Start Competing: Big Waaagh!

Big Waaagh is an odd duck, as unlike pretty much every army legal in Matched play Age of Sigmar, this one is actually just a amalgamation of three different armies: Ironjawz, Kruleboyz and Bonesplitterz. It takes a little bit from each set of battle traits and adds it’s own set of powerful battle traits on top of that, making it a compelling option for list builders who love having a ton of options, as well as a means of expanding their IJ/KB/BS army into something that plays differently while using their pre-existing collection. Let’s see if the sum ends up bigger than it’s parts.


Why Play Big Waaagh?

It’s a destruction army that plays with your preconceptions of what a destruction army is – while it *can* go heavy aggro and focus on smashing your opponent’s face in as quickly as possible, it truly shines as a toolbox army that is restrained in it’s aggression, getting more powerful as the game progresses and utilising potent combos.


  • Deep Roster – Every single warscroll in the battletome can be taken in a Big Waaagh army, and (with some exceptions) most of the options have compelling reasons to bring them in your waaagh. 
  • Great battle tactics – With a little bit of planning when designing your list, you can quite easily score at least 3 and probably 4 of the battletome tactics without really needing to warp your gameplan too much – a huge boon in the latest season of tricky tactics!
  • Battle Traits – The Power of the Waaagh! is enough to make most armies envious – reliable access to +1 to hit (melee), wound (wound), run, charge & spellcasting helps your units sing and reduce the impact of variance on your games.
  • Wurgogg Prophet – You might find it odd I’d single out one particular unit as a core strength, but it cannot be understated how game warping a well positioned Wurgogg can be.
  • Jack of all Trades… Contrary to what you might expect for Destruction armies, BW is capable of doing well in most if not all phases of the game. Hero phase? The Wurgogg Prophet, Gobsprakk, access to Mighty Destroyers and cheap wizards are all great for it. Shooting? Boltboyz are a glass cannon that will make your opponent sweat their movement phase. Combat? Ironjawz might not be the dominant force they once were in combat thanks to a bit of power creep, but they’re still more than capable of scrapping with the best of them.


  • …Master of None – While we’re pretty good at spellcasting, pretty good in terms of movement, pretty good at shooting and pretty good in the combat phase… we’re not the best at any one thing. Armies that lean into one particular playstyle can generally limit our options by taking one aspect of our game out of play. E.g. an army with better long range shooting can easily kill our Boltboyz.. a spellcasting dominant force can shut down our ability to cast spells etc.
  • Difficult to play – Many abilities & spells are keyword locked to their parent army, or have strict range restrictions meaning it can be difficult to juggle what needs to go where to make your army sing. It’s an army that ultimately relies on synergies which means MANY opportunities to make punishing mistakes.
  • Reliance on heroes – For the army to be competitive it generally needs to have at least 4 and generally 6 heroes in your list, as well as likely needing another enhancement, which means you’re essentially locked into being a highish drop army that gets significantly worse if your opponent’s can kill your heroes early on.
  • Board Control – BW’s options for tarpit units and chaff are mostly poor with the exception of Ardboyz, which means standing on the circles and scoring primary battleplan points can be a challenge as the game progresses. There’s no summoning and very little unit replenishment (just Rally) so every unit lost is keenly felt.
  • Bonesplitterz – This section of the book suffers from feeling underdesigned and overlooked. Most of the units don’t really function well in a Big Waaagh army as they gain the least from BW bonuses and offer less comparative to IJ and KB options.

Competitive Rating – Medium-to-High

While Big Waaagh doesn’t really have any ridiculous options that make the path to victory straightforward and reliable, their flexibility in list design and excellent options means that you can make a list capable of reacting to almost everything the metagame can throw at you. An experienced general can pick the right tool for each job so that at the very least they have a fighting chance into every style of battle plan and every kind of opponent.

Ironskull's Boyz by Alfredo Ramirez
Ironskull’s Boyz Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Battle Traits

Kunnin’, Brutal and Savage

This is the stuff that each ‘tribe’ of Orruk brings with them from their parent allegiance:

Ironjawz have access to Mighty Destroyers, a command ability that can let Ironjawz units move in the hero phase (either a 3″ pile in if they’re already in combat, a normal move if they’re outside of 12″ of all your opponent’s units, and a mandatory attempted charge if they’re within 12″ of any enemy units).

Kruleboyz have access to their signature Venom-encrusted Weapons – meaning 6s to hit with their attacks cause the attack sequence to end and they do mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the weapon.

Bonesplitterz have their Warpaint – granting their units a 6+ ward. It’s not much but it’s something!

‘Ere We Go, ‘Ere We Go, ‘Ere We Go!

A BW unique heroic action that let’s them generate Waaagh Points (covered further down) based off the battle round the heroic action was used in. On the 1st battle round, on a 2+ they gain 1 WP, on the 2nd battle round on a 3+ they gain 2 WP, on the 3rd on a 4+ they gain 3 WP, and so on.

It’s a subtle tool that is mostly used on rounds one & two to help you get to the meaningful bonuses a little sooner.

The Power of the Waaagh!

Over the course of the battle, you generate Waaagh Points (WP) as follows:

D6 points At the start of your hero phase, if your general is on the battlefield
2 points If you have any warchanters on the battlefield
1 point If you have any bonesplitterz wizards on the battlefield
1 point Each time an Orruk keyword unit finishes a charge move in the charge phase
1 point At the end of the combat phase, for each Orruk keyword unit within 3″ of an enemy unit


Or in other words, if you include a Warchanter and a BS wizard, you’ll get D6+3 at the beginning of each of *your* hero phases, with extra generation coming from charging, sticking in combat and the heroic action covered above. What do we get from WP? Escalating bonuses that are cumulative:

Points Bonus
8 +1 to run rolls for friendly Orruk keyword units.
10 +1 to charge rolls for friendly Orruk keyword units.
12 Add 1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for friendly Orruk wizard keyworded units.
16 +1 to hit rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by friendly Orruk keyword units.
20 +1 to wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons used by friendly Orruk keyword units.
24 At the start of the combat phase you can use up your WP to release the power of the Waaagh! When you do, all Orruk keyword units add 1 to the attacks of their melee weapons for the rest of that phase. At the end of that phase however, you lose all accumulated WP as well as the powers on the table unlocked so far.


In practice, it generally means if you don’t go out of your way to charge your opponent round 1 with a bunch of stuff, you’re unlocking up to +1 to your spellcasting by your hero phase round two, likely unlocking +1 to hit/wound on round two or three depending on how aggressive you’re being or how lucky you’re getting on the D6 generation you get from your general. While you can *and will* get into scraps before you get your full bonuses online, generally it’s better to be patient and not commit the bulk of your forces until you unlock most/all of these bonuses. Gaining consistent +1 to hit in melee means suddenly you’re saving CP you would otherwise spend on All-out Attack, as well as meaning you can spend those points on All-out Defence instead, giving us a nice little edge in the resource/buff war. A good thing too, considering this army is very CP hungry thanks to Mighty Destroyers and generally being very active in every phase.

Mount Traits

Standard enhancement rules apply – you can pick 1 of these for one of your Orruk Warclans heroes with a mount, gaining multiple if you use extra enhancements from core battalions.

