Tag Archives: Orks

Experiments In Painting Part 2 – Wehrmacht Warhammer 40k Ork Boyz


Yesterday’s post left you googlespiders with a bit of a cliffhanger as to what happened to the other half of my box of ork boyz, well now you know! I got busy with the brush, cracked out the Flames of War paintset and churned out these Heer-os!

This could actually be quite a good army theme, especially if one can get one’s grubby paws on some ork sized stahlhelms and orky balkenkreuzen. Sometimes though it’s one thing to get an idea and do some testers, and a whole world of difference to actually get the project to table. Heck that could take all week!

Experiments In Painting – British Army Napoleonic Redcoat Warhammer 40k Ork Boyz


Old servitob must be going crazy or something in his old age because last week whilst on his lunchbreak he walked into a Games Workshop store and bought something!

To be straight I just fancied painting something; so here you are folks.

The older ones among you may recall a fantasy Napoleonic game called Flintloque; where the British orcs led by Lord Wheeling-Turn and the invincible Dick Shark and his band of merry riflemen would go up against French Elves. I can’t remember the game being all that great but the idea was pretty amusing. Is my paintjob a coincidence?

If you’re still awake at this point you may have noticed that the picture has five orks in it. Wot’s append to da uvver boyz den?

Warhammer 40000 Freshly Painted Miniatures: Grey Knight Paladins, Ork Killa Kan, Space Marine Shadow Captain Korvydae of The Raven Guard and a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior


Besides making the longest post title in the history of ever; I thought I’d upload some pictures of some of the latest miniatures as painted by the crew for last week’s mega gribble.

First up are some Grey Knights, as painted by Carabus. I especially like the basing here.

‘Kan by nBreaker WIP.

Space Marine Shadow Captain Korvydae of The Raven Guard WIP, as painted by our guest gamer.

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior WIP by ZombiePirate.

Click on the pictures for higher resolutions!

Dark Eldar Tactics – Webway Portal


Over the weekend the floating citadel played host to yet another mega-gribble. At the behest of Space Marine Commander supremo Servitob we strong-armed Gribblin into bringing more Tyranids than meets WHO safety guidelines (that’s 5000pts in old money) to fend off the amalgamated forces of the rest of us.

The side of “good” had 1000pts per player and consisted of me and my Dark Eldar, nBreaker and his fancy new Orks, Carabus and his fancy new Grey Knights and Servitob with a decidedly more twin-linked Space Marine force. Rather than play the same kind of scenario game we did the last time this was going to be a much more simple throw down. While last time out the scales tipped ever so slightly in favour of the sex-legged ones by the time the smoke settled on this one the Tyranids had been resoundingly beaten. The heaviest losses were suffered by nBreaker and his Orks, I lost 14 models total and Servitob had Marines on the board at the end of the game, in fact, more of his army survived all the way through, a first for him and well worthy of some kind of trophy, if we could be bothered or had one on hand (we couldn’t and didn’t).

One of our other friends came along with 1000pts of Raven Guard as mathematically minded readers may have totted up that 4 people and 1000pts a piece doesn’t quite equate to the 5000pts of extra-galactic Xenos filth we were up against.

This large scale battle allowed me to experiment with my list a little, here’s what I crammed into my 1000pts;

Archon with Agoniser, Shadowfield, Phantasm Grenade Launcher and Webway Portal

5 Incubi in a Raider

8 Hekatrix Bloodbrides with Syren, Agoniser and 2 Shardnets

10 Kabalite Warriors with Splinter Cannon

8 Wyches with Hekatrix, Agoniser and Shardnet

6 Reavers with two Blasters

Ravager with Nightshields, Flickerfield and Disintegrators

Everything bar the Ravager and the Archon with his Incubi were deployed in reserve. This was a risk, I knew, but as this was a game with more than two players I thought that would balance out OK. I was right!

Turn 1 the Archon’s Raider zipped over the halfway line, hopped off and deployed the portal. Turn 2 and the Bloodbrides arrived followed by everything else on turn 3. My army held and won our right flank pretty much on their own, the amount of wounds my combat troops inflicted was ridiculous with my Archon seeing off a Tervigon, unit of Termagants, unit of Rippers (although he had some help on this one) and finally killing off a Tyrannofex. I had two unit at full pain tokens at the end of the game and my combat drugs roll of 6 helped out all the Wych units.

The portal worked quite well although I did worry about putting the Warriors in it, in the end my concerns were justified as the sole remaining Biovore shot them, didn’t scatter and killed 7 of the 10 after I had failed to move my unit correctly out the portal which left everything bar the Splinter cannon out of range. Amusingly even though they ran off, the Bloodbrides shot it down with their Splinter Pistols before they could assault.

Due to the other armies on the field shooting up the Tyranid lines I think I got away with things. Historically when you played with a webway portal you’d take two of them and put them on Sybarites in your warrior units so you would have one on each flank, of course you could fly vehicles out of them then too. Now you get cheaper portals but there are far fewer models who are capable of taking one. This serves to generally make them a more expensive option to start with.

