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 Post subject: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:48 am 
Elven Warrior
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Orcs (or goblins for that matter) were never going to achieve much with bows... hitting on 5's and wounding on usually 5's or 6's...
Now with a -1 to hit if you move too... I struggle to see a use for them tactically...

Do any of you Mordor (or Moria) commanders still bother to arm your troops with bows?

Interested in your thoughts...

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:01 am 
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No, I don't take them anymore. With orcs I want a horde if I can help it since they will lose a few more fights to most armies. Having troops that have to hold back and additionally are not effective at what they are doing, that just doesn't help the idea of a horde force.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:53 am 
Kinsman
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I say yes they are worth it, and at only 1 point, it's cheap. Use them to harass, and to keep your enemy where you want them. An army w/o missile fire is asking to be shot!
While not an effective weapon, it does give you an offensive component to strike fear into the hearts of men and elfs alike ( at least the fear of a lucky shot ). Add to this the orc tracker and marauders or even warg riders w/ bows or hunter orcs and you will improve your chances of scoring a wound during the shoot phase.
Some commanders of hoard army ( like Mr. Sithous above ) may want to mob an enemy w/ sword and shield supported by spears: and this will work, but, a 500 to 600 point hoard should have around a dozen bows. Is that extra 12 points worth getting another 2-3 spearmen? No way! Give yourself options! In the opening rounds of battle there is going to be 2-4 rounds of shooting as the forces clash, use this to your advantage least your opponent pepper you w/ arrows, fall back and repeat!
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:06 am 
Elven Warrior
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First Ager Smith wrote:
I say yes they are worth it, and at only 1 point, it's cheap. Use them to harass, and to keep your enemy where you want them. An army w/o missile fire is asking to be shot!
While not an effective weapon, it does give you an offensive component to strike fear into the hearts of men and elfs alike ( at least the fear of a lucky shot ). Add to this the orc tracker and marauders or even warg riders w/ bows or hunter orcs and you will improve your chances of scoring a wound during the shoot phase.
Some commanders of hoard army ( like Mr. Sithous above ) may want to mob an enemy w/ sword and shield supported by spears: and this will work, but, a 500 to 600 point hoard should have around a dozen bows. Is that extra 12 points worth getting another 2-3 spearmen? No way! Give yourself options! In the opening rounds of battle there is going to be 2-4 rounds of shooting as the forces clash, use this to your advantage least your opponent pepper you w/ arrows, fall back and repeat!


OK, so would you use a dedicated warband of 12 bow armed orcs, or do you split them up among your assorted warbands?

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:30 am 
Kinsman
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First Ager Smith wrote:
I say yes they are worth it, and at only 1 point, it's cheap. Use them to harass, and to keep your enemy where you want them. An army w/o missile fire is asking to be shot!
While not an effective weapon, it does give you an offensive component to strike fear into the hearts of men and elfs alike ( at least the fear of a lucky shot ). Add to this the orc tracker and marauders or even warg riders w/ bows or hunter orcs and you will improve your chances of scoring a wound during the shoot phase.
Some commanders of hoard army ( like Mr. Sithous above ) may want to mob an enemy w/ sword and shield supported by spears: and this will work, but, a 500 to 600 point hoard should have around a dozen bows. Is that extra 12 points worth getting another 2-3 spearmen? No way! Give yourself options! In the opening rounds of battle there is going to be 2-4 rounds of shooting as the forces clash, use this to your advantage least your opponent pepper you w/ arrows, fall back and repeat!


It's only 1 point if you give them both bows and spears and tell them to multi-task. That can be effective by allowing you to shoot into combat but is a pain from a modelling point of view. If you're talking about a pure archer, then you're discussing whether you want an extra shield goblin or an extra spear guy for the same points value, so the tradeoff is not 12 bows or 2-3 extra goblins but 12 bows or 12 combat goblins.
Mind you, just because they have a bow doesn't mean they are worse in combat. They can't shield or support but they can shoot. With an elf you wouldn't want to throw an archer into combat because it's a waste and your elves with shields are a fair bit better (more survivable for when you lose). With goblins, they're going to die anyway so it's much of a muchness.
I use my bow armed goblins as a second wave to plug gaps and to discourage the opponent from standing off and shooting me early on. Targetting horses is also handy. I miss volley fire...
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:36 am 
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If you're worried about the orcs abilities to hit a target, field trackers. They have a better accuracy.
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:59 pm 
Elven Warrior
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orc warriors with bow are NEVER worth it, if you have the option use trackers they are the same price as a moria goblin with kit

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:24 am 
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I've seen games were orc shooting has been powerfull, but then most games it does not do much/nothing, which has generated the feeling that non crossbow/elven shooting is not worth it, which at times does feel like it.
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:53 pm 
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In short you don't need it because it's good but because you'd be neglecting a entire part of the game if you don't. You'd be competely defenseless against a grey company or all mounted Rohan/Rivendell list so you need them just so you can return some fire and put some pressure on them.