Tough Un’ Monsters only – while they’re at or above half their total wounds characteristic, they operate on the top row of their damage table. This is very bad and you will never want to take it, for the simple fact that it turns off when you need it most (when they’ve lost over half their wounds), and the degradation of monsters is fairly slight at first anyway.
Fast Un’ Once per battle in your hero phase, the hero can make a normal move. This has fantastic utility for a number of units – you can use this after teleporting the hero with Great Big Hand of Gork to close in for the kill and threaten the entire battlefield, you can use this before using Mighty Destroyers to try and get in range to make a hero phase charge. Even at its most simplest use case of ‘move this dude in the hero phase’ it’s incredible.
Mean Un’ Monsters only – when said monster carries out the Stomp Monstrous Rampage it does d6 mortal wounds on a 2+ instead of d3. Pretty good but suffers from the most awful of conditions – variance.
Loud Un’ Monsters only – when said monster carries out the Roar Monstrous Rampage, pick all enemy units within 3” instead of 1. Shutting off command abilities in an area is very potent on paper, though it won’t often be the case that you need to stop command abilities for EVERY unit the monster is engaged with… and more to the point why is your monster engaged with a ton of enemy units in the first place? That sounds bad!
Weird Un’ This model has a 4+ ward against mortal wounds caused by spells or endless spells. Simple but very useful in the current season where everyone and their fairy god-mother is throwing out Malevolent Maelstroms & Merciless Blizzards. A worthwhile pick if you have an important general you want to protect in a meta you expect to see a lot of wizards in.
Smelly Un’ Subtract 1 from hit rolls made by melee attacks by enemy models that target this model if it has not made a charge move this turn. That last bit is crucial as it means this turns off on the turn the hero gets aggressive, but it’s a potent defensive effect nevertheless and can make things like a Mawcrusha difficult to kill in a prolonged engagement.


I think most of the time you’ll take Fast Un’ due to it’s versatility and applications in all matchups, though Weird Un’ and Smelly Un’ also make a decent argument for themselves depending on matchups.

Wurgogg Prophet by Matt “chimp” Ward

Spell Lores

There are 3 spell lores for BW (+Primal Frost), each locked to use by their allegiances’ wizards (i.e. Ironjawz wizards can take spells from the Ironjawz lore but not the Kruleboyz lore). I won’t be covering every spell here, as some of them are quite frankly just not designed to work with Big Waaagh and are essentially pointless. Instead, I’ll cover the spells that are relevant/good for Big Waaagh armies.

Lore of Primal Frost (Andtorian Locus, GHB 2023-2024)

Gobsprakk and some of the other random Unique wizards we have can’t access these, but there’s two you should definitely keep in mind when listbuilding.

  1. Hoarfrost (CV8, range 12″) – Pick a visible friendly unit within range and select a melee weapon profile of that unit. Then roll a D3 – you may choose to replace either the To Hit, To Wound or Rend characteristic of that profile with the result of the D3 until your next hero phase (1s still  always fail for hits and wounds). Units like Brutes or Gore Gruntas who distribute their damage across multiple weapon profiles get some benefit but not a ton, but this buff sings on units like Ardboyz, a Destroyed equipped Megaboss or Gutrippaz, who would love the rend.
  2. Merciless Blizzard (CV12, range 12″ that cannot be modified or measured from anything other than the caster) – Pick an enemy unit within range and visible, that unit takes 4D6 mortal wounds. For each 1 the caster rolls, the caster takes D3 mortal wounds that cannot be negated. It’s a steep CV but any army that has teleports should give it a serious look due to it’s high power, and BW often has +1 to casts anyway, making it a possibility if you’re running Andtorian Acolytes as a battalion in your army list.

Lore of the Swamp (Kruleboyz)

First up is the Swamp lore, which has four spells that are all useful but situational. It’s primary utility is in debuffing your opponent.

  1. Da Black Pit (CV7, range 12″) – Pick a visible enemy unit within range and roll a dice for each model in the unit, dealing a mortal wound for each dice result that meets or exceeds their save characteristic (6s automatically do a mortal regardless of save). You will never take this as a nominated spell, but Gobsprakk knows the whole spell lore and it’s nice to have access to a ‘horde’ clearer.
  2. Choking Mist (CV7, range 24″) – Pick a point on the battlefield within range – each unit within 6″ of that point gets affected by the mist and until your next hero phase deducts 1 from the attacks characteristic of their melee weapons and cannot run. It’s long effective range (30″) makes it a great round one play if you’re going first to mitigate their ability to spread out across the table, and is just generally useful against melee armies, growing more potent the fewer base attacks and more models the unit has.
  3. Sneaky Miasma (CV6, range 18″) – Pick a friendly Kruleboyz keyword monster within range and visible, that unit can immediately make a normal move. This is useful for helping with the mobility of Sludgerakers but it’s primary utility is for Gobsprakk, who can cast it on himself to move 14″ and get into range to cast an endless spell or Nasty Hex, effectively adding extra range onto them, while still allowing him to move in the movement phase to reposition back to safety.
  4. Nasty Hex (CV7, range 12″) – Pick an enemy unit within range and visible, until the end of your turn they cannot make ward rolls. Situational but devastating against armies that rely on their ward save for their survivability (a lot of centerpiece models, fyreslayers, nurgle, nighthaunt etc).

Lore of the Weird (Ironjawz)

There are four spells here but only two are really relevant as two of them are either awful or made redundant by our battle traits.

  1. Foot of Gork (CV 10, range 18″) – Pick a visible enemy unit within range and do d6 mortal wounds to it. Then roll a dice, on a 4+ you may do another d6 mortal wounds and roll another dice to continue on a 4+. This process stops when either you fail to roll a 4+, or the targeted unit is destroyed. What was previously a meme spell that you laughed at but skipped due to it’s eye watering casting value is now suddenly a compelling and useful tool in your kit thanks to this season’s Primal Dice. The average of 3 dice is 10.5, and with your BW bonus it’s effectively 11.5, making this pretty consistent and a means to give your list a bit of extra ranged oomph.
  2. Da Great Big Hand of Gork (CV7, range 12″) – Pick a friendly Orruk keyword unit within range that is more than 3″ away from all enemy units. You can pick the unit up and set it up again anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ from all enemy units, and said unit cannot move in the following movement phase. Basically an auto include in your list if you have any Weirdnobs in your army, as a teleport is extremely useful to have access to, and it’s not keyword locked to Ironjawz so you can do sneaky stuff like teleporting a unit of Boltboyz into cover halfway up the board to snipe at weakened units or heroes if they’re not protected by look out sir. Note that although it stops affected units from moving in the movement phase, it *does not* stop them from moving in the hero phase, either through Fast Un’ mount trait or Mighty Destroyers for Ironjawz units. (Bonus trick: As Mighty Destroyers forces a charge if you’re within 12″ of an enemy unit, you can instead teleport units with high movement like the Mawcrusha or Gore Gruntas 12.1″ away, then use mighty destroyers to move them to just outside of 3″ in the hero phase… where they’re unable to redeploy in response. Easy charge!)

