Fennblades are finished! Took me forever. I base-coated them back when I did the champions, but never went anywhere else with them. I've had them on the table a lot of times since then, but never actually went anywhere with them. Everytime I looked at them, I had something else cooler to paint. They're in 98% of my lists, so it's not like I can leave them home one week either.
I don't know how I ever got through Warhammer 40k miniatures, all those units. One unit of Fennblades and I'm done. I still have Scattergunners to do, but with the advent of the Highwaymen, those guys got pushed waaaaay down on the list for me.
If you saw one of the previous posts on doing a NMM/Metal paint blend, that's what I did with these guys but for silver/chrome. I really like how it turned out, and I think it can be seen best on the UA's leg armor. I'm going to do the rest of that tutorial on the Fell Caller still, and do his silver before too long.
The leaf mix is the exact same bag I had for the Nyss. I wanted something to offset the blue, and tried this and I like it quite a bit. I may go back through some of my other models and add some leaves here and there. Idk yet.
We've been waiting for it, and unlike Vengeance, we really didn't know what all we were going to get with this book until about 2 days prior. The lack of more beasts outside of Dozer is probably the most disappointing thing about the book, but that's small potatoes for me. I'm really happy with Dozer, and our current assortment of heavies is already rightly feared.
There's a lot introduced in this book. I think the only real loser in the book is Cryx. Between the Highwaymen, Braylen, the Meat Thresher, the Sacral Vault, Legion's Wasps, or character heavy, there's about a half dozen new ways to wipe out single-wound infantry. The infantry-machine side of the game took a hit this round, but Sacral Vault and Highwaymen specifically really put the screws to Cryx I think.
The Sacral Vault isn't available to Trolls unfortunately, but I'm not too worried. Legion and Skorne can both take it, and Minions is going to start showing up to tournaments a bit more with it. That alone will change the meta and get away from the "Banes with Gaspy or Banes with Denny" list pairing. Mortenebra's picking up stock right now.
Let's look at trolls though. I'm excited for the AP solo and Maximus, but really, most lists already have a bunch of solos or support, so you won't see as much of those in Trolls as you will other armies.
1. Borka2. Borka took a lot of flak on release, and I don't know that it will change. He is not a meta-changing caster. That being said, he's one of the more fun casters I've had the privilege of playing, and I'd like to get him into a matchup sometime. His theme really makes him shine, I think. I like playing him with four or five axers/bouncers and Rok, and that makes for a ton of snow drifts. Add in my favorite unit of Longriders, and you have no idea what your army is going to look like in a turn. Countercharge keeps you guessing. You can't tie my forces up because of Rok and Borka himself. You don't want to anyways because of stationary. And I'm going to have snowdrifts everywhere. Lastly, I'll be slamming stuff everywhere with Longriders. I think his tier has solid game. Not meta changing, but definitely fun.
2. Dozer and Smiggs. Not an every list kind of beast, which is good design on PP's part. I love him in Grim2 lists, and he's been gold every game, wiping out UAs, banners, solos, you name it. I like him a lot. His melee power is lacking, but by the time the Pyre animus gets on him, and hopefully Mortality, he's PS19, with a POW14 attached. Not bad. I've really liked him. Grim2 doesn't seem like a beast caster to me, and Dozer augments that just fine.
3. Northkin Fire Eaters. Why people are trying to build lists around setting them on fire, I don't know. First World Troll problems. Face value, it's a 4pt unit with 3 RAT6 sprays. For everyone that pays 6pts for the Sons of Bragg, and knows that really, you're just paying 6pts for a POW14 SP8 with two bodyguards, these guys are 4pts for 3 POW12s. On top of that, they're a huge wrench in the plans for anyone with a fire AOE. Legion? Menoth? Suddenly, they're not as sure about this as they were a minute ago. People are adding a pyre to their point cost automatically, as if no one takes Pyres already. Drop these dudes in with a list that has a Pyre, and when push comes to shove and you need things to die, flaming fists, and shoot the dude in the back next to his buddies. Bam. Problem solved. You traded 1 POW12 AOE3 for 3 SP6 boosted RAT6 POW12s with boosted damage. This isn't hard. The forums are having a heart attack.
4. Horgle. This has been done to death. I don't have him in any of my lists. I don't run beast heavy in anything I have right now, and if I did, he'd be an auto-include. I like him a lot, but he's not my style.
5. Sorcerer. I use him. When I have a point left over, it's a Feralgeist or Sorcerer, and the Sorcerer has more game for my lists. He hasn't done much yet, but he's a cool model, and the first time something gets freezing gripped, I'll be super happy to have him.
