Warhammer Orcs & Goblins Army Book review

Greenskins live to fight! Whether nomadic, territorial, or living in the filthy, despoiled remains of their latest vanquished foe, predictability their next action will almost certainly be to wage war. Their society works on a structure of sorts. Might is right and if you can’t be mighty, fight dirty. It was once said, that if they could only conquer their desire for in-fighting and self destruction, that they would one day have complete dominion over the whole world!

As an O&G player myself, I was particularly keen to see how it would affect the 6000 points plus that I have already amassed over the years.

First Impressions

This book is 112 pages of pure beauty, odd really when you consider the subject material. The new hardback format (for all future army books if rumour is true), is an absolute masterstroke. The entire publication is presented in glorious full colour, from robust cover to robust cover, this book will not fall apart. As one would expect from GW the book is laden with beautiful artwork, some familiar, some refreshingly new, all beautiful. There are 14 pages of mind-blowing miniatures showcase, showing just how varied and characterful this army can be. All of the information is presented in a new, but still very easy to understand way.

This new format will, in my humble opinion, create it’s own sub-section of ‘must have ‘em all’ collectors. I can already see, in my mind’s eye, how fantastic all the Army Books will look fighting for shelf space in our house.

On Closer Inspection

Now to the nitty-gritty. What does the book mean to the people who play this Army? This review will not (and indeed can not) answer all of these questions. Before the addition of the 2 new heroes & 3 new troop types, the O&G already possessed the most varied array of options of any army in the game, and with that, a vast amount of army builds as individual as their creators.

As with any change of army book, there are winners & losers, ups & downs or comings and goings.

Biggest Positive Changes:

The addition of the Arachnarok (reviewed separately) adds a much needed (slightly more reliable than a giant) Big Guy. The addition of the Nasty Skulkers makes Goblins a tad more attractive troop choice. The ability to take Goblin Chariots in units (1-3) is a nice variation. Animosity is less punitive. The various tweaking of points values, lifting of number restrictions and re-categorization of certain troops makes the army more compatible with other 8th edition forces. For the completely insane, that Squig army build is now a more viable option!

Biggest Negative Changes:

The removal of the ‘Waaaagh!’ spell and general changes to  magic: I’m sure that the analytical brains who come up with the formulaic ‘best build’ armies will find new, interesting combos that are hidden to me, but the Waaaagh was a great leveller (literally!) against high initiative opponents. There are now only 8 (yes 8!) magic items in the ‘Shiny Stuff’ segment. Three of which cost 100 points and all but one of the remaining five carry heavy restrictions. Magically, all around in my opinion, the army has been ‘nerfed’.

On the Tabletop

Difficult to really know having not put the book through a ‘field test’ under 8th Edition Warhammer; initial gut feeling is that the introduction of this beautiful tome will not radically alter the Greenskins perceived place amongst the ‘fun only’ armies. In the current game, speed is of the essence and merely possessing the ability to ‘‘it really ‘ard’ is not going to matter if you’re no longer around by the time your number comes up! Having said that, the army still remains top of the tree when it’s down to sheer enjoy-ability. How the army will fare against the real tournament contenders out there is anyone’s guess. The jury really is out on this one!


The actual book, as an item, is indeed a thing of beauty. The production values, quality, appearance etc. are all unequalled in the hobby. An essential purchase for any serious Warhammer Fantasy Battle player. 9/10.

Having been reliably informed that Jeremy Vetock (GW’s resident O&G aficionado) was the penman on this edition, I was genuinely excited at the prospect of an army that could stand toe to toe with the likes of Demons, Dark Elves etc. Frankly, however, I’m underwhelmed & remain unconvinced that this is what has indeed been delivered. So, content in game terms gets only a disappointing 5/10.

Still, that’s an average of 7/10 overall. Go Green!

7 out of 10

Pick up the new Orcs & Goblins Army Book prior to release and get 20% off RRP: Orcs & Goblins Army Book

5 thoughts on “Warhammer Orcs & Goblins Army Book review

  • February 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the review Ade. Of course this might be an indication of how the army books will be going in the future. Might this be the end of the beardy armies that have become common over the last several years and back to the fresh start ravening hordes once promised. Maybe. Either way this next year is going to be a very important one for Warhammer fans

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  • February 22, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Nice review. Looks like the new book has at least brought the army up from “low tier” to somewhere in the middle, which is a pretty good move, IMO.

    The defining thing about this book will not be the book itself, but what comes after it. Culling magic items is an interesting idea, since, when you look at overpowered army lists, most of them relyon their magic items section, specifically Dark Elves and Vampire counts rely on a massive amount of cheap overpowered magic items.

    You mention that you’re annoyed with it not being able to compete with Daemons and Dark Elves, but it’s worth remembering that these armies will get their 8th edition books in time, and when they do, they’d better be toned-down, and they better have 8 magic items and realistically-priced monsters just like this one does, otherwise orcs once again get lumped with the experimental crazy “new edition” idea that gets abandoned immediately (for 7th, massively overpriced cavalry was the handicap they got lumped with).

    Roll on Tomb Kings anyway, that book will be the real mark of whether GW has got it’s act together for 8th edition.

    The only unfortunate thing is, if we’re now getting lower power books as the standard for 8th edition, skaven are going to be stuck solidly at the #1 spot for a very long time. Still, I’d rather they made an attempt to balance things out rather than just continually releasing ever-more unbalanced armies as a sales tactic.

  • February 22, 2011 at 11:22 am

    David – One can only hope!

    Scarletsquig – I’m not entirely sure about middle, but certai about ‘fun’. One major concern I have is that I don’t see DE, HE or VC getting a new book to take away their ‘toys’ in a hurry.
    Agree wholeheatedly with your 3rd paragraph.

    TK’s are my other army of choice, so if they nerf them too I won’t be at all happy!

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