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The Feral Orks

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5 replies to this topic

#1
Flamekebab

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It's been a long time coming, but it's time now.
If you've been watching tUGS you may have seen a flood of content related to the Feral Orks over the last few days.
Here's the summary post with links to the different sections.

But if, like me, you prefer a complete PDF, I've just finished uploading it and you can get it here:

Feral Orks Open Beta PDF

#2
Cyk0

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Great work!

#3
Brogz

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Very Good.

#4
Nazgrim Mektoof

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I like the idea, but not the execution. It changes too much about orks, seemingly trying to be different for the sake of it. Why not just have the standard mob list switching the vehicle and equipment list for squigs and the armoury you've got, and weirdboyz in place of spannerz? Or maybe have the use of squigs and squiggoths dependent on a slaver? I also don't see why weirdboyz are compulsory. Also, as it stands it's impossible to have a mob that's entirely mounted on squigs, as only wildboyz can ride them. I'd personally just make the requisite 1 game off available to all members of a mob, with a roll on the injury chart taken in the post-battle sequence. Anything other than "out of action" indicates they've tamed the squig and can use it. Out of Action means they gain a serious injury and have to try again another time. The notion of feral orks being thick(er) than normal isn't really borne out by the fluff. It's just they need to reach a critical mass before mekboyz happen, and even in larger societies there are the "traditionalists" (Snakebites). Why not have the feral orks as a faction that consider the whole Gorkamorka business to be a waste of time, setting out into the deep desert to raise their squigs as they have always done. The additional stupidity element seems unnecessary. The Fickie advance table is also quite harsh; the chance of no advance penalises them and may mean that you wind up with runty boyz relative to other orks (that may be the intention of course). I would have them become Wildboyz as they mature (reach the Wildboy experience cap) as normal. Although the rarity of Wildboyz in the current setup could lead to quite a different play dynamic. Undecided on that score. The Squiggoth seems a little too vehicle-like, particularly its movement. I would use rules similar to the Grotz' Big Lugga for determining movement, with the crew goading it on to higher speeds. Perhaps also add something like the need for the driver to pass a Ld test to take the Squiggoth off attack (charge) speed, just for flavour. I might have missed it, but the weirdboy rules don't seem to state what you roll to test for the waaagh powers. I'm guessing Ld, but I'm not sure. While on the subject of Weirdboyz, the rules don't simulate the power of the Waaagh particularly well - there's no dependence on combat or anything like that. I'd introduce something like "waaagh points": Add 1 (or maybe d3) Waaaagh point(s) to the Weirdboy for every ork in close combat on the battlefield, and give each power a cost in waaigh points. They are then spent on successfully cast powers. Unsuccessful powres do not spend points. If the waaagh points ever reach 3 times the toughness of the weirdboy at any point. his head explodes. This way, you need to build up waaagh energy for the more dangerous powers, but they become perilous to try to use. Insta-death in the event of a head explosion makes sense, but it seems a little harsh from a game perspective. The Knuckle Under skill is too good. Make it a to hit penalty when he moves and it's probably closer to the mark. Finally, there's no alternative to a fort given for feral orks. This means that for a siege or rescue mission they'll have a fort like everyone else. This doesn't seem right. I can't remember the rules for sieges or rescue missions against rebel grots or diggas, but I seem to remember encampments are involved. Maybe these could be used? Some food for thought on a mostly fantastic idea well-implemented.

#5
Skippy

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I only came into the Feral Orks development halfway through, but I'll take a shot at answering your questions:

Yes, they are deliberately different. We were going for more of a "Warhammer Fantasy Orcs & Goblins" feel than a standard mob. They were designed with an eye towards Mordheim, where there is a very clear distinction between normal warriors and leaders; Wildboyz function similarly to Mordheim Big 'Uns, in that they are rarer and more valuable than most of the mob. The Weirdboy power mechanic was also based on how Mordheim magic works, although it's not exactly the same.

You're right that an all-squig rider mob is impossible; this was deliberate, as Snorta mobs already exist, and we didn't want to just duplicate that niche.

Rather than your suggestion of Feral Orks as the ones that reject Mektown, we envisioned them as ones who never make it to Mektown in the first place (often for reasons of being too heat-addled and runty). I agree that Snakebite Orks might reject Mektown and set off on their own, but that's not what we were trying to represent. This is also why there aren't more traditional 40k Feral Ork types like Pigdoks and Junkas in the list; we figured that on Angelis, they'd end up in Mektown.

