27 November 2013

Wrathen's Workshop: eGrim First Game & Impression

Workshop: First Game and Impression of eGrim

(not my paint job... I wish it was)

So I have had my eGrim for a few weeks but have not the opportunity to play him. I decided to meet up with my friend JB for a friendly game and to destroy some Khador. My buddy JB was playing pButcher (though not the right model).

He played:
-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
-Beast 09
Gun Carriage
Man-o-War Drakhun
Windowmaker Marksman
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Winter Guard Mortar Crew
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
(as a side note I built his army after the fact in warroom to do this write up and found he was a point over *shrug* oh well)

I played:
-2x Impaler
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Fell Caller Hero
Fennblade Kithkar
Fennblades (max) w/ UA
Pyg Burrowers
Krielstone Bearer (min) w/ UA

I would like to say first that this is my first "Battle Report" and it will likely be be in need of improvement I missed at least one photo I should have taken and my note taker feel asleep so the last part of the game is by memory. I now have a new found respect for the Battle Report Podcasters and other who do battle reports. Hopefully I will get better at them as time goes on if people would like to see more battle reports. I already plan to find me a voice recording app so I don't have to write notes while playing if I do more reports.

My first observation is I played the Runebearer wrong a few times (IE forgot to activate him before Grim). Next I like this battle group although I only rolled crit slam once all game but the potential was there. I really enjoyed the play style of eGrim I have been playing alot of pGrissel, Runes of War, Family reunion, and Borka non-Tier lately so its a nice change of pace. Mirage helped with positioning and setting up chargse while Mortality didnt help much this game due to poor rolls the potential is there and against some armies it would be killer. What I think ultimately won me the game ( or at least make it much easier ) was my 6 pt unit of Burrowers tying up/stalling 21 pts of jacks. All and all I not only enjoyed my game with eGrim but think with more practice he could be a very strong caster for the faction. I could see him making it into one of my two lists for a 2 list tournament and for sure in a 3 list format.

I have another few list ideas I would like to try with eGrim that include Warders and Scattergunners maybe that will be in another battle report or workshop in the future.

Until next time continue putting axe to face.

Now onto the show.....


I wanted to be able to get Grim up to the wall the Fennblades to one zone and the Impaler and Axer to the other. 

He deployed pButcher straight across flanked by his jacks. Put the Great Bearers and calvery solos across from my light jacks. Then mortar crew & windowmakers across from from the Fennblades.

Turn 1: (somehow missed Khador first turn picture)

Turn one was alot of running on my part spacing out to avoid as much mortar as possible.

I dont have a picture of his first turn but he shot twice with the battle engine @ a Fennblade near where the mauler is in the picture for my turn 2. First shot deviated then 2nd shot hit and killed. Windowmakers then took shots and killed 2 more Fennblades

Turn 2:

I vengeance my Fennblades up closer nothing was within vengeance range and Mirage closer. Burrowers pop up and get ready to charge his jacks. Impaler by the right zone goes first gets a slam off on the Sprigin moving him back like 1/2" into the Battle Engine and pButcher knocking stuff down and doing 2 damage to Butcher. Runebearer goes and does Harmonious on Grim then the Impaler in the middle puts Snipe on Krump. Grim and Co go get up close enough to have Grim put a shot on the middle Great Bear Kolsk (the one w/ Steady). Then Krump knocks down Beast09 and Grim put Mortality on Beast09. (WOOT both jacks and pButcher knocked down) the reformed back.

Here is where everything went bad for me charge with the Fennblades & Burrowers. One Fennblade got to the windowmakers and missed, two Fennblades got charges on the Battle Engine, and the rest of the Fennblades ran.

Burrowers charged both jacks, the battle engine and the last two gear bears. I did HORRIBLE on my damage rolls. I did a total of 7 damage to the battle engine (w/ 2 Fennblades and 3 Burrowers), one burrower charged the Sprigin and did nothing, 4 Burrowers charged Beast09 and did .... 5 damage (total!), then the Burrowers charging the Great Bears did nothing.

Last the Axer ran up to position to block the two carvery models from coming in. They had to kill him or take free strikes going by. Then the mauler ran up to charge in next turn and finish off a heavy since my damage rolls let me down.

He upkept Fury on Fenris and shook on Beast09 & Sprigin and allocated the rest of his focus. He then activated and did Thresher .... this is where my dice when in my favor.... he missed one and hit & pasted 3 burrowers who all three made tough checks then did 9 damage to his Sprigin (WINNING!!). The Great Bears moved up and did backswing killed the two Burrowers that engaged them and hit one of the toughed Burrower ... who toughs again! Dragoon charges Axer does some damage but he is still up Fenris charges rolls snakes on his impact attack but then finishes the Axer off with his two normal attacks.

Battle Engine drops some shots kills 2 fennblades & 4 burrowers (1 toughs again!). Sprigin goes hits KDed Burrower with shield... tough .. spear ... tough (hahahah).

Mortar shoots and Grim misses hits Impaler and Krump (who takes 4 damage). Windowmakers who can shoot up some Fennblades (some die, some tough). Butcher stands up and walks over.

Turn ends: He gets a CP and I realize that I didnt have enough of a unit to control my point.

