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Category: Trollbloods

Army Showcase: Anto’s Trollbloods

After all the doom and gloom relating to the release of 6th edition, we’ve decided to go with a human interest piece. It’s a little tale of hope for us all. Imagine, if you will, a painter of average quality. Solid, reliable but not great. Let’s call this hypothetical painter… Panto. He knuckles down, practices his craft and becomes very very good.


Now the big reveal. That’s actually a true story. Although his real name, Anto, is slightly more skangerish. After years of fopping about with the Cryx, he took on a new challenge. He went with those Stone Age warriors, the soon to be extinct (yay!) Trollbloods. I’ve only got a tiny portion of the army here but it’s large and pretty.

The first shot is of his Fell Caller Hero. I’m fond of this, as at a glance, it highlights all the effort put into this force. He’s tried to make the blue flesh more lifelike, he’s reflected the shoddy troll metallurgy in the weapons and equipment. Even the clan tartans look authentic.

This is the solo character, Janissa Stonetide with the ability to shape the earth around her. The column on the left of the model is entirely converted from greenstuff and looks suitably craggy. Check out that that chin, you could use it to break rocks.

Here we have a unit of Stone Scribes guarding a Krielstone Bearer. This is included largely to show the basing and quality stonework. The basing looks suitably moor-like while stonework of this quality is actually quite difficult to produce.

We take a closer look at one of the Stone scribes to see the care lavished on the small details from the ragged bandages to the scrolls at his waist.

Something a little higher up the food chain, Captain Gunnbjorn and his ludicrous cannon. In a faction without stubble, he’s managed to grow… something… on his face to represent his incredible toughness.

Remember the careful stonework in an earlier shot, here’s the likely cause of such expertise. It’s a walking mountain. Mulg the Ancient is about four time as large as the Captain and full of little crevasses. Check out the teeth for some really refined work.

All in, all, it’s very easy on the eye and can be seen in all its glory at Conspiracy 2012 (Towncon to our southern brethren) or in Gamer’s Hub on any given Friday.

Irish Warmahordes Faction Rankings

While we wait for the Retcon/Moofool results to wind their way onto Ranking HQ, we briefly consider the newly founded Warmahorde rankings. To those weaned on Ranking HQ, this system is very different. The various factions and casters are ranked, no details on individual players are available. The Warmahordes players have consciously avoided a player-centred ranking system, largely based on their unease at its impact on Warhammer 40k and Fantasy tournament scene.

The system is very much in the teething stages with less than a handful of tournaments submitted. Each new event will cause some major shifts but, for now, let’s just examine the state of play. We disregard the Mercenary faction as they have yet to be played.

1st Place

The barbaric and backwards Trollbloods finish top of the faction rankings with a win ratio of 87.5%. Their casters all perform well. Prime Grissel leads them with a 3 for 3 record. Borka has the dubious honour of being the only Troll caster to lose a game, going 2 for 3. With a total of eight games played, they are the least used faction in this ranking period.

2nd Place

Lagging well behind the leaders, the twisted Legion of Everblight have a solid win ratio of 71.43%. Everblight’s draconian rage should be focused on Epic Lylyth and her shoddy 0 for 2 record. The blighted poster-children are Bethanye and Kallus, each on 3 for 3. Their position is impressive as they are joint fifth, with Skorne, in popularity. Fourteen games played in the period.

3rd Place

The righteous, just and godly Protectorate of Menoth have a respectable 60% win ratio. The perfectly rounded number reflects Menoth’s divine influence. That it is not 100% is clearly due to a lack of faith on the part of the Menite players. Thyra leads the congretion with a 2 for 2 record. The ever popular Prime Kroess is the shakiest caster on 2 for 4. They are still an uncommon faction, sixth favourite with ten games played.

Not On The Podium

Those desert rats, Skorne, are close behind on a win ratio of 57.14%. Rasheth and Epic Makeda are the two main casters with a combined record of 7 for 10. They find themselves tied with Legion as the fifth most popular faction, on fourteen games.

Poxy Druids, what have they ever done for us? They ruin the roads, block the drains,burn your schools and warp our cattle. For all their efforts, Circle has a 55.56% win ratio. Morvahna is, by far, the most popular choice running 3 for 5 in her games. A rare faction, joint seventh on nine games.

