I’ve only ever played Alistair at Kings of War and he showed a frightening ability to learn from previous games and adapt his list and tactics. As such, although he may not have played 8th for some time, I can’t underestimate him and suspect his list is based on previous, well worked lists.
Again I give a warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!
OnG’s hold a special place in my warhammer heart and are the one army where I’m almost certain to run a reasonably fluffy list. Back in 3rd edition you had to take at least 1 unit each of 20 goblin ‘warriors’ and 20 goblin archers. As such I still almost always have a unit of each (though the archers are now by default night goblins). As such I was very curious to see what Alistair would bring.
Orc Warboss (General) – Armour of Destiny, Gold Sigil Sword, Wyvern – 340pts
The basic stats of the Orc warboss match those of my Beastlord, except he has one less point of movement and initiative. This means he is naturally tough and strong without upgrades. To make up for his obvious one lacking area, he has been boosted to initiative 10 (with the bonus of having a magic sword). He’s also been given a 4+ save and 4++ ward. Mounting him on a wyvern gives a hard hitting mount and also boosts his general’s bubble to 18″.
Black Orc Big Boss (BSB) – Tormentor Sword, Armour of Fortune, Shield – 157pts
The compulsory bsb. He is as tough as the general and reasonably well protected with a 4+ save and 5++ ward. Again he has a cheap magic sword that will allow him to deal with ethereal and gives any monster or character he wounds, the stupidity rule. Being a Black Orc, he is able to quell animosity (by causing D6 Str 5 hits on his unit – basically bashing heads together!).
Orc Shaman – level 2, Power Scroll – 135pts
A low level shaman. His scroll allows him to, once, halve the cost of any spell. This can be a nasty surprise, especially if it is a low magic phase as it will allow something like Foot of Gork to be cast when you are not expecting it!
Orc Big Boss – Spear, Lt Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command, War boar – 120pts
This boss will obviously go in the Boar boyz unit. He is armed to be tanky with a 2+ save and 2++ ward vs fire attacks. The Crown of Command will allow the unit to always take an leadership tests on an 8 (or 9 if in the general’s range).
Black Orc Big Boss – Sword of Swift Slaying, Heavy Armour, Shield – 117pts
Another black orc to place in a unit of boyz to quell animosity. The sword will overcome the low initiative of the Black Orc, allowing him to have a chance of removing threats to him.
Goblin Big Boss – Ruby Ring of Ruin, Giant Wolf – 72pts
The boss is a cheap way of improving the leadership of a unit that could well be out of range of the general. The Ring gives another decent cheap spell to cast to supplement the 2 shamans.
Orc Shaman – level 2, Ironcurse Icon – 105pts
Another low level shaman. Has the ability to give a 6++ ward vs warmachines to him and his unit (not that this will be of any use against me with my total lack of them).
19 Orc Big ‘Uns – FC, AHW, War banner – 241pts
A fairly small unit of boyz. Upgraded to orc ‘elite’. They are comparable to my Gor (with the beast banner embedded). It is likely one of the black orc bosses will be in the unit and if they fail an animosity test it could really reduce their effectiveness due to the wounds caused. This is probably why they have the banner that adds +1 to the combat resolution.
40 Orc Boyz – FC, Lt armour, shield – 315pts
A solid block of boyz. In a straight face off, my two blocks should both be capable of beating this but probably not without suffering numerous casualties in return.
26 Arrer Boyz – FC, Bow, Lt armour – 212pts
I’ve found the best way to treat arrer boyz is as a normal block of orc boyz, that just happen to have a ranged capability too.
9 Wolf Riders – FC, short bow, Lt armour, giant wolf – 129pts
Its quite unusual to see a single unit at this size (although saying that, I also like to run them like this). This unit is a prime candidate for my Doombull
9 Boar Boyz – FC, Spear, Lt armour, shield, War boars, Rangers Standard – 265pts
A very hard hitting unit if they get the charge off. Spears and choppers rule will give them Str 5 on the charge, which matches the boars. With the character added to it, combined with their 3+ save they are a pretty tanky tarpit too. The standard will mean they won’t have to take any dangerous terrain tests.
6 Trolls – 210pts
Standard trolls so no -1 to hit. The vomit attack is of no use on most of my army as I have negligible armour saves, so instead we have the standard 18 Str 5 monstrous infantry attacks. Nothing to be sniffed at. Oh and they are tough and have a 4+ regen save (of which I have no flaming attacks to negate). The downside is the low leadership and stupidity rule, meaning they will need to go near to the general to be effective.
Doom Diver Catapult – 80pts
This is the one credible threat to the doombull as it will ignore armour and causes D6 Str 5 hits. The ability to adjust any misses makes it particularly dangerous.
Sadly no pump wagons, snotlings or blocks of goblin infantry (though on the upside barely any artillery, no black orc boyz or savage orcs). A lot of the random elements that are in the book have been left out, instead a solid ‘reliable’ mass of orc boyz, backed up with black orc characters to help remove the animosity that can foil an Orc generals plans. He also has 5 units with fortitude (one of which can be bumped up with the bsb to get an extra pip of fortitude). This will give him an advantage in some scenarios against me.
As a general rule, orcs are tough and not that dissimilar to Beastmen in stats. Where they differ is they have a lower weapon skill in general (meaning my troops will hit on a 3+ vs the Orcs return hits on a 4+), have a lower initiative (so will strike last) and a lower movement. They do gain an additional point of Str in the first round of combat but also suffer from animosity which can be both a boon and a drawback. However his 2 main units of orc infantry will likely have a Black Orc big boss in each meaning they will not suffer from it (though could suffer D6 Str 5 hits if they do fail it, which realistically means the wolf riders and boar boyz are the units that might fail the test.
He has taken a gamble on magic, with only 2 low level shamans and no dispel scroll so this may give me an edge.
As with Martin’s Dwarves, he has only 8 drops to my 10 so I’ll have the edge on him which should help with some scenarios.
His general being on a monster, means it can’t join units and so cannot assist with scenarios that require fortitude (bar killing stuff of course). I might again be able to use this to my advantage.
The bounties will be placed on his 40 Orc boyz, Orc Big Uns and Boar boyz respectively, whilst mine are on the Gor, Bestigor and one of the Chariots.
This means he could leave one unit (e.g. the Big ‘Uns) protected (perhaps on the central objective) and this would still leave his Trolls and Arrer boyz to assist in hunting down my two units. The Doom Diver will likely be gunning for my chariot so i’ll have to ensure it is only dropped after the diver to make sure it out of range. This will mean that the wolf riders and general will likely be gunning for it as an easy two points.
2. Dawn Attack
The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.
With 5 units capable of capturing, he has the advantage here. The Wolf Riders (and to some extent the Boar Boyz) will be his quick reaction force able to run and capture anything unattended. As such i’ll want to eliminate them quickly. This would then leave us both with a combined fortitude of 5 (though he would still have the edge on capturing quadrants, as his fortitude is split between 4 units).
This is played length ways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. No two ways about it, I can see this will end up a straight fight as we both storm forward. I’ll have to use my chaff smartly to weigh the matchups in my favour. Bestigor may have to go 6 wide and in 7 ranks for this one rather than horde formation.
You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side).
I will really struggle with this one and will have no option but to take the fight to him to reduce the number of terrain items he can capture.
3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. I’ll have to treat this one in a similar way I would the dwarves. The difference is I don’t necessarily need to capture them first. With the sheer number of his units, Alistair can afford to try and capture all three if needed.
6. Wicked woods
I can’t treat this any differently to the dwarf game. Capture the woods and throw everything else forward to get in the way.