Gunnbjorn2 and the Barrage Team

The Trollkin are one of the sturdiest, toughest people in the Iron Kingdoms. They’re renowned for being after to take a punch square on their craggy chins and responding with a very mean punch of their own. Their attrition game is one of the best, and conversely, their ability to set up a viable gunline is recognized as one of their week points. This, naturally, is why my my Trollbloods back Hordes MkII were most often led by Grim Angus, and packed  a full unit of Pyg Bushwhackers. The release of Captain Gunnbjorn made me ridiculously happy, because it opened up the door for the third subsect of Trollbloods to get some love. The first was the traditionalists, centered on the Krielstone, Fennblades and Champions. The second was the Northkin, with their polar bears and all that beer. The third – the “modern” army – with their firearms and military training – finally had a poster boy.

Brigadier General Gunnbjorn has put aside his trademark bazooka, and I won’t lie – that makes me very sad. However, there’s a lot to be said for a boostable armor-piercing POW12 rifle, and while Gunnbjorn may no longer be risking permanent damage to his own hearing, the Trollkin Barrage Team has stepped in to fill the gap.

While Gunnbjorn is used to commanding troops, his new role as Brigadier General has moved him further up the ranks and given him a lot more responsibility. This is reflected in his Battle Plans, as he barks orders to his subordinates and they unleash all sorts of heck on their enemies at his command. His Feat ramping up the efficacy of all AoE templates to doing full damage (rather than blast damage) to everyone hit means that a feat turn carpet bombing is going to leave a lot of holes in enemy infantry.

Gunnbjorn2’s model has a distinctly different feel to that of Gunnbjorn1, putting me somewhat in mind of Irusk with more grump and less poise, but that could just be the taller hat. He still has his trusty axe swinging on his hip, but let’s face it: It’s all about the rifle. If you’re resorting to melee with this guy, you’re already in rough straits. I’m very impressed that it’s a single piece model, so a tip of the hat to the casters right there.

The Trollkin Barrage Team (click the pics to embiggen) are pretty much everything I wanted to see, visually, in a unit to support Gunnbjorn as moves the trollkin army out of the days of sword and shield and into the realm of high explosives.

Their armored dusters and vambraces immediately tap into the aesthetic we got with Gunnbjorn1, and we even have spare rockets strapped to available surfaces. These guys would not look out of place standing on a rocky outcropping with Captain Gunnbjorn, a battery of bazookas firing down on their foe. Brigadier General Gunnbjorn may not be standing in the firing line with his bazooka now that he’s been promoted, but these guys are well suited to fill the gap.

In terms of rules, the Barrage Team is a squad of three five-wound models. They’re FA:3, so if you want to invest the points you could have a wall of nine of these guys, firing over the heads of a squad of pyg tanks (they have arcing fire), and even outside of Gunnbjorn2’s feat their AoE templates do POW10 blast damage.

The neat trick is an old favorite of mine from Protectorate Deliverers. The models have Combined Range Attacks, letting you concentrate your firepower and rewarding you as you do with increased AoE size. If two of the team combine their efforts the templates go up to 4″,and if all three concentrate fire on a single target you get to drop a 5″ pie plate of death on the enemy lines.

The Trollbloods have slowly been evolving over the years, and artillery has been on the radar since the Thumper cannon was introduced, but as we get more and more toys to reinforce the firing line it just makes me happier and happier. Now, we do still need to see some more warbeast options that fit the concept, with Dozer & Smigg and the Blitzer being the only ones that fit right now, but if we can get a couple of light warbeast options we’ll be set. I’m not holding my breathe – the Trollbloods stable of light warbeasts is already very solid – but a guy can hope.

A special tip of the hat goes to the two grunts in the unit, either of which would make an excellent IKRPG character model. We’ll have to see if there’s a bazooka option in Iron Kingdoms: Requiem when it’s released.