Tournament Preparation – March to War

In January (22nd & 23rd 2022) Purple Sparkly Unicorns are presenting March to War. They are a great fun group who can often be seen at tournaments sporting their unmissable club shirts!

It is a VERY sparkly Unicorn

This is my first tournament of the year, and the first since the FAQ drop and points changes, so I was unsure what to take. Regular readers will know I have a ‘reasonable’ collection consisting of most Destruction models. I was very tempted to use Kragnos to see how his new warscroll would work, or I could use an Ogor army and see why the US scene is running 4 Ironblasters…! Unfortunately I didn’t have them painted, and after Kragnos (v1) embarrassed himself at a THWG event last year, I wasn’t sure I trusted him in a two day tournament.

So next on the option list was Gitz… I am fortunate to have some 1 day tournaments booked in for later in the year and the Gitz are likely to make an appearance there… but in a world with Gargants, Sentinels, Krganos inspired Ogors, and Dragons… loads of Dragons … I don’t really want to play 5 games and lose all of them. I do try to avoid wooden spoons!

So that brought me back – in a very round-about-way – to the Warclans book. I had success with on release including a 4-1 at Leicester and temporarily gaining the ‘Best Ironjawz’ tag on Bad Dice Rankings. But I’d played them a lot in 2021, so perhaps something different? I have very few Bonesplitters and – although I have lots of Kruleboyz – I really want to have Hobgrots be good… so I haven’t painted much yet.

So why not Big Waaagh! Well the answer may be in the stats that The Honest Wargamer has given us!

Not taken very often!
With only 38 games played, Big Waagh is struggling against most opposition

So there was only one option really… let’s see if I can get them working!


What would the army include? Well as I have experience of the Ironjawz – and had lots painted – I would use these as a basis… what did that mean? Brutes… lots of Brutes!

Brutes and more Brutes!

The List

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)*
 Boss Choppa and Rip-tooth fist
 Command Trait: Touched by the Waaagh!
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Mount Trait: Smelly ‘Un
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Wurrgog Prophet (150)*
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry

10 x Orruk Brutes (320)**
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 2x Gore Choppas
 Reinforced x 1
10 x Orruk Brutes (320)**
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 2x Gore Choppas
 Reinforced x 1
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers

1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)*
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
 Jagged Gore-hackas

Core Battalions
**Hunters of the Heartlands
***Ironjawz Fist
Additional Enhancements

Total: 1960 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 148
Drops: 10

It’s another 10 drop… so I’m not going to decide who goes first… and with Big Waaagh I need to survive a few turns. Hopefully I won’t play dragons too often. However the Maw Krusha and Gore Gruntas have a reasonable turn 1 threat range to encourage my opponents to deploy more carefully. Will it work? We will see.

Character 1 – Megaboss on Maw-Krusha

The Megaboss on Maw-Krusha is a great unit, and a fun warscroll and is currently an auto-include in every Ironjawz list I have seen to date. His equipment is easy – a Rip Tooth for a 3+ armour save is this only real option.

I then make his mount a ‘Smelly ‘Un’ which is my go-to option at the moment, as it makes opponents -1 to hit in combat if you don’t charge. Perfect if you plan to alpha strike and then survive an opponent’s turn.

With the change in the Amulet of Destiny I have given him a Arcane Tome to allow my to take Touched by the Waaagh – to get up to +3 to cast – and Hand of Gork – so I can get closer to the enemy for those all important early charges.

Character 2Warchanter

I have only taken one this time, and he gives +2 Waaagh points a turn so I’ll need to protect him. If there’s no terrain he’ll hide behind the Maw-Krusha. As he’ll be hiding he’s been given Fixin’ Beat so he can heal anything that the Maw Krusha wounds with Touched by the Waaagh.

Character 3 – Wurrgog Prophet

I fought against 4 of these at Reading and they were great fun to play against. They can cast and dispel 2 spells, give +1 Waaagh Point and have a 4+ ward because of the Glowy Tattoos. But the best thing is his mask – and I hope to be able to stare down the enemy:

I can use this to keep units honest or just blow up the head of a Gargant – sure it requires a bit of luck and I’m rubbish at ‘push your luck’ mechanics but it’ll be fun and the 4+ ward save can be used against these mortal wounds so he has some protection.

