Robbin’ B’stard & his Merry Goblins
I must admit that I am very fond of Goblins, far more than their larger cousins the Orcs, so I decided to create a goblin-only warband from 9.4.16 Orcs and Goblins list.
In that list the goblins are very much the junior partners and are used as scouts and cannon fodder. To cut them away and make them stand on their own two feet I had to make several small, yet significant changes.
First though, the theme. Whenever I create a list, I start with a theme. In this case I took the classic Robin Hood trope and turned it to the short and dark side. So, we have a band of goblins with a cunning leader, who are into highway robbery. Taking from the rich, to keep for themselves.
To begin with I pulled out the goblins from my figure collection. I have a huge number of GW Night Goblins which, though characterful, lack a certain medieval villainy. I also have a small group of goblins my friend Martin sculpted. These could easily be buffed to make a 200pt list and would form the core onto which I could add more later (I’m thinking a small troop of wolf riders, and some more raiders, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
I will need to start with my chief – the Robbin’ B’Stard of the title. As goblins must rely on their cunning, I chose to base him on a bow-armed Raider. In the original list there is a named goblin called Sly, a right sniper. I took Sly, improved his Destiny from 5+ to 4+, and gave him Leadership +2. One of Martin’s sculpts is perfect for him.
Then I looked at the rest of the band of figures. I have five armed with shortsword, to whom I added a rectangular shield from my Oathmark Human Soldier sprues to make my Ravagers. These little guys are going to get in the thick of it, so they need all the armour they can carry. As a group of four their job will be to mob enemy combatants and drag them down with numbers and sheer spite
To lead them I took the bareheaded Ravager figure, gave him Leadership +1, and improved his Destiny from 6+ to 5+. As a spin on Robin Hood, I called him ‘Little Nob’ (because of his bald head, you dirty-minded rascals).
Now things get interesting as I want a little magical edge. Thus, I adapted the Orc Junior Shaman to make Hissing Sid, the Goblin shaman, which suits one of Martin’s figures wielding a magical staff. The decision is what magical powers suit this warband. Heal was my first choice, so he can get fallen comrades (of which there may be many, given their destiny stat) back into the fight. Then Spectral Dart, which he can use on important foes… and their mounts. Finally, his most important spell – darkness. It’s an any phase spell which weaves a 12” diameter area of darkness over the battlespace, giving it the equivalent of Light level 0. This shields his comrades, blinds his foes, and makes life very difficult all round.
To assist with this, I gave all the Goblins the Nighteyes trait, so they can navigate and fight their enemies in the pitch black. They also received the Stealthy trait, so that even when they are not in darkness, they are harder to shoot at.
Finally, I wanted a brute squad so picked up the main list’s optional Ogre from the Bestiary. I armed him with a big club for smashing down the enemies’ finest. Then, reading the description, I realised that we had never defined a thrown boulder in the Armoury. So, I gave it some thought and gave it +1 to hit because it is a big missile to dodge, -2 on the Destiny roll as this will hurt and a relatively short range of 12”, for a total of 9 points. I’m still wondering if it should be considered a Sundering weapon when attacking vehicles or structures.
Overall, I now have an operational goblin list of just under 240 points. To round it out I am going to create five Raiders armed with Shortbows and improved with the Stealthy and Nighteyes traits, at 25 points apiece. Then a trio of wolf riding raiders to harass enemies at speed.
Note: I do not paint my orcs and goblins green. I much prefer a paler flesh tone.