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Article: Grand Alliances – mini review(s) (23 posts)

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  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hey everyone,

    Inspired by a discussion on the BoW weekender ( @warzan mentioning getting in ‘brother games’ with @lloyd with @dignity trying to horn in on the action) from a little while back, I am going to focus on four collections and starter armies from them for each of the four Grand Alliances:

    Grand Alliance: Chaos – Slaves to Darkness (Start Collecting Set)
    Grand Alliance: Death – Skeleton Horde (Start Collecting Set)
    Grand Alliance: Destruction – Greenskinz (Start Collecting Set)
    Grand Alliance: Order – Stormcast Eternals

    I’ll also be making the format compared to my previous article on Khorne Bloodbound: (1) smaller and more self-contained and (2) more structured.

    Stay tuned. These will be going up today as I type them.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Grand Alliance: Death – Skeleton Horde
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    The Skeleton Horde set is one of three themed 'Start Collecting sets' for the game which is undead themed and contains the following:

    (1) 10 x Skeleton Warriors
    (2) Arkhan the Black
    (3) 5 x Black Knights

    The link to this product can be found here:
    https://www.games-workshop.com/en-IE/Start-Collecting-Skeleton-Horde

    It costs 65 euro or 50 pounds at RRP and is probably cheaper on online retailers. As a quick note two of the kits can be assembled with different unit options. I don't mean that the skeletons can be given Ancient Blades and Shields or Ancient Spears and Shields. The Arkhan the Black model can be assemble as 'Neferata, Mortarch of Blood' and 'Manfred, Mortarch of Night.' In addition the Black Knights can be assembled as Hex Wratihs. Please not that this article is to focus on the contents listed above in the numbered points and will focus on them only.

    Skeleton Warriors
    ***************
    Introduction:
    —————–
    Skeleton Warriors must have a minimum of ten models (or you can use an under strength unit, see page 107 of the Generals Handbook) and are 80 points for a unit. As a Battleline unit they are mandatory units and rightly so: they are intended to be your rank and file front line infantry. A unit can be a maximum size of 40 in matched play games. They are a little slow and very squishy but have a high Bravery, so they will pass most Battleshock tests unless they experience large casualties.

    Weapons:
    ————-
    All models must have Crypt Shields which add 1 to save rolls (effectively giving you a save of 5+, which is great as going from a one in six chance of passing a save to a one in three is much better) against attacks that have a rend of '-'.

    From here you give them either an Ancient Blade or Ancient Spear. Ancient Blades have a short melee range, grant one attack with a 50% change to hit and wound. It does not rend and causes one damage. It is nothing spectacular. The Ancient Spear has a longer range and a one in three chance of hitting but is essentially the same weapon. So, you are trading getting in more attacks if you have a lot of models packing in against the enemy but sacrificing your probability of hitting. It is too hard to call which of these is better, so it is whatever works for the player.

    Command:
    ————–
    The unit is led by a Skeleton Champion (he makes two attacks as opposed to one), an Icon/Standard Bearer (flag dude) and a Hornblower. The Standard Bearer allows you to return d6 models to the unit in the Hero Phase. That's pretty darn cool. However, it says 'return', it can't bring you up above the starting number of models for your unit. As for the Hornblower it allows the unit to move up to six inches when it charges. That is amazing, as you could fluff your dice rolls and still have this, which a lot of other armies do not have. It sure makes up for their low movement value.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    These guys have some neat abilities. I've already described what the shields do above (astute readers going over the war scoll will show that this is listed under the heading 'Abilities' on it). 'Serve in Death' allows this unit to add one to hit rolls if it is within 18 inches of a model that has the DEATH and HERO keywords. This significantly increases the units accuracy. You always want them within range of such a hero. The 'Skeleton Legion' rule allows models in the unit to make an extra attack if there are 20 or more models in the unit, and two extra attacks if there are 40 models in the unit.

    In addition a DEATH WIZARD in the army can summon them, as if they are in the army they will automatically know the Raise Skeletons spell to do it.

    On a 5 or more on 2d6 the Raise Skeletons rule allows you to set up a unit of 10 skeleton warriors within a certain range of your wizard and a certain distance from the enemy. The unit is added to the army, and if you roll a 10 or higher you set up 20 Skeletons instead.

    However in Pitched Battle games (see page 108 of the Generals Handbook), raising spells are more like an alternative way to set-up units as they come out of 'Reinforcement Points' which you have to pay for.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    This is a Battleline unit so you have to have it. Keep your Command Group at the back as not to get hacked up, and keep them within 18" of an Undead Hero at all times. Suddenly a sub-par-unit becomes much more accurate, and the option for Ancient Spears becomes all the more tempting. Consider raising them in game if you are playing for objectives.

