Written by: Rodney Desjarlais
6th Edition
Last Updated: December 2003


Orcs and Goblins is a "horde" army. The majority of the character and unit choices are inexpensive compared to other armies and many of the mainstay greenskin units are most effective when built in large numbers. Unless you are playing against another horde army such as Skaven you will almost certainly outnumber the enemy. 

There is a tremendous variety of character and unit choices available to the Orc and Goblin player, second only to the combined Chaos armies. Just to illustrate, there are nine Lord choices alone (Black Orc Warboss, Orc Warboss, Savage Orc Warboss, Orc Great Shaman, Savage Orc Great Shaman, Goblin Warboss, Night Goblin Warboss, Goblin Great Shaman, Night Goblin Great Shaman)!  The numerous unit types available give the greenskin player the tools to defeat any adversary.  The challenge is to select the right tools and to use them correctly.

If you are a player that likes making theme armies, Orcs and Goblins is your paradise. Thanks to the tremendous variety of characters and units available it is possible to make a great many theme-army types. You can create an all-Orc army composed of a mixture of different Orc unit and character types or you can create an army themed around a particular type of Orc. You can create an all-Goblin army composed of a mixture of Goblin unit and character types or create an army themed around a particular goblin type. You can create armies themed around particular unit types such as a Goblin Wolf Rider horde. And this doesn't even include the "Appendix Armies" in the back of the Army Book (which require the permission of the other player to use) which allow you to create Snotling Hordes and other specialty armies.

Orcs and Goblins have their own magic called "Waaagh! Magic" or "Greenskin Magic". Orc and Goblin shamans have to choose their spells from one of two exclusive spell lore charts called "Little Waaagh!" (available to Level 1 and 2 Shamans) and "Big Waaagh!" (available to Level 3 and 4 Shamans). The spells in both lores are incredibly useful and each are devoted to doing one of three things: doing direct damage to the enemy, getting your units into close combat more quickly and enhancing the combat effectiveness of units already in close combat. The Little Waaagh! lore also contains one of the best "sniper spells" in the game, called 'Eadbutt, which allows you to target any single enemy model visible to the shaman (including unit champions, characters in units or characters that are normally not targetable by the shooting rules) and cause one strength four hit with no armor save allowed! 

Orc and Goblin shamans can also feed off the brutal energy of nearby greenskin close combat to increase their magic potential. For every Orc unit of any type which numbers more than 10 models and/or for each Goblin unit of 20 or more models which is within 12" of a shaman and engaged in close combat the player adds +1 power dice to his pile in his own turn and +1 dispel dice during the enemy's turn.  This rule, along with the spells designed to be used on units in close combat, help make the greenskin army brutally effective when engaging the enemy hand-to-hand.

Orcs have a base toughness of four, which may not sound like much but is actually quite a big deal. Most of the mainstay combat units in the game have a strength of three or four, which means that most things Orcs fight in the game will require a four plus to wound. Also, most direct damage spells in the game do strength three or strength four hits which will also require a four plus or more to wound. This, along with the inexpensive point costs for most Orc unit types, is a tremendous strength. 

When I'm playing a game of Warhammer with my Orc and Gobbo army nothing makes me more gleeful than seeing the look on the faces of my opponents whenever I'm about to throw out or roll the movement for my Night Goblin Fanatics or when I'm about to fire my Rock Lobbas, Spear Chukkas or Doom Divers.  It's a fear that's rightly deserved because these weapons can be devastating to the enemy.  Why?  It's mainly because of four words; no armor save allowed.   Nothing is more satisfying than wiping out that 400 plus point unit of Chosen Chaos Knights with a 25 point Night Goblin fanatic or a 75 point Rock Lobba or an 80 point Doom Diver.  Not only can these weapons be crippling to the enemy but they are also extremely inexpensive as well.  

The flip side to this is that with the exception of the Spear Chukka, whose main drawback is in the goblin's dreadfully average ballistic skill, all of these weapons have a random element to it that makes them only somewhat reliable and in the case of Night Goblin fanatics potentially dangerous to your own army.  However, the risks are almost always worth it.

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