21 July 2010

"Dude, Grim Angus is after you..." A Guide to a Popular Crowd Pleaser - by Phlippieskezer

"Born an albino and a sorcerer, Grim has a unique talent for tracking and has focused his inborn powers to assist his love of the hunt. Grim has hunted wanted men across western Immoren and has earned a name as a tracker whose quarry never escapes. Even the rumor of Grim Angus on a man's trail has prompted outlaws to surrender immediately to the nearest authorities."

(Please note: I am still using the Final Online Update PDF to write this, will edit when I get the card deck, if there were any changes. Also, I'm going to note other characters from other armies that I have much love for, so don't be offended.)

First off, Grim Angus is arguably our most mobile warlock. He is also very accurate. This will be a very brief guide on how to use him.

Ever felt your friend likes Allister Caine a little too much? How about Ashlynn D'Elyse? Do you think he/she is fielding so many high DEF models that you just want to pound your head against the table? Fear not, when your opponents see this guy on the field, they'll wet themselves. That being said, he can also do well against high armour targets, like a mainstream Khador list.

At first glance he doesn't seem like too much of a Troll. His speed is higher than most Trollkin, which you'll find to be great, his STR is equivalent to Grissel Bloodsong's (which shouldn't be used too often anyway). Grim has merely average MAT, which will occasionally come in handy, believe it or not. And his RAT is the highest unbuffed in the Trollblood arsenal (although not quite to level of either version of Caine - Cygnar). His DEF is really handy, higher than most Trollblood models, and the second highest unbuffed DEF you can get in the game if memory serves, but he's not as nimble as Ashlynn (Mercenaries), or Allister Caine (Cygnar). I guess being a Troll has its benefits and its negatives . His armour isn't as high as you'd expect to get out of a Troll, but, in addition to his high DEF, it's tolerable. As for his Fury, its great for holding a number of warbeasts, as is his 'beast points. He also has a fair amount of damage boxes. I like to see him as a front-line sniper (as hard as it is to wrap your head around that statement, but I hope to explain that later).

Feat: Spread the Net
This. When that Ashlynn comes around the corner, ready for the assassin run, this will make them cry so hard their eyes will fall out (hey, I couldn't come up with anything better). This is the premier anti-assassin ability in the Trollblood army. Period. To deny so much DEF and so much SPD, Grim can seriously show those Retribution and Cryx armies a thing or two. Also, it basically makes Khador so slow, they can't even move, and even getting a near auto-hit on any of their warcasters. Combined with Marked for Death, this can bring the highest DEF to a mere 12. Very impressive. You'd usually want to use it when you catch sight of the enemy warcaster. It can also be used to bugger your opponent's turn so much, they're whole "Mwuahahaha! I shall now charge this giant killing machine into your face!" speech will be avoided. It has multiple purposes, but the most popular use of it is to kill that enemy warcaster/warlock. It can even bring down Ashlynn under her feat, if you use it correctly.

"Special" Rules
Pathfinder - very useful on a sniper, park him in a forest, and, in addition to True Sight, wonderful things can happen.
Tough - A duh. Don't rely on it.
Take Down - When he kills something, he kills something. No second chances.
True Sight - Coupled with Pathfinder, it is magnificent.

At the start of the game, this weapon will be used the most, and often later game as well. Surprisingly, it is his only weapon with However, this is not a problem. Its RNG is greater than his CNTRL area, and it has the same POW, which is pretty impressive for a Troll with a gun. Good times with this weapon, good times... Especially with: Bait the Line. Makes warbeasts charging the guy you just hit considerably faster, great for closing the distance with your foe. It can really give you unexpected charge lanes.

Snare Gun
You'll probably only use this late(r) game, but it is a popular weapon to use against high DEF models. Short range, no damage, and cumberstone. What makes it beautiful is that it knocks down what it hits. With an Impaler, this thing can hit at a respectable distance.