Turn 3:

(at this point my note taker fell asleep so I'm going by memory from a week and a bit ago)

I left Mirage drop and vengeance into the Battle Engine and do little to no damage. At this point I realize I'm likely not going to be able to eat through his armor without charges but I might be able to go for a CP victory. KSB & Scribes chant armor and strength and go over to control the zone. Fell Caller runs over to the other zone.

Fennblades & Burrowers attempt to damage Beast09 and Battle Engine doing little to nothing.. seems other than tough rolls my dice are rebelling. A single Burrower shoots and kills a Great Bear. Both Impalers attempt to crit slam a jack over pButcher and dont get a crit. I decide that the mauler cant get to anything so he goes into the zone to be an immovable object.

Grim & Co go drop a trap to protect Grim and Krump attempts to KDs Fenris and misses & Grim shoots Fenris and does 8 damage. They then reform into the best I can do to get them in the zone. Kithkar, Fell Caller and Runebearer run up to help block Grim from a counter attack.

End of Turn: I get another CP goes to 1 - 1

In a surprising turn of events he gets to Grim.... lucky I left 3 fury on him.

So between the Battle Engine & Mortar crew they shoots over and clear Runebearer & Krump. Beast09 & Sprigin still keeps killing Burrowers and they keep toughing. The last Great Bear for some reason charges the Kithkar and does 4 damage (not sure why he didnt go into the zone).

Then Dragoon and Fenris charge Grim who ends up living due to good defense and 2 transfers which kill an Impaler and I reeve 2 fury back splashing a few damage back. He ends his turn with Grim at 7 health.

End of Turn: CPs go to 2 - 1 

Turn 4: Game over Khador

So I need 3 CPs to win so I just need to clear out both the Dragoon and Fenris and I win. I cut for 2 fury and upkeep nothing.

Chronicler does charge of the Trolls on the scribes and stands in zone. Impaler goes over and does some damage to the Dragoon. Scribes chant strength/armor and charge only one gets to the Dragoon does no damage. Kithkar turns around swings twice and finishes off the Dragoon.

Fell Caller calls himself and then dismounts Fenris he places out of range for 2nd attack. Mauler activates and moves max distance and Rages Grim ... its CLOBBERING TIME! Grim steps up and swings and boosts to hit hits doing dice +2 [ POW16 (12+3+1) vs ARM 14 ]. Finishing Fenris off in 1 hit.

I say go and get 3 CPs and it goes to 5 - 1

Thanks for reading sorry the end was bad didnt have notes to go on. Im not sure I'll be continuing to do battle reports unless people give me some good feedback and want more. Im willing to place just about any list you would like to read as long as I own the models and its not horrible. Just email or leave a comment if you would like to see more battle reports and what list you would like to see.

Until next time continue putting axe to face.


25 November 2013

State of the Scrum

As some of you may have noticed the Scrum seems to have slowed down a bit. This is, for the most part true. The holidays start rolling around and our free time starts to shrink. Well as our real life obligations start to get heavier the folks here are not un-effected... So here I will detail the state of the Scrum and our plans moving forward.

The Scrumcast
It has been a challenge trying to produce a Scrumcast over the last 3 months. Of the last 4 we have tried to record I was only able to salvage ONE. As you might imagine this is extremely frustrating for us here and has put a really damper on our output. I'm looking into the software issues we are having and also a more suitable solution for recording as soon, Skype will no longer allow users to record their calls. I am hoping this will not  mean the ed for our little podcast and that a good solution can be found.

There is going to be a bit of a roster change on the Scrumcast going forward. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Hatred will not be joining us anymore. He was in a serious car accident recently which resulted in him losing his minis and this lead to his subsequent decision to get out of the hobby and the podcast. We are happy he is alive but, his disruptive and rowdy presence will certainly be missed. There is the possibility of us trying to replace Hatred but that will be something Blah and myself will discuss after the new year. For now we feel however that Nosrek has been a positive and informative addition and would like to continue having him on for the foreseeable future.

Lastly concerning the Scrumcast, due to the above issues we will be taking a break from recording to recharge our batteries and get our technical issues worked out. The break will last until after the first of the year. We apologize for the break and know your daily commutes and painting time will be surely less entertaining without the sweet sultry voices of the Scrumcast. In the mean time go listen to those Removed from Play guys. I hear they are pretty fun to listen to.

New Authors
We have recruited a number of new writers here at The Scrum and as you may have noticed, our post count is up! This should be a continuing trend here as our writers settle in to a rhythm and we can get some quality information out to you folks. Our authors should also be a part of the Scrumcast from time to time adding a little flavor from outside to keep things fresh.

Also, if you folks from our great community would like to contribute to the cause and send us articles, please send an email to thegreatblah@trollbloodscrum.com . He can facilitate getting you connected with the blog.

Projects on the Back Burner and Canceled Projects

Things still on the table:
- Painting and conversion contest
This event will still happen but like the Scrumcast be delayed until after the new year.

- pMadrak challenge
Also still in the works. This was a no brainer. It takes time which no one has right now. Expect this after the new year. This will likely lead to other challenges in an effort to gather more relevant data on what works in our faction.

Cancled Projects

 - The Scrum Painting Exchange
It's simply too close to the holiday to expect people to purchase, paint and send models. We like the idea but we think there is simply not enough time.

