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492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the official Ork Tactica thread that I'm trying to get stickied and pinned in the Ork forum (or whereever the moderators would like to put it). As explained before in another thread this tactics compilation is for everyone to put in their experiences and ideas regarding all the specific units in the Ork army list.

The reason for this idea is that there are so many unit selections in the Ork codex and many more varieties based on their gear selection. So designing a new army or deciding what to buy is very difficult. So this thread is for people to write comprehensive articles about the Ork list.

Do not post in this thread for minor comments or replies to other peoples Tactica articles. Otherwise it will just get clogged up with banter. All this thread should have (after this post) is articles seperated by unit type. Unfortunately I'll have to leave the Moderators to come up with a decent method for doing so as I'm no forum expert!

So hope this idea is appreciated by many others and to kick start things off I'd like to present an article written by "mynameisgrax" on Ork Boyz Tactics. ;Y

492 Posts
Ork Boyz

Every ork battle, regardless of points, is won or lost with the boyz. Every other ork unit exists to either enhance the effectiveness of the boyz, or to counter-act special enemy units that the boyz would have difficulty with. In a way, the ork army is the closest to simulating a realistic World War 2 army, where each type of unit balances and supports every other type.


I always try to spend at least half of the points in my army on boyz, and would only spend less in large Apocalypse games. The type of boyz you use, and how you transport them, will determine what type of army you're using.

Slugga boyz are the masters of close combat, but only when they get the assault. If the enemy assaults them, they won't be able to outperform your average team of assault MEQs. The best way ensure the assault is with a transport, and with a base cost of __ points, Trukks are your best choice. On foot, they'll have trouble moving, won't be able to shoot effectively, and due to space constraints, won't be able to get more than 12-14 men into CC the first turn in any case, making the costly 10-18 extra boyz nothing more than extra wounds.

Shoota boyz, on the other hand, do wonderfully in large footslogging mobz, as they get two STR _, AP_, ASSAULT shots every turn, potentially with a few extra rokkits and/or big shootas thrown in. Even if they can't get into CC, they'll still be an effective front for the non-mechanized portion of your army. In transports, on the other hand, slugga boyz make more sense, as you want to keep trukks out of line of sight, as described below.

In either case, every team of boyz should always include a nob, with a powerklaw. Nobz are better described in length later, but in short, they enable your team to kill anything, even the largest monstrous creatures and toughest tanks.


Even with little armor, trukks are dirt cheap at __ points, rarely cause injury to their passengers (even after exploding), and never cause entanglement. For _ points, you can give the trukk a red paint job, which will increase their movement by 1in. Fast and open-topped, trukks are the perfect way to deliver your troops into battle. I also prefer to start the game with troops already in trukks, to give the rest of my army room to deploy, and enable the coveted first turn assault.

There are plenty of other upgrades available, but will make your trukk more expensive, without significantly increasing its resilience. It is possible, depending on the type of army you play, for a ram or a boarding plank to make sense, but trukks are designed to be expendable, and in my experience, are just as effective without any extra bonuses.

Trukks aren't only meant for rushing into your enemy territory, however, and also work very well at counter-assault, especially against other CC focused armies. Holding a single trukk back behind cover is a very effective strategy, especially in higher point games. Eventually, one of your units is going to be assaulted by the enemy, and be in a tight spot. That's when you rush your trukk out from behind cover, deploy the boyz near the enemy unit, and then literally ambush the ambush. This is especially effective in team games, where your non-CC teammates will be thankful when you swoop in on a trukk and save the day. On foot, without transport, this is simply not possible. Trust the trukk.


There are many styles of play, but this is how I use boyz in my armies:

500 points: 1 unit of 20+ boyz on foot (with a PK Nob upgrade); 1 unit of 12 in a trukk (with a PK Nob upgrade)

1000 points: 1 unit of 22+ on foot, with rokkits and PK Nob; 2-3 units in trukks (as above)

1500 points: 1 unit of 24+ on foot, with rokkits and PK Nob; 3-4 units in trukks (as above)

2000 points: 1-2 units of 22+ on foot, w/ rokkits and PK Nob; 4-5 units in trukks (as above)

2,425 Posts
This looks like an excellent start, guys. What I'll do is move this over to the Tactica section and once people have finished contributing we can post it up. Good work so far, keep it up!

Katie D

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts

From now on I won't include point values with any entries. Sorry if this wasn't acceptable, I wasn't sure. Here's a bit on my personal favorite ork unit:


Warbuggies are dirt cheap, fast, and highly effective ork units, when fielded appropriately. The standard warbuggy comes with a twin linked big shoota, and for a very small cost, it can be upgraded to twin-linked rokkits. I personally feel the rokkit variety is far superior, not because big shootas are inferior, but because rokkits enable warbuggies to effectively hunt tanks.

Your standard rokkit buggy only has bare-bones minimum armor, fast movement, and can be fielded 1-3 to a unit. However, as a rule, you do not want to field more than a single buggy in a unit, otherwise each buggy will have to remain close together, limiting their effectiveness, and enemy units that fire large amounts of shots (even ones as little as strength 4) will be able to wipe out all the buggies at once.

