Northblade: Kriels for a Con

[Crossposted from Hobby Hysteria]

NorthbladeavatarSo it’s a New Year and we’ve been busy behind the scenes for some time, mostly working on armies, ideas, thoughts, and scrounging around for some content to keep things going here.  While I have the time, I hope to bring some more news and info to the blog while I can.  Spring and Summer aren’t that far off, and that means I get busier and have less time when the sun comes out and people feel the need for some beautiful backyard leisure.  regardless of all that, let’s discuss what we have been working on over at the Hystericave!!

For me, I picked up a new army that I have always admired from afar but avoided because my friends already played the faction or were working on it and enjoying it.  I won’t lie, I am one of those people who would like to be playing and painting something different from the majority of the crew at the FLGS, and wanting to be the paragon or pure player of the faction that I am championing.  That means sometimes you need to play the underdog, or play the less competitive stuff.  In this case it was just a shortage of players in the faction and the time was right for a new army and new challenge for the Road to TempleCon 2015.

Bit of backstory may first be required on why I even bothered with a challenge, since I usually just crap the bed on these things and fail them utterly.  My good pal from the wilds of upstate New York, Nog of Nog’s Painting Cave issued a challenge to myself and Ragnarok that we would pick up, paint, and play a 50 pt list for a new faction in the TempleCon 2015 Team Tournament.  Being large men, with varying degrees of chest hair from “walking carpet” to “just barely a man” we agreed on a team themed around Chewbacca of Star Wars fame and called ourselves “Team Let the Wookiees Win”.  Of course this is all in fun and part and parcel of the challenge, so we added the stakes which were that any man not finishing the 50pt army was required to buy drinks for the other 2 at TempleCon.  Those that DO finish would play a game in Iron Arena vs the other two, and losers buy drinks for the winners.  The stakes are somewhat low, I admit, but none of us wants to break the bank and the result of having three fully painted 50pt lists to be played at TCon would be reward enough, and should we all succeed then we buy our own drinks regardless and maybe one or two for the other fellows.  Nog has a great summary of the whole thing from his first post on the topic back in November of 2014 found HERE.

So with a challenge issued, and the urge to play a new faction blooming, the time was on to decide on lists and models that would be taken.  For me, looping back to the top and playing a lesser-seen faction, Trollbloods was the easy choice as I had been eyeing them since starting the game and really enjoyed some of their fluff and rules.  Those who know me recall that I bought Circle for Hordes first, because Druids, Warpwolves and Goats, but their movement shenanigans and tricksy playstyle doesn’t really suit my style or learning curve very well.  Had I stuck with Circle and played a lot with them I would likely be a much better player than I am, but limitations…..and raisins.  I then got into Legion of Everblight because Spiky-Land-Sharks-of-Death and all the cool beast-heavy battlegroups and options, as well as being able to ignore most of the rules.  But here again I was not self-aware enough to recognize that the play style for Legion requires some thought, setup, skill, practice and application of precision force that my skill level in the game was not really up to.  I won a decent share of games with my Legion army, but never really keyed into the assasination options or board control Warlocks that are so good.  Rather than play to Legion’s strengths, I was bending them to my playstyle and struggling to reconcile those disparate aspects.  I love my Blighted Buggers, and will get back to them at some point, but for now I have settled on another faction that seems more up my alley and skill level.

Yes it’s true, the unbridled rage and massive armour, health boxes, medium bases and power of Trollbloods has corrupted me and drawn me in.  Without doubt the most unique faction in Hordes with the greatest amount of character in the model line, this faction has appealed to me since 2007 when I started in the game.  Trolls are sort of silly, funny, and yet still powerful and feared in the game and fluff, and they have a visual style that really appeals to me.  It has nothing to do with wanting to paint more blue, I assure you.  Long known for a “brick” style of play that stacks armour, buffs, and big meaty warriors in front of big meaty-fisted warbeasts, I finally found my way to a faction that was all about the attrition and taking that first hit on the chin, toughing it out (HA!) and then retaliating in kind.  Even knowing my dice would betray me and I would be closer to 1% success with Tough rolls, the Trolls are a faction that can still take a solid alpha strike and survive to respond.  Their Warlocks, solos, units and Warbeasts are all very sturdy and solid with the potential to deliver a lot of pain to your opponent’s models when they get there.  Yes they can be slow, yes they are going to get hit first many times, but they have all the necessary tools and stats to allow you to survive that first hit and then deliver a solid riposte.

