Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Trollbloods

Much like the Protectorate of Menoth, the Trollbllood battlebox is a bit awkward for the first week or two. The faction relies so much on support models that playing with a straight battlegroup is a little challenging, especially when you're playing with nothing but light warbeasts for the first week. 

Here again is the progression of the Journeyman League, remember that you must keep the same models in your list from the week before

Week 1: Zero points total, you must use your factions battlebox or equivalent. No themes allowed.
Week 2: 15 points, battlegroup models only, no themes. 
Week 3: 30 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. 
Week 4: 45 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. Caster Swap (optional)
Week 5: 60 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 
Week 5: 75 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 

With all that in mind again, let's get going!

 
 

Week One:

You've got one option here, and it's an interesting one. This box really struggles to crack two Khador heavies, but it can actually take down the heavy in most other battleboxes just fine thanks to Ragnor's spell Pulverizer giving +2 strength. 

Combine that with a decent ranged attack from the Impaler and you can put some smack down on things right out the gate. 

Again though, this battlebox doesn't have a heavy so you're going to be playing at a bit of a disadvantage this week. 

Ragnor
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Week Two: 

Here we get 15 points and it's got to be battlegroup. This box really, really wants a heavy, and it just so happens that arguably the best generic heavy in the faction is 15 points! I am, of course, talking about the Dire Troll Mauler. This guy is a beast, with two initials, chain attack: grab and smash, and a whopping five (!!!!!) fury, he also brings the Rage animus which allows your light warbeasts to crack armor like nuts. 

With Rage and Pulverizer, you can get your Troll Axer to PS 19, send out POW 18 thrown spears from the Impaler, or make the Mauler himself PS 21!

Keep this guy safe though, he's kind of your lynchpin now, and even Ragnor's incredible defensive feat might be insufficient to keep him alive against multiple models getting into him. 

Ragnor
- Dire Troll Maiuler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler
 

Week Three:

We get to finally add the Krielstone here! As with my other guides, I'll be splitting this into two theme forces. One will be Battlegroup Heavy, the other more infantry focused. I'm going to suggest Doomshaper 2 for the Battlegroup Heavy Power of Dhunia theme and Madrak 1 for the more infantry focused Band of Heroes theme. 

Band of Heroes: 

I'm going to be a little controversial here, and recommend adding something other than the Krielstone to your list at this point. 

Instead, I would add a minimum unit of Trollkin Champs and their unit Attachment - Skaldi Bonehammer. 

Ragnor's feat gives your beasts just enough staying power that you can afford to bring in a quartet of nasty weaponmasters to be a second (or front) line. With Defensive Line and Sanguine Bond, these guys are hard to kill and they'll murder anything your opponents will be fielding. 

Ragnor
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Trollkin Champions (min)
- Skaldi Bonehammer


 

Power of Dhunia:

We've got fifteen points to play with, and one free solo from our base battlegroup. We're definitely putting in the Krielstone this week, but we don't need to make it a max unit yet. Always bring a command attachment with this unit, in this case the Stone Scribe Elder, and that leaves us with six points and a free solo. 

My selection for free solo is the Trollkin Runebearer for Harmonious Exaltation and random Hex Blasts, and with the last six points I suggest playing a Northkin Shaman. It will give us a couple of extra points next week to slot Doomshaper in with his lower beast points, and a second one in the list next week makes a mobile cloud wall. 

Ragnor
- Trollkin Runebearer (free)
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Northkin Shaman

Krielstone (min)
- Stone Scribe Elder
 

Week Four: 

It's caster swap time! The Power of Dhunia list comes under the helm of Doomshaper 2, and Madrak 1 takes over the Band of Heroes. Both of these casters bring interesting spells and feats for their respective theme forces, and will bring a nice change from Ragnor's rather static kit. 

Band of Heroes:

We get some sweet toys this week. 14 points rather than 15 because Madrak is one Warbeast point lower than Ragnor. 

We're gonna add the Krielstone Bearer now, but again, only a minimum unit for the moment. It also gets the Stone Scribe Elder attachment to buff up the Strength of the army and increase the amount of Fury the Stone can hold. 

We've got five points left over, and one free solo. With that, I'm going to add a Champion hero to bring some hurt to the fight and also make your Champs less interesting to engage, and a free Fell Caller Hero to buff the Champs MAT up or give them Pathfinder. 

Madrak 1
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Fell Caller Hero (free)
Champion Hero

Trollkin Champions (min)
- Skaldi Bonehammer
Krielstone Bearer (min)
- Stone Scribe Elder

Power of Dhunia:

Time to bring in Doomshaper. Wild Aggression combined with his Feat and Rush leads to some silly accurate, long range charges, especially on the guy we're bringing in for this week - the Earthborn Dire Troll. 

