Monday, November 23, 2015

How does one start Trollbloods? Not with the Battlebox.


  It's entirely possible that you already know that, given the dates, but even if this popped up on your google search while you looked for Trollbloods, again, be well aware that this is an edition change away.  Trolls have become a different animal, and were I planning to play MK3 Warmachine, it wouldn't be Trolls anyways.  The only thing I can summarize about Trolls in MK3 in relation to this article is that PP still wants Trolls to have a crappy battlebox, and literally the only thing you want it for is Ragnor, unless you need the lights too.  I certainly wouldn't participate in a Journeyman with the box if you already know how to play the game.

  Do I plan to update this article?  Not whatsoever.  As far as I'm concerned, PrivateerPress has thrown their game out the window and has no interest in a competitively tight ruleset, and has repeatedly demonstrated that attitude.  There will be no more PP related batreps or strategy articles on this blog until that changes.

  I'll be playing something else.  

The actual article:

 I said enjoy your thanksgiving two articles ago.  This will be the third article I've released in 48hrs.  Apparently I had several just ready to go.  So, without further ado, how to get into Trollbloods according to this guy.

  The rumor is that trolls are the new cryx.  This is preposterous.  Our 3pt solos don't do what Cryx 2pt solos do or anything near it.  Our casters haven't been nerfed three times and our infantry doesn't just move through objects and models and kill two colossals a turn.

  However, of the last seven or eight players I've had buy into Warmachine my meta (I'm a PG, so generally get the early games with most of them), half of them have bought Trolls, and a couple of our regulars have picked them up too.  They're everywhere.  I thought about writing this article a few months ago when the first guy got into it, and I had to answer all these questions and I thought "Nah, the next guy will want Circle or something."  Hasn't happened yet.  So by the 4th guy, I'm going to go ahead and write this thing, and if you or a buddy is looking at trolls, hopefully this will answer some questions.

  Let me break this up for you.

1. Intro.  Cover letter.  Whatever.  The skippable part.
2. Getting started.  What you should probably buy to begin with.
3. TL:DR Start here and get these things
4. The lists you're hearing about.


  Trolls are currently fighting for first place in Hordes factions.  For a long time they took backseat to Legion and Circle, but with some recent tiers and Doomshaper3, they're really pushing into the lead and in fact, D3 is just the cherry on top.  Trolls plays as a beefy infantry faction that can do anything, be it hit hard and fast, slow and furious or shoot accurately at midrange.  Their beasts can do all of the same things too.  If you go toe-to-toe with any faction that does that one thing better, you will probably lose in most cases. Grim2 is our best shooter, but if I drop him into a Haley1 shooting list, he can't compete.  Madrak2 dudespam can struggle into Cryx dudespam and etc.

  However, Trolls are resilient faction wide, and can pretty nearly adapt to anything.  A Fennblade is a MAT6 ARM14 model w/ Reach.  Under any caster, it can be DEF14, ARM16, immune to any single elemental damage, MAT10, PS18.  That's because we have the support that can layer multiple buffs to anything.  In this case, the Fennblade is affected by Stone Scribe (Tale of Mist), the Krielstone (+2 ARM, +1 STR), the Fell Caller (+2 MAT), the Rage animus from the Mauler (+3 STR), KSB aura again (+1 STR), and the Stone Scribe again (Charge of the Trolls, +2 attack and damage to models within melee range of a warbeast).

  Most of those things can be applied to solos and casters.  A Champion Hero, Fell Caller and Kithkar all become game enders.  The support exists in trolls to do nearly anything.  It's one reason they're so good in ADR.  It doesn't take much to swap out a few modules and drastically change how a list plays, yet the support will still work for it.  

  Secondly, Trolls can play beast heavy in some cases.  We're not as proficient at it like a lot of Circle lists or Legion in general, and really, we only have one series of casters that really run beasts well, and that's Doomshaper1, 2 and 3.  Some others can do ok with it, but none of them really spin them like the Doomies can.  We don't have the fury management other factions do, and none of our casters ever get to Fury 8.  Really, most of our beast lists are just how best to deliver Mulg, Doomshaper's best friend.  How best to do that is up to you, but that's what it boils down to.  The exception to that is Elemental Evolution.


  This is the meat of the article.  If you're looking at trolls because you saw Jay Larsen pilot EE and Runes, look below if you want to start those lists.  For people that want to play the faction of Trolls, this is for you.  

