Fantasy Fisticuffs #18: Over and Under (Orruks Edition)

Launching a new series, we explore the most over-powered and under-powered units in each Battletome. This time, the Orruk Warclans.

As most of us sit home right now, the competitive gaming scene has hit a bit of a pause. For a brief moment this means many of us have a time to really mine our library of Battletomes, and maybe do a deeper analysis than we had previously.

To that end, I am launching this series of articles that look to single out, for lack of a better term, the most over-performing and under-performing units in every book. With each army now possessing a 2nd edition book, this feels like a perfect snap-shot in time from which to do it, too!

What over/under performing means is of course subjective, but generally speaking, my intent is to call out the units that win games, versus those that don’t live up to their point-costs at all.

First up, the Orruk Warclans, with two units that might surprise players…

Over-Performer: The Warchanter

The Orruk Warchanter is unquestionably the secret star of an already excellent book. While he at a glance does little directly, he is frankly the single best force-multiplier in all of Age of Sigmar. There… I said it.

For a criminally under-priced 110pts, you get a six wound hero with an above average save, who can simply, on a whim, give an Ironjawz unit wholly within 15”, a flat +1 to damage on all attacks. Larger units of ‘Ard Boyz become blenders, and Gore-Gruntas (already mobile and punchy) become absolute missiles who reap the benefit of the buff twice over. Needless to say he can add heft to anything with numerous attacks, making everything from Maw-Krushas to Rogue Idols significantly better. Hell, in an emergency, a Warchanter even makes himself not-terrible at self defense.

In essence, he makes every single unit in his army not only better, but massively better, all while being dirt-cheap, and a generic hero making it likely that you will want to take more than one. He even adds to your Waaagh points when taken in a mixed Orruk list.

Other units get the glory, score the points or kills, but the Warchanter outright wins games.

Under-Performer: Gordrakk the Fist of Gork

Bear with me, as I know this is a somewhat controversial choice. Make no mistake, Gordrakk is not BAD. In a book that is an embarrassment of riches, someone had to be the least good. The honor falls on this character for numerous reasons.

At a whopping 540pts Gordrakk is a serious investment who notably hits harder than his Mega-Boss on Maw-Krusha counterpart. He also brings a flat 6 Waaagh points each turn when run in the relevant list.

So what’s the problem? Well, ironically, being a named character is his own undoing. Unable to take an artifact, Gordrakks real survivability drops off of a cliff compared to his generic counter-part. A generic with say an Ethereal Amulet will under most conditions survive between 17-33% longer, and as a generally aggressive unit, this will come into play every game. With an offense that isn’t proportionally greater than the Mega-Boss version, this immediately makes him a less effective choice.

With his other perk being the added Waaagh points, one might presume he is worth that much more in Big Waaagh list. Strangely this is not the case. With the “big” buffs to the army being the +1 to hit and wound globally, players will usually achieve this on turn 3, with very specific build potentially doing do turn 2. Gordrakk’s buff is not likely to change this without severe over-commitment to combat by the player. Even then he can only receive buffs from Ironjaws spells/abilities. In that scenario, the Rogue Idol does what you would expect of Gordrakk, but with even more access to buffs, and all while further buffing you spell-casters.

Next Time – Everyone and their cousin own Stormcast, but what works and doesn’t in a book desperate for tournament efficiency. Also, Nurgle… because we haven’t been talking enough about disease lately… *sigh*

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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