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The boyz were running out of options.
Their bright red trukk was still running fast, their choppas were nice and sharp, and the safeties on their sluggas had all been carefully torn off, but they still had a problem, and even the most ludicrously brave amongst them knew it.
Just when the Beakies’ command squad was almost within reach, a drop pod fell right out of the sky next to them, releasing a Dreadnaught with a ‘UGE hammer to stand by their side. The boyz were sure they could take out the Marine Kaptin…but that Dread was enough to turn their victory into a loss.
There was no getting around it. They’d have to open the box.
The ‘box’ took up nearly a quarter of the trukk bed, forcing a few unlucky boyz to sit on top of it. It was tightly secured with countless thick chains, yet still shook and emmited an eerie glow throughout the entire trip. With the enemy coming closer, the nob in charge of the boyz reluctantly reached out with his quivering powerklaw, and gave the chains a snip.
Even the Beakies flinched when the crate exploded into thousands bits, allowing a single flamboyantly dressed Ork to emerge, with countless feathers streaming from his hair, and a giant gnarly staff spinning between his hands.
On the outside the Warp ‘ead was screaming, and buzzing with waves of psychic energy, but on the inside, he was far more thoughtful. With detached interested, he began to wonder what to do next.
Without even realizing it, two tiny Orks suddenly appeared on each of his shoulders, one looking cunningly brutal, and the other looking brutally cunning.
MORK: “Use yer powerz to pull us out’a da trukk, and land us behind ‘em!”
Hmm…the Warp ‘ead wasn’t sure if he liked that idea, as it would give the Beakies the chance to rapid fire upon them first.
GORK: “ZZZZAP the dread to bits!”
Now that was more like it!
Without even leaving the trukk, the warp ‘ead screamed at the Beakies’ Dread, and shot a giant bolt of colorful lightning directly into the center of its chest, frying its exterior with an almost unimaginable amount of energy. The frame that had helld strong for countless millennia finally gave way to the Ork’s power, splitting open right down the middle, until the two halves of its body fell in opposite directions.
Despite that disheartening sight, the Beakies held firm, and began firing their bolters and pistols at the oncoming trukk. Most of the shots were useless, but one lucky bullet randomly ricocheted off the hood, and caught the driver right between the eyes.
The Warp ‘ead leapt into action,
“Dis is no time ta be drivin’ wit yer face!”
Curiously, his order was ignored, and the trukk spun sideways until it rolled over itself, collapsing into bits, and thrusting the passengers violently forward.
The Orks were already on their feet and charging even before the Warp ‘ead gave the order, but the Beakies were still quite a bit away, and the Warp ‘ead doubted that they’d make it there before they fired their dreaded bolters again…
GORK: “Blast ‘em again! Only dis time, instead of one big blast, do a lot a littler ones. So instead of goin’ BOOM, go *pew pew pew*.”
Tempting, but the Beakies were still far away, and the waaaugh had already been invoked earlier in the battle…
MORK: “Call da WAAAAAAUGH a second time, so yer boyz can stomp da Beakies!”
That sounded like a plan! The Warp ‘ead allowed the mysterious green light which surrounded him to flow into the surrounding boyz, driving them forward with insane glee, straight into the ranks of the enemy.
It was only a matter of time before the boyz managed to hack their way through the Beakie command unit, with even their best Imperial warriors falling to the almighty klaw. With them finished off, the boyz looked to the Warp ‘ead, to find out what to do next.
He mulled it over.
MORK: “Blow up everyone’s heads!”
GORK: “Yeah, do it! Dat sounds fun!”
If years of krumpin’ had taught the Warp ‘ead anything, it’s that you never argue with the voices in your ‘ead.
I’ve heard a lot of people trashing the humble and erratic Warp ‘ead recently (I say Warp ‘ead instead of Weirdboy because you should always take the upgrade), and I thought it might be a good time to defend this poor underused unit.
Unpredictable? Sort of, but not as much as some people claim. I’ve seen this unit used well and I’ve seen it used poorly. The difference seems to all come down to the re-roll that Warp ‘eads get when using their power each turn, and how you use it.