Lore of the Savage Beast (Bonesplitterz)

The spell lore has 4 spells, with 3 of them we’ll be skipping as they’re either awful (Squiggly Curse), or focused on buffing up Bonesplitterz keyword units… which competitive lists will largely be ignoring so we will be too. If you want to live your best BS BW life I encourage it, but we’ve got so much ground to cover so cuts had to come somewhere.

Gorkamorka’s War Cry (CV7, range 12″) – Pick an enemy unit within range and visible. In the next combat phase, that unit can only be picked to fight at the end of the phase. A strikes last effect is nice to have access to, though as it only lasts until the end of the turn it’s usage is primarily offensive.

Megaboss. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton

Command Traits

Like the spell lore section we’re going to be doing some consolidating here, as there’s five different tables (though I’ll be skipping 2 because lol Bonesplitterz) and a lot of the options are not designed with Big Waaagh armies in mind. I’ll cover the relevant ones to competitive BW armies and note which keyword restrictions they have.

Slippery Skumbag (Killaboss, Snatchaboss or Breaka-boss) – This general can retreat and charge in the same turn. Simple but effective if you’re running a Killaboss on Gnashtoof as your general and want to let him roam your backlines cleaning up enemy units while staying out of risky engagements. C+

Supa Sneaky (Killaboss, Snatchaboss or Breaka-boss) – If the general’s on the battlefield at the start of the first battle round, before determining who takes the first turn you can pick up a Kruleboyz keyword unit on the battlefield and set it up anywhere on the battlefield outside of 9″ of all enemy units. It being restricted to Kruleboyz limits some of the more busted stuff you could do with this, and it’s infinitely better when you have fewer drops than your opponent so you’re making the decision of who goes first when you use this ability, but it’s still useful to have access to if you’re running small Kruleboy packages like a Breaka-boss with Fast Un’ or a unit of 6 Boltboyz you want to put into a forward position so they can contribute to the game quickly. C+ (B in Kruleboyz heavy lists)

Egomaniak (Killaboss, Snatchaboss or Breaka-boss) – If this general is within 3″ of another friendly unit, roll a dice before you allocate a wound/mortal wound to this general or instead of making a ward save. On a 4+, pick 1 friendly unit within 3″ of this general to allocate the wound to instead (they can’t make a ward save for it). A decent survivability buff for these generals who are typically quite fragile (outside of the Gnashtoof), and interestingly it’s not keyword locked so you can pass wounds off onto Ironjawz units like Ardboyz, allied units like Squigs or even a friendly Incarnate. C

Hulking Brute (Megaboss) – When this general makes a charge move, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 1″ of them and roll a dice, on a 2+ they take d3 mortal wounds. Pretty lacklustre effect but the other two options for Megabosses are even worse. D

Touched by the Waaagh! (Ironjawz Wizard) – Before attempting to cast a spell with this general, you must pick a unit within 6″ of them (including themselves). That unit suffers D3 mortal wounds and you add the number of mortal wounds caused to that unit to the casting roll of the subsequent spell. If the Wizard dies as a result of the mortal wounds the spell automatically fails. Primarily useful if you want to improve the chances of getting a key teleport spell off (or Foot of Gork/Unrelenting Blizzard if you’re built different like me), this one’s fun as you can pick enemy units. If you have nothing better to do with your command points you could Mighty Destroyer to charge your weirdnob into combat, dump the mortal wounds from this into them and let their suffering power your magic. Particularly potent when combined with the Weirdnobz warscroll spell he occasionally gets to cast for free. Note that this is done *each* time the Wizard casts a spell. C+

Master of the Weird (Ironjawz Wizard) – The general gets to pick one extra spell from the lore of the weird to know. Extremely niche but there may be situations where you want to have access to Foot of Gork AND Great Big Hand of Gork on the same unit and otherwise can’t take another spell enhancement due to listbuilding constraints. D

Master of Magic (Universal) – You know it, you love it.. it’s a bit weaker in a world where Primal Dice exist and you can’t reroll and THEN use primal dice, but still decent. C+

Shaman of the Chilled Lands (Andtorian Locus, GHB 2023-24) – This general knows all the spells from the Lore of Primal Frost. Merciless Blizzard & Hoarfrost are so good that this becomes a legitimate consideration considering our other options aren’t blowing anyone away. B


As with Command Traits, I won’t be covering everything, just those that I believe are worth competitive consideration, as well as noting keyword restrictions.

Mork’s Eye Pebble (Kruleboyz) – Once per battle at the beginning of your opponent’s shooting phase you may declare you will use this artefact. Until the start of the next phase, all friendly units wholly within 12″ of the bearer gain a 5+ ward. It’s a decent survivability buff against shooting armies though it being limited to one shooting phase is rough, as is the fact it’s useless if your opponent doesn’t have any shooting. D (C+ if KO haunt your nightmares)

Destroyer (Megaboss) – Once per battle at the beginning of a combat phase you may declare you will use this artefact and pick one of the bearer’s weapons – add 3 to the damage characteristic of that weapon until the end of the phase. Note that as an artefact you can’t use it on Mount attacks, but this is still useful as a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ damage boost that can help the army deal with very tough melee units like Immortis Guard or Fyreslayers infantry. A foot megaboss makes best use of it as he has fight on death if he hasn’t fought yet that phase, meaning you can commit him to something and be sure he’ll deliver his destroyer damage before getting destroyed if you need to sequence multiple combat activations in a pivotal turn. This season you probably want to combine this with Hoarfrost in hopes of getting a bit of extra rend on that weapon. B

Glowin’ Tattooz (Bonesplitterz) – The bearer adds 2 to their ward rolls. Note that as they start with a 6+ ward this gives them effectively a 4+ ward save. We haven’t yet touched on the Wurgogg Prophet yet but let’s just make it clear right now – you will be taking a Wurgogg Prophet and your first artefact should almost always be this to be carried by the Wurgogg. We’ll get to why when we cover units. S

Arcane Tome (Universal, non-Wizards) – It’s not the sexiest thing now it’s just making someone into a wizard with access to mystic shield, arcane tome and the ability to cast endless spells, but let’s not forget that mystic shield is still one of the best spells in the game. A-

Core Battalions

There are three of them included with Orruk warclans, but I think only one of them is really relevant to competitive play. Instead what I’ll be doing is touching on which of the Core Battalions a Big Waaagh list is typically interested in and why. Most BW lists take between 5 and 6 leaders, which influences what battalions we are interested in. See our review for GHB 2023-24 for a detailed breakdown of what the Andtorian core battalions specifically do, as I’ll just be talking about their utility in BW armies here.

Command Entourage/Warlord: This mostly goes without saying – Big Waaagh lists are both thirsty for command points AND make excellent use of extra enhancements. In the past it was typically assumed you would take two warlord regiments so that an army could run three artefacts, but this season artefacts are a little less important and spell access a little more, meaning taking a spell enhancement or two is actually a compelling option.

Battle Regiment: While this battalion is very important for many armies, it’s less important for BW as we typically take too many leaders to fit into one battle regiment. That said, if you construct a list that doesn’t need extra enhancements, you can still aim for a 2-4 drop army by taking a CE and a battle regiment or two battle regiments. Oftentimes whether or not a Battle Regiment is worth it is simply a by product of what you have left once you’ve filled the other battalions you need.

