|Orcs at War
An Overview of the Orc Units from Warhammer: Diskwars
|Warhammer: Diskwars | Published 17 December 2013|
“Orcs live to fight. For an Orc there is no greater joy than to be in the thick of a battle.”
–Warhammer: Orcs & Goblins
In our last preview of Warhammer: Diskwars, we looked at some of the Empire’s more notable units and how they can best bring their diverse talents to the battlefield under the direction of a capable commander. Today, we keep things simple; we look at the Orcs and their many, many hard-hitting units. And after we explore the units, we’ll see what we can invent for strategy beyond “hit them early, hit them often, and hit them hard!”
What Can You Expect from a Horde of Orcs?
You won’t find many artists among the Orc hordes. Neither will you find much in the way of technological advances or cultural sophistication. Instead, you’ll find a battle-starved collection of big, tough Orcs and bigger, tougher Orcs…
Orc history is largely a collection of the rise and fall of its various Waaagh!s, each of which is a terrifying, destructive surge of the various Orcs and Goblins that rally around a Warboss to battle his chosen foe.
Developer Michael Gernes explains how these Greenskin forces translate to units in Warhammer: Diskwars:
“The Orcs are a race of brutal green-skinned louts who literally live to fight. In keeping with this, Orc units are at their best when they’re thrust into melee combat. Still, the Orcs are not without a certain low cunning, and any good Warboss will play to this strength, while supporting his boyz with solid missile units and the horde magic of the Waaagh!
“In Warhammer: Diskwars, the Orcs are probably the most straight-forward of all races. In a game that usually rewards players for pinning enemy disks, the Orcs always want to get on top. Orc disks have high attack values, versus lower counter strengths, and several Orc units like the Boar Boyz have the potent impact keyword, which allows them to deal damage as soon as they pin another disk. However, to truly master the Orcs, a player needs to have a plan for maintaining momentum.
“An Orc horde can be shot to pieces or at least get bogged down by well-placed shots at siege range. Knowing this, a good Orc player will learn to include a few support abilities in his army, either from disks like the Big Boss, or command cards such as Waaagh! They will come in handy for those times when he needs to tip the balance in melee combat, and ensure that the green tide keeps rolling.”
In our last preview, when we looked at the forces of the Empire, we saw how their three different heroes each offered a markedly different tactical approach to the game. With the Orcs, things are a bit different. The three Orc heroes are all straight-forward melee brutes who are better off in the thick of the battle than standing at its edges and dealing with any so-called “tactics.” Accordingly, the differences between them are smaller than between the Empire’s heroes, but coming to understand and appreciate those differences may give you the edge you need to conquer the Old World.
The only large hero in the Core Set, Azhag the Slaughterer is an unstoppable engine of destruction with seven attack strength who rides to battle atop his Wyvern, Skullmuncha.
His flying keyword allows him to bypass the obstructions posed by terrain and enemy units so that he can drop down on top of the enemy of his choice. Of course, because he has the frenzy keyword, you may want to drop him down on top of as many enemies as possible and smash ‘em all. One of the two Orc Casters in the Core Set, Azhag also allows you to make good use of command cards like Arcane Attack and Fists of Mork.
Grom the Paunch
Grom the Paunch is one of the most aggressive units in the game, boasting the deadly combination of Impact 3 and the relentless keyword. His impact keyword allows him to crush enemies as he flips onto them, immediately dealing three points of physical damage, and because of his relentless keyword, he doesn’t have to stop his movement when he pins an enemy disk. Orc players would do well to take advantage of Grom’s special abilities by looking for command cards that increase his movement and filling his regiment with other units that can finish off wounded foes before they activate with ranged attacks, Magic, or additional impact damage.
Because each of the Orc heroes are such formidable fighters, they’re also going to be obvious targets. Your opponents will want to pin them early, and they’ll want to launch volley after volley of early ranged attacks at them, especially if they can do so from siege range. With some sharp shooting and critical hits (), your opponent may be able to lock down Azhag the Slaughterer or Grom the Paunch, but it’s a bit harder to keep Grimgor Ironhide out of the melee combats at which he excels. Whenever he suffers a wound, Grimgor Ironhide removes an activation token.
It’s worth nothing that if your opponent doesn’t deal Grimgor a wound with the attack that forces him to take an activation token, you can always choose to launch some friendly fire his way with Fists of Mork. After all, while Grimgor Ironhide has two stamina it’s far less likely that his enemies will…
The three Orc heroes may be an Orc player’s most potent threats, but they’re far from the only Orc units capable of delivering some serious damage. In fact, there are enough options for general devastation available among the different Orc units that a clever Warboss can even scrape together some crude tactical versatility.
The Orc Boyz are the cheapest melee-oriented unit in the Orc army, but they still pack a wallop! At a recruitment cost of six, the Orc Boyz are one point more expensive than the Empire’s basic Infantry unit, but they boast five attack strength, compared to the four attack of the Marienburg Swordsmen. The difference between five attack and four attack, though, is a critical one. Five attack is what you need to wound most heroes and destroy many other enemy units. Of course, the Orc Boyz are better off getting the jump on their foes as they only have three counter strength. Still, with their five movement, the Orc Boyz are fast enough to get into melee quickly, and a clever Warboss will quickly learn how to position his troops to win the early charge.
The other of the Orcs’ six-point units, the Arrer Boyz provide a cost-efficient option for ranged attacks. We explored how ranged attacks work in Warhammer: Diskwars in an earlier preview, but it’s worth noting again that ranged attacks can do more than damage or destroy enemy troops before the Melee Phase; they can also negate your enemy’s actions. Each critical hit result () both deals damage equal to the ranged attack’s damage value and places an activation token on the unit if it is not already activated. Thus, a number of Arrer Boyz may provide a bit of battlefield control up to their ranged attack’s long range.
The biggest and baddest of the Boyz, the Boar Boyz are a heavy, lethal cavalry unit with Impact 4, as well as five attack, four counter, and five stamina. This unit is likely to be a staple element of most Orc armies for a long time to come, and you’ll want to look closely to find ways to get the biggest and fastest destructive surges out of them. A couple of command cards can go a long way. Waaagh! can give them relentless, allowing them to trample over as many foes as possible, up to their movement limit. On the other hand, Eager Troops supplements their movement value and may allow you to take your foe by surprise when the Boar Boyz ride just a little faster than he had anticipated.
Another way to get the most out of your Boar Boyz – and all your other Boyz – is to field the Big Boss in your regiment. His ability reads, “When this disk engages an enemy, remove up to 2 from ‘Boyz’ disks within medium range.” This means that if your enemy scores a critical hit against your Orc Boyz with a ranged attack, you can remove the activation token and send them charging into battle. Or you can fire multiple times with your Arrer Boyz. Or you can trample more foes with your Boar Boyz. In fact, it’s vital to note, here, that while your Boar Boyz have to stop their movement when they first pin an enemy disk, if they’re permitted to activate again, they can flip off that disk at the beginning of their movement. Then, they can race right back for a second blow, or they can trample some other unit under foot.
Assemble your troops, and call your Waaagh! Warhammer: Diskwars is nearly here. In just a couple weeks, you’ll be able to pick up the game’s Core Set and start burning your way through Orc history as one of the greatest Warbosses ever!
Until then, stay tuned; in our next preview, we’ll explore the different units that comprise the High Elves’ army.
Warhammer: Diskwars is an epic game of heroes, armies, and brutal warfare for 2 - 4 players. At the game's heart art its disks, which represent heroes and units from the Old World. These maneuver across the battlefield by flipping end over end, and if any two disks overlap at the end of the round, they must fight!