Last post, I went over the Barrage Team, Impalers, Gunnbjorn 1 with Impalers, and Lord Carver. This post will cover Gunnbjorn 2 exclusively. Gunnbjorn 2’s development seems to have been fairly complicated, with some early discontent from the community similar to the Barrage Team’s early discussion. I think some of the concern in the CID was unwarranted, and drove some severe pre-nerfs that were unnecessary.
Gunnbjorn 2 CID
Gunnbjorn 2 Week 1
It began as promised. Gunnbjorn 2 in week 1 is really a ranged powerhouse. His Liberty Rifle is wonderous. Armor Piercing, Thunderbolting, Range 12, POW 12. On a RAT 7 warlock with access to a +4 range, he can seriously put the hurt on something. Brug’s going to want to put Target Aquired on this friendly Faction warrior model, for eyeless sight and +2 POW, though there may be other models more worthy of the buff.
His feat could be abused, by having things move up close before shooting, so the AOE is guaranteed to land on the target, or we could shoot our own models so that things get hit by the AOE.
His spell list is quite functional, Explosivo being a staple, Foxhole situational, Relentless Barrage granting an extra attack to a couple warbeasts, yielding some extra damage output.
Expose was the controversial item, because it made all enemy models lose stealth and shield guard as long as they’re in his control range. It’s almost a feat-worthy spell, but really situational in the sense that if there isn’t stealth or shield guards, then it doesn’t get cast.
Sadly, the feat and Expose were just too good for the Trollblood community (which felt like it had fewer vocal trollblood players than there should have been).
Gunnbjorn 2 Week 1
So Expose got nerfed. It gets changed to range 12 instead of Ctrl. So, it could be casted by a Runebearer if needed. If everything worked, you could take out a maximum of 4 shield guards. I guess if you really need a shield guard to not block a shot, this is helpful. However, shield guards often work in groups of 3, so you’d have to also hit those, and they often work behind the model they’re blocking for.
Full Force got worked over so that you have to directly hit an enemy model.
Gunnbjorn 2 Week 3
Full Force got another rework, making it so that you only have to target an enemy model. So you can still drift off, and miss. That’s an improvement over week 2.
Expose also got an upgrade over week 2, in that it works like Mage Sight (Grim 2). Additionally, it grants a superior version of Blessed Weapon. Anyone in the 5″ AOE can’t stealth or shield guard, and loses magical bonuses to defense and armor. That’s awesome, and I hope it sticks. This change essentially means things that aren’t attacks become blessed.
Week 1, 3 Lists
Here’s my week 1 list as I presented it in the forum. I make a plug for the Impaler improvement. The post got 3 likes, but no responses.
Obviously, I’m taking Dozer & Smigg. Gunnbjorn won’t benefit from Lucky Shot, but his army might. Dozer & Smigg like hanging with their bonded warlock, because of the bond. His feat grants Reposition and high power AOEs. With Gunnbjorn 1 pre CID, I toyed with Sea King, and routinely brought War Wagons. Initially, with Gunnbjorn 2, I would look for pieces with AOEs and that don’t have reposition already. But someone once told me that building for a feat doesn’t make a great list.
Gunnbjorn 2 has these battle plans, for any warrior model, a unit, or a
warbeast. Who wants boosted attack and damage rolls on a ranged attack? Thumper Crew, Pummeler Crew, Pyg Tanks, Braylen Wanderheart if she’s behind someone, a Fell Caller Hero, Farrow Razorback Crew, Gubbin, Flubbin, and a few other non-theme minions. Hunter is good on all ranged units, and any ranged warbeast would like ROF 1. The Liberty Rifle wants to be fired, so the Troll Impaler or Dire Troll Bomber will be wanted. The Bomber is more compatible, due to the double AOE. The +1 ROF would help a little, but that third shot wouldn’t be boosted unless I can figure out a way to make it happen.
