26 February 2013

How Do You Specialists?: Trolls and Sideboards

Specialists is an interesting rule that has become sort of Taboo in the eyes of players lately.  Some feel like it really hurts the normal list building process by allowing your opponent to hard counter you if they choose just by switching their side board. I feel like Trolls have a few valid options for specialists and I will go over basic list building principles involving specialists.

To figure out what our valid options are for Specialists we must first identify what our week spots in list building are.  This is usually pretty self explanatory but let's go through the motions.

 The Ranged Game
Our options for solid shooting are very limited. Our troop options in this field are poor and we often need to bring minions to shore up this weakness. We have solid Ranged Warlocks but they don't support our troops so much as they do our ranged beasts.

Debuffing Hurts Us A Lot
This is one of the biggest problems in our faction.  With only one warlock with Purification or a way to remove debuffs, it makes it very difficult sometimes when facing Cryx and Menoth.

Single Wound Infantry Suffer in a Colossal Meta
We've know this for a while but our single wound infantry, as awesome as it is, suffers a lot in the current meta where it can be very hard for it to get across the board or even effect a Colossal/Gargantuan once it gets there.

Viable Models(Or at least what I feel can be viable...)
Pyre and Impaler
These guys are quite the 10pt package.  They can bring a sweet AOE, a great immunity and a slam that can really change the game.  If you have the fury management to swap these guys out, it can be very solid.

Slag Troll and Storm Troll
These 2 are much more corner case to the point of almost not making this list. Yes they do have some good counter play, but are not as generally useful as the 2 list above them. That said, the Storm Troll has done a lot of good work for me killing off infantry and the electro-leap animus is pretty decent.

Earthborn Dire Troll
Sometimes having an extra heavy hitter is important and when switching in sideboards I will like having self sufficient option that your list doesn't need to be tailored to at all. I also feel like the utility that the Earthborn can bring a list is very valuable if you don't already have one in your list. (I feel like he might be the only other heavy beast outside of a Mauler I would put as specialists simply because our other options often need support to fill their role.)

Dire Troll Mauler
He falls into the same heavy hitter category as the Earthborn but brings a sweet buff with him.  As his main purpose in most lists is to be a buff bot and a late game piece he's not hurt by not being supported early and mid game like our other heavies. This big problem here is being a point shy and only having 2 options for additional models to bring in, i.e. Gobbers and Feralgeist.

Sons of Bragg
So, your infantry clear list needs a little more oomph? Yeah, we have an app....never mind.  We have the SoB's.  Very self sufficient, damaging, hearty, and well damaging.  If you feel like you what to bring some more pain in a list that might have trouble with it, these guys are a great option. Don't forget that super accurate spray. Swap out a bomber for these guys a fell caller and feralgeist and viola, your ranged heavy list just turned into a combined arms with some serious output.

These guys fall into an interesting spot for our ranged options and should really only be an option when you are facing infantry spam and their unique brand of range can solve that problem.  You could even bring the min unit and swap in a solo if you really need.

Nyss Hunters
Despite them being character restricted they are still perhaps one of our best ranged options for specialists. They fit perfectly into the point allotment and are both potent at range and in melee.  If you are running melee heavy or have a beast you want to swap out consider these guys as a premium option.

Bog Troggs
The often forgotten little buggers seem like a decent option for armies that are fast and trying to outflank you or in scenarios were you can really take advantage of someone trying to camp a zone and who might be exposed. More then anything the persistent threat and psychological effect is probably the most profound thing they bring.  They bring the hidden threat that can sometimes really swing a game in your favor. They feel like a decent option for us.

This guy might see some more play as we go on, as we struggle really hard with armies that debuff us. If you can keep him safe you can assure that crippling grasp doesn't completely ruin your day. I wouldn't use him for his other abilities though.  That's just trying to get him killed...

What Doesn't Work IMHO...
Bombers and Blitzers
If you don't already have a dedicated Impaler in your list these guys are simply not a great option.  Their threat range is small and their contributions will be unreliable at best.  It was the same problem we were having with reinforcements and having either beast there.

Bushwhackers, Thumpers, Burrowers, and Sluggers
It was discussed above that our ranged options well....suck.  These options seem decent and honestly they might work, but they are very expensive for what they do poorly...outside of burrowers of coarse, but that will come later. A thumper is a walking KD which can be nice but it's performance has been much maligned for some time now and with better range options in Nyss why bring them.  Also since you probably only have one list in need of a ranged support swap you likely won't want to bring subpar stuff when you have better options.  As for Burrowers they serve one purpose...total annihilation of a Warjack or Warbeast without getting removed on the way up the board. If you want this in your list...just bring it, no need to be tricksy.

I don't think I would load my specialists up with solos but, that doesn't mean you can have them in addition to a unit or light warbeast or something.  They are a decent option but I wouldn't just bring nothing but solos in this instance.

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