31 December 2011

Know Your Opponent: eHaley

Phreaker187 here once again welcoming you back to the wonderful world of Know Your Opponent;  this week starring everyone's favorite time mage, eHaley.  Now that I thing about it I'm almost positive that I named my first article "Know Your Enemy" hmm, maybe the mods thought it was a little to controversial. Anyway let's jump right into the meat of the article, the list.

Keep in mind that to effectively work eHaley needs to be played at a minimum of 50 points, luckily for us Cygnar players that's pretty much the tournament standard.  So here we are...

Major Victoria Haley +5
Stormclad  -10
Thorn  -8
Squire  -2
Journeyman Warcaster  -3
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages  -6
+Officer  -2
+Defender  -9
Eiryss, Angel of Lame  -3
Strangewayes  -2
Stormguard (max) -9
Stormsmith -1

Totaling us out at exactly 50 points of "turn back the clock" goodies.   First up for analysis:

30 December 2011

Bron Hombrew (revisited)

We have speculated on Bron before, and let's face it, Trollbloodscrum Kith and Kriel might even give up beer for a week to get him... as long as he is cool.  Here is another Homebrew version of Bron that we entertain on a regular basis.

external image troll-axer.pngAs Madrak's plight continues one of his most trusted full blooded Trolls Bron has been with him since the beginning.  Having faced countless battles at Madrak's side Bron has shown an intelligence and skill nearly unmatched among Full Blooded Trolls.   With long exposure to Madrak's unique Sorcery Bron has begun to benefit from some of those affects when in proximity to Madrak and has even begun to mimic him to some small degree.  Bron wades into his enemies with unmatched fury cutting them down one after the other.

After one particularly difficult encounter with a lesser Skorne Warlock and a pair of Titan's Bron watched as the Titan's trampled Madrak into the earth.  Feeling the connection to Madrak break, Bron went into a rage and singly handedly destroyed not only two Titan's but the Warlock as well.  Nearly killing himself in the process Bron collapsed thinking the end at come.  When Bron came to some time later the connection to Madrak had returned.  Bloody and bruised the encounter bonded Bron to Madrak in a way that neither had experienced before.

To repay Bron for his long service to Madrak, and the many times Bron had stepped in to keep Madrak safe.  Madrak had Bron's great axe carved with Runes detailing his greatest deeds, imbuing the Axe with Runic Power, granting him even greater power's of regeneration and augmenting Bron's innate abilities.

Trollblood Character Light Warbeast

29 December 2011

Breast Cancer Brawl ~ Thrullg Auction

When we mentioned we were doing a Breast Cancer Brawl in our local lgs the Hero Clix players got on board as well.  This quickly degenerated into a friendly competition to see who can earn more towards the brawl Warmachine/Hordes or Hero Clix.  As part of our plan to utterly crush the Clix players we have decided to start a series of Blind Auctions here on The Scrum.

How it works.
1- We will present a model here (and on the side bar) for those of you interested to bid on, including an end time.
2- Bidding will be done via email to thegreatblah@trollbloodscrum.com
3- Bidders will not know whether they are the highest bid or not untill the end time, though we will happily let you know if you are the highest bidder or not.
4- Bidders may increase their bids at anytime if they feel their original bid is too low.
5- Winners will be announced (unless they wish to remain silent) and upon receipt of the donation and mailing information the item will be mailed promptly.
6- All donations gained from auctioned models will be included in our lgs total Brawl donation to the Hunstman Cancer Treatment Center in Logan, UT.

24 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Trollbloodscrum.com

We really love all of you here on the Troll forums and as an effort to spread Xmas cheer and truly make fools of ourselves, we have composed a little number that we think you should hear.  This was a submission to Lost Hemisphere for their Xmas special, but honestly it was so hilarious, I want to post it here as well.  So, without further ado I present to you, Borka the Snowman.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday, filled with family friends and a healthy serving of Whelp Ale.

Merry Christmas from the Scrumcast!

