I have always been a huge fan of Epic, in all of its evolutions. The original Space Marine and Adeptus Titanicus games were some of my first favourites, and I have stuck with the concept and scale in 40K since, far beyond the core game, getting more and more involved in the game at various levels. To my mind, the fourth edition of the game - Epic Armageddon - represents an excellent mix of the detail that is needed to make it the 40K universe, while still feeling like conflict on a massive scale. The ability to bring infantry, tanks, massive war machine, Titans, aircraft, artillery and other unit types is exactly why I love this scale above all others.
However, as much as my love for the game has never died, I have found fewer and fewer opportunities to actually get to the gaming table. When I moved countries, my Epic collection - and all of my miniatures - remained in storage back at home, and while the local gaming scene is active, its not looking in the direction of massed battles. But recently I have decided to bite the bullet and just to go with the 'if you build it., they will come' philosophy. If I need to build two armies to get people to play, then that's twice the enjoyment for me and a game at the end of it too. I even have a potential opponent before we start, so my hopes are high to generate interest in the game, especially with Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis starting to pick up speed locally.
For my 40K factions, I tend to create my own force backgrounds, and then use these across many scales and games set in the 40K mythos. So, I have my own Tyranid Hive fleet that can be used in Battlefleet Gothic, 40K and Epic, my own Eldar Craftworld and so on. For my initial Epic Armageddon force, I have decided to go with Orks, and the regular Ork list - no Gargant mob or Feral Orks this time around. My Ork Klan are Da Spanna Spidaz. I will go into their background in more detail another time but they are a Klan obsessed with 'Bionorks' and 'Cybernorkics', upgrading themselves with artificial limbs, senses and anything else they can, even adding limbs when they run out of their own to 'upgrade'. The Klan colours are predominantly orange, with purple as a secondary colour and black accents. Orks are one of the 'starter forces' (with Imperial Guard and Space Marines) and being introduced with the initial core rules they are well established, stable and balanced. I have also never really put together a comprehensive Ork force for the game before, so this will be a learning experience for me and a chance to experience a new side to the game.
I think that there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before sitting down to create any new army list. What is your play style? Who are your opponents? Will you want to expand this list later, or will it remain set as a complete force when done? Will you want to break it down to play smaller games with parts of it? For myself, I favour mechanised infantry in Epic generally. However, the Ork list is so full of fun toys that I want to get as much variety in as I can, which hopefully will also lead to a more flexible force. I enjoy a mostly rounded force, with a slight bias to movement and short ranged firefights. Trying to make a rounded force also means that it will be easy to adjust later with the addition of a couple of new units if I feel the need, and will give me more options on the table. I also want this to be able to face off against a variety of opponents, from pure Titans to swarm Tyranids. I will want to be able to play smaller games with the force, and so I need to keep in mind that it would be good to have 1000 and 2000 point sub-lists if possible, and I will want to expand it but not initially, since I will want to put together a second force when I have 3000 points of Orks completed. I am aiming at 3000 points as a standard tournament sized force, and its a good sized force to get enough units in while still playing a game in a couple of hours.
When building any list for a game, I usually start with the compulsary picks, then the stuff I really want to include, and then build the rest of the force around this. In Epic Armageddon, there are no 'compulsary' formations. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when building an Epic army. Firstly, at 3000 points, you should normally aim for around 9 formations. Obviously, this will depend on the force that you are putting together, but its a good benchmark to keep in mind. Secondly, at this points level, you are very likely to be facing at least one serious Titan, and you need to be able to counter that. The obvious choice here is a Titan of your own. Finally, you are also likely to face some enemy aircraft. It is possible not to build in a counter for this but its not wise. I usually go with sprinkling some anti-air units in key formations to shut down enemy air raids, any then a small formation of aircraft of my own for both intercept duties, and ground attack runs.
I started my Ork Horde with a Gargant, although I went back and forth on this between a regular Gargant and Great Gargant. Initially I went with the cheaper option, but on assessing the difference it seemed like a good deal to spend the extra 200 points for some extra damage capacity and potential extra power fields, although I only really get an extra two Big Gunz out of the upgrade offensively so I am not 100% convinced.... But, that takes 850 points out of my total, and given that I can spend a maximum of 1/3 of my total points on titans and aircraft, it meant that a skwadron of three Fighter-Bombers finished off that side of the list. I am ok with this, and wouldn't get more than three aircraft for this list anyway. Obviously, my Great Gargant will be where my Warlord is - Warboss Grizhack 'Swampgas' Nakkzzapitt.
One of my favourite units visually in the Epic Ork force are Stompas, and I knew that I wanted at least one unit of these war machines. On top of that, I knew that I needed at least one big infantry formation, and a formation of bikes. An odd thing about the Stompa mob is that a regular sized mob is 225 points for three, while a big mob is 400 points for six. But additional Stompas are 50 points each, so its cheaper to get six by getting a regular mob and adding three more, saving 25 points. However, this seems a bit unsportsmanlike, and so I opted for a big mob of six. Similarly, I went with a big warband giving me 20 infantry stands and loaded them in 8 Battlewagons, and a big Kult of Speed, taking the full 16 stands of bikes only. At this point, I was already starting to run low on points but wanted to add a sizeable tank formation. I went with a Uge Blitz Brigade of 12 vehicles which will be mostly Gunwagons, with two Flakwagons thrown in for some anti-air support (although they are not bad at ground attack too!). Looking at the list I found I had only six activations, so I added a mob of 4 Deth Koptas, a Stormboyz mob and spent the few remaining points on an extra Stompa.
The final evolution of my 3000 point Epic Arageddon Ork force looks like this....
In general, I am pretty happy with this list. I have minimal experiene with Orks so I can't tell if this is a winning list, but it has enough activations at eight, covers Titans, aircraft, tanks and infantry, and most importantly will be fun to put together and take to the table with a variety of models and opportunities to create fun minis. It seems pretty balanced, will give me options on the table and will allow me to adapt my tactics based on who I am facing. I worry a little that it lacks heavy hitting power, but that's something the Orks will struggle with in general. Firepower volume they are fine with, hitting power they lack a bit. The list is pretty mobile, with three fast formations in the bikers, along with the Deth Koptas and Stormboyz (although both these formations are fragile) which will allow me to grab objectives and key points or jump on vulnerable enemy formations. Obviously, a lot of my tactics will revolve around the Great Gargant, but I also hope that my Stompas and tank formation will be able to get into position before the enemy realises what they are doing.
The list also gives me options for smaller games at either 1000 or 2000 points. If I do decide to expand it, I will likely concentrate on adding more options to the list, giving me different ways to play 3000 points. I would like to try a list with more mechanised infantry, or a list with a couple of Landas. My current list also has a lot of basic formations, with very few upgrades and additions. An infantry horde force with a Gargant would allow me to really have fun with some large infantry formations kitted out with Dreads and fun additions.
Lastly, the issues of miniatures... I have actually already picked up all of the minis that I will need for this. The majority of these are from the Skinners range, from Troublemaker Miniatures and available through Vanguard Miniatures online store. But, in true Orky style, I have scavenged a number of spare parts and additional miniatures from 40K and other 28mm ranges for conversions enhancing my miniatures. But, more on that when I get units assembed and completed.
- Written by CyberShadow
- Category: Epic Armageddon (Epic, all versions)
- Hits: 90
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