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Gunny in Northkin vs Protectorate & Grymkin

Gunnbjorn in Northkin, Two Battles in Tucson

For my first game night in Tucson, Arizona, I felt the need to rely on familiarities and so chose Trollbloods as my faction.  Originally, Jarl Skuld sought to pilot the Northkin army, but Calandra and even Borka on his bear made the rounds.  A conversation on Facebook about warlocks and their favorite war beasts got me thinking about Dozer and Smigg, and if D&S are in the battle, they only seem to be worth their points when Gunnbjorn is involved. 

My List:

  • Captain Gunnbjorn +28
    • Dozer & Smigg (18)
    • Dire Troll Bomber (19)
    •  Winter Troll (8)
  • Valka Curseborn (0)
  • Fell Caller Hero (0)
  • Northkin Raiders (15)
  • Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (9)
    • Northkin Elder (3)
  • Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears (10)
  • Trollkin Champions (16)
    • Skaldi Bonehammer (5)

Sometimes Lists Write Themselves

The Northkin almost demand Battle Bears, the Raiders should enjoy Gunnbjorn’s Snipe, and D&S compliment the Bomber with Lucky Shot.  A spray is always happy to be buffed by Guided Fire, so the Winter Troll is a natural choice (with the Elder, the spray can be a sweet POW 14), The units seems to work together well without much warlock intervention.  They’re all fairly strong by themselves.  In previous games, I tend to lose half the Raiders on round 1 and the rest on round 2.  Sometimes two or three manage to survive into round 3. 

The Champions aren’t as hard to kill as people think.  Guns do them in and warjacks and beasts do smash them pretty badly.  The Champion Hero fell out of the list in favor of the Fell Caller Hero.  The +2 MAT feels necessary for the Raiders, and can even help the Champions.  Pathfinder usually lets the Krielstone move through rough terrain pretty well, as they’re the only unit without pathfinder. 

But How Do You Play This Thing?

The strategy for this list isn’t quite like most people think. Most people believe Gunnbjorn’s feat should be sprung early, on turn 1 or 2.  The theory is that the feat delivers the troops.  While that holds true in a typical slow moving, Speed 5 trollkin army, where you have to take two rounds to engage the enemy, things play out differently with Northkin.  The Northkin, along with many of the new Mk3 builds, play fast.  So the feat becomes a way to mitigate damage from Bombers and Dozer & Smigg as they lay into stuff that’s engaged in melee with Gunnbjorn’s troops.  The secret Gunny learned from Cygnar was how to shoot into the enemy without hitting your own army.  Digging everyone in so well that not even blasts or sprays could harm them and allowing them to stay dug in even while engaged. 

Game 1: Protectorate of Menoth

  • Harbringer of Menoth – 27
  • Heirophant (3)
  • Crusader (10)
  • Crusader (10)
  • Vigilant… I think.  I’m not sure. (9)
  • Champion of the Order of the Wall (8)
  • Champion of the Order of the Wall (8)
  • Paladin of the Order of the Wall (0)
  • Paladin of the Order of the Wall (4)
  • Allegiant of the Order of the Fist (3)
  • Allegiant of the Order of the Fist (3)
  • High Paladin Dartan Vilmon (0)
  • Choir of Menoth (6)
  • Idrian Skirmishers & Chieftan (20)
  • Idrian Skirmishers & Chieftan (20)

I may have errored on remembering whether he played the Vigilant.  I’m not sure.  It honestly wouldn’t be my choice with Harby, as the list as shown above is a point short and one arc node shy of a well-placed Rebuke. 

Roll off & Deployment:

I won the roll and opted to choose sides.  I didn’t like the look of the flaming rubble.  The forests would also be better for the Northkin, as they would shield them from the Idrian’s attacks. 

Both Idrian units preyed the Raiders.  As a result, I made a determined effort to keep at least one Raider alive until the Idrians died.  I didn’t realize that the Prey was Granted, and so if I killed the command attachment Prey would disappear.  The bulk of the troll army deployed left, in hopes of taking out the enemy objective quickly and pushing through the Idrians.  Harbinger remained central, trying to keep her Idrian followers in her command range. 

Turn 1

Idrians moved up, spread out and tried to keep themselves far enough apart to avoid blast damage.  The unit mainly in the left rectangle stuck it out, while the ones facing down the Raiders in the center dug in.  Shortly before, ranges were checked on the Raiders, and the question of Snipe became relevant.  The Menoth army stayed pretty much balanced out, spread between the two rectangular zones. Raiders responded in force, trying a few shots on the few visible and not dug in Idrians.  Harbinger kept one or two alive.  Dozer & Smigg caught some in a blast, and the Bomber just ran up.  The Winter troll riled and ran, and Gunnbjorn dropped a wall, Snipe and Explosivo before giving the stone a Fury bump. 

