31 July 2012

Playing to Our Strengths: Trolls at Low Points Part 3

When last we spoke I was going over the viability of our Units in point levels of 35 and below. This week I want to go over our beasts.  Obviously the Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw format is the big focus here, but what about our mixed lists at 25 and 35? It can be hard to fit heavies in without losing too much of the meat of the army. So let's look at what we can bring and whether or not we should...

Light Warbeasts
It is no secret we have some of if not the best light beasts in the game.  With a host of very useful animi and some decent offensive output, we really only have a few corner-case or useless light warbeasts. 

Axer - 
Solid animus, really good offensive output, and good defensive stats he's out heavy that's a light.  He tucks nicely into a lot of lists including our Battle Box.  He can add a lot of utility to a list with Pathfinder for bigger harder hitting targets or mix it up himself.  Definitely a Solid choice.

Bouncer - 
There has been some contention lately on whether or not the bouncer is worth it. Granted his stock went up a little once shield guard got fixed, but the core of playing him remains the same.  To be honest, when i look at beast choices, he simply doesn't cross my mind.  This game is about aggression and if you haven't learned to protect your warlock well enough by now, you need to re-evaluate you play style.  This game favors the aggressor and it's hard to be the aggressor with a defensive beast.  Also, bump is a must ability not a choice, so it's easily mitigated by your opponent unless they forget about it. Not really worth it IMO.

Impaler - 
I don't think I have had many things mess up an opponents game more then watching a Warjack/Warbeast go sailing over something important in their army.  Slams are a Trollblood staple and the Impaler was the original Kriel bowler.  So really good animus.  With as much ranged low as we have been getting lately it's hard not to see an Impaler in so many lists.  I think he is essential for any Warlock who uses their gun for offense or utility.  This slots him neatly into half the lists you can make.  That alone I think makes him viable.

Pyre - 
I think that giving the middle finger to Legion is good enough to make this model viable and I would love to end it at that but let's look deeper.  A damage buff at the meezly point cost of 5 is another strong reason to bring him.  Don't have enough points for a Mauler, the Pyre is your Troll.  Need a really nice, auto fire AOE? Pyre.  This guys is solid for 5 and taking him in lower point costs is kind of his forte.

Slag -
This one is a bit tougher. He's more of the same, but just a little different.  His animus is good, but not as universally useful I would say as the Pyre.  He has a potent gun with RoF 2 that's really good against undead, Jacks and constructs, but "meh" against everything else.  He is better in melee but do you really want him there anyway? The pyre has always been a beast that is great in some lists, not so much in others, you can bring him at lower point costs, but in most cases I say save a point and bring the Pyre instead.

Storm Troll - 
There is a lot of potential here I think.  I have not had enough time to play test this beast as his model has not been released.  I think he has great potential in a number of lists but I can't be sure.  We will call this one a Jury is still out for now.

Swamp - 
What and odd duck.  Seems very one dimensional and situational.  I have yet to use him as I have never found a use for him.  Granted his is our only 4pt light. So I guess if you have 4 points you don't know what to do with and need to generate some more fury for your army, he's your Troll?  Oh and before people tell me about how he can eat the book and how good crit consume is, I know he can do that, I would rather take solos instead...

Winter - 
Let's just move along and not talk about this one...ok fine... He's not terrible, but he's not great either.  He costs too much for what he does and if I wanted to bring him for his spray I could just bring a min unit of scattergunners instead.  Let's not even mention his animus. Yeah it makes your opponent avoid or kill whatever it's on in one activation, but let's be honest here.  Not great.

Heavy Warbeasts
Our heavies are pretty awesome.  Almost every one has a super useful animus.  Most are pretty good in melee with some decent ranged compliments.  It's really hard to choose a favorite here...
Blitzer - 
I am not certain in a format where you bring maybe only 1 heavy that the Blitzer stand on his own enough to be truly worth it.  Shooting is good but it's only great if you already have an Impaler in tow.  I think he has a place in some lists but I am not sure he's worth it in enough lists to truly make him viable. So, let's call me maybe? (sorry, that was terrible)

Bomber - 
Probably our second best beast. He fits nicely in lots of lists for his obvious offensive potential.  He suffers when not paired with Gunny or an Impaler, but I don't think he has the same issues as the Blitzer.  He's more focused at what he does and has better output when he does. I say he's easily usable in like 75-80% of lower point lists and even as a ranged component to melee focused armies.  

