Friday, July 15, 2011

First Look: Orc and Goblins 2011 Army Book Review


This will be my first look at the new Orcs and Goblins Army Book, but you'll notice as your reading that I won't go too specific into the entrys. The reason for this is mostly because this is my first impressions on the book and about certain parts in it. This will be more of a brief opinion review that will be followed by a more in depth review later in the year. This is so that I can get a better perspective on how this army will function in the new 8th edition landscape and I think it would be pointless to be too critical on this book until at least the new tomb kings and maybe another book comes out later this year. Simply because I have no other 8th edition books to compare it with....Anyways on to the review!!!!(Images provide by
What this means is that any weapon an orc is carrying(magic weapons included) counts as a choppa as well. So basically every orc has 1+ strength regardless of what weapons they use. So for instance spears get 1+ str and allow you to attack in an additional rank as well..... :). It also seems like the basic orc and arrow boyz have gone up by one point, but realizing the potential the new choppa rule allows for them its understandable. More importantly all orc characters can have magic weapons and still benefit from the choppa special rules, making orc characters even more badass in my eyes.

- Goblins have 1/2pt upgrades.....

Looking at the outside of the book, I can't help it but for some reason it looks slimer and more compact then previous books. But at a closer look it becomes apparent that the book is actually 112 pages long and when placed side by side to a warmachine faction book, they are in fact the same height and width when comparing the front covers. I have heard that all future GW army books will be hard cover, but that is just speculation so take that with a grain of salt(At least to me it is because its fairly a recent development). The current price is around $44 dollars(Will vary with currency/country) I think that its reasonable to ask for that price because it is hard cover and again comparing it to the only books that are similar, the PP books are very similar in price for the same thing.

Looking at the inside of the book it is clearly shown that each page has been beautifully coloured and highlighted, making this by far the most colourful book to date from GW, next to the BFB of course. Now one initial concern of mine was that the amazing gritty grey and black artwork would be altered or even removed due to the fact that this book was printed in colour. But my concerns were dashed aside as I stood in awe in their new altered forms. Each profile has the traditional pictures beside each entry, but instead of black and white they have been washed in a very dark green ink and in a very subtle manner, yellow highlights have been used to bring out the details of each picture. From a distance each picture gives the illusion of being black and white, but by looking closer at the pictures it becomes more apparent that these changes have improved the images beyond simply black and white.


Ok so the fluff is more of the same, but its fairly detailed in the descriptions of how certain tribes of orcs and goblins exist and their respective cultures are showcased in a very useful manner. Each major waaagh, plus some newer waaaghs have been highlighted, but aside from that not a whole lot else has been added and this is my biggest problem with this book, but more on that later.


There are several pages of lord choices to choose from with several pages more then most army books and 40k codexes. The hero choices have also been expanded, but not nearly as much as the lord section. You have all of the old special characters as well as some newer and older faces that rejoin the mix.



Now on the surface there hasn't been that many changes to the core section, but here are several of the key differences I noticed compared to previous books:

-All orcs have the choppa special rule.
Now this comes as no surprise because goblins still needed something to make them an attractive option compared to the similar pointed night goblins. A 4pts a goblin can have a full loadout and for 10pts can have up to 3 goblin skullas, which have 2 base attacks(Additional handweapons, so technically 3) they pop out on the turn of your choosing, and have ASF and killing blow, could be useful.

-Plastics everywhereThe core troops have stayed the same, but as everyone should know by now all the Savage orc boys(Boars too) have been turned into new plastic kits. This means that their is next to no metal left in an O_G list. The changes to frenzy, and the choppa rules means that like savage orc boys can use several equipment combinations that can be utilitized to create a power hitting unit..


Alright now this is the real meat of the book and their are several new entrys and all of your old favorite units are still there with some new exciting units to make you want 50% of your army special.

Black orcs have gotten cheaper, and kept all their old abilities in addition to the new choppa rule, so yeah they can have choppa greatweapons or 2 choppa handweapons....ouch.

All the old squig units make a return, and the forest goblins got some love this addition with the new entry of the Gigantic spiders, these spiders are kind of like a medium sized ogre monsters and unfortunately they don't have models yet. I would expect to see them in the second wave releases. Spear chukkas have a misfire result now, which is on the roll of a 1 and after that they roll on the stone thrower misfire table. The basic troll is included into the special section, but river and stone trolls have been moved to the rare. Also the rock lobba according to my memory has also been moved to the rare slot as well.

Finally the Orc Boar boys and Orc Savage boar boy, have had a significant decrease in points, dropping from 22pt to around 16 points, and all round the cost of upgrading a unit into big un's has been reduced by at least half.

Regardless this section is loaded with choice and orc players now have a special section that is crammed full of orc and goblin themes and utility.



Ok wow, just wow. The sheer amount of choices and selection inside the rare selection is truly amazing. There are 2 whole pages dedicated to rare and every giant version of an orc monster is in it. This selection will be the hardest to choose from in the entire orc and goblin book. The giant spider is truly a beast to behold and grants a goblin greater shaman the loremaster ability if it chooses to mount it.


