How to Smash Face with Big Waaagh Part Two: The Lists

Have you ever been overpromised and underdelivered? Across the Easter break we witnessed a dog dash, which is a staple of certain Australian country fairs. Now bear in mind that these aren’t professionally-trained greyhounds: they are family pets, and they “race” as such. A bunch of kids line up their poodles, cavoodles, labradoodles and assorted other oodles, all ready to bolt for the finish line and secure something really prestigious, like maybe an Easter egg and a photo with the head of the local Rotary club.

When these fine beasts are unleashed, the instantly set about pissing, shitting, fighting each other and shagging each other. If any of them make an inch of progress towards the finish line it’s purely coincidental, and eventually when one of them does happen to wander over in that direction, there’s a carnival atmosphere beyond anything that Rio de Janeiro has ever known polite ripple of applause from the mums and dads still watching. The whole thing is obviously just a bit of fun and not meant to be a serious race, and it does have a lot of charm – but it’s scarcely a dash.

Now I confess that I’ve sold you this article on the premise that I will be writing up some competitive Big Waaagh lists, but I’m afraid there’s really just one core list on offer, although it’s hopefully a good ‘un. What I’ve done instead of running off in multiple directions at once is to offer that one foundation list, plus a couple of offshoots to demonstrate how it could be tailored to meet the challenges of your local meta, and closing out with a link to some further reading on the topic.

Ready? Let’s go.

Credit: Captain Chris Ramen

The List: Bamm Bamm Rides Again

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)*
 Boss Gore-hacka and Choppa
 Artefact: Destroyer
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Get ‘Em Beat
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)**
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
Breaka-Boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)**
 Artefact: Mork’s Eye Pebble
 Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un

Battleline
10 x Orruk Ardboys (170)***
 Reinforced x 1
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)**

Units
6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 Reinforced x 1
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Warlord
***Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact
Artefact

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 140
Drops: 11

When the previous Warclans Battletome dropped, the first thing I ran was a Maw Krusha and Rogue Idol one-two combo, also known as Megaboss Bamm Bamm and Pebbles. I graduated away from that build to running a Big Stabbas infinite-damage murderbomb that saw some success and was wild fun to play, but this list will be placing Megaboss Bamm Bamm front and centre at the head of his Waaagh once more.

How it plays

I won’t rehash the list tech in its entirety, but this army does have some cool tools to work with. Key things to note are:

  • Mork’s Eye Pebble offers decent shooting protection for one crucial early turn
  • Rerollable Hand of Gork, which can usually be cast from outside of unbind range early on, works on the whole army
  • Multiple Pop ‘n’ Slide trading threats from the Mirebrute Troggoth (teleport then Fast ‘Un), and Gore Gruntas (teleport then Mighty D)
  • Threat overload: every hero is a priority target in some way, while your army won’t collapse when you lose a couple
  • Make no mistake: this army is thirsty for CPs, and thanks to double Warlord we have them in abundance

Where this army excels is that it has the DPS to batter its way rapidly through most armies if you start swinging arms on the centre objectives; but for opponents that are well screened, you can trade efficient units early and then roll out the heavy artillery mid game as your 6 Pigs and Maw Krusha – who feels like a true God of War with Destroyer – step forward to settle matters. Don’t sleep on your unit of 10 Ardboyz here: they are still the great mulcher of chaff with a Warchanter buff.

If your opponent makes you go first you can reach them in multiple ways at the top of 1, blowing up their chaff screens while gaining your Wurrgog a great vantage point for future stare-downs; if they take first, you can castle up deep and still spring forward with Mighty D moves and teleports while you’re on for the double turn. It’s a classic high-drop army that is comfortable going first or second, although I wouldn’t hate having an extra chaff screen in there for that reason.

Our Grand Strategy makes the Ardboyz a target in their own right, which again plays into the theme of creating threat overload for your opponent and cushioning the blow of any individual piece being taken out, while the Triumph gives us a bit of juice in the early game until the Waaagh points ramp up.

You can brutally punish a poorly-deployed opponent from the moment the game starts – particularly if they are a slave to the Battle Regiment, and leave themselves underscreened and overexposed in the desperate hunt for the one drop. But in many ways this is actually a Little Waaagh, happy to skirmish early with intermediate pieces while you build up to the crescendo. It’s what I’ve been playing recently, and it feels both strong and rewarding, but it’s not a point and click army – there is a lot to think about during deployment, and you definitely need to get the reps in to get the most out of it.

