The 9th Age/Tactics/Orcs and Goblins
- 1 Tactics
- 2 Unit Analysis
- 3 Magic Items
- 4 Army Compostion
The tactics are current as of second edition
Your Orcs and Goblins are split into several minor races within themselves, you often choose which race an individual unit is, most frequently with characters and core. These minor races can have different stats, abilities, and equipment.
- Common Orc: Vanilla orc, tends to wear heavy armor and be your best choice for ranged options.
- Iron Orc: Elite Orcs. Come with plate armor standard and and are fearless. They have weapon master, the unit comes with a good selection but the character will need to buy any options.
- Feral Orc: Party Orcs. Armor is for pussies anyways. Naked with Battle focus, Frenzy, and Aegis 6+ (5+ on characters).
- Common Goblin: Insignificant. No fun rules for your vanilla goblins. Usually mounts up on wolves.
- Cave Goblin: Insignificant. similar to Common but with pointy hats and can ride Squigly beasts.
- Forest Goblin: Insignificant and Forest strider. have poison (usually) and ride spiders.
War Cry!: Once per game at the start of a player turn, your general can make all your units gain +1" Advance rate, +2" March Rate, and Swifstride until the end of your turn. Your general must take this upgrade, so know you will be blowing 45 points into characters for this rule. Use on turn 2 to land those long charges.
Oi it bites!: Squigs can only be joined by other Squigs.
Nets: Enemy units in contact with friendly units with this rule get combat penalties. Roll a d6 at the start of each combat phase, on 2+ the enemy suffers -1 to str/AP. On a 1 the unit with nets nets itself. A unit can only be netted once in a phase (so no reducing enemies to 0 str, at least not with nets alone). This upgrade is great, the downside rarely happens and the goblins that take this rarely suffer from the -1 because their str is so bad by default anyways.
Shambolic: Units with this cannot be joined by characters. If all of the random movement dice for this unit show the same result the unit loses d3 health and moves in a random direction. If a unit with this rule hits pretty much anything besides open terrain they are fucked.
Running Amok!! Units with this rule move in a random direction when using random movement.
Ricochet(x): When models with this rule come into contact with any other unit it moves through them and inflicts (x) hits. The rule is more complicated than this, but the rulebooks are free and I'm not going to type it all out here.
Born to Fight: gain +1 Str and AP during the first Combat Round or if the unit is Steadfast. Charge wide to maximize contact then reform to be deeper than your opponent so you can outgrind most anything. All of your orcs have this and you need to use it. If you forget to take full advantage of Born to Fight you should just spam goblins. Orcs require you to abuse this to get the most out of their attacks.
Venomous Fangs: Before rolling attacks from this model nominate one of its attacks to be the venomous fangs, that one attack gains multiple wounds (d3+1). Even if this attack turns into more attacks (like with battle focus) only that one attack has the multiple wounds. A great force multiplier but can be a bit hit-or-miss being on only one attack.
Mammoth Stabber: Available to your footslogging feral orcs. Gives them some impact hits, not a huge boost, but will fuck any monster they charge.
Bring the Pain: Failed to-hit rolls against the target get re-rolled. Simple and effective. You will need to blow 2 dice to consistently cast this but in big combats this will give you the edge you need.
All of the characters in this section can be the general and your general must take War Cry for 45 points. Just keep in mind that you will be spending that extra 45 on this section with whatever characters you're taking.
Orc Warlord: The biggest orc in the army, can be taken in any of the 3 orc flavors. Common is cheapest and will get you the most bang for your buck. Feral Orcs get that sweet Aegis (5+) and can still take light armor so you can get a good armor enchantment on them (take essence of mithril) but it is debatable if they are better value than a common orc warlord. Iron Orcs are the tankiest of the bunch and also the most expensive. Paired weapons usually get you the most out of your warlord, but a great weapon in the right place or a lance on the charge can really do some work.
Orc Chief: Baby warlords and are great value characters. They are less than half the price of their warlord counterparts and come with all the same options with only a minor reduction in stats (-1 to attacks and str/AP). These can be your BSB and are a great vehicle for it.
Orc Shaman: Come in vanilla or feral flavors. Vanilla is cheaper and has light armor, but the feral one gets that aegis save for only 15 points over the common. Watch out for frenzy forcing your shaman to charge, but he is a pretty good beatstick on his own. All 3 magic paths available are good options with great disruptions and buffs.
Goblin King: All 3 flavors are available but the only difference is mount options. They are dirt cheap so feel free to throw them around. Be careful making one general because they are goblins and goblins are trash.
Goblin Chief: One of the few characters in the game that has a hard limit at all. Even with this limit, being able to have 6 decent characters out and about is pretty good. Have at least one for each goblin brick you take. Can be the BSB, if you have a monster block of goblins can be a good choice.
Goblin Witch Doctor: Comes in all 3 goblin flavors. Any choice will do for an apprentice or adept. If you want a master take him in cave goblin (for the shrooms) or forest (for the gargantuala). The paths are great for you. Have on one witch doctor on witchcraft for raven's wing, being able to pop units over unfavorable combats so they can charge squishies next turn is a great tool to keep. Cave goblin witch doctors has power shrooms which can be used in a pinch to force spells through by penalizing dispell attempts against that spell, but watch out for bad shrooms.
