The Trollblood CID happened. The strategy taken by the game designers at Privateer Press seems to have been to bring back some of the layering and warbeast utility that had been removed when the Mk III ruleset debuted. In short, most animi were changed from “Self” to “Range 6,” which means a warbeast animus can be placed on another model. The light warbeast cost is also dropping, making light warbeast spam possible. I don’t know if light warbeast spam is competitive, but it seems to be something people on Facebook or other forums want to experiment with.
We also have a mixed Trollblood and Farrow theme being released, with some new models (all Trollblood). The mixed theme seems to benefit the Farrow more than the Trollbloods, as it gives them access to Troll Champions, the Krielstone, several ranged options, free Pyg Tanks, and the whole Trollblood warlock and warbeast stable. Trollbloods pick up the farrow warbeasts, brigands and valkyrie as friendly faction in that theme. If playing Kriel Company or Band of Heroes meant including the valkyrie, then trolls can play a version of kriel company or band of heroes with those models. The new theme does allow two Dhunian Archons, and that’s something the Trollbloods deeply want.
Not knowing how the CID will unfold, it’s hard to speculate what will end up being good, bad, or meh. I have my feelings about some of the tweaks and new models. I wish the community hadn’t pushed the Trollkin Barrage Team into the realm of just another ranged damage dealer. They had potential to be a terrain affecting unit, or a space denial unit, which is something Trollbloods need more than another way to deal damage. I’m pretty certain this little, personal blog of mine doesn’t get read by community drivers or the game designers, so I did my best to explain my opinion on things during the CID. I was hampered by normal life, however, and because of job and family, only spent a few hours a night on analysis and writing during the CID. So, I’m sure I missed a few things, and it was pointed out to me by folks in the forum that I indeed misread some interactions.
I’m going to post my threads, and some of my interaction here. The intent is for me to go back and look at some of the lists, to see what I would change once the new rules hit War Room.
Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq III
Yes, this isn’t a Trollblood model, but it’s worth looking into how his spell, Batten Down the Hatches, stacks with the Krielstone. BDTH grants a +3 ARM buff to all models in his battlegroup, and prevents knockdown. The negative is that it has to be cast every turn, and lowers defense by 2. Troll and minion warbeasts won’t suffer too much from the defense drop, but ARM 18 +2 +3 is pretty significant. He also offers +2 SPD, which stacks with Rush from a Troll Axer. It’s possible to run gargantuans with him, and a Mountain King could feel really strong with him. A sea king could charge 5+3+2 (Rush) +2 (Mobility) +4 for the anchor, and threat 16 inches.
It isn’t unheard of for Trollbloods, who have access to other speed increasing warlocks, so the sea king isn’t super surprising or game changing. The Mountain King could be good though, about as good as a Cygnar Colossal under Stryker 1.
We are living in the world of a +4 damage swing. I don’t think that the Carver & Krielstone combination really break the game. Small arms fire and pointy things without weapon master or combined attacks should probably avoid a Carver list in Vengeance of Dhunia.
Carver’s feat only affects Farrow. Trollblood models aren’t Farrow, just minion in the Vengeance of Dhunia theme. I’m not ready to thrown in on a double king list with Carver, but I could see the merit in a Mountain King.
- Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III (+28)
- Mountain King (36)
- War Hog (14)
- War Hog (14)
- Dhunian Archon (free)
- Dhunian Archon (free)
- Ledfoot & Tredz (free)
- Trollkin Gunery Sergeant (3)
- General ‘Thunderstone’ Brug (4)
- Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (5)
- Stone Scribe Elder (3)
- Farrow Valkyries (8)
- Trollkin Barrage Team (8)
- Trollkin Barrage Team (8)
This Vengeance of Dhunia list came about in week 1. The Barrage Team dropped 3″ templates that did POW 10 damage rolls. Perfect for the pesky single box low ARM weapon master infantry that messes with gargantuans. The effect changed during CID, and I’ll discuss that later. My intent for this list is to throw some POW 20 War Hogs into high armor lists during Carver’s feat, and see what happens. The king starts out as a support model, gets protected by the Valkyries and Barrage Teams, and gets the job done late game.
