After taking a year or so break from the game because of life and whatnot, I was coming back into it with the mindset of, “New city and new meta…time for a new faction!”  So after looking through my whole collection I decided to bring Trollbloods to the table for the foreseeable future.

I have played trolls in the past in MKII for a bit, maybe 10 games, but it wasn’t overly constructive regarding list builds. I picked up some models that I thought were cool and appealing to me. Captain Gunnbjorn with the giant bazooka is still my one of my favorite models (spoilers…you’ll see). I also picked up a variation, and one can argue broken, of Grissel’s Runes of War theme list. Having multiple units of Runeshaper’s running (specifically charging) around with mini Mjolnir’s was very appealing in my imagination while playing with my war dollies.

I’ve been back playing for about 6 months now, and I’ve gone through the growing pains of a playing new faction and getting back into the game. Not too many wins under my belt but there has been only a few games where I truly can say it was an uphill battle from the time I rolled the dice to see who went first.  I have played around with some variations of some lists, there’s been a Doomshaper2, Calandra, and an idea of a Borka2 list floating around.  With The Ontario Team Championship coming up in March, I personally felt that I had to lock down my lists come the new year.  The two lists I settled on are…

 

 

Captain Gunnbjorn
-Trollkin Runebearer
-Glacier king

Fell Caller Hero
Bog Trog Mist Speaker
Trollkin Champions (max)
-Skaldi Bone Hammer
Trollkin Champions (max)
Trollkin Fennblades (max)
– Trollkin Fennblade Office & Drummer
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scibes (max)
– Northkin Elder

Theme: Band of Heroes

Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain (Prime)
-Trollkin Runebearer
-Dire Troll Mauler
-Dire Troll Bomber

Stone Scribe Chronicler
Fell Caller Hero
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scibes (max)
– Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Champions (max)
-Skaldi Bonehammer
– Trollkin Sorcerer
Trollkin Fennblades (max)
-Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer
-Trollkin Sorcerer
Trollkin Long Riders (min)

Theme: Band of Heroes

 

Both lists are similar, but play differently.  The Gunny list has the ability to drop well against shooting. For people that do not know, with Gunny’s feat has your friendly faction models gain cover, do not suffer damage from range attacks, and cannot be knocked down. Depending on your placement, you can have your entire army in under his feat bubble.  Also, you can put your units into a decent position for an alpha strike of sorts, and not worry about getting shot off the table.   Depending if I have gone first or second and how aggressive my opponent is, I find myself dropping my feat in turn 1 or turn 2 usually. Anytime I’ve waited out the storm and turn 3 comes around, there’s not much left on my side of the table.

Having the Northin Elder with the Krielstone has multiple benefits.  The Northkin Elder can pump out +1 Speed or +2 Strength to Northkin models. This helps out the unit of Champions with Skaldi as Skaldi makes the unit he is attached to Northkin models. This also reaches out the Glacier King. These little buffs here and there can help out when the situation calls for it. But, I get the most work out of the Northkin Elder with his third ability.  He can grant all Northkin models +2 the Damage Type: Cold attacks.  The Glacier King’s range weapon is just that; making it POW 16.

Having the Bog Trog Mist Speaker in the list also can help out. I haven’t got a lot of mileage out of Summon Vortex, but I’ve been able to use Influence when the opportunity has presented itself.  But the Mist Speaker is there primarily for Guidance.  Being able to give out Eyeless Sight and Damage Type: Magical has been clutch.  The Glacier King and Gunny have benefited dearly from Guidance.  I’ve even thrown it on a Champion chilling behind a forest where there has been some tasty Convergence models on the other side in charge range.

So with all these little buffs here and there, and adding Snipe (+4” range attacks) and Guided Fire (auto boosted range attacks for his battle group) from Gunny, you got a Glacier King sitting at RAT 6; 8 if it aims which is very possible, Range 16, POW 16, Reload 2, Eyeless Sight, and Damage Type: Magical rolling 3 dice to hit. Also, targets hit can be pushed d3” and on a critical hit models become stationary unless they are immune to cold.   Have you ever been in a snow ball fight as a kid and you’ve been ducked behind your little fort thinking you are safe and somehow you get smoked by a snowball from across the way? Picture that scenario but the snow ball had some sort of heat seeking technology and had a coat of ice on it!

Did I mention I like Gunny?

Trollbloods as a whole are very technical when it comes to their army synergy. You got spells, stories, fell calls; all of them needing to be ‘casted’ at the proper time to get the maximum benefit from your models, so order of activation is key.  The Glacier King combo I mentioned above is a great example of that.  I’ve played this list up against Scott’s Siege 1 list and with low to average dice rolls, I was able to almost take out a Storm Strider turn 1. After the snow settled, it was sitting on a few boxes.  After the game where Gunny got tossed around like a Raggedy Mandy doll by the Minuteman, we talked about it and we have theorized that The Glacier King has the potential to take out Striders is one turn.

Jumping over to the other list, my Madrak list has more of an attrition feel to it.  With Madrak’s feat being able to heal d3+3 points from friendly faction models currently in his control range, his feat has to potential to undo all the work your opponent has done in damaging your models.  Also, adding the fact that while in his control area, friend faction models cannot be charged or slammed.  Very similar to the other list, I can set up my Champions and/or Fennblades up to get of the initial charge, drop the feat. As long as I am out of walking distance to the enemy, it puts my models in an advantageous position.