War Boar: Available to any flavor of orc. Makes them quick, +2 armor, and its own devastating charge. This boar hits at str 5 AP 2 on the charge. Never forget to attack with your mounts.
War Boar Chariot: Common or Iron Orcs, no dirty Feral Orcs allowed. Same as above, but with more HP and will boost your shaman's low (for an orc) resilience. Is still dirt cheap for what it does, but can't hide in units like a boar can.
Wyvern: Will let just anything ride it. Don't put your general on one. It does jack shit for tanking them up and makes them a big target. Put a shaman on it for a huge mobile spell blaster or put a chief on it for a missile.
Common Goblin Mounts
Wolf: Tied with below for your fastest option. 9" adv and +1 armor is pretty good for a trash goblin and are pretty cheap. Don't let the fact that it's a wolf fool you, the horses for other races are the same or better in combat.
Goblin Wolf Chariot: Gets bows for some free harassment and impact hits with its speed makes this a scary mount. Will boost the res and HP of your goblins.
Cave Goblin Mounts
Gave Gnasher: Not very fast as far as mounts go but is a hilarious option. The gnasher is stupid strong for how cheap you can get it, it can join up with other units of gnashers and is hard to shoot down before it can slam into the enemy lines. Don't put your general on one, but one or two cave goblin chief (or king) missiles will be hard to put down and will do some work.
Forest Goblin Mounts
Scuttler Spider: Light avoidance cavalry, not as quick as the wolf, but has poisoned attacks instead. It's pretty cheap to put a boy on this so if you have a unit to roll with go for it.
Huntsmen Spider: Big scary spider. Tanks your goblin up good and doubles their attacks. Only available for a chief or king and can't hide with anything.
Gargantula: King or wizard master only. Big monster spider, take a wizard on it to get that sweet Aegis 5+ vs shooting and bonus spell.
Orcs: You're bread and butter and you will have a few blocks of these unless you're going full goblins. They are hilariously cheap for what they bring to the table so go ahead and bring a few 50 model units. They come in vanilla or feral flavors, feral being a 2 ppm more but that aegis save will do things against dwarfs whereas light armor will not. Spear + shield is a pretty good choice, allowing your deep bricks to strike 3 ranks to the front. Vanilla orcs have the option to take heavy armor and crossbows, which makes Orcs + Goblins one of the best armies for a gunline just for how many of these chumps you can have. This does not prevent them from taking shields, so you can have res 4 4+ save crossbow orcs that hit on 4+ for 18 points a model.
Orc 'Eadbashers: You can only have one of these units in your army. They have better stats than Orcs but they lack some of the equipment options. Make a solid bodyguard for a shaman or general, but can be safely passed in most armies.
Orc Boar Riders: Come in common or feral flavors again. Take paired weapons on feral to make use of their battle focus. Common orcs will hit harder on the charge, but ferals can get more attacks.
Goblins: The 3 flavors of goblin are pretty different so we'll cover each individually.
- Common Goblins: If you want a brick this is the one. They get light armor and can get 5+ with parry for 7 ppm. Funnily enough these are your spammiest archers, 8 points per model for 4+ models with bows and 4+ to hit. They can take up to 3 shady gits, which are there to try to kill characters. They can be scary, but tend to not do much, but that's not that bad considering they are only 15 points each.
- Cave Goblins: -1 discipline and +1 agility on the other goblins, which means they'll strike at the same initiative step as humans, instead of after, woo hoo. These guys have the best options though and can be the scariest thing on the table. They have Nets, which means they can effectively tarpit enemies that would otherwise mow through them, and they get Mad Gits which are a nasty surprise to anyone who thinks they can break this brick on the charge.
- Forest Goblins: They gain poisoned attacks in melee (so no poison bow spam). Throwing weapons are cheesy but can be buffed to dumb levels if you're close enough to actually use them. Use spears/shields to maximize their poison attacks.
Iron Orcs: Your old reliable, guess what flavor of orcs these are. They have bodyguard, but only for Iron warlords/chiefs. If one of those are your general or bsb this is a great place to put them. With their stats and the tools at their disposal, they will hold their ground and do whatever role you need them to do.
Orc Boar Chariot: Look at your Orc Boar Riders, now take two of them and add impact hits. This chariot hits like a truck and is dirt cheap to throw onto the table. Take one or two to clog charge lanes and threaten flanks.
Mounted 'Eadbashers: Awesome Boar Riders. Come in Common or Feral flavors. Take common to hit harder on the charge, take feral to slap out 3 attacks per model on the charge. You usually have better tools for burning through hordes, common will cover more of your bases.
Goblin Raiders: Come in common or forest flavors. Both are feigned flight avoidance cavalry. Common goblins ride wolves and are faster. Forest Goblins ride the spiders which are slower but can spam poisoned attacks. Take common for pew pewing and forest for flank charges.
