A subtype of Goblins in Warhammer Fantasy, known for their big floppy ears, beak like noses, and being the personal bitches of the Ogres. Note that they have their own army, Gnoblar Horde: The Unwashed Masses.
Gnoblars are small greenskins that evolved to their current state when Ogres moved from the mountains of the Giants to the Mountains of Mourn and kept them as pets/rations.
Gnoblars have the place of being the singularly most mistreated beings in either Warhammer setting, as Ogres see them somewhere between vermin-like insects that are simply a fact of life to deal with, or very low and undepletable slaves. Sometimes as food if there's nothing better around (they’re noted as tasing very stringy and overall unpleasant to eat), although some Gnoblars wind up in the position of "favorite hunting dog" as long as the Ogre can remember them. On rarer occasions, the Ogres will adore gnoblars almost as pets or playthings, resulting in the little buggers creating their own microcosms within the Ogre tribe.
Gnoblars see Ogres as a mix of living gods and eternal masters. They differ from Goblins in that they are much smaller and dumber, and while Goblins have pronounced noses the face of a Gnoblar is mostly nose giving them a beaky appearance. The resemblance to a Jim Henson Muppet character may not be a simple coincidence, as the concept artist for Ogre Kingdoms, Paul Jeacock, had previously worked for Jim Henson's Creature Studio London as a sketch artist (White Dwarf #301). Make of that what you will.
Gnoblars are just as cruel as Goblins, torturing and killing anything smaller or weaker than themselves, fighting with intent to kill over stupid reasons, and laughing at the misfortune of other Gnoblar. This last trait is even more extreme than Goblins, as Gnoblar don't panic or feel fear when other Gnoblar suffer; a Gnoblar right next to them being eaten by a dragon is far more amusing than frightening, and a horde of Gnoblar fleeing past from an unknown assailant is cause for mockery instead of concern.
Gnoblars are hoarders, obsessively collecting anything they can pick up although those in service to Ogres find their good stuff taken away. As a result, most independant are found carrying inexhaustible amounts of "Sharp Things" to throw and cause modest damage, and can even be found carrying magical gear befitting a Dwarf Thane or a High Elf Archmage rather than a small goblinoid. A possibly related feature of Gnoblars is their ludicrous extremes of luck. A Gnoblar could easily trip and fall and break their neck as they could best a Chaos Champion (also probably by tripping), find and eat a poison mushroom as find a magical world-saving/destroying artifact, find a tasty snake to skin alive and eat raw as find a dragon's tail that they attempt to do the same to before realizing it isn't a snake.
Gnoblars who are favored by an Ogre have one of their ears bitten off (each bite mark being uniquely shaped as no two Ogres have the same teeth pattern), and assume the rank among Gnoblars that their master has among Ogres. They are extremely hierarchical, and come in the following ranks:
- Lords: Equivalent to a Tyrant. Supreme masters of the Gnoblars. Paranoid as hell, immediately order Woodbellies to kill any Gnoblar they see as a threat.
- Tooth-Gnoblars: Servants to Butchers and Slaughtermasters, the priesthood of Ogres. Although high-ranking, they suffer among the most of any Gnoblar as they are tasked with gathering chunks of meat, and often end up so covered in blood they are indistinguishable as anything more than jiggling fat to their masters.
- Trappers: Servants to the Ogres who gather food for their race. They lay a myriad of traps all around the outskirts of the Ogre camp and leave them there until the shrill sounds of something caught in a trap alerts them. Well-respected, although often used as bait.
- Manbiters: Gnoblars who serve Maneaters, and travel the world with their master. They recount the tales of their master to other Gnoblars which sometimes reaches the ears of other Ogres. Gnoblar Manbiters aren't above serving other races as mercenaries independent of their Ogre either, and are the most common greenskin to be found working alongside non-greenskins (although its worth noting Gnoblars are fairly more bungling and annoying to any civilized race than useful).
- Torch Gnoblars: Leadbelcher servants. Used to light cannons for their masters, and have suffered from burns, soot-blackened skin, and blindness as a result. Trying to paint your models like these may be...awkward in some company...
- Woodbellies: Irongut Gnoblars. Serve as the enforcers for the Gnoblar Lord in the same way their masters are enforcers for the Tyrant. Are somewhat independent as far as Gnoblars go.
- Bullies: Ogre Bull servants. Their rank in Gnoblar society is purely based on their size alone, and they act like their masters do other Ogres towards any Gnoblar smaller than themselves.
- Fighters: The most basic Gnoblars who have any sort of respect from any sort of Ogre. Since they're unwilling to do grunt work as they can claim they're better than that, they mostly just wait for fights in which they will join on behalf of the Ogres.
- Scum: The dumbest, weakest, smallest Gnoblar. Also any Gnoblar of superior quality who hasn't had an Ogre dote on them. Scum do not participate in battles and just do the work of the Ogres from gathering simple food like insects, leftovers on the ground or stuck in fat folds/clothing for other meals, and other assorted basic tasks. They're fairly useless at anything complex, and as a result rarely do anything important enough for an Ogre to take notice and bite their ear because otherwise they wouldn't be Scum still.
Note that more variants exist, but only among the independant Gnoblar.
Gnoblar don't properly exist in 40k, although it can be fairly said that Gretchin, the 40k equivalent of Goblins, are much more like Gnoblar than they actually are Goblins and serve Orks in the same way that Gnoblar serve Ogres.
They originally came from Chamon, the junk-filled region of Skrapa-Spill to be precise. They enjoyed sifting through the rubble and refuse for anything shiny or sharp (or both) to throw at each other, and trapping/torturing anything that wandered into their turf. Unfortunately, being literally the smallest sentient creature in existence, they were bullied and trod upon by their much bigger and meaner cousins (Orruks in particular liked to pull off their ears, like a kid plucking the wings off a fly). Thus they made a deal with the even larger Ogor Mawtribes; gnoblars would serve the Ogors as a worker caste in exchange for their protection from Orruks and Grots. The Ogors agreed to the terms, partly because Gnoblars didn’t taste too good to begin with.
Their role in the Mawtribes is almost roughly the same as Fantasy Battle, though it does seem to be slightly better treated than their predecessors, though this could be down to word choice or AoS in general being more noblebright. The fact that they negotiated their current arrangement with the Ogors instead of true enslavement probably also had a hand in their better situation. They’ve also put more emphasis on their obsession with collecting junk and building things from said junk. These Gnoblars are also smart enough to reverse engineer Duardin gunpowder for their Ogor masters to use.
On The Tabletop
Gnoblar Fighters are the basic form of Gnoblar. They're simple Tarpit models that fulfill the roles of flank protection, flank chargers, or basic tarpit. They cost a mere 2.5 points per model, making them the second cheapest in the game (and the only one to use a decimal for point cost). They also cause absolutely no Panic tests for being broken, making them the ideal throwaway Unit.
Even better, for 25 points a Unit can be upgraded to Trappers which cause Dangerous Terrain tests to enemies that charge them which is a splendid defense against horde formation enemies.
Their role is roughly the same in AoS, though now they can be buffed by a Tyrant making them immune to Battleshock, which when combined with their larger unit sizes makes for a pretty good wall of bodies.
While not an absolute must, Ogre players still love the little Gnoblars in most lists.