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General Cenker glanced over the blasted and scorched battlefield with quiet admiration. It was some of his best work.
About two hours prior, one of his numerous Imperial Guardsmen platoons spotted a small scouting party of Orks skulking around the perimeter of their fortress. The general’s own quick thinking and deft maneuvers allowed their entrenched line to easily annihilate the Xenos menace without suffering a single casualty. Now all that was left was to wait for the rest of the wretched Ork army to rear its ugly head.
Hopefully, the platoons he’d sent to scout out the area would return soon with answers. Given the danger of such scouting, and the importance of the conflict ahead, General Cenker had chosen two of the outworlder platoons assigned to his army to perform the patrol, since he considered them more expendable.
The approaching footsteps alerted the general to the arrival of Lieutenant Coleman, from the Death World of Krieg. Sure, the footsteps could have belonged to anyone, but the unmistakable rasp of the soldier’s breathing, filtered through his oversized gasmask, meant it could be no other.
All that was left was Lieutenant Nicholas, of the Catachans. In actuality, Nicholas arrived a few minutes earlier, and was already standing directly behind the General, silently waiting for the other Lieutenant to arrive.
Coleman, on the other hand, wasn’t one for sneaking. In his heart, he held no illusion that death could arrive at any second, and from any direction, but instead of hiding, the middle aged Lieutenant welcomed the attack. Sometimes you needed to give the enemy an advantage before they’d dare to stick their neck out. Then again, this wasn’t the deceitful Eldar they were fighting, but the Orks. You didn’t have to give them an excuse to attack.
Coleman breathed a sigh, silently wishing he was back on the battlefield, as Nicholas emitted a slight cough, to announce his presence. After recovering from the shock of finding the ‘native’ guardsman behind him, General Cenker barked out, with his typical bluster,
Nicholas remained quiet, and considered every possible way he could silently execute the General, should the order ever be given. This left Coleman to give the full report, and grudgingly, he rose his gasmask up, so he could be heard clearly. Normally, he didn’t like taking the mask off for any reason, not even for sleep, meals, or conceiving illegitimate children.
With some reluctance, the aging officer popped up his mask, and spoke in a surprisingly clear, if somewhat monotonous tone,
“Sir, they’re within a few miles, up northwest. The front line of the Ork army is covered in a silvery-red glow. You should be able to see them by now with your telescope. Ten million, total.”
Curses! The general had become so preoccupied with his attack upon the enemy scouts that he neglected to examine the surrounding horizon. For morale purposes, the general rank and file troops only had short range telescopes, incapable of seeing the enemy before retreat was more or less impossible, but the General had a high powered version, and sure enough, he could see the very front of the enemy lines, approaching from the direction of the green mountains on the horizon. The sky was overcast, covering the exact appearance of the Ork invaders, but it hardly mattered to the general. More than half of the approaching enemies were covered in the aforementioned unearthly glow.
After quickly clearing his throat, General Cenker gave his first commands,
“Alright, the odd glow surrounding them is a Kustom Force Field, which are very common in larger Ork armies. With a conservative estimate of between seventeen and twenty thousand enemies, we’ll approach in an alpha-delta formation, splitting our own twenty-three thousand guardsman into several spearhead…”
Something itched at the back of General Cenker’s mind. He finally realized what it was, and in a slightly confused manner, demanded to know,
“What did you mean by ‘ten million’? Ten million what?”
Nicholas was the first to answer, and he did so in his typical high pitched, nasally tone,
Cenker hated these outworlder troops. The Death Worlders had no education besides that of combat, and the Catachans were practically feral. It was no wonder they couldn’t count.
“Do you mean ten thousand? If so, then that’s far below the Imperial estimates, and shouldn’t be…”
Coleman interjected, as calm and monotonous as ever,
“Ten million, Sir. There are ten million Orks approaching our base. That’s one thousand ‘times’ ten thousand.”
Now the general was downright livid. It was so difficult to conduct a proper war when his own troops couldn’t even understand the very basics of combat. It was one thing to not understand math, but to estimate the enemy’s numbers at ten million showed they didn’t even have a basic understanding of reality.
“Listen, you idiots! The enemy has been estimated at no more than twenty thousand! Imperial intelligence would have alerted us if it was anywhere near…”
The Catachan’s question, despite its mellow tone, unnerved the general slightly. He thought about the platoons below, and their standard issue telescopes that could only detect enemies when retreat was impossible…
No! That was completely ridiculous! He was a general, after all, and not expendable! Cenker calmly pulled up his telescope once more, and continued giving orders, as if the previous conversation hadn’t even occurred.
“Twenty thousand is the official estimate we’ll use when planning formations. Now, our units will approach slowly, under the cover of those dark clouds.”
Once more, Nicholas was the first to reply,
“Those are deffkoptas.”
General Cenker reflexively moved his telescope upwards…and fell deathly silent. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The billowing dark shapes hanging over the enemy lines were countless deffkoptas, swarming through the air like agitated wasps. Of course, for the cloud of koptas to appear that dark and dense, there’d have to be thousands of them…tens of thousands perhaps…
One of the Ork pilots, with a salvaged Imperial telescope of his own, faced the general directly, and gave him a playful wave.
