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.

The Lists
That point being addressed, it is time to move on to the second of my three lists, if the first list is all about concentration of power in the form of a large number of very powerful warbeasts, this list is all about distribution of power in the form of a large number of models with either high POW or weaponmaster, along with the tools to take that offensive power and kick it up another notch or ten.  Therefore as you may have guessed, my second list is led by Madrak2.

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender (*5pts)
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes (3pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Sons of Bragg (6pts)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
* Skaldi Bonehammer (3pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Trollkin Champion Hero (3pts)

Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* Kriel Warrior Piper and Standard (2pts)
* 2 Kriel Warrior Caber Throwers (2pts)

Very few of you will have seen this list from myself, as its only really been something of a brainchild for the past few months or so and has yet to be given a proper test, however it is a list that I am confident in despite its entirely theoretical nature.  The only other caveat about this list is the relative uncertainty of if the Sons of Bragg will be out in time for May (and the Welsh Open and UK Masters) let alone June for Lock and Load.  If they are unavailable then they are simply replaced by a Troll Axer.

Scenario Superiority
There are several ways that scenario superiority can be obtained, one is through making your own units difficult to kill and subsequently difficult to shift off objectives.  This is a natural strength for Trollbloods thanks to Tough and being medium-based (and subsequently immune to trampling).  Another way is to have a lot of units, especially units that are all dangerous and who are all capable of dishing out large amounts of damage.

Madrak2 exemplifies this strategy very well, he can take even our most basic units and turn them into killing machines.  What then can he do with an army loaded up with high MAT high POW and/or weaponmasters?  Everywhere the enemy looks he will see units who can tear warjacks to pieces and who are easily boosted to have a MAT capable of hitting all but the most insane of DEF values, I could quite comfortably even throw away the Sons of Bragg to kill an enemy unit and stand on an objective knowing the enemy will likely kill them next turn because I have many more units/solos/warbeasts sitting in reserve to hit back in my next turn.

When it comes to denial the only real thing that Madrak2 gives you is his incredible resistance to being assassinated.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as many warlocks are capable of taking down a heavy by themselves but would be left dangerously exposed in order to do so, Madrak2 is one of the few who could operate near the front without being in a great deal of danger from being reduced to 1 or 2 fury points.  This also can be a cunning trap for your opponent, many people who see a sliver of an opportunity to assassinate will usually leave themselves wide open in order to try to pull it off, however this is obviously not without risk to yourself and a cunning opponent can pick off all of your Grim Salvation ablative transfers with minimal effort.

One excellent denial trick the army does have however is keeping Flaming Fists on Skaldi as well as making sure you keep Blood Fury upkept on the Champions.  DEF12 isn't great anyways and most things that can deal with ARM20 won't care about that level of DEF (typically a heavy with reach from my experience).  Very few people however will risk their heavy taking a countercharge from a MAT8 POW14 (assuming KSB with Stone Strength) Skaldi rolling 5d6.  Even an ARM21 Avatar is taking 10 damage on average dice which can very easily tear off his weapon system, most other warjacks and warbeasts however would also have to be very much conscious of losing an aspect or cortex as well as possibly their main weapon system.

That isn't to say that the list is without denial in any way shape or form, the KSB as always is capable of shutting down lists reliant on continuous effects and incorporeal (such as Blackbanes or Soulhunters gaining it thanks to Darragh Wraithe) and a submerged unit of burrowers is always going to give any unit, jack or beast a very very good reason not to get within 12 inches or so, especially with the potential to use blood fury.

Clustering onto objectives is also inadvisable thanks to Thresher, both from the Champion Hero and from Madrak2's feat, allowing the army to clean out two lines of troops when facing the rush and jam style of opponents.  The Sons of Bragg are also capable of cleaning out a staggering amount of models thanks to that ridiculous assaulting spray.

Finally the other bit of denial included (and a good reason why I took him in the list) is the Pyre Troll, I have come up a lot recently against Legion lists with a massive amount of shooting (such as Lylyth2) and the ability to take a single 5pt model to shut down ranged heavy Legion force (as well as Menoth spell assassination lists as a bonus) makes him an easily justifiable piece.

List Busting
The most common lists are a mixture of infantry swarm, gunlines, high DEF melee or high ARM.   It is not at all uncommon for most lists to concentrate on just one or two of the aspects above, indeed my own list focuses on a mixture of infantry swarms and the odd spattering of high ARM here and there.

What is important though is that the list is capable of dealing with all four of the possible lists above and is also capable of doing so with minimal effort so that the army can perform well right across the battlefield, not only in a concentrated area.

Outside of the Burrowers and Impaler, the lowest MAT in the army is 6 while the average is 7 with that easily boostable to MAT8 or 9 thanks to the Fell Caller.  This allows my army to hit DEF15 on averages with next to no effort and thanks to Blood Fury and Killing Ground my army has a pretty much universal access to Pathfinder and POW enough that any infantry model in my army is more than capable of threatening even ARM20 and beyond.

The army is fast enough that gunline lists will have very little opportunity to make telling shots against the army before they are engaged, with Madrak2's feat giving me the option to run and still make army wide thresher attacks that don't hit my own troops.  In a single turn the army is capable of inflicting crippling casualties against both high DEF and high ARM over a wide area of the battlefield both on the front lines and even punching beyond it.

Overall Review
All that said and done, stopping to check off how the list does on each of the three factors laid out in part 1, this Madrak2 list ranks excellently on Scenario Superiority, so so on Denial and very highly on List Busting.  The list has no heavies at all, but makes up for it with Blood Fury and damage buffs enough to be thrown around the battlefield to make even the weakest models hit like heavies and the toughest models hit like trucks.

For the scenarios which allow Reinforcements, you even have an almost full unit of Kriel Warriors ready to come on to add even more infantry into the mixer.  Both Madrak2's feat and Blood Fury on caber throwers are sickening, threshing slams are insane and so are potential POW18 weapon masters with auto knockdown on large targets.

No comments:

Post a Comment