View Full Version : How do you use your big'uns?

14-01-2009, 05:53
So I have about 10 big'uns on bases with no arms as I have no idea how to equip them.

I know some people like to take them for the spirit totem, and for a long time I thought it was a big waste, but now I'm wondering if it's actually a good idea.

My first thinking was why pay all those extra points when you could just give it to your BSB. With some math though I see even a lage unit of 25 orcs only cost 100 points to upgrade to big'uns while a BSB costs me roughly the same.

Now of course there are pros and cons to this. Having it on one unit means my opponent can just shoot that one unit up and force me to lose the DD, plus I'll probably want a BSB anyway. However, their upgraded combat stats shouldn't be ignored, and leaving the BSB free to take other upgrades (either combat or a different banner).

Other than this however I'm at a loss.

A small unit could make a good hard hitting flanking force, but i'd rather take a chariot which is cheaper, or black orcs that are more expensive but at least get a guarenteed waaagh move and don't suffer animosity.

It seems the only time to use them is when you are out of special slots.

So I'm interested to know how you folks use them, and if the spirit totem idea is actual valid or has too many negatives to be worth while.

14-01-2009, 08:24
Hey Malorian,

I have thought about the same idea as you did, to give the spirit totem to my unit of big uns (or even B-Orcs, but that would be a horrendously expensive unit). However, when I started fielding the spirit totem, many of my opponents just shot that unit to pieces. It was when I started moving the BSB from unit to unit that they left this tactic and this made me have a permanent +3 DD.

I guess if I'd field my spirit totem in a specific unit that the "just blast away it's ranks" story will start again, but this time with no remedy for it. That is why I am sticking with a BSB with the totem.

And remember to make it a B-orc BSB... In the rules it says that you can't give the BSB any mundane equipment, but since "armed to da teef" allows you to choose additional choppa or great weapon, you can still grind units (add choppa) or chariots/knights (great weapon) pretty reliably. Only downside is that you loose the add choppa option (which I use 90% of the time now) when you place your BSB on a boar for the additional save (which is probably worth it and I should be trying this out soon).

Let me know how it works out for you though

P.s.: you either pay 100 pts to upgrade a 25 man unit (also my preferred unit size for boyz) AND 50 pts for the banner, or you pay 164 points for a B-Orcs BSB with the totem (and heavy armor) that can hop from unit to unit. Gets a bit more when you field him on a boar as well, but this should also increase the likelyhood of your BSB to be butchered by medium strength attacks (talking s4/s5).

14-01-2009, 08:58
I don't. I don't like big'uns, they're too expensive for what they do in my books. I don't like the totem either anyway, I prefer the staff of sorcery on one shaman and the staff of sneaky stealin on the other. I feel it's more efficient.

14-01-2009, 13:35
I like Big'Uns for the purpose of having a semi elite fighting unit for the cost of a Core Choice. But it feels like fielding them in large blocks is just begging to waste points.

Big'Uns have the same armor as regular Orcs. Which means they'll get shot up just as easily. If the upgrade costed as less as it did in 6th Edition I would be more than happy to block em up, but with how much they cost now I wouldn't dare.

If I had to put the Spirit Totem in any unit, it would be Black Orcs. I know, I know it's expensive. But that gives you a unit that won't suffer Animosity, has decent armor combined with shields, and they can actually hold their own better than other orc units in close combat.

That being said, I agree with having a BSB carry the banner. It really is the best option. Let the Black Orcs or Big'Uns have a War Banner or Nogg's Banner instead.

14-01-2009, 13:41
I got one unit of Big 'Uns (currently 20 strong, but 5 more are coming) and they got choppa and shield. The main reason for this is:
A- last edition you could only get that S5 on those boyz with one choppa. Not really a viable argument anymore though...
B- with a bit of extra armour and shield, they actually look a bit more tough.
C- with that extra armour save they don't die so easy so they don't loose ranks too fast when I give them the spirit totem.
D- While already being expensive, 2 choppa's would make them even more expensive, so the shields keep the total cost down a bit.

And there comes the spirit totem! When I use that one, its always on the big 'uns. Reason: I don't want to field black orcs in units bigger than 15 or 20, and when I take a battle standard I'd rather give him magic armour or amulets. 25 boyz are a more difficult target to kill than 1 standard bearer with only a 5+ AS and no other protection. I think a BSB is already a nice juicy target, when you give it such an important banner, not only is it even more juicier, but also squishier.

I do think that 2 choppa's would be a good option for big 'uns, if you don't think of giving them another role in the army then just kicking enemy but.

Also, the spirit totem is not a necessity. Actually, I rarely field it, as I normally take 2 shamans when I expect a bit more opponent-magic.

14-01-2009, 14:11
As black orcs.

Armed to the teeth, heavy armour and no animosity forhow many pts more? no really :P

If you want to field big un's id always suggest dual hand weapons for 2S5 first round.

14-01-2009, 16:04
Hmmm so a lot of mix thoughts, and I'm starting to think I should just make them all 40k nobs...

