ORKS: Bad Moons, by Andy Ovel

6 Apr

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ORKS: Bad Moons

By Andy Ovel

Too many models for my own good?

“Hi, my name is Andy, and I have a problem”.

I feel as if I should be part of a support group for people who just can’t stop buying miniatures.

I know that there are lot like me out there who suffer from Uncontrollable Model Purchasing Syndrome (UMPS), those whose army building plans outstretch their ability to just sit down and paint. In fact, I recently felt that things had become so serious that I even started my own blog, charting what I’ve called my ‘Clean Slate Challenge’, where I attempt to paint all my models in my collection before I buy any new ones.

One of the reasons that I initially started the blog was because I find that setting myself a goal, and a reasonable time to get the models done, is the best way to motivate myself to get painting. After all, nobody wants to be the guy left alone in the hotel room gluing and painting their models the night before the tournament, do they Dave?

Why Orks?

When BJ invited me to take part in Age of Armies (AoA) I realised that it would be a great opportunity to concentrate on the Orks sitting in my games cupboard, just waiting for some love from my paintbrush. I’ve collected a load of Orks from different places over the years, and I’d always eventually planned to paint them as Bad Moons.

The second army that I ever collected was Orks, back in the early Nineties (my first army was Marines, but then, whose wasn’t?). I bought myself two big boxes of plastic Orks, and a metal warlord model, and called it an army. At the time, the warlord looked absolutely amazing, with a power fist, cool looking armour, and a kustom shoota. This Warlord model was a Bad Moon, which naturally meant that I had to paint the rest of my force as Bad Moons, too.

Bad Moons colours are black and yellow, but despite my best efforts back then, the models just came out as a kind of brown colour. I was only about 14, mind, and trying my best with a limited palette of paints, but I’m very happy that I’ve no idea what happened to those models – they were terrible!

Well, I’m nearly 40 now instead of 14, and I can kind of paint yellow, so I’m feeling a bit more confident I will finally be able to paint the Bad Moons army that I dreamt of all those years ago.

Each clan is famous for different traits. Evil Suns love going fast in their vehicles, Blood Axes are sneaky and mimic Imperial Tactics, while Bad Moons have loads of teeth which they love to spend on flash-looking gubbins. So, I have to include lots of technical ‘know whatz’. A Mek Boy is a must, perhaps some Mega-Armour Nobz and some big shooty stuff, maybe even some looted wagons with big cannons.

I didn’t want to have lots of trucks and vehicles in my army, as that would feel too much like an Evil Suns warband, but with no trucks to hide in I would definitely need a Mek with a Kustom Force Field, and loads of Orks on foot so some of the Boyz will survive running across the board.

Month 1 March 2013

This month I decided to start by painting a 30-strong Boyz Mob to really get me started. I’ve been told that biggest issue with collecting a horde army is the sheer number of models you have to paint. As I’d planned to do a ‘Green Tide’ style army, which uses sheer weight-of-numbers coming across the board to batter your opponent, painting all of those Orks could prove interesting!

I think that painting fatigue will be a real problem, and worst of all, I was going to have to paint a whole lot of the dreaded yellow.

£18 x 3 =£54

(£46 to spend next month)

Painting & Modelling

A friend showed me a technique where you actually basecoat your models yellow, use a green wash for their skin, and then a sepia wash for the armour. You are then free to pick out all the other bits and pieces of kit, like guns, ammo belts, pouches, skulls, angry squigs and the like. It was obvious to me that to have any chance of finishing this army, I was going to have to give this technique a go.

The very first, and perhaps most important step, was to set my wife up on the sofa with some snacks, drinks, and Grays Anatomy Season Five, ensuring I would not be disturbed for the whole weekend. Then, and only then, could I start painting in earnest.

I used the Amy Painter Daemonic Yellow to start. It’s very bright, and it worked really well, giving excellent coverage. One thing I noticed was that on larger areas the wash would seem to pool away, leaving bare patches, as if the basecoat was slightly water repellent. If any one knows a solution to this then please do let me know.


Once base coating was complete, I was then ready to begin washing them with inks. Now, I find a production-line method works best, where I do one colour at a time on each and every model, before moving on to a new colour and doing all the models again. This really speeds up painting times. It saves you putting a colour away, cleaning and drying your brush, changing the water, finding the new colour and so on, for each and every model. If I’m painting a character model then it’s different, and I would recommend taking your time, and painting them individually. However, when you have 30 Boyz to paint I would strongly recommend the production-line style of painting.

At first I was planning to do 60 Boy

z (that’s two mobs of 30 Boyz) in one sitting, but it quickly became apparent that, even using the production line style of painting, it was going to be a souldestroying grind, and in the end I just did the 30 Boyz, leaving the other 30 for next month.

