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Cygnar Character Heavy Warjack

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[edit]

Thunderhead new.jpg
STR 12
DEF 12
ARM 19
HP 32
Cost 20
See also How to Read the statblock

Weapons and Attacks[edit]

  • Lightning Coil - 10" range, POW 14 gun
    • Reload [2] - This model can spend focus to make up to 2 additional ranged attack(s) 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 Thunderhead's front arc are auto-hit and suffer a POW 12 electrical damage roll.
    • Damage Type: Electricity - This weapon does electricity damage.
  • Shock Fist (x2) - 1" reach, P+S 17. Amazingly hard-hitting for a fist.
    • Open Fist - This warjack/warbeast may make Throw Power Attacks.
    • Critical Disruption - On a critical hit, a warjack hit will lose all focus points. It also can't gain focus or channel spells for one round.
    • 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.

Special Abilities[edit]

  • Warjack - All warjacks share the same set of special rules. Most notably being big and stompy.
  • Construct - This model is a construct and is not a living model.
  • Immunity: Electricity - This model does not suffer electrical damage, and is ignored when determining lightning arcs.

Recent Changes[edit]

2017.02 Errata

Energy Pulse was reworded so that it works vs Stealth models between 5" and 6" away.

Thoughts on Thunderhead[edit]

Classic Sculpt

Thunderhead in a nutshell[edit]

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[edit]

More than any other jack, except possibly Dynamo, Thunderhead is a lightning jack and therefore can work well with:

  • Firefly for extra damage
  • Silver Line Stormguard for extra damage
  • Storm Strider - why not bring all the lightning
  • Nemo3 for extra damage on feat turn
  • Lieutenant Allison Jakes - 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.
  • Anyone who gives extra speed (e.g. most Nemos, Captain Allison Jakes).

Kraye is your man for Thunderhead for some real shenanigans to make the most of the 20pts.

  • 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 17 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.

Drawbacks & Downsides[edit]

  • It's one of the most expensive heavy warjacks going - 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[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.



  • Originally released in Warmachine: Apotheosis (2005)
  • He's affectionately known as TH, or DJ Thunder (due to his pose).
  • 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.
  • The model was resculpted in 2016.

Theme Forces[edit]

Any Warcaster can take Thunderhead in the following Theme Forces:

Other faction models[edit]

Warcasters Jakes2 - Darius - Kraye - Sloan - Haley1 - Haley2 - Haley3 - Nemo1 - Nemo2 - Nemo3 - Stryker1 - Stryker2 - Stryker3 - Sturgis1 - Constance - Caine1 - Caine2 - Caine3 - Maddox - Siege1 - Siege2
Warcaster attachments Squire (Cygnar) - Madelyn Corbeau (Merc) - Reinholdt (Merc) - Wyshnalyrr (Merc)
Other Warjack Controllers BGC Journeyman - Jakes1 - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
Marshals Runewood - Strangewayes - Anson Hitch - Stormblade Captain - T. Master Gunner - Gun Mage CA - Stormblade CA - Sword Knights CA
Light warjacks Charger - Firefly - Grenadier - Hunter - Lancer - Minuteman - Sentinel
Ace - Thorn
Heavy warjacks Avenger - Centurion - Cyclone - Defender - Hammersmith - Ironclad - Reliant - Stormclad
Brickhouse - Dynamo - Gallant - Ol' Rowdy - Thunderhead - Triumph
Colossal Stormwall - Hurricane
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Gun Mages - Mechaniks - Long Gunners - Precursor Knights - Rangers - Silver Line Stormguard - Storm Lances - Stormblades - Stormguard - Stormsmith Grenadiers - Storm Tower - Sword Knights - Tempest Blazers - T. Cannon Crew - T. Chain Gun Crew - T. Commandos - T. Express Team - T. Long Gunners - T. Infantry - T. Mechaniks
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team

Ranking Officer CA : Captain Jonas Murdoch

Solos Arcane Tempest Rifleman - Captain Adept - Journeyman Warcaster - Squire - Stormblade Captain - Stormcallers - T. Buster - T. Master Gunner - T. Patrol Dog - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
Runewood - Strangewayes - Maxwell Finn - Anson Hitch - Harlan Versh - Jakes1 - Bastian Falk - Gwen Keller - Laddermore - Harrison Gibbs - Viktor Pendrake
Battle Engines & Structures Storm Strider - Trencher Blockhouse
Theme Forces
Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division
Merc cygnar.jpg


Mercenary Battlegroups
Warcasters Ashlynn - Bartolo - Damiano - MacBain - Durgen - Fiona - Ossrum - Gorten
Requires a 2+ caster game
Other Controllers Mini-casters Gastone Crosse - Rorsh & Brine - Brun Cragback & Lug
Marshals Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Raluk Moorclaw - Rutger Shaw - Thor Steinhammer
Warjacks & Warbeasts The mercenary battlegroup members you can include in a Cygnar army depends entirely on which mercenary is commanding them. There are too many permutations to list here, please refer to one of the model entries above for full details of what it can take.
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units High Shields - Horgenhold Artillery - Forge Guard - Ogrun Assault Corps - Press Gangers - Sea Dog Deck Gun - Sea Dog Pirates - Steelhead Halberdiers - Steelhead Cavalry - Steelhead Riflemen - Tactical Arcanist Corps - Thorn Gun Mages
Alexia1 - Sam & the Devil Dogs - Nyss Hunters - Blythe & Bull - Boomhowlers - Herne & Jonne - Aiyana & Holt - Lynus & Edrea
Solos Gobber Tinker - Ogrun Bokur
Alexia2 - Alten Ashley - Anastasia - Bradigan - Eilish Garrity - Grogspar - Brun Cragback & Lug - Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Doc Killingsworth - Eiryss1 - Eiryss2 - Hawk - Gastone - Gorman - Hutchuk - Lanyssa - Rockbottom - Dougal - Ragman - Raluk - Rhupert - Rorsh & Brine - Savio - Sergeant Nicolas - Stannis - Taryn - Thor
Warcaster attachments Madelyn Corbeau - Reinholdt - Wyshnalyrr
Battle Engines Hammerfall Siege Crawler

Rules Clarifications[edit]

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)

Rules Clarification : Construct - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Electricity - None yet. (Edit)

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Reload      (Edit)

  • 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)

  • If a friendly model is caught in the Energy Pulse, you do not have the option of "choosing to roll" the auto-hit in the hope that you'll get a miss.
Because you can only "choose to roll" auto-hits on attack rolls that auto-hit, and there is no attack roll for Energy Pulse.
(Compare to Sustained Attack: "the attack automatically hits" or Guided "Attacks made with this weapon automatically hit" vs Energy Pulse's "each model is automatically hit".)
  • Since Energy Pulse does not target, 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)
  • Since Energy Pulse does not target, 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, so they can be Shield Guarded. (Locked thread)
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.