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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-12, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Default O&G Tactics - List Building (for 8th Edition)

So since I have outlined the Rest of the Orcs and Goblins in the posts found below I thought I may as well have a go at writing a List Building Tactica;

https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=105691
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=105708
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=105709
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=105742


Ok so my first task when creating a list is to summerize the army into several sections which can also be loosely used as a table of contents.

1. Anvil Units
2. Killer Units (Elites)
3. Supportive Units
4. Artillery
5. Characters
6. Selection & Battle Tactics
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-12, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default 1. Anvil Units

1. Anvil Units



The role of these units is twofold.

1st, to be steadfast and hold the line, these units therefore form the main part of your battle line and hopefully will be able to pin the enemy chargers in place so that you can either counter-charge with another unit or simply hold them there as long as possible (known tar-pitting).

2nd role of the anvil unit is to provide static combat resolution (ie. rank bonus and standards) to help swing fights in your favour. For these reasons a typical anvil needs to be as deep as possible with a narrow frontage 5-wide. It also needs the leadership bubble of the warboss and BSB for those crucial break-tests and panic tests.

The 3 main candidates for this job are Goblins, Night Goblins and Orc Boyz.

Night Goblins


These are most people's preferred choice. The reasons are, they are very cheap so may be taken in large numbers, they can take free spears, and that they can be upgraded with nets and/or fanatics. A sensible unit size is 40-50 models, including nets-upgrade plus standard and musician. Its not really necessary to take a boss unless you plan on putting other characters in the unit and want him to accept challenges.

Nets are a must-have item, fanatics are also useful though it is possible to vary the number taken. Spears and hand weapons are both viable, depending on whether you want the extra attacks or the parry saves. In terms of overall combat resolution there is not a huge difference, loosely 1 extra kill vs 1 extra save. On balance the spears probably have a slight edge simply because the Night Goblin rank and file are more expendable. Some players (including myself on occasions) even like to take super-sized Night Goblin anvils of 80-100 models armed with spears. This is made viable by the fact the goblins are so damn cheap, 100 models is still just 300 points + command + nets. These are deployed 10-wide as a horde, not only are they near-impossible to break (with the aid of characters and equipment) but with a potential 40 attacks they can also grind down even the most formidable opponents.

Regular Goblins


I do not play these guys as they cost slightly more points than Night Goblins. You have to pay extra for the shields and, if you want them, pay for the spears. Unit size and command options are the same as NG above, 40-50 with standard and musician. For weaponry choice hand-weapons and spears are both viable. Spear-gobbos will perform fractionally better at grinding down an opponent but are also half a point more expensive, so really it comes down to personal choice. Nasty Skulkers are also a useful addition to the unit, as well as stabbing at enemy characters they can create a character-screen in the front rank forcing the enemy to divide his attacks on your unit. They have 1 point more Leadership then their Night Goblin cousins but pay for this by having 1 less Initiative.

Orc Boyz


These are a pretty expensive anvil relative to goblin types who can perform the same holding role with more ranks and for less points as the Orcs are 6 points per model. Not as good value as they once were. The one redeeming point is that compared with the gobbos they are a bit better when it comes to actual fighting. An orc anvil is typically around 30-35 models, with full command options. Since this is a holding unit with narrow frontage I would personally recommend the hand-weapon & shield equipment option. The other equipment builds are also viable, indeed against 'average' infantry types all 3 builds produce quite similar results on combat resolution - though bear in mind the spears & shields option is more expensive.

On balance orcs are ok fighters but not amazing, most of the time your orc anvil will be facing enemy types that are either equal or more powerful.

Last edited by Ratvan; 05-09-12 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Layout and Bulk of Text
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Default 2. Hammer Units

2.Hammer Units



These are your elite fighting units. The most powerful units that will cause most damage to the enemy. The hard-hitters in your list. They can include Savages, Savage Big'uns, Orc Big'uns, Black Orcs, Trolls, Squig Herds and the various types of Boar-rider. (All the 'Fun' stuff) Please note that virtually all of these unit types can also be taken as smaller supportive units (see section 3 below). The main distinction is the fact they are taken as larger and stronger units.