  Battlebox.  Don't.  It's two Impalers and an Axer on a caster that has 5 fury, and 0 spells for beasts.  Surefoot is nice, great, but his feat does literally nothing for you at 11pts.  Madrak1 is possibly the worst caster they could have chosen for battlebox.  I'm sure there's a reason, but it's not any fun to play.  If you want to do a journeyman, do the Doomshaper1 Mauler, Pyre, Storm box.  That one is killer.  The first battlebox has all things you'll use except the second impaler, but that's the only reason I'd get it.  The Alternate with Doomshaper1 has beasts you'll use all through your troll armys, especially if you magnetize the mauler kit.

  Casters.  Troll casters are harder to kill on average than most faction's casters, simply because of Tough, Transfers, possibly Mulg being involved, and KSB.  The top 2 hardest to kill are both Trolls, Borka1 and Madrak2.  There's a lot of fun casters in trolls, but the ones that I feel have the greatest toolboxes, resiliency and forgiveness are:

  Madrak2.  Borka1 is harder to kill, but I feel like Madrak2 answers more questions.  A typical Madrak2 list answers infantry skews, arm skews, delivers a personal threat in the form of Madrak himself, and he's easy to play forward because he's so difficult to kill.  I came from Cygnar, and a stiff breeze kills most casters.  It was really difficult to figure out how to play a caster forward and Madrak2 was the guy that did it.  My Madrak2 lists have lots of Fenns, Burrowers, some Scats to clear off lines, and Fire eaters but you can have nearly anything, as long as it's faction.  He's not a big fan of facing shooting lists, but a Warder build can deal with that.  Blood Fury makes everything weapon masters, and that's about all you'll use.  When the chips are down, Madrak can end the game, and surf to the enemy caster with Tide of Death.

  Grim2.  Or Grim1.  I get Grim1 killed, and he doesn't have a good damage buff for units.  Grim2 can provide damage buffs, accuracy buffs, movement buffs, and remove a caster from the table easy.  Trolls struggle against Cryx in general, and Grim2 deals with it pretty well.  The only lynchpin in the whole thing is Mortality, but with the new unit Dhunia's Knot coming out, he gets dialed up very well.  Grim2 drops well into warmachine in general, Cryx, Menoth specifically.  Menoth players want to drop Harbinger into Trolls, and Grim2 makes sure they can't.

  The nice thing about both of the above casters is they use a lot of the same units too, so there's that budget saver as well.  If you want monsters, play:

  Doomshaper2.  This is the guy to run your beasts if you want to play that way.  He outthreats nearly everything with he feat, runs Mulg probably the best and is generally just fun to play.  He doesn't like Cryx, or anything that can trivially remove him from the board like Caine2 and Taryn.  This creates some great threat ranges and makes it very difficult to prevent assassinations in a lot of cases.  Doomshapers all also have an affinity with Mulg where he gets to attack the last thing he attacked at the end of his activation.  Assuming that you're going for the caster kill or a colossal removal, this means Mulg will charge for 1 fury, use both initials, then buy 4 more attacks and get a free one at the end.  That's 6 PS19 +buffs attacks and 1 PS17 +buffs.  Realistically, probably 6 PS22 and 1 PS20.  If you're going to play a Doomshaper, I don't think you can do it right without Mulg.

  Beasts.  Buy a Mauler kit and magnetize it.  You'll probably use the Bomber the most, but magnetizing it like this article says it makes the decision easier.  I play the heck out of Rok too but I'm the only guy.  The lights in Trollbloods are probably more important than the heavies because of the buffs they bring.  Farstrike, Rush, and the damage buff from either the Pyre or the Slag are the biggest things.  Right now, I would say a Pyre is the biggest thing, Axer right behind him, Impaler 3rd.  If you picked Grim1 or Jarl for a caster, Impaler becomes more important.  However, the Bomber is easily one of the best shooting packages in the game.  The Pyre trivially removes the option for your caster to burn to death and provides a +2 melee damage bonus to anyone who needs it.  Also, he lights the Fire Eaters on fire.  We'll get there.  The Axer is a speed buff for beasts.  If you want to play Mulg, I'd get an axer.  Storms and Slag trolls are both really good, but I think a Pyre is the best in the meta right now.  Storm is good for shooting lists and Slag's are great Anti Cryx so both are fantastic options for ADR and I have definitely done that, but if ALL THE ABOVE isn't an option, go Pyre. All four of the elemental beasts's animi provide immunity to that type of damage as well, so Winter can give cold immunity, pyre can give fire immunity, etc.  

