I start I'd like to talk about themed armies. I think it is very
important to anyone beginning Orcs and Goblins to pick a theme and
stick with that theme (eg. an only Orc hoarde or a Night Goblin
army). By doing this, your army immediately takes on much more
character and is more enjoyable to play with. You also get more
points for your theme at tournaments and such and you have great
fun converting little parts of the army that make it seem more
like the theme you are trying to achieve.
Warbosses: Orc Warbosses (be
they regular, savage or black) are wonderful killing machines
against normal troopers but the savage orc and orc warbosses
struggle a bit against more powerful adversaries (saurus oldbloods,
chaos lords etc.). Their T5 will get them through most
situations, however. When tooled up with just a great axe
they reach a more that reasonable S6 and when ridding atop a
mighty boar or, if you want to go just that little bit further, a
wyvern they become mighty killing machines that get into combat
fast. However, I must urge you not to do this! Your mob
desperately needs the warboss's high LD and they are out of range
of it when he is careering down a flank. A great magic item to
give your regular orc warboss is Drog's Dead Ard Armour (1+ AS).
For only 30 points you get a great AS. When combined with a great
axe you get a tough armour encased orc with the strength to fell
regular and elite troops with ease; along with the less-strong
Savage orc warbosses are a
different kettle of fish altogether. The additional attack from
frenzy is great, but a good opponent will use frenzy against you (ie.
they will draw you into traps). For this, and the aforementioned
reason, you must not put a Savage orc warboss on a boar. With a
14" charge range, he can be easily drawn away from every one
else. Stick him in a unit of biguns' instead. Another bonus for
Savage orc warbosses is warpaint. I always upgrade it to magical
warpaint (5+ ward save) and often give him Duffa's Club of Duffin'
with an enchanted shield. This can be a nasty surprise for your
We now move onto the mightiest of
warbosses, the horrific Black orc warboss. With Improved WS and S,
the ability to ignore greenskin panic and quell animosity this guy
is the business. However, all this can't come at only 10 points
more than a Savage orc warboss, can it? Sadly no. Black orc
warbosses use up an extra hero choice, but if you have the hero
slot spare and are including a Black orc unit in your army then I
thoroughly recommend taking one. Black orcs also have the heavy
armour option and can become a chariot killer (basically anything
with S7) with a humble great axe.
Now we come to Goblin Warbosses.
With lower LD, WS and T he's nowhere near as good as an Orc
warboss. He can, however, tear through most normal troopers and
heroes with comparative ease. But, I would say, only pick a goblin
warboss if you're doing a themed army.
Finally, we come to the Night
Goblin Warboss. Much the same as a Goblin warboss, but with +1 I
and -1 LD. The big bonuses about having Goblin or Night Goblin
Warbosses are their costs. At 65 and 55 points respectively, you
don't have to worry too much about justifying points cost.
Great Shamans: Now we come
to my favourite lords choice: great shamans. They have the ability
to use the big waaaagh! spell list and this is truly devastating.
First of all, I'll take you through that. The first spell on the
list is Mork Save Uz! (5+); basically, this is 2nd sign of Amul
with a better name. It can be great though, if you cast it at the
beginning of the magic phase and then you can use the re-rolls for
more crucial spells. Then comes Gork'll fix it (6+). I never liked
this spell and preferred the more devastating spells on the list.
It gives a unit within 24" of your shaman and that is in
close combat a 6+ ward save for that round. My ability to roll
sixes is, shall we say, not so good so if I roll this spell I will
swap it for Mork Save Uz. Next there is Bash Em' Ladz (7+). Now
this really is a good spell. It allows a unit in combat within
18" of the shaman to re-roll misses and strike first in the
next round of combat. This can be really useful in the heat of
battle when a crucial combat is taking place. After that is The
Foot of Gork (9+). I love this spell and I like to use it on
heavily armoured foot troops (eg. great swordsmen). It does D6 S6
hits on any enemy unit on the battlefield. Then comes my favourite
spell, Gork's Warpath (10+). It potentially allows you to cast The
foot of Gork lots of times! That's got to be good. Finally, the
last spell on the list is Waaagh! (12+), this is a movement spell
and allows all Orc and Goblin units on the table to charge the
enemy, provided they could do so. They move 2D6" forwards
towards the enemy. This is, in my opinion, one of the best spells
in the game and, if I'm lucky enough to roll, I will cast it in
the end game when all the units are quite close together to secure
victory (hopefully). A thing to mention about shamans is to not be
afraid of marching him up with the rest of the Boyz so he
generates extra power dice. Of course, the downside to waaagh!
