We’ve reached the end of our little trip and we couldn’t end with a better warlock to talk about. This week we’ll be talking about the ‘lock who I believe is the best in all of Trollbloods. She has an amazing set of abilities and a truly ridiculous Feat. I am, of course, talking about Trollbloods very own ugly duckling: Grissel1. For the purposes of this article we will be talking about a very specific style of Grissel1 and I will be assuming you are playing that or at least something very similar. So without further delay lets get started.
First things first we should probably establish what type of Grissel1 I’ll be assuming you’re playing. My favorite type of Grissel1 and the version I like for this pair is Grissel1 with Long Riders and an all light warbeast battle group. This list requires: Pyre Troll (or Slag possibly), Storm Troll, Long Riders, Horthol, a tar pit of some kind, Krielstone and probably Saxon Orrick. For reference my favorite version of this list (stolen pretty much entirely from Chad of Muse on Minis) looks like this:
Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
* Storm Troll (5pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* 3 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (3pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Long Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Horthol, Long Rider Hero (5pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)
Trollkin Sorcerer (1pts)
You can actually read some of my earlier less polished ramblings on the topic of Grissel1 and this type of list in the very first article from this series. I won’t repeat everything I said there in this article. Instead I’ll highlight some of the changes and why I’ve settled on this build for now. That article pretty handily covers why you want Long Riders, Saxon Orrik, Chronicler and Sorcerer so I’m going to justify here why I went with Kriel Warriors and Warders.
Kriel Warriors are something I’ve gone back and forth on with Grissel1. They have greater potential to get work done than Fennblades do, MAT 7 with Fervor is a big deal especially given Grissel’s problematic interaction with Fell Callers, and Caber Throwers are pure business. On the other hand Fennblades can charger farther and jam better while Kithkars offer a valid counter point to Cabers. I’ve settled on Kriels at the moment for a couple of reasons mostly concerned with the Menoth match up. Kriels are more resistant to shooting so Errants won’t just clear them off, Steady makes them immune to Kreoss1’s Feat which is no small matter, and when they Tough they still function as a screening unit. Their one higher ARM also makes them slightly more resistant to Bile Thrall purges, sixes to kill instead of fives assuming Krielstone aura which the Kriels are more likely to be in, which is always nice to have. They’re also cheaper in points than Fenns + Kithkars. If you’d rather play with Fennblades, though, that’s a valid choice as well.
The Warders provide an anchor for the list. This list plays a very long grindy game especially in the match ups we’ll be prioritizing for it. Warders allow you to have something really unpleasant for your opponent to deal with in the very late game. By the time the Warders become relevant it’s very easy for you to have already killed anything that reliably threatens them. Warders are pretty slow at killing things, although a second attack from Grissel can help, but if nothing can kill them than you’ve got all the time in the world. Grissel also does so much for them. She can grant them an extra attack, which is huge, she can stop models from charging them, making them even harder to kill, and she can speed them up.
So we’ve covered how the Grissel list works lets get into how she deals with our three match ups we’re concerned about.
Grissel1 brings two primary tools to the Cryx match up: Cacophony and tons of infantry clearing. Cacophony stops Cryx units from charging which is a big deal. Banes relies on that extra 3” to actually get into melee and the extra charge die is a big part of how they reliably crack ARM. Curse also only provides extra speed when a Bane charges. Getting the most out of Cacophony, aside from Feat turn, involves some pretty aggressive positioning of Grissel1 so be careful. Try and kill of Arc Nodes early and cryx ‘casters will have a pain tagging her with spells since you can’t cast spells within Cacophony. That will mean no Scourge, Death Knell, Parasite, Crippling Grasp or Venoms targeting her or any models around her. The infantry clearing ability of Grissel1 comes mostly from her Long Riders who can clear huge swaths of infantry through a combination of Impact Attacks, initial attacks and the Storm Troll’s animus. On her Feat turn they’ll also get an extra attack and can double dip on the Storm Troll animus possibly killing 4 models each without even counting their normal Impact Attacks. Just for clarity sake I will note here that the Storm Troll animus does not apply to Impact Attacks but the Pyre Troll animus does. The amount of work this does can be pretty unreal. The game is slow and grindy, as all Grissel1 games generally are, so you just want to kill a chunk of your opponent’s army and then shut down his ability to retaliate. Bile Thrall purges will clear out your tar pit but do almost nothing to Long Riders or Warders which are the backbone of this list. In worst case scenario the Stone with two attacks can kill a lot of Banes. The Sorcerer is mostly in the list for this match up since he can remove frustrating debuffs like Crippling Grasp from your Long Riders. This match up requires no small amount of finesse so prepare to practice it a lot before you reliably beat a good Cryx player with her.
