Orruk Warclans Battletome Review Part 1: Kruleboyz

Advertisements

Allegiance Abilities

Woehammer Winner:
No question here, it has to be the faction-defining ability that is Venom Encrusted Weapons. If the unmodified hit roll of an attack is 6, that attack does a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the weapon. A Shaman can change the unmodified hit roll to a 5 and if a unit is wholly within 12” of a Sludgeraker, then 6s (not 5s) are an extra mortal wound on top. If you lean as hard as possible into this with 9 Big Yellers Boltboyz then with your 19 shots, you can expect 15 mortal wounds straight off before you even get to the damage stage.

Honourable Mention:
Synergising well with Venom Encrusted Weapons is the Kruleboyz Waaagh. For all the output that this army has, it cannot take a punch at all with Gutrippas only having a 5+ save and Boltboyz only having a 6+. This is where the Kruleboyz Waaagh can help as you can call it once per game when you general is chosen to fight and two other friendly units can fight with your general in the order of your choice. Potentially this means that you can move towards your enemy, fire off a volley with two units of Boltboyz that are getting buffs on the Venom Encrusted Weapons from the Shaman and the Sludgeraker and then charge these two units along with the Sludgeraker. Even in combat, 6 Boltboyz have 12 attacks that should do 6 more mortal wounds on top of whatever they did in shooting. Add in the pretty great combat of the Sludgeraker on top and topping 30 mortal wounds from those three units in two phases is very realistic.

Warclans

Woehammer Winner:
A few months ago, the winner would have been Big Yellers by a mile, but the simple deletion of the five words, “During the first battle round…” in the Grinnin’ Blades Warclan ability to take it from okay to great. It’s a total game-changer as it means that the Boltboyz can’t be sniped out by the enemy before getting to shoot. Now, with good screening, Boltboyz will be able to shoot back at (and probably cripple) anything moving close enough to attack the screen.

Honourable Mention:
In second place is Skulbugz…not really, they’re hopeless. Before Grinnin’ Blades, Big Yellers was the Big Dog due to two main features: Boltboyz can be battleline, removing the Troops tax of 540 points that Kruleboyz generals had to pay and, therefore, allowing Boltboyz to be taken in units of 9 so as to maximise the effectiveness of, for example, Unleash Hell. If there’s no shooting in your meta, then maybe Big Yellers is still the way to go, but with Daughters of Khaine Bowsnakes, Idoneth Turtles and Sharks and with Lumineth and Tzeentch coming shortly as of writing, my vote still goes with Grinnin’ Blades.

Command Traits

Woehammer Winner:


It’s a shame you can only take one command trait as all three of the Kruleboyz ones are pretty decent, with the winner being Supa Sneaky. Supa Sneaky allows you to infiltrate one Kruleboyz unit 9” away from an enemy unit immediately before determining who has first turn. A great combo with this command trait is a Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth with the Fast ‘Un mount trait as you can place the Breakaboss 9” away and then move 5” in the hero phase (so no redeploy is possible) and smash face T1. This works best if you can outdrop your opponent, obviously, but even placing a screening unit of Hobgrots in your enemy’s face can really mess with their plans, especially to scupper plans of using Ironjawz Mighty Destroyer command ability (see below). Final point to make is that you can infiltrate but you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s best just to stay in your castle.

Honourable Mention:
A close second for command traits is Egomaniak, which allows the general to pass off wounds to a friendly unit on a 4+. While having quite a bit of output, the Sludgeraker isn’t the most robust hero ever, so being able to pass off wounds can help him last a bit longer, especially with the Smelly ‘Un mount trait to make him harder to hit. The recipient of these wounds can be any friendly unit, be it Hobgrots, Shootas allied in from Gitz or, for extra jank, into an Incarnate who will just soak those wounds up.

Artefacts

Woehammer Winner:
Sadly, it’s the Arcane Tome. Not only does this give an extra deny in a meta with lots of (Endless) spells, but the utility of a mystic shield on the Sludgeraker or the cast of Choking Mist to slow down your opponent can be key. You can even give it to the Breakaboss to put on Flaming Weapons on their clubs (this has been FAQd to be allowed).

Honourable Mention:
If you are going to take a faction-specific artefact, you’re probably taking Mork’s Eye Pebble for the once per game (really, GW?!) 5+ ward against shooting only for units wholly with 12” for the phase. With Grinnin’ Blades on the rise, this is less useful that what it was but if you’re taking a Mirebrute in a Command Entourage or a Warlord detachment (as you’re definitely taking a Sludgeraker in the commander slot of a Battle Regiment) then you may as well.

Mount Traits

Woehammer Winner:
With how slow the rest of the army is, Fast ‘Un is a great choice of mount trait, particularly in conjunction with your Sludgeraker moving into position for This One’s Mine as it is a hero phase move that prevents redeploys from your opponent. If you combine Fast ‘Un with Sneaky Miasma then that’s a 16” move in the hero phase that gives a threat range of 36” when considering the movement phase and charges. The only issue may be that your screens might be blocking your hero phase moves if you’ve gone with a Sludgeraker, so a Vulcha can get around this by flying over it.