In my opinion, there are two results you generally don’t want to receive: ‘ead banger, which kills your own guys, and ‘ere we go, which forces you to deep strike the Warp ‘ead, including the unit he’s attached to. Some people develop odd strategies to take advantage of the deep strike, but I find it to be too erratic. Instead of using their re-roll to try and get a specific power, I use it to avoid these two results.
Now, disaster seems to strike when players roll up a power they don’t want that turn, but otherwise isn’t detrimental to them, and say “I’ll just use his re-roll to try and get a better power”.
This is the sort of move that gets your Orks killed. Unless it was a literally DESPERATE situation, if the roll didn’t force me to deep strike or threaten to kill my boyz, than the roll was more than good enough for me. The re-roll is meant to avoid disaster, not as a way to try and get one specific result as often as possible.
I recall one Ork versus Ork game where my opponent rolled the ‘+1 attack per Ork in the unit’ power when he wasn’t in close combat. After a little bit of thought, he decided to roll again (even though he wasn’t desperately in need of any particular result) and rolled ‘ere we go. The Warp ‘ead was attached to 30 shoota boyz, and there was nowhere on the board that really had enough room to land safely and still be within effective fighting range. Once again, he decided to take a risk and deep struck near my boyz, and once again the risk backfired on him. He landed too close, and although he wasn’t close enough to ‘mishap’, there wasn’t anywhere near enough room for 30 boyz, and he lost over half the unit.
With all this in mind, as long as you play it safe, the Warp ‘ead can be one of the best anti-armor units in the Ork army, capable of bringing down Rhinos and Monoliths alike, and can also add an extra bit of close combat power when you need it most. Best of all, compared to your other ‘shooty’ and ‘anti-armor’ options, Warp ‘eads are dirt cheap at 85 points each.
Warp ‘eads especially seem to shine in the smaller and larger point game. In the smaller sized games (500-1000 points) they’ll do more for you than a Warboss or KFF, but in the moderate sized games (1000-1750 points) they aren’t as good of a choice, as the points are usually better spent on more boyz, or to field more expensive units. The Warp ‘eads become viable once more in the larger point games (1750+), as the extra WAAAAUGHS and anti-armor shooting really come in handy…as does the powers of Old Zogwort.
Old Zogwort has the advantage of not having to roll a random power if he doesn’t want to, instead changing independent characters into squigs. There’s no penalty for failing the attempt (there’s about a 50/50 chance of it working, as long as you pass the psychic check), and if there isn’t a character within range, then he can still use the powers of a normal Warp ‘ead instead. With all the new characters in the Space Marine and Imperial Guard codexes, I’d definitely consider taking Old Zogwort along to your larger sized games.
In conclusion, the randomness of the Warp ‘ead will probably keep them out of most ‘competitive’ games, but I’d definitely consider using them in your smaller and larger Ork armies. As my small friends here will tell you…
GORK: “Dey add a lotta power to yer boyz fer cheap!”
MORK: “And dey make yer army a lot more fun and unpredictable!”
Come on, you’re really not going to argue with these two, are you? ^_^
Yeah, I'll argue.
At least enough to say that this bastidge isn't getting within 2" of anything else in my army.
And I'm not paying for the upgrade.
Let his damn head explode and warp him to the other side of the table if he wants to, but he's not screwing with my battleplan by creating one of his own (when I never really had one to begin with).
This was easily your best fluff intro yet, Grax!
I've used the 'umble warp 'ead on two occasions myself.. once, with absolutely disappointing results. The other, he didn't make or break the game, but he and my SAG Mek (was going for a "Mad Boy" list) really made it fun! The former, I used every reroll possible until.. second turn.. POP! The latter, I did exactly as you advised, and only rerolled '1's, considered rerolling '5's (but chose not to, it was advantageous at the time) and rerolled a single shooting power (when I was in desparate need of killing my opponent's Vindie) and rolled a second Waaagh! instead.... just as good!
I still plan to pull him out in he odd casual game, now and then.. he'll definitely stay away from competative lists, though.
