Orcs and Goblins (Warhammer)
||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|Author||Matthew Ward, et al.|
|Cover artist||Alex Boyd|
|Preceded by||Orcs & Goblins 8th Edition|
Orcs & Goblins is a supplemental book for the Warhammer Fantasy Battle tabletop game. The phrase "orcs & goblins" also refers collectively to all of the races that are described in this book, which includes other "greenskins" as well. The book includes background information, illustrations, and game rules for these races. The Orcs and Goblins represent a generic Dark Ages warband army with little internal cohesion and discipline, and relying on the ferocious charge and individual fighting skills rather than organized generalship.
Orcs & Goblins contains a number of short stories that provide an illustrative fictional history of the Orcs in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. These stories center around the formation of Waaagh!s and the resulting campaigns.
Gorbad Ironclaw, atop his vicious boar Gnarla, was the mightiest Warlord that ever lived (in the warhammer fantasy universe). Gorbad Ironclaw and his tribe, the Ironclaw Orcs, absorbed the Broken Tooth tribe along with the local Goblin and Night Goblin tribes, to create a massive force of Greenskin warriors. The tribe marched through Black Fire Pass to attack the Empire under the Emperor Sigismund. Gorbad's army conquered the territories of Solland and Wissenland, but Gorbad himself was wounded in the fighting. At the fortress of Altdorf, the Waaagh! was kept at bay outside the city walls. Gorbad unleashed Wyverns upon the city, who threw the defenders into disarray but were ultimately repelled without achieving their main objective, which was to destroy the city gates. Eventually, the lack of progress and Gorbad's injury took their toll on morale, and the army disintegrated. The remnants of Gorbad's tribe were ambushed and defeated on their way home by a Dwarf army under the King of Karaz-a-Karak. It is not known if Gorbad survived the encounter.
Azhag the Slaughterer
An already powerful warlord who ruled over a great many tribes in the Badlands, Azhag's tale truly began after he unearthed an ancient magic crown in the ruined city of Todtheim. But this was no simple trinket: this was the Crown of Sorcery, an ancient artifact of the Great Necromancer, Nagash, and the ancient Liche's insidious spirit still clung to the artifact. When Azhag put the crown on, Nagash's spirit began to dominate the Orc's crude, uncomplicated psyche, and from then on, Azhag's primal power was combined with Nagash's tactical genius and arcane fury.
The power of the Crown allowed Azhag to destroy the rival Warbosses and ensure the loyalty of his followers. Prior to battle, Azhag would lay out his plan of attack, speaking in a decidedly un-Orcy voice heavy with the weight of centuries, then bellow at his ladz to get moving. However, Azhag's continued victories ensured the support of his greenskin followers: they didn't care that he "talked funny," only that he showed them "where da fighting wuz!"
Armed with Nagash's tactical skill and sorcerous might, which granted Azhag impressive magical skill, and mounted on the back of his pet wyvern Skullmuncha, Azhag's uncannily organised and tactically skilled WAAAGH! invaded the Empire, laying waste to the eastern province of Ostermark. They ravaged the province for many long months before Azhag's force was finally defeated at the Battle of Osterwald. In the ferocious fighting, Werner von Kriegstadt, Grand Master of the Knights Panther, killed Azhag in single combat and recovered the Crown of Sorcery. Without his tactical mind and force of will to lead them, the Orcs that had followed Azhag fled into the forests and hills of Ostland. As for the Crown of Sorcery, after much debate between those who wanted it preserved and studied, and those who wanted it destroyed so its evil could pose no more threat, the Grand Theogonist took it back to Altdorf and sealed it in the Imperial Vaults, where it would remain for all eternity.
Grimgor Ironhide is the most violent Black Orc Warboss ever to exist. He leads tribes of vicious Orcs to lay waste all across the Old World. His personal bodyguard of Black Orcs are known as "Da Immortulz" and they are almost as dangerous as he is. Grimgor is a fearsome fighter who can inflict enormous casualties upon opposing units. He "rests" by going into the tunnels of Red Eye Mountain (the Former Dwarf hold of Karak Ungor)that is held by Night Goblin allies. Here he slaughters vast numbers of Skaven, who are constantly trying to take the keep from the Greenskins. Unknown to Grimgor he has often got close to the Skaven area known as "Hell Pit", where the Skaven carry out their twisted experiments. Grimgor leaves the tunnels when he becomes bored with killing Skaven, but invariably returns for another "rest" when the urge to explore and kill reasserts itself.
