Nords are a diverse faction when it comes to ‘types’ of creatures you can bring to bear. We’ve all seen the brutal Jotnars on the table, acting as a massive hammer to bring down on your opponents forces in the later game. Ugr make for a reasonably solid, more elite choice with high damage and middling resilience. Fenr die to a stiff breeze but absolutely rip foes to pieces if they can get into an open flank. When you want to bring some monsters to the table in a big, costly, and immensely powerful way… you bring out the feared Trolls.
Trolls have turned into the real ‘anchors’ of a lot of my Nords lists, sitting alongside the Jotnars as being a lynchpin core unit to the faction when it comes to both taking a hit and dishing out damage. They are extremely limited in what characters can take them, only appearing on the Blooded’s menagerie of monstrous options, but are a mainstay unit for him meaning they’re very easy to take… which is good because their enormous cost, while justified, makes them slightly more prohibitive.
The statblock on trolls on its own isn’t especially remarkable. Move 6 is very solid, a bit quicker than many infantry but nothing super standout. Clash 2 is also fairly middling, with a single attack and mediocre-to-average Resolve and Defense. The first stand out, though, is their 2 wounds, which on its own makes them considerably more resilient than their defensive stats would imply.
The other piece of their puzzle are the special rules and draw events they bring with them, which is where they really show their colors. Cleave 2 is already quite elite, giving their hits enormous output into regiments relying on Defense primarily. Fearsome is a more situational rule but
certainly not a bad one. What really gets the eyes popping though is the massive Regeneration 5. This draw event allows the regiment to heal 5 wounds, bringing models back from the dead, at the start of their activation. With their two wounds, this puts 2.5 trolls back into the unit, and gives large Troll units absolutely massive staying power over multiple rounds.
Generally Trolls get taken in large groups; so much of their power is tied up in Regeneration that you benefit greatly from making sure the regiment is very hard to kill all at once. Due to sheer weight of health within the unit, Troll regiments are ridiculously hard to break or shatter, and taking a larger unit gives you even more buffer against this. Generally I’ve taken them in groups of 5-6 stands, at a hefty 350-420 points of your list, but you can go above that and create a real brick of death that is just absurdly hard to deal with. They’re almost always accompanied by a Blooded decked out in a lot of combat upgrades; due to the unit being very hard to shatter even when already broken, he can generally turn down duels (he’ll probably kill who he fights but….sometimes you’d rather not also lose him, and he’s defense 1…) and just rally on their next activation or kill whatever they’re in combat with. You do have to watch out for certain ways to “force” duels, like riders on giant dinos or Dweghom’s ability to break a unit with magic before requesting a duel, but this Blooded can help really make sure the Troll unit murders anything it gets into.
One thing to take into account, which is easy to forget, is that Regeneration is a draw event. This does somewhat clash with the Nords faction ability which can give them Fury 1; you’ll have to decide which ability to actually use when the time comes, potentially sacrificing some survivability for more output.
Trolls are an expensive unit to field, points-wise, but it’s hard to not enjoy the feeling of slamming this near-unkillable brick of a unit into enemies, regenerating a horde of two wound, high cleave monsters that take up a quarter or more of your army’s point value. While Nords have a wide range of viable and effective unit options, Trolls are definite standout powerhouses that refuse to be ignored when they hit the table.
If you’d like to pitch up some Trolls and watch the hope in your friends eyes die (but it’s fun!), or pick up any other Conquest goodies, make sure to hit up their webstore using the linked image below and use the code LOS10 at checkout to get 10% off your order! Thanks for reading, see you next time!