A pair of Kev Adams’ Citadel Orcs (and a little rant!)

Today I have a couple more orcs to share. These were started god-only-knows how long ago (seriously, I have NO idea) and finished during the long period recently where I was too busy and burnt out by work to post much – but still doing what I could to get some painting in.

Citadel Kev Adams Orc with Sword, Big'Un with Mace

The smaller one is from 1993, so the early days of WHFB 4th edition. He’s definitely a variant sculpt to the commander to the 1992 Rock Lobber. I’ll have to find, build and paint it. I may have even painted the other crew in the past few years, so that should theoretically be an easy unit to reunite and complete. Anyway, he’s listed in the Black Catalogue 4 (1994 filled with 1993 models) as “Orc with Sword 4”.

Citadel Kev Adams Orc with Sword, Big'Un with Mace

The larger orc is found in the same catalogue. Called “Orc Big’Un with Mace”, this pair is clearly from the period where the interesting names of 3rd edition and before had been dropped to be replaced with upfront descriptions. I actually rebased him recently onto the 32mm, as there was quite a lot of overhang on the 25mm round I had him on. I plan to continue to drop large orc models onto the 32mm bases.

Both will eventually find use in various games including Kings of War, though I’m not sure what as exactly for the big guy. Their orc list is lacking pretty severely in decent analogues. When I recently read that KoW plans to add more units to the Orc and Goblin armies, I suggested to some members of the RC that they add something to represent the archetypes of “bigger meaner orcs” and “barbarian/berserker orcs” I was brushed off since they were clearly analogues to Big’Uns/Black Orcs and Savage Orcs, while they want to go in a more original direction. This from the people who started out by bringing us a range of alternative WHFB models for Orcs, Dwarfs, Elves, Chaos Dwarfs and followed up with the highly original Space Orx, Space Skaven, Forge Fathers (Space Dwarfs/Squats), and the Uncharted Empires book filled with rules to use your formerly-WHFB armies. I mean, I appreciate the rules, but don’t even pretend that there’s a precedent of being particularly original.

No, instead, they’re going with this:

The RC wants to do a new unit for each of the core races (main rulebook + Trident Realms + Nightstalkers), but also bring them all up to the same number of units. This means some armies, such as Orcs and surprisingly Goblins, will get multiple new units. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Ronnie did agree to flying gore riders for Orcs.

and later:

Also, I should clarify that flying pigs = flying gore riders. Background wise something along the lines of an Abyssal Dwarf interbreeding experiment (like ADwarf halfbreeds) that was uncontrollable by the ADwarfs and a flock escaped, but they’re now bred extensively by Orcs.

Yep. No orc berserkers or bigger, meaner orcs. Those are too derivative! Instead – flying pigs!

Oh, Mantic…

13 thoughts on “A pair of Kev Adams’ Citadel Orcs (and a little rant!)

  1. Well, at least they’re trying, I suppose.

    It seems par for the course that a fantasy or sci fi wargaming company starts out by imitating GW (and thus gets to sell its models as proxies), but making things just different enough that it counts as a separate IP, before spinning off on its own course.

    I’ve not really read much Kings of War, but I’m quite liking what I’ve read of the Warpath rulebooks, which arrived from their recent Kickstarter a few days ago. It’s clearly intended to have an Imperium equivalent in its GCPS, with corrupt capitalism providing the grimdarkness rather than fascist theocracy, and I’m just grateful to anyone who releases a good-sized range of Squat models that slot conveniently into a Space Marine army list. That said, they’re definitely doing their own thing with the armies and (although I’ve not actually read the sourcebook yet) the setting. It’s a sign of a more confident company.

    On a smaller scale, Anvil Industry started out providing Space Marine alternate parts, before eventually moving onto their own IP and mostly 40k-incompatible model range with the Afterlife game. Unfortunately for their ambitions, they’ve found that their proxy parts are their better sellers, so now they’re branching out into an impressive array of Imperial Guard proxies. Shame really, as I playtested Afterlife via their Kickstarter and it’s a really neat little game.

    I guess the phenomenon’s similar to how GW started out their Warhammer franchises as D&D/Moorcock-style fantasy and 2000AD-style science fiction, but each became more distinctive as time went on. (And then Age of Sigmar was deliberately written to be distinctive from the outset, I guess.)

    The flying pigs, if they aren’t just an oversold pun by Mantic, would at least be in the same tradition as their dwarf badger-cavalry, which had no analogue in Warhammer (where dwarves have always been resolutely footsloggers).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m well aware that the SOP for most any sci-fi or fantasy minis company is to start with not-GW (and occasionally, Aliens or Terminator) concepts and then try to produce their own game later – and also of how successful that usually works out for them. I’m also well aware of Anvil, Afterlife, Raging Heroes, Shieldwolf, and any number of others with the same plans over the last few decades. (And usually have a solid collection of their models sitting in a box somewhere).

      I don’t actually begrudge them that origin, now do I begrudge any good attempts to make something new or turn an old “joke” concept into a new, good thing. We’ve seen the old “Codex: Fishmen” joke work out well with both Tau (GW) and Naiads (Mantic).

      What I do begrudge them is being told that bigger/black orcs and feral/berserker are too derivative by representitives of the same company that only just wrote and released army lists for not-skaven, not-chaos warriors, not-daemons, not-beastmen, not-Brettonia and not-Tomb Kings (and just released a bunch of not-Tomb Kings).

      I mean, I enjoy KoW and I really do appreciate the Uncharted Empires book. But to have the same people suggest that big orcs and feral orcs are “too derivative” pisses me off enough to have a little rant about it here.

      Oh, and I’ve got no problems with original units in KoW either. I’d just prefer if they weren’t essentially backronyms for fuckstupid punnish concepts.

      I’m aware that I might come across as more bitter and twisted than I really am. Don’t worry, that’s just part of my writing style. I’ll be able to Let it Go and just find some other appropriate model statlines for my Savage Orcs, Big’Uns and Black Orcs. 🙂


  2. Nice paint job. Pretty Hypocritical alright. The flying bacon squad sounds a bit strange. I hope they pull if off. Sounds interesting but I’m not sure if it’s the kind of model that will get me into buying Orcs. Then again, pigs might fly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t hold a lot of faith in Mantic being able to pull flying pigs off to a degree where they’re more than an embarrassment. It requires more than some creative writing – it requires some bloody good models – and that’s where they’re very likely to fail.


  3. Oh Mantic – really? I tend to agree, some of their wacky ideas are just too wacky, or perhaps it’s more that they’re wacky for the sake of being wacky, rather than fitting into the context of their world ala GW or Malifaux. When they started out they were the budget alternative to GW but thanks to things like Start Collecting GW isn’t as pricy as it once was, whilst other companies have started to arise which offer better quality for lower prices.

    Anyway, nice work on those Orks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. I’m still interested in the KoW ruleset, and I’ll give Warpath a once-over if it ever arrives but GW’s recent renaissance has pretty much killed all but the very best kickstarters and alternative Sci-Fi/Fantasy models for me. Still happy to support small, lovely stuff like RPE’s dwarfs, but my support for the very slightly-above-average to mediocre middle ground where Mantic lives has dried up completely. I can just buy the rules (when needed) at retail.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice work on this blog. I just started a Kislev blog – thearmyoftheicequeen.blogspot.com – and would be very appreciative if you would add it to your list of links and blogs to follow. I have already added this blog to mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Another pair of Kev Adams’ Citadel Orc Boyz (WHFB 4th Edition) | Azazel's Bitz Box.

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