Andtorian Acolytes (2-3 Champions): As an army that is interested in maxing out our leaders at 6, Acolytes is a new and exciting option thanks to the bonus it confers. If at the start of the hero phase you have at least two Andtorian Locus in this battalion on the battlefield, you may roll a dice and on a 3+ add a primal dice to your pool. BW armies are typically high drop armies anyway, and if you don’t need any extra enhancements this can help us get ahead in the spellcasting sweepstakes – especially important for our key spells like the teleport, hoarfrost or merciless blizzard.

Wizard-finders of Andtor (1 Champion, 1-2 Infantry units, 0-1 Monsters): This one is a real fringe benefit for situations where you’re already a ton of drops and have a leader to spare and no interest in a battle regiment, but getting bonus attacks on something like a unit of Brutes or Ardboyz against wizards aint nothing.

Ironjawz Fist (2-5 Ironjawz units that aren’t leaders, artillery or behemoths): This Orruk exclusive battalion is primarily useful as something to do if you have taken a combination of multiple Warlords/Command Entourages/Andtorian Acolytes battalions and thus don’t have anything better to do with your Ironjawz units. The bonus is Slayers, a OPG free use of All-out attack or Unleash hell for one unit in the battalion. The latter is useless as Ironjawz units don’t have any shooting, but AOA can have fringe utility early game before you don’t have your BW bonuses up, as well as stacking hit modifiers for armies that rely on penalties to hit like Slaanesh. Besides, what else are you doing to do with those Gore Gruntas and Ardboyz?

Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha Credit: Keewa

Grand Strategies

In an Out, Ladz (Must pick Kruleboyz unit as general): Scored if at the end of the battle your general is alive AND fewer than half of the units in your army have been destroyed. Big Waaagh isn’t an army with particularly great survivability or ranged damage output that makes keeping your units alive realistic. F

Show ‘Em Who’s Boss! (Must pick Ironjawz unit as general): Scored if your general killed two enemy heroes with attacks and is still alive at the end of battle. This is far too easy for your opponent to deny, either by focusing on killing your general, or simply suiciding heroes into other units later on in the game. F

Get Dem Bones! (Must pick Bonesplitterz unit as general): After deployment, pick one terrain feature wholly within your opponent’s territory, and score this GS if at the end of battle you control that terrain feature. Honestly this one isn’t terrible but it requires a Bonesplitterz general which you generally won’t be doing thanks to our battle tactics (explained further below). D

Waaagh!: Scored if at the end of battle either your general or a friendly battleline unit is wholly within enemy territory. This manages to hit the sweet spot of being pretty flexible AND requiring your opponent to play very defensively to realistically stop you from scoring… provided your army has a healthy amount of battleline options and your general isn’t a complete push over. B+

Krump ‘Em All (Must have at least one of Kragnos, Gordrakk and Gobsprakk in army): Scored if your opponent has fewer than 3 units on the battlefield. This is unfortunately what the community describes as a ‘win-more’ grand strategy. In a game where you’re essentially tabling your opponent you won’t need this grand strategy to score anyway, and in a close battle you won’t be able to realistically score this either. F-

Battle Tactics

Orruk Warclans have the unique situation where they’ve actually received extra battle tactics AFTER their books release, with two new options getting added to the army in the Andtor battlescroll to give them eight in total. While some of them are pretty bad, a lot of them are rock solid for BW and as a result the army has an easier time than many armies in scoring 5 battle tactics in every game.

Time to Get Stuck In! – You can only pick this in the first and second battle rounds, and is scored if your nominated general and every unit you have on the battlefield is within 12″ of at least one enemy unit at the end of the turn. This is situational and dangerous to pick, as you can find yourself charging all your stuff in and realising at the end of the turn that you killed all your opponent’s units on a far flank, meaning suddenly those Gore Gruntas are now out of range of any enemy units and you fail the battle tactic. Typically you’ll ignore this, but very occasionally in certain matchups where you expect to focus your resources into specific units and your opponent has set up camp on your side of the table you can plan your turn in such a way that this is an auto score.

Wait for it Ladz… – You can pick this battle tactic only if you have at least 24 Waaagh points at the beginning of the turn, and you score it if you have at least 30 Waaagh points at the end of the turn. This is about as automatic as battle tactics get, as you generally hit 30 Waaagh points by the bottom of round three anyway, and you can pick this and score it round five even if your opponent has tabled you. Non-interactive near automatics are fantastic in AoS, and this is one of the very best.

Squish Da Puny Gitz – You can pick this battle tactic only if you picked an Ironjawz model to be your general and your opponent has at least 1 battleline unit on the battlefield. It’s scored if your opponent has no battleline units on the battlefield at the end of the turn. This is awful in some matchups like summoning or horde armies, and great in situations where your opponent is running bare minimum battleline requirements. Nice to have access to it when the rare situation comes up when your opponent has one or two battleline units left that you’re planning to kill that turn anyway, but needing an Ironjawz general means you won’t necessarily even have access to it.

Kill Da Big ‘Un – You can pick this battle tactic only if you picked a Bonesplitterz model to be your general. Pick 1 enemy monster and kill it with attacks made by a Bonesplitterz unit this turn. Not only will you barely ever be using a Bonesplitterz model as your general, you’ve made some interesting life choices if you’re running Bonesplitterz units substantial enough to engage a monster in combat. Awful.

Take Dat, Ya Suckers! – You can pick this battle tactic only if you picked a Kruleboyz model to be your general. The official wording of this battle tactic is long and convoluted in order to ensure no misinterpretations but the gist of it is – you must allocate at least 10 wounds/mortal wounds to your opponent’s units this turn, while also having less than 10 allocated to your units this turn. This is situationally very powerful but it does require you to plan your turn to mitigate risk to your own units, and is more difficult to score the less ranged threats you have. It’s generally pretty good but it will mean you won’t want to engage multiple dangerous units at the same time this turn lest you find yourself taking too much damage and failing the battle tactic.

Destroyer of Empires – You need a friendly Kragnos on the battlefield for this one – pick an enemy faction terrain feature that hasn’t been demolished and demolish it this turn. No.

Sneak Up – Completed if at the end of the turn all friendly Kruleboyz units are within 3″ of any terrain features and more than 3″ away from all enemy units. While designed for KB armies this is even better for BW, as you could run one or two support units like Gobsprakk and some Boltboyz and have them hang back near terrain features turn one and get an easy early battle tactic. You’ll aim to score this every single game.

Dat’s Our Turf Now – Completed if at the end of the turn you have at least 2 Ironjawz keyword units within 3″ of the center of the battlefield. Another pretty easy battle tactic provided you haven’t completely lost control of the battlefield, with the only way your opponent realistically stopping you from scoring this being to screen out the center of the board from turn one onwards after going first and keeping it protected all game. You’ll aim to score this every single game.

As you can see, between Wait for it, Sneak Up and Dat’s our Turf, BW armies have 3 pretty easy battle tactics to score and generally a fourth if they take a Kruleboyz general in Take Dat. The only real drawback being that you want to take at least one Kruleboyz unit in your army and have the majority of your aggressive units be Ironjawz keyworded… which luckily enough is exactly what Big Waaagh wants to be doing anyway.