Those genocidal, sectarian fascists, Cygnar sit on a 47.62% win ratio. May it slump further. Epic Caine is their only strong performer, going 2 for 2. His struggles can’t compensate for Siege, who goes 2 for 7. Despite their reputation as under-powered in tournament play, they are the second most popular faction with 21 games played.

The humble and gentle animal faction, Minions, have a symetrical win ratio of 44.44%. Most of their casters are winning half their games with Sturm and Drang dragging the average down on 0 for 2. Another rarity, joint seventh in popularity on 9 games

The Retribution of Scyrah. They may be a doomed race but they’re determined to get a few hits in as they’re dragged towards the door. They’re just not hitting hard enough, a win ratio of 41.18%. Even their most popular caster, Rahn, is running 4 for 9. Another common choice, Ossyan is doing terribly on 0 for 4. Third in popularity with seventeen games played.

This is a surprise as Cryx is seen as one of the strongest factions. But they slump to a 34.78% win ratio. Some of the strongest casters, in theory, come in very low. Epic Skarre is 0 for 1, Epic Deneghra is 1 for 3. They can take some consolation from the fact that they are the most popular faction with 23 games played in total.

Regrettably, Khador appear to have replaced Cygnar as the whipping boys of the Iron Kingdom with a win ration of 26.67%. Strakhov fights bravely and manages to go 2 for 2. But some of the remaining casters are starting to look like traitors. Karchev, Prime Butcher, Prime Irusk, Prime Sorcha and Epic Sorcha have a combined record of 0 for 9. The fourth most popular faction with 15 games played.

For more detail on all casters and factions, the full rankings are available here.

Warmahordes Battle Report: Ossyan vs Madrak

So we have another battle report, this time it’s Trolls vs Elves, as Madrak Ironhide leads his scruffy troops against the Retribution of Scyrah. Following some trash talking and a frankly awful dance-off, both players are hustled to the table and forced to deploy their armies.


Deployment

Say hello to Anto’s Trollbloods, a nicely painted, standard Troll Brick list. For new players, his support units layer protective and aggressive auras onto his troops, letting them grind the opposition down. The Pyg Burrowers, in particular, have a strong record of killing far more than their points. They even threaten the most heavily armoured troops. Trolls as a faction have the Tough rule, on death, they roll a d6. A roll of 5+ leaves them knocked down rather than killed.
Mark’s Retribution force, or at least, the central section. Retribution are noted for their excellent infantry and thus tend to run a lot of troops and few myrmidons (warjack equivalents). This commander is no exception, with units of Sentinels and Invictors in the field. The latter are ranged troops while the former are melee fighters.

The remainder of Mark’s force consists of two solos, Narn on his left, eEiryss on his right. Narn is a close combat-oriented character and eEiryss is a ranged combatant. Both are advance deployed and represent a minimal flanking force.
The battlefield in all its glory. The scenario requires you to hold uncontested flags to earn points, each flag held at the end of either player’s turn is worth one point. The first person to score three or more points and have more points than their opponent will win. Of course, an assassination victory is also possible.

Turn 1

The Pyg Burrowers trigger their special ability, unsurprisingly, this involves them burrowing underground to pop up on their next turn. If you have any surplus malice in your heart, I strongly encourage you to direct it their way.
The remainder of the troll army advances, attempting to keep assets within range of all three flags. The abundance of medium based troops does make redeployment difficult and the Troll player must carefully position troops to cover all three axis of advance.
The Retribution mirror the tactic but go about it very differently. Narn moves up to stand off his left hand flag. Although well outside contesting range, the flag will not activate until the end of the second player’s second turn.
eEiryss does likewise on the opposite side. In both cases, the Retribution stands well off the flag to protect his flankers from unexpected charges.
Having been utterly butchered in earlier games by Burrower charges, the Sentinels are ordered to form a line to hold the menace off. Their weapons have a very long reach and careful positioning should expose only the front rank to imminent death and dismemberment. The Burrowers will not be able to charge through to more valuable targets.