    In future, since this article focuses on the ten-strong unit in the set, consider bulking the numbers up for the extra attacks. Imagine a 40 strong horde with spears. You probably won't get all of them into combat but that is a grand total of 121 attacks that have a 50% chance to hit and a two inch range. So lets ay you have an average roll: 30 of them will wound. That is a lot of armour saves for an opponent to take. Not bad for 240 points.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Black Knights
    ***********
    Introduction:
    —————–
    Black Knights are fielded in groups of five to twenty models. A minimum sized unit clocks in at 120 points. They are a tad more elites than Skeleton Warriors with a second wound, better armour save, and twelve inch move. High Bravery is something they do share however. They are not a Battleline unit, but if all models in your army have the Deathrattle Allegiance than they are. This is not the case for the Start Collecting set as Arkhan is a Deathlord not a Deathrattle model. Regardless they are a pretty cool unit and I like them.

    Weapons:
    ————-
    All models must have Crypt Shields which are identical to the ones that Skeleton Warriors have so I won’t repeat that here. This does give them a 4+ save which is a significant increase. Along with two wounds they are a tough little unit.

    They come equipped with Barrow Lances which surprisingly only have a 1 inch range (their foot slogging little brothers mentioned above have a two inch range on their spears). They have a 50% chance to hit and wound for each roll with no rend and one damage. However, on the charge they add one to their wound rolls AND damage. Suddenly they become a force to be reckoned with. You really want to charge with them! Maybe thats why they have such a high movement value…

    In addition to their lances the Skeletal Steed attacks with their Hooves and Teeth. These are at two attacks with a 50% chance to hit and a one in three chance to wound.

    Command:
    ————–
    A Hell Knight lead this unit. He makes an extra attack with his Barrow Lance only. Their Hornblower is identical to the Skeleton Warriors and their Standard Bearer is similar but only restored D3 slain warriors in the hero phase. I suppose it takes more magic to reanimate the horses they ride on as well.

    by a Skeleton Champion (he makes two attacks as opposed to one), an Icon/Standard Bearer (flag dude) and a Hornblower. The Standard Bearer allows you to return d6 models to the unit in the Hero Phase. That’s pretty darn cool. However, it says ‘return’, it can’t bring you up above the starting number of models for your unit. As for the Hornblower it allows the unit to move up to six inches when it charges. That is amazing, as you could fluff your dice rolls and still have this, which a lot of other armies do not have. It sure makes up for their low movement value.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    The special rules for this unit, ‘Deathly Charge’ and ‘Crypt Shields’ have been mentioned above in the weapons section.

    A DEATH WIZARD in the army also knows the ‘Raise Black Knights’ spell which can summon them.
    On a five or more on 2d6 the Raise Black Knights spell allows you to set up a unit of five Black Knights within a certain range of your wizard and a certain distance from the enemy. The unit is added to the army, and if you roll a ten or higher you set up ten Black Knights instead.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    This is a fast, more heavily armoured and durable unit which can crank out quite a few attacks for so few models. The Command Group helps them with minimal charges and replenishing numbers. You really don’t want to bite of more than you can chew with them, so unless you can kill their target in one round or two at most they will get bogged down and do progressively worse over time as they lose models gain less bonuses (as per the ‘Deathly Charge’ rule). Keep their targets soft and/or attainable or use them in concert with other units. Don’t be afraid to send them after objectives towards the end of the game.

    Going beyond the Start Collecting Set I’d bulk the unit up to ten models. You are making something already good even better this way, and they are only 26 euro for a set (or 20 pounds):

    https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Vampire-Counts-Black-Knights

  • Avatar Image angelicdespot967p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Sounds like this start collecting box doesn’t hurt at all from being bought multiple times. The main units all benefit from being expanded and the hero can be built as any of three characters. So if you’re interested in having them all, it wouldn’t be bad to get three of these sets.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Arkhan the Black, Mortarch of Sacrament
    **********************************
    Introduction:
    —————–
    Arkhan the Black survived the destruction of the World-that-was (the name for the old world that Warhammer Fantasy battles was set in). He is a named character so cannot take advantage of Grand Alliance or Faction Command Traits or Artefacts of Power. However as your army General (and you’d be insane to not make him that with this set) he also gains the ‘Inspiring Presence’ Command Ability. He clocks in at a mighty 340 points.

    Arkhan has a little more wounds than a unit of ten skeletons, can fly and moves 16 inches normally. However, like most big models on a beast, this movement decreases as he takes damage. He has a high Bravery and a 4+ save.

    Weapons:
    ————-
    Arkhan has four weapons:
    (1) Zefet Kar, the Tomb Blade (I’ll refer to is as the Tomb Blade henceforth)
    This is a single attack which will hit and wound two-thirds of the time. It has a rend of -1 and caused d3 damage. It is a decent weapon but with a single attack don’t rely on it.

