Monday, October 6, 2014

Orc Mercenaries

Its Orctober again! So I guess I'll use this Orctober as an excuse to discuss and show off some of my old Orc Mercenaries of the Eastern Steppes.

I'm feeling a bit verbiogely challenged at the moment so let me just pilfer from the old Warhammer Armies book (pg 157).

Orc Mercenary Contingent
Certain Orcs have realized that there is money to be made selling something that they do for fun anyway. The first Orc mercenaries were probably tribes that lent their aid to others for suitable reward. Orc mercenaries are not particular who they work for, as the famous utterance of the Orc Warlord Spittlebone Vorsprunk illustrates: "Look mate, if a sprogging Stuntie offered me 'arf their prisoners to eat an' some tasty loot an' all, I'd 'elp 'im raid me own village.

Orc Mercenary Commander 
The most successful Orc mercenary leaders tend to be those with an unusual glimmer of intelligence, able to intimidate the most booty out of their employers. 

Orc Renegades
Many Orc mercenaries are outcasts or renegades who managed to escape the wrath of their tribal chiefs.

Orc Renegade Arrer Boyz
The cleverest Orc mercenaries acquire bows and fight as Arrer Boyz since they can slay the enemy from a safe distance with a good chance of surviving the battle to collect their pay.

So here are my Orc mercenaries of the Split Skull band, led by Bundykhan the One-eye. Tired of being bossed about by the despotic Hobgoblin Khans, they have left their homelands in the Eastern steppe lands and have since been traveling the world plying their trade as mercenaries.

These guys were used pretty extensively throughout my 6th edition days and served as filler in several armies but most notably with my Ogres of Nippon which I only had about 2k points worth and so served to fill the gap in games over 2k points. But they also frequently served along side (and against) my Orcs and Goblin, Undead and even a friends Lizardmen. The Arrer Boyz in particular acquired a fearsome reputation, on several occasions destroying large Dark Elf regiments, the Elves scoffing at the Boyz inability to shoot straight but in their hubris forgetting those same Boyz carried large sharp choppas tucked in their fur coats.

Here they are deployed with their old friends from Nippon

I'd imagine most of you recognize these as the old Leviathan Orcs from about 1990, which are still available from Scotia Grendel miniatures for a reasonable price.  I bought the bulk of these guys way back in January of 2000, my first ebay transaction ever! I quickly painted them to a tabletop standard and set them to work.

In my opinion they fit in nicely with contemporary Citadel Orcs of the same time. They are a bit chunky or maybe hefty is a better word, they'd also make good stand-ins for Black Orcs. But this is the same period Citadel/Kevin Adams changed their style of Orcs from the beloved 80's golden age Orcs to the chunkier more cartoony 90's Orcs (A style Kevin seems to have stuck with over the years).

There are drawbacks to these guys. There are only two posses of each troop type, so two different bowman, two different swordsman etc, so there's a lot of duplication resulting in a fairly monotonous looking unit. Worse still, the swordsmen come one with shield and one with two swords, but hopefully soon I'll have enough to break them into two separate units. Also, maybe because they were made for a skirmish type game, they have some issues with ranking up neatly.

I quite like the Boss in the command set, though it sadly lacks a musician.  The fella with the halberd also has a bow and quiver strapped to his back, assumably ment to be the Boss for either the Arrer Boyz or the Spear Boyz.

They may have been my first ebay purchase but certainly not the last, maybe they are to blame for this addiction. But I have acquired over the years enough to complete a unit of spears, now waiting patiently to be painted.  That will make three units, four actually once I split out the shielded Orcs from the two hand weapons. Then they'll nearly be an army in their own right.



  1. Their not bad looking minis are they! I'd never seen them before, but like you say, is a shame that there's only two poses for each type.

    The boss looks pretty cool.

  2. I really like the look of these guys but from the description on the Scotia Grendel site (32mm to the eyes?) they seem way too big to fit with my other orcs. The only comparison shot I can find is them next to the Jes Goodwin ogre, above. Are they really as big as it seems?

    Now I'm wondering if I can team them up with my Chronicle ogres...

    1. They are beefy. The same size as Iron Claw Black Orcs. Probably a smidgin too small to match some Chronicle ogres. I'll post comparison pictures later this afternoon.