Fickies can be a bit crap, it's true. They are intended to be expendable, and during playtesting we found that tracking skills on an army of mostly-useless bullet-catchers was far more trouble than it's worth. Ferals not having access to Doks was part of this same design philosophy; either a Fickie proves himself and becomes a Wildboy or, more likely, he dies a horrible death and is quickly replaced. They're not quite worth 2 Teef, but this pricing allowed us to slightly undercost the other mob members; Wildboyz aren't much less effective than normal Boyz, and Weirdboy powers can single-handedly swing a game.

We did toy with changing the Squiggoth movement rules, but in the end decided it would add too much time to the playtesting process to be worth it for only one type of vehicle.

I'm not aware of the power of the Waaagh being represented in any skirmish-scale games; it's there in Warhammer Fantasy, but there needed to be double-digits of Orcs in combat nearby for it to have any effect, last I played (though there has been a new book since that I haven't read; happy to be corrected on this).

Knuckle Under is actually the same skill as Dodgy, from the Cunnin' table.

As Feral Orks are an Oddmob, the Oddmob rescue rules apply (i.e. no fort). But we should probably make this more clear in the PDF. We can clarify the Weirdboy power rules as well, while we're at it; he just rolls 2D6 and tries to beat the target number. Seems to have been left out of the PDF entirely; oops!

Thanks for your feedback, it's very useful to get an external set of eyes on these things.

#6
Nazgrim Mektoof

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Yes, they are deliberately different. We were going for more of a "Warhammer Fantasy Orcs & Goblins" feel than a standard mob. They were designed with an eye towards Mordheim, where there is a very clear distinction between normal warriors and leaders; Wildboyz function similarly to Mordheim Big 'Uns, in that they are rarer and more valuable than most of the mob. The Weirdboy power mechanic was also based on how Mordheim magic works, although it's not exactly the same.

The problem with that is that there's a different group dynamic in Mordheim, and trying to emulate it means twisting Gorkamorka's rules. There needs a lot of careful handling to make sure that the increased numbers don't overrun smaller mobs as a matter of course. It just seems unnecessary.

You're right that an all-squig rider mob is impossible; this was deliberate, as Snorta mobs already exist, and we didn't want to just duplicate that niche.

It wouldn't be "just" duplication, though; in the same way that the standard ork mob can be either trukk-based, bike-based or a mixture of the two, you could make the option of squig riders doable for ferals. And speaking personally, I'm more likely to use a "Feral orks" list above anything else, as "snortas" aren't really mentioned in the fluff, whereas feral orks are.

Rather than your suggestion of Feral Orks as the ones that reject Mektown, we envisioned them as ones who never make it to Mektown in the first place (often for reasons of being too heat-addled and runty). I agree that Snakebite Orks might reject Mektown and set off on their own, but that's not what we were trying to represent. This is also why there aren't more traditional 40k Feral Ork types like Pigdoks and Junkas in the list; we figured that on Angelis, they'd end up in Mektown.

Remembering the reference in Gorkamorka somewhere to yoofs emerging from the desert into Mektown with bows, that makes sense. Although why that needs the backstory of radiation and all the rest of it I don't know; just have them as lost orks who pick up on the psychic presence of those who're also lost.

Fickies can be a bit crap, it's true. They are intended to be expendable, and during playtesting we found that tracking skills on an army of mostly-useless bullet-catchers was far more trouble than it's worth. Ferals not having access to Doks was part of this same design philosophy; either a Fickie proves himself and becomes a Wildboy or, more likely, he dies a horrible death and is quickly replaced.

This might well be my objection to the mob-structure above continuing, but the whole fickie structure (done to reinforce the Mordheim dynamimc) is needlessly complex and underplays what orks are; yoofs are supposed to emerge as they are from their cocoons in the desert, so making something worse than yoofs just doesn't sit well with me. I'm aware that's a fluff justification for a crunch preference, but that's the way it feels.

We did toy with changing the Squiggoth movement rules, but in the end decided it would add too much time to the playtesting process to be worth it for only one type of vehicle.

Although the rules already exist for Luggas. The only thing that needs to be checked is the numbers available to be gouging the squiggoth, which can be done by comparing with rebel grot mob rosters and lugga-pumping crews.

I'm not aware of the power of the Waaagh being represented in any skirmish-scale games; it's there in Warhammer Fantasy, but there needed to be double-digits of Orcs in combat nearby for it to have any effect, last I played (though there has been a new book since that I haven't read; happy to be corrected on this).

I have no idea on the actual FB rules, but the effect can be magnified by either upping the numbers or making it one point for every non-downed ork on the battlefield. Having the weirdboy as a psyker without the risk of 'eadbang just isn't a weirdboy any more.

Knuckle Under is actually the same skill as Dodgy, from the Cunnin' table.

As Feral Orks are an Oddmob, the Oddmob rescue rules apply (i.e. no fort). But we should probably make this more clear in the PDF.

My mistake; I've not read the Gorkamorka rules for a year or two.