Grimgor's fighting skill is such that he has been fought to a standstill only once - by the Champion of Chaos Crom the Conqueror. This is partly explained by the mauling of Grimgor's army on that occasion and the fleeing of the survivors, which left Grimgor alone on the field of battle.
Army list in 8th Edition
- Grimgor Ironhide
- Azhag the Slaughterer
- Gorbad Ironclaw
- Grom the Paunch
- Furgit Gutslasha
- Gitilla the hunter (new)
- Snagla Grobspit (new)
- Black Orc Warboss
- Savage Orc Warboss
- Orc Warboss
- Goblin Warboss
- Night Goblin Warboss
- Savage Orc Great Shaman
- Orc Great Shaman
- Goblin Great Shaman
- Night Goblin Great Shaman
- Black Orc Big Boss
- Savage Orc Big Boss
- Orc Big Boss
- Goblin Big Boss
- Night Goblin Big Boss
- Savage Orc Shaman
- Orc Shaman
- Goblin Shaman
- Night Goblin Shaman
- Orc Boyz
- Orc Arrer Boyz
- Savage Orcs
- Goblin Wolf Riders
- Night Goblins
- Forest Goblin Spider riders
- Black Orcs
- Orc Boar Boyz
- Savage Orc Boar Boyz
- Orc Boar Chariot
- Goblin Wolf Chariot
- Goblin Spear Chukka (bolt thrower)
- Night Goblin Squig Hoppers
- Night Goblin Squig Herds
- Goblin Rock Lobber (stone thrower)
- Snotling Pump Wagon
- Doom Diver Catapult
- Arachnarok Spider
- Mangler Squigs (new)
- Stone Trolls
- River Trolls
Orcs are large creatures with long arms and short legs, huge slabs of muscle move under tough green skin, and their jaws are lined with vicious fangs that jut out from their underbite. They have beady red eyes, a generally foul demeanor, and are naturally bald. Normally six feet tall, they are up to seven feet tall when stretched out of their characteristic stoop. They respect power and strength, and naturally tend towards becoming bigger and stronger as they rise through their society. While they lack the education of more advanced races, Orcs possess immense cunning and are quick learners, but rarely adopt new tactics to replace their fondness for close quarters brutality.
Black Orcs were originally created by the Chaos Dwarves to use as slaves, but have since rebelled and found a place in regular Orc armies. They are even bigger, stronger and meaner than regular Orcs, and so tend towards command roles. They are not above forming their own units though. Though other Orcs tend to look down on Black Orc intelligence, Black Orcs are, if not smarter, at the very least better organized. They are above the petty infighting (called Animosity in-game) that happens in most tribes and settle their differences with other Greenskins with orderly head-butting contests. Being the largest of Orcs and having an air of authority, Black Orcs confiscate large amounts of the heaviest armour from the camp and march to battle carrying a variety of weapons.
Savage Orcs are a different culture of orcs; their tribes have a stone-age level of development, and are even more shamanistic and savage than their regular Orc cousins. They are most well known for riding giant boars into combat, and paint their bodies with magical tribal designs which provide them with some level of supernatural protection. In game, this gives them a 6+ Ward saving throw on a six sided dice.
Goblins are much smaller and skinnier than the Orcs and have long, pointed noses. They are between 4 and 5 feet high, seldom reaching the height of a man. Goblins are more common than orcs, and deceitful to a fault. They prefer attacking their opponents in the back or from a safe distance. When pressed into battle Goblins seek safety in numbers, attacking in large mobs. They are afraid of Elves because they "stink funny."
Goblins tend to be bossed around by orcs because they are smaller and weaker, but the Goblins outsmart their larger cousins when trading scavenged goods.
- Common Goblins - are, like the common Orcs, the most numerous of the Goblin kind
- Night Goblins - inhabit underground places and hate to go out during the day. The night goblin fanatics are famed for their random power of destruction, just as you would expect from a mad goblin with a ball on a chain!
- Forest Goblins - are a goblinoid group at a primitive level like Savage Orcs, living in the Southlands
Hobgoblins are a race of large goblins living out on the Eastern Steppes where they are ruled by Khans and fight in huge wolf-mounted hordes. They are so underhanded that normal Greenskins refuse to have dealings with them but are used by the Chaos Dwarfs.
