Review: The Red WAAAGH! Formations

da sons of anorky

Reecius here to give you the low-down on The Red Waaagh’s cool new Formations! There is some AWESOME stuff in there!

The Red WAAAGH! is a campaign supplement for 40K. There are several interesting formations in it that we wanted to review. As always, check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

The supplement itself expands on the Grukk Facerippa narrative that began in the Ork Codex. The supplement is pretty cool, it develops a fun story between the Orks and Imperium (mostly focusing on Astra Militarum, Knights and Scions in this book) in an ongoing, major conflict. There is a lot of good content in there for missions, scenarios, etc. Also, there is some awesome artwork in the book, too!

For most players, beyond the fluff, the big draw will be the Formations that are presented as these will be the most commonly used elements of it. There are some nasty Formations in there!

Adamantine Lance

The first Formation, and probably most powerful, is the Adamantine Lance. It consists of 3 Knights (Paladins or Errants). Their special rule is that so long as a Knight is within 3″ of another Knight in the Formation, they can reroll their Ion Shield saves, reroll their charge distance and get D3 HoW hits. WOW. That is–obviously–extremely good. Going from a 50% chance of deflecting a hit to 75% is a massive boost in durability to an already durable unit. The only downside, at all, is that it forces them to stay close to one another. But, if you they do need to break apart to go after different targets, oh well, each of them is still a Knight! If you are taking 3 Knights, there is no reason not to use this Formation.

The obvious counter to this Formation is to try and force them to split apart to lose their benefit. A 3″ radius is pretty unforgiving.

The Steel Host

Another GREAT Formation. I love Leman Russes, and have 9 of them in my Astra Militarum army. Unsurprisingly, a Formation that revolves around those tanks will appeal to me, on a personal level.

The Formation consists of a Command Tank Squadron, 3 squadrons of Leman Russes and a Hydra. The Hydra is not all that appealing, but, it is not bad, either. A little AA in your list is something you should have anyway, and this covers that role. The big benefit though, is that any vehicle within 12″ of the Tank Commander get Preferred Enemy! Boo-Yah! That is fantastic. 12″ is a nice healthy radius, too, and gives you some room to maneuver.

Obvious choices to go in this formation are the Punisher whose high volume of shots really gives you mileage on Preferred Enemy, and the Executioner where it allows you to reroll Gets Hot! rolls, which is critical to keeping the damned thing from committing suicide. The rerolls of 1 to wound also mean that you will in most cases wound every model you hit. Vanquishers are also a good choice here as Preferred Enemy makes their single shot much more reliable.

You may still want to take a generic pie thrower such as a stock Russ or Demolisher, or the excellent and cheap Eradicator as even with 12″ range on the Preferred Enemy bubble, you can find yourself getting crowded with 5 Russes. These units don’t need Preferred Enemy, but benefit from it when they do get it freeing them up to act with greater independence than an Executioner or Punisher would.

In all, this is an excellent Formation and if you like Russes and want to take lots of them, there is no reason to not take this Formation. I will certainly be giving it a shot!

Rampart Detachment

Another winner! The Formation consists of 1 Platoon Command Squad and 2 units of 5+ Bullgryn. The reason this Formation is so solid is because of the incredibly awesome Fearless rule. All members of the Formation gain Fearless, Fear, and Counter-attack (which no longer requires a Ld check to pass). That is incredible for low leadership Bullgryn as it means they no longer need a babysitter. Ogryn and Bullgryn got much better this edition due to Smash getting nerfed. That means the amount of strength 10 attacks floating around has gone way down, making an investment in expensive multi-wound models much, much safer. With Counter-attack and Fearless, this Formation provides you with ultra-reliable assault or counter assault units. As a nice little bonus, fear can really help win a fight and any friendly infantry units that are partially obscured by models from the Formation get +1 to their cover save, which is cool. Even the PCS has this which is funny. It also means they can give the benefit to one another.

I like this Formation quite a bit. I would take with 2 minimum sized units of Bullgryns with Mauls and most likely attach a Priest to each unit for Hatred and War Hymns. That creates 2 nasty units that can put a beating on most targets, particularly if they get their War Hymn off. The PCS I would equip with 4 Flamers or Grenade Launchers and either play them aggressively as a throw away unit, or hide them if I was worried about giving up First Blood too easily. In all, this is a solid Formation if a little pricey.

Gorkanaut Krushin Krew

This Formation consists of 3 Gorkanauts which get a special rule corresponding to the turn number. They start with nothing, and from there get Furious Charge turn 2, that plus Hatred Turn 3, and both plus Shred Turn 4+.

Not bad. The bonus is nice, and Gorkanauts do hit hard, but, I am simply not sold on them. They really should have been Super Heavy Walkers like a Knight, IMO, and they would have been stellar. As is though, they are very pricey and can die from a single shot weapon. They will pack a wallop but this is a big points investment that can evaporate on the first turn of shooting before they do anything. I would give this a meh, unless you had your heart set on playing multiple Nauts, in which case, why not use it?

