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View Poll Results: Which unit is better?
Arrow Gruts 9 52.94%
Blade Gruts 8 47.06%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old April 12th, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

I ask that you don't use this format without permission to preserve the quality of the Unit Debates and avoid confusion.

NOTE: Debates can now acknowledge the existence and affect of VC Customs (C3V & SoV) on the units


This Unit Debate was selected by @lefton4ya .

1. Stats/Special Powers

2. Playability

3. Overall Usefulness

4. Who Would Win Head-To-Head

5. Army Builds

6. Best Strategic Use

7. Best in Dungeon Crawl

NOTE: Debates can now acknowledge the existence and affect of VC Customs (C3V & SoV) on the units

Last edited by lefton4ya; April 12th, 2019 at 12:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2019, 07:33 PM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

I pick Arrow Gruts, I guess. If Heavies didn't exist, I'd have to look at the Blades a bit harder.

customs/maps/c3v/sov

how to:
make a card/post your maps

google sheets:
ohs link generator/attack outcomes

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Old April 12th, 2019, 07:41 PM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

The Blade Gruts are just a poor man’s Heavy Gruts.

My customs.
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Last edited by flameslayer93; April 12th, 2019 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Btw, I vote for Arrow Gruts
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Old April 12th, 2019, 08:24 PM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

I've always liked the idea of Arrow Gruts more than playing them. It's tricky to make them work with Swogs.

I like the Blade Gruts a lot. It gets that "swarm of orcs" feeling across well. Heavies are better but it's more fun to play against Blades.
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Old April 15th, 2019, 11:28 AM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

Note when comparing these two you really have to compare the beasts and champions that bond with them, especially on the Auras/Enhancement of each on the squads.
  • Arrow Gruts get: {common} SWOG RIDER : Orc Archer Enhancement, also {non-bonding} NERAK THE GLACIAN SWOG RIDER : Orc Defensive Aura 1 and {non-bonding} HROGNAK : Orc Movement Aura
  • Blade Gruts get: - GRIMNAK / TORNAK : Orc Warrior Enhancement, NERAK THE GLACIAN SWOG RIDER : Orc Defensive Aura 1, ORNAK : Orc Battle Cry Aura, HROGNAK : Orc Movement Aura
  • Both usually benefit from Raelin in armies as well, whether V1 or V2.

1. Stats/Special Powers
Base stats Blades destroy as they have one more attack, defense, and figure for the same points, although no range. In theory (woult even factoring in Raelin) an experienced player could get multiple Swog Riders to bolster Arrow Gruts up to 3+ attack/defense, while the same person you could get the Dinosaurs and Ornak to bolster Blades to 4+ attack/defense. In practice I have rarely seen more than a few attacks all game of Arrow Gruts at 3+ and usually only get base of 1 or maybe 2, while I have seen Blade Gruts consistently getting 3+ attacks and 4+ defense (Nerak) with many times 4+ attack / 5+ defense (again not counting Raelin). Both Blades and their bonding enhancers living longer makes Blades exponentially able to get more enhancers next to them than Arrow and more likely to get height than Arrow and their enhancers. Also an order marker on the Blades consistently gets 4-5 attacks (or 6 counting Grimnak's chomp), while an order marker on Arrow struggles to get 4 attacks and many times get 2-3. Only maybe the first turn of an Arrow Grut's attack do they usually have height advantage so unless you are really strategic or your opponent does not know how to slow roll, you cannot keep this up.
Blades win easily

2. Playability
I have found the Blade Gruts more easy to play with and there is also lot more flexibility in the army creation. Due to bonding with Ornak you can thow in some Utgar Heroes to use Red Flag of Fury on, or add Raelin and keep your opponent occupied by engaging with the Blades. Using Raelin on Arrow you would think is easier as she can be further back from who Arrow are attacking, but in actuality is a lot harder to pull off as people can plow through Arrow and Swogs to attack Raelin easier than they can plow through Blades and and Champions. Hrognak also helps the Blades a lot as he adds move and provides them a range attack.
Blades win easily

