30 January 2010

Mark Two: Squee Post

So, the Mark Two revised post-field test rules things are out, and that means it's time for someone who hasn't played Trollbloods since before Metamorphosis to give his ill-formed opinions on the whole shebang. I'm not just going to talk about the changes between the end of the Field Test and now, because I wasn't really paying enough attention TO the Field Test owing to having a) no Hordes models during it and b) only one guaranteed opponent, who I'm still training.

Madrak - Snap Fire excellent. Feat wording is all arse-about-face and busyfied - Overtake could be an Advantage and text eliminated for more better clarity. Scroll still not as stupid good as I remember it being. Battering Ram looks like it could be fun (lots of effects like that, with pushes and places and moves you abouts, which I like even if it's not very good. It's just funny.).
eMadrak - Snap Fire excellent. Feat still a curious beast that I see much potential in, but also many ways to mess up. Killing Ground is very nice. I like the look of him but he's definitely more complex than the original.
Hoarluk - Banishing Ward change excellent, exactly what I was hoping for. Stranglehold looks interesting but necessitates playing him closer to the front than I'd like. Nothing I'm madly excited about but I'd play him.eHoarluk - Whoa there feat turn. Interesting arc-node-esque mechanic in Primal Shock and interesting capacity to withdraw himself from danger with Refuge (shame it's not on the other one, but I suppose that's the point). I like that his melee potential has been concentrated on the Epic version, makes more sense that way. Wild Aggression woo yay. Cunning little beast.
Grissel - Who needs a hand cannon? Critical Smite looks like fun (again, it doesn't have to be good, but look at the model - it fits!). Damn it, I tore up my Rift marker. Still my preference in warlock, I think, with both Madraks and Grim both making a very strong case.
Grim - Feat turn whoa. Return Fire on an Impaler looks like fun. Wish he worked better with Minions, would love to do a list with him and a bunch of Farrow and Gatormens based on his mercenary days. Do ze goggles do enough? I'll have to check the Legion rules.
Borka - Better, but I've always been indifferent towards Borka. Wind Wall and Iron Flesh give him an interesting dynamic, and I like that the Keg Bearer serves some worthwhile purpose again (though Top Off needs proofreading, it's rambly and there are bits missing, much like this post).
Calandra - Still good, don't care, never liked her. Sorry folks. She and Borka are the kind of Trolllblood model I can't bring myself to own.
Pyre - fun, no longer competing with the Mauler for animus effect, nice cheap AOE, like it a lot.
Slag - Word of God proof that Fire > Corrosion, would like +2 to damage rolls on all Cryx attacks with Corrosion to maintain parity. (I'M JOKING.) Seriously, this troll hates Cryx. That's fine, I hate it too. Fugly model. Needs resculpt before purchase. Potentially useful for 'jack battering though.
Axer - targeting limitation on Rush makes me sad. Rush still clearer than it used to be though (I played it wrong from Primal's release up until, ooh, late 2007?). Still solid. Wouldn't want two now.
Bouncer - WANT. Shield Guard nice. Bump nice. Chain weapon situational but nice.
Impaler - targeting freedom on Far Strike makes me happy. Still good. Take two all the time? Maybe not.
Winter - nice touch on the animus. Not sure I'd need it with all the Bumps and Smites and stuff about but it could be useful, 'specially since I fight Khador a lot (Immunity = good). Still like the non-elementals more.
Blitzer - GUNFIGHTER! Whee! Repulsion another one of those effects I really like, and is now actually effective. Virtuoso potentially hilarious. Someone remind me, do you forfeit all your initial attacks to make a power attack? You do, don't you? Pity. Throw + Strafe = good times. Curse you, balance.
Mauler - like Seether on steroids. Not as exciting, to me, as the Blitzer; much much better model though, and as good a utility beast as always.
Earthborn - tough as old boots but Elemental Communion a bit situational for my tastes. Would rather have either of the other Dires.
Mulg - expensive and slow. Would rather have lights. Colour me indifferent.
Kriel Warriors - not totally awful, but almost totally outclassed by Fennblades. CMA not as good as Reach in faction that throws +2 to melee attack rolls around like it's going out of fashion. Caber still nice but needs Fortune to qualify for 'awesome'. UA is counterintuitive, extending formation space for a unit that likes to clump (CMA, Take Up). Could help with engaging multiple targets, I suppose, but could Fennblades do the same thing better, and do I have the patience to work out that many formation issues? Steady not bad, admittedly, but not worth it on this unit and certainly not when Fell Callers are about.
Krielstone Bearer - still not an anchor. This alone makes me interested in Trollbloods again. Glad to see it's maintained its competitive costing niche, stops Elder being a must-take, but would love Elder in ranged lists.
Thumper - there, are the Khador players happy now? Still hitting reliably, still good, still competitively costed.
Champions - still not a must-take, but appealing with increased utility (three semi-solos? would work well with Borka, knocking down on the first hit and finishing off on the second), capacity to spread out and flexible sizes. Like them now, rather than feeling bound to them.
Fennblades - good, they're more expensive than Kriels. They are still better than Kriels - more aggressive and Vengeance + Reach = Good. Reach makes me happy about working more mileage out of Madrak and Grissel's extra attacks.
Long Riders - Three seem good, five seem too many. Might need Fortune to work those criticals and ensure knockdowns, otherwise need Horthol to really shine (Bull Rush risks slamming things too far to capitalise effectively), but I play Cryx, I'm used to cavalry coming with a patch solo to work with more than one 'caster. What would I do with them, without him? Not sure.
Runeshapers - why must they be stupid comedy hand models? I like them but I cannot purchase, for lo! they look shoddy. Tremor on the charge, followed up with a buffed hit from the axe? One Tremors, others bludgeon target? I like these guys. Curse their stupid hands.
Scattergunners - nice figures but colour me distinctly underwhelmed about their rules. Not bad, but in same bracket as Fennblades so outshone horribly. Needs more UA with Granted: Something Interesting.
Burrowers - BLARG. I understand that they can't have the Helldiver's invulnra-Burrow, but they're too fussy in their implementation for me to bother with. Trolls is for not complicated time.
Bushwhackers - proof that sometimes you can do something interesting without unit-specific rules, much as Scattergunners are proof that sometimes you can't. Fun and flexible ranged option. Would like.
Fell Caller Hero - well, that's one way of making the Champion Hero feel less inadequate. Opening up Hero as a designated type? Very good, potentially a bit too good for that all-important 3 point bracket?
Chronicler - henceforth to be known as the Fennblade UA. VERY good. Now works the way I thought he did all along.
Champion Hero - still not convinced he does as much good as the Fell Caller, might still be the dud of the bracket, but he's not bad. Did you buy ten Champions in Mark One? Rejoice, then, for an interesting list is still accessible to you.
Whelps - do more to enable alternative playstyles than anything but the changes to the Krielstone Bearer. Practically a must-take - it remains only to choose how many.
Horthol - if fielding Long Riders and not Hoarluk, must-take: makes Critical Knockdown and Bull Rush worth bothering with. Interesting denial capacity with Stagger and Line Breaker, but ultimately you take him for the Long Riders. He and Darragh should form a support solo support group.

Conclusion - Overall, happy. Long Riders still represent significant investment, especially given must-field patch solo. Disappointed in Scattergunners and Burrowers. Praying for Blitzer and Runeshaper resculpts - they are good but their models represent Trends I Do Not Like and cannot bring myself to encourage with purchases. Skorne will have much work to do to persuade me that getting into them's a better call; Trollbloods excite me and make me clap my hands and bounce like a schoolgirl in a way that Skorne simply haven't, to date.

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