time for fighting was over.  He could hear Cannonballs' roar of protest but knew today's carnage would be enough.  The fight had been costly but he had somehow came up on top.  He saw that Rorsh and Brine though badly hurt were already gone and set off to find Alten.

Turn 9 - Deaths
Grim KILL Nemo

Alten awoke with his head pounding, his foggy eyes began to clear and he focused in on his rescuer.  It was Grim, smiling knowingly, "Good showing Alten, you did quite well today," Grim cuckled, "Have some whelp ale and we will discuss who had the better shots."  Alten grimaced and swallowed down some ale, he knew Grim would poke fun at him for having to rescue him, "sounds like all your doing is hiding in some trees when you should be shooting Cygnarrians.  Don't worry though, I got all the hard targets for you," Alten chuckled and grimaced again at a new wave of pain in his shoulder.  Grim, usually quiet, actually bellowed and then pointed at Cannonball who was wearing the top of a hunter's head for a cap while grinning widely.  They both chuckled at the hulking beast and the three of them set off for Madrak's camp, Grim would have to see if Madrak had felt the strangeness to the world.

19 November 2009

Teach me to paint.

This Decemberl, Thursday the 10th we will be joining all the miniature gamers in our area for some painting tips. Bring your paints, brushes and figs. Come share and get advice on Priming, Washing, Detailing, Assembly, Basing and much more.

We will also be doing Warmachine/Hordes Demos on the 10th as well so if you are interested or need a refresher on the new MKII rules come on in to Phoenix Games & Comics

MKII League 2010

Starting January 7th and going until February 12th. We will be doing a homebrew league every Thursday. Each week will have incentives that can be used for small in game advantages.

Week 1 - Duels - Assassination
Week 2 - Brawl - Objectives
Week 3 - Duels - Scenario
Week 4 - Duo-Duels - Assassination
Week 5 - Brawl - Objectives
Week 6 - Duels - Scenario

I will post more details when we get closer and welcome suggestions from anyone, especially those playing on what will be played.

Grim Takes MKI out with a bang.

In what will most likely be the last Mark I game played with my Trolls we played a three way match pitting a 500 point Grim list vs a 500 point Kraye and a 500 point Nemo, last night.

Needless to say it was a glorious battle full of all the things we love in Warmachine... battle report coming soon.

09 November 2009

Borka vs Seige Battle Report

Not the first time Borka wished his Keg Carrier would stop bathing in their Kegs of Whelp Ale. He had to admit though that it seemed to be bringing him luck. Luck for Borka often meant warriors around him died, but those that fought along his side knew he would always go where the battle was thickest. He crushed another mug of ale and began tapping his mace on his knees... he needed action, this forest was getting boring.

"We have found some enemies," Seige's Gun Mage Captain reported, "a small group of Trolls have wandered too far into our territory sir." Seige didn't dislike the Trolls, in fact he had fought beside them on more than one occaision and found them to be more honorable than most humans. That and the punishment they could both take and dish out in hand to hand combat was downright legendary. His orders were clear however, all invaders to this part of Cygnarian territory were to be eliminated. There was too much secrecy in Cygnar right now. Trolls were nasty in hand to hand combat, which is why he planned to shoot them do death. He signaled his officers, whitout a word they sprang into action. Respect for the Trolls was one thing, but his duty to Cygnar came first.

My Army
Borka Kegslayer
Pyg Keg Carrier
Dire Troll Mauler
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
Trollkin Champions
Fell Caller
Fell Caller
Trollkin Hero
Trollkin Hero
Stone Scribe Elder

His Army (I think)
Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Journeyman Warcaster
Stormguard 10/10?
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator

Our Map was full of terrain with a couple low diagonal walls in the middle with a blocking silo off the middle left. A couple of big forests close on each left side, with a small treeline running up the right side.

Cygnar won the roll and opted to go first.

Cygnar - His Stormguard were right up the middle with his jack, caster and solos right behind them. The B13 lined up along my left flank.
Trolls - Everything in the middle of course. Though two Fel Callers and one Hero did line up accross from the B13.

Turn 1
Cygnar - The B13 headed straight into the forest running to get there. The Stormguard also run right up the middle. Seige shields the SG and moves up and to my right behind them.
Trolls - Champs run to the first low wall in the middle. Both Fel Callers and a Hero run towards the B13 falling a few inches short of melee. Mauler and the other Hero hang back putting the silo in between Cygnar and themselves. Borka casts mosh pit but forgets to hit the Hero in front of the B13 with Bum Rush.

