Monday, July 29, 2013

7/27/13 TH goes a wanderin'

So this past week was kind of a big deal for my playtime as I will be switching to graveyard shifts at work which will cut into my playtime dramatically.  As such, I was looking for pretty much any event to attend this weekend.  I found out that Game On in Warwick, RI was hosting a 25pt CoC event, with a Convergence Battle Box going to the winner.

I packed the Trolls and drove down.

I managed to get to the store just as they were opening, which is good as signups started immediately.  Unfortunately after some back and forth it turned out that they had to cancel the event due to lack of players.  Fortunately, one of the guys there, Eric I believe (will have to check my notes) was up for playing some games.  I asked him to pick his poison and he chose 25pts.  I decided against cutting the Jarl list down to 25pts; I felt like I would have to change it so much more than just "cut 25pts" that it would defeat the point of learning the list, so I decided to run eDoomshaper, and Eric played eVayl.  We both actually ran 5 model armies.

I ran a list, which has quickly become what I dub the "BFF Forever" list, and even has its own themesong:

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia
* Troll Axer
* Earthborn Dire Troll
* Mulg the Ancient
Janissa Stonetide

This list does one thing pretty well, delivers heavy beasts.

My dance partner ran 1pt down with:

Vayl, Consul of Everblight
* Angelius
* Ravagore
* Scythean
The Forsaken

Scenario: Supply and Demand (SR2013 #2)

My immediate concern was Ravagore shots on Doomshaper and Scythean coming in and denying Tough with Slaughterhouse.  We started off the game moving forward.  I ended up going second, so I positioned the Earthborn against the Angelius with wall-toting Janissa behind him on the same side of the board as the only rough terrain, Mulg and Doomshaper, with the Axer ready to toss it up with the Ravagore to keep him from shooting.

My opponent ran his beasts forward, riled all of them, moved up his Forsaken and stole the Fury from the Angelius with Vayl set to remove the Fury from the Scythean and Ravagore.  He put out Occultation on the Forsaken, Refuge on the Angelius and Admonition on the Scythean.

I moved forward on my team with most of my beasts running, the Earthborn setting up for a +2" Spd charge being near the rough terrain and Janissa dropping her wall to make him armor 20.  Doom put Wild Agression on Mulg and then walked over near the wall, putting the Earthborn's animus on himself, bringing himself to Def 17/Arm 17 vs. any Ravagore shots.  Mulg activated and ran to tow into the center zone and the Axer came up behind him, ready to charge off at the Ravagore next turn when I popped feat.

With the turn passed, my opponent let Occultation fall off and charged the Angelius at the Earthborn doing some fairly significant damage as Dice +2 before Refuging away.  He then moved Vayl to ~3" away from his friendly objective and swung the Scythean around to run up that flank.  Finally he brought the Ravagore centrally into the zone as his only contesting model.  The Ravagore then took a boosted shot at Mulg and hit, doing three damage.  With that my opponent passed the turn.

I upkept Wild Agression, scooped my Fury and checked my control range, finding that the enemy objective was roughly 14" from Mulg.  It was time to live the dream.  I activated Doomshaper, who popped feat, put the Acer animus on Mulg and charged the Angelius 11" (bringing him just past center line).  The Earthborn activated and declared a Slam against the Ravagore moving way less than his possible distance of 13" and knocking it a clear 6" back, leaving Mulg an open line to the enemy objective.  Mulg charged 14" in all his glory and was successful in charging the enemy objective.  Once he did, the Scythean called its Admonition move and tried to get inbetween Mulg and eVayl, but was too far out to cause issue.  Mulg blew up the objective in one shot from his Open Fist at Dice +2, Goaded 2" and then brought his Rune Club to bear against Vayl with 3 dice to hit, and Dice +5 on Damage.  With only two Transfers and six possible swings (second initial, +4 bought attacks, +Doomshaper Affinity) from Mulg, the match ended in my favor.

At  this point my opponent asked if I would be willing to reset and play again, same list, same scenario.  I said I was happy to, and pulled things back.  I knew Mulg wasn't going to live the dream this turn, but I was eager to play again.  The game started with him winning initiative and our setups and first turns looking the same.  The second turn is where things differentiated.  As there is no Killbox artifice in this scenario he kept Vayl 5" from any of her friendly models at any time and avoided damaging Mulg, instead sending the Angelius (who once more Refuged away) and the Scythean in trying to kill my Earthborn Dire Troll.  He failed however.

