20 July 2010

Mulg Smash: Your Step-by-Step Guide to the King of Trolls - by Saerko

Mulg Smash: Your Step-by-Step Guide to the King of Trolls

Mulg is the lord of all Dire Trolls, the Omega Troll if there ever was one. He is the biggest, the
baddest, and the strongest of them all, and has the stats to back it up. In melee, he'll destroy
anything that falls within the shadow of his club, and the testicles of lesser warbeasts have been
known to retract reflexively at the sight of him. He is a walking mountain, unleashing an
avalanche of power at the command of warlocks whose whims he heeds out of affection and
brotherly understanding, not servitude.

Like all of the models available to the Trollblood faction though, a quick glance at his stats and
abilities does not yield anything that looks overpowering. True, he ties the Bronzeback Titan for
highest STR in the game, and has the highest MAT of any Dire Troll our faction has. There are
many who would argue that he is over priced and ineffective compared to the other character
warbeasts. That, dear reader, is a notion I hope to systematically disabuse you of over the course
of this post.

Rules Rundown

Before talking about what Mulg can do in our armies, one must first tackle his card directly.


Mulg is one of the oldest, and strongest Dire Trolls, and he has the stats to reflect it. STR 13,
MAT 7, ARM 19, and SPD 4 are the only ones you should ever care about. His DEF is pitiful as
befits a giant mountain, and you should give up dodging anything. MAT 7 means you're pretty
well guaranteed to hit almost every other heavy in the game without boosting and pretty much
anything when you do boost, freeing up his precious 5 Fury for his bread and butter: additional
attacks with his club. SPD 4 means that you'll be running him most turns to keep up with the rest
of your army, especially in the faster lists like Grissel and Epic Madrak are known for, but as
we'll talk about that's actually not a big deal. With 34 damage boxes, he's the most resilient
heavy we have to date.

A note on STR 13--it's a big deal, even on one-hand throws because of the distance you get. It's
entirely possible to throw a model 8.5" (STR 13 + 3 [Rage] + 1 [Stone Strength] = STR 17,
divide by 2 for distance) and land it completely out of useful position. Remember: you measure
the distance from the base of the model thrown not the model throwing. STR is also your POW
for Trample damage rolls, and can allow you kill pretty much any small-based trooper even
when they're benefiting from a Feat like pSkarre or pStryker's.


Big Meaty Fist:

It's big, it's meaty, it's P+S 17. With the same POW as a Mauler's fist and Mulg's
extremely high STR, it's about as nasty as Open Fist weapons get. It also means you can
capitalize on that STR for one-handed Throws. Most of the time though, you'll find yourself
using the Club.

Rune Club:

This where Mulg gets down to business. P+S 19 and Reach makes it equivalent to
Beast-09's axe, and on top of all that it's a Magical Weapon on a warbeast--a fairly uncommon
sight to say the least, and the only one in our faction. Facing an Incorporeal Nightmare? Good
thing you brought Mulg.

Critical Smite is where it gets down to business though, giving you access to a high-damage slam
that is almost guaranteed once in Mulg's activation if you boost attacks. With all of our STR
buffs, you can create some ridiculous collateral damage rolls on this guy and set up
assassinations against some of those ultra-annoying high-DEF warlocks/warcasters.

Remember though--you don't HAVE to Slam; it's totally optional, and sometimes the best course
of action. With Mulg's MAT and a boost, your odds get pretty good that when you want it, it will
be there.


Affinity [Doomshaper]:

If Mulg is in Doomshaper's CTRL area, and the last model he hit is still
alive, he gets to hit it again out of activation. So no boosts, and it assumes that you took Mulg
with Doomshaper and failed to kill something. It's not a reason to take him with Doomshaper,
but if they happen to wind up in the same list together, it's not the worst thing ever. I think I've
triggered it once, and Mulg makes it into almost every list I build.

Note: There's some question about whether or not the wording on Mulg's Affinity with
Doomshaper has him make the attack right before or right after his activation ends. I'm currently
looking into the issue and will edit this appropriately. For now, play it out-of-activation to prevent
boosting (the less powerful way) and I'll update this as soon as possible with the consensus.

