20 February 2014

Mabrothrax goes to Smogcon

Bring it on.

This will be a quick post as I'm about to go get a train to Heathrow airport to meet a good friend of mine, then we're off to...

Smogcon is currently the UK's only dedicated Warmachine & Hordes convention (it does other stuff too) and this year the organisers have really stepped up to the challenge of presenting an American style con over three days in a hotel, well, two hotels actually because demand was so high they needed a second venue.

As well as Press Ganger duties (an 18 hour straight shift in the Smog Pit (think Iron Arena)), I'm entering the Iron Gauntlet and Hardcore tournaments, and plan to get in as much casual gaming as my body will allow.

I'm trolling all the way and playing both my eGrissel list and Calandra theme force in the IG, and still undecided on eDoomshaper or eGrissel for the Hardcore.

I'm not looking to win big, but I am going to have a great time, and hopefully really learn a lot about my armies and my own playing by exposing it to a multi-national meta of (wannabe?) top players.

Once the sleep deprivation has worn off and I've returned to normality I'll have convention report up. In the meantime, please do follow me and goad/insult/encourage on twitter @unicronsbeard

Keep rolling tough!

Mabrothrax, #trollingtrollswithtrolls & playing like he's got a pair sleep deprivation.

10 February 2014

Mabrothrax Muses: Hunters Grim and Gators

Eat, Sleep, Gator, Repeat

I have a hard time with eGrim. Sort of. I was very pleased with the work put into the Hunters Grim challenge by the Scrumm boys, but disappointed that there was no real discussion after that. The only pseudo general consensus is that Scatter gunners are worth taking, and that burrowers are fun on the feat turn.

Mortality is amazing, it gets the job done and is the ultimate turd polisher, the feat gives that one turn of living the dream - assuming you go all out with Trollblood ranged options. Mirage gives a decent amount of movement shenanigans, the other spells are situational. This we all know.

I find that he doesn't handle the Kriel stone well, which is fine - I'm not addicted to it, but many of my units are. His beast selection, in my opinion, is  very open to interpretation. Personally I don't enjoy the Bomber/Impaler plug-in.

I've tried these battle groups and found each of them to be successful:Blitzer, Pyre, StormPyre, Storm, StormBlitzer & Rok

My selection of units has never really settled. My adorable Warders, even with Mirage, don't quite do it right and almost demand the Stone (and a Storm troll) to really get things done which ends up being taxing on eGrim's Fury. Sons of Bragg always perform well, and don't require additional resources although the Chronicler gives them a little something that I like.

Valkine recently posted about his thoughts with pGrim and I'm very interested in his ideas, inparticular how (if) they crossover to eGrim. 

Gatorman Posse look to be a strong unit choice with eGrim. Compared to Warders or Champs...

  • Costed between Warders and Champs
  • Slightly less armour (does not require B2B)
  • Same boxes
  • Two initials and Reach
  • Faster in most circumstances
  • Built in Pathfinder
  • Higher P&S
...and so on.

In a similar fashion I think Wrong Eye and Snapjaw give a very good flanking option, and a mean heavy that can make good use of Mortality. Submerge and again their independence takes the pressure off of eGrim and require less investment in Trollblood support pieces.

This is a very sketchy idea at present that needs tearing apart and putting back together again. I would love to have Rok in the list for some beserk action and the ability to Primal Snapjaw when it's needed. The blitzer feels at home with eGrim, and the idea of having a trinity of heavy beasts very much appeals. If I took out Rok, I'd add a unit of Scouts, a Chronicler and a Swamp/Night Troll as a fury battery.

Hunters Grim (+4)Runebearer 2Blitzer 9Rok 11Gatorman Posse 9Wrongeye & Snapjaw 9Pyg Bushwhackers 8Sons of Bragg 6

Alternatively, drop WE&SJ for a 2nd GMP - then Rok seems less appealing, in which case a Slag and five other points on a Storm/Pyre or Scouts.

The bottom line - GMP replaces the need for a lot of support and get as much if not more out Mortality when their prayers and abilities are taken into account. With the exception of his feat, eGrim doesn't need/support many of the Trollblood options, leaving him to get as much, if not more value from out of faction choices.

Also posted on the Muse on Minis forums:

#TrollingTrollsWithTrolls (and this week, Gators)

07 February 2014

Templecon Keynote... Mabrothrax ponders

Hurry up and wait

Well, it happened...

The new book will feature female Warlocks for Farrow and Gators as well as battle engines for both Minion pacts, a rather splendid heavy Nephalim character, units of mini warbeasts (as if shredder spam wasn't enough), Xerxis on a Rhino, what looks like a new Circle character beast...

our  'Lesser Warlock' Horgol Ironsmith, who'll have an affinity for (and reduce cost of) Slag and Pyre trolls:

Sounds like a fun guy, and I welcome the idea of Lesser Warlocks as pseudo Fury management. One pic that appeared was these guys... 

Highwaymen? I'm betting two hand cannons CRA or Gang, possible assault and maybe gunfighter. Scouts on steroids. At least I hope so, I was never sold on the light cavalry idea.

Another brief pic is this one of Calandra, with an axe (not her dagger, 'salt'), I assumed a sneaky hint of Epic Calandra, but apparently it's an old IKRPG piece of artwork. Can anyone verify this?

The only other things of note, for Trollbloods at least - "no reach in the book", "no warbeast units for trolls (in this book)"
No preview of a Warlock, though teh Skorne cavalry Warlock bodes well for a Troll on a Tuffalo, and te comments about crazy stuff and battle engines has me wondering.

Meanwhile the Hordes Faction dice have officially been previewed...


Lots to moan and speculate about on the forums. See you out there!