Hello Martin here, as a lifelong Orc player (stop laughing Rob) I have been extremely excited for the new Riftforged orcs releasing this December. I was looking over the list while it was being playtested and thought it really suited my playstyle: hitting stuff.

In fact I’ve been so excited I coerced the studio into letting me have a few of the test shots, samples and early sculpts so I can get started on building an army – oh, and of course do my duty and write blogs such as this one. It’s hard life sometimes.

However, before we get started, you might be wondering ‘what are the Riftforged orcs, is that just a cool name you came up with Martin?’ Well, Rob and Kyle have done a superb job of explaining what the ‘Thorcs’ are with their blogs and video below, so I won’t go into the lore too much here. Instead I’ll just focus on a bit of the hobby aspect.


I don’t think I’m too unusual in the fact I would much prefer to paint hero models for my army than 100s of infantry figures, so I decided to make a determined effort to get a head start on the army with a couple of Legionaries hordes. These will be the backbone of my army, as they are quite survivable with a defence of 5+. Plus, with a melee of 3+, Crushing Strength (1) and 25 attacks, they should do some decent damage whilst holding my middle. With one horde completed and the other well on the way (just waiting for stock to arrive) I am close to having the backbone of the army completed. Then it’s all just gravy, right?

I have tried to do some fun multi bases with these guys – a wintery snow effect combined with a lightning ‘energy’ theme. I used the Geek Gaming modelling compound to build the hills, then base ready for texture and Vallejo snow effects for the snow. I finished off with a bridge made from coffee stirrers – that’s right folks, don’t throw those little bits of wood away.

The other part of my infantry I’ve done so far are two troops of Reborn Legionaries. With their Inspiring and Crushing Strength (2), I modelled them with the two-handed weapons to reflect their ability to hit slightly harder. Finally, from an infantry point of view I have done one troop of Riftwalkers. With a speed of 7 and Fly, I’m hoping to either use these as chaff (although a bit pricey) or potentially as part of speedy battle groups, combined with Helstrikers and Stormbringers on Manticores (but more on those in a minute). I’ve tried to model this troop with an almost ethereal feel, as I think having flying, heavily armoured Orcs may be a bit tricky to pull off. Rocket packs maybe?

I mentioned the Stormforged Shrine in our blog about our favourite units in Clash of Kings, as the unit I’m most excited about. I’ll be using a proxy until the model is released early next year… and that can’t come soon enough.


Now to the most exciting stuff: the Helstrike Manticore units! Ooooh mamma! I am modelling three hordes of these beauties for my initial army. Brutal, Crushing Strength (1), Fly, Lifeleech (1) and Thunderous Charge (1)… lovely stuff. You saw the renders teased last week and I think these will be what everyone is after when they’re released in March. Painting 18 of them is daunting but I’m looking forward to the challenge.


Stormbringer on Helstrike Manticore – times two! Fly around and hit stuff! After watching some of the games from this year’s Clash of Kings tournament, I really saw the value in having some decent heroes that can potentially get behind the back lines and cause problems for my opponent. Hobby-wise, I’ve gone for a red fur with the Manticores to try and offer a contrast against the green skin and the metal armour.

I’m really enjoying working on the Riftforged. The hard plastics – even the test shots – are super and accompanying resin range is absolutely outstanding. I think the Helstrike cavalry might be some of my favourite Kings of War minis ever. I’m hoping to have everything ready for the Kings of War doubles tournament here at Mantic HQ next year. For once, my army will march alongside Rob’s goblins, rather than trying to smash them in the face. It will be an unusual feeling.

Over myriad campaigns spanning many years, the Riftforged orcs fought battle after battle in Garkan’s name, hunting in the second circle, braving the fires of the fourth circle, enduring the tortures of the third circle, and battling the champions of the fifth circle.

In the Abyss, death is not the end, and so the orc warriors fought, and fell, and rose to fight again, each resurrection making them stronger, cannier, and more skilled. In those campaigns, veterans emerged from the ranks, along with great leaders and shamanic Stormcallers.

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With twisted bodies animated by the power of a raging storm, their souls infused with very essence of the Nexus, the orcs that emerged from Garkan’s flesh forges were unlike any that had come before them. Their cracked skin was of a green-grey hue, and broader, more muscular, and yet possessed of a cruel cunning and impressive martial prowess, these ‘Riftforged orcs’ were truly Garkan’s finest creation.

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