[Archive] Hobgoblin Horde of Insanity


Not sure if this is better here or under the Army Lists section, but here goes.

So with the current 8th ED rules there are huge benefits for running large hordes of infantry (i.e. 10 model-wide and at least 3 deep) which can take advantage of the Horde special rule where the 3rd rank can attack enemies in base contact. Unless you’re running against Skaven slave rats doing something similar you’re likely going to be Steadfast as well. As has already been discussed, Hobgoblins are only 2pts and give an amazing opportunity to take advantage of this.

(thanks Igneous Bull for the pic)

A group of 50 Hobgoblins costs 100 pts, 130 if you want full command. That’s a lot of conversion work and painting already, or a lot of $$ if you’re thinking to buy metal :wink:

So let’s give this some more thought: 50 Hobgoblins at 10-wide and in 5 ranks gives you a block of infantry 20cm wide and 10cm long (pretty close to the width of a normal 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of A4 paper). That’s decently large and can be used on its own to tie up an opponent’s important unit. Straight-up Hobgoblins without light armour or shields are squishy, but at 50-strong, Steadfast and the Horde rules you’ll probably survive long enough to attack back … unless you’re hit by a large template, but how likely is that really? With the new victory point rules even if you can keep one Hobgoblin from the unit alive you’ll deny your opponent the points (let’s face it, at some point those Hobgobins will break unless you have your Ld 10 general around or something). So if you’re willing to let that filthy Hobgoblin slave rabble die - as is their purpose, as Meatshields of Hashut - you’re only losing the points cost for that unit anyway which is close to losing 10 Chaos Dwarf Warriors… not a bad trade-off if that’s part of your strategy. And tieing up the opponent may be very useful, particulrly if you’ve got lots of warmachines hanging back firing into the held-up enemy.

OK, so you get the idea and where I’m going with this. How far can we push it? Is there an ideal number of Hobgoblins in 8th? Are there any unique strategies? A big wall of Hashut’s Meatshields with Steadfast and attacking back with 3 ranks will slow down your opponent but you probably won’t grind them out over the long-term. Other than slowing down enemies with the “Meat” and blasting away from behind with warmachines, what other strategies might there be for winning? Obviously CD Blunderbuss units aren’t so useful, with big blocks of Hobgoblins running around they’re just going to get in the way, and as much as I personally have no problems with firing into my own slaves, as it gets me hits on an enemy, we’re not allowed to do that with our army! :( So Blunderbussers may have difficulty a) maneuvering, and b) getting a clean shot.

And as a starting point, to what extreme can we take the Meatshields of Hashut (or alternatively the Hobgoblin Fence)? Ignoring strategies for “the win” and just benchmarking an extreme here:

At 2000 points

10 units of 50 Hobgoblins, each with full command = 1300pts.

Chaos Dwarf Lord on foot

25 Chaos Dwarf Warriors with full command

24 Chaos Dwarf Warriors with full command

Plus 79 points to play around with for banners, items, etc.

The two units of Warriors gives you 25.05% core assuming you can totally max-out your points to 2000.

So you’ll have a Lord, 2 units of Warriors, a few points for items and then 500 Hobgoblins. Who is going to paint that many I don’t know… and just as importantly, would even the die-hard opponents to dipping really get their shirt in a knot if someone decided to try and field 500 dipped Hobgoblins?!? :o If I was going to field even 50 Hobgoblins, I’d eat my hat, as the saying goes, and buy some Minwax :wink:

A last thought on this benchmark - 10 units of 50 Hobgoblins gives you a mobile wall of meat, and remembering that no unit can be closer than 1" on the table, at it’s most closely packed you could have a wall ~223 cm wide (~88"). That’s over 2 metres. Come on!! There’s no reason to pack them so close either, because let’s face it, in 8th how likely is it that your opponent is going to have something small trying to break through your line? … and you’ll see it coming anyway if they do (ignoring flying critters of course here). Spacing them a bit further apart is probably good for maneuvering anyway so you’ll have your side of the table effectively walled off to ground-based attack… and still have enough to hang a few units of Hobgoblins back to give a second layer of meat. I can’t think of anything clever to say about layers or meat… so I’ll leave this at the Layered Meat Sandwich of Hashut stage.

Obviously I’m not suggesting 500 Hobgoblins is a viable strategy for “the win”… but it would have “essence of win” in it on the table :wink: Denying VPs by having some number of a unit survive, however, with another 50-strong unit of Hobgoblins surge forward to take their place could in theory win a game, provided you can get some VPs. You probably can’t rely on the Hobgoblins getting you any without some luck though.

