Orc Trolls

Blood Bowl Orc Troll
Orc Troll Overview:

Trolls are probably the worst used players on an Orc team. It is quite common to hear Orc coaches complaining about their Troll messing up and causing a turnover, or perhaps going stupid and letting the other team through the defence. While these things can happen, if you correctly utilise the abilities that the Troll provides they can make a formidable player for you to play around. With four Black Orcs around them, they can provide great support for both offence and defence and there aren’t many teams that will be able to go toe to toe with that line up.

It is fairly evident that Trolls are designed to be blockers given their high strength, armour, Regeneration and Mighty Blow, compared to their low movement and agility. This would usually be a great combination of stats and skills though they are let down by having Loner and Really Stupid. Loner makes them unreliable like every big guy hampering the ability to use rerolls, or even worse using up rerolls with no effect. Really Stupid also means that they need a team mate in support to keep them focused on the game and what you want them to do. If they get isolated from their team mates they will spend half the time doing nothing and letting opponents slip past unhindered. This can be a big issue for both offence and defence, though even with a team mate nearby this can still happen on occasion.

Orcs are a really resilient team with AV9 on most the players and Trolls certainly continue that trend. Their high strength and armour make them hard to both knock down and hurt and they even come with the extra aid of Regeneration. As a result Trolls will usually stay alive for a very long time, with them being the cheapest big guy player anyway they are fantastic value from that regard. As they do have Regeneration most of the time it means you don’t need to bother about using your team Apothecary on them either, saving it for a team mate which again helps the team more overall. It may be worth using the Apothecary on -ST or -AV injuries or death results though, otherwise you run the risk of failing  Regeneration and crippling the Troll (or worse). Even should the Apothecary not work you can still perhaps pass your Regeneration roll.

The best use then for Trolls would be as a road block for being in the way or for tying up players. Their resilience and high strength even makes them a suitable player to tie up the nasty Mighty Blow and Piling On opponent who will probably have lowish agility and lower strength than the Troll. Try and get him in the tackle zones of multiple opponents to either force them to make dodge rolls or perhaps commit even more players to try and block the Troll. Obviously you can use them to hit the opposition but be aware of the side effects that the negative skills can produce. Is the chance of knocking the opposition over worth it compared to the situation you will be left in if they fall over themselves or go stupid and lose their tackle zone. So you ideally want to get two assists verses ST3 players to get a three dice block providing you with both the lowest chance of failure and best chance of success.

Trolls are also able to throw any Goblin team mates if you have any on your Orc team. The only time I would consider using this is in the last turn of a drive that your team kicked off in and the opponents scored in their turn 8 leaving you with just one turn left before half time. Throwing team mates at other times would require the Troll to preferably be out of opposing tackle zones to keep the fumble chance as low as possible, though even then throwing team mates doesn’t have the greatest chance of success. The last point to consider is that the Troll may even eat the Goblin, which will not only give you one less player on the pitch, but also result in the Goblin being dead!

Troll Road Block:
  • Normal: Guard, Stand Firm, Grab, Break Tackle/Piling On/Strong Arm
  • Doubles: Block, Pro
  • Stat Increase: +ST, +MV/+AV

As ever you can’t go wrong with Guard and it makes a great first choice to aid your team mates and keeps the Troll useful even if you do nothing with them. Stand Firm combines well with Guard and also prevents opponents from pushing you off players you are marking. Grab will let you keep more opponents around you or let you set up easier blocks for team mates and may also help with making space to move a cage through. After that you can either go with Break Tackle to keep him more mobile, Piling On to get more casualties, though bear in mind you will have to roll for Really Stupid in order to get up again and they are slow players. If you want to improve your ability to throw Goblins then also consider Strong Arm. Block is the obvious choice on doubles for reliability and effectiveness when blocking and Pro if you get a second to safe rerolls and reduce Really Stupid reliability effects.

+AG is a waste on a Troll so skip it, if you roll 5,5 then take the double, 6,4 you should ignore it for the first two skills. After that +AV in claw light bash heavy leagues or +MV in other leagues. If you roll +ST you have the option of either the double or the strength increase. Both have their benefits over each other, though I prefer to take the +ST as you are more likely to roll another double compared to another +ST if you take the double first time.

Orc Troll Summary:

Trolls are big and stupid but are great value as far as big guys go in both cost and longevity. If you utilise their abilities as part of a whole team, rather than focus on their abilities as an individual then they can make great additions to your team. Their reliability issues prevent them from being the great blockers they perhaps first appear to be, but they help the Black Orcs in their Blocking game and free the Blitzers up to do their thing.

Other teams will find all the strength of a Troll and Black Orcs hard to deal with, cages can’t go through them and you can funnel agility teams as well. Get a weaker team boxed in and they may be unable to fight their way out. On offence in combination you have a formidable line to help move a caged up ball carrier all the way through opposing teams to the end zone. Just try and avoid doing anything fancy with the Troll or starting turns off with them doing an action that could result in a turnover and you will appreciate their value over their problems.

17 thoughts on “Orc Trolls”

  1. Yes I enjoyed this post, as I have enjoyed reading most of your nice articles.  Both the text and strategy on different guys (Orcs and Chaos) as well as the information on the different skills. Its really nice to see a place which has up to date information about Blood Bowl.