On my second turn I had Mulg charge the Scythean (who was still engaging the Earthborn), kill it, and then try to Goad into range of the Ravagore (but fell less than .5" short).  After that I activated Doomshaper, popped feat and tossed Wild Aggression over to the Earthborn, then cast a Primal Shock through him to kill the Forsaken.  The Earthborn then charged the Angelius and scrapped him.  At this point my opponent only had a Ravagore and Vayl, I had lost Janissa and had no Fury on Doomshaper.  He ran his Ravagore over to get in range of Doomshaper, but Mulg got a free strike in crushing the Ravagore's spirit.  I was pretty sure that was game, but then Vayl moved forward, popped feat and went for the spell assassination on Doom by shooting the Ravagore in the back and channeling through it.  Her final Obliteration took me below 0.  I picked up a single die and rolled a Tough check...

...and passed.

At that point, Vayl had no Fury and was in charge range of both Mulg and the Earthborn, so he conceded the game.  All in all, two very fun matches!

The Old Man and Witch Coven come knocking

At our FLGS one of our players is a grandfather who I have known for almost two decades; he shall henceforth be referred to here as "The Old Man".  As the FLGS was wrapping up their league which I chose to not join this time around due mostly to time constraints, The Old Man, who plays Cryx, was trailing in second.

One way he could get points is by playing someone he hasn't played in the league and playing against a faction he hadn't played.  He asked me for a game as we had not played, nor had he played Trollbloods.  I agreed to do so.

I took The Jarl List

He took a Witch Coven Tier List:

The Witch Coven of Garlghast
* Defiler
* Stalker
* Deathjack
* Skarlock Thrall
Bane Knights (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Satyxis Blood Hag
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Darragh Wrathe
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall
Pistol Wraith

Let me start by saying there is a guy from Ottawa, we'll call him The Viking, I have played a few times and he runs with Coven.  I have never done well against Coven, but this list was a special kind of hell for Trolls.  It has the Stalker, which ignores Tough, the Blood Hag which strips Tough off of anything within 8", and Darragh Wraithe with 5 Light Cav who are Incorporeal every other round.

That puts me with two things denying or ignoring my faction wide advantage, and 6 Light Cav (one of them a Dragoon), and a minifeat on an entire unit who I will have a hard time dealing with as only Jarl and Janissa have Magical Weapons in my list.  The short version is, you would be hard pressed to find a list more skewed toward anti-Trolls.  My initial reaction, internally, was fairly poor; however I figured I was bound to see these types of lists here and there, so I decided to play through.  Pictures are below, I am not going to go into Turn by Turn as it was a pretty crushing defeat, I think I prioritized targets well (taking the Hag out Top of Turn 2 with her only denying Tough to one Fennblade who I shot in the back to Magic Bullet her).

I had a chance to put some Magic Bullets into the Coven, but failed to do so due to getting ahead of myself and ending Jarl's activation too soon.  On the plus side, Jarl proved to be extraordinarily resilient to the Coven's attempts to kill him, lasting over 5 rounds.

I had a chance in the final turn to clear out the the troops tying up the Bomber and toss on the Coven, but my plan going into the turn did not survive the round as I forgot the extra Fury I was camping was supposed to be used to heal a point of Spirit on the Bomber so he could Trample and toss.

All in all, very tough match up, but I learned a lot about my list and the mistakes I made.  I don't feel that I automatically lost when my opponent list skewed against me, but it was definitely an uphill battle.  One thing I think I did well was counter-feating.

Jarl list moves to 1 Win, 1 Loss; 8 games to go.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hobby Update 7/24/2013

A looooong time since I did a Hobby Update, but I do have three more models done.  eDoomshaper and Mulg were painted for NETT, as I did not want to field unpainted models.  The Runebearer got painted as he is part of The Jarl List.  Next up on the painting table is Horthol mounted and unmounted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Motherland is thrown from the Thornwood

So, I brought The Jarl List to the FLGS last night, and as my mortal enemy good friend is thinking about getting in to Khador, so he had a 50pt list that was mostly proxies.  I am not a huge fan of proxies of course, but I understand the need in circumstances like this.  Just keep that in mind as you check out a few of the photos.  We decided to play Incursion.

His List:

Kommandant Irusk
* Spriggan
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
* Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Doom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Greylord Escort
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard
Man-o-war Kovnik
* Demolisher

My opponent won the roll and opted to go first.  Doomreavers and the Greylord Escort ran to the flag on my left, IFP advanced into Shield Wall toward the middle flag with Irusk, the Spriggan and Sylys in tow.  The MoW Kovnik and Demolisher played shortstop between the middle flag and the flag on my right.  Finally, he sent the Nyss Hunters & Valachev to the flag on my right.

