WMH: Gunnbjorn2 is now in playtest

The Trollbloods CID is now live, and while there’s no changes to Sluggers in the Week 1 iteration, the Barrage Team and Gunnery Sergeant are up for testing, and most excitingly, Brigadier General Gunnbjorn – Gunnbjorn2 – is on the table. There’s a whole lot of tweaking taking place, from Runeshapers getting Battle Wizardand an increase to the Champions’ armour, but I started this damn game with the Searforge Commission, and sometimes one just has to channel their inner Durgen Madhammer and make things blow up on the other side of the table. When it comes to the Trollbloods, Gunnbjorn is the man for the jobs.

Disclaimer: Everything in today’s post refers to a live paytesting document, in its first CID iteration. Everything could change next week, and nothing is final. 

Let’s take a look at the Trollkin King of Kaboom.

Brigadier General Gunnbjorn – Trollblood Warlock
SPD 6 STR 7 MAT 6 RAT 7 DEF 15 ARM 16 CMD 10 FUR 6
Warbeast Points: +28 Damage: 17

Okay, so in getting promoted from Captain to Brigadier General, we’ve picked up an extra RAT (which, let’s face it, many of is thought should have been there from the word go) and an extra point of Command. Other than that, basic stats are identical.

Tough
Battle Plan – This model can use one of the following plans at any time during its activation. A friendly Faction model/unit can be affected by only one plan each turn.

• Bring It Down – RNG CMD. Target friendly Faction non-warlock warrior model. If the model is in range, it immediately makes one basic ranged attack. During this attack, the model gains boosted attack rolls and damage rolls.

• Relay Coordinates – RNG CMD. Target friendly Faction unit. If the unit is in range, models in the unit gain Hunter. Relay Coordinates lasts for one turn. (A model with Hunter ignores concealment and cover when making ranged attacks.)

• Unload! – RNG CMD. Target friendly Faction warbeast model. If the model is in range, its ranged weapons gain +1 ROF. Unload! lasts for one turn.

So a bonus ranged attack, out of activation, fully boosted, to a non-warlock warrior model; a unit gets the ability to negate opposing DEF buffs granted by cover or concealment; or a warbeast gets additional Rate of Fire. Each has a lot of potential – bumping Dozer’s Bombard to ROF 2, or maybe getting to shoot something with your Pummeler, and then getting a second shot off at a new target when an intervening unit has been moved out of the way…

Feat: Bombing Run
Gunnbjorn and friendly Faction models beginning their activation in Gunnbjorn’s control range gain Reposition [3”] and their ranged weapons gain Full Force. Bombing Run lasts for one turn. (The AOE of a weapon with Full Force does not cause blast damage. Instead, models hit by those attacks suffer a damage roll equal to the POW of the weapon) (At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, a model with Reposition [3”] can advance up to 3”, then its activation ends.)

Is it bad that the House Shyeel Battle Mages used to be one of my favorite things ever, and now I just want to laugh at them? Ignoring effects that negate blast damage is huge, and ramping the damage up to full – even if you miss and the template goes awry – means that you’ll be laying waste to infantry as you carpet bomb the hillside. Granted, the Brigadier General has lost Snipe, but we’ll get to his spells in a moment. Gunnbjorn1’s feat was defensive and I didn’t always make use of it, but this? This is good times, and plays directly into the type of Warlock I was hoping to see.

Liberty Rifle [1x] RNG: 12 ROF: 1 AOE: POW: 12
Damage Type: Magical – Icon
Armor-Piercing – When calculating damage from this weapon, halve the base ARM stats of models hit.
Thunderbolt – Enemy models hit are pushed d3˝ directly away from the attacking model. On a critical hit, the enemy model becomes knocked down after being pushed.

Axe [1x] (None) sword icon RNG: 0.5 POW: 4 P+S: 11

I miss the bazooka – I loved the bazooka – and switching Gunnbjorn to a rifle makes me feel like he’s more inline with Grim Angus than with his own personal flavor. That said, a fully boosted POW 12 Armor-Piercing shot is going to mess up anyone’s day. Thunderbolt means it can also be used to shove a warjack out of the way to open up LOS for a Thumper Cannon to receive a Bring It Down! shot on the opposing warcaster.

Oh, and an axe, because you never know.

Explosivo
Target friendly Faction model’s ranged weapons gain Damage Type: Magical. If the affected model directly hits and boxes an enemy model with an attack from a ranged weapon, center a 3˝ AOE on the boxed model, then remove that model from play. Models in the AOE are hit and suffer an unboostable POW 8 magical blast damage roll.

Expose 
While in the spellcaster’s control range, enemy models lose and cannot gain Stealth or Shield Guard. Expose lasts for one turn.

Foxhole
Place a 5˝ AOE anywhere completely within the spellcaster’s control range where it does not touch a model’s base, an obstruction, or an obstacle. Models completely within the AOE have cover and do not suffer blast damage. When drawing LOS to a model not completely within the AOE, ignore intervening models completely within the AOE.

Relentless Barrage 
Target warbeast in this model’s battlegroup that is in its control range can immediately make one basic melee or ranged attack. A model can be targeted by Relentless Barrage only once per turn

Explosivo carries over from Gunnbjorn1, and Foxhole is a twist on the concept of providing cover with Gunnbjorn1’s Rock Wall (and Menoth knows it caused me conniptions when CaptainSpud used to play Siege1 against me).

Expose stacks nicely with the idea of stripping defensive tech from enemy models, though with it being limited to 10″ away from the Brigadier General himself, it may lead to some risky positioning – but with enough firepower backing him up, we’re good. It’s not an Upkeep and costs 3 Fury though, so it may be reserved for a do-or-die turn (or the Feat turn).

Relentless Barrage somewhat replicates the Bring it Down! order for warbeasts, but also allows for an out of activation melee attack for the warbeast. It’s unboosted, but timed right it may be the Hail Mary you need to clinch victory.

 

All in all I’m loving what I’m seeing so far for Brigadier General Gunnbjorn. I’ve been a huge fan of Captain Gunnbjorn since his release purely because of his concept (and his zombie pin, which remains one of the favorites in my collection), but his defensive tech didn’t always lend itself to the way I like to play Hordes. The Brigadier General, however, takes a lot of the elements I enjoyed about his earlier incarnation and ramps the offensive tech up to 11. I don’t know how much of this will make it out of CID playtesting, but this has me hyped.

Are your kriels ready to march to war?