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Following the success of the Tactica: Lootas thread, I thought I'd start a new one regarding one of the most contested units in our army book, the Deffkoptas...
*CUE WAGNER'S RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*
Da dum da-dum DAA DAA, dum da-dum DAA DAA, dum da-dum DAA DAA, dum da-dum DAAAAA! etc.
The Deffkopta occupies one of, if not THE most transitory FOC section of our army book - Fast Attack. With a race that so adores getting to the enemy fast, surprisingly few of the regular tabletop choices for Orks source from the Fast Attack section. Though fluffy and offering some intriguing conversion challenges, the Deffkopta doesn't hold down a regular place in lists as do Trukk Boys, Lootas, Biker Nobs, or Kustom Force Fields BMeks.
The purpose of this Tactica is to shed some light on how to bring these Deffkoptas back into the limelight, to open debate on whether they're a good choice, and for people who have used them to share their experiences.
Wotcha got dere, den?
So let's look a bit closer at the Deffkopta. At first glance, its statline isn't spectacular with its weaknesses being an unboostable Leadership value and poor Initiative, and its strengths being a higher than average toughness, a decent armour save for Orks, and multiple wounds. But I reckon the real boon of the Deffkopta are its special rules - Scout (coupled with Jetbike), and Hit and Run - I'll explain more in the Taktiks section. The Kopta is built to exploit its fast-moving maneuverability, soak up some fire if needs be, and repeatedly harangue the backlines of the enemy.
So how can we combat the weaknesses, play to its strengths and utilise its extremely useful special rules?
The options open to a Kopta are surprisingly varied, although do not be deceived - a relatively cheap jetbike squadron can suddenly rack up into many points if you over kit them. Twin-linked Big Shootas are nice but you have access to Big Shootas elsewhere in the list. Twin-linked Rokkits are intriguing and certainly tempting in an army book that doesn't have good shooting and relies on CC to combat AV. A Kustom Mega-Blasta is a big big point sink - its strength and AP are nice but you get one shot at average range that will miss 4/6 times. The buzzsaw is the most expensive upgrade available but suddenly turns the Deffkopta into a 3A, S7 rear-armour busting threat. A bigbomm is another fluffy, but precarious and expensive option.
All in all, the Deffkopta profile and options seem to suggest that a lightning-fast, hit and run, raiding unit that hits hard and fast is going to be our best bet. What needs to be understood here is that you cannot search for versatility with the Deffkopta, but kit them out for a single purpose, as now explained.
Taktiks aka Sneeky Stuff aka 'ow To Run Dem
All this has been building to this section. I'd like to open the thread by proposing two builds that have proven incredibly useful then explain why and how to use them:
Option 1 - 70 pts.
1 Deffkopta - Twin-Linked Rokkit Launchas, Buzzsaw
Option 2 - 160 pts.
2 Deffkopta - Twin-Linked Rokkit Launchas
1 Deffkopta - Twin-Linked Rokkit Launchas, Buzzsaw
These options configure the Deffkoptas to do the job they should be doing - cracking open enemy tanks on the first turn by assailing their rear armour. These builds also complement the special rules needed to achieve this tactic. The only thing that holds against this are the dreaded Land Raiders.
The idea works in any scenario but best in Annihilation, and even better if you can get first turn. I'll explain:
Deploy them as far forward as possible, opposite armour. Before battle, use their free move (Scout) to turbo-boost 24" towards the biggest threat to your Boyz. Then move as usual to the rear of armour, (if possible), firing rokkits and assaulting in - all attacks auto-hit, then Hit and Run behind some available cover to put you as far out of LOS as possible.
Option 1 is great in smaller lists against opponents that like to field a Leman Russ or two, for example, in lower point games. Its a precarious Kill Point if unlucky, but worthwhile if you can pull it off. And after all, dats wot Orksies are all abowt - RISK! I played a friend last week who played two Russes in an 800point battle - my lone Kopta (Option 1) got behind one Russ first-turn, immobilised it with a Rokkit, then assaulted it and destroyed the battle cannon. Hit and Run then put it behind a building out of line of sight. For the next few turns, the Kopta harrassed the two battle tanks, effectively forcing my opponent's hand and limiting their use.
