Hello dear reader,
Fear not. I’m still a Cryx player, and despite the fact that the Ghost Fleet Mafia1 (aka the hosts of Chasing the Dragonfather) seem to be going off on solo projects, rest assured, if you meet me across a gaming table somewhere afield, I will still stuff lots of denizens of the Nightmare Empire down your throat.
No, this is all about my hobby project2, about cleansing my palate, looking at the game from a different angle, and another fistful of lame excuses. Probably nearer to the truth: Cryx is in CID flux, Trolls just got out, and I listened to a certain Australian podcast.
Cryx players are drawn to dirty things like flies, so no wonder that Madrak1 piqued my interest. A bit based on the things I heard on Dark Guidance, I came up with the following, in Band of Heroes:
Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain [+29] – Glacier King  – Troll Bouncer  – Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)] Trollkin Champion Hero [0(5)] Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min)  – Northkin Elder [0(3)] Long Riders (max)  Trollkin Champions (max)  – Skaldi Bonehammer  – Trollkin Sorcerer (1)  Trollkin Warders (min) 
I played this list against McBain in Irregulars, got jammed, jackhammered, and finally jettisoned like a load of bad fish. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a great experience. I’m not really a Gargantuan guy to begin with, and … the Glacier King felt like a liability in this list. It’s by far the easiest thing to hit, and Snowfall as a synergy is cute, but not awesome.
The list lacked a Fell Caller to hit those pesky high def models like Kayazy, but the thing that hindered me the most was the lack of the Far Strike animus, making it more difficult for Madrak to do work and get Even Ground off for free. Still, Long Riders give the list a scenario game, and Champs are champs at not getting killed.
I tinkered a bit with the list and came up with a variation where I swapped the Glacier out for a Bomber and a Mauler, split the Champions into two units (so a smaller chunk of my army would get jammed at a time), and put the Fell Caller back in:
Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain [+29] – Dire Troll Bomber  – Dire Troll Mauler  – Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)] Fell Caller Hero [0(5)] Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min)  – Stone Scribe Elder  Long Riders (max)  Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew  Trollkin Champions (min)  – Skaldi Bonehammer [0(5)] – Trollkin Sorcerer (1)  Trollkin Champions (min)  – Trollkin Sorcerer (2)  Trollkin Warders (min) 
I couldn’t tell you whether this list works, since I never put it on the table. Instead, I got shown what a real Troll list looks like at Clogcon, by Stian3 from Norway4, who despite my twisting, turning, writhing and squirming with Goreshade1 just beat me into the dirt with this:
Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain [+29] – Dire Troll Bomber  – Troll Bouncer  – Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)] Fell Caller Hero [0(5)] Stone Scribe Chronicler  Trollkin Champion Hero [0(5)] Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min)  – Stone Scribe Elder  Long Riders (max)  Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew  Trollkin Champions (max)  – Skaldi Bonehammer  Trollkin Champions (max)  – Trollkin Sorcerer (1) 
Props to him, this list really seems to have what it takes. It has a Bomber for general bombing and the Far Strike animus, it has all the Champions tech including Retaliatory Strike, it has magical weapons with the Sorcerer, it has the Fell Caller, and it even has a Chronicler for Tale of Mists (on Long Riders, for example) and the old school Troll beatdown tech that is Charge of the Trolls. I mean – when was the last time you’ve seen that happen?
So, since I own everything in that list apart from the second unit of Champs5, I put it onto the table against a local player, and utterly destroyed him. Seeing three Warpwolves bounce off a unit of Champions, forcing two (succeeded) tough checks between the three of them, does feel like the good old days of Miserable Meat Mountain with Grissel16.
Anyway, to keep me from losing the true Path of the Dragonfather, I needed to put this onto the table against a good opponent, someone who will show me the error of my ways. Enter Belgium’s biggest fish in the pond, our venerable field marshall Wout.
He brought some Gorten yank to test (seems I’m in a Merc-heavy meta) and timed his feat perfectly to cruise to a scenario win (that’s why he is our venerable field marshall), but … Apart from pointing out a few flaws in my play (Madrak has Tactician: Faction Warrior, which means my Bomber can’t walk right through my army), he complimented me on the power of the list, suggested I tried it a few more times, and looked for a list to pair it with …
(1) Looking back, that would have been a great name for our podcast as well.
(2) I am pushing myself hobby-wise with these Trolls, which is why I have something like 6 models finished. Such awesome, I know.
(3) I think it was Stian. If not, I apologize. Also, let me know, and I’ll edit.
(4) No coincidence there – Norwegians are the reference on trolls. Every Norwegian is at least related to a Troll. True story.
(5) I do own a second unit of Warders who are itching to switch careers, though.
(6) That’s not a typo, you barbarians. Grissel1 was the queen of MK2 Trolls.
(7) Expect a post like this one in, say, April.