Gun Blade
Situational, medium POW melee weapon. It's okay, but you're better off keeping this guy shooting. It has a decent POW, though, which can be stolen by an Earthborn Dire Troll, although that is an unpopular choice. Oddly, it doesn't have

Oh, boy, is this spell beautiful. No, seriously, an upkeepable spell that can give a model/unit Pathfinder and Hunter? There's just so many uses for this, it's not even funny. Put it on Fennblades for unexpected charges, on an Earthborn for a fast charge (12" movement) straight through a forest! Great!

Lock the Target
People see this spell as mediocre. However, it can bring some really fun times under the right circumstances. It has a relatively low RNG, does a low amount of damage, but, when it does some damage, that model can hardly move. Basically like a warjack with a failing Movement system.

Mark the Target
A remarkable signature spell of Grim Angus. It is extremely popular to use on feat turn. Target model/unit (yes, not just model, but you can put it on an entire unit!) gets -2 DEF (again, great for a warcaster assassination run), loses incorporeal and stealth (and cannot gain them back when affected by this spell), and a friendly model target it regardless of LOS.

Return Fire
Not outstanding, but great for your left over Fury. Basic rule: You shoot me, I shoot you.

Models to Take and Models not to Take

I won't be going over every model available, but mainly the ones I prefer over the others. Keep in mind that Grim likes mobile lists. Keep that in mind when considering models outside the ones I have mentioned.

Heavy Warbeasts
Dire Troll Mauler: The Mauler. A popular little bugger that can wreck basically anything it can get its powerful little (or I should say big) hands on. He has competition with the Earthborn at one point more, but if you can't get him, a POW 16 critical smite from an Impaler is always welcome. An interesting addition, he has some synergy, but he is better with other warlocks.
Dire Troll Blitzer: Alas. This beautiful model has only minor synergies with Grim Angus. Sure, you get D3 commonly at 17" and it can rip it up relatively well in melee, but this guy has way too much competition going on to find it into most Grim lists. He's animus is also decent when you want Grim out of combat.
Earthborn Dire Troll: Don't get me started. Oh, wait, you already have. This guy is Grim Angus' buttered toast dipped in gravy. Seriously, I love fielding him so much with Grim, he's literally been nicknamed "Buddy" by me. He is a great target for Cross-Country, he has Pathfinder, he hit bloody hard under the right circumstances and he can assassinate enemies like there is no tomorrow. An excellent heavy warbeast to add with Grim. I commonly take him with 2 lights by his side. Perhaps try this thread for further detail (by Goris): http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?30192-Earthborn-Dire-Troll-AKA-Cannonball-2
Mulg the Ancient: Really odd synergies here. He's good. He's relentless, he hits hard, but he's quite slow. You'll have to wrap yourself around him pretty well to get the most mileage out of him, but man, he can be nasty.
Dire Troll Bomber: Have not tried him yet, but what I have heard, he is a great companion with Grim. When I get round to using him (which will most likely be when the Trollblood book comes out), I'll edit this.

Light Warbeasts
Troll Axer: Some nice synergy here. He can destroy a tarpit like crazy (even shield wall tarpits), and he's animus is awesomesauce. Added with Lanyssa Ryssyl's Hunter's Mark, Mark the Target, Elemental Communion and Rush, amazing things can happen. Great for certain lists, not so great with others. I find him competing against the Slag Troll for the most part (same cost).
Troll Impaler: Awesome. His animus can make things just so fun (17" Marked target anyone), you'll almost never leave him at home. He can rip it up in melee and ranged (critical smite), so he is unmeasurably (is that even a word?) useful.
Slag Troll: A great damage buff. He can tear 'jacks apart and can do some damage against living models. A great warbeast to add, although you might find yourself between him an the Axer. Ask yourself: Do you want immense speed or an immense damage output?
Pyre Troll: Almost the same as the Slag, at one point less, can't really do much himself (although his attack has AoE), so, if you cannot take the Slag, he's okay.
Winter Troll: Not popular. Not popular at all. He does have some interesting abilities, though. He's quite weak both in melee and range and he has a spray weapon. He's animus is really difficult to use, but, when pulled off, it can do pretty well.
Troll Bouncer: Constant debates about this guy. Grim doesn't really need a body guard, but others can disagree. He has his space in certain lists. Just consider what kind of list you're trying to build when adding this guy.
Swamp Troll: Haven't used him yet. I'll edit it when I have. I hear he's cheap, has a good animus, and he's ranged attack is decent. Sounds like a good addition to a Grim list to me, but I am uncertain. 

