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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Animosity

The new Orcs and Goblins book hit the stores this past weekend and, naturally, Troll Tales will feature an extensive army review along with some initial tactical and army building advice. To start things out, we take a look at one of the most integral attributes of the army: Animosity.

All in all, the new Animosity table became a lot less frustrating and quite a bit more entertaining for us players, as no longer will each one of our units (on average) do nothing once every game. Gone are also the old school of thought that preached that no Orc Boyz mobs should be without a Black Orc to instill order in the ranks. However, Animosity can still prove bothersome.

For those who have yet to read their copy of the book, Animosity tests are failed on '1's as before, but if you happen to do so, you roll again on the animosity table. 2-5, you have to declare a charge on the nearest enemy or do nothing for that turn. A second straight roll of 1 has your mob attack the nearest other "friendly" mob prone to animosity, causing both to do nothing for that turn. A second roll of 6 means your unit moves forward towards the nearest enemy and is forced to charge it. A Black Orc character in the unit will bash some 'eads to instill order if the mob ever fails its Animosity roll. However, as long as you survive the first round without squabbles, Animosity becomes much less of a bother and thus the need for Black Orc characters diminish. Most of those failed rolls will merely force you to charge, which is alright in most instances and much preferred to simply doing nothing, or getting a D6 S5 hits from the Black Orc. Letting a Black Orc led your Boar Boyz is probably an even worse idea now than it was in the old book. That said, a roll of  '1' followed by a second one (hereby known as "Get 'Em!") does happen at times, and when it does it can cripple an entire flank and make you wish you brought more Black Orc Bosses to the field.*

A good way of countering the risk for "Get 'Em!" rolls is, as usual, to deploy accordingly. If you consider that a mob will attack the nearest animosity-prone unit within 12" it does seem to suggest that you should separate your animosity units from one another, but obviously a deployment must be kept tight for the Inspiring Presence of the General to reach everywhere. A good idea is therefore to bring other units that won't suffer from animosity and deploy these in between. For example, a mob of Trolls deployed 3 wide (or Black Orcs deployed 6 wide) next to a Chariot separating your two animosity mobs will get you the golden 12" while still maintaining a tight battleline. Remember to measure beforehand as you plan your deployment.  

* Note that although a Black Orc character will prevent their own unit from squabbling, if a nearby unit fails their roll and attacks you, Black Orc or no, both units will be crippled.