Exigence week: Trollbloods, according to Gramut

exigenceThis week we’re taking a look at Exigence, faction by faction (though not in book order, because that would be just crazy). We’re closing out the week with Gramut’s look at the Trollbloods of Exigence. Mrs Gramut assures me that he’s not actually a Winter Troll, and that any paralysis resulting from his breathing on you is merely a biproduct of the sheer volume of sauerkraut he likes to put on his garlic sausages.

gramutavatarIt has been about a week or so now since I have gotten my hands on the new Hordes: Exigence anthology book.  So far I have just been reading through the model releases and I have to admit I am very impressed with Privateer Press and what they have brought to the game that I enjoy playing.  In particular I have been reading and rereading the new models for the Trollbloods, and I like what I am seeing.  I am will briefly touch on Horgle Ironstrike and Dozer & Smigg since they have been spoiled for a while now, but  I am going to review epic Borka in a bit more detail and put my particular spin on him, and then I’ll finish up with the Northkin Fire Eaters, Trollkin Highwayman and finally Braylen Wanderheart.

Please bear (every pun intended) in mind that I am not a hyper-competitive player and that I play Warmachine and Hordes to have fun.  When I compete in tourney’s I bring lists that I think are competitive while being fun to play and not necessary what the power players use.  So enough of the pre-amble, time to dive in.


Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws… Not sure how you can make a drunken giant-mace-wielding Trollkin Warlock even cooler but Privateer Press did just that, they made Borka a drunken giant-mace-wielding Trollkin Warlock on a Polar Bear!!!!  I loved playing Borka Kegslayer and I am looking forward to playing his epic incarnation. Borka got a few stat bumps +1 to SPD, MAT, and ARM.  He also picked up Pathfinder, Assault, Combat Rider, and Field Marshal (Immunity: Cold – For his battlegroup).  A nice smattering of new abilities for becoming a large based-cavalry model.  I am not going to lie, but a SPD 7 Trollkin Warlock that now has the ability to make impact attacks, tall in the saddle, and ride-by-attacks, scares the snot out of me and it probably should scare you too. Borka did lose ‘Unyielding’, but he picked up that extra point in ARM to make up for it.

Borka has retained his two weapons from his non-epic version. His melee weapon, Trauma, lost the ability ‘Brain Damage’ put picked up Critical Smite and also an extra attack in the form of a POW 14 mount attack due to Combat Rider.  I like the inclusion of assault as now you have to ability to use his Bomb, which (let’s be honest) with his non-epic version meant that something went horribly, horribly wrong.

Borka’s spell list got a bit of a makeover as well.  Gone is Iron Flesh, Windwall, and Mosh Pit <sniffle> and say hello to Battle-Charged, Frosthammer, and Snow Shroud.  I like the new change up.  It conveys the maturing of Borka from party-going machine of destruction to a slightly more seasoned commander helping to unite the Kriels.  Battle-Charged and Frosthammer have been around for a while, but Snow-Shroud’s new.  Snow-Shroud is a great spell that has two great defensive abilities – Concealment and Immunity: Cold.  Now not only does Borka’s entire battlegroup have Immunity: Cold but one of his units as well.  Slap that spell on a full unit of Kriel Warriors with Weapon Attachments and UA and that is 15 models affected.  Toss in the support solos and you have one nasty Tarpit unit that, coupled with Borka’s Feat, is going to be one tough unit to crack.

Which leads into Borka’s Feat: Ice Storm.  Ice Storm has two solid aspects to it, both are fairly defensive in nature.  His feat grants Stealth to models in his control area… ALL models (Friendly and Enemy) alike.  The next aspect is that if an enemy model without Immunity: Cold hits a friendly model with Immunity Cold, after the attack is resolved it becomes Stationary.  When model becomes stationary, its activation ENDS immediately.  No more extra attacks, no more spells, no more nothing.  Sweet!    For one turn, you have a bunch of Trollkin models which have a 33% chance to survive any killing blow that are freezing models all over the Northern Reaches of Immoren… and even when they die, the attacking model is still made Stationary.  Send forward that 15 model unit of Kriel Warriors in an Alpha-Strike, let them take the counter hit and then charge in that unit of Fennblades you have been holding in reserve for a 2nd wave strike to mop up those poor frozen popsicles that tried to put a hurt on your Kriel Warriors

Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws is great addition to the arsenal that the Trollbloods players can bring to the tabletop.  A quick note about his theme force – it is well rounded and plays to Epic Borka’s strengths. I’ll go into it in a bit more detail at a later date, but needless to say it looks like it will be fun to play.