23 December 2011

Baka's Tournament List Building - Part 3

Welcome back once again for the third part of my Tournament List Building blog series, it comes about a week or so later than I planned due to my being distracted by Star Wars: The Old Republic (which I probably should apologise for but I won't as the game is that awesome!) but as they say, the show must go on!

In the previous episode I detailed the first of the three lists that I intend to take to the competitive tournament scene in 2012, outlined the basic strategies and looked at the list from the perspective of my three key aspects of competitive tournament list building.  The first list looked at was Doomshaper2 and I know that there were a few people who pointed out that in a character restricted tournament I had blown three of our six character choices in a single list, which can be seen as a fair comment.

However many of my opponents know that I rarely take our character models with Mulg being the only one seeing consistent play and that was only with Madrak1 or Doomshaper2, so blowing a large portion of my character models in one list isn't a hindrance to my list building strategy.

21 December 2011

Impact Attacks Explained

Alternatively if all the models are together you make your impact attacks vs all models you are engaged with, if your charge target is still alive you make the charge attack.  If the Impact attack kills your charge target then the charge becomes a failed charge.

20 December 2011

Know Your Opponent: eStryker

     Good evening folks Phreaker187 here once again talking about a subject that I'm much more familiar with than stinky trolls, that would be killing trolls.  As primarily a Cygnar player and to a lesser extent a Minions player I like to think I have the inside edge on all things swan related, and Troll players should too.

     How many times have you lost a game because you weren't familiar with your opponents army?  I know I've lost many a game after asking the same question, "You can charge how far?"  I'm going to write a few short articles on on the ins and outs of playing against Cygnar and hopefully make you more aware of how to beat me... wait a minute... maybe not.

First things first let's start with a typical tournament 35 point list.

15 December 2011

eGrissel vs Garryth 25 points

Grissel knew Cylena Reyfall and her Nyss Hunters well, which made Horthol's report much more dire.  He had caught sight of a member of her band speaking with what appeared to be a mounted elf...  She hadn't seen one in person but from Grim's description she knew them to be unfriendly.  Not exactly at war with the non-humans they still didn't shy away from fighting the Trollkin whenever they encountered them.  Grissel and he band we not very stealthy so they setup in a small clearing around a pond and waited watchfully for any signs the Iosians had decided to set upon them.

Cylena didn't like fighting against the Trollbloods, though it seemed her current contract demanded it of her.  She knew Garryth to be quite capable, but having fought alongside Grissel on a few occaisions she knew the Trollkin Fell Caller to be especially tough and those that fought with her fought with considerable toughness even among the Kith and Kriel.  He scout returned to inform her that they had found Grissel's encampment and that she appeared ready... they must have seen one of those Destors traveling with Garryth as they were the only part of the band that couldn't blend into the trees with ease.  "Report to the Iosian Warcaster," she barked to her hunter and he immediately sped off into the woods.  It would be unfortunate if something were to happen to Grissel, Garryth would be paying her a bonus for certain for eliminating one of her best clients.

My List
Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels
>Earthborn Dire Troll
>ImpalerHorthol, Long Rider Hero
Trolkin Long Riders (Min)
Kriel Stone Bearer & Stone Scribes
>Stone Scribe Elder

14 December 2011

Khador Journeyman

Did you know that it sucks when your hard-drive crashes? So thanks to Druidsandstuff for letting me use his laptop to post with.This week I want to talk about the Journeyman League. Just as a little bit of preamble, I tried a Zerkova list and it was terrible. She just doesnt work at low point costs. So I restarted my record with the following list.
The Butcher of Kardov (+6)
-Devestator (9)
-Berserker (6)

It is a tight, slow moving battle-box that does one thing. Smashes really well. Basically the turns go the same ever game. Full-throttle, charge smash. Butcher usually ends up getting the iron flesh, +3 DEF to a def 10 'jack doesnt really tip the scales very well. Fury goes almost exclusively to the Berserker. Turning his POW 16 axes into POW 19 makes all the difference in the world. And the bonus to his free headbutt is pretty nice too.

