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This is the official Ork Tactica thread that I'm trying to get stickied and pinned in the Ork forum (or whereever the moderators would like to put it). As explained before in another thread this tactics compilation is for everyone to put in their experiences and ideas regarding all the specific units in the Ork army list.
The reason for this idea is that there are so many unit selections in the Ork codex and many more varieties based on their gear selection. So designing a new army or deciding what to buy is very difficult. So this thread is for people to write comprehensive articles about the Ork list.
Do not post in this thread for minor comments or replies to other peoples Tactica articles. Otherwise it will just get clogged up with banter. All this thread should have (after this post) is articles seperated by unit type. Unfortunately I'll have to leave the Moderators to come up with a decent method for doing so as I'm no forum expert!
So hope this idea is appreciated by many others and to kick start things off I'd like to present an article written by "mynameisgrax" on Ork Boyz Tactics. ;Y
Every ork battle, regardless of points, is won or lost with the boyz. Every other ork unit exists to either enhance the effectiveness of the boyz, or to counter-act special enemy units that the boyz would have difficulty with. In a way, the ork army is the closest to simulating a realistic World War 2 army, where each type of unit balances and supports every other type.
I always try to spend at least half of the points in my army on boyz, and would only spend less in large Apocalypse games. The type of boyz you use, and how you transport them, will determine what type of army you're using.
Slugga boyz are the masters of close combat, but only when they get the assault. If the enemy assaults them, they won't be able to outperform your average team of assault MEQs. The best way ensure the assault is with a transport, and with a base cost of __ points, Trukks are your best choice. On foot, they'll have trouble moving, won't be able to shoot effectively, and due to space constraints, won't be able to get more than 12-14 men into CC the first turn in any case, making the costly 10-18 extra boyz nothing more than extra wounds.
Shoota boyz, on the other hand, do wonderfully in large footslogging mobz, as they get two STR _, AP_, ASSAULT shots every turn, potentially with a few extra rokkits and/or big shootas thrown in. Even if they can't get into CC, they'll still be an effective front for the non-mechanized portion of your army. In transports, on the other hand, slugga boyz make more sense, as you want to keep trukks out of line of sight, as described below.
In either case, every team of boyz should always include a nob, with a powerklaw. Nobz are better described in length later, but in short, they enable your team to kill anything, even the largest monstrous creatures and toughest tanks.
Even with little armor, trukks are dirt cheap at __ points, rarely cause injury to their passengers (even after exploding), and never cause entanglement. For _ points, you can give the trukk a red paint job, which will increase their movement by 1in. Fast and open-topped, trukks are the perfect way to deliver your troops into battle. I also prefer to start the game with troops already in trukks, to give the rest of my army room to deploy, and enable the coveted first turn assault.
There are plenty of other upgrades available, but will make your trukk more expensive, without significantly increasing its resilience. It is possible, depending on the type of army you play, for a ram or a boarding plank to make sense, but trukks are designed to be expendable, and in my experience, are just as effective without any extra bonuses.
Trukks aren't only meant for rushing into your enemy territory, however, and also work very well at counter-assault, especially against other CC focused armies. Holding a single trukk back behind cover is a very effective strategy, especially in higher point games. Eventually, one of your units is going to be assaulted by the enemy, and be in a tight spot. That's when you rush your trukk out from behind cover, deploy the boyz near the enemy unit, and then literally ambush the ambush. This is especially effective in team games, where your non-CC teammates will be thankful when you swoop in on a trukk and save the day. On foot, without transport, this is simply not possible. Trust the trukk.
There are many styles of play, but this is how I use boyz in my armies:
500 points: 1 unit of 20+ boyz on foot (with a PK Nob upgrade); 1 unit of 12 in a trukk (with a PK Nob upgrade)
1000 points: 1 unit of 22+ on foot, with rokkits and PK Nob; 2-3 units in trukks (as above)
1500 points: 1 unit of 24+ on foot, with rokkits and PK Nob; 3-4 units in trukks (as above)
2000 points: 1-2 units of 22+ on foot, w/ rokkits and PK Nob; 4-5 units in trukks (as above)
Last edited by Katie Drake; February 13th, 2008 at 15:07.