Earthborn - 
He is our best beast hands down and I don't care if you agree with me.  If you need a heavy to perform and be useful at every stage of a game, then bring and Earthborn.  He has a fantastic animus, is self sufficient, and is a murder machine.  If you need a heavy, bring this guy and you will not regret it.

Mauler - 
The Mauler really deserves a nod as linebacker for beast heavy lists like eDoomy and others.  The animus goes a long way to making our beast more points effective and when the time comes the Mauler can wreck face with the best of them.  However I use him in more of a support role and late game beast.  He is a solid choice and easily usable at lower points or as your only heavy.

Mulg - 
What's not to love about Mulg. His point cost? Oh, yeah.  His animus? It can be useful sometimes. Really, Mulg is a nice 12 point package and has a place in beast heavy lists but I don't think he is super viable until probably 35pts and above.  Granted he has reach, but I almost always reach for my Earthborn before Mulg. Take him if you really want to but I wouldn't recommend it.  

Rök - 
Another odd Duck like Mulg at lower point levels, good in some lists, not so great in others and his animus can't be used on anything but beasts.  So unlike Rage and the other lot, you really are sort of stuck when your list is composed of mostly infantry and you really need some good damage.  Good beast, not as useful at lower points costs.

30 July 2012

Dire Brackets ~ Bracket

Dire Brackets ~ Updates

The party is starting to wane, there are many casualties... it's time to open a second keg.

Round 2 is one game from over and things are getting nasty.

Casters Eliminated:Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls:  fell and broke his pinky toe and had to withdraw ~ OUT
Grim Angus:  Fought hard but had a bad match up in his first game followed by eGrissel pulling one out of her hat.  ~ OUT
Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller: Grissel went for a walk in the woods and stopped to smell the roses.  While she was out Madrak gave her a pink slip. ~OUT
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender:  Madrak is a busy guy okay, who has time for games when we could be playing games instead.   After eliminating pDoomshaper, eMadrak takes a long walk off a short peir.  ~ OUT

Fighting For their Lives
Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels vs Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan: The winner of this game has to continue their struggle for survival by fighting Calandra.  The loser of this game will go home and run the amassed army of the United Kriel.  My Money's on Madrak run by TheHappyAnarchist, but Bakaryu is one tough customers.

Captain Gunnbjorn vs Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia
An epic battle between Goris and Smash is something we all wanted to see.  The winner of this one can claim victory even if they lose the next game.   Lets face it, we all want to see Goris lose so my money is on Doomshaper.

Calandra vs TBD: She is either fighting against eGrssel or pMadrak but either way her opponents have their work cut out for them.  Odds favor Calandra in this pig.

Battling on the Easy Road
Borka Kegslayer vs Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood: Okay I don't know how it happened but the one Troll caster than makes ranged players cry for their mommies is now playing his Third game in a row against our ranged casters.  Can Jarl's ranged assault overcome where Grim and Gunnbjorn couldn't... we shall see.

PICK EM - Dark Helmet is doing so good we accused him of cheating, this is when he informed us that he is so awesome that his entry goes to duelcon and has withdrawn himself form the brackets. 

We aren't sure if his charity is gloating or not, but we jumped at the change to kick him right out of the standings.  This leaves Razcalking and Phreaker in first place with physxnut and rham knocking on the Door.

Omerplata 14
Omerplata 21
Omerplata 31

27 July 2012

Quick and Dirty Painting - Mountain King WiP Pics 2

So plugging along and I have finished the main body just need to finish the accessories...
Check him out!
- Goris

25 July 2012

Quick and Dirty Painting - Mountain King WiP Pic

So I have been slowly working on my Mountain King and he has been rather daunting.  I have been constantly worrying about screwing him up or making him not look like the amazing centerpiece he is.  He is a WiP pic.  Tell me what you guys think!