Trollkin Barrage Team
I felt so much disappointment here, and a small part of me is hoping that the Barrage Team doesn’t turn into the bland shooting unit that it looked like in week 3.
I think PP made a mistake introducing the unit as FA:U, because the first thing everyone did was make lists spamming the Barrage Team and either spreading AOE 3″ POW 10 hazards all over the field, or overlapping templates on a flag, causing much consternation among the vocal CID community.
My suggestion was to turn the AOE into a rough terrain/cloud template instead, but couldn’t get any traction there. The arguments ran in favor of a Deliverer Skyhammer (Protectorate of Menoth) unit’s Rocket Volley.
What we lost in this CID was a terrain affecting, area denial piece, in favor of a high power, long range AOE, which is something Trollbloods already have in warbeasts, battle engines, and artillery pieces. I’m super sad about this.
What really makes me mad about this, is the Barrage Team can still kill low ARM dudes outright. The difference is that they have to wait for them to walk into 21″ of the team, rather than deny an advance at 16″.
I feel vindicated here. I have said for a long time that the Impaler needed to be built more like the Charger. That’s my Cygnar background popping up again, I’ll admit it. But there’s a reason the jack is one of the best shooters in the game, and it’s because of its boostable attack and damage rolls. Here’s what I suggested:
So, I didn’t get the range increased to 10, or an ROF increase, so that’s kind of a bummer. But Powerful Attack is on there, along with Assault and Follow Up on the slam. The combination of the critical with the boosted ranged attack and damage roll mean charging could mean a guaranteed melee hit as well. With Gunnbjorn 1 granting Kill Shot and easy access to Puppet Master, it’s almost a guarantee for some slam spam. I love it. Additionally, Borka 1 comes to mind, with his feat being brought back from the dead.
Gunnbjorn 1 with Impalers
I have an old list I used to play for giggles. It involves Gunnbjorn 1, Winter Trolls, Impalers, Maulers, and some Dhunian Knots for Puppet Master to trigger their crit. Let’s see if it has validity in the Week 3 CID. POD v1, v2, and v3 are how my list evolves into the Week 3 CID version.
From the original Power of Dhunia list, I don’t need to take two Maulers. Instead, I’m able to sub the Slag Troll, add in Dozer & Smigg, and work more light warbeasts than I remember. In the old list, I wasn’t running Dozer & Smigg, so I didn’t have a lot of long range threats. The Impalers threat 17”, Slag 16”, Winter 13”, Pyre 15”.
The week 3 Impalers have potential. With Assault, they threaten 20” if they can move in a straight line toward their charge target. I don’t
think that’s the intent, but it is definitely a way to claim board space in the first turn. I could see them running in turn 1, and threatening the 20” assault shot.
The opponent would have to decide to stay clear of the 20” threat (and give up scenario points), or move into 17” where the Impaler can aim and shoot, or move all the way into the 10” charge range.
It looks like the POD list has a fairly good early game, and the mid-game isn’t depreciated either. With the Slag and Pyre Troll buffing the melee damage, an Impaler could charge, assault, kill something in melee, and make a killshot attack.
Best case for the Impaler with this list:
- The Impaler charges for 1 fury,
- Assaults with Guided Fire,
- Doesn’t boost the damage roll
- Gets the slam thanks to the boosted attack roll and a Puppet Master
- Follows up while staying in Gunnbjorn’s control range
- Hits without rolling because it’s an auto-hit for the knocked down thing
- Rolls a boosted POW 16 damage roll because of the charge combined
with the Pyre/Slag animus and Krielstone STR buff.
- Thing dies.
- Killshot Triggers.
- Shoots another thing 8” away.
- Slams that thing, but doesn’t kill it.
- Follows up.
- Kills something else that was <2” away, but < the slam distance.
I can see how this would be interesting. Seriously, at first, I was thinking that I only wanted increased range, but with the assault and slam, it’s neat, even without killshot. Gunnbjorn 1 makes you think about whether you need to cast Guided Fire, or if you want to use the Powerful Attack. These are options that make the game interesting. The possibility of a non-linear attack makes the game interesting.
