Warhammer 40,000/5th Edition Tactics/Orks
Why Play Orks
Orks are one of the easiest armies to learn Warhammer 40k with. Between dirt-cheap, durable infantry, ease of acquiring Fearless, and exceptionally point-efficient anti-infantry shooting and melee, Orks are initially very forgiving of tactical errors. However, the codex hasn't aged too well; the result of 40k becoming increasingly vehicle-based and Ork ranged anti-tank being sub-par relative to many armies. They aren't as boned as Necrons WERE in this regard, but Ork armies are increasingly becoming dated. It isn't entirely hopeless though; they excel at lower-point games and still are amazing at shooting infantry and light vehicles dead, allowing them some degree of protection against spam armies. But in all seriousness, these guys should be placing blades through brains in close combat. The only army to be better than orks at swamping enemies in dozens of models and hundreds of attacks are the Tyranids. And they don't have ANY ranged support.
Additionally, you are just about tied with Chaos as the army that gets the most loving from Forgeworld and Apocalypse. In Apocalypse your army transforms from a rather mediocre force when pitted against Matt Ward codices into a God-Tier rape machine that can vomit out more dice than a D&D convention every turn. Up yours, Space Marines.
Lotz of good stuff can be found at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/16877022/ .
- Ghazhgkull Mag Uruk Thraka: A relatively popular HQ for many Ork armies. While costing more than two Mega-Armored Warbosses for a marginal increase in close combat ability (although immunity to Instant Death is nice by all means), the real reason to take him is for his Prophet of the Waaagh ability. The ability to allow all your infantry units to count their Fleet Roll as 6" for a single turn is a potentially very powerful ability, if you can set your army up for the charges. Obviously, this works in some armies better than others; a Loota Gunline backed by Kans as the main defensive element, would have little use for the big Warboss, while for mechanized Orks, the additional threat range provided is priceless. In close combat, he's *decent* but not great, meaning one had best provide him with an escort unit; the exception is on the turns where he declares his WAAAGH, where he is one of the hardest characters in the game. Another exception is when he gets the charge, where he drowns his enemy in very high strength attacks that can rip open land raiders. Additionally, he can call down three Roks in one turn to bring down some pieplate hate down a la Space Marine Orbital bombardment on the enemy. Yes it comes at BS2 but oh boy does it wreck the other guy's shit when it hits.
- Note: It has not yet been proven that this model can be built by mortals NO FUCK YOU I WAS ABLE TO BUILD IT but painting it is a different matter
- Said model is incredibly durable, when thrown into drywall it will reliably pierce the drywall intact. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to you.
- Note: It has not yet been proven that this model can be built by mortals NO FUCK YOU I WAS ABLE TO BUILD IT but painting it is a different matter
- Mad Dok Grotsnik: Grotsnik is an interesting character. On one hand, he makes a unit Fearless, and grants it Feel No Pain, provided he remains a part of that unit (he's not allowed to leave units by default). On the other hand, his One Scalpel Short of a Medpack rule makes the unit he's with prone to being led about in circles, meaning mobile opponents can throw speedy units to divert Grotsnik's mob from the main battleline. This said and done, he does have his other uses. The ability for any other Ork unit to take Cybork bodies is useful, and can do a lot to lengthen the lifespan of other Ork units; however, in practice this becomes mostly useful for upgrading Meganobz, on account of their normal inability to acquire Cybork Bodies, and the fixed price for the upgrade making it prohibitively expensive to upgrade regular Orks in this manner. The other popular trick is to take him in Snikrot's Mob (see the Kommando Entry).
- Old Zogwort: Not too tactically sound, but the look on your opponent's face as you turn his expensive hero unit into a squig is worth it.
- Wazdakka Gutsmek: At first glance, Wazdakka doesn't seem too spectacular. He's a more expensive Biker Warboss who loses out on base Strength of 5, and the ability to take an Attack Squig or Cybork Body, all in exchange for having 4 Strength 8 shots (or 1 S8 AP2 shot) which can be fired after Turbo-Boosting. These drawbacks matter little, however, for he has 4 Strength 8 shots which can be fired after Turbo-boosting, providing an additional threat to enemy armor. However, the main reason you wish to take this character is should you wish to field Warbikers in your army. Ork Warbikers have a lot to offer as Troops. With their speed, relative durability, and Dakkaguns, they can mess up enemy infantry badly, and prove a passable threat to enemy light vehicles at range; contrast with their normal state in the Ork army, where they compete with Deffkoptas and Warbuggies. Taking him of course has the opportunity cost that you now have one less Kustom Forcefield, or Nob unit in your army, however. For some, this is no big loss.
- Warboss: He's big, he's stompy, he gets the best wargear. Not much else needs to be said. Stick him in Mega-Armor or on a Bike if you wish, but always remember to give him his Power Klaw. Give him a Nob bodyguard and a Trukk or a Battlewagon to ride in (unless you put him on a Bike) to make him go faster.
- Big Mek: A versatile HQ less suited to direct combat, the Big Mek's role in an army is largely defined by one of two upgrades he's able to take. The Shokk Attack Gun lets him lay down AP2 Large Blasts with variable strength, turning Necrons, Terminators, and any other high-armored single-wound models into goop. It's prone to mishaps, though, which can make it a risky (if really funny to watch) choice. The Kustom Force-Field allows the Mek to bestow cover saves to nearby units, although it doesn't improve his offensive capabilities at all. An absolutely vital choice to a vehicle-heavy army. While he's no slouch in close combat (he's a Nob with respect to his stat-line), his expensive upgrades usually mean you should keep him away from a direct fight if possible. Note that he'll have only one CCW, and can't take the rather cheap Big Choppa (but on the other hand, he can take a Burna, which counts as a power weapon in close combat, and can still take Power Klaws).
- Weirdboy: Ork psyker. Different from regular psykers in that instead of choosing specific powers to use beforehand, he's forced to use one of his powers randomly every turn. Upgrading him to a Warphead lets him re-roll the random power one time, if he doesn't like his first choice. Might be fun to use in a friendly game, but if you're looking for something more reliable, look elsewhere.
