Episode 39.8: Talking About The Squigs With The Bigs

Another stupid entry without a Battle Report? *disappointed sound effect* Yeah I've had plenty of adult stuff hitting me over the head this week BUT I should be able to get one to three games in this weekend.  I wasn't really feeling either of my lists this week in terms of a desire to play them and that kind of held me back from getting online and making a game happen.

On a somewhat related topic (I'll get there), the Bay Area Open was this weekend for those of you who follow competitive Warhammer. This is the first big tournament that I think really counts for 8th Edition, there's been some decent sized ones and the big ETC/ATC events however all of these were pre-FAQ and were using basic Rulebook Missions for the most part. The BAO is an ITC Event which used the latest FAQs, sorry Flier Spam, and also the ITC Missions which are significantly more balanced than most others, in my opinion.

Predictably the tournament was crushed by Imperium, which most people could see coming. If you haven't seen the lists it was the Conscripts + Scions / Guilliman show, shocking since these are pretty much all the best, under-priced units in the game which also happen to have insane offense. All I have to say about that is I hope GW keeps making those changes fast and furious because there's certainly work to be done. Maybe we could not make Imperium a Matched Play Keyword.....

ANYWAYS! I was browsing the lists for that event and Tau Commander Spam actually did pretty well which I was surprised by. Not because Commander Spam is weak, it's amazing, but because anything with Conscripts practically beats it for free. Turns out that spamming cheap units to deny Deep Strike is pretty good against an army that literally does just that. The real surprise though was from my beloved Greenskins.

The three best lists at the event for Orks all used a Gargantuan Squiggoth, which also surprised me. First off I was really happy to see Orks finish with a good record, I didn't expect them to win of course but having three people place well was really awesome to see. It's also clear that the lynch pin of all three armies was the Squiggoth. I didn't think these were bad by any stretch when I first cracked the Imperial Armor books open but I didn't think they were great either, in fact I still don't. They're very durable, hilariously so when you add a Kustom Force-Field (which all three players did) but their guns are completely awful and while they sport a great melee profile they have to walk there at a nothing special speed.

What I appear to have missed was the application of Squiggoths with Tankbustas. If you've ever read anything I have to say about Orks it's that the Faction isn't viable without Tankbustas and Tankbustas aren't viable. On foot they're obviously flawed and in a Transport their ride can easily be one-rounded by any competitive list, which means they're back to being on foot. This is not a recipe for success. But when you put them in a Squiggoth, suddenly you've got something. Toughness 8 with 35 Wounds (THIRTY FIVE WOUNDS!) is damn good when you add a 5+ Invulnerable Save to the mix. Spending a minimum of 421 Points on a ride for 20 Tankbustas doesn't exactly get me fired up but at least it works.

I disagree with most of the other elements in the lists, which I think is worth discussing. If you don't have the links to the lists you can find them here, here, and here.

List #1

Not a big fan of Ghaz in this list, or period, since even with the Big Squig or Da Jump it's iffy if he can keep up and always be where he needs to be. Same with the Waaagh! Banner, these elements are better when you're going against an army that will come to you but almost nothing does that against Orks. The Big Mek on foot can also have issues keeping up with the army even when Advancing. I assume he goes in the Big Squig but then I also don't see a point to him, I'd rather have two Bike Meks for the much better versatility.

My dislike of Stormboyz has been talked about, they aren't meaningfully faster than regular Boyz unless your opponent is hard camping the back edge, they also die on the Advance and Charge since this wasn't FAQ'd, and they're really expensive. The list also doesn't work well with them, Da Jump is almost useless on them and even though they aren't going in the Big Squig with this build they're not a good unit to do that with in general.

Overall the list feels unfocused and wave-y. Anti-Infantry shooting can all focus on the incredibly expensive Stormboyz who are the first wave while the big guns go into the Squiggoth that lags a bit behind. The list also can't keep all the Stormboyz under a KFF and that is bad news for Orks.

List # 2

This list is going a bit more my way, although I'm not sure why a Killkannon was put on the Big Squig since it's a completely awful gun. The big deviation is a Battlewagon with Flash Gitz, this used to be good but with the FAQ that they don't ignore the -1 to Hit from moving I don't see a reason to run this package. No Rolla on the BW means it's just a transport and the unit doesn't want to move which means things like LoS and Range are obstacles. Similarly KMKs are popular for anti-tank but the math isn't there on them, at least in this list there's target saturation to keep them alive.

I'm not sure what Snikrot is for, he's the same as a Da Jump unit except for a smaller footprint. If I had to guess I'd say he's for sniping smaller units and possibly grabbing Objectives? Just seems very awkward since he doesn't hit particularly hard and the things he'd love to fight are usually bubble-wrapped to hell and back.

