Insider 08-24-2016

New edition, new army . . . right? I have played Khador almost exclusively since the beginning of WARMACHINE Mk I, only dabbling in a few other factions from time to time, but when the new editions of WARMACHINE and HORDES dropped at Lock & Load GameFest this year, I knew it was time to start a new army.

I like to collect what I call “boutique” armies, a singular ’caster or list to work on that focuses on the theme, painting, and modeling of the force. So far, the Factions that my eye has been drawn to have been Retribution, Minions, and Trollbloods. I was fortunate enough to get a taste of the Retribution play style in a recent battle report for No Quarter #66, and I have some cool ideas for conversions and paint schemes for them, but after seeing our hobby and terrain specialist Michael Archer’s awesome War Wagon, I had to borrow his army and take it for a spin.

Gunny’s Jank Tank

Model/Unit Points

Captain Gunnbjorn +28 WB pts

— Dozer & Smigg 18 pts
— Dire Troll Blitzer 16 pts
— Dire Troll Bomber 19 pts

War Wagon 18 pts

Trollkin Sluggers (5) 13 pts

Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (6) 11 pts

Trollkin Skinner x2 4 pts each

Total 75 pts

Gunny’s Jank Tank is the Trollblood force I came up with. I imagine Captain Gunnbjorn and his stalwart companions cut off from any support and fending for themselves in hostile territory. They’re out there holding key positions in a war-torn city, harrying the enemy’s supply chain, or engaging in some down-and-dirty trench warfare. Bully!

I chose Gunnbjorn because how can you not love a trollkin with a bazooka? The military look of Gunny will inform the choices for the rest of my army, as I want to create a force that moves swiftly into position to set up a forward emplacement. Looking over Gunnbjorn’s stats, I really started to think about his Field Marshal [Kill Shot] ability. Combined with Dual Attack on Dozer & Smigg and the Blitzer, this provides the opportunity for extra attacks and some tactical flexibility by allowing me to charge the enemy’s frontline while blasting the backline. His feat, Fortification—providing cover, immunity to ranged attacks, and immunity to knockdown—plays nicely into my theme and allows me to move into position on the first or second turn with no repercussion. Did I mention the bazooka?

As mentioned, my battlegroup is a trio of combined-arms warbeasts that brings the fight to my foes in the form of guns and fists. The good captain would never leave home without Dozer & Smigg. I love this model. He looks like he is carrying half of the army’s supplies himself, and provides some nasty blast damage to clear out enemy models with low to moderate ARM. Bulldoze allows for some control over enemy model positioning and his Lucky Shot animus can be key in shooting a pesky solo or even an unsuspecting ’caster.

Rounding out my battlegroup is a Blitzer and a Bomber. These guys are my aggressors, furiously tearing into my enemies with claws and bullets. Whether shoving units in their maws for Snacking or ganging up on a warjack, these two provide the meat of the blitzkrieg. The animi they provide can be invaluable, as well. The Blitzer can gain Bulldoze for more control and the Bomber gives me access to Far Strike . . . for the bazooka, of course.

Now, I can not rightly call this army Gunny’s Jank Tank without said tank. Enter the core inspiration for this army, the War Wagon. Seeing Archer’s version, I knew this would be a part of my build. The War Wagon is an awesome model, and will be even cooler covered in gear, ammo, supplies, and other bits. I imagine it acting as both supply vehicle and mobile artillery. The pounder cannon will give me more more board control with knockdown, not to mention a sweet POW 16. Crashing into a flank is his primary role here. With Line Breaker giving an additional die on impact attacks, Dual Attack allowing me to make ranged and melee attacks, and Momentum slamming small and medium bases, the War Wagon has become one of my favorite pieces in the game.

For units, I have taken a 5-man Slugger unit (machine guns go good with bazookas, right?) With Snipe they become RNG 14. The primary role for them is to be on the opposite flank of the War Wagon behind a rock wall near a flag or zone to take care of any infantry or light warjacks or warbeasts that get within their range. The aim bonus pushes them to an effective RAT 7, and with an average of eight POW 13 shots per turn, any light ’jack or beast will think twice about sitting in that zone.

I realized I needed some meat in this force. Some real belligerent, take-and-hold, no-nonsense trolls. Enter Greygore Boomhowler & Co. I waivered for a bit here. I kept looking at Kriel Warriors, but wanted something with guns to keep with the flavor of my army. With Call of Defiance preventing the unit from losing Tough when knocked down, they are used to take scenario zones and jam up my enemy’s advance while I get in position. These guys get stuck in like an Alabama tick.

Finally, with my last 8 points I went with a pair of Skinners. These are the guides for Gunnbjorn’ s force, taking point when moving from battlefield to battlefield. And they can take out pesky solos or support elements.

I got several games in and really love the look and conversion possibilities Gunny’s Jank Tank offers, but is it enough to overcome the ideas I have for that Retribution force I have my eye on . . .?