And that should about do it. There will likely more to come from us but sometimes...we just need a little break. From the guys here at The Scrum, have a happy holiday season and we'll see you after the new year.

24 November 2013

Looking at Lists: eGrim and pGrissel

Today I participated in a three round steamroller of about 13 participants. These are the lists I chose to take:

Pyre Troll
Storm Troll


Max Stone w/ UA
Max Warders
Max Warders
Max Champions w/ Skaldi
Swamp Gobbers

This list is based off the list I mentioned in my first post, mainly it removes the Longrider package and 2 sorcerers and replaces it with Scouts and Skaldi with max Champions.

Longriders are great, but I feel they can be a hard piece to trade with. Many times they don't manage to get their points back before being removed. I find they often outpace the support pieces which is why they die so early, but when I hold them back they are alpha struck and lose their greatest advantage, the charge. Longriders live for the charge and their effectiveness drops significantly when you don't get the first hit.  When they work they're great, but I find that in too many games I can't get them to perform the way I want them to. I may just need more practice with the Longriders, but I feel more comfortable with the Champs for now.

I love Champs with pGrissel, they can be hard to remove and with 2-3 attacks each they don't have problems removing units from the table. I find these guys are hardier than the Longriders, and have similar potential for infantry clearing. The Champs also seem to last for a good portion of the game, while I feel Longriders die fairly early. This is because they don't outpace the Krielstone and are usually at a solid 18-20 ARM. Champs do have less board presence then Longriders though. They are tided up in pods, because of their Defensive Line skill, but in this pGrissel list the 2 Warder units help mitigate this issue. This trio of Warders, Champs, Warders allows for me to move up the board with three very hard to remove units that are capable of cracking most ARM. There is is some issues when you reach the 21+ mark, but Calamity helps. The pods also make the unit more vulnerable then Warders, but not as vulnerable as ARM 17-19 large based cavalry models. The pods allow War Jacks, War Beasts, and Weapon Masters the ability to reach multiple models at once, and these models are the best equipped to deal with our ARM 20. However with proper placement they can be avenged. I really like Champs with pGrissel she does a lot for them and helps mitigate many of their weaknesses, so I can see them in many future list builds.

Scouts had mixed results for me. In my first game they were great. They played a hit-and-run game in and out of a forest, for much of the game. They slowly picked off models from units and even some key solos. If the terrain is right they can be very effective. However at DEF 13 and ARM 13 any form of concealment or stealth mitigation crushes them, like gun mages or the Black 13th. In my third game against eHailey they didn't do much, except die. They weren't able to hit their high DEF and never made it to melee, where gang would have helped. This was the first time I used Scouts with pGrissel, so I'd like to further experiment before entirely writing them off.

I feel this list does have some problems against shooting, sure high ARM units like Warders and Champs do mitigate some of it, but they can be chipped away at first and thus makes them easier to finish off once they are engaged in melee (it also didn't help that the eHailey player gets an extra turn of it). It also suffers against DEF 15 and higher. Calamity is great, but even boosted 6's are not always reliable to get it off. I could definitely see the 5 point slot the scouts occupy being filled with other options. A Bouncer might help to mitigate the vulnerability to shooting. It can protect the Krielstone which becomes more vulnerable in late game, and the Bouncer is quite a hardy beast on its own, sitting at effective ARM 21. Another Pyre or similar shooting light beast is also a possibility, the redundancy is nice, but doesn't help with any problems the list has. Minion solos like Pendrake and/or a Thrullg could also fill the slot and add different utilities, like upkeep removal and knockdown. I think further testing is required, but this list feels close to where I want it.

eGrim - Tier 4 Hunting Party
Storm Troll
Pyre Troll

Min Bushwhackers
Thumper Crew
Thumper Crew

I dropped eGrim once and this tourney and it almost has me wanting to never put him back on a table again, or at least not for a while. I got thrashed. I only managed to kill 3 points of models and score 0 control points. The game was against another Troll player, who is possibly the best in Sydney, and he was playing a pGrissel list that looked something like this:

Storm Troll
Storm Troll


Min Krielstone w/ UA
Min Scatter Gunners w/ UA
Max Warders
Max Warders
Max Burrowers

This might not be completely accurate, as I'm not positive on the Fellcaller. Anyway I was all excited to play ambushing Scouts and most of my list deploying 18" up the board, but wound up flat on my face. Instead of popping feat when I should have I waited. This allowed my opponent to pop his burrowers and charge them into  my line of beasts, thus engaging them and preventing them from shooting. I then spent my next activation clearing them out and was then left to have two units of Warders wipe 5 light beasts of the table on his next turn. The ambushing scouts didn't do much better. They came off the table behind Grissel and only one of managed to hit her, but failed to break armour. They then too were wiped out by his two Storm Trolls who with electro leaps had no problems clearing the two units of Scouts off the board. This left me with Grim's unit, a Mauler, and two Thumpers against his whole army. It didn't go well as I'm sure you imagine.