14-01-2009, 16:08
I used Big Unz allowance on Savage Orc Boar Boyz, it's just not worth it for foot sloggers, especially with a 5+ save vs Missiles.

The 40k idea sounds good though - if you've got the arms spare!

14-01-2009, 17:03
I used 24 Big Uns with Additional Choppas and the Spirit Totem led by a cheap Black Orc Character with Kickin Boots. It always worked pretty well for me, sure they are more of a priority target then but BSB's are often assassinated, plus they give up an extra 200 points, with the Spirit Totem on a BSB, they often become the no1 priority.

14-01-2009, 19:08
I use a similar set up to Arguleon. I sometimes use 24 Big Uns with additional weapons and banner of butchery, i have them 6 wide so they have 19 str5 attacks in the 1st round. Combine this with movement spells, and if you're lucky charge in the first turn. Dwarfs hate it.

I think it's a shame to waste the extra str and have one attack each, i prefer to be aggressive with orcs.

The other one i try now and again is a Black Orc BSB with banner of butchery and 24 sav orc Big Uns, as above but a massive 26 attacks at str 5

They both have weaknesses, if your opponent guns them down it's expensive. I keep changing my list and try to stay one step ahead.

14-01-2009, 20:54
As black orcs.

Armed to the teeth, heavy armour and no animosity forhow many pts more? no really :P

If you want to field big un's id always suggest dual hand weapons for 2S5 first round.

Yes, and a special slot...
If I had 6 special slots in 2000 points, I would still be short on them with the choices I got available. And that's where big 'uns have their uses. Though indeed, maybe they could be a point less or something... But I'm not complaining, I'm an orc-lover in all its aspects (except the dirty bits some people might start thinking about right now...).

14-01-2009, 21:30
I have to second the standard beared. I always field a Blorc Standard bearer with heavy armour on a boar. The boar is important because it gives him a half decent save, and the mobility to flee to another unit if his mob of boys gets too shot up. Of course, this doesn't usually happen, becuase I field Tarr-Gott the giant, and a hefty block of Blorcs (well, 20, but thats pretty hefty for Blorcs in my book), who tend to draw most of the enemy fire during the first few turns of the game. His being a Blorc is also important, because I try to keep a Blorc boss in every one of my large infantry blocks, so as to keep them stomping accross the field.

14-01-2009, 21:54
That's what I'm doing now too (Black orc BSB on a boar with heavy armor), I'm just looking at those big'uns sitting on my work bench and wondering what I should do with them...

14-01-2009, 22:25
A cunningly disguised paperweight?

Or use them as Nobz, the more power to 40k the greater power I gain :D:D:D

15-01-2009, 14:31
That's what I'm doing now too (Black orc BSB on a boar with heavy armor), I'm just looking at those big'uns sitting on my work bench and wondering what I should do with them...

Well, how much bigger then the rest of your orcs are they? If they aren't much bigger, you could use them to pad out the ranks of your existing boys. If they are, I'm going to second the suggestion of making 'em 40k nobs. I have basically no use for fantasy biguns at this point, at least, if they aren't mounted on a boar and covered in blue paint (and I no longer run them either actually, I use those slots for chariots and bolt throwers). The other option I suppose, is to build a good looking unit, stick the boss in them, and use them as regular boys, and pray to mork that we get a new army book in the next few years where big-uns are worth the points.

15-01-2009, 17:17
Give them heads with topknot hair squigs and arms with wood/stone weapons and use them as a small unit of savage orc big unz with additional choppas?

Chicago Slim
15-01-2009, 17:22
I sometimes bring a small (10-15) unit of Big Uns with two choppas each, with a musician and no other command. Keeps the cost fairly low, making them a throwaway unit that's designed to drop a decent pile of S5 attacks, get broken, rally, and come back to do it again...

They tend to anchor a flank, though occasionally, depending on what I'm facing, they'll be up the middle.

15-01-2009, 17:24
Give them heads with topknot hair squigs and arms with wood/stone weapons and use them as a small unit of savage orc big unz with additional choppas?

I thought in gerneal savage orc big'uns were even worse than the regular ones due to the loss of banner and increased cost...

Depending on the size of the unit the regular big'uns with the banner of butchery would have the same effect on the charge and for cheaper.

Although their is something to be said for being able to ignore psychology tests and protracted combats...

A unit of 10 savage big'uns with extra choppas would be 140 points (only command I'd consider would be a musician) and would be nice for dealing with zombie tar pits or as a great flanker.

Hmmm... I think you just found the answer :D

warlord hack'a
15-01-2009, 19:19
ok, here's my 2 cents on big uns:

First of you must realize that the more big uns you put in one unit the more expensive they relatively become: you pay for those in non-fighting ranks and as the name says, they are not fighting. Here also lies the key to succesful use of the big un: maximize the attacks they can crank out and minimize the dead weight in the back.

