-By: Michael (Vyroid)
I’m a brand new to Warmahordes player, but a veteran to tabletop gaming, having played 40k, Mordheim, and Gorka Morka over the last few decades. I hadn’t played 40k in a few years, and with a recent move, I wanted to see what the local scene was like to try and get back into the hobby and make some new friends. I tried a few small 40k games and quickly realized the local group of players was very competitive, and I’d need to outlay a decent chunk of money to feel satisfied. Plus my faction was running on an old codex (Chaos, primarily Nurgle) which was a punch to the gut. This lead me to investigate WM/H, something I’d wanted to check out for a while, so I got to digging online. When I saw the Trollbloods, I knew I had found my faction. Not only was I really looking forward to painting the models, but I also liked the mechanics of snacking, regeneration, and whelps, plus the warlocks themselves sparked my interest (especially Ragnor!). I also found the local WMH group played at a different store and had around 12 active members, so I went to watch a few weekends in a row and they were all very welcoming, even offering to let me borrow some models for some learning games where I got to test a little bit of Hordes and Warmachine. Having liked the mechanical flexibility of fury over focus, I decided to take the plunge and added the Trollblood starter boxes to my birthday wish list. A month later my sister delivered me a shiny new MkIII Battle Box! Below are recaps of the 4th and 5th games that I’ve played, the first times I didn’t feel like I was learning the basic mechanics of the game and therefore had some brainpower left over to feel like I was strategizing instead of scrambling. And by scrambling, I mean being utterly devastated by assassinations. But that’s to be expected, and I learned some valuable lessons like not camping zero, that knocked down models don’t engage so Kromak2 is free to walk around and take out my caster, or that it might be a waste to take a pot shot at the Def 16 caster on turn 2 with my Impaler when there are other, easier targets around like an arc node. And now, on to the meaty bits!
Trollblood BB vs Retribution of Scyrah BB
The moral of this story, never underestimate how much damage a single ranged jack can do, especially with Hand of Destruction. The game started out fairly typical for me; deploy, run and dig in turn 1, walk up, put Snipe on the Impaler to shoot turn 2 while I dig in the rest of my beasts, but after that it went downhill. It took until the 4th or 5th turn for me to engage in melee thanks to Rhythm of War allowing the Manticore to walk up, shoot, and dance back out of range with the rest of the battle group. Three turns of shooting with the Impaler while I was moving up barely punched through the force field on the Manticore and the Chimera, which felt unproductive. By the time I engaged in melee, my Bouncer was pretty well wounded (I’d shield guarded a shot or two from the Axer), and the damage from my first turn of melee was wiped out the next turn by Helynna’s feat and a casting of repair. I think the match ended with me having done a grand total of 8 boxes of lasting damage, and all of my beasts wiped out. In hindsight, I should have conceded to losing a model from the start and run for the first two turns to ensure I’d be able to engage heavily on the 3rd. I still feel like I would have been at a disadvantage, but the results would have been better than what happened. I feel this is a really good example of why scenarios are so important, as had there been an objective, my opponent would have been punished for not engaging. All in all, this was a great learning experience as this is hopefully not a mistake I’ll make again. I also got some practice rotating Ragnor’s Pulverizer upkeep, which stayed on the Impaler up until melee began.
Trollblood BB vs Minions Farrow BB
My first WIN! I went first and ran up the field, my opponent voiced a possible gutsy attempt at an assassination run using Helga’s Cyclone, but opted against it and ran up himself instead. For the next two rounds he kept my Axer at bay with Muzzle, so I backed him an inch away from the wall he was behind so he was safe from attacks, as nothing could fit between him and the wall. On the right side I was able to take some Pulverizer powered shots with the Impaler, one that crit slammed, pushing the Battle Boar out of charge range for another round, and softened it up before I was able to engage it with my Bouncer. My opponent feats and brought in the Battle Boar and 2 Razor Boars, knocking down the Bouncer but was not able to kill him. Next round Ragnor uses Shockwave, knocking down one Razor and the Battle Boar, the Bouncer sacrificed movement to stand and takes out the Battle Boar and do some damage to the Razor, while the Impaler crit slams the War Hog. Next turn was the lucky round that Muzzle missed and I was able to Rush, Pulverizer, and charge my Axer into his War Hog doing a substantial chunk of damage, this was also when I popped my feat. I had not been able to clear all my fury this round and the Bouncer frenzied, doing some damage to a Razor Boar. Next turn the Bouncer goes down to the Razor Boar, the Axer survives the retaliation from the War Hog, and my opponent makes a last ditch attempt to assassinate Ragnor by bringing in his standing Razor and Helga, but falls short on the attempt. Last round the Axer cleans up the War Hog and using Ragnor I’m able to deal some melee damage to Helga, knocking her down with Warhead, and with the Impaler I’m able to assassinate her for the win. Overall, my opponent had some pretty bad rolls (the Bouncer should have died a round earlier), and with Helga’s kit being more suited for warrior models, I think that put me at a distinct advantage. I feel like I really had to keep on top of my focus for this match, always fearing a possible assassination attempt with Cylcone. This was the first match that felt pretty straight forward, it was great practice for activation order, learning whether to cast Rush from the Axer or from my caster, and rotating the Pulverizer upkeep to gain maximum benefit. Other than Muzzle taking the Axer out for a few rounds, I really felt like I was able to execute my plan (whatever that was) in this game, and that felt great…as did the win!
This all puts me at an overall of 4 losses, 1 win with my own army, but the real win comes from what I’ve learned so far. Important things like Line Of Sight mattering for casting spells on my own models, which almost cause my deployment to set me back a round. Or just how devastating it is to over spend fury and have a model frenzy, or even worse, to have a model not frenzy but have too much fury left on it to get much work out of it. And while I have a good idea of what my own models do, I have a lot to learn about what other armies models can do, and how to plan appropriately for their unique interactions, like Hyper-Aggressive, that really threw a wrench into the mix.
So far I’ve really enjoyed my games, and I’m looking forward to more. Ragnor has been a fun caster that seems to have a flexible tool box for the veteran, while being straightforward enough to help a noob like myself learn the game. I have noticed that the Trollblood Battle Box is the only one without a Heavy Beast, and believe me, I feel it on the table. I’m not sure if there is a better option though, as overall, the 3 beasts I get are very different and give me a lot of options/mechanics to play around with, plus something like Mauler/Earthborn would be too powerful. I was recently gifted a second Impaler and Madrak I (thanks Mark), and I’m really looking forward to (slowly) expanding my army as I don’t think I’m getting the full feel of Trolls with a 0pt game. I think my first additions will be a Dire Troll Mauler and a Kriel Stone, as they are pretty standard pieces that can fit in a lot of lists. After that I’m excited to get a Swamp Troll, I really like the idea of pulling models around the board. In a few months, when I get a few more pieces (come on Santa!) I’m hoping to convince the other local players to start up a Journeyman League. Most of them have been playing for a while, and have more than one well developed army. I think it will be a nice format to give me a chance to learn, and hopefully win some more!
That’s all for now, hopefully you enjoyed my experiences and would like to hear more and watch as I expand and learn as a brand new WarmaHordes player!