List #3

This list is probably just bad. The Big Squig has guns which is a no no, it has one random unit of Stormboyz, two random Gretchin units, and an awkward Boyz unit. Dakkajets are pretty cool and good for clearing the lower end screens in the game, Blastajets are awful though and I had to double-take when I saw one. I guess he needed a safe KFF for the Stormboyz and Dakkajet? Overall this is a pretty jumbled mess on first glance, this is the list I'd most love to talk to the player about. Although I guess me tearing it apart would make that awkward...

My List

Zhadsnark Da Rippa (Warlord w/ Legendary Fighter)
Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF and Choppa
Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF and Choppa
Weirdboy [Da Jump]


10 Grots
29 Shoota Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
29 Choppa Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
29 Choppa Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa

5 Tankbustas
5 Tankbustas
5 Tankbustas
5 Tankbustas

Gargantuan Squiggoth w/ 2 Twin Big Shootas & 2 Big Zzappas

Battlaion | Spearhead | Super-Heavy Auxillary | 7 Command Points

***Correction: My original list didn't pay for the Tusks on the Big Squig.***
 ***Revised to not be a cheater.***

Let's run this sucker down:

First off we have Zhadsnark, it is very hard to go back from this guy having played him. He's one of few models in the Faction I want to have a Powerklaw and he crucially gives out Waaagh! Normally only one Warboss would be an issue but since it's not checked until the start of the Charge Phase it's pretty easy to daisy-chain within 6" of him. He also crucially helps with Tanks and Monsters.

Big Meks are standard, I need two to cover the whole army which if you aren't doing makes having any KFF useless. Weirdboy lets me throw some units at an opponent early and gives Deny the Witch. Grotsnik is in to give me that little bit of extra survivability on my Boyz and he's another valuable Powerklaw compared to throwing them on Nobs. The Weirdboy also appreciates the heals since he tends to get scuffed up.

Grots are for holding Objectives, crucial when aiming for tournaments since BRB Missions aren't often used. In some situations they can be a screen but that's likely to be pretty rare, they can also tie things up if I'm feeling frisky. All the Boyz are my usual split, I've been loving two Shoota units and it gives me a nice variety in what I Deep Strike. As always I have no love for Special Weapons since I'm too busy Advancing and I don't like PKs on Nobs because they're overpriced and the math isn't good on them.

Tankbustas are taken in small units because that seems like the best way to go, it hurts my opponent being able to gun them down and allows for more intelligent splitting. Also more Nobz is more better, Tankbustas are still Orks and thus not bad in combat. Of course last up we have the big bad, he's as bare bones as possible and I wish he could just leave those guns at home but...oh well. All the Tankbustas go in the howda as he walks forward, hoping to multi-Charge a bunch Space Marine units and inflict horrific amounts of Mortal Wounds.


I'm not quite sure how I feel about this list. On one hand it can handle a lot more things than my usual, all Boyz build, and only loses some Warbosses that I seldom got work out of, Weirdboyz, and two Boyz units. In exchange I pick up a ranged threat for Vehicles/Monsters and a huge melee threat. Obviously every big gun my opponent has is going to be trained on that Squiggoth from the word go but the math on him is actually really good with the KFF backup. T8 is a huge game changer because it makes things like Missile Launchers, Lances, and so on significantly worse. However you'd have to pay 322pts for two no frills Battlewagons, which would be T7, and have less combined Wounds!

The worrying part is only having 120 Boyz, I don't think that's going to leave me with much at the end of most games. I'll cerainly have to up my game when it comes to tying things up aggressively since any spare shooting is just a nightmare, although on the positive side I can do a lot more against some of my banes like Tanks with Flamers.

I'm actually super excited to test this list, I'll likely just use my Gorkanaut to proxy the Big Squig. The footprint isn't right but it's close enough. Hopefully the list is awful so I don't have to figure out a permanent solution...but it probably won't be. But if you have any thoughts about Big Squigs, BAO lists, clouds, or just way to say hi feel free to drop a reply.


  1. Good read, I agree with all of your points. I didn't see the big squig success in BAO coming, although it's not unbelievable in retrospect.

    As you said, it brings opens up bustas, great melee threat, and all enemy AV will be firing at it. It seems like a case that is difficult to theory-hammer:

    -Maybe the enemy general plays differently? Keeps vehicles away from it?
    -Draws str5 weapon fire that would be vs boyz?

    It may have value that is not easily represented with mathammer, which is kind of cool.

    On another note, ork mech isn't "competitive" but the big squig would be even better in ork mech than in ork horde obviously, despite most ork mech lists floating around use wagonz...

    Since you keep stomping people with your orks I'm not sure what viable data we're going to get when you stomp someone with big squig + boyz. You could prove the negative though ;)

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I've actually done a lot more work on this list since posting it, working on a Tau Battle Report now. But I will have some more to say on the list and Orks in general very soon. There's a tournament next week that I badly want to take them too but can't get the models done in time. :[