10 December 2011

Sid's Saturday Shenanigans #9 12/10/11

  Welcome back to another episode of shenanigans! At the behest of my fellow authors I have been "persuaded " to make another post. It has been a while since I have last painted and I feel a little rusty, but once school is over I will have more time to paint, and get things done.
I have begun to paint the Magnus battlgroup, and I will not post WIP pics of them, because I want y'all to be surprise when you see the final product of what I will be donating for the Breast Cancer Brawl (snicker snicker). I have been wanting to make my shenanigans more...shenanigany, so I have looked at my previous posts and see what I could do better to make it these posts actually worth reading. After some severe critiquing by yours-truly, I am going to make a few changes in how I post.

   First, I am going to post what paints I used this session to get the look of the model. This will help those that want to use the same colors I did to get the scheme that they want. Second, I am going to list step-by-step what was done to the model mixed with pictures from the model. Just in case someone wanted to copy how I painted the model. I hope that y'all enjoy this new format, and that you will want more shenanigans!

   The guinea pig for this will be my buddy Jason's Mage Hunter Strike Force! I had to think how I was going to paint these guys for the typical angry elf colors. So, I decided to just get as close as I could and go from there. Alright, people let's git-r-dun!

08 December 2011

Scrumcast V.4 Circle of Orboros

Episode 4 of our Scrum Cast is here for your pure listening enjoyment.

In this episode we discuss:

The Destruction of all the new Circle of Orboros models listed in Domination
The Glory of Goris's Fel Calls
The application of Axe to our local Circle Player's Mouth
The expertise of one of the most competitive Trollblood players around JoeDJ
And the sweet sounds of our smooth talking Welshman
Find The Scrum Cast on its new page http://scrumcast.trollbloodscrum.com/

What More Can The Scrum Do ~ Results

After some great input from many of you it has become apparent that only 4 of you think we are doing a good enough job and that nothing should change.  While that might seem like a good number, when you know that at least 3 of those 4 votes were by authors of the blog it changes the perspective a little bit.  So you our readers have spoken, and dutifully our scrummers have altered their game plans, sharpened their pencils and cleaned out their keyboards with canned air.

 All with the ultimate goal in mind, to possibly do our best to almost give you everything you might want nearly as much as you are getting close to thinking you certainly nearly need.

Everything that more than 20% of you voted for is listed below

General Strategy Guides  57 (68%)
Model/Unit Strategy Guides  57 (68%)
Battle Reports  47 (56%)
Scrum Cast Podcasting  29 (34%)
Painting  24 (28%)
Battle Reports w/Fiction  19 (22%)

You, our readers, our kith and kriel, brothers in arms and comrades.  We will interpret you desires for the scrum in our own way and deliver to you something that will hopefully satisfy.  If it should happen that an article or two leaves you wanting for something different. Just remember... you asked for it.

06 December 2011

New Church League Round 3

With EvilFuzzyDoom

These posts document the NEW CHURCH LEAGUE (named after our regular gaming venue, affectionately nicknamed "the Church"). The NCL has ten participants, and will take place over nine two-week, Round Robin rounds with elimination finals for the top four players. Each player picks two casters for the duration of the League, unless they only own one caster, in which case they can pick their second caster at some point before the 5th Round. The match-ups, scenarios and any special rules are posted at the outset. Scenarios are from the PP Official Steamroller 2011 Rules. We should be wrapping by about mid-march.

My Warlocks for the League are pMadrak & pGrissel.

This Round, I played against Cygnar!

05 December 2011

Baka's Tournament List Building - Part 2

Welcome back for the second part of my Tournament List Building blog series, in the first part I discussed the weaknesses that Trollbloods had in the past, the reasons why I didn't take them to the UK Masters last year and what I think has changed with the release of Domination in regards to those weaknesses.  I also outlined what I felt were the key aspects that have to be taken into consideration with any competitive tournament list building strategy, especially as the competitive meta evolves and seems to increasingly lean towards Character Restrictions and a tri-list format.

