Monday, March 10, 2014

50pts Mohsar (Circle) vs. eMadrak (Trollbloods)

I've been wanting to play trolls for a long time. They were my second choice in factions, but I had the opportunity to pick up Circle first. Didn't really care for circle, but still wanted trolls. I finally picked up a bunch after the first of the year, and have been itching for the two weeks I've had them to get them on the table. Happily, there's a league in place too, so I'm getting points for them, painting, playing, all of it. Good stuff.

My opponent had just finished a grueling pMorvahna vs. pKreoss game, and was up for another one, and dropped Mohsar. I hate Mohsar. My options were pGrim or eMadrak. That's who I'd brought with me. The map had two large forests on it, and the clear choice was pGrim's list of the Earthborn, Fenns, Nyss, and Boomies (among other things) but I reeeeeeeaaaallly wanted to play eMadrak. So Madrak it was. His list originally had a bomber in it, but I already had the earthborn on the table from a quick 15pt league game (I lost against Butcher2), so I subbed him into the list instead of the bomber.

My opponent's list:

Mohsar (tier)
*Feral Warpwolf
*Feral Warpwolf
*Scarsfell Griffon
*Scarsfell Griffon
Woldstalkers w/UA
Woldstalkers w/UA
Stones w/UA
Lord of the Feast

Right off the bat, two things here. I hate Mohsar, and I hate the LotF. Mohsar drives me nuts. As a normal Kraye player, the ability to plug charge lanes with a 4'' AOE ARM18 pillar that requires a minimum PS/POW14 attack before you can even target it is incredibly frustrating. I hate Mohsar. The LotF, I hate even more, believe it or not. I've had that guy plow into my lines and wipe infantry units out, only to sprint away again. That guy is a pain. My answering list was the following:

Full Fenns w/UA
Fennblade Kithkar
Full Champions w/UA. Baldi is proxied by my Boomhowler. I didn't feel like spending 18$ on a UA after I spent 20 buying the Krielstone UA and Runebearer...
Min Krielstone Bearer w/UA
Fell Caller Hero

I vassaled a list similar to this several times before I bought these models. I normally have the Sons of Bragg in here instead of a Stormtroll, but my SoB aren't here yet, so I tried the Stormtroll. I love the model, wanted to get it into play. The Axer is a solid choice with Madrak, simply for the reach and animus. The Earthborn, not so much. He's an awesome beatstick, but I'd normally have the Mauler instead, or the Bomber. A Bomber/Pyre or Slag makes sense to me because a Bomber can get into PS17 with the Pyre/Slag animus, or pump 2 P0W16s into the enemy per turn, three on feat turn. But, this is what I tried instead. In the future, I may do Impaler, Bomber, Slag, just to cover my bases and have a decently rounded battlegroup, but that's not what I had today.

I rolled a 6 for deployement, and set up first. My fenns went on the right, having the easiest access to pathfinder, so therefore, I decided to have them deal with the forest nearest me there. The Champions set up opposite with my battlegroup in the middle and Kriestones behind.

He dropped the stones and LotF on my left with a Feral to deal with my Champions, put the Shrimp on the rightside to shoot up my Fenns, and his battlegroup across from mine, and off we went.

Everything ran. Fenns tucked in behind the trees and screened the beasts. Battlegroup ran and riled. Moses gave Madrak a discount on spells, which he used to do Warpath, and dumped the rest of his fury to the stone. I could already see an issue here, and was really wishing I'd brought pGrim. I had 0 hunter to look through the forest, and while I could do pathfinder, the Fenns were going to struggle to accomplish anything. On top of that, I was being funneled quite easily into a bottleneck that could be filled with 4'' pillars quickly and efficiently. Awesome.

All his stuff ran too. Mohsar moved up, and gave me four pillars to deal with. The LotF seemed content to sit in the forest for another turn.