This looks like an excellent start, guys. What I'll do is move this over to the Tactica section and once people have finished contributing we can post it up. Good work so far, keep it up!
From now on I won't include point values with any entries. Sorry if this wasn't acceptable, I wasn't sure. Here's a bit on my personal favorite ork unit:
Warbuggies are dirt cheap, fast, and highly effective ork units, when fielded appropriately. The standard warbuggy comes with a twin linked big shoota, and for a very small cost, it can be upgraded to twin-linked rokkits. I personally feel the rokkit variety is far superior, not because big shootas are inferior, but because rokkits enable warbuggies to effectively hunt tanks.
Your standard rokkit buggy only has bare-bones minimum armor, fast movement, and can be fielded 1-3 to a unit. However, as a rule, you do not want to field more than a single buggy in a unit, otherwise each buggy will have to remain close together, limiting their effectiveness, and enemy units that fire large amounts of shots (even ones as little as strength 4) will be able to wipe out all the buggies at once.
Granted, your buggies will be even more vulnerable when fielded individually, but your opponent will have to decide if it's really worth wasting numerous shots on a single, lone buggy. If they do, then your dirt cheap buggy has drawn away fire from the rest of your army, and at most you only lost a relatively tiny amount of points. If they don't, you'll be able to race the buggy around cover, until you have sight of their vehicle's vulnerable back armor. In any case, I've never fielded buggies that didn't at least make up their points, and in most cases, they at least double their worth or more. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your Tau opponent's expression, as his hammerhead gets taken down by two orks in a pickup truck.
The strategy of the rokkit buggy is simple. You keep it behind cover, and then quickly move it into position to harass your opponent's weak sides, or sneakily claim an objective. Buggies with big shootas are more effective as anti-infantry, but I feel there are other units far better suited to this task, such as Lootas, Shoota Boyz, and Looted Wagons.
It's important to note that warbuggies lose some of their effectiveness in apocalypse games (although not all their effectiveness). There's a strategic asset that hits every enemy unit consisting of a single model with an automatic strength 5 hit. This can prove devastating to individually fielded buggies. Also, other strategic assets allow you to move your troops around more effectively, redeploy, deploy reserves from any edge, and more. Apocalypse games also include far larger ordnance plates, and far more crucial objectives to claim. All these advantages swing the odds in favor of larger units, with more shots, and a greater ability to shrug off massive damage. Warbuggies still have their place in these games, but they aren't quite as effective as normal.
All in all, warbuggies are highly effective, especially in smaller games. They're fast, cheap, deadly, and if you play right, your opponent should have trouble targeting them, or at least targeting them without wasting the shots of their most powerful units.
As stated earlier, the game is won or lost with your boyz, but the warbuggies will draw fire away from your troops, and will bring down many of your opponent's troublesome walkers and tanks in the process.
Last edited by mynameisgrax; February 18th, 2008 at 23:37. Reason: forgot one thing
Interesting and informative thread, as a Veteran Ork player I don't find much wrong with this as a general guide, and it's really good. The bit about Apoc helped me a lot, since I'm bulking my Orks up for some Apoc games. It would help me and a few others I believe if you would include a small summary on each unit's uses in Apoc, since I really need some help there.
Burna boyz are easily the most versatile unit in the ork army. Although they are not able to have a nob or powerklaw in the unit, their burnas, and the ability to add meks to the unit, give you an incredible number of options.
On their own, burnas each have what is essentially a flamer, and on its own the cost is comparative to similar setups in the Imperial Guard. Burnas gain the added advantage of being able to use their burnas in close combat as a power weapon, as long as they didn't fire with it in the shooting phase on that same turn. This option gives burnas the ability to use flamer templates against swarm/poor armor save armies, such as Tyranids, Eldar, Imperial Guard and other Orks; or the ability to use power weapons against Marine Equivalents, Necron, mechanized suits (crisis, termi's and such), and monstrous creatures.