Thoughts? Comments?


Gar Shadowfame:

BSB for the win

But seriously, u will get massacred in 4-5 turns to 0.

against unit of 20 strong elite warriors hobgobbos has no chances of survival, remember that horde doesnt grant u 10 man wide attacks only 7 front rank attacks +2*5, thats 17 atacks, with 25% strike rate if ur lucky u get 4,25 wound before saves. That assuming 4+ hit 4+ wound, which wont happen as commonly used infantry has T4 or possibility of WS7.

Also general only has 12" range, so some units will fall out his range.


I should have prefaced the above by saying that I’m talking about the Ravening Hordes list…

BSB for the win

But seriously,  u will get massacred in 4-5 turns to 0.

against unit of 20 strong elite warriors hobgobbos has no chances of survival,  remember that horde doesnt grant u 10 man wide attacks  only 7 front rank attacks +2*5, thats 17 atacks, with 25% strike rate if ur lucky u get 4,25 wound before saves. That assuming 4+ hit 4+ wound, which wont happen as commonly used infantry has T4 or possibility of WS7.

Also general only has 12" range, so some units will fall out his range.

Gar Shadowfame
Ya, I did mention that frontage issue somewhere up there… or I meant to anyway.   At any rate, my 500 Hobgoblins at 2000pts was the extreme example I had no preconcieved misconceptions about winning with that list x.x  It’d be interesting to see if you could make it to the end of a game with that force though :wink:

My real intent here is to find some balance that lies below the extreme example given of 500 Hobgoblins, where those Hobbos could be employed to effectively tie up the enemy for one or two turns, or just act as a wall to deny your enemy their approach for a few turns while the rest of your CD army is doing “something else” for the win ;)   You know… that’s a not insignificant area of the table that would be covered with Hobgoblins even at 50 or 100, so even if you just park 100 points of Hobgoblins along a flank your opponent isn’t going to ignore it, and if they do you can make those Hobbos try and earn their points (ya, it’d be difficult I know!!).  If you used two units of 50 on each flank and then rolled up the middle with CD Warriors it could put a good squeeze on for a turn or two, even if it’s a psychological squeeze!  Remember, “It is not enough to bash in skulls, we must bash in minds!”.  Aside from war machines, it’s too bad we don’t have more flyers as they could just soar over the hordes and get into the enemy’s flank while they’re tied up.  But really, even 2 blocks of 50 squishy Hobbos seem like they could be maneuvered strategically so that your opponent is forced to deal with them.  Just be glad they’re not likely to go up against a 30-strong Blunderbuss unit with a 10-model frontage!  That template would decimate these Hobbos once they’re in range!


Gar Shadowfame:

problem is that if u try to tie enemy down with hobgoblins most likely it wnt happen, they will run away and if not and u manage to counter charge enemys flank then wise player will direct all atacks on hobgoblins to get more combat resolution from wounds

but having 100 hobgoblins is a good idea as screen, etc

Hashut’s Blessing:

I would say three units of 50, with L.A. and shields (no other bonuses) could easily prove to be such a huge distraction to the enemy that they could make winning far easier or at least make the CD army more powerful.

As Gar Shadowfame said, the enemy might just go for the hobbos in combat, but they’d then have a 5+ armour save and a 6+ ward save, which will soak up some damage and there is a HUGE potential for damage back. However, these units suddenly cost 70 points more than the ones that only have command groups. 200 points for 50 models that can put out 30 attacks, soak up some damage, cover a huge area (for denial), have a mediocre save and a bonus save in combat is pretty decent going. Not much else can match that sort of thing and they are literally just for holding up the enemy or playing on their minds, making them think about things twice. To see three units of 50 on a board with enough points left for almost 3/4 of your army (or 4/5 in 3,000pt games, which I think is going to be the tournament size from now on) is going to be daunting to say the least, unless there are plenty of template weapons about…

Essentially, they’ve become a meatshield that should be thought of in more detail than before (for your opponents). Unfortunately, IMO, hobgoblin heavy is a good way to go now, IMO. Also, goblins now have a place in our list: hordes of them can put out 40 attacks and have light armour, for the same points as the L.A. and shield hobbos, without losing any models.

Gar Shadowfame:

i checked 5+ save today on local tournament, not worth the points, besides if u have 10 modles wide rank you wont get 30 attacks against 5 model wide enemy

Hashut’s Blessing:

A large proportion of enemy units won’t be just 5 models wide now as well Gar Shadowfame, to be perfectly fair. Whether a horde or a large unit of monstrous anything (likely to be seen more often now : D) or just wider to take advantage of being wider than your opponent…

Curious how you “checked 5+”, btw. Can you explain that a bit more please?

