Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tactica: Why orks in 6th Ed take your lunch money. Part 2.

Good Morning All!

So, following up from yesterdays post on Orks, here is some more on ORKS!


This post is going to be a review unit by unit, explaining their good and bad points and some uses. If you've read my previous blog posts, you'll know I have a significant preference towards all-comers units and as an extension of that, all-comers armies. In general I focus on assault as a primary tool for winning games. So keep that lense of focus in mind while reading this. If you don't know what I'm referencing, have a quick scroll back through previous posts to see what I'm talking about.

There will be a follow up tomorrow discussing ork tactics. (It's important to know the units before the tactics I think!)

I'm going to be refering to balanced - all comers - type units as "multi-tools". These are going to be units that can handle most roles comfortably, especially once you learn how to use them.

What roles should we expect from a multi-tool (note this goes for all armies, not just the orks)

  • Decent Shooting
  • Decent Assault
  • Ability to destroy AV13 and less vehicles (either via assault or shooting).
  • Ability to hold or contest an objective, preferably holding, but at least contesting. Under this category would be special rules that help with this, fearless, ATSKNF, Re-roll leaderships, ect.
By decent shooting and assault, I mean that the unit, possibly (or likely) combined with other squads of the same type, should be able to eliminate almost any other type of unit with few exceptions. This doesn't mean you don't suffer heavy casualties, or don't end up with your sarg sitting on the sidelines sulking having been challenged out. It just means they as a collective whole, when applied properly can get the job done. I want to also specify that this does not necessarily apply to handling fliers, it can include them, but as its a necessity of the game to have a "ground presence", its important to have units which provide that.

Sorry for the wall of text on that, I felt it deserved a recap. The units I suggest running will be highlighted in red.



Ghazghkull Thraka - What was once arguably an auto-take HQ is no longer.
For 125 extra points above the mega-armored warboss, he brings to the table: eternal warrior, 4 wounds instead of the normal 3, WS6, a default cybork upgrade, default bosspole, an autorun of 6 inches on his waaugh, turn his own save into an invuln save for a game turn, and the ability to make the entire army fearless for a turn.

Previously in 5th being able to fleet 6 inches then charge was a huge boost. Now you can run 6 inches still.. but not not charge. His making squads fearless for a turn is good, but in general as an ork player you should be running larger squads which are probably fearless anyways.. so why bother? The turn you'll be waaughing in general is 2/3 which is before the majority of your boys have evaporated. His having a 2+ invulnv save is nice but his best benefit is that he has eternal warrior. But is it worth the extra points over a regular mega-armored warboss?   After consideration I tend to vote no unless I really have points lying around.

Mad Dok Grotsnik - I generally don't even give this guy a second look. Being able to cybork your entire army for 5 points a model isn't awful, and you can make some really silly lists based on it. (30 boyz attached to Grotsnik, 5+,5+ is funny). But unfortunately in tournament play, his must chase down the nearest enemy as fast as possible rule can easily be turned against you. It's not worth the risk, and its an expensive upgrade that ultimately results in little gain.

Wazdakka Gutsmek - Not a bad HQ, if you have the points he makes an excellent attachment to a Boyz squad to escort across the board, then charge free and rip things up with his PK. Don't bother using warbikes as troops, its bad and expensive. His shooty is decently good for an ork. I would run him if I was playing a footslogging army, but not otherwise.

Old Zogwort - An improved warphead with the nice ability to squig your opponent on a dice off within 18". The prime benefit of running zogwort is the his slightly better leadership and extra wound (in case you perils!). If you combine with three dakkajets, it can be really nasty getting all the waaughs off for extra shots. Unfortunately its rather random, in both the dakkajets coming in from reserves, and the waaugh, so it's not dependable.

Warboss - A cheap HQ that can be upgraded fairly decently. Unfortunately the points for upgrades don't make a lot of a sense, so to get a power klaw warboss with a t-shirt save its 85 points, but a mega-armored warboss (2+ save), with a PK is 100... So... I don't recommend running a warboss as anything other than a Mega-Armored Warboss. He's dirt cheap and handy for almost anything you want to do combat wise. It's worth throwing on cybork and the boss pole.