The results are devastating, assuming you can get them close enough to use their flamers effectively. The best way to do this is through ork vehicles. Since trukks are not an option, looted wagons and battlewagons are the best choice. Personally, I feel a basic battlewagon, with only a big shoota and grott riggers, is the best way to get the burnas up close, where they can do serious damage. It's important to keep the vehicle open topped, however, so that all the burnas can fire, or assault the same turn.
You can also add to their versatility by changing up to three of the burnas into meks, with either big shootas, rokkits or kustom mega blastas. I prefer the KMBs in these groups, as it gives the burnas a third use: tank hunting. Also, the meks can repair the vehicle they're inside, if necessary.
To make up for their lack of a powerklaw, a warboss can be added to the group, to give them more close combat power, and if he has a bosspole, all the better. Of course, you could also attach Mad Doc Grotznik, and give the entire unit fearlessness and feel no pain as well, although there is one issue. As the rules are written now, it's unclear what happens if the Mad Doc starts in a vehicle. The judge at my local tournament decided that the Mad Doc's rules do not affect a vehicle he is inside, but until we receive errata, it's not certain. You may want to check with a judge before deciding whether to attach the unit or not at the beginning of the game.
The only remaining question is optimum unit size. Again, I don't recommend using burnas outside of a vehicle, but if you have to, then I'd have at least 10 in the unit, to give them staying power. If in a vehicle, you could go as low as 5, or as high as you like. If you have the option of attaching a warboss or independent character, a high unit number is probably a good idea, as it will give them more staying power in close combat.
Personally, I feel the optimum setup is 13 burna boyz, with 3 of them upgraded into meks w/KMBs, fielded inside a battlewagon w/big shoota and grott riggers. Point for point, I feel a like this is more useful than a unit of nobs. Perhaps not more powerful, but definitely more useful.
Last edited by mynameisgrax; March 21st, 2008 at 16:54. Reason: forgot one thing
keep it up, this is great even though i dont play orks.... yet.
"What is Mercy? Does it taste Nice?" Hive Tyrant on Reth V
"Kill-kill! Death to the Enemies of the Horned Rat!" Warlord Bweekq at the Battle of Hrad
Tankbustas are a very effective unit, with rokkits that fire as assault weapons, and tankbusta bombs (2d6+6 armor penetration, used as a grenade). Despite these facts, tankbustas are a problematic unit, which is ironic, since you'd think the option to have nobz, powerklaws and bosspoles would make them more relaible than units that can't, like burnas and lootas.
The problem is two-fold: 'glory hogs', and their survivability.
Granted, tankbustas aren't any less tough than your average ork, and they can have a nob to help them survive, but from experience, tankbustas are victims of their own success. A large number of rokkit shots, all coming from the same unit in a single turn, makes them a prime target for destruction. At least in every game I've played, my opponent's main priority has always been to kill the tankbustas first, and although this can be useful in itself, they're too expensive to make effective decoys. On foot, your opponent will fire everything he's got at them, and ironically, the worst threat to them are tanks. Tanks often have ordnance, and usually have well over 24in range, allowing them to blow away the tankhunters before they get anywhere near effective range.
Their other weakness is their 'glory hogs' rule. This rule states that if they have line of sight to an enemy unit that has an armor value, they cannot choose to shoot or assault an enemy unit that doesn't have an armor value. There's a common misconception that they have to shoot/assault the nearest vehicle, but this is not the case. If an enemy vehicle/walker is in sight, however, they have to shoot at it even if it's all the way across the board, and a pack of assault marines are bearing down on you.
The solution to both these problems is to place the tankbustas inside a vehicle. Not only will this help protect them, but it will also help ensure that they'll be within range of their armored targets.
You can put them in a looted wagon, but its poor armor and questionable reliability means you probably shouldn't place a large number of tankbustas inside it. 5 tankbustas in a looted wagon makes an effective decoy/anti-armor unit in most games. If you want a larger unit, but don't want to use a battlewagon, you should use at least 9 tankbustas, and make one of them a nob with a powerklaw and bosspole, to help them survive. That's not a misprint in the book, by the way. The tankbusta powerklaws are cheaper for tankbusta nobz than they are for other ork units.