Scattergunners: Interesting. They now have a higher SPD stat than in the PDF, if memory serves. They have spray weapons. That is their best feature. Spray weapons at the same POW as Grim's melee weapon. They're extremely weak to retaliation, though. Might want to consider other models first.
Trollkin Champions: Odd. Weird how Grim Angus is the only warlock that cannot truly find a place for these guys. They good, they hit hard, have high armour, but they are slow and Grim likes mobility. I do not recommend them.
Kriel Warriors: A reasonable tarpit, Grim does nothing spectacular for them. I'd suggest considering the Fennblades before these guys.
Pyg Bushwhackers: I love these guys. I really do. And Grim does too. They can shoot up pesky little (and big) targets with their combined ranged attacks really well. Their statistics are misleading, as they are actually quite resistant retaliation in the form of Bushwhack.
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes: I definitely do not recommend them. They force the Trolls to stay together, destroying Grim's mobility. They should be the last thing on your to-get-for-Grim list.
Long Riders: A very, very nice cavalry unit. Go big and furry or go home. If you want them, take a full unit and Horthol, otherwise don't take them at all (in my opinion). For this reason, they are better off at >50 point games. But, seriously, Long Riders with Pathfinder and Hunter is a beautiful thing.
Pyg Burrowers: They small, they're weak, but that doesn't mean they don't hit bloody hard! Grim makes monsters out of these guys, POW 14 straight up into your face, and with all Grim accuracy shenanigans, these guys are awesome. Many people like them, but I prefer the Bushwhackers more. Try both of them out, though. You may differ.
Thumper Crew: I don't have much play-time with these guys under my belt, but they should be good. The biggest drawback is their SPD. They won't be keeping up all too well. Park them up a hill and you'll get the most mileage out of them.
Trollkin Fennblades: My favourite tarpit. These guys fast and mobile, exactly what Grim likes. I prefer them over the Kriel Warriors, as they can tie up so much more unit with Reach, and they have Vengeance. A great unit. I wish they had combined melee attack, though.
Trollblood Runeshapers: Meh. Pathfinder is nice. Their point cost is nice. Knock down is nice, but, outside of that, they're not all that great. They're worthy to put into consideration, though
Trollkin Scouts: As far as I know, they are not released yet, but I'll edit this when they are and I have used them. They should be impressive with Grim.

Fellcaller: A great multi-functional model. Park him up with the Fennblades and let the good times roll. He can be used for so many things, its a bit difficult to give full thoughts on him. Pathfinder is excellent, standing up is useful, and +2 MAT is awesome, but I tend to go with the Chronicler more, just because Pathfinder and Hunter is already provided. However, if you're taking Burrowers, this guy is your man.
Stone Scribe Chronicler: In my opinion, I think he finds a more comfortable spot in a Grim list than a Fellcaller (probably the only warlock he's better than a Fellcaller with). Park this guy behind the Fennblades, that's the way I play him. Knocking down any retaliation is great, concealment is awesome and +2 to attack and damage under the right circumstances is amazing.
Horthol, Long Rider Champion: Take with the Long Riders at >50 points if you want. Otherwise, he doesn't really do much alone.
Trollkin Champion Hero: I'd suggest first considering a Chronicler or Fellcaller, but this guy can destroy a tarpit.
Whelps: Only if you're running beast heavy. Otherwise, leave them at home. I tend to not use them, since you only really need 3 warbeasts with Grim (I'll put that under tactics), and you can use those two points elsewhere.
Runebearer (attachment): Only used him once (with the help of a spoiler). A very interesting choice. Nice to consider, but those 2 points can also be used elsewhere.
Trollkin Skinner: I don't like this guy, but if you're big on anti-Hordes (and I hate models specifically designed to kill one type), then go for it.