Gar Shadowfame:

i had skeletons with LA and shield and Grave guard with GW and heavy armor, most of meaningfull attacks in this metagame is S4 or 5, so having 5+ save is not enough to seriously impact the outcome.

If u meed 6 treekins, 6 ogres or trolls, i assure you it wont matter if u are 10 or 5 wide, but some armies still dont play with horde elite units, as these would be too expensive and not enough maneuverable, like grave guard, elite dwarf units, sauruses of all kinds, high and dark elfe elites, i dunno bout other armies but 2 winners of the tourney had 5 man wide elite infantry or 5 man wide mass units ( lizies and Skaven)

Mind that u get stubborn when having more ranks and there is no fear outnumber so unit 5x10 for 100 can stop some enemies for a 3 combat rounds.


So what about having 2 or 3 units of 50 moving forward toward your front lines? You know that would tie up what ever gets in their way for a turn or two, and once they’re tied up with one (even if your unit is only 5-models wide) there could still be a real possibility of having another Hobgobin horde of 50 come in from the flank.

I agree gar, stubborn is great on these and tieing up an elite group for a few turns could be invaluable if that’s the real strategy and the purpose of blowing those points on the Hobgoblins. I think it’d be misguided to think that putting in 100+ points into a Hobgoblin horde and think they’re going to carry you to victory is a bad way to think. These slaves are there to do a job, which might be as simple as being a big block your opponent decides to maneuver around, or it might be to tie up a unit worth 300+ points that would otherwise march in and take out more important CD units…

And what about supporting these big units?

Banner of Slavery to re-roll fear/panic, etc tests? Maybe not worth it if they’re in such a big group and also going to be Stubborn much of the time.

A couple of lower-level casters hanging behind them to buff them or debuff enemy units? Glittering Robe, Enchanted Blades, Withering, Flaming Sword, etc etc. If you are getting more attacks off with these big units then Okkam’s Mindrazor is phenominal as it’s applied to the whole unit and suddenly their attacks are S6 instead of S3. A couple of buffs on these massive units could really make your opponent pay attention :wink:

Gar Shadowfame:

If u have general around they have S10 not 6:P

batlle standard is good option to have it close to 2-3 units of hobgoblins, for Ld test rerol, and if anything i would buy them musican, for better movement options.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Gar: the main advantage of being 10 wide is the extra rank of attacks.

Regarding the 5+ save: it will help to reduce the wounds from shooting, but I doubt it’s cost effective beacuse it doubles their cost. I would consider just shields for S3 attacks and the 6+ ward that they get in combat, which could be useful, even if not used often. However, considering they are there to take as many hits as possible, having a 1/6 chance of saving each hobbo (twice if the enemy is S3 or less), means that could be more worthwhile. They are a distraction unit primarily. If they cause a little damage, so be it :smiley: However, that little extra durability means they do their job slightly better, but the light armour is perhaps too far (without wolves :smiley: ) because fo the cost.

Earlier, someone mentioned them being out of range of the leader etc: why not have two in range of the BSB and general and the other have a CD hero in, with a unit of CDs next to them, holding the Banner of Slavery? Essentially, two BSBs for greenskins and they all have LD10, their biggest weakness.

Gar Shadowfame:

yes but this advantage sometimes is not worth it, against 5 man wide unit you only get extra 5 attacks, at the cost of reduced maneuverability

1 point for 1/6 wound 2 points for a 1 full wound, its irrational to buy them shields

in present metagame, all that shoots reduces save 5+ to 6 or even nothing, ( dwarf handguns imperial handguns dark elf xbow, and bolt throwers,)

so if u have 5+ save dont expect much from it,

Hashut’s Blessing:

With something that is to be a roadbump/meatshield, it may as well be. The aim is to cover as much table as possible, more than the extra attacks. Besides, it would be 7 in the front rank, 7 behind that, 7 behind that if the enemy are 5 wide :wink:

With shields, it’s 1 point for 1/3 chance of saving S3 combat wounds. With Light Armour, it becomes 3/6 (or 1/2), which is good odds. As to shooting, the idea is to slightly reduce damage (like Stone Throwers), rather than really try to negate the worst of it. Besides, repeater crossbows are only -1 and bolt throwers ignore all armour saves anyway. The most common shooting in non-Empire and non-Dwarf armies isn’t going to reduce the armour save and, at best, will reduce it by one for the most part.

