[Archive] Why take Black Orcs?

Groznit Goregut:

Does anyone actually take black orcs? If so, why? I would say that at least half the Orcs and Goblin community don’t even use them. Still, I understand that each army list is different and I still believe that they are a waste in the current CD list.

Black orcs cost 14 pts (15 with shield). They come armed with two choppas or great weapon. They don’t suffer animosity. They have LD 8. They can’t have a magic banner (according the US GT errata) at least here in the US.

If I compare them to a dwarf unit that is armed with GW, the dwarfs come out cheaper at only 11 pts. If you look at their stats, the Orcs are 1 pts stronger and have faster movement. Other than that, though, the dwarfs have a better Ld check, are 4 pts cheaper per model, and don’t take a special slot!

What is the point of taking black orcs?


The Armed to the Teeth rule adds a really nice flexibility to them, even more so if you give them a shield.

Black Orcs also don’t worry about animosity, which really goes a long ways.

Base S4 is also regardless if you go extra choppa or great weapon. Even better, with the former option you’re S5 the first round of combat with two attacks each! That’s nothing to sneeze at.

The base heavy armor vs light armor of the Orcs is nice too.

Plus correct me if I’m wrong, but the Dwarfs don’t care if BO run, right? Which is still a nice benefit too. Plus they have an ld bonus over regular Orcs/Big Uns.

I look at it from the perspective of Big Uns vs Black Orcs, both as a CD player and as someone who dabbled with the Greenskin army.

Take a medium sized unit 6 wide, no banner.

I’m personally looking forward to being able to field BO instead of my Big Uns.


Black Orcs - provide us with something we don’t have - decent infantry flankers. 6 wide in the flank of any infantry unit will generate plenty of kills either 12 strength 5 or 6 Strength 6 attacks is going to hurt - plus you will be negating ranks. No animosity and not causing panic on any dwarf units are all fantastic additional reasons to take them - if they weren’t a 0-1 choice I would always take 2 units

Ancient History:

A Black Ork Boss is nothing to sneeze at either. With Armed to da Teef and a shield, he’s almost a minor character - I know I’d bet on him against a Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer in a challenge.


You earn back those points in a big way solely with the extra inch of movement. Great Weapon dwarves are terribly inflexible, and basically only do one thing - Get charged by someone. If your opponent knows what they’re doing, you won’t get charged by something the great weapon dwarves have much chance of beating. That is, unless they want you to overrun through them and wind up in position for a better charge.

Black Orcs being able to charge 8 makes a tremendous amount of difference, and being so flexible with optional routes of smashing people (like deciding on a whim you feel like dual choppas instead of 'uge choppa against those flimsy infantry, or pulling choppa shield when you get front-charged and need to live) makes them really valuable.

Furthermore, whenever a melee-oriented unit loses, it can run the risk of losing you far more points than the unit itself. If even a single unit panics, your opponent is in wonderful position to earn some bonus points. Black Orcs not making your expensive dwarf infantry run may not earn you points, but it definitely decreases the risk of losing them.


I sometimes will take 13 with full command and shields and put a bullcentaur battle standard bearer with them. By the way, they are 13 points and 14 with a shield.

I have not tried them as a flanking unit. 6 wide with shields is 84 points.

Groznit Goregut:

Ahhh…I missed the bit about CD not panicking when any orc or goblin unit flee. I just recalled the part about hobgoblins. That could make a difference, but enough to justify the greater point cost?

Also, I play Orcs and Goblins and I still say that with M4, you aren’t going to get to charge anything that your opponent doesn’t want you to charge. I see little difference between M3 and M4.

@TLTG: I don’t see how great weapon dwarfs are more inflexible than black orcs, with the exception that they can’t get two hand weapons. GW dwarfs can still use hand weapon and shield or great weapon, but they don’t get two hand weapons.

I also don’t see many situations where a black orc unit can get a flank charge in where a dwarf unit can’t. I don’t think 2" makes that much of a difference. If you set up your lines decently, it won’t make a difference. If there actually is a reason that dwarfs can’t make it, I don’t see why a unit of hobgoblins with light armor and shield wouldn’t work to negate ranks. Oh, I understand that they won’t do as much damage (if any) as a black orc unit, but they will negate ranks and offer some decent resistance at not giving easy kills for CR.

I do understand that black orcs can be mean and fierce, but the points you spend for them are just not worth it. 15 pts per model?!? I especially don’t see it when Core chaos dwarf warriors are just about as good for a lot less points.


Its not like our Special choices are brimming with viable alternatives…


Since I have just bought Time of Maddness’ CD models I have been pndering this same question.

My reason for going to use them

The models are awesome, whether it is the old metal ones or the new plastic, they are awesome models. The fact that they can actually fight well is a bonus.

I think I am going to use them with a unit of Big Un’s, 2 larges units of CD and a unit of BB, that should give me a nice stong infantry core to aid my war machines.

At least until I get some Hobbo’s converted

Alan the evil:

Since some times ago I used to play 20 BO with full command.

Black Orks are faster than dwarfs and don’t panic them: for this reason usually i used them in close combat for first. But They are more expensive and when I lost them (and it happened often - they are a juicy target for shoot/magic) it was very hard to recover their points…

But they are strong, mainly charging: so i start to use a little unit (8 models) close to dwarfs units and using them like empire detached units… they work well the same and i don’t get anger for their loss - if it happens, because when they are fewer they are no more a juicy target!!



