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.