Warmachine – Why Trollbloods Are a Great Faction Post Nerf



Let’s talk about a few reasons why you should not only keep your Trolls, but why you should be excited to play them.

Check out Ghost-Dice.com for more Warmachine and Hordes news, reviews, and optimistic strategies!


Living In a Post Nerf World

Trollbloods: the Rocky Balboa of Hordes, the Super Saiyans of the Iron Kingdoms. Able to take a hit and punch back harder. Two very powerful Trollblood lists just had huge nerfs in the last errata, but the faction is as resilient as their fluff suggests. Without Weapon Master on Warders, and Calandra’s tier benefits switched around, a lot of Troll players may be feeling like it’s time to get out of the faction.

Let’s talk about a few reasons why you should not only keep your Trolls, but why you should be excited to play them.


Calandra is Still Awesome

Calandra doesn’t need 11 free points. She is a fantastic caster in her own right. Troll units can run with a ton of buffs independent of the caster, and Calandra’s ability to force rerolls and protect her army make her extremely powerful. With the Mountain King’s buff from the previous errata, her tier is likely still decent if not one of the biggest boogeymen in the game. Out of tier, taking Croak Raiders provides some fierce range offense while Scattergunners keep them safe from jamming and Starcrossed protects them from getting hit.

Warders Have a Role

Look, there’s no getting around the fact that Warders aren’t as good as they were, but that doesn’t mean they’re garbage now. It means they have to fulfill a different role than they did before. Focusing them on holding zones and being difficult to handle while the rest of the army kills big bads is still viable. A Some armies will only have a few heavies that are able to reasonably deal with Warders. Kill those, then let Warders run the table with Troll buffs getting them to POW 17.

Lots of Fun, Awesome Models to Use

Remember these guys?


Grim1. Madrak2. Doomshaper3. Burrowers. Fire Eaters. Glacier King. Long Riders. Dhunian Knot. Croak Raiders. Grissel1 with fast units. There are so many cool units, casters, and beasts to use! Trolls have a lot of unique strengths, some of which have been passed over and ignored while Runes and EE have been so dominate. Branch out, try some new synergies, and have fun!

Others Won’t Have Lists Tailored For Yours

No doubt that Runes and EE was (and possibly still is) an extremely strong pair. However, there is something to be said for being unpredictable. When your opponents know your pair and how it works better than you do and know their plan against it, they can build a bigger advantage against you. So bring on the Grissel2 with Scouts, Fire Eaters, and Croak Raider list and surprise your opponents.
Okay, maybe not that list specifically…

You Still Have Runes of War

Runes of War is still bonkers. It’s insane how strong that list is, and the Runeshaper change gives it a different tool to use. Between Runes of War and EE, which list your opponents thought was stronger probably depended on which faction they played. One of them took a hit, but everyone still has to deal with Runes of War.


Not the End of the Kriels

No denying that it sucks to have your favorite models and lists nerfed, but there is still a lot of competitive life in Trollbloods. There are excellent options, superb strengths, and a lot of room for creativity to develop strong strategies. Put the extra lights and Warders on the shelf for a bit and flex some other Trollblood muscles. Get out there and prove that there is more to your faction!

Here is a pair of lists to kick off your dojo and try out:


How are you all taking it?


  • tfkimmortal

    There are factions that would kill for a medium based unit with boxes, and half of the rules they still have.

    • Cameron Chapman

      Cygnar medium-based storm knight infantry when

      • Vomkrieg

        Almost certainly never. Each faction has a blind spot, Cygnars is heavy infantry. I don’t mind it personally that much, and I haz all the cygnar 🙂

        • Cameron Chapman

          I’m not sure that blind spot applies though, considering how many mercenaries we can hire. The troll fell caller unit whose name I’m forgetting, for example (Boomhowlers I think?)
          I guess at least we can’t target them with “friendly faction” spells

          • Vomkrieg

            That’s the rub, we have The trolls (boomhowlers is the one), and the Ogrun unit with cannons, and whatever else mercs through up at us. But the golden “friendly” rule will stay there, but we have jonas murdoch, the UA that can add “friendly faction” to a unit.

