Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Greenskins

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This is the tactica for the Total War: Warhammer version of the Greenskins.

Why Play Greenskins?

Because you like to have fun? Because you think fantasy-flavoured football riots are hilarious? Because you want to see the Old World burn, but find playing Chaos too much of a drag? Because you want to paint the map green through the power of ultraviolence?

Whatever the reason, the Greenskin race will provide you with the ways and means to rock and roll all over the world, leaving ruin in your wake. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!"

Pros

  • Aggressive Infantry: What? You think Da Boyz are gonna lay about and let those gits come to them. Hell no! Greenskins are a rush faction and their infantry love to run up and smash the hell out of their enemies. Combine this with your battlefield WAAAGH mechanic, and you will either dominate the infantry fight or leave the enemy with damn near nothing left.
  • Durability: A lot of your units can take quite a beating. Black Orks, Rogue Idolz and Arachnarok Spiders have a ton of armor and defensive stats which allows them to take a beatdown and keep running.
  • Deceptively Good at Ranged: I mean, OK you aren't going to out shoot the Wood Elves anytime soon, but a lot of players underestimate how good you are at skirmishing. With cheap skirmish cav, surprisingly good archers that can defend themselves and really solid artilery, you are actually pretty damn good at wining fights from afar. Hell, in some matchhups this is sometimes your best way to win!
  • AP: You are a tank buster faction, with a crap load of AP in both ranged and melee. Factions who rely on heavy armor like Dwarfs or Chaos Warriors hate how well you can punch through their high armor values and delete models.
  • Monsters: The Greenskins have some of the most and best monsters to throw at their enemies. Three species of trolls, giant spiders, big stone monuments, hydras, giants, wyverns and giant spiders on fire... and squigs too, of course.
  • Massive unit roster: Because your faction is two races with three subcategories apiece plus monsters, you have an extremely broad pool of unit to draw from. Every unit is fabulously designed and brimming with character. You wil not want for opportunities to play with cool thematic armies.

Cons

  • Low Leadership: Greenskin units tend to have bad Leadership, especially Goblins. The general lack of units that cause Fear or Terror and are Immune to Psychology exacerbates this problem when fighting spooky foes. You have options to mitigate this issue, the Black Orc Big Boss especially, but must still expect your troops to be running fairly often.
  • Tricky Heavy Cavalry: Boars are slow movers and tend to lost to most other heavy cav within their price range. As such, you better make sure to support them and work out strategies to get your money's worth from them.
  • Lack of Anti-Large: Your anti large options are extremly limited, especially outside campaign where you can at least try to mitigate these issues. Big 'Uns (both kinds), Boar Big 'Uns (both kinds) and the Arachnarok Spider are the only units with unmodified anti-large bonuses and none of them have charge defenses against cavalry and monsters. As such, well-aimed and -timed cavalry charges can wreck your battle lines.
  • Slow Movers: Aside from your gobbo cav, your troops aren't the fastest things around, so expect to be out maneuvered by most good opponents.
  • Lack of Air Power: You get exactly two options for flying units: A high-end Wyvern mount for certain Warbosses and a campaign-exclusive Wyvern unit. Between this and merely being decent at ranged, you will learn to hate and despise races with lots of flying options. It also draws attention to how slow your army is to reach the enemy.
  • DLC Reliant: As with all Core Races (and soon some DLC ones) a lot of your really good units are behind DLCs. If you want to take your green friends and win somewhat consistently, you may be forced to hand over some extra dough.

