Orcs and Goblins
Orcs are a brutal warlike race that are driven by their need for war, so much so that they are just as likely to fight each other as they are to fight other races. Orcs and Goblins are known collectively as Greenskins and are a collection of subspecies that range from the fearsomely brutal Black Orc to the diminutive Snotling that is often kept as a pet by larger Greenskins.
Orcs and Goblins gather together in warbands that are lead by the most powerful Greenskin amongst them, until their leadership is successfully challenged by an even larger Greenskin. Most warbands are nomadic and wander to and fro destroying whatever they come across. However, when a warlord is sufficiently powerful and is able to gather enough Greenskins to their call, a Waaagh! is called. A Waaagh! is an enormous tide of Greenskins that surges across the land rampaging through any settlements it finds until it is eventually defeated. Other races rightly fear the Waaagh! and there are numerous occaisions throughout the history of the Old World when the might of the Greenskins has made itself felt on the other races.
A large part of the core Orc and Goblin range is made up of multipart plastic models and there is a good deal of customisation possible because of this, however there is still a significant number of models only available in metal which can make certain army builds expensive Particularly since any Orc and Goblin army is likely to contain a lot more models than other armies, due to the relative cheapness of Orc and Goblin models in terms of points.
There is a lot of modelling potential with an Orc and Goblin army, the rag tag look of Orcs and Goblins greatly encourages conversions, anything from minor weapon swaps to large scale Greenstuff work is possible and is easy to blend in with the rest of the Orc and Goblin rabble. Orcs and Goblins can be tedious to paint and convert as most units are at least 20 models strong, however the paint schemes on most of the range can be kept relatively simple and it is not too difficult to produce a good looking unit.
The average Orc and Goblin army is likely to relatively cheap model for model due to the large number of plastic box sets available, but the low point cost of Orc and Goblin models will mean that more models are required for the same number of points as an equivalent army.
The base stats of the majority of the Orc and Goblin range are usually relatively poor, however this is compensated for by the cheap points cost. The overriding concern for an Orc and Goblin general is psychology. The leadership of the majority of the range is between 5 and 7 so tests are more likely to be failed than passed. This is further exacerbated by the race specific rule, Animosity. All Greenskins apart from Black Orcs are required to test for Animosity at the beginning of each turn; this often results in units doing things they aren't supposed to be doing.
An Orc and Goblin general needs a good sense of humour as even the best tactics and army list can be thwarted by the erratic nature of Orcs and Goblins. However it is still quite possible to dominate a game and utterly destroy your opponent, just don't expect your army to go along with your plans!
A common theme amongst Orc and Goblin armies is large blocks of cheap infantry led by more reliable characters. The army can be supported by surprisingly reliable Spear Chukkas and Doom Divers, and flanked by a range of cavalry from fast moving Goblin Wolf Riders to powerful Orc Boar Boys.
Orc and Goblin magic is powerful but dangerous. Split in to two halves, the Orc Big Waaagh! and Goblin Little Waaagh!, there are a range of support spells and offensive spells, most of which are reasonably useful spells. The problem with Orc and Goblin magic is that the Waaagh! miscast table is potentially very dangerous to your own army with the possibility of exploding shamans a real threat. However this doesn't prevent magic heavy Orc and Goblin armies from being effective. Due to the nature of Orc and Goblin armies the decision to take Shamans over Bosses is not simple as the leadership of Shamans is not as good and they are fragile characters.
Orcs and Goblins are generally cheap compared to other army ranges however some models (particularly metals) can be expensive; even some of the plastic models can benefit from a few alterations to minimise the cost. Orc Arrer Boys are currently only available direct in metal, however the 6th Edition box set contained plastic Orc Arrer Boys that are often for sale cheaply on internet auction sites, and it is fairly simple to add a bow to the plastic Orc Warrior models.
Savage Orcs, particularly when mounted on boars can be prohibitively expensive, however with a bit of creativity it is possible to model and paint regular Orcs as Savage Orcs allowing a much cheaper plastic Savage Orc. With Greenstuff it is quite possible to cover up armour and model extremely good Savage Orcs, but the addition of feathers, making the weapons more rugged, and more wild poses all help to give the Savage look.
The Orc Warboss box comes with enough parts to create one mounted and one unmounted Orc warboss however with an extra plastic Boar and the plastic mounted legs from the Orc Warrior Command sprue it is possible to have both Orcs mounted.
An Orc and Goblin army allows for a lot of diversity, indeed it is quite possible to take all Goblin or all Night Goblin themed lists, however these lists tend to magnify the problems of the Orc and Goblin army as they are particularly prone to mass routs due to their low leadership.
The Orc and Goblin range is let down somewhat by Savage Orcs and all Boar Boys only being available in metal, making hard hitting units an expensive choice. However plastic Savage Orcs are rumoured to be on the list of new models coming in the future. This is also offset by the Night Goblins available in the starter set. These are extremely cheap and allow a good (if relatively cowardly) core to start an Orc and Goblin Warband.
If you don't mind losing as often as you win, but having fun along the way then Orcs and Goblins are an enjoyable army that allows for a lot of flexibility with approach to gaming, painting and modelling.
Where to go from here
There are a number of Orc and Goblin sites that are useful to a budding warlord, two particularly useful sites are Avian's We Iz Orcs
, an indepth rundown of all the sections of the Orc and Goblin armybook by an avid Orc and Goblin player; and Da Warpath
, an Orc and Goblin fansite that is home to some particularly inventive modellers and painters, though rather small the site has some eye opening posts.