08 August 2010

Old Doomshaper, the troll that deals out hate much as he recieves ~ by Hellictic Mojo

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
Warlock that makes Ninja Gaiden and DMC3 look like a child's play.

Hoarluk Doomshaper is the most maligned warlock in troll arsenal. If you win with him, you should lament, because you should've used your luck to buy a lottery ticket. His fragile nature and lack of any really dedicated ability or spell lists really means that you are always playing with a hand tied around your back.

As an old man, his stats are rubbish. even Nemo outranks him in command and Def. His slow movement speed also means that he is horrible at running away from any threat against him. His fury stat is quite good however, boasting a whopping 7 that is a rarity in hordes.

Tough - If you survive, seriously get a lotto ticket or go gambling. Your luck's HOT.
Goad – One of key ways for Doomy to do an assasination run. It allows you to force a warbeast after it kills something with a melee attack to move 2 inches. Remember, trampling is melee and long as you kill one, you can goad. This is fantastic with our heavies which have very strong combat stats, and high enough fury that goading can occur twice. Remember that it does FORCE the warbeast, so you do have to consider transfer options, fury management next turn, and not goading beyond your control.
Great Power - He can upkeep one spell for free. With two upkeeps in his spell list, it's a nice bonus.
Scroll of Will of Balasaar - Once per game you can determine the target of any warbeast's frenzy. This ability is something that you do not count on, but when it happens make sure to capitalize it. There is no restriction on which warbeast this effects. This is fantastic on other horde armies (although the wolds of the Circle will just laugh at you), and it can even save minion warlocks who are too close to their warbeasts who fail their frenzy. I use it primarily as a movement tool on enemy warbeasts that forced itselft too much on my own line, send it back to the enemy to damage and block chargers. Note that while it does moves under your direction, you do not take control of it, meaning you can freestrike the bugger to death. The mk2 errata also confirmed that you need to have LOS in order to "target" so if it's an alpha strike beast with LOS completely on you, you are out of luck.

Weapon Abilities
Gnarlroot - pathetic staff that hits the same power as a hand cannon, and has no special rules beside magic weapon and reach. Looks cooler than Grissel's cartoon hammer though.

Banishing Ward - cheap Friendly upkeep that prevents enemies from casting upkeep spells on it and dispelling any prior upkeeps on it. A perfect way of screwing those that like to cast parasite or crippling grasp on your front lines.
Fortune - Another cheap friendly upkeep, but this time it's offensive in nature. It allows for models to reroll their missed attacks. This makes anything with rat/mat of 5 or less be very good and since it specify ALL attack it even boosts other warlocks's magic attacks or the rune shaper's rock hammers. Two things to note: This is friendly FACTION, meaning no reroll on minion warlocks, and that it rerolls only MISSED attacks. This will not likely get you a second critical chance with your boosted impaler or Mulg's club.
Purification - Gets rid of ALL upkeeps, continuous effects, and animus in control area for 3 fury. Not bad for spell denial, but make sure to consider your two upkeeps and animi as well, especially fortune. Remember : activate fortune unit, purification, fortune another unit.
Rampager - Hordes only offensive that costs much as purification. you take control of an enemy non character warbeast, make it advance and do a single unboosted attack. With many armies fielding character beasts you might not have the most ample targets and with many beasts having poor hitting stats your offense might not have much impact at all. Just like the scroll, use it as board control to push things back into the enemy. The attack can be any normal attack, which includes ranged, but you can't aim since it's not the warbeast's activation. Last note: you control the warbeast, you can't freestrike it since it counts as a friendly during the control.
Stranglehold - "Your lack of action or movement disturbs me" A long ranged offensive spell that when damages with it's weak POW the model must forfeit either movement as the opponent decides. Don't expect anything much from this spell. You'll likely boost the damage for the effect, not the killing power.

Feat- Dhunia's Wrath- Per every fury/focus point spent/forced, the model in question suffers d6 damage. Also if the model dies while attempting to use it's fury or focus the effect is lost.