From using this one as a test I can see that if I were playing a normal game I’d still want two of them. Ideally you want that portal down on turn one as waiting for another turn could rob you of the advantage of using the portal to bring your units on which is the whole reason behind taking the portal in the first place! Sticking with one portal makes your army predictable, after all you can’t bring vehicle units through it so your reach isn’t huge, the piecemeal nature of Reserves can also mess up your plan of course. Two portals would give you a choice of where to concentrate your force and means your enemy cannot just gun for one portal and know where you will be.

You could of course us the portal as a distraction, drop it hoping your opponent will focus around it and then bring on troops in Raiders of Venoms from your own table edge, sure it’ll be another turn before you can disembark and get somewhere (going flat-out) but hopefully you’ll have duped the opposition and then you can capitalise on that. Seems like a suitably Dark Eldar like ploy but you are spending a chunk of points on Wargear you’re not going to use.

My own 1500pts army is based a lot on being mobile and has a lot of vehicles in it, once the webway portal is deployed you are stuck to it, especially with foot infantry. Redeploying or shifting your forces will be much slower than if you can re-embark onto transports. Sure the average Dark Eldar player is expecting to lose most of those transports in turn two but just one that survives can get a unit to the otherwise of the battlefield pretty quickly.

While the webway portal does have its advantages I think it can also be a massive liability. In multi-player games like the one we had those disadvantages are minimised. The problem for Gribblin is that the collection of armies we have means that each individuals weaknesses are covered by the strengths of another army. Especially so now that we are all playing with our own forces, ones we’ve studied and worked out ourselves. I doubt I’ll use the portal in many games myself, mainly due to the limits it places on you. Sitting down the portal unit and your heavy support against an entire army’s worth of deployment on the opposite side of the table isn’t a sure-fire way of getting your guys safely where they need to be and terrain placement could screw with your carefully orchestrated plans.

Putting your assets in transports provides much greater mobility and the chance to react more quickly and while I would never recommend a reactive strategy when playing an opponent sometimes you need to do that to maintain the initiative.

These are just my thoughts from using it in a single game, but these big battles do give us the option to try new things that may cause catastrophic losses should they be tried in a normal 1 v 1. While these big games are fun I think we might rein it in back to the normal format for now so that we each can see our armies in the spotlight a bit and give Gribblin a shot at each of us individually.

We are thinking of running a little friendly league among us. Nothing overly competitive just a fun way of organising who plays against who and seeing who is coming out on top. While we’ve now all beaten the Tyranids collectively it’ll be interesting to see how my Dark Eldar fare against the guys that I have been fighting with. Those Grey Knights seem quite nasty and Servitob’s new pimped out Marines are also more of a worry.

Monday Morning 40k – 6 Inch Move Style


Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, no posts for ages and then you get two posts within moments of each other!

For various reasons that are frankly none of your business, I took Monday off from work. Being one of the minority in our gaming group that actually works a proper week I normally don’t have the luxury of slobbing around, so Gribblin, Servitob and I decided the best way to spend that time was to crack out the 40k armies and have a bit of a rumble.

I spent Sunday night writing up some new lists as we were going to be playing with 1000pts lists. I knew that Servitob was going to be using his Blood Angels for the first time, so I put a pen to paper and came up with a Space Wolves list as well as a bit of a try-out Ork list. I’ll post up the Ork list I used first as these are the guys I went with against Servitob.

Big Mek – Shokk Attack Gun and Cybork Body

10 Lootas

3 Mega Nobz – 2 Combi-rokkits

30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

5 Flash Gitz – Shootier, More Dakka

Never used the Gitz before but thought about giving them a try, after all, 24″ Str 6 Assault 2 guns seem like a good investment before looking at the potential of the D6 AP. This is also the first outing of my 30 Boyz mobs, going with all Shootas as well, sure I lose the 1 attack from the slugga Boyz but hopefully this will be balanced by the much better shooting capacity on the way over.

I let Servitob pick his table edge and go first, we rolled a Seize Ground with 4 objectives and Pitched Battle for deployment. Servitob then placed a Vindicator, Baal Predator, Death Company Razorback and a normal Razorback and that was it. Understandably it took me a little longer, everything I had went on the board meaning at the start of the game I outnumbered him over 15 to 1. I failed to seize the initiative (not that I really wanted it though). Servitob rolled his tank army forward, the Baal Predator opened up on the Big Mek who lost a wound (he was deployed in cover) and the Vindicator scattered to kill 3 Boyz. in return the Boyz all moved forwards supported on the right flank by the footslogging Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz. The Lootas sat at the table edge in my deployment zone minding their own business. The Big Mek didn’t blow himself up (for a change) and rolled 8 for the strength of his shot and even though he hit the Baal Predator he fluffed the penetration roll, in hindsight I should have picked on the other vehicles rather than the AV13 Predator.

Due to an appalling memory I can’t provide a blow by blow for the rest of the battle, however, here are the highlights of the game, there are effectively 2 objectives on each half of the table, I held my two from turn two through to the end. Hail of fire from the Lootas takes out the gun on the Vindicator, it stays put the whole rest of the game. Five tactical Mariness plus a Librarian disembark from their Razorback, the vehicle then tank shocks the Mega Nobz. I pass the morale test and then proceed to Tiger Uppercut the Razorback wrecking it. The Mega Nobz went into the Librarians squad and focussed on the Psyker, he took a couple of hits and was Instant Deathed. The Nobz were then seen off by the power fist wielding sergeant but their job had been completed. The Flash Gitz generally shot stuff up before dying to the Marines, the Power Fist did for them but it didn’t help when fighting the Marines that I forgot they are Nobs and have 2W each….