Turn 2

As expected, the Pygs pop up and take the bait. A forgiveable decision as there is no better option. Burrowers must reappear the turn after they descend. They have to charge now or die next turn. Their trollish nature cannot compensate for their general squishiness.
As the left hand flag has vanished, the trolls move on the right hand flag. This is a lucky break for the Trollbloods as they are far better positioned to seize this flag than its vanished companion. The Bomber and Pyre Troll represent a sizable force by themselves and there are additional solos moving in place behind them.
The Pyg charge wipes out the first line of Sentinels as a mix of ranged and melee attacks kill all within reach. Those poor sods are deemed acceptable losses and their friends start plotting a terrible revenge.
The brick sweeps onto the central flag in all its glory. This mass of tough infantry will be very difficult to shift and could easily achieve a scenario victory if not countered in some way. The defensive buffs are in place and the caster stands nearby. The Trollbloods are clearly intending to claim a scenario win or failing that, draw the Retribution into close range and pummel them.
The Sentinals take their Vengeance actions, chopping down some Pygs. Some are killed outright, others make their tough rolls and are merely knocked down. But this is only the first step and their death is imminent.
An overhead shot of the line shows that the Burrowers have taken some hits but, as you can see, the majority remain intact. For now.
In the first action of the normal turn, Narn runs in to contest the flag and tie down the bomber. This is most certainly a suicide mission as the pointy eared git cannot hope to survive. If the bomber does not crush it, there are two solos and another beast who can oblige.
This is the moment Anto realises that Invictors shooting while under the Shatterstorm power, will bypass his Tough rolls. His impenetrable central block seems a little more vulnerable.
The focus now switches to the centre and the point of decision is clearly the block of Fennblades. Lady Aiyana casts Kiss of Lyliss on the unit. This spell will increase all damage rolls against models in the unit and generally means that each hit should be a kill. The Invictors grin.
Her lackey/partner, Holt breaks out his pistols and drops two Pygs clearing a section of the line. This is not mere random violence as shall later be revealed.
One Pyg proves too stupid to run away as his friends are butchered. As part of their activation, the Sentinels have left a hole in their formation.
This gap has been created to allow the Invictors and the Phoenix to position themselves for attacks against the Fennblades, just visible to the left of the picture.
The Invictors shoot well, dropping six Fennblades and a Stone Scribe, permanently, which tears the heart out of the Troll’s main infantry block.
To finish the job, the Phoenix charges in and combusts, turning two more Fennblades into torches. The unit is now under half strength and while they may contest it, they cannot score points on the flag.

Turn 3

The trolls, rocked by a nasty turn, start by killing Narn. This leaves one flag entirely in their hands. It’s also unclear whether the Retribution can get any reasonable portion of their army into the area. It appears that this flag is now completely secure.
The trolls around the central flag appear to be clearing a path for someone or something. Bear in mind that most of the above are support rather than frontline troops.
The bomber smashes through the trees, appearing on the Retribution’s left flank, lobbing bombs around with abandon. This snarling beast eliminates any chance of breaking through to the Troll-held flag.
The hissing, powder-filled kegs begin to rain down. Lady Aiyana takes a bomb directly to the face and expires. The Invictors manage to duck.
She is quickly followed by Holt as his heart breaks at the sight of the mangled elf. Or a misplaced bomb scatters next to him and blows him up. We’ll leave it to the poets.
As a formality, the Pyre Troll moves onto the right flag to grab the scenario point.
The Phoenix quakes (insomuch as a soulless contruct can) as Madrak Ironhide storms in, swinging his world-ending axe. In the fluff, this is the most dangerous weapon in existance, an apocalypse with a hilt.
Clearly, the responsiblity is starting to weigh on the feckless savage as Madrak fluffs his initial charge, missing the opportunity to do some major damage.
But with his fury reserve and a feat which grants extra attacks, a wrecked Phoenix is inevitable. The trolls score two points on both flags and need only one more for victory. A solid comeback which maintains the scenario pressure on his opponent.
With Madrak exposed, Lord Arcanist Ossyan moves in. He must go for the assassination as the trolls will certainly score a third point at the end of the turn. Simply shooting everything at Madrak will result in failure. The troll warlock is protected by layers of overlapping defences which have to be stripped away. But his faction does have the tools required with multiple medium strength ranged attacks.
Ossryan magically blasts two Fennblades to clear a path to the support models which provide defensive buffs. The Fennblades have had a rather terrible game as their signature resiliance is bypassed by precise shooting.
The Sentinels sweep in to eliminate the support unit, making a terrible, terrible error.
This is the moment when Mark realises that he has accidentally engaged Madrak in close combat, which will give him a defence bonus against Mark’s ranged attacks. With only an ranged unit remaining, he may have lost himself the game.
To resolve the issue, he must use one of his own spare Sentinels to hack down the offending model. The unit leader finds himself fragged by his own men.
Elsewhere, the last Pyg gets chopped and diced. Always good to see the wretched, undercosted vermin get theirs.
Initial shooting drops Madrak’s grenade jumpers. The warlock has an ability whereby warrior models near this particular warlock take hits on his behalf and die. It was necessary and more resource-efficient to clear them out first with single shots. This finally leaves Madrak exposed.

