-By: Elliott (PG_E2lio2tR)

Trollbloods are an interesting faction to try & build in a Journeyman League. All of the other factions get at least one heavy to start out with that will do the heavy lifting and armor cracking. Trolls get three lights and have to work from there. Some see this as a weakness. I see it as helping show the play style of the faction.

Trolls are all about the inter model synergy and buffing. Between spells (both from the caster and animus from the beasts) and solo/unit buffs, a light or even a solo can crack heavy armor without much trouble. Yes, things that are Arm20 or more will give you some issues but in those cases you have to plan a different way to take them out of the game. So let’s get started with how I plan to build trolls during an upcoming Journeyman in my local group.

 

Week One:

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer

 

This is the base battle box. Nothing fancy here. The axer will be the heavy hitter with Ragnor putting Pulveriser up on it to swing its axe at P+S: 16. You will still have issues vs heavies but most warcasters and warlocks will cringe a bit at this. It can also do some work against other lights. The bouncer is there for shield guard. Put its animus up on itself and keep it close to Ragnor to keep him safe. The Impaler will be generating the most fury for you the first round or two as the other models get into position. Between its animus Far Strike and boosting the to hit & damage rolls you will have 3 furry each time from it as long as it is still standing with a functioning Spirit. What you will want to do is try & get crits on the heavier armor models to push them away & open up charge lanes for your axer to get in and swing away.

Ragnor will be a support caster unless he needs to go in himself. He will cast Earth Sanctuary on himself as well as the Axer and the Impaler the first round while putting Pulverizer on the Axer as well. This will cost him his full 6 fury but it is setting up the Axer to be able to hit as hard as it can and keep keep those 3 models as safe as possible.  

His feat is for the turn you expect your opponent to do his alpha strike or for right after you have done yours and to keep him from counter attacking as hard as he could. Losing one die of damage brings your models to a bit more survivable than before.

The key weakness here is that you will need an armor cracking model. This brings us to the next week so here we go.

 

Week Two:

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer
    • Slag troll

The main weakness of the box was armor cracking. The trouble is that with week 2 you can only add a beast to this box. Most factions get a choice of a cheap heavy to put in or already has one that can do the job. Trolls do not fall into this group. The cheapest heavy is 15 points (5 points too much for week 2).

So we have the choice of a few lights. You can take a cheaper light and not use the full 10 points to have more points to play with in the next week but I felt like I would really need some armor cracking and I play in a Warjack heavy meta right now. This is where the slag troll comes in. With its ability to roll an additional die verse constructs (Warjacks counting as such) and its P+S 13 in melee or 12 from range, it should be able to do some work vs Jacks. Add Pulverizer from Ragnor and you are looking at P+S15 in melee with beat back on top of that. Just minus 5 vs Khador jacks on 3d6 or 4d6 if you boost that damage roll. Not bad in many ways. If you were going to count just average dice rolls (3d6 will roll 10 on average in this case) that is 5 damage a roll. With two initial attacks and the ability to buy 3 more you are looking at an average of 25 damage in one turn verses the Khador Jack. Again this is average and you can roll higher than this or even lower, but in theory this would be the average turn.

 

Week  Three:

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer
    • Slag troll
    • Runebearer Attachment
  • Fell caller
  • Min. Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes

 

Week three brings in the use of units and solos. This is where things start to get interesting for Trolls I think. This is when you will start seeing how the army starts to buff one another in fun ways,  The stone is there to help with survivability. Adding +2 armor onto everything with in 7 inches on it can help keep key models alive and reduce the damage you take. Also once you start losing beasts, you can pull the fury back from it to help keep your caster running as close to full as possible.  

The Runebearer attachment is there to help Ragnor with casting spells with just 6 fury to play with. Early on you will use Harmonious Exaltation to make casting Pulverizer cheaper so that Ragnor can throw an extra fury on the stone. Later in the game he can be used to cast some of the offensive spells to help remove buffing spells on enemy models or knock them down instead. He will just help make spell casting a bit more flexible in many ways for your caster.