For for an example I could make a list of only Galadhrim knights that can move 12'' or more importantly 6'' and still shoot a pure goblin/orc list would never be able to touch them whilst they laid down a constant barrage of fire, it wouldn't be fun or quick but I could cause a wipeout without losing a man.
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:03 pm 
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Yes, but Orc Trackers are the best option, like many have said before.
It's always worth to have a few archers for tactical flexibility, it's also hilarious if orc archers actually kill something. Having the odd archer killing the mount of say Boromir, could make a huge difference.


Just ask Faramir and his knights.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:51 am 
Elven Warrior
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In the old days I would always take Goblins with bows, now I'm 50/50 on it. In one sense it is easier just to take more spear & shield warriors and focus on getting them into combat quickly. The obvious drawback here is you can be shot at easily but I would say that it is not the most significant thing to think about, rather it is how having those extra numbers effects your army list.

I would want to take as many bows as I could most of them time, which is essentially another warband worth, for goblins this is exactly 100 points. The question you need to ask is what can I do with that 100 points and is it as good or better as having the extra bodies on the field. Moria can take 24 Goblins & the captains, shaman and durburz to build the core of the army, then you have about 100-150 points to play with to give it the options, taking archers restricts the options down to 1 or 2 choices at the most (eg 36 warriors and 1 cave troll or 2 marauders). You still have a very competitive army this way, but it depends on what you want it to handle, and it is probably better these days to have more than 1 elite choice like the troll or marauder in the force as it is much harder to deal with.
Take out the bows and you still have a very solid core with the ability to take 2 trolls and a marauder or whatever you fancy.

The main problem you would face by not taking bows is all mounted rohan and similar armies that are about guerilla tactics. As an all mounted rohan player, I can safely say that you will be able to close in on them if you position your troops correctly. I disagree with the emphasis of ElfGeneral's statement - he certainly could cause a wipeout if he was lucky and the opposition didn't position correctly, but with the ability to deploy in the middle of the board as well as heroic march, you can corner these forces within a few turns and if you have enough troops then the archery shouldn't be too much to handle. The force i use is much the same as in the old rules and it still put up a terrific fight against the dreaded high elf player even with the more significant role archery used to play.

The one scenario you might struggle with is in the DoS sourcebook where one player starts in the middle, in this case, the best you could hope for is to break them by trapping half the army and hoping they don't wipe out one flank too quickly. If you are playing that scenario, you need the speed or the bows or multiple monsters and hope they don't #bosh their dice rolls.

So for mordor are bows worth it? Not as much I don't think, but still viable. For a mordor force I would be more inclined to side with the no bows but extra troops side of things, making certain that you have those monsters in play. Orc trackers would be the way to go if you do want bows. I'd probably be taking a Morannon orc with shield front line and regular orcs with spears in the back otherwise you would be dying to elven archers as easily as goblins without the additional numbers and the stats of Mordor orcs in combat isn't going to be any different against elves either, so you want the S4 or D6.

If you take a pure morannon force you probably will be getting squeezed when it comes to picking options which might let you down. This kind of force probably would not allow you to have elite troops like black guard or taskmasters just because you want them - you really have to work hard to get a good balance.

TL;DR Bows are still viable, but it effects your play style, And for goodness sake, don't move your archers every turn. Just decide to shoot them or get them in position for a good couple of rounds of shooting, otherwise get them into the melee.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:24 am 
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Hodush wrote:
The main problem you would face by not taking bows is all mounted rohan and similar armies that are about guerilla tactics.