Keep in mind as people get better with the edition, character sniping will be more prevelant. You don't want your T-shirt save warboss getting sniped out of a squad (quite possible). Take the 2+.

Some of you may be going, what about the warboss on a bike? A T6 4+ PK warboss is never a bad deal. You'll scoot fast and rip stuff up. The real problem beyond the points expense? You will die very quickly if you are ever exposed to dakka. It's annoying to wound T6 creatures, but not THAT annoying. With only a 4 up, it doesn't take that many shots to kill. If you take the warboss on a bike, hide him in a blob squad and then break him off as soon as a good target comes available.

I love the idea of nob bikers zooming around w/ a warboss, its fluffy and hilarious, but if you want to win in tournies. You're really playing a rock hammer scizzors game. Most armies have the dakka to take that down within a turn. (assuming the player is a good general and plays right).

Big Mek-  Still very useful with a KFF. Don't bother with a shock attack gun. Super useful when it works, super facepalm when it doesn't. I think one of these guys is still an auto-take. There are far to many flat deserts in our 40k universe. A 5+ is better than a no up. Don't forget you can cheekily string boyz out in a long congo line, as long as one boy is within 6 inches, the whole line gets a cover save. It is quite possible to snake long lines of 30 boyz forward much like some sort of manga monster. Don't forget if your squads are not fearless, you can go to ground with a kff and get a 4+ instead of a 5+. Might sometimes be useful.

If you have a few points to spare, throw a burna and cybork on him. You won't regret it. This lets you "tank" challenges better for those times you don't want your heavy hitter stuck or hiding. The burna gives you an AP3 CC weapon. All and all not a bad deal for 115 pts.

Weirdboy -  at 55 points, these guys are cheap, unfortunately this is a case where you get what you pay for. They die easily and you can't control what they do very well. If you want to take one, it should be an auto-upgrade to warphead. You'll have semi-decent control of the powers then.


As a side note, I consider all Nobz to be flamethrower wielders. If you take a nob, take a combi-skorcha for that nob, no matter what type of nob it is. This makes the nobz multi-tools for dealing with situations. Combi-skorchas are perhaps one of the finest upgrades in the ork codex and a serious redeeming / saving grace. Take combi-skorchas, you won't regret it.

At this point, meganobz are better than normal nobz. Few reasons - Hold up better in CC. Previously you could count on the enemy having shitty to poor CC w/ few CC related upgrades. Now with infantry increases, so have combat abilities. Your t-shirt save nobz will die. Meganobz on the other hand bend the enemy in general over the metaphorical barrel. Cheaper than PK t-shirt nobz too. 40pts meganobz (2+ / PK ) vs. 45 pt t-shirt save PK nob. So you get a better deal. Slow and purposeful is not that bad. You also are less likely to lose a meganob if his transport dies (which it will).

Nobz - IMO nobz are best run in small squads. Give them all combi-skorchas and big choppas (since they are losing their bonus attack because of the skorcha anyways). You can keep one without a Combi-skorcha if you want, but generally the flamethrowers are more valuable long run. Don't recommend bothering with 'eavy armor or bosspoles ect unless you plan on making them big beatface squads. At that point you're talking about 30 to 35 points a model, and its questionable why you don't take meganobz instead. I usually run them in 3 man squads w/ battlewagon + deffrolla + big shoota dedicated transports. Big choppas are a good take so you can multicharge and still have a relatively high S.

Meganobz - Same as above, except obviously you have pk's. Run them in small 3 or 4 man squads w/ skorchas and b-wagons w/ deffrolla + big shoota. If you really want to be annoying, take a 4 man squad and make them troops with a warboss. Always take combi-skorcha upgrade since you REALLY have nothing to lose. These guys are great, you'll weather all sorts of firepower. Power weapons bounce off of them now, and you don't have to worry about people challenging out your warboss since your still going to wreck whatever they smash into. These guys make a great core assault unit surrounded by lots of boyz.

