23 January 2011

Grissel Bloodsong, the Queen of Jams

by MrChomperz

Madrak’s second in command and defender of all things trollkin this buxom beauty a pure support warlock that rarely uses spells. Her fell calls are some ultimate model/unit support and will make the difference between a unit damaging a warbeast, boxing that warbeast, or getting away quietly. She is the trollblood infantry caster and will push a full unit to do marvelous things.

Her primary strength is giving one large unit the crushing power to take out anything and zoom into combat when not engaged. She will take a big unit, like full Kriel warriors or max long riders, jam a charge lane or boost their number and quality of attacks. It is some awesome power to see two caber tossers outright scrap a heavy jack.

Meh, average speed, normal troll str, fennblade mat, scattergunner rat, high def (for a troll) and decent arm (for a troll). Her standing features are her CMD and her average Fury. Her CMD is the big deal since that is the range of her fell calls.
Grissel has three fell calls, restricted to one a turn and cannot stack with other fell calls.
Cacophony shuts down spell casting and orders in her range. It’s an aura; use this late game when things get close. If everything is going to plan you shouldn’t need it.
Heroic Ballad, spectacular. This fell call might as well be a feat it rock so much face. This will give a unit fearless and an additional melee attack, perfect for a front line unit.
Hoof it, bread and butter. Hit and run Troll style. This lets a model/unit make another move at the end of the turn without retaliation. Use it first turn, use it often. This is one of those abilities that define the caster. Hoof it allows Grissel to adapt and play a few different styles or even different lists.
. Lets you hit harder and more accurately. It is expensive but a go to spell when you need to take out a hard target like a Khador war jack.
Hallowed Avenger. Lets a beast counter charge when a warrior model dies around them. This is her only friendly upkeep and can save you in a pinch. Especially if put on a hard hitting heavy like Mulg or the earthborn.
Rift. Her offensive spell that creates rough terrain in a small AoE. Handy in a pinch.
Feat, Fell chorus- All of her fell calls up on all models in her control area. This is a spectacular feat that really defines this caster. It can be used offensively or defensively to completely change the table position of you and your enemy. You can put Grissel into harm’s way to use her ranged attack or cast some animi then after the units have killed all they can you can hoof it up into a safer position or go onto the offensive and Jam a back line with everyone. Great feat, one of the best in hordes.

Sonic Blast, It’s the fell caller’s spray but with fury behind it to boost. With a point lower mat you may need to boost. I rarely use this.
- Melee weapon with a decent P+S and crit smite. I have seen her drop a model that gets too close with this. That crit smite can be useful to set up other models to kill the slammed target. Let’s face it; if she is in combat it is probably late game and you may already be dead. Decent on the feat turn since you have a get out of jail free card.


She has a few key elements to her game plan. The first being the Jam.

Jamming, how make people hate you.
Kriel warriors, fennblades, or Long riders only, this does not work on other units due to speed factors. Let’s take a full unit of Kriel warriors, with UA and max caber tossers, have them pray speed and run 12” up the table on turn one, Grissel then moves up and fell calls hoof it to the standard bearer (he should be sitting near the back since he is so important and doesn’t even have an attack). She pours all her fury into the Krielstone. The Krielstone then runs and pops armor and immune to continuous effects (to avoid fire and corrosion). End of the turn the Kriel warriors hoof it 5” further up the line. That is a total of 17” movement on a unit that is very difficult to kill. Use this if your opponent is screening with another tar pit unit that they hope to jam you with.
The next turn they will try to kill all those Kriel warriors. If done correctly only 6 or 7 front grunts might fall (barring tough rolls against the right kind of enemy) freeing up the second line of the same unit of kriels and Caber throwers to charge in under heroic ballad and wipe the front line. Three cabers are fully possible to scrap a heavy or two lights. Good trade. Great start to an attrition game that will make menoth cringe.

Flank – Hammer and anvil.

This one calls for the long riders. I learned this trick from Ummhmmguy back in MKI and it still works. It’s just hoof it the long riders on the hard flank on turn one. Move into position to avoid the charge with the rest of your army. If your opponent moves to take out the long riders (good luck) then the rest of his army will be exposed to move in or jam with the big unit. Then they are cornered and you have won by scenario. If they ignore the Long riders or just move to eat a charge by them then it is time to charge in with the feat up and kill as much as possible then position to hold the center. Keep the long riders going for the enemy deployment zone. The big unit will be the anvil (KWs) or a food processor with oodles of attacks (champs or fens).

Model Synergies:
I am not adding any Minion help here, Calamity buff them but that is it. Take advantage of her fell calls and stick in faction.

The key elements,
Big unit, meat of any Grissel list

Kriel warriors, The first choice in a Grissel list is primarily due to the offensive punch of the Caber throwers and the defensive abilities of being cheap, arm 17 with the stone, and steady. More efficient use of heroic ballad on Kriel warriors since you will be generating another 14 attacks from this call. That is 22 mat 7 pow 13s to put in or some really effective combine melees. In groups of three and one group of two that is six mat 10 pow 16s and two mat 9 pow 15s. The caber tossers get a little crazy here since that makes six mat 7 pow 16s that auto slam/KD. Throw out some acidic touch, calamity, and charge of the trolls you get six mat 11 pow 22 auto slam/KD attacks. That should scrap a devastator. Have fun.
With fennblades, our other big melee unit you have a bit different approach. They turn into a meat grinder with multiple swings a turn from vengeance and heroic ballad. Their higher speed and reach come big into play here since you can jam an enemy line from 20” away. I have tried this a few times but always wish I had the bigger unit to play with.
Champions are third on this list since they lack speed, numbers, reach, and are so super expensive. Whenever I have played with them they just take hoof it to move up faster. Slow pokes.

