Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Orcish Horde

Hi!

Heres the first of the reviews of the forces in Leviathan. I am starting with the orc horde as their range is most complete and they have some rather nice warbeasts available.

The orcs were beaten by a combined elven, dwarf and human army thousands of years ago and banished to the barren steppes to die. Despite the harsh conditions the orcs survived and flourished. They tamed mighty reptilian beasts which they ride into battle and with the return of their god Goranth have launched numerous expeditions and assaults across the Ironwall Mountains to attack the shattered civilisations of the other races.

The orc horde is constantly attacking the other races as its population keeps growing so rapidly (every orc litter produces between 10 and 20 young) they need to keep expanding to survive. Coupled with their bloodthirsty nature, orcs are one of the few races flourishing since the breaking of the great seals which unleashed the fallen.

The orcish horde relies heavily on its tame warbeasts in battle but also has a good selection of infantry available.

The leaders of the hordes are the orc Khans who often ride into battle atop warbeasts. Excellent in close combat and with a much needed leadership these mighty warriors range from the great Khans who lead the entire army to unit leaders.

Goblin leaders and heroes are called Khadins and while pretty poor combat troops, give any unit they lead a much needed leadership boost. Also arming them with magic weapons can make them capable of holding their own against better characters.

One of the best things about the orc army is that their god can be featured as part of it. The Eyes of Goranth are small versions of him (they still stand 20 feet tall!) and are both excellent in close combat and have the ability to automatically rally fleeing troops.

At present there are no rules for magic in the game but the orcs can field shamans whose ability to issue potions to boost their troops is a definite plus. Also the orcs can be accompanied by shades. These ghosts of dead shamans can move through any terrain without penalty and their attacks ignore armour making them excellent for killing characters or artillery crews.

The Infantry consists of primarily orc warriors armed with a variety of weapons ranging from double handed weapons to bows. Reasonably good in close combat but lightly armoured orc infantry is best either supporting warbeasts or taking on opposing infantry as they will struggle to take down opposing big guys.

Goblins are also available and are, as one would expect cheap, they are pretty poor at close combat but can be equipped with shortbows making for nice support units. Also when armed with hand weapons they make good cannon fodder and shields for better units as orcs dont panic at the sight of goblins getting destroyed!

Great orcs are a good assault choice and cheap too. Every second litter in orc society produces a great orc making them quite numerous, if dim. Armed with double handed weapons these ogre sized orcs should hold their own against any infantry and even warbeasts. They also have high leadership (for orcs) making them less likely to turn and run when they take casualties.

Goranths Chosen are orcs blessed by their god making them bigger and more aggressive than normal, quite heavily armoured and well armed these troops are the elite of the orc infantry forces.

Orcish cavalry is heavy and hard hitting. Riding necrodon warbeasts orcs can either skirmish with their bows or drive into the opposing line with polearms. Goblin cavalry is lighter but faster riding Carnodons with an impressive charge but are better being used to skirmish with their bows or charging to support other units in close combat already. Another use for these rapid moving beasts is to assault artillery pieces or small exposed infantry units.

The warbeasts of the orcs form the bulk of their forces and consist of the following choices:

The largest beasts available are the mighty Titanosaur and can cause huge amounts of damage by themselves, a howdah full of orc warriors make them doubly dangerous. Surprisingly speedy these behemoths can also be armoured making them even more difficult to destroy.

Some orc Khans strap two Titanosaurs together creating a platform to support heavy catapults giving the orc army both heavy artillery and a massively dangerous unit. Admittedly at 420 points each you wont field many and they tend to become missile targets so keep them screened or armour them up a bit.

The most numerous orc warbeast is a Carnosaur. Armed with jagged teeth and mighty talons and riden into battle by up to two orcs these beasts are renowned for being difficult to kill.

Necrosaurs are larger versions of Carnosaurs and sport a howdah full of orcs as well. Slow moving but very nasty with a bite that can crush even a dwarven steam tank these beasts are well worth the points.

Goranthosaurs are Goranths gift to his people Imbued with his power these beasts are not only capable of holding their own against other wabeasts and infantry in close combat but are also capable of spitting large quantities of highly corrosive acid.

Lesser goblins are also featured in the army and come in two varieties. Lesser goblin rabble are a mass of tiny goblins hiding behind shields and wielding a mixture of spears and shortbows. Rubbish in close combat but unbreakable these tiny beasts can be a real pain to destroy and make perfece shielding units.

The other variety is the lesser goblin Carnosaur. These lucky bands have managed to acquire a Carnosaur and proudly ride them into battle. The model for this is great with a howdah full of tiny goblins!

Hopefully that will give you a brief overview of the orcs and their forces. I plan on building an orc force in the coming weeks and am currently painting up some infantry units to support the warbeasts. As soon as I get them finished I will get some pictures up on the site!

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