Being able to have your Fennblades up the table, you can have the Chronicler using its story, Tales of Mist; giving models affected concealment and cannot be targeted by range or magic while knocked down.   With Madrak’s spell Even Ground (+2 DEF for everyone in his control range and cannot be knocked down) the whole cannot be targeted part of Tales of Mist is negated, but having a troll unit sitting at DEF 16 against range is pretty decent.  On the topic of Stone Scribes, having at least one list with the Stone Scribe Elder was key for me.   Giving out +1 Strength is nice, but having the ability to negate Incorporeal and Stealth or making friendly faction models immune to continuous effects while within the Krielstone’s aura can be a game changer.  Having these two options is mint when you are going against Legion or Menoth with all their fire or Cryx and Skorne with their incorporeal models.

But Dave! What if you have incorporeal models outside of the aura that are causing issues?   I’m glad you asked that internet.  Having the Sorcerers attached to each unit of Champions and Fennblades can help. They have the ability to give their respected unit Damage Type: Magical to their weapons before they attack.  Now I’ve seen having the two Sorcerers attached to the Champions and Skaldi for more hit boxes for the Sanguine Bond, but I like having the options for the Sorcerers within my units. Also, you can have them hang back a bit and use them as your target point for your spells and abilities that target units.

The minimum unit of Long Riders can help with a flanking threats and they have a long threat range.  Very nice for contesting the circle zones and slowing down flag CP’s on your opponents’ side of the board.  They have a purpose and I try to utilize them as much as I can.

The Bomber is there to give some range options, but his animus Far Strike (aka Snipe) can help him and Madrak.  In mid to late game, having Rathrok (Madrak’s weapon before he was merc’d by Kromac) being thrown with a Range 12, POW 15 with Ricochet ability dabbles on the janky side, especially if you can trigger Blood Boon. No one can say no to a free Cost 3 or less spell; which is all of Madrak’s spells.  Madrak’s Scroll of Grindar’s Perseverance is very rare for an ability, just in mechanics. He’s the only one that has the scroll. A one-time use to negate a damage roll.  The key is that you need to announce you are using it after the hit roll has succeeded, but before damage has been rolled.

The one ability that Madrak has and I have been guilty of not utilizing it to its full potential, is Madrak’s Tactician for faction warrior models.  Running a melee /warrior heavy list, having tactician can be used very well in getting the right models where it need to be.

Looking at the theme for both the armies, Band of Heroes, is the ideal theme for the two lists.  Giving all warrior models the ability to Remove From Play models that were disabled from melee attacks is mint.  Being able to negate soul and corpse production is great and it shuts down your enemy Tough rolls. Tough is for Trolls and no one else!  Also, you get an extra 2 inches on your deployment. It may be small, but I was able to get 6 Fennblades in melee with an aggressive caster 35 inches up the board Top of Round 2. I went first + 7 inch deployment + 2 inch bonus + run Fennblades (Speed6) turn 1 + vengeance move from the Fennblades (3 inches) + No Quarter (+2 inches of movement and Pathfinder) + Charge = Hello caster!  My opponent forgot how fast the Fennblades were and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

Now I’ve talked about all the cool stuff I have been able to bring to table with the Trolls, there has been some army lists across the table where I haven’t been able to crack yet.  The Gaspy3 Slayer spam and the Hailey3 Grave Digger theme were some of those games where I was pooched from the get go. I don’t feel that bad as those two are hard eggs to crack for a lot of people/ armies.  Any army with a higher model count can be a hard go as it is very easy to get overrun. All you can hope for is to be able to clear out as much guys as you can on your turn.  Electro Leap is the devil!  Even with Gunny’s feat, you cannot take damage from range attacks, but your models are still able to be affected by the effects of the range attacks.  So be mindful of what your opponent’s range weapons can do amongst everything else.

High armour is a tough nut to crack like any Khador list in the theme Armored Corps.  Having models with a high armour is one thing, but also having hit boxes to chew through makes it even harder of a grind.  Man-o-War Shock Troopers in Shield Wall (+4 Armour) go up to ARM 21 with 8 boxes.  Even with the Champions having weapon master POW 12 with two attacks, you’re looking at dice minus 9 for damage.  Best case scenario you get the charge with them against the Shock Troopers.  You get 4 dice on the charge attack damage averaging 14 on the roll.  The second attack you get three dice averaging 11 on the roll. So if you roll average, you’ll be able to do 7 damage to a Shock Trooper.  You will need The Almighty Dice Gods to be your favour. So far, that hasn’t been the case for me.

 

But that is the joy of the game, right? We can have the best list the meta can spit out, but if the dice are not rolling well, it can go south very quickly.  I joked earlier about Tough is for Trolls and Trolls alone.  That doesn’t mean anything if you don’t make any Tough rolls!  But as I mentioned at the start of this post, finding out the jank and tools you have, finding what your army should and shouldn’t drop into, that is all part of the growing pains of getting into a new faction or even a new game.  For me, I’m aiming to learn from each game and overall, to suck less.  To be able to do it with the Trollbloods is pretty cool as they’re not one of the go to, highly played factions for completive play like Cryx, Cygnar, and Legion for some off the top of my head.  I feel that each game I do learn something new; either about my army or my opponents army.  As for the sucking less, the jury is still out!

 

 

Catch you in another time!