Honourable Mention:
Smelly ‘Un is not only very appropriate from a lore perspective, but also combos very well with the command trait Egomaniak. If you manage to get off the Skareshields debuff from Gutrippas as well, add in Mystic Shield, Their Finest Hour and All out Defense, a pretty flimsy character is now -1 to hit from Smelly ‘Un and -1 to hit from Skareshields, meaning that All out Attack does nothing. They are on a 3+ save, ignoring up to Rend -2 due to the +3 to saves and anything that does go through can be passed off to a nearby unit on a 4+. If you really want to, you could also throw in an Amulet of Destiny for a 6+ ward as well before wounds are passed off.

Spell Lore

Woehammer Winner:


There are five good options for Kruleboyz, which is frustrating as most of the time it’s more efficient for Shamans to be giving out poison rather than casting and there are no casting bonuses available without making too big of a concession elsewhere. The winner is Sneaky Miasma, which allows a Kruleboyz monster (probably a Sludgeraker and/or a Rogue Idol) to move in the hero phase. Combined with Fast ‘Un and a normal move, even the relatively sedate Sludgeraker can move 24” and then charge another 12” or run another 6”. With the Grand Strategy picks below, this speed can be useful. If you go for a KillaBoss on Vulcha, this could be a whopping 42” before charging or running!

Honourable Mention:
With Nighthaunt on the rise and Daughters of Khaine being able to get to a 5+ ward then Nasty Hex is very handy. It can be particularly useful by the time a Shaman or a unit that would receive a buff is in combat as poisons or elixirs can’t be given out or received by units in combat. While the output if lower than with poison, taking away that ward save mostly balances that out.

Grand Strategies

Woehammer Winner:
If book Strategies and Battle Tactics are being used, then Waaagh! can be a potential winner as you just need to have your general or a friendly Battleline unit in your enemy’s territory at the end of the game. If you have Fast ‘Un on your general and Sneaky Miasma on a caster, one command point for auto-run can result in a 30” move by a Sludgeraker, which should be more than enough to cover the distance needed.

Honourable Mention:
If it’s GHB only for Strategies and Battle Tactics then Defend What’s Ours is a good choice as Kruleboyz are a castle army, even if you do need to be, to some extent, a (slow) mobile castle. Some battleplans are harder to do this with than others but at least half are do-able and your enemy can’t be in your territory if they’re dead!

Battle Tactics

Woehammer Winner:
Again, there is one good option in the book, which is Take Dat, Ya Suckers! This is achieved if you force your opponent to allocate 10 wounds or mortal wounds (i.e. after ward saves) and you allocate fewer than 10. If you’re not in combat and you have Boltboyz, this should be relatively straight forward and is a good choice for one of the first three rounds along with Against The Odds and Desecrate Lands.

Honourable Mention:
If you have chosen Big Yellers, then Boltboyz will be Battleline and Galletian Veterans, making Head-to-Head fairly straightforward, but assuming you’ve taken my advice and chosen Grinnin’ Blades, then Gaining Momentum is a good choice. Not only is killing a unit relatively straightforward with all of your output, the need to control more objectives will help encourage you forward as it’s very easy to hold back, stay in the castle, table your opponent…and lose as you only took objectives turn 4 or 5.

Warscrolls

Woehammer Winner:

There is only one winner here and it’s not Boltboyz but the Swamp Donkey Derek himself, the Sludgeraker. From a combat perspective, the Sludgeraker is the gift that keeps on giving, with my opponents often looking aghast as the pile of mortal wounds builds up. If you double-down on the combat potential and give the Sludgeraker the Shaman poison buff then he’ll really go off. You can probably expect 10 mortal wounds across the attacks, with typical Kruleboyz spikes doing up to 15 mortal wounds from the first three attacks (if Flaming Weapons is also used). Some lists have been successful with 3 Sludgerakers and an Incarnate for literally monstrous output. However, on top of that, the Sludgeraker adds one to the number of mortal wounds caused on 6s whenever a unit attacks wholly within 12”, making it an auto-take for every Kruleboyz army.

Honourable Mention:
This is going to be Boltboyz isn’t it? Actually not! Maybe I’m being a little obtuse here as Boltboyz are really key units, but the next most important unit for winning games (not necessarily for killing your enemy) are Hobgrots. At 80 points each for ten grenades that hit on 4s, wound on 3s have rend -1 for 1 damage, they’re a bargain. They even roll a huge amount of dice in combat, even if they don’t end up doing much more than a wound on most occasions. The reason they are so good is that they die cheaply. Yes, Gutrippas have 2 wounds each and a 5+ save compared to 1 wound and a 6+ save, but on the table, two units of Hobgrots for 160 points are much more of a speed bump to an enemy that a single unit of Gutrippas for 180 points. They can also be in more places at once for scoring objectives.

Final Thoughts

At the time of writing, Kruleboyz are among the lowest performing three factions in the game with the other two (Gitz and Ogor Mawtribes) both due a 3rd edition book relatively soon. It does feel like there’s more to the model and unit range to come, e.g. where’s the light cavalry harassment unit that would fit well with the lore and what the hell is with Gutrippas being 180 points when Phoenix Guard are 170?! However, they do have a lot of tricks and are fun to play, particularly when the stars (or should that be swamps?) align and you spike the 6s with your Boltboyz, removing threats like Nagash or Alarielle or even Archaon in one phase or even one activation.

Next up will be Part 2 of 4 of the Orruks book, Kruleboyz bigger, meaner and more successful older brothers: Ironjawz.

One thought on “Orruk Warclans Battletome Review Part 1: Kruleboyz”

Leave a Reply Cancel reply