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Cygnar Logo.jpg Thunderhead

Cygnar Character Heavy Warjack

Mk4 icon.png
This model is available in one Prime Army, Storm Knights. 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.

The Thunderhead is a marvel of innovation, arguably the most sophisticated warjack ever built. Storming into battle armed with electrically charged shock fists and a lightning coil, the Thunderhead lands blows that liquefy metal, roast flesh, and disrupt cortexes when they land, and its lightning coil releases focused electrical bolts of tremendous power with unerring accuracy. The Thunderhead, once Commander Adept Sebastian Nemo's crowning achievement, is as much a work of art as it is an instrument of war. Capable of laying waste to infantry and warjacks alike, some say there is no warjack they would rather have with them.

Basic Info

Missing Info
Thunderhead new.jpg
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Large
STR 12
M.A. N/A
DEF 12
ARM 19
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 32
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
Warcaster 1
the Statblock

Warjack - All warjacks share the same set of special rules. Most notably being big and stompy. Click here for a newbie-friendly recap, or click here for the full rules.



Lightning Coil
Gun icon.jpg  RNG   ROF   AOE   POW   LOCATION 
10 1 - 14 -
  • Electricity dam symbol.jpg Damage Type: Electricity
  • Reload [2] - This model can spend focus to make up to 2 additional ranged attacks with this weapon during its Combat Action. It can make one additional attack for each focus spent.
  • Sustained Attack - During this model's activation, when it makes an attack with this weapon against the last model hit by the weapon this activation, the attack automatically hits.
  • Energy Pulse (★ Attack) - This attack does not need a target. Each other model within 6" of this model that is in its front arc is automatically hit unless this model's LOS to it is blocked by terrain. Models hit suffer suffer a POW 12 electrical damage roll. Energy Pulse damage rolls are simultaenous.
Shock Fist (x2)
Sword icon.jpg  RNG   POW   P+S   LOCATION 
1 6 18 1 each side

Theme Forces

Thoughts on Thunderhead

Classic Sculpt

Thunderhead in a nutshell

The Thunderhead is an experimental warjack for good and ill. It's got an interesting and powerful game against infantry with its Energy Pulse, ignoring defenses such as Girded and Force Barrier - and able to use this to set up the Sustained Attack on anyone who gets too close. Even without Energy Pulse, Sustained Attack makes it a decent assassin; boost the first to hit roll and then get two more hits in for free. It gets power attacks with two Open Fists. And because of this flexibility it's the most expensive Cygnaran warjack.

The most powerful capability of the Lightning Coil is of course the Energy Pulse. Normal Coil attacks are better against warjacks and other high ARM targets, while the Energy Pulse is better against warriors or low ARM targets. Sustained Attack allows you to keep plowing attacks into hard targets, but you won't be boosting the damage on any but one attack if you want to fire three times.The Lightning Coil is not associated with the Thunderhead's arms or head, so even if all systems are crippled, it can keep making ranged attacks at full efficiency.

With two Open Fists, the TH is one of three Cygnar warjacks that can two-handed throw! Three focus (power attack, boost melee attack, boost throw attack) will probably result in two enemy models knocked down.

Combos & Synergies

Warcasters & other warjacks

  • Anyone who gives extra speed (e.g. most Nemos, Jakes2).
  • Nemo3 for extra damage on feat turn.
  • Siege1 for armor piercing auto hit pow 12.
  • Firefly for extra damage.
  • Kraye is your man for Thunderhead for some real shenanigans to make the most of the 18pts.
    • He has a speed buff that means his Warjacks can out-threat most 2" melee light Warjacks.
    • His feat applies Flare, making for some extra guarantee in applying those sustained attack fists.
      • Let's not forget the Beacon too. Despite lacking damage buffs, the extra P+S 18 fist attack will help make a mess of most heavies. That's a 14" threat range with a SPD5, melee range 1" model.
      • The pulse is also a cheeky way to apply both of those effects guaranteed to whatever needs them (if you don't/can't charge).
    • The reposition makes that pulse usable on a regular basis since you don't have to leave him in charge range of whatever survives.
      • It's even better if you can reposition back through a wood or similar terrain (Thanks, Pathfinder!) to completely deny any retaliation.
    • Admonition can also make infantry armies sweat if they attempt to jam Thunderhead up to avoid that pulse decimating their forces.

Storm Division

  • Jakes1 - this may appear to be leaving Jakes as too much of a lynchpin for a squishy solo, but the Thunderhead really loves Energizer and it's enough of a ranged jack that you can keep Jakes quite far back. Sidekick is a nice bonus of course.
  • Stormguard Infantry for extra damage.
  • Storm Strider for extra hit-chances.