Granted, your buggies will be even more vulnerable when fielded individually, but your opponent will have to decide if it's really worth wasting numerous shots on a single, lone buggy. If they do, then your dirt cheap buggy has drawn away fire from the rest of your army, and at most you only lost a relatively tiny amount of points. If they don't, you'll be able to race the buggy around cover, until you have sight of their vehicle's vulnerable back armor. In any case, I've never fielded buggies that didn't at least make up their points, and in most cases, they at least double their worth or more. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your Tau opponent's expression, as his hammerhead gets taken down by two orks in a pickup truck.

The strategy of the rokkit buggy is simple. You keep it behind cover, and then quickly move it into position to harass your opponent's weak sides, or sneakily claim an objective. Buggies with big shootas are more effective as anti-infantry, but I feel there are other units far better suited to this task, such as Lootas, Shoota Boyz, and Looted Wagons.

It's important to note that warbuggies lose some of their effectiveness in apocalypse games (although not all their effectiveness). There's a strategic asset that hits every enemy unit consisting of a single model with an automatic strength 5 hit. This can prove devastating to individually fielded buggies. Also, other strategic assets allow you to move your troops around more effectively, redeploy, deploy reserves from any edge, and more. Apocalypse games also include far larger ordnance plates, and far more crucial objectives to claim. All these advantages swing the odds in favor of larger units, with more shots, and a greater ability to shrug off massive damage. Warbuggies still have their place in these games, but they aren't quite as effective as normal.

All in all, warbuggies are highly effective, especially in smaller games. They're fast, cheap, deadly, and if you play right, your opponent should have trouble targeting them, or at least targeting them without wasting the shots of their most powerful units.

As stated earlier, the game is won or lost with your boyz, but the warbuggies will draw fire away from your troops, and will bring down many of your opponent's troublesome walkers and tanks in the process.

996 Posts
Interesting and informative thread, as a Veteran Ork player I don't find much wrong with this as a general guide, and it's really good. The bit about Apoc helped me a lot, since I'm bulking my Orks up for some Apoc games. It would help me and a few others I believe if you would include a small summary on each unit's uses in Apoc, since I really need some help there.

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts
Thought I'd add something


Burna boyz are easily the most versatile unit in the ork army. Although they are not able to have a nob or powerklaw in the unit, their burnas, and the ability to add meks to the unit, give you an incredible number of options.

On their own, burnas each have what is essentially a flamer, and on its own the cost is comparative to similar setups in the Imperial Guard. Burnas gain the added advantage of being able to use their burnas in close combat as a power weapon, as long as they didn't fire with it in the shooting phase on that same turn. This option gives burnas the ability to use flamer templates against swarm/poor armor save armies, such as Tyranids, Eldar, Imperial Guard and other Orks; or the ability to use power weapons against Marine Equivalents, Necron, mechanized suits (crisis, termi's and such), and monstrous creatures.

The results are devastating, assuming you can get them close enough to use their flamers effectively. The best way to do this is through ork vehicles. Since trukks are not an option, looted wagons and battlewagons are the best choice. Personally, I feel a basic battlewagon, with only a big shoota and grott riggers, is the best way to get the burnas up close, where they can do serious damage. It's important to keep the vehicle open topped, however, so that all the burnas can fire, or assault the same turn.

You can also add to their versatility by changing up to three of the burnas into meks, with either big shootas, rokkits or kustom mega blastas. I prefer the KMBs in these groups, as it gives the burnas a third use: tank hunting. Also, the meks can repair the vehicle they're inside, if necessary.

To make up for their lack of a powerklaw, a warboss can be added to the group, to give them more close combat power, and if he has a bosspole, all the better. Of course, you could also attach Mad Doc Grotznik, and give the entire unit fearlessness and feel no pain as well, although there is one issue. As the rules are written now, it's unclear what happens if the Mad Doc starts in a vehicle. The judge at my local tournament decided that the Mad Doc's rules do not affect a vehicle he is inside, but until we receive errata, it's not certain. You may want to check with a judge before deciding whether to attach the unit or not at the beginning of the game.

The only remaining question is optimum unit size. Again, I don't recommend using burnas outside of a vehicle, but if you have to, then I'd have at least 10 in the unit, to give them staying power. If in a vehicle, you could go as low as 5, or as high as you like. If you have the option of attaching a warboss or independent character, a high unit number is probably a good idea, as it will give them more staying power in close combat.

Personally, I feel the optimum setup is 13 burna boyz, with 3 of them upgraded into meks w/KMBs, fielded inside a battlewagon w/big shoota and grott riggers. Point for point, I feel a like this is more useful than a unit of nobs. Perhaps not more powerful, but definitely more useful.

576 Posts
keep it up, this is great even though i dont play orks.... yet.

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts


Tankbustas are a very effective unit, with rokkits that fire as assault weapons, and tankbusta bombs (2d6+6 armor penetration, used as a grenade). Despite these facts, tankbustas are a problematic unit, which is ironic, since you'd think the option to have nobz, powerklaws and bosspoles would make them more relaible than units that can't, like burnas and lootas.

The problem is two-fold: 'glory hogs', and their survivability.

