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Assuming you have the elites spots open, isn't it always better to run 10 lootas in two squads of 5?
You get more wounds before fleeing, you average more consistent shooting, and you have the added flexibility of being able to move some of them and shoot with the others.
Now, above 10, I can see wanting Fearless as a good reason to have a larger squad, but is there any reason why you wouldn't split a squad of 10 into 2 squads of 5?
What you say is very true, but you would have more kill points and they would be quite fragile ones.
Ork Latin Lover since 1980
I often run 2 squads of 7-8. While still fragile and with crappy ld, they seldom get attacked, as they're comfortably sitting in the back. Only Daemons and drop pods SM go after them. Any other unit sent after them, generally a big, expensive CC unit, will then get smashed by orks nearby.
And 7-8 is a good number when it comes to firepower. Enough to get rid of most threats.
"Politics is the womb in which war develops"
I'd never use anything less than 9 lootas, even if it means adding a few meks with big shootas, just to get the model count up.
5 is far too fragile, and depending upon the opponent, I often find that the lootas are the first unit they go after, especially if they have a large number of lightly armored transports. If you only have 5-8, then they'll be taking a leadership check after only 2 casualties, and you'll most likely have to go to ground in order to keep them. Having 9 of them brings the number of casualties needed before a leadership check to 3.
Personally, I usually use one unit of 13 lootas, but 9-10 is really the optimum size. Having 2 units of 5 only adds more kill points and makes them far too fragile.
Part of me agrees with you - the added flexibility seems worth the extra kill point.
However, the part of me that realizes I'm not playing marines makes me think I really need at least 9. I think "What would I do if I'm up against 2 squads of 5 and 1 squad of 10?" Against a squad of 5, pretty much anything that gets range will take a few shots - only needing to cause 2 wounds to break and 3 to get a kill point. Against a squad of 10, I need to cause 3 wounds to break. Thus, I'd probably throw a light vehicle or fast attack against a squad of 5 lootas (which is supposedly the lootas strength to take out) but not risk giving you LOS on a light vehicle against a squad of 10 lootas (i'd probably not kill enough to force them to run, and lose the vehicle in return fire)
I feel a large part of playing orks is that no matter what your opponent does, unless he can take large chunks of models off the board, it doesn't really matter. Giving my opponent options with his smaller squads who are only capable of a few wounds in general can really hurt me.
Thanks for the insight everybody.. I totally forgot about Kill Points.
I did want to point out one thing though, in regards to:
"Against a squad of 5, pretty much anything that gets range will take a few shots - only needing to cause 2 wounds to break and 3 to get a kill point. Against a squad of 10, I need to cause 3 wounds to break."
To make 10 lootas run when they are in 2 groups of five, you need at least 4 wounds. But that easy kill point is certainly a good reason to consolidate.
AKM and I actually met for a game today, and I quickly discovered that he has a valid point regarding lootas. Although I still wouldn't use less than 9 lootas, I will say that having 2 smaller units of lootas gives you a large tactical advantage, compared to having one unit of 13-15.
Basically, the army I ran was depending heavily on the lootas for long range fire (at least for the first turn or two) and AKM focused nearly everything he had upon them. They couldn't stand up to AKM's surprisingly 'shooty' horde and died before I got to even start. That seriously imparied me for the rest of the game.
If I shelled out the points for two units of 9 lootas, instead of just one big one, I think it might have gone better. Then again, it all depends on your army. I'm just saying that completely relying on one unit of lootas to do all your long range shooting is probably a mistake.
Oh well, live and learn. ^_^