Units 1 & 2 – 10 Brutes, 10 Brutes

20 Brutes, 3 wounds at 4+ save and Jagged Gore-Hackas. These guys can push out some serious damage, can stop 1 wound models counting on objectives (looking at Pink Horrors here!) and can be used as a screen if that is what’s needed. Plus they are great models, and who doesn’t love great models. They are definitely significantly better with the Warchanter buff (+1 damage) on them but I also love their movement shenanigans with redeploy and counter charge. They can suddenly be on an objective that your opponent thinks is safe.

They are also both in the War in the Heartlands battalion to stop monsters using their monstrous rampage abilities – this is great to guarantee that they can have the +1 to save (they rarely need the +1 to hit because they get this naturally against 4 wound models and I’ve got a Marshcrawler Troggoth).

If you’re unsure how Brutes work, you’re also in luck, for there’s an article on this very blog on it. Just here.

Units 3,4 & 5 – 5 Ardboys, 5 Ardboys, 5 Ardboys

Screens… lots of screens… and more screens! Also helping with Hold the Line or if I need to leave some objectives with small guards. My intention is to Hand of Gork these units near the enemy and then make a charge against a relatively small unit for the bonus Waaagh points. I’ll get +1 for charging, and an additional 1 if I’m still within 3″ of enemy at the end of the combat phase – so I’ll be wanting to charge weak screens here.

Unit 6 – Marshcrawler Troggoth

My only Kruleboyz unit and one I’ve used before – in my Squig Army at BoBo. He’s not bad, doesn’t count as a Orruk (unfortunately) but gives a huge bubble for +1 to hit. Why would I need him with the Brutes getting a natural +1 often and being able to use All Out Attack? Well he’s super cheap and can reduce the ability of -1 to hit to hurt my army. Plus it’s got Grots of it… and a Troggoth! So it’s like I’m still taking Gitz.

I’ve written further about this in a past article.

Unit 7 – Gore Gruntas

Despite their points increase they are still quick (super quick with Mighty Destroyers) and I’ll use them as a screen or to gain a cheeky +1 Waaagh point if I fail a Hand of Gork on the Ardboyz. Added to this the internet says they are good, so maybe my opponents will spend too much time trying to kill them… please!!

Big Waaagh! Grand Strategy & Triumph

For my Grand Strategy I have gone with Hold the Line – 5 units of tough Orruks are going to be difficult to kill especially as I can Hand of Gork them into corners if need be. There were a few other options, but this is the one I normally use so it is easier to remember!

With 40 points spare I may get a Triumph and so Inspired will allow me to get +1 wound – probably on the Maw Krusha or on a unit of Brutes if I manage to get the Warchanter buff on them.

Finally I have one additional thing to remember on Big Waaagh – there is a Battle Tactic I can do… Wait for it Ladz is successful if you start a turn with 24 Waaagh points and end with at least 30. It means I can’t call the Waaagh (which is +1 attack), but if I get that high it’ll likely be too late to use it effectively anyway. You can also use this when already on 30 so it’s a possible last turn Battle Tactics even if I’ve not got a lot left.

Waaagh Points!

Big Waaagh was very popular in AOS2 under the previous Warclans book, but it’s taken a hit this time with fewer points awarded and fewer rewards for your time… but I think I can make it work. I tend to sit back a little and wait to see what happens (except against those with a lot of range firepower and mobility like Longstrikes, Sentinels & Bow Snakes). So I should be able to accumulate some points.

I’ll get D6+3 each turn all 3 characters are alive, so they’ll be hiding a lot and they trigger at thresholds:

8++1 to Run for Orruks
10++1 to Charge for Orruks
12++1 Cast, Dispel, Unbind
16++1 to hit in Melee for Orruks
20++1 to wound in Melee for Orruks
24+Can call Waaagh. +1 attack, lose all points at end of phase

So I think I can get to 12+ with luck by turn 2 and 20+ by turn 3. The real question is whether I can stay alive long enough to crank up the Waaagh Points and get to the good stuff!

Finally… Bad Dice Rankings

And then as a bit of fun I’m going to see if I can get top Big Waaagh player (UK). Currently this is held on 38 points from a pre-book tournament in 2021… This means with 38 players I’ll need to finish 22nd or higher – it’s possible but I may need some luck. I just need to remember that the units I am using are good – even if the allegiance ability is probably a bit weak.

If you’re at the tournament come along and say hi! I love to speak to fellow gamers.

— Declan