Theme Forces Revisited: Kriel Company

All right, everyone: here’s the latest Insider leading up to the Gen Con release of WARMACHINE: Oblivion. As you know, each week, our team is writing about one theme list that’s the most affected by the new theme list rules. Also, I hope you are tuning in for dev chats about even more of the themes’ overhauls.

Today, the theme is one near and dear to my heart: the Kriel Company theme for Trollbloods. Without further ado…

Now, with the new theme changes, you will no longer have to qualify for free models by spending a certain number of points on certain types of models. That doesn’t mean those free options are gone, though; instead, we’re introducing a new system called Requisition options. The number of Requisition options you get is based on the encounter level of the game. For instance, when playing a 75-point game, you get three Requisition options. What you can take with your Requisition options will be spelled out for each respective theme list. In the case of Kriel Company, that’s Faction solos and command attachments. In other lists, however, the Requisition options might include units, ’jacks, or a set number of free models. For instance, in the Power of Dhunia theme list, the options include the Dhunian Knot unit.

These changes expand list building quite a bit; for Kriel Company, these changes mean you’ll be able to field a much larger battlegroup without foregoing free models. Also, to open up list building even more so, you’ll see some onerous restrictions go away, like only being able to take warbeasts with ranged weapons in Kriel Company. That’s gone.

As for the theme bonuses, the first thing to note is that the theme benefit letting all friendly warrior models not block line of sight is gone. In its place is a benefit to give all Faction solo models Mark Target. One unit in particular got hit really hard by this benefit switch, Trollkin Highwaymen; as a result, they gained Practiced Maneuvers. Of course, Trollbloods has had access to Mark Target for quite some time (between Grimm 2’s feat and Pyg Lookouts), but this cranks it to an 11. There’s a lot to be said for spending 4 points to get five troll whelps with Mark Target. The change also pushes our design goal for Kriel Company: shooting with just a few long-range support models that gets up in your opponent’s face. The other theme bonus has also changed from a +1 to the starting roll to a re-roll—this is a ubiquitous change to all these benefits, so you’ll see it in a lot of other Factions’ theme lists.

And that brings us to the list I’d like to show you all today:

Trollblood Value: 75 / 75 points
Theme: Kriel Company

Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood [+27]
– Trollkin Runebearer [FREE]
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Slag Troll [10]
– Storm Troll [9]
– Troll Bouncer [9]
– Pyre Troll [8]
War Wagon [16]
Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw [FREE]
Boomhowler, Solo Artist [FREE]
Hermit of Hengehold [4]
Trollkin Highwaymen (max) [15]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) [9]
Stone Scribe Elder [3]

I cannot hide the fact that I’m a huge Calandra fangirl, so the moment I started thinking of lists, I went straight to her. I also wanted to hearken back to the great days of Elemental Evolutions with a Kriel Company twist. This list will play more aggressively than most Calandra players are used to—the Highwaymen and War Wagon will be right on the front lines with the warbeasts not far behind. Also, with a list like this, don’t be afraid to push that Krielstone unit up the board. It’s your primary way of dealing with stealth and incorporeal and should be in the right position when you need it.

For this army, I decided that, despite the relaxed warbeast restrictions, I didn’t really need the extra hitting power of a Dire Troll Mauler. However, because Calandra isn’t exactly the sturdiest of warlocks, and this army plays very aggressively, I wanted to get access to the Earth’s Blessing animus and a Shield Guard to boot. And having access to the Troll Bouncer is really a boon to a number of Kriel Company lists; their biggest weaknesses have been having their warlocks assassinated and little to no Shield Guards available. However, this doesn’t mean that warlocks like Grimm 1 and 2 aren’t going to go to town by having a mixed arms battlegroup, so expect to see a Mauler surrounded by two Bombers quite often.

Also, remember that in an army with a lot of guns, Calandra’s greatest weapon isn’t Star-Crossed or her re-rolls; it’s Befuddle. Befuddle will get a ton of work in this army, and you’ll often have the Runebearer play fairly forward to cast it when Calandra can’t. There are a few ways to use Befuddle, one of which is to move an opponent’s model into position so you can shoot it with the War Wagon to knock down your opponent’s ’caster. Following up a rather misfortunate Quake with a slew of boosted guns from your battlegroup can often mean a very quick assassination. You can also walk key targets forward then turn them around to unleash an onslaught of backstabbing Highwaymen attacks. Finally, you can position key models so when the Storm Troll shoots at something, you can make Lightning Generator hit exactly the models you need it to. All of this is helped by the fact that the Hermit of Hengehold can gain Telemetry with his Grip of Shadows ability when you need the bonus to hit.

Well I think that’s about all. Nothing else to explain, certainly not a burly troll with a massive chain gun, no siree. It just doesn’t seem likely that anyone would be interested in a new Mercenary model that is Partisan [Trollbloods] with a brand-new Fell Call that can give a friendly Faction unit Reposition [3˝]. And he certainly doesn’t have a chain gun so powerful that it can knock targets away while also knocking them down. I see absolutely no reason to discuss anything as silly as that. So, you can look forward to the Hermit of Hengehold in the Oblivion box set (and Boomhowler, Solo Artist in September)!