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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spored to be Wild

Grubwazza 3One of my quirks is that whenever I get into something new, I research it exhaustively until I’m up to speed with many of the other veterans of the area. Part of this led me to Gorkamorka. I’ve yet to play my first game, but it didn’t take me long to put together my first warband, fully magnetized of course.

However, I think I managed to approach my warband differently from many other players. I’ve noticed an overwhelming majority of players that get a Nob, a Spanna and a bunch of boyz and load them all up in a trukk. This certainly seems effective, but it is common with Ork warbands. One of the greatest weapons Orkz have is their unpredictable nature. So with this in mind, I set out to be an unpredictable warband. I went with bikes.

Having all my boyz in one trukk reminded me too much of “All your eggs in one basket.” If something happens to that trukk, then I’m walkin’ everywhere and I hate walkin’. It also means that my opponent only has to really keep his eye on one target, which is not the kind of challenge I want to present to him. Another thing that shouted, “Bikes!” was that I chose a warband of Morkers. Morkers are inherently better drivers. All their boyz have access to the Driving skills, not just Nobz and Spannaz. So bikes it was. There is, however, a design problem with bikes. They’re small. The stock bike has absolutely zero transport capacity, though there are rules for transporting passengers on a bike (They don’t get protected by the vehicle’s armor. Sucks to be them).

Grubwazza-1 This got me thinking. How could I carry a passenger adequately without having an armored compartment on the bike? I dove into my bitz box, thinking like a mek, and came up with a solution. Rhino side hatches. One of these little puppies is a perfect size to hold one model on it, and looks like something an Ork would grab and weld onto his bike for an exposed platform to carry one unlucky passenger. This allows for a couple of strategies. I can concentrate all my fire power onto one target by driving my bikes in a group. This gives three linked Shootaz, plus any weapons that the passengers are carrying. If I find myself in a situation that calls for a little divide and conquer, I can split the bikes up and drive around collecting scrap and rapidly redeploying my forces while my opponent has to decide which of the three he actually wants to go after (same reason any animal travels in packs). Having bikes with limited and exposed transport space is balanced by the fact that I can’t be boarded. I also have the advantage, when going against Muties, of having wingmen to watch each other’s back instead of having one vehicle as the target for every hostile on the board. With the driving abilities that will open up to the Bikerz when they gain experience, it will be easier to do crazy things with the bikes, and they’re generally faster than everything else since they get their first Boost for free.Naffgit Da Krotch Rokkit
But, now that I’ve settled on how I’m going to deliver my boyz into the thick of it, I need to figure out what they’re going to do once they get there. I had the choice of running a bunch of standard, rank-and-file Slugga/Choppa boyz, or make them each with their own style and focus. I went with individualism because it’s something that’s very difficult to do on a 40k level with Orkz.
Now, I needed some dedicated anti-vehicle power because of my total lack of Big Gunz. For this, I made one of my Bikerz with Krak Stikkbombz. I figure he can catch anything and get close enough to lob one of these bad boyz into something important while on a bike, so he’s my travelling anti-tank missile. Since he’s also most likely to get closest to vehicles, I put a dedicated hand-to-hand boy as his passenger. Slugga/Choppa and bad attitude, I’ll probably groom him for the nastiest fighting, either jumping off the bike onto trukkz and trakkz, or just jumping off the bike onto enemies. Either way, he’s jumping off the bike.
After that, I needed some dedicated ranged anti-infantry. For this, I went with a Biker armed with Frag Stikkbombz and a passenger with a Blunderbuss. This will make for some mean strafing runs on groups of enemies on the ground.

My nob, being the biggest and da ‘ardest, gets to ride around on his bike with my spanner. The spanner has a simple shoota, but the nob got a choppa, slugga and frag stikkbombz. He’s a bit of an all-comers kinda fighter. He also kinda acts a bit like a body guard for the Spanna since if my Spanna bites it, I’m gonna have a serious problem with my bikes.Grubwazza 2
Because GoMo is so vehicle-centric, one of the first things that young nobz should invest in is probably a second spanna. Someone that can step in and take over the duties of the primary spanna if, Mork forbid, they get iced somewhere out on the Skid. Just remember that this extra spanna is still going to need someplace to ride so you may want to save up until you have enough for at least a bike for him, if not a full-on trukk/trakk/buggy. Now, this advice is mostly for Ork mobs (including Freebootaz) and Dark Eldar mobs (If you’re playing with those rules). Diggaz have no limitation on Spannaz, Muties don’t use vehicles, while Dust Rats and Grotz are so different that the advice listed above simply doesn’t apply.
Anyway, that’s why I chose a biker mob!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gorkamorka mob, Grubwazza's Findaz

'Ere are my boyz, Grubwazza's Findaz. They're a dead 'ard band of Morkaz with a knack for lootin' anything they can get their hands on.