As has been a constant theme with this series Khador can be handled in a very similar way to Cryx. Cacophony shuts down charges and IFP Shield Wall orders. It also shuts down Butch3 charging and casting his spells which is great but don’t get too cocky versus him since he can still Vengeance and walk far enough to kill Grissel1 if he’s in Cacophony range (outside of Feat of course). The positioning is very precise with him. Kriel Warriors, Long Riders and Warders are all very resistant to POW 10 shooting so most Khador gunlines will struggle to clear out your infantry. Vlad1’s guns will handle Kriel Warriors pretty well but their job is mostly to soak up shots anyway so don’t worry about that too much. When it comes to cracking ARM Long Riders and Warders with Flaming Fists and Heroic Call on them against a Calamity-ed target do a ton of damage. If you can get Charge of the Trolls off then you can kill basically anything but it’s probably only worth it if you’re taking down a Conquest in the late game. Generally with only two warbeasts you’ll want to keep them safe as their animi are a huge part of how the list plays. Long Riders rolling 3d6 for impact attacks are okay at killing IF Kayazy especially if you can kill off the Underboss. Grissel1’s Spray is a good source for this, or else run a model near him and shoot that model with the Storm Troll’s gun and then boost the bounce on the Underboss. As with the Cryx match up you’ll want to practice this one a bunch but the lack of Banes to blow up your high ARM pieces makes this match up quite a bit easier generally.
Grissel1 is probably the best Menoth drop of any of the lists we’ve talked about to pair with Runes of War. Unlike the other two lists this match up doesn’t involve nearly as much Cacophony spam unless you’re playing versus Kreoss2’s Theme Force. Generally Menoth isn’t looking to charge you with their units. Kriel Warriors are very resistant to Errant crossbow shots and great at killing them in return. The Pyre Troll animus can make several of your Long Riders immune to Reckoner and Vanquisher shots making them quite hard to remove. Buffed Long Riders can crack Menoth ‘jacks and clear Menoth infantry pretty effectively. One thing to remember is that Impact Attacks are less useful against Menoth due to their abilities to negate a model’s death, via Errants’ self sacrifice and Martyrdom mostly, so don’t rely on them to clear charge lanes. This match even more than the others will be pure grind fest since Menoth loves to attrition and so does Grissel. Hoof It will be a big friend of yours as it allows you to either commit your Long Riders and then pull them back or else commit your Kriels/Warders and then jam them into the space you just cleared to gum up their works. If you can get range the Storm Troll is handy for clearing out Menoth support via bounces off of his gun but with only RNG 8, since no Impaler in the above list, it can be difficult to pull off especially if you want him to survive the experience. The Sorcerer also comes in handy occasionally here stripping Fear of God off of your Long Riders if it comes up. It’s not a spell you see very often but it can be a real problem when you do. The guns on your beasts plus Grissel’s Spray are handy if you need to keep Harby honest when she’s Martyring a lot. She does not enjoy being set on fire by a Pyre Troll at all.
With that we reach the end of our little journey! Hopefully this was a useful little mini-series for some Troll players out there! I’ll be back at some point with an article or two on how to build synergy into your Trollblood lists but I’ll probably be taking a break of a couple of weeks first. Until next time!