3. Overall Usefulness
{see above} The only time I think Arrow Gruts are better is in Reverse-the-Whip type tournaments because Arrow Gruts are harder to play than Blade Gruts, so the difference between each unit the hand of an experienced vs novice player, Arrow Gruts are have a larger advantage - but that is only if the competition's armies are not that stiff. Also other events types such as dungeon crawls, Heat of the Battle or split-start zone maps, and treasure quest type events, Blades are better, with one possible exception of monster mash (kill the monster events) becasue Krug and Grigor & Rogirg are the best of the bonding heroes, although Blades and Champions are better at taking town opponent's monsters than Arrow & Beasts.
TIE, maybe Blades slight advantage

4. Who Would Win Head-To-Head
No question - Blades by a mile, whether comparing 1 squad v 1 squad, multiple squads and nothing else vs each other, or an whole army. Even if Arrow attacked first, the extra defense and 4 figures means they will always have more attacks back, and even with Enhancers they will usually be higher attack.

5. Army Builds
The worst part of Arrow Gruts army is there is almost no army variety for a good army other than maybe changing which Beasts you bring along and whether you have Raelin (or v1 vs v2) and/or Nerak, whereas Blades have so many more choices for armies. Again, with Ornak you can add more Utgar Heroes (so many to choose from) and you can also add range support such as Hrognak but really any ranged hero. You can add in Brute Gruts to either army but they do better with Blades as the Orc Champions can be set up for auras/enhancements easier. The biggest constraint with both Blade Grut and Arrow Grut is army size especially 24-hex/figure or less limit tourneys (Gencon recently has 18-20 space/figure). 5 squads of Blades + 2 Ords riding dinosaurs is 24 hexes, so really you can only have 4 squads of Blades if you are limited in hexes. Arrow Gruts should have at least 1 Swog for every 2 squads, so 5 squads of Arrow and 3 Swogs is 21 spaces 275 points and only leaves 3 spaces for other Beasts, Raelin, and/or Nerak.
Blades win easily if you care about army variety at all

6. Best Strategic Use
As mentioned before Nerak bonds and Raelin is easier to keep alive for defense. Also with Ornak you will have to plan your Utgar Hero turns especially if you use non Orc Champions for more than just clean-up. So although I said Arrow Gruts are harder to master and there is a larger difference between a novice and experienced player, Blade Gruts armies are still somewhat difficult to use strategically but can have more effective results in the hand of an experienced player than Arrow Gruts in the hands of an experienced player.

7. Best in Dungeon Crawl
I think Arrow Gruts with Krug, Mimring, Swog Riders, Ice Troll Berserker, and Grigor & Rogirg are more iconic as "Classic Fantasy Monsters " but Orcs riding Dinosaurs and an Orc Flagbearer with activating other non-orc monsters are also more "Classic Heroscape Monsters" . I would say it is subjective but Blade Gruts and Grimnak are Proof of Intelligent Design In Heroscape.

Blades win in all categories, with maybe the slight exception of if doing RTW tournament versus non-experienced players and/or lower-tier armies. Maybe I will bring Arrow Gruts to the next time Dayton or C2P does a RTW tourney

Power Rankings
@Jexik and @OrcElfArmyOne agree that Blades are better, @Cleon thinks Arrow is very slightly better, and @dok has not distinguished in his rankings.