Regeneration [d3]:

All Trolls have this. With Mulg it can have some nice synergy with
Relentless, allowing you to take small amounts of damage and then wipe them off while keeping
the benefits. At the cost of a Fury though, it's expensive to trigger and should be reserved for
when you're jammed up in melee and need to advance/reposition Mulg while not having
anything better for him to do.


+2 SPD for an entire round when he takes damage from an enemy attack. The
"enemy attack" wording here is key, so it won't trigger off of non-attack damage that comes from
a Feat, Collateral, Blast, Continuous Effects or Transfers. I find I get to use it about every other
game, but it's best when it comes from a ranged attack while you're setting up a charge. This
won't happen often, but when it does you'll smile.


A decent ability on most of our Dire Trolls, with Mulg it's even better. MAT 7 means
you'll hit most infantry in the game easily, and STR 13 means that Tramples with Mulg will kill
most Shield Wall troops with ease. Like on all Dire Trolls, it removes models from play, so that
means no Soul Tokens, Corpse Tokens, or effects that trigger when a model is destroyed.

Protective Fit:

Often misunderstood, Protective Fit is one of the little things that makes Mulg
stand out above the rest.

The stripped down version is that when your warlock gets damaged by an attack, irrespective of
what the type of attack was, Mulg gets to make a full advance toward the origin of that attack,
and if it's in his melee range at the end of that advance he can make a normal attack against it.
There's no requirement to be within the warlock's CTRL area, for Mulg to have LOS to the
model that originated the attack. While Mulg has to continually decrease his distance to the
target model through every part of the advance, he doesn't have to travel in a straight line. There
is no limit on how often Protective Fit can be triggered. You also never have to make the
Protective Fit move or attack--it's totally optional at each step.

This is the ultimate in out-of-activation movement. If your warlock gets hit with a ranged attack,
Mulg can move to either engage the attacking model or move to block LOS. If your warlock is
getting hit by spells from an arc node, Mulg can waltz over and engage it to stop the Channeling.
If Rhyas, Terminus or some other assassination caster/lock comes in for the kill, Mulg can
punish them for it. If you can get 3-4 Protective Fit attacks in, even without boosting your odds
of landing a Critical Smite get to be about 25-35% depending on the DEF of the model being hit.
It's not as reliable as when you have the ability to boost--certainly nothing to bank on--but when
it happens it's great.



This animus is a tool you may not find yourself using that often, but when you do,
you're really glad it's there. It's RNG Self, so you can only cast it on your warlock or force Mulg
to gain it, but since it uses the CMD on the model it gets the most mileage when on your
warlock. The important thing to note here is that enemy warbeasts lose their animus entirely
while within the aura, so the opponent's warlock can't even use it, and it prevents spellcasting of
any sort, including by models like Greylords or Aiyana. The radius is not large, but it prevents a
lot of the spellcasting that occurs when models charge into melee with your warlock and then
cast a short range spell. On most of our warlocks (except Doomshaper), that means that nothing
with a RNG of less than 8 can really be effective.

Making the Most of Mulg

Mulg is a melee powerhouse, no doubt about it. Unaided by any buffs, he can reduce almost
every warjack/warbeast in the game to a pile of twisted metal or a fleshy sack of shattered bones.
While he has some of the best defensive stats in the game outside of Khador's Devastator, he's
not invulnerable and can be killed by any determined opponent. His slow speed and the inherent
variability of Protective Fit and Relentless means that you can't be confident of getting the first
charge with anyone but Epic Doomshaper, so Mulg is a second-line piece. After your
Fennblades, Axer, or Burrowers engage the enemy, Mulg is right behind to promise swift
retribution for any openings that apply. His role as a second-line model is enhanced by the
presence of Protective Fit, which is best when Mulg is within range to advance and attack
models that might threaten your warlock.

Let's take a look beyond the general case though, and go warlock by warlock through the faction
and how to make the most of Mulg with each one.

Mulg, Weapon of Choice

Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain (pMadrak): With the same MAT as pMadrak and a P+S
that will kill any single-wound infantry in the game outright, Mulg is great for pMadrak's feat
Crusher when you want to cleave through the opponent's army effectively, but don't want to
over-extend pMadrak himself. Reach on his club gives him the maximum possible targets to
extend his movements with Overtake. Carnage ensures he'll hit by bringing him to MAT 9, and
with his damage output he can squash even multi-wound models like Cavalry or Tharn Ravagers
in single hits. If you can position pMadrak well enough to catch Mulg within his CTRL for the
entirety of the feat, it's certainly possible to destroy entire units while making your way to the
opponent's warlock or warcaster, while still having the Fury left over to smash them to dust.