Heavy Metal

  • He can work with Jakes1 and/or the Storm Strider in this theme, too.
  • Caine0 - These two work together marvellously, provided you can keep Caine from getting sniped out. Fire For Effect is downright mean on your pulse attack, evaporating ARM21 infantries on average rolls, while Spirit Door stops the jack from getting exposed after a successful attack on the enemy. Remember that you don't have to put Thunderhead onto Caine. Your warcaster can run it also and Caine can still put FFE on Thunderhead.
    • If ran under Nemo3, the Pulse becomes downright devastating with the Feat and FFE, dealing 14+4d6 damage on the first shot.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • It's expensive and not very survivable.
  • As one of the few models that has the capability to severely damage or destroy heavy Warjacks or Warbeasts at range, he can be a priority target for your opponent. It can be worth applying Snipe or one of Cygnar's many defensive buffs if you play it aggressively.
  • Thunderhead guzzles focus for the Lightning Coil.
  • Unless you use lightning combos Thunderhead is paying for all those options and can't use them all at once.

Tricks & Tips

  • The Thunderhead has a nasty assassination potential. Especially if it can get within 6" of the enemy caster so it can get the auto-hit from the energy pulse.
  • It really likes movement buffs to help get good Pulses off.
  • There's a lot of interesting rule interactions with Pulse, read the rule clarifications.
  • If you start your activation within 11" of something high DEF that you want dead, simply walk up and use your Energy Pulse to auto-hit it. Now you can purchase additional ranged attacks that also auto-hit thanks to Sustained Attack.
  • Jam with lightning immune troops, then next turn free them up with an Energy Pulse. You don't hurt your own guys.
  • Critical Disruption is a nice bonus, but not worth fishing for. You're better off to spend focus to boost damage or buy extra attacks than to boost attack.



  • Released in Warmachine: Apotheosis (2005)
  • The model was resculpted in 2016.
  • He's affectionately known as TH, or DJ Thunder (due to the pose of the original model).
  • When posing the original model, you may want to turn his left arm palm-up, because it puts the model in a "COME GET SOME" pose. This will make it look less like a DJ, though.
  • If you know your opponent is taking Behemoth, and you don't take Thunderhead so they can throw down, you are a terrible person.

Other Cygnar models

Cygnar Logo.jpg       Cygnar Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warcasters Caine1 - Caine2 - Caine3 - Constance - Darius - Haley1 - Haley2 - Haley3 - Jakes2 - Kraye - Maddox - Nemo1 - Nemo2 - Nemo3 - Sloan - Stryker1 - Stryker2 - Stryker3 - Siege1 - Siege2 - Sturgis1
Warcaster attachments Squire (Cygnar) - Madelyn Corbeau (Merc) - Reinholdt (Merc) - Wyshnalyrr (Merc)
Other Warjack Controllers

Battlegroup Controllers: Caine0 - Nemo4 - Jakes1 - Journeyman - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
'Jack Marshals: Runewood - Strangewayes - Anson Hitch - Stormblade Captain - T. Master Gunner - Gun Mage CA - Stormblade CA - Sword Knights CA

Light Charger - Firefly - Grenadier - Hunter - Lancer - Minuteman - Sentinel
Ace - Thorn
Heavy Avenger - Centurion - Cyclone - Defender - Hammersmith - Ironclad - Reliant - Stormclad
Brickhouse - Dynamo - Gallant - Ol' Rowdy - Thunderhead - Triumph
Colossal Stormwall - Hurricane
Units, Solos, Battle Engines, & Structures

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages - Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Field Mechaniks - Legion of Lost Souls - Long Gunner Infantry - OoI Resolutes - OoI Vigilants - Precursor Knights - Rangers - Silver Line Stormguard - Storm Lances - Stormblades - Stormguard - Stormsmith Grenadiers - Storm Tower - Sword Knights - Tempest Blazers - Tr Cannon Crew - Tr Chain Gun Crew - Tr Commandos - Tr Express Team - Tr Long Gunners - Tr Infantry - Tr Mechaniks
Special CA : Captain Jonas Murdoch (Mercenary unit) - Special WA: Morrowan Battle Priest (any unit)


Arcane Tempest Rifleman - Archduke Runewood - Captain Arlan Strangewayes - Captain Maxwell Finn - Commander Anson Hitch - Dreyfus1 - Dreyfus2 & Flubbin2 - Grand Master Gabriel Throne - Glyn Cormier, Illuminated One - Gun Mage Captain Adept - Journeyman Lieutenant Allister Caine - Journeyman Warcaster - Harlan Versh, Illuminated One - Lieutenant Allison Jakes - Lieutenant Bastian Falk - Lieutenant Gwen Keller - Major Katherine Laddermore - Major Harrison Gibbs - Morrowan Archon - Savio Montero Acosta - Squire - Stormblade Captain - Stormcallers - Tr Buster - Tr Master Gunner - Tr Patrol Dog - Tr Warcaster Lieutenant - Viktor Pendrake