Orc Big'uns and Savage Orc Big'uns


In the case of both these you are looking at fighting blocks of around 20-25 or even horde units of 40-50 in bigger games. On both these units additional hand weapon is the best option.

With a spear-and-shield combo you pay an extra point per model for a benefit to your armour save, a benefit that disappears against S5 or higher, you also lose your precious extra-attacks when charging (and also when reduced below 3 ranks). Of the 2 units Savage Big'uns have the added perks of frenzy and a ward save, for just 2 points extra this is very good value. The Savage Orc Big Stabba is a so-so investment depending on whether your regular opponents like to field large monsters, even so I never usually bother but it does make the unit look cool and can be a nice unit filler.

Savage Orcs


Regular savage orcs are basically a cheaper semi-elite version of the savage orc big'un. They have to pick fights a bit more carefully but otherwise operate in much the same way. I do run these but will cover how in Section 3.

Black Orcs


Like the big'uns take fighting blocks of around 20-25 or even horde units of 40-50 in bigger games. Note however the latter can be risky as you are putting a lot of eggs in one basket. Black Orcs of course come ready equipped, though you can if you wish take a shield as well for extra protection against shooting. People often debate Black Orcs vs Big'Uns. In short Black Orcs are slightly more expensive and fragile but in return they can be useful in certain roles. As the only unit in the OnG army that can carry a great weapon they are useful for taking down either enemy with high armour saves or big monsters. They are also one of the few OnG units that can operate reliably away from the general's leadership bubble.

Trolls


Starting at just 35pts Trolls are fantastic value. Either Common Trolls or River Trolls represent a good buy. A unit of 6 (2x3) is a good number for a strong hard-hitting unit since in most cases all 6 trolls will get to fight. That gives you 18 attacks, plus 3 stomps! The only downsides are that they limited by needing the general's ld bubble and of course they can get nerfed by flaming attacks. They can also be used as Chaff/Redirectors ect. (again see Section3.)

Squig Herds


My favourite choice in 8th edition. 30-35 will give you a solid attacking unit, this can be formed 7-wide to maximise the number of attacks. Alternatively you can build them as an even-more-formidable horde unit with around 50-60 models. Either way low toughness and zero armour/ward makes it essential to take them in large numbers in order to maintain full fighting capacity.

Boar riders


All types are slightly cheaper in this edition, but despite this they are still slightly over-priced (They're Cavalry which makes sense). As such they suffer from the general bias against medium & heavy cavalry that exists in 8th edition warhammer. If you do decide to use them a hard-hitting unit then you need around 10 models including musician and standard. This can be slightly fewer if you plan to stuff the unit with characters or decide to upgrade the unit to big'uns. On the savages both additional hand weapon and spear+shield are viable choices. For common orc riders spears+shields is the best choice, well worth the handful of extra points for the increased strength on the charge.

Araknarok


I don't have one myself but the consensus seems to be that the base-cost of the Araknarok by itself is about right. The Flinger option is not great since you must shoot after moving charges and can't shoot it into combat. Meanwhile using it as a great-shaman mount has its pros and cons (see characters section below).

Giant


I sadly don't use one myself. He is regarded as slightly expensive for what he actually does, but is often used as a 'fun option'. I feel that his best place is with an All Goblin army as his Leadership 10 can be used on the flanks as a reliable fire magnet. Plus it's so satifying to stuff enemy models down his pants.

*At this point its worth mentioning something about magic banners as several units above are eligible to take them. In my opinion a lot of the banner choices in the main rulebook are too overpriced or too dependent on certain situations. There are however 4 banners I think represent very good value, first and foremost is the Banner of Eternal Flame (aka Flaming Banner), the other three are Banner of Swiftness, Banner of Discipline (for the warboss unit) and Gleaming Pennant (any unit you want to place outside the range of your BSB).