Mogrok’s Bossboyz

I like this Formation! Orks badly need more HQ slots, and this gives it to them. Now, it may not be the HQs you wanted exactly, and it forces you to take Mogrok as your Warlord (Big Mek with the Kunnin’ But Brutal Warlord Trait) which is a bit of a bummer as it means no WAAGH! but the extra HQs is really good for Orks. The Formation consists of 3 Big Meks (one of which is Mogrok), a Warboss and a level 2 Weirdboy. Your special rules are slick, D3 Ork units get Acute Senses and Outflank during deployment. Nice! That is a really cool benefit that creates a ton of flexibility to deal with changing situations you find yourself facing due to deployment, opponent, going first or second, etc. That means you can Outflank a giant unit of Boyz or a ‘Naut, or whatever you want. Combine that with Kommandos, Buggies, etc. and you can make a really cool reserving beta strike list! Don’t forget that Ourflank is conferred onot a dedicated transport, too, so that can get fun with Battlewagons.

The Formation also gives you +1 to Seize the Initiative. Nice! Combo that with Da Finkin Kap and try to get the Strategic Trait that also gives you a +1 to Seize and rerolling reserve rolls and you have a winner!

This Formation allow you to do a lot. You can go Battlewagons and give each a KFF, or sprinkle the Big Meks around in units of Boyz to do the same thing. You can kit them up to fight and join them all together to form a mini-deathstar, you can give them all Shokk Attack Guns and form a little artillery unit, etc. It gives you a ton of flexibility. You can toss in the HQ from another detachment too, like a Painboy for even more flexibility. You can opt to not kit out the ICs in this Formation to keep them cheap, too, and that extra Ld on the Meks can really help units of Boyz to not kill themselves with Mob Rule.

In general, this Formation gives you a lot of options at the price of a WAAGH! I think that is a fair trade, plus it forces you to take a Weirdboy, which some players will balk at, but the Ork psychic powers are all actually really good plus he packs a Force Weapon which can come in very handy.

In all, these are some fun, effective Formations that add a lot to any army that opts to take them.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

29 Responses to “Review: The Red WAAAGH! Formations”

  1. Adam ( July 16, 2014 6:31 am #

    Don’t want to burst your bubble, but I’m still 99% sure that the tank commander needs at least 1 buddy. It’s the entry for tank commander that says so and nothing under the restrictions or bonuses seems to make it so you can take the commander solo. Upside is that you can still use Pask in it!

    • Reecius July 16, 2014 8:29 am #

      ah yes, you may be right. I was reading it literally as a single Tank Commander. Damn, that would have been my preference! =P

      • bodhimind July 16, 2014 9:28 am #

        Yeah, oh well, just means you need one more tank!

  2. Justin July 16, 2014 7:58 am #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Adamantine Lance formation, since it is composed of three Knights, gives you the option of having one of the Knights being a Warlord + Seneschal. So one Knight would have a 3++ re-rollable ion shield save if meeting the requirements. For an all-Knights Army, bringing Gerantius along means having at least 2 Knights guaranteed to have a higher WS/BS and 3++. Along with 7e rules, Knights just keep getting better and better!

    • Reecius July 16, 2014 8:49 am #

      Yeah, looks like you are correct. I just read the FAQ and the book entry, and you can indeed make one of them a 3+ with reroll Ion shield….wow.

    • bodhimind July 16, 2014 9:29 am #

      Yeah, no reason to not run this formation if you’re running 3 knights. Gerantius though… Totally not worth 500 points!

      • Justin July 16, 2014 10:49 am #

        Gerantius is handy for scaling the very specific point totals for all-Knight armies. Yes, it’s pricey, but the guaranteed buffs can help out a lot, especially the WS5. And re-rolling the 1’s on stomps for a unit that will get to an opponent’s backfield rather quickly is awesome. It would totally be worth the points if it had scout, but that would be a little OP.

        • bodhimind July 16, 2014 12:30 pm #

          It’s not just that he’s 500 points, it’s more that there are far better Lord of War that you can get for 500 points.

    • Justin July 16, 2014 9:45 am #

      Oh, also forgot to mention that taking the gamble for making Knights Seneschals or Apparents isn’t that bad now. Imagine getting hot dice and having 3x Knights with WS/BS 5, reroll 3++. And if you get an Apparent or two, the re-roll of the 5++ mitigates a little of the penalty.

      • Reecius July 16, 2014 10:03 am #

        That is pretty ridonculous, actually, haha, 3, 3++ reroll Knights is silly.

  3. Simon July 16, 2014 9:02 am #

    Starting to beeline formations are way over the top … Haha “starting” I joke.

    • Reecius July 16, 2014 9:19 am #

      I actually don’t feel that way, honestly. You give up one of your detachment choices to get them, and they are often quite expensive. They are good though, but they should be in order to justify ever taking them. I actually enjoy them a lot.