Universal Traits

  • WAAAAGH!: Did anyone really expect it to be called anything else? This is your in battle army ability, used in both campaign and multiplayer. For every second an entity (not a unit, entity) is in melee, it will fill up a bar at the top of the screen. Once that bar is filled, you can call a WAAAGH giving your army a map-wide boost to melee damage and Immune to Psychology. Even the humble Goblin can become a decently scary unit if he is backed up by a WAAAGH. This means you are rewarded for going with a wide melee build, as it will allow you to build up this bar much quicker and get these WAAAAGHs off much faster. In a way, it's very similar to the Dark Elves' Murderous Prowess only it's actually much better for two reasons. One, since you have to push a button to activate it you can use it whenever you want, so you can wait for that perfect moment, and two if you keep the fight going you can use it more than once, though your troops need to be in melee longer and longer to get off successive WAAAGHs. In campaign, your legendary lords have unique WAAAGHs, that can reward going with certain army styles.
  • Reputation/Call to Waaagh!: Finally, the dark days of the old, useless Waaagh! mechanic are over! Krumpin' gits, raiding and basically, everything that involves a good scrap earns you reputation, that gives you growth, income, and public order bonuses. When you reach the maximum of 200 reputation, you can make a Call to Waaagh, dedicated to either Mork or Gork, which gives you bonuses for either ranged or melee troops respectively. When the Waaagh is called, Waaagh armies will start to build up at random on all of your armies, that contain as many units as the army had when the Waaagh was started. They work as additional support armies that reinforce your standing army in combat and consist mostly of fodder, but can, depending on the placement of your army on the map, also contain some exotic units that you can't get elsewhere, like Armoured Squig Hoppers or Feral Wyverns. When you start a Waaagh, you also select an enemy factions capital, if you occupy and hold or raze it within 20 turns, you gain a trophy that has permanent effects depending on how strong the enemy was (i.e. killing a rank 89 faction in the middle of nowhere will yield a smaller bonus compared to factions like Reikland, Karaz-a-Karak or Eataine) and what kind of enemy it was. This mechanic makes Greenskins a serious threat on the campaign map because not even High Elves can hope to withstand 40 units at once, not to mention the support the Orcs might bring with them. It's best used to support your bursts of expansion in a truly Orky fashion and as an added benefit, it also feels very close to the Fluff.
  • Scrap: The second, and very small mechanic the Greenskins have. Killing enemies in battles and razing settlements earns you the Scrap resource, which can be spent on certain technologies, unit upgrades and, if you play as Grom the Paunch, cooking dishes in his cauldron.

Legendary Lords

  • Grimgor Ironhide: The one and only Grimgor is a close-combat beatstick who specialises in cracking lines and peeling tin can infantry. His character-killer abilities also make him ideal for going after enemy Lords and Heroes. Just remember that he's not invincible and will need support to avoid getting crumped by things outside of his jurisdiction. Send chaff units to absorb charges from large single entities, Big 'Uns to help him handle cavalry and monsters, Shamans to boost his stats or obscure his approach where necessary and of course Black Orcs to help him crack heavy infantry lines. His personal skill tree will majorly buff Black Orcs and Big 'Uns in his army, so make sure to go for that as soon as possible.

Grimgor's faction, Grimgor's 'Ardboyz starts in the middle of the Badlands at Black Crag and in a prime position to become a formidable power. Your immediate enemies are the various Greenskin tribes of the Badlands that need a proper krumpin', some Skaven and the isolated Dwarfs of Karak Azul. The main Dwarfen faction of Karaz-A-Karak will be your main enemy for the majority of the early to late game. If you want a general tutorial on how to deal with Dwarfs and their annoyingly thick armour, you pick Grimgor.

  • Azhag the Slaughterer: Azhag is a Hybrid Lord that can do a bit of everything and currently the only Orc LL with access to a flying mount in the form of his trusty Wyvern Skullmuncha. Prior to "The Warden and the Paunch", he was the only character the Greenskins had with access to the Lord of Death, which is a pretty good lore, all things considered. In direct combat, he holds up well enough but is inferior against most Lords and Heroes that are either dedicated melee characters (Like Karl Franz or Grimgor) or are just really tanky; but his utility is pretty good. Too bad that his biggest weakness in MP is his exorbitant price tag; Skullmuncha has to be included because he is too flimsy otherwise.

Azhag got his own faction now! He leads the Bonerattlaz in the very northeastern corner of the Old World, starting in Red Eye Mountain and diplomatic bonusses with Vampire factions (and Arkhan the Black) and at war with the Elector Count of Ostermark. A unique advantage Azhag has over other Greenskin factions is that he makes Temperate climate settlements inhabitable (it's "unpleaseant" to others). Also worthy of note is that Azhag alone gets access to the Great Halls of Nagashizzar Landmark, which is only available to Vampires and Arkhan the Black and provides immunity to all effects of Vampiric Corruption as well as a +50 opinion increase with these factions.