  The caveat to all of this is if you want to play beasts, just beasts, and beast bricks.  Then you need the Earthborn Dire Troll and Mulg.  The EBDT animus is the +2 ARM when near obstructions or walls(which you will be, thanks Janissa), and combined with the KSB aura, is +4 ARM all the time.  Mulg... is Mulg.  Mulg is a PS19 Reach beast with a mini-purification animus, loves working for Doomshaper, and any time any caster he is attached to is damaged, he walks towards what did the damage and swings at them every time they damage your caster, even if he transfers.  Three transfers on your caster?  That means Mulg is probably going to walk 12-16'', and can you take a MAT7 PS19?

  Units.  Fennblades.  Fire Eaters.  Burrowers.  Kriel Stone.  Grim2/Madrak2 both love Fennblades.  They're fast, have reach, are generally self supporting (Buy the UA), can give Pathfinder to themselves, and at PS12, do plenty of work.  Kriel Warriors are cheap now because of the plastic resculpt, but they're less forgiving than Fenns are, slower, and don't have reach unless you bring the weapon attachment.  

  Fire Eaters are the new hotness.  They're 4pts, fearless, and everything is boosted when they're on fire, courtesy of the Pyre troll.  I love these guys.  They remove their points worth from the table every game, if not double to triple that.  They kill everything they touch, and its rare my opponent is able to kill all three in a turn.  These guys can lead off the game to kill the tarpit, or come in on turn three to catch up on attrition.

  Burrowers.  Grim2, Madrak2 both love these guys.  Madrak2 can give them Blood Fury (Extra dice on damage), so now they're essentially POW8 weapon masters (4d6 on the charge), and POW14 3d6 attacks.  That's bonkers.  Grim2 likes them because they pop up on feat turn for a great Mark Target benefit (models targeting enemy models within 5'' of a friendly model get +2 to ranged attack rolls), and can take their terrible RAT4 to RAT10 (Aim + Snipe, Feat and Mortality).  They also tarpit crazy well, and it's rare that you lose any of them on the way in because of the burrow.The other great thing about them is that they have Point Blank, allowing them to use their ranged attack as a melee attack, meaning that they can get 2 attacks in melee, and Blood Fury affects both.  Again, that's a 4d6 POW8 charge followed by a 3D6 POW14.  They kill lots of things.  Warjacks, beasts, colossals, etc.

  Krielstone.  The nuts and bolts of many Troll lists.  These guys can store fury for your caster, and drop a point every turn to provide a +2 ARM aura.  You probably know that, getting into trolls, but still.  You will want them, and if you get them, get the UA too.  He gives +1 STR to everything in the aura, or he can ban continuous effects.  No fire or corrosion rolls next turn.

  Warders.  These guys came out a few books ago and went crazy.  They start at ARM17, and when one is wounded, the whole unit goes to ARM19 and gains +2STR.  Under the KSB, they are ARM21.  They are difficult to remove, are weaponmasters and base MAT7.  They do work, and are the beginning of any infantry brick list.

  The last unit to consider growing into is a good shooting unit.  Either the Highwaymen or the Scattergunners.  Scats are better in melee lists, Highwaymen are better for shooting.  Scats work well with both Madrak2 and Grim2, while Highwaymen are amazing under Grim2.  Neither is an immediate purchase, but once you get going in trolls, you'll have to decide on which one you want.  Scats are base RAT5, Highwaymen have CRA and 2 shots.  It's a tough call.  Highwaymen can be sniped though, so that's why I take them with Grim2 over Scattergunners.

Support.  Fell Caller, ASAP.  He can give +2 to any unit or model.  Mat6 Fennblades become MAT8.  MAT7 Warders become MAT9.  MAT8 Madrak2 becomes MAT10.  Or he can give pathfinder.  Or he can stand up a bunch of knocked down models.  He can also spray 8 inches at RAT6.  If you're going to play trolls, get the Fell Caller. 

  Stone Scribe.  He's better if you're getting the Highwaymen, but he can give concealment to a unit, or hero's tragedy (Enemy warrior model hits your guy, enemy gets knocked down at end of activation).  He's good, but not quite auto include like the Fell Caller.

  Janissa.  Janissa can drop a wall anywhere completely within 5". This is what hands out the ARM bonus from the Earthborn Animus.  She can also shift enemy models away from her 3''.  Situational but game winning in those situations.  She's also great for keeping casters alive.  DEF18 Madrak2, DEF20 Grim2.  Pretty difficult to remove those casters.

