Kings Of War List Building: Orcs, Orcs, Orcs!

November 1, 2013 by brennon

Matt Gilbert, a proof reader for Mantic Games, has stepped up to the plate and delivers another army list to get you thinking about Kings of War and the mighty Orcs. See what you think of this one…

Orcs. The name has a special resonance within the realms of fantasy literature and gaming and, while different authors, artists and game developers may mould the archetype with their own subtle twists, the fundamental and pervasive premise is that orcs are bred for war. Those that inhabit the world of Mantica are no different in this regard. Tribal denizens of the plains and mountains of the north, their warbands are a constant menace to the races that consider themselves peaceful and civilised. The fractious and ill-disciplined nature of the orcs means that large co-ordinated armies are difficult to muster but all too often a mighty krudger will rise to the top, uniting the tribes under his banner and cutting a bloody swathe across the land.

Orc Regiment

Orcs are the product of evil, spiteful experimentation. They were created with a sole purpose and at that they certainly excel. Their short lifespans make them a bitter, twisted race, fuelled with a hatred for the other peoples of the world. They can be lazy, but are far from stupid; orcs are cunning and no more so when it comes to waging war.

The Kings of War army list for the orcs represents the brutal nature of this bellicose race superbly. The army will hit like a ton of bricks (or perhaps a cornucopia of axes) but any orc general worth his salt knows that controlling the horde can be extremely challenging and the lower-than-average Nerve values represent the lack of professionalism on show within the ranks. The tendency for inexperienced generals to simply adopt, what is ostensibly the sole orc tactic of CHAAAAARGE!, often reveals not only that they have torn bloody chunks out of the enemy lines but also that their army has vaporised itself by the end of turn 4.

Orc Krudger

Learning to deal with the “glass-hammer” nature of the army is one of the best things about the list but the game and the army list both give you the tools you need to accomplish it. In KoW, friendly units can move through each other which means it’s much easier to plan your attack in waves without the fear of blocking your own unit’s freedom of movement. The army list provides some options here but typically the Ax units will be sent in first as a screening first wave – their high De value perfect for the role. Behind them the orcs can then manoeuvre their more elite units and big hitters ready to move past or alongside the Ax as they engage the enemy. In my opinion the jewels in the orcs’ rusty crown are the Morax units. Elite warriors with double attacks, you need to think long and hard about not including at least one unit in your battlelines.

Outside the footslogging core, the gore riders lend the army some speedy shock troops which are equally at home in the centre of the army, fighting alongside the infantry or sweeping down the flanks, hunting down exposed enemy units and war engines or simply flanking the beleaguered enemy to pile on the misery. Gore chariots and fight-wagons are best utilised as supporting units in my experience. Don’t charge them in on their own, use them to deliver a bone-crunching accompaniment to the chopping of your axes.

Orc Morax

Krudgers pack a brutal punch. Whether on a rumbling chariot or a snarling, monstrous slasher, a unit targeted by one of these tyrants is going to feel the pain. The winged slasher variant is a firm favourite because of its ability to fly, opening up the chance to get flank and rear charges. Pull one of these attacks off and the enemy unit taking the hit is likely to dissolve.

With so many offensive units in the army you have no choice but to take the fight to the enemy. Shooting options are minimal and war engines non-existent. That’s OK because you save time in tournaments when you are against a clock and you can focus solely on where you want your units to be for setting up a layered assault and the multiple charges you should be executing every turn. The orcs need to sustain a relentless charge and roll their opponents over, not giving them a chance to rally or counter and overkill is everything – you can’t afford to stall. The only realistic option you have for units holding back to keep objectives are Sniff units or swarms of Orclings but this is down to personal choice.

The Army List:

Ax Regiment 90
Ax Regiment 90
Ax Regiment 90
Ax Regiment 90
Ax Regiment 90

Greatax Regiment
Musician, Blade of slashing
120

Morax Regiment
Musician, Pipes of Terror
175

Morax Regiment Musician
160
Morax Regiment Musician
160

Gore Rider Troop 85
Gore Rider Troop 85
Gore Rider Troop 85
Gore Rider Troop 85

Krudger on Winged Slasher – The Fog 340

Flagger on Gore 35
Flagger on Gore 35
Flagger on Gore 35

1850pts

Orc Gore RidersIt’s easy to get the tactics of the orcs wrong and crash into the enemy lines only to wonder where your army went when the dust settles. This is the beauty of the army. You need to learn how to play to the strengths of the list: the pure offensiveness, the universal crushing strength, the large number of attacks; and minimise the weaknesses by co-ordinating everything together and playing like and orc: aggressively. Orcs units left on their own are very vulnerable and so the whole army needs its general to orchestrate its parts very carefully. Done right, the orcs will crush all before them spectacularly and will shrug off the odd mishap. Done wrong and the glass-hammer will shatter in equally spectacular fashion.

Get your own Kings of War Orcs!

If you’d like to have a go at submitting an army list for Kings of War or any other game for that matter with a discussion on its merits and flaws then please contact me at ben@beastsofwar.com!

Are Orcs for you?