The Scrum is on Facebook!

That right folks The Scrum now has it's very own Bookface account.  So for those of you trolls who are into that whole social networking malarkey please go like our page.  We are going to start using it as a photo dump and a launch point for some exclusive content and giveaways and all that jazz.  So please, who like our shit...  Thanks..

Sincerely, Goris

P.S. Here's the linky... The Scrum's Facebook!

24 July 2012

The Scrum Cast E.11

Here we are again with some discussions of the goings on around the Warmachine and Hordes world with our special guests; The banned for life Hatred who is storming through Dire Brackets and the girl who will make you pay with an axe to your face ToughRolls.

You can find the Scum Cast over on the podcast page HERE

22 July 2012

Playing to our Strengths: Trolls at Low Points Part 2

In this installment I want to talk about the viability of our infantry at low point level games of 35 and under.  We have some top drawer options for troops that don't need much support to fill their function.  So I'm going to go unit by unit and give a simple overview of their viability without warlock synergy in mind.

17 July 2012

Road to Duelcon ~ Scraping for the Scrum

In our attempt to bring you the very best content and up to date information we have a rare opportunity to go to Duelcon in Phoenix Arizona.  The Tickets are bought but now we need to get there.  For this we need your help.  So it is our hope you can help us get Goris and Sid down to Mesa, Arizona to get goodies for you from the front lines.
To do this we have come up with a few ways that you can help us bring you the very latest in information from cons as well as bring back swag for those that donate.  Yes, we will even Ninja shop for you. 

Trollbloodscrum Patch
$20 Donation
Showcased at Lock and Load 2012 these handstiched patches look great on your bag (of course I'm biased, but I love the way mine looks).  For a $20 Dollar Donation I'll send you one.

Trollbloodscrum Dice
$20 Donation

Hot of the press we have our Trollbloodscrum 'TOUGH' dice.  If you don't want a patch, We will send you set(2) of these so you can tough it out in style for you games.

Trollbloodscrum Patch and Dice
$35 Donation
If you can't decide which one you like more, increase your donation amount to this and we will happily send you a set of dice and the Scrum Patch.

Podcast Director
$55 Donation
Now we're getting serious, in addition to the dice and the patch if you donate $55 you will get creative control including a guest appearance of one episode of our podcast.  Whatever you want Goris to talk about no matter how embarrassing or humiliating it might be... he's your Huckleberry.

Painted Model

$75 Donation
Our largest donation gets you all of the benefits mentioned above, in addition Sid or Goris will give you a Master Quality paint job on the model of your choice (We will even pay for the first $10 towards the purchase of the model AND have largely discounted models available from one of our sponsors. Huge base models are the only exception. $100 or more will land you a paint job on a Huge base model.) 

For a $70 Donation, TheGreatBlah will paint your model instead.  Why is it cheaper to have TheGreatBlah paint your model you ask... well, you get what you pay for :)

How Do I Donate? Click the paypal link on the left side of the page or on the top of the Donations page and enter your desired donation amount in the following paypal page and voila! you're in like Flynt.

In addtion to the benefits above Goris and Sid will happily procure any convention related material you ask for should you provide them the flow.  We're excited to send out Scrummers abroad and hope to use them to bring you information and goodies from the front lines

13 July 2012

Fail to the King? Why Mountain King's Sub-Par Stats Aren't The End of the World

A lot of electronic ink has spilled detailing how disappointed the Trollbood community is with Mountain King  Given its fantastic model, the folks on the Privateer Press forums (and elsewere) have gone to great lengths trying to figure out a way to make playing the Mountain King viable in a tournament environment.  A greater effort has gone into some electronic rending of the cloth: “Mountain King doesn’t compare to Woldwrath!”, “Mountain King is a sad parody of Stormwall!”, “Comparing Mountain King to Galleon is akin to comparing Kobe beef to rotten Spam!”, etc.