  4. King July 16, 2014 9:19 am #

    How many more $50 rulebooks do I have to buy just to play orks? Srsly…

    • Reecius July 16, 2014 10:02 am #

      That is a very valid critique of the new system, I agree.

  5. bodhimind July 16, 2014 9:30 am #

    You forgot the best thing about the Rampart Formation! If you take a min sized formation (2×5 Bulls, and a command squad) you can fit exactly that many models inside of a Crassus!

    • bodhimind July 16, 2014 9:36 am #

      Or if you’re into spending a few more points, a Stormlord and you can then disembark and charge in the same turn.

      • Reecius July 16, 2014 10:04 am #

        That is a nasty unit, rihgt there.

    • Justin July 16, 2014 10:44 am #

      I like the Rampart detachment’s ability to give a unit behind it a 3+ cover save (the +1 should stack with the 4+ cover already allowed by the Bullgryns). Take some Leman Russes with camo nets, and bam, all those pretty tanks have a 2+ cover save with a fairly nasty meat shield in front to keep away cc threats. As mentioned, it’s expensive, but it’s still cool.

      • Reecius July 16, 2014 11:41 am #

        It only works on friendly Inafntry models, so no tanks. But, it stacks with stealth, so you can quite easily get a 2+ with models that have camo, etc.

  6. Leth July 16, 2014 1:16 pm #

    Well I was going to bring 3 knights as a joke, but now I am 100% down with taking them in a serious army.

  7. Pascal Roggen July 16, 2014 1:36 pm #

    knights are actually quite fragile against even moderately manoeuvrable armies with big guns. while it’s not the best I’ve been running five for about 20 games and you really have to be careful with your angles. the mount you have a v12 exposed it gets nasty.
    I once got tabled by Nids turn 4. just two winged hive tyrants flanking different knihgts which then also getting shot in the front and being counter charged by carnifex. Learnt some good lessons from that one:).

    Gerantius in that formation does sound wicked though :). big problem in maelstrom missions though, being stuck so close together.

    • Reecius July 16, 2014 1:46 pm #

      He can’t go in the Formation, actually. They list that the Formation is made of Paladins or Errants, which Gerantius is neither.

      But yeah, our Knights die a lot, too. They are very good, hit like a freight train, but are not invincible. I like that a lot, though, they are balanced, IMO.

      • Pascal Roggen July 16, 2014 2:03 pm #

        bleh, misread, he’s just armed like an errant.

        the look of shock when I play people and they start killing knights is awesome 🙂

        the crazy thing is that they possibly have more trouble in close combat, no invuln can be problematic. I’ve had wraith knights and even a dread knight kill a full health knight in a round, the WK did it before the IK swung! 😛

        The chance to deal an IK 4 hull points in a hit is problematic at times:)

    • Justin July 17, 2014 7:09 am #

      One of the greatest strengths about Knights is that they have that “oh crap” factor that some players/armies just can’t deal with. I’ve played in a few tournaments with pure Knight armies (4 knights, usually), and even against good lists and players, it’s a lot to deal with. You have to be highly maneuverable and put out some crazy firepower, and next thing you know, the Knight is chainblading and stomping all over things. Flyers are indeed a problem, but most of them simply don’t put out enough firepower to make too much of a difference.
      Allies help too: using AM to put Invisibility on a Knight or two is ludicrous.

  8. TableTopJosh July 16, 2014 2:04 pm #

    Hey Reece thanks for the info. That second ork supplement is interesting, losing waaggh hurts but what do you think about a core like this:
    2xbig mekk kff
    Big mekk
    Warboss, bike, pk

    Then add
    Mad doc
    2x 30 boyz with nob pk
    4x meganobz trukk

    Stick a kff in each boy unit, maddoc in the non warboss unit, painboy in the other. You are guaranteed 1 outflanking unit so outflank the meganoz with extra mekk in it to take challenges. So both units have a 5++, 5+ and theres 60 boyz like that? I knew you ran a list with one unit like that but now you can get two!

  9. TableTopJosh July 16, 2014 2:07 pm #

    The weirdboy could be super awesome too if you roll something good

  10. Loopy July 16, 2014 6:15 pm #

    I love the Ork “honor guard” formation! DO WANT!

  11. Gregorius42 July 17, 2014 10:07 am #

    Gorkanauts are a lot cheaper than knights, plus the get the Rampage rule, so I think that the krushin’ krew is worth taking for the lots of attacks with Hatred and Shred (Furious charge is useless unless you’ve lost their power klaws since they’ll be hitting at strength 10 normally)

    • Justin July 17, 2014 1:03 pm #

      I think the point still stands that they are still going to need to lumber across the field, and being able to die from a one-shot is a huge liability. The amount of points sunk into the formation are likely to go away before the cc even happens.

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