I think one of the keys to them being effective is taking a small unit as people target other things and they usually get to where you want them to.

A big unit of Black Orcs just screams shoot me as people are all to well aware about the damage a large unit can cause but forget that 6 wide hits just as hard (in terms of kills) as 6 wide and 4 deep. Its almost as if when you take them in a small unit they become stealth suited …

Alan the evil:


I think one of the keys to them being effective is taking a small unit as people target other things and they usually get to where you want them to.

A big unit of Black Orcs just screams shoot me as people are all to well aware about the damage a large unit can cause but forget that 6 wide hits just as hard (in terms of kills) as 6 wide and 4 deep. Its almost as if when you take them in a small unit they become stealth suited …
that’s the point!!!

I think there’s nothing more to add (… so why i’m still posting???):o


The one difference if using chaos dwarves to flank a unit instead of Black Orc is the Black Orcs have a minimum unit size of 5+ and chaos dwarves with great weapons have a minimum of ten.

Chaos Dwarves with Great Weapons x10 = 110 points

Black orcs with shields x7 = 98 points

Black Orcs with shields x6 = 84 points

When you are playing these older lists you have to be very efficient with your points.

I have used hobgoblin to attack flanks and have had that blow-up in my face. They are fragile enough that if you use them on some pretty decent troops, then you may give up more points in wounds then you gain by flanking bonus and reduced ranks (mine had no armor or shield).

Alan the evil:

One important thing to take care is that we can use the little unit of black orks even to misdirige enemy units when it is necessary avoiding any panic test for our CD units…


One important thing to take care is that we can use the little unit of black orks even to misdirige enemy units when it is necessary avoiding any panic test for our CD units...

Alan the evil
Well Black Orcs - only cause panic in other greenskins - so if we are using them as flankers for our Dwarf warriors - the worst that will happen is the Black Orcs flee as the Dwarf's couldn't care less about them


I take a big block of Black Orcs in my standard army. Its primarily because I love the models and the point job I gave them, as well as their background with regards to Chaos Dwarfs, but I do find that they are tactically viable. They can work as both a hammer and an anvil.

If you can get a flank charge (which is fairly easy if you use naked hobgoblins to effectively misdirect), a group of 20 Black Orcs should never fail to break most targets in a single turn (ignoring stubborn and unbreakable troops, obviously).

And it’s a brave general that commits to a front charge against Black Orcs.

With a nearby general and banner of slavery, they become some seriously rockin’ troops.


Black Orcs cost only 3 points more and have double the number of attacks with the same strength (thanks to the choppa rule) as Chaos Dwarfs with armed with great weapons.

Double the killing power + greater mobility = a steal for the points

Captain Crayon:

I haven’t played Chaos dwarfs yet but i can offer opinion from a Orc players point of view.

I never ever ever leave home without them.

I always take a unit of 20 ranked 5x4 with shields and a full command for a number of reasons…

1) no animosity. Even though they’re 14 points a hit, they’re going to do what they’re told when they’re told.

2) I always take black orc warbosses, and it seems kinda lame to me not having them there

3) while the enemy is shooting cannons and the like at the black orcs, other nastythings like giants and trolls and wyverns are steaming their way towards their battle line relatively unmolested

4) they’re hard as nails - while more expensive and not as good as saurus warriors (for example) they’re the best infantry i have access too. Sure i can take Big’uns, but they’re 12 points a hit (from memory) and still suffer animosity, have no great weapon and no heavy armour.

6) you need them to have grimgor :smiley: (which is irrelavent to chaos dwarfs but i figured i’d put it in there for the sake of completeness)

and the new models are awesome.

disadvantages? certainly…

they attract an enormous amount of fire, and die just as easily as cheaper choices when you get hit by cannons

hideously expensive in a ranked up unit, but like i said at least they do what they’re told.

I’ve never tried to run smaller units, mainly because Orcs have so many tasty special choices and if i’m going to spend them on a unitof black orcs i want to make pretty sure they do something useful. If i didnt have enough points for a unit of black orcs, i’d be taking a chariot or another rock lobber before i run a small unit.

Quite honestly the lack of animosity is reason enough for me to take them. I know i have at least that unit i can rely on :slight_smile:

From a theoretical chaos dwarf point of view (using the ravening hordes list) the list of special choices is pretty slim. I don’t really see the point of spending points and a special choice on normal orcs or big uns if you have the points to spend on black orcs. Stronger, heavier armour and no animosity. If you’re after cheap units i’d take hobgoblins, at least that way you’re not taking special choices up that you could use on more rockets. For me if im spending special choices i want to make sure it’s going to do what it’s told, is hard as nails and fulfills a role that cannot be fulfilled by anything core.


Double check the Orc and Goblin rulebook but the Black Orcs have an interesting special rule. They can change their weapons every round of combat. They charge in with Great Weapons and can switch to Choppa/Shield for the next round.


'Armed to the 'teef is pretty cool. I always imagined them like the scene in mad Max III Beyond Thunderdome where he spills out the weapons on his person.

All kidding aside they might be our best infantry. The lack of a Black Orc boss sucks but for the points the hitting power and the fluff they are cool. I mean Chaos Dwarfs created them? How cool is that?