12 July 2012

Round 1 pt. 2 Gunnbjorn v pGrissel

This will be a VERY short synopsis of the second round match in Dire Brackets with Gunnbjorn and pGrissel.  This was going to be a grind from the start and I knew it, but it was going to be fun none the least.

I won the opening roll and chose to go first.  Grissel opted to deploy on the top side of the map. The map was mostly clear with a large obstacle in the center a forest on the right flank and a building on the left.

Turn 1
I ran pretty much advanced cautiously after I dropped my upkeeps out and put fury on the stone, SoB's took up a spot by the building on the right flank while I advanced toward my own objective with little worry over being stuck first turn.

Everything runs.  Hoof It on her kriels first turn meant they were hauling ass up the board and I needed to get into position next turn or really be caught out.

Turn 2
I move into position putting both my walls around Gunny, the EB and Rök as well as the objective.  I crit dev a fell caller into some SG's killing the officer and a few other models making them mostly useless.  SoB's play the surprisingly good tar pit as I position to block the charge in on my left flank and setup a good spray retaliation.  I also pop feat to make sure whatever charges me next turn doesn't knock anything down and any shooting coming it is hampered.

She buffs up her stuff and hits the EB with Calamity moving to the right of the obstacle in the center.  The Kriels get a few charges off on my EB and the objective, killing nothing and logging up the right flank.  Kriels also hit my left flank bogging down my SoB's killing Wrathar.

Turn 3:
I think I see an assassination attempt on Grissel and I started to do my thing by shifting Kriels away from my EB with Janissa.  Things aren't turning out well so I just kill off some Kriels and decide I have a better chance at taking out both his beasts with Rök.  I clear a path and charge the Axer under Primal and then proceed to kill him and a Winter troll as well.  My left flank is slightly exposed but I feel confident gunny isn't going to die with 2 transfers and the stone running.

Janissa goes down and the Kriels fail to Kill off my EB.  A caber fails to hit Gunny on a charge but ties him up.  A Fell Caller charges Rök doing a little damage.  Grissel moves over trying to address the dire on her right flank.

Turn 4
Rök frenzies and annihilates the Fell Caller engaging him because he has no choices and I upkeep the wall in front of the objective as I have all game. My Earthborn chomps a Fell Caller and some Kriel warriors on the right while I clear nearly everything out of my left flank.  I see an opportunity to shoot Grissel and I do, but I crit Dev and throw here away from the incoming shot from my pyre troll.  Rats, delaying the inevitable.  My stone scribes start charging as my lines are looking thin on the right flank and I start to look toward moving my EB up and going for the Kill.

Grissel Sac's attack to stand and tries to cast Calamity at Rök missing and moves away behind the obstacle. Rök gets charged again doing no damage and gets engaged again.  The Kriels still fail to kill my EB on the right flank and things keep getting dicey over there.

Turn 5
Gunnbjorn:  Rök walks out of melee and sprays grissel to death, second win for Gunny!

Final Thoughts:
My opponent played a good game with only a few mistakes.  He had a good opportunity to Kill the objective and force me to start moving into the zone to not lose control points but chose to kill my Earthborn again, which he had a decent chance of doing but it didn't pan out.  Losing his beasts to me in turn 3 was what sealed the deal as it was going to be very hard for me to not get a line to Grissel with Gunnybjorn.

I made a few small tactical mistakes during the match which I had to play through.  When I saw an opening for a kill on Grissel I exposed Gunny from my left flank and really could have been in a bad spot had my opponent rolled well.

Overall the fortress really screws trolls over when there are no reach units involved.  He had cabers but it's going to be hard to position well when there's terrain everywhere.  It gives me more confidence that my laters lists with the Mountain King will go well.

Dire Brackets Pickem Round 1 Update

With our first round of games nearly complete here is the standings from our Pickem Challenge

Omerplata 13
Omerplata 21
Omerplata 31

Darkhelmet hits the floor with a commanding lead, but there are many games left to play.

Here is how our bracket looks as Round 1 comes to a close.