To boost the chance of hitting and wounding Madrak, all remaining Invictors combine their last shots into three volleys. The first of three combined ranged attacks inflicts light damage, taking off four of eighteen hitpoints.
The second attack is much better, knocking off 8 hitpoints. An average roll should see him downed.
With six points of health left, the final volley inflicts only five. Madrak lives, the Trolls score a third point to win by scenario.

Or do they?
Having skulked on a nearby hill for the entire game, Eiryss finally rouses herself.

The shot is on target and the special bolt inflicts an automatic point of damage.
Will he make the tough roll? No.

The End

With a last ditch assassination, the Retribution steal victory by the skin of their teeth.

Tournament Report: Steamroller Saturday

Warmahordes in Dublin seems to be growing reasonably well with the monthly series of tournaments really bedded into the calendar, although it has yet to spill over into the convention circuit. The last tournament, on October 8, saw sixteen players gather in Gamer’s World to earn bragging rights for the rest of the month. I arrived with my brute/blunt force Menoth army to bring the pain, Mr T style.

Game 1
pKroess vs Gerry, Legion of Everblight, Rhyas

A man whose ill-temper is surpassed only by his fondness for animal cruelty and cheati…. No, wait, all lies. Gerry remained as gentlemanly as ever. Bah, humbug.

Assuming that he out-classed me in raw ability, I focused on attritioning his army to death in the hopes of establishing a run at a scenario win. Against experienced players, considering my lack of knowledge of factions other than my own, I always assume they have a brutal combination hidden away that will end me if it goes off. In response, I generally focus on removing as many pieces as possible in a bid to take out something he might actually need later. Luckily, this method plays into the strengths of Menoth units.

As his superior speed and strike range would tear me apart in the open field, I dug in on a plateau in my control zone. The Daughters and Zealots advanced to force his hand, he would either move under my guns to remove them or allow them to put a sizeable dent in his troops. Gerry chose to close in with part of his force.

With his caster well back and a decent portion Rhyas’s troops in the open, Kroess popped his feat early to knock the enemy off their feet and allow my humble soldiery to throughly stomp them. It went rather well. The Jacks picked off two of his three beasts without too much difficulty and set the tone. Although my infantry suffered heavily over the following turns, his force was rapidly reduced without major damage to any key assets.

One small worry was that the Ravagore had managed to light Kroess on fire. This slowly ground his health away and forced a certain level of haste. Gerry had not committed to the attritional fight blindly, using the skirmishes to move Raptors up to try for an assassination attempt. With no combat troops to spare, I mobbed my support troops into their path. The Raptors threatened to get a strike in but died/fled due to an unlikely series of events, involving a plucky choir-boy, a pointy stick and an unjustified outbreak of panic on their part.

That failure left the battle as a mopping up operation before I enacted a full advance on the enemy control zone. His cowering caster would have to fall back and I would take the scenario victory. Proving that the righteous will always triumph.

But Gerry clearly hadn’t read the same script. He decided to throw in a last desperate lunge, sending his caster on a suicide run. The charge saw Rhyas cripple a Reckoner in one almighty blow and return a measure of parity to the game. She then sat in the middle of my force, bloated with fury and ready to charge my caster. To my alarm, I realised that my key assets were all engaged elsewhere and unable to intervene. I responded with outright panic to this turn of events, hitting her with a selection of ill-chosen attacks before running my caster next to her to bat ineffectually at her face.

He was then stabbed repeatedly and fell over. First game, bitter defeat. With my chance at overall victory lost, all that mattered was finishing ahead of Anthony and Mark, two of my regular opponents.

Game 2
pKroess vs Anthony, Trollbloods, eMadrak


After taunting Anthony about his tournament record, notably his infamous all-losses tournament which has come to represent him in my eyes, the gods chose to punish me for my hubris by pairing me against him in the second round.

