Monday, October 17, 2011

Spotlight: Bloodgorgers

The Bloodgorgers are frequent subjects in questions from new players, and with good reason. The angry trolls are in the unique position, of being a great unit in a faction of exceptional units. This makes people take notice of them (and the models which are made of pure awesome), but when placed on the table they often disappoint.

I'll begin with a little story about the first time I faced Karchev the Terrible. This opponent made the error of assuming that Bloodgorgers were designed to destroy infantry, and parked his wall of armor within range. His expression when the debuffs began stacking on the two heavies in front, was one of curious caution, and his expression when the Bloodgorgers charged was one of confusion, but when the first Bloodgorger began swinging at PS 19 that all changed.
Bloodgorgers: Statistics
Bloodgorgers are what I like to call unbridled potential. They need help, they need direction, and they need someone to invest resources in making them work, but when you do, the pure destruction a single troll can inflict defies belief.
  • Defense
The Bloodgorgers have pathetic armor. I know it might look solid, but their armor won't protect them from anything but the weakest of blasts. There are times when people will roll exceptionally poorly, but in general you can expect to be hit and killed on average dice, by almost anything in the game. This is their main weakness, and if your caster can somehow overcome that problem they become a truly different unit. This can be accomplished by Occultation, Death Ward, Blood Magic, or similar effects, but is pretty much required in order to make them work as a primary unit.

The Bloodgorgers do have one more trick up their sleeve, and being Tough makes them a fairly resistant unit, when you've done something to protect them from ranged attacks. With General Gerlack Slaughterborn nearby they also become steady, and suddenly the unit can handle some real punishment.
  • Offense
The Bloodgorgers are a truly terrifying unit, featuring the gang ability and multiple attacks. Without support they can each achieve two MAT 8 attacks with PS 13, but when you begin applying buffs/debuffs the unit transforms. A simple application of Parasite will allow a few Bloodgorgers to severely damage an opposing heavy, and additional debuffs will see almost anything die horribly.

With General Gerlack Slaughterborn the unit gains overtake, which allows them to be fairly effective against infantry as well. Without the general their potential is limited by their lack of reach, but with the right support (Ghost Walk) and overtake, they can munch through a lot of models. The main issue is keeping their gang bonus available when moving around, but if you can manage it the Bloodgorgers can really go to town.
  • Movement
This is another issue you will need to handle, because these guys have some serious issues with terrain. Having a Skarlock and a caster with access to Ghost Walk is your best bet, but Saxon Orrik can handle business if you've got other plans for the Skarlock.

The Bloodgorgers are slow, and while bloodthirst allows them a fair threat against living models, you really need the ability to ignore terrain quite badly, and Ghost Walk is the superior choice. Without access to Pathfinder or Ghost Walk, the trolls will be out of range or unable to charge, and a good opponent will lure them in and destroy them.
Bloodgorgers: Complications
I hope you've noticed this already, but these guys need support. They need something to assist them with movement, something to safeguard them against shooting, and a couple of things to increase their offensive potential as well, and that's a lot of effort to make one unit work. This is why I rarely make Bloodgorgers my primary infantry, but they're really good backup!
Bloodgorgers: You get what you pay for.
A minimum unit of Bloodgorgers is just five points, and that's actually a pretty decent price for what they do, if you already planned on including a few other models.
  • General Gerlack Slaughterborn: There are plenty of lists out there with Slaughterborn in them, because honestly he's worth the three points on his own. Add to this that the Bloodgorgers help to keep him safe, and they basically gain Steady & Overtake for free.
  • Skarlock: This guy is probably in you list anyway, and sometimes you end up without a job for him. Instead of bringing support specifically for the Bloodgorgers, you can use a couple of them to keep him safe, and they can benefit on turns where he's not needed elsewhere.
  • Bane Thralls: A staple of many lists, and they do well with Bloodgorgers. If you're facing infantry the Bloodgorgers can clean it out before you send in the Bane Thralls, and if you face heavy armor the Bane Thralls can supply Dark Shroud, and the Bloodgorgers can inflict some real damage.
When you look at it like that, you'll find that a minimum unit works well as an all purpose unit, that can scavenge resources from your army when nobody else needs it. They can shield important models, roll annoying Tough checks to block lanes, or simply get in the way of tramples. If your main units collapse the Bloodgorgers can pick up the slack, and inflict horrendous amounts of damage to both heavies and infantry alike.

Bloodgorgers are good, because they can be tooled to take on anything, which makes them the perfect backup unit. Bloodgorgers are great, because while they're waiting around to see where they're needed, they do a good job at being incredibly annoying to an opponent. Bloodgorgers are fantastic, because seeing the two remaining trolls annihilate a Juggernaut, will make your opponent go "blergh".


  1.  This is well articulated thank you. I've not been able to get Gorgers to work well and you've explained why. I'll try them again but this time as a 6 figure second wave unit to deliver Slaughterborn. I'll also run them with a caster that can actually help them a bit. 

  2. I do love that "look" on my opponents face, when the few remaining Bloodgorgers finally hit. Rust, Dark Shroud from that Bane Thrall, and Feast of Worms, thaaaat's PS 19, so that will be *shake* *shake* *roll slightly above average*... 31 damage to your Juggernaut. Now for my second attack (which is when they begin crying).

  3. Well, 11 damage past ARM anyway.