I deployed placing my bets on the flag on my right disappearing.  My first objective was to clear the Doomreavers and Greylord Escort.  My Fennblades were on the 10" line, so I knew that if I cast Quicken on them and mini-feated they could charge 13" and threaten to 15" which would bring them right to the Doomreavers, but not the Escort. Doomreavers are enough of an issue, I didn't want to let them keep Tough.  One thing was for sure, I did not want to be on the receiving end of a Doomreaver charge.

I took a look at the board and felt like my best bet was to take the Escort out first first.  Doing some quick control zone measuring with Jarl, I found my answer.  The Troll Runebearer activated first and used Power Glyphs to cast one of Jarl's spells, Quicken, on Jarl himself.  After that was done, he moved up a bit.  The Impaler activated next, moved out of Jarl's way and cast Far Strike on Jarl.  Jarl himself then activated and advanced 8" cast Magic Bullet on himself, followed by declaring a ranged attack at a Doomreaver, measured distance and found him at about the 14" mark.  Jarl boosted the hit on the Doomreaver (killed) as I really needed that Magic Bullet to go off. Hindsight Mistake #1: I thought that Magic Bullet was a Magic Attack with an unboostable Damage roll, and as such I boosted the hit on the Greylord Escort; it actually autohits and I am a moron.  I put 4 damage on the Escort, but that wasn't enough to kill him.  At this point I had a hard decision, I could cast Magic Bullet again and shoot again, looking for the Escort kill, or I could cast Quicken on the Fennblades and charge the Doomreavers.  I decided to drop the second Magic Bullet, targeting a Doomreaver 16" away, killed it, and bounced it to the Escort again, killing the Escort.

At this point, the Fennblades couldn't get a charge off on the Doomreavers, and would be Doomreaver chow next turn, so I did what I thought was pretty much the only valid move there, I ran them into melee range of the Doomreavers.  This accomplished a couple things, it brought me into contest range of two flags, the one on my left and the center flag, brought the skirmish line to the middle of the table, and controlled how I took the Doomreaver attacks.  Tuffalo followed them, setting up as a second wave, or charging through them on Feat Turn.  Horthol moved up mid-field looking for opportunities to... well, be Horthol.  He also blocked some line of sight from the Nyss to 0 Fury Jarl.  Janissa moved up and dropped a wall incase those Ironfang Pikeman has shenanigans/additional Defense for Jarl.  Earthborn set up a charge at the right flag if it stayed in play and riled for 2, Bomber smiled at the Nyss but riled for 2 instead of, y'know, killing some (Hindsight Mistake #2).

We rolled flag removal and lost the middle flag, because that is how Incursion always seems to happen.

By the end of turn 1, things looked like this:

My opponent's hand is covering pIrusk (who was proxied by pBaldur) and Wysh (proxied by Druid Wilder).

Second turn saw some heavy damage to the Fennblades, which was expected; on a special note, they probably toughed 80% of the attacks that came their way this turn.  My Tough rolls never go that well, and it certainly was nice to see a tarpit unit be a tarpit unit.My oppoent moved up and Feated, making everything but some of the Nyss and all of the remaining Doomreavers Super Tough (4, 5, or 6) and Immune to Knockdown.  With that he passed the turn to me, and my Fennblades were down to just the Officer and the Drummer.

I took my second turn, moving my Fennblade Officer over to the nearest Doomreaver and killed him with my Vengeance attack.  After that I activated the Fennblades, charges the Officer at the Manhunter and dropped him while the Drummer, a trooper to the end, put himself in harm's way to slow down any advancing units.  Next up was the Longriders, they charged the last of the Doomreavers, but due to positioning couldn't get to one, even with Reach.  They dirtnapped what they hit, Impaler put Far Strike on Jarl, then Jarl cast Quicken on the Bomber and then advanced up (instead of running to dominate unfortunately) and shot the last Doomreaver contesting the flag.  The Bomber walked forward his 7 and threw a bomb at pIrusk falling .5" short of him, deviation didn't do much; through a second bomb, same story.  Earthborn hung back, ready to charge if my opponent tried to bring pIrusk over to dominate the flag on my right.

Horthol charged the Iron Fleshed IFP; who were Def 16/Arm 19, Super Tough and couldn't be Knocked Down.  He didn't manage to kill anyone, thanks to Super Tough.  Janissa walked forward and put up a wall.  I looked down and said "Man!  This would be a great time to feat... damnit!" (Hindsight Mistake #3).  I pass the turn to my opponent, we both score a Control Point.

