I suspect that the average wargamer tends to accumulate many “projects” over time.  Where others see a pile of random Guard and Empire bits, he sees his Feudal World #543 PDF. In my case, I’ve always wanted two Epic armies. I adored reading the old White Dwarf Epic battle reports and was a big fan of Final Liberation, the Epic 40,000 computer game. Over the last year, I’ve acquired many thousands of points of Imperial Guard and Orks, along with enough urban terrain to make a respectable city. Having managed this feat, I patted myself on the head, stuck it all in boxes and hid those boxes away.

Life carried on rather happily until I came across the blasted things and decided that something must be done.
Here’s the unholy mess as it stands. There’s a box filled with an indeterminate number of Ork things, some Imperial and Chaos titans and below all of this another box filled with Imperial Guard. Some are painted, most are untouched and on the sprues. On top of this, I’ve got a smattering of Man’o’War ships, random Space Marine units and what I think is a Giant Gargant. Those were all picked up at the Dominicon charity auction.

I really like the idea of six distinct Ork clans, each with their own ethos, iconography and colour schemes. I’m going to build my entire Ork force with each formation being linked with a specific clan. By creating the army in these blocks, I don’t go mad and I get a force that reflects the old school fluff.

First up, the Deathskulls clan. They’re described in the fluff as scavengers who fight mainly for the prospect of the subsequent looting. They believe the colour blue to be lucky and generally wear a ragged “uniform” of items stolen from the dead or unwary. I’m eyeballing my Marine vehicles for their Gunwagonz (tank equivalent). On a practical note, the slap-dash nature of their equipment means I get to play around with all sorts of colours to see what suits the scale.

Deathskulls Warband
2 Nob Mobz
6 Boyz Mobzs
2 Grot Mobzs
4 Battlewagons

As you can see, my first block is quite traditional. It’s a small horde of greenskins riding around in their wagons. I’m using the Epic UK Ork Codex for list composition. It’s a slightly rejigged version of the Ork Horde list from Epic Armageddon. I’ve always had a soft spot for the fan-driven updates in the specialist games range. Blood Bowl and Battlefleet Gothic would be lesser games without the Living Rulebooks and FAQs. In this case, the fans have provided balanced, playtested lists for the armies/sub-armies that GW have abandoned (Tyranids, the Chaos legions, various Guard regiments and Space Marine chapters) along with updates for the surviving armies. You can find the full collection here.

The warband adds up to 340 points and I’m struck by the fact that it closely resembles a 40k Battlewagon list. Once I’ve worked through similar formations for the Evil Sunz, Bad Moons, Goffs and Blood Axes, that’ll give me the core on which I will build a vast horde. I can also combine warbands to create larger, fluffy formations.

I’ve used the new GW texture paint on the bases. It’s not quite as awesome as I hoped. It appears that you have to apply a lot of coats to get any sort of coverage and I suspect that it would be quicker and easier to use the traditional PVA/Sand/Paint method.

Firstly, I painted up the Battlewagons. I went with an all blue scheme to begin with but it seemed a little too uniform so I halved it with grey. It was still too uniform so I lashed on some crude graffiti. It’s crude because it’s Orky, see. Totally deliberate, stylistic choice. Shut up, Welshman. My painting is awesome.

We’ve got two teams to a transport so just enough for the boyz to get around. “What about those poor Gretchin?” I hear the gentle-hearted reader sob. There’s a funky rule that says a single unit of Gretchin can always fit into an already full transport. The little buggers hang onto the sides, squeeze into crevices or crawl around underfoot.

I’ve got a random mix of older and newer models and thus, older square bases and the newer “strip” bases. I’ve assigned the strip bases to the Gretchin as there’s fewer stands. I also like the idea that they’re being herded in a giant line ahead of the mobs to eat incoming fire, trigger mines and so on. I’ve avoided the use of blue anywhere on the models as the Deathskulls are basically thieving gits who value the colour blue. Any Gretchin carrying something blue is going to get robbed and kicked to death in short order.

The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice a Gretchin facing the wrong way. Let’s say that he’s very excited and waving at someone behind him.

I’ve inherited a load of bases prebuilt along these lines so I’m going to use them as Nobz squads. Two actual Nobz, a Boy to carry their flag and some Gretchin servants lagging behind. Let’s justify it by saying that no Nob can afford to turn his back on another. The main teaching point here is that infantry are a complete bitch to paint. Just get them done and lavish your love on the vehicles.

Onto the Boyz themselves, again, I’m burning through the piles of pre-built bases. I  went with blue armour and then a mix of blues, greys and browns on the clothes. Didn’t work. The models are tiny so I’ve started using brighter and brighter colours to actually make the models stand out. There’s orange, purple, yellow and red all over the place and they still don’t really pop.

And the finished product, one formation down, many to go.