Monday 24 April 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - Building an Ork Boyz Kill Team

I know I haven't put up any new reviews on my site for a little while. I apologise for that, but I've been far too distracted with Shadow War: Armageddon to think about anything else. I'll try to rectify that in the next few days, but for now, I'm just going to keep banging on about this game. Sorry if it's getting old. Indulge me for a while...

So, Games Workshop have just announced the preorders for the Shadow War: Armageddon rules book. It's an updated version (yeah, really) of the book that came in the starter box (which they aren't reprinting). This is great news for anybody who already has a lot of miniatures and terrain. Probably not such great news for anyone looking for an easy way into the game, as they are facing a hefty price tag by the time they've purchased the rules, some terrain, and some miniatures.

Anybody lucky enough to get a copy of the starter set, probably isn't going to worry too much about the new rules book either. The extra content comprises rules for extra kill teams that Games Workshop already made available for free download, and they didn't even bother making the new edition a hardback, which would have definitely encouraged me to plonk another £25 on top of what I have already spent.

Anyway, I digress. In fact, I've digressed to the point where I realise I've completely forgotten my point. Bear with me a moment...

New rules... Not great for new players... Need miniatures...

Ah. Right.

While anybody buying the rules book might need to purchase some miniatures too, I was lucky enough to get a copy of the starter set, which included enough miniatures to make (not particularly inspiring) space marine scout and ork boyz kill teams. I've already run through my build for a starting scout force, so I thought I might as well share my ideas about the orks too.

While the Shadow War starter represents really good value for money and an excellent way to get a foot in the door with the gaming system, the included miniatures really are just a first step on a journey. The scouts were missing some weapon options, and the orks are missing even more. You actually get enough bits... bitz?... to make 11 orks, or 10 orks and a boss nob; however, with the exception of a power klaw, you don't actually get any of the weapon options needed to kit out your boss. In other words, you either build him with a slugga and a power klaw, or you build him with some basic weaponry.

Boo to that.

Interestingly (and perhaps somewhat irrelevantly) the instructions in the starter include diagrams for building loota orks and orks with flamethrowers, but you don't get any components to make those units. It's all by-the-by though, because Shadow War doesn't even have rules for lootas and burner units.

Boo to that too.

Unfortunately, I don't have any spare bitz for orks, so I only had the stuff in the box to work with. Still, I had a lot of fun creating my team, even if I'm not sure it's a particularly optimal build. But you know... these are orks. I'm not sure you're supposed to play orks optimally. I certainly never did back when I played Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Orks (or orcs, or even orruks) are just a bit of a laugh, and an excuse to do some dumb stuff.

Speaking of dumb stuff, my leader is a nob called Boss. Obviously. As I already mentioned, the starter doesn't have any kombi-weapon options on the sprue, and no components that you could easily cut and shut to make something suitable, so Boss is armed with a power klaw and a slugga. This makes him an absolute wrecking machine in close combat as he's going to get four attacks on the charge at weapon skill 4 with a +1 modifier on his attack rolls.

Of course, orks have stats and special rules that encourage you to play a certain way. They get an additional attack modifier when they charge, they get bonus leadership when they outnumber the enemy, and they can't hit the broad side of a barn with a cow leg. The sum total means you want lots and lots of orks ready to head into close combat. So, Boss with his klaw and his slugga is going to be right in the thick of it, leading the charge.

You'll notice I added a sight to the gun. That's just for future-proofing, because I'll probably throw a red-dot laser sight on there at some point when I have the spare points.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork Boss with power klaw and slugga

Total Points = 260
Boss nob = 160
Slugga = 10
Reload = 5
Power klaw = 85

Despite orks being mainly about hitting people's faces with heavy objects, you have to bring a certain amount of dakka out to play, because orks do love things that make big flashes and noises. So, I wanted my gang to have the full complement of two spanner boyz, starting with Flash Bang, a charming fella with a big rokkit launcha. He's just a standard build, so I don't have anything interesting to say about him, other than, bloody Hell, look how bad the mould lines are on this model. I've never seen such bad moulding on a Games Workshop piece.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork spanner boy with rokkit launcha