Granted, tankbustas aren't any less tough than your average ork, and they can have a nob to help them survive, but from experience, tankbustas are victims of their own success. A large number of rokkit shots, all coming from the same unit in a single turn, makes them a prime target for destruction. At least in every game I've played, my opponent's main priority has always been to kill the tankbustas first, and although this can be useful in itself, they're too expensive to make effective decoys. On foot, your opponent will fire everything he's got at them, and ironically, the worst threat to them are tanks. Tanks often have ordnance, and usually have well over 24in range, allowing them to blow away the tankhunters before they get anywhere near effective range.

Their other weakness is their 'glory hogs' rule. This rule states that if they have line of sight to an enemy unit that has an armor value, they cannot choose to shoot or assault an enemy unit that doesn't have an armor value. There's a common misconception that they have to shoot/assault the nearest vehicle, but this is not the case. If an enemy vehicle/walker is in sight, however, they have to shoot at it even if it's all the way across the board, and a pack of assault marines are bearing down on you.

The solution to both these problems is to place the tankbustas inside a vehicle. Not only will this help protect them, but it will also help ensure that they'll be within range of their armored targets.

You can put them in a looted wagon, but its poor armor and questionable reliability means you probably shouldn't place a large number of tankbustas inside it. 5 tankbustas in a looted wagon makes an effective decoy/anti-armor unit in most games. If you want a larger unit, but don't want to use a battlewagon, you should use at least 9 tankbustas, and make one of them a nob with a powerklaw and bosspole, to help them survive. That's not a misprint in the book, by the way. The tankbusta powerklaws are cheaper for tankbusta nobz than they are for other ork units.

My transport of choice for tankbustas is the battlewagon. As with the burnas, I'd make it a cheap battlewagon, with only a big shoota and grott riggers, but you might also want to consider adding a zzzzap gun. Unfortunately, they do not auto hit anymore, but it will help against targets that have armor 14.

Besides their unit size, transport, and whether or not to use a nob, there are two other remaining choices for your tankbustas to make:

1. Should I take tankhammers?

The short answer is no. I'll spare you the drawn out math, but after working out the numbers, I found that tankhammers are only marginally more effective than tankbusta bombs, and in order to use them, you have to sacrifice all of the rokkit attacks that model would normally get you. Remember, since the rokkits are assault weapons, the tankbustas will be first shooting the vehicle with rokkits and then assaulting it with tankbusta bombs. With the tankhammer, you get 3 strength 10 attacks, which is powerful, but you have to compare it to a strength 8 rokkit hitting on 5+ combined with a weapon that has 2d6+6 armor penetration hitting on 4+ in the assault. The tankhammer comes out ahead, but only marginally so, and you won't be able to shoot with him for the entire game. Oh, and forget about it being effective in close combat. Despite its high strength, it does not deny an armor save, so that powerful monstrous creature you just wounded will still save on 2+. Granted, with the 5th edition vehicle damage changes it might become worth it to field one per unit, but I'll have to test it before being sure.

2. Should I use bomb-squigs?

Sometimes. Bomb squigs are quite effective, but I wouldn't use one if I was inside a battlewagon. If you roll a 1, it'll hit the nearest friendly vehicle with a strength 8 hit...which is the one you're inside. It's a little unclear which side he'd hit in this case, but in most circumstances if it's unclear which side to use, you use the side armor value. In a looted wagon it's probably worth the risk, as long as you can live with the fact your transport might blow sky high. It might be possible that GW didn't intend for the bomb squig to hit a unit's own transport, but we'll have to see the errata before it's certain.

Optimum tankbusta size is difficult, but I feel there are only two ways to run tankbustas: expensive or cheap.

5 tankbustas inside a looted wagon is a bargain, but don't expect them to last too long. Their job is to cause a distraction, harrass your enemy, perhaps blow up an enemy vehicle, and then die.

6-10 tankbustas inside a battlewagon, possibly with a nob w/pk and bosspole, is a highly effective unit that can do a lot of damage to your enemy. Of course, your opponent will know this, and make it his prime target until it's reduced to a smoking crater.

All this being said, tankbustas certainly live up to their name. With the right transport, they have the firepower to take down enemy tanks during shooting, and the bombs/powerklaw necessary to peel them apart during assault. Keeping them alive can be tricky, but regardless, the tankbustas will make an impact one way or the other.

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts
The basics


Many consider the mek an inferior option for loota and burna teams, but in actuality it's a very simple and completely free way of making a unit far more versatile.

For no extra points, you can make up to 3 members of a loota or burna team a mek, with either a kustom mega blasta or big shoota. For a small amount of points, you can even give them a rokkit.

As an added bonus, the meks can also give up shooting during the shooting phase for a 4+ chance of repairing either a weapon or the mobility of vehicle that they're adjacent to, or inside of. If you have multiple meks touching, they each get the chance to repair. You can also pay a small amount of points to include a grott oiler, which allows the mek a re-roll on a repair attempt. Personally, I think it's just easier to include more meks.

With lootas, this gives the unit assault weapons, which are very useful when your team has to reposition itself, or when it's forced to reposition themselves (for example, because of the chaos ability 'Lash'). As a bonus, if you give the mek a big shoota, he'll have nearly the same range as the rest of the members of the team, and just as many shots, if not more. Alas, this isn't the most popular choice, given the limited range, and the inferior STR/AP of the big shoota. Still, I believe having 'assault shots' are very useful.