Flinching away from the dreaded sight, General Cenker once again focused on the front lines of the enemy. Yes, there were many of them in front of the green mountainside, but surely no more than fifty or sixty thousand…
Of course, only yesterday, those mountains were white.
After adjusting his viewer, to focus in, the general clearly made out the nearly infinite tide of green bodies, cascading over the peak of the mountainside, and making their way to the valley below. Without a single exception, every Ork in the tide was fully armed, eager for combat, and soon they’d all be enwreathed in an unearthly, protective glow.
Lieutenant Coleman and Nicholas patiently waited for the General’s orders.
They continued waiting.
Eventually, General Cenker slowly collapsed forward, and rolled into a tight ball, with his arms locked upon his legs. Showing no sign that he’d ever rise again, the two remaining Lieutenants merely shook their heads.
Lieutenant Coleman, of the Death World of Krieg, eventually broke the silence, with a short and dismissive,
Nicholas returned a small amused chuckle, in agreement.
Without another word, Coleman pulled down his mask, and Nicholas slipped into the shadows. They had their orders, so alpha-delta it was. It’d hardly matter what formation they were in when the tide hit, so alpha-delta was as good as any.
With that, the pair of Lieutenants marched back to their respective units, towards a glorious battle, and more likely than not, an equally glorious death.
I may not be the most impartial person regarding the subject, but I believe I can say, without any serious doubt: the Orks rule Apocalypse.
No army seems to have as much consistent success in the scenario, and despite how fragile most of their vehicles are, the Orks seem designed for large scale war. Perhaps it’s because nothing, regardless of how tough they are, can really last when the giant green pie plates start landing on the field.
First, let’s review the three most useful units/advantages that theApocalypse rules provide the Orks:
An obvious choice, but a lot of fun. Stompas, especially Big Mek Stompas, are one of the most cost effective super heavy units in 40k. Not only can they assault, put out a lot of impressive shooting, and use their lifto-grabbo arm to toss enemy tanks around, but their ability to transport troops is invaluable, considering that 3 meganobz with combi-skorchas, and a Big Mek w/KFF can ride inside. This setup not only gives the unit some extra close combat punch, and effective template weapons, but a 4+ save against all shooting attacks as well! I’d always run at least one of these guys in every Apocalypse Ork army, and if nothing else, I'd at least have a KFF ride inside.
- GREEN TIDE
100+ boyz is a fearsome force, even in Apocalypse. The fact it’s led by a Warboss gives the unit a little more punch, but the unit becomes even more effective when you attach a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field, giving the entire tide a 5+ cover save. You could also attach Mad Doc Grotznik, to give them all feel no pain, but that might steer the tide in the wrong direction. Then again, since you’re only starting 12in away from the enemy, it might not be a bad choice after all.
- FLANK MARCH
A strategic asset, not a unit, but it’s still an Ork’s best friend in Apocalypse. Allowing half your army to arrive from a side/corner of your choice, as if Snikkrot was leading them, is a fantastic way to get your fragile trukks right up into the enemy lines. I’d try and resist the temptation to bring in the green tide this way, however, as this would allow your opponent to use another strategic asset, Ambush, to shoot EVERY member of the green tide with an automatic AP 3 hit, that wounds on 4+. That can reduce 100 Orks to 50 in a heartbeat. It’s best to just bring your vehicles (perhaps a Stompa too) into battle this way.
Of course, what’s especially interesting about the Orks in Apocalypse, is that certain units that are normally ineffective, or only somewhat effective, become a lot more useful.
-UNITS CONSISTING OF A SINGLE MODEL
With no Apocalyptic ‘annihilation’ missions, you’re free to include as many units as you please, meaning the 4th edition trick of using only one Warbuggy, Killa Kan, Deffkopta, and Big Gunz Kannon in each unit is back! Nothing will vex a gunline more than hearing that each of their units can only shoot ‘one’ of the countless kans and buggies charging them.
-WARP ‘EADS/OLD ZOGWORT
In Apocalypse, you might want to consider attaching a Warp ‘ead or Old Zogwort to every many of your units of boyz, especially the ones on foot. The high strength shooting is invaluable, and Old Zogwort’s ability to turn independent characters into Squigs is certain to be very useful in high point scenarios.
As for the units in vehicles, and on bikes, you might want to consider attaching a Warboss to nearly every unit. The extra powerklaw attacks work wonders when fighting super heavy vehicles (nothing’s more fun than having a Warboss pull down an Imperial Warhound by himself), and if you give them a combi-skorcha, they can help deal with the hordes as well. This is especially effective when flank marching, as dropping Ghazghkull Thraka directly into the center of an entrenched gunline can easily mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Yes, I’ve been hard on these boyz in the past, but 5 tankbustas with 2 tankhammers, a nob, powerklaw, bosspole, and a looted wagon, is a very effective anti-armor unit, especially if accompanied by one of the aforementioned Warbosses. This is exactly the sort of unit you want to use flank march to drop behind enemy lines. Against super heavy vehicles, they can do the same damage as biker nobz, for a fraction of the cost.