  • Skarsnik (DLC): is a Triscky lord having a surprising about of defense and offense despite being a goblin thanks to the squig he is chained to. He is a support lord that will give enemies hell, with Trisksy Traps letting a detachment of your army be invisible until they do a surprise flank. His Waaagh! gives bonuses AP Damage to missile weapons.
As Boss of the Crooked Moon Tribe, Skarsnik's campaign is almost entirely no Orcs allowed, as he needs to take and hold Karak Eight Peaks to recruit most Orc units. Until then, his goals are essentially a race across the Gray Mountains and Badlands towards his old stomping grounds.
  • Wurrzag, The Great Green Prophet (FLC): Your obligatory Caster LL, and he is not messing around. As with most caster lords, he shouldn't see combat unless you're absolutely forced to send him into melee. He boosts your spellcasting by a ludicrous degree and is basically the loremaster for the Lore of the big Waaagh!, has Greater Arcane Conduit and great discounts on the best spells his Lore gives him, most notably 'Ere we go! and Foot of Gork. As if that wasn't enough he also makes Savage Orcs almost as tough as Black Orcs and making them cheaper in the process. Can passively give magical attacks to his entire army in campaign which will make them better at krumping everyone except dwarfs due to their innate magic resistance.

Wurrzag starts to the west of Grimgor in the Bloody Handz faction. He has the unique mechanic of being able to build Savage Orc recruitment buildings anywhere on the map instead of merely in the southern portions of the Badlands.

  • Grom the Paunch (DLC): Fatter than anyone, Grom is as goofy as he is powerful. Picking Grom unlocks access to his Cauldron, where you can cook food for him and his armies from ingredients that have a mini-quest attached in order to unlock them. Those ingredients come in five categories and their sources are fairly intuitive (Kill a Dragon for dragon wings, kill Dwarfs for Dwarfen Beer etc.). You can also buy them from the Food Merchant which will show up from time to time and can be interacted with by placing a Hero or Army next to her. Diffrent combinations of ingredients give different kinds of food and you need to unlock the recipes themselves first. But what is all this food for, you may now ask? The dishes give factionwide buffs depending on the recipe, and buffs to Grom himself, and nearly all of them are awesome in some form or another (not to mention that the idea that your main quest revolves around finding stuff to eat is just a hilarious contrast to the usual seriousness of the setting). In combat, Grom isn't that bad either. He gives decent buffs to Goblin units and Pump wagons and he himself rides on his big pimp car (Grom does not walk) as a massive chariot. His big mass (pun intended) ensures that he has little trouble punching through enemy lines, although prolonged exposure to enemies with bonusses against large is not something he likes.

Grom has the honour of being the only Greenfaction with access to both Mortal Empires and Eye of the Vortex as well having wildly differing starting positions. He leads the Broken Axe faction and starts the game at war with his eternal enemy, Eltharion the Grim. Your main campaign goal revolves around getting a foothold on Ulthuan and destroying Tor Yvresse, which can take quite some time, but is easily the most fun you can have with any of the Greenskin campaigns, CA did a great job with him. On Mortal Empires, he starts in the middle of Bretonnia in the not-so-creatively named Massif Orcal, on Eye of the Vortex, he starts as far away from Ulthuan as you can get in Karag Orrud, near the southeastern edge of the map. It's important to remember that Eltharion will always send some armies your way.

Workshop Boyz

These lads are not leaders of factions, instead being unlockable by any faction through research in the Big Thinkin' techtree. They are both semi-Legendary in that they are Immortal and have specific army-buffing gimmicks but don't have unique voice actors or lines. Also you can change their names.

  • Raknik Spiderclaw: Raknik is a Great Goblin Shaman who gives buffs to all kinds of spider-related units in his army, has the ability to summon Spider Hatchlings up to five times as a bound summon spell and can ride a Catchweb Spidershrine.
  • Oglok the 'Orrible: Oglok is an Orc Warboss who gives decent bonuses to Orc infantry, Boar Boyz and Boar Chariots.

Units

Generic Lords

  • Orc Warboss: The simple and cheaper beatstick lord. Is the only other lord besides Azhag to have a Wyvern mount, which's poison will help him in melee.
  • Goblin Great Shaman: your Little Waaagh! caster lord. Was a cheap but fragile debuffing caster but got a lot more tanky and offensive once the Paunch DLC added the Spidershrine. Also has a "NO" ability to increase targets recharge time for extra obnoxiousness if you know how recharge-time works.
  • Night Goblin Warboss (DLC): a cheaper, enemy controller type of lord. Annoying as hell with conjuring wrecking ball Loons, course enemies to rampage, and then Tormentor Sword them in place so they get dogpiled.