1) best option: do not take them. You pay a LOT of points for one more strength and one more WS. Especially if you rank the unit up.
2) second best option: a small (10-12) double choppa armed svg orc big un unit with musician. Any siege weapon that goes through multiple ranks (bolt throwers, cannon, etc.) effectively waste casualties when they shoot at this small unit. Any template weapon: same thing. That leaves magic and normal shooting as threats but hey, they are a threat to anything you field. Why svg orcs? They will not panic from casualties and they have one more attack than normal orcs (and remember: the more attacks the merrier). Double choppa, see one line up.. This unit fielded 6 wide will dish out 18 Ws4 S5 attacks on the first round of combat. However, this unit is just as expensive as 24 orcs with choppa shield and FC.. Then again this last unit only dishes out 5WS3S4 and 2 WS4S5 attacks in the first round of combat..
3) a normal (20-25) sized unit of spear armed svg orcs. Very expensive, but even with two ranks cut down from shooting this unit will put the hurt to the enemy. When charging use choppa, when charged you use the spears.. 4 Ws 4 S4 attacks per front row model (-2 for each casualty suffered) is not bad to have.

I do not think it will ever be worth it to make normal orcs big uns, maybe if you give them double choppa, but still then I would prefer svg orcs (For three points more per model you get panic immunity, an extra attack and a 6+ wardsave. Just get used to how to prevent being chargepulled (having a chariot nearby helps for example)..

I fielded a big unit of svg orc big uns with choppa and spears for a while, but then figured that the almost 100 points it would save me to make them normal svg orcs could be spent elsewhere, e.g. on a support unit of 10 double choppa armed svg orcs.

If it was not obvious to you yet, here is another thing: NEVER take a boss in a unit of big uns as you pay the same for the upgrade but do not get any benefits, and try not to field ANY characters in your big un unit: any character in the front rank replaces a big un, so that big un now is added weight, not fighting.. If you want to maximize the effect of your big uns, you must get as many of them to fight. Use your characters to buff otherwise weaker units, such as normal orc units.

Entreri Bloodletter
15-01-2009, 22:29
I've used a unit of 10 savage orc big uns with additional choppas for a while now and they usually do pretty well. They are very impressive in combat and the lack of taking psychology tests helps out a lot too. They are(semi) dependable and won't run away at the sight of a demon or undead, something the army has trouble with as a whole.

So I'm definitely a fan on the savage ones, never tried it on a regular unit but it could be interesting. I also use a unit of 10 regular savages with a boss, both units work pretty well.

15-01-2009, 23:53
I'm going to have to agree with everyone that big'uns aren't really worth it in the new armybook. But if I HAD to take, them my thought is that if you're going to pay the points for WS4 S4 orcs, you might as well give them as many attacks as possible to capitalize on that advantage. Which would mean at least an additional hand weapon, but making them Savage Orcs too means they make 3 S5 attacks each on the charge. (Making sure they get the charge is really the problem...) The ward save is better than the LA on normal orcs fighting with two weapons, though you still end up paying a frightening cost for a model which survives enemy wounds only 1/6 of the time. Big'uns kind of sacrifice their core orcy virtues- expendable and tought for their points- in exchange for being more deadly, but with their movement they won't easily be able to pick their fights or who is shooting at them.

Oh, and give them bows.

....just kidding.

16-01-2009, 10:45
I run a block of big'uns (20) as my third orc block with the Spirit Totem, and I find it works really well. It gives me the option of tooling up my BSB Black Orc on boar. I have three different BSB combos depending on opponent and the size of the battle:

War Banner: Cheap, yet effective. BSB Re-roll + portable +2 CR.
Martog's + Ironback Boar: BSB Re-roll + added punch, also great against elves, + defence (WS7).
Shaga's: Expensive, yet deadly against character-heavy armies or 2001 pts+

For the unit itself, I run 2 choppas, standard and musician (no boss). True, it is a bulls-eye target, but I always tend to have more units during the set-up so I can always pick a relatively protected spot.

True, they are expensive, but I find that bringing too many infantry units will be the downfall of any O&G army. Since support units are so cheap, and the same can almost be said about fast cavalry, I do not find it a problem to find the points for them.

The benefit is that it adds well-needed punch to your army. Hero slots are too valuable in the O&G army's current state, to be used as magic defence.


17-01-2009, 16:47
I used Big Unz allowance on Savage Orc Boar Boyz, it's just not worth it for foot sloggers, especially with a 5+ save vs Missiles.

For big 'uns u can have 1 unit of orc boyz, 1 unit of sav orc boyz, 1 unit of orc boar boyz, 1 unit of sva orc boar boyz Big uns. not just one unit per army one unit per type of big uns

17-01-2009, 17:07
For big 'uns u can have 1 unit of orc boyz, 1 unit of sav orc boyz, 1 unit of orc boar boyz, 1 unit of sva orc boar boyz Big uns. not just one unit per army one unit per type of big uns

In the book it says ..."one unit in the army may be upgraded to Big 'Uns"