The idea of the save isn’t too expect much from it, it’s to help delay the inevitable for long enough to make the unit even more useful. The hobbos are there to die, but take a unit out of the game for between one and three turns. The extra armour (even just a shield), can make it take an entire extra turn. 50 hobbos, with shields, is only 100 points. 5% of the entire armour and about twice the size of most normal units…

Thommy H:

Isn’t the whole point that they cost virtually nothing anyway? They’re not supposed to be effective - they’re supposed to be a massive amount of bang for your buck. Hardly anyone else can do a convincing horde for quite this cheap, and if horde is what you’re after (for whatever reason), then Hobgoblins are an incredibly cost effective way to do it.

No one’s suggesting that a huge block of infantry works well all the time, but if you are in a situation where you need it (and the rules and the metagame certainly favour such units now) then go with masses and masses and masses of Hobgoblins.

Gar Shadowfame:

ah no no, u dont add the odds in case of separate occurences probability is as follow

shield 6+ (and its realy likely it will go to 0 with S4 or higher)

parry 6+

it is (1-5/6)(1-5/6) the gobbo will keep 1 wound for 1 point

for 2 points you get 100% new wound

or if u assume that dwarfs, sauruses, black guard, gg, dryads, chaos warriors, orcs will be present and will only leave u with 6+ parry

with light armor against S3 attack it is

(1-5/6) to keep a wound

against shooting with S3 it is 2/6 to keep a wound, as opposed to getting a full wound by byuing more hobs

its is more viable to have naked 50 hobgoblins than wasting points on extra equipment, to have slim odds that in certain situations they will get u extra “combat turn”

it is only advantageus to have meatshields for 1 full turn or 2 but not 1.5 turn or 2.5 turns cos after u charged after 3 combat phases enemy is free to charge in his turn rather than having killed/broken hobgoblins in his combat phase leaving u with free space

repeater bolt throwers are at -2 save


Could you run say 2xunits of 100-150 hobies to cover the flanks. The number of figs would stop the enemy from geting to ya rear, Thou the amount of terrain would get in the way lol

Hashut’s Blessing:

Thommy H: Yep, it is. A horde of 100 is 100 points, but a horde that costs 150 points is still ridiculously cheap anyhow :smiley:

Gar: I know how maths works and I’m not sure what you’re trying to say (sorry). However, I think your second point is saying that you can get 25 extra hobbos for the price of light armour or shields. That’s true, but then you’re making the unit even more unwieldy than before, for no extra benefit: there’re more to be hit by templates (which still scatter) and you get no extra attacks (out of game, you have to make and paint more, when you’ve already done that many), whereas the shield (with large amounts of luck), can protect them from harm. In an incredible feat,y ou could take 60 wounds, but save them all, whereas the extra bodies would mean that you have just 15 hobbos left.

I admit my example is extreme, but even if it’s just from a time aspect, you don’t have to build as many, nor paint as many (big problem for me as painting bores me - product = great, process = boring :smiley: ), set them all up and take them all back. Essentially, laziness :smiley:

Moltan: that is precisely what I would use them for :smiley:

Gar Shadowfame:

i only tried to show thats its far smaller chance tu survive than u think, and its waste of points that can be used elsewhere

Hashut’s Blessing:

I agree that it is a very slim chance, but I disagree that it’s a smaller chance than I think. I also think that if it was a choice between two units of 50 with shields and three units without, I would consider both options strongly (assuming models were no issue).

I’d be tempted by the shields because they can soak up more damage and allows me the space for the rest of my units a little more easily ( three units in horde are over 2’ wide, including the 1" gap necessary). However, the awesome factor of three units that size, as well as the mental affect ont hem and the fact that you then have three units is quite useful too. However, I reckon that three that size is likely to be more cumbersome than useful ont he average sized board…

Pros and cons to each, but I feel I would end up with the shields. That’s just the way that I play though.


Thommy H: Yep, it is. A horde of 100 is 100 points, but a horde that costs 150 points is still ridiculously cheap anyhow :D

Hashut's Blessing
I think what HB meant to say was that a horde of 50 costs 100pts ;)
Giving this many all Light armour is +50pts and shields is another +50pts.

I think a musician would be vital to ensure this big horde can maneuver a little easier... but does a standard or champ really help that much? It's +10pts for each of these guys. ... so 130pts for 50 Hobgoblins with full command and no armour or 160pts for 50 Hobbos with Light armour and a musician.

Just a thought...