    (2) Khenash-an, the Staff of Sprits (I’ll refer to this as the Spirit Staff henceforth)
    This has a slightly longer range than the Tomb Blade and is the same except for its chance to hit at 50%. A decent weapon and nice paired up with the Tomb Blade.

    (3) Razark’s (the mount he is on) Ebon Claws (referred to as Claw henceforth)
    These have the same range as the dagger and do six attacks but less as the model takes wounds. They have the same to hit and wound roll as the Spirit Staff but a -2 and 2 damage. Absolutely horrific to be on the receiving end of.

    (4) Spirit’s Spectral Claws and Daggers (referred to as Spirit’s attacks henceforth)
    These have the same range as the Tomb Blade and do six attacks. There is a 1/3 chance of them hitting and a 50% of wounding. They do not rend and do 1 damage. If you roll a 6 or more to hit then you automatically inflict a Mortal Wound without needing to roll to wound.

    Abilities:
    ————
    (1) Feaster of Souls
    At the end of each combat phase this model heals 2 wounds. Pretty cool.

    (2) Staff of Spirits
    The Staff Arkhan carries gives him a +2 bonus to his rolls on Casting and Unbnding spells. However, as he takes damage this weakens.

    (3) Mortarch of Sacrament
    This allows Arkhan to add +1 dice to spells which allow him to add a new Undead unit to the battlefield (+3 with Staff of Spirits) and is not effected by him taking damage.

    (4) Frightful Touch
    This is covered above under the Spirit’s attacks.

    Magic:
    ———
    Arkhan can cast two different spells in each hero phase. The vast majority of Wizards in this game can only cast one. In addition he can unbind two spells in each enemy hero phase, which again most Wizards can only do once.

    Also he knows the standard ‘Magic Shield’ and ‘Arcane Bolt’ spells from the rules as well as ‘Curse of Years’ (listed below in its own section). In addition he also knows the spells of any Death Wizard within 18 inches (friend or foe).
    ‘Arcane Bolt’ is cast on a 5+ on 2d6 (or 3+ in the case of Arkhan, so don’t roll a double-one and you’ll be fine). It inflicts d3 mortal wounds. Very good for character sniping, finishing off a unit or chipping something tough.
    ‘Mystic Shield’ is cast on a 6+ on 2d6 (4+ for Arkhan). It adds +1 to save rolls of a unit affected.
    Since with the Start Collecting set there are no other DEATH WIZARDS he won’t know any other spells unless you face an opponent with them.
    Also note because you have Skeleton Warriors and Black Knights and the appropriate spells to raise them. Due to Arkhan’s abilities you need a 2+ to cast each of them. Had you more models in the force outside the Start Collecting box you’d need a 7+ ( a seven is an average on 2d6) you’d get double the models as specified in the spell.

    Curse of Years:
    ———————
    This is a powerful spell and to be honest I felt it deserved its own heading.

    With Arkhan’s abilities this spell is cast on a 4+. It is a spell with an 18″ range and requires line of sight, which shouldn’t be too hard considering how tall the model is. You roll 10d6 and each six inflicts a mortal wound. Then, for every six you roll, roll that number of dice again. So, lets say you rolled four sixes, you inflict six mortal wound, and roll six dice. With this second batch of dice each 5+ causes a mortal wound and you roll them again, this time inflicting a mortal wound on a 4+ and so on until you run out of dice or all the models are dead.

    Command Abilities:
    ————————–
    As the General this model comes with Inspiring Presence. It has a range of 12″ and affects one friendly unit. Until the next hero phase it is immune to battleshock tests.

    Arkhan’s unique Command Ability is ‘First of the Mortarchs’. With it, all DEATH WIZARDS within an 18″ bubble of him increase their spell ranges by 6″ for the hero phase. For the purpose of the Start Collecting Set its not very useful. You can cast it on Arkhan himself to crease the range of his spells, but I think for a small game with Start Collecting sets Battleshock might be useful, even taking the high Bravery of the Skeleton Warriors and Black Knights into account. It’s hard to say for definite as you need to play the situation you use abilities in as and when the come up. One situation might call for one ability over the other.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    This model can dish out a fair number of close combat attacks and is very mobile. He is durable enough and recovers damage. He can cast a multitude of spells, and Curse of Years is a beast. While no model is the best at anything, this guy is very good, maybe excellent at quite a few things. You don’t want him fighting super powerful monsters but he can hold his own and inflict several mortal wounds a turn if played right. He has lots of neat abilities.

