01 December 2011

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.

Bringing Out the Classic Trolls
Playing Fennblades + UA so much, I hadn’t really brought out the glorious box (kriel stone), as they’re often too fast for it, but after playing against Cryx with the Stone Scribe Elder not allowing any continuous effects and taking away incorporeal and stealth, I started to get the value of it real quick. The other thing I realized is that Kriel Warriors—who really only clicked when I started using pGrissel—have an advantage over Fennblades when combined with the magical box: Under the aura, with that one extra armor point, Kriel Warriors will shrug off an average damage roll from a POW 10 gun, whereas Fennblades will likely be forced into a tough roll. It took one game to see the value of steady from the Kriel Warrior UA, but it threw me off that the piper doesn’t have boxes. Makes me think that maybe a Kriel Warrior Officer solo could still show up, making a full Kriel Warriors unit even more Death Star-tastic.

Additionally, I tried pMadrak again with the super brick (Earthborn, Axer and Mulg with Janissa’s wall up front and the box in back) along with min. champs + Hero + Skaldi. After my Hero charged through the champs in front to massacre dozens of infantry (followed by Mulg doing the same on the other side), I understood why pMadrak is only a fury five warlock and why most people, who have Pacmanned through 80%+ of their opponent’s infantry, go and make sure they were actually doing that feat right. Now that, yes indeed, you do get to go on massacring infantry, I’m thinking about getting a second Hero. Of course, that would mean replacing my love affair with the ever amusing one-man-flank, the Totem Hunter, but Hero #2 (with thresher attack #2) might just be worth it in certain lists.

Next time I ran pMadrak, my opponent ran bane spam under eGoreshade and I understood the limitations of pMadrak’s feat when your opponent spreads his models out. Thankfully, reach is still king under pMadrak’s feat and eGoreshade, even hiding behind a building (before an overtake move), found himself on the wrong end of Mulg’s club. It’s also incredibly amusing to tell your opponent that Mulg, under Sure Foot and behind Janissa’s wall, has the same defense as eCaine. “Yeah, he’s basically a mountain, and no, you’re still not hitting him. Oh, it’s a deviating AoE? Good luck damaging Mulg with the Earthborn animus up, but if you do somehow plink a point or two on him, he’ll be charging you faster next turn.”

Upon moving away from Fennblades, I feel like the Stone Scribe Chronicler has gotten less play (Hero’s Tragedy just isn’t as fun without vengeance). My use of the Fell Caller, however, has gone up and I’m having less moments of, “Oh, if I’d only activated this synergy first, my attack would’ve succeeded.” pMadrak definitely needs the Trollkin Runebearer. I’m doing the standard, turn one free Sure Foot and then dumping the rest of pMadrak’s fury in the box. Whelps are earning a place in my heart, too, especially when I have games where they do everything they could do (remove fury, distract enemy melee hits, popping out and immediately being consumed after a trample).

Still to Come
Although I’ve expanded from Grim and Borka to pGrissel and pMadrak, I still
haven’t touched the top two—eMadrak and Calandra. Considering I own Nyss Hunters and Gatormen Posse, I’m really tempted by Jarl, but that’s not really learning Trolls…

Beast wise, I still haven’t tried the Slag or the Bomber and I’m constantly leaving the Mauler behind for the Earthborn. That said, I’ve yet to try the Mauler’s animus on a caber tosser, but I don’t feel like I’ve gotten the most out of that model yet (I want to slam large bases!). Same goes for champs + Skaldi and long riders + Horthol, though I feel 50/50 on them. I’ll have them rip it up one game and fall apart the next. Still, that champ armor when base-to-base and under the aura is nice. I just have to remember to play Skaldi’s countercharge like Ol’ Rowdy: Unless the target is really worth it and the retribution is low enough, just squint at that model less than 6” away. As for new units, I still haven’t tried burrowers or rune shapers (in terms of what seems most appealing).

Will check back in a few months from now.

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