With burnas, this gives the team the ability to hunt tanks or take on infantry at a distance. Since burnas are most effective in vehicles, this also gives them a free way of repairing the vehicle, from the inside.
The big mek is to a regular mek what a nob is to a regular ork. It's a superior version of the mek, but for the most part the superior statistics don't come into use. All things considered, it's a mistake to outfit a big mek for close combat, as nobz perform just as well for less points. Cybork bodies can be good though, as ordnance can occasionally stray on them.

Big Meks are by no means bad though, as they provide three important functions for your armies:

1. Deff Dread Troops

For every big mek in the army, you may have use a deff dread as a troop choice. This doesn't work well in many armies, as a Deff Dread is far from invincible, costs only marginally less than a good unit of boyz, and has limited power outside close combat, but it opens up the heavy choices for killa kans, and allows a player to field a walker themed army.

2. Kustom Force Field

At first glance, the KFF isn't too impressive. It only provides a 5+ cover save to units within 6in, right? Read that sentence again. That's right, it says 'units', not 'models'. As long as a single model from a unit (let's say a single boy from a unit of 30 boyz) is within 6in of the KFF, the entire unit gets the 5+ cover save.

I've seen people literally string every unit of their army from the KFF, giving his entire army a cover save, all from a single big mek. This seems far from fair, but as it stands, it's completely legal.

These force fields are especially useful in walker armies, as vehicles count as obscured when in the forcefield, meaning that on a 4+, they downgrade a penetrating hit to a glancing hit. This especially useful for the relatively low armor rating of killa kans and dreads.

Although your opponent may curse you, the best way to use the KFF is to keep him in back, but within 6in of as many units as possible.

3. Shokk Attack Guns

Everyone who plays them has a tragic 'SAG' story. I personally wiped an ally's entire unit of firewarriors off the board on turn 1 of a big team game.

The SAG is a powerful, if somewhat random ordnance weapon, with AP 2 and extremely long range. Since it's strength is 2d6, it's possible to roll very high...but more likely than not, it'll be around 7.

There is actually a relatively low chance of anything seriously bad happening, as only 3 rolls are very dangerous (most of the time), making the odds of something bad happening about 8.5%.

The shokk attack gun is a potentially powerful weapon, and good against armor, especially since no other ork ordnance gun has a strength higher than 8 (at least not in the main codex), but it's randomness keeps it out of most serious games.

As for SAG strategy...there really isn't any. Unfortunately, besides keeping them 6in away from other units, using them against vehicles, and taking advantage of the gun's low AP, you're more or less at the mercy of the dice. Just keep them back, and fire away. It may not always work, but your opponent certainly won't be able to ignore it.

Now, if you want to attach a big mek to a unit (or you more or less have to, say with the upcoming 5th edition rules), there are a few good options.

1. Grotts

Grotts make a fairly cheap retinue for a big mek. They're very cheap, and a large number of them can soak up a lot of wounds. Of course, they don't have fearlessness and aren't good for much else, but it's the cheapest option.

2. Shoota boyz

Shoota boyz work better than grotts, as they get fearlessness, potentially have greater numbers, are good at shooting, and can include a nob. They also work well in walker lists, which are a common choice for big meks. SAGs may have problems with these groups, however, as they'll have to shoot at the same target the shootas shoot at, and vice versa. Shoota boyz are also significantly expensive, when taken in large groups. The main advantage they have over grotts is that the shoota boyz are something you probably would have used even if you didn't include the mek.

3. Lootas

Lootas have many of the problems and advantages that shoota boyz have when accompanying big meks, but they have the added bonus of being able to match the big meks range most of the time. Of course, a dozen lootas combined with a big mek will be a prime target for your enemy to shoot at, but with good reason: it's a deadly combination.

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts


Nobz, despite the variations, all generally work this way:

Let's say there are 8 nobz, with 2 powerklaws, and the rest have choppas/sluggas. The turn they assault into close combat, the 6 without powerklaws get 5 attacks each (3 base, 1 for CCW, 1 for charge), giving you 30 attacks. Thanks to your wauugghhh banner, your team of nobz have WS 5, allowing them to hit practically every unit in the game on a roll of 3 or better. This gives you 20 hits, and since they have strength 5 on the charge, they most likely wound on a roll of either 3 or 2 or better. This most likely gives you 13-16 wounds, depending on the enemy. Against your average troop, this is 6-10 kills, and against marines it's 4-5 kills. Considering that most groups of marines are 5-9 in number, this is significant.

Now for the powerklaws. Each get 5 attacks (only 4 with the new 5th edition rules, but that will go for all powerfists), so you get 10 attacks, 6-7 hits, and 5-6 kills, regardless of their armor save.

In one round of combat, invulnerable saves aside , the nobz have killed 11-16 normal troops, or 9-11 marines (or 6-8 if they have an invulnerable save). Even monstrous creatures can't stand up to that brutal an assault.

Thanks to the cybork bodies and painboy, the nobz also have a 5+ invulnerable save, and a 4+ chance of surviving even if they fail that roll (feel no pain), unless they are hit by a weapon that ignores saves in close combat, or causes instant death. This makes the nobz tough as well as incredibly powerful.