Unit Selection

Like Gareth Hall did in his Blades of Khorne Start Competing, I’m going to break units down into categories that fulfil similar roles and discussing them together. I won’t be covering every warscroll in the book, mainly because most of the Underworlds warbands are terrible and the Bonesplitterz section of the book is made redundant by Ironjawz mostly having better alternatives in the same niche.

Weirdboy Warphead or Warchanter – Credit Beanith

Must Have Leaders

Let’s start off by discussing what are effectively ‘must takes’ in any Big Waaagh army due to the way the battle traits are constructed:

Warchanter – The Warchanter is a mainstay of Ironjawz lists and is just as effective in BW armies if not more so for a few reasons – Firstly, having at least one on the battlefield at the beginning of your turn means 2 extra WP, a vital resource we want to get to 20 to unlock our major bonuses as quickly as possible. Secondly, their Fixin’ Beat ability is only keyword locked to Orruk units, meaning unlike many ability interactions in the Orruk Warclans book this can be used on non-Ironjawz units like the Wurgogg Prophet, Gobsprakk or other injured support units. Violent Fury is one of the best buffs for Ironjawz units in the game (who doesn’t love +1 damage on all of a units melee profiles?), and bringing two is often a pretty good idea if you’re running a fair amount of Ironjawz units as that means you can bring both Fixin’ Beat and Get ‘Em Beat to help boost your armies reach.

Wurgogg Prophet – Okay it’s time to talk about the alpha dog, the real power behind the throne that Kragnos pretends to sit on. The Wurgogg Prophet (for only 170 points) gives you a two cast wizard, a WP each turn for having at least 1 BS Wizard, as well as a 6+ ward (improved to a 4+ if you’ve taken the Glowin’ Tattoos) and seven wounds. This alone makes him a very durable spellcaster that can anchor your backlines if you give him Merciless Blizzard, but that’s not all. At the start of your hero phase, the Wurgogg can give up his spellcasting for the turn and instead use his mask on an enemy unit that’s visible and within 12″ of him. Roll a dice, on a 3+ the enemy unit takes d3 mortal wounds. Then, you can choose to roll another dice – on a 3+ the enemy takes d3 mortal wounds, but on a 1-2 the Wurgogg takes d6 mortal wounds. This process can be repeated (even if a follow up stare fails) endlessly until either the Wurgogg is dead, the Wurgogg choses to stop this mad game of russian roulette, or the enemy unit is dead. D6 mortal wounds for every 1-2 on the dice roll sounds bad, but with a 4+ ward and 7 wounds its actually going to take quite a bit of poor variance for him to unexpectedly blow himself up.

You can generally expect to do roughly 16-20 mortal wounds to an enemy unit before he kills himself assuming average rolls, but of course this is a series of single dice rolls and variance can be quite high. Sometimes the Wurgogg will effortlessly stare off an entire unit of Stormdrakes without breaking a sweat, and other times you’ll fail twice in a row, roll 2 5s for self inflicted mortal wounds and fail all your wards. The trick with the Wurgogg is calculating the odds as you keep staring and working out how far you’re willing to push your Wurgogg into the danger zone before stopping. Often times it’s safer to stop when the Wurgogg is on 3 or 4 wounds left and healing him back up with Fixin Beat & Heroic Recovery ready for another go on a subsequent turn, than burning him out and losing it for the remainder of the battle. As long as the Wurgogg is alive, your opponent has to respect the ludicrous 12″ threat bubble he’s projecting, and will either do their very best to keep all of their units outside of 12″ of the Wurgogg, or commit only resources that are either extremely durable themselves or the general is willing to sacrifice in the name of achieving other objectives. Remember that as it’s a beginning of hero phase trigger you can choose to do this before heroic actions or even picking a battle tactic, so you can stare and then heal up afterwards with heroic recovery, or pick a more aggressive battle tactic if the Wurgogg has outperformed expectations and freed up another one of your units that was stuck in combat.

There’s so much that can be said about the Wurgogg (and we’ve not even talked about his excellent horde clearer warscroll spell that’s both long range and gets even better when combined with Primal dice), but we have to move on because I think my nose is bleeding.

Orruk Brutes. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton


Your opponent’s army is essentially just a series of nails you need to address, and hammers are what we’re going to use to reconstitute them into a fine paste.

Gore Gruntas – One of the most versatile units we have, they have a combination of fantastic mobility (with Mighty Destroyers), great damage output when they’re hitting and wounding on 2s and decent damage with Violent Fury applied to them. Just about their only weaknesses are that they’re not battleline in Big Waaagh, and their bravery is pretty poor meaning Battleshock is a real problem. Most lists will want to run at least six in a combination of either 2 sets of 3 or a unit of 6. Why? well they make a great pinning unit if given first turn (and you often will be as a naturally high drop army with potential for devastating double turns), as they can cover the board effortlessly and spread out to tag multiple units in combat and pin your opponent in their deployment zone. A nice side benefit of this sort of tactic is that you’ll gain 1 WP for the charge and another if you’re able to remain in combat at the end of the turn, meaning they provide a good source of early WP as well.

Megaboss on Mawcrusha – He’s a pricey thing, but this prestigious pie plate can do a lot of high quality damage, and can do so while throwing out roars and threatening the entire board through a combination of Fast Un’ mount trait, Mighty Destroyers and it’s naturally high movement. That said, unlike in Ironjawz the game plan isn’t just to push every thing you have into your opponent’s face, as you don’t have access to smashing and bashing to chain activations, and there isn’t an Ironjawz Waaagh incentivising you to go all in on one combat phase either. The cabbage in BW is best utilised as a bully piece, lurking in the back of your castle and serving mainly to punish early aggression to your back lines, before spilling out into the middle of the board when mid game rolls around and you’ve ideally taken out a hammer or two so he can steam roll into late game.

Brutes – They’re pretty damn cheap at 140 for 5, and a unit of 10 will often put out more damage than 6 Gore Gruntas to armoured targets as they have rend on all of their attacks (whereas pigs have more than half their attacks coming from the rendless pigs). Their biggest issue is mobility, so including them will require you to either be maximising their movement by investing Mighty Destroyers commands in them early game, or teleport them so they can take the short path into your opponent’s cranium. Once they get into combat they’re great, if a tad vulnerable due to only a 4+ save. They even come with a fringe benefit in shutting off objective contesting for enemy models with a wounds characteristic of 1 or 2 nearby them, giving them a lot of play into armies that rely on just sticking some zombies or ghouls in the middle points and calling it a day.

Megaboss on Foot (with Destroyer artefact) – We touched on this in the artefact section but if your army is low on hammers you can squeeze in a pretty cheap one if you can spare an artefact for the Megaboss and are able to teleport him into position. He’s cheap at 140 and will almost always make his points back if you send him into low armour save targets like an angry green bowling ball.