Sure Foot further aids Mulg, by making it more difficult for some models to hit him by bringing
him up to DEF 13, and preventing one of the best ways to neuter his ability to use Protective Fit
and economize on Fury by making him immune to Knockdown. In a pMadrak list, he could very
well be the only warbeast you need to take, especially since Stranglehold can set up vicious
counter-charges. Like any Reach warbeast, he can set up attacks in conjunction with a unit of
Champions or Fennblades under the effects of Charge of the Trolls from the Stone Scribe
Chroniclers. Remember though--the Scroll of Grindar's Perseverance makes it so pMadrak
suffers no damage from an attack, and so will not trigger Protective Fit.

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender (eMadrak): Epic Madrak loves models with Reach, and Mulg is
no exception. With spells like Warpath to keep Mulg in step with the rest of the army and Killing
Ground to make him efficient with Fury and charging over Rough Terrain with ease, it's not
surprising he winds up in every eMadrak I build these days. Under the effects of eMadrak's feat
Desperate Hour, you can watch Mulg wipe Shield Wall infantry off of the table and bring multi-
wound models to their knees before even activating.

I tend to play my eMadrak lists with the man himself very close to the action so that I can
capitalize on Rathrok's Awakening and Tide of Death for unexpected assassination runs, and
having Mulg at his right hand to eliminate warjacks/warbeasts that might interrupt his charge or
opportunistic warlocks/warcasters who come in for the kill is solid gold. If you're looking to run
low on Fury and count on Grim Salvation to keep eMadrak alive, just be aware that like the
Scroll of Grindar's Perseverance, damage avoided due to Grim Salvation will not trigger
Protective Fit. You've been warned.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls (pDoomy): There isn't a ton of synergy here, but
you do get to take advantage of Mulg's affinity. Goad is no Overtake like during pMadrak's Feat,
but you get to use it against any type of enemy model destroyed and can get some nice threat
range on Mulg using it. The downside is that it's going to cost Mulg a Fury, so you may want to
cast Fortune on him to reduce the need to boost attack rolls against warcasters/warlocks. You can
also create the ultimate in anti-spellcasting by using Purification to nuke everything currently out
there, force Mulg to use his animus, have pDoomy cast it himself and then Banishing Ward on
your unit of choice.

If you can lock an enemy model into melee with Mulg for an entire round though, there's a nice
way to get some additional mileage out of him by maxing out his Fury on attacks against that
model, getting the extra attack from the Affinity, and then using the Scroll of the Will of Balasar
if he frenzies to hit it or another model of your choice. Boosted attack and damage on a single hit
from Mulg isn't as good as a full activation, but you're overextended it's better than nothing.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia (eDoomy): Perfect for all Dire Trolls, and even more so
with Mulg. If you can't think of any other animus to cast that turn, using Attuned Spirit to cast
Runebreaker isn't a bad choice. Mulg's base STR 13 makes him an ideal candidate for casting
Primal Shock.

More importantly though, Doomshaper extend's Mulg's threat range more than any other
warlock. With an Axer in the army to hand out Rush or an Earthborn Dire Troll (EBDT) to give
him Transmute while within 2" of Rough Terrain, you can give him the beginnings of a powerful
combo. To finish it off you can pop eDoomy's feat and cast/upkeep Wild Aggression, creating a
12" charge with an additional 2" from Reach to touch any available models within 14" of his
original position. If Mulg was damaged the last turn, even better at 16", and with Lanyssa Ryssyl
hitting the target with Hunter's Mark you can get that all the way to 18" (but that's not easy to
do). Goad further extends this range, handing you an additional 2" move for the cost of a Fury,
which can be more than worth it if you get all the way to the opponent's warcaster/warlock. Wild
Aggression means he's auto-boosting attack rolls at MAT 7, and on average will hit even those
pesky DEF 17 models like Epic Caine, and his damage output is more than sufficient to cut apart
all but the highest ARM models. Auto-boosted attacks with the club give you almost 1 in 3 odds
of a Critical Smite against most models, which can be game-altering.