Time to talk about Dozer & Smigg and Horgle Ironstrike.  Those two releases have been reviewed on the official forums far more in-depth than I could ever hope to get into, so I am just going to say this: whoever Privateer Press has sculpting the new Trollbloods models is fantastic, and I hope Privateer never EVER fires them.

Dozer & Smigg are an amazing model and while I don’t have much experience with the Trollbloods ranged game, I will be spending a bit more time trying to learn it due to these guys. They give benefits to both Blitzers and Bombers through Veteran Leader [Blitzers] and Bank Shot for the Bombers., though at the point cost of the heavy warbeasts it will very much be one or the other.  Unless you are in Unbound games I do not see the Dozer, Blitzer, Bomber trio as the points for the heavies can be used elsewhere.  Partner up  Dozer & Smigg with Gunnbjorn and now you have a free boosted blast damage POW 14 bombard shot.  Don’t think that they are a complete slouch in melee combat either.  Those GIANT claws a.k.a Meaty Fists can lay out a P&S 15 hit and since they are open fists, you still have access to all of the normal bevy of power attacks.

Horgle Ironstrike is a nice little super-solo.  For 7-8pts (depending on your flavor of Pyre or Slag Troll) you get a really good Solo-Hunting Flanking Duo that if left unattended will really make a dent in whatever they charge.  Between Horgle and a Slag Troll you have a Warjack that will soon be turned into Slag Troll food.  Take Horgle and a Pyre Troll or two and you get a wrecking ball of destruction will be able to rain boosted globs of fiery spittle down upon the enemy.  Add in a phenomenal sculpt and what’s not to love?!

Bear in mind when listbuilding, for the points investment in this little combo you could purchase another unit of Kriel Warriors or the Sons of Bragg and a solo or possibly a Heavy Warbeast.  Horgle’s role is very situational but I know that I’ll be playing him because I really like his sculpt and back story.  He has to gain revenge for the destruction of his Kith and Kin and I intended to help him.


Exigence introduces two new units, the Northkin Fire Eaters and the Trollkin Highwaymen.  From a fluff standpoint I really like how these two disparate units are coming to help the United Trollkin Kriels.

The Northkin Fire Eaters have a pretty decent line for the Trollkin units. With 6’s pretty much across the board and standard DEF and ARM the unit will definitely need the protection a Krielstone Bearer and the usual suspects of Trollkin synergies.   They also come with Advanced Deployment, Fearless, and Immunity: Cold and of course, Tough.  All models within the unit have the same abilities.  The unit also has a new ability called Fire’s Fury which grants +5 ARM when a model in the unit is suffering from the Continuous Fire effect, it does add a nice little bit of survivability by boosting their ARM but if POW 12s kills casters dead then a POW 12 Continuous Fire roll will kill an ARM 18 dead too.

What I really like about this unit is that it has the Assault plus 6” sprays that are POW 12’s.  With a RAT 6, this unit will be reliably hitting DEF 12/13 Models and like I said earlier if POW 12’s kill casters dead then those same POW 12’s will also kill enemy infantry dead too.  I see this unit hanging out behind a TAR pit unit and then taking the opportune moment to charge forward with Assault, spray an infantry block, get in a few charge hits and then allowing the Fennblades to come clean house afterwards.   The biggest issue I see is keeping them alive long enough to get across the board to do their work.  Thematically I love this unit.  Fire breathing drunken trolls…what’s not to love?  I am sure Borka has a few of these guys on retainer for the sheer entertainment factor they bring.


