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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Armies in 5th: Orks Part 2: Anti-armor

So back to the Orks in 5th edition. We've covered their general fail in meching up (BWs can be done but we'll cover that later) so let's look more closely at their ability to counter mech.

On the whole Orks don't like Mech. They have good weight of fire to counter their crrappy BS and medium strength weapons but the higher the strength the less shots they get (i.e. from a 3 shot S5 big shoota to a 1 shot S8 rokkit). So to maximise Orky chances of landing hits we either needs lots of medium strength shots or twin-linking the higher strength shots as much as possible (whilst having as many of them as possible, too).

Now where can we get these kind of guns? Lootas is the first and obvious choice (it's like I was leading up to this right?). 1-3 autocannon shots per turn per Loota for a measly 15 pts? Done! They are BS2? Still done! Here's how many hits on average you're going to get with 1/2/3 shots. 5/10/15. That's pretty damn good and you have a huge standard deviation range in your favor against those pesky AV10-11 units which the Lootas should be focusing on. This high rate of fire can also be very effective as anti-infantry/MC once the light mech has fallen. What Lootas don't like? Lots of targets overwhelms even 3 units of Lootas. Unable to split their fire makes Lootas unhappy but you get what you are given. And anything hitting the AV12 range, AV13 and 14? forget it. At least with AV12 Lootas have enough shots to hopefully get a pen and have it not covered but again standard deviations are the Ork's friend. Notice how we've already used the word hopefully?

So we've already filled 3 elite slots to take out light armor and they do a credible job of it. Cover obviously reduces their effectiveness and they need enough shots to get through cover to reliably take down tanks due to no AP1 and we mentioned Lootas don't like the higher AVs. So onto TL-Rokkits. Where can we get these moderately happy S8 weapons and twin-link them? Your fast attack. Buggies and Deffkoptas. Now what's super important about these? They are the only fast unit which can bring high strength weaponry reliably. What's this mean? Side armor shots. Like the Piranha in the Tau army the Buggies and Deffkoptas add a different dimension to the Ork codex and allow them more tactical options when taken. Whilst their points seem a bit inflated the flexibility they add to an Ork army is almost essential. The problem? Like Vypers, Buggies are very, very weak. Open-topped and in squadrons is not good which is why taking a squadron or two (or three) of Deffkoptas is a good choice. Problem again is they are more expensive and vulnerable to instant death but they make up for it with the lovely Scout move they have. So this adds a bit of mobile firepower to the Ork army with a mildly higher strength than Lootas but still has trouble with AV13/14. Fast Attack therefore becomes a trade-off between Koptas and Buggies which means to reliably threaten AV10-12 we've already locked up 6 FoC slots and the 3 Fast Attack choices aren't too stellar at anti-infantry.

So how can we reliably crack AV13/14? It seems we must delve into close combat where Orks are "great." This means power klaws which Ork players think are their saviour. Nope. They allow units with them to threaten tanks, not reliably hurt them. With the new rules for vehicles in close combat moving and the damage charts are their biggest defenses, not armor value (most tanks are AV10 in the rear). This means weight of attacks is very important. PKs generally swing at a max of 4 attacks which means a minimal Odds Ratio to actually land a hit. However, outside of Zzzap guns, this is the only way Orks can threaten all around AV14 or even make heavy front and side armor tanks like Russes afraid.

So the Orks initial and most reliably anti-tank comes from Lootas (spam S7 shots) and TL-rokkits (field as many as you can and go for side armor with a ~55% hit rate). PKs are a nice little addition but because the initial Ork anti-tank isn't stellar Ork players will often find themselves hoping their PKs do something against armor. Hoping is never a good strategy. This is one of the inherent weaknesses of the Ork codex, they really have to do out of their way to deal with Mech.

Next up I'll look at the Ork core in what should be taken as their "hitting" power in Troops. Remember to have some decent and reliable anti-tank we've already used all Elite and Fast Attack choices.

7 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Yep, agreed here. If I want cheap firepower and blockers (Piranhas) I go for Buggies, Koptaz if I have points to spare and want to try the turn 1 buzzsaw alpha strike.

The biggest problem with PKs beyond having to get close and hit (lol I moved 12" and you hit on 6's, FFFUUUUUCCKK!!) when you do assault, your entire mob gets in BtB nice and close to beg for templates next turn.

I'm going to experiment with boardin' planks on my wagons to avoid getting out of my ride, but I have to get really close (way inside melta range) for it to work so I'm not looking forward to it.

If you're doing foot, Biker Bosses are quite good to reach out and touch someone. 6 S10 attacks has a fairly good chance of popping armor.

Zzap Gunz, Wyrdboyz and the SAG can do it, but they're just too random.

I think the best Orks can do against heavy armor is to force the cargo (termies typically) out with bait and jump on them with massed fire/attacks. It doesn't work so well against a savvy opponent who can just zoom 12", fire one gun and laugh as the Orks can do nothing to stop it.

Raptor1313 said...

I think one of the nicer answers is the biker boss, but that's more for the ability to put the klaw wherever you need it.

I mean, as it is, Orks just have to either bring 3x Lootas and 3x koptas/buggies, and that's what they have.

It reminds me of the Tau, honestly., in terms of options you have that are competitive. Way to go, codex design.

Kirby said...

Ya I'm covering the Warboss in a later section. As you've seen the countless people here praising KFF which means at best 1 warboss and a very fragile army (duplicate please) and you also have to consider what HQs unlock for Troops in the Ork codex, etc.

MagicJuggler said...

Deffrollas now work on vehicles. So that becomes the closest thing to a semi-reliable anti-vehicle threat. Use it for midfielding.

Shame they're easy to counter.

Kirby said...

Good find MagicJuggler, link here for everyone:

http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m970066a_2010_Orks_FAQ

However as MagicJuggler pointed out this becomes a bit of a problem for the BW. It is now the only "heavy armor", fair anti-tank and only good/solid transport option the Orks have. With it's narrow facing it is essentially AV12 for anything which can move.

Left Bower said...

Orks have issues with AV13/14 at range, yes. However, don't overly discount their combat abilities vs. tanks. Vs the common AV 10 RA, Str4 (charging orks) can damage it, and most mobs of boys offer enough attacks to glance it to death. However these aren't your tankbusting units. Koptas with buzzasaws can Str7 tanks, meaning RA11/12 is also not enough. Against AV14 it comes down to Deffrollaz or multiple PKs if you want it done reliably (ie. not a great option, but something KoS orks can do better then most ork armies).

Will said...

Tankbustas reliably pop AV 12. Mounted in a wagon and placed in the center of your army (ideally with your KFF mek riding along), they can casually put 3-4 S8 hits a turn on something. Bomb squigs and tankhammers w/ boarding planks on your wagon increase their options.

Kanz w/ Rokkits are also an option, though not as reliable (only 3 shots at BS3) and expensive (more than a buggy). Still, an option and one I've used to effect. Grotzookas, at 2 S6 blasts a piece, are totally viable for supressing/popping AV 10/11.

The humble shoota, fired x 30, can also be relied upon against AV10, although that probably goes without saying.

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