You know who plays Troggs? Handsome cavaliers, brave souls who are willing to defy convention, creating big memories in the quest for victories against the odds.
You know who doesn’t play Troggs? Cowards.
So decide who you are, and if you fall into that second category, you might as well give up now. You’ll probably hate this army.
Are they any good?
Since the Gloomspite book came out, and especially since they had their points tweaked downwards, core Troggoths have had highly-efficient warscrolls. Their issue is that they are playing off those warscrolls to a greater extent than almost any army in the game; the Bad Moon is slightly shit at the best of times, and Troggs get pretty much bugger-all benefit from it.
So the heart of the army is good, and all they needed was some extra rules, right? Right. In fact, a White Dwarf article allowing you to recycle Troggoths through the Loonshrine was one of my biggest wishes for 2020.
I’ve been running the Dank Dame off and on for years, and grabbed a 4-1 with her in Mixed Destro just over a year ago, so any Trogglove will instantly tickle my jimmies. I’m all in on this one, and I’ve already got in half a dozen games and counting with the new rules, so let’s take a proper look at how they’re shaking out.
Ready? Let’s go.
How it works
Whoop there it is! You can recycle your units on a 4+ (half unit size, rounding up fractions, just like Grots). Crucially, you still get Battleshock immunity within a decent 12” bubble, which is tremendously important when your army has a Bravery Characteristic of LOL.
What we have here is essentially a sub-allegiance for Troggoth-heavy armies, layered onto the existing Gloomspite rules. Like most sub-allegiances, it locks you into a Command Trait and Artefact in exchange for some “free” rules. I’ll tell you right now that there are trade-offs to be made here, but overall the package is a pretty compelling deal for anyone who was already living that #TroggLyf.
Command Ability: Oblivious to Sorcery
Don’t sleep on this! I initially saw this as very much an edge-case, but boy was that a rash judgment. It’s obviously only useful when your opponent actually has magic, but in those matchups, it’s the perfect one-two punch of operationally useful and strategically clutch.
What I mean by that is that the CA benefit actually gives you a tangible, practical “out” in some bad situations, but it also plays into your (or at least my) gameplan of chucking units under the bus, making them a huge pain in the ass to deal with, and then brining them back on a 4+.
Yes, rolling a 4+ is a plan. I didn’t say it was a watertight plan.
To give you an example, I recently played against Lumineth. Turn 1 the Dank Dame got up amongst them, vomiting and spell casting and drawing in resources. Turn 2 it was the Rockguts, appearing near their hero (and ours) to have a rerollable charge and Battleshock protection ready and waiting. Where I went wrong is that I hadn’t slapped the CA onto the Rockies first; Lumineth debuffed my abysmal bravery (which I could have ignored on a 4+) and then forced me to roll below it on 2D6 (which I could have ignored on a 4+), and then the whole unit was hamstrung.
This went on for a couple of turns, and having that 4+ ignore would have been huge – of course, I might not have hit it, but it transforms a lost cause into a coin-flip, and gives you an opportunity to get lucky. Troggs aren’t a Surehammer army, but if you’re living for those tense, game-changing 50:50s, there’s honestly nothing in the game quite like them.
Command Trait: Shepherd of Idiotic Destruction
OK leaving aside the grossly-offensive title (which I’ll be overkeying in Warscroll Builder every damn time, believe me), this is simultaneously pretty good and a minor tragedy. Extra CPs are dynamite, especially when your bravery is such a bad joke, so it’s straight-up worth taking in its own right. The issue I have is that it forces out the CTs from the book: one of which (Loonskin) is directly comparable as a CP-generating tool.
You can do the maths and conclude Loonskin is arithmetically superior across five rounds, but I’d argue that having the chance to earn CPs right from Turn 1 offsets that. A bird in the hand is worth is worth two in the bush and all that. I probably prefer it over Loonskin personally, but there’s basically a bee’s dick in it.
No, the one that makes me sad is that you can no longer take Mighty Blow, which was my own regular pick. D6 damage (on only 4 attacks) has “whiff” written all over it, and rerolling damage rolls of 1s into 6s happened a lot – and was probably the most fun thing about the army. I’ve one-shotted a Stardrake by doing exactly that. It’s quite a big thing to give up, and would have made a great Ability for the whole subfaction: the Trogboss and especially the Dankholds frankly could use elevating. Hey ho.
Artefact: Realmstone-Studded Hide
Here you go, have a 5++ Mortal save. This one only applies to Mortal and not regular wounds though. Pretty useful as something conspicuously lacking on the Troggboss’s Warscroll (my opponents are regularly gobsmacked at how badly he was screwed over by not getting the same 5++ shrug as the Rockguts), but perhaps more importantly, it can go on any Troggoth hero.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Oh yes! The Dank Dame now has a half-decent artefact to replace the Realm artefacts that went down the Swanee. It also soaks up the compulsory slot, meaning you can take anything you like for the second artefact: my key suggestions are Glowy Howzit for the Troggboss, or maybe a Moonface Mommet on a Madcap Shaman.
Battalion: Glogg’s Megamob
BOOOM! Fuck yes!
This, my friends, is serious fucking business. WAY better than the old piece of crap from the Battletome, this has a tangible, functional benefit. Trogg armies tend to be elite not only in terms of model count, but also unit count; you often just don’t have enough units on the board to afford to leave 6 Fellies bogged down by some Battleline trash for 2 turns.
Unbogdownable, undeniable, unstoppable! Let’s fucking go.