magic is the miscast table and I strongly suggest buying some sort
of protection in the form of an arcane item (eg. Buzzgobs Knobbly
Staff) so you can avoid this catastrophe (believe me, it is a
catastrophe when your 200 point great shaman's head blow
Now, I will talk about the types of
great shaman available to you. Once again, my advice would be to
go with the shaman that suits your theme best. Orc shamans are
pretty standard, their T4 is great too. Goblin shamans are the
worst technically of the shamans with lower stats than the Orc
great shaman and no additional bonuses. Savage Orc shamans you
have to be careful with as frenzy can draw them into combat. Night
Goblin shamans are great because they get D3 additional dice to
add to the casting roll (magic mushrooms).
Big Bosses: As with all
armies, this is your standard fight hero for Orcs and Goblins.
Each type of hero is basically a small downgrade from their lord
equivalent. If you're really low on points then a big boss can
make an OK general but always keep a theme in mind. I always
include a battle standard bearer in my army because of the re-roll
it gives me. I put him in a nice big unit and he often gets Nogg's
Banner of Butchery. Another good tactic with big bosses or any
other fighty hero you have is to put him in a chariot. This is
great and it makes him a terror on the battlefield. However, this
is not such a good thing to do with your general because if a
nasty S7 character comes along and destroys your character's
chariot he can look very venerable indeed. Finally it is also
worth mentioning that in all-Goblin armies you get an extra big
boss per 1000 points in your army. I suggest that if you have an
all-Goblin horde you take full advantage of this even if you only
give him a great axe and light armour.
Shamans: The shamans
available to Orcs and Goblins vary greatly in type but not much in
ability (Night Goblin shaman get 1 magic mushroom). The lore they
use is the little waaagh!, which is not as devastating as the big
waaagh! but potent none the less. The spells in the little waaagh!
are as follows: First on the list is Gaze of Mork (5+). This is a
nice and offensive spell and all my shamans take it. It has a
range of 24" and does D6 S4 hits. This is a great spell
against elves because they all have T3 and Dark elves especially
because they are lightly armoured. Secondly comes Fist's of Gork
(7+). I don't like this spell because of its short range and the
fact that it does't hit automatically. However, your opponent not
getting a 'look out, sir' roll is undeniably useful but it is the
range of 8" that makes me swap it for Gaze of Mork when I
can. After that is Eadbutt' (7+). This spell causes one model
within 24" of the caster to take a S4 hit with no armour
saves allowed. I really like this spell because it is great
against heavy cavalry (especially Elvish and Human heavy cavalry).
Then it is Brain Bursta (8+). This is just Gaze of Mork but it
does 2D6 hits instead of D6. The penultimate spell is 'Ere we go!
(9+). It makes one Orc and Goblin unit within 18" that is in
combat fight a round of combat without their opponents attacking
back. In my opinion this is the best spell on the list. Finally,
there is The Hand of Gork (9+) which is a version of Waagh! but
toned down a bit. So, that concludes the characters section of the
When I think of Orc and Goblin
troops, one thing springs to mind: numbers. If you're going
to use greenskins properly you have to understand that their LD
isn't that good. OK, its average for Orcs but for Goblins even a
Goblin warboss only has LD 8. So, your opponent will know this and
will try to use this to his advantage. How? By shooting your units
and reducing them by 25%. Now, with big units it's very hard to do
this. If T4 Orcs come in units of 30 then your opponent has to
kill 7.5 Orcs to force a panic test. Gobbos should go in units of
40 (they are T3). When you combine this with how many infantry
units you'll want to have on the table, this makes for a very
frightening sight for your opponent as well . Large units are
great in close combat too with the outnumbering bonus and if you
stack up the ranks with a standard bearer they get a combat
resolution of 5 before the fighting has even started (1 for the
standard bearer, 3 for the rank bonuses and 1 for
The second thing to keep in mind
is, unfortunately, animosity. I know it's bad but just live
with it. If the Orcs and Goblins didn't have then the points cost
would be dramatically increased so it does serve some good. So, if
one of your units is unlucky enough to fail an animosity test then
the most likely result is they just won't move. If you get a 'Get
'em' result, however, things can turn a lot more serious. There
are ways to counter animosity, though. One of them is Black Orcs.
