21 July 2010

Borka Kegslayer, a guide to a front line fighter - by McChomperz

For starters, Borka is the hardest warlock to kill in Hordes. Only a few Khador warcasters can compete with his survivability. This will be the highlighting factor in playing and running your drunken warband.

With decent stats across the board, he looks like a second wave beatstick or even a late game ender. But we add in some spells and special rules and he turns into a nightmare to kill. His defensive abilities are the best you will see, taunting people to try and take him out. With an average Troll defense and high arm he stands fine on his own. His Mat and Rat are the norm for beatstick casters, average melee warlocks. When he hits it hurts, as he has the same p+s as Madrak or Asphixious and still with reach.
Borka has very low fury. He has a way to balance out the fury amount, just not the control area.


Unyielding- extra armor when in combat puts his armor up to Mulg’s level. This makes Borka have one over Khador armor when affected by the Krielstone, a simple combo that dramatically adds to his survivability. In combat + Krielstone aura = arm 21.
Immunity Cold- He cannot be made stationary, so he can’t be auto hit by freezing weapons and can’t be hurt by anything that does cold damage. It comes in handy.

Weapon abilities
Trauma- melee weapon
Reach- It gives him that extra 2” threat range. This is important as he will have a speed debuff on him most of the game.
Brain Damage- when you hit, you deny the model he is in combat with spell casting, up keeping, o using animi. Doesn’t come into plays that much as whatever he is in combat with is usually dead in that turn, helpful if you fail to kill.
Bomb- Ranged weapon
Typical Troll range for a thrown weapon, but this time it’s a bomb. Small AOE, pow equal to the strength of a dire troll. Borka doesn’t shoot much.

Iron Flesh- this spell is one big reason he is so hard to kill, it raises his defense to the best base stat of any warlock. The drawback is it lowers his speed by one, preventing him from charging. When you want to charge just don’t upkeep it and recast it on Borka after the charge. This is also a great spell for the beginning of the game on a big tar pit unit, like Kriel warriors or fen blades.
Wind wall- The Khadoran limousine on trolls. Denying the army from ranged attacks onto Borka and any model completely within 3. Look out as this denies you from making ranged attacks too. Just shoot before Borka casts this. Magic attacks go right through, so don’t think you are immune to all range while inside it.
Mosh pit- Borka’s signature spell. Gives all models in his control knockdown on their melee weapons. This spell is amazing. In Hordes, many warbeasts have high defense and some have the ability to be even higher, this spell ruins those lists. If your enemy has a few warbeasts or a warlock in your threat range that you can cover with his small control of 10” use this spell so your first hit will knock them down allowing all the next attacks to hit with ease. The big use for the spell is assassination runs.

Feat- Bar room blitz
This is a two use feat. The first use extends your threat range by giving everyone a bit more a larger charge move and beasts power attack. Useful for closing the gap and giving the quick reach trollkin extra distance. This is what most people use it for.
The second use is the fun one. This gives an additional dice of damage on all warbeasts power attacks and collateral damage. With all of our heavies having at least one open fist, most with two, power attacks come easy. All you need to do is throw out some strength buffs and start throwing stuff around. A full buffed mauler can double handed throw a heavy at another heavy for 4 dice pow 16 damage roll that can be boosted on the thrown and a 3 damage die pow 16 on the target. This part of the feat is best utilized when you are in the thick of it.

The Pyg Keg Carrier, Borka’s best friend.
Stats- Low. Hehe. He won’t be joining Borka in combat, not really anyway. His speed is lower than Borka’s so try to keep them side by side at first.
Melee stats- Low, don’t even bother.

Top off- Use on Borka only, it gives him more fury and stumbling drunk. The additional fury is enough to cast Iron flesh or an animus again. Stumbling drunk is an amazing defensive buff to our already hard to kill caster. First off, Borka can’t be knocked down when drunk, so every opponent without sustained attack needs to get around his defense. Second, and probably most important, whenever he is hit he stumbles D3 away in a direction determined from the deviation template. With a little luck he will stumble just outside of melee range. This is a push so you won’t take a free strike when you stumble away.
Party Foul- when the keg is killed one model/unit in your army (no distance restriction) can make a vengeance action in the maintenance phase. This stacks with vengeance since it is called Part Foul. This makes people really not want to kill the keg, even though it is Borka’s lifeblood. You can use this to set up a model for a charge or weight of attacks from a unit.
Attached/companion- The keg carrier comes with Borka, has no point cost, and has when Borka is destroyed the Keg leaves play. The keg is part of Borka’s battlegoup. This just means he comes free when you play Borka.

