Yes, Trolls can be annoying to play against. They’ve got decent speed (especially with their buffs), they’ve normally got good ARM, high damage output, good MAT, and it seems (to someone facing them) that they always pass those critical Tough rolls- I know, I know, actual Troll players will loudly disagree on that last point. The faction is great at a drag-down, knock-em-out fight, and excels in scenario play, but can just as easily get a caster simply by crushing the rest of the army first. Once they’ve bricked up, getting through all the aura’s can be a nightmare. I’ve learned through many battles that the way to take them on is not to let them dictate the fight.
#1) Play the Edges
Most Troll armies you’ll face are built around a solid core designed to run straight up the middle of the field and gut your army. A full unit of Champions, with the Warlock, a Warbeast or three, and the Krielstone Bearer with his buddies buffing everyone up, not to mention other supporting spells and buffs, is a common theme. Unless you’re playing an equally smashy army, attacking that head on is like jamming a fork into your own eyeball.
Instead, go for the edges. Take out the models and units on the flanks, that aren’t close enough to benefit from all the overlapping auras. Then, you can move in and attack the supporting units (Krielstones) directly, making killing the rest of the army that much easier, and making your opponent have to watch every possible angle to protect his Warlock.
#2) Kill the Support
Take out the supporting models first. As I said, this is often easier said than done, since those models will normally be behind a big wall of Troll bodies. Still, long ranged Arcing Fire AOE’s, light cavalry with their attack & move ability, long ranged True Sight shots (ex: Eyriss or Gun Mages), and even a sacrificial model or unit- say a cheap Arcnode or a flanking unit such as Kossites or Bog Trogs, can get to the back lines and cause havoc. Properly timed, a flanking unit can have the additional benefit of causing your opponent to have to shift his lines to handle two different “fronts”.
#3) Shoot them Up with Volume Shots
Trolls are stereotyped as being a strong, tough army with relatively high ARM values. But the reality is many of their infantry models can be taken out with your basic POW 10 shots. However, Tough rolls can still play havoc with your plans so bring more shots than you’d normally need….just to make sure.
#4) Pick Your Fights
Most models in the Troll faction are SPD 5. Yes, they have many ways to increase the SPD or charge distances of individual models, but for the most part, any SPD 6 infantry will have a good chance of out-charging them. Use your speed advantage to pick your fights. Gang up on one flank of their force and destroy them piecemeal. Again, just beware of Tough rolls. I once played a game in a tournament where a string of great Tough rolls by some Scattergunners saw them simply stand up in their own turn and with the help of a Fellcaller, destroy almost two of my own units making a flanking maneuvre.
Trolls are a “tough” army…..pun intended. I’ve found that I do best when I focus on taking out the army a piece at a time before finally going for the kill or scenario victory. Your turn.