Long-bomb charges can be denied by blocking models though, so what are other options when
you have such a good way to increase movement? Well, since eDoomy's feat modifies SPD, if
you decide stack it with Transmute from the EBDT and eDoomy's spell Refuge, you can have
Mulg yo-yo across the battlefield. In the most likely case, you can have Mulg charge/slam/
trample 12" (Feat + Transmute) and then make a Refuge move at the end of activation 9" back
toward eDoomy to threaten attackers with Protective Fit, forward to engage a warlock/warcaster
or other nasty model that you want to shut down, or slide sideways to clear a charge lane for an
entire unit. It doesn't matter where he's going, but he's going there fast. If it's at the end of Mulg's
activation and you've got a Fury point left you don't mind spending, you can use his Goad
movement to further extend that movement, and practically rewind the entire charge/trample/
slam. If you're lucky enough to benefit from Relentless while doing all of the above, even better!
It's yet another effect that adds to Mulg's SPD and will increase the Refuge movement.

Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller: My favorite warlock, Grissel goes well with nearly every model
in our arsenal--Mulg is no exception. The first thing to note is that her Fell Calls work on
warbeasts, so she can hand out Hoof It and Heroic Ballad to Mulg singly during her activation,
or simultaneously during her feat Fell Chorus. If you'll notice, Hoof It and eDoomy's spell
Refuge are basically the same thing, so you can do shorter-distance version of his yo-yo tactic
with her as well, or just use it as a way to keep Mulg running up with the rest of the army. Heroic
Ballad can give him up to 8 attacks in a single activation and is invaluable for when you want
something to die but don't want to run too hot on Fury.

While she doesn't have many spells, the ones she does have are perfect for an army containing
Mulg. With Hallowed Avenger you can give Mulg a way to counter-charge any models that
decide to penetrate the infantry screens most people take with Grissel, combined with Protective
Fit can give Mulg an incredible amount of out-of-activation movement, either extending his
charge range on the next turn or allowing him to quickly maneuver around the battlefield to
wherever your opponent decides to put pressure on the defenses surrounding Grissel. Calamity
can be a great way to Trample those high-DEF units or put damage on a warjack with ludicrous
ARM values like a Centurion under Arcane Shield.

Grim Angus: Always the crowd pleaser, Grim doesn't disappoint when paired with Mulg either.
With Bait the Line on Headhunter he can improve Mulg's threat range, while his feat ensures that
Mulg will get the charge, or at the very least not be the recipient of it before he's ready (models
suffering from any SPD penalty cannot charge). While Mulg rarely needs help hitting, against
warcasters/warlocks Spread the Net can free up valuable Fury for extra attacks or boosting
damage. Even if Spread the Net has already been played, Lock the Target will also help keep
Mulg on the offensive by stopping ultra-fast charges, and Marked for Death can create
opportunities for Trample that would otherwise require Mulg to use his Rune Club by turning
Incorporeal models into their squishier, corporeal selves.

Last but hardly least, when handed Cross-Country you can have Mulg operate on a flank or in
Rough Terrain like Forests with no reduction in effectiveness. Combined with a timely shot from
Headhunter, in a single activation Mulg can go from stuck in mud to a guided missile bursting
from hiding. It's also a great way to keep him next to Grim (who loves terrain and forests) for
potential Protective Fit attacks without sacrificing mobility.

Borka Kegslayer: While not at first a warlock one would necessarily associate with Mulg, Borka
actually offers a lot of synergy with Mulg. His feat--much like eDoomy's--extends Mulg's threat
range, but more importantly it also adds an additional die on power attack damage and collateral
damage rolls. With Mulg's high MAT and Critical Smite, there's about a 1 in 3 chance against
most targets that he could get a Slam, and throwing that extra die on top of Mulg's already-high
STR and you're seriously wounding or outright destroying even multi-wound models on average
dice (POW 13 +3d6 ~ 23-24 damage). Since the Slam damage itself on the Critical Smite is
boostable and you use the P+S of his Rune Club, you can really put the hurt on any model
affected. Even better, since Power Attacks are free under the feat, you can One-Hand Throw a
model with the Big Meaty Fist and then follow up with additional attacks from the Rune Club
against another model for insult to injury.

