Where to go with Northern Alliance?

I recently posted a list idea for my Nightstalkers, and got a really clear plan for bringing my army up to 2000, thanks to the response I got from that list. My brother isn’t as into KoW as I am, but he’s my only opponent right now, and we want to have fair and balanced matches. His army currently looks like this:

2 troops pack hunters (with javelins)
1 regiment Huscarls
1 Regiment Half-elf Berserkers
1 Regiment Snow Trolls
1 Hrimm
1 swarm Snow foxes
1 ice kin master hunter
1 Regiment ice elementals
1 ice kin bolt thrower
1 cavern dweller

Any help is greatly appreciated, and yes, most of this came from the Shadow in the North starter kit, so I’m expecting units to have to be cut/re-purposed

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I’m not a list building expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I do study a lot of tournament lists, and most rely more on hordes and troops than on regiments. Consider upping the Trolls and ice elementals to hordes and dropping the huscarls and ice Kin hunter. For your main battle line, both ice naiads and dwarf clansmen give more bang for your buck. And you likely need an ice queen with surge if you’re taking ice elementals.

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Would the Huscarls be more useful as a horde? They seemed to put in a lot of work during our learn-the-rules games

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As it is the force is about 1500pts - you’d need to run the pack hunters together as a regiment as you don’t have the unlocks for the monsters etc (the regiments of trolls/elementals don’t give you choices to take).

A 2nd regiment of huscarls and a character on a frostfang would get you a playable 2k point army

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Huscarls you can only get as a regiment. Against a def4 opponent, you’re paying 20 points per wound with average speed and nerve stats (Sp5, 15/17).

A horde of snow trolls is 20% faster, 5 points cheaper, costs 25 points per wound, and yet has more survivability with 5+ regen (15/18 nerve). So Trolls grind better and move faster even if they aren’t quite as strong on the first charge. I think either can be a good option, though pre-COK ice elementals were probably the main choice because of range attack, fearless, and surge, and they perform better against trash than huscarls due to not wasting points on crushing strength.

Huscarls are a solid unit and may fit your playstyle. I just don’t see them often in tournament lists.

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In tournament vibe you just look at unlocks and get as many frostfang heroes as you can fit in an army!

Trolls usually need waver mitigation, while me3 v me4 makes huscarls far nastier, if not as resilient

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At first glance, the units seem to be missing something. Perhaps it is a sense of cohesion. Let me explain. Before the new updates, you would have been missing a lot of leadership, with only Hrimm giving Inspiring to Frostbound only. CoK upped the anti on Inspiring, which is a blessing for Northern Alliance, but even so, you lack Inspiring models/units. The only other hero you have is the Ice Kin Master Hunter, which for some inexplicable reason doesn’t even inspire Ice kin hunters, of which you have none by the way, and they are a really good unit.
So, firstly, i would consider investing in a few heroes. An Ice Queen would both add Inspiring (very inspiring in fact) and give you spells to push the Ice Elementals up the field.
Which brings me to my second point.
Formations.
You need too look at units that compliment/support each other, to get the best out of your army. For instance, i run an Ice Queen, with Surge, along with Ice Elementals, and Ice Naiad horde, and complement this further with Ice Kin Hunters and /or bolt throwers, to further complement these units. In this way, the Ice Queen serves multiple roles, an inspiring character, a spell caster to the Elementals, and also, can get a reroll on her spells, as Master of Ice, if she aims spells at a unit already hit during the shooting phase, so either from Hrimm, the Ice Elementals or Ice Kin.
And these same units protect the queen, who is utterly useless in combat.
Similarly, the Tundra Wolves are awesome, but can be protected by a buffer of Snow Foxes, to get them up the field and into combat.
The Half Elf berserkers are really good in combat, but poorly armoured, so need a buffer to get them close. Dwarfs or Clansmen , or even the snow foxes can help protect them as they get within charging range. They, and the Huscarls, will be targeted as threats, as both can be scary in close combat. and incidentally, don’t benefit overly much from upgrading to Regiment size, rather than two troops.
incedently, i actually got a cavern dweller yesterday for my b/day, but i haven’t played him yet, so i’ll reserve comment on him. However, he too would be a target for missiles, so the Snow Trolls might be of benefit in a formation to protect him.
So, just to recap, when setting up, think about formations, as well as individual units, and ways to get the most out of whatever you have in order to benefit the mission objectives of that game

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Thanks for the insight :+1:
When I told him that I’d made this thread, he explained that he wanted to try out a bunch of units, just to see what he liked. Which doesn’t make for a particularly good list, but I understand where he’s coming from

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Picking units you like is as sound a strategy as any other… after all the whole point of it is to enjoy it, whether as a painter or an Army General. It might not win tournaments but that is a minor matter

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I’m echoing some other folx, but my suggestions to hit 2k:

(-) drop bolt thrower
(>) troll regiment into horde
(>) ice elemental regiment into horde
(>) master hunter into ice queen (bane chant, surge)
(+) lord on frostfang (with snow fox)

You should almost assuredly swap the master hunter to an ice queen (surge, bane chant), as the queen provides very inspiring, support for your weaker troops (BC) and even more for the ice elementals (who can now do the patented shoot-then-surgecharge). The master hunter … provides style points? Little else, sad to say. With Axe of the Giant Slayer she could chunk some more damage into monsters? Which combined with the various ice breaths and javelins isn’t nothing. But the queen is definitely more important for the army to function.

I like the idea of ice elemental regs, but you really do need the unlocks (and I like the pack hunters separate for chaffing).

Also the frostlord is one of the strongest units in the army, that you’ll get a load of mileage out of. Essentially a dragon without wings or breath.

EDIT: The above leaves 55 points for tasty upgrades, which should be some waver help for the trolls … then whatever you like really. Huscarls like +1Sp, or you could be a crazy person and give them +1 to hit :drooling_face: Helm of the Drunken Ram on the berserkers sounds fun too!

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Do you use them as troops or regiments for chaff? I’ve based mine as four troops. The 9/11 nerve is bad, but pathfinder/stealthy makes them slightly tricky to kill. My thinking is that with javelins (steady aim, Pierce 1) and 10 attacks, they can actually pack a punch and can’t be ignored.

On the other hand, half-elf berserkers are fearless at the same price point, and snow foxes are stealthy/nimble but don’t have much offensive punch.

Do you do all pack hunters for chaff or mix it up?

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I’ve never actually run them myself (the NA I’ve played is frostbound heavy), but in other armies I really like shooting chaff - and like you say, P1 + steady aim makes that shooting hurt - and the general feeling with the COK22 meta is that stealthy on chaff is particularly important, with the uptick in shooting. Troops keeps them cheap and chaffy, I’m not sure I rate them as regiments.

I quite like the idea of berserker troops as well, the fearless is also big in a world of chaff-clearing shooting. Given the identical points with the pack hunters, I’d still take the hunters for the shooting. The berserkers as a regiment is nice as they can get some use out of that iron resolve as well as get more use from an item that multiples the tools they come with.

Surprised you left out tundra wolves … or I would be if snow foxes didn’t exist! Those little swarms are Top 5 chaff in the game, maybe even Top 3, the main problem is how hard it is to get minis for them :cry:

I think the hunters + foxes mix is good, they do very different things.

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