"Uh, how come we aren't too bright, but we're some of the most complicated characters in the game?"
"Hmm, I dunno, let's ask William."
Burat :: MEAS :: Warrior/Ranger Troll :: MI 4 :: DI 0 :: 1 MP :: U2 5/8 :: Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins and Lairs
Unique. Manifestation of "Bert." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Tuma and/or Wuluag is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Burat to untap Tuma or Wuluag if at the same site. If Tuma or Wuluag is in his company, Burat's mind is reduced by one.
Art by Omar Rayyan.
Tuma :: MEAS :: Warrior Troll :: MI 4 :: DI 0 :: 1 MP :: U2 6/8 :: Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins and Lairs
Unique. Manifestation of "Tom." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Burat and/or Wuluag is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Tuma to untap Burat or Wuluag if at the same site. If Burat or Wuluag is in his company, Tuma's mind is reduced by one.
Art by Omar Rayyan.
Wuluag :: MEAS :: Warrior/Scout Troll :: MI 4 :: DI 0 :: 1 MP :: U2 5/8 :: Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins and Lairs
Unique. Manifestation of "William." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Burat and/or Tuma is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Wuluag to untap Burat or Tuma if at the same site. If Burat or Tuma is in his company, Wuluag's mind is reduced by one.
Art by Omar Rayyan.
The three trolls from "The Hobbit" now come as characters for minion players thanks to Against the Shadow. Other than Ringwraiths and Wizards, these three are probably the most complicated character cards in the game.
First, they cannot be included in a starting company. It's an interesting restriction that moves them into the same category as agent characters. You must plan your strategy to have available influence later in the game. Additionally, if you have your ringwraith out, you are limited to bringing them into play with direct influence or general influence at the location of the wraith. So the trolls will work best either with a wraithless deck which expects free general influence, either through casualties or influence enhancers.
Second, the trolls are better in pairs or triplets. Alone, they require four mind each. Together, they require three mind each. This is unique among characters - heros or minions. At three mind, they are truly a bargain for their stats and skills. At four mind, Bert, Tom and William are average for overt minions. However, since luck of the draw will determine if Tom is anywhere near Bert or William in the deck, players should assume that their mind will be four and plan accordingly.
Third, they can untap each other while in the same party. This is a MAJOR advantage. For example, River is played on a company with all three trolls, so Burat, the ranger, taps. The opponent thinks, 'Aha!' and plays Enchanted Stream. Wuluag taps to untap Burat and Burat taps to cancel the enchanted stream. The opponent thinks, 'Curses, foiled again, but now I'll play an Elf Lord Revealed in Wrath nicely Chilled, or course." Consulting the hand, there is A Nice Place to Hide, but a scout is needed. So, Tuma taps to untap Wuluag, the scout, and your company finds it's Nice Place to Hide. The flexibility this combo builds into a company is astounding.
But wait, there is more! You may bring in as many of the three trolls as you have in hand on a single turn. Additionally, their home site is any non-Under-deeps Ruins and Lairs. So, if the company goes to The Lonely Mountain to recruit Smaug to fight for his ancestral master and happens to get mangled on the way, you can bring in plenty of reinforcements.
There are two combinations that Chill _me_ with Fear. First, a Ringwraith moves out to recruit Smaug, or any other dragon, and not only rouses the beast but recruits a healthy sized troll party at the site during the next organization phase to loot the other lairs in the area without having to cross all the hostile territory in between. Or worse, a hero company wanders to Barrow Downs to pick up some bauble or another - quite safely away from all those nasty brutish orcs and troll companies in the southeast. Suddenly, during the minion's turn, Burat, Tuma and Wuluag all show up at Barrow Downs claiming 'We Have Come to Kill!' and proceed to thrash the heros during the site phase. Yes, it is a four card combo and therefore difficult to pull off for full effect, but, when it works, you can count on a major swing in marshalling points.
A footnote to Burat, Tuma and Wuluag, they are manifestations of the hazard creatures Bert, Tom, and William so you will not want to risk using the creatures and the characters in your deck. There is too great a risk that the creatures would be eliminated in combat. Similarly, you don't want to kill them either, so approach any combat with 'da boys' with care.
In summary, use the three trolls in decks that can benefit from their rapid (or should that be rabid) deployment and have plenty of influence to spare in the middle to late game. Otherwise, leave da boys at home as everything that makes them great relies on combos to play effectively.
Gimli relates a tactic of the three stone stooges:
One trick that impressed me the most the first time I saw it: tapping/untapping the trolls to maximize combat efficiency.
Example: B & T are facing an auto-attack, 3@9. They really want someone to be untapped when it's over to so they can play an item, but nobody can really afford the risk of facing their strike untapped.
B taps to face his strike. T taps to untap B, then faces his strike (at -1 instead of -3.) B is untapped and can easily play an item, etc.
Original card review taken from : http://fan.theonering.net/morgulrats/
With the authorization of the webmaster.
The reviewing team consisted of Gwaihir (Chris Farrell), Gimli (Nathan Bruinooge), Ohtar (Charles E. Bouldin, Esq.), Radagast (James Kight), Joshua B. Grace (Beorn), Martijn Steultjens (Fram Frumgarson), Jason Klank (Saruman) and Jeffery Dobberpuhl (Wormtongue)