- Burna Boyz: Many Ork players either love or are neutral towards Burnaboyz. That they compete with Lootas and Nobz means they aren't used as frequently in many armies. But for those armies revolving around the use of a Battlewagon convoy, taking a unit of them is a fairly popular choice. The primary reason for this is because every Burnaboy is armed with a Flamer which alternatively doubles as a Power Weapon (though not both on the same turn). Through judicious use of mass tank-shocking, infantry units can be pushed into compacted formation, rendering them prime targets for being torched. The ability to roll 30, 40, even 60 strength 4 attacks which automatically hit, is frightening. Alternatively, to be used as Power Weapons means they can alternatively attempt to deal with Terminator-equivalent units which normally give much trouble to Ork armies. On the flip-side, they're providing excellent anti-infantry in an army that's already has excellent anti-infantry and generally wants some degree of ranged anti-tank. Since less people tend to use them, your opponent has no idea that his vanilla Terminators are about to die in one round of combat.
- Mekboyz: The Burna Boy Mob has the option to swap out up to three models for Mekboyz for free. A Mek may be equipped with a Slugga, Big Shoota, or Kustom Mega-blasta for free, or may opt to take a Rokkit Launcha for a slight point-increase. Mek's maintain the repair capabilities of their Big Mek counterparts for a fraction of the cost, and a minimal-strength Burnaboy unit is the most point-efficient way to repair vehicles in the game. On the other hand, the Open-topped nature of most Ork vehicles, more often than not the jalopies are prone to outright destruction, and the removal of Burnas from the unit reduces its ability to kill things. And since the repair roll is made at end of a movement phase, in many cases it's more prudent for the Burnaboyz to simply disembark and attempt to get stuck in. Taking Mekboyz in a Burnaboy unit is mostly a judgment call on the player's part.
- Grot Tanks (Forgeworld): An odd unit. You get another vehicle squadron of Armor 10 all-around Methul Bohkes, seemingly the orky specialty. They get 5+ invo. saves from all shooting attacks that *aren't* ordinance, which gives them surprisingly uncharacteristic durability, even as a vehicle squadron. They also count as Tanks, so you can Tank Shock things, too. However, what makes them really fun is their Ballistic Skill. Its 3. BS 3. For ORKS. This tends to make them work like Killa-Kans as far as shooting goes, but you don't feel that weird need to throw them into close combat or anything. Their stat-lines give them an advantage to using orky weapons, but the Big Shoota and Skorcha feel like a waste of opportunity. Pretty much see the Killa Kans entry for how weapons go. The Grot Tank's only real caveat is their unreliable 2D6" movement. This could give them anywhere from Fast vehicle status to a horrific 2" movement. Plus, if you roll double-ones, one of them takes a Penetrating Hit. Getting a Kommanda Tank is always a good idea, what with the 2 different weapons and ability to fix your terrible movement roll when it inevitably happens. Their Tank status, 5+ invo., small model size and high fire power make them perfect for ramming big holes in enemy formations.
- Kommandos: They're basically 10-point Slugga Boyz with Stikkbombs, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, and access to Burnas. Kind of a mixed bag. Boss Snikrot is pretty expensive, but having him and his entire squad attacking the enemy from their rear is always great fun. For extra hilarity, add Mad Dok Grotsnik to them.
- Lootas One of the main issues Orks have with a lot of armies is that most their weapons are very short-ranged. When dealing with Panzee, Dark Panzee, Blue Gits, or Squishy Umie, this is annoying, as the bad guyz tend to Dakka on your army. Lootas for da win. Yes they're static and get fucked over by Dawn of War, and you only get three squads at most (less, if you wish to take any of the other Elite choices), but they are also the most point-efficient source of Strength 7 shooting in the game, even with the awesomeness that is Ork accuracy taken into account. Their main role (which is critical in a majority of Ork builds) is to cover your advance, shooting enemy artillery, light speeders, and other targets which would harry your footsloggers or trukks. Lootas work quite well on Panzee Skimmers.
- Meganobz: At first, there's a lot to like about Meganobz. Getting 3 Power Klaw Attacks base and a 2+ armor save for only 40 points, combined with Furious Charge, means they're very efficient at dismantling enemy infantry (save for truly dedicated Close-Combat units), or for pulling attacks away from your less-armored Orks. The entire unit can take Kombi Weapons, meaning once per game, they can throw out a decent volley of Rokkit Fire at an enemy light vehicle, possibly stunning or immobilizing it prior to assault, or they can utterly torch light infantry. However, they lack any Invulnerable Save unless you pay to get Grotsnik, and cannot take a Waaagh Banner or Bosspole. However, their main issue is that they are Slow and Purposeful. They *need* a transport to reliably get into assault, and even then, taking Difficult Terrain checks during the Movement and Assault Phases is problematic, for it increases the chance they might not reach assault! Naturally, their Transport will be a high-priority target for this reason. While they're great for providing a combat anvil for defensive armies (Ork Gunlines, etc), or cheap support for Wartrukk-based, they are generally considered average units overall.
- Mekboy Junka (Forgeworld):
- Nobz: Ork Cheese; wonderful Cheese. Screw you Angry Marines, we bring the pain. Nearly three times more expensive than a normal Ork Boy, but with +1 Wound and +1 Strength. However, like the Warboss, they get access to the shiniest wargear available to the Ork army, from Power Klaws to Combi-shootas to 'Eavy Armor to Cybork Bodies. Great in both close combat AND shooting, these guys are what Flash Gitz wish they were. The Waaagh! Banner adds +1 WS, making the WHOLE SQUAD WS 5, and has the added advantage of making your mob look even more badass. If you ever think about not taking one, punch yourself in the face. You even can get a Painboy, who adds Feel No Pain to the entire squad (which is extremely useful). Best used as bodyguards for your Warboss. The only problem is that this massive Orky beatstick will likely cost several hundred points, and isn't going anywhere fast without something to cart them around. However, this mean, green pain machine is still cost-effective by many armies' standards; let them Ride Trucks, Battlewagons and Bikes and opponents will bitch and moan.