Burna boyz - Bad, awful, overpriced, bad. Anyone who lets you hit them with these guys is a bad player or you failed to explain what they are. These guys are also a bit pricey. In order to get anywhere you'll need to take a b-wagon and if that goes boom you'll lose half the squad. You are losing valuable body count points for this.

Tankbustas - Not as bad as they were due to new changes in how they have to move. but still not worth their points. The lack of vehicles on the board in this edition is painful for their cause. While it is nice to have super strong t-shirt save orks running around though.

Lootas - I used to spit on these guys with great gusto in 5th and always took rokkit buggies + kanz instead. Now in 6th I have joined as cheermaster of the squad. A few notes, these guys are still pricey. Run them in 5-7 man squads. Don't bother with larger. You make them a real threat priority to your opponent if they are larger. They start to heavily affect your ability to field enough bodies on the board. Its also harder to hide bigger squads. 

On that note, don't take an Aegis line. It's stupid. Yes, you get a 4+ or 2+. You are investing into a squad that can't take objectives, or satisfy most mission requirements, again taking away from viability of winning games and body count. Not to mention, these guys have a 48' range, its not that hard to find cover and still have a good firing point. Accept you'll have to stand around for a 5/3+ instead of a 4/2+ on occassion.

If you are taking an Aegis line, throw it 12  to 18 in front of your line, and use it as a cover save as you run forward. Not to hide lootas.

Lots of people are going to recommend you take large 10 to 15 man blocks for extra shooty dakka. Those same people are the ones who laugh gleefully as they blow your blocks of lootas off the board. They are not that hard to kill, and you are sinking a lot of points into one basket. Take multiple small squads, lurk at max range rinse and repeat. In an ideal world, your small lootas units don't get shot at anyways, as you are providing adequate threats elsewhere that people feel more pressured to contain with the points you saved not getting the bigger squads!

Kommandos - No longer good EXCEPT you might want to give two burna's for a super sneaky offensive. But they'll die. So don't bother.


Note on ork troops. Ork's are one of the few armies where your main offensive punch, involves the use/loss of the models you use to capture 90% of mission objectives. You need lots and lots and lots and lots of bodies to cover this and win. I think at a bare minimum you would want 80 boyz on the table, preferably far more.

Ork Boyz - Take shoota boyz. Slugga/choppa are bad. Why are they bad? They are less swiss army knife than shoota boyz. Shoota boyz can stand and fire and unleash the gates of hell torrent wise. Slugga choppa? Not so much so. Shoota boyz give you more options and the ability to widdle down squads before assaulting them. Their overwatch can also be devastating.

Take as many big shootas as you can. It helps if the squad is camping an objective by adding a few shots of dakka at a good range. There are times when the S5 is useful (MC hunting or shooting at flyers). Take them.

People are now advising not to take PK/BP nobz, those are the same people who tell you to take huge blocks of lootas. Don't listen, take the BP/PK nob. Yes, he might get sniped, but he's not that expensive. You need as many PK's as you can get. A squad without a PK is a squad defanged. That PK represents the ability to multi-tool your boyz squad.

 Take your boyz squads in groups of 20, or 30. 30 for on foot, 20 for in a b-wagon. In this edition, they simply lack the durability to be run in smaller groups.

Gretchin - I usually take one squad as a backfielding element. As mentioned above, a lot of ork heavy hitting is done by the troops used to win games. It is very helpful to have a cheap backfielder to capture an objective / quarter. It lets you throw the entire rest of your army forward to take on the enemy. If you half-ass your offensive punch by holding back with orks. Good game, you lost.

Trukks - I've heard a lot of opinions on trukks from people who havn't been playing orks in 6th which kind of makes me a bit annoyed.. Usually positive in nature about how great they are as cheap transports ect. I see them as unecessarly easy KP's for your enemy combined with small squad sizes that are super easy to dakka. I would strongly suggest NOT using trukks in this edition, full stop.
 The one exception be using a trukk to transport meganobz 24" knowing it'll die. The meganobz won't care about the vehicle blowing up, and they'll have a good chance to survive follow up torrent of fire.

