20 March 2013

The Hunters Grim Strategy Guide

The Hunters Grim Strategy Guide
With the release of Gargantuans we Trollblood players have received some good, some bad, and some ugly.  Among our new toys includes one of the very first Warcaster/Warlock units.  Where some Hordes faction received a third incarnation of some Warlocks, Trolls got a second version of one of our favorites, The Hunters Grim.  The new unit has some interesting things going for it so let’s talk about Grim Angus and his two new assistants Muggs and Krump.  Let’s not kid ourselves though, no matter how different, better or worse Grim is in his epic form.  There is one improvement that is without question better than his primal version.  His new Hat is totally rad.
Core Stats - Hunters Grim Core statline boasts only one minor change from his original incarnation.  Hit RAT was increased by 1.  While this may seem a minor change this puts Grim alone at the top of anything in the Trollblood Army in regards to Ranged Attack score and makes Gunnbjorn wonder if a big ole rocket is worth the increased difficulty in hitting his targets.    Even without an increase in Defense or Armor Grim remains the highest Defense caster in Trolls, and that particular stat is right below the best defensive stat in the game in regards to Warlocks and Warcasters.
Base Abilities
Grim keeps tough and pathfinder for which we are grateful.  His Weapon is still magical, which makes Pistol Wraiths cry a little.  And takedown is still on his melee attack… which is… useful, sort of, since you know, I stab with it ever.
Additional Abilities - Another big change in Grim’s base stats and attacks is on his gun ‘Headhunter’  It is still one of the most powerful Guns in the game, even though we still all wish it was weaponmaster like a certain Cygnar caster we all know.  It lost ‘Bait The line’ which allowed +2” of movement for our beasts charging what he damaged with it.  Now he has  ‘Blood Lure’, which is, well different.  Blood Lure allows beasts in his battlegroup to charge what he has hit with headhunter for free. 
Pay attention to the differences here. 
It used to be:  Damage with headhunter, get +2” of movement when charging with his beasts.  Now it is: Hit with headhunter, charge for free with his beasts.
The change is subtle but quite different.
Two things you will notice are quite absent in this new version are ‘True Sight’ and the ‘Snare Gun’  Do not worry though, they aren’t lost per say, just shuffled.
Spell List – Grim’s new spell list is quite a bit different and changes his playstyle significantly from his primal version.  I think the only spell I will truly miss from the old Grim is Cross-Country, but I guess I do have a Fel Caller, and Grim still helps with that to some degree.
                Mage Sight – This relatively cheap spell allows Grim to drop a 5” AOE in his CTRL.  Model’s in Grim’s Battlegroup ignore forests and cloud effects for Line of Sight and they ignore stealth when attacking it.  This spell is the make up spell for losing Cross-Country and True Sight.  The Earthborn likes it a lot because he still has pathfinder.  Other than Him, the Bomber and Blitzer and really any of our ranged guys probably like it more than our non-pathfinder beasts.  It helps with pesky clouds and annoying forests and Grim himself can get some mileage out of it if necessary to take out hard targets or take potshots at an enemy caster.
                Mirage – This handy spell is a bit pricey but it works on models/units not just his battlegroup.  It Grants Apparition which allows said models to be place 2” from their location during the CTRL phase.  There is a lot of potential with Mirage helping our units out in very positive ways.  Fenn Blades for example can  use Vengeance and get free attacks, then Apparate to reset or create charge lanes for when they activate.  Mirage is handy for disengaging when you don’t want to be in melee or getting an extra couple inches of movement and reposition before activating.  This spell will be useful for getting into position with a lot of model’s and units.
                Mortality – This new spell is quite an upgrade from marked for death and smells sweeter than Calamity at a cost of course.  Like Calamity it reduces enemy/units Def and Arm if it hits.  Unlike Calamity it is not an upkeep, has a better range, and oh yeah it also prevents healing.  Got a unit of something tough plaguing you… like Boomhowler, Banes or anything that likes to heal, Mortality is your answer and it is a good one.  Trollbloods layered buffing is second only to Protectorate and Mortality layers it on for hitting and damage with whatever you want to use to attack with it.  This spell makes Grim himself very dangerous at Range Making him an effective RAT 10 POW 15 at range versus a Mortailtied target.
                Pursuit – An old standby spell in some Warmachine armies it can be useful for creeping up on a model/unit moving in on Grim or for getting in position on a jam unit.
Say it with me folks ‘Mortality’  the other spells are nice, but Mortality is where it’s at.
Feat – Grim’s new feat is quite a bit different than his old feat.  Now Friendly Faction model’s gain Mark the Target and their ranged weapons get Snipe so long as they are in Grim’s CTRL. For reference Mark the Target gives other friendly faction models +2 to hit with ranged attack rolls when a friendly model is within 5” of the enemy target, and snipe is +4” to RNG.
Combined with Mortality things like our lowly Pyg Bushwakers turn into RAT 8 POW 12 RNG 18 little devils.  Bomber’s can get to RAT 9 POW 18 RNG 12 without aiming.  It is good folks, and applied correctly can and will end games.  You can even make a relatively all melee list and the benefit to Grim himself is nearly worth the cost.
Oh Wait, it’s a unit. I bet that’s why Grim has less Warbeast Points.
Muggs & Krump -  remember, they’re a part of Grim’s unit, but they aren’t warlocks, they don’t get his fury to boost but they do have to activate in the same turn as Grim. 
Core Stats- For Pygmy Trolls these two guys are gods among insects.  Their RAT is a good as Gunnbjorn’s, which for a Pyg is truly amazing.  They’re as fast as Grim and their defense is better than Doomshaper’s… barely, but their armor is low (not as low as most humans) but still low enough that AOE’s and ElectroLeaps can be dangerous. 
Base Abilities -Like Grim they both have Pathfinder, and Tough and they boast a few wounds as well.  Since they are Pygs and Grim is a Trollkin some interactions won’t quite work (like the new sorcerer for example) so pay attention to it.
Additional Abilities - Both of them also have takedown… which is, uh, really nice I suppose I mean POW 8 non-boostable melee attacks really need takedown right?
Those are all nice, but the following is the reason why we love them so much.
                Muggs – Grim’s snare gun is missing from his card because he gave it to Muggs.  This is a double-edged sword.  The good news is we can now use both Grim’s guns in the same turn.  The bad news… you can’t boost to his with the snare gun anymore.  Mugg’s real utility comes in his ability Granted:Reform – yep you read that right, he lets his unit advance up to 3” AFTER they take their activations as long as he says alive.  Still think you are ever going to use the net gun?  Okay you will, but only when something gets up close to or threatens Grim, helping keep him alive when it gets hairy.
                Krump – Krump has a low RNG how POW gun, which is nice for the same reason why you would ever use the Snare Gun on Muggs… okay there are times when you are going to go for the assassination and will use him aggressively.  Like Muggs, Krump has a couple of abilities that are really going to make it difficult for things to get up in Grim’s grill and stab him to death. Trapper(*) Action­ – basically he drops a 5” AOE in base contact with himself, enemies ending  or entering the AOE suffer a POW  10 and get knocked down if it damages them.  Useful for avoiding anything stabbing Grim with ARM 16 or less and less reliable against higher armor, but workable.  Finally Krump gives the unit Granted: Cicular Vision – Yup they don’t care where they’re looking while Krump is alive because they see all around them with a 360deg front arc.