Heavy Beasts
Dire Troll Mauler
Arguable the best beast to use with Borka. Fantastic animus for additional strength, enough fury to fully support Borka, and grab and smash chain attack for use with Bar room blitz. I always take at least one mauler with every Borka list. One fun trick is to pop Borka’s feat, use the mauler’s animus on the mauler, and have the mauler charge a big nasty target 10” away, hit with both initials, then grab and smash to double handed throw at a juicy target like a caster or another heavy.

Dire Troll Bomber
Having some ranged support is very nice, especially when its 2x pow 16. This big guy helps clear out infantry and give extra shots against targets that were knocked down from mosh pit. A balanced beast that makes its way as a second heavy. The short range on the bombs is the same as Borka’s bomb, so they can hang out and shoot things together if you want. Two open fists for power attacks too, so feat synergy.

Earthborn Dire Troll
Fantastic animus to further support Borka with the unkillability (that’s my word), plus a speed buff that stacks well with his feat. High fury so he can fully support Borka’s fury needs. This beast hits HARD, especially against casters and warjacks. Two open fists for power attacks. Only makes my lists at high point games against warmachine.

Dire troll Blitzer
Awkward synergy here. His animus acts to open charge lanes and open space to stumble around. The blitzer does have two open fists, gunfighter, and virtuoso. That combo means that the blitzer can move up and throw a target, then force to shoot it. Competes for points with the mauler, who is Borka’s best beast, so not often taken.

Mulg the Ancient
Bodyguard. You may think a bodyguard isn’t needed for Borka, but man does it add something to him. Mulg has the ability protective fit, so when Borka takes a hit (transfers or not) Mulg can move and hit whatever hit Borka. This can keep going, so whenever something *tries* to kill Borka, Mulg can potentially kill it or crit slam it out of the picture. That and Mulg is also a premier face crushing beast with reach and the highest P+S in Hordes. He also has an open fist and an animus to shut down spell casting. Great beast to take, enough fury to fully support Borka.

Light beasts
Troll Axer
Troop killer with the ability to lay some pain on a heavy. His animus will make your beasts fast with pathfinder. He has reach, so on the feat turn, with his animus, he can cover some serious ground. The downside to this is he will probably be outside of Borka’s control range after the 12” charge.

Troll Impaler
Ranged support with an animus to give Borka and the bomber a good ranged threat. Synergy with his feat to add damage to the crit slams. Reach gives the Impaler a great threat range on Borka’s feat. I really enjoy this light beast with Borka.

Pyre/Slag trolls
Both of their animi add to damage, which is always useful. It is not as powerful as the mauler’s animus, but might have a spot. The ranged support is useful against all the knocked down targets from mosh pit, but generally there are better light beasts to take with him.

Winter Troll
Interesting animus, if you put it on a model that will be up front then lives all the enemies near that model will be made stationary at the end of their turn. This is not as needed as you think since Mosh pit will knock models down anyway. The one trick I can think of is ranged support with his breath weapon. He is fluffy though, so I end up taking him sometimes.

Swamp troll
Cheapest beast we have. The animus is what makes him shine with Borka; an additional 2 def against living beasts makes a HUGE difference. That makes Borka stack def buffs to have the best defense out of any caster in the game. Combined with cannot be knocked down and cannot be frozen and it is very difficult to take him down. Two open fists and a fun ranged attack add on to the shenanigans, and this beast is purely shenanigans.

Troll Bouncer
The bodyguard beast really isn’t needed with Borka. The only thing he is useful for is reach, which there are better beasts for that. The rest of this beast isn’t that useful. I have tried his animus on Borka and with stumbling drunk I have stumbled right back into melee range of the model hitting me. I don’t recommend him. 


Fenn Blades
With above average speed and reach these become the signature infantry needed for Borka. They can cover some serious ground under his feat and with mosh pit or a fell caller they can hit with their attacks. Vengeance is fun with them as well, allowing them to clear out opposing infantry that try to take them out. Iron flesh works well with them as they can tar pit the enemy with def 15. Double vengeance from party foul is fun but no one likes seeing the keg die.

Kriel warriors
Steady makes them the best tar pit for use with Iron flesh. Their above average arm and tough, combined with the troll buffs from the Kriel stone will make them very frustrating for your opponent. Caber tossers are a fun weapon attachment with reach that can put some damage on the opponent. Combined melee attack and their superior numbers allow them to take out some harder to hit targets too. The price makes them shine too, cheap cheap cheap.

Heavy infantry is always fun, the high amount of damage they can take combined with the high amounts of damage they can deal makes them valuable with Borka. Iron flesh on these guys will increase their unkillability. They are a great unit to take no matter what the caster, always fun.

Krielstone bearer and stone scribes.
The armor aura is fantastic to supplement Borka’s already formidable armor. Under the aura he is bumped up to arm 21 while in combat. With the stone scribe elder, their unit attachment, they can add strength to the models in the aura making your force hit harder. Great price tag, I like to take a min unit with the elder to sit 3” behind Borka all game.

