difficulties with the
Orcs & Goblins Hordes
By Mark Havener,
as appeared in Annual 2002.
Among the races of the Warhammer world, none enjoy the prospect of a good
looting more than Orcs and Goblins. For this reason many Orc warbands have been
drawn to the city of Mordheim and the wyrdstone that lies hidden there. Of
course, Orcs would much rather ambush other warbands and take their wyrdstone
than collect it themselves, but their goals are the same as any other warband –
collect as much treasure as possible!
Choice of Warriors:
An Orc warband must include a minimum of three models. You have 500 gold
crowns which you can use to recruit and equip your warband. The maximum number
of warriors in the warband is 20.
Boss: Each Orc warband must have one Boss: no more, no less!
Shaman: Your warband may include up to one Shaman.
Big ’Uns: Your warband may include up to two Big ’Uns.
Orc Boyz: Your warband may include any number of Orc Boyz.
Goblin Warriors: Your warband may include any number of Goblin
Warriors, though it may not have more than two Goblins for each Orc in
the warband (including Orc Heroes).
Cave Squigs: Your warband may include up to five Cave Squigs. You
may never have more Cave Squigs in your warband than you have
Troll: Your warband may include up to one Troll.
Animosity: Orcs and Goblins enjoy nothing more than a good scrap,
unfortunately they’re not always very discerning about who they scrap with!
To represent this, at the start of the Orc player’s turn, roll a D6 for each
Henchman who is either an Orc or a Goblin. A roll of 1 means that the
warrior has taken offense to something one of his mates has done or said. Do
not roll for models that are engaged in hand-to-hand combat (they’re already
scrappin’!). To find out just how offended the model is, roll another D6 and
consult the following chart to see what happens:
1. “I ’Erd Dat!”: The warrior decides
that the nearest friendly Orc or Goblin Henchman has insulted his
lineage or personal hygiene and must pay the price! If there is a
friendly Orc or Goblin Henchman or Hired Sword within charge reach (if
there are multiple targets within reach, choose the one nearest to the
mad model), the offended warrior will immediately charge and fight a
round of hand-to-hand combat against the source of his ire. At the end
of this round of combat, the models will immediately move 1" apart and
no longer count as being in close combat (unless one of them fails
another Animosity test and rolls this result again). If there are no
friendly Orc or Goblin Henchmen or Hired Swords within charge reach, and
the warrior is armed with a missile weapon, he immediately takes a shot
at the nearest friendly Orc or Goblin Henchman or Hired Sword. If none
of the above applies, or if the nearest friendly model is an Orc Hero,
the warrior behaves as if a 2-5 had been rolled on this chart. In any
case, the warrior in question may take no other action this turn, though
he may defend himself if attacked in hand-to-hand combat.
2-5. “Wud Yoo Say?”: The warrior is
fairly certain he heard an offensive sound from the nearest friendly Orc
or Goblin, but he’s not quite sure. He spends the turn hurling insults
at his mate. He may do nothing else this turn, though he may defend
himself if attacked in hand-to-hand combat.
6. “I’ll Show Yer!”: The warrior
imagines that his mates are laughing about him behind his back and
calling him silly names. To show them up he decides that he’ll be the
first one to the scrap! This model must move as quickly as possible
towards the nearest enemy model, charging into combat if possible. If
there are no enemy models within sight, the Orc or Goblin warrior may
make a normal move immediately. This move is in addition to his regular
move in the Movement phase, so he may therefore move twice in a single
turn if you wish. If the extra move takes the Orc or Goblin warrior
within charge reach of an enemy model, the warrior must charge into
close combat during his regular movement.
Distasteful Company: Many Hired Swords refuse to work for Orcs,
as they know that Orcs are just as likely to eat them as fight alongside
them. Orcs may only hire the following Hired Swords: Pit Fighters, Ogre
Bodyguards or Warlocks.
Boss starts with 20 experience.
Shaman start with 10 experience.
Big ’Uns starts with 15 experience.
Henchmen start with 0 experience.
Orcs Skill Tables
Boss may choose from the Combat, Shooting, Strength, Speed or Special
Shaman may choose from the Strength or Special Skills.
Big ’Unmay choose from the Combat, Shooting, Strength or Special
Orc characteristics may not be increased beyond the maximum profile limits
shown below. If a characteristic is at its maximum, take the other option or
roll again if you can only increase one characteristic. If both are already at
their maximum, you may increase any other by +1 instead. Remember that Henchmen
can only add +1 to any characteristic.
