06 November 2013

To Theme or not to Theme... Epic Doomshaper

To Theme or not to Theme; that is the question

Theme forces are an often maligned part of the game. Whilst some are considered good, and very few considered amazing, the majority are forgotten about. Whilst “Runes of War” (pDoomshaper) and “Family Reunion” (Borka) get a fair amount of exposure, the rest are dismissed for not being top tier tournament lists. Well, guess what? We don’t all play tournaments all the time! It’s good to experiment and have fun, take a break from everything the internet tells you to do!

This sporadic series will look at the Trollblood Theme forces and give a brief break down and a series of ratings…

Unbridled Fury – Epic Doomshaper’s Theme list.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia, is a somewhat one-dimensional warlock. He does beasts, and does them well, with a pretty straight forward plan of smashing Mulg or some other heavy into your opponent’s face as quickly as possible for the assassination. It is a commonly held opinion that games with eDoomy end quickly.

Epic Doomshaper’s theme force only reinforces and streamline’s his rather unsubtle modus operandi. The list is seriously restricted; you can only choose Dire Trolls & Mulg (not Rok) as your beasts, are limited to Champions and Scouts as your units and Whelps, the Runebearer and Skinner as your solos.

The tier benefits are increased access to Whelps, bonus to starting roll, increased speed on the first turn for your beasts and reduced cost for your beasts.

Quite simply it gets as many Dire Trolls as you can field up the table fast.

The biggest stumbling block of the theme force is the requirement for tier two, which needs at least two units… your choices being Scouts and/or Champions. Now, Champions are a very strong melee unit, but you have no access to the Hero here, let alone the regular troll infantry support. The other, perhaps less obvious thing here that makes Champions a lacklustre choice in this theme force is their lack of speed. With the bonus starting speed from tier three and Doomshaper’s feat, your beasts will leave you Champions far behind.

Now, Scouts are well known for being far more self-sufficient, and although not double attack weapon masters, with assault and gang they can get some serious work done, but it’s their Advanced Deployment here that really shines, giving you a flanking unit that can in those first two turns be in a similar position to the speeding Dires.

Looking at Solos, you get a massive three options: the Runebearer is a solid choice in the majority of Troll lists, helping your Warlock get more mileage out of his Fury. I wouldn’t say he was an auto include here, but clearly having more available fury for Doomshaper to Goad with is a good thing.

Whelps are our *cough* fury management *cough* and an amusing source of regeneration. The first tier gives you increased access to them, but as they are already FA 3, I wonder how many people get to the stage in list building where they wish they had more than 15 of the critters available. Always worth taking at least one group of five, and if you run Bombers you should get more and start with them in play.

The third choice of Solo on offer is the Skinner. Who? Er, you know, the lone scout-like monster hunter thing? Go check out Kro’s little write up…
Other than because it’s a cool model and you’re a hipster dude I can see no reason to field him, but with his AD he keeps pace with your Scouts and speedy first turn beasts. Probably best to think of him as a Scouts UA.

So, on to beasts… You have to take Mulg for tier 4. You have to take Mulg. MULG! (The only reason not to take him is if you don’t own the model.)

The Earthborn can seem pillow fisted, and without Janissa his use as a ‘buffbot’ is somewhat diminished. But he still has 5 Fury and Pathfinder, which in and of itself is the reason to take him in this list.

The Mauler is a no nonsense beatstick, always worth one tagging along. Adding a Bomber or two gives you a clear answer to infantry swarms. Whilst the lack of an Impaler may hurt, the first turn speed bonus helps somewhat. Remember to take whelps and start them on the table, you’ll be burning through fury on these guys each turn.

The Blitzer is the sadly overlooked Dire Troll in the corner. I like the Blitzer a lot and find his animus to be situationally outstanding in scenario play, however eDoomshaper doesn’t really up his ranged capabilities.

Epic Doomshaper himself is, despite his regenerative capabilities, quite soft and easy to squish. Without the standard defensive troll tech, you’re gonna have to hope that screening him with heavies is enough to protect him.

The bottom line is that this Theme force, whilst fun, isn’t anything new. It lacks any real ‘sex appeal’ beyond the desire to have Epic Doomshaper smash beasts at your opponent at speed.

Theme force rating:
Originality: 0/5
Unbridled Fury doesn’t add any new angle to eDoomshaper at all. It simple streamlines his playstyle and limits your choices.

Ease of Playability: 5/5
If you play eDoomshaper you can play this list. You just miss a few defensive measures and have to commit your Dires harder and faster. The Theme force almost plays itself.

Ownership level: 4/5
All Troll players will eventually have Mulg and an Earthborn, and probably a fair few Dire Trolls. You might not have multiple units of Champs/Scouts and probably don’t own a Skinner, but in general, you will at some point have the majority of the Theme’s necessary components. You won’t be buying out of your comfort zone for this one.

Total theme score:
Unbridled Fury – 9/15

 Till next time, keep rolling tough!


1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff. Thanks for the write up...plenty of things to ponder :)