12 January 2011

Trollkin Long Riders and Horthol, Long Rider Hero – Your Guide to the Toughalow

By Goris
In this write I will try and detail the tactics, tricks and strategies used with the Long Riders that make them one of, if not the BEST Cavalry unit in the game. I have had a fondness for this exceedingly expensive unit ever since they stole sixty of my dollars from my wallet. Horthol took another forty five and I never looked back. I have no doubts that once you start fielding them you will enjoy every moment they are on the table and the sheer hate you will get from other factions.

Trollkin Long Riders
Trollkin Trollblood Cavalry Unit

“If the trembling earth sends fear into the lungs of the enemy to steal their very breath, know it is the long riders who come.”
- Benlor Saddleborn of the Jelkilar Kriel Long Riders
Forces of Hordes: Trollbloods MKII

This quote embodies so much of how the long riders are and play. They are an intensely powerful unit that is self sufficient and effective. However the nuances of fielding them are hard to get down. I’ll go over their strengths and weaknesses both in stats and tactics during this write up.

Rules Break Down
Speed: 7
Mat: 7
Def: 12
Arm: 17

Pretty solid stats across the board for these guys. They are slow by Cavalry standards, but certainly fast by troll standards. Their threat range is only beat by models under speed increasing feats and equal to the Fennblades with the new UA. The real key here though is that MAT 7. This combined with heavy Cav rools and gaining +2 MAT on the charge is amazing. You will start having no problem hitting even the highest defense casters on a charge and even the Winterguard death star crumbles under their ability to hit models. Now, this doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a buff for security, specifically where Horthol comes into play, but that will come later. The solid armor means they won’t die to a stiff breeze so even gun lines will struggle to take them down without a few CRA’s. Throw in the plethora of other buffs we have available and they become extremely potent.

Cavalry Axe:
P+S 12
Brutal Charge – This model gains +2 to charge attack damage rolls with his weapon.
This weapon is solid. A little weak when already engaged, but ideally with impact attacks and the charge attack you should be hitting a large number of models. Also, keep in mind with Tall in the Saddle, you will be able to target anything that is not blocked by a large base. So, you have a staggered unit of any sort of infantry. You can target a model in the back row with your reach and impact everything in your melee you come to in the first row. This insures the maximum damage output on a charge for these guys.

Pow 14
Critical Knockdown – On a critical hit, the model hit is knocked down.
This weapon in itself is pretty sweet. It’s a good power, at comes at MAT 7 without Horthol around and has Crit knockdown. Pow 14 on every impact attack is also fantastic. This sounds great now, but later I will detail how one of the Long Riders’ orders makes them essentially combat riders with Pow 14 mounts.

This is not uncommon with our elite troops. Relish the ability to never have to make a command check.

Need I say more.

Bull Rush (Order):
Affected models can make slam power attacks and must run, charge, or make a slam power attack this
activation. A slammed model suffers a damage roll with POW equal to the current POW of this modelʼs Mount ICON. The POW
of collateral damage from a slam is equal to the current POW of the Mount ICON. If an affected model makes a successful slam
but moved less than 3 ˝, it makes an attack roll against its target. If the target is hit, it suffers a damage roll with POW equal to the
current POW of this model

Things to note about this rule:
- This allows each individual model in the unit to choose what it does with it’s activation independent of the others.
- The wording of it essentially makes them combat riders getting to base attacks while engaged.
- You cannot receive this order if you have to sacrifice your movement or attack. This gets tricky specifically because if you try and give the rest of the unit this order while one long rider has to sacrifice movement or action, he pretty much made the order worthless for the Long Rider who has been knocked down.

Horthol, Long Rider Hero
Trollblood Trollkin Dragoon Character Solo

“That one is all heart. If I put him at the front of battle, Victory is certain. If I ask him to watch my family, I sleep assured of their safety.”
- Madrak Ironhide

Horthol has shown up along side Madrak in the fluff for quite some time and has proven quite the bad ***. His model and his rules live up to it. Pick him up and enjoy the carnage.

Rules Break Down
Speed: 5/7
Mat: 8
Def: 12
Arm: 16/18

Horthol is a basic Long Rider with a few upgrades while mounted and only a small decrease in armor and speed while not.

Long Hammer
Pow 6
P+S 15
Critical Stagger: On a critical hit, the model hit loses its initial attacks and cannot make special attacks for one round.

This is pretty sweet, specifically if you get a crit off on something with a burly special attack such as an Angelius. This is probably a poor example, but you get the picture.

Pow 14
Critical Knockdown : On a critical hit, the model hit is knocked down.

Elite Cadre [Long Riders] - Friendly Long Rider models gain Follow Up and Line Breaker.

Follow Up - When this model slams an enemy model, immediately after the slam is resolved this model can advance directly toward the slammed model up to the distance the slammed model was moved.

