25 July 2011

Skywise's Guide to the Merc Life: Bounty Hunters!

-You're wanted dead or alive. Just draw- Dead is a lot easier. -Dannon Blythe

In order to make my first tactica post Trollblood related, I decided to focus on a Merc unit that will actually work for Trollbloods - Dannon Blythe & Bull. This unit is actually a tier requirement for a Grim Angus theme list! I've been using them in quite a few games lately, including them in my Drake MaccBain slow-grow league list, so I will share a few tips and tricks with them. To start, I would like to address a few questions that pop up on the Merc boards frequently:

Q: Are Dannon & Bull worth their point cost? - A: No, not really. At a whooping 4 points for a character unit, that puts you in the same range as Aiyana & Holt, the Black 13th, Min. Steelheads, Min Kriel Warriors, almost any 2 Merc solos, etc. All of the mentioned are better values for the points.

Q: Why play them then? - A: If you paid money for them and pain-stakingly painted them, then you want to see them on the battlefield, regardless of the models. And yeah, even though I said they weren't worth the points, they aren't THAT bad. Where as I wouldn't recommend them in a competitive environment, they are perfectly fine to use in fun, pick-up games at your LGS.

Q: How do you use them then? A: They key to using them is getting the most out of Dannons Huntsman/prey. When placing prey on an enemy, make sure it is something they can handle. Avoid heavy targets, (enemy heavies, Bastions, Man O Wars, Warmongers, etc). Also resist the urge to put it on the enemy caster first. This is fine later during the game once they disposed of their original target and a good chunk of enemy models are removed form the board. Instead, pick a key enemy solo or light unit. Examples of good prey targets are Jr. Warcasters, the Piper, Forsakens, Tartarus, Lord of the Feast, Mechanic solos or units, enemy jack marshalls, etc. Be sure to keep Dannon safe, the unit loses prey when she dies, and she is a very squishy model!

Q: Do I stay at range, or close in for melee? - A: Looking at Bulls monster-of-a-gun will make you think this is a ranged unit. At a potential RAT 10 (w/aiming and prey), D3 shots, beatback, and a crit knockdown is great and you should be shooting if targets present themselves (though Dannon only has a measly RNG 8 pistol). But truth be told though, these guys are just as lethal in melee. At a MAT 8 (w/ prey), 2 attacks per model, and take-down, this unit is equipped to handle enemy solos or light units. If your prey has stealth, don't be afraid to charge if the opportunity presents itself.

Q: Which warcaster/warlock works best with them? - A: Any really. Dannon and bull are very self-sufficient and require very little support from the caster, (that, and you really don't want to waste a valuable upkeep spell on them). However, any caster with an area effect buffing feat, (MacBain's True Grit or Ashlynn's Roulette for example), or area of effect buffing spells, (Sure Foot, Solid Ground, Inhospitable Ground for example), add a little to the units effectiveness. If not, throw these guys on a flank and let them operate independently.

In summary, Dannon & Bull are a fun, independent unit that can be very fun to play. You get a certain satisfaction once you take down your prey target. Just don't expect the world out of them and understand that this unit definitely has it's flaws.

Keep an eye on my next posts in which I will show you how to paint Merc Green 'Jacks quick and dirty style, show you how to make custom battlefield markers using bottle caps, and take a look at Gallant from a Merc perspective.

For Blood and Coin,


  1. They were the first merc unit I bought and I play with them all the time Sure 4 points is alot but I taken out a light jack with them multiple times

  2. Anonymous26 July, 2011

    I have finished off lights with them before. The only time I killed off a light completely with them is when they took down a Cryx light (Nightwretch I think). Honestly I do love playing Dannon & Bull, they just feel like they would fit in better at 3 pts. than 4. Or at least give Dannon a Handcannon! :P

  3. They did win you the game vs Brian when he decided they were being a pain in the butt and charged them with his caster right out of the killbox.