My job as a teacher is typically able to keep me busy enough as is, but with two tech weeks for two performances? I'm totally fried. My brain is mush and I apologize that today is going to be a little less put-together than usual.
I have been tossing around some ideas for Troll lists because while I already know that I want to build a pDoomy theme list, I know that I will want to expand it beyond that point. So who should I look at next? There are lots of options available but I want to avoid some of the "typical" Troll builds. It's not that I don't think that they're competitive or that I think that I'm better than anyone else, it's just that they don't appeal to me and I want to try a "meta-breaking" strategy with my particular Trolls. So that basically eliminates the use of some warlocks - Madrak (either), Borka, Grissel (although I might be able to manage an alternative eGrissel list), and eDoomshaper (easy to meta-game). So who does that leave me with, and how should I build an expansion from there?
Interestingly, it seems like I'm left with the largely ranged-focused Trollblood warlocks: Jarl, Gunnbjorn, Grim Angus, and Calandra. Fortunately, it seems like each of these guys can use some of the same units to good effect. Even though I probably won't be purchasing any Kriel Warriors or Fennblades (I know, Troll players, feel free to facepalm), I can still make some common units work for these guys and almost swap them out regularly.
Bombers - these guys are extremely versatile and can fit into any list, period. I probably won't use them with pDoomshaper as I'll want someone with a more useful animus or to hit harder in melee, but even then, they're worth considering. With the new plastic kit coming, these are even more appealing, and all of the above warlocks make these guys solid.
Pyg Burrowers - one of the best infantry units in the game. Why? They take up zero real-estate, control the board without any fury investment, and can reliably threaten any type of target. These guys shine brightest under Calandra, but Grim can make them awesome too, by making sure those slug guns can hit more easily.
Scattergunners (plus UA) - the UA for this unit in Domination is an auto-include. Usually, I can go either way on UAs depending on the situation, but the UA for this unit is necessary to make this unit absolutely hilarious and actually worth the point cost. Gunny ironically doesn't really need these guys too much, although they make an okay screen for some other shootier elements, and Gunny can keep them relatively safe so they can spray away. I really want to use these guys with Grim, however, as they pretty much wipe all infantry off the board on his feat turn. They can be equally funny on Calandra's feat turn too.
Runeshapers - I'm already committed to getting these guys for pDoomy, so I have to consider where else I can put them. They're amazing units for their cost - 5 damage boxes, tough, steady, magic ability 7 (with a POW 14, 3" AOE, with crit knockdown, AND tremor!?), and all for the low price of 4 points (3 with pDoomy)?! These guys will probably fit in the best with Grim or Calandra, as the Runeshapers can use the feat turn effects to reliably knock-down enemy models so that the rest of your army can steamroll over them. Gunny doesn't offer them much, but if I wanted to run Janissa with Gunny for the dual rock wall, they're worth considering so they can get Force Lock from her.
In the end, have I decided on who I want to get next? It looks like Grim and Calandra are by two best options, and it helps that neither of their theme lists are particularly great, so I can feel free to explore the flexibility of my options - especially when I'll have the Runeshapers from the pDoomy theme list. Calandra with a couple of Earthborns would be a solid anti-warmachine list with some Burrowers and Scattergunners so that I can clear out all of the infantry I'd expect to see, and Earthborns absolutely decimate most warjacks (since they usually have higher-POW weapons).