Battle Engines & Structures

Nemo4 - Storm Strider - Trencher Blockhouse

Theme Forces
Flame in the Darkness - Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Cygnar Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2021.11

Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Warjack      (Edit)

  • The Cortex/Induction core rule means a warjack cannot have more than 3 focus at any time (maybe 4 if they're really special).
    • Many abilities give out focus and don't state an upper limit (such as Convection and Empower). Despite not stating an upper limit, they are always "hard-limited" by the core rule.
    • A warjack can have more than 3 focus during a turn, though. For instance, a knocked down warjack can Power Up and be Allocated 2 focus, then spend 1 to shake knockdown, then another model could Empower it back up to 3.
  • Warjacks cannot spend focus outside of their activation. For instance, they can't boost free strikes or trigger Powerful Attack on Broadsides. (Infernal Ruling)

Inert warjacks

  • Abilities that say they cannot be used if the model is stationary (such as Shield Guard) cannot be used while a warjack is inert, either. Refer "Warcaster Destruction", page 59 of the core rulebook.

Rules Clarification : Construct - None yet. (Edit)

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Electricity      (Edit)

  • When electricity arcs/leaps, you ignore models with Immunity:Electricity. The arc "skips" them.
  • If you attack a model with Immunity:Electricity, the arc/leap won't go anywhere at all. The arc is "grounded".
  • Incorporeal models do not have Immunity: Electricity (they just ignore non-magical damage). As such electricity can arc/leap to and from incorporeal models.
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Reload      (Edit)

  • You cannot mix melee attacks and ranged attacks in the same activation unless you have a special rule (such as Dual Attack). Reload does not get around this restriction.
    • A Trample Power Attack is a melee attack, even if you don't actually trample over anyone and make zero dice rolls. So you can't trample then Reload (unless you have something like Dual Attack).
  • You can use Reload to make additional attacks after a Special Ranged Attack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If you have (x2) of a weapon with Reload (such as Caine1), the special rule will only be written on the card once. But you can reload both weapons to the max limit. (Infernal Ruling)
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Sustained Attack      (Edit)

  • Translation for newbies : Once you hit your target, your next attack(s) with the same weapon will auto-hit.
  • If your target becomes out of range in between attacks (somehow), then Sustained Attack will not let you auto-hit. Refer Step 3 vs Step 4 of the Attack Sequence (Apdx A).
  • If you have sustained attack on a weapon that makes simultaneous attacks (e.g. Prime Axiom making a Sweep attack), then all the models you hit are "the last model hit" and whichever one you choose to attack next is the one you get the auto-hit bonus vs. (Infernal Ruling)
  • This only applies to the first attack after a simultaneous one - once you make that next attack, it's all reset back to being "just one" last model hit.
    • Example : you Sweep and hit models A, B, C. Then you buy an attack vs model C. It is auto-hit because it was (one of) the last model(s) hit. Then you buy another attack, now you can only auto-hit C because it is the last model hit.
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Energy Pulse      (Edit)

  • You cannot choose to roll Energy Pulse (to fish for a critical, or avoid hitting your own high-DEF models). Normally you can do that with auto-hitting attacks, but Energy Pulse is an exception.
The reason for this is ...   [Show/Hide]
there is no attack roll for Energy Pulse. It says "each model is automatically hit"
Compare to Sustained Attack: "the attack automatically hits"
or Guided: "Attacks made with this weapon automatically hit".
Those other abilities imply an attack roll with a weapon. Energy Pulse does not.
  • Energy Pulse does not target, so:
    • Stealth doesn't stop it. Stealth's auto-miss only kicks in when someone targets the stealth model from more than 5" away. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Abilities that "prevent a model being targeted by ranged attacks" (such as Submerge or Passage) don't stop it.
  • Auto-hits are considered direct hits (refer Attack Roll in the core rulebook), so:
  • For the purposes of Thunderhead using Reload plus Sustained Attack after a Pulse:
    • All models hit by an Energy Pulse are considered to be the "last model hit by that weapon". So for your first bought attack, you can auto-hit any of them.
    Once you shoot a model with a bought attack, though, that model becomes the new "last one". So if you buy a second attack, there is only one model you can auto-hit.
    • Although the Pulse doesn't target and it can hit Stealth models, your bought attacks do target and will auto-miss Stealth models (despite having Sustained Attack). Refer to the "auto-miss vs auto-hit" rule in the core rules.
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Disruption      (Edit)

  • If a model is disrupted, it cannot get focus for any reason. Whether the rule says 'allocate', 'gain', 'receive' or 'give' ... Disruption stops it all. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Despite being unable to channel spells, a warjack can still be the target of spells just fine.