by James M.
In this series, I plan to look at list design for different Troll casters. What kind of army do you want to run? What complements them? What is the most rewarding style for you to play?
Currently in my preparation for one of the premiere Australian Tournaments: Convic, I am in the process of designing Three 50 point lists. I am sure of my first two casters: Epic Madrak and Epic Hoarluk Doomshaper (Which I will go into detail about another time) but the third is giving me some strife. I have an infantry all rounded list (eMadrak) with a lot of hitting power. I have a Fast moving assassination beast army with a low model count (eDoomshaper) which leaves me with wanting to fill in the void: a scenario specifically for casters. Now I know I’ve just opened the gate for thousands of different articles regarding list building, list design and approach, scenario considerations, complementing army lists and even meta gaming which I will get around to in future articles!
So this has left me with a choice. The three casters I’m looking at are Calandra, Grissel and Borka. Calandra is a fantastic caster however I have an infantry heavy list with eMadrak. Grissel is an incredible scenario caster, however in timed turns, she also runs a lot of infantry and getting the most out of them within the time limit can sometimes be a push!
This leaves me with Borka Kegslayer, Head Troll Drunkard. Grim and Gunnbjorn aren't really my style, shooting around the back and fluffing around, I prefer to get stuck in and put the pressure on early: exactly what Borka does. In my mind, there are two types of Borka lists you can take. Lets take a look at why this is so.
Borka is a Melee beat stick Whilst only a 5 Fury Caster on paper, he is actually a 7 fury Caster in disguise. His little companion is an absolute gem, gives him an additional two fury (up to 7), Immune to Knock Down (making killing him just so much harder) and Stumbling Drunk (my favorite). When Borka is hit in combat, he will scatter d3 inches in a random direction. This is incredible, it means to potentially kill Borka, the enemy will have to surround him to ensure he doesn't run away from the fight accidentally!
On top of that,Borka has a solid defense 14 and Armour 17. Unyielding buffs this up to 19 in combat (21 if you take a Krielstone, more Armour than a Khador Jack) which makes him a pretty tough nut to crack and won't be seeing insane amounts of damage put on him in one turn. Couple this with transfers, a bunch of fury for attacks and his potential spell lists sees the drunkard as one of the hardest in the game to kill.
His Spell list is small, but solid. They include:
Iron Flesh: +3 Def but -1 Spd (Def 17 Borka anyone?)
Wind Wall: All non-magical shooting within 3” misses
Mosh Pit: All weapons within his control (10) gain knockdown
Feat: +2 Spd for faction models beginning charges in his control and additional dice on power attack damage rolls and collateral for warbeasts!
What a great and versatile spell list. In my mind this plays two ways. One you can buff and castle up you tough Champion Brick with def 15, arm 20 and no shooting and slowly trudge up the field, or you can put the pressure on early and run run run!
Whilst having tried the brick, and it is efficient, my style is early pressure and lots of fighting! So I’ve tried a new method in list development. Take stuff that is fast, in your face, hard to hit, takes advantage of his feat and puts the pressure on! With this in mind, the following list I have drafted up will spend a lot of time Iron Fleshing and Mosh pitting, with less use for Wind Wall.
Borka Kegslayer – the man himself
*Mauler – Fantastic beast for Borka, great charge, chain attack + Knockdown = success and a fantastic animus to boot!
*Slag Troll – 2 pow 12+4d6 shots at a knocked down unliving model from mosh pit to finish things off and another fantastic animus to boot? Yes please!
Fell Caller – Classic Troll Toolbox!
Horthol – Fast and very Cavalry like
Stone Scribe Chronicler – Iron Flesh and his Tale of Mist nets a +5 Defense against ranged... who needs wind wall when your wall of cavalry are def 17!
5 Long Riders – Charging 12” on feat turn with multitude of accurate attacks? Yes please!
10 Fennblades + UA – A potential 15” threat range on feat turn? I'll take that too!
This left me with 9 points left. In keeping with moving fast and hitting hard, I wanted some more units that can dish out the pain against knocked down targets.. I'm not convinced on these last 5 points but will trial it and see how it goes
6 Pyg Burrowers – these guys need no introduction, an absolute nightmare to deal with and knockdown allows their terrible Mat to be nullified.
6 Scouts – Advanced deploy and pathfinder, these guys can roll up a flank unharmed and hit surprisingly hard.
I'm considering swapping these guys out for a swamp troll and few other defensive measures but will give it some testing. Looking forward to the next list building article and feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any Trollblood list building questions you have.