Option 2 gives you a bit of an air-cavalry and expands on the idea behind Option 1.
Anyway, I'll leave it there - want to see what others think first.
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Quannum, funkin' out in every way. Since 1987.
In my opinion Deff Koptas are only good one way, all with Rokkits and Outflanking.
They're a bit to squishy to be on the board turn one, unless the enemy.....has an army so bad I can't think of one. You want them coming on turn 2-3, and busting a tank that turn and everyone after. They probably won't live long given their low Ld and relative softness for the points but if you drop a Russ or two, totally worth it.
The PF is to low of a Strength, 7 on the charge for a huge cost is a no no, especially because they aren't very good in CC and they should already have Rokkits against armor.
The Big Bomm, well it's one use only....and it's a Bolter. You could just take Shoota Boyz, they can fire every turn and don't scatter. Why waste the points and detract from their armor killing?
Mega Blastas and Big Shootas each have their own drawback, mainly hitting and uselessness.
A unit of 5 Koptas, hitting on 5's with plasma, that can't double tap, is a recipe for let down.It has the same strength as a Rokkit but a Rokkit won't kill a guy and is, of course, twin-linked.
Big Shootas do little against armor and you can already take them on Trukks, Wagons and in Boyz units. They'll be had for cheaper cost and compliment other units better.
So in my opinion, take them one way or leave them home. Personally, one unit of 6 in conjunction with 2-3 Loota units is going to solve all your armor woes. Sometimes you need that Str8 in the back, Russes, Eldar vehicles, Tau vehicles and annoyingly placed Preds are good examples.
A solid unit but a bit 2-D and not a must play, although under-estimated. Great models too!
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I personally find them very useful, beyond tank popping. They are our fastest unit, so disputing objectives comes to mind. Catching enemy shooty units flat footed and engaging in CC while da boyz advance puts enemies in an unconfortable position; specially when those enemies have S3.
Sure they die like hell and have horrible Ld, but if you keep them expendable you can be aggressive with them
Ork Latin Lover since 1980
I use them like the OP, they make for decent alpha strikers and can take some pressure off of your army quick.
You'll run into problems when people get wise and decide to hold units in reserve or hide them behind infantry, so you can always outflank.
I have yet to try Koptaz w/ big shootas, mostly because I haven't converted any. 2-3 with 1 buzzsaw is only 130 points for a good deal of firepower and the lovely klaw.
5 w/ a buzzsaw is another zippy unit that is hard to kill. If you have a Biker or Nob Biker army, they can fit in quite nicely.
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To buzzsaw, or not to buzzsaw?
Personally, I think all the upgrades available to deffkoptas, besides their main guns, are worthless. Big bombs do almost nothing and cost a fortune, and buzzsaws only hit with strength 7, which probably won't even nick a rhino.
All that leaves us with is the main guns, and kmbs aren't accurate enough, leaving us with big shootas and rokkits. I may be in the minority, but I don't have a problem with big shootas. They work fine and you won't feel as bad if you need them to help in an ongoing assault, rather than shooting. Rokkits are good too, but a bit on the expensive side.
The real main advantage of the deffkoptas is they're one of two units in the army that can outflank, and they're the only one that's fast. They're great for going after rear armor, distant opponents, and such, but I mainly use them in horde armies, rather than speed freaks. Horde armies make better use of their outflanking and speed.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
I too feel as if the Big shoota isin't warranting enough attention. If used these in replace of my Rokkit kopta's, and the volume of fire is a nice enough trade back for the lack of S weaponry. I still bust my friends rhinos, bust my other friends chimeras. And bust both their infantry with these high caliber shots.
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Many people try to play them 1 for 1 (suicide units). For example : "this kopta unit will kill this tank". Fine, it killed the tank, and then got shot down. Was it a good investment ? Try to think of it like a house you just bought. You don't want to spend a single night in it and burn it down on the next morning. What you want is to spend many (interesting) nights in it and to keep it in good shape for a long time. Well, it's mostly the same thing with deffkoptas : They cost a lot, so you should enjoy them for a long time.