This means that you can bypass Karchev's armor to do 3d6 dmg just for him casting Unearthly rage. Every upkeeps will plink away at the enemy for d6. You can even delay Amon's feat turn for a round out of fear that he will ruin his entire battlegroup.
This feat however does have problems, big problems. First of all if the enemy is hanging back with his arc nodes doing all the work, you will not reach the caster. Also even if you do reach the caster 1) Doomshaper gets killed by any half competent infantry force 2)3d6 means practically nothing to healthy jacks and heavy beasts 3) opponent just decides to sit and camp focus or fury subsequently screwing with any assasination attempt on your part. The feat is really best used as a deterrent rather than a game winner. Also note that this is fury or focus only, it does not shutdown magic abilities of models like greylords not does it stop any other token activities like epic Butcher's rage tokens.
It appears the best time to pop this feat is when the front lines of the army initially meet, thus when the the enemy 1) charges with the jack/beast as second wave, softening itself 2) delay the assault, which allows you to take the initiative of the battle. Forget about the caster with this feat, this is a shutdown switch, not the big red button.

Synergies and List Building


Pyre troll - while a half decent infantry clearer and can provide a nice fire immunity with it's animus, he doesn't offer Doomshaper much of anything. Too squishy to be a body guard, situational animus, and an aoe that doesn't warrant fortune or allow goading means that he should be left alone.

Slag troll - the animus situation is identical to that of the pyre troll, but his aoe - rof2 gun means that he can actually use fortune for hit chance aqnd use his fury for boosting damage. Also the seeing as how Doomshaper's scroll is worthless against wolds and warjacks, the slag helps to get rid of such annoyances. Not a must, but situationally useful. remember purification wipes out corrosion on the enemy as well.

Troll Axer - a great animus for your other beasts to capitalize on. Doomshaper himself has no terrain mitigation and axers allow for a great movement flexibility for your hard hitting beasts. It is also a hard hitting light and probably one of few that you can actually goad for its worth.

Troll Bouncer - An auto include, done, lets move on... Shield guard is such a life saver on Doomshaper and the bump animus means that melee assassins get one swipe at you and no more, even if they have reach.

Troll Impaler - While a fantastic beast, the impaler really has no synergy with Doomshaper. Doomshaper has no gun so his animus is wasted, fortune only rerolls missed attacks which the impaler with its boosted shot will almost never do. Impaler however does shine with Doomy's other warbeast options. Bomber can lob it's bombs a respectable 12 inchs, the swamp troll can actually eat stuff without fearing death next turn, and it makes the dinky guns of the slag and pyre actually hit from a safe distance.

Winter troll - being immune to cold never really helped Doomshaper, since everyone and their blind grandmother could hit him. If there is any consolation to the much maligned winter troll is that he has a spray and fortune and spray go like butter and toast.

Swamp troll - The new guy, I haven't purchased him yet, but he sounds fantastic with Doomy. animus that grants concealment? oh yeah! Living enemy within 2 in get -2 to attack making doomshaper's defense 15 practically? Oh Baby! The cheapest troll warbeast ever with crit consume? OH MAH LAWRD.

Dire Troll Blitzer - animus that pushes people sounds fantastic on Doomshaper, but remember that anythign that touches him will probably have killed him. It is useful for the turn that he makes his tough roll and make like a tree and get the hell out of there. The sheer number of attacks that he can generate due to his gun and fists mean that fortune really gets a mileage out of him, and the subsequent fury you save up and fury of 4 means that you can goad up for more killing.

Dire Troll Bomber - What? a fury 1 animus that prevents blast damage you say? POW 16 AOE 4 ROF 2 you say? For a caster with no mass killing ability and low armor that will get blasted to hell and back, this is your boy.

Dire Troll Mauler - versatile strength buff and ridiculously good chain attack grab and smash with fury 5. We know he's good, lets move on.

Earthborn Dire Troll - What the Mauler kills, he kills it deader. Great goad target as his adaptable high POW will kill even khador jacks in good few swipes.