Now while impressive and being plain creepy(I hate spiders apparently) this model isn't unbeatable. It has a standard 4+ armour and toughness 6. Sure it has 8 wounds, but with its base being the size of 10 models any horde could potentially get all their attacks against it. Now being pointed at 290 before upgrades, this beast is well costed and will be a huge drawing factor to any O_G player. The giant is now 200pts, but it still seems too expensive, but on the plus side it can take warpaint now, meaning it can have a 6+ ward save....yay? Only if you take a savage orc shaman though. 

Theres the new mangler squig which is truly awesome as well and fairly decent, I can see this as an alternative to the giant and spider. Rock lobbas are always useful, but with all the entrys in this section it will be hard pressed to be included when you can take goblin doom divers or a rock lobba on the giant spider. Pump wagons are awesome as usual, but even more so now because you can upgrade them and pimp your wagons! Lastly you have access to river and stone trolls meaning your rare, just got more crowded.


Orcs and goblins still have their own lores, and each one has their own unique killer spell, but I think I'll leave that till a future review. One thing I will talk about though is their lore attributes. The Big waaagh's is fairly simple, the more friendly units in combat while you attempt to cast this spell allows the shaman to add a +1 modifier to the spell's casting value. The Little waaagh's is of course a bit more subtle. Whenever the shaman casts a spell he rolls a dice, on a 1-4 nothing happens, but on a 5-6 he can take a dispel dice from his opponent and may add it to his roll.

From what I could tell there is no orc specific miscast table, but again I might have missed it or skipped over it.


Ok, so instead of a billion new items, we lose most of them and get 8 magic items. Now I know alot of orc players may have mixed feelings about this, but this seems to be the direction that all the new 8th edition books might be taking. It makes sense, each army book gets a handful of items and the main rulebook becomes the source of the majority of magic items, therefore limiting magic item power creep and less potential need for more erratas. I like this idea, but for a few months anyway it will take sometime for this adjustment to occur and their will be some books with more options. But if you think about what the main book items add to the game, it really isn't an issue.


Now this change is kind of strange, because I believe this is the same table from 2 editions ago. You roll a dice, on a 1 you look at the Animosity chart and roll again. 1, you attack a friendly unit that fits the proper animosity critera(larger then 5 models, not a warmachine, etc) and they deal D6 attacks, and 2D6 if its a horde. If you get 2-5 you charge the nearest enemy unit(plus some other stuff that I can't remember at this moment). Finally a 6 means you make your normal move and then get the chance to charge as well, so basically a potential 20 inch charge. Take in account the combination of the percentage system allowing lords and heroes to be utilized more and the risk of animosity has been greatly reduced, however like it has always been, animosity will be a factor that will influence an O_G player's battle plan and army list, but hopefully now it doesn't dictate it.

Now this is a blunder on my part I forgot to read the waaagh properly as I got drawn into the amazing splendor that is the new O_G book, but from what I can remember units that qualify for animosity or auto-pass it, get an automatic 6 result on the animosity chart, but again this is just a brief overview and I can make misteaks.......damn.


GW has steped up their game and as a result each page of this book shows off the potential that all future 8th edition army books should strive for. But I'm not without my let downs and while they maybe small, they are worth mentioning. First off, while I'm a fan of scaling the game to a larger dimension with huge monsters, I don't like the fact that these books provide the option, but wait years for a kit to be released. I like the idea of second and third waves, but its a large pill to swallow when you aren't able to rely on an army release to provide at least a breadnbutter kit that provides at least the potential for more variety. Who knows how long it will take for the mangler squig or gigantic spiders to show up? Now this is a very minor grip and GW seems to be kicking their release schedule into high gear, saying that tomb kings will be released 2 months for now, and the fact that the second wave dark eldar kits have already shown up. They have alot of ground to make up, since believe it or not its almost been half a year since 8th edition came out. The next major problem I have with the book is that even though it has a larger fluff section then normal, they skip over two very key elements of the orcs timeline. They start talking about the orcs and goblins origins, but they shaft the whole beginning part and make us assume orcs and goblins just exist and give us the lame excuse of "Oh well they don't like reading or writing so they have no history"....Well ok then I guess we'll never know who's da best then will we? Also if orcs never cared about their history explain to me why they bother fighting the best opponents if no orc will ever remember them, plus don't these brutes chant and sing about their gods and great champions of great waaaghs from the past all the time? It just doesn't make any sense, orcs have traditions otherwise they wouldn't have savage orcs, and goblins have entirely different cultures depending on their geographic locations just like real world cultures. The last bit of the fluff rant and is to be expected is the cut off before the storm of chaos timeline, all they have grimgor do is sit in his mountain and kill skaven all day thats it, no evolution or progression, nothing else.  Now I'm just rambling about nothing right now, and ultimately this doesn't doom the book at all it is just my own personal problem with some of the lazy writing lately.....

 All in all though it will be difficult to say how much of an impact this army book will have on the current warhammer fantasy landscape, because while there are some significant changes, the book feels more of the same, but for Orcs and Goblins thats not a bad thing because they are timeless piece of GW history and we have loved the green lugs for being a constant in the warhammer universe.


Hopefully later this year once several other army books are released I will have the time and energy to revisit this book once its been fully exposed to the public for several months. Overall I like the book, and its worth a look at.

Until next time,


Adam Tremblay

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