The Death Company Razorback pulled a hand brake turn in front of my right most objective and disembarked. I then charged a squad of Boyz in there and after a flurry of attacks they were all dead before the Nob even got a chance to swing, good work Boyz.

Servitob forgot to roll for his Terminator for 3 turns, when he finally did they arrived right in front of the lootas. A nice juicy target of 6 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Marines watched as the whole of my surviving Orks (by then the Mek was dead as were the Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz) turned around and shot, first the Lootas then the two Boyz mobs, in the end only a single Terminator was left and then got raped by the two Boyz mobs charging into close combat.

All that was left was the untouched Baal Predator and a Razorback. Servitob had moved everything back away from my army leaving me sat on the two objectives I’d held since the beginning of the battle. Once again my Boyz didn’t let me down, they kept plugging away and even with a lack of ranged armour busting weaponry pulled out a decent win. Sure, Servitob’s list wasn’t great, even so Orks have a problem popping high armour unless they make it into combat and fast vehicles zooming all over the place aren’t easy to hit. It was a fun game though and has given me things to think about for army composition in the future.

The second game saw me take my Space Wolves against Gribblin’s almost never seen Tau. This could not have gone more differently than my previous game. Again, here’s my list;

Njal Stormcaller

5 Terminator Wolf Guard with various weapons, incl Heavy Flamer

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns and a Power Fist

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasma Guns and a Power Fist

5 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons

We rolled Annihilation and Pitched Battle, I took a table edge and deployed first, Gribblin managed to seize initiative in a game where it really cost me not going first. First turn I lose half of the Plasma Grey Hunters, can’t pass a 3+ save at all, my dice have deserted me. Njal gets headshotted by the Hammerhead at the top of turn 2, will put him in a squad next time, if I take him again at all. My Long Fangs hit often but cannot roll more than a 1 or a 2 on their penetration rolls, and whatever I roll is saved by disruption pods anyway. Meltagun Grey Hunters kill off Pathfinders in close combat then get shot up in the following turn leaving a single Meltagun armed Grey Hunter alive on the table, in an action that sums up how the game went he moves behind a Devilfish, hits the rear armour with his gun, penetrates and rolls a 1. I call the game there at the end of turn 5 without rolling for another turn, I have 1 kill point to Gribblin’s 4. The Terminators got shot by Battlesuits and then died in combat to Kroot…. very embarrassing, lots of 1’s for armour saves there.

It was all over rather quickly. Every time I sit down to 40k I always sit there in awe of the advantages other armies have over me and worry about my weaknesses, however, even at the very worst of times my Orks have never let me down. Sure the SAG Mek likes to blow himself up and I haven’t won all my games, My PK Nobs may miss most of the time with their attacks but overall the army seems to perform well for me. I think it’s time to evict the Space Wolves and focus more on my Greenskins, at least until the new Dark Eldar codex arrives. If those models are good then everyone already knows they will have a new army to face, if not however, I think I have a very green future ahead of me.

Battle Missions and New Models


Rumours have circulated around the Internet for some time regarding a Battle Missions book and Games Workshop finally acknowledged this with this weeks newsletter. It also provided some interesting previews for some new 40k models.

I'z ded killy guv
Grots in a dustbin

There was also a preview of a new Venerable Dreadnaught kit but as Space Marines are such a marginalised and rarely faced opponent I didn’t bother posting anything up. I look forward to the battle missions book as there will be stuff in there specifically catered to the individual armies which will make for some interesting games. However, I feel the major need here is to address the pricing that GW have slapped on these new models. Now, I have some Orks and although I am a big supporter of the “moar boyz” approach to problem solving that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate some armour. I have two Killa Kans already and they have performed admirably for me, however, there just isn’t room for them in my current list. The new box contains 3 for £27 and I consider this to be good value, I consider the Ravener box to be pricey for what you get but maybe this is just down to the points values of the respective units. Three gribbly alien gophers cost a lot less than three stompy grot dustbins so my perception of price is more favourable when looking at the Kans.

However, we have a problem when it comes to the Deff Dread. I do not own one currently, the £35 price tag puts me off considering what it’s worth in-game. Although I own three Greater Daemons which cost the same kind of price… go figure. Now, brace yourselves, this plastic kit is……….. £30, a massive five-pound saving on the current metal figure. It’s a nice looking model but at that price point I still find myself thinking I probably won’t get one. The normal Marine dread is £25 and I can stomach paying that but that slight increase just gives me pause. I am sure there are a raft of options on the sprues but I feel GW have missed a trick here. Had they priced it at £25 I reckon they’d have flown off the shelves, but now, even without considering the general expense making an Ork army incurs, I don’t think people are going to rush out and buy it. I have the funds if I wanted to but it’s £30, I can take my wife out for dinner for that much or get a full-sized unit of something for the same price. Maybe I’m just wired wrong but it is not much  cheaper enough than the metal one to make me stand up and get over to the local gaming store to grab one. I can definitely see me increasing my Kan contingent though, 9 in 1500pts could be interesting.

