07 July 2014

List Philosophies: 2 and 3 List Format Theory

Quite a few Scrumcasts ago I spoke about the elusive third list. This sparked my interest enough to actually write about it in addition to rambling in your ear. So this series of  articles will focus on the core Philosophies behind how we build in this meta. These are also entirely my opinion and are most likely false.  So, feel free to discuss with me as we go on this adventure into hyperbole together!

The Goal
I want to foster meaningful conversation about how to choose lists and warlocks for tournaments at the 50pt level. So, with that in mind I will share my ideas based on my experience and what I think is strong for our faction. This unfortunately will mean I'll be discussing lists that not everyone can play. The biggest example would be Runes of War. I'm going to start by using my current tournament builds as examples and then I would use that as a point of reference to build off.

Getting Started
After discussing this with other players in my area I decided to expand my original idea from only 3 list events to include 2 list event building as well so that's where we are going to start. But before we get into lists I think it's important to talk about the climate of SR2014.

We are seeing a large shift in the larger meta to Warcasters and Warlocks with a large amount of board control or with control feats to maximize their effectiveness in scenario play. This tends to be a bit of a problem for us as a whole as our standard list builds can tend to be a bit slow over all. This I think is what has caused a recent shift in Troll list building. In addition we have also started seeing a shift toward armor spam from a number of factions. This has not been a huge problem for us in the past. However, to keep up with the changing Meta I feel like we need to focus on what we can do well as a faction to present our opponents with the biggest problems.

So, what are Trolls' greatest strengths?
- High model count tough army
- Fast infantry with reach or AD
- Runes of War
- Resilient Warlocks
- The Beast Brick

Starting out I think there are a few ways to build that work toward a goal of answering bad match ups or asking tough questions. For instance. Here is what I bring currently to a 2 list event.

Points: 50/50
Tiers: 4
Hoarluk Doomshaper (*7pts)
* Troll Axer (6pts)
* Dire Troll Mauler (9pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (10pts)
* Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew) (3pts)
Janissa Stonetide (3pts)


Points: 50/50
Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
* Ršk (11pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Trollkin Long Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)

So here's the gist of why I went in this direction. 
Runes of War start with a solid base leaving my options open. But I compensated for it's apparently lack of mobility with a list designed to blitz across the board and be hard to clear out thus the Grissel list. It's a list that can play out of apparent bad match ups because it can simply make you lose on scenario if you don't address it properly or don't see the gimmick coming. So it really reinforces Runes of War's inherent strength in it's strong beast brick and cheap runeshapers. 

Here's the key with this setup. Both warlocks have serious board control and denail. And you can't just list chicken out of really hard denial either because they are both difficult to fight against. So it puts people in a lose lose situation if they can't charge or cast spells or can't crack armor or...you get the point. 


  1. I have an epic Madrak list I've thought about running in a tournament, I'm am not an owner of a Runes of War list and with the saturation of Runes of War I try to look for other means to be effective in tournaments. My Madrak2 list consists of

    -Madrak, World Ender +5
    -Trollkin Runeshaper -2
    -Mauler -9
    -Axer -6
    -Impaler -5
    -Fennblade Kithkar -2
    -Fell Caller -3
    -Janissa -3
    -Chronicler -2
    -Full Fennblades -8
    -Fennblade UA -2
    -Full Warders -9
    -Full Krielstone -4
    -Elder 2

    I would probably consider this list a somewhat traditional troll list, but I feel like it would be able to handle any kind of armor skew an opponent had, nearly everything has reach, so there is multiple options for Madrak2's feat, and Blood Fury on the Fennblades means you can have an incredibly long threat with power in each fennblade to deal significant amounts of damage. There could always be some tweaking, if you were going to be taking this with Runes of War obviously you would have to drop Janissa in this list for something else, but that would free up 3 points to maybe drop the kithkar and take the SOBs.

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    3. Don't get me wrong I love warders, but they seem extremely slow with this army composition. Personally I only take warders if I'm running either forms of Grissel for the movement buffs. But if you want to keep the Warders in for second wave infantry I guess that would work. If I were to tweak your list while keeping the Warders, I would take out the Impaler and Janissa (character restriction with RoW) and put in a max unit of Pyg Burrowers (because Blood Fury'd burrowers are hilarious) and 2 points left for another Kithkar or support unit/solo.

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  2. I use the pGriss tier list sometimes if I feel like ultra jamming my opponents (hence I dubbed the list Space Jam)...

    Faction: Grissel - Blood of Bragg
    Casters: 1/1
    Points: 50/50
    Tiers: 4
    Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
    * Pyre Troll (5pts)
    * Swamp Troll (4pts)
    * Troll Bouncer (5pts)
    Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
    Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
    Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
    Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
    * Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
    Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
    Pyg Bushwackers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
    Fell Caller Hero (2pts)
    Fell Caller Hero (2pts)

    You can best case scenario put your jam line up 33 inches and that's going first, which you hopefully do. Just have armor 17 (under KSB), immune to trample warriors all over the place in ranks blocking the enemy advance. Come end of round 2 hopefully you are dominating the enemy zone for 2 control points. On your third turn pop feat kill anything that might have sneaked on through contesting the zone, while destroying the objective (if there is one) to win the game via scenario on turn 3 potentially. The 3 full units of kriel warrior are pretty retarded to buy and paint compared to 4 units of runeshapers. However with 63 models on the battlefied and everything minus your 3 light warbeasts having tough, the opponent is going to have a very bad time unless they have grievous wounds and/or can take out swaths of infantry all at once (i.e. Hellmouth, Butcher3, etc).

  3. Holy Trollblood Infantry spam Batman! I feel like that list would be a terrifying prospect for any tournament with timed turns, or a death clock, though in a death clock scenario you could definitely build a stall list of all those troops and maybe calandra, something to force your opponent to keep rolling an additional die and dropping the lowest (eating their time) plus you have to tough for each successful kill. just something to cause each and every kill your opponent gets take ages.