Minion Units

Bog Trog Ambushers: A very interesting addition, these guys will almost get a back strike on their first attack. Makes your opponent very paranoid, and these guys can really kick butt given the right circumstances. Combined Melee Attack from any table edge with Reach and Pathfinder can really make your opponent cry on occasion. I still prefer the Fennblades, though, but the Bog Trog Ambushers are a worthy candidate.

Farrow Bone Grinders: It's all about the leader. Bone Magic can be useful to use Elemental Communion after the Earthborn is dead (which might happen). They're not necessary, but they're cheap.

Farrow Brigands: Really weird, these guys are like Cygnar Trenchers fused with Kriel Warriors. They're good, they can be tough, they have Dig In, they can have Pathfinder... But no combined attacks can sometimes prove problematic. They're not horrible, though.

Gatormen Posse: Almost meh all around for Grim, these guy do have a few good tricks. Amphibious and Pathfinder can be really fun, as can Terror. They're really just Gatormen Champions. They're not all that great, but they have their moments. Beware ranged attacks.

Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew: Not much to say here. They cost one point and give a worthy cloud effect. If you have one point lying around, they're nice.

Cylena Raefyl & Nyss Hunters: Very nice to have with Grim, Pathfinder and Hunter already granted. They're melee attacks are misleading, as they have Weapon Master, which means they can be fairly effective even in melee. These girls are excellent anti-flankers. A worthy addition.

Greygore Boomhowler & Co.: Personally, I think these are some of the most beautiful models Privateer Press has to offer. Lets view their statistics: Tough, like Trolls should be. Weirdly fast, can easily keep up with Grim. They have nice Fell Howls, which make them even tougher and both their attacks are impressive. They're nice to have, but those points can be used elsewhere.

List building tactics
Any advice, especially in this section, is greatly appreciated.

When going for a Grim Angus list, go for mobility. Mobility is crucial to Grim. Consider the types of models you want, the type of battle you want to put on, and then you can start building.
Generally, though, you'll want at least one of the following: a speed buff, a damage buff, and a range buff (which we only currently have an Impaler for), and perhaps an armour buff (in that order).
You'll then want a big beatstick that can take a beating and then dish out an even bigger beating. The Earthborn Dire Troll is ideal. It cant be fast, it is mobile, it can be tough, it has a lot of damage boxes, and hell, it can hit bloody hard. The Mauler can replace it, but generally people (like me) prefer the Earthborn.
Then you want a damage buff. A Slag or Pyre are a go-go. An instant +2 to damage is awesome, not to mention a continuous effect, if you're lucky. A Mauler can also be used to fill this.
My 15 point list is actually as follows:
Grim (-6)
- Earthborn Dire Troll (10)
- Slag Troll (6)
- Impaler (5)
= 15

That way you get a beatstick, you get speed from the same model, you get great accuracy from the warlock, you get a great damage buff that hold models off himself, and you get a great range amplifier. Generally (in all sized games), you'd only need 1 heavy and 2 lights with Grim Angus, any bigger and you may want to take whelps. That is up to you.

In larger games you'll want a tarpit, go for either Fennblades or Kriel Warriors. Personally, I prefer the former. Fennblades are fast, they have Vengeance, and they have Reach. They are great for a melee oriented tarpit. The Trollkin Champion Hero can also be used to slice and dice enemy tarpits.

You'll want some "buffers." Fellcallers and Chroniclers are ideal. Park either one behind you tarpit to make them stronger, or buff up some other units, they'll make you accurate, they'll make you stronger, and they'll make you faster. All that you really need.

Then you need an additional ranged threat most of the times. Bushwhackers or Burrowers are great. A full unit of Bushwhacker shooting straight through a forest or cloud can be game changing.

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