On the Slag Troll, Assault does the same thing as it does on the Impaler.
Gunnbjorn 1 gives them a chance at hitting, and triggering Peel Back the Layers. I really liked the additional die on melee, but understand the increased flexibility of the boosted attack/damage vs anything. I used to employ the Slag against battle engines and heavy warjacks, but now I suppose they can be used anywhere. The only thing that bothers me is the 0.5” claw. I do not think that a melee range of 0.5” on this oddly ham-fisted guy is right. He looks like he has bigger arms than the other lights. Keep him at 10 points and give him a 1” reach, or just drop him to 9 points.
I don’t believe the first list is optimal, so I made a minor adjustment for the second. In the second, I add back my Mauler, and slip in 3 whelps. The Mauler adds to the STR of the Impaler, while the Pyre only adds to melee damage. I leave in the Slag and Pyre, because the Slag is almost right, and the three whelps are always helpful.
Can this be more finely tuned?
The Slag Troll, with Puppet Master and Guided Fire has a strong chance of hitting the construct in front of it. The lower that thing’s defense, the better chance the slag has of doing 30 points of damage. At ARM 20, DEF 10, the Slag is 68% sure that it will do 30 points of damage.
Against a non-construct, I lose a die of damage on the assault, so it drops to a 56%. I like 90s, so to put it another way, I’m 90% sure I can do 23 boxes to a DEF 10, ARM 20 thing, or 25 boxes if that thing’s a construct.
The Impaler is not going to do that much damage to the heavy. It has one less melee attack than the Slag, and can’t boost every damage roll for free. That means, it’s not there for warjacks. While a buffed slag can take down a warjack (assuming the warjack gets really close), the Impaler will not. The Impaler is in the list to kill an 8 box solo, or just causing havoc because of the wonky interactions with the slam and killshot.
The final version of the list drops a Winter Troll and Pyre Troll. The Slag has the same basic animus as the Pyre, but is trumped by the Mauler, because the Ice Troll and Impaler both want strength bonuses to their thrown weapons. The Ice Troll can stationary something, which makes it easier for everything to hit. The Runeshapers are thrown in for zone control and because they finally have Advanced Deployment, which makes them usable in the early game.
Janissa joins in to buff the Runeshaper attacks and because Gunnbjorn likes her “not-a-hill” Raised Earth. A range 16 arcing fire attack is pretty good, especially with the crit throw. It’s a good way to get things off a flag. One Impaler gets swapped out for the Axer, who I almost forgotten had changed down to 9 points. It’s a good trade, but it means I won’t be throwing an Impaler away at the beginning of the game. Instead, the Runeshapers are now playing up-field, and can do
something early on. The Dhunian Archon came in for a knot unit, because the knot isn’t needed for Gunnbjorn, and I probably only need 3 Puppet Masters at a time. I am still a little worried about my opponent’s guns, but I can usually time Gunnbjorn’s feat to their shooting turn for a nullification of their devastating shooting round.
On the whelps, I thought long and hard about whether to add in the whelps, or to play a more expensive warbeast. A slag could replace the Ice Troll if it were given a longer melee threat. I do believe I trade off damage output for range (the Ice Troll threatens further in melee than the slag but has fewer melee attacks).
Could I play this with Gunnbjorn 2? Well, I could see an argument for playing something similar with barrage units instead of Runeshapers in Kriel Company. However, I simply prefer Gunnbjorn 1 to Gunnbjorn 2, because Gunnbjorn 1 can deliver a melee army and wonky ranged threat angles. Gunnbjorn 2 is pretty static, and I think the lack of battlefield disruption (clouds, covering fire, rough terrain or other terrain shaping) keeps Gunnbjorn 2 in the realm of the Kara Sloan’s “shoot two turns then if I don’t kill everything I’m taking an axe to the face” gameplay.
Part 2 will post shortly. In it, I’ll look at Gunnbjorn 2.