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I've been slowly increasing the points lvl I play Orks at, refusing to play un-painted models, and the more games I play (currently sitting at 1250) the more amazed I am at both the survivability and the utility of the 30 strong Boyz Mob. I usually throw in a Kff toting Big Mek, after which the only things that seem to threaten the Mob are the most elite CC units and flame templates. On top of that they can cap objectives and there is very little that the PK Nob and massed attacks from the Boyz can't kill (esp. on the charge). The joke around here has been that the only problem w/playing multiple squads of 30 is painting them =P
Two's to kill. Ahh, sweet sweet music.
Coming from a pure Speed Freaks play in the old Dex, I am just now working on my 1st 30 Boyz strong Shoota squad and certainly looking forward to fielding them, specially after your post!
Monkey's Killer Kan WiP (Updated 4/29)
30 boyz, (either shoota or slugga) with special guns, nobz, powerklaws and bosspoles, is one of the most versatile and resilient units in all of 40k, especially if you have them within the range of a KFF, or behind another line of troops. It takes a LOT of massed fire to bring one of these units down.
On the other hand, they're far from invincible. With the new 5th edition rules, templates blow them away. In one game, against a Chaos player, one of their ordnance guns (Vanquisher cannon? I forget the exact name) was killing 7-9 orks with each shot. In another game, a unit of my burnas wiped out a unit of 20-25 boyz in a SINGLE ROUND. Granted, I'm not a big fan of burnas anymore, but you see what I mean.
Still, 3 teams of 30 boyz is very difficult for any opponent to deal with. Of course, some consider loading up lists with several of these units rather cheesy, but you know what else is cheesy?
A 3+ armor save!
12 BOY MOBZ FTW!!! Theyll never die! LONG LIVE THE SPEED FREEKS!!!
*sigh* yeah its kinda sad, as I find speed freeks to be infinitly more fun, foot sloggers are more effective.
Two's to kill. Ahh, sweet sweet music.
I find 30 strong mobs very tough, and it's nice how they can take a tremendous pounding before even thinking of running off. They do have some notable downsides however.
1. Fewer nobz. With more points invested in the boyz there's not so much PK action. Not too much of a problem in combat with regular enemy infantry, but it does reduce the ability of the army to take on vehicles, MC's and 2+ saves.
2. Space on the tabletop. Probably the biggest drawback. If you can get the boyz lined up they'll all be able to fire or charge, but this is not easy to do and all too often large numbers of boyz may be left out of range for shooting or assault. If the boyz can't form a long line you can end with a large tail of orks whose only role is getting killed by templates.
3. Keeping such a large mob in cover is another related issue. While packing the boyz shoulder to shoulder will let them squeeze in almost anywhere this makes them vulnerable to templates again.
4. Movement. When the leading edge of the mob has reached open ground, the orks at the back are still in terrain, slowing the mob down. The sheer press of orks too can slow a mob as you run out of space to put them.
5. Reduced tactical flexibility. Larger mobs means fewer mobs, and it is more difficult to match forces to means. Drastic overkills can happen.
I'm with hs5ias here. I've used 30-boyz mobs only a few times, and always regretted it. They're just too big and unwieldy.
Not to mention that ideally in CC, you want to try to keep your opponent alive and locked in CC for his phase, so your mob doesn't get shot to pieces. Attacking with 12 boyz (the likely size of a 20-strong mob after taking shooting casualties) will more likely result in that than 22 boyz. And even after you've lost the benefit of furious charge, the high number of attacks and PK attacks should keep the mob on top against all but the most resilient enemy units.
"Politics is the womb in which war develops"
The more I play, the more I feel that the best armies have both a healthy mix of numbers and speed.
If you have only speed, then the initial assault is everything. This isn't so bad if you want to hold your opponent in place, but it's an all or nothing approach. Your initial assault has to completely cripple your opponent's forces. If you falter, than your opponent's counter-attack (either through assault or shooting) will annihilate you. This is why I like holding a trukk or two in reserve, to speed them into battle around the same time the footsloggers arrive there.
You'll have the same problem in annihilation missions. If you kill or tie up everything with the initial assault, you should be fine, but if the opponent is still able to act afterwards, he'll just shoot down trukks until he wins. In objective based missions, the problem becomes holding the objectives. Trukks can claim most objectives by turn 2...and as I've said before, this would work great if the game were 2 turns long.
Large groups of footsloggers are great for winning close combat, holding objectives, and surviving heavy fire. Yes, they're very vulnerable to templates, but trukks are incredibly vulnerable to anti-armor fire (especially with the new line of sight rules) so there really isn't a 'safe' choice. Large shoota boy mobz can also tear apart most units purely through shooting, and if they're close enough, can still assault afterwards.
Of course, footsloggers can have trouble reaching objectives, and indirect template weapons, like baslisks, can annihilate them in short order.
Having a healthy mix of the two styles seems like the way to go, but I honestly haven't found a perfect balance yet. In any case, have no illusions: boyz in trukks die. Footslogging boyz die. All boyz die. The trick is making sure your opponent's losses are even greater.