Monday, 29 February 2016

A quick look at Waaagh! Ghazghkull

As a long-time Ork player, I picked up the new version of Waaagh! Ghazghkull this week, and whilst there's been a bit of talk about the Big G himself I thought it might be an idea to take a more general look at it. Firstly, and this has been mentioned elsewhere but bears repeating, you can now take both the Gifts of Gork and Mork, and Orkimedes Kustom Gubbins in the same Detachment, so no more will Ghaz's ladz pine for the Lucky Stikk or Warboss Ghazbag's Blitzbike. This is pretty big.

Next, the special rules haven't changed, which is a shame. I don't consider 'Biggest an' da Best', which forces the Ork Warlord to accept Challenges and gives him re-rolls to Wound if he wins one, to be too much of a bother, but I really don't like the Mob Rule changes from 'Da Boss is Watchin'. It's supposed to represent 'better discipline' but it does it with a flat +2 modifier to Mob Rule, which means 'Born to Fight' is impossible and on anything but a natural 1 you get 'Squabble', which means the Boyz will leg it if there's less than 10 of them, not to mention that the self-inflicted damage goes up to D3+3 hits instead of D6. If 'Breaking Heads' and 'Squabble' were swapped, making it more likely that the Nob would keep the Boyz in line with a sound kicking, I'd sort of understand the rule, but forcing basically a worse version of the old 'check size'? No Sir, I don't like it, not one bit.

To be honest, the Warlord Traits table is a bit naff too, though not totally terrible, but like the Kustom Gubbinz you can now choose to use the one from the basic Ork book instead, and the Great Waaagh!-Band Detachment (which is not a zoggin' 'Decurion', ya gitz) gives a re-roll on any Warlord Traits table, so it's not a great problem.

Now, the GW!BD as I'm now going to call it because there's only so much abuse punctuation can take, is the meat of the book. You'll have seen elsewhere that you can make Big G Waaaagh! every turn including the first with it, and this makes everyone Fearless and him almost invincible. That's going to be strong, but it requires the Council of Waaagh! which is horribly expensive in points and really cuts down your options, since none of the other Formations let you take him.

This brings me to my biggest single impression of this book, unchanged since the previous one- it's really meant for big, big games and big collections. I don't have a major problem with that- the idea of multiple Chapter Masters, legendary heroes and demi-gods turning up to a 1000 point skirmish has nibbled the brain of more than one commentator- but it bears remembering.

So, assuming you don't want to run Big G, what's in this for you? Well quite a bit, but you have to dig a little. An early standout is the combination of either the GW!BD or the smaller Waaagh! Band, and either the Dakkajet Skwadron or the Air Armada. Both of these give you three Dakkajets, with Tank Hunter against Flyers in the former case and a free re-arm and repair for all planes, including a couple of Bommas, in the latter. The thing is, using the Waaagh! Plane rule, you'll be able to give each Dakkajet an extra shot for all three guns every turn. Dakkajets are one of the more reliable Ork shooting units as it is, with Twin Linked everything and Strafing Run as well as BS3 against flying targets if you splash out on a Flyboss, so this is a nice bonus on an already handy unit.

What else do we have? Well, Kaptin Badrukk returns, as frustratingly odd as ever, but he can now blob up with 20 Gitz, all with Master Crafted snazzguns. This is sooooo close to being great. Getting Badrukk without eating up an HQ slot is handy, and re-rolls for a unit as shooty as Flash Gitz are very nice. Problem #1 is the rules- Master Crafted lets each Git re-roll one miss per turn. Of course, if you roll all 60(!) dice at once, you can't know which Git missed and which Git hits (and they'll all say they hit, anyway) Strictly speaking, you would need to roll each Git's three dice separately, or find 20 different types of D6 in threes. It seems the community is resolving this by just giving the unit one re-roll per Git, which seems fair enough, but beware the rules lawyers on this one. Problem #2 is the size of the unit. Flash Gits like to sit in Battlewagons and Trukks and shoot out, especially now they've stopped spending precious Teef on armour. A Battlewagon, the biggest Orky transport available outside of Forge World, holds 20 models, which is the minimum number of Gitz you can take to make the Formation work... plus Badrukk. (Insert humorous ani-Gif of Stewie Griffin shaking his fist at the sky, or something. I'm not good at image-hunting.) So, either you don't blob and ride in two Battlewagons, or you blob, walk, and get shot all the way to hell and back. Still, the Gitz continue to move in the right direction, I think.

In general, if you want to use Oddboyz, you have to have a bit of a think about how the whole thing will fit together. Several formations come with one built-in, but other than that you can have only one per Core choice, and the Core choices are not at all small. It's still going to be tricky to lever in a Weirdboy, for example, which is a shame- no Convocation style formation for the greenskins feels like a missed opportunity.

A few other observations- the Blitz Brigade, already a nice formation since it straight-up gives you five Battlewagons with Scout, now also makes those Battlewagons inflict S10 hits when they Ram, which coupled with a Reinforced Ram making them AV16 when they do it makes Ramming something to actually consider. Units like Tankbustas, Burnas and Flash Gitz crammed into Scouting battlewagons can potentially get into first-turn firing positions to make Eldar if not actually jealous, then at least a bit grumpy. The Goff Killmob gives all the infantry in it a full re-roll of charge distances, which can be used optionally instead of 'ere we go, effectively giving the Orks Fleet, but comes with a 'tax' of a Gorkanaut, two Deff Dreads and a unit of Kans, which as we all know are either pretty good or explode the first time someone looks at them funny. The three Boyz units all have to be 20 strong, so it's a good thing they're fast runners, but obviously if you fit this thing into a GW!BD for the repeated Waaagh!, you have Fleet Orks who can run and charge every turn, which will possibly necessitate a change of underwear for some opponents. Mystifyingly, the Formation lets you replace the stock Warboss in it with Grukk Face-Rippa, the rules for whom are nowhere to be found in the book. Copypasta strikes again!

I'm running a little short of time so I'll leave this here today. I'll come back to the topic later, and see what we can do about making an army out of this thing. I'm not going to lie, the big units you have to take make it tricky, to say the least!

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