  Runebearer.  Auto include in a lot of lists.  Specifically Grim2 and Madrak2.  He makes your caster cast the first spell at 1 fury cheaper, and can minifeat to let himself cast one of your caster's spells.  He's absolutely required to get that Blood Fury bounced around on feat turn for Madrak2, and Mortality on Grim2 is cost 3, so cost 2 is even better.

  There's a lot of other support in trolls.  Champion Hero, Braylen, Dhunia Knot releases soon (Get that one too), etc, but the above 4 are the first I would think about.

  Minions.  Trolls don't mind minion/mercs, but we don't play them nearly as well as Skorne does, and in some cases Circle.  I owned a lot of mercs coming out of Cygnar, so I already had Nyss, Boomhowlers but I rarely play them.  Part of that is because Grim1 is our best minion caster and I don't play him very often.  The minions I do use are the Witch Doc Croc, and now Croak Raiders.

 The Witch Doc Croc (Gatorman Witch Doctor) provides tough and undead to a unit/model.  Tough is pointless unless he's putting it on minions like Nyss or Croaks.  However, Undead makes a unit fearless and this is pretty key on Burrowers and some other things.  Undead also ignores anything that triggers off of living models, so Harbinger's Awe, Kromac2's Primal Howl, and Cryx's Excarnate bomb all get ignored or mitigated by undead.  The Croaks are a good shooting unit that just released, and have gotten very popular, but I wouldn't consider them an immediate purchase.  When it comes to that point, and you really like playing the Grims or Jarl, it'll come down to them or the Nyss.

  I do own two units of Gator Posse, but I got a really good deal on them.  We already have fantastic multiwound faction infantry, but if you become a Jarl player, the Gator Posse is pretty good with him.

  Calandra is also very good with minions, but I doubt you'll see her outside of Elemental Evolution anymore.


  If I were starting trolls all over, and I started with a Battlebox, I would get:


  At 25pts, you have 13 to play with.  Get a Runebearer, KSB w/UA, Janissa, and either consider upgrading the Mauler to Mulg, or upgrading one of the light beasts to an Axer and getting another 2pt solo.  Whelps, IMO, would be best for the list, and I run them a lot but any troll 2pt solo isn't bad.  To get to 35 pts, I think Mulg is probably necessary if you want to stay with a Doomshaper.

Min Krielstone w/UA

  These three or four are the base of most beast bricks.  The Earthborn animus goes on the important pieces near the front, E.G., Mulg, Axer, and then all three of them go behind Janissa's wall.  Between the EBDT animus and the KSB aura, they're +4 ARM all the time, and on the turn that the opponent wants to alpha hard with a beast, you feat and the Legion or Circle heavy takes d6 damage for every fury spent.  I've killed a lot of Legion heavies this way.  You could also drop Doomshaper2 into this list pretty easily, and either cut the Runebearer and max the KSB unit (D1 is +7 pts, D2 is +6) or change out beasts a little.  This is also the bulk of Runes of War.  All you need for the standard list is the Mauler and 4 units of Runeshapers.

  I also like Doomshaper2, and he's an easy 15$ swap with Doomshaper1.  I would personally change out the EBDT and Pyre for 2 units of Whelps and Rok.  Doomshaper2 can cycle Refuge and between the Axer and feat, yoyo Rok and Mulg quite a bit and play a Circle Orberos hit and run kind of game, saving Wild Aggression for the endgame.  Between Goad and Beserk, Rok is incredibly efficient and will kill lots of things.  He's excellent on Doomshapers period.

  After the Journeyman, I would shoot for Madrak2 and Grim2.  Probably Grim2 first since he covers what my beast oriented list above doesn't.  My 35pt Grim2 list is

*Rok (Magnetized Mauler kit)
*Pyre Troll
Fire Eaters
Fire Eaters

  If you want, don't go all the way to Rok, drop 2 pts and go to the Mauler and sub in the Chronicler instead.  This list just assassinates.  Burrowers pop up, hopefully within 5'' of what you want to shoot and Grim2 feats.  Everything you own kills everything they own.  Especially if he lands Mortality.  Rok is good for end game anchor.  He's MAT7 PS19 base.  Primal takes him to MAT9 PS21, and if Grim2 lands Mortality on the target, he's MAT11 PS23, and hopefully Grim2 lands the shot on the target and gives Rok a free charge.  Also, you can Mirage Rok for an extra 2'' threat range.

  Then I'd go for Madrak2.