Kriel Company has the War Wagons mulching infantry. With the Pyre Troll’s Flaming Fists on their Trampling Hooves, they’ll finally be able to take down decently armored units with their impact attacks. The two weapon crews synergize nicely with Gunnbjorn and the Gunnery Sergeant. Bog Trog Mist Speaker makes a return, as this list has potential for a ranged assassination that I don’t want interrupted by clouds. And he brings a little extra fun, so I can have multiple magic guns on the field (sorry, Choir of Menoth). He can be replaced with Brug, since Brug also grants Eyeless Sight and also gives a +2 POW when aiming.
Storm of the North
In the Storm of the North list, I barely got a quarter of the way through before I started thinking about Horgle 2. I play him. I’ve been told I make bad choices. I also like the Hooch Hauler. My battlegroup doesn’t benefit, but Gunnbjorn might be able to do something with it on the feat turn. I have two whelps, so I have to mention (repeating myself, I know) that I would pay more for an Impaler with ROF 2, Range 10, RAT 6 Powerful Attack spears. Moving along, I have the Bumbles and Battle Bear package, double min Raiders for AOE shenanigans, and some fire. This list may not be the most competitive, but should be fun, with drunken trolls flinging fireballs around the table.
Vengeance of Dhunia
Vengeance of Dhunia gives Gunnbjorn access to farrow warbeasts. I like the idea of a Range 12 Counterblast on Gunnbjorn. Armor Piercing, POW 12, Thunderbolt during my opponent’s turn? Yes. Malvin & Mayhem replace the War Wagon, because fun things are fun, and M&M blow away hard targets without help. To funnel in the enemy, and keep them off the table edge, we have two Barrage Teams and a unit of Commandos. I struggled with finishing this list, as I wanted to squeeze in Leadfoot & Tredz and a free tank. In order to fit them in, I had to modify the battlegroup a touch, and reduce the Commandos to a minimum unit. Pyre buffs the tanks or M&M, giving me some melee capability.
Looking back on this VoD list, I realize that Leadfoot should have been free. Then I would have two free points left over. The stone could be reduced to the min unit, and that gives me a 4 point solo. So Brug should be added.
Week 3 Gunnbjorn 2 Lists
With all the changes to Gunnbjorn 2 during the CID, I felt the guy needed another look. I really believe Kriel Company is where Gunnbjorn 2 wants to live, and the question becomes whether to bring a War Wagon, Pyg Tank, or Barrage Team package.
The wagons already have Reposition, so they will only benefit from Full Force. They usually play close to their targets, and often benefit from Shooting Gallery. At RAT 5 + 2 for Shooting Gallery, and a nearby solo for Marked Target, they usually hit their target at RAT 9. The wagons risk a lot, however. They must be within 5 inches to take advantage of Shooting Gallery, and I better be sure to have a solo for Marked Target, or the wagon could take a POW 17 to itself, if the AOE misses and drifts back toward it. It brings a new decision to the game. Feating late could cause more damage to my own models if they are too close to their intended targets.
Against a single ARM 16 model, a POW 14 does an average of 5 damage, and more often 3 points (83% of doing 3 points according to Odds Machine). So that tells me the Wagons are going to do okay against some targets, but not so well against warjacks.
The damage is going to be great against infantry, and not so much against harder targets. Into ARM 20, they average 4 points of damage when the CRA. So, do I take a Wagon out for the Barrage teams? I could put in two Barrage Teams for one wagon, and end up with either 6 POW 14 shots or 2 POW 17s. Something the Wagons offer that the Barrage Team doesn’t is Knockdown. I feel the two teams can kill as many single wounds as a wagon (feat or no), but they don’t set up anything for the rest of the army.