Heroes

  • Goblin Big Boss: Low cost and surprisingly decent stats. Take 2-3 of them and have them roam around gooning enemy lords + heroes. Always give them a mount. The wolf is faster + cheaper, the spider gives poison attacks to cripple high-value targets.
  • Orc Shaman: Your damage-dealing and buffing wizard. Even on a Warboar, is relatively slower than his contemporary mages on their own faction mount. He is easy to catch but has decent melee offense by virtue of being part of the Orc race but less melee defense than a contemporary old-magic-man so will his hp pool will quickly drain to zero.
  • Goblin Shaman: The sneaky debuffing caster. needs to because he is a night goblin with no mount option, but is a surprise having both Vanguard and Stalk for quickly unleashing his spell likely before getting trampled, even gets shrooms so he can cast the same spells in quick secession.
  • Black Orc Big Boss: Big tough guy that holds the line in addition to or while the lord is the way. Has the best overall melee stats and highest armor value of your Heroes.
  • River Troll Hag (DLC): your Death caster outside Azhag, while also being very tanky with that high non-ap weapon damage from being a troll from the swamps. She has the ability to snipe out and debuffing important enemies while brawling it out in the front lines but her speed large size makes her easy pickings for fire arrows.

Melee Infantry

  • Goblins: Don't underestimate these guys, they're excellent tarpits. They're also better at hiding behind shields than most infantry and block incoming missile fire 50% of the time
  • Night Goblins (and Fanatics): Crazed Gobbos that are high as a kite and bring poisoned attacks to the table. Not all that formidable in general, but make for good tarpits and Fanatics are devastating if used right.
    • Da Warlord's Boyz (ROR, DLC): Replace poison with Armor rending, and now you have a cheap way to fix a problem with lack of AP.
    • Da Eight Peak Loonies (ROR, DLC): Unbreakable gobbo tarpits.
  • Orc Boyz: Da Boyz! They are no slouch and have a lot going for them. While a bit on the pricey side for an early game unit, Boyz love smashing stuff in melee and dominate early game melee encounters with ease and can even hold their ground against some of the more elite units the AI will use. Sturdy, reliable, dead killy.
  • Nasty Skulkers: Glass cannon kan-openers. Stalk allows you to get them to exactly where your opponent least wants them while their smoke bomb keeps victims from getting away by slowing their movement speed by 76% for 21 seconds. Good for flank attacks, killing lords, and smoke bombing cavalry to keep them from cycle charging.
  • Savage Orcs: Savage Orcs differ from regular Boyz in that they can only be built on Orc pilgrimage sites and have no armour. They make up for it by having physical resistance, a small ward save that can be buffed through research and Wurrzag. Generally speaking, more of a glass cannon.
  • Orc Big Uns: Even killier than regular boys, Big 'Uns love smashing stuff and do it in a truly great fashion. Noteable downsides to them are their relatively high price and their lack of a shield; missile units love shooting at them.
  • Savage Orc Big Uns: The equivalent on the Savage side of the Orcs, but these guys are absurdly deadly and only Black Orcs surpass them, Wurrzag makes them arguably even stronger.
  • Black Orcs: Da big Boyz. By the time they show up, the enemy frontline might as well just pack up and leave. They turn almost anything into a fine red mist, have really good leadership, lots of AP damage and even more armour. The best infantry Greenskins offer.
    • Da Krimson Killas (ROR, DLC): Have two axes and can just exterminate any other Melee infantry in the game. Has a unique (for infantry units) cleave attack where each unit will swing their two axes hitting multiple enemies at once with each swing. This makes them unparalleled infantry killers, and the single best infantry unit in the entire game. Slap Grimgor's Immortulz banner on them, stick them in a chokepoint and watch them beat entire armies by themselves.