What it can’t do

This list has no real answer to unkillable Death Stars. While a solid smattering of rend -2 will cure most problems, there are some big beasts out there that will just laugh outright as they continue to save on 2+s. What I therefore like to build into lists that lack heavy mortal wound output is a whole table full of garbage, ideally wrapped up in a low-drop package: flood the board and let them waste turn after turn wildly overkilling 5 Spider Riders at a time.

With the premium hero package in here, you just can’t take that many units despite being high drop. So that’s a weakness to be aware of. When a Wurggog goes off, he can slaughter anything in the game – infinite mortal wounds is a pretty nice tool to have in your arsenal – but you might struggle to hold the big bads at bay while you set that up. So while it’s by no means an auto-loss, it can certainly be a bad matchup.


So with the core established, let’s look at a couple of ways this army can flex to the challenges you face in an evolving metagame.

Nasty Hex: aka Fuck You, Nurgle

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)*
 Boss Gore-hacka and Choppa
 Artefact: Destroyer
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Get ‘Em Beat
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)**
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
Breaka-Boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)**
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
 Lore of the Swamp: Nasty Hex

Battleline
10 x Orruk Ardboys (170)***
 Reinforced x 1
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)**

Units
6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 Reinforced x 1
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Warlord
***Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact
Artefact

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 140
Drops: 11

With just one change – swapping out the Mork’s Eye Pebble artefact for the Arcane Tome – we pivot from standing up to a shooting meta to a ward save meta. One of the tools that I couldn’t squeeze into the first list was Nasty Hex, so we switch that right in there – and with Nurgle being strong locally, this exact list comes into heavy consideration for the upcoming Rampage event.

Also good against: Fyreslayers, Gotrek, Idoneth Deepkin and Phoenix Guard if you’re still seeing them around. Lumineth also enjoy their 5++ bubbles, but are unlikely to be kind enough to let you cast it.

Credit: Captain Chris Ramen

Extra Screen: aka Fuck You, Kragnos

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)*
 Boss Gore-hacka and Choppa
 Artefact: Destroyer
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Get ‘Em Beat
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)**
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
Breaka-Boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)**
 Artefact: Mork’s Eye Pebble

Battleline
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)**

Units
6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 Reinforced x 1
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas
5 x Spider Riders (100)
 Allies

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Warlord
***Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 100 / 400
Wounds: 140
Drops: 12

One of the things this list lacks is screens, and we alleviate that slightly in this iteration. Switching out 5 Arboyz for a unit of allied Spider Riders gives us one more unit to zone off a bit of the board when strung out sideways. Alpha strike Ironjawz are still a thing, and the main thing holding back Kragnos from truly rampaging through the meta is the continuing prevalence of mortal wound shooting; if you can hold off the BSDs for just one turn, you’re in a great position.

Why? Because the Wurrgog Prophet eats Maw Krushas for breakfast, then polishes off Kragnos for lunch. Get either of these idiots to charge a screen and they’re totally fucked:

  • At the start of the Hero phase, stare ’em down to one or two wounds remaining
  • Still in the “start of”, declare Bring It Down or similar as your Battle Tactic and target that sitting duck
  • Still in the “start of”, you can attempt to heal D3 back up on your Wurrgog if he took any damage via Heroic Recovery
  • After that, you can attempt to heal up another D3 wounds with Fixin’ Beat from a nearby Warchanter
Credit: Mini by Games Workshop, meme by Plastic Craic

Further Reading

Ellarr over at Goonhammer has written a great piece on Gobsprakk specifically in Big Waaagh, and his own competitive list makes room for some cool pieces that I couldn’t squeeze into my own army right now. So go check that out too – it’s a cracker.


Well I hope that was helpful, and as things stand I’m very likely to be running one of the Big Waaagh lists from this article at Rampage in June. There is a small part of me wanting to go back to Kraggy and the Squigs, or even tailor to the pack to squeeze in Bundo for the easy VPs in Round 5, but I really want to put my money where my mouth is and give Megaboss Bamm Bamm a proper run out.

The schedule for Rural Rampage

In the meantime, good luck and safe travels to everyone playing at Sydney GT this weekend, and for the Destro players in particular: May Gork bring you strength, may Mork bring you wisdom.

Credit for the cover image to Games Workshop

https://ko-fi.com/plasticcraic

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