Gunnbjorn in Storm of the North

I’ve been running a variety of Storm of the North lists lately and I think Gunnbjorn has a fairly compelling place in the theme. This theorycraft session will revolve around the following list:

Theme: Storm of the North
3 / 3 Free Cards 74 / 75 Army

Captain Gunnbjorn – WB: +28
– Glacier King – PC: 35 (Battlegroup Points Used: 28)

Bog Trog Mist Speaker – PC: 4
Valka Curseborn, Chieftain of the North – PC: 0
Fell Caller Hero – PC: 0

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – Leader & 3 Grunts: 6
– Northkin Elder – PC: 3
Northkin Raiders – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Northkin Raiders – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Trollkin Champions – Leader & 4 Grunts: 16
– Skaldi Bonehammer – PC: 0
Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears – Bear Handler & 2 Battle Bears: 10
Northkin Bear Handler & Battle Bears – Bear Handler & 2 Battle Bears: 10

Why Gunnbjorn?


For starters, Gunny has three upkeep spells, two of which he can upkeep for free via the theme benefit (Explosivo and Snipe). Having two extra Fury available in a list that doesn’t run the Runebearer means Gunny will be able to move his Rock Wall around when he needs to as well as camp a bit more if he decides to play aggressive.

Gunny’s feat is probably the Trollbloods best answer to shooting — quality shooting is also one of the downfalls of a typical Storm of the North list. Most SotN lists run a unit of Champions as their main ARM cracking piece; Champions are substantially less effective if only one or two make it into melee. Gunny’s feat ensures you get a turn of ranged immunity, and you’re also able to layer in his Rock Wall and the Snow Drifts from SotN to further protect your valuable pieces as they make it into combat.

Why the Glacier King?


Snipe in itself is a powerful spell and SotN let’s you upkeep it on the Glacier King for free since he is a Northkin model. Add in Guided Fire, and your Glacier King has three boosted to hit POW 16 shots (+2 to Cold Damage rolls from the Northkin Elder) at a 21″ threat! 3d6 at RAT 5 hits DEF 12 90% of the time, DEF 14 74% of the time, DEF 16 50% of the time.  This means you should be able to pick off unit attachments, power solos, or support pieces fairly easily.

The King isn’t necessarily going to be one-rounding Khador heavies with shooting, but three fully boosted POW 16’s will do substantial damage. Crit Stationary on each boosted shot can open up some interesting assassination options if your target is suddenly Stationary. Couple this with the Bog Trog Mist Speaker handing out Guidance, and you no longer have to worry about Passaged Menoth warjacks, stealth solos, Incorporeal models, or pieces trying to hide behind clouds.

The Glacier King is a fantastic scenario piece with Bulldoze and Storm Chiller. Slinging three Wind Thrower shots per turn at heavies to push them out of zones can be annoying for your opponent to deal with.

The 3″ bubble of Concealment that the Glacier King provides at all times is another reason he is critical to this list. Champions, Valka, Battle Bears, and Gunny himself can all huddle around and feel a bit safer next to his large snowy behind.

List basics

This is a scenario-focused list that loves going second!

raidersTwo min units of Raiders (that have Advance Deployment) will be leading the charge by being the first line of engagement. They can do a surprising amount of work between Crit Fire and Quick Work but they are primarily there to gum up the enemy and prevent them from getting too far forward.

Your valuable pieces usually move up the board near the Glacier King. Depending on how much shooting your opponent has, it’s typical to feat turn one if you went second, or feat turn two if you went first.

I usually ambush one unit of Battle Bears to take out what I can in a zone, but more importantly, contest that zone.

Champions are your main armor-cracking option aside from the Glacier King in melee, so it’s important to keep them safe until they can trade up versus a heavy or two.

The overall goal of this list is to survive any shooting alpha with Gunny’s feat, jam hard with Raiders and Battle Bears, and then slowly grind out scenario points by pushing models out of zones with the Glacier King or killing them outright with your Champions.

What does this list like playing into?

  • Warjack or Warbeast heavy armies. These armies are usually easy to push around, and you have many tools to kill multiple heavies per turn.
  • Gunlines. Gunny’s feat says a resounding “NO” to gunlines looking to take large chunks of your army off the table at range.

What does this list NOT want to play into?

  • Fast weaponmaster spam — Doom Reavers, Sentinels, etc. That type of army is usually able to pressure or kill your Glacier King and that makes for a sad day.
  • Recursion lists with large amounts of low quality models. These lists will prevent you from doing much on scenario and you really don’t have the volume of attacks — not to mention the lack of AOE or sprays in the list — to deal with high numbers.

Final thoughts

I believe Gunnbjorn has a place at the top of the heap of valuable Storm of the North warlocks. His defensive feat let’s you get to the center of the board relatively unscathed, and he is able to do more with his Fury not having to upkeep Explosivo or Snipe each turn.

The Glacier King is a versatile piece that threatens 21″ with Snipe.  He is able to push models out of zones at range and Crit Stationary — while you can’t rely on it — is not that uncommon when you’re throwing three fully boosted shots at a single high-value target.

This list pressures scenario very hard with sticky infantry, hits like a truck with Champion and Battle Bears, and has game into a large chunk of popular meta lists. Please let me know what you think — let’s get some games in with Gunnbjorn!

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