Now the Fell caller. I know some vets reading this may call me crazy for saying this but I think during this week he is a great choice. You place the calls on himself to help him charge in with pathfinder or give himself a +2 to MAT to make sure he hits better. With two P+S10 weapon master attacks he can do some damage himself. If needed, you could put Pulverizer on him and get those two attacks up to P+S12. He can also swing support if needed ( he is flexible like that). If you need to send Ragnor in to do the dirty work himself +2 MAT is never a bad thing for any model. He can also get all the models in his command to stand up for free. He has multiple uses. Not too bad for just 5 points

 

Week Four:

 

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer
    • Slag troll
    • Runebearer Attachment
  • Fell caller
  • Max Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
    • Stone Scribe Elder UA
  • Max Kriel Warriors
    • Standard & Piper UA
  • Braylen Wanderheart

So, Week four. Where to start.? I guess I will start with the changes to the Krielstone unit. I have maxed out the unit size as well as added the Unit/Command attachment (labeled as UA). It will be tricky to get the stone to be at its full 7 fury but between the help from the Runebearer making a spell cheaper and dumping 4 fury on it turn one and 3 during turn 2, the stone can affect everything with in ten inches of it. The UA allows me a bit of flexibility as well. I can make things hit harder by boosting all affected models STR, making my models immune to continuous effects like corrosion or fire, or removing stealth & incomporal to enemy models with in ten inches of the stone. It adds a layer of buffs as well as flexibility to the army that can help in different situations.

I usually try to include one unit in my lists that can be used as a tar pit. This unit’s job is to charge or run in, tie up something and make it work turn after turn to try & get out. This is where the Warriors come in. With Unyielding, they get a pump up to a very respectable Arm17 in melee. If you can get them within ten inches of the stone unit they move up to Arm 19. The basic idea here is to charge them into a unit your opponent wants to charge you with or that unit that they hinge a lot of their plans on. Under the stones effect you can bump them up to P+S 12. Once they finish their attack and removing whatever they can (not their main goal but a handy bonus if they do some damage) use the pipers reposition ability to move your models around to a better position to tie up as much as you can. WIth the standard in play, the unit can take up about 20 inches of table space and stay in formation. The leader has a CMD 8 and the standard gives you 2 extra inches meaning that there is effectively a 20 inch circle that he can have models in his unit around him. The Fell Caller can help this unit out as well. He can help with giving the unit a +2 to its MAT bringing them up to MAT 7 or giving them Pathfinder for a turn so that they can get them where you want them to be.

Now on to what some may be wondering about. Braylen Wanderheart. One issue I run into a lot in games with trolls is that I brick up. While this does help strengthen the core of the army because they will be in rang of the stone’s effects, it does mean that it is harder to get behind the lines to take out some of the other side’s support models. This is where our friendly outlaw comes into play. With pathfinder naturally on her & the lack of melee weapons, there is not much she gets from the Fell Caller. She can basically run on her own up the flanks hiding along the way to activate Prowl. Once she gets there, she can try to take out lower armor models like the Choir of Menoth or Mechanics in almost all the factions. Her guns have luck so if she misses an attack she can reroll. This along with run & gun, she can kill one or two models and then move off to try & protect herself from counter attacks. She will not be that key model that will win you the game. She will be that model that you use to try & take out the key models of your opponent’s support crew to make his stuff have a harder time taking your stuff out.

Now some may be wondering why I do not have highwaymen in the list to take advantage of her Leadership ability with them. While I do like the highwaymen, they are points that I can use to bolster my main force and would be 6 to 10 additional models on medium bases that could hurt my placement and charge lanes. This list also does not give them the support they would like. Gunbjorn could give them Snipe for example. This would have increased their threat range while allowing them to stay out of the rest of the armies way. In this list I think it would be better to have that one model doing the harassment and use the rest of the points and table space for the main force.

