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Other Ork Themed Army Ideas
Why Feral Orks? Mostly because this Themed Army Idea uses, for the most part, the figures as they are to cut down on the number of conversions necessary when adapting a fantasy army to a sci-fi game. The Feral Ork rules allow one to build a really primitive army with perhaps a few technological quirks, sort of like the Gungans from Stars Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace—but definitely meaner.
Why not just use the “regular” Ork codex? In my opinion, an army built with these rules would be a bit too technologically advanced (odd to think of Orks as “too technologically advanced,” eh?). Orks, after all, use lots of guns and vehicles and funky wargear like mega armor and kustom force fields and such.
Additionally, using the Feral Ork rules further differentiates these “40K Lizardmen” from regular Orks. Feral Orks are better shooters and not quite the hand-to-hand monsters that their more “advanced” cousins are, which helps prevent this themed army idea from being dismissed as “Orks with scales and tails.”
Simply adopting a set of rules to the Lizardmen figures and leaving it at that wouldn’t be enough, however. Merely building a “proxy army,” where every figure is a substitute for something else, isn’t that interesting. After awhile, someone would be bound to ask, “If you wanted to build a Feral Ork army, why didn’t you just use Ork figures?” No, to differentiate this “40K Lizardman” army, to make it distinctive, it needs its own story, or “fluff.” And so, Gentle Visitor, I bring you the Kurindans….
In the 36th Millennium, Kurindan technology advanced to the point of allowing interplanetary travel, and they set out from their home world—Kurinda—to explore nearby worlds. Approximately fifty Terran years after the attainment of space flight, the Kurindans discovered warp travel. This permitted them to attack and subjugate planets—including a few inhabited by humans—in neighboring star systems.
In the middle of the 36th Millennium, Kurindan civilization reached its zenith with an empire of 13 worlds across four systems in close astrographic proximity. The Kurindan Empire, a democratic republic, endured for almost three centuries until the strain of maintaining centralized government and the near-constant rebellions of conquered races took their inevitable toll. The Empire fell, and the Kurindans fought each other for the fragments.
So drastic was their fall and so fierce their in-fighting that the Kurindans quickly slipped into barbarism, from which, it appears, they shall never recover. Now, scattered bands can be found throughout the galaxy, preying on rival Kurindans and other races.
This seemingly enlightened mentality is notably absent whenever Kurindans encounter sentient beings from outside their band. If the Kurindans are stronger, they will immediately attack, with corpses of the dead (from either side) serving as food, prisoners taken as slaves (until they are too weak to labor, whereupon they are killed and eaten), and loot plundered. Kurindans are too savage to be employed as mercenaries: they prefer to slay and devour any envoys sent to hire their services rather than serve under another. Kurindan loyalty is to the band; any outside the band are viewed as prey to be hunted or rivals to be defeated or avoided.
In the army descriptions that follow, the name of each Kurindan unit will be given, followed in parentheses by the name of the corresponding unit from the Feral Orks list. Any deviation from the Feral Orks list is noted in the unit description. Thus, a Warlord riding a Carnosaurian is, for the purposes of the rules, equivalent to a Warboss on a Super-Cyboar. Got it?
A band of Kurindans will often go into battle with a Shaman (Wyrdboy), a psyker who sustains itself not on food and drink, but on the spirits of the recently slain. A Shaman is usually a bloated creature of enormous size and appetite, and is usually found at the front of combat, protected by two or more Thugs (q.v.).
These larger Kurindans are often accompanied by a diminutive sub-species known as Skirmishers (Gretchin), who are armed with close combat weapons and blowguns and are sometimes led by a Guide (Slaver). Kurindans have no equivalents to Madboyz and thus this unit cannot be taken.
Modeling and Painting
The Games Workshop Lizardman range is not very extensive, and not all figures in that range are used for a Kurindan army. Let’s take a look at each type of figure and discuss what units they can be applied to.