    Certain larger models in the game have a chart on top of their rules in their Warscroll. With this it outlines what abilities deteriorate as the model takes damage. The more hurt this guy gets the slower he becomes, the less Ebon Claw attacks it can make and the worse at casting and unbinding it becomes. As a model that clocks in a hefty amount of points and 1/16th of your army for small games

    With Arkhan I would recommend using his speed to get him where he needs to be. This could be for casting spells out of range of enemy wizards for unbinding, using him to get your soldiers further across the table with Raising them, sniping with Arcane Bolt, attacking targets of opportunity, or stealing objectives. If you get him into Close Combat just make sure its a situation he can handle.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    @angelicdespot said:
    Sounds like this start collecting box doesn’t hurt at all from being bought multiple times. The main units all benefit from being expanded and the hero can be built as any of three characters. So if you’re interested in having them all, it wouldn’t be bad to get three of these sets.

    That’s precisely it @angelicdespot since each is a named character and are all played differently, you end up with a lot of infantry and some heavy hitting characters with a solid core army.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Bringing it Together, Undead style
    *****************************
    Let’s get into a little but more of the crunch. All of the models have the DEATH keyword as they can take advantage of the ‘Allegiance Abilities: Death’. Since Arkhan is a named character he cannot have a Command Trait nor an Artefact of Power. However, the army is still affected by the ‘Deathless Minions’ rule.

    If one of your units suffers a wound or mortal wound when within ten inches of a model with the HERO keyword in your army or your general then roll a dice. This is after armour saves. On a roll of 6 the wound is ignored. While this is only a one in six chance, when you stack it up on top of all the other abilities with their shields and regenerating models with banners it makes the basic infantry even better.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Grand Alliance: Destruction – Greenskinz
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    The Greenskinz set is one of two Orc themed 'Start Collecting sets' for the game which contains the following:

    (1) 1 x Boar Chariot
    (2) An Orruk Boss on Boar
    (3 An Orruk Boss on boss with Great Banner
    (4) 5 x Boar Boyz
    (5) 10 x Orruk Boyz

    Once more, a link to this product can be found here:
    https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Start-Collecting-Greenskinz

    It costs 65 euro or 50 pounds at RRP and is probably cheaper on online retailers. As an interesting side note all of these models are only available separately as Games Workshop Webstore Exclusives.

    Orruk Boyz
    *********
    Introduction:
    —————–
    Orruk Boyz are fielded in units of at least 10 models. They move a little faster than skeletons, have armour that works one third of the time. a bravery of five, and a single wound each. They cost 100 points and are a Battleline unit. You can include up to 40 in a unit in Matched play games.

    Weapons:
    ————-
    Models in this unit are either all armed with an Orruk Bow & Cutta, a Choppa & Waaagh! Shields, Pigstikkas & Waagh Shields or two Choppas. This kit does not come with the bow option so I won't be writing about it. They are available in a seperate blister and not part of the multi-part plastic Orruk Boyz set. Also I'll refer to the shields simply as shields and the Pigstikkas as spears.

    The Choppa has a normal melee range and a 50% chance to both hit and then wound with no rend and inflicting one damage. If wielded as a pair you can re-roll ones to hit. Since shields can let you re-roll a failed armour save, you are sacrificing a lot, in my opinion, for re-roll of a one to hit versus re-rolling any failed armour save. The spears have a longer range than the Choppa but no rend. If you have small units take Choppas all the way, as spears only really provide an advantage when you have greater numbers.

    Command:
    ————–
    This unit is led by an Orruk Boss who makes two attacks rather than one, standard fair really. Also in the Command Group is a Waaagh! Drummer and a Standard Bearer. The Drummer adds 2 to the charge rolls of the unit which is always helpful. The Standard Bearer can carry either an Orruk Banner or a Skull Icon. Note that Drummers and Standard Bearers can be included multiple times in a unit for free, and not just this unit but any that have the option.

    Orruks Banners add 2 to the unit's bravery while an enemy model is within 3 inches of the unit while Skull Icons let you roll a d6 when a model flees from the unit (in the Battleshock phase after a failed test) and on a 6 the Orruk gets thumped by the Standard Bearer and doesen't flee. While both options reflect the Orruk in terms of bacgrkound and behaviour I do not like the second one. Taking it means you are planning for failure, as it works when you lose models. Plan for success.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    The unit has 'Mob Rule' whereby if you have 20 or more models in the unit you get an extra attack. This won't come into play when using the Start Collecting set, but for future use it is handy. I like the idea of a thirty strong Orruk Boyz mob with Choppas and Shields getting a potential sixty attacks with -1 rend, it all adds up after a while.