'Ere's their nob, Grubwazza. He's armed with frag stikkbombz, a choppa and a slugga. He rides into the fight on his bike, Greezy Rida.

Let me introduce you to his favorite Spanna Boy, Snagrekka. It was Snagz that came up with the idea to attach transport platforms to the back of a bike. He tends to ride into the scrap with Grubwazza, armed with a Shoota.

Next, we have Naffgit. His moniker was originally a nickname given to him as the result of his penchant for beating people with krak stikkbombz and blasting away with this slugga. He blazes into battle on Da Krotch Rokkit.

Riding alongside Naffgit is Gutbugga. Gutbugga actually stole his bike from some Gorka wearing black and white while he was a yoof. When he got back to his fort, his nob looked at the bike and said, "Wot'z dis?" Gutbugga looked him dead in the eyes and said, "It's mine now." The name stuck, and ever since, this bike has been known as "Mine Now". Gutbugga fights with slugga and frag stikkbombz.

A lover of big guns and bigger booms, Gulduff is never one to shy away from a good scrap. He'll streak into battle on the back of anything fast, and prefers to fight up-close, even when shooting. This is why the blunderbuss was the perfect gun for him.

The maniac of the gang (every gang has one) goes by the name Gorgrim. His favorite past time is leaping off of a speeding vehicle, slugga blasting and choppa whirring, flying head-first like a green missile into an unsuspecting target.

So there you have it, Grubwazza's Findaz.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Magnetizing your boyz for Gorkamorka

Ok, here we are with another update. I recently got all my Gorkamorka pieces in the mail, so I can finally do this entry.

The first thing to remember when modeling for GoMo is that your boyz have options. More options, in fact, than they know what to do with. Apart from the myriad of intentional weapons and gear swaps, jumping in and out of the controls of a vehicle, there are also cybork parts that they can get from a Mad Dok in Mektown. Parts that can be replaced are legs, body, arms and head. That's kinda all-inclusive. You have a couple of choices now. You can build and paint a separate model for each and every boy after each and every weapon swap or cybork upgrade, or you can magnetize. Clearly, I went with the latter choice.

Here we see the bits that go into the average foot-bound warrior in Gorkamorka.

Each piece is magnetized to fit the torso. For each of these bits, I used the 1/8" disc magnets from Amazing This helped to provide a strong grip between the bits, especially at the waist. The waist is crucial to get right because that one joint supports the weight of the arms, gun, head and anything you mount on their back (more on that later).

Now, for this boy's gun, I went with a Blunderbuss. It's got a ridiculously short range, but it's firepower is devastating. I filed down the end of a shoota, then clipped off the end of a push-pin (at the green line).

Then I drilled out the end of it so it looked like a trumpet and put a little bit of greenstuff around the joint to make it a more smooth transition. The end result is a model that looks as if it was glued together, but with all the options a mag-freak would want.

Now, for the Biker, we have more pieces involved.

You'll see that I have two sets of handlebars, and basically two left arms. I also have two pairs of legs. Here's why.

The legs are for when the rider is mounted on the bike or on foot. For the bike legs, you have to trim down the outside of the foot that is next to the gun and the inside of the legs and crotch to allow the legs to slide on and off the bike. Don't worry about how it looks because when the model is together you can't see them at all. You'll notice that the legs are magnetized differently. The Bike legs have the magnet higher up in the waist bowl to allow the torso to lean forward in relation to the legs. This makes it easier for the ork to sit on the bike and actually reach the handlebars. However, when he's on foot, the magnet needs to be lower in the waist bowl to allow the boy to stand up and not be leaning forward so dramatically. Took me a couple of tries before I finally got it right.


The body, as mentioned above with the foot warrior, is very specifically magnetized. It actually has 5 magnets on it. One for the waist, one for the neck, two for the arms and one for the back. You can see how the neck magnet is positioned in the larger bitz picture but here's the back view.

This is how all bodies are magnetized, even if they aren't initially carrying another weapon on their backs. What this does is allow for future additions of weapons or backpacks. As for polarities, they are arranged so that the arms have polarity 1 facing outwards while the neck, back and waist have polarity 2 facing outwards. This lets the magnetic pull of the magnets help keep the magnets in place.

The set of armless handlebars is for when I stop the bike and dismount the driver. Instead of having this dismembered arm sticking up, I can switch out the handlebars and it will look more real, adding to the immersion factor of the game and any pictures taken during it. The arm is magnetized so while he's off his bike, I can remove the armed handlebar from the body and put on the Stikkbomb-chuckin' arm.

The handlebars are magnetized with 1/16" disc magnets from the same site above. These are VERY fiddly bitz so do yourself a favor and get them in the right way the first time to avoid drilling all the way through the handlebars and into your finger (Yes, that happened to me, but to my credit I made it to the third and final bike before it did). The bike has two little wedge-shaped nubs where the unmodified handlebars are glued. These are perfect reference points so snip them off and drill them out a little bit and glue the magnets in there.