I’ve already clinched a game with this one by retreating out some Fellwaters and charging back in, strung out with the charge to grab an open objective too; this is free extra movement in those clutch situations, getting the 2D6” charge rather than the d6” run, and shooting and fighting as well. Then you have the classic retreat ‘n’ charge shuffle, to reorganise a unit that has been tagged on its end (and get them all back in fighting), or to spring board off a screen and into the backfield.
I think I’m in love.
Quality of life
Pretty damn good, actually. Similar to Jaws of Mork, these rules have been written in a modular manner, so you can pick and choose the elements you want. You’ll often lean in and take the full package, but that’s because you’ll want to, and not because your hands are tied.
The Hag can use the artefact (and more), and you can use the Shrine without needing to go Megamob: so for example you can choose to rezz Troggs, while keeping the Mighty Blow Command Trait. I’m a happy Troggboss.
Is there any bullshit?
Oh yes! See that keyword there? The one in bold?
Yup, the Dank Dame has it.
So, brilliantly, you can bring back 0.5 Troggoth Hags, rounding up to 1 whole, full, entire, complete, magnificent, magical, stinky lady.
See? This is why we can’t have nice keywords!
For what it’s worth, this is fun strictly for its meme value (and Troggoth value), rather than something that will consistently win you games. I have had a couple of opportunities to rezz a Hag, but both times I had something better to bring back and didn’t bother. In reality she’s simply not as impactful on the game as 5 Rockguts (for example), and even when you’re getting a 2-for-1 deal she’s probably a list building liability with two great compensating assets.
Her shooting attack and Warscroll spell, what were you thinking?
The List: 4+ EZPZ
A bold list, for simple souls: “Can You Roll A 4+?: The Army”.
3 drops, a Triumph bid, let’s go.
Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
Mortal Realm: Ghur
Dankhold Troggboss (250)
– Command Trait: Shepherd of Magnificent Destruction
– Artefact: Glowy Howzit
Troggoth Hag (380)
– Artefact: Aetherquartz-studded Ass
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (90)
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
9 x Rockgut Troggoths (420)
6 x Fellwater Troggoths (300)
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (150)
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (150)
Skulkmob Horde (160)
Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Chronomantic Cogs (80)
Total: 1980 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
There are two early-game plays you’re eyeing up here: both involve popping off Cogs and then Hand of Gork (each from way back out of unbind range).
Plan A is that if your opponent deploys poorly, you’re looking for the chance to speed up Cogs, get the Rockguts into his best unit and blast it off the table. Then you get up in his face, call him a scrub and pour beer over his head. Thanks for coming.
Plan B is that you slow down Cogs with the Hag, and load her up with the new Command Ability. She’s now on a 4+ rerollable save, with a 5++ mortal save, 4+ spell ignore, -1 to Hit in combat and healing D6 wounds per turn. How’d ya like them apples!
Hand of Gork her 9” away from an enemy unit, vomit all over it with your 10” shooting attack, and then remember that she slowed down time so she has an extra cast…let’s have a crack at making something -1 to hit and save with that spicy signature spell. A lot of armies are in that horrible position where they can’t deal with her, but also can’t ignore her.
Your 9 Rockies can go in as a second wave, so they have hero support ready and waiting, this time with Cogs speeded up for a 7” rerollable charge (similar odds to rolling a 2+ on one dice). Then after they’ve unleashed hell and fallen for the cause, you have the whole game in front of you, looking for those 4+s to rezz 5 Rockies and / or a full-fat Hag. Clinch one of those Turn 3 and watch your opponent cry. Don’t feel bad though – fuck ’em, they should have played Troggs if it’s that easy.
Meanwhile your minimum Fellies are scouting out wide and blowing up chaff, or screening for the devastating counter-charge from your bigger units. And when 3 die, 2 come back – even 2 Fellies, rolling 10 high quality attack dice, can do some work, believe me.
Will Glowy Howzit keep the bossman alive?
Maybe? I dunno. This was my very first roll with the artefact:
In fact, for my first 6 games I saved only 6 wounds in total (an average of one per game); then on my 7th, the artefact went TURBO and I saved a game-winning 21 in one devastating burst.
You’re cracking off two extra CPs on a 4+. You’re rezzing units on a 4+. You’re ignoring wounds on a 4+. You’re ignoring magic on a 4+. You’re casting important spells from scratch, and you’re putting your life on the line for every priority roll.
The key with this army is developing situations where hitting those 4+s is game-winning, but failing them is recoverable. Let’s fucking do this.
Alternatives: Maybe drop one of your skirmishing units down to 3 Rockies (instead of 3 Fellies), allowing you to take the Scuttletide. Three Rockguts only roll 6 dice which is liable to do sweet FA, so I tend to avoid them as a minimum unit; what’s more, you are giving up a reasonable triumph bid. But for all that, the ’tide is frikkin nuts for what it costs, so it’s an option well worth exploring.
The other, more sensible route is to drop the Dank Dame and Cogs in favour of way more Troggoths, but you’ll have to prize that Hag out of my cold, clammy hand.
The Troggboss himself has done his own write-up on the rules, as well as recording a YouTube show with The Coach. What a time to be alive!
This is a great set of rules, my friends.
Let’s be serious here, it doesn’t catapult Troggoths to the top tables overnight. But not everything has to be that way.
Troggoths are a niche within a niche within a niche, a fan-favourite army that we’re playing because we want to. What these rules do is makes them an absolute joy to play: if you have experience with the army, you will be “in” pretty much all your games, and you’ll get some great moments to look back on.
Bravo, White Dwarf. Bravo.