"Hang back you Bone Headed, Sons of Brag." Borka gave his men a free hand, but if they didn't listen to him the few times he had orders for them then he would let them die of their own choices. Seeing the Fel Callers run out into the open to be shot by the Cygnarian Troops was foolish for Battle hardened warriors. Live or die, those three would not be sharing his Ale with him anytime in the near future.

Turn 2
Cygnar - Sure enough my mistake costs me the lives of a Hero and a Fel Caller to the B13. The SG move up just out of range for Champs to charge and stop. Not wanting to kill Kenny Ground Pounder hits the Champs doing little damage. The Gun Mage moves over to shoot at the other Hero behind the Silo and hits him for four damage. Seige leaves the SG shielded and his jack takes a shot at the Mauler but is out of range.
Trolls - Fel Caller stabs Rian to death and is pretty much done, alone with the remaining two B13 means he will probably die on his next turn. Champs run to engage the SG, Borka upkept Mosh pit and moves up hoping to bounce of bomb off the jack and into reinholdt but it misses and drifts intot he SG doing no damage. Borka casts Bum Rush on the Hero and then Kenny LQ's Borka and moves up and in front of him. Stone casts +2 Armor and stands right next to Kenny.

"That Troll looks to be almost the same size as the legendary Slaughterborn," the Journeyman commented to no one in particular. To wich Seige replyed, "I know him, stay back and shoot him if you want to live. His name is Borka, and his ability to smash up his enemies is almost as great as his ability to drink." Seige could see the battle unfolding and knew it to be a rout. Borka's front line was nearly collaspsed, his flanking warriors were destroyed and his beast looked pretty hurt. Accompanied by little losses on his side and it was a bad day for Borka... It looked as though Borka didn't care and was even drinking, and was that little Troll actually bathing in the keg?

Turn 3
Cygnar - The B13 Finish off the last Fel Caller. Gun Mage shoots at the Stone killing the sacrificial scribe behind him. Seige activates and feats but is reluctant to use Ground Pounder near Borka for fear of killing Kenny the Keg Carrier. The jack shoots the Mauler cutting its life in half and the SG kill three Champs one of them making tough, Mosh pit doesnt work as his SG are lined up in two rows.

Borka relized he would be taking matters into his own hands, his Mauler Dave had already suggested it crudely. The Mauler was acutally learning to speak a crude version of the common Troll tongue. "Kenny get out of that Keg and bring me the whole keg," Slaying the Keg he nodded to Dave and once again Borka got a flying lesson.

Trolls - Having lost too many warriors and not killed enough of his stuff I decide its time to go for it. The remaining three Champs kill a few stormguard on the end trying to open a lane for Borka. The Stone moves up as far as is and and Pops the +2 STR aura. Kenny activates and puts LQ on Borka. The Mauler goes next putting Rage on Borka and steps up behind him to throw, Borka nearly Str checks out of the throw but the drift of 2" directly toward the gobber puts him in pefect position. Borka then activates and proceeds to beat Seige's face in, @ POW20 it is dice -1 on damage. Borka boosts to hit on the first attack and does 15 damage on four dice, buys a second attack boosts to hit and damage dealing an additional 14 damage ending it for Seige.

The last thing seige remembered was seeing Borka flying directly towards him through the air, thrown by his Dire Troll. Borka hit the ground running and promptly bashed Siege in the head. Seige was dazed seeing spots before his eyes, he tried focusing on his warcaster ability to aid him but his mind was too fuzzy. As he looked up at Borka he saw the mace coming at him again unable to scramble out of the way everything went black. He awoke in a clearing with waht was left of his army, some Storm Guard and two Black 13 members. "The Gun Mage has left to get help," Lynch said, "They destroyed any who resisted along with our jacks and left us with a small keg of their brew." Seige chuckled and wondered why Borka had left him alive.

Synopsis - Running up the Fel Callers was supposed to be a distraction for the B13 so they could get killed allowing the hero to Bum Rush them. A good tactic IF you remember to cast bum rush. Mosh Pit was useless against a ranged army. I will miss the Borka Bomb in MKII.