- Invinc-o-Nobs: Nobs are infamous for their ability to exploit wound-allocation rules, thanks to their multiple Wounds and model-by model customization ability. Kit them out all different and watch your whiny opponent moan like a bitch when he realizes he has to do 10 wounds to these guys before one falls. Even worse is the notorious "Nob Biker" unit, has caused no small amount of rage from other armies. T5 units with an armor, cover, and an invuln save with Feel No Pain that don't start taking casualties until 11 Wounds have been dealt is damn near close to invincible. You will pay for it dearly in both points and money, and is a great way to get people to hate you. Unless, of course, your opponent is fortunate enough to have S8+ blast weapons on hand, or weapons that inflict Instant Death. But since most Instant Death comes from close combat, you have a good chance to counter it with your wound-allocation and high WS.
- Tankbustas: Your primary anti-tank infantry unit. Although meltas are the primary anti-vehicle weapons of 5th edition, Krak missiles remain a viable choice. And when you have a whole squad of orks wielding Assault 1 Krak Missiles, things seem more and more "viable" by the second. Plus they can be made to infiltrate. Take a Tankhammer, you can't go wrong with 2 S10 melee attacks per turn. But you can go wrong using them; you can go oh so wrong. These little meatheads decided somewhere along the line that shooting at and attempting to assault, the
nearestan enemy vehicle every turn is a good idea. Especially when it is out of cover or into the path of a squad of charging Khorne Berserkers. You need to have these idiots in a transport by turn two or they will find a way to kill themselves. Sticking them in a Trukk ( preferablyhopefully borrowed from a Boyz or Nobs squad that isn't using it) is a good way to keep them under some kind of control, so at least they can't hurt themselves. They will still shoot at an enemy vehicle in LoS, even if it is out of range or functionally dead. Use them only if you know you won't face any vehicles (for control or monsterhunting), or if you know you will face a lot of vehicles (for target-rich environments). Beware, they tard hard anywhere in between.
- Glory Hogs: Remember they don't have rage; they have Glory Hogs. It doesn't affect them during the movement phase at all, and they do not have to shoot or attempt to assault the *nearest* vehicle - they have to shoot at and try to assault one in LOS. Unless every vehicle they own is within 6", you will almost never be forced to leave cover or move anywhere you didn't already want to. Don't be afraid to fire at a vehicle out of range if it keeps you from getting shot to death.
- Boyz: Basic unit and right proppa. Remember this, Boyz before Toyz. You can swamp armies with them and remember: Run. Run, Waaagh (it's usually how it works). Weak point is a 6+ armour save; odds are you'll never be able to take the save in the first place, let alone pass it, but you've got so many Boyz you can afford to take a few casualties. Flamers will ruin your Boyz' day, though. If you bring a Nob, give him a Bosspole and a Power Klaw. There are three things you need to think about when you're making a Boyz mob:
- Slugga Boyz: Boyz with a Slugga and a Choppa. They're not too great in the Shooting phase, the Slugga's only there to give them +1 Attack and to give them something to do as they charge toward the enemy. Awesome in the Assault phase, especially if they get the charge; 4 Attacks per model, at Strength 4, will handily rip apart infantry of all flavors. Also, the world's greatest tarpit.
- Shoota Boyz: Sure, every other git shoots better than you; don't cry, all your weapons are Assault. Who sez we're stupid; shoot 'em, charge 'em, let the Grots clean up the mess. Also, Shootas are Assault 2, and have an 18" range, meaning you can still bring the dakka even if those gitz with Rapid Fire weapons can't. If you have a mob of 30 boyz with Shootas, bring a bucket of dice. 60 shots means roughly 20 hits, usually 10+ wounds. Bring some Big Shootas along for even more fun. Put 'em in a Trukk with Reinforced Ram and Red Paint Job. Watch your opponent cry as your effective range goes from 18" to 31" with 24 shots.
- 'Ard Boyz: Just like regular Boyz, but with a 4+ armour save, making them much more durable. Can get expensive, however, especially in high numbers. Also, you can only take one 'Ard Boyz mob in your army, so don't waste them. This upgrade is better for the Slugga boys, who are more likely to be shot at. A full mob of slugga boyz charging down at something with +4 armour saves protecting them will bring down even Bezerkers, Genestealers, and Lychguards.
- Gretchin: Dirt-cheap and expendable, usually used as screening units for infantry, holding objectives while your Boyz do the fighting, or for tying up more dangerous units in assault. Their ranged attacks can actually do a decent amount of damage to enemy infantry, owing to the grot's higher ballistic skill, as well as the volume of shots coming from a large unit. If you're fielding big units of footslogging boyz, you NEED to field gretchin to protect them from incoming fire.
- Deff Koptas: Basically a jetbike version of the Warbuggy, more maneuverable, and can also scout. Their standard twin-linked big shootas make them pretty good for harassing groups of infantry, while their twin-linked rokkits and/or buzzsaws make them good tank-hunters since they can very easily get into a position where they can fire at the side or better yet the rear armor of a vehicle, though they'll have trouble against vehicles like Land Raiders or Monoliths since they have armor 14 on all sides. Oddly, since those two are so far the only vehicles with AV 14 on all sides, Deff Koptas are actually better against super heavies than they are against LRs and Monoliths. They are also pretty good at knocking out power fields or void shields (S 8 AP 3 vs AV 12 that goes away upon a glancing or penetrating hit) The biggest problem from using them is their leadership; basic Ld is 7, no option for a bosspole, and their maximum unit size of 5 means you can't take advantage of Mob Rule!. Coupling that with a rather high point costs means that they should be fielded in small units of 1-2 outside of apocalypse games.
