Last week I was musing on what to take to the Shadespire Event at the Wargames Emporium. Last time I was there I narrowly missed out on the Glass due to a bit of a hoo-ha with the final round pairings. They run a best of one, urgh, 4 round event! So, I wasn’t really feeling my Aggro Skaven, as I’ve found that Aggro works well in a best of three format so you have a chance to mitigate dice variance.
Whilst I was thinking what to take I stumbled upon this bit of artwork, and thought ‘phwoar, those
Orks Orruks look cool’ I’m gonna play with Gazgul and his ladz! Then the coffee kicked in, the synapses fired up, and I realised I’d traded chocolate flavour Aggro for mint flavoured Aggro…
…stupid brain. But it did get me thinking – what if I tried to be Kunnin but Brutal, rather than Brutal but Kunnin? A few more sips of brain juice later and I’d specced out my decklist on underworldsdb.com – click the link to view the deck.
I’d decided to try and confuse my opponent in a best of one situation and play super passive Orruks…because what kind of greenskin shys away from a scrap?
The Objectives I took are typically found in ‘stallcast’ lists – Perfect Planning, Skirting Danger, Complete Victory etc. With the advent of the new boards Orruks essentially have an ‘ON’ switch for their inspire condition by entering a Dangerous Hex which, in theory, allows me to score Shining Example whenever I want, because what’s more Orruky than hurting yourself to prove how much of an inspiration you are?
The Ploys are entirely focused on push and stall ploys. 7 of 10 being Push Ploys of some form or another, whilst the remaining 3 are Quick Thinker, Hidden Paths, and Anticipation. Push Ploys, QT & HP are all to keep me away from combat and to help score my objectives, and stop Denial. Anticipation being theoretically useful for those games vs other Passive warbands to give me more access to Glory.
The Upgrades all revolve around survivability (3x 50/50 don’t dies, 2 Increased Wounds, Commanding Shout to push vital pieces around and not use Move Actions) and for Glory scoring in the Third End Phase – Hero’s Mantle, A Destiny to Meet, and Formless Key.
How did it perform? Read on, dear reader, read on…
Game 1 versus Stormcast Eternals
I lost the roll off for board deployment, and my opponent set up wide to wide with the intention of flooding the way through with his Stormcast. I chose to use the new boards in every game as I wanted to test out their uses, in this game I chose the Crystal board and deployed far away.
When I drew my opening hand of objectives I had all my turn 3 objectives AND flawless strategy…I had to dump them. I mulliganed into an equally bad first hand of Escalation, Chosen Champion and Master of War. FANTASTIC! Gork & Mork were obviously laughing at me from their big green palace in the sky.
Needless to say, this game went south quite quickly and I only managed to score a meagre four glory, whilst through good use of the hazardous hexes I was denying my opponent his Score Immediately cards e.g. being pushed onto the hexes and dieing does not count for Precise Use of Force or Lightening Strikes. My opponent was able to score seven glory and was victorious. Not a great start.
Game 2 versus Farstriders
In this game I was able to deploy length ways and was able to keep my Orruks far away from any potential mishaps. The Farstriders also seemed content with this and we drew cards viciously at each other. After a mighty flurry of back and forth I was able to use Distraction and Great Concussion to prevent a Tac Supremacy 1-2, whilst scoring three of my own objectives.
Turn 2 saw much of the same of the card draw, I was searching my deck for Heroes Mantel, A Destiny to Meet, and the Formless Key to equip them all on Gurzag to score me Escalation, Chosen Champion & Shining Example by sidesteping into a hazard. Classic Orruk behaviour.
Turn 3 I was able to score ‘Ard as Iron and my three upgrades to provide an eleven to seven victory. We had an interesting rules query come up in the previous game: If a model uses Hidden Paths to arrive into a hazardous hex they are ‘placed’ – as such they do not Move into it, are not Pushed into it, and are not Driven Back into it so do not take any damage. An interesting tidbit for your future games!
Game 3 versus Dwarves
I won the roll off and chose the Forge board, and forced my to deploy length ways. He deployed in a way that the Orruks would not be able to charge first turn…hur hur hur we tricked ‘im boss and Gurzag and Ladz deployed at the far back of the board putting around 10 hexes between us.
My opponent had a terrible first hand and ditched a hand full of upgrades…including Grimnir’s Speed. This was huge! The only way he’d be able to reach me in time now was to Hidden Paths over – if I could deny him inspiring of keep pushing him away from Edge hexes I was quietly confident.
The stars aligned on my objective deck and I was able to consistently score three per turn with the final turn being ‘Ard as Iron, Complete Victory & Escalation PLUS the three upgrades for a massive 11pt final turn. Through good use of ploys throughout the game I was able to stop Grimnir getting Inspired til the final phase and prevented Supremacy every turn through Great Concussion, Earthquake and Distraction. The game ended at fifteen to five in favour of Gurzag. Maybe Gork and Mork were appreciatin’ the kunnnin’ plan afterall…
Game 4 vs Stormcast
Ah. Trouble! I was playing against Ian (the eventual winner) who is a veteran of the passive deck and has played into this type of match up far more than I have. He was able to score more consistently than I, and was able to ustilise a Hidden Paths + Great Strength Obryn to bop Basha on the head in the Third turn – killing my hopes of ‘Ard as Iron, Complete Victory & Flawless Strategy. After he’d died I knew I’d lost as the huge uptick in glory from that attack. +7 Glory & Actions lost replacing them meant I was crushed fifteen to five in favour of the Stormcast.
Congratulations to Ian, he went on to win the event via Glory Difference, and is a very skilled player! We’re now 1-2 in the head-to-head, hopefully I’ll get to play him in a best of three event soon. You can read his review here!
I was happy to see how the defensive/passive list played and feel I understand some of the intricacies a bit more now, and have an insight into how I would play against them with my Aggro decks. If I were to commit to this build then it is 100% the Stallcast build I’d go for as it has another Opponent Push ploy in through Peal of Thunder, and the fewer models mean to huddle up or jump on edge hexes requires less cards. Orruks were fine but not the masters – they did catch players off guard but not in a meaningful way versus the more experienced player.
At the end of the day I’m still firmly in the Aggro camp! The defenisve games I had did feel a lot like Solitaire and think I made a grand total of four(?) Attacks over the four games. The games that went well felt like I was a fun sponge on the game as there is little to no tension, and the games that went against me felt punishing because you’re so reliant on the cards. It’s an interesting build, but I’ll be returning to my Skaven for the next few events.