03 November 2009


Skegg supposed he was stealthy by Troll standards, but he wasn't so sure that measured up to some of the other races. These Nyss Hunters were fantastic at moving sliently through the woods. As he watched them they rooted out handfuls of Cygnarian scouts with little trouble at all. As he watched them at work, noting the expert ways they handled their bows and claymores, their leader became clear. A Nyss woman whom at first he didn't even notice, was clearly in charge, that and clearly better at everthing than the rest of her unit of hunters. Their leader told them to setup camp right where they were, a bad sign for Skegg since at the moment he was predening to be a rock that one of them had sat on to take watch on the edge of the clearing. He supposed it would be a long night, so he starting trying to learn how many were there and which ones were the best at what they did. As he watched and listened he noticed two others that were with these hunters, but seemed to be working of thier own accord. The first one he had seen, the second he learned of from the Nyss sitting on him.

The first one obviously a Nyss, but young looking, seemed to be constantly muttering to herself constantly. As Skegg watched her begin to practice with her bow it became immediately clear that she was better than most the other hunters with it. She would shoot one arrow at a tree, take a pace back then draw and shoot as quickly as he had ever seen, planting the first arrow directly below the first until there was a long line of arrows down the tree. The man sitting on him began to speak as Skegg cursed under his breath for not noticing another hunter walk up, "She is pretty Cael, but remember how quickly she killed that fellow that attacked her." The other man, Cael, chuckled almost sadly,"yes that one is both pretty and dangerous, but she has proven herself to us. That shooting of hers is probably better than Celena herself." The still un-named hunter sitting on him noted, "Well yes, but her Iosian friend makes them a deadly duo. You are the best I have seen Cael, but that Iosian Kyla would take you apart and not even blink a hint of emotion about it." "I suppose you're right Jeffe, but those soulless are just disconcerting. I can see why the Iosians blame humans for the condition, though I am not sure it is their fault. Anyway, Celena wants to talk to you and it is my watch."

With that the two Nyss men both departed, one walked into the forest and seemed to vanish while the other headed to find his leader. Skegg scanned the encampment but couldn't see the Iosian Kyla, not seeing her with his eyes he stretched out his limited abilities and immdediately found the absence of magical energy. He released his magic and squinted through the dusk finally seeing her, another young looking female this one Iosian sitting perfectly still and showing little emotion at all. As he watched the girl drew two wicked looking blades and began to work through a routine that was both impressive and impossible for a Troll to accomplish.

Skegg began musing about his Troll lineage, it was pretty impressive after all. It was also the reason he was named Kithless. His grandfather was a very good Fel Caller in his day not to mention his prowess with the sword, of course his grandfater also lost his mind, murdered most of of kith and mated with a Pyre Troll and then got eaten by the same Pyre Troll. That child was his mother, and she was a very good mother even though she was a bit of an outcast due to her lineage. She possed all the abilities of both her parents. His other grandfather was just as glorious, he was nothing more than a farmer for his Kith, not a bad way to live working off the land. This grandfather drank too much even by Troll standards, which is impressive to say the least. One evening he went out to investigate sounds coming from his brewbarn and found a very inebriated Slag Troll. It was strange having two grandfathers fall to the same fate, but his father was an interesting Troll, with the Orneryness of his mother and the stupidity of his father dad was a poor one at best. His mother never told him how he was born, and she never would since her father took himself and his mother to Dhunia in a fit of rage one night. It was his father's crimes that labeled him Kithless, and truth be told it was probably a good thing.

He was an interesting Troll for sure. He had some marginal Fel Caller ability, though it was really only good for soothing the lesser of the Troll beasts. It did give him needed help from the occaisional Slag or Pyre Troll when he got in a tight spot. He could fight almost as well as any Fel Caller with two swords, though he had taken to carrying a mace in one hand and a sword in the other. If he was hungry he could eat metal thanks to his grandmothers physiology, though it hurt when he did it. And if he really needed some help he could spit small amounts of molten acid and fire onto his hands or weapons or even at his enemies. He was smaller than most light beasts and half-Trolls, but was suprisingly agile for a Troll. His regeneration was unparralled, it seemed he had all the regeneration of a Dire Troll packed into his smallish frame. It sure made him hungry all the time though.