Sludgeraker – This is slightly more of a hipster pick than most, as a Sludgeraker is a bit of a luxury pick when there’s so much competition for our limited leader slots, but a Sludgeraker is an aggressive, customizable and mobile hammer that is significantly cheaper than a Mawcrusha and can crack units the Cabbage can’t thanks to it’s mortal wound output. If your list is running a number of Boltboyz and a Swampcalla Shaman (and perhaps if you’re slightly mad a bunch of Gutrippaz) he gets even better as a force multiplier for them thanks to his poison buffing aura. Ultimately there’s probably better options, but I’ve taken him in BW lists to tournaments and he’s always been pretty good.

Honorable Mentions – Breaka-boss on Mirebrute Troggoth is a unit that can really punch above its weight thanks to a potential 10 rend 2 damage 3 attacks, though it’s low movement and poor defences mean you have to support it with Fast Un’, Supa Sneaky or a teleport to really make him work. Kragnos lacks the Orruk keyword to truly shine in Big Waaagh, but he’s still one of the scariest hammers in the game and I can’t *stop* you from taking him, even if he’s just a Beastman who wandered too far from their original Grand Alliance. Big Stabbas don’t require any buff pieces to do their thing which can give them some value if you want something budget.

Man-skewer Boltboyz – Credit: RichyP


Surprisingly, Big Waaagh have a few ‘scalpels’, going against type and providing the army a few options for delivering precision damage in the right place to take out support pieces, weakened units or flourish on the flanks.

Manskewer Boltboyz – The main ranged damage threat we have, and it’s hard to go wrong with including 6 in any BW list. Their ability to threaten damage at 24″ range and unload even more damage at close range on the defensive make them just another variable your opponent has to deal with when deciding when and how to move their units. They’re very fragile for their cost however, and they can’t move AND shoot at their 24″ threat range, meaning if you want them to threaten a defensive castle they’ll need to take a turn off shooting to move up, or rely on a teleport to reposition them. Having at least *something* to make your opponent think about burning command points in the shooting phase for All-out defence is useful from a strategic standpoint.

Killaboss on Gnashtoof/Vulcha – The Gnashtoof is a very tanky mobile piece with a natural 3+ save and 10 wounds for only 120 points, while still able to do enough damage to act as a reasonable assassin or bully piece on the flanks. If you want something a bit pricier, the Vulcha gives you even more movement with the trade-off of being a bit more vulnerable with only a 4+ save, though being a Monster he’s better able to flip objectives under your control and contribute key Roars. Generally you’ll take a Gnashtoof or not bother with a Killaboss at all, but both of these options are priced to move and are worth consideration.

Honorable Mention: Kruleboyz Regiment of Renown – While the Kruleboyz regiment of renown can’t be taken in a Kruleboyz army, it CAN be taken in a Big Waaagh army, and they have all the relevant keywords to still benefit from buffs as if they were just two units of 3 Boltboyz and a Killbow. I don’t think a Killbow is worth taking in a BW army for 80 points, but if you’re taking 6 boltboyz *anyway* and have 50 points spare AND a leader slot empty (a big ask), it’s not a bad price for an extra artillery piece that will occasionally make your boltboyz more effective at hunting monsters.

Ardboyz. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton


Absorbing charges, holding objectives, bogging down enemy units, anvils are just as much a threat as hammers.

Ardboyz (reinforced) – These guys are a versatile piece and turn up in two sections, almost showing up in a third. They’re very efficient in terms of points paid per wound you’re putting on the table, and a 4+ save (with 2 in 5 models having a 6+ ward) means they’re also a fairly tough too. That said, that alone is not enough to make them an anvil – it’s their synergy with Warchanters that pushes them over the top. If they have a musician and they issue the Rally command to themselves while wholly within 12″ of a friendly Warchanter, they rally each model on a 4+ instead of a 6+. This gives them the unique ability within this army to reasonably grind out engagements against other units that aren’t dedicated units. They’re not true anvils, but they are the closest thing we have and with mystic shield and all-out defence they can approximate an anvil.

Gutrippaz – I really debated even covering this unit at all as they’re not *quite* good enough to excel in any role, but they act as a sort of hybrid Anvil/Scalpel unit if well supported with other Kruleboyz units like the Sludgeraker to buff their damage and the Shaman to boost their damage even further OR give them elixirs for an extra +1 save. Their Skare shields give them a natural -1 to hit defence against units that aren’t heroes or monsters, and they can block out more space than Ardboyz units can without using up reinforcement points. They’re still largely worse than Ardboyz in this roll, but depending on how you’ve built your list they warrant consideration.


Screens aren’t as sexy as they were in second edition, as many armies would rather fit into a single battle regiment and thus are limited in the amount of troops units they can take, pushing them towards reinforcing larger units with their points.. but armies that go high drops like BW can really benefit from running screens as a means to protect the inner castle and mitigate how much damage you take when your opponent charges you.

Ardboyz (MSU) – MSU means minimum sized unit, and for Ardboyz that means a unit of 5 for 80 points. While they don’t string out a load of 25mm bases like other armies screen’s, they are significantly tougher than other screens and have the unique ability to be powered up into a pseudo anvil when given Violent fury later in the game when your main hammers have been destroyed.

Honorable Mentions – Hobgrots are technically our most bargain basement screen, clocking in at 80 points for 10 25mm bases that won’t really do much damage, die considerably faster than Ardboyz and don’t benefit at all from many BW buffs as they lack the Orruk keyword… but they’re on 25mm bases and can technically screen out a larger section of the board as a result.

Gobsprakk, the Mouth of Mork. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton


With access to three different spell lores and the lore of frost, BW are capable of a great deal of customisation in terms of magic output. Several of their options are very cheap too, and most BW lists will run at least 2-3 of them this season to cash in on Primal dice madness. We’ve already covered the Wurgogg, but yes he’s the best one in this section too.

Gobsprakk – Perhaps one of the game’s most confusingly presented units, it’s a very expensive kit at full retail that builds a large and imposing model – this thing sits on the largest base GW plastic kits include. You would think he would be a centerpiece model in the same sort of price range as Kragnos, Nagash or Teclis. Let’s dispel any illusions here right away – Gobsprakk is not a centerpiece model and his warscroll at first glance does not excite. That said, at 240 points he provides a great deal of flexibility to a Big Waaagh army as he knows the whole Kruleboyz spell lore and can cast two spells a turn. He’s a highly mobile Wizard with 14″ move and a 6+ ward on top of his t-shirt 5+ save, so he won’t easily die to your opponents long range spellcasting (though shooting will still give him fits). In the season of Andtor however, Gobsprakk shines thanks to his anti-magic capabilities, as he does d3 mortal wounds to any wizard whose spell he unbinds, with d6 mortal wounds inflicted instead if he unbinds on a 10+ or more. Once per game he can unbind on 3 dice instead of 2, and Primal dice stack with both of these abilities to give you a slight edge in the Primal dice economy early game and the ability to shut down your opponent’s weaker casters lest they get blown up by his unbinds. Lastly, he’s a monster for access to Monstrous Rampages and threatens just enough damage in combat that he can clean up very weakened units or harass the flanks as the game goes on and you run low on resources. I love this guy so much I wrote about him a year ago in great detail, much of which is still relevant now.

