Attention All Orks, Grots, and Squigs! Emergency Greenskin Meeting!
It's been a very long time, since I said everything I really wanted to say about the Orks in 5th edition, but I wanted to come back and put together a post about 6th edition.
Sure, there are already quite a few threads on this topic, but I wanted to focus less on the overall changes, and more on the units that are now totally screwed. Also, I think a few of the boyz out there are a little in denial, and I wanted to take a moment to make 10 painful truths perfectly clear:
1. The KFF is No Longer Worth It.
Big Mek's have been screwed every which way they can be. The only use I can see now for them is in apocalypse games, to sit inside stompas.
The KFF now only affects vehicles within 6 inches, the obscurement save has been reduced to 5+, and the most damning fact is that it's now amazingly easy to give vehicles obscurement without one. It only takes 25% cover in order to give vehicles the 5+ cover save, so as long as virtually anything is in front of the vehicle, they'll get the save.
The KFF is no longer necessary. Not even for Kan wall lists. Of course, that relates to a completely different problem...
2. Killa Kans are Nowhere as Powerful as They Used to Be.
No one was more heartbroken by this than me. After reading the new rulebook, I went on a full rampage through the local village, and it took a full mob of pitchfork and torch weilding peasants to get me to stop. (Fire bad, btw)
I absolutely adored my Killa Kan army, but like the Big Meks, they've been screwed in multiple ways. They were only given 2 hull points each, so the 2nd time a killa kan receives damage of any kind, they're destroyed. Their obscurement save is reduced to 5+. Vehicle squadrons no longer treat stunned results as shaken, so you'll have to sit still for many turns, or break up the units. Grenades now hit walkers in close combat through WS instead of needing a 6 to hit, so virtually anything with krak or haywire grenades will trash the kans in close combat.
To make matters even worse for Kans, other similar units got a lot better. Meganobz are a lot better as the front line of a horde, making Manz-wall the new Kan-wall. Want the cheap/effective shooting? Big gunz got a lot better, now that they have T7 W2 and a 3+ armor save, combined with the fact that shooting will always hit the closest model in a unit, allowing you to either have the grot krew either out front to absorb high strength shots, or hide behind it to avoid infantry shooting. Either way, it's a lot more effective, and with big gunz kannons you can choose between anti-tank or anti-infantry shooting with each shot.
3. Snikkrot's Reign of Terror is Over.
You can no longer assault after outflanking. This means that not only is Snikkrot no longer viable, but neither are kommandos in general, or deffkoptas with buzzsaws (at least for outflanking). Poor Snikky just won't work anymore. Marbo is free to dump his books and laugh at him.
(On that note, how about allying in some IG and using Snikkrot as a 'counts as' Marbo?)
4. Flash Gitz Still Aren't Worth It.
Too many people are getting excited by the fact that they now ignore cover. You know what also ignores cover? Burnas and skorchas. Burna boyz, mega-nobz and anything with a skorcha/combi-skorcha is still a much better choice. On the bright side, burna boyz are quite effective now (especially since meks restore hull points), so cheer up!
5. Deffrollas Aren't as Good as They Used to Be
Did I say cheer up? I meant be sad. Be sad that you can no longer embark/disembark and tank shock/ram in the same turn. Battlewagons themselves are better than ever now that glancing hits can't immobilize or destroy them, but you can no longer ram a vehicle with a deffrolla, destroy it, and then disembark your boyz to shoot/assault the vehicle's occupants. Sad day.
Also, ramming/tank shocking is a lot more dangerous in general, now that virtually all opponents can assault your battlewagon and hit on 3's, even if you moved 12 inches or more, instead of needing 6's to hit like they used to.
6. You Need a Plan for Flyers, Especially in Larger Games
Lootas may not cut it. Yes, lootas got better thanks to snap fire and overwatch, but 10 lootas fire an average of 20 shots, which on average will only get 3 hits against a flyer. That'll take down an armor 10-11 vehicle, but an AR12 or flying monstrous creature? Probably not. They're probably good enough for smaller games, but I wouldn't count on them in larger ones.
This leaves the Orks few options for anti-aircraft fire. The best seems to be the Dakkajet, which is one of the best anti-flying units in the entire game, especially if you spring for all the shooty upgrades. A fortification with a quad-gun will also work, but you'll probably need the imperial bastion, as the Aegis defense line's gun probably won't last long. An allied flying monstrous creature or other flying unit will also work. The Dakkajet's my favorite though.
7. A trukkload of Boyz Ain't What it Used to Be
Not only did furious charge get nerfed, losing its initiative bonus, but with overwatch shooting and random charge distances, it's really hard for units of 12 slugga boyz to reach combat these days. You're much too likely to have your furthest guys killed and/or roll too low to make it there. You're far better off with a horde of 30, especially now that the fearless rule doesn't inflict additional casualties.
8. Most 'Meh' Units are Still 'Meh'
Special characters (aside from Ghaz, who is now AMAZING), plain old nobz, weirdboyz (no new powers for us), stormboyz, deff dreads, looted wagons, and Slugga Boyz where all mediocre in 5th and they're still mediocre in 6th.
There are simply better options out there. Ghaz, Warbosses, and the Shokk Attakk Gun (nice boost from new rules) are the only HQs really worth it. Nobz aren't nearly as good as the other types of mega/biker nobz. Stormboyz aren't as good as warbikes. Deff dreads lost less than the Kans, but you're still better off with Meganobz. Looted wagons still don't work very well. Sluggas are still inferior to shootas. On that note...
9. Shoota Boyz, Mega Nobz, and Nob Bikers are now the Core of the Army
I'm going to go on the record as predicting that virtually all competitive Ork armies, that place well at tournaments, are going to include shoota boyz, and either meganobz or nob bikers. All three got way too much advantage from 6th edition to be ignored.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great units out there to choose from, and your army certainly doesn't have to have all the above, but like Marbo in IG, Psycannons in Grey Knights, and Long Fangs in Space Wolves, these three units are now more or less 'must haves'. Which leads us to...
10. Get Ready to See a Lot of Allied Orks in Chaos Marine, Imperial Guard, Necron, and Tau armies
Doesn't hurt us, exactly, although it may give us less of a reason to play Orks as our main army, since our most effective units can be used as allies in other armies. Still, as a self respecting green blooded Ork player....
The Tau? Really? Orks taking orders from a little grey guy in a dress? That's just sad.
P.S. You're still better off with grots.