I screwed up pretty hard and my opponent, like the very competent player he is, punished me to a point where I could not recover. There are two big things I could have done to stop this. First I could have feated the turn before he charged me, thus preventing or mitigating some of the oncoming charges. Second I could have kept only one unit of Scouts for ambushing and advanced deployed the other so they could be used to screen the beasts and prevent the beasts from being engaged. This would have changed the pace and flow of the game, and allowed me to have a chance at winning. I feel that this list is competitive, but I need way more practice with it. I also feel that it does skew too hard towards his feat and a gun line. The list relies to heavily on guns to get the work done, and if something can stop that the list falls apart. That was made all too apparent to me this game. I think this list could be lots of fun and competitive, but I think in the future a non-tier list that approaches eGrim in a more balanced manner would be better suited to tournament play.

Sigh. I guess my quest for a third caster/list continues. If you guys have any questions, comments, or suggestions please comment below or contact me here. Have a good one and may your dice roll tough.

18 November 2013

LTC preparations...

It almost didn’t happen, but after various bribes, rummaging through trash cans and threats of exposing ones genitals the Philosoraptors are go! Sorry, I should explain… after the feverish excitement* caused by the WTC, Cross Gaming Club in London are holding the London Team Championship (LTC) on Nov 30th.

50pt SR, two lists, divide and conquer (1) – at present there are twelve teams of three players, and my partners in crime are bringing Menoth and Retribution whilst I bring the Trolls. Both my lists are ones of mentioned previously, being pMadrak – going with as much armour 21 as possible, and Calandra’s Theme ‘Evolutionary Elementalism’, which will feature a Mountain King for all your paper weight needs.

The Calandra list is as follows…

Evolutionary Elementalism (NQ 49, Tier 4, 55/55)
Calandra (+5 WB)
Runebearer (2)
Mountain King (19)
Winter Troll (4)
Pyre Troll (4)
Storm Troll (4)
Warders (max) (8)
Kriel Stone bearer and Scribes (max) (4)
Stone Scribe Elder (1)
Janissa Stone Tide (3)
Rune Shapers (4)
Troll Whelps (2)

The pMadrak list is a little unstable at present. Given that Janissa is in the Calandra list, I wonder about bringing the Earthborn, Rok might be a better choice to primal the Bouncers. Plus surely Rok’s Berserk + Crusher is just wrongness on toast?

Blackjack Madrak (56/56)
Madrak, Thornwood Chieftain (+6)
Runebearer (2)
Mulg the Ancient (12)
Rok (11)
Troll Bouncer (5)
Troll Bouncer (5)
Trollkin Warders (max) (8)
Trollkin Warders (max) (8)
Kriel Stone bearer and Scribes (max) (4)
Stone Scribe Elder (1)

I’ll muse more on these lists over the next ten days, and appreciate any feedback. Look out for a tournament report as well, and if you’re a twitter junkie, follow me on @UnicronsBeard

Keep rolling Tough!


15 November 2013

To Theme or not to Theme... Calandra (NQ)

Evolutionary Elementalism – Calandra (NQ 49)

This theme force is Calandra’s second and was presented in No Quarter Magazine issue #49.
Before NQ49 was released it was spoiled that there would be a new Trollblood theme force, and instantly the speculation began about this being a Mountain King centred theme (based on other factions getting themes featuring colossals/gargantuans). Madrak and Doomshaper were the casters considered most likely to have the ‘fix the MK’ theme.

What was presented was actually quite different. Calandra is an odd warlock in that she’s hard to define, she doesn’t offer obvious buffs/debuff but instead plays with dice and probability – improving yours and messing with your opponent’s.

 You are limited to ‘elemental’ warbeasts (Pyre, Slag, Storm & Winter), the Mountain King, the Krielstone, Runeshapers, Warders, runeshaper solos (Janissa) the runebearer and whelps.

The first and most obviously beneficial tier gives you a reduced cost to warbeasts. This has led to the thinking that this list is all about spamming elemental warbeasts, and why not? Second tier benefit loads up your Krielstone (the requirement for this level) with fury, the third gives light warbeasts Advanced Deployment provided you have three different lights.
The fourth tier is where the Mountain King raises his big meaty fist and says ‘pick me!’, and in return you get to put one animus on everything in your force for turn 1. Hmm.

Doesn't really look like a Mountain King centric theme, does it?

Other than the beasts your limited selection leads you to a combination of Runeshapers and Warders, and note that the theme doesn't increase the FA on either, so in larger games your decision is made for you. Warders, being the new hotness, are everywhere, and for good reason. Battle driven reach weapon masters… and cheap ones too. In this theme their woeful lack of speed really shows, but there’s no doubt that they are you go to unit for zone control.

The Runeshapers are a great unit, and sadly still often overlooked (outside of Runes of War). In this list they fuel the stone pre game thanks to the tier 2 benefit and, er… well. What they bring is a unit of decent AOEs with crit knockdown. With tremor and with Janissa’s Force Lock they offer some zone control/clearance shenanigans. You might like to note also that although you can bring AOEs with the Pyre, the Runeshapers bring three for the same cost. Knockdown is a thing. Beasts with sub par Mat like knockdown.

With the Solos, you’ll want Janissa for all the usual reasons, plus the tier 2 benefit. The Runebearer is goo if you can fit him in. Whelps are a must if you bring the Mountain King. You really need the double spawning whelps.

Your warbeast selection is more a case of which to go with in multiple. Pyres bring flaming AOEs, the Storm bring Electroleaping anti light infantry tech, the Slag munches jacks, the Winter… er… gets more work in the Holiday Season?