Mulg the Ancient - The golden boy of killing anything and everything. Even without the affinity to Doomshaper Mulg is a great asset to Doomshaper. The animus is lacking unfortunately as both geezers have terrible cmd range. Mulg's greatest asset is protective fit. Long as doomshaper survives the hit, Mulg will barrel down toward the enemy and rip them a new one. Mulg is Doomy's offense and defense, but there is no real synergy between them. Mulg's high mat means that fortune is wasted on him and with no innate spd buff, Mulg will have trouble delivering the pain toward the enemy.


Kriel Warriors - The cheapest LOS blocking offensive power we got. With their prayers buffing their mat and damage, they become a force to be reckoned with. What does Doomshaper offer them you say? Really nothing much. They have CMA in addition to their prayers, so unless you are trying to hit Morghoul or Sorscha fortune does hardly anything for them. However "Ask now what Doomshaper can do for you, but ask what you can do for Doomshaper" They are one of the best option to completely cover the shaman's advance. Their attatchments and cheap point cost means that you can cover up the board with so much tough medium bases that the opponent will have to mow through them to touch doomshaper.

Kriel warriors with caber throwers - Not only do they add body to the kriel warriors the caber is a great tool to use against the enemy. the small and medium base slamming and large base knock down means that you can really shut down charge lanes and movement of the enemy in general. The subsequent knockdowns are a great set up for your heavies to trample and goad their ways upfield. plowing a wedge into the enemy's plans.

KW with Piper and standard - The granted steady means that every kriel warriors that refuse to die in front of the old man provides LOS denial, freestrike causing charge lane blockage that in the long run pays for itself. I personally found no real great advantage for the extended formation range unless I had a complement of full unit plus 3 cabers (a rarity in any army to be honest) since These guys exist primarily as an offensive/defensive wall.

Kriel Stone Bearers - The foundation of the troll "Brick." These guys have been invaluable countless times. First of all, Hoarluk actually have high enough fury points to dump into the full unit of the stones. Secondly the stone's aura is not a * action, meaning that they are fully capable of fighting and running around while using the stone. Thirdly the hand weapons these guys carry have enough power to kill some standard 1 wound light infantry. The only problem is their mat 5, but mat 5 is the perfect number for Fortune to get the ultimate mileage. With plenty of rerolls happening def 13 is no longer a serious obstacle and it will surprise plenty of enemies when a support unit kills their troops.

Stone scribe elder - If you are using the stone bearers, you must use this guy. preventing continuous effect is much, much more beneficial than using purification to clean up the damage after it happened. Spirit chaser means that you don't have to rely on your dinky stranglehold and put your self in danger while killing incorporeal models. +1 strength is really important as Hoarluk only boosts ability to hit, not damage. This is the easiest way for you to get an army buff with him. To make it even sweeter the armor buff from the original krielstone is still in effect. Huzzah!

Pygmy Burrowers - Hoarluk is no Calandra, fortuned pygmies with their powerful slug guns is a sight to behold none the less. The real limitation that dygmies face is that fortune has a terrible range of 6 inches, meaning that you likely will not pop up behind the enemy if you want to be buffed by fortune. Fellcallers are the better option really if you want to buff up the dygmies.

Pygmy Bushwhackers - Good softening up tool for Hoarluk's army. They are great solo killers in the army and a great back up when hoarluk fails to damage with his stranglehold, guaranteeing not only the elimination of the threat, but also serves cannon fodder against potential assassins.

Thumper Crew - eh... Their guns are a good board control, but hoarluk needs things that can move with him while protecting and fighting. leave this guy at home and leave the knock down to the caber.

champions - Good against everything that moves. great body buffer with defensive line and multi wounds. If you have points, use them.

Fennblades - Spd 6 meaning it will run in tandem with the scattergunners. Reach, making sure that you can get to the enemy. Fortune allowing for rerolls on vengeance attacks? yeah, they are pretty dang awesome.

Longriders - way too expensive to be used as a body buffer, and fortune does squat for them. However if you hankering for a list that forsake Doomshaper's defense and looking for an offensive powerhouse that is tough to remove and hit hard through the lines, these guys have their place in 50pt lists as the secondary chargers with the earthborn and the axer shredding the enemy.

