The second in this series of articles is about the hordes faction the Trollbloods. As usual I will start with the battlebox and bring this force up to 50 points whilst keeping the budget under £170. As stated in On a Budget: Cygnar, you can magnetise the arms and weapon options for the heavy warbeasts but this is a task for a more experienced hobbyist.
The Trollbloods battlebox is rather unusual in that it does not contain any heavies at all. You get your warlock and 3 light warbeasts. But troll's have tremendous stopping power with every infantry figure having the tough rule, and all warbeasts having regeneration.
The battlebox's warlock of choice is Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan. Setting the standard for the Trollblood force he has high MAT, STR and ARM, however being a medium base model his DEF is considerably lower compared to other Warlocks/casters. To rectify this problem Madrak comes with 2 rather nice pieces of equipment. Firstly is the Talisman of Subdual, which prevents all warbests in his front arc from making charge or slam power attacks against himself. Secondly Madrak carries the scroll of Grindar's Perseverance, an item that lets you the owning player negate the damage of one attack once per game, personally I save this one use item to its desperately needed. As for his weaponry Madrak carries the magical axe Rathrok. The fun part about this item is Madrak can also throw it, meaning his melee and ranged attacks both come in at POW/P+S 15 coupled with critical grievous wounds he is perfect for dealing with hard to kill models. Lastly Madraks feat and spell list perfectly compliment each other. With 2 thirds of his spells buffing your own forces and his feat granting overtake for additonal movement after a successful kill and then further attacks after this means your force will always be on the offensive.
Next out of the box set we have the pair of troll Impalers. Relatively cheap at 5 points each and coming with throwing spears that double up as melee weapons, granting the impaler POW/P+S 13 attacks. Like all troll's a respectable STR stat is present as is high ARM, but the low DEF is also prevalent. The animus on the impaler is far strike, granting an extra boost to the range of missile weapons, so Madraks RNG suddely gets better with this boost. Lastly being a troll they have regenerate, meaning the Impalers can be forced to regenerate lost damage earlier in the game, this can cause crippled effects to be removed.
The third beast our battle box gives us is the Axer. Another light beast with similar a similar statline to the Impaler, but with a higher MAT, ARM and POW on his axe attacks. This guy will be your muscle for now. With very few abilities he is a simple beast to master and comes with a nice price tag of 6 points. He has the mandatory regenerate and my personal favourite thresher. Thresher is a form of special attack that permits you to hit every model in line of sight and range of the attack, which with the Axer also having reach really ups his damage radius. The final thought on the Axer is his animus, Rush. This animus brings 2 useful benefits to a troll blood force it grants an additional movement boost and also grants pathfinder, which in a slow moving force are always bonuses. The battlebox retails at £31.50 and gives you a healthy 10 point start.
Next on the list I decided the force needed some serious combat prowess, and what better to deliver this than a Dire Troll Mauler. Coming in at 9 points for this beast he has 2 powerful melee attacks, a decent animus and a few nice abilities but first the statline. Again like all troll's the Mauler benefits from a higher than usual MAT, STR and ARM but the low DEF, even normal troops will be able to hit this one. To combat the inevitable damage he will take from being easy to hit, our nice new Mauler has regenerate and also snacking. A nice ability that lets you regain lost damage circles when the Mauler boxes a living enemy model. The other ability the Mauler comes with is Smash & Grab, this lets you make a power attack for free if both your initial attacks hit, and with the higher than average MAT this is a very likely situation. Finally we come to his animus, rather aptly named Rage. Quite blunt and to the point, the target models gains a STR boost, this means your Axer has a better thresher, Impalers can throw more deadlier spears or failing that Madrak can dish even harsher punishment out. The Mauler comes as part of a mulitpart heavy beast kit that retails at £21.80.
with the core of beasts fulfilled for our force its time to start adding our units. The first choice is a full unit of Fennblades. 10 troll's wielding two-handed swords is scary enough, but these trolls have some nice abilities to further the fear factor they cause. first up we have Hard, an ability that prevents impact and collateral damage from happening. Meaning no nasty surprises from your beasts getting thrown back into your force. Then we have vengeance, which permits you to make an additional move and attack in the maintenance phase providing your opponent destroyed 1 model in this unit. I've fallen on the receiving end of this ability once and it cost me a warjack, wasn't pretty watching it get scrapped. the box will cost £24.50
The next thing to add to the force as well as our first unit is the officer and drummer attachment. For a small 2 point investment you can make your Fennblades an even more fearsome fighting force. The drummer gives the officer a boost to his command range allowing you unit to spread out a bit more thus saving you from incoming AOE's.
The officer is the real reason we added this pair though, with his tactics and one use ability he really stands out from the crowd. Tactics for the officer grants the unit he is with set defence, meaning models charging, slamming or making impact attacks suffer a negative modifier. No Quarter is an awesome ability, giving your unit fearless, pathfinder and terror as well as a movement increase provided the model charges. this attachment will set you back a mere £13.60.
Our force is currently sitting comfortably on 29 points but there are a few more things to add, I'm looking at another unit and solo's there after with maybe another light warbeast for more variety. So with this in mind I'll add a unit of Trollkin Warders. At 8 points for a full unit of 5 this seems expensive. Firstly each model has 8 damage boxes, yes you read that right 8 damage boxes each, a high ARM stat and tough as well. It's safe to say this unit is here to stay on your battlefield. The melee attack of these troll's is average at only 10 but they do have weapons master to generate you 4D6 each on the charge attacks and always 3D6 there after. Their ability is also a rather nice bonus to throw into the mix, Battle Driven gives the warders a nice STR ARM boost and also pathfinder for one round, assuming one of them died. this unit costs £31.50 for all that staying power.
With what we currently have selected in mind lets take a look at a solo or 2. First amongst these solo's to be taken is the Fennblade Kithkar. Essentially an independent officer who shares a lot of similarities with his parent unit. Having 2 attacks, 8 damage boxes, tough and reach he is a beast for his 2 point cost, but he doesn't stop there. The next in the list of abilities is unyielding, which grants an ARM boost so long as the
Our second solo is a set of Whelp's, despite being bought in a pack and army entry of 5, they act as single miniatures. Now ill be 100% honest here, they have no form of attack and the stat line is appalling but those aren't the reason these make it into every troll list I play. Firstly these models do not have to start the game in play, they can be generated when a warbeast is injured, which is great when a warbeast is in combat as a whelp makes living enemy models suffer -1 on their to hit rolls due to being an annoyance. Whelp's also serve a further purpose in the game, they are an alternate food source, this means that warbeasts can eat them for 1 of 2 benefits. firstly they regain D3 damage circles back, or eat a whelp to remove all fury on it. A pack of 5 whelps will cost you the bargain price of £9.05.
Now for the matter of cost, I aim to keep these forces at £170 or less, but sadly I have gone over budget. this force does cost £170.50 so only 50 pence over which I hope you can all forgive me for.
As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page. . All prices are from Titan Games and are correct at the time this article was published.