Weirdnob Shaman – He’s 90 points for a very simple warscroll and a 1 cast wizard. His best asset is that he’s cheap and he’s the only way you can access the Ironjawz spell lore and thus Hand/Foot of Gork. If you want a teleport you need to bring one along, so consider it a tax and move on. He has a amusing warscroll spell you can technically cast for free if you’re near at least 10 Ironjawz units at the end of the phase, but it will rarely come up due to the spell’s short range.

Swampcalla Shaman – The kruleboyz equivalent is a touch more expensive and is likewise a 1 cast wizard. The difference from the Weirdnob is minor, as he gives access to the Kruleboyz spell lore instead. Gobsprakk often makes him redundant as he knows the whole spell lore, but this fella can go in an Acolytes battalion, take Primal Frost spells like the Weirdnob and even hand out defensive/offensive buffs in Elixirs/Poisons to friendly Kruleboyz units. Generally this season if you’re running 6 Boltboyz you’ll add one of these guys to let them do mortal wounds on 5s and 6s to hit, and if you run more Kruleboyz units their value only goes up.

Honorable Mention – The Wardokk is technically our cheapest wizard who can access Primal Frost spells at 80 points, and they can give up their spellcasting to give the Wurgogg a +1 to casts/unbinds until your next hero phase which can be of fringe utility if you find successfully casting spells in your local metagame difficult. The Maniak Weirdnob is a fun way to extend the range of Merciless Blizzard as he can take the Fast ‘Un mount trait to give the unit effectively a 24″ range blizzard, or combine it with teleport to get right in front of their screens and blizzard what lurks behind.

Squig Herd
Credit: Raf Cordero


If your soup army somehow isn’t soupy enough, you can add even more ingredients by incorporating a Regiment of Renown, some Gitz or an Incarnate.

Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur – I would be remiss to not at least touch on the Incarnate in a season where their utility is a little higher than normal due to the expected increase in Endless spells running around and the new Primal spell to force the Incarnate wild. Ultimately I’m not convinced that the Incarnate offers enough over a Mawcrusha to justify the extra 30 points, but as it is a Behemoth rather than a Leader it does provide a little bit of flexibility in listbuilding. That said, BW has little to offer the Incarnate and I would proceed with caution when adding this critter to your list.

Rockgut/Fellwater Troggoths – These guys are pretty plug and play in any army that can ally them, as most of the things that make them sing are on the warscroll itself and can transfer readily enough to another army. Rockguts offer a somewhat sturdy hammer/anvil whose ward is even more valuable with more mortal wounds running around, and the Fellwater Troggoths pair nicely with either Ardboyz or Gutrippaz when embedded in their formation at the front of your lines (-1 to hit aura helping with defences and their vomit giving both units effectively a pip of rend). Poor bravery and thus the need to babysit them with a totem is a considerable drawback, but you could do far worse.

Skragrott, the Loon King – It speaks to how good this guy’s warscroll is that even at 230 points and with half of his features stripped out as an ally (no spell lore access, Bad Moon abilities irrelevant) you can still make a reasonable argument for his inclusion. One free CP a turn is just very efficient, and his warscroll spell offers you some extra long range damage on a platform that’s not easily killed off, even if it doesn’t work well with primal dice.

Squig Herd – If you’re running an Egomaniak Kruleboyz general like a Sludgeraker, there’s a fun little interaction here that might give you a reason to include 24 Squig herd. Egomaniak just specifies that ‘friendly units’, so you can bounce damage taken by the General onto these guys, who can then replenish themselves with the Squig Herders and even possible do mortal wounds back to enemy units in the battleshock phase. They’re fairly killy for a screen, though you will need a high triumph bid for Indomitable to help them.

Shootas/Stabbas – For 120 points you can have 20 25mm bases that you can string out into an infuriating screen that are surprisingly tricky to kill with their netters well positioned. Big Waaagh lack any truly great screens, and these guys are basically tailor made for that role, with Shootas giving you a bit of chip damage and Stabbas better objective play if either version miraculously lives past the first five minutes of combat.


Odds and sods that don’t fit well into any of the above – some units I’ll be discussing primarily to justify why they don’t work well in Big Waaagh.

Ironskull’s Boyz – For the same cost as a MSU unit of Ardboyz you can take these guys, who have one less model and lack the command models of Ardboyz, but trade that for a more potent set of attack profiles (notably -1 rend) and slightly better defences thanks to all models sporting a 6+ ward (with the champ getting a 5+ ward). The difference between these guys and Ardboyz is marginal, but these guys make an annoying threat for your opponent to deal with as they can take a lightly defended point and require a surprising amount of resources to actually put down. Just be aware that unlike Ardboyz these guys are not battleline so they make scoring the Waaagh! grand strategy harder.

Marshcrawla Sloggoth – This dude has been a fixture in Gitz armies thanks to the +1 to hit aura, but this guy’s somewhat redundant in Big Waaagh as you can get +1 to hit from the Big Waaagh battle traits fairly quickly. He’s also lacking the Orruk keyword, so ends up missing out on a ton of the synergies in the army anyway.

Murknob – Clocking in at a whopping 70 points, this dude is mostly an afterthought and should likely remain so… with one very specific exception. If for some reason you have decided to lean somewhat heavily into Kruleboyz in your unit selection, one or two of these guys can provide a fantastic layer of magic defence in a season where we expect to see a lot more magic than normal. It’s protection only extends to Kruleboyz keyword units however, so if he’s going to do little more than help himself just don’t bother.

Credit: Muggins

List Building

As we’ve covered, there’s a lot of options at your disposal when it comes to constructing your army list. People have played around with BW lists since the books launch at the beginning of third edition, but generally those lists that have been successful have grown out of date with the number of points changes, battlepack adjustments (RIP Arcane Tome teleport on a Mawcrusha, or Tunnel Master on a Destroyer Megaboss) and so on. That said, the Andtor battlepack and it’s associated battlescroll have opened options up considerably and there’s a few exciting archetypes we can look at.

Ironjawz Remixed

As you might imagine from the title, this archetype focuses on loading up on as many Ironjawz units as possible with a light touch of Kruleboyz and Bonesplitterz, more-so for battle trait/battle tactics reasons than anything else. Generally this style of list will run a Mawcrusha with Destroyer, a bunch of Gore Gruntas and Brutes as hammers, and some Ardboyz as screens and to fill out battleline. In terms of support pieces, the army brings Gobsprakk for a two cast Wizard that they can make the general for access to Sneak up and Take Dat, Ya Suckers! battle tactics, two Warchanters, a Weirdnob with teleport and a Wurgogg because you would be a fool not to run one. Some generals will even cut Gobsprakk and go pure Ironjawz + Wurgogg, and this build has historically done pretty well.

The basic gameplan of the list is to act like a pseudo-Ironjawz list that has the option to play a little less aggressively if the matchup warrants it. As you don’t have Smashin’ and Bashin’ like a true Ironjawz army you’ll generally want to commit only one or two units in combat a turn, and control the middle with a castle of Ardboyz and the Wurgogg. The Gore Gruntas will be used to pin your opponent into your opponent’s deployment early game and the Brutes lurk in your castle, ready to either teleport into the fray or act as a counter punch defensively if your opponent ends up the aggressor.