Second point, support.
Krielstone bearer with elder-you know you love them. They make the Kriel warriors that much harder to kill and hit just a little bit harder being worth their five points. Fill em on first turn and use the stone first in a turn to move up and pop the aura. Grissel has some extra fury a turn she can use to keep it topped off. Keep that aura big and it will do you justice. End game these kids can get into combat and do some damage. They are after all a buffable model with decent damage, fearless, and tough.

Chronicler. His stories will great help frustrate the enemy. First turn throw down tale of mists to grate concealment to your big unit then later switch between charge of the trolls and heroes tragedy to cause some havoc. When Jamming, Heroes tragedy is your best friend, especially when utilized with fens.

Fell caller, Gets in the way with her feat and interrupts her fell calls. I only take him in huge games when I have a bigger field to cover.

Long riders
- speed and accuracy. They are the hammer to our anvil and can dominate a flank or break a tar pit. Very few units can survive mat 7 3 dice impacts at pow 14, then the enemy juicy supports take the sweet pow 14 charge. Plus they can slam, have high arm, and eight wounds. Good times. I take them more often then not. Hoof it on these guys makes them a threat to enemy support on turn two.

Bushwhackers- Don’t disregards range with Grissel. Hoof it with bushwhackers rocks. They can get the order to bushwhack, shoot up an enemy front line with a few CRAs, bounce back six’ then move another six at the end of the turn. Calamity just makes them that much better, but it makes everything better.
Scouts- I suppose they fill this role, haven’t tried them they aren’t out yet.
Scattergunners- I suppose?
Sluggers- see scattergunners.

Beast selection
We as trolls have two types of beasts, melee specialists and ranged beast with melee attacks. At small points I prefer to go with melee beasts but at large games I love to role with ranged guys’ getter to take advantage of heroes tragedy or caber knock downs.
Earthborn Dire Troll-
He’s big and comes with his own buffs. Having him near rough terrain makes him zoom up the side of the table, 21” total move? Yes please. Use him to flank a short line like a menoth jack wall or shield wall troops. Decent animus to aide armor.

Dire troll Bomber-
Have him sit back and chuck barrels at targets near your front line. Very helpful if you can KD a jack or heavy beast and then drop some bombs to finish it. I find myself taking this beast far more than any other heavy with Grissel.

Dire troll Mauler-
Fantastic animus. I bet I have cast rage more than any spell in the game with any caster. My favorite target for Hallowed avenger too, since he will be near the front line casting his animus every turn. He is a second line beast that really raises the efficiency of your army.

Alright, I take the blitzer from time to time. Mainly for the gun but otherwise I would rather other beasts.

Heavy hitter that is too slow to get in there in her lists. She already has his animus in her fell call, kinda redundant if you ask me. I would rather take a Mauler or Bomber. Too expensive.

Light beasts
Slag/Pyre troll

Same terrific animus on both of them. Take one of these two if you don’t have a mauler so your troops can drop heavies. The ranged support they bring help a great deal as well. Have the slag go for enemy jacks or solo hunting and have the pyre just drift his fire spit on the enemy lines. It’s pow 6 but auto fire, with the Krielstone elder we are immune to fire anyway so go for it.
Increased range AND crit slam! I bring this guy to help my other beasts hit farther targets. Or crit slam my own KWs into small based units.
Sometimes hurts more than helps. Thresher is a pain when Jamming and he doesn’t hit as hard as the caber thrower. Bring him mainly for crowd control but I never need it. I find I run him to engage heavies then put charge of the trolls on my Kriel warriors. Useless animus, there is nowhere to go when you have a huge unit choking the middle of the table.
KEEPS GRISSEL ALIVE. Bump has saved her life a bunch of times. He rocks at being hard to kill. When the (inevitable) flanker comes for Grissel he is the best at intercepting and shutting it down.
Swamp/winter troll
Haven’t used them, I don’t know.

My preferred list.
Grissel Bloodsong
Dire troll Bomber
Pyre troll
Troll Impaler (or bouncer, depending)
Full Kriel warriors with UA and three caber throwers
Max Krielstone bearer and stone scribes with elder
Min Bushwhackers
Min Long riders
Horthol, long rider hero
Stone scribe Chronicler

I form up with the long riders on the hard flank with the least amount of cover, the bushwhackers on the other with the most cover. Kriel warriors right on the deployment line with the stone, beasts, KW standard, Chronicler and Grissel right behind ready to move up and aura. The Long riders go around to the backside of the enemy, the bushwhackers to the side forcing them to kind of bulk into the center then I jam the front line with the Kriels while my beasts get ready to counter attack with ranged.
I love playing this list but my opponents hate it. Really, really hate it. No one likes being trapped in a box and having to cut through high arm tough models to get out.
I rarely assassinate with this list. Scenario or steamroll are your options. Clock is not your friend.
Comments welcome.

Tier lists

No heavies, Long riders, fennblades, chronicler, or champions. Everything else is as stated but with benefits.
The big benefit, speed.
Tier one, cheaper fell callers and beasts get to move before the game starts for each caller in the army (max two)
tier two, two+ kriel warrior units, they get hoof it first turn automatically.
Tier three, two pyg units, they get super AD (after everyone)
Tier four, three+ light beasts, plus two" to deployment.

What a fantastic tier list. Haven't tried it yet but looks competative.
My list for T4 is
50 points
Grissel Bloodsong
Slag troll
Max Kriel warriors with UA and three Cabers
Max Kriel warriors with three cabers
Two min units of bushwhackers
Full krielstone with elder
Two Fell callers

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