Black Orcs – The Pedda Theory

I’d like to caveat this article with this being my initial thoughts on Black Orcs from a tournament perspective without really having played them. Don’t take this as gospel, but rather a point of view, which may or may not prove to be true once we’re able to play tabletop games again.

Why did I write this article? Well, I’m interested in hearing thoughts from others on this new team and to start the discussion, I’ll share mine first.

Initial thoughts

From what I’ve heard, most people view the Black Orcs team as a worse version of the Lizardmen team and I don’t agree with this statement. They are similar if you look at the team roster as there are six strength four blockers, a big guy and some stunty linemen. However, the Black Orcs play differently, in my opinion.

How do they play and how do they differ, I hear you say. Well, I don’t believe that the Black Orcs are a controlling team like the lizardmen.

The quickness the Lizardmen possess enables them to defend the whole field and if you manage to get past their defense, it’s hard to run away from them. They are also fast enough to score in two turns and can easily switch their game plan to a 2-1 grind tactic. The team can even score a one-turn touchdown out of the box if need be.

On the other hand, the Black Orcs don’t have the Lizardmen’s speed and need to use a different tactic to win. They are the kind of team that benefits from having a numbers advantage as they must avoid leaving gaps to exploit in their defense. Sure, it would be great to take Mighty Blow on a couple of black orcs to help work towards a numerical advantage, but I don’t think this team has this luxury as other skills are in higher demand. So, how do they work towards a numerical advantage? Well, they’ve got cheap linemen in the form of goblins and access to discounted bribes. I believe that they need to incorporate fouling into their strategy as it might prove difficult to win without it.

Let’s have a look at the players that make up the team in detail.

Black Orcs Team

0-12Goblin Bruiser45K623+4+8+Dodge, Right Stuff, Stunty, Thick SkullAGPS
0-6Black Orcs90K444+5+10+Brawler, GrabGSAP
0-1Trained Troll115K455+5+10+Always Hungry, Loner (3+), Mighty Blow (+1), Projectile Vomit, Really Stupid, Regeneration, Throw TeammateSAGP
Special Rules: Badland Brawl, Bribery and Corruption

Black Orcs

Black orcs are slower than a lizardmen saurus, but start with Grab and Brawler. Both good skills, but neither would probably be chosen as a starting skill for a saurus. Brawler lowers the risk of a turnover and opens up for taking Guard as the first skill on some of the black orcs in the team. Normally, Block would have been the first choice and it will probably still be on some of the black orcs. However, taking a Guard player or two isn’t a crazy idea as it will help you keep the strength advantage as well as helping your goblins with their fouls.

Grab will also help with fouling as victims can be dragged behind the black orc line to get a good kick from a goblin. Grab can also help the team move forward at a slow pace.

Goblin Bruisers

These goblins are 5k more expensive than a regular goblin, but they get Thick Skull for that. It might not seem like a big boost, but I consider it to be so. They are now comparable to other AV7 linemen (Dodge balancing out the fact that other strength 3 players get two dice against them) and they can be set up on the LOS, if required. Their main roles in the team will however be ball carrying, screening and fouling. The way Sneaky Git works in BB2020 makes it a great skill for your dedicated fouler. Having the ability to foul and then move means that you might not have to give up too much positioning for the foul.

Trained Troll

A trained troll, not much to say here really. A solid big guy that shouldn’t be used for blocking all that much. In fact, I’d advocate putting Guard on him (Block first in a league or a tournament with a larger skill budget) and using him as a pillar, just moving when needed and avoiding unnecessary risks of losing his tackle zones.

The addition of Projectile Vomit will also reduce the risk associated with the troll.

Lastly, the troll enables OTTMTDs, but I wouldn’t rely on that strategy although it might be necessary to give it a go sometimes.

Tournament Roster

In a tournament with 1100k and 36 SPPs to spend, I’d go for the following roster

Sadly, there’s 5k left over after buying the players, but I’d rather have 6 goblins than 2 bribes as I’ll need the players on the field, but that could be a variant. Another reroll wouldn’t hurt either, but you’d have to give up too much for it. It seems like the Black Orcs are 5k or 10k short of the ideal roster.

Regarding the skills, I believe that black orcs need a bit of Block instead of depending on Brawler. The Block black orcs would be my dedicated blitzers (Brawler doesn’t work during a blitz action). I also added a Tackle black orc for those pesky blodge elves and skaven. A vomiting troll can also do the job here, but I wouldn’t rely on that player for that role. The Guard players are there to keep the strength advantage and assist with blocks and fouls, trying to keep them in the center. Finally, I’ve given my dedicated fouler Sneaky Git, which will hopefully make up for the single bribe.


