This short guide is intended to give the despondent and complaining Trollblood player hope and guidance, in the form of a battle report from one of his betters. It should be noted that I had never played trolls in a tournament before, but since Trolls is a faction often favored by frivolous and simple-minded players, I knew it wouldn’t really present many challenges for me.
The event, held at the lovely Fair Game store in Downer's Grove was 35 points, 3 lists, divide and conquer. I chose my lists based on reading the fluff in the Trollblood and Domination books – I find that choosing lists based on tactical considerations and expected matchups to be a mistake, since it will take you out of a positive and happy frame of mind, and get you into the kind of crude calculations I find stressful.
My first list was Calandra’s Elemental Communion, or whatever you call that tier, which I chose because I liked the image of this fat Troll chick standing around with like, snow, ice, fire and slag all around her. Elementals are cool. I also had some warders and stuff.
My second list was Jarl with Burrowers, Warders, Fennblades and a couple light beasts. Burrowers seem very brave going underground in their little hats, and I like the way Fenns wave their weapons around. Another key consideration in this list was the fact that 'Devil of the Thornwood' is the coolest nickname in the whole game.
My third list involved Epic Madrak, using all the same models as the Jarl list, because by this point I was too mentally exhausted to come up with something new, and I wanted to eat a good breakfast before the event rather than thinking more about lists. The right breakfast is essential for the serious competitive Warmahordes player, particularly for Trollbloods players where food and snacking is key to the faction.
I go with toast and potatoes for carb loading, and then a couple of eggs to give me something solid in the stomach. My companions ate bacon and other sundry meats, which I considered to be something of a tactical mistake.
A couple of people looked at my lists before the event and asked me if I was worried about facing Cryx in the event, since none of my lists were designed at all with Cryx in mind, but I laughed it off. “Nah,” I said, “I don’t buy into the myth that Trolls have problems with Cryx. Besides, no one really plays Cryx around here.”
Given this, I was rather surprised to be facing Cryx in the first round, facing off against an opponent using the prime version of Goreshade. I played Calandra, because she’s so cool with her fortune telling and omens and stuff.
My opponent ran his stuff forward, and all my storm trolls missed their shots at killing a bunch of his infantry. Someone asked me why I didn’t used fate blessed to reroll the misses, but I scoffed at them, pointing out that I was lulling the Cryx player into a false sense of security, and that Troll power was sure to prevail in the end.
Then he attacked and killed some stuff, and I attacked back and killed some of his stuff, and he attacked back and killed more of his stuff, and then I attacked back and killed more of his stuff, and then he killed more of mine, and I killed more of his, and then he went again and a beeping sound came from the clock and he lost on time.
Round 2 saw me facing Cryx again, which was really quite surprising, but my confidence never faltered – I knew that the goodness of the Trolls was bound to prevail against the undead fiends. He was playing the third version of Goreshade. I was playing Jarl, who is ultra cool with his twin pistols, like an Old West gunfighter played by someone not white.
I remembered that the third version of Goreshade can kill you from like, a real long way away, so Jarl sadly spent the game running around the back edge of the table surrounded by some Fennblades. His cavalry and my Warders and Burrowers spent many turns hacking away at each other rolling badly and missing most of their attacks.
I destroyed his bonejack, and in frustration, my opponent brought Goreshade deep into my deployment zone to try hunt down and kill Jarl, but Jarl managed to duck into a corner, and when his turn came again, his clock went off and he lost on time. Another easy victory for trolls. One observer asked why I didn’t feat in that game, and then I remembered that Jarl did have a feat, and it might have been quite useful, but I realized that I was in fact luring my NEXT opponent into a fall sense of security.
My next opponent was playing Cryx. My eyebrow went up a bit at this, but it didn’t bother me – I knew that Trollbloods could handle anything those fiendish dragonspawn could throw at us. He chose the second version of Goreshade – the former elf was really getting around today in all his forms. His list had like, a lot of banes and stuff.
I chose Calandra’s Elemental Communion again because I know that armor spam is the best way to handle a million bane thralls. It was that two flag scenario, Fire Support or whatever it’s called and I knew I had to hold the flags, so I ran my beasts up to the flags so I could watch the Banes bounce helplessly off the Krielstone protected beasts.
For a while, this wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped – I actually lost a beast or two, and my warders were taking some time to get up the board.
He reached a position where he needed to clear one final beast to win, but my valiant slag troll held off a horde of banes, sitting happily on two boxes as the banes whiffed helplessly at him.
My opponent screamed in frustration as he missed the last attack, and then his clock went off.
Another easy win for trolls. I was feeling quite proud of myself at this point, enough to shrug off hateful nearby comments, such as “that idiot has just lucksacked his way to the finals by somehow deathclocking three Cryx players”. I felt misunderstood and unappreciated, but Trollbloods have always been misunderstood by the other denizens of Immoren – the comments of this lout were far softer than the cruel betrayals of the lords of Caspia, for instance – so I let them pass.
The final round was against against another Cryx player - Jordan Nach, winner of the Masters and Iron Gauntlet at Adepticon this year, who some view as one of the better players in the game, who I consider simply to be chaff before Madrak’s scythe (or axe, if you want to be literal about it).
I was locked into Mr. World Ender, epic Madrak, while my opponent, confidently chose the prime version of Skarre. The scenario was Incursion. I ran my soldiers forward, and my opponent quickly engaged me with Captain Blackbane’s foul fiends.
“What magic weapons do you have in your army?” Mr. Nach asked me, to which I confidently answered “None besides Rathrok, which is all I need!”
And sure enough, my words were like prophecy. My opponent made the mistake of getting distracted killing my whole army, and then compounded his error by dominating a flag on a large camp to go to 3 points, with none of my models in position to contest the flag the following turn.
My opponent had left his, or her, pants down and I took advantage – Skarre had only 19 armor and 12 boxes left. I put Far Strike Madrak, walked up and boosted to hit and damage on a throw of his legendary axe. I only needed a 16 on damage to kill her and I rolled it easily.