|99% of this website is about Mark 3 (mk3), which is the previous edition of the game (2016 to 2022). The reasons for this are explained here.|
1% of the website is about Mark 4 (mk4), but only in regards to which mk3 models are useable in mk4 Prime and which are mk4 Unlimited. See Legacy Armies for more detail.
| Gorten Grundback |
This model is available in one Prime Army, Rhul Guard. It can also be used in the Unlimited game mode. You can view the other Mk3 models that made it into a Legacy Army at this page.
Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.
One day Gorten had a revelation: he was meant to be a Warcaster. Having heard tales among men and dwarves about the great honour and glory those who can wield magic in battle, he decided to leave the mining life behind and bring his command of stone and earth to the battlefield. At his call, walls of rock rise from nowhere, molten ore will slag his enemies, and allies become rooted to the ground such that nought but death shall move them.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Gorten Grundback
- 3 List Building Advice
- 4 Other
- Rhulic Warcaster - This warcaster can control only Rhulic warjacks.
Feat : Landslide
- Choose a table edge and a distance up to 8". Enemy models currently in Gorten's control range are pushed the chosen distance directly towards the chosen table edge in the order you choose.
- For one round, affected models suffer -3 to SPD, RAT, and DEF, cannot give or receive orders, and cannot charge or make slam or trample power attacks.
- Resourceful - This model can upkeep spells on models in its battlegroup without spending focus/fury.
|Dual Hand Cannon|
|Each model in the spellcaster's battlegroup that is currently in its control range can immediately advance up to 2". Energizer can be cast only once per activation.|
| Molten Metal
|Target warjack suffers 1 point of fire damage to each column on its damage grid.|
| Rock Wall
|Place a wall template anywhere completely within the spellcaster's control range where it does not touch a model's base, an obstruction, or an obstacle. The wall is an obstacle that provides cover.|
| Solid Ground
|While in the spellcaster's control range, friendly Faction models cannot become knocked down and gain Blast Resistance.|
| Strength of Granite
|Target model in the spellcaster's battlegroup gains +4 STR.|
Thoughts on Gorten Grundback
Gorten Grundback in a nutshell
Gorten walks slowly forward weathering any small arms fire that comes his armies way by upkeeping Solid Ground and casting Energizer & Rock Walls until it's time for him to feat.
This alone can win him the game. If it doesn't he will need to use Strength of Granite to apply pressure accordingly and attrition the rest of the game.
Gorten can deliver his battlegroup but doesn't have the focus to run a large one. Combined arms is often the way to go in bigger games for this reason.
Gorten's feat is one of the strongest in the game without factoring in the 10" control area. As such, it is critical to him winning or losing and it is super easy to screw it up by moving models in the wrong order, or not being able to see where models will finish.
This feat can be used in a number of different ways:
- Drag the opposing caster to you (or sometimes left or right work), kill them. This tactic is used against the unprepared player. There are plenty of ways to set this up. You could slide the opposing caster to an Earthbreaker or Driller, Alexia and her Risen, Kayazy Assassins, Anastasia Di Bray, use your imagination. Experienced players won't allow you to do this easily, and the odds of the opposing caster starting your turn within 14" of Gorten are quite low.
- Shove everything 8" towards its own deployment zone. This is awesome for clearing flags and zones. It can also force some casters to killbox themselves, especially warcaster units that won't be able to issue run orders
- Defensively feating to defend the Earthbreaker or Gorten. If your opponent has a colossal or two, they aren't going anywhere, but you can use the feat to buy your Earthbreaker a turn to get into position for the charge and land some more shots.
- Use Rock Wall. Sometimes, you can bunch up a huge number of enemy models by placing a wall in front of them and sliding them into it. Then you blast or spray them. This can also be used to move a warcaster away from its guard, warbeasts and warjacks out of control range, move unit leaders away from their units, the possibilities are limitless.
- Pull your target out from behind cover to set them up for a charge or shooting. Pull them behind obstacles to prevent them from charging or shooting.
- Push models into hazards or rough terrain.
- Split up squads. As they can't take orders, this can tie up a particularly hard squad, or prevent squads that rely on orders (like Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps, for example) from being able to do their orders.
