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GorkaMorka Gaming

Having been cutting, gluing and painting ork miniatures and post apocalyptic terrain for the last few months, MT and SOS paid a visit to play some GorkaMorka a couple of weeks ago.

The plan was to concentrate on putting our respective mobs through their paces by playing nothing but GoMo for the duration, which is what we did.

I used my Bigdogz mob.  SOS had plans to paint a Freebooter pirate mob, but only got a couple of figures painted.  MT didnt have anything ready so he used SOSs figures.

SOS "Kaptin"

One of the reasons that GoMo was chosen for this particular gaming weekend is that SOS has enough orks already painted to allow us to build pretty much any ork mob we could want.  That way we had a fallback in case painting plans didnt come to fruition.  Therefore MT and SOS picked their mobs from SOS older stuff and we got going.

The look of SOS ork army is largely themed around WWII Wehrmacht, in case you were wondering, with each squad looking like paratroopers or desert camo guys or whatever.  SOS chose the ride above to start with.

MT chose the vehicle above as his first transport.  He chose to use one of SOS squads denoted by their soft brown caps.

We played a number of games over the day.  We didnt record exhaustive details of each game (there was enough bookwork in keeping track of the mob development itself), but we took photos of some of the more memorable moments, starting with the distinctly unmemorable picture below.

The opening three way game. Believe it or not, that turned out to be too much terrain for a game of GoMo...

GoMo needs very little terrain.  Manoeuvring the vehicles is sufficiently difficult that including too many obstacles makes things a bit too frustrating.

Playing with miniatures on gaming tables that are largely devoid of scenery is anathema to me: part of the point of tabletop gaming is the visual vignettes and the 3D, train set nature of the pasttime.  Without those it quickly becomes something that would be better played with cardboard counters on a hex grid.

That said however I think that elements of the vehicle side of GoMo work well and give an unusually fluid (some would say non-existent) battle line.  For the unique game experience that this brings I am willing to suck up the fact that GoMo games are played on largely featureless plains.

A head on ram by SOS causes MTs truck to explode, while my boyz circle in for the kill...

... but a lucky shot from SOS jams the throttle on the Bigdogz truck, sending the lot of them hurtling off the table with flame shooting from the exhaust. Giggling ensues.

The end of the first game had amply illustrated the Keystone Kops nature of Gorkamorka.  It is very much a think-on-the-fly followed by shoulder shrugging and laughing sort of affair.  There is a lot of screwy randomness involved.

In addition this game illustrated that despite having a combined age of ~105 that the three of us are categorically not too old to titter in a juvenile fashion at repeated uses of the words “Nob”, “Chopper”, “Thrust” and “Ram” (all deliberately incorporated into the rules by puerile designers, bless ’em).  Examples included:

  • “All of my guys jump on your Nob”
  • “I Thrust my Nob at your Nob while that guy hits the guy with the hat with his Chopper”
  • “My Nob is a Spanner”

I didnt think that I would laugh as much as I did either, but it wore me down 🙂

Chase Scenario 2 starts with two trucks hurtling through the wasteland, but...

...rapidly turns into a collision, an explosion...

...and a fistfight, with very little chasing involved.

Next we tried a couple of Chase scenarios.  During these games most vehicles largely remain stationary on the table, while the terrain travels towards the edge, giving a “rolling road” effect.

This was something that I had been looking forward to trying for quite a while, but our two attempts didnt work out terribly well.  It is likely to me that this was due to the fact that we were using mobs composed of raw recruits, with only one vehicle each (plus the usual caveat about the Yahtzee like random elements in GoMo).

I think that chase scenarios would likely work better with more vehicles involved and with potentially more skilled vehicle drivers (models that is, not necessarily the players) to flatten out the averages on some of the more extreme results of GoMo games.

King of the Hill three way fight.

MTs mob tries to shift the Bigdogz from their tenuous foothold on the plateau while SOSs boyz opportunistically flank the Bigdogz at ground level.

SOS boyz forgo the enfilade in favour of hurtling bodily into one of the Bigdogz trucks, as is traditional in GoMo. This causes engine explosions in both vehicles (also traditional).

The King of the Hill (or “Nob of da Kop” to use the vernacular) scenario turned out to be one of the more enjoyable games for me.

I specifically made the daft but (to my eyes at least) somewhat charming “Kop” with this scenario in mind.  It was fun for me to have a purpose built piece of terrain with its (albeit limited) functionality (well it is large and flat) in full use.

The game was the usual shenanigans of course.  Nonetheless it gave us all a few laughs and was unpredictable fun.  MT won as everyone else ran away but, in true GoMo style the Bigdogz ended up with the lions share of the booty.