    Other Abilties for the unit have been included in above sections while I have purposefully ommitted 'Ready Boyz! Aim! Fire!' as it applies only to bow-armed Orruks.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    Choppas and Shields all the way. They are pricey enough for a Battleline unit and I personally wouldn't go overboard fielding nor relying on them. I mean, they aren't horrible don't get me wrong, but Grand Alliance: Destruction has a lot of options. If you double up on the sets you'll have 20 boyz, but if you lose one the Mob Rule bonus no longer applies. If I were to go all out with these guys it would be with Choppas and Shields, Full Command with duplicate Banners and Drums and give them Orruk Banners. While they might not go toe to toe with elite enemies, that isn't the point. These guys are a unit that can get stuck in fast and then act as a tar pit (with numbers and a re-roll save) to tie up the unit that have teeth in the form of rend; more a bear trap than a tar pit. Annoy your opponent with them! They bog down and slug it out!

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Orruk Boar Boyz
    *********

    Introduction:
    —————–
    Orruk Boar Boyz are fielded in units of at least 5 models and can have no more than 20. They are the same cost in points as Orruk Boyz. If the army has the ‘Greenskinz’ allegiance, which means if all models have the GREENSKINZ keyword, than they are a Battleline unit.

    Boar boyz have a 9″ move, 2 wounds and the same save and bravery as Orruk Boyz.

    Weapons:
    ————
    They come with Tusker Shields and Pigstikka Spears (just spears from now on) and Choppas. Their Boars use Tusks. Their weapons are the same as their on foot brethren. The Tusks do two attacks which have a 50% chance to hit and wound, with no rend value and do 1 damage. Still, three base attacks is pretty good!

    It gets better. When you charge you can re-roll wound rolls with the Tusks. Also, the shields allow you to re-roll failed armour saved.

    Command:
    ————–
    This unit is led by an Orruk Boarboy Boss who makes two attacks rather than one, standard fair really. Also in the Command Group is a musician with Waaagh! Horns and a Glyph Bearer. The Horns add 2 to the charge rolls, which is always good, while the Glyph Bearer adds 2 to the Bravery of the unit if they are within 3″ of the enemy, as per the Orruk Boyz on foot.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    These were all covered under the ‘Weapons’ section.
    .
    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    Choppas and Shields all the way, again. If you are a big fan of just Greenskinz then go for making the Boarboyz a Battleline unit.

    Harry warmachines, lone characters, missile troops, weak units with these guys, as well as support your infantry already in combat with a flank charge. Get into position with their high movement and get a charge off on a soft target.

    When you do expand the army, casting Mystic Shield on them will give them a 4+ re-roll armour save with 2 wounds, which makes them pretty tough. You want these guys to make the charge, not take it. If they do get charged, you need to reconsider how you use them. Use them in a small five strong unit and make them hunters or a mobile tar pit, but never a speed bump.

  • Avatar Image angelicdespot967p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    @mage – bear in mind that I’m coming at this with virtually no experience of playing AoS, but it looks to me like the orcs / urruks are pretty fragile. Do you think that’s the case? Not ‘will get blown away by a strong breeze’ fragile, but not particularly tough.

    If that’s the case, is the idea that they’re cheap (in points) so you are supposed to be taking masses of them and that in numbers their rerollable saves etc. make them tough? Or are they relying on other units in the army to do the heavy lifting?

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    This game relies on synergies, and the newer armies like Bloodbound, stormcast externals and iron jaws are more powerful, the latter being a super breed of orruk

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    You also have to bare in mind their wound rolls of 4+ are against anything: goblins, humans, stirmcast eterbals, dragons. Bog standard orc boys are a horde, and aren’t elite but can still rumble.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Orruk Boar Chariot
    **********************

    Introduction:
    —————–
    Orruk Boar Chariots are fielded in units of 1 – 3 models at 80 points each. They move at the same speed as a Boarboy, their armour save is slightly better, slightly better bravery and three times the number of wounds.

    Weapons:
    ————
    An Orruk Boar Chariot comes with the ‘Crew’s Pigstikka Spears’ and ‘War Boars Tusks’. The spears do two attacks at two inch range (which takes up a wide area from the mode as it is bigger than a Boarboy) with a 50% chance to hit and wound, doing one damage with no rend. The tusks do 4 attacks but have half the range of the spears but the same stats.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    The chariots have the same Tusker Charge rules as the Boarboyz granting re-rolled wound rolls when charging.. In addition they have the ‘Scythed Wheels’ rule where you roll a dice after charging successfully. On a 4+ you inflict d3 mortal wounds on an enemy unit within 1″. It has a 50% chance of working, so don’t rely on it. It if gets off, well and good, but don’t plan on it working because statistically it won’t half the time.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    This unit has great stats, but considering the Scythed Wheels only work half the time and the unit costs 80 points, its a bit on the average side. You want them as a fast ‘point and click’ unit to act as a scalpel against the enemy line. Use them in tandem with the Boarboyz and/or Orruk Boyz to create a mututally beneficial situation where they back each other up and shore up the others weaknesses (punch versus numbers). Consider running them in pairs or groups for extra attacks and more mortal wounds, but watch it on the points as they clock in slightly shy of a minimum unit of Orruk Boyz and Boarboyz. I don’t know if I’d ever run these in squads as when one goes a Battleschock test is required, and they have to move together with 1″ coherency as per the rules, with big enough bases.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Orruk Warboss(es)
    *****************

