Thursdays with Thanan: Trollbloods Battle Box

Welcome dear readers to my latest exploration of battle boxes: the Trollbloods battle box!  Trollbloods have some of the toughest infantry and beasts around, with high armor and the great tough rule being standard, and many of their beasts can regenerate damage lost in one of several ways.  Some of their beasts can simply eat whatever they kill, others have the regeneration rule.  Trollbloods are ace at infantry spam, have some excellent beatsticks and surprising ranged ability in some of their beasts.  All in all, the Trollbloods battle box contains things that most any respectable Troll would want – a Troll Axer, two Impalers, and Madrak 1 (aka pMadrak).

Madrak 1 –Madrak is a bit of a beast himself.  He has pretty good MAT, average RAT, great defence (for a troll!) and above average armor.  He sports the standard troll rule of tough, as well as several others.  First he has snap fire which means that if he kills an enemy with a ranged attack he gets to try to do so again!  Scroll of Grindar’s Perseverance is a once per game item that basically means he ignores one damage roll.  He also has the Talisman of Subdual so warbeasts cannot charge him from his front arc.  His magical weapon Rathrok can be thrown a short way and has crit grievous wounds – models hit lose tough, no heals, no damage transfers.  He is especially tough to take down with his spells up and both of his special abilities, perseverance and the talisman, make him very hard to take down.

  • Carnage – +2 to melee attack rolls. Awesome. If you’re playing, and find yourself likely to be in melee, consider casting this spell.
  • Stranglehold – a model hit only gets to move or make an action. Wow. This is a mini – version of Haley 2’s feat!
  • Sure foot – +2  Def no knockdown, and within 3″ of this model gain the same. Cast this turn 1 and upkeep. Always. This turns Madrak and his trolls into decently defensive dudes!

Madrak’s feat – Friendly faction models gain overtake in his control area.  This means that they can advance an inch after killing something.  Also they gain an extra attack if they are in his control area.  This adds up, so if you kill one dude then advance an inch, kill another, advance, kill another, ad nauseum, so long as you remain in Madrak’s small control area.  This isn’t going to come up super often in battle box games due to low number of models, and the fact that each model has a bunch of wounds and isn’t likely to be super duper close to each other.

Axer – The Axer is a great melee centric beast.  He has an average MAT and good POW giving him solid damage output.  His axe has reach which is really awesome with his other ability – thresher.  As a star action thresher allows him to make one attack against every model in reach and line of sight.  This clears infantry superbly, as well as puts damage on warlocks/warcasters and beasts and jacks too!  Anytime two or more people are in your melee range at the same time it’s worth thinking about using this ability.  Defensively he’s a troll so he has average – low defense and really good armor, especially for a light.  He also can be forced to regenerate d3 damage, unless his spirit is all out (no forcing with no spirit!)  Axers have the rush animus which grants +2″ movement and pathfinder.  This is great to really get a model trucking up-field to lay waste to your foes.

Impaler – The battle box sports two of these fine lights.  They are equally capable at range and in melee with the exact same ability to hit and damage in either.  This makes them pretty solid all around beasts.  Defensively, they are easier to kill than your Axer with the same average-low defense but armor that goes squish much easier.  Their thrown spears have critical smite, slamming models hit d6″ away.  Like the axer they can also regenerate d3 damage once a turn. Their animus is fantastic, it grants an extra 4″ to ranged attacks by the model they put it on seriously increasing their threat range.

Trollbloods Battle Box Play Style and Tactics – The key with this battle box is effectively using your animi to increase your threat range beyond that of your foe.  Madrak certainly can help both defensively and offensively with his spells and he hits hard enough to pose a serious threat to most anything you’ll face.  Using his feat can give you additional attacks and movement, possibly helping to take out every single model in one go!

Warnings and Such – You don’t have a lot of strength in this battle box.  Unlike others you only have light beasts and while they are great a heavy will generally be able to eat one or two of your lights especially your impalers if you clump them up.  Also like Morghoul or Lylyth, you have to consider the fact that you only have a 10″ control area something your trolls can foreseeably charge out of very easily.  This makes Madrak play far foreward, and that puts him in danger.  His extra defensive abilities help mitigate this somewhat but be careful with your positioning or some wily player will get to him.

Next week is our last battle box episode, Cryx!  I’ve decided not to venture into minions, mercenaries, or Retribution, as none of them actually have battle boxes.  Please feel free to ask questions or let me know what you think!

Until next time,


Author: David Counts

David Counts plays Circle Orboros primarily, and has recently gotten into Cygnar. He enjoys rolling 1s way more often than statistically probable and long walks on the beach. You can find David most days in or around Des Moines.

Share This Post On

To discuss this article, please visit the Muse on Minis forums.