Goblin Wolf Chariot: Not as nimble as the common goblin wolf riders, but is slightly tankier and hurts more on the charge. Not as aggressive as the orc boar chariot but tends to be in weirder places.
Gnasher Dashers: The Cave Goblin "Flying cavalry". The goblin on top is just along for the ride, the gnasher is the one that does all the killing. Always hop up to 6 models for better impact hits and don't forget about fly, they can charge over units or over the terrain.
Gnasher Herd: Just the gnashers above but with no direction. Take a brick of these to cover your flanks, they are insignificant and when they break from combat and just explode dealing damage to everything nearby.
Gnasher Wrecking Team: A single gnasher that grew big and mean. They function similarly to the Mad Gits, use raven's wing to get them into position and start dumping on enemies before they get shot off the table.
Trolls: Have 3 flavors of their own, but all three have a few things in common: they all share stupidity, Fortitude, and vomit. Keep a babysitter nearby, being stupid is what holds this unit back and they won't be doing anything on their discipline 4. Vomit trades their 3 decent attacks for a single attack with AP 10, use it to troll elites.
- Common Troll: no changes from above.
- Cave Troll: Gains Magic Resistance (3) and 3 armor, makes your troll 4+/4++ and resistant to spells. Makes your trolls hard to budge.
- Bridge Troll: Gains Distracting and water strider. Makes them a bit more flexible, depending on the terrain. Makes it harder to land hits on them due to that -1 to-hit.
Grotlings: These guys are to goblins what goblins are to orcs. They don't even go as a unit, they come in swarms. Use them to clog charge lanes and cover your flanks, don't expect them to live through the game.
Scrap Wagon: A weird chariot I guess. A maximized 3d6 for random movement makes this hilariously fast and it hurts like hell on the charge but don't expect it to live after charging.
Death From Above
Skewerer: A pretty cheap bolt thrower. Str 6 and AP 10 makes this a great deterrent for any monsters in the area, but watch out for aim 4+
Greenhide Catapults: Includes both of your catapult style weapons. They both have the option to take an orc overseer, the machine loses insignificant but gains more discipline and can reroll on the misfire table.
- Splatterer: A good catapult. Very strong and multiple wounds makes this a threat to near anything on the table.
- Git Launcher: Slightly weaker than the splatterer (only 5) but with the same AP and partial hits don't reduce the number of hits or the str/AP. A very consistent catapult but won't be able to burn through big units, use it to slam on smaller elite units or snipe characters.
Big 'N Nasty
Gargantula: Big spider monster full of poisoned attacks. Take one in the character's section, but if you want 2 you can take a second one here. Always get the Web Launcher, it makes your low agility orcs and goblins strike first and can really fuck a chariot list or ogre khans army.
Great Green Idol: One of the tankiest models in the game. 6 hp, 4+ armor, and a res value of 8. In addition to being a brick he allows nearby units to re-roll 1 to-hit in melee and minimize break tests. He can also be your BSB which is a pretty good option.
Giant: It's a giant, does giant things. He has Born to Fight, which boils down to a +1 str/ap when he charges. He can take a wrecking ball, making him a large mad git. Hilarious, probably not worth the points.
Omen of the Apocalypse: hand weapon only. Before you attack, roll 1d3, add that to the number of attacks, str, and AP this round of combat. A nice little buff, not worth the points. Just take a great weapon.
Maza's Zappin: Bow enchantment, it gains Aim (2+), shots 3, str/ap as user. On the right character it can be buffed to insane levels (orc warlord with this, str 5 ap 2 bow shots). Take it, it's so worth it.
Shady Shanking: Gain lightning reflexes, lethal strike, and rerolls failed to-wound rolls in duels. A good assassin weapon for a duel monster.
Tuktek's Guard: +1 resilience and attacks with lethal strike lose that when attacking this model. A great defensive tool for your characters.
Mikinok's Totem: at the start of each round of combat choose one piece of special equipment carried by a model in a unit in base contact with this one, for this round of combat it doesn't work. Can cripple the defenses of a critical character or make that unit unable to grind through your units.
Green Tide: up to 3 of these per army. Gain fight in extra rank. Fight in Extra Rank is cumulative, take it on a BSB and the standard bearer on a brick of spear goblins for 6-7 ranks of attacks to the front.
Crown of the Cavern King: All goblin models in the same unit gain vanguard and feigned flight. If the bearer is general or BSB they increase the range of their relevant effects by 6". A good buff and allows you to be in your opponents face quickly.
Skull Fetish: Wizards only. At the start of friendly magic phases you gain X veil tokens where X is equal to the number of friendly units in combat minus the number of friendly fleeing units. Max 3, minimum 0. Not as consistent as other token farming tools, but can make the difference in late game magic phases.
Troll Ale Flask: The bearer can barf like a troll instead of their normal attacks. Take on a mage so they can be scary in combat.
Pan of Protection Pinchin': When the bearer is wounded they can use the armor and/or special save of the model that inflicted the wound instead of their own. Can make your goblins surprisingly tanky against the right duel monster.