Snotlings are smaller and weaker than goblins; about half their height, although there is no set point where a large snotling becomes a small goblin, or vice versa. They are far less intelligent than goblins and can do little except in imitation of others. They congregate on the edges of greenskin villages, hunting (and being hunted by) squigs, although they are often too terrified to approach these strange creatures. In battle, they usually gather in large swarms that are too stupid to know when they're beaten. Sometimes they manage to cobble together examples of the infamous snotling pump wagon; a gigantic, uncontrollable wrecking machine. To Orcs, as long as they're smaller than themselves, they're all just weedy little "grotz" to be bossed around.
Gnoblars were not well known to the Old World until expeditions from the Ogre Kingdoms became commonplace. They serve as "pets" who are used to scavenge battlefields and carry luggage. Gnoblars are between normal goblins and snotlings in size and hence hierarchy. Gnoblars are not part of the Orcs & Goblins army in Warhammer Fantasy. Gnoblars do jobs for the Ogres in return for the Ogres' protection.
Accompanying the greenskin hordes are a variety of unusual non-greenskinned creatures. Squigs are strange two legged creatures part fungus, part animal. Slightly larger than a goblin, they appear as a ball of tough flesh with large chasm like mouths filled with razor sharp teeth, they vary in colors and some even have spines or spikes growing from their bodies, some have tails. They are captured and then goaded or ridden into battle by goblins. A sub breed of squig is the much larger cave squig. Cave squigs are physically similar to regular squigs except that they are much larger. They are found in caves and are much more ferocious than their smaller cousins. They feed off of dwarves they run into or night goblins who fail to capture them.
Trolls are large dimwitted creatures with immense strength and toughness. They can also regurgitate recently eaten meals in the form of highly corrosive acid which is a very useful offensive ability. Trolls also have the ability to regenerate. There are two sub-breeds of trolls: the river and stone trolls. River trolls are slightly more agile than the other breeds. Stone trolls have hard scales covering parts of their body as well as a resistance to magic. Both sub-breeds of troll are considered better than the average troll but are also much rarer.
Giants are extremely huge and consider anything smaller than themselves as food. In some rare cases they can be persuaded (with shiny gifts) into joining an orc warband. Some giants will join these warbands of their own choosing. Usually because they are hungry or just bored.
Wyverns can be captured, broken and used as powerful (if reluctant) steeds for Orc Warbosses in battle.
The greenskins have invented or stolen many contraptions over time. These include war machines such as catapults and spear chukkas (bolt throwers). The most interesting inventions are the pump wagon and the doom diver catapult. The pump wagon is a large wagon ridden by snotlings. The snotlings on the pump wagon will often insult and throw rocks at any foes surrounding them but the real damage is done by the wagon itself. Ramming blocks of enemy soldiers it cuts and squishes those before it with large rotating blades. The Doom Diver catapult is an oversize sling that launches goblins (with home-made wings) towards the enemy troops.
These mad, bouncing beasts are captured by night goblins for pets or (more usually) for food. Squigs are described as orange balls of fungus and muscle with tiny legs and mouths covering almost their whole body. They are powerful creatures and can cause as much damage to their allies as to the enemy. The more well-known term "Squig" is short for "Squiggly Beast."
The Orcs will continue to grow larger and stronger as time goes on until they are killed. As the Orcs travel to find new enemies to kill they will spread their spore from place to place creating more Orcs.
New Units in 8th Edition
The new 8th edition army book has two brand new units, the mangler squigs being the first. Mangler squigs are two great cave squigs chained together, with a night goblin trying his hardest to direct them towards the enemy. They act much like the night goblin Fanatics, causing random damage as they come into contact with the enemy.
The most well known new unit, with a multi-part model released, is the Giant Arachnarok Spider. This is seen as an avatar to the Spider God, created by the goblins, to show their fear of these spiders. They can contain primitive catapults known as flingers in their howdah, that throw a weird goo that slows the enemy. They can also be the mount for a Goblin great shaman. In this case they contain the powerful catchweb spidershrine, boosting the power of nearby wizards.
Savage orcs units can now be supplied with Big Stabbas, which are huge primitive spears that cause impact hits. Goblin units can contain hidden Nasty Skulkers, a sort of goblin assassin that, when revealed, has a killing blow to represent them leaping out and cutting someone's vulnerable bits off!
Great news for some, Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu returns! This savage orc wizard, renowned for his power to turn enemy wizards into squigs, was last featured is 6th edition. Two brand new characters, Gittla da hunter, a wolf rider with good archery skills, and Snagla Grobbspit, a spider rider, both of which are reasonably cheap heroes (110 and 115 points respectively).
- Official Orcs & Goblins articles page
- Orc and Goblin Warpath site (Including Thriving Community)
- Interview with author Mat Ward