 

Week Five:

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer
    • Slag troll
    • Runebearer Attachment
  • Fell caller
  • Max Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
    • Stone Scribe Elder UA
  • Max Kriel Warriors
    • Standard & Piper UA
  • Braylen Wanderheart
  • Sons of Bragg
  • Stone Scribe Chronicler

 

This week brings in just two new entries to the list. First up is the Stone Scribe Chronicler. This model is purely support. He is here to put one of his three abilities on the warriors. For the march up the table, the Chronicler will put up his Tale of Mist ability that gives the warriors concealment. Mostly this will help give them a small boost to DEF so more can make it up to where I need them. Once they get into the fight and start tieing up the other side’s models, the Chronicler will put Hero’s Tragedy up on them instead. What this fun ability does is cause an attacking model to be knocked down at the end of their activation for destroys a friendly model that is affected by it. So, when they start to try & get out of the tar pit you placed their elite models in, you cause them to be tied up for at least one more turn. This also has the fun benefit of giving any surviving warriors an easy target to hit during your next turn.

The Sons of Bragg. With my direct support models of the Chronicler and Fell Caller are focusing on helping the Warriors do their thing, the Sons can support themselves. They sport three Fell Calls that can only target their own unit and they can not even be the target of another friendly Fell Caller’s calls. They can get to the action thanks to two of their calls. One allowing knocked down models in the unit to stand up and the other allowing them not to lose tough while knocked down. Their last call though is where some fun can be found. This one gives them +2 on their damage rolls this turn. To give the full picture let’s lay down how many attacks this unit gets on the charge. One of the Sons, Tor, has assault so that is one attack with an eight inch spray at an effective POW14. Once they are swinging with their swords, you will get three weapon master attacks at P+S12 and one weapon master attack at P+S14. That can put a hurt on many things. If you can keep them in range of the stone, increase that to three P+S 14 attacks and one at P+S16. There are many casters who would not like to be at the receiving end of that one. While many models in Trolls like or need buffs from other models, this unit can survive with very little extra help. They are expensive, but they can get work done on their own.

 

Week 6:

  • Ragnor
    • Impaler
    • Bouncer
    • Axer
    • Slag troll
    • Runebearer Attachment
  • Fell caller
  • Max Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes
    • Stone Scribe Elder UA
  • Max Kriel Warriors
    • Standard & Piper UA
    • 2x Caber Thrower WA
  • Braylen Wanderheart
  • Sons of Bragg
  • Stone Scribe Chronicler
  • Dhunian Knot

The last week sees a very small collection of models added. The Caber thrower Weapon Attachment (WA) to the warriors are mostly just there to add bodies to the tarpit for them to work through. It also gives the unit 2 attacks that can cause a bit more damage. There is honestly not much fuss over this addition,

The Dhunian Knot is there for their three abilities. They can help with threshold checks if you can not get all of the fury off you beasts one turn by allowing you to reroll the check. They allow you to heal models that need some health back because you will be getting hit back in some places. However, my favorite ability has to be puppet master. If each member of the knot casts this ability, you can have three models reroll that critical attack or damage roll. We all have had a charge attack miss that you needed to hit. This would allow you to reroll that & get a second shot. In the event you hit that roll the first time, then you can reroll the damage roll if it was really low. It adds a buffer to those clutch moments of a game.

 

Well there is my Trollblood Journeyman List. Some may say it is not the most competitive list out there but I think it could be a lot of fun. I decided to keep Ragnor throughout the whole event at this time because I think his feat will help counter someone’s Alpha strike or the counter attack from my own attacks. His spell list can help set up attacks by knocking stuff down that i want to charge or removing spells with Hex blast. There could be an argument made that Calandra would help this list a lot, but to be fair she helps every list a lot..  

I will run this list in the league that we will be doing soon at my local store and report back then about how it is doing. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me on the FB group. I am always happy to talk with other players.