6. The main point. Wanderheart and the Highwaymen. So, forget Wanderheart for a minute. The toughest matchup for Trolls is Cryx in general. Faction to Faction, Cryx shanks us. So many Banes, the ability to bring so many back, the debuffs, you name it. The amount of Banes that can be brought to bear though, that's the killer. Goreshade2 just keeps bringing them. The Highwaymen annihilate this problem. On average dice, these dudes kill 20 Bane Thralls. With Grim1, Grim2, Calandra or even Gunny, these guys are accurate, and RNG12. Even if you CRA everything to POW12 RAT7, they're better than a full unit of ATGM w/ UA for the same cost. Think about that. Swift Hunter lets them back up out of the fight even. These guys are amazing. DEF16 against shooting because we know they're going to have the Chronicler. You could even put Quicken on these dudes, and now they're DEF18. Without that, these guys have pretty surviveable stats. Very little is going to be able to shoot them directly, and ARM13/15 is pretty solid against blast damage.
These guys are fantastic. They aren't Fenns. They don't replace them. They don't replace anything except maybe Scattergunners. Now we add Braylen. Braylen, I personally think, is the worst release in this book for TBs, and she's still pretty solid. People are preaching her as spot removal. I personally disagree. I probably won't use her in any list without the Highwaymen. At 3pts, RAT6 RNG8, I'd rather have the Totem Hunter. The Highwaymen will go in lists with the Grims, Jarl, or Calandra, and 3 of those casters do spot removal just fine without. Calandra's the only one that might make use of Braylen for that. With the Highwaymen though, she's able to get in there, maybe clear a couple of them up, and grant Opportunist. Opportunist is interesting. It doesn't require you to start in the Back arc, but to simply get in there. Grim2 specifically is amazing for this with Mirage. Even without that though, they're SPD6, and if played as the midline unit I think they're supposed to be, they're going to be semi-engaged anyways. And if you're CRAing, you only need 1 in the Back arc. I don't think Opportunist is going to be a consistent feature in the fight, but I bet you'll use it a couple of times every game.
In short, these dudes shaft the Cryx matchup, they put the hurt to any infantry matchup, and if there's not that much infantry, fine, 4 POW15s every turn is cool too. That's better than any warjack you'll ever bring.
I fielded them Saturday in my Grim2 list, and loved them. Basically, they swapped out the Scattergunners, and I left Braylen out because I want to see how these guys do by themselves.
Max Fenns w/UA
Stone Scribe Chronicler
I was happy to get a Cryx matchup, but it was actually against Mortenebra, who I think is one of the few Cryx casters that brings a list that naturally doesn't fit it with what the Highwaymen are there to deal with.
I won't post the whole batrep. The guy playing had some lousy dice, and wasn't sure what all to do with Mortenebra. He had 3 Scavengers, Deathjack, a Leviathan and the little stealth jack, and a max unit of Banes w/ UA. The Combine was in there too.
Grim failed for 2 turns to get Mortality on Deathjack, who sat in my front lines and caused problems all game. Dozer finally put paid to him, but it took all game. The kicker though were the Highwaymen. They were putting POW20 CRAs into Deathjack, POW15s into the Leviathan or Scavengers. On Grim2's feat turn, they wiped out the Banes easily, and had shots left over to put all over the place. The finished off three jacks throughout the game, and the Fenns really didn't have much work left to do.
The deployement and gameplay will take some work. I like the Fenns up front, and the Highwaymen mixed up behind them. The Fenns Vengeance, and Mirage out of Melee. Highwaymen shoot what's left, and clear out what's in front of the Fenns. Fenns charge and annihilate something else. There's going to be games where the Highwaymen get Mirage, for Opportunist purposes, but right now, I like them just supporting Fenns, and they did it beautifully.
At the end of the game, I had half my fenns, three or four burrowers, seven or eight Highwaymen, Dozer, Pyre, four warders (That contested the other zone all turn, trading blows with two light jacks), and most of my support. It was pretty onesided since the Highwaymen murdered the tarpit, and just started putting POW15-17s into whatever they wanted to that wasn't engaged.
I really like these guys, and I'll be waiting in line when they hit the stores.
EDIT: Oh yeah! The real meta changer this book? Plastic Kriels. Plastic Runeshapers. That Blood of Bragg list you've been wanting to play without a 2nd Mortgage is available now. Runes of War can now be fielded without twice-monthly blood plasma donations. That's more metachanging than Borka2 ever will be.
I'm excited for these dudes, but I don't want to paint any more units.... They'll probably be primer grey for two years.