Instead of 1 for 1, you might think it as N for N ('N' means 'many'). You have a whole army with you and the deffkoptas is just one part of it. Say your shoota boyz just killed 4 out of 6 sternguard veterans space marines, well the deffkoptas squadron could provide the shots needed to kill the lasts of them. And the same goes for unit softening before assault. you have to stop thinking how each unit can kill another unit and more of how the whole army can deal with everything (it's one thing playing Magic the gathering (MTG) thought me).
Something, it's not a good idea to divert the firepower of a full mob in order to kill the 2 remaining models of a squad. This is where units like deffkoptas come in and shine. They can finish units that already suffered.
My main concern is to keep them cheap. I run the twin-linked Big Shoota version of these strange contraptions and they do good. I play them in group of three, outflanking or scooting.
First, you get 9 shots at S5 that can be reroled (which is a boon for orks). What can you do with strength 5 ? Well, you can glance or penetrate S10 armore for a start. You can also easily wound T4 models. They kill guards and nids so nicely !
Then, you also get a realy fast unit. This is as a good thing as it is a bad one. This is a good thing for anyone patient enough to wait for the right opportunities. If you send these koptas forward in order to kill tanks, as most newbies do, then it was a waste of point from the start, even if they try a flanking attack while using cover. If you chose not to outflank, you have to manoeuver inside your ranks for a while, shooting some soft targets, and then seize the right moment to strike hard. This is especialy true for squadrons of less than 5 models, where a single loss in the shooting phase is enough to make you roll a leadership test. I never send them forward alone. Instead I use the scout move to redeploy them where they will be most needed.
What are the right opportunities ?
The first thing that come in my mind for a fast unit is to contest objective in the last turn. Just run ahead and go park yourself on the objective on turn 5. If needed, assault the usualy lone unit protecting it to prevent getting shot if there is a 6th turn.
Remember that 3 deffkoptas don't do much in close combat. This leads them toward a single role : supporting an assault. Say your shoota boyz just came out of a trukk and shot all they had in a unit of space marines, only killing 4. Six space marines might be enough to hold you down for a while, especialy if there is a power fist. The idea is to send the deffkoptas in addition to the already assaulting shootaboys in order to do enough dammage to prevent the powerfist to strike back. Most space-marines players will put the fight on the boyz because they have a lower toughness and worst armor save, so the koptas won't suffer from the fight and add their attacks to those of the boys. This may be the difference between winning by killing everybody or fleeing because the powerfisted sergent killed the 2 models needed to turn the (green) tide.
Alternatively, the speed of the deffkoptas can be put at good use by preventing a unit from counterattacking. Let's say you assault a carnifex with 20 boyz including a Power klawed nob. You will probably get stuck for some time with the beast, which make your unit vulnerable to the assault of the gaunt unit nearby. Gaunts being not so good at close combat, this is a good place to send your koptas for some fun. They will prevent the counter assault and probably hold until the carnifex is dead and your boys can assist the koptas in getting rid of the smaller bugs. It worked pretty well last saturday.
Finaly, one last thing deffkoptas are good at is delaying outflanking or deepstriking forces. Outflanking is kind of a bad thing when you're at the receiving end of the guns. A good tactician fighting an army with a lot of outflanking units will limit their efficiency by deploying far from tables edges or by deploying everything on one side. This goes well for the first 2 turns, but outflanking units tend to appear later in the game, when you forgot about them. But the deffkoptas move fast and can be placed in order to deny any gain to the outflanking units, either by blocking / interfering the line of sight to a tank, giving it a cover save, or by simply assaulting the incoming threat (most outflanking units are somewhat fragiles, therefore easyly vanquished in close combat).
What about poping tanks ?