With Mosh pit you can knock down some targets allowing them to hit with their terrible mat/rat. They are also cheap and fast, allowing them to get around to the back of the enemy. They hit hard!! So if you can support them by knocking something down then blasting it with all their short range guns it may just die. Fantastic unit to take, just remember to cast mosh pit to knock stuff down before you try to hit it.

Long Riders
These heavy cavalry really work well with Borka. Their high speed and reach means they are getting there faster and easier than ever. Their high mat and high pow will put some hurt on everything they touch. The feat makes them get the alpha strike and impact attacks help clear out infantry. I love them, the only down side is the price tag, both $ and points.

Ranged support. With the ability to knock things down they can finish off targets with ranged attacks. They can also clear out infantry in the way giving space for your other models to get stuck in.

A little redundant, but with pathfinder and a blast they can potentially hold a flank. I do not recommend them.

Fell Caller

Probably the best solo with Borka. The Fell Caller’s toolbox makes it much easier for you to hit in melee, the ability to get through rough terrain, or stand everyone up. This is vital as otherwise Borka will be dragged down from rough terrain. If you have a hard to hit target you can call a model to hit easier then cast Mosh pit and knock it down allowing all the rest of your attacks to hit. He is also no slouch in melee or ranged. With a nice spray attack and two weapon master sword attacks he can lay the pain.

Stone Scribe Chronicler

A pure support solo that can give a unit concealment. This is the big step since you can combine iron flesh and this buff to make your fennblades def 17 vs. ranged. The other stories help to knock models down so your vengeance can auto hit or you can do more damage and hit better against models in a beasts melee range. The first story is the best one to use since it really covers your advance. I recommend him, after the fell caller.

Trollkin Champion Hero

A pure axe to mouth solo. Send him up and let him cut down a whole bunch of models. He has a great mat, reach and thresher, so the tools are there to do the job he was meant to. He can also set up your Champions to move through each other, supporting them a bit. He is super killy.

Beast support. They can keep your fury under control if you want to take more beasts. You have to sack one in order to remove fury, so use them sparingly. Take only if you take multiple beasts.

Horthol, Long Rider Hero

An amazing dragoon that works very well with Borka and the Long riders. He has a fantastic mat, great pow, and a mount attack. He can slam, follow up, and bash on stuff. With Mosh pit he is guaranteed to knock everything he contacts down and can slam and set up other models in Borka’s army. If you take long riders, and have spare points, take this guy. You will not regret it.

Trollkin Skinner
only theorymachine for now, the model needs to come out first

Greygore Boomhowler and co.
They seem like fun to use with their buffs and stuff, but I have never taken him with Borka. Borka works well with minions since his spells aren’t faction specific.

Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
What a great match up. Give these girls Iron flesh and watch your opponents dice fail. They will become unhittable and a great addition to your force. They provide a hard hitting melee force and a fantastic ranged unit. Better this merc unit than any of the ranged units we have at our disposal, except maybe the burrowers.

Swamp Gobbers
Hey, if you have a point to spare, they can screen your army on the approach. Good times.

Farrow Brigands
Have not tried them yet.

Bog trog ambushers
Have not tried them yet.

Minion/Merc solos
Totem Hunter

With such a small control range this guy works well to move up the flank and kill the lord of the feast, and other annoying solos. Other than that he works well to get in and reliable hit stuff to knock it down under Mosh pit, maybe kill a trooper next to him so he can get out of the way. He is a fast, reliable solo hunter.

Alten Ashley
Ranged support to do some serious damage to beasts. That’s kinda it. Doesn’t really fit into Borka’s style.

A one ogre tar pit. Fits big into the drunken theme, just keep your units away from his berserk attack. His high pow and decent mat allow him to take out a lot of one wounders before going down. Since he has to be killed twice he can stick around for a few turns.

That’s all for now, more later.


  1. I'm just now getting into Borka, and I agree with everything you said. I really think having Borka, a Mauler, Mulg, a unit of Whelps, a KSB with SS attachment, full unit of champs, a Fellcaller, a min unit long riders with Horthul (a 50 point list) could be extremely competitive in a Steamroller Tournament.

  2. so how is it that he cannot be made stationary, I thought he could not be made stationary by cold damage. If he can't be made stationary at all , GREAT!

  3. I'd like to add in Janissa stonetide is a godsend. her stone wall grants cover to some champions or warders or whatever... almost doubling their survivability. at very least it blocks off charge lanes, shutting out your opponents offensive onslaught. janissa has never let me down, even prevented the frenzy of a bronzeback with that wall.. fun!