Feeling Sappy: The Farrow Sapper and the Gunnery Sergeant

I’ve shared with you all before my thoughts on the Trollkin Kriels and their organized military, with Brigadier General Gunnbjorn (and no doubt General Brug) bringing their expertise to the war effort and helping the Trollbloods embrace gunpowder and high explosives, so I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that I’m delighted to see the Trollkin Gunnery Sergeant releasing. You may be more surprised to know that the same through processes apply to the farrow of the Thornfall Alliance. Gun Boars, Razorback Crews – these things make me happy, so let’s double up on the fun times today by unpacking both the Trollkin Gunnery Sergeant and the Farrow Sapper and his mines.

The Farrow have long embraced the joys of the Pig Iron and other rudimentary firearms and artillery, even if some of their key units like the Slaughterhousers still rely on basic bladed weapons. The Farrow Sapper is something of a gem though. Not only is he all about planting explosives in the path of his foes, he’s also apparently happy to treat them as poorly balanced discus, flinging 4″ AoE’s about the place, and hitting his opponents over the head with them in melee thanks to Gunfighter. With Advance Deploy and Stealth, getting him into position early in the game isn’t going to be difficult.

In case the terrain -does- look like it’s going to be a challenge, the Sapper also has Ambush andReposition, but he can also place one of his mines up to 20″ beyond your deployment zone before the game even begins. Word is the mines were supposed to be packaged with 30mm bases, so if yours are base-less (like these), talk with your FLGS and they should be able to get some for you.

Frankly, the idea of a pair of these goons sauntering on from the sideline and tossing AoE’s into your back lines on turn two (thanks to Ambush) has me actively concerned for the health and safety of my Choir of Menoth. One way or another, they’re fun addition to Lord Carver’s arsenal…

Can I just start by saying that I -love- how the Sarge has his own Pyg imitating him? With Brug and Ledfoot driving the Pygs to the forefront of the Trollblood war effort, it’s no surprise that there are others trying to assume positions of authority. As a bonus, you could easily use the Pyg as a separate model, or position the pair in an awesome diorama.

The Sarge comes with a scattergun on his hip, but its his ability to call in an artillery strike from somewhere off the board that’s most impressive. Being able to shoot up to 20″ away with a POW14 is a nice trick for someone who isn’t actually a weapon crew. The fact that the artillery strike is actually a Ground Pounder special attack is bonus and a very deliberate threat to the squishy support models in opposing lists. Why won’t they leave my Choir alone?!?

Should be not wish to lay waste to that particular cornfield in the distance, the Gunnery Sergeant has a selection of special actions available to him. Ancillary Attack lets you get extra mileage out of your Weapon Crews, breathing new life into your Thumper and Pummeler Cannons. Artilleristlets you improve the accuracy of anyone’s next AoE, so will prove useful with Dire Troll Bombers as well. A cheeky Mage Hunter Assassin skirting down the flank? Spyglass lets you strip any model in his LOS of their Stealth, at which point your Pyg Bushwhackers can just light ’em up.

Finally, thanks to Veteran Leader, every Trollbloods weapon crew within 9″of the Sergeant gets +1 to their attack rolls. This may or may not represent the Pyg running back and forth to the different crews and helping them line up their shots.

If you’ve been waiting for a reason to field a battery of Thumpers and Pummelers, or if you’re just looking to get some extra mileage out of Pyre Troll’s AoE, the Gunnery Sergeant looks like a decent investment of 3pts. Check out your FLGS or preferred online retailer and get ready to blow those Trenchers out of their foxholes.29