Nob bikers are the most powerful variety of nobz, since they have additional toughness (doesn't apply towards instant death though), 12in movement, 24in supercharge (no shooting), a 4+ invulnerable save during the shooting phase, and 18in twin linked dakka guns. They are, of course, also the most expensive, double the cost of the normal nob.

Nobz also work well in trukks (although they're vulnerable), or battlewagons (although they're slow). They never work on foot though, since they get shot to pieces that way.

Meganobz are incredibly destructive, have a 2+ regular save, and are dirt cheap (compared to the others), but lack the options of a regular nob. No painboy, no cybork bodies, no wauughhh banner and no bosspole. This normally limits their usefulness against anything besides basic troops, but adding a warboss with mega armor, cybork and a bosspole helps, or the Mad Doc Grotznik can give them cheap cybork bodies, act as their painboy, and make them fearless to boot. Again, they need a transport, as they're far too slow to make it on foot.

On a side note, Nobz aren't only good against troops/elites, but armor as well. 10 powerklaws can do considerable damage. This is easiest with the bikes, thanks to supercharge, which can get you to the vulnerable sides of the enemy vehicles. 10 powerklaws against a moving vehicle provides 5 hits, and with strength 9, you'll always at least glance armor 10, and have a good chance of penetrating practically everything. Skimmers are harder to hit this way, but not impossible.

All this being said, nobz do have some drawbacks. They're incredibly expensive, for starters. They also need a transport or bike to be effective. High initiative troops that ignore saves can also be a real problem for them to deal with.

Most importantly, however, they are highly susceptible to enemy fire. Rokkits/missles are especially effective, since they ignore armor saves and cause instant death. This counteracts both their additional wound, and feel no pain save. Every weapon that has a strength of 8 or higher that hits them is going to wound on 2+, and unless the nob has an invulnerable save, will kill them outright.

So most importantly, do not charge them straight up the middle, as if they were invincible. This goes even if they're in a battlewagon. I've seen them used effectively four ways:

1. Sneaking them around terrain, towards where they'll be the most effective. This is easiest with bikes and trukks, as they can move very quickly, to avoid enemy fire. This works well, but you have to be careful, and use terrain and other vehicles to block line of sight to you. This tactic is most often used when the opponent has a lot of armor, and the ork player wants to use the powerklaws against them.

2. Hold back for counter-assault. Many players wait until a combat has already begun, and then used his nobz to counter-assault the enemy, preferrably at the side opposite the most dangerous enemies in the unit. This works very well, but is more defensive a choice, and most often used against other assault-focused troops.

3. Hold back until halfway through the game. I've seen players hold back the nobz for the first few turns, allowing the rest of their army to soften up the enemy troops. After the enemy troops are weakened, the nobz swoop in and finish off what's left. This strategy usually results in a ridiculous number of casualties for both sides, but when the enemy isn't at full strength, nobz are especially difficult to deal with.

4. In pairs. Although it seems a little unfair, two full units of nobz can be incredibly destructive. Either attack opposite sides of your opponent's army, or follow strategy #3, with one unit flying in to do a lot of damage, and after your opponent uses a lot of resources to stop them, send in your second unit of nobz to finish off what's left.

Yes, ork boyz are much cheaper by comparison, but there are many assault based troops that orks can't easily handle by themselves. Nobz make up the difference.

Nobz aren't absolutely required for ork armies to be effective, and shouldn't be used in every list, but if your army is lacking serious close combat power, they're a very good choice, especially if you want to be competitive in tournament settings.

The Unpredictable
471 Posts

Kaptin Badrukk - not my favorite of all of the bosses, mostly because I think there is more cost effective units than flash gitz. But anyway a boost to the LD of the Gitz and his gun is well... just awesome tank killing, 'splody fun but has a habit of killing him (although he has a save enough to handle it). Although he adds to the power of the Flash Gitz group, he doesn't offset any of their weaknesses. Instead of Badrukk, I'd personally rather attach a warboss with a powerklaw to the unit (their lack of powerklaw is their biggest weakness), and perhaps give them a transport.

Pros -
-Great Gun
-LD boost

Cons -
-Expensive for what he does
-His great gun kills him too
-He does not offset any weakness (a war boss would probably be better)

Ghazghkull Thraka - Lets face it, this guys rocks but for his points some will say he is a little too expensive. His special WAAAGGGHH! is great and has lots of benefits, his extra attacks on the charge and immunity to Insta-Death is damn good too... his biggest downfall in my opinion is slow and purposeful and points (although he does tend to make them back, and put him in a trukk and your set for speed). There's the added pro that he's the only true 'super unit' that the Orks have, save for the Gargants in Apocalypse games. Nothing else in the ork army can personally stand toe to toe with monstrous creatures and instant death. He gives a lot of backbone to a list, especially in higher point games. On the other hand, he can't carry the army, so he shouldn't be used in anything less than 1850 army or so. He costs too much for any smaller list.

Pros -
-extra attacks
-immune to insta-death
- Orks only 'super-unit' that can stand toe to toe with monstrous creatures

-Price for what is essentially a warboss with benefits
-slow and purposeful
-way too expensive for an army under 1850

Mad Dok Grotsnik - 2 words, fearless and powerklaw, I have been enlightened, The big pro is the ability to give any unit a cybork body for five points if he's in the list. In some armies, this may be nothing, but for Meganobz it's downright necessary in order for them to be effective (they can't get cybork bodies or a painboy any other way), and for any other unit, it makes cybork bodies dirt cheap and accessible to all (although it's easy to go overspend that way, you have to pick and choose). Also, he isn't just a doc, he makes the unit completely fearless, which gives them a lot of staying power.

