Ironskull’s Boyz: Holding the Pyramid

Welcome Trophy Hunters! As part of my Faction spotlight series I’ll be looking at Ironskull’s Boyz today. All factions are capable of winning an Event and we’re in a really good place for Game Balance.

The warbands in the Bottom-Tier are warbands that I see as having a weakness that the loss of cards on the Banned & Restricted List has enhanced. 


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I love this bit of artwork!!

Ironskull’s Boyz Weaknesses

Ironskull’s Boyz suffer from a very slow start to the game. Hakka & Basha are really bad models for an aggressively focused warband as their damage output is terrible. Versus a single Block dice they only win the attack roll off 40% of the time and do a measly single point of damage. Unlike, Gurzhag and Bonekutta who win the attack roll off 54% of the time. The odds aren’t really in their favour for making successful attack actions in round one.

Gurzag Ironskull and his lads were trapped in the Mirrored City decades ago, after an ill-fated looting spree amidst the ruins of Shadespire. Ironskull was initially furious, but in the years since he’s grown rather fond of the place; after all, what self-respecting orruk would decline an endless cycle of violence and bloodshed?

Ironskull’s Boyz Inspiration mechanic has always irked me. I get it thematically. They are enjoyin’ a gud scrap as any self respecting Orruk should. However, in-game it is punishing as you need to take damage to Inspire. One of Gurzag’s biggest strengths is that he starts with five wounds, giving him some safety from being one-shot. That’s all for naught when you have to at least take a point of damage to Inspire, meaning that Gurzhag is effectively four health as he needs to Inspire to access his accuracy boost.  

Ironskulls seem to love fighting the undead..I guess the scrap never ends…

Ironskull’s Boyz & The BAR List

The BAR List was a hugely mixed blessing for Ironskulls Boyz. They LOVE that Great Concussion doesn’t time warp them back a turn. Quick Thinker can no longer ruin their charge when they finally make it. However, much like Garrek’s Reavers the Orruks have lost SO much of their potential damage output and the simple Objectives that allowed them to compete now need replacing.

Restricted Objectives They Love 

  • Advancing Strike
  • Precise Use of Force
  • Extreme Flanks
  • Escalation
  • Fired Up

Restricted Gambits They Love

  • My Turn
  • Ready for Action
  • Twist the Knife

Restricted Upgrades They Love
(but will probably never use again)

  • Helpful Whispers
  • Shadeglass Dagger
  • Shadeglass Hammer
  • Soultrap
  • Tethered Spirit

Which Restricted Five Would I Choose?

I would definitely be taking Extreme Flanks and Precise Use of Force for my objectives if I was going down an aggressive route. Whilst I’d be taking My Turn, Ready for Action, and Twist the Knife for my Gambit choices. Again, we don’t see any upgrades from the Restricted list. RIP.

However, if I were to go for a slightly more defensive playstyle then I’d consider Extreme Flanks, Fired Up, Defensive Strike & Change of Tactics for my Objectives, and Ready for Action as my Gambit. Because you can’t leave home without Ready for Action!! 

Related Article: Peaceful Orruks? Surely not!

Ironskull’s Boyz: Faction Cards

The faction cards for Ironskulls Boyz really feel like they harken back to the terrible design decision to have the Orruks be the ‘LOLrandom’ faction of Warhammer Fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, some are amazing, we’ll get to them soon! But a few too many rely on a 50/50 dice roll for the effect to happen. Which is a big no-no from me!

Faction Objectives

I honestly find it hard to include an objective from their faction cards. Lots of their ‘good’ cards are Score Immediately objectives for almost every other faction. Which seriously slows down their tempo and ability to score objectives at a fast rate.

  • Biggest an’ da Best – Score in an end phase if the leader kills someone.
  • Call of the Waagh – Score Immediately if three or more Charge Actions are made this turn. Easy in Turn Two and Hard elsewhere.

I’m gonna break my trend a little here and go off on a rant about how BAD some their objectives are!

