Trolls are the lovable blue-skinned brutes of the Hordes universe. Trollbloods traditionally live in loosely organized, tightly knit communities on the fringes of (or completely removed from) the rest of civilization in the Iron Kingdoms. The escalation of warfare in their lands has led to the trolls uniting as a people to defend their "kriels". They are the "protagonists" of the Hordes lore because they seek nothing other than to defend their home and people. That said, some of their characters (especially Hoarluk Doomshaper) are not very nice about it. Doomshaper himself is a mad racist who is totally in favour of wiping out all of humanity. Thankfully, most of the other characters hold him back to less extreme goals.
There are five kinds of Trollbloods: Pygmies, Trollkin, Trolls (Full-blood), Dire Trolls, and the gargantuan Troll Kings. All Troll models fall somewhere in this continuum and are tied together by their regenerative capabilities. Most Trollblood warriors and all Trollblood Warlocks are Trollkin, being the most human-like of Trollbloods, while Pygmies are their diminutive cousins. Full-blood Trolls and Dire Trolls comprise the warbeasts that Trollbloods have access to and are defined by their prodigious natural strength and astounding regenerative capabilities.
- 1 Trollbloods for Beginners
- 2 Theme Forces
- 3 Models
- 4 Minions that work for the Trollbloods
Trollbloods for Beginners
Faction Aesthetic & Playstyle
Aesthetically, Trollbloods are inspired by Scottish highlander clans, kilts and all, with a bit of druidic stone-worship.
On the tabletop, Trollbloods are the most durable and hardest to kill of the armies, able to leverage ARM, DEF, Tough, regeneration, and box count to extreme levels few can match. They also hit hard and accurately in melee. To compensate, they are somewhat slow, and inferior at range to most armies, though fast and shooty Trollblood armies are certainly possible. The nearly universal medium base size makes maneuvering tricky as well.
The key to trolls is synergy, take some time and study how one model can boost another model. Take into consideration how you want to play trolls and build around that. Keep in mind that trolls are a community oriented faction. Their strength is working together or "bricking". Any good army will take into account how spells and animus work together. One unit helps another one. find a style that works for you and use units that aid in that style.
Worthwhile first purchases
The battle box comes with a Troll Axer, a Troll Impaler, and a Troll Bouncer, with Ragnor Skysplitter, the Runemaster as your caster. Place pulverizer on the Impaler on round one; it's likely you'll be throwing a spear before engaging in melee and getting the upkeep out early helps your fury efficiency. You can cycle it onto the axer when you're ready to engage. The bouncer wants to stick close to a model you want to protect. Usually, this will be your caster. Try to work in Ragnor's "shockwave" spell for a knock down to help you with your ranged attacks.
When you get ready to expand your army the Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes are usually the first unit you'll want to get. The Dire Troll Mauler is the cornerstone of our gameplan. It's ranged counterpart, the Dire Troll Bomber, is an extremely powerful ranged attacker and is key to our ranged game.
For fighting units you can't go wrong with Trollkin Fennblades. They have exceptional threat range and can really punish your opponent with vengeance. They also come in the two player starter set along with Ragnor and friends! The fennblades really love a Fell Caller Hero or Stone Scribe Chronicler to really get them pumped up.
For ranged units we have several options but the Northkin Fire Eaters are a powerful and fun choice.
Worthwhile first Minions
Trollbloods are quite self-contained so don't need much help from Minions, but you'll probably want a few eventually to supplement your Trolls. Especially the 1 or 2 point Minion options that can be used as 'filler' at the end of your list.
Here are a few that 'most' Trollblood players find the 'most' useful:
- Lanyssa Ryssyl provides you with Hunter's Mark, which increases your charge range.
- Feralgeist is a fast, incorporeal solo useful for scoring scenarios. It can also take possession of a dead warbeast.
- Gremlin Swarm is another fast, incorporeal solo useful for scoring scenarios. It has stealth, and can sabotage warjacks.
- A Bog Trog Mist Speaker is useful for any ranged Trollblood, as it gives Guidance.
- A Gobber Chef helps with fury management, by brainwashing your warbeasts into thinking everyone is a tasty Whelp snack.
- A Minion unit can be useful to score zones if you run beast-heavy and don't have many Trollbloods units, if any.
- Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew bring cloud tech to block LOS to your army.
- Lynus & Edrea bring anti-cloud tech.
Starting a Theme Force
Theme Forces "compartmentalize" the full range of your Faction's models into smaller subsets that are thematically related to one another. By restricting yourself to a narrower range of models, you unlock additional in-game benefits which vary from theme to theme.
Theme Forces aren't compulsory, but the benefits of playing in-theme are so great that most players never play out-of-theme.
When you first start playing you should ignore theme forces, and just buy and play a few models you like the look of. Also, you can't even use Theme Force rules in games under 25 points.
However you should start looking into themes sooner rather than later, because otherwise you might end up owning, say, 80 points worth of models but can only field a 25 point theme force (because very little of your collection work together in the same theme). You should focus on collecting just one or two themes to begin with, not every single one in the Faction (unless you're a "Collector Completionist").
If you're on a bit of a tight budget, you'll want to buy stuff that can fit into more than one theme. Thankfully, unlike many factions, Trollbloods has a number of models that can be taken in multiple themes.
- 4 themes
- 3 themes
- Fell Caller Hero - Army support who can be taken in all 3 infantry themes
- 2 themes
- Trollkin Champions - Trolls' (and arguably the entire game's) premier melee damage unit, they fit into SotN and BoH
- Trollkin Long Riders - cavalry, they are a strong unit and fit into the SotN or BoH themes
- Northkin Raiders - excellent screening unit who can be taken in SotN and KC. A bit pricey moneywise but excellent on the table
- Northkin Fire Eaters - similar to the Raiders, can be taken in SotN and KC as well
Band of Heroes
|Models allowed in Band of Heroes (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2016.12
- Band of Heroes allows you to field an infantry-heavy force of pure melee.
Power of Dhunia
|Models allowed in Power of Dhunia (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2017.11
- This is the Trollblood warbeast-centric theme. Basically just beasts and a few beast-support options.
Storm of the North
|Models allowed in Storm of the North (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2017.10
- This is the Northkin kriels, a rabble of rowdy brawlers with a focus on cold and cold immunity effects.
|Models allowed in Kriel Company (Edit)|
| This list was last updated: 2018.03
- This is the Trollblood heavily shooting-oriented theme list.
Minions that work for the Trollbloods
Refer to Who works for Whom.
But basically, as of 2018.08, Trollbloods have access to all Minions except: