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.I’ve been hinting at this review in my past two reviews, and I figured I would get this out of the way as, after all, he’s the most important part of any Hordes army. Presenting the Cygnaran Trencher-turned Trollblood Warlock, it’s Captain Gunnbjorn!
The Captain is a more recent addition to the Trollbloods roster, and incorporates a unique play style that favors the ranged game over the melee game, which didn’t exactly get him in good graces with melee-oriented troll players. Personally, he’s my go-to warlock out of the three I currently own (coming soon), for a couple reasons which I’ll go over here.
First of all, LOOK AT HOW DANG COOL HE IS! There are several Trollblood sculpts that I really enjoy, but Gunnbjorn has always been my favorite, incorporating a very Great War-styled aesthetic with a dynamic pose and the massive runic bazooka he’s holding. Even though Cygnar (also coming soon) has the most trench-warfare-themed units, the Trolls seem to be beating them out in aesthetics and pure cool factor. Gunnbjorn also has an easy build for beginning hobbyists and comes in four parts: torso, pointing hand, bazooka hand, and axe (not visible from this angle) that all slot together easily, though they take some finagling to get them to line up properly. The bazooka is especially a challenge, as its weight tends to pull it off of Gunnbjorn’s elbow when left alone, so you need to make sure to hold it in place while the glue dries. Detail-wise, as is the norm for most characters in the Iron Kingdoms, Gunnbjorn is packed with great detail, from the pads of rockets on his gloves and belt, to the mechanical details of his massive gun, to lots of nifty little details like runestones a la dog tags around his neck, belts, pouches, a keyring, and lots of other things. He’s considerably more intricate than the troops I’ve reviewed already, which may be a bit intimidating to newbies, but it’s fitting for Gunnbjorn as it sets him apart as his own unique character. All of these elements combine to make one awesome-looking figure that looks like he belongs leading a charging pack of trollkin soldiers.
Now onto his rules and stats, which I’m going to be splitting into two parts, as he has a spell card as well to cover. On his own, Gunnbjorn is a one-man siege engine and his rules revolve around that massive bazooka he’s carrying. It has a decent POW value which can crack armor and ding up even a heavily-armored Khador warjack, and a small AOE that lets him hit stealth troops on the field. His bazooka also has a special rule called Critical Devastation, which means that on a critical hit, any enemies in the blast radius of his shot are flung D6 inches away from the point of impact. Though crits aren’t reliable in-game, this is a good way of breaking up enemy shield walls and defensive lines, letting your troops charge through and engage the lighter-armored units hiding behind them. Besides the bazooka, Gunnbjorn also has a hand axe with a pretty weak POW value that can only kill single-wound infantry. If you’re using Gunnbjorn in melee, you’ve made a terrible mistake.
Now onto his spells. Gunny’s spell list is dedicated to supporting a ranged-heavy army, as is fitting for a formerly Cygnaran soldier, and he’s got some nifty tricks that take units under his command from good to great.
-Explosivo: A very low-cost spell that gives a non-spray ranged attack a small AOE and the Magical Weapon rule. Good for engaging lots of incorporeal or undead enemies, or just filling the battlefield with exploding bullets. Even the sluggers’ cannons seem a lot more threatening when they gain a 3″ diameter explosion upon hitting.
-Guided Fire: A moderately expensive spell that grants boosted ranged attack rolls to all warbeasts in Gunnbjorn’s battlegroup, including himself. This is a good way to get lots of hits and criticals without needing to spend unneeded fury points.
-Rock Wall: Creates a linear obstacle that provides cover. This is a good way of protecting your models from charging adversaries or wayward bullets.
-Snipe: The most basic of his spells that gives 4″ of range to a friendly unit’s ranged weapons. Great for extending your threat range, and for making weapons like a Dire Troll Bomber’s black powder bombs all the more dangerous.
-Fortification (Feat): Friendly faction models gain cover, do not suffer blast damage, and can’t be knocked down. This feat is a bit difficult to use as it doesn’t provide any stat buffs, but it keeps your enemy from becoming easy targets due to Knockdown, and protects them from enemy shooting as well as misplaced AOEs, making your army much tougher, especially when you’re running an army with a lot of Bombers.
Of course, every silver lining has its cloud, and Gunnbjorn has a few strikes against him. First and foremost is his lack of a melee game. His only melee weapon is his hand axe, and against heavily-armored units it’s pretty much useless. Outside of his one-shot feat, he also doesn’t have any spells that directly support melee units, so any melee unit that he brings will require its own support, or else it will be completely alone on the field. He also lacks a weapon with the Magical Weapon property, unlike most ‘casters, and unless he casts Explosivo on himself, he has no way of directly dealing with incorporeal models.
Taking into all of these things into account, I give Captain Gunnbjorn a solid 7/10 score. Unlike most of the Trollbloods warlocks, he’s a lot trickier to use, and requires some practice and strategy, as well as careful army selection before you throw him into the field. That being said, he works well as a warlock, and has a great selection of spells and abilities that make a ranged troll army work better that it would seem. He’s great at breaking through enemy fortifications, and even makes the worst ranged unit better with his spell list. For the hobby aspect, he’s a very fun and characterful model with a lot of details and an easy build that make a great-looking character once built and painted. If you are looking to start on a ranged Trollbloods army or are transitioning from playing Cygnar, Gunnbjorn is a great starting place, and he offers a great model that looks great leading any band of WW1 or steampunk soldiers into battle. If you don’t like the aesthetic, or simply prefer a melee game, then Gunnbjorn isn’t for you, and I’d recommend a dedicated melee warlock like Borka Kegslayer or Madrak Ironhide. As it stands, Gunnbjorn is still a great model, both on the tabletop and off, and if this review has piqued your interest, I recommend getting him if you have the chance.
Since Gunnbjorn is a warlock and the leader of any Hordes army, I’m going to include a bonus section on which units work best with him, so that you have some guidance when building your army. For more tips and tricks, check out Battle College, where every Hordes and Warmachine unit is laid out for your examination and consideration, but this should give you a basic idea (and my opinion) of which other units work well with this Trencher Troll.
- -Dire Troll Blitzer
- -Dire Troll Bomber
- -Dozer and Smigg
- -Glacier King
- -Mountain King
- -Slag Troll
- -Troll Bouncer
- -Troll Impaler
- -Cylena Raefyll and Nyss Hunters
- -Greygore Boomhowler & Co.
- -Pyg Burrowers
- -Pyg Bushwhackers w. UA
- -Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes
- -Northkin Fire Eaters
- -Scattergunners w. UA
- -Sons of Bragg
- -Thumper Crew
- -Alten Ashley
- -Braylen Wanderheart
- -Efaarit Scout
- -Fell Caller Hero
- -Janissa Stonetide
- -Raluk Moorclaw
- -Shon Hutchuck
Or, if you want to run a fun list that lets Gunnbjorn relive the old days as a Trencher, you can run him with some Farrow Brigands or Razorback Crews!
Anyway, this has been the Raging Goblin’s review of the Trollbloods Captain Gunnbjorn. God’s blessings on your week, keep up with your hobbies, and stay green my friends!