- Stormboyz: Slugga Boyz with Stikkbombs and Jump Packs. Fast (their jump packs get to move an extra D6 in addition to the normal 12") but fragile (6+ armor save, and rolling a 1 on your extra D6 movement means a Stormboy crashes into the ground and explodes). Boss Zagstruk is fairly expensive, but solves any Morale problems with the mob (*BLAM!*) and also gets a Power Klaw that strikes at Initiative 4 when he charges (Suck it, Marinefags!). Can Deep Strike, for what it's worth.
- Warbikers: Really. Really. FUN. These guys are the core of any mobile Ork army. This can only be made better by using Wazdakka to take these guys as Troops. They are surprisingly durable as compared to a lot of other units; Toughness 5 for the bikes, 4+ armor save base, plus the hilarious 4+ smoke cloud cover save you always get, always. Your opponent will have a fun time trying to take them out with pretty much any gun, and you will have a fun time as you watch your opponent whine and do double-takes when none of your bikers die. I personally have been asked to check codex several times about these rules, they are legal. Bikers are also great because they have their hilarious dakkagunz, which although only adding more anti-infantry onto an already infantry-slaughterfest army, are perfect for the bikers. Twin-linked Strength 5 AP 5 Assault 3 lets you move 12" and assault 12", send home (on a normal squad) about 3 really solid shots into the infantry you're assaulting, and then crash right into the opponent's lines and send thirty S 4 attacks their way. The only obvious downside to the Bikers is their point cost. The are really spendy, at over 4 times the cost of a normal ork boy, and their squads are only practical in 5+ man squads. They are best for larger games, where they can safely suck up points and use their Nob+Bosspole+Power Klaw to full effect. Watch out for stuff that ignores their cover saves. Heavy Flamers will ruin your Bikers' day, just like they do to all of your infantry. On a final note, you CAN field squads of 12, letting you use Mob Rule, but they become nigh-impossible to move without getting stuck in terrain or moving into the open. However, thanks to their constant 4+ cover save, they're a lot more survivable out in the open than your Boyz are...
- Warbuggies/Wartrakks: If not taking Deffkoptas, then the Warbuggy is a common Fast Attack selection for Ork armies. While fragile, especially if squadroned up, its speed and ability to provide support weapons are very useful to the Ork advance. Although the Big Shoota is cheap, barring range it adds little beyond normal Ork shooting; the Skorcha or Rokkit launcha remain the primary reasons to take these vehicles. They aren't quite as good at moving into a position where they can strike at an enemy vehicle's rear armor as Deff Koptas though since terrain is actually a problem for them, but few things are funnier than the look on your opponents face when you blow up his baneblade by rearshotting it with rokkit launcha warbuggies.
- Role: Aside from providing fast-moving specialist weapons, Warbuggies are cheap. As vehicles, assaulting them in melee is generally inadvisable, and shooting them requires dedicated AT. This means even should no appropriate targets exist, the Warbuggies remain expendable for movement-blocking, and objective-contesting.
- Unit Synergy: Rokkit Warbuggies make good escorts for Battlewagons, on account of being able to block off assaults, screen against mobile anti-tank elements, or to block enemy vehicles from moving away from the Deffrollas. This becomes especially true should one of the Wagons have a Mek; A unit of three Buggies, stretched out with maximum coherency between them, can cover a lot of area, while proving annoyingly tough to truly kill. Inversely, Warbuggies provide much-needed anti-tank firepower for Wazzdakka lists, while maintaining a low-enough profile that one can easily provide cover saves for the Buggies by using the Bikes to screen...
- Grot Mega Tank (Forge World): This is interesting. The Mega tank has the same 5+ invo as its smaller brethren, but is still too fragile. It mounts 5 Killa Kan weapons, 2 of which are Twin-linked, and it had BS3 and fires weapons independently, which makes it potent on the battlefield. It's pretty cheap, but its point cost reflects its survivability. Auto-comes with a Dozer Blade, Reinforced Ram, and Grot Riggers, meaning it does as it pleases and has a chance to recover when the the enemy decides to FIRE THEIR LASCANNONS, but it is still 12 11 10. Boom Kanisters help deter those pesky meltabombers and demo-chargers, but don't guarantee anything. You need to take Grot Tanks alongside it, so you already have a cover screen (pray for some 4-ups!).
- Unit Synergy: You need to dish out weapons amongst the Grot Tanks and the Mega Tank equally. Form them up and give them fitting weapons for what you want them to do. Remember you loose 5 of 'em when your Mega Tank gets shook.
- Big Gunz: A decent unit in lower-level games. For 20 points, you get a 36" Missile Launcher unit with BS 3 for about a third the cost of the Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon squad. You get cheap Ammo Runts to help offset average Ballistic Skill, and a lot of cheap bodies for absorbing wounds. However, abysmal leadership and Artillery Status mean that this unit dies really quickly to concentrated fire. As a final note, the other two Big Gunz are generally not worth it. The Lobba provides nice anti-infantry, yet is in an army that doesn't lack for anti-infantry shooting. Likewise, the Zzap Gun's variable strength (averaging at 6.889) makes it too unreliable for tank-hunting.
- Deff Dreads: A dedicated close-combat Walker, the Deff Dread is able to dish out a ton of S10 hits in an assault, with the right upgrades. Of course, being an Ork, it's got abysmal ranged capability, so it should usually spend it's Shooting phase running at whatever needs to be krumped. Comes with 2 Dreadnought weapons standard, with two more mandatory weapons choices; popular choices are 2 more Dreadnought weapons, for extra Assault power, or a pair of Skorchas to soften up large units before a charge. Armour Plates and Grot Riggers also highly recommended. As a Heavy Support choice it's often overshadowed by more versatile choices, like Killa Kanz or Battlewagons, but fielding a Big Mek HQ allows a Dread to be fielded as a Troop choice, making it a decent option if you've got the room.
