First Impressions: Jarl Skuld

So maybe one post a week was a bit ambitious. In my defence at this point last week I had only played 1 game with Jarl and so the discussion would have been pretty short, however after saturday’s all day gaming I have now managed to get in 4 games with Jarl (using ADR of course) and so I can at least talk about my first impressions. I have been using the following list:

 

Jarl Skuld (6)

*Trollkin Runebearer (2)

*Mulg the Ancient (12)

*Troll Impaler (5)

Janissa Stonetide (3)

Fell Caller Hero (3)

Fennblade Kithkar (2)

Stone Scribe Chronicler (2)

Max Long Rider (11)

Max Fennblades (8)

*Fennblade Officer and Drummer (2)

Max Krielstone (4)

*Stone Scribe Elder (1)

Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew (1)

Objective: Arcane Wonder

 

Specialists

Max Warders (8)

Max Warders (8)

 

71074_TrollkinWarders_WEB

I’m sure you are all very shocked to see two units of Warders in the specialists.

 

Thoughts behind the list

Jarl has a couple of spells that help the speed of your army. Quicken, as the name suggests, gives a unit +2SPD which gives Fennblades a run of 16 inches on the first turn and then on their mini-feat a charge threat of 15″ including reach. His other spell is Tactical Supremacy which lets you move models in the unit 3″ at the end of the turn, so while it doesn’t really speed them up like Quicken does it lets you reposition or just move forwards some more if you need to. With these two spells in mind I wanted the list to be a fast, high pressure list and so I included max units of Fennblades and Long Riders. On first turn I can run 16″ with the Fennblades who can also get Tale of Mists (making them DEF16 against ranged or magic attacks along with Quicken) and set the battleline far up the board. The Long Riders can run behind them at 14″ and being cavalry has a natural long threat range that I don’t need to improve on unless i really feel like I have to.

Also adding to the pressure of the list is the threat of Mulg lurking behind that screen of Fennblades. Again, Quicken can help here to extend his threat range and Weald Secrets can give him pathfinder if he needs it, but more importantly he brings some protection to Jarl with Protective Fit and also raw hitting power for when you have to absolutely kill something. It also makes opponents wary of committing valuable models into the Fennblades if they know Mulg will be able to get to it, so the threat of Mulg just being there helps keep the Fennblades clear of models they would otherwise struggle to kill.

Jarl himself will be floating around the back or middle of the pack, somewhere alongside Mulg and behind a wall from Janissa, shooting juicy targets or things near things I need to hit with Magic Bullet. I’ve so far found I spend a lot of fury with Jarl and so at this moment i think Janissa is pretty essential to making sure people aren’t tempted to go for him. The Swamp Gobbers are only there because of a spare point and it’s another layer of protection for Jarl or for Mulg etc. They also work nicely with the feat and add in another cloud effect if you roll a low number and need a bigger screen.

 

Specialists

The specialists are pretty simple, and it allows me to transform the list in a really easy way. After i’ve seen my opponents list I can simple ask which is more difficult for them to deal with – the speed of Fennblades plus Long Riders or the armour of Warders, Mulg and also Long Riders? To introduce the Warders i have to remove 16 points worth of models and after all is said and done the list will be something like this:

 

Jarl Skuld (6)

*Trollkin Runebearer (2)

*Mulg the Ancient (12)

*Troll Impaler (5)

Janissa Stonetide (3)

Stone Scribe Chronicler (2)

Max Long Rider (11)

Max Warders (8)

Max Warders (8)

Max Krielstone (4)

*Stone Scribe Elder (1)

Objective: Arcane Wonder

 

That list is your typical Meat Mountain, and it swaps the list instantly from high speed to high armour skew. It’s a simple list that asks my opponent a simple question – can you deal with this? (hopefully not!) The job of Jarl in the list is to make sure they can’t by taking away solos or key models my opponent has brought to deal with it. The loss of the Fell Caller is one i’m 50/50 on, but i’m sure Janissa is the way to go for the moment but that might change. I did think that maybe the lack of Pathfinder would be an issue, but i can swap Weald Secrets around with the Arcane Wonder if I need to against Inhospitable Ground and also when the Warders get Battle Driven that will ease that problem as well.

 

Closing Thoughts

My initial impression of Jarl is that he is much better than I initially gave him credit for. I thought that he would struggle to fuel the Krielstone (he does, but the Runebearer helps) and that with 3 upkeeps on his spell list also run out of fury each turn (again, I wasn’t wrong) but that doesn’t stop him from being good. You can alleviate the Krielstone issue by using the Runebearer to cast Quicken on the first turn to speed up the Fennblades or a Warder unit, then Jarl can put 6 fury into the stone. You also don’t need to have all 3 upkeeps in play, usually 1 or 2 are important and with Arcane Wonder it’s a bit easier to swap them around, especially Weald Secrets if you need pathfinder as it only costs 2 to begin with. The money maker is Magic Bullet though, and with Snipe, RAT7, Black Penny and Swift Hunter you can move around the board and pick off solos as you need to, for example killing a Squire and the Journeyman Warcaster on Turn 2 is awesome. You can also easily clear models away from in front of your front lines using Black Penny so you can get off good charges with your Long Riders or get models into awkward places.

Currently I am thinking he will be my Cygnar match and also my Protectorate match (Though looking on SteamGenius the two games I have lost were both against Protectorate…). I’ve found Grim struggles in those games because Cygnar can outshoot him and he doesn’t want to deal with an Arcane Shielded Stormwall (but it depends on the lists, I need to play a few more games against Cygnar to decide that one). Against Protectorate Grim can’t cast Mortality on many of their units or their Warjacks if they choose to, and my Slag Trolls can’t shoot them if they choose to either. Overall, Jarl works well alongside my Grim list and hopefully will be able to deal with anything Grim can’t. I just need more games to find out.

 

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