Author: Bret Fogel
Trollbloods maintained their status as the high armor, ranged-focused hordes faction. Their heavies became cheaper (though worse in a lot of ways), a lot of their ranged infantry and ranged casters became better, and now both their gargantuans are amazing. Plus, troll warlocks are still completely invulnerable. The standard trio of Mulg/Earthborn/Janissa may be gone, but 15 points Dire Trolls are the new gold standard for heavy warbeasts. Best of all, the number of “power” casters is off the charts - I’m not even going to get a chance to talk about Calandra or any of the 3 Hoarluks, all of whom are amazing.
- Madrak 2
- Pyre Troll
- Dire Troll Mauler x2
- Champions + Skaldi
- Champion Hero x2
- Krielstone (min) + UA
- Fell Caller Hero
- Gobber Chef
Madrak2. This warlock is absolutely insane. He became even more invulnerable (can now shunt attacks to any warrior within 3”), he kept Blood Fury, Warpath is now amazing with cheap heavies, and his feat turned from a free attack into Killing Spree for his entire army. This means you can run a medium sized battlegroup, then run either run fast infantry and turn them into weapon masters or run slower heavy troops like Champions or Sons of Bragg and turn them into death itself. Don’t forget to take some cheap warrior models and keep them nearby (Scattergunners, the Krielstone unit, Whelps, Swamp Gobbers, etc)
I started with a Pyre Troll in his battlegroup, so that Madrak himself can increase his melee p+s to 17 if he needs to, and it’s a very good Warpath trigger.
Next, I decided to go for a slow, high-powered brick with the max allotment of Champions. These models (under the Krielstone, of course) have a very high defense against melee and Steady and are POW 12 double weapon masters with the maximum amount of buffs. Trollkin Champion Heroes are cool for Retaliatory Strike, and just being awesome combat solos themselves. Next, you take some troll support: min Krielstone + CA, a Fell Caller for Pathfinder or +2 MAT, a Runebearer to make cycling Blood Fury cheaper. Then you just fill out the rest of your points with 2 Dire Troll Maulers, and a Gobber Chef because I had a point left.
The final list is very strong against infantry, and even stronger against heavies. It’s a little slow, but its damage output is incredibly high.
- Glacier King
- Dozer and Smigg
- Dire Troll Bomber
- Krielstone (Min) + UA
- Dhunian Knot
- Swamp Gobbers
Gunnbjorn. Holy crap, talk about rags to riches here. This warlock can build an insane gunline around Guided Fire and Snipe, is truly invulnerable to guns on his feat turn, and is more than reasonable in melee thanks to Field Marshall: Kill Shot (and the sheer strength of troll warbeasts). All you need to do is find a way to keep his camp high to keep him from dying, and a way to manage the massive amount of fury in his battlegroup.
Let’s start with the gunline: Glacier King, Dozer and Smigg and the Bomber. Glacier King takes the best advantage of Snipe and Guided Fire with 3 medium range shots with critical knockdown. Dozer and Smigg takes advantage of the great interaction with Kill Shot and Dual Attack, plus his animus is very good on Gunnbjorn’s gun if you’re not using Snipe, and boosted blast damage is awesome. The Bomber has a great gun, a high number of shots, and brings the Far Strike animus for himself and Gunnbjorn. Next, support: the Axer gives Pathfinder and additional threat range on all of your warbeasts, the Dhunian Knot gives rerolls to your entire army, Krielstone is a Stealth and Incorporeal out, and makes your battlegroup much more resilient (if you can figure out how to fuel it - you might want to swap it out for Bone Grinders to manage fury), the Runebearer to make Guided Fire cheaper (which allows Gunnbjorn to upkeep 2 spells, cast Guided Fire and either boost damage or use Far Strike on his gun), and there are 2 points left, so throw in some Swamp Gobbers to block LoS.
The final list is a very strong gunline against heavies and infantry alike, and has a surprising amount of resilience and punch thanks to the Krielstone - plus a very strong assassination with the rerolls and crit knockdowns.
- Grissel 2
- Earthborn Dire Troll x2
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Highwaymen x2
- Krielstone + UA
- Braylen Wanderheart
This last caster isn’t quite as clearly powerful as the rest, but she’s just so interesting that I have to talk about her. She runs hard-to-kill infantry and warbeasts better than almost anyone, with Dash and her Unyielding feat. I also find her Wailing spell very interesting, and between that and her ROF 3 POW 7 Covering Fire gun, she is absolute death to infantry.
Every list should start with a theme or a plan - and for this list, I want to abuse Dash with Highwaymen to get back strikes with the Backstab from Braylen to do a ton of damage. Then, I back it up with a solid, hard to kill battlegroup of two Earthborn Dire Trolls and a Dire Troll Mauler. The Earthborn is an excellent Discord target, since it can be very fast and/or very hard to move, and has reasonable damage output with the Rage animus. You should always take a Far Strike beast with Grissel2, and today I feel like the Impaler (though running a Bomber and an Axer would be very good if I had the points). Finally the standard support: the Krielstone + CA for even more armor to the battlegroup and the Runebearer (which should be standard for any warlock that wants to cast a spell every turn).
The final list is absolute death to infantry, and brings a solid core of warbeasts to deal with high armor targets, and the feat is very good for forcing uneven piece trades. Grissel herself will be dont a lot with her gun, and I didn't even mention how awesome Deflection is for making your entire army def 14 against ranged/magic attacks.
Overall, trolls look to be a very strong faction, with Madrak2 in particular being an excellent caster at damage output and infantry clearing and a huge set of possible paired casters including Gunnbjorn, Grissel2, Calandra, and all three of the Hoarluks.