The best thing to happen to me this in Turn 3 was Horthol.  It took both Warjack's activation, pIrusk, and half the IFP to take him down from Mounted to dead.  He moved some more of the IFP into contesting position for the flag on my left.  The Nyss dropped 8 damage on the Bomber but stayed near their flag.  He ended his turn and scored his second control point, but none for me due to contesting, so it was now 2-1.

I had to redo my turn 3 as  (Hindsight Mistake #4) I forgot to heal my Bomber, who was missing his Spirit, but was boosting shots on pIrusk, so what follows is the results of that.  Jarl activates, heals the Bomber, grabs the Impaler animus, walks up on to a hill and takes a shot at pIrusk with boosted hit and damage and puts a bit of damage on the Pride of the Motherland, leaving Irusk with 7 health.  Bomber walks forward, boost his first barrel, needs a 10 to hit on 3 dice and misses.  Bomber buys an attack, boosts the hit, needs a 10 on 3 dice and... hits.  Boosts the damage, needing 7 on 3 dice to end the game and the dice come up with a 9, bringing the reign of terror in the Thornwood to an end.  Here is how the table looked when all was said and done:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pre-Game 7/18/2013

So with NETT behind me, and an excellent article over at MoM ( I realized that there was a particular thing lacking from my playstyle.

When I decided to get into Trolls and back into Warmahordes, a buddy snagged me a second hand Trollbloods Battle Box as a gift.  To say I jumped in the deep end is putting it mildly.  Within a month I had 6 Warcasters and over 150pts of new toys.  That all sounds well and good, but as a person who averages 20 games a year, the urge to use all my different options overruled an important facet, knowing the models inside and out.

To that, I have put together a list I believe to be fairly balanced.  While I don't think it will shut down any particular list, I do think it balanced enough to not have any particularly terrible matchups aside from skew lists.

Jarl Skuld, Devil Of Thornwood
* Troll Impaler
* Dire Troll Bomber
* Earthborn Dire Troll
* Trollkin Runebearer
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer
Trollkin Long Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Horthol, Long Rider Hero
Janissa Stonetide

My goal is to play this list 10 times, unedited.

The list started with a core of things I consider myself comfortable with (EBDT) or extremely comfortable with (Fennblades).  My objective here was to combine those with models that I would like to play better, namely the Tuffalo units (shout out to the blog title of course!) and Jarl.  My final step was to round out the last 12 points with what I felt would be most useful, Impaler for Jarl and Bomber, Janissa for, well, Janissa, and Runebearer as Jarl feels like he isn't the best as camping Fury.

My goal is not to win games here, though if that happens, awesome.  My goal is to lock these models down.  I want to be able to write Horthol's card from memory, or look down at the board and immediately identify Magic Bullet targets.

Jarl seems to have a somewhat cult following in the Troll circles, and I think for decent reason, he brings a decent amount to the table.  Trevor from Chain-Attack played a 50pt match with him recently against pKaya, and during discussion the hosts noted that while Jarl's package is okay, he doesn't do anything better than another Troll caster.  To be fair, I agree with them, but I don't think that is bad, especially in casual play.  It is the options he brings to the table that make him interesting for me.

Originally I wrote the list as a "Troll Allstars" list where the Runebearer and EBDT were replaced by Mulg.  Mat 7 Pow 19s are no joke, but I feel like, for this list, the Earthborn (backed by Horthol) is hitting at Mat 6, Pow 18s with an extra swing, has two open fists, and I am a huge fan of Elemental Communion, especially with Janissa in tow.  Of course Mulg has Protective Fit, but I feel like with how squishy Jarl is, and the fact that he will probably be running low on Fury stack, that the trade off is worthwhile.

There is a possibility I would switch out the Runebearer for a Fenblade Kithkar when he comes out, as Vengeance and possibly Tactical Supremacy movements letting the Fennblades move through each other would be nice.  Additionally, if I find I am having trouble with high defense, I may have to drop Janissa in favor of a Fell Caller, if I did that I would probably bring Mulg back.  Finally, there is an outside chance that I would drop the EBDT for a Mauler and a Sorcerer to make sure the Fennblades don't get anything dumb dropped on them/add a Magical Attack.

I need a goto list, and I think this has the makings of it.  We'll see where 10 games take me, with number 1 (and hopefully 2) happening tonight!  I am going to hold myself to only one change at a time, and require 10 games between changes.

NETT Recap

So, like a chump I showed up at NETT completely unprepared; I also neglected to take pictures or notes.  One list was with a familiar 'lock who I stuck onto a Borka list I liked hoping to see similar results with better flexability; another was a brand new 'lock who I had barely finished painting and had yet to play a game with.

