I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this one. Conflicting obligations prevented practice games. I also didn’t tech for the local meta. Yes, I should really sit and come up with good answers to Crucible Guard, Convergence of Cyriss, and Cygnar, as they are my most frequent foils, but why do that when I only have a few months left to really explore the hidden jank of Mk3 Trollbloods?
- Madrak Ironhide, World Ender +28
- War Hog (14)
- Pyre Troll (8)
- Dire Troll Mauler (13)
- Malvin & Mayhem (17)
- Dhunian Archon (6)
- Dhunian Archon (6)
- Gudrun the Wasted (5) (free)
- Trollkin Champion Hero (4) (free)
- Ogrun Bodur (4) (0)
- Farrow Valkyries (8)
- Trollkin Champions (16)
- Skaldi Bonehammer (3)
- Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (7)
- Stone Scribe Elder (3)
- Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (2)
- Brigadier General Gunnbjorn +28
- Dozer & Smigg (16)
- Dire Troll Bomber (16)
- Pyre Troll (8)
- Splatter Boar (8)
- War Wagon (16)
- General Thunderstone Brug (4)
- Ledfoot & Tredz (7)
- Pyg Tank (5) (free)
- Pyg Tank (5) (free)
- Tubbin (5) (free)
- Dhunian Archon (6)
- Trollkin Barrage Team (8)
- Trollkin Barrage Team (8)
- Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (5)
Madrak 2 in Vengeance of Dhunia
Is it weird that nothing in VoD actually has Vengeance?
The list is straightforward. Champions and Valkyrie take Madrak’s hits. The Archons help keep the big hits from damaging the farrow and champions. When the farrow eventually die, the archons will heal the champions and warbeasts. The dream is to have berserking, overtaking Malvin & Mayhem and War Hog take out a bunch of units, clearing the way for Madrak to pull an assassination. I originally had two units of champions, but dropped one unit for Malvin and Mayhem. In the moment, I knew it was going to be a less effective list overall, but I really wanted to field M&M.
Gunnbjorn in Vengeance of Dhunia
Nothing unusual. Just a bunch of AOE guns.
Game 1, vs Protectorate
A real slog of a game. The back and forth, and utter inability to gain any real lead means I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. I frustrated my opponent by sending attacks on Madrak to warriors, who were saved by Dhunians. We both kept the flags to ourselves, and fought for the rectangles. Eventually, I think I was up in points because I could contest Protectorate’s rectangle, but they didn’t contest the troll rectangle.
It ended with a final assassination run on Madrak, repelled by superior numbers and a couple of average rolls. Kreoss charged Madrak, but failed in the end to destroy him. He was on fire, and on the final turn, Madrak survived on something like two boxes. That was enough to return the favor and bust out some attacks on Kreoss, killing him for the win.
Game 2, Trollbloods vs Cygnar
The terrain and scenario had me thinking Gunnbjorn would do well here. My opponent picked sides and I went first. His list was a storm division army with Stryker 1 at the helm. I was hoping he would pick the Sloan list, because I wanted to see what a gunline vs gunline would look like.
Trolls ran up, with the war wagon on the left and warriors to the right. The Dhunian Archon hung out by the warbeasts, to pull off some fury when the shooting starts. Turn 1, we don’t get any shots fired, as there weren’t any advanced deployed units.
Cygnar spread out during their deployment, having a squire with Stryker. I kind of feel bad, because all I said about the army was that it was a straight up gunline. My opponent played aggressively, staying out of melee ranges, but staying within gun threats. This game could have been very different had Stryker activated his feat on turn one.
Gunnbjorn initiated his feat, and the trolls opened fire. The storm blades took some extra shots to work through, as the piper following behind them made them tough. Two of the three storm lances died in some tuned up blast damage from the war wagon, and the junior warcasters got picked off pretty early. Squire got hit by a blast and died. Stryker took some damage, but survived.
Cygnar tried to jam, moving the storm blades up to the flag. They attempted to take down the tanks, but the pyg tanks are a little more resilient than most think. The storm knight tried to take down the wagon, and the warjacks were reactivated by a stormblade captain and by Stryker. Stryker boosted the armor on his army. Both zones were scored, so the score ended at 1/1.
The next few turns go quickly. It starts with a frenzied gun boar smacking gunnbjorn, but failing to do much damage. I decide to make a play for scenario while Stryker’s feat is active. Trolls make very few shots, and a tank runs into the rectangle zone as a sacrificial contester. The storm lance dies and I get a lucky shot on the captain jack marshalling the stormclad. Trolls pick up one point, and the tank prevents Cygnar from picking up theirs. Trolls 2 / Cygnar 1.
The swans push back, destroying the tank with their barely working warjacks. The Stormclad tries to do some work on the wagon, but without focus or a marshal, isn’t able to do much. Trolls 3 / Cygnar 2.
I am real sloppy with my fury management. The pyre troll attacks the archon on a frenzy. The war wagon and Dozer & Smigg push the stormclad back. Tubbin runs to the flag. One of the barrage teams run into the Cygnar rectangle. Trolls score 2 more. Trolls 5 / Cygnar 2.
Stryker’s jacks almost kill off the barrage team, and Stryker himself manages to finish the last trollkin in his zone. The stormclad fails to get close enough to the flag to contest, however. The last stormblade tries to damage some tanks, but they’re just too resilient. Trolls gain another two points, and Cygnar picks up one. Trolls 7 / Cygnar 3.