As ever, he had a cunning glint in his eye which suggested an carefully crafted plan to ensure my downfall. Rather than trouble my pretty head with the details, I went for the blunt force assassination run, throwing my invincible zealots into his front line, trapping his army in place and as it turns out, accidentally trapping elements of his force in the path of his giant rabid troll beast. Which inadvertently screwed his evil plan to trample through my troops and smash my warjacks. Nice.

The third turn saw Kroess pop his feat and knock his army off their feet. I had intended to use the feat to cripple his army but realised that my troops had some paths open to Madrak himself. The zealots lobbed a succession of grenades at his caster, which systemically burnt through his various damage allocation tricks one by one. Ten explosions later, he was out of devious ploys, troops to jump on the grenades and damage transfers. The Vanquisher and Reckoner then closed in and lit him up for a clear-cut assassination victory.

Score one for blind aggression.

Game 3
pSeverius vs Tomak, Mercenaries, Gorten


Tomak’s list had the potential to negate my beloved pop’n’drop assassination trick so I broke out pSeverius for his tournament debut. I suspected that he would use his feat to push me out of the control zones for a scenario victory so focused on pushing forward to keep his caster well back.

Both sides seemed to operating from the same hymn sheet, mid-range firefights and constantly seeking to preserve units from harm. We both threw units forward to clog the enemy’s advance, in his case, tough troll mercenaries, in my case, graceful if fragile assassins.

The heroes of the battle came from this first wave. Losing two troopers on the way in, the remaining four Daughters clogged up Tomak’s left flank for the entire game. Between the initial pinned down forces and those sent to extricate them, a five point unit tied up fifteen points of enemy assets and were still fighting at game’s end. This left him massively outgunned on his right and centre, the trolls stalled the advance for two turns but once downed, the drive brought the big guns into range and left his caster heavily wounded. Tomak popped his feat to push the warjacks back but as they stopped up against the units behind them, they simply weren’t pushed back enough. Even with their aiming thrown off by the feat, the Vanquisher and Reckoner were simply too close and they concluded the game by reducing Gorten to a cooked paste.

Game 4
pSeverius vs Steve, Circle Orboros, Kromac


Ah, yes, Steve. I remembered him. The man who lost me the Blood Bowl tournament the week before by pulling off some manner of ludicrious running/passing play with Dwarves to score a last turn equaliser. Revenge had to be mine. As I associated Circle with long range, teleporting assassinations, I chose pSeverius again to ensure I could keep my caster well away from the action and minimise the risk.

Again, I played the attrition game. Careful shooting and spell-slinging saw most of his offensive punch removed without the expected losses. The Tharn Bloodtrackers were almost entirely wiped out by a very lucky Ashes to Ashes. With my troops sitting just outside their charge range, the Tharn Ravagers were ignored until they eventually ran into combat in a bid to distract from his scenario play and were chopped down in turn.

The risk of standing off his force and picking at it , piece by piece, was that he would use the time and space to go for a scenario win. I took the chance, knowing that to score the scenario points, he would have to move into my killzone. It went much as planned as his beasts and druids attempted to clear the zone but suffered from some nasty outbreaks of bad luck. Having risked all to gain all and fallen short, my retaliation then chopped up most of his remaining infantry and beasts over two turns, suffering light losses. We take a moment to remember Holt, last seen being eaten by a giant supernatural werebeast. Strangely, the daughters had tired of their heroism in the previous round and spent most of the game in a panicked state, achieving nothing of note.

The loss of his beasts forced Kromac to shift into beast form and charge into the heart of my force in a bid to wipe out my jacks. He dropped the Reckoner outright but with my caster far far away and two more undamaged jacks in the area, Kromac succeeded only in choosing the place of his death. Eschewing the use of the fully fueled heavy standing nearby, I went for a more subtle assassination as a Revenger closed from behind and gave him a steel enema. Which is about as subtle as Menoth really gets.

Victory and 4th place. Or as I call it, third loser. Next time, Gerry, next time.

Although, I usually scoff at the claim that Warmahordes is inherently more balanced, claiming that Legion and Cryx remain inherently stronger factions, it is interesting to see that the top 11 positions see no repetition of factions and all but one of the factions represented. As there were no Minions players, that is probably a forgiveable failing.

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