I'm looking at his spellcard as I write this report (Warroom's great when it loads within the hour). He did not cast Mirage on anything, which really surprises me. That's an awesome spell. But he didn't cast it. The pillars were an issue though. My Champions could crush them with ease, EXCEPT, they're PS11. Because they are structures, attacks can't be declared unless it's a minimum of PS/POW14. This means that my completely capable Champions were stuck. Awesome.

Madrak upkeeps Warpath. I have exactly 3 models in my 50pt list that have a >PS/POW14 attack. The Axer, Madrak, and the Earthborn. Madrak is ranged, but he can only get one. So, Moses gives him a spell discount. My Champions shuffle around and look at the LotF unhappily. So, the Axer moves up and cuts down a pillar. Madrak chucks an axe, knocks another one down, and puts Blood Fury on the Fenns. The Fell Caller drops pathfinder on them, and then they ....minifeat... which gives them Pathfinder anyways... So I should have given them Warcry. Lesson possibly maybe learned.

Three Fenns charge the Warpwolf, and three run to engage the Woldstalkers, while all the others hang out in the woods. Of the three that charge the wolf, one misses, the other two do respectable damage.

The Earthborn steps into the woods, the Stormtroll moves up, and the Krielstones run up and pop Aura, with the Elder gives no continuous effects, for what it's worth. I just read the thread in the Trollblood forum about sins players have done with trolls, e.g., stupid stuff (Like giving the Fenns pathfinder with the Fell Caller on the turn they minifeat). One of things I knew not to do was give my opponent easy access to abuse Grim Salvation. If you're not familiar with Grim Salvation, if Madrak takes any damage, he automatically kills a model within 1''. Only after he's out of models does he start doing transfers. This makes him near impossible to assassinate, but at the same token, you can easily lose a Fell Caller, Runebearer or Kithkar to this. One guy said that someone picked up Madrak and two-handed threw him into a unit of Champions. By putting a box or two of damage on a KD madrak, they wiped out a whole unit of Champions instead. So keep that in mind. In my case, I put two Bearers within 1'', and kept everything else away from him.

Mohsar pulls in his fury, and then Jedianakinsolo learns about Zephyr. Those Woldstalkers that I so craftily engaged last turn have a 3'' move (On top of their normal 6'' move) that they do, ignoring freestrikes, before they shoot. Kinda nuts. Well, they Zephyr around a bit, and proceed to annihilate my Fenns. They kill six of them I think, leaving the UA and a few on the Warpwolf. I got 1 tough roll out of that group that died to the Zephyrs, and I was glad I was fearless that turn. The Warpwolf spent his activation beating up on Fenns, though 2 of them toughed. The Gorax finished them off though, and the second Gorax kills another fenn that somehow the Shrimp missed. Mohsar drops his pillars, blocking my chargelanes, and shoots my Stormtroll. He lands behind him, and gets a Krielstone bearer and the Stormtroll in his arc. He misses the Stormtroll somehow, but kills the KSB.

I can take that. Much better than losing an entire unit of ATGM or something to that freak.

A Griffon flies in and kills my UA and one of his buddies, while the other bird just moves up. The other Warpwolf moves into the stones, and that's turn. Pretty decent.

First off, I forget the Vengeance from the Kithkar, but I upkeep Warpath and pull in my Fury. The Champions get off a charge finally, and murder the Blackclad I forgot he had, but that's all they get. I completely forgot to ever get them Base to Base once for the extra ARM. My Stormtroll steps back and boosts a hit at the LotF, and boosts damage, but at dice-5, fails to rolls the 12 needed to kill him, coming 3 boxes short. But he does move far enough back for the Earthborn to step away from the Griffon and take 2 damage from the FS. The Earthborn smacks both pillars and crunches them. The Kithkar finishes the LotF (Activating Warpath and letting the Earthborn move back into the Griffon in case I feat), and Madrak moves up to put the Axer's animus on the Axer, as well as Blood Fury. The Krielstones pop aura and move up, spacing themselves again.