Fire Eaters
Fire Eaters
Fennblades w/UA
Fell Caller
Fell Caller (Or Runebearer.  Then you have a point left over, so you might trade one light for a Slag or Axer)

  This list can handle High ARM, attrition very well, etc.  It just doesn't want to be shot at.  If you have to get shot at, lose fenns to the shooting, not the Fire Eaters.

  After you've grown to this point, Warders, possibly double Warders should be on the list.  At that point, you're pretty set, you should know your trolls decently by now.  You should know what you want to play and how.  The three lists here will have nearly everything for the basis of most of your lists.  There's only a few solos and units after this that are fairly important, and Warders are probably at the top, and an Axer and Impaler light right in there with them.


  There's three right now.  First up is Runes of War.  Runes of War is a Tier IV list for Doomshaper 1 that gives 2'' of deployment zone extra, 1 point cheaper on runeshapers and a wall for every two units of runeshapers.  The list usually is:

Max KSB w/UA

  This list has lots of scenario pressure, is very hard on Hordes games in general because of Doomshaper.  It can handle decent amount of infantry because of blast damage from the Runeshapers and the ability to have no less than 3 walls on your side of the table.  The end game is usually Doomshaper winning on scenario, or a rushed Mulg landing in the opposing caster's face.  My variant of the list drops the Mauler for a Pyre troll, and 2 units of whelps.  I personally prefer throwing whelps out in charge lanes and handling fury more efficiently with them, but that's me.

  Miserable Meat Mountain is the next one.  This is just an ARM skew, plain and simple.  It has a lot of variants, and the new version has Fire Eaters in it.  The good old fashion one is:

Krielstone max+UA

  Everything is ARM23 on her feat turn while engaged and very difficult to kill.  On top of that, Grissel2 has Inhospitable ground, so a lot of factions like Menoth and Skorne that don't have a lot of pathfinder really struggle to even engage the list.  The list was originally designed for Jarl, but the player that really popularized the list (Chad from MuseonMinis, Chadwick on the forums) settled on Grissel2.  At this point, MMM generally refers to any Double Warder +KSB build.  Some have Long Riders, some have Champs, mine has Highwaymen and Fire Eaters.  Grissel1/Grissel2 are the usual casters, but both Madraks have been seen helming it as well.  All of them have something to contribute, but I've seen more people argue over which Grissel.  Grissel2 can do a better ARM skew and speed the whole list up, and Inhospitable Ground is great.  Grissel1 can prevent enemy charges and can speed one unit up, or give a unit an extra attack.  It's a matter of playstyle, but definitely explore both options.

 The new craziness is Elemental Evolution.  Tier 4 runs a Mountain King, but nobody does that, so at Tier 3, you get a point off of light beasts (You can only take the elemental ones) and they all get AD.   Jay Larsen runs it w/:

*Slag Troll
*Slag Troll
*Slag Troll
*Slag Troll
*Storm Troll
*Storm Troll
*Storm Troll
*Pyre Troll
*Pyre Troll
*Pyre Troll
*Winter Troll
Krielstone max w/ UA

  Cryx hates this list and most infantry lists do too just because of the amount of shooting that goes on.  Slags routinely remove Colossals with weapon master shots so don't worry about those either.  The list is very difficult to engage because of Starcrossed from Calandra, and it's normally 11 pts higher than a regular 56pt list because of the tier benefits.  The tier allows Warders and Runeshapers, but everyone spams beasts.  My particular list removes a beast for 2 units of whelps which with annoyance, can pop my DEF to 13 which is ridiculous with Starcrossed.


  That's Trolls.  It's a fun faction.  Lots of adaptability, plenty of skews, and a pretty enjoyable faction overall with lots of character.  The Fire Eaters are a particular favorite, running around drinking beer and spewing it out in flames is awesome to me.  I have been playing trolls for two years and while I will dabble in a few other factions down the road, and have steadily updated my Cygnar, I don't think I'll ever be not playing trolls.

  I hope this intro has given you some guidance to buying into Trolls and if you have any questions, you can catch me on twitter @diceotfirstdegree, or comment on the blog.  Enjoy your holidays!

Kromac2 vs. Doomshaper3. It's apparently my favorite matchup.

  I've played several games with Doomshaper3.  Five of those have been into Circle, three of those into Kromac2 specifically.  Kromac2 is not the preferable matchup.  Lately, I've been dropping Grim2 or Doomy3, and against my opponent's Krueger2 or Kromac2, I dropped Doomy3 again and he brought Kromac2.