Trucks chase around the fort while the Bigdogz rescue their brother in arms.

More tyre squealing antics as MT rescues his comrade from SOSs clutches.

The last couple of games that we played involved the fort.  I was hoping for a little bit of a Mad Max like siege atmosphere and I got a little of that at least.  I got a kick out of finally using the fort (having owned it in various unfinished states for about sixteen years).  The games themselves were mediocre from my perspective (and I think MTs) and “shit” from SOSs perspective if memory serves.

Conclusions

Definitely not for everybody, but despite (and sometimes because of) its failings, Gorkamorka proved to be ridiculous but entertaining fun for a day.  Not something to play every weekend, but for a while every so often, sure.

For a game as profoundly silly as it is Gorkamorka has a far too convoluted post game sequence, for little gain.  If that part of the game were smoother I could see my group playing it more regularly.

Our three mobs have a little history now.

  1. SOSs guys are basically crewing ghost trucks with swabs thin on the ground, but so far they have got away with it via homicidal ramming and dazzling accurate Kannon shots.
  2. MTs guys made an expensive fashion faux pas by buying (useless) Flak armour early on (thats what he gets for not even reading the rulebook in advance 😛 ) but still held the top of the leaderboard pretty consistently for the duration.
  3. My Bigdogz reputation for rubbishness is deserved with spectacularly slow experience advancement and the massive cost of having to replace an expensive atomised truck hampering their lacklustre efforts further.  Still none of them died or got injured and Ginormuz (my leader, “Norm” to his friends) finally won his last game, giving him his much needed compulsory leadership boost.
With the three mobs details on file I suspect that GoMo will get on the table again at a later date.
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7 Responses

  1. Brilliant! Gomo games are often a laugh, or rather…they should be! If not…then you are taken things too seriously.

    Been a long time since my gorkers raced and fought…

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    • I am glad that you enjoyed it Lord Siwoc.

      The system really is patchy and there is a whole load of unnecessary detail in places while it is far to vague in others. Lots of things about it are totally random and if things are not going your way then it can be a bit cruel.

      And yet we all had fun playing and a lot of laughs. Its also much faster to play than its closest cousin Necromunda due to the fluid vehicle defining battle lines and the lack of terrain based LOS issues.

      If the bookkeeping elements were not so pointlessly complicated I think that we would be more likely to play more GoMo. I reckon that we are likely to have another session of it soon anyway 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback.

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  2. Haha! Nice!

    The post-game book-keeping is a bit of a chore, particularly compared to Mordheim, but so far I’ve not come up with a good way to streamline it that won’t break compatibility between rule sets.

    Nob uv da Kop is a good scenario then, I take it? I’ve never played it myself, but I’ve been curious.

    When we play we tend to use much more terrain in order to give more things to crash into, swerve around, and generally cause chaos. In one game a vehicle of mine crashed into a rock spire and then thrusted repeatedly into it, humping itself to death!

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    • The bookkeeping is just a bit fiddly. If I were to redesign it from the ground up (Im not) then I would remove the random D6 experience/game and assign values and columns to all possible XP gains (look at a Blood Bowl roster if my feeble attempt to explain isnt clear). As it is its a lot of random numbers to track.

      I very much doubt that there is any simple way to streamline it and retain cross compatibility. Its probably just best to accept the game as the ridiculous thing that it is, house rule one or two of the more egregious things and bend like the willow I suspect.

      Incidentally, I had one guy who got 5XP total from five games (thats five D6 rolls of “1” fact fans), which was pretty funny (not for him obviously).

      ” In one game a vehicle of mine crashed into a rock spire and then thrusted repeatedly into it, humping itself to death!”

      I take it that you repeatedly Thrusted your Nob into a rock spire until it exploded then. NIce 😉

      I would like to use more terrain, purely for visual reasons but we had ferocious trouble getting the vehicles to go anywhere. I managed to turn a vehicle 90 degrees at speed once and I felt like I had won the lottery.

      I think that we had some bad luck with the effectiveness of the vehicles thrusters (until the vehicles were pointing directly off the table, at which point the thrusters became all vorsprung durch technik) but I am not sure that we are ready to add even more things to crucify our boys on. But we might do it anyway…

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

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  3. We have to revisit this one some day!

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    • For sure. We should organise an Oldhammer thing to run at the day in Foundry.
      You will need to provide a working spreadsheet for the rosters though. That was the speedbump in that totally ridiculous, yet curiously fun game.

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  4. […] playing Gorkamorka a couple of years ago, I noted that it would be convenient and kinda funny to have a dedicated model to represent […]

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