Ranged Infantry

  • Goblin Archers: Your first foot archer option and... uh... there's not much to say about them, really. They slightly out-damage Skavenslave Slingers (Hint: that's not really all that good) and can get upgrades to increase their Armour-Piercing damage from 1 damage to a whopping 4. They have their use as counters to skirmishers and cavalry archers, but get rid of them as soon as something better arrives on the scene.
  • Night Goblin Archers/Night Goblin Archer Fanatics: The much preferable alternative to either of the Orc Archers and basic Goblin Archers. They share the comparatively low base damage of their arrows with similar bow infantry, but get poisoned shots - invaluable to whittle down big beasts or elite units. In a pinch you can also build them as Fanatics, that gives them a good answer to crowds - but that's really something you better leave to melee Night Goblins.
    • Da Rusty Arrers (ROR): Also have armor sundering.
  • Orc Arrer Boyz: A very, very two-sided sword. They gain much needed range and missile strength over Goblins, but at the cost of low accuracy and a low model count of just 80. Not all that good considering that they often lose even against mid-tier Missile Cavalry.
  • Savage Orc Arrer Boyz: The same deal as Arrer Boyz, minus the armour. Yay. Only use them when no other options are available.

Cavalry and Beasts

  • Goblin Wolf Riders: Cheap and quick. Has a similar stat line as generic goblins and a much lower unit count, so they don't do well against anything that can actually fight back. Low cost + high speed makes them well suited for killing weapon teams and harassing broken units off the map, similar to chaos warhounds.
  • Moon-howlers: (RoR) Gives them fear
  • Goblin Wolf Rider Archers:
  • Forest Goblin Spider Riders:
  • Forest Goblin Spider Rider Archers: Ranged poison delivery system.
    • Deff Creepers: (RoR) has Regeneration
  • Orc Boar Boyz: Your anti-infantry heavy cav. They're only have 60 speed, so don't overextend them. They can't outrun fast monsters + most enemy cav so it's pretty much game over for them if they get caught out of position.
  • Orc Boar Big 'Unz: Your anti-large heavy cav. They have similar speed problems as vanilla boar boys so you'll primarily use them to deter enemy cav from charging your boyz.
    • Broken Tusks Mob:
  • Squig Herd (DLC):
  • Night Goblin Squig Hoppers (DLC):
    • Durkit's Squigs: (RoR):

Monsters and Chariots

  • Trolls: Good stats + regeneration, but terrible leadership. Their purpose is cycle charging, taking breaks to recover. Completely outclassed by their DLC troll cousins.
  • Stone Trolls (DLC): Like regular trolls, but 'arder. They pack more punch and are very durable with built in magic + missile resistance.
  • River Trolls (DlC): An improvement on vanilla trolls with better melee defense and reduce enemy DPS around them. Not as good as Stone Trolls in a straight up fight, but useful as support trolls.
    • Da Swamp Fingz (RoR, DLC):
  • Arachnarok Spider: Nasty close combat beast with good armor, decent speed, and poison attacks.
    • The Arachnarok Queen: improved monster slayer and spawns spider chaff.
  • Rogue Idol (DLC): If you want to pummel the enemy front line with the biggest, bluntest object you can find, accept no substitutes. Rogue Idols are scary frontline beatsticks with a crapload of armour and HP that gets even more killier the less health it has. It's one crucial weakness is its extremely low speed, making it vulnerable to kiting and fairly easy even for basic infantry to avoid them.
    • Da big 'Un (RoR, DLC): A Rogue Idol that doubles as an Artillery piece can replenish its ammo at the cost of HP.
  • Giant:
  • Goblin Wolf Chariots:
    • Teef Robbers (ROR): gets Vanguard.
  • Orc Boar Chariot:
  • Snotling Pump Wagons (Regular/Flappas/Spikey Rollaz) (DLC):
    • Logey Bogey's Spore 'Sploda's: (RoR):

Artillery

  • Goblin Rock Lobbers: Generic catapult with decent damage and armor piercing. Can be useful on harder campaign difficulties that make AI dwarf warriors all but unbreakable.
    • Hammer of Gork: (RoR)
  • Doomsday Diver Catapults: Uniquely among artillery their projectiles home in on the enemy. If you got the attention to spare taking manual control of them allows you to fly the projectile.

WAAAAAGH Units/Campaign Only

  • Lava Goblin Spider Rider Archers:
  • Spider Hatchlings:
  • Armoured Squig Hoppers:
  • Lava Arachnarok Spider:
  • Feral Wyvern:

Tactics

Multiplayer Strategies

  • Beastmen:
  • Bretonnia:
  • Chaos Warriors:
  • Dark Elves:
  • Dwarfs:
  • Empire:
  • Greenskins:
  • High Elves:
  • Lizardmen:
  • Norsca:
  • Skaven:
  • Tomb Kings:
  • Vampire Coast:
  • Vampire Counts:
  • Wood Elves:

Campaign Strategies