  Again, I've played this matchup a few times.  Most of my Doomshaper3 games, actually.  I played it Thursday against a friend, and we played over Destruction.  Because I forgot my Mountain King, I played out of tier with Rok and Lanyssa.  A rushed Rok charging a Hunter's marked Ghetorix goes a long way.  On my feat turn Rok killed Ghetorix and the objective, the Axer cleared a few things and Mulg killed the Gnarlhorn and the only gallows grove, then weathered Kromac2 on the next turn, admonitioning away from the Stalker with 14 boxes left.  Doomshaper charged Kromac2, getting the crit smite and KD, and Mulg finished the game.  It was also his first game with Kromac2 and he was still figuring out his list, though a Bounding Ghetorix is a major issue for me.  I'm afraid next time he'll have a Blackclad for that sweet +4'' charge range on his favorite reach heavy.

  This game, my opponent already had the Blackclads, but no Gnarlhorn.  His list was:

Druids w/UA
Stones w/UA

  Mine is the same that I've played 90% of my games with Doomy3.

Doomshaper3 Tier III
*Mountain King
Max KSB w/UA
Max Burrowers
2x Whelps

  I roll the rolloff, elected to go first.  Scenario was Recon.  The grey zones are "Tall Grass".  It's apparently a thing.  Provides concealment, but is not rough terrain.

  Burrowers burrow.  Axer rushes Mulg, charges up.  Mulg runs to the right of my objective.  Doomshaper rushes Mountain King, casts Implacability, dumps the rest to the stone and charges forward.  KSB runs and pops aura.  Mt. King runs his full 16'' up the board.

  This almost costs me.  He begins by pushing Ghetorix forward with the Stalker.  The Druids move around and pop clouds, leaving a charge lane for Ghet.  The stones port around into a large triangle.  Kromac feats, getting up the board a bit and putting Awakened Spirit on Ghetorix. The right Blackclad charges a druid, kills it, casts Hunter's Mark at the King and falls short a good half inch, meaning that Ghetorix can't get there.  We measure it for kicks and giggles, and even with Hunter's Mark, Ghetorix is just out even with a push from the Pureblood.  Still, it almost got me.  He also didn't deploy his blackclads on the line and hung them back a bit, which bit him.  

  Anyways.  Stuff mills about.  Can't get to me this turn, and he doesn't want to lose much to me on my turn, so he hides Ghetorix behind druids and such along with his other beasts.

  I really want to kill Ghetorix.  I really feel like if I don't kill a heavy on my feat, I'm losing the game. I have to trade the offensive aspect of the feat for something.  Doomshaper moves to the zone by the objective, feats, and does Signs and Portents for infantry.  Implacability goes up, and Admonition goes on Mulg.

  The Burrowers move up and try to shoot out just one blackclad, but needing boxcars, I roll 11 twice but can't get it done.  Otherwise, I think I had range to Ghetorix with the King, but I just can't get there.  Not enough room to trample even, and Mulg is on the wrong side.  He probably had range to get to the Druid on the other side of the zone, and then goad over to clear a way for the King, but it seemed like a pretty ballsy maneuver that would lead Doomy wide open.  So instead, Axer moves up, rushes the King. The King assaults right, kills a stone and blackclad with the Assault spray, kills the Druid and then kills the Druid UA with the Killshot.  No teleporting at least.  Druids pass CMD from Mountain King being terror causing.  Mulg moves up.

  Ghetorix charges forward to the Burrowers on the left and kills one.  They pass CMD.  Pureblood sprays three Burrowers, but 2 tough.  Stalker gets lightning strike onto Kromac.  Kromac primal howls, kills one in front of him but it toughs, again.  So he hits, toughs again.  Third one kills it, leaving him on one transfer.  Burrowers pass CMD from both Kromac's terror, and casualties.  He runs to the wall near Ghetorix.  Druids move up and cloud, and the Rotterhorn goes into the zone.  Stalker runs up a bit and toes into the concealment.  Gorax does the same.  Stones teleport to block lanes to Kromac and contest the zone somewhat.

  Pull in fury, leave one on axer but it passes frenzy check.  My opponent isn't giving me any whelps.  Doomshaper moves to the other side of the objective, did not upkeep admonition.  Cast Implacability, and puts three or four to the stone.  Does free animi this turn.  Stones pop aura and do +1 STR.  Burrowers move up and do tarpit things but nothing hits.  Mountain King steps into the group of Circle models and sweeps with a free Amuck.  He kills the objective in one attack, the druid and hurts the bird.  I buy an attack on the stone keeper and boost the hit, killing him.  The killshot spray goes into Kromac but does nothing,  Axer moves in, boosts the hit on the bird and boosts damage, finishing him.  