Rune Shapers - They do have wounds meaning they might cover the old man for some aoes and such and steady means that tough is really good when it happens. Tremor can't be rerolled by fortune, but their rockhammers can. Tremor is really best for collapsing the enemy's flank *** a second line if you see the enemy trying to spill over from the side. With tremor, you can potentially block a flanking assassin for another turn as he struggles to get up and deal with 3 multi wound models.

Scattergunners - OH YEAH! You've been waiting for this. The ultimate fortune lovers with their sprays. Pow 12 guarantees a kill for everything except the heaviest of infantry. SPD 6 is also their great selling point as they can go where no other troll has gone yet. These guys are the core of Doomshaper's infantry clearing, take care of them well.


Fellcaller - Twin weapon master with a spray he can use if he can't charge for some reason. Me like. "There are somethings Fortune can't buy, for everything else there's war cry." + 2 to melee is a great boon for our melee troops and burrowers who are too far from Hoarluk's buffing range. and will allow hoarluk to squeeze another spell in. Also he's freakin fearless, meaning hoarluk's craptacular CMD has no dire ramifications.

Horthol - He's Madrak's friend in the fluff and he stays that way on the table. Too expensive for a hoarluk beast army. He might have a place in higher point games for blitzing with the Long riders, but know that you will severely limit the body count of your army and Hoarluk doesn't have any def/arm buffs to cast on them. Don't do it unless you really have a plan.

Stone Scribe Chronicler - He's a hidden gem that compete with the whelps for utility. The defensive benefits of his stories really help to sustain the army and hoarluk himself when his tough rolls come up. Charge of the trolls require the charge target to be within a range of a troll's melee range. with plenty of beasts that you will be bringing with Hoarluk (especially, Mulg, Bouncer, and Axer that have reach) The +2 to hit and damage really kicks up the army efficiency.

champion Hero - This guy is sweet with the old man. First of all Commander mitigates Hoarluk's morale deficiencies. The tactician ability with other champions mean that your champions will have freedom to bunch up near the old man, but is always prepared to make a charge when opportunities presents itself. Reach + Weapon master + Thresher should've sold you on it really.

Skinner - "Skinner!" "Yes, Shaman Hoarluk?" "Why are you in my army? I don't need any dedicated light beast damager." "oh..."

Whelps - Are you running beasts? Yes? You want to heal, disrupt enemy charge lanes and attacks, and manage your fury? yes? then get some whelps. All the cool kids are doing it, and you can do it too!

Rune Bearer - For a spell intensive caster runebearer is not so hot with Doomshaper. He really doesn't have any spell that he want to spam out. However, if you are playing a doomshaper list with earthborn, axer and other speedy elements including the burrowers, the extended spell range for the once a game fortune becomes spectacular. Harmonious exaltation is great for turn that you want to cast stranglehold with potential 4 pow 11 shots or 2 damage boosted shots and fortune.


Lets start this off with the lesser warlocks. As I've said that scroll of balsanaar work on minion beasts which mean that even if the minions cannot benefit from whelps, atleast it won't be a disastrous as it could be. take these guys for 50pt games, but with their cost I recommend that you leave them most of the time for friendlies that can buff from your spells.

Brun and Lug - Another source of grab and smash besides the mauler. These guys have flank and pathfinder with great combat stats. What does it mean? A flanking force. Brun's spell makes him unexpectedly tougher which just adds to the self reliant nature of the duo.
The animus granting push or knockdown has saved me numerous times with the Blitzer using its own animus. These two combination alone can be very strong tool to disrupt shieldwall and create openings for you to capitalize on.

Hallyr and Skarath - Unlike the previous pair these two are less straight forward. the worm is only good for targeting small based models in melee and the spray's corrosion has the chance of being washed by purification and the elf has no combat ability to speak of. With the low defense of the trolls, serpent strike will never be pulled off and in general it is a waste of fury. The serpentine nature of the worm mean he also can't do any power attacks. Leave these guys alone.

