-By: Elliott (PG_E2lio2tR)
Well here we are. The last two weeks of the league. Let’s see how this pans out.
Week 5 (add 15 points)
Game vs: Khador
Added: Stone Scribe Elder UA for Stone unit, Sons of Bragg
Well that was interesting. Madrak did the pacman thing again and worked his way around to get to the caster. Madrak2, Fell Caller, Lynessa and the Stone with UA seems rather strong at times. I was able to get to a Shield Walled unit of Black Dragons under Iron Zeal from thirteen inches away, kill all of them along with Sylyess and 2 WIdowmakers, and work my way over to the caster with a stack of 15 Fury.
He is strong. Like a bit too strong. Even after the game we sat there and looked at the board state. His caster was well protected for normal situations. Then this is with the feat, being effectively MAT 10, and having 3d6 P+S 16, so it is not a normal situation. Being able to take out twelve models at ARM21 with one model in one activation seems rather strong. Going to haev to enjoy playing this Warlock a bit before the January errata hits. We did talk about things that would help bring him a bit more in line. Giving a Fury cap to what he can hold on to would be a good start. But that is a rabbit hole we should not wander down too far right now. Let’s get back to the rest of the list.
Since the Sons of Bragg never really go near the enemy, they were unable to do any work this game. So, I will look at the Stone Scribe Elder (SSE) and what he brought to the game. With the inclusion of this model into the Stone unit, I was able to drop Madrak’s whole Fury stack turn one. After that, I could strategically pick when to activate the Protective Aura ability to have the best effect on the game. I did so during the assassination run turn. I was able to pop the ability and add the +1 strength to Madrak for the most of the attacks into the Black Dragons to help crack the ARM 21 of the unit and make his way to the caster. I can see the use for a minimum unit of the Stone with its CA in an army like this one. Between its normal effect on an army, using it as a Grim Resolve target is nice as well. When I sit down to write my Madrak2 list for normal play, this will be in it for sure.
Now for the planning of the final week of this and to bring the list up to 75 points. Since I had a point left last week, I have 11 points to play with this week. This does not leave me much room to add large units that are currently in my collection. Since I already have two damage dealing units and a Warlock that can hand out damage on his own. So with these last 11 points I am going to add solos & support to help round out the force as much as I can.
I know I was avoiding support bloat for the Fennblades before but this week, I am going to be adding two things that are geared towards helping them some. The first will be the Fennblade Kithkar (FK). The main goal of adding this model is to give the Fennblades a +1 to attack rolls for being in his command range. He does, however, give the ability to do some work on his own thanks to Righteous Vengeance and Powerful Charge. Simple add that can add a few layers to the army.
The next addition will be the Stone Scribe Chronicler (SSC). Since the Fennblades are being used as an attacking unit that can tar pit if needed, two of the SSC’s Storytelling abilities will help. Hero’s Tragedy will help while in melee with the enemy since if the affected model is destroyed the attacking model is then knocked down after its activation. This will make the counter attack a little more solid since they will automatically hit. Tale of Mist will help improve the units DEF thanks to concealment and if something does get hit and males its tough roll, it will no longer be able to be targeted that turn from other ranged or magic attacks.
The last addition will be a Gremlin Swarm. This nice little swarm is just a nice addition to help mess with enemy warjacks and to help contest zones and objectives. Thanks to having Stealth and Incorporeal, this model will not be easy to get rid of. There are not many magic weapons running around in the armies in this league right now besides those on casters, so it will be safe from most things. It also has an ability called Annoyance. If I can get it into the right place, I can use it to make it harder for the other player to counterattack.
The inclusion of these three models helps bolster most of the army and allows me to have a few more options available to me during the game.
Week 6 (add 10 points, 1 addition point available from last week)
Game vs: Mercs
Added: Stone Scribe Chronicler, Fennblade Kithkar, and Goblin Swarm
Damn. Those Gun bunnies of the Dwarves are nuts. This list still has issues with armor. I was having a hard time getting what I needed where I needed it to deal with that many Jacks. There were roughly 8 of the light Rhulic jacks, two of the heavy version and a Freebooter running around on the other side. Not much in the way living models for Madrak to do his thing with. I had issues getting the Fennblades where I wanted them. He was able to kill all of the Fennblades but four in one turn and then was able to push everything back to my side of the board with his Feat. It was just a rough game. It was fun but rough.
The SSC gave me a few options but I would need a few more games to know when the right time to use each one would be. That is one of the tricks of Trolls. They have a lot of options to help support their troops, but it takes a lot of game play to really get when the right time is to activate which option.
The FK was…interesting? I like the model and think it can be fun, but it felt like it caused a bit of an order of operation trouble for me. I wanted it to be able to give the Fennblades the +1 MAT but then it would be in the way for them to charge into where I want them. Another example of needing to play around and see how to best use this model. Honestly, I am not sure if I would put him in the list if I was creating it normally, but if that was the case this list would look a lot different than it does now.
The Gremlin Swarm basically did its thing. It ran around, tried to be annoying to jacks and other models and hold objectives and zones. I can see why this one is in a few lists now. The combo of Incorporeal and Stealth makes it hard to deal with. For the point cost, it will appear in a few of my lists just to contest zones and objectives and make life a bit harder for the other side.
So, what did I learn from all of this? Well one thing I found is that Ragnor is not my style. He is a great caster in the right hands… mine are just not them. How he likes to play is not something I like to do. His spells all target one model. I like to have a buff or two that can affect a whole unit. For those who like to play him, enjoy. He seems like he has some interesting tools in his toolbox and can ask some interesting questions. He just not something I enjoy right now in play.
Madrak2 can be a lot of fun. He can chew through troops and get to the other caster from unexpected angles. The issue is when you face Armor heavy lists. He can deal with it, but you need to work from the group up. He also has a hard time running more than two beasts. Was he the right choice for this league? Like I said before, Calandra would have be easier to deal with and a better choice to run. However, the idea behind taking him was to get table time with him so that I can see if I would like to plan an army around him. I think he may spend some time on the shelf but that is mostly to give me time to really think about how I would run him and what I would put in a list for him.
What this league really cemented in my mind is this. Trollbloods are an army that you really have to plan around. You really can not just through what ever you like in a list and expect it to work. You need to have a reason for each thing in the list. If you over do it on support, then once the main unit is gone, your list starts to fall apart. If you don’t have enough support, things your main units are designed to have access to are not there. You have to find the balance between the two to get a fully finely tuned list that can get work done.
This was a fun league to play in and run. The guys that play at my store are always a blast to play against. I hope they learned a bit more about their armies and the game as a whole from this as much as I have. If you are new to the game talk to your local PG about setting up a Journeyman League. If you don’t have a local PG, then talk to your store about running one for them. This years version of it is easy to run. If you want to run one and get the store to agree, let us know and we will help explain the rules of it to you and how to run one. Get out there, meet new players, learn more about the game and your community and most importantly, have fun.