Orcs' Equipment List
Hand to Hand Weapons
Hand to Hand Weapons
1st free/ 2 gc
1st free/ 2 gc
Double Handed Weapon
Ball & Chain
Mad Cap Mushrooms
1 Orc Boss; 80 gold crowns to hire
An Orc Boss is a tough and brutal warrior, who will throw his lads into any
fight that he thinks he can profit from. He is the strongest, toughest and most
barbaric member of the warband and if any of his Boyz think otherwise, the band
may soon find
itself with one less member!
Weapons/Armor: An Orc Boss may be equipped with weapons and armor
chosen from the Orc equipment list.
Leader: Any warrior within 6" of the Orc Boss may use his
Leadership characteristic when taking Leadership tests.
0-1 Orc Shaman; 40 gold crowns to hire
Orc Shamans are outcasts from Orc society. They are gifted by the Orc gods
Gork and Mork with powers they can neither understand nor completely control.
Many join roaming Orc warbands where they are no longer shunned for their
abilities, but respected for them.
Weapons/Armor: An Orc Shaman may be armed with weapons chosen from
the Orc equipment list. An Orc Shaman
may never wear armor.
Wizard: An Orc Shaman is a wizard and uses Waaagh! Magic. See
Waaagh! Magic for his spell list.
0-2 Orc Big ‘Uns; 40 gold crowns to hire
Orc society is a savage hierarchy where only the toughest survive and rise
through the ranks (often atop the bodies of other challengers). Big ’Uns are
such rising stars, and they carry out the orders of the Orc Boss. If the Boss
ever falls, it is up to the Big ’Uns to decide on a new leader (usually through
Weapons/Armor: Big ’Uns may be equipped with weapons and armor
chosen from the Orc equipment list.
(In groups of 1-5)
0+ Orc Boyz; 25 gold crowns to hire
Orc Boyz are savage and tough. They fear nothing that they can get their bare
hands on, though they are even more ignorant and superstitious than most other
beings in the Warhammer world. They form the core of any Orc warband.
Weapons/Armor: Boyz may be equipped with weapons and armor chosen
from the Orc equipment list.
Animosity: Orc Boyz are subject to the rules for Animosity (see
Special Rules for details).
0+ Goblin Warriors; 15 gold crowns to hire
Goblins are often used as cannon fodder (as well as a food source in lean
times!) by their larger Orc cousins. They are usually not as well equipped as
Orc Boyz, having to make do with whatever the Orcs do not want or cannot use.
Weapons/Armor: Goblins may be armed with weapons and armor chosen
from Goblin equipment list.
Animosity: Goblin Warriors are subject to the rules for Animosity
(see Special Rules for details). Note: A Goblin Warrior who fails his
Animosity test and rolls a 1 for the result will never charge an Orc
Henchman, though he will still use any missile weapons to attack as normal.
Goblins are far too afraid of Orcs to challenge them individually.
Not Orcs: Orcs don’t expect much from non-Orcs, and are therefore
not unsettled if Goblins or Cave Squigs break or get cut down in battle. In
fact, they expect as much from these weaklings! Therefore, when testing to
see if an Orc Warband needs to take a Rout test, each Goblin Warrior or Cave
Squig taken Out Of Action only counts as half a model. Therefore, a band of
5 Orcs and 10 Goblins (15 models) would only have to take a test if 4 models
fell (4 Orcs or 8 Goblins, or some combination thereof ).
Runts: Goblins may gain experience but if they happen to roll
‘That Lad’s got talent’ they are immediately killed by their Orc overlords
for becoming too ‘mouthy’ (remove the Gobbo from the roster).
0-5 Cave Squigs; 15 gold crowns to hire
Goblins raise the deadly Cave Squigs. These creatures are a curious blend of
animal and fungus, and are composed mostly of teeth, horns, and a nasty
Weapons/Armor: Big gob and brutality! Cave Squigs never use or need
weapons or armor.
Movement: Cave Squigs do not have a set Movement characteristic
but move with an ungainly bouncing stride. To represent this, when moving
Squigs, roll 2D6 for the distance they move. Squigs never run and never
declare charges. Instead, they are allowed to contact enemy models with
their normal 2D6" movement. If this happens, they count as charging for the
following round of close combat, just as if they had declared a charge.
Minderz: Each Cave Squig must always remain within 6" of a Goblin
Warrior, who keeps the creature in line. If a Cave Squig finds itself
without a Goblin within 6" at the start of its Movement phase, it will go
wild. From that point on, move the Squig 2D6" in a random direction during
each of its Movement phases. If its movement takes it into contact with
another model (friend or foe), it will engage the model in hand-to-hand
combat as normal. The Cave Squig is out of the Orc & Goblin player’s control
until the end of the game.