Rorsh and Brine - These guys are bit easier to work with, but still tricky as they have no obvious benefit to Doomshaper. Bacon and pig headed can provide a healthy boost to your beasts, but when whelps are readily available, this strategy pushes reasonable bounds of their usage.
They are at best as board control. They do not offer board control as in denial, but they can cap key models that may wonder in close. ROF2 pistols shots with boost will hurt solos and key troopers. Dig in, pig pen and diversionary target means that the enemy will have to put a considerable resources to make sure they kill him in one go. Same goes with Brine's pain response. They divert the enemy and anythign allow the old man to evade wrath is great.

Wrong eye and Snap Jaw - They are similar to brun and Lug in their independent nature, but rather than being a straight forward combat duo they strike surgically and methodically. The submerge animus and the extended range against living models, These guys can be great flankers that are troll tough with their warbeast bond healing each other. One of the major mistake you can make with these pair is the fact that Purification wipes out animi.


Alton Ashley - If you brought an Impaler, you might as well use his animus on him. Swift hunter and pow 12 means that he is good against all armies, capping solos and odd models.

Feralgeist - spend the 1 point on a swamp gobber. It will be better for someone fragile as doomshaper. If you still have 1 pt left over then do take him. If any beasts die in front of you you will appreciate the fact that the meatwall is still in front of you. even with 3 health dire trolls require a heavy hitter to damage, a heavy hitter not hitting you.

Gudrun - Berserk means that you don't want him around your troops, but stick him in the side and watch him carve a two inch radius of death and if he dies on front of doomshaper, he'll back for a second go. Awesome for denying flanks and general reliable killing power for those turtling buffing lists.

Lanyssa Ryssyll - Hunter's mark and winter storm means that you can get the first strike while shutting down counter attacks. If you feel a need for a magic assault and your local meta involve Legion she's a welcome addition. park her in a forest with the earthborn and watch as the elf laserguides the cruise missle known as the earthborn.

Viktor Pendrake - Utility solo against Hordes. If you know for a sure you are going to face a hordes army Doomshaper and Pendrake can make life living hell for them. with beast lore and fortune up, even the most agile of legion or circle beasts are vulnerable to concentrated attacks. 18 def agaisnt warbeasts coupled with tough and dismember, the enemy will have to dedicate quite a lot with his beasts to get rid of pendrake, and after it's forced too much and frenzies the scroll will shove the model right back into the enemy lines with Pendrake (if he lives) doing a dismembering freestrike against it. you can even use rampager to turn beasts with shields turn their back and use pendrake to dismember it.

Saxon Orrik - While Pendrake is a man that works in tandem with the shaman, Saxon Orrik supports the army that works away from him. With Reconnaissance coupled Troll's faster elements he can make the army have surprising maneuverability. Advanced deploying with bushwhackers have often earned me valuable shooting as I soften up the enemy for my big pay load to arrive. earthborn and Longriders emerging from the forest at full speed and collapsing a flank is a sight to behold.

Thrullg - he's good... really good... With much of Hoarluk doing its best against Hordes, the anti warmachine that is thrullg makes a great addition to Hoarluk's theme of spell denial. 3 attacks on a model is nothing to sneeze at, and the medium base is not a problem for him as we are the trolls. Spellward has no meaning to Hoarluk as his spell list does not contain buffs thrullg will want.
Arcane interference is the premier anti spell/warmachine ability, while the arcane consumptions guarantees that enemy non-focus/fury spell casters will suffer as well. Hoarluk's feat combined with thrullg can completely shuts down armies. Disruption prevents atleast one jack focus allocation, upkeeps eat a d6 (provided they weren't wiped before), any new casting eats a damage from thrullg and Doomshaper, melee with boosts or additional attacks eats a d6, completely shuts down feat opportunity that use allocation to jacks (Vyros, Amon), and prevents healing and regeneration. keep him alive and watch your enemies cry.