Then I gamble, the way I normally do, and charge the Axer into Mohsar who's sitting on one transfer. Needing an 8 to hit, I miss. I wack the Stalker and Gorax with the Thresher attack, but miss Mohsar. I buy, boost to his, and deal him 8 pts of damage, and that's turn for me. I really thought I had a decent chance on assassination, but DEF14 with MAT6 and only 3 fury to play with... Yeah. I set my dice down and wait for a Warpwolf to end Madrak.

Mohsar cleans the pee out of his clothes and pulls in his fury. My opponent commented that he wished he'd feated last turn to hurt that charge, but it worked out. The Stalker warps for strength and uses all four fury to crunch the Axer. The Gorax on the left charges into my Champions and kills one, while the Stalker teleports in the Stone's activation, to engage 2 of my Champions, and kills them both. The two griffons trample Madrak, and between attacks and Grim Salvation, they kill three of the KSBs. All game long, that KSB did work. The Earthborn, Madrak, Kithkar and Stormtroll shrugged off attack after attack, sitting at ARM18-20, easy. It was great.

The Woldstalkers push in, and one unit trys to kill the Kithkar, but again, sitting at ARM18 with 8 boxes, they really struggle to kill him, and at DEF14 with Concealment, they need 8s to hit. He pulls through on one box. The second unit of Woldstalkers runs to get into the action and screen Mohsar. The last Gorax tears into my Earthborn, but at ARM20, only does a few boxes of damage. Mohsar activates and drops a bunch of Pillars again, and feats. He stacks two pillars between Madrak and Mohsar, and another two between my Champions and him. I had considered charging Madrak into the Woldstalkers, and using Tide of Death to reach Mohsar, but 1) The pillars could be an issue, but more importantly, 2) Tide of Death requires living models, not constructs. If you're not aware of Tide of Death, it's where Madrak can spend a point of fury to move an inch and attack again. This is hilarious because the Ragnarok axe he's carrying around gives him a point of Fury for a living model he kills. This literally allows him to just carve his way through entire armies by himself. It's great.

But, there's no way it's happening, especially without the Axer's animus.

With Mohsars feat, I couldn't pull fury off of my Stormtroll, but he passed his threshold check. My champions lead off. I wanted Blood Fury on them, but I didn't have a way to get it to them. Conveniently enough, when the Warpwolf teleported, he left his back arc exposed to my unit leader and one champion, while the other champion was already engaging the Gorax. The two by the warpwolf turned around and hit him four times, taking him down to just below a third of health left, while the last Champion did the same to the Gorax. The Kithkar charged the Woldstalker on the Earthborn's flank, and killed it, triggering Warpath. The Earthborn used it to step around the Gorax, and took a freestrike of 2 more points of damage, but he still had the Gorax engaged, and the Woldstalker behind them that you can't really see in the picture above.

See, I had a plan, but it was all in the order of activation. I could do some serious hurt this turn, but I had to do it right.

The Kithkar still had a second attack, and even though he'd managed to engage all of the Woldstalkers in front of him, he hit the Gorax, and hurt him decently. PS13 Weaponmaster is nothing to sneeze at. Stormtroll shuffled over and swung at a Scarsfell, but MAT5 vs. DEF14, he missed.

The fell caller put Warcry on Madrak, and swung at the Griffon, missing once, doing decent damage with the second attack. The Runebearer gave Madrak a discount again on spells, and Madrak gave himself Blood Fury, and stepped around the pillar to engage both Scarsfell. With 3 fury left, he swung at the griffon on the right 1 with his initial, bought one more, and bought another to swing at the second griffon, taking both down to seven or eight boxes each. Then, he feated. He killed the one on the right, and forgot to take a fury for it, leaving him with one. The Fell caller finished the other one. The two champions, still benefiting from the back arc strike, murdered the Warpwolf, but sadly, the other Champion was out of feat range. The Kithkar swung at the Gorax again and missed, but killed the shrimps still in his melee range. The Earthborn hit the Gorax with a back arc bonus, taking him to four boxes left, and killed the Woldstalker in front of him. The Stormtroll missed again.