This is the same ability granted to the Titans of Skorne and is really sweet when we can line up a slam.

Line Breaker - This model gains an additional die on impact attack rolls.
This ability is amazing. This allows you to hit nearly anything you want in melee and if you crit with the impact, you KD your target, auto hitting with the subsequent attack. If you don’t think this is amazing, you should go jump in a lake or something.

Notes on Horthol
Elite Cadre - Some models confer abilities to other models of a certain type
in an army. Models that gain abilities from an Elite Cadre rule
retain them even if the model that granted those abilities is
destroyed or removed from play.

This means that you won’t lose the abilities granted when Horthol goes down. Which, tends to happen since most opponents perceive him to be a significant threat. This however shouldn’t discourage you from getting him into the action as you won’t lose all the amazing abilities he grants.

Basic Tactica
The Art of the Slam
Slamming effectively is an art. It’s not something one should do all willy nilly. Trolls have long been great at slamming our own models over thigns to negate high def. This is perhaps no better used then with our own Long Riders.

Kriel Bowling
As simple as is sounds. Kriel warrios are meduim bases and are ideal for slam targtes as small based infrantry won’t stop them once we’ve flung them through our enemies lines. This si particularly effective against things like the Winterguard death star and Kayazy assasins. Obviously there are other examples but few boast the same Def stats. This however can be used against any small base and consdering the very small expense of our units, specifically Kriels the points exchange is almost always in our favor. Also, your Kriel could simply tough at the end of his slammed move and be there to threaten other thigns he’s moved to engage. This is a tide and true tactica I have been using for quite some time, not only with Long Riders, but with Impalers as well.

Toughalow Shuffle

Since there has been renewed interest in this tactic I figured I would go more in depth about how it will work.

This tactic is wonderfully simple. Take a Long Rider and run him in front fo a group or single target you wish to be knocked down or simply killed. Take a second long rider in the unit and Slam the first long rider over whatever it was you wanted dead. Simply effective and with a great threat range. Apply this liberally to casters or anything you want dead. You may lose your long riders under exceptional damage rolls, but mostly likely the collateral damage from your Long Rider has likely killed whatever it just bowled over.

Now to illustrate this with a clever picture!

So, the gist of how this works. The leader gives the Bull Rush order. Numbers 1 and 2 Run or Charge under the order. Numbers 3 and 4 after those impacts or run have been resolved move like the rest of the unit. Resolve the Long Riders who impacted before the slams. Once those 2 have finished revolve 3 and 4's slams to kill even more WG in the process. This is highly simplified obviously, but that's basically how it works. There may be a discrepancy on when the slam happens since you choose who in the unit activates when, but it makes sense to me.
Horthol Pincer
The Long Riders and Horthol are very good together and most opponents see them as a threat to be dealt with lest the eat impacts/charges/slams. This tactic is simple. Deploy the Long Riders on opposite flanks. This presents your opponent with quite a dilema. He can adress the Long Riders and leave Horthol, or visa versa. Either way he leaves signifigant threats on the flanks is he doesn’t engage or adress either. If you opponent commits too much to both, the the core of your army pushes in for the kill. This lends itself to my list building specifically, but is not a bad tatic if you take both the Long Riders and Horthol.

Aside from he apparet benefits, this tactic provides your army with a fair bit of utility. Horthol himself provides a unique threat even without the Long Riders. He’s a beastly solo who can assasinate casters, open up charge lanes with slams, take out multiple troops with impacts, or simply tie up a huge numbers of models and be a very difficult piece to remove. Left alone to get inot position Horthol can win you the game. Even tied up or engaging thigns he can buy you time or engage specific models to move the game in your favor.


  1. Great write up on the longriders!

    really gave me some new ideas.


  2. You know, being new to the Warmahordes game it never crossed me that I could slam my own models. Well done sir! I loved every second of your article. Please, keep them coming.

  3. One thing you forgot to mention is instead of your kriel warriors you can hit your Fennblades. Since they are immune to impact attack dmg. This means they make the best cannonballs. Keep on fennblade back and have a Fell Caller do warcry and they all stand up for some fun.

  4. You can not stand up the same turn you were knocked down.

  5. Unit rules state that all models in a unit must complete their moves before any blows can be struck. (including slam damage rolls)The slam rules state that you declare that you are slamming then move straight at the model then make an attack roll against the target model and if the attack is a hit then the model is slammed d6 inches away. The rule on the card just says that each rider can choose which method of attack they will do...
    The way I read it: declare charge or slam and to which model then move all models in range, then declare the order in which to resolve the attacks weather it be slam or charge. the follow up moves on the models that slammed can be preformed after each sucessfull slam attack.

  6. Actually you declare that you are performing a Bull Rush and decide which model is doing what when you activate it. You can change your mind depending on how well the Longrider before it positioned itself after it moved.

    Also note, Impact attacks happen durng movement.