            Personally, I rely on sword knights for cheap soak most of the time, 12 points for 20 dudes is a lot of meat.

          • Cameron Chapman

            12 points and metal model prices
            call me when they get a plastic box, I’m a history student at uni and textbooks cost like 200 bucks. Only the cheap options for me!

          • Vomkrieg

            Boomhowlers and Ogruns are metal. If you only using plastic in warmahordes, your options are very limited.

            But, here’s the other option i use for meat shields.

            Centurions…. 2 of them, both with arcane shield. 18 points of absolute annoyance and you can marshall, or run them cheap as they are just road blocks.

          • Vomkrieg

            Randomly, I dont even own boomhowlers or the Ogruns. I made a point about keeping my Cygnar army as “cygnar” as possible, i dont really like “mercnar” as a concept, just feels off to me

        • tfkimmortal

          I don’t completely mind although It would be nice to have access to an in faction medium base with a decent set of boxes to slow people down. My biggest problem is the over abundance of low pow weaponry, with little to buff it in a dominantly armor skewed meta. It really turns me off from a faction when you have to take a 19 point model(twice sometimes) to remain competitive, while you half heartedly roll pow 10’s because you know most of that will just plink after you snipe a couple of support models. Our casters are still pretty tops though. 🙂
          Keep in mind I’m by no means a great player, and have recently done some faction hopping to see if other things work better for me. Khador has been working very well for me recently. 🙂

          • Vomkrieg

            Each faction needs it’s blindspots to be honest, and while a unit a medium infantry as a tarpit would be nice, many factions would love the utility of gun mages, the mobile firepower of tempests, and our casters. Not to mention Jnr and squire.

            Cygnar is a good faction, we have to take our lumps with having some of the best spot removal and ranged firepower in the game. If we could hang as tough as some other factions, we would be OP 🙂

  • TweetleBeetle

    I’ve been a part of a lot of groups having discussions about this before and after the nerf.

    It’s funny listening to them, because the people who hate GW SWEAR WarmaHordes is so internally and externally balanced. Yet lists show up at major WM/H events that are considered “a problem” by the community; or they’ll make up a huge chunk of the top 8.

    40k has none of those problems right now, and is only a few factions away from being fully updated.

    • JJ

      Way to contribute to an article that has nothing to do with 40k, and bring your message of everyone hates GW and is wrong… Go back to your cave please!

      And:Sure..yep 40k has none of those problems…..sure wink wink nudge nudge…

    • Gridloc

      People still talk to you? I figure its you just talking to them, you don’t respond to questions on forums. Are these local groups? You insist that your area only plays 40k and AoS…

      No lists were ‘a problem’ but there are lists that are better due to being well rounded to take on a larger array of opponents lists. These are what got hit.

      It sucks for us TB players, but we will be fine. I’ve already started to work on my new lists. Warders hurt the most due to really love their play style, but i’ll be able to migrate to more bodies over beefier units.

      Best part, this change will help the game grow. Its nice being part of a game community with a game company looking out for the game and not just shareholders.

      • Secundum

        Wait, people play AoS?

      • Cameron Chapman

        Exactly, thank you. The existence of problem lists or overwhelming faction supremacy (cough, the dark era of grey knights after release, cough) doesn’t happen in Warmahordes, but that does not imply perfect balance. There’ll always be some things that’ll be patched/errata’d to keep the meta from becoming unbelievably repetitive.

      • zeno666

        Heh, busted.
        I figured this was odd as well since no one played any other games but GW games in his area/basement 😉

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Why his this store at a house? Why is it named Uncle Touchy’s Puzzle basement?

