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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Armies in 8th: Orcs and Goblins: Part 4: The Shiny Bitz

The Boyz and the Toyz are the backbone of almost every Orc and Goblin list, but there are still a lot of miscellaneous units in the book that don’t fit into those categories.  The shiny bitz are the miscellaneous units that either add some spice to finish up balanced lists, or can be used to fill out theme lists, or create specialized competitive lists.  I’ll go through some of the best ones and discuss where and how they fit in with the rest of the book.

Black Orcs are really cool, but I’m not sold on their competitive value.  Once you add shields, they are getting to be close to the cost of Chaos Warriors, which is to say, they are an elite unit that can be somewhat out of place with the rest of the army.  Their upside is that they are Immune to Psychology, which is a valuable rule in Fantasy.  The Armed to the Teef rule along with the shield upgrade allows them to always have the proper weapon for any enemy.  Don’t discount the killing power of Str 7 attacks with Choppas and Great Weapons.  The big downside is they are rather expensive and a 4+ armor save isn’t lighting the world on fire defensively.  I really just have a hard time thinking of too many situations where I’m building a list that I’d prefer to add Black Orcs instead of another unit of Savage Orcs.

Orc Boar Boyz are really rad and present a case where the Savage Orc variety doesn’t really match up.  When armed with spears, the normal Orc Boar Boyz are Str 5 on the charge, and the boars are Str 5.  That’s a lot of Str 5.  The Savage Orc variety get more attacks, but they are only Strength 4, and really I want heavy cavalry that hit a bit harder than Str 4.  Additionally, when armed with shields, the OBB get a nice 3+ armor save, which is respectable.  The Savage Orcs get a 5+ armor and 6++ ward.  When it comes to heavy cavalry, I’d rather have the superior armor save.  Upgrading the unit to Big ‘Uns is a rather expensive upgrade I would normally pass on, but it may be worth it to grant to the Savage Orc variety, since they don’t get spears as an option.  Savage Orc Big Un Boar Boyz with additional hand weapons are an expensive glass cannon, but if they hit a unit without taking casualties on the way in they will mince them up.

Orc Boy Chariots are great.  They have spears, Tusker Charge, and scythed wheels, so they hit rather hard.  The extra crew member for 5 points is a no brainer upgrade.  90 points is a down right steal for 5 Str 5 attacks on the charge plus D6+1 Str 5 impact hits.  Three of these beaters is a no brainer choice in a chariot spam list right off the bat.

Goblin Wolf chariots are also quite awesome.  Their impact hits are also d6+1 at strength 5, but their normal attacks are only Str 4.  Their strength is that they are only 50 points, and can be taken in units of up to 3.  Maxing out a list with a full 9 goblin chariots is pretty smart in a chariot spam army.  If points are tight, buy more chariots before you buy more crew members: goblin chariots are most useful due to their high strength impact hits, so you want to maximize the impact hits before you start upgrading the regular attacks.

Trolls.  I’m not a big fan.  Stone Trolls have 5+ armor, which is more or less useless.  Normal trolls are cheap, which is a pretty good mitigating factor.  River trolls are the best of the bunch because they are tough to hit in close combat.  However, they all fail because of Stupidity on leadership 4.  This means that they can never be outside of your general’s Inspiring Presence.  Troll defenders will say that this isn’t a big issue, but I’ve beaten troll heavy armies before by out maneuvering them and forcing them to take LD4 Stupidity checks.  I’d love to hear from the comments how the pro-Troll crowd makes them work, because in my experience they are rather bad.

That’s the shiny bitz, the miscellaneous units that you use to finish up your lists and get the army on the table top.  There are a few I didn’t mention, but they suck, take my word for it.  For the final installment I’ll discuss the Lords and Heroes and some concluding thoughts on Orcs and Goblins.

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