Saurus Warriors are the “grunts” of the Lizardman army and will form the backbone of any Kurindan force. Sauruses should be used for Alchemists (Stikk Bommas), Warriors (Wildboyz), and Stalkers (Huntas).
Stalkers might require more work than simple weapon swaps, hence they are a 0-1 choice in the Kurindan army. If you were to build a Stalker unit, you might try converting Ork Shoota Boy arms instead of using the arms that come with the Lizardman models. Sauruses could also be used as Thugs (Brutes), but some minor conversions should be made to mark them as elite fighters.
Skinks are used for Skirmishers (Gretchin), Trebuchet (Lobba) crew, Attendants (Grot Styboyz) and any other troops/wargear that would be represented by Gretchin in a standard Ork army.
If you’re going to have a unit of Stalkers (Huntas), you could, instead of converting Sauruses, mount two (or more) Skinks with blowpipes on 40 mm bases to count as each Stalker. This would save you some work, but would increase the number of Skinks you’d need to buy and paint. It might also be a little confusing to your opponents: “Okay, if you see one Skinks on a base, that’s a Gretchin. If you see two Skinks on a base, that’s a Hunta with a shoota, and if you see three Skinks on a bases, that’s a Hunta with a big shoota. Got it?”
Temple Guards make great Thugs (Brutes), Guides (Slavers), and/or Troglodytes (Nobz, either in the Warlord’s bodyguard or as mob leaders). They’re big, they have those cool dino-skull helmets, and they carry great big halberds that scream to be ‘uge choppas in the hands of character-types. It would be very easy to convert a halberd into a grabba stick.
Saurus Cavalry would, naturally, be used for Lizard Riders (Boarboyz) and as the basis for Troglodytes (Nobz) accompanying a mounted Warlord (Warboss). Cold One models could be “upgraded” to Greater Saurians (Cyboars), by swapping out body parts with other critter models (for a “natural” look) or by incorporating bits of machinery and such (for a “technological” look). It’s up to you, but I think I would go the “natural” route and try to make my Greater Saurians look like a big, more ferocious species of reptilian mount.
Alternatively, you could use Terradons and their Skink riders for Lizard Riders, but that might be confusing to your opponent.
A Saurus Lord makes for an excellent Warlord (Warboss). Mount him on a Carnosaur (Super Cyboar) and he’s ready to lead his army into battle. The Slaan Mage Priest begs to be used as a Shaman (Wyrdboy). I recommend that you buy the figure itself (minus the floating platform with all its Aztec-style carvings and such) from GW Mail Order for a measly $9 U.S. Make a rough palanquin out of balsa wood strips (or Popsicle sticks) if you want to have three or four Thugs (Brutes) carry around your Shaman. Or you can mount the Mage Priest model on a flying stand to make it appear as if the Shaman is levitating himself across the field.
Kroxigors are cool models but you probably don’t want to try making, say, a unit of Troglodytes (Nobz) with them, as they cost $15 each. OUCH! But if you can’t resist having a Kroxigor or two (and who could blame you?), buy a few for characters like the Warlord (Warboss), a Guide (Slaver), or a Herder (Herda).
Speaking of Herders, you’ll probably want to order some Lizard Swarms from GW’s Mail Order Archives to use as Squighounds. Why not use Salamanders for Squighounds? Because they’re too big and too expensive for a unit that numbers 10-20. Sallies are excellent models, but I just couldn’t find a way to squeeze them into the Kurindan army. Perhaps you could use one as an attack squig?
Finally, you could shell out the cash and use a Stegadon for a Megasaur (Squiggoth). But a better choice would be to pick up a large plastic dinosaur (perhaps from the Jurassic Park line) from the local toy store and build yourself a howdah out of balsa wood. For a fraction of what you would spend on a Stegadon, you could find something that could easily carry 20 Kurindans.
As can be expected, Kurindan flesh is usually green, varying from light to dark as each creature ages. A few bands, however, appear in other colors: red, purple, orange, blue, etc. Individuals in a band will almost always be the same color.
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© Copyright Kenton
Kilgore, September 2003.
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