Think carefully about the order models are moved. Slide a shield guard into its caster, then slide the caster 8" away from it. Create bunched-up models where it serves your purpose, or spread units out as much as possible.
- Energizer - Excellent for threat extension, or as an Reposition-like effect. Pull Gorten back after his feet to keep him safe, or push him IN to catch more models. Have a Rockram back 2" away after shooting, or use it to push the threat of a Strength of Granite buffed Driller to 10", you get the picture.
- Molten Metal - Six guaranteed points of damage isn't terrible, especially against high ARM warjacks, and can be very useful when you have just one box left of a system somewhere.
- Rock Wall - It can be used to provide cover, block charge lanes, stop specific models when you are using Landslide and prevent things from reaching melee range.
- Solid Ground - It is almost always cast on the first round and kept up unless the opponent has no blasts or knock-down effects.
- Strength of Granite - Any melee 'jack (or Gorten himself!) can use this spell. It makes them hit much harder and is always kept up for free thanks to Resourceful.
Drawbacks & Downsides
Gorten has three major weaknesses:
- SPD 4 with Energizer as one of the few ways to make him go faster.
- Limited army support.
- Rock Wall is a great spell that does more for an army than one might think, and Solid Ground is great with the right models, and the feat makes the other army really easy targets that don't fight back. But the rest of the time, his army is pretty much on its own.
- Limited focus
- While he does have Resourceful, to save the focus on Strength of Granite and Solid Ground, he still only has FOCUS 5, and you'll likely want to hot-swap SoG and maybe Rock Wall, so focus for allocation and camping purposes will still be tight.
Tricks & Tips
- Cast Strength of Granite on your melee 'jack. If your 'jack is gone, then cast it on Gorten.
- POW 25 Earthbreaker! In addition to massive damage, you can now toss a model 12.5". That's better than the torpedoes!
- Drillers with POW 20/22.
- POW 19 Bashers.
- Gorton himself goes to POW 18/13.
- Cast Solid Ground first round, upkeep it the whole game. There really isn't a reason to not use it now that Gorton is Resourceful.
- Advance a squad. Cast Rock Wall in front of it for a quick and easy DEF buff.
- If Gorten gets into melee combat, try and line up your target so there is an equal-or-larger based model behind it so you can slam them into it. Or cast Rock Wall behind them!
- Remember, as a small model, he's only going to be slamming medium and large-based models half the distance rolled.
- Bosun Grogspar can hit Gorten in the back and Pitch him, Boss MacHorne can combo smite him, or Dez can shoot him in the back for the same result. This is not in any way a reliable extra distance for Gorten's feat (it's d6" for Bosun and Sam, d3" for Dez) - but should make your opponent extremely paranoid about Gorten's threat range.
List Building Advice
Gorten needs to keep as much of his army alive as possible while he gets in position to feat. Unfortunately, he has been stealth nerfed several times since he can't charge friendly models or be slammed or thrown by his own warjacks. The only ways to increase the threat of his feat (other than Energizer) is by pitching him with Bosun Grogspar or using the Steelhead Ironhead's Power Lifter ability (and/or the Galleon's for that matter). This makes it easier for your opponent to position to minimize your feat turn.
- The Steelhead-based recursion engine is possible here, as Rhupert, Sergeant Nicolas Verendyre and Alexia are allowed. He doesn't really care for Horses or Artillery, so maxing out on Halberdiers is his best option in this theme.
- Steelhead Arcanist - Magic Weapon on a stick is crucial if your list is intended to have any sort of game into incorporeal or hymn of shielding. Empower for your jacks is also great.
- Steelhead Ironhead - This is the model Gorten loves more than any other as it gets him up the board 2" faster. You should play him in Soldiers of Fortune for this reason alone.
- Herne & Jonne - Thor is not allowed in this theme, so if you want to run an Earthbreaker, stacking Mark Target and Artillerist is the next best thing
- Dez1 - She can shoot him in the back for extra Feat threat range.
- Idrian Skirmishers come with native Pathfinder, blast immunity, and DEF 13 (aka DEF 17 behind cover), thus they take to his buffs very, very well.