The cons are that he isn't as powerful as a warboss, but that's insignificant compared to the big con of his movement rule. The mad doc, and the unit he's attached to, must move every turn towards the nearest enemy every movement phase, regardless whether he can see them or not, and he must assault if possible. This makes riding in a vehicle difficult, as you have to aim place the vehicle so that the Mad Doc's unit is within embarking range after his mandatory move. It's unclear right now if the vehicle he's in has to move towards the nearest enemy or not, so you'll have to check with your local judges until the official FAQ comes out.

His movement rule is a big problem because a skillful opponent might simply run a cheap vehicle back and forth near him, staying out of reach. The Mad Doc's unit will spend every turn running towards it, and failing to reach it, only to have the vehicle move across the board in the other direction next turn. It can be really annoying, which is why I prefer to keep him in a vehicle.

Pros -
-Fearless groups of orks
-Cyborg bodies for everyone, and cheap too

- has to run towards nearest opponent even if he can't see them
- isn't as strong as a warboss

Wazdakka Gutsmek - Well according to the Codex he has a far more powerful (and even cooler-looking) bike. Oh he can turbo and shoot, and the Dakkakannon is amazing. Here's the kicker he also allows bikes to be taken as troops *gasp*... SPEED FREAKS ARE POSSIBLE. Oh he is very good if you want some punch in a biker/nob biker squad and fun to model ^_^...

A very good leader, there's only really two cons. First, although he can shoot while supercharging, any bikes with him can't, and they can't shoot as far as him either. This limits the effectiveness of his guns. Second, and more importantly, warbikes don't make good troops. Warbikes are fast, shooty and helpful, but if you fill your army with them, you'll find that although they're good at shooting, they're very mediocre in close combat, since they have smaller units, and only a single powerklaw. By comparison, a unit of nob bikers is incredibly powerful, has more staying power thanks to the painboy/cybork bodies, and point for point, a much better bargain. This is why warbosses on bikes tend to be used more at tournaments then Wazdakka. It isn't because they're better than Wazdakka (who's quite a bargain, actually), but because nob bikers are much better than regular bikers.

Pros -
-Turbo boost and shoot
-Dakkakannon (worth looking at your codex for)
-bikes as troops

- bikers are not that useful in CC but great for shooting
-he can shoot while turbo-boosting, but his team can't

Old Zogwort - Apart from being a warphead (sweet) he has these great little snakes that hurt people like crazy, even against MEQS that is great. The way i think of it is a CC exorsist ^_^. plus he has a 50/50 chance of turning enemy IC's to Squigs. He does have draw backs, like he takes away from other HQ choices of which there are plenty of good ones.

The main con is that despite all his powers, he isn't good in close combat. No matter what powers you roll, it doesn't change the fact that your opponent can attack him directly, and stomp him flat in a single turn. For this reason, he should always be kept away from the front line of close combat. Being vulnerable to enemy attacks, the only real difference between Zogwort and a warp 'ead is his higher cost, and the curse. The curse can be fantastic against the right army, but keep in mind, that's what you're really paying for. Everything else is mostly fluff, and will only really matter for the first round of combat, before he's killed.

Pros -
-killy snakes
-turns enemy ICs to squigs (great against farseers, chaplins, libbys... you get the point)

- there are other great options out there for his points, some say a big mek and KFF is better (i don't agree though)
- randomized powers
-he will die in the first round of combat
-basically the same as a warphead

Boss Snikrot - If taking kommandos I say don't leave home without him (ok you can and they are effective without him) but for his points he really helps. I really like him in huge groups of kommandos and ripping up people from behind, and one of him most under rated skills, -1 opponents LD tests. plus he has some interesting combos with other warbosses

Pros -
-Great if he has a large group of kommandos (remember the 2 burnaz)
- -1 opponent LD tests
- reroll of failed hits

- Only great if he has a large group of kommandos

Boss Zagstruk - Well Down to the last of the bosses and as a boss he is just fantastic. you want your storm boyz quick into combat and 4 extra power klaw attacks (i know, wow) and they hit at normal init when he charges... holy crap. To cap it all off he has a commisar special rule - if you run, kill an ork, they stay HOORAY...
There's a few problems with Zagstruk, the main problem being that deep striking with storm boyz is a bad idea. It's easy to land in the wrong place, possibly losing the whole unit, and even if you land safely, you'll have to sit there for a turn and be shot at. The main advantage of storm boyz is they move really quickly along the field. Deep striking with them...kind of eliminates the point. It's better just to charge with them, and Zagstruk keeps this from being an option.

The second problem, one that I've seen get him and his entire unit killed, is that he only gets powerklaw attacks for the first round. Every round after that he has none. This is especially disastrous if a second unit assaults the storm boyz while they're in close combat. Not only do they lose 'furious charge', but you won't have any powerklaw attacks for the entire fight with the second unit.