He wanted to be fighting on the front lines with what he considered to be his Kith and Kriel. When he had went to Grissel to ask if he could fight though, she reminded him of his position with all Kriel. He of course reacted agrily and spit at her tent, forgetting about his spit, it burned her tent down. He decided then and there he would help as best he could from a distance, dispatching Cygnarrian scouts and troops wherever he found them crossing Grissel's West flank. The tiring part about it was hiding from Grissel's troops at the same time. He supposed Grissel was offended that he had any Warcaster and Fel Caller ability at all. He was hardly a warcaster, when compared to the great leaders and Troll shamans in this war his abilities were marginal. Even for a Troll what he was, well it was hard to swallow for most Kriel. Too many of them grouped him into the same categories as Boomhowler for his taste, though he heard that Boomhowler might actually be helping Grissel, it was probably in spite of Grissel.

Skegg's musing were inturrupted by a runner coming into Celena's camp, "Grissel asks that you come to the front immediately, her West flank is collapsing" As the camp of hunters, immediately set off to Grissel's aid Skegg reached out in his mind to his brothers. Bark the Slag Troll and Lit the Pyre Troll did not even need to be asked upon seeing his intentions and were soon heading the same way the Nyss Hunters and their two young friends did. Regardless of Grissel's feelings toward Kitless and bastard Fel Callers, he would do what he could. Besides that, Bark and Lit were sure that Skegg could get his arm cut off and grow it back fast enough to pick his mace back up and kill whatever cut it off. They were determined to give Skegg any opportunity to prove them wrong. As the three of them ran towards the oncoming battle Bark let out his signature Barking Roar and lit just howled, in fact Skegg found himself mimicing their enthusiam...

02 November 2009

Steamroller 4 Results

Fast paced tourney with three rounds ended up with a decent turnout.

Here are our results

1st - McCryx - Cryx
2nd - Jefferson - Legion
3rd - MikeO - Cryx
4th - CB - Cygnar
5th - Taylor - Circle
6th - Adam - Khador
7th - Dustin - Khador
8th - AC - Circle

This January we will start our league, and for the Holidays we will be doing a figure exchange. I will keep you all posted.

For those of you looking for a spectacualr battle report. I will have one for you after this weeks gaming night.

22 October 2009

Steamroller 4 500pts Throw Down

Phoenix Games & Comics
Thursday, October 29th, 6pm - close.

We will be following Steamroller 4 rules with two small modifications.

Turn time lmit will be 7 minutes instead of 10, but the 5 min extension once per game will still be allowed.

Our point system will be as follows:
3pts for a Scenario Win
2pts for a Caster Kill Win
0pts for a Loss or Draw

Best Record wins, points will be used for tiebreakers.

04 October 2009

Mule Painted

So I finally painted something after a long time of painting nothing... well I have been concentrating of playing after all. Actually this piece is something of a commission AND I blew it when I sealed it, though I don't know if this picture shows it. You can see little white flecks all of the front of it giving it an 'Ashy' look to it. Well that is why you ALWAYS give the sealer a little test spray first, then you hit the model with it. So you only get one pic of this one.

29 September 2009

Painting Challenge Winners

Our painting challenge had a great turnout with a handful of good submissions here are the two winners. First the un-modded Vlad, then the modded Mariner...

28 September 2009

Hordes MKII Field Test Date Announced


After nearly a year of restless anticipation, Privateer Press is proud to announce that the HORDES Mk II Field Test will open on November 24th.

The HORDES Mk II field test documents will be available for download from the HORDES Mk II field test site at http://fieldtest.privateerpress.com. Players will need to register on the site in order to provide feedback and download the HORDES field test documents. Registration will open with the release of the HORDES Mk II field test documents at 10:00 am PST, November 24th. Note that players who register for the WARMACHINE Field Test will need to re-register to partake in the HORDES Mk II Field Test.

Following the conclusion of the HORDES Field Test, Privateer Press will release an amended field test document online on January 2, 2010. This document will be adopted as official for all Privateer Press organized play events that include HORDES. The amended document will not be the final version of the rules, but will include some changes made from field test feedback to provide HORDES players with the best rule set possible until HORDES Primal Mk II officially releases in summer 2010.

September 25, 2009

18 September 2009

Arc-Nodes! Part 1

Being a Trolls player my desire for arcnodes are huge. Seeing as how Hordes players don't have them. As a Trolls player an arcnode of anykind would be downright fantastic with some of our shortrange and pretty awesome spells, ManTrap with an arcnode... yes please. So in my first of two posts about arcnodes I will make a spreadsheet comparison of all the MKII nodes. My primary focus stats will be DEF/ARM/SPD/COST and secondary focus stats will be MAT/RAT/ATTACKS assuming zero buffs outside of what they give themselves, throwing in caster buffs is far more than I can handle at this point, maybe its something for in the future. I will not conjecture and theorize specific situations but will focus on general ability to function as designed. For now I will leave you with a poll on the left.

