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Hunters Grim: Where are you?

Grim2, Where Are You?

Looking at Grim2 again as a primary warlock for my Trollblood army.  I haven’t seen much of him since the beginning of 2017.  I honestly can’t be sure where he really fits.  The best luck I’ve had with him is as a direct answer to lists that depend on healing, via his Mortality spell.  His feat really doesn’t come into play much for me, as I like to take sprays, but when he runs double bomber, it can be fun to throw four 12” bombs without paying for far strike.

Grim1 vs Grim2

I have played Grim2, and more recently Grim1, in Power of Dhunia, Band of Heroes and Kriel Company.  When they modified Grim1’s feat, it tipped the table a bit on who had the more effective feat turn.  It is far easier for me to leverage the -3 DEF and SPD and charge/power/special denial than Grim2 marked target and snipe.  The issue I have there is that often I run sprays instead of single point or AOE guns.  So usually only the battlegroup benefits, and often the battlegroup consists of Bombers or  which already have Far Strike.  Marked target does help hit things, but I now have access to that full time with the new Pyg Lookouts.

So, I am going to follow the advice of a player who I admire and build with the spell list in mind, and not the feat.

Comparing the two iterations of Grim, we have a knockdown spell in Grim1 (Mantrap) which is echoed in a way with Muggs’s snare fun and Krump’s trapper ability.  It plays out a little differently, as Trapper asks the opponent to move his pieces into the trap, and the POW10 is not boostable, so it can be hard to hurt really heavily armored infantry.

Return Fire is gone, but has Pursuit has a similar you do something and I get to respond feel.  Weald Secrets really helps things shoot through bushes, and that too is gone with apparition from Mirage serving as a movement shenanigan.

Lastly, Grim1 tosses Marked for Death, which nullifies incorporeal and stealth for Mage Sight and Mortality.  It is those two spells which make Grim2 a more effective yet battlegroup centered killer.  Note too that his gun loses +2” move and picks up charge for free.

List Theory Time

Power of Dhunia

Looking at current builds

I haven’t found any current builds for Grim2.  It’s like he’s disappeared from the international scene.  In the pre theme days, he could be seen in a few iterations, double bomber, Thumper crews and Highwaymen, a Mountain King with Warders or Brawler (was Grievous still affecting Gargantuan models?) and double bomber with Burrowers, Scattergunners and Highwaymen again.

So it looks like I will have to build my own list. Where to start?

Battlegroup?

With Headhunter (his gun – not ability), Blood Lure (the ability on the gun) presents the tantalizing possibility of free charges on warbeasts.  Mage Sight amplifies this by giving warbeasts  the ability to see through forests and cloud effects when targeting something in the circle.  So a mix of ranged and melee warbeasts would seem to be desired.

For me, I would like some heavy hitters with access to Pathfinder.  A threat extension would also be neat. Trolls suffer from a fixed threat, and 5” SPD isn’t wonderful.  If I am considering a large battlegroup or Mulg as an arcnode, then I need to be in PoD theme, and that means a lack of fast moving infantry to help control zones.  I can think of several ways for Privateer to modify the PoD theme for it to function better with Runeshapers filling some of the gaps, but this isn’t the blog post for that.

So far, we have Mulg. Is he worth it? He hits super hard, can arc Mortality and Pursuit, and has Pathfinder on a charge. This big guy will be carrying a huge target. Along with Mulg, the Runebearer makes sense, to pull another Mortality source, and to extend Grim’s control range.

Next, I could use a ranged piece.  I typically have trouble handling infantry swarms in PoD, my last few Borka2 games being evidence of the difficulty  I have in projecting a threat and maintaining zone control.  A Bomber Troll should be able to handle most troops, save dug in units.  For that, a spray or e-leap would be nice.  Why not both?

Lastly, an Earthborn provides a difficult to remove model with the added bonus of no knockdown when I remember to use it, and native pathfinder.

So far…

Theme: The Power of Dhunia

1 / 2 Free Cards     47 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Mulg the Ancient – PC: 22 (Battlegroup Points Used: 22)

–    Earthborn Dire Troll – PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 3)

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19

–    Storm Troll – PC: 9

–    Winter Troll – PC: 8

Support

The Krielstone is obvious. What isn’t obvious is which Elder to attach.  Northkin Elder would bump up the Winter Troll power, and make both the troll and stone unit move a little quicker.  Normal Elder eliminates incorporeal or continuous effects.  I am not worried so much about incorporeal.  I usually throw Band of Heroes into those matches anyway.  But if I run the Northkin Elder to buff the winter troll, then I probably should swap Stormy out for Ice, and maybe consider running the Glacier King.

That would look something like this:

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Mulg the Ancient – PC: 22

–    Winter Troll – PC: 8

–    Glacier King – PC: 35 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)

–    Ice Troll – PC: 9

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

–    Northkin Elder – PC: 3

And gives us only 14 points to play with. Or 17, if we shrink the stone.

If we add the knot, we have 8 points, which is either another light troll or a Farrow Valkyrie unit, or if we shrink the stone 11 points for Runeshapers and maybe Swamp Gobbers.