    Introduction:
    —————–
    In this set you get two models: one on foot and one on a boar. Only one can be your General and gain the Inspiring Presence Command Ability. While the box art shows a model with a big flag (the ‘Great Waaagh Banner’) on foot you can give it to the guy on the boar, or to neither, should you choose. I’d recommend reading the ‘Description’ where it outlines how an Orruk Warboss can be equipped several times, and carefully. In summary:

    (1) One Warboss is assembled on foot, the other on the Boar
    (2) Either can carry the Banner, but if you carry that you have no other weapons (however the Banner can be used as a weapon itself, see below)
    (3) Either mounted or on foot, a Warboss can be equipped with: a Boss Choppa and Shield, Two Boss Choppas, or a Massive Choppa.

    The Warboss has the same move as an Orruk Boy unless it is on a boar, in which case it is the same as the Orruk Boarboy. It’s Bravery is higher, it has an armour save that succeeds 50% of the time and six wounds. They clock in at 140 points each.

    Weapons:
    ————-
    If mounted on a boar, the Warboss gains the Tusk Attacks as per the boarboyz, along with the Tusker Charge ability. Extra attacks are always good.

    The Waagh Banner, when wielded as a weapon has a range of 2″ and does 4 attacks. It has a 50% chance of hitting as well as wounding. It does not rend and does one damage. If you give the model the banner, use it as a support piece from the back so that you have it in range of the troops you want it to buff. The attacks are a last ditch effort when things are desperate, so keep this guy safe when he has the flag.

    So the other weapon options are pretty good in my opinion. Great at smashing things! Firstly we have the Boss Choppa. It has the standard range of melee weapons and does six attacks. SIX! It needs a 3+ to hit and wound with a rend of -1 doing 1 damage. To me, that is pretty good. I’d want a model with this to get stuck into a fight and do damage. If you give him a second Boss Choppa, instead of a shield, you make two extra attacks with him.

    The Massive Choppa has the same range and have the attacks of a single Boss Choppa. It only has a 50% chance to hit, same wound roll as the Boss Choppa , and does -2 rend with D3 damamge. While it is harder to hit with, with less attacks, damn, that -2 rend and D3 damage will crack some tough nuts.

    Special Rules:
    ——————
    If this model has a Boss Shield it can re-roll failed armour saves. This is pretty good, imho.

    The ‘Great Waaagh! Banner’ gives the model the TOTEM keyword if taken. In addition can can re-roll all wound rolls of 1 for Orruk units from your army within 16″ of the model when they attack in the Combat Phase.

    This model, if the General, has the ‘Waaagh!’ Command Ability. All Orruk units (models with the ORRUK keyword) within 12 inches become ‘Frenzied’. This means they make one extra attack with all of their melee weapons.

    Final Thoughts:
    ——————–
    These models have some hitting and support power. Before priming and painting these models do not attach and arms. Assemble the weapon options and blue tac on the arms before games. This kit has a few options, and even if I recommend what to do you need to figure out what works with you.

    Do you want your general to support your army, or smash things to bits? Do you want him with the boyz, or the boarboyz? Or do you want your ‘Waaagh Banner’ bearer, if you do decide to have one in your army, to have more mobility? If you assemble and paint them before you learn how to use them and develop your own tactics, then you don’t want to tear your lovely models apart, do you?

    Personally, I’d make the Banner Bearer the General, and keep him at the back of the army. While his attacks aren’t as powerful compared to the other weapon options, the buff he gives to your army is amazing, and you want to keep him alive and in range of as many of your models for as long as you possibly can. If you put him on a boar he has increased mobility, becoming safer to move quickly away from enemies or more faster enemy models. Being on a boar and oval base, turn him sideways when it suits to increase his ‘range bubble’ for the Banner and Waaagh! abilities. It really depends on your playstyle.

    Giving the Warboss a boar and either the pair of Boss Choppas or Massive Choppa lets him keep pace with the Chariot and Orruk Boar Boyz I’d say not go give him the shield at all and wield the paired choppas as while the re-rolled armour saves are handy, man those extra attacks and killing power are good, especially if you branch out the army with a wizard and cast arcane shield on him he might not need the re-roll. Once more however it boils down to personal taste and what works for me or what I recommend may not work for you.