Here were my lists:

Grim Angus
* Pyre Troll
* Troll Impaler
* Dire Troll Bomber
* Earthborn Dire Troll
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts)
* Skaldi Bonehammer
Fell Caller Hero
Janissa Stonetide
Trollkin Champion Hero

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia
* Pyre Troll
* Troll Axer
* Dire Troll Mauler
* Earthborn Dire Troll
* Mulg the Ancient
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer

My idea here was that Doomshaper was going to handle Gargossals, while Grim was more of an all comers based on an old Borka list I had a lot of fun with.  Point in case, Grim is not Borka, and practice is an important thing.

Round 1

eDoomshaper vs. Darius

I got matched up against a Cygnar player.  He played Darius with a Stormwall, Jr., a number of light ranged jacks, Rangers and another tarpit unit (Sword Knights maybe).  In a lucky strike, he brought the Stormwall into the zone, and I knew I had to commit to taking it down in a single turn, else Darius would just undo my hard work.

When you absolutely, positively need to put something in the dirt, few things get the job done like Wild Aggression + Rage Mulg under eDoomy's feat.  Charged for free, and after 2 initials and 5 bought attacks, the Fortification buffed Stormwall was sitting at 3 hit points.  My opponent sighed in relief, but it was Mulg with eDoom, the free attack ended the Stormwall.  I was pretty happy with the outcome, it took my feat, and I had offered Mulg up on a silver platter but I was now significantly ahead of my opponent in points on the board.

My opponent, for better or worse, was concerned with Mulg being within charge range of Darius so he opted to commit to making roadblocks for Mulg, rather than putting dents in him; which I imagine was probably the best idea, as his chances of chewing through 35 boxes at Arm 21 without the Stormwall was a problem for his list.

We went back and forth a bit, with Mulg wrecking some troops before the Earthborn got to Darius and left him on 1 health.  Darius decided to try and make a run for eDoomshaper in an attempt to sneak out an assassination, but forgot Mulg had reach, and a Free Strike that would have been hard to miss (Mat 7 +2 +Wild Aggression) ended things handily.

My two teammates, playing Circle and Cygnar both won their games.

And then it went downhill...

Round 2

pGrim vs. Ossyan

In my defense, the team that we played here ended up taking second place.

My opponent decimated me.  Between the Mage Hunter Assassins and just general craziness he made me look like exactly what I was, a chump who got lucky with his first match and trampolined up against other teams who went 3-0.  I had an outside chance of assassination on my last turn as the Bomber launched two barrels at Ossyan, but needing 14s to hit on three dice didn't go my way.

Ossyan won on scenario.

My Circle teammate lost his game and our Cygnar player tied his.

Round 3

eDoomshaper vs. eCaine

eCaine, Stormblades, and... stuff?  I want to forget this game, not because I lost, but because I was such an idiot.  Remember that foreshadowing about practice is good and playing casters you have never played before can lead to issues?  Yeah.

So the Stormwall came into the zone, and Mulg was looking to go for 2 for 2 on putting Colossals into the dirt; but he was going to need feat and the Axer animus to get there.  Unfortunately, while I was remembering my previous Stormwall dirtnapping, I ran on autopilot.  eDoom feated and put the Mauler animus on Mulg while the Axer charged off to Thresher some troops.  Axer killed half a unit.

Mulg charges!... 10"... wait, didn't I need 13"?  CRAP!  I put the wrong Animus on him.

So Mulg makes his offering to the Stormwall gods, and none of my other beasts can capitalize on eDoom's feat turn.

A wasted feat turn and being now within striking distance of pretty much everything in his army was a bad thing.  After one turn of pouring shots into my army it was looking very sparse.  eDoomshaper had 3 health left.  I tried to maneuver a bit, but eCaine is a little tough to hide from!

On his next turn he did exactly three damage to eDoomshaper after transfers and I didn't roll Tough.  As I was walking away from the table I remembered a little something... eDoomshaper has Regeneration, which I didn't use.

Chalk one up to being an idiot.

My teammates both lost their games.

Final Round

Grim vs. Harbinger

This was probably my favorite game of the day, my opponent brought Harby, the full Errants package minus the Seneschal, the Book, Rhoven & Co., a Revenger, Repenter, and Reckoner along with a Vassal of Menoth, but no Choir.

We played a pretty good game of cat and mouse here, with what he had having trouble damaging the Champions reliably, but working as a wonderful tarpit to prevent me from getting to Harbinger who was dominating the zone.  I did lost most of my Krielstone Bearer unit on her feat turn as, for whatever reason, I thought her feat cause Continuous Effect Fire, not a Fire damage roll.

My opponent won on control points, but it was hard fought and well won, it was an awesome game to end a great event on.

My teammates both lost their last games as well.