They allow anyone within 6" of them to re-roll a failed
animosity test, use them if you wish, but only take Black Orc
characters if you've got a unit of Black Orcs in your army
(theme); better yet, forget the black orc characters and just go
with a nice big 20+ strong unit. There is a banner that for only
10 points allows the the unit to automatically pass it's first
failed animosity test (The Bashin' Falg of Bork). What? Only 1
failed animosity test? What if I fail 2? Live with it. Think
about. In a usual game there are around 6 turns and you only fail
an animosity test on a roll of a 1 which make it a 1 in 6 chance
that you'll fail. Not so scary now is it. This banner often gets
given to my Boar Boyz who careen down the flanks out of range of
my Black Orcs. Now, we'll go on to the actual troops available to
Orcs and Goblins. Finally, a general note about Orc and Goblin
infantry regiments: always give them a full command.
First on the list are the humble
but brilliant Orc Boyz. For only 5 points you get a T4 killing
machine and for 2 more points they can be upgraded to Biguns'.
Biguns' are truly terrifying prospect for an opponent. Not many 7
point core units come with WS, S and T 4. In my army I have 2
units of Orc Boyz (2 units of 25), one upgraded to Biguns'. Quite
often my General will accompany my Biguns' and my Battle standard
will go with the Orc Boyz. When deciding what to equip them with I
go for the good old choppa, light armour and shield for my normal
Orc Boyz and spears, light armour, and shields for my Biguns'.
Next on the list are the Orc Arrer
Boyz. Now if you've got the Orc Battalion you'll probably be
wanting to use these. I've tried and tested this unit and have
decided they not worth it. With an average/lousy BS of 3, with the
champion not even having BS 4 they are not suited for lining up in
one rank at the top of the hill and shooting. Instead, treat them
as regular Orc Boyz and rank them up normally. Better yet, don't
Then come the loony Savage Orcs.
Yeah, I prefer the old models too but they really are excellent
fighters. They're basically normal Orc Boyz (which are a fairly
frightening prospect anyway) with a ward save and frenzy. The key
to using Savage Orcs is to be careful of frenzy; watch out for
clever traps lain by your opponents.
You can also upgrade Savage Orcs to
Biguns', when armed with an additional hand weapon; Savage Orc
Biguns' get 3 attacks on the charge! Always give them warpaint
After that comes normal goblins.
With WS2, I2, and LD6 should you take them? Of course you should,
in abundance. My gobbos never get light armour and they have more
of a chance of killing a dragon than getting spears or shortbows.
Common goblins are great distracters and if I've got 60 points
spare I'll go for a unit of 20 gobbos with command. I know they'll
be fleeing on turn 1 but it gives my opponents one more large unit
to worry about. Even though I said earlier that gobbos should come
in units of about 40 it doesn't matter if there is one (but only
1, mind) "smaller" unit of gobbos.
Another gobbo unit are the gobbo
wolf riders. They fill the much needed fast cavalry slot of the
Orcs and Goblins. I take a unit of 6 with a musician and if points
are plentiful then they get short bows. When pondering the choice
of whether to give your wolf riders light armour the answer that
should spring to mind is NO! They won't be fast cavalry and will
lose all those brilliant bonuses. On the battlefield, wolf riders
go for those nasty war machine crews.
Then come my favourite unit: Night
gobbos! Essentially they are common gobbos with -1LD and +1I but
they do have fanatics. These whirling goblins of death are not to
be messed with and often opponents will go out of their way to
avoid Night goblin units. It is for this reason that I always try
to include 2 units of Night goblins (both big blocks of 40) with
hand weapons and shields. They both have a full command and only
one of the units contains fanatics (3). If I put the unit with out
the fanatics in the center at the beginning of deployment, most
opponents will put there units on the flanks. If I put my hard
hitting units on either side of the fanatic free Night goblins
then when I reach my opponents I can push away from my harmless
Night goblins and into the inside flanks of my opponents. The
other unit with fanatics goes on the flank, opposite some heavily
armoured knights with a Night gobln shaman with mad cap mushrooms
in the front rank.