Ironjawz/Kruleboyz Blend

This is the style of list I’ve been using and adapting since the books release, and it’s a fun style of army to play as it leans into the ‘jack of all trades’ mentality and plays very reactively, incorporating most of the books key units in some fashion to give you as many tools in your toolkit as possible and thus options to deal with your opponent’s gameplan.

You take the basic shell of the Ironjawz build above, but remove the Mawcrusha for 450 points to play with and replace the leader with either a foot Megaboss (so you retain at least double use of Mighty Destroyers) or one of the other cheaper melee leaders. This, along with some shuffling of Ardboyz/Brutes/Gore Gruntas numbers should give you enough wiggle room to add in 6 Boltboyz to give the army a substantial ranged element when combined with the Wurgogg.

This list wants to play a lot more defensively, wanting to force your opponent to come to you and leverage the potency of Boltboyz at short range. If you wanted, you could even invest even more into spellcasting by subbing your sixth leader for another foot wizard and loading up on endless spells and a spell enhancement. There’s a lot of wiggle room within this archetype.

Diverse Big Waaagh

As you can tell by now, there’s a lot of friction in deciding what to do with your 6 leader slots, which isn’t helped when most lists feel like they need at minimum 2 Warchanters to function effectively. One of the ways you can address this problem is through a combination of focusing on MSU style Ironjawz units, as well as bringing more Kruleboyz, Bonesplitterz or even allied options. This means you can drop down to one Warchanter and open up another Leader slot for something more exotic.

Starting with the obligatory Wurgogg, Warchanter and a Weirdnob, you fill your battleline with some MSU Ardboyz and maybe one reinforced unit of Brutes to act as a mid-game hammer, then take the army in whatever direction you fancy. If you find yourself wanting to add 6-12 Boltboyz that means you would benefit a great deal from a Sludgeraker and a Swampcalla Shaman, with a slot spare for a Mirebrute or even a Gnashtoof if you want to bring along some Gutrippaz to benefit from the Sludgerakers aura.

Alternatively, the Kruleboyz regiment of renown or other allied options like Squigs, Stabbas/Shootas or even Troggs can help provide you with bodies/hammers. BW is flexible enough that it can realistically be whatever you want it to be within reason, though keep in mind obviously that the more allies you include the trickier your book battle tactics could become and your battle traits give you less value.

Swampcalla Shaman. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton

Competitive Lists (points correct at time of event)

Danny Elvestad – 1st Place at 2d6 Oslohammer #5 July 22nd 2023 (5-0)

Danny's List - Click to Expand

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
– Army Type: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
– Triumphs: Indomitable


1 x Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)*
– Spells: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork

1 x Wurrgog Prophet (170)*
– Artefacts: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Spells: Hoarfrost

1 x Megaboss on Maw-krusha (450)**
– General
– Command Traits: Hulking Brute
– Boss Choppa and Rip-toof Fist
– Artefacts: Destroyer
– Mount Traits: Fast ’Un

1 x Gobsprakk (240)***

1 x Orruk Warchanter (120)***

1 x Orruk Warchanter (120)***


5 x Orruk Brutes (140)**
– Brute Boss
– Boss Klaw & Brute Smasha
– Jagged Gore-hacka

5 x Orruk Ardboys (80)**

5 x Orruk Ardboys (80)***


3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
– Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka

6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)**
– Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka


*Andtorian Acolytes

**Battle Regiment


TOTAL POINTS: (2000/2000)

This is a lean green mean machine, acting as effectively an Ironjawz list with Gobsprakk and a Wurgogg. This list can still play the typical Ironjawz gameplan of ‘smash face turn one’, but it’s got enough in it’s bag of tricks to hold back a little bit through it’s improved battle tactic access.

The list can have a core castle of the Ardboyz screen and brutes protecting the casters and the Mawcrusha, while 3 Pigs advance up to pin and generate BW points and the other 6 hang back a little bit and focus on objectives. As the BW buffs come online the brutes can be teleported, the Cabbage can hurtle forward with shocking speed and the 6 Pigs can become an exceptional hammer.

If the opponent’s army is a castle army with fragile defenses, the army can instead Mighty Destroyer 3 times with the Mawcrusha to put both pig units and himself into position for a turn one charge, possibly even supplemented by the Brutes if the teleport is successful for a ton of early pressure. If the list is given first turn and they corner deploy, Gobsprakk can cast Choking Mists to reduce their mobility and negate the effectiveness of a double turn by enemy melee and minimum investment can be put into contesting objectives.

Mike Chadderton (that’s me!) – 6th Place at Leeds GT August 5th 2023 (4-1)

My List - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Breaka-Boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)**
– Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
Gobsprakk, The Mouth of Mork (240)***
Orruk Warchanter (120)***
– Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Warchanter (120)***
– Warbeat: Get ‘Em Beat
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)*
– General
– Command Trait: Shaman of the Chilled Lands
– Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
– Lore of the Weird: Foot of Gork
Wurrgog Prophet (170)*
– Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Lore of Primal Frost: Hoarfrost
– Lore of Primal Frost: Merciless Blizzard

5 x Orruk Ardboys (80)**
5 x Orruk Ardboys (80)**
15 x Orruk Ardboys (240)**
– Reinforced x 2
10 x Orruk Brutes (280)**
– Jagged Gore-hackas
– Reinforced x 1

6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)**
– Jagged Gore-hackas
– Reinforced x 1

Endless Spells & Invocations
Malevolent Maelstrom (30)

Core Battalions
*Andtorian Acolytes
**Battle Regiment
***Command Entourage – Magnificent

Additional Enhancements

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 161
Drops: 6

Yeah I’m flexing a little by featuring my own list, but there aren’t that many tournament results to pull lists from anyway and this one’s a little different than above. By taking out a Mawcrusha I can fit in a lot more stuff and go for a more spellcasting based approach. A spell enhancement means I can have more of a tool-box approach, having backup Blizzard/Hoarfrost on my general as well as Foot of Gork for a bit of extra reach.

The Mirebrute serves as a budget alternative to the Mawcrusha, giving me a bully piece I can have behind my screens or something I can teleport off to engage a flank by himself. All the points saved means I am running a lot more ‘meat’ in my list, with 5 more Brutes and 15 more Ardboyz. I love one unit of 15 as an anvil that I can string out to block out a lot of space, then remove casualties from the front in order to get out of combat and rally back the following turn, see below for an example:

Mirebrute lurks behind the Ardboyz, poised to strike

It has less Gore Gruntas so it’s a little less aggressive, and wants to play a more defensive gameplan – I want to hold onto primary points as long as I can with my bodies and get my value from good counter attacks and easy battle tactics.

 Wrapping Up

The thinking man’s Waaagh requires a change in approach when playing for those used to other destruction armies, but they offer a ton of versatility and are well positioned for this season and beyond thanks to their access to powerful options for most things you can reasonably do in this game. That said, the trade off to this flexibility is that there are many mistakes to be made due to the sheer complexity of trying to overlay three separate armies on top of one another.

There are no ‘free wins’ to be had with this army, and worse still your opponent will generally always be better than you at SOME aspect of the matchup. With practice, thoughtful listbuilding and a good plan though, you can walk into every matchup with a fighter’s chance of success. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

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