The most disastrous example was when a full unit of 20 storm boyz + zagstruk assaulted a small Imperial Guard Special Weapons team, only to then be assaulted by a small group of Sentinels (with buzzsaws) the following round. With no powerklaw attacks, the storm boyz and zagstruk were slowly killed to an ork, without so much inflicting a single vehicle damaged result to any of the sentinels. If the stormboyz had a nob with a powerklaw and bosspole along, they would have at least done some damage, and possible destroyed them all.

Pros -
-Powerklaws x 4 attacks (at init on charge and 5 attacks)
-assault turn they arrive
-DSing stormboyz

- can't think of any at the moment, but he is not the best choice for HQ and may not be worth the points.
-DSing stormboyz is pointless
-I still can't see the use of him... stormboyz without his are just as good and less points, since it is hard to get the double charge
-a nob with powerklaw can be more effective

Big Mek w/Shokk Attack Gun - "HE'S NOT A CHARACTER" I hear you all cry, and you are correct. I just thought he deserved a mention. I am not going to write much on it because of this fact though. Ord. large blast and hilarious and orky side effects

They work wonderfully against vehicles, although in certain lists, a looted wagon with a boomgun might be more effective.

Pros -
- can and will rip the crap out of anything you throw it at
-funny/fun to use and play
-can take out veichles

Cons -
- the side effects and burn a whole game plan
-in some lists a looted wagon and boom cannon can be more effective

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts
Dreads and Kans


Overall, they're very similar units, no matter what anyone tells you. Since this is somewhat a point of controversy, let's look at their stat-line:

The Deff Dread is a heavy choice walker with two guns, armor 12/12/10, 3 base attacks (+1 for extra CCW), initiative 2, WS 4, BS 2, and hits with strength 10, no saves allowed. The dread can also be taken as a troop choice, if you're using a big mek.

The Killa Kan is a heavy choice walker with a single gun, armor 11/11/10, 2 base attacks, initiative 2, WS 2, BS 3, and hits with strength 10, no saves allowed. The kans can be taken in groups of one to three.

An important thing to remember is that unlike the dreads of other armies, Ork dreads have no way of deep striking or getting into enemy territory quickly (besides flank march in Apocalypse games). Similarly, unlike similar walkers in other armies, Killa Kans do not have the 'scout' ability. With 5th edition, both the deff dread and the killa kan will be able to run, which will help, but they have no particular way of advancing quickly. Because of this, both Deff Dreads and Killa Kans are defensive units in nature. Even if you march them up towards your enemy, it will be a relatively slow and steady march at best.

Like most ork vehicles, you can choose what weapons to equip the walkers with. They both can choose between big shootas, rokkits, and kustom mega blastas. The deff dread can also buy scorchas and additional close combat weapons, but the CCW come at a very high cost, and at the expense of shooting. The Killa Kans have the grotzooka option, which is a relatively strong, yet short range blast weapon.

So which should you use, Deff Dreads or Killa Kans? To answer that, let's look at how they perform in each of their respective rolls:

1. Wall for the rest of your army

The Killa Kans actually do a better job simply because they cover more area, when you purchase 2-3 per unit. Granted, the Deff Dread has better armor, but against powerful anti-armor fire the difference is negligible. Lascannons and railguns aren't going to be significantly impaired by 12 armor.

Fielding multiple kans per unit can be a disadvantage against some armies, however, as powerful guns that fire more than once (assault cannons, auto cannons, psycannons, ion cannons...most 'cannons' actually) will be able to hit multiple kans per turn.

In any case, vehicle units always work best when they're fielded as few per unit as possible, especially in Apocalyspe games, where there is no unit limit. In those games, a wall of 6-9 kans can be really tough to deal with, given that each kan has to be fired at separately.

2. Shooting

Again, the killa kans come out on top, mostly due to their greater BS. Deff dreads do have twice as many shots each, but at a decreased BS, and twice the unit cost. Going by actual hits, killa kans are ahead. Some prefer dreads with scorchas, but I find getting flamer templates within reach of the enemy is nearly impossible without a quick method of moving around.

3. Assault

Dreads are ahead, but only marginally so. Both have the same strength, basic troops won't be able to hurt either (unless they have grenades), both are low initiative and powerklaws kill either just as easily. The only differences are the Dread's higher WS, and number of attacks...and even that advantage disappears when you compare them point to point, since you can buy 2 Kans for the cost of each Dread, and each Killa Kan would get a bonus attack from charging, giving 2 charging Kans 6 attacks, whereas a Dread only has 5. To make the difference even smaller, against marines, both the Kans and the Dread hit on 4+, despite their difference in WS.

4. Filling the army

This is where the dread truly shines. Unlike the kan, the Deff Dread can be taken as a troop choice, as long as you're using a big mek. This frees up points for elite, fast attack and heavy choices, which are very popular in many ork armies, and frees up heavy slots for more walkers, wagons and big gunz units. Killa Kans always take up space, which keeps them out of many lists.

So which should you use? If you can only take one type, but price and force organization slots are not a problem, then I'd say 'Killa Kans'. They're better at shooting, more difficult to completely wipe out, and provide more bang for the buck than a Dread. However, if you're looking for an inexpensive troop choice, deff dreads work well, as long as you were planning to use a big mek anyway.