My transport of choice for tankbustas is the battlewagon. As with the burnas, I'd make it a cheap battlewagon, with only a big shoota and grott riggers, but you might also want to consider adding a zzzzap gun. Unfortunately, they do not auto hit anymore, but it will help against targets that have armor 14.
Besides their unit size, transport, and whether or not to use a nob, there are two other remaining choices for your tankbustas to make:
1. Should I take tankhammers?
The short answer is no. I'll spare you the drawn out math, but after working out the numbers, I found that tankhammers are only marginally more effective than tankbusta bombs, and in order to use them, you have to sacrifice all of the rokkit attacks that model would normally get you. Remember, since the rokkits are assault weapons, the tankbustas will be first shooting the vehicle with rokkits and then assaulting it with tankbusta bombs. With the tankhammer, you get 3 strength 10 attacks, which is powerful, but you have to compare it to a strength 8 rokkit hitting on 5+ combined with a weapon that has 2d6+6 armor penetration hitting on 4+ in the assault. The tankhammer comes out ahead, but only marginally so, and you won't be able to shoot with him for the entire game. Oh, and forget about it being effective in close combat. Despite its high strength, it does not deny an armor save, so that powerful monstrous creature you just wounded will still save on 2+. Granted, with the 5th edition vehicle damage changes it might become worth it to field one per unit, but I'll have to test it before being sure.
2. Should I use bomb-squigs?
Sometimes. Bomb squigs are quite effective, but I wouldn't use one if I was inside a battlewagon. If you roll a 1, it'll hit the nearest friendly vehicle with a strength 8 hit...which is the one you're inside. It's a little unclear which side he'd hit in this case, but in most circumstances if it's unclear which side to use, you use the side armor value. In a looted wagon it's probably worth the risk, as long as you can live with the fact your transport might blow sky high. It might be possible that GW didn't intend for the bomb squig to hit a unit's own transport, but we'll have to see the errata before it's certain.
Optimum tankbusta size is difficult, but I feel there are only two ways to run tankbustas: expensive or cheap.
5 tankbustas inside a looted wagon is a bargain, but don't expect them to last too long. Their job is to cause a distraction, harrass your enemy, perhaps blow up an enemy vehicle, and then die.
6-10 tankbustas inside a battlewagon, possibly with a nob w/pk and bosspole, is a highly effective unit that can do a lot of damage to your enemy. Of course, your opponent will know this, and make it his prime target until it's reduced to a smoking crater.
All this being said, tankbustas certainly live up to their name. With the right transport, they have the firepower to take down enemy tanks during shooting, and the bombs/powerklaw necessary to peel them apart during assault. Keeping them alive can be tricky, but regardless, the tankbustas will make an impact one way or the other.
Last edited by mynameisgrax; March 22nd, 2008 at 17:16.
Many consider the mek an inferior option for loota and burna teams, but in actuality it's a very simple and completely free way of making a unit far more versatile.
For no extra points, you can make up to 3 members of a loota or burna team a mek, with either a kustom mega blasta or big shoota. For a small amount of points, you can even give them a rokkit.
As an added bonus, the meks can also give up shooting during the shooting phase for a 4+ chance of repairing either a weapon or the mobility of vehicle that they're adjacent to, or inside of. If you have multiple meks touching, they each get the chance to repair. You can also pay a small amount of points to include a grott oiler, which allows the mek a re-roll on a repair attempt. Personally, I think it's just easier to include more meks.
With lootas, this gives the unit assault weapons, which are very useful when your team has to reposition itself, or when it's forced to reposition themselves (for example, because of the chaos ability 'Lash'). As a bonus, if you give the mek a big shoota, he'll have nearly the same range as the rest of the members of the team, and just as many shots, if not more. Alas, this isn't the most popular choice, given the limited range, and the inferior STR/AP of the big shoota. Still, I believe having 'assault shots' are very useful.
With burnas, this gives the team the ability to hunt tanks or take on infantry at a distance. Since burnas are most effective in vehicles, this also gives them a free way of repairing the vehicle, from the inside.
The big mek is to a regular mek what a nob is to a regular ork. It's a superior version of the mek, but for the most part the superior statistics don't come into use. All things considered, it's a mistake to outfit a big mek for close combat, as nobz perform just as well for less points. Cybork bodies can be good though, as ordnance can occasionally stray on them.
