Friday, March 18, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 5

Yo yo!  Happy Friday gang.  Moving right along to the Core choices.  The Orcs and Goblins are blessed with some excellent and cost effective Core choices that allow you to build a nice variety of armies.  Let's check them out.

Before I start, I will mention Big 'Uns.  One of your Orc core choices per army may be upgraded to Big Uns which are the 40k equivilant of Nobs.  The upgrade makes them base strength 4, 5 with Choppas.  This is huge.  Every army, even a goblin based army, should have at least one Orc unit just to take advantage of this upgrade.

Orc Boys:  You standard Orc Boy is 6 points and not too shabby compared to a human.  Base toughness 4 is great in Fantasy.  Strength 4 in the first round of combat is strong stuff.  Unfortunately, they don't do anything spectacular, and there are better choices available in the book.

Arrer Boys: Arrer Boys cost 1 more point than a normal Orc Boy and come with bows.  They also get the Choppa rule, so in combat without upgrades, they are just as good as normal Boys.  The drawbacks is they can't take shields, spears, or magic standards.  Essentially, they trade shields for bows.  BS3 means that they won't hit very often, but they are a slightly better choice than a normal Boy in my opinion.

Savage Orcs:  These are the kings of the Orc core choices.  They cost 8 points each, but they have the following advantages over normal Boys: frenzy (+1 attack and ITP), 6+ ward save, can carry Big Stabbas.  Huge.  Leave the Big Stabba at home, since M4 means charges will be fairly rare, but purchase the following upgrades...

1.  Musician, Standard.
2.  Additional Hand Weapon
3.  Big Uns

This is a monster of a unit.  Base 3 attacks.  Strength 5 in the first round of combat.  Immune to psychology.  A unit of 30 set up this way costs 296.  Deploy it smack dab in the middle of the field and push it forward.  It won't run due to shooting thanks to ITP and with your BSB and general nearby (or in the unit) it won't fail the Frenzy test too often.  Name the 296 point Core choice that one on one can beat this unit.  Not many exist.  Khorne Mauraders maybe.  Lothren Sea Guard maybe.  That's good company to be in.  Also, this is one hell of a unit to hold a Folding Fortress.

Goblins:  Your basic goblin.  They key selling point are Nasty Skulkers.  Base 3 attacks with Killing Blow.  However, they are still I2, so they strike slower than even basic human troops.  Even with 3 Nasty Stalkers you only have a 33% chance of getting a single killing blow to go through per turn.  This just isn't very effective.

Goblin Wolf Riders:  Fast cavalry with M9.  Can take bows, spears, and shield.  You'd want to give them spears for str4 on the charge, but they are a very expensive unit with low leadership.  Ideally you want fast cavalry that can cause failed charges by breaking and reforming, but these guys are too low of leadership to do that.  The role for these guys is warmachine harassers since they can march 18" turn one.  Still, not a great unit.

Goblin Spider Riders:  I love the rule of being able to treat walls as open terrain, but it just doesn't happen often enough to matter.  The spiders' poisoned attacks are irrelevant.  If you need fast cavalry, take wolf riders.  Too expensive and too situational.

Night Goblins:  These guys are full of win.  3 points each, and faster initiative than normal goblins.  Lower leadership, but that's what characters are for.  The Fanatic upgrades are as good as always, but netters is extremely expensive.  I would buy these in units of 25 with spears and a single fanatic and challenge people to deal with them.  Most people at a tournament will assume 3 Fanatics, so you get the deterrent factor of 3, at the cost of 1.  However, if you're going to run a Goblin-star, buy 3 Fanatics for maximum damage.   After your unit of Savage Orc Big Uns, fill out the rest of your core with these guys for 120 each with standard and musician.

In summary, the core choices are varied pretty well.  There is a good mix of effective and fluffy units.  The ability to run an all spider goblin army is cool and fun, if not very effective.  The big winners for competitive players are Savage Orc Big Uns with additional hand weapons, and Night Goblins with spears.  I know everyone was hoping that the generic Orc Boy would get a reason to exist in this book, but unfortunately, the Savage Orcs got all the love.  Luckily, the Savage Orc models are insanely nice so have at it!


  1. I've been totally digging these OnG reviews. Its really helping me figure some things out with my noobly noobington ass.

    You've mentioned the folding fortress thing a couple of times now, and beyond knowing what the item does and knowing that hiding in a building is rad, I'm just not getting it.

  2. It has tons of advantages. It is a nearly impenetrable bunker for a caster to sit in. Indirect fire warmachine like stone throwers can hide behind it completely out of Line of sight. Since it can be hard to maneuver around the building they are essentially safe from assault too.

    Also, the biggest advantage is you can use it in conjunction with terrain to completely cockblock people. It's possible often to use it to turtle up in a way that the only way they can get to you is by assaulting through difficult terrain which will cause casualties and break steadfast.

    It's definitely not an auto-choice by any means, but in the right army it can be devastating.

  3. Goddam I hate fanatics - and that's a pretty sneaky (and very goblin-like) tactic taking only 1 in a unit.

  4. Ah damn, what am I going to do with my 60 orc boys now? Think I can trade them for some savage orc boys? :(

  5. Regarding the Spider Riders (SR's) - I know what you're saying and initially, after the new book came out, I was considering selling my Spider Riders and getting all Wolf Riders. But in practice the SR's are pretty useful because of Obstacle Strider, Forest Strider, and Wall Crawler. Wall crawler means they can move directly over buildings with no penalties, but can't end their movement on a building.

    In practice this is pretty big because there is A LOT of terrain in 8th ed. The SR's movement abilities amount to a kind of "limited flight", if you will. Also keep in mind the Watchtower scenario - the Creeping Assault rule may come in handy..

    They are expensive, but once the game starts I'm glad they're on the field..

  6. RE: Nasty Skulkers. What do you think about the trick where you have enough champs in the front rank so that when the Skulkers are placed you can hide your Wizard and/or BSB in the second rank? Basically because the Skulkers use the rules for character placement, you can force other characters in to the back rank because the command MUST stay in the front rank at all times.

    Also, it can happen where you put a Hero in the second rank, the Skulker dies, and then the Hero steps up and fights - not too shabby..

    For the upcoming 3000pt. Ardboyz tourny, I'm testing out running a block of 63 Goblins in hoard form with shields and shortbows, 3 Skulkers, a BSB with the Spider Banner, L4 NG wizard and 5 NG heroes.. The idea is that you have a unit doing poisoned ranged attacks possibly auto-wounding on 5+ to hit in conjunction with the Gift of the Spider God spell, and possibly with volley fire depending on range. So you move up to close range and keep pelting away with poisoned, hopefully armor piercing, volley attacks, and if your opponent doesn't like that they have to charge a steadfast hoard with a front rank full of heroes!