Trollkin Highwayman have a special place in my heart. When Jarl released I have liked the idea of pistol-wielding Trollkin bandits and Privateer Press has done a fantastic job with their entry in Exigence and with the miniatures. I know that I will be picking up a unit when they release.  At first I was wondering why they only had RAT 5 but then I started looking over the model entry.

First thing I noticed was 2 pistols; that gives this unit 20 shots or, because they have Combined Ranged Attacks, they now get to make 10 attacks at effective RAT 7, possibly more.  Not too bad.  Coupled with Swift Hunter and a SPD 6 they have a good amount of mobility.  The Highwayman have average DEF and ARM but they do come with Camouflage so with careful use of terrain, bearing in mind that they do not have Pathfinder, they will definitely be able to survive the trip up field to cause some damage to an unprotected flank. With the addition of Gunfighter to the unit, it makes it so that you can’t tie up the unit by engaging them in melee.

The Highwayman do have some disadvantages however.  RAT of 5, and a paltry RNG 8 means that even DEF 12’s could potentially cause some issues with reliable hitting.  The RNG 8 on their Pistols makes it so that they Highwayman have to be up close and personal to be really effective. They are also going to be competing with a bunch of other units in the 5/8pt cost range.  They will help contribute to the Trollkin gun-lines or add a nice bit of variety to a combined arms list.  With only one Warlock that has access to Snipe it could mean that these Highwayman won’t make a huge splash in the Tournament Meta which is a shame because these guys when used correctly are going to be a blast to play.  The Highwayman are a great well rounded unit and with the right Trollkin synergies are going to be a terror on the tabletop to deal with.


The last model I am going to write about is Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw.  As is typical of most 3 pts solos for the Trollbloods, she comes with a bountiful bevy of special abilities. Gunfighter, Pathfinder, Tough (of course), Camouflage, Prowl, and Opportunist.  She also has Leadership (Trollkin Highwayman) so she grants that spiffy new Highwayman unit you just picked up Opportunist, making that unit of Highwayman even more dangerous to ignore.  Gun & Run allows her to move out of cover, shot with two POW 12s and duck back into cover using Camouflage and Prowl. Even though she has a RAT 6, her twin Heavy Pistols have Luck on them allowing her to re-roll missed attack rolls and possibly allow the Trollbloods player to take an extra chance aiming at a Warcaster/Warlock, especially if you can get her into the back arc where she will be able to use Opportunist to the full effect.

I see Braylen as an Auto-include when the Trollkin Highwayman are on the table top, seeing as how for the moment she is the equivalent of a Unit Attachment for the Highwayman. Braylen is a great 3pt solo and a fantastic additional to the current lineup of solos available to the Trollbloods.  She is going to be competing with the Fellcaller and Janissa Stonetide in the 3pt category so she will most likely be a very situation solo.  For my particular play style though I can’t wait to put her on the table top.  One of the things I did notice is that Barylen Wanderheart is not a Trollkin Highwayman so she can’t be included in any tier lists that allow for Trollkin Highwayman Solos.  I don’t believe there are any Tier lists that are currently on the books but since Privateer Press is working on models two years in advance she may become eligible at a later date.

Overall I see the Trollbloods entries from Exigence as being a solid addition to an already solid line up of models and I like how Privateer Press is gearing up the Trollkins to become more of an organized nation rather than a bunch seperate tribes warring with everyone.  As far as plugging any holes within the Trollbloods army I am not sure if any of the entries do that and like I said earlier they are great additions but they will face a lot of competition for play when they are competing against the other units/solos that can be used in those particular point slots.

One Response to Exigence week: Trollbloods, according to Gramut

  1. Avatar Not_that_one
    Not_that_one says:

    I’m excited by a couple of the new releases – Dozer and Smigg have charmed me and I want to see how the Highwaymen can contribute to the burgeoning Trollblood gunline. However I wish that I was more excited by eBorka. The Kegslayer is one of my favourite Warlocks and I’m not sold on whether they’ve managed to improve on his Prime version with Vengeance of the Rimeshaws. Still, I’ll pick him up and give him some table time, maybe he’ll turn me around 🙂