    • Cameron Chapman

      Relative balance is a thing – in a tournament-focused game like warmahordes, units that are marginally better than others see a noticeable uptick in terms of play compared to their relative units. There’s no such thing as perfect balance in ANY game, as there will always be ‘better’ choices than others. So, the nerf is an attempt to make other units slightly more in line, to increase the amount they see play by – and as a side effect, sell more stock of these pre-existing models.

    • artty

      they see me trollin, they hatin…

    • Richard Mitchell

      What is this guy talking about. “Rant, rant, hate GW, rant rant PP is bad for doing updates?” That is what I get for waking up on the wrong side of the universe this morning.

      Some people are ranting but I actually like the fact that PP spends as much time as it does updating and balancing the scene.

      I remember when I had a 2nd ed Dark Eldar army and 3rd ed Nid army when 5th came out…ya a lot of tears…anyone remember Squats? Poor bastards, not the Squats, they are eaten by ‘nids, I mean the people who bought an army of them.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Reason number 1: they stil llook awesome!

    • JJ

      And they have Kilts!

  • JJ

    Trolls have always been the poster child for Hordes. Ok so they got hit by the nerf bat..barely! Trolls are still a top notch army!

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Honestly I feel they needed to be less offensive, and by know means are they severely weakened. They can still knock teeth in without that boosted die! Besides anytime I roll three dice I roll like 2, 2’s and a 1.

      • JJ

        I have the same problem with dice!

  • Gridloc

    Trolls will be fine, just as circle getting stones nerf’d last time. The game has so much balance, players will just switch to a different unit(s) to make up for the shift in rules.

  • JN7

    Man, I wish people talking about warders would stop pretending they have every available buff all the time. P&S 17 easy! Nonsense. They aren’t even the best target for damage buffs anymore.

    It’s OK to think the nerfs suck. We don’t have to be happy shiney all the time.

    • ErgonomicCat

      It’s fine to think the nerfs suck. It’s a bit annoying when “Warders got nerfed” becomes “Trollbloods have no competitive options and have been completely ruined and I’m going to sue PP for the $1000 I put in my army which is now completely unplayable!!!11!!”

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        People on the internet over-react to everything. The default go to is always extreme.

    • Ghost Dice

      PS17 is really easy. You don’t even have to do anything you weren’t already doing to get there. It’s not even that hard to get it to 20 (Battle Driven, Stone, Calamity, Charge of the Trolls, Mauler animus. Other casters make it even better and more likely. And Warders are sill the most durable infantry out there, so they aren’t bad choices for late game buffs
      I’m not trying to be “all happy and shiney all the time” and ignore that it does suck to have favorite model nerfed. I’m trying to provide a count point to the oppressive doom and gloom. After 15 pages that got locked down on the PP forum and threats of absurd legal action against PP, my article is unique in that it doesn’t condemn or praise the nerfs. Just accepts them and looks ahead. And Troolblood future looks great.

      • JN7

        You are talking about lining up at least 13 points of support plus a caster for a single model to get those numbers. It’s really unlikely, and also incredibly dumb. Pretending the whole unit will be swinging at anything more than 13 the majority of the time is nonsense.

        • Ghost Dice

          I commonly got Warders and Champs swinging at pow 17 when I played my Grissel list. It was very easy and effective. If your experience differs, then that’s fine, but I stand by what I said. P&S 17 is easy with Trolls.

          • JN7

            OK. GJ random internets guy. Totally awesome. Still unlikely.

  • crimzzen

    Oh noooooes, I guess that means all those troll players will be forced into playing doomie3, pgrissel, or madrak2. Whatever will they do with such noncompetitive casters…. 😀

  • Secundum

    I love that fact that some trigger-happy nublet mod went and removed all the posts he didn’t like-such as anything comparing Warmahordes to AoS and 40K.

  • Crayonmuffin

    Trying to get into the game. Love the look of trolls. Then every player telling me not to because they “suck” now. It shouldn’t matter if I’m not planning to do too well in tournaments and such. Hunters Grim look too awesome not to play.