Total points = 200
Spanner boy = 70
Rokkit launcha = 130

My second spanner boy is The Dakka, who has a big shoota. I really like this miniature, because it's sculpted "in action" with empty bullet cases spewing out the side of the gun. You could really go to town with this one, adding a muzzle flash and cotton wool smoke. I say "you," because I haven't got the skill.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork spanner boy with big shoota

Total points = 220
Spanner boy = 70
Big shoota = 150

With the spanner boyz sorted out, it was time to add some regular boyz to the mix. I wanted at least one that was specialising in putting sharp things inside other people, so my first addition to the team was Buzz, so named because he's got a buzz-choppa. I also gave him a slugga. The pistol and sword combo gives him plus one attack in close combat, and he gets two as standard. If he can charge into the fray he's going to be putting out three attacks with +1 on his attack rolls from the "'Ere we go!" special rule, which can't be bad... Well, it can be bad, but mainly for the guy he's hitting.

(By the way, I love how this model turned out. The pose makes me smile.)

Shadow War: Armageddon ork with buzz-choppa

Total points = 85
Boy = 60
Slugga = 10
Buzz-choppa = 15

I like to make sure I have a bit of variety and flexibility in any team, so my second boy has a shoota. His name's Bullseye, because he's never hit one.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork with shoota

Total points = 85
Boy = 60
Shoota = 25

At this point I'm running out of points, but my kill team is way too small. As already mentioned, you really want to outnumber your opponent. The answer is to recruit a bunch of yoofs. They're super cheap so you can field loads of them, and they give you the superior numbers necessary to make the most of your special skills.

The main disadvantage with yoofs is that they only get one attack as standard. You really want to give them close combat weapons so they can roll more dice when they get stuck in. For that reason, my first yoof (called Slugga) has a slugga and a choppa. It's a classic combo that's going to give him two attacks, and a bit of dakka for when the humies run away.

There's nothing special about the build for Slugga, but while I was putting him together I decided none of the yoofs would have helmets, to help them stand out from the rest of the team. If they want a helmet, they've got to earn it.

Or steal it.

Probably steal it, really.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork yoof with slugga and choppa

Total points = 50
Yoof = 30
Slugga = 10
Choppa = 10

With 100 points left, I could just have added another two yoofs with sluggas and choppas, but where's the fun in that? Ork teams need a bit of character, and I'd rather put together something that amuses me, so my next yoof was Bang Bang. He's got two sluggas, aims from the hip, and misses from the waist up. Same points as the slugga/choppa combo, with the same number of attacks in close combat, but with a slightly lower chance of breaking through enemy armour.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork yoof with sluggas

Total points = 50
Yoof = 30
Sluggas = 20

With 50 points left, I thought I might as well do the opposite from Bang Bang, and create The Stabba. It's a yoof with two choppas, Just because.

Shadow War: Armageddon ork yoof with choppas

Total points = 50
Yoof = 30
Choppas = 20

And that's it: Exactly 1,000 points of lean, mean (and green) killing machine. It's not ideal. Besides the fact I didn't really care about making an optimal fighting force, few units have got a back up for when their guns run out of ammo. Also, eight bodies is a good start, but when it comes to orks you always feel like you need just one more. Oh, and stikk bombs... I really want to buy some stikk bombs.

I have to say, I had so much fun with these models, and I can't wait to paint them. I've always loved the greenskins, because the models have so much character and animation, but I haven't had an excuse to paint any in a while. It's time to change that.

Oh, and speaking of change, and on only a vaguely related note, Games Workshop have just announced the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. It may be surprising, but besides Necromunda and Shadow War, I don't have any experience with any of the 40K rules sets. I'm quite tempted to check out the new edition and see what's happening.

Who knows? Maybe Boss and his Boyz might have work to do on a larger field of battle one day.

You can start building your ork boyz kill team with a single box of orc boyz, available from all good Games Workshop stockists.


  1. The interesting thing about the new 40K for me is that the rules are going to be free and it's going to offer different ways to play, both "innovations" brought in from Age of Sigmar. It also promises to be simpler and faster than previous editions. I'm intrigued.

    I'll probably pick up a copy of the Shadow War book as I have enough random miniatures lying around to build a few warbands. It's a better choice for me than the boxed set was.

    Which makes it all the more frustrating that 90% of the boxed sets were probably bought by people who already have piles of miniatures and scenery, when they should have got into the hands of new gamers, and now they never will.

  2. Nice post, very helpful. Thanks!


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