While Mulg rarely needs help hitting a target, not having even the chance of it occurring is nice,
so Borka's spell Mosh Pit is definitely your friend. Boost to hit with an initial attack using either
weapon or even another model, and then follow up with repeated auto-hitting attacks with the
Rune Club to take it down. Wind Wall will also help Mulg, as it protects him from some of the
nastier ranged attacks in the game like CRA units that can punch through his ARM before he
gets in position to do damage.

The Pyg Keg Carrier actually can create a terrible situation for the opponent who tries to
assassinate Borka. Given Stumbling Drunk and under the effects of the Krielstone Bearer &
Stone Scribes (KSB), Borka can easily hit ARM 21 in melee, and if he's protected by the Swamp
Troll's animus and Iron Flesh he can hit DEF 19. With Immunity to Knockdown, Stationary, and
the chance to move out of melee with the target, he's nearly unkillable, and with Mulg nearby his
stumble could very easily open a hole for a Protective Fit counter-attack, so that you can
practically play him at the front of his army with little fear of retribution.

Calandra Truthsayer: While she works well with pretty near anyone, her feat is an incredible
boon for getting criticals of any type, and that helps Mulg. Under her feat Good Omens and with
Fury to spend on Fate Blessed, a boosted attack from Mulg can have almost a 50% chance of a
Critical Smite. Her spell Befuddle can be a great way to set up a charge for Mulg when he needs
it, and Force Blow takes the odds out of the equation altogether by Knocking Down any model
you just really need to hit. Since most Calandra lists tend to focus on mixed range/melee units
with relatively low POW and P+S, Mulg is a great way to round out one of her lists with the
strong melee core Trollbloods are known for. With Calandra's paper-thin defensive stats, if she's
taking damage the game could rapidly take a turn. Mulg buttresses that weakness by providing a
shield to block ranged attacks through Protective Fit and a disincentive to close in melee lest the
attacking model get hit by the Rune Club.

Mulg's and the Rest, BFF's?

Warlocks aren't the only models in the army that can make or break a list with Mulg, and there's
some friends he certainly likes to have on the field. None are a requirement; Mulg stands tall on
his own. But if any of these guys are present, well, the results can often speak for themselves.

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (KSB): The core of many Trollblood armies, it can push Mulg
over the top to equal the Behemoth's ARM 21. When Mulg eventually gets damaged (it does
happen), he stands a better chance of making the most of Relentless when the average attack
from a warjack will only put a couple points of damage on him with each blow, allowing him to
make a surge the next time he decides to charge or Protective Fit is triggered.

Stone Scribe Elder (SSE): Continuous effects tend to trouble Mulg very little indeed, but he
loves Stone Strength. With the ability to effortlessly take him from STR 13 to 14, Mulg's Rune
club starts doing straight dice in damage against even Khador's warjacks, helps increase his
already formidable resistance to Power Attacks that rely on STR checks.

Stone Scribe Chronicler (SSC): Charge of the Trolls is great for any warbeast with Reach, and
with Mulg's large base he can cover a large area with it indeed. Especially in cases where you're
up against multiple heavies, Mulg can be used to put the initial damage on them, while nearby
troops like Fennblades or Long Riders finish the job with +2 to attack and damage. For bonus points,
combine with Blood Fury from eMadrak or Calamity from Grissel.

Troll Axer: Let's face it, Mulg is slow. He's a walking mountain of unknown age, and he just isn't
as spry as he used to be. The Axer can give him some much-needed mobility and also grant him
Pathfinder to get around terrain on the board or that created by spellcasters (Baldur excepted).

Earthborn Dire Troll (EBDT): Like the Axer he can increase Mulg's movement through his
animus, but since he can provide a bump to SPD instead of Movement, he can make more of a
difference for the big guy during the early turns of the game. You do need to be near Rough
Terrain--which limits Mulg's positioning--but you don't have to Charge. If there's already an
EBDT in the list or your building with a lot of beasts in general, Mulg and the EBDT play quite
nicely together.

Pyre/Slag Troll: The two elemental damage-buff Trolls are great companions to Mulg, as
anything that boosts his damage output is spectacular. The immunity to Corrosion on the Slag
Troll's animus is the more desirable of the two since a POW 12 may not even crack his ARM if
the KSB is present, but comes at greater cost. The choice is yours.