- Flash Gitz: Easily one of the worst choices in the Ork army. They really are that bad. Their main problem lies in them being very expensive, for minimal damage output. For one point more than 4 Ork Boyz, a Flash Git has a 4+ armor save and a 24" S5 shoota with a single shot, and random AP value; while this makes them randomly able to kill Marines in the open, the proliferation of cover saves, and vehicles, means this is a very very situational bonus, relative to being able to drown your opponent in masses of shots. Their shooting is frankly abysmal, and for the investment involved in making them decent at shooting, you could easily get the far-superior Killa Kanz, or a Battlewagon. A Warbike costs the same as a Flash Git, and is more efficient at shooting, and can actually be taken as a Troop unit. Regular Nobz can be more effective at shooting for a single turn, through use of Kombi-weapons, and be far better in close combat. In short: These guys are ork snipers, yet they're no better at aim than the basic ork boy. Think about that.
- Killa Kans: As a general rule, Walkers in armies are either horribly fragile gun-platforms, or are taken in single squads. Blurring the line between these two extremes is the Killa Kan. Not as durable as a normal Dreadnought or Deffdread, but more durable than other squadded Walkers, lacking extra guns, but packing a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon, the Kan is a rather versatile unit. Pretty much every weapon choice is viable for this unit, with Big Shootas keeping them cheap and able to threaten light vehicles at range, Skorchas taking out entrenched infantry, Rokkit Launchas providing anti-vehicle firepower, Mega-blastas also providing AP 2, and Grotzookas mowing down infantry at amazing rates(a squad of 3 Grotzooka Kans throws out 6 S6 blasts a turn!). In many armies, you cannot go wrong with a squad of Kans.
- Looted Wagon: No, just no. They've got paper-thin armor, are unreliable (rolling a 1 really sucks), compete with Deffrolla-equipped Battlewagons (see below) and Killa Kans, and taking a Boomgun ups it considerably as a target while doing little to hide that it's a short-ranged Rhino-equivalent. They're just not worth it.
- An alternate take: I once tabled a CSM army by Turn 2 with 2 Looted Wagons with boomguns. So they can be quite good, devastating even in some cases, but are not too reliable. Remember, like Vindics, never take just one.
- Trukks: Available either to Ork Boy mobs numbering at most 12, Nob squads, or Meganob squads numbering at most 6, the Wartrukk is a mixed bag.
- On one hand, it's a Fast, open-topped vehicle, and can provide your Orks with an amazing assault range. Combined with Ghazgkull's Prophet of the Waaagh ability, and an Ork unit can cover upwards of 27" in a single turn! However, the Trukk is very fragile (AV 10, Open-topped), and regular Ork Boyz in Wartrukks are not adept at dealing with enemies in assault save those who shouldn't be in assault anyway. While they can mess up Tau, or Tactical Marines, the moment they charge into a unit of Grey Hunters, the results aren't pretty. Finally, because of the Ramshackle Rule, should your vehicle be destroyed, there's a very high chance that the Trukk would not become cover for your Orks, leaving them bunched up and vulnerable to anti-infantry templates...Thus, if one were to take Trukk Mobs, they would have to act in support of heavier units.
- When running them, the closest thing to a mandatory upgrade for them would be the Reinforced Ram. The insurance against being bogged down in difficult terrain, as well as the ability to alternatively use your Trukk as a Fast tank-shocker. It is highly recommended you do not try ramming other vehicles, you're going to get S8 at the max distance (18") and the recoil damage is likely to cause the Trukk to crumple like a tin-can. Depending on the point-level, you may be able to take a Rokkit Launcha for your Trukk; while unlikely to make much difference, Orks need all the anti-tank they can get. Aside from this, the vast majority of upgrades are rubbish. The open-topped nature of the Trukk means that Armor Plates won't do much good, as few shots will be considered "Stunning"; likewise, Grot Riggers are not too useful as vehicle repair is done in the shooting phase, an Immobilized Trukk might as well be a dead Trukk. When choosing upgrades, it's often better to get more vanilla Trukks than a few "super"-Trukks.
- Battlewagons: One thing most armies should have is some way to reliably deal with heavy armor, especially of the Land Raider variety. Marines and Guard get Meltaguns and Lascannons. Eldar get Lances. Tau get Meltaguns and Railguns. Tyranids get Zoanthroapes (and the Tyrannofex to a lesser extent). Orks get the Battlewagon. Costing 90 points, you start off with a chassis, and no gun. From there, you have several options:
- Weapons: You can purchase quite a few guns to place on your Wagon, with most of them being sadly overcosted; taking the full compliment of Rokkits and a Kannon for example would leave you with an open-topped transport which cost 140 points, yet would require standing still to properly use! Considering the role of a Battlewagon is either to transport units into melee, or serve as a Deffrolla, having to remain still is counterproductive. A general rule of thumb is to take two Big Shootas, if only to prevent Weapon Destroyed results from becoming Immobilized results. Should you wish to do a shootier wagon, it doesn't hurt to replace one Big Shoota with a Kannon though; the Frag Round is defensive and provides another blast. The Zzap Gun is potentially the most powerful weapon available, but is also the most unreliable. Still, rolling a 10 or higher for its Strength is surprisingly easy. The Lobba isn't too useful; the Barrage feature won't help the Battlewagon much unless you park it in cover, and in that case you may as well buy some Big Gunz instead. The Killkannon doesn't take up a Big Gunz slot (so you can take a Kannon/Zzap Gun/Lobba in addition to it) and provides a nasty S7 AP3 Large Blast, but it is very expensive (60 points?!) and reduces the Battlewagon's transport capacity from 20 to 12 (it's also Ordnance and wagons are not russes). Not so bad when it's being used to cart around a group of Nobz and a Warboss/Big Mek (or some Gretchin for a cheap scoring upgrade), but it's a pretty big drawback if you want to get a lot of Boyz from Point A to Point B.