The feat altogether killed two Scarsfell Griffons and a Warpwolf, and took two Goraxs down to just barely breathing, while annilating most of two units of Woldstalkers. In one turn, I went from being behind about 20 pts, to being slightly ahead, but I still had one more activation. Between Warpath and Feat, the Earthborn had successfuly set himself up a charge lane to the last Warpwolf. He took it, boost to hit, and cranked the damage roll, dealing 13 damage to the wolf. With his second initial, he crunched the Woldstalker, and called it a day. I already had 2 fury on the Stormtroll, 2 on the Earthborn, and was camping on one. The Earthborn was in perfect positioning, and I reeeeeallly didn't want him to frenzy, and if my Stormtroll frenzied, he might kill me, so I left it at that. By killing the Warpwolf, I'd pretty nearly ended the last serious threat to my Earthborn's base ARM20, and unless he could put an assassination attempt together, I had a decent chance at pulling this game out of the gutter.

Incidentally, this was a league game, and we did the scenario that looks like Incursion, but it's not, but we proceeded to ignore it.

My opponent was pretty floored. Between my Champions being tied up for half the game behind pillars, my Fenns being obliterated, and my KSBs nearly gone, and my Axer dead, he was running an easy 25pt lead. Follow that up with actually killing half of my Champions, and he was sitting pretty decent. That all changed on feat turn. I'd killed 4 of his 6 beasts, and taken the last 2 down to single digit boxes. The thing that worried me was the Gorax sitting near Madrak. I had one transfer, and the final KSB stone dude, and that was it. On top of that, I had blood fury up on him, so he was -2 DEF, for a total of 12. The chances were pretty slim, but a Primaled Gorax in my face still didn't excite me. I did, however, had him engaged by my Kithkar, and a FS from the Kithkar would almost certainly kill him. It still worried me though.

The Gorax on the left frenzied, but missed or failed to kill my Champion engaging him. The Stones ported forward, and the UA shot my other Champion that was sitting at 6 boxes left, and cranked the damage roll, killing him. The Gorax on the right passed up on the assassination run and charged my Kithkar instead, killing him. No worries. That 2pt Solo earned his pay this game. Tied up and nearly killed a Gorax by himself, killed the LotF, and half a unit of Woldstalkers? That guy was a boss.

Mohsar drops Sunhammer (Beasts advancing automatically take D3 damage), moves back into the woods and puts a pillar between him and the Earthborn. The shrimps gang up what's left of them and put shots into the back of the Earthborn, doing maybe a total of 8 damage.

There's a lot of things I want to try. I want to put a shot with my Stormtroll into the Shrimp and watch the D3 electro leap. I want to see my Champions finish the Gorax, but I hate it too when people take their time ending a game that's got a definite outcome. So I hustle it up. Madrak moves up to keep the Earthborn's charge within control range, and chucks a PS15 axe at the Pillar. Boost damage to be sure, and it's gone. Blood Fury on the Earthborn to be sure, and call it a turn. Earthborn charges into Mohsar, boosts to hit,


Boost second initial, hit, boost damage. Roll four dice with Bloodfury and punch Mohsar into the dirt.

Thoughts on the game:

1. This is my first real tabletop game with trolls. I've vassaled them several times, trying to get used to the playstyle, so I can't say this is my first game with trolls, but man, I loved putting them on the table. That was fun. If you're curious about the paint scheme, I've got it here:
Fielding them was fun though. I loved it. The buffing, the animi, but fury mechanic, all of it. The feat/warpath interaction, all of it. So much fun. A very welcome change from Cygnar. I love Cygnar, but I definitely enjoyed Trollbloods.