Tier List - Okay, it's a topic for another time. Go look at it, I'm thinking most will like Ambushing Scouts.

Synopsis – Honestly making lists for this new unit for me has been tough because he can make so many things work well.  It’s tempting to bring a bunch of ranged and there is something to be said for a battlegroup that includes Bomber’s, Blitzer’s, Impalers etc.  Personally I think I’ll stick with Rok and two Earthborns and use Grim’s feat for himself, and Mortality and Mage sight to help deliver bad guys.  In the world of the Trollblood Toolbox the Hunter’s Grim have enough about them that you can bring literally anything and he can help them in some way.  His battlegroup and army for that matter are tons more mobile than they appear and can get themselves out of sticky situations if necessary.
Where Grim2 is going to shine though is going to be in the fact that he will be able to apply pressue to enemy casters from a long looonnnngg ways away. With Apparation and Snipe for example Grim himself can shoot  25” away from himself.  That means if your opponent doesn’t protect their caster you can hit them reliably with very little help from your army.   If they don’t hide well enough even our low RNG caster assassinating Bomber  can threaten from 21” away with some work and 19” away with very little work.  All hitting harder and more accurately than they do in most any other Trollblood army.

Be excited for The Hunters Grim folks, his playstyle and what he brings to Trollblood armies is quite a bit different and probably quite a bit better than most of us realize.

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