31 August 2009

Painting Competition submissions.

Here are our seven painting competition submissions. Better photos will be posted for our winners. In the mean time click on the poll for all the ones you like the best. The first picture has our unmodded peices and the last two are our modded ones.

Low post count for August

Okay okay I know it. Usually i try to get in one or two battle reports a week, but the last few months with the close of my semester have been brutal. To commemorate my lack of posts I will put up photos from our painting competition later today.

21 August 2009

Grissel vs Seige Summer Rampage kickoff battle

Grissel sat looking at the small Pyre Troll with her, suprisingly it was a female and had been with her since her mate had been taken from her. Smoke and ash rising off her skin the Pyre Troll was in a small island of clear air while the rest of Grissel's army lay shrouded in the cold mist. "We must take the ridge," Grissel grimaced at how well even her most muted commands seemed to carry through the air. Without question her handpicked Champions and their hero's jogged quitely towards thier objective.

For Once Trolls had priority so we played in IOS as per our battleplans. We rolled the Ridgeline scenario and the global effect gave everyone stealth for two rounds. Our map had a small forest and some ruins on his side of the board and a house and hill on my side. He rolled highest and elected to go first.

My List
Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller Points: 70
Pyre Troll Points: 68
Trollkin Hero Points: 38
Trollkin Hero Points: 38
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes [4] (0 added) Points: 34
[*]Stone Scribe Elder [1] Points: 18
Trollkin Champions [5] Points: 106
Trollkin Champions [5] Points: 106
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew [2] Points: 15

His list
Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane
Journeyman Warcaster
Sword Knights
Sword Knight Officer and Standard Bearer
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator

Deployment and Turn 1
Cygnar - He ran his gun mage into the ruins his sword knights up the middle to the ridge with his caster, squire, jack and journeyman up the side of the ruins. The B13 took the other side with A&H.
Trolls - My Champs all ran up the middle with a Hero on each flank. Grissel hoofs the stone and move up behind the Champs with the Pyre on her heels. Gobbers drop smoke on the Champs and stone pops armor.

In a puff of cold smoke the Gun Mage reported to Siege, "The mists obscure their adance, we cannot see them well enough to target them." Un-Impressed Seige stepped up and made the Ground all around the center of the Troll army erupt killing a few and suprising the Troll witch leading them.

Turn 2
Cygnar - Seige moves his battlegroup up a bit and pounds Grissel doing seven damage and killing a couple scribes. Gun mage shoots a scribe who toughs. B13 tries to flare a misses and so cant hit my stealthed stuff. A&H move around the house. Knights charge the Champs but have some really bad dice. and don't do much damage.
Trolls - Grissel feats one unit of Champs kills many many knights. The other units runs and then hoofs it to surround two of the B13 while a Hero charges the third killing him the hoofs towards Holt but is out of range to engage him. The other hero charges up to the defender and kills Reinholdt but misses the gunmage on his backswing. Scribes move up and Gobbers attempt to block A&H with smoke.

Seige made eye contact with Grissel and held up his hands to indicate she had missed him. Watching Holt go around the house and shoot her in the back he had a feeling the Troll witch would soon be dead. As he moved up on them he watched the normally competent Rian blow up her unit along with a few Trolls. He flung a spell at Grissel and watched in unbelief as it sailed wide, and scoffed as the Gun Mage fumbled so badly out of the ruined house he couldn't even get a shot off at Grissel.

Turn 3
Cygnar - Rian toasts three Champs and the rest of her units. Holt goes around the house and gets a bead on Grissel hurting her a little leaving her with seven wounds. Seige halfs everyones armor and tries to kill Grissel but misses rolling three ones. the Defender kills the hero and the Gun mage tries to finish off Grissel but comes up short on range. the last few knights kill a champ and he is done.
Trolls - Pyre Troll frenzies into a couple of sword knights and the champs finish them off securing the objective so I end my turn for the win.

Having taken the ridge Grissel made eye contact with Seige and held her hands up to indicate he had missed. True to form she allowed the remaining Cygnar army to withdraw. It was time for a drink afterall.

Even though Seige could no longer see the Trolls or even the ridge he could still hear the faint song from the Troll witch and had to admit that it entranced even him.