The Power of the Waaagh! is the undisputed champion in this slot and is one of the reasons that Big Waaagh! army that is Ironjawz + Wurrgog is arguably stronger that pure Ironjawz. At eight different points in a battle round, your army can earn Waaagh! points:
- D6pts at the start of your hero phase
- 2pts at the start of your hero phase if a friendly Warchanter is on the battlefield
- 1pt at the start of your hero phase if a friendly Bonesplitterz Wizard (i.e. probably a Wurrgog Prophet) is on the battlefield
- 1-5pts as a heroic action in your hero phase
- 1pt in your charge phase for each friendly Orruk unit that finishes a charge move
- 1pt at the end of your combat phase for each friendly Orruk unit that is within 3” of an enemy unit
- 1-5pts as a heroic action in your opponent’s hero phase
- 1pt at the end of your combat phase for each friendly Orruk unit that is within 3” of an enemy unit
Arguably I’ve duplicated those last two, but I think it’s worth it to point out that if you lean into it, the points can mount up quickly. As for what you get for these points, they start at 8pts for +1 to run rolls; 10pts for +1 to charge rolls; 12pts for +1 to cast, dispel and unbind; 16pts for +1 to hit in melee; 20pts for +1 to wound. And here’s the magic: they are cumulative, so you get ALL the buffs at 20pts. At 24pts, you can release the Power of the Waaagh! which you should NEVER IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO! The reason for this is that your Waaagh! points revert to zero for the pathetic buff of +1 to attacks characteristics for ONE combat phase. Hitting and wounding on 2s is better than having one extra attack that hits and wounds on 3s. In addition, there is a battle tactic that requires you to have at least 24 Waaagh! points at the start of the turn and then have at least 30 by the end of the turn. If you release the Power of the Waaagh!, you give away one of the easiest, if not the easiest battle tactic in Age of Sigmar.
Although you don’t get the full benefits from each sub-faction when you include them as part of Big Waaagh!, you do get some of the juicy rules with Kunnin’, Brutal and Savage. Namely, you get Venom Encrusted Weapons for any Kruleboyz units (see Part 1 for more details); Mighty Destroyers for any Ironjawz units (see Part 2 for more details); Warpaint for any Bonesplitterz units (6+ Ward). This helps to give a little extra flavour and efficiency to each of these units, which is important as…
…you don’t get any! The point of Big Waaagh! is that all the Orruks come together from many Warclans so there aren’t any rules for separate Warclans.
There are lots of command traits available for your Big Waaagh! general, but it does depend on which sub-faction (Kruleboyz, Ironjawz or Bonesplitterz) your general comes from. Who your general is probably depends on what else your army is trying to do, so there are a few ways you could go here. Assuming that we’re going with either an Ironjawz Warchanter or even a Megaboss on Mawkrusha, Touched by the Waaagh! not only has Waaagh! in the name (so it must be good), but also allows an Ironjawz Wizard (thanks Arcane Tome!) to do D3 wounds to a unit within 6” of itself and add that to the cast roll. Once you’ve got to 12 Waaagh! points then that’s D3+1, allowing a relatively straightforward cast of your key spell: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork.
Maybe you have Chronomantic Cogs to help with spells going off or maybe you want to go full aggro, but an honourable mention is Supa Sneaky from the Kruleboyz part of the tome, probably put on a Mirebrute Troggoth with Fast ‘Un. Just as with Kruleboyz, this means you can put this very angry trog 9” away from the enemy and then move them 5” forward for an almost guaranteed charge. You can potentially combo this with Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork and Mighty Destroyers to start movement phase one with the Mirebrute and six Gore Gruntas 4” or less from your opponent’s front lines, possibly with a Mawkrusha about to move an extra 12” to be able to absolutely decimate your enemy. The caveat with this combo is Big Waaagh! lists often want to have multiple artefacts and/or mount traits so you may not have the option of who goes first, which puts your general at a disadvantage if you do Supa Sneaky him. However, if you stick with just one artefact (Glowin’ Tattooz), take a Weirdnob Shaman for Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork in place of Arcane Tome and the other options listed above, you can get to a double battle regiment, two-drop list.
If you’re taking the Wurrgog then you need to take Glowin’ Tattooz to improve the Ward save of a hero to 4+ instead of 6+. For your opponent, this takes the Wurrgog Prophet from a threat to an absolute nightmare to get within 12” of, knowing that it can kill absolutely anything in the game.
Almost every Big Waaagh! list will feature Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork and almost none of them will feature a Weirdnob Shaman to cast it. Instead, the Arcane Tome fills in, allowing a Warchanter or Megaboss to ping any Orruk unit (i.e. not just Ironjawz) 9” away from the enemy.
By this point, you can probably guess what’s coming…that’s right, it’s Fast ‘Un! One of the reasons for going Big Waaagh! vs. Ironjawz is to be able to take the Wurrgog Prophet, but almost as compelling is the ability to take the Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth. And as Glowin’ Tattooz is practically compulsory on a Prophet, Fast ‘Un is practically compulsory on a Mirebrute. It’s obviously also amazing on a Mawkrusha and even a Sludgeraker as a budget version of the Mawkrusha.
As command traits are at an absolute premium and you won’t be taking Hulking Brute over the options above, the next best option is Smelly ‘Un for that extra survivability on (likely) your Mawkrusha. With a 3+ save base, add in -1 to hit when not charging, +1 to saves from Their Finest Hour, All out Defence for an extra +1 and even Mystic Shield, that Mawkrusha is not going down short of getting in trouble with Kragnos and it will hit back tremendously hard, possibly clearing the unit that had the temerity of attacking it, ready to move on to some fresh victims!