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Default 3. Supportive Units

3. Supportive Units



Of all the sections in this guide supportive units covers by far the most diverse range of unit-types. The roles for support units are equally varied, these include providing close support to you main blocks, being able to harass and threaten the enemy, and hunting down enemy war-machines.

Small & Medium Infantry



These support units can be units of orcs or goblins of pretty much any type, typically ranging between 15-25 models. Such units can provide close support to your main anvils, ideally used for making flank charges on an enemy engaged to the front. Alternatively a small to medium support unit can be use to guard the flanks of your main-battleline against the likes of enemy skirmishers or fast cavalry seeking to move around it. A third use for such a unit is a 'bunker' to hide your important characters, this unit sits just behind your main battleline from where characters in the unit can cast spells or provide a leadership bubble to the units infront. Lastly your small Night Goblin units of 20 can be used as additional FDS 'fanatic delivery systems', giving you more options on how and when to lauch these whirling maniacs, this is typically where I deploy my fanatics so that they can be unleashed on the flanks causing havic. It is also slightly 'safer' for your units as typically your stuff is only in roughly 90 degrees and his units in 180 degrees. It is however not all the Orcy!

In terms of equipment you have all the same options as the large anvil blocks. On smaller detatchments of around 15 orcs the additional hand weapon is a good option (such a unit will mostly be trying to get flank charges). It is also common for small-medium infantry units to carry bows or short bows. In this way they have further means to harass and annoy your enemy, maybe even cause some significant damage. Greenskin archery is not brilliant (understated) but if taken in sufficient numbers your missile troops can certainly prove themselves useful. It is possible to build these units slightly wider, for example orc arrer boyz work well 6 wide since you get the extra shots from the front 2 rows and are still relatively sturdy in close combat. This tactic is less advisable on goblins who are weaker on both counts. A few players however like to take goblin archers in bigger horde units, the theory behind this is that you then try and buff their shooting with either The Spider Banner or the spell Gift of the Spider God for a horde of poisoned shots with a very limited range.

There is plenty of debate on what is a better points investment for the supporting infantry unit: bows or shields? In the current edition I would say either option is perfectly good depending on your personal preference. Common Goblins however have the unique option to take both shields AND short-bows (a bit like the High Elf Lothern Sea Guard but without spears or smelling funny). This is a really great option that gives you the best of both worlds. I find players who field these Goblin Sea Guard as highly suspicious and rather poncy.

Fast Cavalry


At current point-prices wolf riders and spider riders are about equal in terms of value-per-point. They are typically taken in units of 5-10. They can be use for war-machine hunting, harassing the flanks of the enemy, or supporting your main blocks with flank charges. A large unit of 10 or more spiders can also be used to storm buildings. It is worth taking at least 1 weapon upgrade on the wolf riders, in other words either spears or short-bows. It is also worth getting a shield for the extra save. Both units will want a musician but the standard is only really worth considering on larger units of 2 or more ranks. Despite their potential uses fast cavalry are also quite fragile. These days many players will opt for just 1 small unit or not take them at all in my case.

Boar Boyz


Boar riders are traditionally used as an expensive hard-hitting unit (see section 2) but taken in a small unit of 5 they can be used in many of the same supportive roles as fast cavalry above. They won't get a vanguard move or other fast cavalry special rules but on the other hand they are a lot more hitty and are that bit more resilient. As discussed in "Killer Units" the Savage Orc riders can take either additional hand weapon or the spear and shield, the common orc rider should take a spear and shield. You don't want to over-price this unit so for command options I would take just a musician.

Troll Detatchment


If you don't want a full-size unit these can also be taken in small units of 1s and 2s. Such units can fit nicely inbetween your anvils to provide those units with close support.

