Gunnbjorn: The Internet says he is bad!


So I have been playing a lot of Khador recently, but my true love is with Trolls and, despite the fun I have with the Motherland, is unlikely to change.

PPForum user  Tyranius has been running some user polls to see who people think are the best and worst Warcasters/Warlocks in their faction and, recently, the entire game.  It was no surprise that Gunnbjorn showed up as the worst caster for the Troll faction, I don’t even think there is a reasonable argument that he is not the bottom of our barrel.  Every other Warlock in Trolls brings more to the table than he does, and he arguably has the worst feat in the game (essentially turns his control area into one big trench for FF models and prevents Knockdown).  So no gripe with him being called the worst in Trolls, here are the results for the “gamewide” poll though:

Bottom 5

Captain Gunnbjorn 150 8%
Lord Assassin Morghoul 131 7%
Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova 123 7%
Dr. Arkadius 118 7%
High Allegiant Amon Ad’Raza 109 6%

So that is the worst Warlocks, how many respondents chose them as the worst (respondents voted for 5 “worst”) and the percentage of total votes they received.  150 people who took this poll marked Gunnbjorn as the worst war(noun)s in the game.  One other interesting point is the gap between Gunnbjorn and eMorghoul is the largest gap in the top 5.

So my question is what is wrong with Gunnbjorn?  Is he really terrible, or is he just trying to play a game Trolls don’t want to play?  I am inclined to think it is is the latter.  I often here Cygnar players saying they would trade unmentionable body parts to have Gunnbjorn in their faction, but Cygnar isn’t Trolls clearly.

Let’s see what we can do with him at 50 points!

Captain Gunnbjorn
* Troll Impaler
* Dire Troll Bomber
* Dire Troll Bomber
* Rok
* Trollkin Runebearer
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Scouts (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Trollkin Scouts (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Troll Whelps

I think this is what I would want to run with him, not the most creative list maybe, but I think it has some benefits.  Guided Fire affects 5 models and with the Runebearer only costs 2 Fury and leads to a roughly 40% chance for Rok to land his Critical Effect, the Bombers are also no slouch in melee with Primal, they become Mat 7 with two Pow 18 (with Stone) Open Fists and have 4 Fury to make use of each.  Whelps are there because One thing I think Gunnbjorn does struggle with is balancing what he wants to bring to the table (devastating Battlegroup ranged attacks) with only FURY 6.

I went with double Scouts here for a few reasons.  The first is that his feat, even on Turn 1, greatly extends their options for moving up the board.  Def 17 with no Blast Damage is a great thing for Scouts, Snipe also brings them to Range 10 on their Power 11 throwing axes (Pow 12 with Stone Strength from the Kriel Stone).  Range 10/Pow 12 is not something to be ignored.  They are only Rat 5, but it doesn’t get any better for Trolls outside of Warlocks.  With Gang they are also Mat 8/Pow 14 in Melee; can’t complain about that!

One special thing here is the role of the Stone in this list.  The stone is there to help primarily with damage and less with Armor; of specific note though, it is the only in faction option that can do something about Stealth which without the Stone would be a very hard counter to Gunnbjorn and everything he wants to bring.  This is especially important as the other three “ranged heavy Warlocks”, the Grims and Jarl, have tricks for getting around Stealth; Gunny only has lucky deviations on his side.

Is this a great list?  I don’t think so, I do think it makes decent use of Gunnbjorn though and can be a dark horse to folks not used to dealing with Gunny and/or Scouts.  Possible substitution would be Nyss Hunters for both units of Scouts.  I don’t know that I like that as much as you get less bodies and you need a 2 man CMA to equal a gang attack from the Scouts.  CRA is handy, especially at range 16.  Assault on the Scouts is great though! Nyss don’t get the protection of the feat, but they can afford to stay further back; a bit of a toss-up I think.  I won’t lie, I am a Trollblood purist and sometimes hamstring myself to bring Trolls over a comparable or better unit from Mercs/Minions.

In conclusion, I think Gunnbjorn is in a weird place right now with Trolls, but I look forward to what the Trollkin Highwaymen are going to bring us in Exigence, perhaps it will be a new outlook on life for Gunny.  I do not believe him to be the worst War(noun) in the game though!  Bottom 25%?  Sure!  Bottom 10%?  Probably.  Bottom 5%?  Not in my opinion.