Arrow Gruts
  • Jexik: Arrow Gruts- Bonding, potential for higher attacks, cheap cost. Once one of the most competitive squads around, they seem to be in decline. B
  • OEAO: Arrow Gruts- The worst orc squad still has quite a bit going for them with a great threat range and solid bonding choices. Swogs make them offensively relevant and Krug is a tank. B+
  • Cleon: Tier 7 (54/208)
  • dok (VC inclusive): B+

Blade Gruts
  • Jexik: Blade Gruts- Though weak in attack and defense, Grimnak and a cheap cost keep the Blades reasonably competitive. B+
  • OEAO: A-
  • Cleon: Tier 7 (57/208)
  • dok (VC inclusive): B+

Last edited by lefton4ya; April 16th, 2019 at 09:44 AM.
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  #6  
Old April 16th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

@lefton4ya a few nights ago I added my blurb for Blades:

Blade Gruts: Perhaps the most underrated bonding melee squad in the game. Movement is very underrated, and 6 move provides amazing incremental positional advantages that add up over the course of the game. While Blades suffer from a terrible matchup against Q9, the rest of their matchup spread in the current meta is fine. Their main problem is that they don't have any blowout matchups in their favor. A-

Obviously, my feelings on which is better is pretty obvious. Blades are dirt cheap and have great bonding synergies. Outside of Q9 (either solo or backed by Raelin) or other bigs (specifically when backed by Raelin), they can handle pretty much anything in the top tiers of competitive play.

A lot of people think that Charos, TKN, and Hounds would be bad matchups, but they really aren't. Blades do fine against Charos because of how cheap they are and thanks to the help of their bonding heroes to buff their stats. The same is true of TKN; both of these are 50/50s. However, if they have Raelin with either of them, it's near impossible.

Hounds vs. Blades is a weird matchup that oddly does not favor Hounds. Blades can afford to take some Plague casualties and still come out ahead. Once again, probably a 50/50, maybe leaning towards a 55-45 in favor of the Blades.

The problem with Blades is that they have a lot of these tossup matchups, putting a much higher burden on player skill than Heavies. With Heavies, you can play sloppily and still win games. That is generally untrue for Blades, as a single mistake can cost you the game. Also, the opponent has agency, and you need to outplay them to consistently win tossup matchups. Blades are great vs more inexperienced players, but can struggle vs the top tier of players.

All these are the reasons I don't generally bring Blades to non-Reverse the Whip tournaments. I think they're real close to being T1, but T1.5 isn't bad. Arrows are decidedly T2 imo.
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  #7  
Old April 20th, 2019, 10:29 AM
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Re: Unit Debate # 69 Arrow Gruts vs Blade Gruts

Theoretically I'd give the head to head match-up to the Arrows because Krug can crush the Blades' champions, but in practice it's pretty easy for the blades to tie him up. I think it would come down to the map, honestly.

At the last decent sized (around 30) tournament that I actually won, I played the Arrow Gruts. The final was against Aubriens, so it was maybe a softer field, but because the car with Clarissimus, spider_poison, kaboomboom and I was late, I was matched against Joe's trons in the first round and won. Like OEAO said for the Blades, familiarity with them helps a lot. Old school maps with lots of tiny height advantages and no jungle help them too.

https://www.heroscapers.com/communit...ad.php?t=35936

Just looked at the battle report again... I beat 2 Redcoat armies, a Q9 + Nilfheim + 2x rats army, and Trons to get to that Aubrien final. That's including 2 games where Raelin got summoned away by the Erland glyph. I generally activated Krug before setting up Swogs, by the look of it. It's easy for AG's to get height, so think about trying to consistently get 5 attacks of 2 in.

I've never taken the Blades to a tournament I think,* so I'd personally be more comfortable with the AGs, even if they're considered lower tier.

*Reverse the whip wasn't really a thing in my day, so if you were gonna play Grimnak, you played Heavies. We also used to play Raelin back then, and it seems like Nerak only is the way to go now.

Also looks like I forgot to properly edit the first post of the power rankings:

https://www.heroscapers.com/communit...postcount=4660

Looks like I want them both to be B+, but I give the edge to AG's because I like them better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)

Last edited by Jexik; April 21st, 2019 at 10:01 AM. Reason: was the closest game actually the Q9 game?
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