But what about the Mountain King? Well, looking at the list in general there is a clear lack of high P+S. Even with a damage buff animus and Stone Strength you’re topping out at around P+S 15. Yes, Warders have Weapon Master, but they are painfully slow in this theme and really your only zone holding models, so the high armour stuff can avoid them easily.

The Mountain King brings your only guaranteed anti-armour.

Calandra here will be trying to survive (Bullet dodger & Janissa’s wall) whilst getting as much into her control area to mess with dice. Soothing Song becomes a very handy spell in the list, and the Krielstone starting with some fury saves here a little bit to use on re-rolls. Obviously the Runebearer helps some if you have a few spare points.

I’m going to wrap up this fast’n’dirty guide as I’m playing this theme a lot at present and will be writing more about it in the future.

The bottom line with this list… it’s different. It’s a challenge (going the MK route) and possibly a bonkers do-or-die (going light spam route). It’s not on a level with Runes of War or Family Reunion, but appears better than most. With more testing I think this theme will become very popular.

Theme force rating:
Originality: 4/5
Evolutionary Elementalism is at first glance a jokey elemental spam list, but I’m convinced there’s more to it than that. Calandra doesn't benefit the list or from it in any obvious way, but that’s the way she is because of her dice manipulation. Fact is that she works with anything. This theme is very different in composition to any of the others currently available, so I’m giving it a good score. For now.

Ease of Playability: 3/5
Spamming advanced deploy elemental warbeasts could be amazing. But the rest of the force does what? Then there’s the issue of high armour, especially without the MK. Of course taking a King is putting a massive investment and bullseye in one place…

Ownership level: 4/5
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that most troll players will have one of each elemental warbeast (except maybe Winter) a Krielstone, and a unit of Warders. If you’ve not gone for Runes of War you might not have any Runeshapers… so go get some! I don’t think the theme is going to inspire anyone on the fence to go buy a Mountain King. If you have one though, this theme is well worth checking out.

Total theme scores:
Evolutionary Elementalism – 11/15

Unbridled Fury – 9/15

14 November 2013

Wrathen's Workshop: Judging Distance ( Part 2 )

What can you measure?:
Now that you have become better at judging distances you need to put it to use. Other than just judging distance from your EBDT to that tasty target he is going to go smash. You can use it in conjunction with other things you're allowed to measure. So I guess the next step is to go over what you can measure.
  • Warnoun’s Control Area
  • Melee reach of currently activated model
  • LoS through a forest/cloud (see below for Infernal Ruling)
  • CMD range of a leader to a grunt in a unit during its activation

When checking Line of Sight into a forest, you do not measure from the model checking Line of Sight and then into 3 inches of the forest. You measure from the edge of the forest to 3 inches into it or to the model in the forest whichever is the shortest distance. The reason you can measure this is because the forest could block Line of Sight.

When checking Line of Sight to a Stealth model you cannot measure the distance to see if it is more than 5 inches away. You cannot measure any distance here because there is nothing that will block Line of Sight to the model. The part about the 5 inches causing the attack to miss, is part of resolving the attack and has nothing to do with Line of Sight.

You can measure distance to a Stealth model either to the model or up to 5 inches away, whichever is the shortest distance, only if you are trying to draw Line of Sight to a model that is behind the Stealth model. You can measure this distance because if the Stealth model is closer than 5 inches it can block Line of Sight but if it is more than 5 inches away it will not block Line of Sight.

You only measure when checking Line of Sight when you need to see if something is going to block Line of Sight to the target model.

In conjunction to what you can measure are things you always know.

  • Large Base = 1.96”
  • Medium Base = 1.57”
  • Small Base = 1.18”
  • Scenario Stuff
    • 6” x 12” Rectangle
    • 12” Circle
    • Kill Box
  • Deployment Zones

13 November 2013

Wrathen's Workshop: Judging Distance ( Part 1 )

So here we are back for our first real workshop. Im excited and hope everyone else is. We are going to divide this Workshop into two parts. The first one is going to be on a two stage method for becoming better at judging distances. The 2nd part will include other things you can measure, things you know about the battlefield and how to apply your new found or improved ability to judge distance. 

So without further delay .....

One thing I have always found myself good at but have discovered not everyone can is the art of judging distances. I attribute this to many years of practice looking at small precise measurements. For many years I worked as a picture framer. Basically, taking peoples art and sandwiching it between glass, mat board, and some kind of backing. To do this you cut a square hole evenly in the center of the mat and allow the picture to show through giving it the colored borders you see on framed art. I got very used to seeing measurements between ½ inch and up to 24” (sometimes as high as 6’). Doing this day in and day out I got to the point I could look at a mat and tell if a mat was 3” or 4”, ect.

I feel judging distance is a key aspect of any war game, right along side knowing stats and building your army list. In some ways it is more important because it transcends any army or game you choose to play. Some of the advantages you can reap by being a good judge of distance is (but not limited to):
  • Getting into or staying out of ranged weapons range
  • Getting into or staying out of charge range
  • Getting setup for alpha strike or to counter your opponents alpha strike
  • Getting within range of a model with stealth
  • Setting up positioning for future turns
  • Getting out of your own troops way
  • And MANY many more

Just like any and every skill it takes practice and training to become better. Remember the days when you started playing and you would swear that you had range on your Bushwhackers only to come up short on your 14” shot. Where now you could put your guys on target with easy. Well thats because as you put more games under your belt you have measured those distances many a time and you now have it down. Another example is do you ever notice how distances you measure alot you can judge better? For example we move 5” ALOT most things in Trolls move 5” ever notice you can judge without measuring about where your guys are going to end up? This is due to repetition and there are ways we can harness this to improve our game play and I hope to show you one of those ways.