- Demolition Equipment: The Deffrolla is effectively mandatory for a Wagon, as the amount of damage it can inflict on a vehicle (or even multiple vehicles should they be next to each other) will do a lot to dictate the enemy deployment and movement. Is the Battlewagon transporting a unit with a hidden Power Klaw? If so, the Boarding Plank is a bargain item; even should a Deffrolla-equipped Battlewagon fail to neutralize a vehicle, chances are high it will stun or immobilize; being able to send additional Strength 9 hits from the comfort of a wagon is rather handy as a result. The Grabbin' Klaw is nice but unnecessary, while the Wreckin' Ball is a bit overcosted, especially if you took a Deffrolla.
- Mobility: Both the Red Paint Job and Grot Riggers are nice, assuming you can squeeze the points in. The Red Paint Job is especially handy for Wagons transporting Shoota or Burna Boyz, for by moving 7", (
the wagon can only be hit on 6s in meleethe wagon still counts as moving at combat speed, therefore is still hit on 4+), while still allowing the passengers to fire at full effect.
- Other stuff: Stikkbomb Chukkas are fail on account of Ork Initiative being shoddy (the only Orkz who could benefit from it are klawless Nobz and Warbosses), as is the Reinforced Ram for it prevents one for taking a Deffrolla. The 'Ard Case is a hit-or-miss item; for ones carrying Grots/a KFF Mek as a cheap scoring upgrade, it's handy to have; for ones carrying large assault units, it's counterproductive.
- Battle Fortress (no not the one from Yuri's revenge, also Forgeworld): If the Battle Wagon is the Ork equivalent of a Land Raider, then the Battle Fortress is the Ork version of the Baneblade. Can carry a metric fuck ton of orks and royally fuck up the shit of anything it gets in the way of. Very customizable like the Battle-wagon, and generally if it works for the Battle Wagon it works for the fortress. Unlike the Wagon, the Fortress gets some really sweet guns, and it can carry full sized mobs into the midst of the enemy.
- Stompa (not Forgeworld anymore): Your main Titan. Unlike Imperial and Eldar Titans, it carries a huge variety of weapons for dealing with any target, and has a Titan CCW and the ability to make a Stomp attack against anything that gets too close. Has a drawback in that its main anti-infantry gun fires random shots and can only be fired once per-game, but it throws out so many dice that it can take hours to resolve one usage of it. Generally, the best way to resolve the dice roll of the Supa-gatler is to just buy a lot of d6s, stuff them in a bucket, then dump them on the board. A bonus for the Supa-gatler is that it DOESN'T take up a Titan weapon slot, which is pretty nice.
- Super Stompa (You wish Forgeworld made these): Otherwise known as Gargants. Your big battle Titan. No rules, no models, just scratch-builders hopes and dreams. It should be noted that current-edition Stompas are closer to the Supa-Stompas of yore in size, but almost live up to the classic Gargant in terms of firepower. A Super Stompa today would be in-between a Gargant and a Great Gargant in terms of size, shielding, and firepower. A Stompa used to be the squadded-up go-between from a Deff Dred to a proper titan. And no, Mega Deff Dreds are NOT the Old Stompa, they are a literal analogue for the (very lame) Digga Stompa. Go read the Ork entry for why.
- Big Mek Stompa (Forgeworld): Your goofy and shooty Titan. Comes with Lifta-droppa, for dealing with those pesky Land Raiders.
- Goff Klawstompa (Scratch-built, like a real Ork titan): A cheap (points-wise) and fun titan. Mostly close-combat oriented, but also has a S6 AP3 Hellstorm-template weapon. Who doesn't want automatic S6 hits? The thing can also chuck tanks halfway across the battlefield at other Titans (just like your little brother).
- Stompa (Imperial Armour 8's Kustom Rules): An interesting and varied titan choice. This is a fully-customizable Stompa-maker for kitbashers and kustomizers, set up so that you can build goofy Stompas and make them game-legal (with fair price tags). Anybody who made a kustom Stompa out of
cardboard and duct-tapeMASTERCRAFTED PLASTICARD AND SECOND-HAND GUARD TANKS can now field their Stompa. These guys can do anything you want, including bullet-spamming, pie-plate dropping, rip-and-tearing, and double Lifta-dropping. For the right price, of course. The only problem is that this Stompa is generally weaker-skinned than other Stompas, having fewer power fields than the Big Mek Stompa and fewer Structure points than some of the other Stompa variants. That and the points cost if you go overboard on the guns. And you want to go overboard on the guns. So much. All-in-all, this is unit is whatever you want it to be. Send cheap hordes of them armed with Titan CCW's at your enemy, or stand back and watch one release game-breaking firepower from functionally 6 main titan-class weapons at once. Definitely lives up to the classic Gargant name in terms of Dakka.
- Kill Tanks (Forgeworld, but scratch-building is WAY better and cheaper):
These come in three flavors, the Kill Krusha, the Kill Blasta and the Kill Bursta. Creative, yes.
- The Krusha's Kannon comes with a variety of sexy shells which are all pretty good. The main two are Boom Shells (60" range, S8 Ap3, 5" Blast) and Tankhammer (S10, Ap2, no blast) while the other two are pansy anti-infantry crap that you'll never use. The Krusha Kannon (and Kill Krusha itself) can go a little wonky on occasion, so be mindful of how much pressure you put on this tank to perform on the front lines. This tank, more than the others, is an up-scaled Leman Russ, a Apocalypse-scale middle-range Main Battle Tank. It should be in the front, heckling "classic" tanks while avoiding the Apocalypse heavy-hitters.
- The Blaster's Giga Shoota is somewhat meh, giving you 6D6 S6, Ap4 shots. In theory that should be nice, but random almost always means terrible when it really matters.
A Megabolter beats it every time IMHO.DEM IMPERIAL GITZ IZ ON DA PAGE AGAIN!! This tank supports infantry advances well, and tends to eat enemy infantry and light vehicles. Though Apocalypse being what it is, those two tend to come in bushels or not at all, relegating this behemoth to lumber behind your Green Tide and protect it from other infantry-eaters.