Man, did my back ache when I’d finished leaning over those models.

In the end, it took me several days to get them all finished, but I think they look great. I also found out that Ork flesh needs two washes of green, or they look a little pale and sickly, but apart from that it all went really smoothly.



Practice makes perfect

Both my friend and I are planning to take part in a 1,000 point tournament the day after Salute, at The Overlords club in East London.

I felt that this was perfect motivation to get the first 1,000 points worth of models painted. I was keen to practice a few 1,000-point lists in preparation, and try out a few things to get a feel for how the force played.

1,000 Point Ork Army List One


120  Big Mek (35) Power Klaw (25) Kustom Force Field (50) Attack Squig (5) Cybork Body (10)

145 – Old Zogwart


215 -30 x Boyz (180) PKlaw (25) Nob (10)

215 -30 x Boyz (180) PKlaw (25) Nob (10)

55 -15 x Grots (45) Runtherd (10)

Heavy Support

125 – Looted Wagon (35) Boom Gun (70) 2 x Big Shoota (10) Grot Riggers (5) ‘ardcase (5)

125 – Looted Wagon (35) Boom Gun (70) 2 x Big Shoota (10) Grot Riggers (5) ‘ardcase (5)

For this first list, I just wanted to throw a few different units together that looked fun. I felt that this was probably the best way to start with Orks. I knew a Big Mek with KFF was a must, and I liked the idea of turning my opponent’s Warlord into a squig, so I grabbed Old Zogwart too.

I also knew I wanted two massive units of Boyz, but I felt that a small unit of Grots to capture back-line objectives wouldn’t hurt. Finally, I have some Leman Russ tanks in my IG army, so I grabbed them for Looted Wagons, and off I went.

I was playing against my friend’s Khorne Chaos army, and it was a pretty close game in the end, if very bloody.

The Looted Wagons were not very effective, with one failing a roll, and having to randomly move forward first turn. This ended up providing a nice target for my opponent to charge with some Khorne Berserkers later on. The same Khorne Berserkers tore a hole in my army by wiping out a Boys squad in one round of combat – I ended up with 10 survivors, just one short of fearless, but with a minus nine to my morale test only a double one would have saved me, and a poor role and a sweeping advance saw me lose the squad. I’ve made a mental note to watch out for these guys in the future.

The Kustom Force Field paid for itself again and again, so the Mek was, as predicted, a very effective choice. He even added in a few Power Klaw attacks here and there, and killed himself a Land Raider.

I wasn’t so happy with Old Zogwart, who has been really hurt by the new FAQ saying that he can’t use the Ork’s shooting powers because he has no BS, and I didn’t get to use his squig power because there was never a suitable target in range. He did end up contesting an objective, and the odd role on the table proved useful, but he never really earned his points.

The Grots did what they were supposed to do, and sat back and held an objective, but it wasn’t very exciting. In the end it was narrow victory for my Orks, but a few crucial roles could have easily swung it either way.

So, I redesigned my list, dropping Zogwart and the Looted Wagons, which I felt proved ineffective for their points cost. I kept the Boyz and Big Mek, and decided to add in everyone’s favourite Ork Warlord, Ghazghkull, and a squad of Mega Nobz, as these would provide even more power to my assaults. The plan was to hold nothing back, and charge everything at my opponent and simply wipe him from the table. Very Orky!

999 Point Ork Army List Two


225 – Ghazghkull

110 – Big Mek (35) PKlaw (25) KFF(50)


215 -30 xBoyz (180) Nob (10) PKlaw (25)

209 – 29 x Boyz (174) Nob (10) PKlaw (25)

240 – 5 x Mega Nobz (240)

This tactic proved really successful, and I won convincingly in just four turns. There was an epic battle between Ghazie and Abbadon, where Abbadon rolled a one for his Daemon weapon and was mashed by a Power Klaw first round in a challenge, but even so I think it would have been a similar result with the huge number of attacks 30 Boyz can throw out on the charge (120).

My opponent’s list this time was a Terminator-heavy list, and the sheer number of attacks from the Boyz on the charge meant there were a lot of ones rolled for his armour saves. Overall, I was really happy with how the Boyz performed in the game.


Aprils Purchases

I’m very pleased with how the army is going right now, and my target for next month’s painting assignment is to get another 30 Boyz painted, assuming my back can take it. This will give me a big core of painted troops.

‘Til next time:



3 Responses to “ORKS: Bad Moons, by Andy Ovel”

  1. gary April 6, 2013 at 14:41 #

    Loving the paint scheme. The bad moons are supposed to stand out so this is awesome. Keep it up

    • andyovel April 7, 2013 at 17:20 #

      Cheers Gary, I’m glad you liked them 🙂

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