  Mulg goes for Kromac, staying out of the Druid clouds, but cant dodge Primal howl.  He hits Kromac2, but never gets the crit, and forces only one transfer.  I killed the bird before attacking him, and he picked up a fury from that, so that was a mistake.  I do score 3 CP though.  1 for objective, 2 for dominating.

  Gorax primals the Stalker, and the stalker goes all in on Mulg at ARM21.  He leaves Mulg on exactly one box, and surrounded by whelps.  Kromac2 Lightning strikes himself, kills all of the Whelps and contesting Burrower for free with heart eater, kills Mulg and sprints into the zone.  Ghetorix moves over, clears out the burrowers around the last druid, and sprints into the zone too.  The Pureblood runs to engage the king.  Mulg was full on Fury, and so is the Axer and the King.  I have to pull the fury off the King, which means that the Axer will probably frenzy, blocking a charge lane to Ghetorix.

  So now we have an issue.  The Axer frenzies and does some damage to the Mountain King but not horrible.  I don't think the King can kill Kromac on 3 transfers and needing even just 9s to hit.  I don't think he got Primal howl in there.  I certainly wasn't confident in it.  But if I can remove Ghetorix, and the druid, Kromac doesn't contest.  The other option to sprint to the flag and hope that I can tie him up but I have even less confidence in that.

  So my KSB activate, do +1 STR and shuffle around to hit the Druid and Ghetorix to no avail.  Then Doomshaper3 charges Ghetorix, boosts the hit and gets the Crit Smite.  I slam him 3'', but because it's a medium base slamming a large, I only slam him 1.5'', which barely leaves him in the zone, albeit KD, but still out of reach of the Mountain King.  The damage does ok, but not much.  So I amuck the King, and then blow the last 5 fury on Strangleholds.  The first damages him, but the second boxcars on him.  The effects don't stack, but at this point I'm nickel and diming him him to the point where I hope an assault/killshot will finish him. 

  The leftover burrowers on the left walk over, and pickaxe him because I'm desperate, but even at dice -9, inflict four or five points on him.  Then the guns.  The first two don't do much, but the last one boxcars again and actually kills Ghetorix.  At that point, the King walks in and sweeps the Druid, hits, kills, and that's game.  I dominate for 5CP.  

Thoughts on the game:

1.  I don't like relying on the King to finish the game.  Especially against things like Primal Howl or druid clouds.  However, his ability to remove support from the game has been key several times and I really missed him in the game I played without him.
2.  Should have upkept Admonition on Mulg.  I still don't think he'd of survived but it would have been nice to make it a bit more difficult.
3.  I need to be more careful with that first move.  Sure I can run 16'', but if I had lost the King to Ghetorix turn 1, it'd of been a bad deal.  Even at ARM23 (KSB and tier benefit), Ghetorix is hitting at dice even on feat.  Granted, average dice and I think the King still survives since he doesn't get the second initial but it's still tight.  Not something I want to bet on.
4.  He did feat too early too.  If it'd been later, like when he ran into the zone, there'd of been issues.  Both of our feats seemed somewhat wasted but mine was definitely a timewalk.  Just not much he can do against it.  

EDIT:  5.  I wrote this late at night and forgot about one of the major points in the game.  The biggest issue with D3 is that he doesn't speed his army up outside of Tier Turn 1, and being outthreated forces him to feat defensively.  If he feats defensively, he loses the offensive power of the feat which is absolutely needed for med-high DEF models, E.G., any Circle beast with Primal Howl, or worse, Primal Howl and Druid clouds.  MAT3 Mulg is unhappy, and MAT1 Mountain King is nearly unusable.  My opponent exploited this pretty well and just timewalked it, losing like, a druid and a stone to my feat.  Pretty decent.  After that I felt like I was on my back foot attrition wise.  I was able to clear the zone and score the first three points which applied solid scenario pressure, but I was only just barely able to kill Ghetorix, and idk if the King would have killed Kromac.  I don't think so.  Granted, I would have tried the same crit smite from Doomshaper to knock Kromac down and my chances go way up, so it's there, but still.  If I had failed there, it was game.  

  Against a list that out threats me, I think I want to go second.  Let them run, I get my positioning exactly how I want, but out of threat range even if it means everything is just basically walking.  Next turn, I clear the zone, score first and score 3 pts, and now he can't clear me out of the zone on my turn during feat, meaning I can probably finish it and dominate for the last 2.  That's the idea.  