Well, this is always an option, but not the only option. If you happen to run by a tank and all your units are fine by themselves, then go for it. But don't do so for the sake of blasting a tank, do it because it's the best option available to you. Remember that tanks can't shoot at unit in close combat and this is where orks usualy go. Yet, poping a dreadnought never a bad option as they usualy do more trouble in close combat than during the shooting phase.
Last edited by MindRaked; October 29th, 2009 at 20:56.
CHAOS Undiv.: won 14/22 games EC: 4/7 WE: 6/9 DG: 10/15, TS: 3/7 Orks : 13/20 SM NL : 1/6 TAU: 14 of 24 IG: 3/7
Excellent analysis MindRaked - rep for you!
I also agree with the use of 2x big shootas. They're cheaper and longer ranged. Cheaper allows you to take 5 without as many qualms about points costs. 5 are needed for protection against morale checks as well as having a few stick around even if they are forced to take a morale check from shooting and they pass.
I like deploying them during setup so there are no worries about when and where they will show up. Depending on who you are playing and what type of threats are presented, you can always use the squad as near invincible mobile cover. Deploy them off on a flank and you can possibly psych out your opponent into moving light tanks/skimmers away from that flank or perhaps forcing him to deploy something really nasty that would tear up your koptas in a heartbeat or laugh off their S5 shots. If it's something relatively slow, short ranged, or it's position blocks line of site to the rest of your army, you've already gotten some use out of them - he's going to have to redeploy during the game, possibly losing a turn or more of effectiveness from that unit. Then, Scout them at least 18" in front of some of your critical units such as Kans, Trukks or Battlewagons. You'll have 10 wounds of T5 with 3+ invulnerable saves that he'll either have to eat through to remove the save, or you'll have granted your precious unit(s) a nice 4+ invulnerable which is nice as you don't have to worry about hiding in terrain which may be sparse/poorly located or may slow down/immobilize your troops/vehicles. Basic infantry fire power is going to have a hard time getting through T5 with a 3+ save as they'd either be out of range of boltguns/lasguns or at most be at the single shot long range. Tau rifles would be the most worrisome, but they are going to be worrisome to everything in your army. Is the enemy going to risk shooting heavy weapons at a small skirmishing unit? If if he decides to, he'll likely have relatively few numbers of S8 and higher weapons that you'd really have to worry about and you'll still get the 3+ invulnerable save.
I think contesting an objective (especially being able to move over terrain freely unlike Warbikes) and delaying deep striking or outflanking forces are probably the best use of the unit after deployment/T1. With 15 dice with rerolls at 36" range, you can move around on your half of the board and blast away safely out of range of most infantry basic weaponry as well as charge range. Your opponent will have more immediate threats in the form of walkers, Nobz, buggies and transports to occupy his heavy weaponry that is within range and more of a threat to the koptas. You'll be within range for a last minute objective contest as well as within range of outflankers and deep strikers on home objectives. Basically, until the need arises for the two uses listed above, use them as mobile, long range firepower. True, Orks usually don't need much extra infantry killing firepower, but use them to soften up units that would otherwise be too much of a match for a reduced size Ork mob (for example, a 10 man SM squad vs 12 Trukk boyz or a well shot up 30 man boyz mob).
I would say the objective contesting and deep striking/outflanking foil are the better uses for the koptas if you're playing a mission that uses them or an army with those forces. If not, then they can be used to support an assault or prevent a counterattack. I think they are too weak and vulnerable that close to the enemy without numbers or a nob to risk doing this if you can use them for the other two uses. Save them for this.
As far as their cost, I think 35 points is pretty reasonable, perhaps dare I say cheap? You are basically getting two 'Ard boyz with big shootas (30 points) who are slightly tougher but vulnerable to S8 weapons. They have a huge maneuverability bonus in their jetbike status and scout rule but lack some of the protection granted by 'hiding out' in a mob or 6 point Orks. If you forgo shooting, they get an incredible 3+ invulnerable save, great for moving into a risky position to setup an attack on the next turn, or giving them protection on that last turn when they boosted to contest an objective. You lose some options as compared to a boyz squad, but for their intended usage, those options aren't critical.