Totem Hunter - I mentioned how Gudrun's good for holding a point and carving a 2 inch death radius? Totem hunter is the opposite in that it doesn't hold point, it takes it, it doesn't carve a circle of death, he creates a deep puncture wound and doesn't quit. This guy has the ludicrous speed of 7 on just a normal walk, and that doesn't even incorporate his other movement shenanigans. Pathfinder, stealth, and hunter should tell you that forest is his best friend. Unlike other speedy models I've described he works well in both the speedy blitz lists and turtling lists. He is so fast and independent that your army really does not to work in perfect tandem with the Totem Hunter for him to be effective. Even if he's dead by turn two, the attention this guy receives has been enough of a life saver for the rest of the army for me. Never be afraid to consider ignoring your prey for juicier/more threatening targets. The movement boost appears when within 10 inches of the prey and this movement is not restricted in any way. Hoarluk has many enemies, use the totem hunter as a living sniper rifle against these foes.

Minion units

Bog Trog Ambushers - cost much as a unit of fennblades, but the level of board control it offers is often enough to warrant it's use. Combined melee with reach means that it can deal with almost any target they set their moist eyes on and they have no reason to cry at the fact that they won't receive fortune. Their best usage is board manipulation though, combined with their powerful charge and CMA, nothing is safe from them. This forces the opponent to clump up which just creates and ample room for your scatter gunner and the bomber to blast the living hell out of them.

Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters - If you have filled out your point with beasts and you need both shooting and melee these are the unit to call upon. Weaponmaster on their sword with a strong pathfinder charge range means that these guys will kill whatever you set your eye upon. Combined ranged attack with hunter also makes for a very scary shooting round as well, meaning that Cylena like the totemhunter will serve as a great offensive guard eliminating anything that stray too close to our man. Only advice is that you have a plan with them. They are one of the most expensive models in game and any good deviation from an aoe will ruin your day, so make those kills where it counts.

Blythe and Bull - These guys are perplexing unit and seem valid as melee and ranged, but excels in neither. Most often I find myself pumping out shots at random infantry I come across, while hoping that these two don't get run over. Without any clear purpose or buffs from hoarluk, I suggest you leave these dynamic duo alone for... how bout some 3 man aoe dealing, knockdown causing runeshapers?

Farrow bone grinders - Now these guys I like. For low points these guys offer so much for the geezer. Confluence is extremely annoying to me as a pet peeve, but it does help make the grinder's arcane bolt pack a nice sniping touch. Luckily, the two abilities that you actually care about doesn't care about the confluence.
Bone magic is extremely useful especially when the beast your animus and game plan depended on dies. Mauler and axer has earned itself in the grinder pot several times due to their combative nature, and the opponent's knowledge of the utility of their animus.
Craft talisman is what makes Hoarluk a half competent spell caster. Combine with rune shapers with it's once a game skarlocking and harmonious exaltation, you can really sling spells across the table with comfort and safety. the added range of spell means that you can afford to recast fortune on models way up field, and use strangle hold on more models without the reprisal.

Farrow Brigands - Really don't offer much here. For their points I can afford the flank eating bog trogs, buffable fennblades or scattergunners. Dig in order and the heroic call prayer can turn them into durable little pigs, but they are generic with no real focus or anything to excel on. To make it worse, these guys can't even guard doomshaper properly as they are mounted on small bases. If you want a multi purpose unit with doomshaper, I recommend you go with the Nyss hunters instead and pay up the points.

Gatormen Posse - The Minion equivalent of our Champions. These guys are one versatile beatsticks. While they fail to match dual weaponmastering of our beloved champions, they make up for it in their ability to buff themselves to compensate and having a reach weapon. While champs carve up large beefy target like a christmas goose, they guys just plow through the rift rafts of infantry. Do note that their combat prowess is truly shining against living enemies. Champions are the clear winner against cryx encounters, but for everyone else these guys are interchangeable. also the full unit costs 1pt less than the champion full unit.

Greygore Boomhowler - Man oh man, these guys are rough. It is a common strategy now to use the fennblades as a speedy tarpit unit, but if you are willing to pay the points for theses guys they become the supergluepit unit. The lack of reach and vengeance will make you feel pain, but long as greygore is alive, theses guys will generate kills and stick around for a long time. I've seen trolls lock down the entire enemy front with fennblades and boomhowler engaging the enemy. Pretty good options for scenario play.

Swamp Gobber Bellows crew - 1pt, you take. it grants concealment for the old man. Unless fighting Legion you take. Oh heck, just take it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily


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