  • Dead Kunnin’- Almost an impossible ask to get three orruks round a single target but at least it’s score immediately.
  • Dere’s More of Us No there isn’t. There are four of you. The vast majority of warbands now have 4 or more models so you need to score this meagre single glory point after bashing some skulls in.
  • Good Scrap – Score if any three fighters were removed this turn. Not terrible but damn hard to pull off consistently! At least it’s two glory.
  • Punch Up – This is rewarding BAD play and difficult to score. Score if all surviving fighters made an attack action against different enemies. This stops you focusing firing down a model!
  • Too Dumb to Die – Suffer three or more damage and don’t die. FAQd to not be scoreable before Trap. It’s a rare occasion indeed that attacks are made that aren’t lethal. If it happens at least it is Score Immediately.
  • Showin’ Off  The leader killed two models this turn. Score 1 glory in the end phase. Not only is this difficult to achieve you don’t get your reward until the end. Just take Slayer for the same effect but Score Immediately!!

Faction Gambits

Let’s see what the Faction Gambits have to offer. I KNOW some of these are strong!

  • Brutal but Kunnin – Push yourself three hexes after an Attack action so you can Attack someone else later.
  • Kunnin but Brutal – Attack after a Move action so you can pretend you’re not charging but really you are and your halfway there to scoring Keep Them Guessing.

That’s all. The others are too situational for my liking, and there are Neutral cards that are simply better.

Faction Upgrades

WHY ARE THEIR UPGRADES LOCKED TO SPECIFIC FIGHTERS!!! THEY HAVE 10 UPGRADES AND NINE ARE LOCKED TO SPECIFIC FIGHTERS!!

Hakka and Basha these pathetic fighters have some absolutely balla upgrades…if Gurzag or Bonekutta could have them!!

  • ‘Ard Head – Damage reduction! Huge in game effect!
  • Brutal Frenzy – Extra attack dice during a charge.

Gurzag does have some strong upgrades though!

  • Unkillable – A Gurzag specific Soultrap. Yes please.
  • Crush and Cleave – This warband with massive axes don’t have cleave printed on their cards. This at least gives them AXEcess to it.

Ironskull’s Boyz: Board Choice

Chosen Axes Aggressive Board

When You Win the Roll…

…this board has become the go-to for warbands with four to five fighters who want to be aggressive. It allows you to deploy the Hakka/Basha & Arnulf/Targor fighters on the right and left to score Extreme Flanks (yup. It’s that big of a deal!). Whilst Bonekutta and Gurzag can go right at the front to ensure that there is combat as soon as possible.

When You Lose the Roll…

…this board allows you to deploy aggressively regardless of orientation. It ALSO allows you the freedom to Inspire an Orruk by moving through a lethal hex. Which is great to set up for Shining Example and getting Gurzag ready for the fight in Turn Two.


Ironskull’s Boyz suffer from existing in a world that Magore’s Fiends also exist in. In every essence Magore’s Fiends do what the Orruks want to do but better. They hit harder, they are more accurate, they are just as survivable, they Inspire from a positive interaction, they hit harder when Inspired, they are faster when Inspired, they have strong faction Objectives, Gambits & Upgrades. 

What do you think? Should Orruks be higher in my rankings? Let me know how you play them in the comments below!

3 comments

  1. I managed to win a crystal trophy with Oruk a month before the bangers, their cards are simply bad, I only use one of them crushes and breaks.
    I have read the two entries in the blog that you have and I do not agree with the use of the boards, I only use the aggressive pyramid, and only putting hakka and basha in the laterares and ignoring them all the game, (they wrote down Solitaire always) I never use boards with lethal hexes, I only used shattered terrain and blood pact (this card is a great addition for the band) if I put the boards along, I simply put the gurzard at the point closest to the enemy and bonecuta back waiting for Paths and looking for Wings for. I always steal two or three cards in the first turn and use pact or terrain to activate my turn. I have inspired myself.
    with the restrictions I think that Gurzad is now stronger, his 5 lives now if it is noticed, since there is not so much damage.

    forgive my english use translator

    1. Thanks for the comment and congratulations on the win! Yeah I’ve seen Ghoulish Pact & Shattered Terrain comboed with My Turn for some nice extra attacks!

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