Tutorials in Gaming – Warhammer 40,000 Army List Construction 102


Yesterday I went into the start of constructing an army list for 40k. These same principles do translate into Warhammer with some adjustment. We looked at the basic Force Organisation chart and picked out units that matched these slots fulfilling what core Troops do as well as picking up some punch in the form of an HQ unit. Today we will delve into some of the other unit choices available and the various other slots. While I am using Orks as an example as these are the lists I am more familiar with building the basic concepts I am trying to convey work on any other army list too.

In brief we picked two Troops units to fulfill the compulsory selections, these units we designed around taking objectives as well as survivability for Kill Point scenarios. Out HQ was picked as being able to add some punch to a squad but we will also add something else to this selection as we go through options today.

Following the selections we took yesterday we are now left with 1 HQ, 3 Elites, 4 Troops, 3 Fast Attack and 3 Heavy Support. I also mentioned that we were going to tackle the questions of army selection so, to start, before we build the rest of our army, what are these questions? These are questions that I like to ask myself when seeing if I have all the bases covered when creating a list, I’ve already stipulated I make “all-comers” lists rather than tailoring against specific opponents, answering these questions allows me to make sure I am covered against any eventuality. Here are my questions;

  1. How do I deal with large units? (Usually low T, low AS units like Orks and Gaunts)
  2. How do I deal with armoured infantry? (Terminators and their like)
  3. How do I deal with high Toughness? (Monstrous Creatures)
  4. How do I deal with Armour 14? (Not everyone has Land Raiders but if I can cover this other vehicles will naturally be catered for)
  5. How am I going to claim and hold objectives?

These questions are not in order and some units will be able to cover more than one question. If you build an army around covering all of these bases you should have a strong list that can cope with whatever is thrown at it, it won’t guarantee that you can win every game you play but you’ll certainly be in a better place than if you just take a random bunch of models. Luckily in the Ork army the way I answer a lot of these questions is my 40k catchphrase “Moar Boyz!”. Ork Boyz are excellent for a number of reasons, they are cheap, there are lots of them and a Nob with a Power Klaw can total pretty much anything in the game given time, the number of bodies in his mob is what buys that time (normally).

Firstly, let’s take a look at Elites, for Orks we have a large number of selections in this regard, Nobs squads, Mega-Nobz, Burnas, Lootas, Kommandos and Tank Bustas. Nobs can be changed into the feared (and expensive) Nob bikers too so that gives us a fast-moving attack element to go with our Elites options. Each of these units performs different roles, however, now we can also see that our chosen HQ fits something nicely here. In an Ork army a Warboss allows a unit of Nobz or Mega-Nobz to be taken as a Troops choice rather than Elites, not only does this release an Elites slot we could choose to fill with something else it also means that the units taken as Troops is a scoring unit and can therefore claim objectives. It is worth looking deeply into an HQ units special rules as often it will mean you might look into one choice over another because of those options. As you can see above one of the questions I have is for taking and holding objectives. For this purpose I’d be looking at the Mega-Nobz, normally afflicted by “Slow and Purposeful” foot-slogging them to an objective might not be a good idea, luckily they have a couple of transport options; a Trukk or a Battlewagon. Personally I take a Trukk, its cheap and gets them where the action is quicker than if they were on foot. I can fit 12 models on a Trukk but Mega-armour units count as two models, perfect, I can take 5 Mega-Nobz and the Warboss and fit them all in the Trukk. This gives me a fast-moving element and the open-topped nature of the vehicle means I can assault out of it. I’ll throw in a Red Paint Job to grab an extra inch of movement per turn. This unit will rip through most heavy armoured troops but needs to watch out for monstrous creatures and anything with a power fist as they will get eaten up. This unit will also help with questions 1, 3 and 5 due to their own resilience (2+ AS , 2W and T4) and their combat prowess (3 attacks on the charge at S9). Because they are only S9 on the charge they have difficulty with number 4, however, the addition of the Warboss means that they can actually pop armour 14 as he is a mean S10 normally and puts out 6 attacks on the charge. Question 4 is the hardest for me to answer with Orks as they lack a lot of high strength weaponry, the most powerful things you can get are either random (Zapp gun and Shokk Attack Gun) or vehicle mounted (Boomgun and Kill Cannon).

So far we have a lot of infantry, even if one of those units is charging across the battlefield in a ramshackle Trukk. We could really do with some support for these guys as well as looking into what happens if we have an objective in our own back field that the enemy are going to be coming for? While shooting isn’t the Orks forte so to speak they normally chuck out enough bullets to hit something. So to add some fire support we’re actually going to take two units, one that can claim our own objective and another to give additional fire support. A unit of 10 Lootas will put out up to 30 shots per turn and we can back them up with another mob of 20 Boyz, this time armed with Shootas and as they will be sitting back we can throw in up to 2 Big Shootas to give addtional firepower, for a mere 10 points I see no reason not too, we will add the obligatory Nob to the group to help them out if they get attacked and might as well give him a power klaw too. The Shoota Boyz can take on armoured infantry (huge number of attacks still if they charge or are charged means enemy has more chance of failing saves) and their firepower should put dents in light infantry, their Big Shootas also allow them to pop light vehicles as you have 6 tries per turn. The Lootas meanwhile can pop light vehicles and light infantry as well as picking off lone characters.