To align the arm properly with the handlebar, I magnetized the handlebar first and then the shoulder. This is the last step because it requires that the bike legs be magnetized and mounted, and the magnetized torso to be on them. Place the magnetized handlebar with the handle cut off on the bike. Then place a spot of glue on the handlebar being held by the hand. Now place the magnetized handlebar arm on the torso and adjust it so that it contacts the handlebars on the bike.

With the head, you just drill out the cavity where the neck would normally connect and stick a magnet there. It's not that difficult, so I didn't take a picture of it.

The final result is a biker with the following options.

Meet my nob, Grubwazza.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If modeling is your thing

Ok, here's a collection of thoughts for you.

If modeling is your thing, but you don't have all the time to sink into playing full games of Warhammer 40k, or you're on a budget; then you would probably be interested in some of the Specialist Games. The Specialist Games produced by Games Workshop include Battlefleet Gothic, Bloodbowl, Mordheim, Necromunda, and Gorkamorka to name a few. The idea behind these is that you have a small warband (or fleet, in the case of BFG) which can be customized and can get more powerful or potentially weaker as play progresses. These games are designed with campaign play in mind, and work much like a Pencil & Paper RPG. Characters gain experience, level up, get new skills, and can possibly die permanently.

I've played BFG, Bloodbowl and Mordheim, and am starting to play Gorkamorka. While Mordheim had opportunity for customization and conversions, so far nothing has matched Gorkamorka for being able to model things the way you want. I will be starting out with a warband that consists of 6 Orks, with 3 bikes. The legs, arms and head will all be magnetized to allow me to switch out weapons, body parts and cybork pieces if they happen to have an interesting trip to the "Doc's Surjery."

An excellent resource for Gorkamorka information is the Unnamed Gorkamorka Site (or tUGS). It's loaded with homebrew rules, warbands and a collection of articles on modeling and places to purchase models.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lootaz and Burnaz and Mekz, OH MY!

Alright, gitz, here's the latest update on BLAAAGH!!! Gobbstompa!


This one had me sitting in my finkin' box for a while and I came to the conclusion that some sacrifices were going to have to be made. To be able to switch out between lootaz and burnaz, your boyz would not be able to have horned helmets. Also, the mek torso would have to have the shoulder spike trimmed off.

The process is similar to the regular boyz. Start by gluing together the deffgun to its harness and the tanks of the burna to the burna itself. This should leave you with a really big bit for the right arm, and then a much smaller stabilizing bit for the left arm.

Next, go ahead and drill your guide holes into the parts of the arms that connect to the shoulders and in the shoulders themselves. So far, this is pretty familiar.

Now, use the larger dremmel bit that we used on the Boyz to make the holes the size of the larger magnets.

Now go ahead and glue in those magnets. It helps if you make certain that the magnets are oriented the same way as your Boyz. This will allow you to run regular boyz as Lootaz/Burnaz so you can run all of them in larger games or Armageddon/Planetstrike games

Now, with the deffgun harness on the loota boy, glue the left hand's handle and the ammo magazine/power source behind the shoulder to the harness. While it is still setting, take the deffgun off of the loota. This is the trickiest part. The ork torsos are tapered a bit, so once the harness is on, it won't want to come off. I discovered that shaving the top of the torso's shoulders a bit, and a wee bit of the bottom part of the arm's shoulders helps the gun harness slide off easier. Don't be afraid to make the left arm a bit loose-fitting.

You now have a Loota Boy...

and a Burna Boy!

Now, for those rare occasions when you want to take a mek or two or three with your boyz, here's what you do.

Drill out the holes in the shoulders of the mek and his Kustom Mega-Blasta, the Big Shoota, and a Rokkit Launcha if you want one as an option.

Then glue in the magnets, you should be getting good at this part.

Now your mek can carry a Deffgun as a regular Loota Boy

Or a burna as a regular Burna Boy

Or a Big Shoota as a Mek (I gave him a Choppa from one of the boyz because GW doesn't give you left arms for the Big Shoota OR the Rokkit Launcha, in a move that makes me want to slap someone at GW)

or a mek with a Kustom Mega-Blasta

Now, for the mek tools...
Cut off the little attachy-nub on the Mek Tools backpack. Then drill a small hole for one of the smaller magnets used in giving regular boyz they're 'Eavy Armor. Drill out the hole in the mek's back big enough for one of the larger magnets. Then, you guessed it, glue them in.

This will allow you to put mek tools on his back for when he's a mek without interfering with the deffgun or burna tanks when he's not a mek.

You can also use this same technique on your Big Shoota Boyz and Rokkit Launcha Boyz, but I didn't simply because they came with all the stuff I needed to make them into individual orks except legs which I can get at anyway.

Speaking of, Lootaz/Burnaz only come with four deffgunz and four burnaz. Go to and you can purchase individual bitz for that 5th deffgun and 5th burna.

Good luck, mag-freakz