In part 2 I will cover other things to help with judging of distance like what you can measure and when, other things you can use as guides, and helpful tools to have when gaming. So lets get started with our new training exercise.

So a method I developed to help a friend I got into the game was this.

Yes, yes, I know but its not a cell phone signal graph but …. never mind lets move on. So there are two stages to this training method we will call them “Prime” and “Epic” forms (sorry no Method3 or anything yet). For the Prime method we go with the picture above you cut out on something ( I like cardboard or popsicle sticks, or something with some rigidity but paper like here is ok too ). You will need to cut our 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6” & 8” pieces then on one side in pencil mark its measurement. A tip here is to use a material that has two different colored sides so that you always look at the colored side when guessing and put the answer on the white side. Then this becomes kind of a flash card type deal from our days back in school. Put them in your pocket or envelope or something to carry around with you, then pull one out at random put it on a table or on your palm in front of you and guess what size it is. Do this as many times a day as you can maybe pulling from your stash a few times in a row then moving on with whatever you were doing.

This Prime stage should be fairly easy and you should get most of them ( granted it is harder when you only have one out so you don't have any references in view ). Keep this up until you have it down pat. Next add in some with ½” measurements of those same inches and keep guessing. With repetition even if you make 100% on your test you will gain skill so keep doing it.

Once you have been doing this for a week its time to change it up and go EPIC!!!! Now there are two ways to do it adding to or making new. You can ether keep your original measurement sticks and make some more or make all new ones. The goal is to have a more random sampling so make some are 3 ⅛”, 5 ¼” and so on putting the actual measurement on the back. Now try and guess as close as you can with these “non-even” measurements. This is why I like the adding to method as long as you use the same material as before it gives you more changes to be wrong and you still might need to guess for an even number. So here is a list of what I would make: 2”, 2 ½”, 3”, 3 ½”, 4”, 4 ½”, 5”, 5 ½”, 6”, 7”, 7 ¾”, 8”, 8 ⅛”, 8 ¼”, 8 ½”, 10”, 10 ¼”, 10 ½” (and maybe some more). This gives you a wide variety of measurements to now quiz yourself on.

Why some of these numbers? Well 5 ½” is important because what if you're walking your Kriel warrior 5” and want to be in ½” reach? What about moving that Fennblade 5” and reaching 2” … well you need to know 7” then. Will you be charging with your DT Mauler? Im guessing so, then you need to know 8 ½” then don't you. We need to both be able to judge our distances we move but also the reach of the model moving and if we can judge this better we can put better axe to face. The reverse is also true. Are you staring down at a wall of Bane Thralls … well then you need to run your Kriel Warriors up but say more than 8 ½” away from them, while making your opponent to think you are within his charge range. So they then give the order and fail the first one or two and then run all the rest of his troops.

I recommend keeping these in your pocket, at your desk at work, or wherever works for you and quizzing yourself whenever you can as much as you can through each day for 27 days. Its been studied that we humans are creatures of habit and to break or make a new habit takes 27 days of repetition. I think if you tested yourself every day a few times a day for 27 days you will become a much better judge of distance.

So this is just one of many methods but one I have had success with on a friend who recently started playing the game but to make it work it does take work. Doing it once ever few days or sitting down once a day and going through them all back to back will help but not accomplish the same as many times randomly throughout every day.

I hope you have enjoyed this part 1 of Judging Distance and Im continuing to write part 2 which I hope to have up soon. I needed some real world game play pictures to help and don't have time to game for a few days.

.... As a side note it will be my first game with eGrim and I'm thinking about posting up a battle report and a kind of first impressions for eGrim.

Until next time continue putting axe to face.

I know have a snazzy new email address so feel free to post here or email me if you have any recommendations for workshops you would like to see or anything like that.

Still hoping to get time to make some more graphics .... silly work why are you so busy!

12 November 2013

The Static Age Beatdown!!

Howdy Folks,
It's Hollow Echo here.So I decided to do a battle report of a local tournament that I attended. Where I'm from we have 3 PGs,so this gives me a chance to play in some events and also run events. So it's a Standard 50 pt 2013 steamroller or so I thought...surprise it's a 2014 beta test with divide and conquer . I decided to to play the oldest caster pMadrak and the newest caster and recent bandwagon The Hunters Grim.
So with that in mind here are my list 

List 1 

Hunters Grim -  +4
- Hunters Grim (Muggs & Krump)
- Trollkin Runebearer
- Dire Troll Bomber - PC: 10
- Troll Impaler - PC: 5
- Troll Impaler - PC: 5
- Pyre Troll - PC: 5

Scattergunners - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Scattergunner Officer & Standard - Officer & Standard 2
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 grunts: 8
- Fennblade Officer and Drummer - Officer & Drummer 2
Pyg Burrows-Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 3 Grunts: 3
- Stone Scribe Eldar :1