This takes us up to 4 Troops choices filled, 1 HQ and 1 Elites. This adds up to around 1100pts with the various options we have and 106 models already. We have nothing from Fast Attack or Heavy Support yet, however we are managing to fit our units into the questions posed earlier. As mentioned you will find that sometimes units will fit the bill to answer more than one question, the Orks certainly do that but their weakness is with question 4. Various armies have strengths in certain areas and weaknesses in others, playing to your strengths is something that you want to do naturally and all the Nobz I have are S9 on the charge and they can pop AV14 but the Warboss is best placed to do it (unless it’s a Monolith and ignores the power klaw strength bonus of course, but that thing is evil in and of itself).

Looking at our current selections shows that we have a horde of foot-slogging infantry and one unit that will be zooming out across the battlefield. What we do not want is for isolated units to be picked off by the enemy before they can do some damage, we need something to backup those Mega-Nobz and give the enemy something else to worry about. While we could take more Boyz and pop 12 of them in a Trukk we only have 2 Troops slots left and have 3 Fast Attack. So, here come 10 Stormboyz, they are Jump Infantry so can move fast and their rocket packs allow them an extra d6″ movement per turn, so they can zoom up to 18″ in the movement phase and still assault 6″ in the assault phase, not bad at all. We’ll upgrade them to have a Nob with Power Flaw so we can pop vehicles if we have to and have a solid unit that can jump between terrain and support our Mega-Nobz. This unit comes in at almost 200pts leaving us with around 200pts left on the army. we haven’t taken anything from Heavy Support and to be honest I tend to find this a bit lacking for the Orks, sure there are some nice options like Deff Dreads and Battlewagons but I like boots on the ground. In any army there are a number of ways to answer the questions posed earlier and therefore I am not giving you a definitive way of building an army, if you like a unit then by all means take it, you have options with building an army, that is why each of the various Force Organisation slots has a number of choices, knowing what to take and how it will perform will help you to balance your army. Blast templates will rip apart a foot-slogging Ork army, but I know this and therefore will try and use cover to my advantage to reduce the casualties that my Boyz take on the way in. The Waaagh! I can call should help me get in combat by turn 2 or 3 and the sheer number of models I have is designed to overwhelm the enemy. Most things will be killed by the sheer number of attacks I can put out, that’s the way this army is designed to work. In your own forces think about what you want to achieve and design a list that sticks to that theme, think about how you are going to play on your advantages while trying to play down your weaknesses. Going in half-hearted is a surefire way to gimp your army selection.

To round off then I’m going to ignore Heavy Support, other armies have much more interesting choices, Space Marines have Whirlwinds and Vindicators that are well worth looking at for taking out Question 1, Daemons have Soul Grinders and Daemon Princes that can answer 1,2,3 and 4 so really it all depends on what you are taking. Finishing my army is going to stick to my old adage and fill in that fifth Troops slot, another unit of 30 Slugga Boyz, with a Nob armed with Power Klaw. Yes I have three units armed the same way but very few armies are going to enjoy 90 Ork Boyz running at their lines when backed up by Stormboyz and a Trukk-load of Mega-Nobz.

Is this the best army list I can come up with? Probably not, I know I can fit 6 squads of 30 Boyz into 1080pts and that’s evil as it is. However, hopefully reviewing what we’ve put together and the reasons why I’ve chosen what I have chosen give insight into the principles behind army selection. I could have argued for and against Tank Bustas, chucked in an extra Warboss and taken two units of Nobz in Battlewagons and all kinds of other options that would have produced viable army lists. Experiment with what you have but always keep in mind the roles that you have for your units, throwing into something they are not designed to do is a sure-fire way of getting them killed and edging you towards defeat.

This is our final army list;

Ork Warboss with Power Klaw, Mega-armour, Attack Squig and Bosspole

5 Mega-Nobz in a Trukk with a Red Paint Job

10 Lootas

30 Ork Boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

30 Ork Boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

30 Ork Boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

20 Ork Boyz with Shootas, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole and 2 Big Shootas

10 Stormboyz with Nob armed with Power Klaw

Approx 1500pts with 136 models.

Tutorials in Gaming – Warhammer 40,000 Army List Construction 101


A common feature of most miniatures games out there at the moment is that models are assigned a value, games are played with a limit placed on how much stuff you can take and this is to aid balance in the game. Theoretically if you are playing to a points value and you both have the same number of points the armies should more or less be balanced against one another, although this does create the arguments that, points for points, some army lists find it easier to create “more powerful” armies than others. This is a line of thought heavily prevalent in the Warhammer world right now.

However, with this weekend now on the horizon and the mouth-watering Saturday event of 3000pts of new Tyranids spawned from the gene-vats hidden away in Gribblin’s bedroom (I’ve seen this firsthand, he has a live brood of Genestealers stashed under his bed, true story) facing off against the arrayed (much more heroic) forces generalled by none other than Servitob and myself. Below are the general rules we are using for this fight and then I’ll explain where this post is going.