Chariot types, Pump Wagons and Mangler Squigs


Of the two chariots the Boar Chariot is slower but more resilient, making it reasonably suited to providing close support for your infantry in a similar way to trolls above. Wolf chariots, Pump Wagons and Mangler Squigs can be used to sweep down the flanks or simply rush ahead of your main battle-line. The main purpose is to get stuck in and cause as much damage and disruption in the enemy as possible, or at the very least divert the attention of enemy war machines. All these three are relatively good value, strong enough to potentially cause nasty damage but also cheap enough to be expendable. Finally the extra crewman is a good buy for both types of chariot, the extra wolf is generally not good since you don't really want to increase the frontage as more models can then attack your rickety chariots and as they're held together with spit and string thats not a good thing really

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Default 4. Artillery

4. Artillery



Conventional wisdom for a balanced list seems to be that you will want at least two pieces of artillery. (Besides sods law dictates one of them will misfire on turn 1 and the other usually very shortly after.)

The Doomdiver

can pick off small heavily armoured units or score wounds on big monsters.

The Rock Lobber

can pound large units of mass infantry or wound monsters or even smash enemy war-machines.

Spear Chukkas

are reasonable cost, though comparatively more restricted by things such as long-range and line of sight. They are still used though less popular than before, further aside they're my favourite warmachine, In most lists that I write I usually put aside 210 points just so that I can field 6 and set up nice little fire corridors for advancing foes to walk into.

A Bully

can be a useful insurance for the extra wound and for panic tests, but typically I usually just don't bother.

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Default 5. Characters

5. Characters



Now then, this is where it gets interesting, as well as weirder and more wonderful.

The Warboss


Assuming this character will be your general his most important job is the leadership bubble he provides to your main troops. The orc and savage orc warboss are both pretty solid value and provide good leadership, the one downside of the Savage Orc Warboss is frenzy. So in mixed lists I take the Cheaper Option of the Orc Warboss. Black Orcs are not really worth the additional cost, none of their equipment or special rules is really good enough to justify the price difference. As for goblin warbosses their leadership is simply too low for a mixed list, and the Night Goblin Warboss even lower. For magic items there are all kinds of combos out there and I am not going to list them all here. The most important thing is to ensure the warboss has some protection.

Typically the warboss fights on foot in the centre of your battleline in order to extend his leadership bubble to as many units as possible. If you want to be extra cautious you can even place him in a bunker/counter attack unit behind your front line. It is also viable to field him on a wyvern but you then need extra precautions against enemy war-machine sniping; for this type of character the Charmed Shield is a good buy.

The Battle-Standard Bearer


This is a must have, his most crucial job is to provide those oh so important rerolls so the main thing is keeping him alive. Again I would go for an orc just because of the extra toughness and fighting prowess and the lack of frenzy. However if you decide to hide him in a bunker then it is possible to save a few points and swap him for a goblin.

Shamans


Both Little Waaagh and Big Waaagh have some good spells. As for magic levels there are two main strategies. The first is take a lvl4 lord with a lvl1 or Lvl2 apprentice, the lvl4 obviously gets the highest bonus on casting/dispelling attempts and the apprentice is there for backup.

Of these two shamen at least 1 should be a Night Goblin in order to gain the mushroom dice and use sneaky stealing on your opponent before casting your big spell. The second strategy is to take a circle of four lvl1 Night Goblin Shamen, this allows you x4 attempts to channel dice and the theory is you use them to spam your opponent with lots of spell attempts (hopefully stealing the odd dispel dice in the process). Where you deploy the shamen will depend in part what spells you rolled, ie. the spells range and if it needs line of sight, also what magic items you bought (see below).

However there is one other shaman-tactic I haven't mentioned yet: mounting your great-shaman on an Araknarok spider. This is risky as he will present himself as a masssive target to the enemy, the only real reason for doing it is to take the Spidershrine - this in turn can be maximised by placing several lvl1 casters within range.

In terms of magic items Lucky Shrunken Head is great option for a Savage Orc Shaman, especially if you place him in a horde unit of Savage Big'uns. For a really 'fighty' orc shaman take Fencers Blades then have him cast Fists of Gork spell. Otherwise its always worthwhile picking some Arcane Items to augment your casting/dispel abilities. If your shaman will be on the front-line some protectyness item is not a bad choice either.