I don't really understand how 12 orcbows are supposed to help against all mounted Rohan or Grey company. Your opponent will have about 15-20 bows with higher range. He hits on 5+ (4+ with grey company) and wounds your archers on 5+. You need 6 and 6 (5+ against rangers). Your opponent will shoot all your archers and only loose 3 or 4 of his archers and then is free to shoot at anthing he wants.
I would not field goblins/orcs euqipped only with bows. In the warg rider box there are 6 bows you can put on the bases of your spearmen. As said before this means you take 5/6 bows instead of an other goblin/orc and that will be worth it, if your opponent does not field any bow.
There will be a 350 point tournament in Germany soon and someone is thinking about playing Imrahil with all mounted Knights of Dol Amroth. If you field about 6 bow-spear-man you are able to walk into difficult terrain and wait for the knights to loose all their boni.
In my last tournament game I played Treebeard, one Ent Gimli 7 Dwarfs with shields and 4 dwarfs with bows against moria without bows. Because of the 4 bows I was able to form up an a hill and get the defending bonus.
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:12 pm 
Elven Warrior
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Having played all mounted Rohan at a tournament, even with 20 archers you can only "guarantee" 1 kill per round of shooting. You will probably get more, but you might get less as well. Most of this comes down to needing 6's to wound. For orc/goblin archers, you are aiming at the horses really. A mounted army can't just crash into a block of troops and expect to win the game - they cost more obviously so they need to gain some kind of advantage before the charge, otherwise its just crossing fingers and hope to win. Any horses or riders that are killed are double or triple the value of any orc.

The crossbows are just an extension of this, but with S4, you will be doing a lot more wounding so the cavalry player is going to need a solid advantage to turn the tide of things once they start getting shot.
Keep in mind that its not a stand and shoot till they die game, the rest of the Uruk army would be advancing and trapping the cavalry in. This means they have to move back and shoot (reducing the number of hits & wounds) and therefore not gaining as much advantage in ranged damage but also the possibility of stuffing up positioning which can effect the charges for quite a few turns, particularly if the Uruks get the jump in priority.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:21 am 
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Hodush wrote:
Having played all mounted Rohan at a tournament, even with 20 archers you can only "guarantee" 1 kill per round of shooting.

Against D4 orc archers 2 kills per round. So it isn't an disadvantage if your opponent brings orc archers because you have more D4 targets and maybe eben don't need a "in the way" test.
Hodush wrote:
For orc/goblin archers, you are aiming at the horses really.

The chance to kill a horse, if you moved is 1/6*1/2*1/3=1/36 the chance to kill the rider is 1/6*1/2*1/6=1/72 not very dangerous. And don't forget they have orc bows so the range is lower than your riders so the rider should get to shoot at least one round earlier.
Hodush wrote:
The crossbows are just an extension of this, but with S4, you will be doing a lot more wounding so the cavalry player is going to need a solid advantage to turn the tide of things once they start getting shot.

Uruks with crossbows are a different thing! Always take as many as you are able to take. Chance to wound a horse 1/2*1/2*1/2=1/8 and the rider 1/2*1/2*1/3=1/12 way better!

Hodush wrote:
Keep in mind that its not a stand and shoot till they die game, the rest of the Uruk army would be advancing and trapping the cavalry in.

I'd be pleased if a goblin or orc army leave 1/3 of its models back to shoot because after shooting a bit at the archers I only have to deal with 2/3 of the army. If I play against all mounted Rohan I would not split up may force, I maybe would try to kill the hero's horses (if a have a chance) but mainly move forward to get into close combat as soon as possible, because every model that isn't in combat because it hang behind to shoot hurts.


This does not mean don't take bows! Just do not use them, if you don't have a chance against your enemies range weapons.
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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:26 am 
Elven Warrior
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Frerin, not sure why you are having such a crack at me, but you make some good points with what you say.

I was trying to indicate that even with an all mounted Rohan force of 20+ archers, you aren't going to get many kills with the bows, although it is far safer than charging. As you point out, the chances reduce quite a bit when you move, and this effects Shoot value 4 models quite significantly, though not as much as shoot 5. So it is better to try not to move.

With the new deployment in most scenarios, you aren't going to get that many shots off at the orc archers even if they stay still before you get charged, and there might be something more valuable to shoot at than archers. Added to that, evil will generally outnumber rohan, so they can afford troops to do some shielding and gain a larger numerical advantage. But this conversation is about orc armies anyway.

As Frerin says at the end, bows are ok, but you need to use them correctly. Take solid action when you move them, go full half or not at all and think about where they will be and the enemy will be next turn, and if you would be better served having some of the archers in combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Orcs with Bows - worth it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:57 pm 
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For me it boils down to the models I have, the Orcs (or in my case Uruk Scouts) come with bows in the boxes and I might as well make use of em. The potential for a lucky shot on valuable units can make your opponent think twice. Also I just like having a WYSIWYG army, too may proxies during my 40k days :roll:
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