This second part will look at the first of the three lists that (barring some minor tweaking based on playtest games) I intend to run for the competitive tournament scene throughout 2012.  Not only will I be outlining my first list, but also how it matches up to the three key aspects outlined last time out; namely Scenario Superiority, Denial and List Busting.

The List
The first of my three warlocks that I intend to take will be Doomshaper2, I have long avoided the "power casters" in our faction as they have been referred to in the form of Madrak2 and Doomshaper2 in the belief that working with our lower tiered casters will help give me a deeper insight into the strategic depths of our faction and hopefully help take my play level up a notch or two when the time comes to take my best and dirtiest lists.  Without further ado lets get down to the actual list:

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia (*6pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
* Rok (11pts)
* Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* 3 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (3pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)
Troll Whelps (2pts)

Dire Troll Mauler (9pts) 
Feralgeist (1pts)

Those of you who have read my Domination Reaction Corner series might well recognise this list, it is the sample list included in the Rok review plus the 10pts of reinforcements permitted for a 50pt list, and it is one that I look at and struggle to find a way to improve upon.  So how does it match up to the competitive play criteria?

Scenario Superiority
One area that could be looked at in this list with concern is the relatively small footprint that it occupies on the table, just two units, two solos, a warlock and three heavy warbeasts is not a particularly large force.  Admittedly one of those units is purely support however the other unit is a particularly meaty 15man unit that also packs Steady.  Overall this list I will be the first to admit is not designed to grind out scenario victories, it's strengths lie in the other two strategic areas, but does that mean that it is weak in scenarios?

No, because to score scenario points you still need to be able to take zones uncontested, and what eDoomshaper does is give you a lot of high ARM, high health killing machines that he can use as pseudo arcnodes and who are all capable of limited movement after destroying enemy models.  This is one thing that is absolutely massive in scenario play, if you are able to move after destroying enemies then this so often makes the difference between just killing an enemy that is contesting a flag and both killing the enemy and then moving to contest it yourself (or even better score).

While not as good as Doomshaper1, Doomshaper2 does possess some very powerful denial tools himself.  First of all you have the ever useful Agitation, so many times I have rolled badly and seen my warbeasts frenzy even when they had just the single fury point on them, especially at key points in the game which have sometimes cost me victories.  This spell just being on his card forces the opposing warlock into a catch 22 situation, if they are forcing just enough fury to be able to leech it all then they are potentially opening up multiple beasts to frenzy checks, if they force enough to leave themselves short on fury leeching then you can opt not to use Agitation forcing the opposition warlock to cut himself if he wants to have his full fury allowance.

Refuge is similarly great for denial, combined with Goad this could see some warbeasts (especially on feat turn) pull back far enough to avoid being countercharged next turn.  Alternatively refuge can also be used to ram one of your heavy warbeasts down the opposing caster's throat, the amount of casters out there capable of taking down a full health heavy (especially once a whelp pops out to push DEF to an effective 13) without any degree of risk are very small, potentially either diverting his own heavies to deal with the threat or forcing the caster to face the choice of a free strike or take the risk of being able to kill the warbeast.

Similarly to Agitation, Doomshaper2's feat also serves as a deterrent to enemy casters about getting too close to him simply by being on the card.  Many of the more experienced players out there will have seen the 15" trample and double goad Wild Aggression trick on his feat turn and will always do their best to make sure that they keep their casters well away from Doomshaper2's beasts until you have blown your feat.  The great thing about this feat is that against jack/beast heavy lists you can go to town and pop it for the alpha strike, or against infantry heavy forces you can save it as a counter punching tool after the opponent has had to commit the bulk of his infantry trying to kill the beasts.

As for assassination denial, this is predominantly taken care of courtesy of Janissa's wall, the KSB aura and the Earthborn's animus (that he always casts on himself for free except when going for the kill and fury is needed elsewhere) which all combine to push him to an extremely impressive DEF17 ARM19 against ranged and magic and typically DEF15 ARM19 versus melee.  On top of that the job of the Kriel Warriors is predominantly to tie up opposing infantry and maintain a Steady infantry screen in front of Doomshaper which cannot be trampled through, Cabers are certainly capable of inflincting heavy damage but are again there to force the opponent to make the decision to commit his heavies knowing they will likely die to the counter punch.