 Turn 2

Nothing major happens.  Valka and a Dragon square off on the far right.  The Winter Troll advances and takes down some Idrians in the left, and I hope to score by blasting the objective. Champions run left to be in feat and stone range.  One Idrian is kept alive by Harbinger, and the objective stands, so no early points for Trollbloods. 

Turn 3

Dragoon and Paladin try to take down the Winter Troll, but he hangs on by a hair.     Idrians swarm the circle, and the other dragoon and paladin work the objective.  Harbinger feats.  Winter troll dies to a Crusader and the Troll objective falls to the Crusader.  Three points for Menoth.  Valka challenges the Dragoon, but whiffs it.  Champions advance into the circle and toe the rectangle.  The Menoth objective explodes, and the point goes to Trollbloods. Bears did not enter, as the Dragoon on the left is pointed toward the side of the board, thanks to reposition, and the position on the right is in Harbinger’s feat.  The bears don’t want POW 14 fire.     Bomber walks up and smacks some stuff, hoping for a Kill Shot.  He doesn’t quite finish things, and Dozer & Smigg ease their way out of the snowbank, blasting more Idrians.  Champions kill off more dudes.  Score is 3:0 Menoth.

Turn 4

Bomber takes some huge hits and survives on just a few boxes.  Spirit and Mind are out.  Champions start falling off, unable to retaliate due to the lack of a Champion Hero.  Maybe that needs to be reconsidered.  Bears ambush.  They kill the Dragoon.  Gunnbjorn fires off a shot, but hardly does a thing. More importantly, he heals the Bomber, pops feat and casts his biggy.  Harbinger keeps her guys alive, knowing she’ll heal next turn.  Gunny needs that healing guy dead, or needs to kill in massive numbers.  Bomber heals, kills a guy, heals more, but doesn’t get kill shot because of the Crusader.  Whoops!  Screwed that up!  Dozer walks in, throws Crusader, shoots Crusader, hitting the choir standing nearby.  Still, Trolls pick up a point!  Additionally, the objective falls.  Menoth scores on their turn (1 point) and on Trollblood’s (1 point).  Score is 5:2. 

Turn 5

Harbinger moves off a bit, the Crusader tries to advance on Dozer, but has no speed, since Dozer killed his movement. Harby runs a dude into the zone. 

More guys try to kill more guys, but tough checks are made and the feat keeps them standing up.  Champs do fall, but not to the Menoth, but to a retaliatory strike that  happened.  The trolls are lucky that Harby can’t see them.  They’re so close, they should be taking some POW 15, POW 16 attacks from her big nuke.  The game should actually be over by now.  But trolls fight back, finishing off the Crusader.

They fire off shots, hitting Harby’s healer, which she keeps alive.  The little guy in the zone also dies.  Bears tried desperately to run in.  Gunnbjorn keeps the score from running away, by shooting the Crusader, getting lucky and throwing it out of the zone.  Yay! Score 6:3

Turn 6

Game should really be over by now. The dragoon kills some dudes, the monk kicks Gunnbjorn.  Contesting the troll zone and scoring on with the Crusader will move the score to 7:3.  Bears take down the Dragoon, but the handler is lost to retaliatory strike. Bad placement (a misunderstanding on which bear was doing the damage, and how many attacks they had) caused the confused Dragoon to walk into the mouth of the second bear.  Trolls killed more things, but couldn’t clear the circle due to more of Harbinger’s Martyrdom.  Score 8:4. 

Turn 7

Protectorate manages to hang on to the lead.  They don’t need to do anything but contest the troll-owned zone, and they do.  Score 9:4, Protectorate win. 

I think Harbinger’s Martyrdom is a little strong.  If she had to pay for it with a touch of focus, then it wouldn’t be so bad.  This wasn’t Gunnbjorn’s best matchup.  Hunter’s Grim is my preferred warlock to Menoth’s Harbinger, since he can cast Mortality, which prevents Harbinger from healing her dudes. 

Game 2: Grymkin 

The King of Nothing.  My opponent played well, initially, but I think the lateness of the night caused a few mistakes which the trolls took advantage of.  The list also could have used the murder crows rather than bag men, but what will you do? 

I don’t have enough pictures to do a blow by blow, but Dozer & Smigg love closely placed units, blowing 5 dudes off the table in a single blast.  Champs like chopping up light warbeasts, and Fell Caller helps mitigate the -1 to hit when that trap card pops.  Bears like huge infantry armies, as they can quickly find something to ambush.  On that note, apparition is a fantastic way to handle things that ambush behind you.  Simply turn around during maintenance and charge during activation.  Awesome. 

Basically, the Trolls were able to do the work they wanted to in the earlier match.  They tore down units while toughing out hits and holding zones.  

 

 Epilogue?

Looking forward to my next games.  Too bad I won’t be able to play as many per week as I did in Shreveport.  I think my next game day is actually a tournament.  I’m looking toward Hunters Grim again, since Mortality has so much play.  More on that later.  

 

 

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