Extra Big Bosses & Extra Warbosses


Throwing extra Orc Big Bosses into your units can be fun, though probably not the most efficient way to spend your points. (The possible exception being on a unit of the otherwise mediocre orc-boyz, who frankly need whatever help they can get.)

Meanwhile the Goblin Big Boss with great-weapon represents a reasonably good deal. He is at his best when used in units that have already been joined by other characters, thus forcing the enemy to choose between targets. He can also be useful for issuing/accepting challenges or potentially allowing you to bump another character back into the safety of the 2nd rank. Another alternative is to take an extra Goblin Warboss (with GW). Although he costs nearly double the Big Boss he nonetheless represents reasonable value for his capabilities. It may also be worth throwing in magic armour to grant him some extra durability.

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Default 6. Selection & Battle Tactics

6. Selection & Battle Tactics



I did have a large waffling post to stick in here, but after typing the rest of the article out I have changed my mind.

Instead when creating your lists, try and keep the following thoughts in mind

Think about how you will use all these types together. You don't need a hard and fast battle plan set in stone but it does help to have some general idea in mind.

What is your general game plan in using your list? For example do you want an attacking force or a more defensive force? Or a gunline force(a nightmare to play against when done well)? Do you have a theme in mind?

Try and anticipate what your opponent might bring to the table and what you need to counter it, making sure you have an appropriate unit. Or build an all comers force

Think also about how you would deploy, in particular how many units can you fit within leadership range of your warboss and Battle Standard? An anvil unit with steadfast on leadership 5 is not very steadfast at all.

Check out the battle-scenarios. The first 5 are not something you really need to tailor your list for too much, but the WatchTower scenario needs some consideration

Hope that you find this long tirade of text useful, good luck with your gaming

Last edited by Ratvan; 05-09-12 at 12:53 PM.
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Default 6b. Deployment Tactic

Deployment Tactic



Checkerboard Tactics



This will be familiar to player of 6th edition as well as 40k players.

The previous idea of a Checkerboard is to spread your battle line to cover the entire width of the table. Now days with the importance of the General and BSB, this has to be amended. I like ot think of this tactic in 8th edition as a central wedge that utilises the gaps in the battle line to counter charge in a hammer and anvil strategy.

The basic principle is to have your units set up in a broken line formation (like the balck and white squares on a checkerboard - hence the name) so that the front units accept the charge and the second rank counter charges into the enemy. With lots of Core units, the idea is the grind down your opponent and deny him rank bonus, since our core troops are not usually able to smash the enemy but rather whittle him down through prolonged engagements.

How Do I Set Up A Checkerboard Formation



The General and the BSB should be deployed in teh centre of your battleine, these guys can either be deployed in the ANvil or in the Hammer unit depending on the character build that you employ. The distance between your Anvils and Hammers need to be enough that the enemy cannot simply ignore the Anvil and strike the Hammer, but you need ot be within range for the counter charge. I tend to find that 6" seems to be an adequate distance.

When you space your Anvils, it is VERY important that the supporting units/hammers have enough room to engage the enemies flank between your two anvils.

The benefit of this tactic is that Orcs and Goblins traditionally have more units on the table top then most other armies (Except Skaven and possibly Empire) so you should have no issues with out deploying your enemy.

Consider your flanks, if you feel concerned about them employ the refused flank tactic. The farthest unit (not board edge) should be in a position to pivot and face off against enemy units to protect that flank.

Final Words



This strategy is really a horde strategy where units upport each other. The idea is to get into combat with the front units and counter charge with the supporting units. This can work in offense or defense, but is probably best defensively, as you don't give your opponant a turn to react. The main concept is to whittle them down with frontal units and then disrupt the rank bonus through flank charges and hopefully kill a lot in the process (although saying this 20 NG in the flank still adds +5CR without kills taken into account) therefor breaking the unit and forcing it to flee. With a little practice, this is a great strategy to use for the Greenskins.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-12, 04:37 AM
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+rep a lot of thought and effort has clearly gone into this. Also nice to see some of your bsttleplans down on paper
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