The final core choice are the
pathetic Snotlings. They are the cannon fodder of the Orcs and
Goblins. Even though they are pathetic I still love them! The are
subjected to the harshest of tortures (eg. Albion weather) and
they cower next to my war machines ready to hold up any Dark
Riders that dare come along.
Onto the Special choices, first and
foremost of which are the mighty Black Orcs. With stats of a Bigun'
but with an extra point of Ld and the boss at S7 with a great axe
these guys are the business. I like to use a big unit of 20 with
great axes (I know they are hard to convert, I suggest delving
deep into the archive minitures). They provide a number of roles,
from quelling animosity to dealling with the toughest and most
heavily armoured of adversaries.
Then come the Boar Boyz. Fast and
hard hitting, I find them devastating in a unit of 8-10. They get
a full command and the Bashin' flag of Bork, because of the
reasons in the section about animosity. You must however remember
that Boar Boyz are very good medium cavalry and are not
heavy cavalry. They excel at duffing up 10-15 strong, lightly
armoured units. If upgraded to Biguns' then they can be considered
Following this are the Savage Orc
Boar Boyz. They don't actually come with spears as standard so you
have to buy them separately. I have never used Savage Orc Boar
Boyz on the grounds that frenzy is too much of a problem at such a
long range. However, I think they would be good in units of around
5 because they would have 2 attacks and so would be good at
dealing with most things when supported by something (eg. a
After those come Squig Herds. I
have never actually used Squig Herds as I find my special slots
are far better used with Black Orcs, Boar Boyz and chariots.
Now its time to settle the age old
question of Wolf Chariots vs. Boar Chariots. Both do the same
impact hits and the gobbo chariot is 20 points less, has a better
models than the Orc chariot, you have the option of having more
crew and an extra wolf and you can take 2 for a single special
choice. Sure, the boar chariot has a bit more survivability but
all chariots are matchwood when hit by something like a cannon.
So, for me it's the gobbo chariot.
Then come the trusty gobbo rock
lobba. For only 70 points you get a warmachine that is ideal for
dealing with skirmishers and big regiments. I manage to find room
for one most of the time and they always get an orc bully who
gives them that vital extra point of LD. Besides he's a cool
The final special unit choice are
spear chukkas. They have BS 3 which means they will be hitting not
an awful lot when you take into consideration modifiers etc. You
can also take 2 for a single special choice, so I do. I don't give
any spear chukkas bullies because the are not as valuable as rock
lobba's and I don't mind if they flee. After all the spear chukka
is only 35 points.
Moving onto rare choices, we first
encounter Trolls. I never really liked trolls, preferring to use
my valuable rare choices else where. I really like the stone
trolls models however, but River trolls are better in game terms.
being able to regenerate is great but unfortunately trolls are
stupid and with LD 4 they have to be babysat by your general. They
cause fear, but that isn't going to help much unless you go for a
huge unit. Against heavily armoured troops, use the trolls ability
to vomit; it's great.
Then comes the gobbo Doom Diver
Catapault. The mere image of a suicidal gobbo careering over the
battle field is enough to make me take one of these beauties. I
ain't half good on the table too, you get to re-roll the scatter
dice and D6 S5 with no armour save is enough to assure it a place
in my army. Aimed at nasty, armour encased troops, it's well worth
Finally we come to the most
entertaining thing in the army, the Giant. It causes terror, has
LD 10, is stubborn and it ignores greenskin panic, and if that
isn't enough it has some funky special attacks, he's great for
dealing with characters as his ability to eat or squash things is
so entertaining. Wouldn't it be great if the downfall of Tyrion
was being eaten by a giant! And it only costs 205 points! What a
So, in conclusion, the Orc and
Goblin army is one of the most entertain and versatile armies in
the Old World. Go get em ladz!
Warboss Lard Tub.
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