These are my initial thoughts on the Black Orcs team and my current strategy for future tournaments. Once I get some experience with the Black Orcs team (online and/or tabletop) I’m sure that my thoughts will change and I plan on revisiting this article to adjust accordingly. Sadly, theory bowl is all that’s available at the moment. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on Black Orcs. Do you agree with some of my points or am I way off?

Thanks for reading

8 thoughts on “Black Orcs – The Pedda Theory”

  1. Thank you for going over this new Team.

    Could it be that you have missed that Black Orcs get Bribes at 50k, so they would have 2 anyways. So that would allow you to take an apothecary or an extra Goblin Bruiser and 10k to put dedicated fans at 2.

    I’m not a fan of putting Tackle on a MA4 Piece, I would rather have MB, as this is a skill that it more generally useful, but indeed Brawler doesn’t work on blitzes so taking Tackle is most probably necessary to have a chance vs Elves.

    1. Hi,
      the roster was incorrect, but has now been corrected. The bribe wasn’t marked as 50k.
      Sadly, that means that there’s no money left for an apothecary.

      That’s my thought exactly. Persoanlly, I value block over mighty blow, but I beleive that one tackle is needed vs elves, amazons etc.

  2. After playing two games with them I am pretty underwhelmed with how the Black Orcs perform.

    My first game I learned the hard way how unreliable the Troll is and the opposing Deamons of Khorne coach had very hot dice, two removals on turn 1 and my Troll failing to do anything or Loner on a 1/9 didn’t help.
    Getting knocked down all the time does not help any team and especially Black Orcs are pretty useless with MA 4. You can only rush until 6 squares, the normal movement of a Khorne player.
    And being down numbers meant I didn’t really get to foul and actually use my Bribe. I mostly needed my activations just scrambling for position all the time.

    My second game was against Dwarves, which is a bad match up, especially if they start getting those 4+ dodges in.
    This time my sneaky git fouled a Troll Slayer into Niggling on turn 1 but I didn’t have a Bribe to keep him on the pitch.

    So currently I am more inclined to see Black Orcs as a worse version of Nurgle. They lack core skills and speed and a decent Blitzer type of player.

    The Troll is indeed more of a pillar type of player that gives you the option for desperation plays with TTM.

    Black Orcs are slightly more reliable Nurgle Warriors but so far my 1/9 where always on the Blitz. Grab is decent yet necessary to get some kind of control over the line because you can typically not blitz from a beneficial angle due to MA 4.

    Goblin Bruisers are goblins, so still squishy and as the only AG 3+ piece on the team too valuable to put in harms way unless necessary.
    Which will be the case because they are also the only players with more MA than 4.

    So a bottom Tier 2 race for me, early in development. They might improve but being this slow is really hurting them.
    I kind of wished that GW gave the Big ‘Uns MA boost to Black Orcs, which would be crucial to be a competitive viable team. IMHO.

    I would love to hear your experience with Black Orcs.

    1. Hi,

      first of, thanks for reading the article.

      Second, I agree with you, black orcs are slow and they really don’t want to be down in numbers.

      So far I’ve just played a couple of games on FUMBBL.
      The team is slow to develop in a league format.

      I’m planing on taking my black orcs team to a NAF tournament in december, so I’ll hopefully have some tournament experience soon.

  3. If you could stack skills, do people think that it is better to make some killer Blorcs or spread the skills around? The build is 10 skills, no more than 3 primaries. I got Block on 2 Blorcs and Troll, Sure Hands Goblin, Dirty Player/Sneaky Git Goblin, and 2 Guard Blorcs. I am looking at Mighty Blow and/or Tackle for last 2 skills and am wondering if I should add to the Blorcs with Block or spread out the skills.

    1. During my test games, I’ve changed my mind regarding the skills a bit. I find it important to the “bread and butter” skills. My ideal set of skills would be 4xblock and 2xguard on the BOBs and one sneaky git goblin. If I could, I’d take block on the troll or guard, if a secondary isn’t avaible. Further skills are just a bonus.

      The rules for your tournament seems to be a bit different though and I like the skill choices you’ve already made, although I’d consider taking block off the troll and adding it to a BOB. I’d then think about taking guard and stand firm on the troll. I’d then think about taking a wrestle goblin, as you should have freed up a secondary skill from not taking block on the troll.

  4. Muy buena información. Me has convencido con tus argumentos. Yo solía pensar que los orcos negros eran una versión chapucera de los lagartos pero creo que son muy interesantes de jugar desde tu perspectiva.

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