13 September 2011

Mangled Metal/Tooth & Claw 15 pts with pDoomy

For the first time since Lock and Load the opportunity has presented itself for me to play in a Mangled Metal/Tooth & Claw tourney at our leagues.  Being able to compete instead of being the TO will be interesting and immediately the planning stage set in.

With the high cost of Trollblood beasts it is likely the games will start with my army being outnumbered, to me this is a huge disadvantage in this game format for Trolls with no cheap option for a heavy.  So the decision has to be made with which beasts to bring.  Depending on the caster Trolls can usually fit in one heavy and two lights so long as it is not Mulg, or two heavies one can be Mulg.  With so very little amounts of bodies on the table some casters will be able to assassinate without much trouble so bringing a more durable caster is paramount.  To list some of the threats and weaknessess of my own army here is what I think will need to be overcome in an all comers Mangled Tooth & Metal Claw event.
  1. High ARM lots of wounds heavies (Khador comes to mind)
  2. Swarms of Light or Lesser Beasts (Legion)
  3. More models on the table
  4. Faster Armies
  5. Denial Casters

I'm sure there
are more to overcome but those seem like the biggest ones to me.  So first off which caster do I bring to help this.  Grim Angus and Epic Doomshaper come to mind first for two reasons.  Each of these two facilitate first strike with our army and help overcome the slow nature of most of our beasts.  However, both of these casters, especially Doomy are killed more easily than some more durable choices.  I'd also Consider regular Madrak and Borka as they are super beefy and provide good defense allowing the battlegroup a better chance at surviving first strike and Borka might even pull off a first strike.  Being a glutton for punishment I think I'm going to go with pDoomshaper.  The reason I have chosen him is simply for his feat and for Goad.  He will make either himself of one of his beasts immune to spells, assists in hitting and really messes up enemies that bring Hordes armies thanks to Rampager.  But his feat, oh his glorious feat, they will likely get first strike and if they go all out on my army they will be very hurt for it and if htey don't then I will get first strike. 

With pDoomshaper chosen this leads to my first beast choice which would be Mulg.  He is almost a no brainer since with either Doomshaper and reach he has the potential to wreck multiple heavies in one round.  Which is devastating at this small point level.  With Mulg only costing 5 points this leaves 10 to fill up the round.  Here is somewhat of a delimma for me, is one more heavy a good choice or could the army benefit from two lights?  It's problematic because the Axer is almost certainly a good choice but that leaves space for only a Swamp Troll, which has its benefits for Doomy defense but without Farstrike isn't an optimal choice.  A Mauler could be added to give a sweet damage buff but then there might not be enough bodies to protect Doomy.   A Slag Troll is a fine choice as well because he hits very hard against Warmachine and provides a damage buff but presents the same problem with a Swamp Troll.  And Finally A Pyre Troll and Bouncer one for the damage buff and one for Doomy defense problem with this pair is hitting power, if it gets matched up against high armor heavies its going to be rough. 

After some indecision I decided to go with one heavy and am leaning on the Mauler, that is until the realization hit that this is only 14 points allowing for an Earthborn instead of a Mauler.   Earthborn CAN provide the speed buff that Mulg so desperately needs and provides his own damage buff which should be good enough in most cases but the Mauler insures that Mulg and the Mauler are hitting like freight trains.  In this case I think sticking with the Mauler is a good idea, now I just need to plan how to keep from eating death with they get the first strike.

Army
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls  +7
Mulg The Ancient 12
Dire Troll Mauler 9
TOTAL 14

Strategy
Turn1
I think the strategy is more straightforward than it looks, Turn 1 is run to get into position.  If I go first then Domy will hit the Mauler with Fortune and Mulg with Banishing Ward (or vice versa, though I think the Mauler needs Fortune more than Mulg needs Crits.)  If Doomy goes second think long and hard about feating here. 

Turn2
If you cannot charge then run to engage and feat with Doomy.  They might kill you, they might not, but they should take ample damage from doing so.  If you feat here and they can move back out of your range then its a wasted feat.  A few casters can pull this off like Denny from Cryx but many just can't get far enough away.  If you can't attack then use the Mauler as bait.  Losing him hurts but Mulg is a better choice.  If they go after Doomshaper at all Mulg will be able to capitolize form this to either move up to engage or swing back and beat on whatever is trying to kill Doomy.

Turn 3
The game should be decided by now, if Mulg is alive then there are likely models engaging him or in Charge range, between that and Goad he should be able to dispatch multiple models except for the beefiest heavies.  If the Mauler is around too then they both can take down whatever they need to.

Key
The key to victory with pDoomy is to feat at the right time to prevent multiple attacks on your beasts or at the least hurt them alot for killing you.   Don't forget Stranglehold, all but the most heavily Armored models will be choosing between movement and actions, knock them down with a slam or throw and hit them with stranglehold at the same time to make it a more difficult choice for them since they will have to pay to stand up or forfeight both movement and action and get to stand their 'presenting' for your beasts.

Truth be told I'm still undecided and have a couple of days to decide, indecision may change my whole army to something like pMadrak, Impaler, Axer, Mauler.

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