Friday, 13 December 2013

Troll raid, AAR and the RULES

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a new troll raiding game and as usual it was a blast.
For those of you that don’t know about this game I can tell you that’s it’s a sort of skirmish game where each player controls a troll in a clan or tribe and they have their eyes set on a small unsuspecting gnome village.
The game usually starts where every player tries to cooperate at the beginning but as the game progress and the opportunities to gain points decrease the players usually starts to become less and less friendly to each other’s trolls.

Here are some highlights from the game.

The gaming table.

Håkans troll made a run for it and was quick to enter the village and starting to bash up some poor gnomes.

Instead of attacking this small guardforce the troll made the sneaky thing and just run past the gnome and over the small bridge and into the village.

The gnomes are in hot pursuit of the troll.

Two againts two, even odds some would say.

Mama troll have her eyes fixed on two large barrels of beer.

Having grabbed one pig this troll intend to get the three beer barrels besides the small shed.

The two trolls starts to argue over the last beer barrel here.

And a diceroll favours Mama troll, and she starts to get reall drunk by now.
As is the troll in the background besides the shed.

This troll started to get drunk... The pig had slipped his gripp and instead of trying to catch it or getting that barrel he instead goes berzerk into the bushes swinging his club high...

If you look closer at this picture you can see the troll to the right, nowhere near the pig. Damn he is drunk...

The duel… that gnome sure was a brave fellow.

Instead of trying to get the pigs the drunkard troll head for the opposite direction.

He atleast walkes in the right direction here. Soon he is where he started a couple of turns ago...

-Here piggy piggy...

Another great game, and the introduction of beer was a great success.

And as I have had lots and lots of questions about my little Troll Raiding games I have finally takend the time to write them down here.

Tomtar och Troll

My Troll Raiding games are using the historical rules of Hail Caesar as a base but with some modifications.

When in doubt look at the Hail Caesar rules or whats makes most sence.

After the table is set up with some gnomes and maybe some pigs and such.

Each player has chosen one troll and can now try to attack the village from a direction. 
The players takes turn and dice for where they enter. 1-3 the side where they want, 4 to the left, 5 opposite table edge and on a 6 to the right.
The trolls are then but on the table anywhere where the player wants but touching the edge on the edge diced for.

The game then starts with the gnomes turn.
And after that, its the trolls turn and I usually just let the trolls act in clockwise order if they are not interacting to much with eachother and in that case we usually dice for it.

Any gnome that’s becomes activated moves. If they move in contact with and enemy a combat phase accurse like in Hail Caesar, first movement and then combat.

A gnome is activated if there are a threat within 18” (a troll) or if they are in contact with another gnome.

Starting with the gnome closest to a troll and roll a dice (D6) and ad one for each gnome in contact. If gnomes are in contact with each other they act as a group and are rolled for as such, remember to ad one for each member beyond the first.

1 – Two moves from an enemy
2 – One move from an enemy
3 – Standing still
4 – One move towards closest friend
5 – One move towards closest friend
6 – Two moves towards closest friend
7 – One moves towards enemy, trying to attack
8+ – Two moves towards enemy, trying to attack

What this little table does is a sort of AI for the gnomes. When the troll first enters the village they will run around in chaos and finally group together assembling a sort of town guard to try to fight back. If a gnome moves into contact with another gnome they both count as having moved this turn.

The gnome are giving a stat line in Hail Caesar of 1 in each, but a moral/save of 5+.
They have a basic move of 4".
When a gnome takes a wound they are automatically removed from the table, any survivors of a group have to roll for casualties as in the standard rules.

This means that a group of gnomes taking 3 hits and only saves 1 results in removing 2 gnomes and if they didn’t make any wounds themselves the surviving gnomes would have to roll on the brake table as standard rules.


The trolls are a little different. Each player controls one troll but that troll has a command value of his own.
The trolls are given a command value of 8 but blunders on any 10 or more.
In Hail Caesar units are usually given a command, something like  - 34 line moves to the ridge and take up fire positions.
It works in the same way here but the orders will look a little different, maybe something like –Mama troll will run past the gnome guarding the bridge and will try to climb into the pigsty.
The trolls have the following rules in this game.

Short R
Long R
Special Rules
Tought fighter, Stubborn

To carry one object gives you -1 attack and a maximum of carrying two objects.
If you blunder you lose all your objects, put these besides the troll carrying it.
For each beer barrel drunk you blunders one easier, so on a 9 instead of the usual 10 for a troll for the first barrel.
This means that when drunk enough you will have a hard time trying to control your troll.

The points are given as following.
For each gnome or pig bashed 1point
For each pig carried at the end of the game, 5points
For each beer barrel drunk, 2points
For each beer barrel carried at the end of the game, 3 points.

I usually gives each players a marker for each point, this makes the counting easier and every player can see which troll is having most points.
The players are allowed to attack each other’s troll if they want to but it’s usually only a last resort for hindering another player to gain more points or to steal his or hers objects they are carrying.
The game end when the courage of the troll tribe fades or when I as the umpire see no point in continuing.

The troll courage is calculated as follows. When 1/4 of the trolls on the table are casualties one player roll his command value at the start of the trolls turn, if that is a failure the game ends and in other case the game continues for at least one more turn as they will have to roll again.

If a troll leaves the table, it will not count as a casualty but will not count as one of the trolls on the table ether so could result in putting the tribe bellow 1/4.

A troll that is shaken will not count as a casualty nor will it count as one of the trolls on the table, the thought with this is that a heavily wounded troll will not be that happy to continuing with the raid.

And a little something I forgot to mention about the movement. To climb over a fence or something simular takes one movement action, and to pick something up like a pig or a barrel also takes one movement action.
I have treated all area terrain as hindering a model to use more then one action to move per turn.

And as I said in the beginning, if some things are unclear look at the Hail Caesar rules or use common sense.

Please try them out and tell me how they went and whats hard to understand in my badly written rule adaptations.

Im sure these rules could be used as a guide or inspiration for a small group of warriors plundering Troy, Jerusalem or maybe Lindesfarne if you want to use them in a more historical setting.



  1. Fantastic looking game! The rules look fun too.

  2. Thankyou very much for writing down the rules in the article.
    The game is great fun and I also give a lot of extra points
    for the nicely painted figures. Tomtar and troll rocks!!!