A real issue with them, their intended transport target - squads of boyz or nobz. Die super fast to the level of torrent we are seeing in the current meta. So combination of super easy to kill vehicle with super to easy kill squad is bad.

                                          Fast Attack

Clear Champion - Dakkajets. Always take at least one. I take two. They excel at nocking out other fliers and backfield harassment. Very useful at nocking out other infantry. Everyone should know how good they or so I'll stop there.

Stormboyz. - I could see them as useful in large blocks of 20. Their primary drawbacks? Slightly overpriced, possability of being dakka'd off in a single turn, and not all great at anything but hitting weaker units. I would probably take a smaller squad with boss zagstruk just on the offchance I can assault with my deep strike in. ( I think this is still legal?). That might be lolzy, but random and most likely not worth the points.

Warbuggies - 40 pts for a rolling skorcha. They are overpriced and to me a serious no. If you want to run 3x3 of them.. fine but you'll lose them fast.. The thing can be killed super easily and is to expensive. Hull points for the lose. If you want to take these guys, take Killa-kanz with grotzookas. At least they'll be AV11, and you'll def get to shoot with their 18' range. (and probably do more damage too) The other question is, why would you take this when you could take a dakkajet?

Warbikers - guns are good, price is bad. don't use

Deffkoptas - I tried to make these work. If you have a few points and a slot to spare, they can be useful in the same way guardian jetbikes are useful, except for contesting not taking.

                                        Heavy Support

Battlewagons - B-wagons have grown better and worse at the same time. The inclusion of hullpoints and always being able to be hit on a 3+ in CC really hurts their durability. However- B-wagons are now vastly faster and much harder to stunlock.

B-wagons played right will keep an AV14 wall between your boyz and enemy guns. This means more boyz live to do what they do best. Not to mention, if you leave these guys open topped, you can scoot around 12inches, pivot to maximize armor, then dakka from them with stuff inside.(snap firing),

Battlewagons keep orks viable in the current meta. They let you put pressure on the opponent from the start. You can turn 2 charge almost anyone if you really want to (with the 18" move) + next turn of 6+ 6+ 12(avg of 7) (so 30 inches of movement + charge distance). Being able to apply that kind of tension and pressure to your opponents decision making is a good thing. Deff-rollas are still a must take. It might also be useful to maximize as many big gunz as you can on them. 4x3 shots at S5 isn't anything to sneeze at. I will note you need to learn to move well in order to maximize these guys. Consider fire arks, how to minimize people getting side armor shots. How close you can get without being charged by effective CC/anti vehicle units. ect. So this is going to require a bit of finesse. If nothing else, b-wagons let you play a faster game since you can have a majority of your models starting in them if you really wanted.

Tank shocking is still an epic tactic. Just follow it up with some shooting =0

Deff dread - Generally not fast or durable enough to get across the board sucessfully. Also a bit overpriced, not worth it.

Killa kanz - squads of 3x kanz are not awful. They will die super fast to shooting though. So lurk behind the boyz and take grotzookas. They make a very effective counter charge. Most people are iffy about shooting at them due to their low point cost, so they'll live unaturally longer than you think they should.

Flash Gitz - Shootiest of the shooty nobz. Fancy and have pirate iconography. What's not to love? I want these guys to be good so badly it hurts. Unfortunately their points just don't justify it. Your opponent will look at them, go, "that squad does what?", and then you'll be boxing them up the next turn. In order to make them good, you have to pay an arm and a leg for all their upgrades. Once upgraded, they are fairly decent, but will die fast.

Big gunz - Everyones new favorite sweetheart right now. Let me be the first to singe the dirge of its death. Big gunz are bad. Bad. Bad. If you have 75 pts left over you can't fit in somewhere else more useful? ok. Fine.
So what's good about big gunz? T7, 3+ saves on guns, with 2 wounds. Sniping out characters with barrage lobbas.

