09 November 2011

Baka's Domination reaction corner - Storm Troll

OK most of us have had several days now to analyse and digest the spoilers for the Domination releases for our various factions, doubtlessly there has been some twitchy kneecaps out there ready to begin the jerking as some things are branded broken or made of fail, while others manage to slip quietly under the radar as simply being a solid choice.

The Storm Troll's reaction on the forums has been largely of the third category I think, no one has been calling borken and no one has been saying that he sucks.  This will be the first of seven reaction corners I will be doing, as I give a rough review of the model in question, my reaction to it and give a quick look at how the new addition fits into existing lists as well as building new lists around them.

The Storm Troll
Statistically, take a winter troll for every stat, swap the spray attack for a RNG8 electric type gun and cold immunity for electric immunity and you've got his base statistics.   Besides the token regeneration ability, the Storm Troll possesses three other special rules: critical disruption on his fists, electrostatic and lightning generator.

Those familiar with Cygnar's Thunderhead from the MkI days will feel a little bit of deja vu over Electrostatic, if he is struck in melee combat by a warjack after the attack is resolved the jack is disrupted unless it destroyed or removed the Storm Troll from play.  Naturally this makes him unusually survivable against warjacks, very few heavies can take him out in one shot from full health.

Lightning Generator I believe is an ability shared with Cygnar's battle engine, when he hits a model with his ranged attack he generates d3 POW10 leaps that automatically hit the nearest model within 4" of the previous leap.  What makes Lightning Generator so much better than Electroleap however is that careful reading of Lightning Generator shows that his leap damage rolls are boostable.

Finally we come to his animus.  For a single fury point he can give a friendly faction model within 6" immunity to electricity and electroleap on its melee weapons.

Baka's Reaction
I am a huge fan, for the same reason that I like the Pyre Troll I like the Storm Troll.  He does what you want him to do with the expenditure of only a single fury point.  Boosting damage can be gravy, but more often than not for what you send him after, the single boost to hit is enough.  He can prove to be a surprisingly frustrating tarpit for jacks of all shapes and sizes with his ability to disrupt after getting hit and respectable ARM value.

Trollbloods for me lacked a reliable method to help wither away the numbers of ultra high DEF and/or stealthed infantry.  The Storm Troll hits DEF14 on averages, with a POW that sees him take down 3 models per turn with an ARM of 16 or under.

His animus can also be surprisingly devastating, if you work to set it up an Axer or Champion Hero is capable of taking down a staggering amount of infantry with their reach thresher attacks, though killing more than 3 or 4 models is unlikely due to the likelihood that other models caught in the thresher attack are closest for electroleaps.  Unfortunately his animus doesn't work on any impact attacks and not on the battle engine at all (mount weapons are not melee weapons).

Fitting the Storm Troll into existing lists
There are numerous lists that I can think of that I run where the ability to pop a large number of enemy models with a single shot for a single fury point would be worth the loss of the damage buff that you typically get for bringing a Pyre Troll.

eMadrak typically has fury output at a premium so any beast that can be efficient is a winner in his eyes, especially in combination with Warpath for hit and run shenanigans as well as a second shoot (though unboostable) during his feat.

Calandra is able to help maximise the Storm Troll's efficiency through fate blessed, her feat and Soothing Song, sometimes meaning he didn't actually spend any fury at all.   Force blow can also be used to help set up ideal targets to start off some Lightning Generator chains.

Similarly Grim has a large number of DEF debuffs as well as ready access to knockdown via the Net Gun.  His feat can help provide the Storm Troll with an additional round of shooting with an aiming bonus as the enemy struggles to catch up.

Gunnbjorn as with all our ranged beasts has plenty of time for the Storm Troll.  Guided Fire means that they can be effective for a zero fury point expenditure, adding an infantry threshing element to his ranged game.

Amongst our warbeasts, the Impaler has obvious synergy with the Storm Troll boosting the range of his attacks to 12" (meaning he could theoretically hit a model 24" away if the leaps are kind).

The best piece of synergy I have found for him so far however is the humble forgotten solo known as the Feralgeist, incorporeal means he cannot be harmed by the Storm Troll (or indeed the vast majority of infantry) while still permitting him to reach out and touch a unit with stealth or massive DEF that he would otherwise never be able to touch.  With rear strike requiring 8's to hit the Feralgeist without aiming, you should still be able to count on 1d3 leaps to help deal whittle away the enemy's numbers, especially if you are using more than one Storm Troll.

Sample Lists
Jarl Skuld (-6)
> Bomber (10)
> Storm Troll (5)
> Storm Troll (5)
> Impaler (5)
> Runebearer (2)
Sons of Bragg (6)
Min Champions (6)
Max Fennblades (8)
> Officer and Drummer (2)
Chronicler (2)
Fell Caller (3)
Feralgeist (1)
Feralgeist (1)

Built to combat infantrymachine pure and simple, Feralgeists operate as lightning rods against hard to hit infantry while magic bullet helps maximise the infantry killing powers of the Storm Trolls.  Champs, Sons of Bragg and the Bomber help to be able to combat heavy armour.

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