Tyranids; 3000pts maximum with 2 Force Organisation charts available

Allied forces of Servitob and ZombiePirate; 1500pts per general using a single Force Organisation chart each

All normal Force Organisation rules apply. Battle will commence on a 6′ * 4′ table using Hidden Deployment (basically section off the table halves and each army deploys at the same time not having any idea what the opposing team has done). We will roll for mission type at the start of the game before deployment. Variable game length and all other special rules will be used.

Considering that this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now I thought it provided a great time in which to prepare an article on how to craft a 40k army list. Afterall, I’ll be needing one, although the example I will use here will be around the army I know best (Orks) the basic principles will apply to any army you collect. I’ll be throwing in units and their upgrades but will also give reasons why they are there. Most armies don’t have the option of their basic troops choice being 30 strong, however, I will be going into battlefield roles and the concepts behind why you build a list the way you do considering what you want to achieve. For new players it is relatively easy to just create a list of the stuff you like and chuck it out there to see how it goes, however, for other players with a reasonable collection of stuff you’re going to want to consider taking one over another or just what do you spend those spare few points on.

The concepts presented here will describe my preferred style of army list, the “all-comers” list, something with a little of everything. If you know what you are facing then it is possible to tailor your list to counter a specific enemy (most tournament armies are designed around taking out MEQ armies, T4 with a 3+ armour save, as that is what is prevalent in that environment), however, I much prefer to write a more generic list and have fun without than take something specifically that I know will decimate my opponent. Afterall, we’re both there to have fun as the main thing, having the perfect counter-force to my friend across the table just doesn’t seem very friendly. I’m not a tournament player where I’d expect this to be the case, games at home with my pals, although we challenge each other, we don’t tend to bring out the most broken combination of cheese that we can, although, I do own a Daemons of Chaos army for Warhammer…

So here we go, 1500pts of list construction tutorial;

The first place to look is at the Force Organisation chart itself, on the left is the chart for standard missions, if you are playing Planetstrike or Apocalypse then this will be either different or removed altogether. As we are concerned here with a standard mission we’ll follow the one shown. The chart is split into various sections, each troop, vehicle, creature and character fits into one of these slots and can be found in that section of the relevant army’s Codex, different armies have differing numbers of options in each of these areas as well. In total there are two HQ slots, three Elites slots,six Troops slots, three Fast Attack and three Heavy Support. Each unit occupies one of these slots and you cannot take more units of a particular slot that there are available, for example, in a normal mission you could not take four Heavy Support elements. You also have a couple of compulsory choices as indicated by the shaded boxes in the picture. These are one HQ choice and two Troops choices, there is no leeway here you have to take at least these slots for a legal army. It is logical therefore to start with these units when planning your list.

If you are anything like myself and my playgroup you probably don’t roll for a mission until you turn up, therefore you have no idea if you are going to hunting for objectives or trying to wipe out the opposition. Someone may even have written a special mission for fun. Therefore you are going to want to be able to cover either of these scenarios, you’re going to want to be able to grab objectives and be able to give the enemy a pounding, this will mean you’ll be taking a balance of units. Let’s take a look at those Troops choices first.

In the case of the Orks I have two basic choices listed under the Troops section of my Codex, these are Ork Boyz and Gretchin. If I have to take two units worth of something to satisfy my compulsory components my best bet is looking at stuff that can grab objectives and be meaty enough to have a go at the opposition, luckily for me Boyz units fit this bill nicely. For the bargain bucket price of 180pts I can get 30 Boyz armed with either Shootas or a Slugga and Close Combat weapon. Both are awesome in close combat but one has a slight edge when it comes to shooting. Orks aren’t renowned for their marksmanship but those 30 Boyz can put out 60 shots a turn with their basic gun and charge into assault afterwards. Here is my first choice, do I want to increase their shooting potential at the expense of the extra attack I get from the Slugga and Close Combat weapon. Normally I am figuring that I will be charging towards the enemy to fulfill either the capturing of objectives or the annihilation of whoever is on the other side of the table and therefore kit stuff out with the Slugga/Close Combat weapon however, either loadout for your Boyz is good. These are my compulsory choices and also, because they are troops, are the only slots I have for capturing objectives. Now, Orks aren’t loaded out with armour therefore to compensate for this I am going to need numbers, therefore I am going to add in two units of 30 Boyz armed for assault. That’s 360pts for now.

However, every unit in a Codex normally has a number of options to bolster the basic unit. In the Boyz case there is the option for a Nob unit leader as well as various heavier weapons to add to the squad. Not all army list construction is down to the maths though, some things will be personal preference. In this case I will forego the option of the heavier weapons, I want my guys to be running into the jaws of the enemy so stopping and shooting isn’t what they are designed for. If I have a role for them to do I should stick to equipping them for that role. I always take a Nob in the unit as this unlocks some  much-needed wargear options to power up my squad. With Orks it is considered to be a must-have upgrade to have a Nob and a Power Klaw, this guy packs strength 9 on the charge and can therefore take on monstrous creatures or vehicles with relative ease giving the unit a multi-tasking role as Orks lack much in the anti-armour department so I need to get it where I can take it. As the Nob is a unit leader he cannot be picked out from the unit which means ramming a unit of 30 Boyz with a Power Klaw Nob into something like a Carnifex is a pretty safe bet, yes the Carnifex will kill some Orks but the return attacks from the Nob will be wounding on 2’s and ignore its armour save.. ouch.