08 July 2012

Playing to our Strengths: Trolls at Low Points Part 1

I have been holding off posting on this topic because I think it's more then just a, "this list worked for me" thread.  It's been stated that trolls work best at 50pts because we feel like we aren't sacrificing anything at that point.  However, I think that playing at lower points you need to look at a few key factors.  First and foremost is playing to our strengths.  At low point levels we can't just bring everything we have so we bring what works and what is most potent. The point of this is realizing our weaknesses and our strengths at point levels below 50 and playing to those. As the first part of the article I will go over our warlocks and how each of them works at low point levels. 

pMadrak: Beast brick to your hearts content.  Not much can handle 90 boxes of arm 22 goodness especially at those low point levels.  

eMadrak: Our infantry is cheap.  Bring lots and one beast. They can't kill you easily and you bring an entire list full of weapon masters if you want.

pDoomy:  Your feat total screws low point jack/beast heavy armies.  Purification is golden and immunity to spells it to.  If you can protect yourself, you win.  Run a beast brick and stand behind it.

eDoomy:  Dire Trolls charging 13"+ inches wins games. Make your feat turn count and you can cripple your opponent.   As with pDoomy, make sure you can keep Doomy safe.

pGrissel: Her feat and ability to run beast light makes her pretty effective at low point levels.  She can really shine when you just jam the hell out of people in scenario or swarm your opponent with kriels or fenns.  She can lack some offensive punch though unless you take the more expensive infantry or beasts.  I tend to avoid her at lower point levels.

eGrissel:  She can beast brick pretty well and the feat can help if you can alpha struck.  Janissa and an impaler are a must.  Probably not the most solid choice at sub 50pts.

Grim:  Grim is unique because he can really play to all the trolls strengths and really shore up their weaknesses. Long threat ranges, good beast and troop support make him a great toolbox.  He can run infantry or beast heavy and has great assassination angles. Take him at whatever point value you like.   

Jarl: He plays similar to Grim but you really have to tailor a list to his spell list.  Make sure you have at least one heavy hitter and then infantry that can take full advantage of his spells.  I don't prefer him as much in lower points but he can work.  Just know that once your infantry hits the lines, quicken and other spells need to be on him or gone so you can take advantage of magic bullet.

Calandra:  She's fragile.  And while star crossed is great, it's effect is lessened the few things if effects.  So she needs to be close enough to get enemies in the bubble which puts her closer to the enemy's lines.  I think she suffers at low points because there is simply not enough in the way to keep her safe most times.  I tend to avoid her at these point levels.

Borka: He can be effective in lots of different lists and venues.  He is so hard to kill that he works at nearly any point level. Infantry heavy or beast heavy can work.  Even if the only thing list in the list is Borka you still have a chance. 

Built in wall, good beast brick potential, good ranged accessory and no problem sitting behind a few big beasts and blowing some stuff off the table every turn.

07 July 2012

03 July 2012

Dire Troll Smasher ~ Revisited

"As the huge beast smashed our Lancer to bits, the Pygmy on it's back laughed maniacally while lobbing grenades into our trench. When the smoke cleared all that was left of our journeyman was his boots." ~Cygnar Trencher Commando

Dire Troll Smasher
Trollblood Heavy Warbeast

Fury 4
Threshold 9
Wounds (Same as Bomber - 28)
PC 10

02 July 2012

Round 1 Gunnbjorn vs eMadrak

When I entered the Dire Brackets competition I was really hoping to test out a few thing I had concepted with Bakaryu when we first got my hands on The Mountain King at Lock and Load.  Just by chance I ended up with with Gunny so I threw myself into list building for him and the Mountain King is going to be one of the key pieces.  Sadly my first round didn't involve using him.

Here are the lists presented. for this round.