Rep for fluff, rep for advice.. can only give you one, so I'll give you half for each ^-^
I've recently become a fan of this thing called Dubstep. And you should too.
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Da Moo Kowz is da drinkinest Orks of dem all!
I think this article is really good, both fluffwise and playing wise. I liked my warphead in my 500 games. my opponent hated him! because he could zapp stuff to dust, or teleport himself (and 20-25 shootaboys) behind his army. The randomness makes the game pretty interesting and humorous.
I would like to try this guyout a bit more, but i simply have no room for him in the bigger games. I usually play 1500, but ive started playing 1750 now recently. And i want to test my armoured krumpany, and test the NOBZ and MANZ.
The warphead doesn really fit into a vehicle based army.. or does he? Any thoughts? is he best together with footsloggers or vehicle maniacs?
I usually run a list with 2 wagons stuffed with shootaboys / MANZ, and trukks full of slugga boys / MANZ / NOBZ, and a few fast elements like koptas or bikes, and a boomwagon for fun. Is the warphead effective together with the shootaboys in the wagon? How does the powers work while mounted in a wagon? i would think the deepstike power is not working, and the shooting powers can work like anything else shooting. But what about when his head explodes? Can he even fire his powers at all from a vehicle? Im sorry, but im at school now, and therefor doesnt have either the codex or the rulebook around.
Love the fluff, grax. You're really great with it, always puts a smile on my face.
Warp'eads are never a unit I would rely on, I'd only be tempted to take them in a fun game.
Thank you for the great responses everyone! I'm really glad that everyone likes the fluff, since I love writing it. ^_^
I'm not sure if I'd actually use warp 'eads in a speed freaks list, unless it was apocalypse (where the zzzzap results are invaluable). It isn't so much that they're bad in vehicle lists, it's just that other HQs are far better. I like big meks with KFFs in vehicle lists even more than I like them in horde lists. The 4+ obscurement save is really invaluable, and being able to get it without hiding is a major strategic advantage. The other HQ slot if usually reserved for a warboss, since speed freaks usually use nobz as well, but I'll have to try using the warp 'ead in one of my nobless speed freaks lists some time.
Besides the anti-armor shooting and extra waaaaughs, the other advantage I alluded to was what mort mentioned: the randomness. Horde lists are usually quite static, without much ability to change strategy or positioning throughout the game, making your list usually fairly predictable, and against experienced players, that can be dangerous. The warp 'ead is the 'wild card' that keeps your opponent on his toes, distracts him from other threats, and makes your army more unpredictable. I've played with 2 warp 'eads in a footslogger army with success, especially in games where I have to spread out, and the entire army can't hide within range of a KFF.
my 2 cents - warp 'eads are just plain fun! I have never been in a competitive tourney, I don't even play at GW stores, just in basements and on the occasional kitchen table and let me tell you... warp 'ead = laughs!
Grax, I will buy your books, let me know when you get published! And I totally agree w/ your advice, the re-roll is a safty feature... and (I dont have the codex on me at the moment but...) I am pretty sure the rule when you re-roll 'eadbanger and get another 'eadbager it is called "yah, I 'eard what y'all where saying behind my back 'ere!!" and all players and spectators must laugh and admitt they had it coming.
Hosea 1:11 - Great will be the day of Jezreel.
To add, what alot of people don't realise about the 'Ere we go" abilitiy, is that you can deepstrike the same squad right back to where it was in the first place! Or several inches forwards if nothing else. I'd suggest against rerolling this ability even if you don't need/want it.
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They're here, if you're interested (there's a cheap downloadable version too):
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If you're looking for something a little more 'free', then there's always my blog:
Overall, I just write for fun, and I'm glad that everyone likes to read it. ^_^
just a thought, could you not use him with tankbusters to make them a bit more useful, as there wouldnt realy be a bad result, apart from head banger, fizzle could do a bit of light busting, zzap obviously is great for tanking, the +1 A means more swings from a tankhammer, ere we go could be used to get away from duff vehicles like rhinos and behind things like predators and vindicators qand wagghh helps everyone else. Could give them more of a use i suppose