- The Bursta is where the real class is, although for some (complete bullshit) reason it comes with the terrible Belly Gun as standard and you need to buy the fucking Bursta Cannon. Anyway, once you've bought it you are able to seriously bring the pain. It's essentially a Demolisher Cannon on steroids. It only has a 36" range, but it's a Destroyer weapon with Ap 2 and a 7" Blast. And it is pure fucking class. It'll blow MASSIVE holes in anything you point it at. Terminators? Land Raiders? Pfft. Fuck that shit. All dead in one shot. If you can land one blast on a reasonably pricey unit, you'll pay for it twice over, and that's why the Bursta's amazing. Particularly if you scratch build them (and why wouldn't you? You just need a box with tracks and a big fucking gun), then even getting them Laser-Destroyered in the second turn after you rape an HQ/terminator/GK paladin/ANYTHING squad is still just as sweet because you paid nothing at all for the privilege to do so.
- Fighta-Bommer (Forgeworld): The big shootas are kind of dinky defensive weapons, but as most flyers tend to have AV 10 somewhere, they'll still ward off most fliers with the defensive weapons rules. Additionally as far as aircraft go they are pretty damned tough mofos, but the main reason you want these is the absolutely nasty ordinance they can carry, Grot bombs are more outright destructive but can't be used against aircraft while supa-rokkits can bring the pain to anything in the game. Shame about the limited ammo though.
- Fighta (Forgeworld): Like the Fighta-bommer but with a smaller ordinance capacity. Faster and cheaper but less useful since Big Shootas can't do shit against AV 12, forcing them to rely on supa rokkits to deal with things like thunderhawks. However, you can get a lot of the fuckers and bring infantry grief with three twin linked big shootas on an ridiculously fast and impossible to hit platform. Great for suddenly popping in and dropping ordinance to blow stuff up.
- Bomma (Forgeworld): Like the Fighta-bommer only bigger and slower with more dakka and ordinance. Enough defensive weaponry is on this thing to see off waves of interceptor aircraft, while it carries enough ordinance weapons to pretty much wipe out an entire formation on turn one. Just one of these can spit out enough supa-rokkits to wipe an Leman Russ company off the gameboard or drop enough grot-bombs to turn six full sized gaunt broods with an accompanying Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guard and Warrior Prime about to tear into your front lines into a few scattered bugs and a lonely Hive tyrant who will be blown apart by your lootas next turn.
- Blasta Bommer (Forgeworld): Much like the Marauder variant, though instead of bombs and ordinance, this thing carries lots of heavy guns for ground attack. Think of this as an Orky A-10 Warthog (the Orkiest of all airplanes). It can crank out a hilarious amount of Shoota, Zzap Gun, and Rokkit hits to mow down large numbers of enemies, while having the range to buzz around, loitering out of reach of the enemy's guns. The lack of Blast weapons means this is more suited for destroying a few hard targets over obliterating large formations, playing counterpart to the traditional Bomma. However, it is the death of Titans, MEQs, and any vehicle anywhere.
- Gargantuan Squiggoth (Forgeworld): A fun but strange unit. Gargantuan Creature and counts as an open-topped transport that moves 20 boyz straight into the thick of the fighting, then beats up on people with super-high strentgh attacks at WS 2 (thank Gork for the Stomp attack). Ignores strength 4 and below attacks, making bolters useless, and since it's a gargantuan creature, poison and sniper weapons can only hurt it on a six. Can carry bigger artillery pieces and two of them to boot, as well as 6 passenger-fired Big Shootas. Armor save poor for what will come its way, but Grotsnik can give it a 5+ invo save, making this guy super-goofy. The only big downside is the huge fire magnet taped to its back. Deathmarks, Vortex Grenades, Railguns, Hammer Blows, Dreadnoughts, and pretty much any other high-strength weaponry will ruin it's day though. Fuck, Autocannons will ruin your day. Three Defilers, Ironclad Dreadnoughts, or enemy Deff Dreads will butcher you.
- Big Squiggoth (Forgeworld): Dirt cheap transport, except it's a Mosterous Creature. Carries a small artillery piece and is a good wall of meat, but it's vulnerable to Instant Death and sports crappy armor. Take Grotsnik to give it the 5+ invo save it desperately needs. As a non-Apocalypse unit, Squiggoths will be the biggest fire magnet on the table, and at WS 2 they can't defend themselves in close combat (despite their high strength), where they really ought to be. Put the full ten Boyz inside, send the Squiggoth towards the enemy, and assault out when near any enemy squad.
- Flakka-Dakka Gun (Forgeworld): This is the primary orkish ground based anti-aircraft unit, instead of having two twin linked heavy 2 guns like the Hydra, the Flakka-Dakka gun just has a heavy 4 weapon. It's very useful against infantry in a pinch, just like its imperial counterpart, but its lack of twin-linked goodness causes it to suffer somewhat in accuracy. The reason you don't just go straight to a guntrukk squad with Flakka Gunz is the special rules. Flakka-Dakka Gunz can move flat out and fire their weapons, provided their target is a flyer. This can let you keep up with a flyer or, more likely, let you move across the board to hit some rear armor next turn. The front and side armor is also higher than a trukk, and you can get a co-axial bolter to spot for you, giving you that twin-linked goodness you so desperately need (and trust us, with orkish aiming skills, you need it.) Put on a troll face for when you blast those hideously expensive Thunderhawks out of the sky for a fraction of the price.
Building Your Army
Horde of Boyz
BOYZ. What did you expect? Buttloads of Boyz everywhere, in thirty-man squads, charging across the battlefield. This should be your only tactic in 500-1000 point games, seeing as you don't really have any singular pivotal unit in your army besides massive amounts of troops. Place 19-man squads of Gretchin in front of the boyz to give cover, wounds, and distractions. Stick a Warboss with Power Klaw (really, would you do anything else?) in one of your identical Boyz squads. Beware AP anything, Blast Templates, and Vindicators. The green tide tactic works because relative to the other horde armies (Tyranids and Guard) Ork boyz are significantly tougher at toughness four while costing roughly the same, and unlike the Tyranids and the Guard, most of your other slots can be filled with large hordes rather than small squads or broods. The reasoning behind this is that you can throw forth so many units at the enemy that they simply won't be able to gun down enough of them to not get fucked by the time you're in charging distance, and even other assault armies wither when hundreds of boyz charge into them. And unlike the Tyranids you get grenades which is vital for assaulting into cover without losing shit tons of models (alternatively, some units don't need grenades because they have low initiative anyway).