Points: 35/35
35 points:
Captain Gunnbjorn (*5pts)
eMadrak +5 WB
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
Pyre -5
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
Axer -6
* Ršk (11pts)
Runebearer -2
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Fell Caller x2 -6
Sons of Bragg (6pts)
Min Burrowers -4
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)
Max Fenns -8
-UA -2

Min Scattergun

My thoughts in list building were simple.  I have 2 walls for denial and 2 heavy hitters that can take a hit and then dish it out.  Also with Rök in the list I can really clear infantry that swarm me.  Throw in the Sons of Bragg and I have a lot of infantry clear and not a lot of risk to Gunny.  Also with the stone and proper animi I was sitting with arm 22 beasts and arm 20 Gunny so I felt confident about the list I built.

So we chose the worst damn map on the planet and setup went to Madrak first.  Fens on my right flank, SG's on my left  with Burrowers out front.  Beasts heading up the middle with Madrak.

Turn 1
Madrak runs nearly everything, puts blood fury on his Fennblades and gets a little bogged down by the terrain. Burrowers chose to run first turn. 

I advance up, pop a shot off at the SG's with Gunny under snipe and then drop some fury on the stone.  Janissa lays down a wall to prevent shenanigans.

Turn 2
More running happens in prep for the Jam on turn 3.  Fenns get in close and SG's run up into position.  Burrowers do their thing on the left flank and Madrak hangs back.

I advance up with Gunny, drop a wall and pop a shot off at a Fell Caller.  I crit dev him and an axer but I kill the Fell Caller with the shot and pop my feat. I move up with my EB and drop Elemental Communion on Gunny but can't quite plug the whole I left.  SoB's sing for super tough and make some charges and assaults. They are basically their to hopefully tie up fenns and have fewer charges hit Gunny which I was worried about.  My pyre fires off a shot towards the SG's and kills 3.  Janissa drops a second wall to round out my turn.

Turn 3
Madrak forgets to upkeep Bloodfury and makes a frenzy check on his pyre troll and passes after vengeance on the Fennblades gets resolved.  With blood fury on them they manage to kill both SoBs.  This is the round he gets his charges off with the Fenns and lands 2 guys on Gunny who both miss.  SG's spray a bit doing a few points of damage to Rök but nothing more and burrowers run towards my back line because they didn't have any good charge lanes. 

I clear out the fenns who are stuck in and refortify my position with proper wall placement.  Some ranged attacks happen and a clear path appears for a Madrak charge.

Turn 4
Madrak decides to make a goo at at but because or proper wall placement he fails his charge.

Rök eats Madrak and all is well, gunny Advances. Next round I get to take on pGrissel.  Going to be a hard fought competition for sure.

Proper wall placement makes or breaks this guy.  Had I placed my walls properly the turn his fenns charged I could have had no problems being safe the entire game.  In future games I will run Janissa 2 turns to make sure I can get her close enough to drop effective walls.  Also, I may invest fury in putting elemental communion on Janissa to ensure she doesn't leave the table too early.

Thank you...

Most of the time here at The Scrum, what we do is completely for selfish reasons.  We have a lot of fun writing blog posts, recording podcasts and running events for everyone.  We don't think much about how it effects the community because we have such a good time doing these things for you.  Today I received an extremely flattering email from someone who competed in our Scrum Painting Challenge.

"Hey Matt just thought I'd pass this along.  Wanted to say thanks for doing the scrum challenge.  Helped me stay on task for completing my hardcore army for diecon this year. I painted up Borka, Mulg, Rok, a war wagon, 5 special whelps, a special champion unit, and a 10 man fennblade unit for hardcore and placed them on a special display tray complete with an Ipod to play 80's rock.  The army netted me the Master craftsmen.  Like I said, the scrum challeneg helped me stay on task and I just wanted to say thanks. 
Chris Suhre D.Vader "

To Chris and the entire community, I want to say thank you.  It's every one of you who make doing this more then just a fun hobby.  The Scrum was founded on the idea that Dallas and I just wanted to mess around and put stuff up about trolls.  Now it has become so much more, but not without the help of every one of you who have commented, supported and competed in something we have brought to the Troll community. So, thank you.  Without all of you there is no way we could continue bringing The Scrum with the same Axe to Mouth enthusiasm every week.  Keep it coming guys and we'll keep posting.