Taking options like this is an example of knowing what your unit is there to do. This is a basic tenet of army list building, every unit should have a role, now that we’ve chosen the two Troops slots we need to fill let’s have a quick look at the HQ options.

In most armies your HQ options will have a few generals to perform different kinds of roles and a plethora of special characters. In general Special Characters are very expensive for what they do and you can normally come up with something that will perform better for less points creating your own character. If we ignore special characters then for our Ork example we have three options, the Warboss, the Big Mek and the Weirdboy. Each have their specialities, the Warboss is a combat beast and will massacre stuff in combat, the Big Mek has access to some pretty weird wargear (mobile cover save and potentially one of the most devastating guns in the game) and the Weirdboy gives you access to psychic powers. The Warboss allows you to take a single Nob or Mega-Nob unit as a Troops choice (this could be a compulsory choice but I’m ignoring that for the sake of this article), the Big Mek allows a Deff Dread as a Troops choice. This is pretty redundant as he is a vehicle and therefore cannot claim objectives, however, if you are taking a lot of Heavy Support choices then this could free up a slot. The Deff Dread might be quite killy but for the cost to load him out I’d probably take another unit of 30 Boyz for the Troops slot as they will soak more damage, do more damage themselves and can claim objectives.

Our options here are really the Warboss or the Big Mek, both are cheap and unless we take a Shokk Attack Gun will not blow themselves up like the Weirdboy can. The Warboss has more wounds, is tougher, has higher Weapon Skill and has the best possible strength available to the Ork army (Str 10 with a power klaw). As we could take Nobs of Mega-Nobs as a Troops slot we’ll pay 60 points for the Warboss and take some upgrades to make him do more damage in close combat. Wargear is a personal choice but keep in mind what you want to do with the character and kit them out accordingly, don’t waste points on stuff, keep things simple as you’ll have more points to spend elsewhere.

To recap so far we have filled our compulsory selections, below is the army as it stands showing wargear loadouts. Obviously unless you are playing Orks (and even if you are) your list may look different but for now we have only filled things we have to take.

Warboss with Mega-Armour, Bosspole, Attack Squig and Cybork Body

2 Mobs of 30 Boyz with Sluggas/Choppas Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole

For a total of 575pts which is just over a third of our army, but we have 61 models already. As this article is already getting long we’ll move into the other aspects of our list tomorrow when we will discuss the roles of Elites, Fast Attack and Heavy Support, choosing roles for things and what I like to call the “Questions of Army Selection”.

See you tomorrow.

What’s Green and Dead Killy? – It’s Not Always Orks…


As promised here is the battle report from our pilgrimage to geek central. Gribblin took his Eldar (apparently it’s easier to travel with a load of vanity obsessed lady-boys who like matching accessories than a horde of evil alien beasties who want to mate with your face) and I took along my, far more manly and personal hygiene averse, Orks.

I have also been asked to do this from an Orky point of view, so *clears throat* here it goes;

Warboss Tuffgit – “Right ‘den ladz. I’z da Warboss and mah sneeky gitz has scouted around and found some tasty looking loot around ‘ere. OI! Come back ‘ere Scrogg, that loot isn’t goin’ anywhere yet and you bes’ keep yer hands off the good stuff before I bash yer stinkin’ ‘ed in.

As I wos sayin’ dere’s loot out there for us boys, but dem pointy ear space panzies is looking to get a kickin’ as they fink dis loot is dere’s. Guess we iz just gonna haf to prove dem wrong. Hur hur.”

“Where’s my zoggin’ Trukk, winch those Mega-nobz in there gud. I want to be krumpin stuff first!.

Step on it! Head for that group of panzies cowering behind that building, they’re heading for where da loot is!”

Big Mek – “Right ladz, we’ve nice and safe in dis ‘ere buildin’ see those blue looking wussies  over there? Yeah, the ones running towards that set of rocks, give ’em a blast from da deffguns! HA! See dem runnin’ good shootin’ ladz. Now, if I click dis button ‘ere and flick dis switch, gud, da spinny wot-sits is working – ZAP! I hit dat tank fing, time to ‘oover up some more snotlings.”

First turn – Most of my army charged forwards. We were playing for 5 objectives that had been placed all over the map, I do have some piccies that might make more sense for the layout. Pretty much everything was ruins and that is where the objectives were placed. The Eldar deployed in the middle and on their left flank, my Ork just filled with whole table edge with the Warboss and his Mega-nobz in a trukk on the left backed up by the Shoota Boyz squad and the Stormboyz. I had my Lootas and SAG Mek in a building in m y deployment zone and another unit of slugga boyz on the right flank and the final 2 units of Slugga Boyz in the middle ready to run up the battlefield. I was pretty happy with my deployment.

From now on I’ll just post the thoughts of my Orks on their various turns. I am sure Gribblin can come and give his point of view too.

Turn 2

Warboss Tuffgit – “Right ladz, lets get owt of dis wagon before we get shot up.”