Spamming every slot you can have:
HQ: Gazghkull and Mad Dok Grotsnik (STFU YOU WANT THEM)
Elites: 3 mobz of 15 burna boyz each (or 3 mobz of 10 nobz, tank bustaz, or 15 lootaz each)
Troops: 6 mobz of 30 boyz each (yes you could get gretchin for MOAR models, see below)
Fast attack: 3 mobz of 20 stormboyz each
Heavy support: 3 Killa kan mobz of 3 each.
This adds up to 290 models that can dish out nearly two thousand attacks on a charge, not much is going to survive that, but of course, no normal 40k game has a points limit that high, and in apocalypse games, THERE ARE NO SLOTS SO YOU CAN FULFILL YOUR DREAM OF A NOB ONLY GREENTIDE.
For MAXIMUM MODELS, quantity is a quality all of its own:
HQ: 2 Big Meks with 6 Oiler Grots
Elites: 3 mobz of 15 Mek Boyz and 15 oiler grots each
Troops: 6 mobz of 30 Gretchin and 3 Runtherds each (GREEN-TIDE, MOTHERFUCKER)
Fast attack: 3 mobz of 20 Stormboyz each, with Zagstruck tossed in on top
Heavy support: 3 Big Gunz batteriez with 3 Kannons, 12 Grot Crewmen, 6 Ammo Runtz, and a Runtherd each
This adds up to 413 models that can dish out exactly nine-hundred and twenty-nine attacks on a charge, that's still a fucking lot considering your table is going to be swimming with models.
Trivia: Do you like Power Klaws? Within the limitations of the Force Organization slot you can have 292 Power Klaw attacks on the charge. All ignoring armour saves; all at S7, S9, or S10. All for only 3965 points. Now THIS is powergaming.
This tactic works up until about 1500 points, when counter-horde weapons and vehicles are assured.
Tyranids will beat you out at this 1000+ points. Tau at 500-1250 points can actually be beaten by a well-practiced mob tactic, seeing as they can only fire so much per turn.
Trivia:, 3,872 Orks would cost 23,000+ points and hours to deploy. Sorry for ruining your dream.
Yes, this is a clan (well, Evil Sunz is a clan) and a tactic. Otherwise known as Mobile Orks, Motorized Orks, Mounted Orks, and The Orky Vehicle List. Mount 12-man Boyz, Burnas, and whoever else in Trukks, and Nobz with a Warboss in a Battlewagon with a Deffrolla. Bikes are encouraged, but not fully mandatory. The goal is to get up to enemy lines as fast as possible; ram, slam, and crush infantry with vehicles; and assault with the transported Orks. Vehicles can be used as walls afterwards, or to ram more infantry. Boyz with Shootas in Trukks can go speeding around and dumping 22 shots per turn plus a Big Shoota into whatever assault troops the enemy charges with (at a relatively safe 24"). This tactic is great against infantry-spam Guard and 'Nid lists. It also spreads out rapidly to take points. Beware though, Ork vehicles fall apart at the mention of anti-tank, and the relatively low numbers of Ork troops make it loose staying power after its first punch, so make every die roll count. Throw a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field in a Battlewagon to increase the odds of your Wagons and Trukks making it to the front lines intact.
A variation on the horde o' Boyz routine. Line up 9 Killa-Kanz. Place 2 Big Meks with KFF behind them to give them cover saves. Put a horde of boyz behind the kanz for cover, and march it all up the field. Arm the Killa-Kans with Rokkits and pop light armor as you go. Toss in a Loota squad or 2 to cover your advance. Works more efficiently with Grot Tanks on paper, but less reliably in practice.
Stupid tricks may catch your opponent off-guard the first time. They aren't a sure-fire path to victory by any stretch but are worth mentioning due to the relative surprise they can pull.
- Snikrot Smuggling: A move of formerly controversial legality, the Ork FAQ finally declared this maneuver to be legit. The rationale is as follows: When Snikrot is added to a unit of Kommandos, he is granting the unit the Ambush ability rather than the unit itself having Ambush. Furthermore, Ambush is not a form of Outflanking. These two rules, put together, mean that you can attach an Independent Character to Snikrot's unit, and it would be able to deploy alongside them with the Ambush rules. The *reason* this can work, and throw opponents off-guard is when an Ork player attaches a krumpy boss (a Biker Boss, or even Ghazghkull) and Snikrot can make said boss dead' sneaky before they wreck the opponent's back-line.
- The Slingshot: Say you want your Warboss to get into 'da fight faster. This trick requires a unit of 2 Deffkoptas, and that your Boss be bike-mounted. The Warboss starts deployed centrally in another unit (for example, Lootas) while the Deffkoptas scout forward. The Kopta unit shall spread out to max coherency, and a single line can be drawn between both Koptas and the Warboss. On turn 1, the Warboss moves 12" to within 2" of the rearmost Kopta and is now part of the unit. This gives the boss the ability to be pulled into an assault up to 12+2+2+2+2+6=26" away from him on the first turn, if done correctly.
- Note: This trick is completely useless against Grey Knights, for they can bring Servo-Skulls. Likewise, the trick is better for gaining the initiative rather than causing damage; against heavy MSU armies, the disruption from this trick is relatively negligible.
- Meat Grinder Assault Phase: This works best on a small table, preferably so you won't have to put up points for trukks and battlewagons. Take Ghazghkull, another WB and then fill up your troops and elites with full mobs of boyz and nobz. If your enemy is built for slaughtering hordes this isn't quite so effective but when you get the charge mother of god you will need at least two extra pairs of hands to roll all those dice.