Dire Troll Mauler (DTM): I love pairing Mulg with the DTM. The potential to send his STR
values into the stratosphere is just too good to deny for Power Attacks like Trample, and paired
with the KSB and SSE he turns into an avalanche of death. When his Rune Club hits P+S 23 he
only needs a couple hits to bring down most of the warcasters/warlocks in the game, and can
pound even the Devastator into the ground. When your opponent has to choose between an
assassination run and a P+S 23 hit, they often choose to just find other targets of opportunity.

Whelps: Mulg is hard to kill, and capable of putting out a massive amount of damage in a single
turn. These handy models have the effect of both making him harder to kill and allowing him to
churn out damage turn after turn by acting as Fury sinks and an easy way to heal him each turn.
If you're taking him in an eDoomy list, consider Whelps a necessary component.

Fell Caller Hero (FC): He can stand models up from Knockdown with Reveille. Believe it or not,
saving that single Fury from having to Shake Effects can be a very big deal if you want to charge
with Mulg and don't have a way to get him charging for free. It's not a game-breaking effect, but
if you find yourself building a list with the FC in it, you'll be glad it's there.

Limitations and Considerations

Mulg is not a panacea--putting him into a list does not automatically make it good and
competitive. Nor is he always the best choice for a given tournament or local scene. Knowing
when to put him on the table and when to keep him on the shelf is--in the immortal words of GI
Joe--half of the battle.

We've discussed what he's good at and how to use his abilities, but what about your opponents?
They certainly won't let you run rough-shod over their forces, so let's talk some of the nastiness
that might ruin your fun with Mulg (and he is so very, VERY fun to play).

SPD Denial: Any model under the effects of a SPD penalty--even when compensated for--cannot
Charge, Slam, or Trample. Remember all of those threat ranges we loved so much under
eDoomshaper? Utterly irrelevant. Both versions of Deneghra and Haley will ruin any chance of
successful charges you might have had, as will Primal Baldur. So once your Mulg has been
hobbled, what are you to do?

The good news is that unlike Molik Karn, Nightmare and Beast-09, Mulg doesn't need to be fast
to maintain his effectiveness. Under the KSB, he's still brutally difficult to kill, and as long as an
effect doesn't stop him from moving altogether he can still advance under Protective Fit. In fact,
you may find that pot-shots taken on your warlock can be a great opportunity to advance Mulg
up the field. He's also still a heavy with Reach and 5 Fury--so if need be he can spend an
activation killing off most of a unit, or just being forced to use his animus and preventing close-
range spellcasting. Mulg's animus is actually key here, because if your warlock uses it they can
often get 8-9" on the aura, which is beyond the range of many spells in the game.

Proc-Blocking: For those of you who love Protective Fit, there's that niggling little caveat where
he must move toward the model that made the attack. The text in Primal specifies that a model
that is required to move "toward" another model must be closing the distance between the two
during every part of the movement. So you can never move in such a way that would cause you
to get farther away from the original model than you began. What this means is that one or two
small based models positioned close enough to Mulg can effectively prevent him from moving
toward a given attacker, and thus render the ability useless. If he's Knocked Down, Stationary, or
otherwise denied the ability to advance toward the attacking model, the Protective Fit is
similarly stopped.

Since Mulg can Protective Fit multiple times, the best place for him is about an inch behind or
2-3" on a flank from the warlock, and with some models to block attempts at stuffing the zone
he'll be moving in. He's got Reach, so he's hard to block unless you're getting completely
overwhelmed, and all he needs is enough space so that he can continue moving closer to the
attacking model. You can always break up the movement too, using one slight diagonal to get
around a blocking model, and then using the next movement to close in for the kill. Also
remember that it triggers irrespective of attack type, just that it must be an attack.

There will come a time when you get Proc-Blocked, or Mulg gets killed to prevent Protective Fit
from triggering period. In these cases, it is best to remember that you managed to put a model on
the board that had to be dealt with before any attempt could be made on your warlock's life.