  2. Block on Trolls, keeps them on their feet longer when being hit and also lets you hit back which is more important than their tackle zone. If you need to keep their tackle zone then you are best off just not trying to do anything with them.

  3. I tend to go the non-traditional route and include a few goblins on my team, both for fouling and flying. On a double I would always therefore pick Pro on my Troll, as it makes him more reliable at picking up and throwing the goblin. It also makes him much less likely to go Stupid, so you can use him more offensively than if you had chosen Block. As he has AV9 and regenerate, it doesn’t matter that he will be knocked down more often than if he had Block, as he’s highly unlikely to be injured.
    I would therefore suggest that if you want more a defensive troll who ties up players, Block is the best double. If you want a more offensive troll who is less likely to go Stupid, Pro is the way to go.


  4. Coach, Let me insist in the game role in which Troll is better and may be must be use for new Ork Player. You mentioned it in filigran in your article in an implicit way that newby and rooky might not understand. Tell me if I am Wrong. 😉

    In my humble opinion The Troll has to be use like that:

    First of all, unless your Troll earns Blok, Never hit opponent player without three dice. If you can’t get three dice never Block. A troll is better up without making a block than take a two dice block with 1 chance out 9 to get down tempting you to use a ReRoll ( with a One out two chance it will works). Also, Hit the average opponent player without blok and without a good armor. In this way each blok of your Troll might cause a lot of damage with mightyBlow. In one way Try to maximize the Troll’s Bloks, it is the main issue.

    Even with 3dices think twice before making your block. This guy is Really Stupid. It means that with a one on your dice, this guy will loose his tackle zone. that means your attack or your defence leaves a big gap for your opponent to get into. So prepare your block make it at the end of your turn and be sure if it don’esn’t work it won’t ruins your chance of Blockimg the opponent team advance or your chance of making your cage advance.

    Finally I think that you have to use the Troll as a Center pilar of your attck or defense. It is better keeping it up, turn.ing around him and doing damage in the advers team than using your unreliant Troll. Thinck you havve 6 turn to make damage before taking risks for scoring. Orks can take their time so don’t be impatient and Bash Bash Bash …safely with your TROLL !!!!!

    May be some will think that my comment is basic. But not doing that is why Ork coach say that Troll is useless.

  5. If you’re using your troll to tie up the line reliably, try adding sidestep as a doubles choice. you don’t want to make risky moves that lead to going stupid, but you also don’t want to be tied to one square, so why not let your opponent do the maneuvering work for you?

  6. For a troll roadblock, I’m leaning towards giving the troll Stand Firm first so he can really hold up alot of players, followed up by Break Tackle so he doesn’t get help up himself by a sole lino. Guard coming later isn’t that awful for an Orc team since they have almost universal strength access and these two skills help the roadblock troll do his job the best for the team. Just my 2 cents

  7. Hi Coach,

    What’s your opinion on starting an Orc team with a Troll replacing one of the Black Orcs or Blitzers?

    1 Troll
    3 Black Orcs
    4 Blitzers
    2 Linemen
    1 Thrower

    I am a fan of the Troll and I think you need to start the team with him if you want to use him at all in a short league format, but I also think 3 rerolls is necessary to start out with.

    Do you think the Troll adds more than a Black Orc in early matches, or would it better to drop a Blitzer? (The missing positional would be my first buy after an apoth of course)

    • I don’t think there is a great deal of difference and probably depends more on your personal play style. Obviously a Troll is a closer match for Black Orc so it probably makes more sense to replace one of them. Orcs are one of the slower teams so you will probably miss the Blitzer more as a Troll is a totally different type of player. Of course though if you are facing lots of other strong teams you may prefer the extra strength. Whatever you pick in this instance, some games you will have wanted the other choice while other games it works out better. Of course any self respecting Orc won’t want to play with creatures of another race!

  8. What’s the point of strong arm for throw teammate? I’ve gone through the rules and it seems that a failed pass has the same result as a succesful pass? In both cases you scatter 3 times. There’s no penalty to landing as there used to be for a failed pass.

    As such throw team-mate is the same with agility 1 or agility 6, the same with or without strong-arm.

    Isn’t it? Or am I reading the rules wrong?

  9. is there something i’m missing?
    you say troll roadblock, but you miss out putting in diving tackle on doubles.
    has it changed from the original, or am I misunderstanding what you mean by roadblock?

    • Hi Someone, you aren’t missing anything, it’s just that Block and perhaps Pro are probably going to be more useful on double skill increases. Block will keep them upright far more often and they will also likely be involved more in hitting and being hit than having players dodge away from them. I can see merit in having Diving Tackle though it does have the draw back of going prone on a slow player that needs help performing actions. By all means give it a go and if you are lucky enough to keep rolling doubles then even better. Typically though Trolls are pretty slow to get skill increases on in the current rules and I’d personally want Block more than nearly anything else.

      • I just looked at the skill and WOAH has it changed.
        it used to be a super OP skill that let you throw a block at anyone entering your tackle zone.
        they definitely nerfed it a LOT and I would totally see why you would not pick it.

        btw I’ve just come over from the original version, and still hoping to be able to keep some of the things like kick-off table ect. (the other players won’t be too fussed)

        • Yeah the 1994 third edition Diving Tackle was nasty. Especially with the old version of Frenzy (unlimited blocks up to your movement + GFI) where you could just chain block opponents off the pitch from the middle with a Witch Elf or Troll Slayer.


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