This list is  not fully optimized for his feat, as I am in the camp that thinks you shouldn't go all range.... That's what Gunny's for 

List 2 

Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain -  +6
- Pyre Troll - PC: 5
- Troll Axer - PC: 6
- Troll Axer - PC: 6
- Troll Impaler - PC: 5

Horthol, Long Rider Hero - PC: 5
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 3
Long Riders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 grunts: 8
- Fennblade Officer and Drummer - Officer & Drummer 2
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 3 Grunts: 3
- Stone Scribe Eldar: 1

This is my big old beat stick force it ain't pretty but it's damaging with twin axers they can clear out some infantry...unless you git my dice luck.  I would hit all day but roll an average of 5 for damage all day long. But my tuffaloes made a stunning 23 tough roles in one game !!

Round 1 madrick vs e morvana ( loss by control points ) 
Here is my opponents  list
Warpwolf Stalker
Shifting Stones
Blackclad Wayfarer
Max Bloodtrackers + Nuala
Max Skinwalkers + Alpha
Max Ravagers + Chieftan

This is the first time I played this Morvanna and I had a dickens of a time trying to get a foot hold on any of the objectives. He locked down everything round 2 and I held the zones until "the Feat" in which he cut himself for 15 damage and did enough damage to heal up fully plus 3 over . 
Round 2 
The Hunters Grim vs p Denny ( loss cp) I lost my opponents  list 
This a shot to the groin. And not a light knuckle grazer. This was "A real wind up junk stunner ". I decided to protect Grim and hang back a little deep. At the end of turn 2, my opponent had  forced me to tough 5 out of six of my Fennblades blocking up my charge lanes ,killed all of my burrowers, left only 2 scatter gunners fleeing, and had removed one Impaler  and left the other with only a single box in his body, and the bomber was gone while under Denny's feat while scoring 3 out of 5 CPs.   I shook his hand. His list is amazing vs trolls /living ...all I can say is Coe's Cutthroats, plus Nyss and pDenny is nasty...

Round 3 madrick vs seige (No Quarter 50 )
Journeyman + Hunter
Journeyman + Minuteman
Black 13th
Gun Mages + UA
Capt. Strangewayes
6 Field Mechaniks

This match up went to time as we went back and forth trying to capture objectives and zones. Buy the end of the match Siege was on fire with 2 boxes left and Madrick was down to 3 boxes with his scroll burnt . This match was decided buy the third tie breaker by 1 point in my favor.... ( this was the best match of the tournament )

Over all I believe that my list where not optimal for use against my opponents. I have found that most players in my meta prefer a spam and jam list and no one can stand 23 shots in a round under pDennys feat and hope to have a rally.
 On a side note, one of the door prizes for entering the tournament  was a battle engine. If you didnt make top 3 you had a chance to win it . So now I own a War Wagon. Over all it's  a good day when you pay 20 bucks and get three solid games and go home with a new toy.
Have Fun!

11 November 2013

Like A Boss: Solo Spotlight - Troll Whelps

Well, it's Monday again! A new week, and a new edition of Like A Boss, this week, we will be taking a look at Troll Whelps.

The goal with this ongoing series will be to give an insight on how I rate our varying faction units/solos/warlocks, and hopefully provide some fun and informative topics for discussion and debate.

Follow along after the jump for all the juicy details!

10 November 2013

Musing on MoM's Armour Spam

On the latest Muse on Minis podcast episode 122 Chad Shonkwiler, American WTC participant and Trollbloods purist, explores the concept of an almost entirely ARM 21 list. Here is the 50pt list he and the other members of the Muse Crew put together:

pMadrak or eGrissel
Max Krielstone + UA
Max Warders
Max Warders

For those of you who haven't listened to the podcast (which I recommend you do) the basic concept of the list is to present so much ARM 21 that the opponent can't chew through it all. Lots of lists have dedicated ARM crackers, but when your entire list is built of ARM 21 is one or two dedicated units/models enough? Most of the time the answer is no. Eventually they will trade their ARM cracker away and then they will be left with no answer to what you have left. Let's look at the models they have included to make the list work.

You may have noticed that their are some pretty obvious inclusions in this list: Warders, Mulg, Krielstone, Earthborn, and Janissa. They are all obviously chosen to skew towards a high ARM stat and they all do work outside just having high armour. Some have high damage output (Warders, Mulg) and others further skew the lists ARM (Earthborn and Janissa), but what does the Bouncer add to this list. Being ARM 21 is not enough, it has to provide more to keep it from being dead points. So what could this maligned beast do?

  1. Shield Guard - keeps your models safe from ranged attacks, with the coming release of Eiryss3 his stock is going up
  2. Brace for Impact - reduces the slam distance by 3 inches, if slammed 0 inches it does not become knocked down, and collateral damage does not knock this model down. Great for scenario at ARM 21 and hard to slam out of zones it will stick around a lot longer then your enemy will want
  3. Chain Weapon - ignores ARM provided by shields and the shield wall order, it's situationally good, but I see a lot of Iron Fangs in my meta and love this trait
  4. Bump - pushes away the first model to make a melee attack against a model with Bump cast on it, while it can be played around it does make it more difficult to plan a turn around killing an ARM 21 list
  5. Reach - always nice to have and on a POW 13 boostable attack it's not bad
The Bouncer is a scenario piece. It will sit on an objective or in a zone and the enemy is going to have to over commit to remove this 5 point model. This is good news for us since it will mean they aren't killing our business pieces. 

