Welcome to the Raging Goblin Reviews, the segment where I look at some of my favorite hobby tools and products and review them for all you budding hobbyists and wargamers out there. Today’s review is a two-parter featuring one of my favorite units from Privateer Press’ Hordes: The Trollkin Scattergunners and the Scattergunner Officer and Standard.
The Scattergunners are notable for being the oldest of the Hordes’ units, appearing way back in Hordes Mark I as part of the Trollbloods faction. As a unit, they are very basic and straight to the point. They have average stats for a Troll unit, meaning they are strong and moderately excel in hitting their targets, and are irritatingly hard to take down. Their basic weapon is the Scattergun, which has a modest power of 12, and fires in a cone that hits all units in the range of the weapon, making them great at mowing through lightly-armored infantry. They also have a bayonet underneath the gun that’s nothing really special with a low power value, but it gets much better with the addition of their unit attachment, which we will discuss later. As for the models themselves, they are a huge upgrade over the classic metal models, which I have repurposed as the Trollkin mercenary unit Boomhowler and Co. Each model is packed with details, such as pouches, knives, rune stones, goggles, etc. and every member of the unit feels like their own individual character instead of a more cohesive military unit. This can be a bit intimidating to rookie hobbyists as they have many more fine details than their predecessors, even though the final result looks quite nice on the field. Assembly is very finicky as the bodies, heads, gun arms, and accessories (barrel of ale, ammunition, belt pouch) all come separately, and require a lot of holding in position while the glue dries to make sure you get a good fit. The barrels in particular are very finicky, as they have a tendency to fall off if they are not glued on properly. As for parts, you get enough for three crouching male troops, one leader, three standing female troops, and three standing male troops, which can be assembled in the “loading” or “firing” poses shown in the picture. Keep in mind that with the amount of parts you are given, you can build either 2 Loading and 1 Firing, or vice-versa. Either way, it’s a nice amount of variety that helps break up the tedium. The new Scattergunners are also on the pricey side, as it will cost you 50 dollars for a box of ten, or 5 dollars per grunt, but in the long run they are worth it, as they provide a well-rounded and strong unit that’s good at flushing out lightly-armored troops.
Now onto the best part of the whole unit: The Officer and Standard Bearer. These two models are by far my favorite part of the Scattergunners, both for their appearance and what they do for the unit. The Officer is similar to the grunts of the unit, but has slightly better stats and more health while having the same weapon as the other troops. His shotgun works exactly the same as that of the troops, but his improved stats make him better at hitting enemies trying to engage him, and his rules take the Scattergunners from good to great. First and foremost, while he is alive he grants the unit Quick Work, which means that if any grunt in the unit kills an enemy grunt with a melee attack, said grunt can then make a ranged attack. This effectively works like the Fennblade’s Vengeance rule, which allows the Scattergunners to scythe through an unit that gets in their way. The Officer also grants his unit the Clear! rule, which means that their sprays can now go through friendly allies without hurting them. Previously Scattergunners ran the risk of killing their own troops with errant sprays from their weapons, but with Clear! they can now stand behind heavier units like Champions and Fennblades and back them up with sprays of shrapnel without inadvertently damaging them. Thanks to the Officer, you can either run Scattergunners as a front-line unit or have them back up a heavier melee unit. The Officer is also my favorite model of the whole unit and has a lot of fun details and character, including the various medals he wears on his tartan (which he probably made himself), and the little whelp sitting on his shoulder and pretending to lead the unit like the officer. Parts-wise the Officer comes in two bits, torso, and right arm, and while he takes a bit of holding together during assembly, all the parts slot together without any gaps and creates a very good-looking model.
Unlike the Officer, the Standard Bearer doesn’t offer much to the unit besides a boost to command rolls, and if he falls a grunt can easily pick up the standard and take his place. I like the Standard more for his looks than his rules, as he doesn’t offer much in the way of strategic advantages, but he still looks great leading the unit with his rune stone-and-tartan-bedecked standard held high over the battlefield. The Standard Bearer comes in three parts, body, legs, and left arm/standard, and like his pack mate fits together easily without any visible gaps.
So, what’s the final verdict on the Scattergunners and their UA, you may ask? Personally, I like them. The salvaged, WWI-soldier-esque look of the trolls really appeals to me, along with the character each model brings to the table, and their stack of rules makes them really fun to play with an infantry Warlock like Borka Kegslayer or a ranged Warlock like Captain Gunnbjorn. Against ranged infantry they can do horrible things, and with their UA you can either play them forward or have them back up another unit in your army. Now there are a couple strikes against them. First and foremost is the price. The unit itself is roughly $50, and the UA is $24, so expect to invest a good amount of money if you wish to play the Scattergunners to their full extent. While the Officer and Standard Bearer are easy enough to assemble, the more difficult assembly of the grunts may put off novice hobbyists. The sheer amount of detail can also put off those looking to paint them that aren’t familiar with the Trollbloods, though the detail adds a good amount of fun and character to them. My final verdict is an 8/10. They are fun models and work well on the field, but the complicated assembly and high price point may put some off. If you really like the aesthetic or really like how they work in the game, then I recommend them. If you’re just a casual hobbyist, or the trolls aren’t really to your liking, then I recommend looking at other units.
Anyway, this has been the Raging Goblin’s review of the Trollbloods Scattergunners, and the Scattergunner Officer and Standard. God’s blessings on your week, keep up with your hobbies, and stay green my friends!