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Right, I was just wondering about burna boys. I have always thought that they must be a great unit because of the massed templates and the massed power weapons.
However, the only way that i have found to use them effectively is to put them into a battlewagon or looted wagon and then drive around flaming things. And that doesn't really use the power weapons!
does anybody have any other way to use them effectively? if so please tell!!
You're on the right track here. The key is to choose when to use the burnas as flamers or as powerweapons. If you're facing big swarms, then obviously skorch them from the safety of your battlewagon or trukk. If you've got a highly-armored infantry unit that will suffer from the loss of their close combat saves, then powerweapon it up. Anything in between is your call. They're particularly great against power-fist of thunder-hammer terminators who will swing last- if they have anyone left after the attacks of a whole unit of burna boyz that is!
I've found the burna boyz to be lackluster in effectiveness based on their cost. Sure they get either the flame template, or the power weapon, but they are not any tougher then standard boys, and fall extremely quickly. As such, they usually do best sitting in a BW, not on the ground.
Additionally, due to their cost, they are generally taken in smaller numbers, which makes their LD of 7 a huge issue. On foot, the burna boyz will usually get one attack, or one assault, then be completely wiped out. If left out in the open, they'll usually be picked off far before they get into any sort of range.
On a counter point, a group of shoota boyz in a BW, can shoot out significantly farther, and costs the same as 8 burna boyz. If they jump out of the wagon, they'll be fearless, and can even take along a nob with a PK/BP (for more points though, around 11 burna boyz). The shoota boyz also engage at 18 inches, vs the 6-7 inches the burna boyz get to shoot it. So you can use the shoota boyz in a BW at the edge of the front line providing support, with the wagon firing off it's kannon and big shoota (or rockitt) every round as well. (defensive kannon shot + BS).
I think it's hilarious when the burna boys (about 7-10) are in a Battle Wagon and are close enough to flame a unit. The template only reaches 3 people of the unit but "Uh Oh!" the vehicle is open topped! those 3 hits just turned into 24-30 hits! youch!
If you can do a couple burna shots and then end their run with a power-weapon charge, you'll be better off. Also, I think greggles is wrong about the one attack- all orks have 2 base attacks. With a unit of 10, thats 20 powerweapon attacks! Their anti-heavy armor outshines shootas when facing high armor troops and especially necrons who will be denied their wbb saves
Ah, I meant that...
1) They'd either get one template based attack (before they're wiped out) + ensuring assault.
2) They'd get one power weapon assault (before they are wiped out).
Because the burna boyz are no tougher then regular boys, but cost nearly 3x as much, the second they are "in the open" they become fodder. They are significantly more effective as a unit shooting out of a vehicle, then a unit on the ground. In that situation, the vehicle provides them protection, and they aren't such expensive fodder.
I find what usually happens (when they're on the ground), is that if they aren't in cover, they're obliterated. If they make it to the target, they will usually win the melee, and in the ensuing round, are obliterated. (by being shot at).
The power weapon attacks are nice...but i don't find them that much more effective then say, a group of 11 slugga boyz and a nob pk/bp rushing out of a truck. I wiped out a squad of 5 termies, and a termie captain last game with one trukk boyz squad.... (cost of 7ish burna boyz).
Only way I've ever seen them work is a big squad in a Battlewagon. That many dice puts the hurt on anything with T3 or 4, which is luckily most things in the game. Besides that they're generally not very effective.
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It is dangerous to put them on the ground. The key is finding when it is worth it. Ideally, you'll be getting a turn or two scorching before busting out your powerweapon assault. I find that they can wreak some serious havoc, and having them mounted puts them where they can do the most harm.
In comparison to shoota boyz, I think that they have the potential to generate far more hits. Remember that the burnas are hitting automatically, so the awful ballistic skill of the shootas isn't a factor. A group of 20 shootas will have about twice the number of attacks, but only the nob's attacks will ignore armor. If enemy armor save is 3+ or better, the burnas will be wounding more, in initiative order. Their disadvantage is having half the wounds as the shootas. I'd put the burnas ahead in combat against highly-armored elites, and their shooting is superior vs. large groups of clumped hordes. Otherwise, the shootas will fare as well or better.
One way to avoid enemy fire once you're on the ground is to shield your burnas with their transport
You can't compare the resilience of boyz and burnas, though. The boyz are much better off even considering the pure number of wounds.
The shoota boyz (or slugga boyz, for that matter) are significantly cheaper. They tend to come in much larger mobs. Those mobs are a lot more likely to be fearless due to boyz count. On top of that, even once they're whittled down past that, the nob's going to be packing a bosspole. Heck, a full mob of boyz can take more casualties than you can even HAVE in a squad of burnas and still be fearless. Even a squad of 20 from a battlewagon would be able to take a much bigger beating and still stay stuck in.
4 wounds in a phase is enough to make your burnas roll for morale, and at 7 they have a good chance of failing one (and a terrible chance of staying stuck in to CC, or of surviving a break).
They're just a problematic unit to wield. Too expensive to throw away, too obviously-dangerous yet fragile for the opponent to ignore. Lootas without the advantage of being able to operate wayyyy out of range, and in cover. (That said, a battlewagon full of 'em is dangerous as all get out... especially if you put a KFF Mek in there with 'em, to help with the leadership and to help that wagon reach the front!)
That said, they're terribly orky. It's a shame they can't take a trukk as a transport without stranding some boyz.
Their LD is a true disadvantage. I've ran a unit of them as a bodyguard for a warboss. They do quite well with their powerweapons, with the added punch of the warboss making them truly deadly. The warboss helps the LD a lot. Its a big investment but can churn out huge results against highcost elites. It also fits the theme of the "burna boss" like the arch burna of charadon. Its true that the burnas are not as resilient or easy to use as big mobs of boyz, but they certainly have the potential to kick butt in the right hands. I think of them a bit like eldar banshees, but with the ability to scorch the hell out of hordes.