Big Meks are by no means bad though, as they provide three important functions for your armies:
1. Deff Dread Troops
For every big mek in the army, you may have use a deff dread as a troop choice. This doesn't work well in many armies, as a Deff Dread is far from invincible, costs only marginally less than a good unit of boyz, and has limited power outside close combat, but it opens up the heavy choices for killa kans, and allows a player to field a walker themed army.
2. Kustom Force Field
At first glance, the KFF isn't too impressive. It only provides a 5+ cover save to units within 6in, right? Read that sentence again. That's right, it says 'units', not 'models'. As long as a single model from a unit (let's say a single boy from a unit of 30 boyz) is within 6in of the KFF, the entire unit gets the 5+ cover save.
I've seen people literally string every unit of their army from the KFF, giving his entire army a cover save, all from a single big mek. This seems far from fair, but as it stands, it's completely legal.
These force fields are especially useful in walker armies, as vehicles count as obscured when in the forcefield, meaning that on a 4+, they downgrade a penetrating hit to a glancing hit. This especially useful for the relatively low armor rating of killa kans and dreads.
Although your opponent may curse you, the best way to use the KFF is to keep him in back, but within 6in of as many units as possible.
3. Shokk Attack Guns
Everyone who plays them has a tragic 'SAG' story. I personally wiped an ally's entire unit of firewarriors off the board on turn 1 of a big team game.
The SAG is a powerful, if somewhat random ordnance weapon, with AP 2 and extremely long range. Since it's strength is 2d6, it's possible to roll very high...but more likely than not, it'll be around 7.
There is actually a relatively low chance of anything seriously bad happening, as only 3 rolls are very dangerous (most of the time), making the odds of something bad happening about 8.5%.
The shokk attack gun is a potentially powerful weapon, and good against armor, especially since no other ork ordnance gun has a strength higher than 8 (at least not in the main codex), but it's randomness keeps it out of most serious games.
As for SAG strategy...there really isn't any. Unfortunately, besides keeping them 6in away from other units, using them against vehicles, and taking advantage of the gun's low AP, you're more or less at the mercy of the dice. Just keep them back, and fire away. It may not always work, but your opponent certainly won't be able to ignore it.
Now, if you want to attach a big mek to a unit (or you more or less have to, say with the upcoming 5th edition rules), there are a few good options.
Grotts make a fairly cheap retinue for a big mek. They're very cheap, and a large number of them can soak up a lot of wounds. Of course, they don't have fearlessness and aren't good for much else, but it's the cheapest option.
2. Shoota boyz
Shoota boyz work better than grotts, as they get fearlessness, potentially have greater numbers, are good at shooting, and can include a nob. They also work well in walker lists, which are a common choice for big meks. SAGs may have problems with these groups, however, as they'll have to shoot at the same target the shootas shoot at, and vice versa. Shoota boyz are also significantly expensive, when taken in large groups. The main advantage they have over grotts is that the shoota boyz are something you probably would have used even if you didn't include the mek.
Lootas have many of the problems and advantages that shoota boyz have when accompanying big meks, but they have the added bonus of being able to match the big meks range most of the time. Of course, a dozen lootas combined with a big mek will be a prime target for your enemy to shoot at, but with good reason: it's a deadly combination.
Nobz, despite the variations, all generally work this way:
Let's say there are 8 nobz, with 2 powerklaws, and the rest have choppas/sluggas. The turn they assault into close combat, the 6 without powerklaws get 5 attacks each (3 base, 1 for CCW, 1 for charge), giving you 30 attacks. Thanks to your wauugghhh banner, your team of nobz have WS 5, allowing them to hit practically every unit in the game on a roll of 3 or better. This gives you 20 hits, and since they have strength 5 on the charge, they most likely wound on a roll of either 3 or 2 or better. This most likely gives you 13-16 wounds, depending on the enemy. Against your average troop, this is 6-10 kills, and against marines it's 4-5 kills. Considering that most groups of marines are 5-9 in number, this is significant.
