View Full Version : orc bows

05-01-2007, 17:53
Hello everyone. I am planning to start collecting a Dol Guldur army. I have played WHFB and WH40K before, but I am new to LotR. My question is if orcs and bows go well together at all. Hitting and wounding on 5+ seems to me to be good only in masses, and the rules suggest to me that I'll need every orc in close combat to outnumber my potential foes. What does other orc players think about equipment?


05-01-2007, 17:56
A few archers may be handy for shooting at guys too far away to charge but I'd certainly agree with sending the majority of your folk into combat. You really want to play on your outnumbering the enemy.

05-01-2007, 17:58
Archery is always good for the time between when the game starts and you're actually able to get into combat where the orcs can win by weight of numbers.

Don't go crazy on it, and pick your targets carefully. An orc-heavy army that relies on archery to win is quite literally fighting a losing battle, but putting those arrows into the right models at the right time can turn the tide.

Dr Death
05-01-2007, 19:05
Yes, bows are very much a 'support weapon' with orcs rather than with say elves which can win a game on the power of their archery. It is worth equipping a few orcs with bows (probably a far lesser percentage of your force than you are legally allowed). I would reccommend about 10- use them to pick off stragglers or weakened heroes who may attempt to flee away from the battle under the protection of their troops (the famous example of Isildur at the gladden fields is a good example of their use). They are however a luxury next to getting as many fighty orcs in against your foe as possible.

Dr Death

05-01-2007, 19:13
The only real advantage of orc archery is they don't lose out much with Volley Fire. They drop to a 6+ to hit rather than 5+ but double their range. They are also cheap enough that you can get enough archers to enable Volley Fire (minimum 10).

05-01-2007, 19:53
Volley fire can be a pain. I would always try to take 10 of the same type of bows in an army.

Failing that, for the Orc-based armies, I would consider trackers. They are 4+ archers, and if you use them to sneek around, they can be really effective.

05-01-2007, 20:43
Trackers die as soon as you look at them though. They have a miserable Defence which, im my opinion, fails to make up for their increased accuracy.

05-01-2007, 21:53
Mounted trackers tend to fair better due to their wargs providing some body shields plus they can slip into and out of range more easily than the infantry. I usually take a full third of archers with any army including orcs. While they are inferior bowmen they have numbers and with enough shots you will cause casualties. An orc is better off in combat than on the firing line but an orc with bow is almost as effective as one without in combat. One tactic I know of is two equip the second rank of orcs in the battle line with bows and spears thus gaining the best of both worlds.

05-01-2007, 21:57
And Wargs also give them improved combat prowess. A very flexible unit type.

Lord Gordonis
05-01-2007, 22:02
Also if you have 10 trackers on wargs they can still volley fire as well, although I dont know why you would ten trackers in the army but hey its only a suggestion *shrugs*

06-01-2007, 00:15
One tactic I know of is two equip the second rank of orcs in the battle line with bows and spears thus gaining the best of both worlds.

I say use this one, I do and I find it to be rather good though you do only get to shoot a few times a game.
I recommend a few bows in the orc forces, just dont use too many. If you have around 10-20% bows then you are fine.

07-01-2007, 23:32
I'm planning on giving this a try when I do my next orcish army. You'll get fewer shots but as the orcs are worse bowmen this is really an advantage as they should now be in combat. Atleast in theory.

10-01-2007, 21:45
the 4 orc bows that come in the box set are useful, but you have to focus your fire. If you get lucky, you will be successful with shooting. TIP: role the dice seperately. You have a bigger probability of hitting.

10-01-2007, 21:49
If you are really desperate, you could ally Dol Guldur with Moria and take Goblin Archers, they have the advantage of being a point cheaper.

10-01-2007, 22:13
One tactic I know of is two equip the second rank of orcs in the battle line with bows and spears thus gaining the best of both worlds.

I do this with my Harad force, and it works a treat! Well recommended.

10-01-2007, 23:10
Well if you want to have a cheap archer option and be able to cover them in battle, just get at least 8 orc archers and sit them behind terrain, well out of sight of anything. Because orc archers only hit on a 5+, your not going to be suffering much by going up to 6+ for volleying, not like rangers or elves certainly would be.

10-01-2007, 23:19
You need 10 to volley.

11-01-2007, 15:26
My Ork/Goblin army is made up for one third of archers. I advance them behind the main force, volley firing all the time, untill I'm in combat with the enemy and they sneak around a flank to trap the opponent.

This has worked extremenly well for me as most people want to shoot it out with my army since I usually outnumber them (50 models) and have some serious punch (4 Captains, Cave Troll). However, they'll find that 16 volley fire shots are not to be trifled with, and my army isn't really concerned about casualties on the way in (unless they're very serious). Also, cavalry often have to charge me as soon as possible or watch their numbers dwindle as I unhorse or kill them.

So, yeah, Orc archers are pretty good in a support/offensive roll.

12-01-2007, 17:41
Trackers every time, they are Uber Cheap they are 5 points Base including the bow unlike regular orcs. Defense 3 means the only difference is strength 3 attacks wound them on 4's Big deal, at 5 points a model who cares? they are orcs. and the points you save buying trackers means you can spend more points on your Spearhead. i personally wouldnt bother with Wargs in a dol guldur army, if you were doing an orc Scouting force it might be a nice touch. if you want orc archers Trackers are amazing, 5 points, hit on 4's come with a bow, im sold. and so what if elves and uruks wound them on 4's from shooting? if they are shooting your trackers, they arent shooting the scary part of your army!

14-01-2007, 08:03
when return of the king came out my store did a big battle on my side i got a few orcs and two orc archers i put in a building. Going through the game they spotted legolas running around so took pot shots at him. Low and behold they kept wounding him and he had to use all his fate and i still got him down to one wound.

those two would have finished him off but i had to go early :P
I think a ring wraith killed him