Not Orcs: See Goblin Warriors entry for rules.
Animals: Cave Squigs are animals of a sort and so do not gain
0-1 Troll; 200 gold crowns to hire
Trolls are not intelligent enough to recognize the value of gold, but large
amounts of food can often instill a certain loyalty in them.
Weapons/Armor: Trolls do not require weapons to fight but often carry
a big club. In any event, Trolls can never be given weapons or armor.
Fear: Trolls are frightening monsters which cause Fear.
Stupidity: A Troll is subject to the rules for stupidity.
Regeneration: Trolls have a unique physiology that allow them to
regenerate wounds. Whenever an enemy successfully inflicts a wound on a
Troll roll a D6, on a result of 4 or more the wound is ignored and the Troll
is unhurt. Trolls may not regenerate wounds caused by fire or fire-based
magic. Trolls never roll for Injury after a battle.
Dumb Monster: A Troll is far too stupid to ever learn any new
skills. Trolls do not gain experience.
Always Hungry: A Troll requires an upkeep cost. This upkeep
represents the copious amounts of food that must be fed to the Troll in
order to keep him loyal to the warband. The warband must pay 15 gold crowns
after every game in order to keep the Troll. If the warband lacks the gold
to pay the upkeep, the Boss has the option of sacrificing two Goblin
Warriors or Cave Squigs to the Troll in lieu of buying food (Trolls eat
nearly anything). If this fee is not paid (either in gold or in warband
members) the Troll gets hungry and wanders off in search of food.
Vomit Attack: Instead of his normal attacks, a Troll can
regurgitate its highly corrosive digestive juices on an unfortunate
hand-to-hand combat opponent. This is a single attack that automatically
hits with a Strength of 5 and ignores armor saves.
Squig Prodder; 15 gc; Availability: Common (Goblins only)
This item is a long pole with a trio of spikes at the end. It is used by Goblin
Squig herders to keep their livestock in line. Cave Squigs will recognize a
Squig prodder and automatically give the bearer more respect, as they’ve all
been on its pointy end more than once! To represent this, a Goblin with a Squig
prodder can keep all Cave Squigs within 12" from going wild, instead of the
normal 6" (see the Minderz special rule under the Cave Squig entry). In
addition, a Squig prodder is treated exactly like a spear in hand-to-hand
Mad Cap Mushrooms; 25 gc; Availability: Common (if warband includes
Mad Cap Mushrooms (see the rules in the Mordheim rulebook for more information
on Mad Cap Mushrooms) are a necessity for someone wishing to wield a ball and
chain (see below). Fortunately for Orc warbands, Mad Cap Mushrooms are
cultivated by the Night Goblins of the Worlds Edge Mountains, and they are much
more willing to trade these to other Goblins. Though normally a rare item in
Mordheim, Mad Cap Mushrooms are a common item that cost 25 gold crowns for an
Orc warband that includes one or more Goblins. A Goblin may take his mushrooms
at the start of any turn.
Ball and Chain; 15 gc; Availability: Common (Goblins only)
This is a huge iron ball with a chain attached, used by the dreaded Night Goblin
Fanatics to deal out whirling death. Enormously heavy, it can only be used when
combined with Mad Cap Mushrooms.
Incredible Force: Because the Ball and Chain is so heavy, normal
armor does very little to protect against it. No armor saves are allowed
against wounds caused by a Ball and Chain. In addition, any hit from a Ball
and Chain is very likely to take off someone’s head (or at least break some
ribs!). Therefore, any hit that successfully wounds will do 1D3 wounds
instead of 1.
Random: The only way to wield a Ball and Chain is to swing it
around in large circles, using your body as a counter-weight. Unfortunately
this is not a very controllable fighting style, and as soon as he starts
swinging his Ball and Chain, a warrior starts to lose control. The first
turn he starts swinging the Ball and Chain, the model is moved 2D6" in a
direction nominated by the controlling player. In his subsequent Movement
phases, roll a D6 to determine what the model does:
1 The model trips and strangles himself with the chain. The model is
taken Out Of Action. When rolling for Injury after the game, a roll of
1-3 means the model is out permanently, instead of the normal 1-2.
2-5 The model moves 2D6" in a direction nominated by the controlling
6 The model moves 2D6" in a random direction. If the player owns a
Scatter dice (available from Games Workshop stores), roll that to
determine direction. If not, then roll a D6: 1 – Straight Forward, 2-3 –
Right, 4-5 – Left, 6 – Straight Back.