What's bad? Super super super low leadership. Ever had your big gunz run off the board by a savy player who realizes that a few potshots will force a leadership and they'll most likely fail on their 5? I have. Ever had your squads pinned by people who realize that a single good pinning shot will cause an entire squad to go to ground where they can't fire effectively (or at all with lobbas)? I have. Yes, you could take a Runtherd for an extra amount of points, and the re-roll for more. But now you are making what is supposed to be a cheap unit expensive.

Lobbas work when there is total LOS blocking terrain and you can fit your lobbas behind it. That will keep them from getting sniped. As people get more savy and get pooped on by lobbas more, they'll realize quick movement and some wounding will cause your guys to run or get pinned and that will be the end of them.

 My thoughts? Don't waste your points on what is effectively a tactic of catching people off guard. Any player who knows what they are doing is going to negate your lobbas fast, by good deployments / movement, or by pinning / forcing a run.

Looted wagons - bad for the same reason trukks are bad, but cost even more and are less manueverable. You can stick a large blast S8 AP3 gun on them, but due to their low armor value they'll tend to get sniped out fast and are to many points to justify losing so quickly.

            Some thoughts vs. common meta atm.

Daemons w/ screamers / flamers.

If you have B-wagons (which hopefully you should!) button up inside, make sure you leave adequate spacing to disembark where you want to in case you get wrecked. Reserve deploy anything you possibly can that can't go in a transport. Best bet on this is to form a triangle of sorts so they can't land inside but you can still get out inside if needed. Let the daemons player come in. The only thing that can hurt the b-wagons on the turn they come in are flamers. A squad of them should only be able to hit a b-wagon with 3-4 templates due to placement when you deepstrike.(circling). 3 is really at most, 4 is a serious stretch. They'll only glance your b-wagon on a 4+. So effectively 3 squads of flamers MIGHT drop a b-wagon or two. Screamers can't hurt you the turn they arrive unless your guys are out. If you pposition properly you should have a cover save in the off chance you get nailed by screamers. Once their alpha strike is complete, Focus fire and start eliminating squads.

You can get out and charge if desired. Using smaller squads like gretchin to remove overwatch on flamers, followed up by assaulting with a larger squad is useful. Flamers are bad in CC. Screamers I would suggest not getting into CC with if you can avoid it, or unless you have overwhelming numbers. It's better to just shoot them to death.

 Remember the rule of thumb, always charge 2 squads where you think one will do. Go for total wipeouts, not tying up. Combi-skorhcas are perfect here. Most likely your opponents squads are going to be tightely grouped. FLAME THEM

IG Blob.

IG blobs have always been a bit of a push over to orks. Provided you get into CC with it appropriately, you'll almost definitely win. Just remember to try and get in an equal number of boyz as they have models in the blob, or you might actually lose (cause they'll hit first and your t-shirt saves are crap). You can roll forward, dakka from b-wagons. Assault when you feel things are piecemeal enough. Or my favorite, TANK SHOCKKKK =0 Again combi-skorchas come in useful here. Ever wanted ot see an IG player have to pick up models like you pick up boyz? heres your chance!


- When dealing with paladins, the key is power klaws. You have to hit a critical mass of power klaws in assault to kill them. I'd say you want 1 per every 2 paladins in the combat. This includes the massive number of boyz you also throw in as a general wound soak. So 2x20 boyz w/ pk/BP nob + 3 meganobz + PK warboss squad should be able to say, to wipe out dragio and 10 paladins. Be sure to challenge draigo with the warboss for extra lolz (if its a megaarmored warboss). Unless you roll a 1 for your armor save, his weapon lolzy bounces off of you. If they have a techmarine grenade caddy with them or coteaz, it does become a lot more dicey. If Coteaz is there, be sure to hit with another squad of boyz than outlined above. (good to absorb overwatch on boyz too). If grenade caddy is there, well.. you're in a heap of trouble. Try and stand back and dakka + tank shock till the squads a bit more manageable then charge. Or think like an ork, go "fuck it!" and charge everything you got into it. You'll probably win.. maybe.
Combi-skorchas again are important here. You'll do a lot of wounds with them. Shooting with shoota boyz will too. You will most likely kill a one or two with that kind of torrent before the charge.