List Busting
Finally we come to the final aspect, how well does this list deal with massive ARM and DEF?  While admittedly the Mauler never really gets to come into play in half of the games, the lack of Rage is partially offset by Primal.  The main purpose of Primal is of course for the MAT buff, in most cases ensuring that Wild Aggression is only necessary when aiming for caster levels of DEF (Doomshaper2 himself not withstanding) and beyond, even then with the combination of Primal and Wild Aggression Mulg and Rok are capable of hitting a staggering DEF19 on averages and packing a POW of 20 or beyond leaving them more than capable of turning any heavy into scrap in record time.

Admittedly the list itself doesn't really synergise so much as every aspect compliments each other and covers for their own relative weaknesses.  There are no buffs for the Kriel Warriors outside of the Krielstone aura and in half the games the Mauler's Rage animus.  The use of Primal needs to be weighed carefully each turn, as you effectively take one of your own beasts out of the game for a turn by taking the chance on using it when the dice might mean you would have scrapped whatever you were attacking anyway.

As far as assassination potential goes however, Doomshaper2 is probably as good as it gets for Trollbloods, he is capable of slingshotting warbeasts an unfathomable distance, and if the assassination is on, the combination of Wild Aggression and Primal pretty much means the end of just about any caster in the game, especially when used on Mulg or Rok.

Overall Review
When you stop and look at every factor and all the conditions that I laid out in part 1, this Doomshaper2 list ranks as so-so on Scenario Superiority, very highly on Denial and very highly on List Busting.  On top of that, it has the advantage of having three heavies, meaning that you could easily afford to throw away one taking out a key piece, maybe even afford to throw away two and in half the scenarios you will even have the Mauler coming in as reinforcement as well as a Feralgeist to try to help keeping your warbeasts around for that precious final attack.

On top of that you have Kriel Warriors and their self sufficient awesomeness, simultaneously serving both a defensive role in the protection of Doomshaper2 and an offensive role in jamming up the midfield and helping to create openings for the warbeasts to punch through.

01 December 2011

Baka's Tournament List Building - Part 1

In my last blog I mentioned that I planned to attend quite a few competitive tournament events in 2012 including both the UK Masters and if all goes to plan Lock and Load way over there in the States.  Thankfully due to the new business model that PP is using where its 1 book per system per year I can be sure that there is highly unlikely to be any unexpected releases that would turn my head from the tools currently at my disposal when it comes to list building.

That was Then...
As mentioned in my other blog, last year I made the decision (which surprised many over here as I am known as a hardcore Trollblood player) to take my Retribution instead of Trollbloods to the UK Masters.  This was largely down to a handful of reasons (speaking in the present tense as of June 2011):

Firstly Trollbloods generally lack that ability to pull off a move out of nowhere that you didn't anticipate, tricksy is what can let you pull a victory out of the hat when your army is getting mashed.  Trollbloods are renowned for being tough, but also for being a relatively straightforward point and click faction.

n Learning Trollboods from Cygnar: Blue to Blue Part II ~ by Sardonic Artery

Repost from Sardonic Artery over at the PP forums

After a few months with my Trolls, I figured I better stop and evaluate how the transition from Cygnar (who I still play) is going.

Shelving the Untypical Trolls
I had a realization that I still wasn’t completely playing Trolls like Trolls. I found myself relying on shooting and high defense too much—things that the big, blue brutes don’t do nearly as well as Cygnar (and aren’t trying to). Though I’d had a number of victories, mostly from Grim Angus far strike shots and/or a Fennblade + UA mini-feat bum rushes (made worse by Borka’s feat), I still felt like I was leaving out a number of strategies that Trolls are known for. As a result of this, I decided to leave these models home for a little while.