Now for the powerklaws. Each get 5 attacks (only 4 with the new 5th edition rules, but that will go for all powerfists), so you get 10 attacks, 6-7 hits, and 5-6 kills, regardless of their armor save.
In one round of combat, invulnerable saves aside , the nobz have killed 11-16 normal troops, or 9-11 marines (or 6-8 if they have an invulnerable save). Even monstrous creatures can't stand up to that brutal an assault.
Thanks to the cybork bodies and painboy, the nobz also have a 5+ invulnerable save, and a 4+ chance of surviving even if they fail that roll (feel no pain), unless they are hit by a weapon that ignores saves in close combat, or causes instant death. This makes the nobz tough as well as incredibly powerful.
Nob bikers are the most powerful variety of nobz, since they have additional toughness (doesn't apply towards instant death though), 12in movement, 24in supercharge (no shooting), a 4+ invulnerable save during the shooting phase, and 18in twin linked dakka guns. They are, of course, also the most expensive, double the cost of the normal nob.
Nobz also work well in trukks (although they're vulnerable), or battlewagons (although they're slow). They never work on foot though, since they get shot to pieces that way.
Meganobz are incredibly destructive, have a 2+ regular save, and are dirt cheap (compared to the others), but lack the options of a regular nob. No painboy, no cybork bodies, no wauughhh banner and no bosspole. This normally limits their usefulness against anything besides basic troops, but adding a warboss with mega armor, cybork and a bosspole helps, or the Mad Doc Grotznik can give them cheap cybork bodies, act as their painboy, and make them fearless to boot. Again, they need a transport, as they're far too slow to make it on foot.
On a side note, Nobz aren't only good against troops/elites, but armor as well. 10 powerklaws can do considerable damage. This is easiest with the bikes, thanks to supercharge, which can get you to the vulnerable sides of the enemy vehicles. 10 powerklaws against a moving vehicle provides 5 hits, and with strength 9, you'll always at least glance armor 10, and have a good chance of penetrating practically everything. Skimmers are harder to hit this way, but not impossible.
All this being said, nobz do have some drawbacks. They're incredibly expensive, for starters. They also need a transport or bike to be effective. High initiative troops that ignore saves can also be a real problem for them to deal with.
Most importantly, however, they are highly susceptible to enemy fire. Rokkits/missles are especially effective, since they ignore armor saves and cause instant death. This counteracts both their additional wound, and feel no pain save. Every weapon that has a strength of 8 or higher that hits them is going to wound on 2+, and unless the nob has an invulnerable save, will kill them outright.
So most importantly, do not charge them straight up the middle, as if they were invincible. This goes even if they're in a battlewagon. I've seen them used effectively four ways:
1. Sneaking them around terrain, towards where they'll be the most effective. This is easiest with bikes and trukks, as they can move very quickly, to avoid enemy fire. This works well, but you have to be careful, and use terrain and other vehicles to block line of sight to you. This tactic is most often used when the opponent has a lot of armor, and the ork player wants to use the powerklaws against them.
2. Hold back for counter-assault. Many players wait until a combat has already begun, and then used his nobz to counter-assault the enemy, preferrably at the side opposite the most dangerous enemies in the unit. This works very well, but is more defensive a choice, and most often used against other assault-focused troops.
3. Hold back until halfway through the game. I've seen players hold back the nobz for the first few turns, allowing the rest of their army to soften up the enemy troops. After the enemy troops are weakened, the nobz swoop in and finish off what's left. This strategy usually results in a ridiculous number of casualties for both sides, but when the enemy isn't at full strength, nobz are especially difficult to deal with.
4. In pairs. Although it seems a little unfair, two full units of nobz can be incredibly destructive. Either attack opposite sides of your opponent's army, or follow strategy #3, with one unit flying in to do a lot of damage, and after your opponent uses a lot of resources to stop them, send in your second unit of nobz to finish off what's left.
Yes, ork boyz are much cheaper by comparison, but there are many assault based troops that orks can't easily handle by themselves. Nobz make up the difference.
Nobz aren't absolutely required for ork armies to be effective, and shouldn't be used in every list, but if your army is lacking serious close combat power, they're a very good choice, especially if you want to be competitive in tournament settings.