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Hordes: Trollkin Runeshapers

5 Minute Read
Oct 5 2014
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If you’re a Trollblood player you should be really excited about the new plastic Runeshapers. Here’s why:

One of the strongest lists Trollbloods can bring is full of these guys. Surely you all know I’m talking about pDoomshaper’s Runes of War? In this Theme Force, not only do these battle shamans become FA:U, they also all cost a point less. That’s right, we’re looking at the potential for mobs of multi-wounders. Here’s a pretty typical list:

57 / 57 (50+7) Warlock(s) : 1/1 Warbeast(s) : 4 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 1 Units : 5

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls – WB: +7
– Mulg the Ancient – PC: 12
– Earthborn Dire Troll – PC: 10
– Dire Troll Mauler – PC: 9
– Troll Axer – PC: 6

Janissa Stonetide – PC: 3

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 4
– Stone Scribe Elder – Elder 1
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3

THEME: Runes of War – Tier 4

So that’s 12 5-wound models for only 12 points. But what’s really nice is when you have that many Runeshapers you’re almost guaranteed to get to use all their tricks. The ones at the front will get to mulch some infantry with their Rock Hammers. Remember you can make Magic Attacks while engaged – and with no penalty against models you’re engaging. Runeshapers are just as devastating in melee as athey are out of it. While they’re in melee they can also use their Tremor Attack, which can knockdown models within 2.” Try sending at least one of unit of them around a flank to threaten enemy casters with potential knockdown. They do have Pathfinder after all – very mobile these guys. And with 5 hit boxes and hopefully ARM 17 from your Krielstone aura, just one unit of them takes a concerted effort to clear out of a zone. Man these guys are just such a steal at 3 points. One last Runeshaper pro tip: They have CMD 8 so don’t be afraid to spread them out. Just keep them within at least 8 inches of each other so if the leader gets killed one of them doesn’t end up out of coherency.

As for the rest of that list above, it certainly has hitting power. Mulg with Rage will kill just about anything, even under normal circumstances. But since we’re taking him with Doomy, his affinity will make sure he’ll get to make one last spiteful hit against a model he doesn’t manage to finish off. If you’re worried about him getting killed, with the Earthborn around for Transmute, Mulg will be sitting at ARM 23 next to a wall. And this list will typically have three of those. One of the tier benefits in Runes of War is that you get to deploy a wall template for every two Runeshaper units you take, plus Janissa can make another one of her own.

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The Earthborn brings potential for huge assassination threat. If he starts within two inches of rough terrain, and has the Axer give him Rush, the Earthborn can pull off a 12″ Trample/charge. If he ends up killing even one model in the process Doomy can Goad him, forcing him for an extra 2″ move. That will leave the Earthborn with only three Fury left, but if he has Fortune up he’ll get to re-roll any attacks that miss.

It’s a solid list. One that’s been used with success enough times by so many players that I probably shouldn’t go messing with it. But I don’t know… couldn’t it do with just a little moar Runeshaper?

57 / 57 (50+7) Warlock(s) : 1/1 Warbeast(s) : 3 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 2 Units : 7

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls – WB: +7
– Trollkin Runebearer
– Mulg the Ancient – PC: 12
– Earthborn Dire Troll – PC: 10
– Pyre Troll – PC: 5

Janissa Stonetide – PC: 3
Troll Whelps – PC: 2

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 5 Grunts: 4
– Stone Scribe Elder – Elder 1
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Trollkin Runeshapers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3

THEME: Runes of War – Tier 4

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I’ll be honest. I do have a more concrete reason for whipping this one up. The whole Doomy Goad Assassination thing looks great on paper but I can just never pull it off. Either my opponents are too good, or I’m too not good enough. Either way I think I’m keener on the idea of having an extra wall template to screw with my opponent’s plans, and six more 5 wound bodies to get in the way. Mulg will still hit like a truck with the Pyre animus, so I think even without the Dire I’ll have enough to crack armor with. I mean I’ve still got the Earthborn right?

It’s only because of the new plastic Runeshapers that I would even consider a list with so many of them in it. Even with the $9 price reduction per unit, this might still be the most expensive Hordes army out there. Just the Runeshapers will set you back around $200 after taxes. I only ever managed to pull the trigger on two units of them myself – before the move to plastic. Now maybe I can finally field the completely ridiculous 18 Runeshaper army I’ve been dreaming of.

~What do you guys think? Too much Runeshaper… or not enough?

Ben Williams
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