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Category: Orks

Waaagh Bwalor: Epic Ork Army

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.

The War on Two Fronts

So the North Down Gamer’s Hub up in Northern Ireland has run a couple of ranking tournaments recently for both Warhammer 40,000 and WHFB. We decided to catch up with Tom O’Reilly from Unite All Action to see what makes the North Down Gamers tick. Below we’ve included a few shots from last weekend’s tournament as well where Chris Britton (Warheads) grabbed first place and David McHugh (Warheads) nabbed third with their Grey Knights and Orks respectively.

3rd Place David ‘Jiggy’ McHugh (on the right) with Team Northern Ireland Captain Jonny Fisher (left).

Tournament winner Chris’ Grey Knights dominated the day.


We caught up with tournament organiser and NDGH member Tom O’Reilly for a few questions after the event and interspersed it with some pretty pictures:

War Altar: Hi Tom, hope you’re not too exhausted after the weekend?

Tom O’Reilly: No still plenty of energy 😉

WA: This is the 2nd ranking event you (The North Down Gamer’s Hub) have run this year, will we be seeing more in the future?

TO’R: I think for us we are still trying to find our feet, but yes we hope to do regular events on a monthly basis.

#David Attenborough voice: “The…wild Ork stalks a Rhino as its prey. A feast of this magnitude will surely get his Ork mistress off his back for at least an hour and a half.”

WA: This was a real club effort to get these events off the ground but some good advertising and smoothly run events seem to draw a returning crowd, what made your club want to get into running ranking events?

TO’R: Well that’s just that were not a gaming club as such, it’s mainly just a couple of guys that were inspired by other local events that we attended. And we thought we could do something very similar, and for me it was just an extension of my hobby.

The nibbles

WA: Once you start hitting numbers are the events going to become more than just one day or are one-day events what make running tournaments so plausible in quick succession?

TO’R: Ultimately you have to get the feeling on what gamers want, that’s first and foremost so 2 day tournaments is probably the way we will go at some stage, but like anything you can not take it for granted that you will be guaranteed to get people back.

North Down’s Michael Brough, a tough opponent with a great eye for painting. You may remember the name from his Sisters of Battle taking on my Imperial Guard way back during Round 1 of Q-Con last year.
 The trophies 

WA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Tom and congratulations on another well run event.
TO’R: That’s not a problem and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has made it so worthwhile to date, we certainly do the easy bit by organising the day to be as much fun as physically possible. But it’s the gamers out there locally that really do make it so worthwhile when you see them travelling as far as Dublin and Derry, to have a good day out, meeting new people and rolling some dice, after all that’s the number one rule; it’s all about having fun. So once again a big thank you to everyone.

“Hey can you guys tell me what way to the objective?”

 “Over there!”

Congratulations to Recent Warheads addition Pat came 5th with his Tyranids!

That’s all for this time folks thanks again to Tom for the brief interview and the photos and congratulations once again to everyone who attended especially tournament winner Chris (Warheads), 2nd place Jonny (NW) and 3rd place David (Warheads). Do take the time to visit the NDGH’s Facebook page and, if you haven’t already, the War Altar’s Facebook page =D

– Joey

All photos courtesy of NDGH, used with permission.

Assault on Arkham: Autumn Stats

Thanks are due to Jonny for passing on the information required to compose this little essay. Sharing is caring. We have a Northern tournament under the spotlight today and I was quite curious to see if there would be any major shifts in army choice or results. The latest Assault on Arkham event was a 5 round, 1750 point, ETC 2011 style tournament with largely Northern players and a small Dublin detachment. With only game balance in mind, I disregarded all but battle points and I believe we now have a passable initial overview of the Northern tournament scene.

There is a strong similarity to Gaelcon and Dominicon in some of the army percentages. We see that the Grey Knights have taken a dominant position again. Space Wolves and other Marine codexes are present in the normal amounts. The Blood Angels codex seems marginally more popular than elsewhere. The main surprise is the presence of Orks, these have been rarer in the Dublin-area tournaments.

So although differences can be highlighted, the overall picture suggests that there is only very slight variation in army preferences in the region.

We see the Grey Knights under-perform again, despite their abundance, results have been patchy. This either represents people playing softer lists, less experienced players or a less clement meta-game in the icy wastes up North. Which it might be isn’t immediately apparent. The Space Wolves also take slightly less than their expected share. Since we’ve started making these charts, the Dark Eldar have been the most consistent performers and we see it again in Arkham Assault. Their efforts are only overshadowed by an exceptional performance by the Ork codex. The greenskins take more than their due.

Undoubtedly, strong players are responsible but it is possible that there is more to the phenomena.

The Orks return with a bang with an average score of 71. That actually stands as the highest average for any codex in the three tournaments examined so far. With Jan’s triumphs earlier in the season providing the backdrop, the glory days of the Ork roll on. Surprising, as internet wisdom would claim that the codex is sub-par. It’s possible that the Irish focus on eliminating medium and light mech has limited the amount of anti-infantry fire these lists face.

The second and third strongest codexes were Dark Eldar and Imperial Guard, running only slightly ahead of the Dark Angels book. But that’s not important. What really matters is the following message.
Dear Space Marine players,

Please stop hurting yourself.

Dodgy Statistics

ETC Week! Penalties and Orks

Hey all! Well it’s finally here; ETC 2011!

For those of you unaware the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be sending four teams this year to the European Team Championships, two teams for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and two for Warhammer 40,000.

While Northern Ireland has competed for a few years now in the massive event (hailed as a step towards a World Cup by some) this is the Republic’s second year only attending. 2010 was the Republic’s first year and also our first year attending the “Home Nations” event (in which Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Barbarians were the other teams attending) at which we took first place, unfortunately the ETC proper proved a harder beast to subdue and is by far the greatest test of 40k players in Ireland (that I know of!).

There was also some shock news this week for the team when we found out we were being docked 20 points (a full game for those unaware of the scoring system) for our submission of an incorrect list. It’s a shame but a lesson learned for us all and we’ll just have to get on with the show, which is exactly what I’ve been doing.
At the Captain’s request I’ve been playing set lists and set missions and deployments to get used to what our Finnish opponents may throw at us. First up David McHugh‘s Orks. David did me a favour by bringing down his Kan Wall to Warheads’ Thursday Night Gaming in Gamer’s World Dublin.

The list was typical Kan Wall (Mek, KFF, Mek, KFF, tonnes of boys, couple of medium loota squads and Snikrot), while Snikrot is not ETC legal he does add an element of thinking to my backfield game so his inclusion was a welcome one for practice. Jiggy knew his stuff even though he’s a relatively new player and I see good things on the horizon for him if he can make enough tournaments! He only started playing 40k properly this year after a year as Wargames Coordinator for DCU so while he wasn’t the veteran opposition my captain might’ve hoped I’d pick he was certainly creative and (more importantly) I’m able to tell my captain what points he can expect me to claw away from a list like it.
All in all a great game but I couldn’t help thinking the Ork list was 100 points under 😉

Next up:
Team Northern Ireland’s Black Templars….

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