If we do run the second Winter Troll, we still face projection issues. The Glacier King helps, because he can blast things at distance, and things don’t like  falling down near it.  But overall, I don’t feel the threat presence of say, the Grim1 list with wagons.

Can we do better with the Northkin?

If we leave the Power of Dhunia for Storm of the North, we can focus on leveraging cold based attacks, but we lose Mulg.  Now, if the shift is made to Storm of the North, the whole list changes, and I don’t really want to move in that direction because I would prefer to leverage Mortality.   The question becomes whether we need Mulg to play that game.

In Storm of the North, Grim could see warriors hitting at POW 11 +2 from the elder, + effective 2 from Mortality.  Long Riders could hit at an effective POW 16 on Impact and POW 18 on the charge, if the stone catches them.

Mirage could help unjam things, and so on. Here’s the rub. I think Grissel 1 has better game there. Her fell calls do more for the troops. Kolgrimma plays better with the Northkin stone. Madrak1 and Madrak2 also play well, and right now Borka2 is rocking the world in Storm.  Even Grim1 sees better utility, as he pushes his beasts deep and keeps them safe from ranged attacks with  Return Fire.  The extra 2 damage is cool, but is it worth it, and how often could I land it without Mulg?

Lastly, I feel like Grim2 plays a couple points short. His 25 battlegroup points isn’t a lot.

Trollblood – Hunters Grim

Theme: Storm of the North

2 / 2 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Winter Troll – PC: 8

–    Glacier King – PC: 35 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)

–    Ice Troll – PC: 9

Fell Caller Hero – PC: 5

Valka Curseborn, Chieftain of the North – PC: 0

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

–    Northkin Elder – PC: 3

Northkin Raiders – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

Trollkin Long Riders – Leader & 2 Grunts: 12

Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears – Bear Handler & 2 Battle Bears: 10

Back to PoD

The problem with PoD is the ability to claim circular zones. Dropping warbeast points allows the addition of the Farrow Brigands, a strong alternative to Runeshapers.

Theme: The Power of Dhunia

2 / 2 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Mulg the Ancient – PC: 22 (Battlegroup Points Used: 22)

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 3)

–    Earthborn Dire Troll – PC: 14

–    Winter Troll – PC: 8

Troll Whelps – 5 Whelps: 0

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

–    Stone Scribe Elder – PC: 3

Dhunian Knot – Leader & 2 Grunts: 6

Farrow Brigands – Leader & 9 Grunts: 15

–    Farrow Brigand Warlord – PC: 4

The Brigands may not benefit from theme or feat, but they boast 12 ranged attacks with a 15” threat. That is more than enough distance to lock down a zone. Their dig in ability prevents enemy ranged attacks and spells from easily hitting.  Prey boosts their POW 12 guns to 14 and with Mortality, they rock effective POW 16 bullets on their prey target.

I have run Brigands before, and they seem strong to me. But the list just feels short on models, with 3 heavies, a light, and one combat unit.  On the Warmachine side, I feel like I get more, running 3 heavies, a light, 2 combat units, an artillery piece, combat solo and support unit.

I would consider shifting to light warbeasts, but Mulg and the Bomber are pretty integral.  I do feel like the bomber should be 16 points vs 19, and that would really help.

 

Grim 2 in BoH?

So Band of Heroes offers an RFP on melee weapons, and 2 extra inches on deployment.   It is another list that runs contrary to my desire to leverage Mortality.  But maybe I am being too conservative. How nice would it be to have a melee unit preventing tough and recursion, while simultaneously preventing healing ala Mortality on a beast, jack or engine? After all, Mortality is a range 10 spell, and Grim can walk 6” through rough terrain.

Theme: Band of Heroes

2 / 2 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)

–    Dire Troll Mauler – PC: 15 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)

–    Troll Axer – PC: 10

Horthol, Long Rider Hero – PC: 8

–    Horthol, Long Rider Hero (Continued)

Fell Caller Hero – PC: 0

Stone Scribe Chronicler – PC: 4

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 3 Grunts: 6

–    Stone Scribe Elder – PC: 3

Trollkin Long Riders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 20

Trollkin Fennblades – Leader & 9 Grunts: 15

–    Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer – Officer & Drummer: 0

The Axer provides threat extension and a buff for things hitting things in its melee, provided the chronicler gets involved. The Mauler just kills things, and Bomber gives the army a ranged threat.  Fenns run far and fast, don’t worry about Long Rider impact attacks, and make good marked target scouts on a feat turn. Long Riders wreck things, and make good on the ARM debuff Mortality provides.

Again, I wonder if Grissel isn’t better suited here, but a list like this would do well in Harbinger, Haley3 and  Seige2 Gravediggers, and a few others who rely on troops returning from the dead or toughing out some hits.

Uh oh… Kriel Company?