2. I screwed up a lot. I never once roll regeneration with my trolls. I forgot to get fury for Madrak killing the Scarsfell. I literally made the Fell Caller put Pathfinder on a unit that would automatically get it anyways... I dropped an eMadrak list against Circle... I also confused the heck out of myself on the first assassination attempt. I kept trying to figure out an order of activation that would let me clear out the pillars, make sure the Axer got range on the charge, allow him to be within Madrak's control, AND do all that without Madrak having to do anything until after the Axer's activation so that I could feat and get another attack on Mohsar if needed.

It was impossible, quite literally, and had I realized that, I would have used Madrak to move up, drop both Sand Pillars, put the Axer's animus on the Earthborn, and kill the LotF, triggering Warpath. The Earthborn would have moved up, the Axer would have charged and killed off the Griffon between the Earthborn and Mohsar (If needed. It's possible Warpath would have been enough of a lane), and Earthborn would have ended the game 2 turns early. Unfortunately, none of that clicked until after I'd already thrown away my Axer.

3. I say thrown away my Axer, but if he hadn't have gotten into the Warpwolf's face, it's quite possible the wolf would have torn into my Earthborn, and that wouldn't have been good.

4. I'm not sure why nothing had Mirage, or why Sunhammer wasn't up from turn 1, assuming it was an upkeep. D3 damage every turn on my beasts in his control area is annoying. Not as bad with regeneration, but still annoying.

5. Mohsar is still hated. The LotF isn't as big of a deal. ARM16+ 8 boxes on EVERYTHING makes him much less of a threat. Mohsar was a pain though. My Champions were unable to do anything for two turns, and only 1 did anything on turn 3. Pillars everywhere forced Madrak and Earthborn to juggle attacks and waste activations for anything to accomplish anything. And losing my Fenns turn 2 was brutal. Those little Woldstalkers are good. Happily, after the forest forced my Fenns to commit to a suicidal charge, it pretty much prevented the Woldstalkers from doing anything meaningful for the rest of the game. .

6. Madrak is a blast. For only 3 spells on his card, that was fun. All the buffing, all the fell calls, all the options... I enjoyed it. I like this faction, and I'm looking forward to getting it out there more.

7.  It's since been pointed out that A) Blood Fury is not a Warbeast capable spell, so the Earthborn should have only been rolling 3 dice.  I'm not too worried about it since he was going to crush Mohsar with 3 dice, but it's good to know.  Secondly, Rush is the opposite, a Warbeast-only spell, so while I never did cast it on Madrak, I wanted to, but I'm glad I didn't.

8.  There was a lot of pathfinder in the list, and I really didn't need the Axer.  Madrak himself can provide Pathfinder to everyone, so it's not a big deal.  I think I'm going to swap out battlegroups.  I got the Axer in the list for reach, but the Impaler has it as well, at one less PS.  If I drop the Stormtroll and bring a Slag instead, I can get that +2 STR on him, and take him up to more respectable PS15, which is great.  I don't want my light beasts handling anything bigger than medium-based infantry and light warbeasts/jacks.  The Stormtroll did very little this game, and is meant for infantry clearing, but between the Fenns, Champions and Feat turn, that's not an issue as much.  The Bomber would make more sense as well, since he's capable of doing work from behind the front lines, whereas the Earthborn just hung around till the last couple of rounds.  He made his points, sure, but it was the same kind of stuff the Bomber could have done. On top of that, my normal list has the Sons of Bragg, which I'll have next week, so there's that too.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the batrep!


  1. The POW 14 rule for structures only applies for ranged attacks, not melee. Even this is bypassed if the ranged weapon is an AoE, or does fire or corrosive damage. (The idea is that it's pretty much impossible to destroy a bridge with arrows.) Next time you play against Mohsar, you can have your Champions wreck his @#$%. :)

    1. This actually came up when I posted the batrep on PP forums. Makes sense though, and I wish I'd known it. I don't know how much it would have changed things, necessarily, especially since my Champions were hosed way over on their side anyways. But it's good to know.