You will notice that the list has two casters, pMadrak and eGrissel. During their discussion these are the two warlocks that Chad and the Muse Crew were considering for leading this list. 
  • pMadrak has carnage a spell increasing the MAT of models in pMadrak's control area by 2. Along with his feat which gives Overtake and additional attacks for killing a model, to models in his control area pMadrak allows this very tough list to chew through infantry. He also solves the problem with high defense models, but also fixes the Bouncer's MAT 5.
  • eGrissel can use her feat to give models in her control area Hyper Aggressive, when a model takes damage it advances directly towards the model that made the attack, and Unyielding, and additional 2 ARM while in melee. She also has the spell Dash, which gives models in her control area plus 1 SPD and ignore free strikes. She allows the list to get up the board and properly contesting scenario, she also further skews the list's ARM stat with her feat.
Between these two casters we see two different approaches to what this list wants to do. pMadrak fixes its MAT problem, and can crush infantry spam lists. eGrissel plays to scenario by getting models in zones and making it very difficult for the enemy to score and prevent her army from scoring. Both these strategies look like they'd would be very effective on the table and I'm keen to try them out. However when I was listening to the podcast I couldn't help, but feel they were missing another option for amongst our warlocks. That warlock would be pGrim.

I think pGrim would be an excellent warlock to lead this ARM 21 monstrosity. pGrim helps the list in very similar ways that both pMadrak and eGrissel do separately. His feat decreases the DEF and SPD of enemy models by 3 and prevents them from making special attacks. This helps his army hit enemy models, and rather then speeding his army up, he hinders the enemy army from moving as far forward. This allows him to draw the line of engagement closer to the enemy's side of the board and even keep them from getting in the zone. His spells are pretty toolbox allowing his army to ignore forests (cross-country), from moving as they please (lock the target), and outside feat help his models hit as well as stop stealth and incorporeal (marked for death). He even has the tools to deal with a match up Chad points out as being a weakness for this list, pDenny. For a pDenny (pDeneghra) match up the list does need a few tweaks.

War Wagon
Sorcerer/Gobber Tinkerer
Max Krielstone + UA
Max Warders
Max Warders

So you as you can see I've ditched the Earthborn and Janissa package in place of a War Wagon, Thrullg, and either a Sorcerer or Gobber Tinkerer. The reason for this is in this list I don't think that the extra 2 ARM is needed, it's nice, but not necessary. The wall and the other utilities that the Earthborn's animus provides will be missed, but I think that pGrim can work using his own toolbox. The purpose of the War Wagon is that it provides another gun to the list, still remains an ARM 21 model, and a huge base to hide Grim behind. The Thrullg is often ignored, because he's a poor man's Eiryss, but I think in this list he has a place. He hides behind the lines and will be used to knock off any enemy upkeeps, with such high armour we also don't need to worry about him killing or damaging anything. It does have some other shenanigans, but I don't think he'll be used for those very often. The Sorcerer and the Gobber Tinkerer are both good options for the list. The Sorcerer is another form of debuff management, but is less effective then the Thrullg. He does have some late game potential, but mostly would be brought to deal with debuffs. The Gobber Tinkerer is another one point filler, but can help keep the War Wagon up and running. At 22 boxes and ARM 21 it may survive a committed attack, and the Gobber Tinkerer can be there to help keep it on its feet. The one point option is really about personal preference, and I can see Swamp Gobbers or a Feralgeist as good alternatives.

In the occurrence of a pDenny match up I think pGrim has a game, at least better then most lists. It is still uphill, but I feel pGrim has more options against pDenny then most. With his 13" POW 13 magical gun, a -3 DEF feat, and Marked For Death, Grim is a threat and makes his army one too. With the aid of Thrullg and a Sorcerer he has some way to deal with Denny's debuffs. Grim and his army also answers a lot of the different units Denny likes to bring, pirates, Nyss Hunters, Croes Cutthroats, and Banes. The War Wagon's gun can be used to clear a lot of that high DEF low ARM infantry and if it gets lucky even knock some down, Grim's feat really helps with hitting as well. With line breaker on a huge base the War Wagon can also clear infantry in melee pretty well, it sounds nicer then then it normally is, but the option is available. Also being able to charge, impact attack, shoot a 5" AOE, and an spray 8" all on one turn can be pretty devastating, especially on feat turn. The War Wagon also is unaffected by Croe's poison, so that can be situationally handy, it also means if Croes are in the list it won't necessarily die in one turn. Everything also being ARM 21 remains to be a pain, especially after feat turn when only a few can actually suffer debuffs. pDenny is still definitely a threat, but I feel pGrim still has some good answers.

I am really keen to try this list in both iterations and with all three casters, but I do feel pGrim really provides more for the list then either eGrissel or pMadrak. Chad's idea really caught my imagination and I can't thank him and the Muse Crew enough for all the stuff they do for the online community. I can only hope that his idea can reach other troll players, and inspire them as much as it did me.

Thanks for reading,
Crash West

Any questions or comments you can reach me here