So knowing what Trolls do, and knowing I am more of a reactionary, attrition-style player, the army and I are well suited for each other and we can move forward into the planning phase and see where we are going from here.  Looking at what I love most in this game, it was clear that I would need one of the Doomshapers as a Warlock since he is well-known as being great with a large battlegroup and has an affinity with the best warbeast in the faction: Mulg.  So deciding on a Doomshaper was easy, but what would I take to compliment Doomshaper and cover off against his weaknesses?  I had acquired an Epic Borka model from a friend at Lock N Load last year, and Borka1 was certainly one of my favourite Trollblood models, so maybe I could play him?  The current North American meta seemed to favour a Grissel2 Miserable Meat Mountain list and Doomshaper1’s Runes of War theme force competitively, however I knew I didn’t want to do those lists.  As a low-skill player I don’t want to do the faction or those lists a disservice when I play in the Team Tourney or Iron Arena, so for me I needed to look at some different lists.  To stick with the challenge I wanted to paint the least amount of models possible while still being able to field an impressive list, and also possibly have some crossover between my two lists.  The more models the list’s share, the better chance I have of getting BOTH lists fully painted for Templecon 2015.  I won’t lie, lazy Northblade is lazy.

To that end I decided I would run a Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls list as well as a Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws list showcasing the amazing paint job a friend of mine did on my Borka model.  Presented here are the lists as they stand currently, after some tweaking and playtesting over the last several months.

Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws
-Trollkin Runebearer
-Earthborn Dire Troll
-Dire Troll Mauler
-Troll Axer
Troll Whelps
Fell Caller Hero
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
-Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Warders
Kriel Warriors
-Kriel Warrior Standard & Piper
-Kriel Warrior Caber Throwers (3)

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
-Mulg the Ancient
-Earthborn Dire Troll
-Dire Troll Mauler
-Troll Axer
Janissa Stonetide
Troll Whelps
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
-Stone Scribe Elder
Kriel Warriors
-Kriel Warrior Standard & Piper
-Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (1)

As you can see there are a lot of reused models between the two lists, but I do have reasons for all of them.  The battlegroups are similar and, I feel, effective, though light on ranged potential.  The KSB is an essential part of any Troll list and should be in there so that I get used to playing that unit to it’s full effect.  Kriel Warriors are a unit that I feel are underused and underappreciated, and just for the amount of times people have exclaimed about how far they can move with the Swift Foot Prayer has reaffirmed my belief that they are an amazing unit that deserve to be on the table.  They may lack the multi-wounds that Trolls are known for, but with Tough, two Prayers, Steady from the Standard, an 11″ Command from the Piper and up to three Reach POW 13 Caber Throwers that can slam small and medium based models or knock down large models, this unit has so much versatility and combination options.  They also take up a lot of space on the table which is nice and something I have to get used to with medium based models all over the place.

Now, all of this got started last Summer/Fall you say, but I have been working on my army, and getting things done, so much so that I think, for once, I may actually be in a position to say I am *VERY* close to meeting my goal of having a 50pt Trollblood army fully painted and ready for play at TempleCon 2015.  How close, you ask?  Well, if I stick to my plan of having 3 models painted every two days for the rest of the time leading up to Templecon, I may have BOTH lists finished.  That close.  And to prove it, I am going to be doing some updates on Hobby Hysteria over the short amount of time leading up to Templecon to show everyone and further encourage myself to stick with it and get it done.

Of course nobody likes empty words, and a picture says a thousand words anyway, so I’m going to sign off with this little teaser so you want to come back again……

Until next time folks, keep the Hysterics on high.

– NB


One Response to Northblade: Kriels for a Con

  1. Trolls….

    Why did it have to be trolls 🙁

    Looking nice and lists look solid. Hole to find you across an iron arena table very soon