Warhammer Fantasy Battle Wiki


Orc and Goblin Strategy

General Strategy

You are a greenskin now, so reliability is not in your vocabulary.  Well, there really isn’t much vocabulary in greenskin culture anyways, so who needs reliability?  Animosity, low leaderships, slow bodies and minds are the order of the Waaagh’s day, but it is balanced with toughness and blood lust!  Like always, the orc and goblin army is a widely varied list.  They are one of the most fun armies to play because of the customization of the horde.  8th edition rules have breathed life back into this army as the hording rule really brings out the nature of the race.  The all-choppa rule +1 strength bonus first round of combat for even spears, again, really gives these serial killers their nature on the table top.  Will you win all the time?  No, this is not the unbalanced and unfair warriors of chaos which is one of the most unskillful and ill strategic armies in the Warhammer universe (their figures look so cool though).  Side note: how can chaos warriors cost 14pts, have chaos armor, initiative of 5, toughness 4, strength 4, and leadership 8 and only cost 1 more point than black orcs with shields?  There is no mathematical basis for that kind of unbalanced stat configuration (their figures look so cool though).  Orcs and goblins are a 50:50, win: lose ratio.  A good army list can make that ratio a 60:40 or even 70:30 ratio (depending on the race you’re facing).  You must get your leadership under control or animosity will make you turn into a greenskin yourself and you will smash your figures, or throw them across the room.  Don’t get mad that your orcs and goblins are not moving; it’s just the nature of their game.  Playing the orcs and gobos is as much a challenge against your opponent as it is against your own army.  Can you get these serial-killing idiots in the right place at the right time?  That is generalship!  Be proud of the underdog challenge of having a less cohesive army, and when you win it makes it all the sweeter!  My thick-skulled, born-from-spores, one-step-above-dirt life forms defeated your High Elves!  They’re not that high anymore!  Waaagh!       


1)      Gorbad Iron Claw—this orc is the way to go when special characters are accepted.  He is a true general for the army with his abilities to protect your green-skin’s psychology/animosity.  Any number of big’uns in the army is a crazy door to be opened for your army list options.  

2)      Grimgor Iron Hide—this black mass of death is meant to crush everything.  He must be with his Immortalz, but he is a great idea in huge scale armies (4K or 5K) with Gorbad leading over him so he can focus on being a hammer unit, or he is good for smaller fights 2,500 pts or lower as the general because he will dominate.  Orcs & Goblins just need strong general support to get them to do what you want them to, this is why Gorbad may be a better choice, but depends on whether you want strategy or a hammer.    

3)      Wurrzag da Prophet—is great for large scale warfare when another orc can be the general.  I love my savage orc big’uns and enjoy pushing for them to horde up, give them spears and shields, put another orc shaman with the shrunken head and your savage orc big’un become the most powerful unit of orcs known in the Warhammer world.  With a 4+ ward save, frenzied and 4 ranks of dice with spears and horde abilities (50 dice) very few enemies can stand up against that mess.  


1)      Savage Orcs are the best.  If you can make them big’uns, even better.  Anyone who reads the lore of orcs in almost any universe would agree the state of mind the orcs should be in is frenzy!  Two attacks is worth not being able to choose a charge target.  They must just run forward, is there any other orc strategy?  The ward save is what makes them the best.  If they are big’uns, they are comparable to black orcs (just not as disciplined).  Their ward save is where savage orcs make their money.  Since orcs are naturally slow they have to be able to tank up and take a hit.  Put a shaman in the unit with a shrunken head and they get a 5+ ward.  Put Wurrzag in there as well, 4+ ward.  Always horde up, 8th edition expanded these rules for what almost seems like the slower-mob races.       

2)      Arrier Boyz are a good way to fill up the core unit requirements in points.  If you have a savage orc unit of big’uns and black orcs, your hand-to-hand infantry is satisfied if they are horded up.  Archers offer another tactic to harass your enemy and maybe knock out a war machine or two.  Take these guys if you don’t want to push for goblins and want to keep it strictly orcs.  Essentially they harass and tarpit the enemy to protect the flanks of the hammer units of big’uns and black orcs. 

3)      Goblins—night goblins are the only way to go if you want the crappier cousins of orcs.  There is no reliability in goblins, but with 8th edition rules they can horde up and kill anything with enough rolls of 6!  That’s right, gobos can kill greater demons!  Night goblins offer you the Russian roulette punch that in essence is gambling (Orcs & Goblins are gambling in the end).  Fanatics and netters can push impact hits on enemies.  There is nothing better than watching your fanatics ballin’ through a unit of chaos warriors!  You can hear the points chiming away like a cashier register!  Not bad for a mushroom-trippin’ gobo!  Wolf riders are good for chasing down war machines and flanking enemies to support your death dealing units.  Besides night gobos and wolf riders, keep the rest of the gobos in the camp to clean the latrines. 


1)      Black orcs—are a must in any orc & gobo horde.  They are your most disciplined grunts you can rely on.  Reliability goes a long way in the greenskin culture.  Armed to the teeth is so valuable and the fact that they can wear heavy armor means they can tank up to take a hit before they deliver it. 

2)      Boar boyz are worth it in 3K+ hordes.  If you already have savage orc big’un infantry, you may want to chase regular boys to tank up on the armor for them.  If you can’t get your shrunken head ward save to your savage boar boyz, go regular.  If you decide to take a regular orc infantry unit and upgrade the boar boyz instead to big’uns, then go savage and get the shrunken head bonus.  Give them two single handed weapons with the wild abandon ability and give yourself more dice to kill!  If Wurrzag can sit in there bringing 4+ ward save you definitely need a weapon in each hand.  The debate between savage orc infantry big’uns versus boar boy big’uns is solved with Gorbad allowing as many big’uns as you want, that is why Gorbad is more of a must than Grimgor. 

3)      Orc Boar Chariots—are worth it.  Impact hits can help weaken your enemy knocking down their numbers so your horded units can out number to psychologically break them.  Strategize breaking the minds of your enemy any time you can.  Of course orcs love to kill their opponents where they stand, but they care more about blood splattering more than anything.  They have no sense of honor.  Put a black orc big boss on the chariot to make sure there is maximum chopping possibilities. 

4)      Spear Chukkas—only stink because of greenskin BS of 3.  35pts is cheap though.  Orcs & gobos are so charging into hand-to-hand any artillery will help tactically balance the poor minded orc strategy.  A few spear chukkas slamming through treemen giants would make any orc warlord smile. 

5)      Trolls—are a strong choice.  Stupidity is not as bad as it used to be as the general and standard can fix the stupid creatures from picking their noses.  Again, Gorbad is both a general and a battle standard in one model on a boar so he can reach your trolls up to 18 inches.  Stomp just makes sure at least one dumb dice will hit their opponent.  The 4+ regeneration, again, is the fix greenskins need remedied, armor/tanking up to take a hit. 

6)      Pump Wagon—is just fun.  It is a cheap Russian roulette chariot.  It may distract your opponent only because they don’t know what it does.  The options on it makes it the best pump wagon rule set thus far.  45 points may easily double or triple its value in creating death if it hits its target. 


1)      Mangler Squids--are the ultimate Russian roulette.  I hear they are fun!

2)      Giants—are just fun.  The only real strategic purpose they will serve is to distract your enemy’s artillery from targeting your black orcs and big’uns.  Your opponent is a human being and the mental psychology of a large model on the table makes them want to get it off the table.  Don’t freak out if the giant falls in round 2 or 3.  Those are 2-3 rounds your orcs are closer to their targets less harmed.     

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