The ability to take Deff Dreads as troop choices also enables you to field 'walker' armies, with 2 or more dreads, 9 kans, 1-2 Kustom Force fields, and if you like, an SAG and/or some Lootas. Just be sure to give the list at least one KFF, or else 'shooty' armies will tear your front line to pieces.

The only thing I need to add is that with the exception of 'grot riggers' for Dreads, the walkers should never be given any extras. The reason ork walkers are effective is because they're relatively cheap for what they do, especially the Killa Kans. If you really want to load up your Dread with high cost weapons, armor plates and several extras, than you're playing the wrong army. Marine and Chaos dreads are powerful enough to warrant the upgrades. Ork Dreads, on the other hand, barely warrant their base cost.

Here's the way I'd play them:

Deff Dread with grot riggers, and either 2 big shootas or 2 scorchas (I prefer the shootas)

1-3 Killa Kans with either big shootas, rokkits, kustom mega blastas, or grotzookas

Above all, remember: Ork walkers, like all ork vehicles, are far from invincible. Try to keep them out of harms way, and don't overspend on them, or else they'll never make back their points.

154 Posts
This is a very good & helpful tactica for Ork players. If I may, I have a suggestion:

Due to the cheapness of most units, and the way certain HQs allow you to take certain units as Troops, an Ork army can contain much more different things than other armies. While it may seem tempting to get one of everything (like one mob of burnas, lootas, 1 deff dread etc) it rarely works. For example, that single Deff Dread is a juicy target to your opponent, but if you have two or three (if you want to go insane, you can have five if you take two Big Meks) at least one of them is going to get to the enemy in one piece.
I guess what I'm trying to say is try and give your opponent more targets than he can shoot at. Say he missile launchers one mob, that means he cant missile your trukks that turn. Except he has a few lascannons to shoot at the trukks, but how's he going to deal with the mob of killa kans stomping up the flank?
Another exampe is the basic boyz mob. I've seen many players (myself included) take huge boy mobs and then take a single trukk of boyz. That trukk will almost always be destroyed. In my opinion you should go to either extremes; have loads of huge mobs and no trukks, or a large squadron of trukks, your opponent cant take care of them all in most cases.
This applies to unit upgrades too. If you're giving your boyz some shiny gunz, make them all the same and as many as you can give, 2 big shootas and a rokkit is never as effective as 3 rokkits or 3 big shootas.

well, i hope you understand what im blabbering about ^_^

LO Zealot
4,014 Posts
Purpose, not specific unit

I see what you mean about redundancy, but I'm not sure if this is really the place to talk about it.

What you're talking about is 'spamming', where you use primarily one tactic for your entire army. This was popular in 4th edition, but 5th edition has changed things quite a bit. With the new missions, spamming becomes a problem, because certain types of units are only good at certain types of missions.

In the mission where you fight over d3+2 objectives, the trukkboyz are going to be vital for claiming or at least contesting objectives. Footsloggers are going to have more trouble, because the units will have to separate away from each other early, or else they won't be able to get near the objectives in time. In the annihilation mission, an army with nothing besides trukks is going to find itself with effectively a 5-6 point handicap, since your opponent will effortlessly get kill points from your trukks, where you might have to fight tooth and nail for each point you can get. The capture the enemy HQ mission is a blend of the two, since you need speed to get to the objective, but also the force to push everything away from it.

Using one strategy and one alone just isn't sound anymore. The solution is a balanced force that can deal with many situations. Also, using multiple units of the same type of non-troop/non-vehicle unit is a bad idea in general, now that only non-vehicle troops can claim objectives.

Yes, using 3 dreads will give you more of a chance to have a single dread alive...but what's the point? What's that dread going to do that makes his survival so important? What can he do that a large unit of boyz can't do better?

In 5th edition, everything focuses around troops, at least in 2 out of the 3 missions. If your troops are gone, then you're going to lose unless you wipe your opponent out completely, and you have to be ready to claim objectives quickly, but without using too many vehicles in the list. The only answer I can see is a balanced, troop heavy force.

The days of armored companies and walker lists are gone. I'm not saying that there's no place for kommandos, dreads, killa kans and deffkoptas, but their main purpose is to support the troops in the list. You can't build an army around elites, heavies, HQs or fast attack choices anymore.

154 Posts
I getcha there. I usually take one mob in a trukk for every huge footslogger mob now anyway, and hand out power klaws to any nob ive got.
i just wanted to have a say n throw my idea on the pile, the whole "take a few extra things" has always worked for me in the past

8 Posts

As the rules are written now, it's unclear what happens if the Mad Doc starts in a vehicle. The judge at my local tournament decided that the Mad Doc's rules do not affect a vehicle he is inside, but until we receive errata, it's not certain. You may want to check with a judge before deciding whether to attach the unit or not at the beginning of the game.
is it clear now ? i want to play doc. with them but i dont know what about his nasty rule..

166 Posts
is it clear now ? i want to play doc. with them but i dont know what about his nasty rule..
Grotsnik in a vehicle has been addressed in the Orks FAQ on GW's site. I can't get to the link from here, and I don't want to post the paragraph here in case it violates some forum rules, but you'll find it on GW's site. Look for the Codex: Orks FAQ, and it's on the first page.
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