28 July 2014

The Art of Trollbloods War ~ Stone 1 Planning

Prior to waging war there are five major elements that must be considered in order to make a proper evaluation or game plan to achieve success as a Trollkin General.  Before you ever hit the table or even make your army lists there are factors to consider that will make you a more complete player and have you more prepared to expand your horizons in different metas and tournaments:

1) The Moral Law ~ In the Art of the War this is gaining the support of the people.  In our game, this is knowing what each of your models does (i.e. know their card and have ample table experience with them.) and be consistent in the way you use them.

2) Heaven ~ Know your area, seriously, the first time I traveled to play this game I went to Seattle.  Where I live if it rains you wait five minutes and the storm is over.  When I was in Seattle it rained for a few days straight... wish I'd have brought a rain coat.   Check the forecast and prepare accordingly, if it is 100 degrees outside don't wear a coat.

3) Earth ~ This is also dealing with preparation.   Know the different terrain types we use in our game and how they affect your guys and be familiar with typcial distances we use.   Ask a few questions to check yourself: Is it rough terrain or not and do I need pathfinder?  Can I see into it or through it?  Does being on or in it hurt or help me?  Can I stand on it?   Can I eyeball Grim Angus' range on his gun with and without Farstrike?  etc.    This comes with practice and a little paying attention.

4) Commander ~ The five cardinal virtues of the Chinese are (1) humanity or benevolence; (2) uprightness of mind; (3) self-respect, self-control, or "proper feeling;" (4) wisdom; (5) sincerity or good faith.   This can be a sensitive subject for some folks but it pays to think about what kind of a person you are going to be before you play.   As a Press Ganger I have seen players lose before they ever hit the table.
  • Benevolence - Be understanding of your opponents desires but don't give in to bullying.  
  • Uprightness of mind - Be honest in all your interactions, don't manipulate the rules, don't be overbearing, keep it straight.  Winning because you act like a dink only makes you a dink in the long run.
  • Self-Control - Keep your own emotions under control, lose graciously and win graciously. 
  • Wisdom - Think what your actions are going to do BEFORE you do them as you interact with others.
  • Good Faith - Trust your opponent to be straight and expect them to be so as well
5) Discipline ~ Being disciplined means to consistent.  It means that you don't have to take the easy path, you can be better, being better is the hard road.   In our game we take the hard road.  Make a long term game plan and stick with it.  Discipline also includes, taking a shower, putting on a clean shirt and putting on deodorant.  Discipline is keeping all your things together as you move from table to table.


A proper Trollkin General asks them self many questions when evaluating their ability.
(a) Do you know the cards for all your models nearly by memory?
(b) Do you have more ability than your opponent and how do you use it to advantage?
(c) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth, home field advantage yours or not?
(d) How disciplined are you and your opponent?
(e) Which army is stronger? [Morally as well as physically.]
(f) On which side are key models better used?
(g) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

Answering these questions can help you forecast your own victory.  Don't let yourself be beat before the game even starts.

Use any helpful information you can to help you have more knowledge.  I used to play regularly against a player than won all over the country.  He was most certainly better than me as a player but he rarely beat me.   The only advantage I had over him was that I understood him, I knew how he typically reacted and what things gave him trouble.

All warfare is based on deception.  This is not in regards to being deceitful.  This is an approach to the game.  We share information freely, but I often carry an attitude about certain models whether or not they are worth the accord. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Give your enemy bait to entice them into action that is to your benefit.

If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him.
If he is in superior strength, evade him.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him.
Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.

If his forces are united, separate them.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Think and prepare much before hand so you can achieve victory and eliminate surprises.

Preparation and attitude before the particulars of your army are made is HUGE!@!! and often is the difference between guys that win a lot, and guys that almost win a lot.


  1. one of the most important things to keep in mind when playing the game, don't psych yourself out. Stay confident but not cocky, it's too easy to read the official forum about how bad a model or faction you play may be and then show up to the table already defeated. Believe in yourself, and remember "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." - Sun Tzu