The tanks, however, offer a lot more than the current iteration of the Barrage Team. Not only does the package knock stuff down, but they all have Trash, so they get boosted damage. The tanks, like the Barrage Team also have arcing fire. Now, the tank package only has 3 shots, but given the fact that they’re also going to charge into melee, it’s actually more like 6 attacks. I know we’re not supposed to wish on pieces not in CID, but I can’t understand why the tanks aren’t Cavalry. If they were, things would be awesome! Moving along, given the options, I’m most likely taking a War Wagon and the tank package (Leadfoot & Tredz +2 Pyg Tanks). The Barrage Team isn’t versatile enough to make the cut. If they were to do something cool, like pump out AOEs that create rough terrain and smoke, then I’d consider taking them. Without the defensive nature of the “not covering fire” templates to protect my ranged army, I have to ensure that I include things that will also melee a little.
My first selection is Dozer & Smigg. They’re obvious. Dozer’s my Relentless Barrage target every turn. The bond with Gunnbjorn means the blast damage is boosted every turn, even when it misses, so it will do work even though I can’t be certain of a hit (due to not being able to boost out of activation). Dozer might even be a good target for Unload. There’s enough fury on Dozer to boost two attacks and two damage rolls. I like it. Gunnbjorn can put Lucky Shot on Dozer if I need the extra assurance. It does the same work as a Barrage Team, by the way.
The Impaler is added because I want Far Strike, and having a combined arms piece is interesting. The Pyre Troll fits in to make the War Wagon hit harder on impact attacks, and other models hit hard in melee. The Bomber doesn’t get added, because I already have enough hard hitting attacks in this list.
Expose is really interesting. Taking Gunnbjorn 2 for Expose is the same reason I would have taken Madrak 3 in Kriel Company for Spellpiercer. In Kriel Company, Gunnbjorn 2 picks up a Runebearer to extend his control range for Expose. I can see the Bushwhackers taking advantage of something in the AOE while squatting in a Foxhole. Or, another alternative for the Foxhole is one of the weapon crews. The Pummeler would be great, since it has arcing fire and an AOE that bounces.
There’s an additional 8 points to play with in my list. I could go for another Pummeler, Barrage Team, or Pyg Lookouts. The Lookouts would add another source of Marked Target, the Pummeler, a second set of AOEs, or the Barrage Team for a cheap big AOE. My original thought was to hit up the Pyg Lookouts, but I currently have the Barrage Team for the extra AOEs. The Lookouts aren’t really needed with all the AOEs, probable aiming, and available solos.
For support, the Gunnery Sergeant, Brug both make it into the list. The Gunnery Sergeant for the buff to the Pummeler, and Brug for some Bushwhacker buffs. Boomhowler 2 makes the cut as a free model, due to his covering fire template and reposition on Gunnbjorn.
- Brigadier General Gunnbjorn +28
- Runebearer (free)
- Dozer & Smigg (17)
- Impaler (9)
- Pyre Troll (8)
- War Wagon (16)
- Leadfoot & Tredz (7)
- Pyg Tank (5)
- Pyg Tank (5)
- Boomhowler 2 (free)
- Pummeler Crew (free)
- Trollkin Gunnery Sgt (3)
- Trollkin Gunnery Sgt (3)
- General ‘Thunderstone’ Brug (4)
- Pyg Bushwhackers (13)
- Pyg Bushwhacker Officer & Mortar (5)
- Trollkin Barrage Team
I’m left with an accurate shooting list, with an explosive early turn to grind single wounds to paste, and an ever-present personal threat from Gunnbjorn. There’s enough of a mix between shooting and melee to handle fast armies. Cavalry present a problem, as they can charge in and mulch the Bushwhackers and others. Weaponmasters will scare the wagon, but I might get an early volley from Dozer, Barrage Team and the Bushwhackers to take those types of models down before they become a problem.
I still feel bad about the Barrage Team. They don’t do enough for the army. They really needed to add in something to affect the field. Rough terrain or clouds would be wonderful. Sluggers are in the same boat. the wall style covering fire templates would be excellent on those models.