-MAD DOK GROTZNIK
Despite being a somewhat questionable unit to attach to the Green Tide, the Mad Dok is definitely a great choice in Apocalypse, otherwise. With all the high cost units on the table, the cheap 5 point cybork bodies are invaluable, especially for units that can’t normally take one. With all the high strength, low AP shooting in Apocalypse, the invulnerable save is a must have for all your expensive units. Also, he allows you to flank march this unit behind enemy lines:
8 Meganobz w/cybork bodies and combi-skorchas, in a battlewagon w/deffrolla, kannon, and grot riggers, with Mad Dok Grotznik and Ghazghkull Thraka attached.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to bask in this unit’s awesome 905 point glow.
Happy hunting! ^_^
Last edited by mynameisgrax; June 29th, 2009 at 18:37.
All i gotta say is, don't forget about them Big Mek's with the KFF in either a stompa or a skullhamma
I had a skullhamma survive 5 turns, while on the defensive, against 8 Railgun shots a turn and he was hitting on 2s. Oh man was my opponent choked.
Thank you! I almost forgot to mention including a KFF inside every stompa. The obscurement gives it a 4+ save versus most shooting attacks, and extends to everything surrounding the vehicle. Yeah, it's definitely a must have, and I've changed the article to include the suggestion. Thank you!
Gork above! I can't wait to start playing apocalypse. I'll finally have a use for my six warbosses! xD
Gonna play Orkapokkalipz next week.. Orks vs the imperium! it probably gonna be just as described in the fluff grax =D
I just wished i had a stompa (or any other super heavies) to play around with...
Thanks for the fun read-up, but I'm going to play Mr. Grumpy here:
I Don't like Apocalypse.
Why? It smacks of lazy game design, since the rules are the same than 40k. Except of course that you can take models without regards to an actual force organization. That tends to lead to 2 things:
- trying to make army lists purely for winning, which is not the point of Apocalypse at all
- a serious lack of infantry compared to other types of troops. And whil it may be fun, it doesn't look good on a battlefield.
Apocalypse (or more exactly, large-scale battles), can be a lot of fun with specific house rules like the "blind commanders" they used in WD, or several tables with interdependent objectives (come on, who doesn't want to announce a 200" shot with their basilisks?).
But if I painted another 300 models and designed a table large enough to accommodate them, then come over with a cool scenario, DEPLOY my very large army, only to discover that my opponent is here to use dirty tricks for an easy win, well, I guess I'd simply leave for the closest pub...
"Politics is the womb in which war develops"
You definitely have a point there, but I don't think there should be any 'serious' apocalypse games. Apocalypse is just for fun, and yes, it definitely works best if it's spread out over several tables.
One particular game which was fun, we were spread out among four different tables, and you couldn't move between them, but you could FIRE between them. The tables had markings to signify where the battlefields intersected (that way they didn't have to be physically connected), and it proved a lot of fun.
Even more fun, however, and a blow against the cheesier players, was a game where the sides were all randomly determined, and no one person brought more than 1500 points, not counting super heavies (the super heavies were assigned evenly to the teams before any players were, so you had Ork and Tau players using Imperial Walkers...which was odd, but a lot of fun).
Another great thing about that game was the fact that there were FOUR sides instead of two. That way, everyone had a lot more targets to choose from.
As a final cherry on top, the owner of the store, each turn, would drop a GIANT pie plate (looked like a barrage template, but made out of five 10in round plates) wherever he chose, and he usually used it to even up the odds, as one team got ahead.
Balanced? No, but come on, Apocalypse should just be about fun. If all that above doesn't sound fun to you, then don't play it. Personally, I love it, because it feels far more like a 'game' then a 'competition'.
A friend of mine and I like to use Apocalypse games as the final game in campaigns as well. Play 3-4 regular games and based on the results you get different bonuses in the Apocalypse game. A couple weeks ago my friend (traditionally a CSM player) played my orks and I played Space Wolves. Was my first time using the army at all and one of the first times he'd ever played as orks. Nothing introduces you to an army like 5000 points to play with! ^.^
"Orks have to be followers of Nurgle! They're green, smell bad, and just want to spread the fun!"
That sounds like a great way to end a campaign. ^_^
Apocalypse should be that way, not about making a competitive/cheesy list, but simply about bringing literally EVERYTHING you have to a game filled with as many players as possible.
On that note, that reminds me of another important feature that most Apocalypse games have that keep them very fun: time limits for turns.
Time limits are fun? They are if you're bored to death, waiting for the min/max guy to finish his neverending turn. By setting a time limit for each turn (usually with 5-10 minutes for each movement, shooting, and assault phase, with possible extra time for important assault phases), you keep the game moving, and the math-hammer to a minimum.
Now, I'm all for math-hammering when choosing units and setting up lists, but when the game starts, I believe in playing fast, and having as much fun as possible. Apocalypse includes a healthy dose of both.
All the stuff listed in grax's "good point" post is what Apocalypse is all about!
Check out the WD with the apoc battle. The battle itself seems a bit boring, but the fact that front commanders could not see the battle itself and had to rely on aerial pictures to give orders is awesome!
"Politics is the womb in which war develops"