    The Boss Choppas kick out a load of attacks, but you might be tempted to give him the shield and play it safer with him, or give him the Massive Choppa to make up for the lack of punch on the Boarboyz or the randomness of the Scything Wheels on the Chariot. If you fight an enemy army with high wounds and armour saves the Massive Choppa sticks out amongst all the other weapon options in the army and might be worth taking to shore up one of your own army weaknesses until you branch out your collection. A 3+ save against a massive Choppa sudddenly becomes a 5+ save doing D3 damamge. Pretty good in my opinion.

    Thats it for the Orruks broken down by unit. Next I’ll talk about their synergies before moving onto another army. Whatever you decide to do with your Warbosses, happy hunting.

  • Avatar Image mage5352p said 8 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Army List & Additional Rules
    ************************

    Let’s say you use the following army. It comes to 620 points and since all models have the GREENSKINZ keyword it has the Greenzkinz allegiance:

    > Orruk Warboss with Waaagh! Banner (General, gains Inspiring Presence)

    > Orruk Warboss on Boar with two Boss Choppas

    > 10x Orruk Boyz with Choppas & Shields, Drummers, Standard Bearers with Orruk Banner and Orruk Boss

    > 1x Orruk Boar Chariot

    > 5x Orruk Boar Boyz with Choppas & Shields, with Waaagh! Horns, Glyph Bearer and Orruk Boarboy Boss

    For 1,000 point games or less in matched play it is legal. It has two Leader units (you must have a minimum of one and maximum of four), two Battleline units (two are mandatory, and as per p138 of the General’s Handbook under the ‘Notes’ for Boarboyz they become Battleline units for armies with the Greenskinz Allegiance) and one ‘Other’ type unit.

    However, since you have the Greenskinz Allegiance you cannot make use of all the cool Allegiance Abilities: Destruction, found on page 162 of the General’s Handbook. If you are starting and playing with friends, you could drop the points values or even just ignore the Battle Line requirements and just play and have fun while you learn the ropes before you buy your next addition to the army in the form of a Battleline Unit.

    All models in an army with the Destruction Keyword can use the appropriate Battle Trait, Command Trait, and Artefact of Destruction.

    The Battle Trait, ‘Rampaging Destroyers’ allows all units within 6″ of your General or any model with the HERO keyword in your army moves d6 inches in the army’s hero phase as if it were the movement phase. Using this prevents models from running, but not charging, so it is better. So you units move d6 in the hero phase, move normal in the movement phase and can still charge 2d6 inches.

    Command Traits:
    **************

    The following Command Traits are options for your General. You can either roll a d6 or pick one. They are:

    (1) Nothing Left Standing – Pick a terrain feature within six inches of your General and at least 5 other DESTRUCTION models in your hero phase. Any rules that the feature has no longer apply for the game and it can no longer provide cover

    (2) Might is Right = +1 to the wound rolls of the General and General’s mount’s melee weapons.

    (3) Wild Fury – Add +1 to the General’s hit rolls when he takes a wound. When reduced to half wounds or more add +1 to the General’s hit and wound rolls.

    (4) Bellowing Tyrant – Pick a friendly unit within d6 inches of your General in the hero phase, it gets +1 to all hit rolls during the combat phase. It lasts until the start of your next hero phase.

    (5) Big and Brutish – +1 wound to the General’s Wound Characteristic.

    (6) Ravager – Adds 2 to the roll for Rampaging Destroyers.

    Thoughts:
    ————–

    Well, as you can see from above, there is quite a mix of choice. The first, ‘Nothing Left Standing’ is pretty cool and can leave an enemy unit very vulnerable all of a sudden, or remove a terrain feature the opponent was relaying on for bonuses (such as a wizard being in close proximity to an Arcane Ruin). I’d imagine Sylvaneth players won’t like this being done to their Wildwoods.

    No.2 and 3 and 5 are good but all focus on improving the General. However, compared to the other options available and what they can do to your army or the battlefield, it seems like a pretty bad deal to take these instead.

    Bellowing Tyrant is pretty cool. You want to put that bonus on a unit that can do some serious damage and keep the general close in case you roll a one. If you keep the general within one inch at all times of a model in the intended target unit, it will never fail even if you roll a one.

    In all honesty though I feel that ‘Ravager’ is the best. Adding 2 inches of move to all of the Rampaging Destroyers rolls? That is amazing, it is army wide and means on a bad roll you will get an extra three inches of movement, six inches on an average roll and nine inches on a good roll! It has a 6 inch range from your General or Heroes. This, unlike other things I have mentioned, is a smart thing to build an army as well as plan a strategy around. It shores up the weakness of some Orruk units generally speaking, like low speed (most of the powerful Ironjawz units are only move 4 for instance).