Stormboyz – “ere we go, ere we go, ere we go, chargin’ into units of panzies! Krump, krump, krump see dem running away.”

Boyz mobs – “Keep runnin’ we need to get our hands on da loot before the *BANG* Well, guess that’s more loot for we who iz left.”

Big Mek – “Let’s try dis again… aimin’ for dose big floaty platform things, they seem to be shooting da boyz up. ***ZAPPPP*** Hur hur, dey ‘sploded. Lootas, shoot some more of dem blue boyz who was running away earlier, good shootin’ ladz.”

Warboss – “Right, let’s charge that tank thing what is floatin’ nearby, what do you mean your leg’s stuck, you paid good teef for that zogging armour and now you can’t move because you’re stuck? Zog me.”

Turn 3

Boyz – “Ere, dat floaty wagon is makin’ towards da Mek, betcha 20 teef I can get dere first and kill stuff. What do ya mean me axe won’t hurt it? See, dere’s our nob punching it in the…… *BANG*”

Warboss – “What are dose orange lads ? They jumped out of dat tank we couldn’t scrap coz you’re zoggin’ leg got stuck Slackwort, dose look like some nasty gu…. bloody ‘ell dey just melted half me retinyou… cretinou…retin…me mates.”

Stormboyz – “Oi, dat’s da boss over there and he just got slagged by dem orange gizas, maybe we should give him a hand?”

Turn 4

Lootas – “Help, we have green fings wot isn’t Orkz killing us….argggghhhhh.”

Big Mek – “Is alright lads, all I got to do is flick this……*WHOMF* /big mek vanishes in a flash of lightning leaving only his sming boots behind/”

The rest of the battle can really be summarised by the line ” We iz getting shot up.”

With 5 loot objective round the table I was holding two and the Eldar one. Two Dire Avengers were all that was left of their unit and they were camping their objective. I had my Shoota Boyz squad holed in a wood sitting on their objective. For the first three turns I had blasted and chopped my way through a decent portion of the Eldar army, although the Fire Prism was annoyingly still at full strength. My Warboss had butchered a Falcon and the Stormboyz had seen off a Guardian squad as well as the Fire Dragons that had seen the end of the Mega-nobz. The Wave Serpent that had got to my deployment zone was falcon punched by a nob with a power klaw causing its precious cargo of Scorpions and attendant Autarch to punch out. This turned out to have been a bad move on my part. The Scorpions went into the Lootas with expected results. My Big Mek tried to shoot them and for the third game in a row rolled a double 1 and vaporised himself. A full mob of 20 Orks went into the Scorpions and took some casualties, they fought back only to see Gribblin only fail a single armour save! The sweeping advance hacked the rest of the unit apart. The following turn the Scorpions went into another unit of boyz, again hacking them to pieces and running them down. This left my depleted boyz mob who held the centre objective facing the almost full strength Scorpions. They’d already seen two units of 20 get wiped out. In went the Scorpions, slaughtered all but a couple of boyz and the Nob, who did a couple of wounds back but were still soundly beaten. This left us with one objective a piece. The Warboss wandered over and did a fantastic job of showing why I shouldn’t even bother buying him ‘eavy armour as the scorpions shot at him before assault and took two wounds off him as I couldn’t pass the 4+ saves….

He was then finished off by the Autarch in assault. Not one of Tuffgit’s most glorious moments. All that I had left on the table was my Shoota Boyz and the Trukk the Mega-nobz had been rolling in that had had its Big Shoota blown off. So, in true Ork fashion I conga-lined the shoota boyz so that the sat on two objectives. It boiled down to the last turn of the Autarch against the Boyz. I shot the unit, they took casualties, leadership test was taken, they legged it. Rallied in the final turn but were out of range for assaulting so the Orks won 2-1.

I have to say that this was one of the most fun games I have had. For the first few turns the Eldar got hammered by the Orks but then the Scorpions single-handedly seemed to be winning them the game for the last few turns as they carved through Boyz mobs like they weren’t even there. Although, there was some decent rolling for armour saves on Gribblin’s part. However, that just added some nice tension to the game. By turn 6 we both had virtually nothing left and we were heading for a draw as Gribblin was heading to contest one of my objectives to tie the game 1-1. Luck was on my side though but this was a very close and bloody game.

Once my home internet is fixed I will probably update with a couple of photos that I took.

Things I learnt from this game;

  • Need larger units of Boyz like I thought I did. Was already working on modified list before this game
  • Dethkoptas are useless, two game so far and they have done nothing worth mentioning
  • Stormboyz are ace. Despite Servitob not believing me on how they work, checking my Codex and then going to check with a GW employee…
  • SAG can be fun, but with BS2, scatter and an unerring ability to vapourise himself, I don’t think he will be coming back for a while
  • Do not let Striking Scorpions get near units of Boyz. Not stricly a 100% valid maxim as although they will reap a bloody tally I normally get a load of attacks back, passing 99% of armour saves is annoying
  • Do not chuck Mega-Nobz near melta weapons, although going against fast vehicles kind of limits how evasive I can be
  • 40k is an awesome game and lots of fun
  • Roll on Jan 30th when myself and Servitob will be facing a horde of the new Nids, the true face of Gribblin