Overall, fantastic game.  Seemed pretty close to the end, but I don't know that either was favored as much.  I don't like Blackclads handing out Hunter's Mark, and he played it very well leveraging his threat ranges.  I think this game convinced him to pull the Pureblood for a Gnarlhorn just for Bounding and the Counterslam.  Counterslam isn't particularly useful in this matchup but Bounding is brutal.  Something I was glad he didn't have.

Doomshaper3 has more options than meets the eye.  This is the second game that Crit Smite from Doomshaper has been the key moment.  He's mat5, but with Fury 7, he can try it like four times.  When I need it, I need it, and he delivers so far.  

Hope you enjoyed the batrep.  Kind of surprising to see 2 out so close to eachother, but this wasn't hard to write up.  Pretty straightforward, low model count.  Enjoy the holidays!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Magnetizing Circle Goat, Convergence Cipher kit.

  I bought a Convergence Battlebox to continue my collection of BB kits.  I'm three away from having every faction.  Convergence has such a different mechanic that I wanted to pick it up before the other three.  I've been asked several times how induction works and what's it's like to play and I legitimately have no idea.  So I grabbed the box and built it yesterday.

  So, starting off, there's a lot of things that a lot of people recommend for magnetizing.  My original in-depth article is my dire troll article.  This article is really just covering what parts get glued, and what my magnet points are.  My tool list has also changed.  I just use a 1/8'' bit in the dremel for everything.  If I'm putting a bigger magnet than that in there, I widen it out with a stirring motion and cut the flashing it creates with a knife.  We'll show that a little bit.

  The magnets I use are below.  They're just rare earth magnets I pick up at the FLGS,  The ones I used for most of this is the left one, the 1/8th.  I've got one just a hair smaller for like, Ret jacks, but this one is my workhorse in most cases.  The one over is close to 3/16ths, and is my second most used.  The one on the right is a full 1/4'' and is for the big things like the turret on my War Wagon.

  This is the waist point for the convergence jack.  I did it just because I don't have all the parts for the convergence jack, so I don't know if the legs will be in the way for some of the weapons so I have it where I can rotate it a bit.  Here, again, I just drilled, then spiraled the bit around to widen it.  It creates this flashing here, but just run your hobby knife around that edge and it cleans up nicely.

  Usually I just drill the hole straight, maybe worm it a hair to make sure the magnet will stick.  Most of the technique is just getting the magnet in there to stick without gluing multiple magnets to your fingers.  In this picture, I'm tapping a shoulder for the convergence kit.  I've drilled it deep enough for one magnet, dripped a bit of glue in and slid in one magnet, using the whole stick of them.  Then I'll slide it off once it's flush with the plastic, sliding in a fingernail in behind it to make sure it doesn't pull itself up out of the hole.

  So, connection points on this guy.  The waist is extra.  The main points is the head on the main body, the shoulder points and the arm points.  The left shoulder could be glued directly to the body, and just the elbow point could be magnetized for future kits, but the left shoulder actually needs to come off for one of the other jacks.

  My wife's goat kit is even easier.  The body is mostly the same with the exception of a waist extension piece that you can add in if you want.  I think it's for the shadowhorn, but she put it in and glued it.  Each head comes with it's own set of arms though, so it's not like trying to mag the wrist points on the Warpwolf or anything.  Just the neck and shoulder joints.  I used 1/8'' magnets for all of it, but the neck and head joint, I wish I'd gone a size up.  

  And that's it.  Just a quick reference for magnetizing these two heavies.  In the pipeline, I've got a lot.  I got Doomshaper3, Glacier King, double Efaarit, and a bunch of other stuff.  The D3 and GK unboxing/assembly is coming soon.  I have to figure out what all I want to do with my GK.  Once that's done, it'll be on here.  Still working on the painting articles, doing a bunch of commissions still, and of course trying to keep up with real life and incoming holidays.  Speaking of which, enjoy your thanksgiving and will see you guys later!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Deneghra3 the Soulweaver finished.

  Finished Deneghra3 in time for my client to take to WMW.  If you're there, feel free to point at it and laugh.

  Fun model to build and paint. Lots of detail.  The wings are my favorite I think.  The body of the beast is the typical exaggerated armor and edges that Cryx models have, and PP models in general.  The wings have a lot of imagination in them though and I really enjoyed it.  Most of the basecoating and the osl for this model was an airbrush and everything else was brush work.

  The wings are also magnetized.  That being said, this model is easily the biggest I've photographed, so I apologize at how much of the lightbox is visible in these shots.