    Artefacts of Destruction:
    ********************

    The following Artefacts of Destruction are available. Any DESTRUCTION HERO model can be given one of the following (so you can have two Meteoric Hammerblades on two different heroes):

    (1) Meteoric Hammerblade – So, you pick a melee weapon the model already has, and it can make a special attack where it hits the ground. Roll a dice for any model, friend or foe, within 3 inches of this one. There’s a one in three chance it will cause a mortal wound. For maximum damage give this to a model on a large base such as an Orruk General riding a winged mount. Models that generate Mortal Wounds are a little lacking in Orruk armies so this isn’t a bad choice by any means.

    (2) Talisman of Protection – Any time the model suffers a Mortal Wound (not just any wound, strictly mortal), you roll a dice. You have a 50% chance of success of ignoring it entirely. Not bad. You can give it to a hero whose sole purpose is to kick butt in dangerous fights. Give it to your Warboss with two Boss Choppas, as a Mortal Wound won’t let you get a normal save so a shield will be worthless against one.

    (3) Gem of Seeing – Pick an enemy unit within 12″ during your hero phase. Attacks against it are at +1 to hit with this model. Works well in combination with a Warboss Mega Choppa. Also it says ‘model’ so applies to a mount as well, be it Boar, Wyvern or Maw Krusha.

    (4) Blade of Vituperation – For each ENEMY hero within 12″ of this model during the combat phase you can re-roll one failed wound roll. I’m not sure this is good. Do you really want to be within 12″ of a bunch of enemy heroes? It seems a little risky to do and tricky to execute. I’m not personally a fan of this one.

    (5) Collar of Domination – If a MONSTER, at the start of the enemy movement phase, within 3 inches of this model, rolls 2d6 and equal to or above its Bravery, it must make a retreat move. Honestly, this is crap. You either have a model that can kick a Monster’s ass, in which case you don’t want the monster to flee, but you let yourself get close enough without attacking and allowing yourself to be charged… or you let a powerful enemy get close to a model who can’t handle it. This is not necessarily going to work . Very few monsters have Bravery six. Most seem to have it between eight and seven. Monsters with characters riding on them, greater daemons, and certain other Monsters tend to have Bravery eight to ten. I’d completely skip this one unless you knew your opponent’s army list in advance and this helped a lot.

    (6) Battle Brew – Makes ‘Gem of Seeing’ completely redundant and you can take a risk with this item to gain more! Take a single swig (one shot) of the brew for +1 to hit and +1 to wound rolls until the next hero phase. Take a two swigs (double shot) to add +2 to hit and +2 to wound until the next hero phase. However, at the start of each of your future hero phases after taking two swigs you suffer one mortal wound for the rest of the game. Use this at your own discretion as it is both powerful, potent and self-damaging. Maybe use it on a throw-away hero and get them into combat fast like a non-general Warboss with a pair of Boss Choppas on boar (1+ to hit and wound, Im not sure if this is automatic, ask at your local GW store or speak with your opponent before the game, I do not think this has been FAQed yet). Also there are rules that say a mount is not affected, and the rules for this item refer to ‘this model.’ Id be inclined to say he feeds some to his mount, but maybe talk to your opponent about this before the game and see if you agree if it makes sense or is fun.

    Thoughts:
    ————-
    So, after taking the above into account, this is what my army list looks like now:

    > Orruk Warboss with Waaagh! Banner (General, gains Inspiring Presence), Ravager and Gem of Protection

    > Orruk Warboss on Boar with two Boss Choppas & Battle Brew

    > 10x Orruk Boyz with Choppas & Shields, Drummers, Standard Bearers with Orruk Banner and Orruk Boss

    > 1x Orruk Boar Chariot

    > 5x Orruk Boar Boyz with Choppas & Shields, with Waaagh! Horns, Glyph Bearer and Orruk Boarboy Boss

    The Gem makes up for a lack of a shield on my General while the Battle Brew works on the hero for the reasons mentioned above concerning the item in question.

    Conclusion:
    **********

    First and foremost, do what works with you. Only so much internet wisdom and things that work for other people will work for you. Even something that seems better on paper might nto work for you even though you used it right or eight out of ten tournament winners might swear by it. Try the options and suggestions by all means but develop your own ability to think subjectively about the game, tactics and choice of army list and develop your own play style!

    Keep everything within range of your General’s Banner, Command Trait (also granted by other HERO models) and Command Abilities. Use your your units in tandem with at least one other when attacking the enemy, remember to roll for your Scythinng Talons, Waaagh Drummers bonuses, Orruk Banners, remember re-rolls from your shields, extra attacks from your command abilities and extra attacks on unit Leaders. Most importantly of all do not forget that Command Trait!

    Happy hunting!