This makes the Northkin Shaman from last week free, and gives us four more points for a set of Whelps. Whelps are the best Fury Management in trolls, and furthermore are fantastic pieces to contest with all game long. 

The Earthborn is a fantastic piece, which can be base speed 7, DEF 14 and ARM 20 thanks to its unique rule Elemental Communion, and can make your caster immune to Knockdown or Stationary with its animus. 


Doomshaper 2
- Trollkin Runebearer (free)
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Northkin Shaman (free)
Troll Whelps

Krielstone (min)
- Stone Scribe Elder

Week Five:

Getting close to the end of the line here, it's time to start finalizing our lists!

Band of Heroes:

We're gonna keep cramming Champs into this list. 

If we max out our first unit, we've got nine points left. One short of another Minimum unit you say? Not so! 

If we put another Minimum unit in there, we get to make one of our solos free! All of a sudden we have four more points to play with, which is enough to make the Krielstone Bearer maxed out. 

We'll go into the last week with 16 points to play with, which should be enough to get us another free solo. 

Madrak 1
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Trollkin Champion Hero (free)
Fell Caller Hero (free)

Trollkin Champions (max)
- Skaldi
Trollkin Champions (min)
Krielstone Bearer (max)
- Stone Scribe Elder

 

 

Power of Dhunia:

Looking at what we've got, it's only two heavies! And we've got another two weeks to fit another one or two in. Fun fact: we're going to set up here to get Mulg into the list in Week 6. How am I going to fit a 22 point monster into here with only a fifteen point budget? 

Well...we're going to do some mathematical magic. Read on to see what I mean. 

First, let's make the Krielstone maxed out, using 3 of our 15 points here. 

With the remaining 12, we're going to put an Ice Troll into the list. Ice Trolls are excellent midline light warbeasts, and with it and an Impaler in your list, you actually have some pretty decent output at range. Boosted POW 13-16s do some serious work. 

Doomshaper 2
- Trollkin Runebearer (free)
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler
- Ice Troll

Northkin Shaman (free)
Troll Whelps

Krielstone Bearer (max)
- Stone Scribe Elder

Week Six: 

Ahhhh I am so excited to show you what I've got planned, read on my friend, read on!

Band of Heroes:

Good things continue over here as well! 

We're going to max out our second unit of Champs and attach a Trollkin Sorceror to each one.

Why you may ask? Three reasons. First of all, they get rid of upkeeps on the Champs which is huge. Second, they can give the unit Magic Weapons (take THAT Wraith Engines!) and finally, they're five more boxes for Sanguine Bond to interact with. 

I'm going to round that out with a Stone Scribe Chronicler. He's primarily in there to make the Champs get Gang, but that's pretty easy to do by sacrificing an Impaler to run in and engage the target. 

Madrak 1
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler

Trollkin Champion Hero (free)
Fell Caller Hero (free)
Stone Scribe Chronicler

Trollkin Champions (max)
- Skaldi Bonehammer
Trollkin Champions (max)
Krielstone Bearer (max)
- Stone Scribe Elder
 

Power of Dhunia:

Alrighty, so I told you we'd fit Mulg in right? Well here we go. We have 18 points to play with because we played three points down last week. Now, by putting Mulg into the list, we can make the Whelps free and landing at a perfect 75 point list of awesomness. 

Mulg is such an incredible piece here. Native Pathfinder on the charge, a great target for Primal Shock, Arcane Vortex AND the ability to one round almost anything, Mulg is Doomshapers beast and also my favorite model in the entirety of Trollbloods, tied with the Mountain King. 

Gahhh, excitement. Here's the final list:

Doomshaper 2
- Trollkin Runebearer (free)
- Mulg the Ancient
- Dire Troll Mauler
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Troll Axer
- Troll Bouncer
- Troll Impaler
- Ice Troll

Northkin Shaman (free)
Troll Whelps (free)

Krielstone Bearer (max)
- Stone Scribe Elder

If that doesn't have you squeeing in joy, I don't know what will. 

Conclusion:

Gonna be honest, I love Trolls and I played them for over a year, and this article has made me want to come back and play them again. I love the models, and I love these lists. 

As always, if you disagree with my progression, feel free to make changes! This is your league, and you should do what feels good to you. I've tried my best to send you towards models that I think you will use often and in many lists with many casters, so I hope they serve you well for a long while to come.

Thanks for reading!