Dozer & Smigg run into the rectangle. Trollbloods pick up one point for the flag, one for the rectangle, and Cygnar stays at 3 points. Trollbloods 9 / Cygnar 3. I had just under 5 minutes on my clock, to my opponent’s 18.
This is the second time I played into this opponent. This game went pretty well on my end. The Stryker feat could have pushed this game out a little longer, with my trollbloods retreating out of the cygnar threat range. It’s possible it would have ended in a turn 3 assassination attempt if I hadn’t been able to take out so many warriors and disable the warjacks early in the game.
Game 3, Trollbloods vs Crucible Guard
I’m not sure if Madrak was the right choice. Maybe if the list was a little more tuned. Definitely would have been better with Kriel Warriors and Caber Throwers, but they aren’t allowed in VoD. I keep toying with a themeless Madrak 2 list. I considered throwing Gunnbjorn into the Crucible Guard, but I didn’t feel his army had enough armor cracking to deal with the tanks and jacks. CG had the initiative, and I chose sides, hoping the church would protect my army on the advance. CG placed their battle engines to handle the rectangle and circle. I probably should have set Malvin and Mayhem on that side along with the war hog. My concern was that I wouldn’t be able to contest the left hand rectangle.
Both armies advance up on turn 1.
The interceptors move up, take out some models, but stay out of threat range. The resiliency of the trolls keeps them in the game, but a disintegrated, withered, TK’d Mauler dies to all the guns. In retrospect, the Mauler shouldn’t have died, but there were no shield guards around it. I should have placed the farrow valkyrie around the Mauler to take the direct shots, and use the archons to heal the Mauler up. My opponent took advantage of the situation, and did the right thing by blasting apart the dire warbeast.
The champions run into the warjacks, hoping to keep them from charging, knowing they’d have to weather another round of attacks from the crucible guard either way. At least they’d keep the Vindicator from dropping their armor. Malvin and Mayhem flew over the house, taking out some solo and the objective. The war hog tried to follow up to get ready for a push on the left. Madrak couldn’t get up the board. CG 0 / Trolls 1.
Turn 3 really takes away any agency I may have had. The tanks and rocket solos pick apart the army, eating away at the krielstone and at the archons. Most of the champions die. I think this was a Lukas feat turn. Malvin & Mayhem die, and the war hog is damaged. Madrak is caught behind a house and a cloud, so he can’t charge any of the warjacks. The score is CG 2 / Trolls 1.
I’m able to move Madrak up, and throw an axe into a solo, killing it. I make an error with the pyre troll animus. I should have cast it from Madrak onto a solo. The Liberator was able to be wrecked, but the Suppressor stayed in the zone. My lone champion tried to put the hurt on Lukas, but was unable to land a hit. If only I had fell callers. Again, the theme doesn’t allow it. Score stays 2 / 1.
My opponent’s clock is running a little lower than I think he’d like. He can push in, but it’s not guaranteed he’ll score me out of the game. He goes for the assassination. This is absolutely the correct choice. Disintegration plus the force hammer knocks Madrak down and back (but not completely within the trench, which wouldn’t matter much anyway). The guns and spells finish off the mighty troll.
I landed second place, which is really good for me. I felt the last game would be really tough going in, seeing as how I hadn’t teched for the Crucible Guard. Not bad at all for a list brought for the jank. I think in the next Steamroller, I’ll be tempted to run either the long riders in Storm of the North, or another Madrak 2 list without a theme. I would be tempted to run fell callers, kriel warriors, dhunian archons, champions and the krielstone. I could even try the Primal Archons out in the same list, since Grim Salvation doesn’t care about faction.
Each of these games was a pleasure to play. Every one had a moment where one or both of us were pushed to try something a little risky. Sometimes it paid off, and other times it didn’t.
Mk4 Prime Look-ahead
I’m looking forward to the new strategies that we’ll develop in Mk4. And now here’s some Salt.
Today the armies being released in the October preview of Warroom were officially leaked at the Borkur Brawl. I’m a little bummed out about the Infernals purchase I made, and I’m bummed about certain models not being where I think they should be in the trollblood army (Bumbles, Long Riders, some warbeasts). I don’t understand how Asphyxious 4 makes it into Convergence, but Bumbles and Boomhowler 3 don’t make it into Northkin. I know Boomhowler isn’t a Northkin, but he is a Champion and Fell Caller at that point. So it feels like he would be a fit. It could be that they’re putting all the fell callers in the madrak army, and offer up a gunnbjorn and grissel (probably 1) as a warlock. Doomshaper 2 feels real bad with the Northkin. I know he hung out with them, but isn’t really one. Couldn’t they have just fixed Borka 1?
I think the best thing for me is to jump fully on board with the Khador army until a new troll army gets pushed out. I don’t know if I’ll jump into that. There’s the whole “how long will I be allowed to play this army” thing hanging over every future purchase. I don’t think I’ll faction jump or make as many purchases as I have in the past, since I only get in 7 games a month (1 a week, and then a steamroller).
Back to Optimism
With the game rules coming available in a week, expect November and December to have Mk4 battle reports, and the Mk3 Steamroller reports. Thanks for reading, and may your dice roll ones only when checking continuous effects.