If the Ball and Chain wielding model moves into contact with another
model (friend or foe), he counts as charging into close combat, and will
engage in close combat until his next Movement phase. Opponents wishing
to attack a Ball and Chain wielding model suffer a To Hit penalty of -1,
as they must dodge the whirling ball to get close enough to strike. The
Ball and Chain wielder cannot be held in close combat and will
automatically move even if he starts the Movement phase in base contact
with another model. If the model moves into contact with a building,
wall, or other obstruction, he is automatically taken Out Of Action. In
addition, a ball and chain wielding Goblin is much too busy trying to
control the spinning weapon to worry about what others are saying about
him behind his back, so ignores the special rules for Animosity.
Cumbersome: Because the Ball and Chain is so heavy, a model
equipped with one may carry no other weapons or equipment. In addition, only
a model under the influence of Mad Cap Mushrooms has the strength to wield a
ball and chain.
Unwieldy: The great weight of the Ball and Chain can easily tear
ligaments or pull a wielder’s arms out of their sockets. While someone under
the influence of Mad Cap Mushrooms will not notice such effects, when the
drug wears off he will be in great pain. To represent this, at the end of
the battle the controlling player must roll for Injury for each model that
used a Ball and Chain, just as if the model had been taken Out Of Action. If
the model was actually taken Out Of Action normally, just roll once for
Injury – there is no need to make a second roll.
Orc Special Skills
Orc Heroes may use the following Skill list instead of any of the standard
Skill lists available to them.
’ard ead: The warrior has a thick skull even for an Orc. He has a
special 3+ save on a D6 to avoid being Stunned. If the save is made, treat a
Stunned result as Knocked Down instead. If the Orc also wears a helmet, this
save is 2+ instead of 3+ (this takes the place of the normal helmet special
Waaagh!: Orcs are aggressive creatures and some are experts at
bulldozing charges. The warrior may add +D3" to his charge range.
’ere we go!: Orcs often charge even the most fearsome opponents.
The model may ignore Fear and Terror tests when charging.
da cunnin’ plan: Only the Boss may have this skill. The warband
may re-roll any failed Rout tests as long as the Boss is not Out Of Action.
well ’ard: The Orc has a thick, dark-green skin, possibly
indicating Black Orc blood. Such is the toughness of the Orc that he may add
+1 to any armor saves.
’eadbasher: Orcs have massive physical strength and some of them
even learn to aim their blows at the heads of their opponents, with obvious
results. Any Knocked Down results which the Orc causes in hand-to-hand count
as Stunned results instead.
Waaagh! spells are used by Orc Shamans. They are rituals of a sort, howling
prayers to the boisterous Orc gods Gork and Mork.
Led’z go: The Shaman’s howling invigorates the ladz to fight even
harder for Gork and Mork. Any Orc or Goblin within 4" of the Shaman will
automatically strike first in hand-to-hand combat regardless of other
circumstances. The spell only lasts until the caster is Knocked Down,
Stunned or taken Out Of Action. Difficulty: 9
Oi! Gerroff!: A huge, green ectoplasmic hand pushes an enemy
away. Range 8". Moves any enemy model within range D6" directly away from
the Shaman. If the target collides with another model or a building, both
suffer 1 S3 hit. Note: Very handy for dropping people from high buildings
with. May not be cast on models in hand-to-hand combat. Difficulty: 7
Zzap!: A crackling green bolt of WAAAGH! energy erupts from the
Shaman’s forehead to strike the skull of the closest foe. This energy easily
overloads the brain of a weak-willed opponent. Range 12". Causes D3 S4 hits
on the closest enemy target, with no armor saves allowed. Difficulty: 9
Fooled Ya!: The Shaman disappears in a green mist, confusing his
enemies. No enemy may charge the Shaman during their next turn. If the
Shaman is engaged in hand-to-hand combat he may immediately move 4" away.
Clubba: A huge, green club appears in the hand of the Shaman. The
ectoplasmic club counts as a normal club with +2 Strength bonus and gives
the Shaman +1 attack as well. This spell lasts until the Shaman suffers a
wound. Difficulty: 7
Fire of Gork: Twin bolts of green flame shoot from the Shaman’s
nose to strike the nearest enemy model. Range 12". Each of the two bolts
causes D3 S3 hits; the bolts can either be fired both at the closest enemy
target or split between the two closest enemy targets. Difficulty: 8