12 September 2013

Feast of Blades: Overcoming my faction A.D.D.

About a month from now I will be attending feast of blades. My intention between Lock'N'Load and now was to refine a 2 and 3 list combination for this event. However, faction A.D.D. prevailed and I found myself playing a lot of Skorne and a few games with Khador, Legion, and Minions. With the event coming up fast it's time for me to pull myself together and focus on 3 lists. Inevitably I am turning back to trolls. My relationship with this faction is akin to Chris Brown and Rihanna (I have some busted models to prove it). So here are the 3 lists I will be playing.

Hoarluk 1, Runes of War

Full Krielstone w/UA
4 Units of Runeshapers

Grissel 1

Full Longriders
Full Kriel Warriors w/UA and 3 Cabers
Full Krielstone w/UA
Min Champions

Grim 1

Full Boomhowlers
Full Bushwhackers
Sons of Bragg

Runes of War needs no intro I will likely play it in hardcore and it will be my go to list in other events. The Queen of the Red Sea, she is a fantastic longrider caster and my mindset on Troll pairings is you need 1 beast brick and 1 longrider caster. Grim is hanging out in case I manage to snag a spot in masters. However, he may get swapped in for the 2 list event if I see an overwhelming number of certain factions.

Playing trolls competitively can be a challenge at times, this is largely due to trolls lacking an over-all focus. As a troll player you often find your options to be mediocre at best, to get the most out of trolls you have to position well, know your casters good/bad match-ups inside out, and be able to pass multiple mental command checks.

The challenge of playing the trolls well is what always brings me back. Positioning is an important part of this game, but when you are a medium base synergy faction it is even more important. We also suffer from poor defensive stats which means often times positioning is the only way we can reduce casualties outside of an absurd tough streak. My positioning is not the greatest, to combat this I have chosen lists that each have a denial element that helps cover my deficiencies and I don't have an outrageous amount of infantry.

List chicken and match-ups are a very entertaining portion of the game for me. I like to have balanced lists that can stand a chance even in a bad match-up. Trolls tend to have a hard time against hard denial or board control, this is why Hoarluk is my go to caster. He has the staying power to endure the punishment and eventually push back hard. However even Hoarluk has some terrible match-ups, primarily dude spam which both Grim and Grissel can cover well enough. There are also certain scenario's where trolls have a difficult time competing. Trolls do not enjoy dividing their forces due to their synergistic theme. Grissel has long threat ranges, her feat, and the hoof it fell call to make it very difficult for the enemy to determine where she is going to apply force. Grim brings enough guns that when backed by his feat the enemy has to accept that they will suffer heavy casualties if they want to remain relevant in scenario.

I feel mental command checks are a big portion of this game. We have all had situations where we lose a large portion of our army, or are completely tilted by a feat or ability. It is extremely easy to just give in and scoop. Trolls as a faction have a built in mental command check for both you and your opponent, tough. One thing to keep in mind when you are about to roll your command check, trolls can do a lot of work with a limited number of models, and if nothing else you can grab another scenario point or kill a few more models to help with those tie breakers!

I hope some of you find my ramblings on trolls in the competitive arena helpful in your own adventures. After feast of blades expect to see a Hindsight's 20/20 article where I talk about my failures and hopefully what I learned in the process.


  1. I like your description of the Trolls as football hooligans. More power to you!

  2. Did you think about including warders in your pgriss list? Those min champs almost buy you a full Warder unit and would skew well with the stone.

  3. In this iteration of the list, I prefer min champs over warders. I considered min warders, however 1 champion does a terrific job removing objectives like the ones in proccess of elimination. It takes 2 warders to the same thing. I can see arguments for warders, but they cannot do the job I need in this list. Sons of Bragg are the only thing that can compare, however I like the option Grissel fell calling my punching unit.