It has been mentioned several times already, but Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork is the first spell that should be on your army list. Mawkrushas and Gore Gruntas are relatively quick without it, but practically everything else you’ll be taking in Big Waaagh is slow. Add in the combination explained in Part 2 of these reviews where you Hand of Gork Gore Gruntas 12.1” away from an enemy and then Mighty Destroyers it 9” in the hero phase, circumventing Redeploy, then you’ve got a winning combo. It also works on anything with the Orruk keyword, not just Ironjawz, so throw those Boltboyz in danger-close or even some Big Stabbas.
There is a very strong case for Nasty Hex taking this slot, particularly in the current meta with lots of ghosts and gross flies wafting around the place. But you do need to either take a Swampcalla Shaman to access it or put the Arcane Tome on a Kruleboyz character. It is much more likely that you’re going to have access to a Bonesplitterz wizard as the Wurrgog is also a wizard when there’s nothing to stare to death within 12” at the start of the hero phase. The spell you’d go for in this case, would probably be Gorkamorka’s War Cry in order to make an enemy unit fight at the end of the phase. Losing out on the Kruleboyz Waaagh! and Smashing and Bashing means that the fight phase is not in your control as you would ideally like. War Cry goes some way to redressing this balance in the favour of the Orruk player.
Applying the same logic as I did with the Command Traits, then Waaagh! has to be the option here and it’s definitely worth considering if your general is a Mawkrusha and/or you have taken a big unit of Brutes that can be dropped in by Gork. In almost all games, your Mawkrusha (if you take one) will be wanting to do work in your opponent’s territory and even on foot, Brutes (or even 15 Ardboyz) should be able to make it across the battlefield in five turns!
With the manoeuvrability of Big Waaagh! then an honourable mention is No Place for the Weak, particularly if you have included either a Warlord or Command Entourage battalion because then you’re not winning the drop game and you may as well also make the Gore Gruntas you take (and you will want at least six) to be bounty hunters. With a Warchanter buff on them, that’s 3 damage vs. Galletian Veterans, making those battleline units disappear very quickly. Alternatively, if you’re playing a bit more cagey in the first couple of turns with a Mawkrusha, then by turn three, anything that is a genuine threat to your big angry cabbage might already be dead, allowing him to roam the board, chewing up and spitting out any battleline he can find.
As alluded to earlier, Big Waaagh! have a book battle tactic that is ridiculously easy to pull off with Wait For It, Ladz. You need to fulfil the following to conditions: have at least 24 Waaagh! points at the start of the turn; have at least 30 Waaagh! points at the end of the turn. It is very likely that you will be at 24 Waaagh! points by the start of battle round 4 and it’s practically guaranteed to be there by battle round 5. If you ever start a battle round with 30 Waaagh! points, then it’s already scored…even if you are tabled!
With Wait For It Ladz being our likely turn 5 battle tactic, Barge Through Enemy Lines is a great choice for turn 4 as Big Waaagh! is a melee-centric faction with the buffs from the Power of the Waaagh. Therefore you probably have one Galletian Veterans unit relatively close to enemy territory by this turn and a sneaky Hand of Gork could pop another one in, scoring not only the battle tactic, but the bonus point too.
The core of your Big Waaagh! list will most likely be Ironjawz as they have the best battleline and Gore Gruntas are great. The warscrolls we’re going to focus on are the two warscrolls that are the most common non-Ironjawz units chosen: Wurrgog Prophet and Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth. Please check out Part 3 of the Orruk Warclans book for more information about what the Wurrgog does and why he’s so fun, but I’m going to give you an example of what he can do with Big Waaagh! If you also have a Mawkrusha in your list, then it is a high-value target that your opponent will want to take out, but sufficiently tanky that something quite substantial needs to be committed to remove it from the board. If you have a Wurrgog Prophet within 12” of your Mawkrusha, your opponent can still charge, but then you’re perfectly placed to ‘Hard Stare’ that unit out of existence if they succeed with the Mawkrusha. You could even point this out to your opponent to check to see if they really want to take that risk. If they choose not to charge, you win. If they choose to charge and the Mawkrusha destroys them, you win. If the Mawkrusha dies, then you win as you then get to play ‘Whose head will blow up first?’, which is fun whichever head pops first! Just don’t try this with Morathi as she ruins all our fun.
The other unit is the Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth. You’re not going to find a much more efficient way of delivering up to five damage 2 attacks and ten (!) damage 3 attacks than the Mirebrute. With the Supa Sneaky or Hand of Gork + Fast ‘Un combo, you’re almost guaranteed to get into combat and then he can do some severe damage. In your opponent’s turn, popping Their Finest Hour and All out Defence can make him hang around longer than he really should and if (when) he dies, who cares! He was only 180pts and he probably wiped a fairly premium unit and held your opponent up a turn while potentially a Mawkrusha and Gore Gruntas hammered the other flank.
Big Waaagh! is what you choose if you like Ironjawz, but want a few more techy options; or if you like Kruleboyz but want to be a bit tougher and faster; or if you like Bonesplitterz but fancy having a big monster run around the place. It’s also a really fun army from a hobby perspective as you can take all these disparate sculpts and bring them together as a cohesive whole with which to stomp the enemy with. It’s also quite a rare army to see out in the wild, so if you have a few Ironjawz, half a Dominion box and some Savage Orcs from Warhammer Fantasy Battle, then maybe give them a try.
This is the last part of the Orruk Warclans Battletome Review. Is there anything that we missed? Any combos not mentioned? Are any of our choices just plain wrong?! Please leave a comment below, in the Woehammer Discord or even contact me at @yeliabnoreik on Twitter. There’s just one thing left to say and that’s: WAAAGH!