- Croe's Cutthroats - Pathfinder, Repo 5" and Prey, just like the Idrians, but they have Stealth and Backstab. Naturally they love Rock Wall and Solid Ground.
- Gastone Crosse - You want those Croes to have Backstab online as much as possible, so Discombobulate is essential. He loves hiding behind a Rock Wall, too.
- Kayazy Eliminators - Giving them knock-down immunity takes away the most popular way the enemy can reduce their DEF, which is excellent. They might end up operating outside of his bubble to keep you in scenario though.
- Alexia & The Risen - As you will bring lots of chaff anyway, she is a great choice to add to your recursion game.
- Thor Steinhammer - If you bring an Earthbreaker, Thor and his Tune-Up is mandatory. In this theme he can also bring a Basher along for Flank if you want him to and have the points.
- The usual merc mainstays that work well with everybody are in this theme: Aiyana & Holt, Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios, Ragman, Hermit, Eilish and Anastasia.
- Gabriel Throne and Rhupert hand out Tough to units, which combos well with his no-knock-down bubble. Throne also has a damage buff.
- Bamfist - Hands out Empower and can push some models around to set up for the big feat turn. Force Barrier stack with cover from Rock Wall.
- Nemo4 - Summons in an Ironhead and runs an extra heavy for Gorten. With Lightning Shroud his heavy will hit like a truck as well, he can also adds a recursive element to your units.
- Asphyxious4 - Another damage buff who can also generate a cloud wall and basically a heavy in his own right.
- Dez1 is here, also.
- Bosun Grogspar can pitch him with his hook.
- Boss MacHorn can likewise Combo Smite him in the back.
- Widget1 squeezes another shot out of your Earthbreaker (or any other jack, preferably a ranged one).
- Gudrun2 Kinetic Distortion stack with Cover from Rock Walls for +6 DEF against shooting. This gets even the cumbersome Rhulic heavies delivered.
- Lanyssa - Hunter's Mark gives a free charge and a speed buff to his jacks, who desperately need it. She loves Cover and Solid Ground, too.
Gorten, with his Solid Ground, isn't so much a caster that makes dwarves good as a caster that makes his army more dwarf-like; Solid Ground makes troops highly blast resistant and able to keep their feet. The Rhulfolk in general don't gain that much from this.
- Hammerfall Siege Crawler - Technically also available in Irregulars, but useless there as it has nothing to reinforce. It provides recursion to your Forge Guard.
- Bamfist - He actually has units in this theme to put Force Barrier on! Forge Guard behind a wall and under a Barrier actually become very dodgy against shooting.
- In Hammer Strike, Forge Guard gain the Tough special rule, which coupled with a pair of Siege Crawlers bringing them back plus Rock Walls and Solid Ground, is about the slowest, stoutest, most resilient, most dwarfish army you're going to get from Warmachine.
- Stonelord Guvul Gondor should always be attached to a unit of Forge Guard. He recurrs them, makes them faster, and grants them another attack.
- The Rhulic heavies gain repo here so they can trample and repo farther than they can run on turn 1.
- Bamfist, Thor, Gudrun and Herne and Jonne are here, too.
- A Ghordson Driller and a Ghordson Basher can get some work done under Strength of Granite.
- Grundback Blasters and Gunners are never a bad pick for any dwarf caster.
- Ghordson Earthbreaker - Not a great choice, though not awful. Gorten can leverage its abilities somewhat by placing Rock Wall in front of it and putting Strength of Granite on it. However, many armies can shoot it right off the board in a turn or two.
- Released in Warmachine: Escalation (2004)
- This model has a limited edition sculpt, released in 2020.09.
Video Battle Reports
- 2019.04 Connor's Retribution Analysis, vs Vyros2
- 2019.04 Connor's Retribution Analysis, vs Deneghra1
- 2019.04 Connor's Retribution Analysis, vs Fyanna2
- 2019.04 Connor's Retribution Analysis, vs Kaelyssa1
- 2018.08 Deathclock Dave, vs Maelok1
- 2018.07 Deathclock Dave, vs Locke1
- 2018.06 Feat Fetish, vs Nemo1
- See also Category: Video Battle Reports for more casters with videos.
Other Mercenary models
Rules Clarification : Feat: Landslide
|* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)