Death From Above: Mulg is slow, Mulg is big, Mulg is a magnet for ranged attacks. It's common
knowledge that Mulg will hit like a freight train (the sculpt gives it away), and opponents who
are savvy will attempt to wittle him down or outright kill him by pouring attack after ranged
attack into him. At DEF 11, they're going to hit. A little damage is no big deal, as we're actually
hoping for that to trigger Relentless. A sustained barrage can bring him down before he gets far
enough up the field to be useful though, and those Cygnaran, Retribution and Legion players
would love nothing more than to leave him bleeding on the field without killing a single model.
De-buffing specialists like Cryx can make the problem worse by bringing down his ARM, and
with it his chances of survival.

Swamp Gobbers can be very useful here, both to protect your warlock and Mulg as well.
Calandra can always give him Bullet Dodger to get some additional movement when he's
attacked, though most of the time you will be putting that on her instead. Star Crossed can
combine with the Gobbers to make hitting him no longer a sure thing for many units, and Grissel
can give him Hoof It to get him up the field more rapidly and close in with the opponent. If
you're using Grim, remember Cross Country? Hiding him and Grim behind a forest is a recipe
for a great ambush for the ranged-heavy. The ultimate solution to this problem is undeniably
Borka though. Taking the KSB also makes it that much harder to kill him from any distance, and
since it stacks AFTER effects like Armor Piercing are counted, it's a great answer to those horrid
Siege players who despise and hate us so.

The Ideal Case

Building Mulg into an army list starts with the warlock, so first look to the synergies mentioned
in their entries above. Once you're done there, consider what type of list you're trying to build
and what Mulg's role is. Will he be a front-line attacker, charging into the fray? Is he a
bodyguard to hug your caster and save him from the predations of Molik Karn and his ilk? Is he
the strong center holding the line or is he waiting on the flanks to strike at opportunity?

In any event, I don't build a list with Mulg that doesn't contain a way to save him from
Knockdown, so the Fell Caller is a must. The KSB is usually included only when I'm afraid of
ranged attacks, it makes sense for the army as a whole, or Mulg is being relegated to a support
function and I need to ensure he sticks around. Whether or not to include a damage buff largely
depends on your local metagame, but since I face a lot of Cygnar, Skorne, and Cryx armies I take
one to make sure that Mulg's damage output is there when I need it, especially for Protective Fit
attacks. I also feel that his best synergy is with Grissel, Epic Madrak and Epic Doomshaper.

As I've said throughout this article, you can't get around the fact that Mulg is a slow warbeast,
and warlocks with the ability to extend threat ranges and get out-of-activation movement are by
far the best choice. I like Grissel and Epic Madrak over Epic Doomshaper because the options
they have available to them don't depend on Mulg having the ability to charge on a particular
turn, and so are more resilient to the typical denial tactics used against him. Both also have ways
to increase the number of attacks he can make, which is often key to milking Reach and his
damage output to the fullest. In every case except for Epic Doomshaper, I wouldn't necessarily
take him in warbeast-heavy lists because he tends to take on too large a role in the army.

Mulg is best as a looming threat to worry the opponent late game as many of his abilities are
highly defensive in nature, so using infantry to do most of the initial skirmishing is often key to
opening the charge lanes and opportunities he needs to really shine. List-building should always
include a "tarpit" unit like Kriel Warriors or Fennblades to absorb initial contact with the enemy,
because Mulg doesn't typically have the threat range to go toe-to-toe against the other long-
distance charging enemy warbeasts/warjacks like Molik Karn and Beast-09 without the aid of a
significant amount of out-of-activation movement, and it helps to have blocking models or a
denial strategy (like Grim's feat, Calandra's spell Befuddle, etc)

Final Thoughts

In closing, I hope I've helped to define Mulg's role in an army list throughout this article. He's a
model that is sometimes difficult to use initially, but once you take the time to fully develop his
tactical potential, I doubt a game will go by in which he does not earn back his cost. I've found
that the threat of his accurate damage output and critical abilities--once demonstrated--is enough
to cause the opponent to alter his or her tactics significantly to deal with the threat he represents
and open up even greater opportunities for the savvy. I love his sculpt, his rules, and his fluff,
and hope I've succeeded in helping you in feeling the same way.

1 comment:

  1. p 66 trollbloods: tac tip because it's still Mulg's activation he can boost this attack. (he shouldn't have any fury left as he should have spent them on extra attacks!)