When I first was introduced to Warmachine/Hordes game system it was far different than that of Warhammer 40k for which I played regularly. I had chose the Trollbloods because they were far different from that of the superhuman cyborg Space Marines. Trollbloods possessed a simpleton look with axes, leather, and above all else, beer. The Trollbloods had a simple fluff background, that of survival. I don't feel I have connected well with the actual fluff background, a bit to one dimensional for me, but I am one that warms up to fluff slowly.
The Trollblood's play style is not very apparent to those that are unfamiliar with them. Their play style is that of comradery, and synergy. Most spells/animi are speed, offensive, and defensive buffs. There are few spells that differ, but they are usually signature spells of the caster. As well there is a large range of support units that can be added to spread and stack buffs.
The Trollblood units are most all medium base models. This makes them immune to being trampled, and very good at tarpiting and screening. They often possess their own self-buffs that help them be independent on the flank or the forefront. As well, some units such as the Burrowers have a unique play style that can be very difficult to counter. The most unique aspect of Trollblood units, and often other warriors, is that of the Tough ability. In short, when the unit succumbs to death, if the player rolls a 5 or a 6, the warrior stave off death, and will be knocked down (if it can be). This ability is very luck oriented, and as the saying goes "33% of the time, your plan will fail." This ability requires that the opponent will need to allocate a larger set of resources to overcome a tough opponent.
The Trollblood beasts are one of my favorite model set in the game. Who else would not love big trolls lobbing large explosive barrels at the enemies? The Trollblood dire troll lineup consists of four heavy warbeasts, and one character heavy beast. A small set of heavy warbeasts can make heavies a bit stale over the long run, but they are complimented by a wide variety of light warbeasts. With such an array of light warbeasts, the Trollblood player is not succumb to the requirement of only including heavy warbeasts who are often the heavy hitters first to battle. The light warbeasts often in my play offer supporting roles, as well as providing more damage boxes, then say solos or heavy infantry, when taken to battle. The overall effect of the Trollblood warbeast lineup is that of versatile light warbeast line up with the addition of large brutal heavy warbeasts.
A more in depth coverage of the Trollbloods is to come.