Gnoblar Fighters (2006)
Well, like with a lot of the stuff in the ogre book, players either hate them or the love them. Some people would rather play their ogres "pure" and not use any snot-nosed, cowardly greenskins while others think they are an integral part of ogrish armies. Some even go so far as to want to create whole armies from them (see The White Dwarf Gnoblar Horde for more.
Fact is, they are incredibly cheap - and they are (practically) the only way to get a rank bonus in an ogre army. Now, most Warhammer players tend to take the Warbanner somewhere in their army if they can. Well, maybe not most, but certainly a lot. Now, a Warbanner provides +1 CR for a mere 25 points.
Since we don't have any rank bonus with tyrants, giants, gorgers, ironguts, etc., 40 points for 20 gnoblars will provide us with +3 CR, sometimes even +4 if we outnumber. Seems like a good deal. If we can get over the occasional bickering which can be tedious at times, and the fact that the gnoblars are much slower than our ogres, we get:
* Ranks and outnumber! This is immensely valuable if used in conjunction with stuff like scraplaunchers, giants & lone characters who provide an enormous amount of punch on a small frontage and thus leave lots of room for extra gnoblars to pile in.
* An extra deployment! This is very valuable, because instead of plunking down the huge unit of ironguts, we can set the fighters down, providing our opponent with absolutely no clue as to where our hard-hitters are going.
* Flank protection! Gnoblars are excellent watchdogs against fast elements like fast cavalry that would like to surround our ogres and attack from the rear. Obviously, placement can be a bit of an issue so that the cavalry doesn't just ride by the gnoblars, but they are still an excellent buffer.
* A diverter! That truly scary unit of whatever bearing down on your ironguts - how about just shoving 40 points of gnoblars in between you and them, and making sure they go nowhere near our 'guts? Or at least only present their flanks ... Obviously, stuff like great eagles or even chaos hounds make for much better diverters than gnoblars because of their higher movement, but in a pinch, they'll do. And: ‘‘nobody likes a gnoblar, so you won't ever have to worry about panic tests!
* A powerful shooting contingent! This is no joke - gnoblars are a killer against any of that large-target, not-quite-a-dragon-stuff. If an Imperial Griffon lands next to 25 gnoblars, they can just turn around (okay, if they pass their Terror test, but that's what your tyrant is there for) and throw 50 times sharp stuff. That's 25 hits, 4 wounds - randomly allocated. If none happen to go on the character, that is one dead budgie. Otherwise, it'll be severely maimed. I can guarantee you that no griffin from that player will ever land near your 50 points of gnoblars ever again - ever!
If the fighters happen to be on a hill, just add frontage so that twenty or so can shoot - they might even put a dent in a regiment of archers or crossbowmen in front of them.
In fact, don't dismiss the fighters as a combat regiment. 25 gnoblars will often outnumber their foe, thereby making up for having no standard. It is all down to kills, and especially against opponents not known for their killiness (but also against everybody else), every so often, your gnoblars will beat an enemy of much greater points. And you will rejoice.
If it weren't for the fact that a unit of bulls is needed for every regiment of fighters, I would try to include four units of 25 in every army list. As it is, I usually run three, never less than two. They are just too valuable to leave at home. They will surprise you when you least expect it.
Again, opinions vary. Some people field them in minimal size, others like to run thirty to make sure they can lose some and still outnumber. I like to run them in units of twenty-five; it's a nice square block, usually outnumbers and is still only 50 points.
Oh, and never buy the groinbiter. As cute as that name is, you're better off just buying another gnoblar. Normally, people buy champions (feels weird to be calling a groinbiter that) to protect either the unit itself or characters from kill-y lords. Characters you won't have in your gnoblars, and if your fighters come in contact with a kill-y lord - well, let's just say a groinbiter won't save your gnoblars from certain destruction then, either.
| Write Comment