Kriel Company suffers from many units with subpar armor cracking or low RAT shooters or other lists that shut down shooting with clouds, feats, or other tactics. It can be a fast list, however, with lots of anti-infantry possibilities. Two wagons provide a cavalry answer to mass infantry swarms, and everyone in the army enjoys Mortality.  Highwaymen like Mirage, and it is thematic.  I enjoy the idea of shooting protectorate jacks under choir with POW 20 shots, so the sorcerer gets to hang out with the highwaymen.

Theme: Kriel Company

3 / 3 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)

War Wagon – PC: 16

War Wagon – PC: 16

Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw – PC: 0

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

–    Stone Scribe Elder – PC: 3

Trollkin Highwaymen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 15

–    Trollkin Sorcerer – PC: 3

Thumper Crew – Gunner & 2 Grunts: 0

An alternative list in KC can give Grim2 more dudes if we don’t run double bomber. Instead, we run Impaler for far strike and the Blitzer for a gun platform on a heavy warbeast. Even more unconventional is the usage of Boomhoweler and his crew.  They can be POW13 in melee, and Boomy gets to make a cacophony.

Theme: Kriel Company

3 / 3 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Troll Impaler – PC: 11 (Battlegroup Points Used: 11)

–    Dire Troll Blitzer – PC: 16 (Battlegroup Points Used: 14)

War Wagon – PC: 16

War Wagon – PC: 16

Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw – PC: 0

Fell Caller Hero – PC: 0

Greygore Boomhowler & Co. – Boomhowler & 9 Grunts: 17

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 3 Grunts: 6

–    Stone Scribe Elder – PC: 3

Trollkin Highwaymen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 15

Alternatively,  Boomhowler could be replaced by a gobber tinker and the Raiders, or two Fire Eater units and a sorcerer. The thing is, in my opinion,  Grim2 in Kc with a Vanguard type event would be sweet.  It would be all too easy to swap out pieces in this army for utility.

Conclusion

Grim2 may have game.  Deciding how to play him will depend largely on the pairing I want to run alongside his army.  I have quite a few warlocks I enjoy running. So maybe the solution is to spin the wheel, so to speak, and just pick a theme.  In this case, I plan on running Grim2 in Kriel Company.   I know I would pull off Mortality better in PoD, but like the speed of KC.  I also feel PoD needs more work than KC in terms of making it right.  My only complaint against KC is that I can’t run Chroniclers, and Raluk Ironmonger isn’t Trollblood like Boomhowler or Blythe and Bull.

Taking it a step further, Trollkin in merc/minions (and even in Cygnar) should be partisan.  Okay, I get that the express team isnt a trollkin unit because it only has one trollkin member, who isn’t even identified as such on the card, but last I looked Blythe isn’t a trollkin either.  Maybe she got sworn in like Victor Pendrake… which, since I’m on a fluff tangent, begs the question why he isn’t partisan either! Anyway, I could easily see paying for a Rover with Raluk if I could take Raluk free, or slipping in vic as a free solo. Maybe they could be Partisan,  but have a restriction that keeps rhem from playing in an army run by Doomshaper, who I believe hates all non-trolls?

Back to the list…

My pairing will be Band of Heroes, warlock to be determined, although I am leaning toward Madrak1 or 2 and lots of dudes or even dudes and tuffalos, or a Kolgrima or Grim 1 version.  In the meantime,  I hope to play Grim2 a few times as I paint the remainder of my troll army, and then begin painting my Crucible Guard so that I can field them when my Vulcan arrives sometime this fall.

 

On a side note… FIX POD!

I can’t resist. For PoD to really work, I would want the following changes:

  1. Runeshapers should count toward points for free models. Raise free model point to 30. This way Runeshapers might be considered as valuable as a 9 point light warbeast instead of players counting them as though they cost 12 points (9+ free solo).
  2. Dhunian Knot should be one of the free model types (whelps, medium based trollkin solos and Dhunian Knot units).
  3. Dhunian knot should always have Serenity, not just in PoD… but forgoing this, keep serenity and drop free upkeeps.
  4. Runeshapers should have advanced deploy. It can be conditional, like… for every warbeast included in the army, a runeshaper unit may gain advanced deploy. AD on Runeshapers allows them the opportunity to use dig in effectively, like trenchers.

What would we look like with a modified PoD?

Theme: The Power of Dhunia

2 / 2 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Hunters Grim – WB: +25

–    Muggs & Krump

–    Trollkin Runebearer – PC: 0

–    Mulg the Ancient – PC: 22 (Battlegroup Points Used: 22)

–    Dire Troll Bomber – PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 3)

–    Earthborn Dire Troll – PC: 14

–    Winter Troll – PC: 8

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

–    Stone Scribe Elder – PC: 3

Dhunian Knot – Leader & 2 Grunts: 0

Janissa Stonetide: 0

Runeshaper : 9

Runeshaper: 9

Runeshaper: 9

That’s 63 warbeast points, giving 2  free purchases, plus 27 Runeshaper points, giving 90 points for another freebie.  Now the question becomes whelps, janissa, runebearer or the knot.  That’s a cool puzzle because both the knot and whelps have a similar function in fury management and healing. Janissa of course helps the runeshapers function better. Note that each unit would have AD under this concept.  And because of AD, you have a way to speed up the list.