Noise Marines - Giggle from atop your mighty b-wagon

MEQ of most types - Shoota boys dakkaing usually will remove offending units or make them bite sized enough that the boyz can handle them on the charge

Land Raiders - Charge with PK's, rinse and repeat. Or deffrolla I guess.. that's cool too right?

I did mention B-wagons make orks more viable right?

Feel free to post a question or a "how would you handle xyz?"


  1. How would you handle a 2000 point Farsight Enclaves army featuring Commander Farsight, a Riptide, 15 crisis battlesuits with 30 gundrones?

  2. So, worth noting first that when I wrote this article almost a year ago, the Meta was in a very different place. We didn't have Tau, Eldar, Vanilla marines, Dark Angels, formations, and data slates. So at the time everything I said was valid.

    Now orks find themselves in a very bad place.

    your question is rather awkward because your not really presenting me with a list. Is farsight in a bomb? Is he with the riptide? What does the riptide have? What are the crisis battlesuits equipped with? What are your tactics? Do you reserve your suits and deepstrike for objective holding? Do you deploy and have a gunline?

    I'll build the list in my head since you didn't present options. I'll assume your going to go missle pods, as you have lots of S5 shooting from the gun drones. Farsight doesn't really add a lot, so its rather irrelevant where he is unless he comes with a bomb unit. I'll assume the riptide is an ion-tide with melta for anti-tank.

    For that points level, I can easily take 4-5 battlewagons w/ meganobz, lots of shoota boyz, and instead of dakkajets, double down on meganobz in trukks. I'd probably present an AV14 wall to the tau pretty much removing any real first turn alpha strike fire potential, then move forward in-mass, turboboosting the extra 6 inches turn 1 to ensure a turn 2 charge. Turn 2 i'd expect the tau probably get a lot of side armor shots off, destroying 2-3 battlewagons and 2 trukks.

    After that, it really depends on how many guys died in the explosions and subsequent firepower. If enough live, i'm going to shoot/assault tau, and rick-roll them. If not, i guess they win.

    It really really depends on how the suits are equipped, what if they are double plas? that's not nearly high enough S to pen the AV 14 or AV12 wall. They could also be fusion / missile, or missile / flamer, its hard to guess. Also, are we using any special wargear? chips? target locks?

    Farsight is not good enough in close combat that he'll be some game changer as far as orks assaulting his squad go.

    After that it basically depends on if farsight comes in, how he's deployed / what's in his bomb. If you have him in a bomb, i'd probably sink boyz squads into them w/ a follow up from meganobz and watch it evaporate.

    15 crisis suits + 30 gun drones don't do enough damage to orks in battlewagons to really stop them effectively. Especially if i have a KFF going on, and only 1 or 2 of the tau squads have ignore cover. You didn't mention anything for marker lights, so it's a ton of BS3 shooting, sure, but a lot of it is going to be wasted on cover saving high AV vehicles or infantry. When there are 100 orks on the table + 15 meganobz, buttoned up inside vehicles turn 1/2 its not really that bad. Now, obviously orks can't stand there and trade firepower anymore. That's going to end up with a lot of very dead orks.

    Sorry, provide more details and I can give a better answer. But my answer is basically the same as when i wrote the article. Use battleawagons, present AV14 walls turn 1/2 as needed, assault turn 2, and use meganobz combo'd with shootaboyz to clear units off the board.

    I'm not saying its easy for the orks, but its very-doable.

    Now you start talking about missile broadsides w/ buff commaner + kroot screens + burster riptides w/ melta, it gets wayyyyy harder for orks.

  3. Orks 6th codex coming soon so we'll have to reanalyze everything.