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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Armies in 5th: Orks Part 3: Troops & Battlewagons

Well I had this all written out and hadn't noticed the uni network had crashed. Tried to post and poof! goes hours and hours and hours... of work. So anyways first off I've made a new link in the top left which will contain all my armies in 5th articles so they are easier to find.

Anywho, since my last article on Orks they have been given a boost through Deff Rollas being FAQ'd to damage tanks during a ram. This isn't a fix. Orks are not now competitive. They still rely on their Elite and FA slots for some kind of semi-decent anti-mech. However, this does give the Ork army some reliable ability to damage AV14 (nothing likes D6 S10 hits) but with AV12 side armor and a narrow front facing they need the hard case upgrade. Without it every pen has a 5/6 chance of stopping it from moving and the Ork player wants them moving. A 1/6 chance isn't much but we'll take it even at 15pts (it especially makes glancings less eepy!). Now ya this means you can't assault out of it. Big friggin woop. You don't want Boyz in this tank. Why? It becomes a huge target. Something that is transporting 20 guys into your lines, is scoring by just sitting around, is a tank and has D6 S10 attacks on the tank shcok is a big target. Drop the 20 boyz and it isn't so much. Put in a small crack unit like Nobz w/combis or Gretchin to make it scoring (like DAVU for Eldar) and the opponent has a choice to make between the less valuable but dangerous BW, valuable but not dangerous Troops (we'll go into that next) or the really dangerous Lootas/Buggies. That is the making of a good list, when the same weapons of your opponent have multiple targets. Unless you're facing a list which is spamming small units which can contain guns (see RBack spam) you'll overload those guns with targets (hmm perhaps I should do an article just on that...).

So now that we have discussed the role of the BW w/Deff Rolla as a support unit, we still need the core of the Orky army. These are the Troops in 40k. Without FoC changes the Troops for Orks are Gretchin and Boyz. We've already discussed using Gretchin as an "upgrade" for Battlewagons as it forces your opponent to pop a tank (no open-topped makes this harder) to stop the Troops being mobile and the Deff Rolla coming at them. As a stand alone unit though, meh. What about Ork Boyz? Eh okay again. For 6 pts they aren't too bad really but we have a problem. Their transport sucks ass. There is no debate. Add in that it takes Orks below a critical mass level (they rely on number of A which Trukks don't give them) and it seems they are really only viable in BWs or on foot. On foot is out, 5th edition is far too mobile and your units on foot who want to assault aren't going to be happy campers. Now battlewagons are viable but as I mentioned previously making it into such a big target isn't always a wise idea. So let's see what FoC changes we can fiddle with to get some more suitable Troops.

The most obvious is the Warboss which makes up to one Nobs a Troop choice (therefore a max of two). You could of course go the silly route with Bikers but...ya. Too expensive and your army as a cohesive whole starts to suffer. Tiny units could be viable but are essentially like Vanguard, they get expensive fast. The Nobs then suffer from the same problem the Boyz do (other than weight of attacks). Put them in a Trukk and they are likely to get shot up T1 and then could end up who knows where. Put them in a BW and paint a big red target on the side AV12 armor. Put them on foot and watch them get ignored then alpha striked by a more mobile army. Warbosses, as mentioned by Chumbalaya, can be decent anti-tank on a bike so it's a potential consideration as a decent HQ. The other option is Big Meks. Ork players seem to swear by KFF and it certainly helps the Ork survivability and tactical flexibility. The problem is this is a point spell (i.e. an ability radiating out for a specific point) and the Orks need it as a crux which means 2 is far, far better than 1 in case one gets neutralised in some way. Big Meks also allow up to one Deff Dread to be counted as a Troop choice (so again a total of 2). Sounds good on paper much like the Tervigons in a Tyranid list but unfortunately you can't max out the Dreads, nor do they offer great midfield support like a Tervigon does. They also require the KFF to be survivable, don't offer much ranged support and are therefore meltabait and are not great at advancing and laying down firepower (unlike say a SM MM Dread). So whilst certainly adding powerful CC units as Troops seems like a good idea, we still haven't solved our main troop problem (2 Troops isn't going to cut it) and our main Troops (Boyz and Gretchin) have serious drawbacks in 5th edition. So what other options do we have?

Wazdakka. Wtf right? Credit to Stelek here as I never knew Bikers could count as troops with him simply because I didn't have his rules memorised. Who the hell sees Wazdakka? But what he does is make Ork Bikers count as Troops. This is a full FoC replacement like Logan & Wolfguard. Yaya Bikers aren't that great and taking Wazdakka limits your ability to double up the Warboss or Big Mek if you so choose (for those S10 attacks or KFF) but they give you troops which are:
a) mobile
b) somewhat resiliant with a T4(5), 4+ and perma cover save
c) decent anti-infantry w/TL S5
This is something no other Ork troop (outside of Nob Bikers but they've been discussed and cannot be used en-masse) can provide. The opportunity cost of such is as previously mentioned the single HQ choice in Warboss or Big Mek if so chosen. However, if a Warboss on abike is taken the Warbikers can provide him an escort unit and potentially we could have a small Nob Biker squad...hmmm

So whilst BWs add another anti-mech element to the army, loading them up with valuable units makes them a huge target (i.e. full sized Boyz or Nobs) but small units of Nobs or min-sized Gretchin can make them more valuable to the Ork player whilst not increasing their battlefield value so much they become priority targets for your opponent. They still suffer from the narrow front facing and really require the hard case upgrade but at least give the Ork army ability to damage AV14 reliably. By taking up so many choices to just be able to deal with anti-mech (Elites/FA) it's hard to pick a good troop choice that compliments the army which doesn't suck (i.e. Trukks or on foot). Whilst Boyz can go into Battlewagons this draws to them a lot of attention and whilst Big Meks and Warbosses can promote up to 2 Nobs or Dreads to Troops, some Boys or Gretchin have to be used somewhere. Here Wazdakka comes in and is able to provide a decent Troop choice that isn't super scary (so isn't a high priority target) that can keep up with a mobile force and still does some damage.

Next up I'll look at the rest of the Heavy Support choices then will go onto other units and why they don't see use.

4 pinkments:

Smurfy said...

Wazzdakka is arguably the Orks best mobile Weapons Platform: Can Turbo Boost to flanks and still shoot?

Fu-me-wha? :D

Left Bower said...

Don't forget that bikers give themselves, and the units behind them the obscured, even if the biker models themselves don't obscure. They're great supoprt for trukks, etc. that are further out then the KFF, and have great mobility.

Additionally, the best guns for shooting at bikes are the best guns for shooting at AV10. They have to fire somewhere, and the point of a KoS list is that they can't kill everything nearly in time, because they either use their mobility to deny the enemy targets, or to overwhelm the enemy with so many targets, whilst assaulting units that are a ranged risk to the army.

Will said...

I consistently think your reviews (Armies and Codex) for orks completely miss the target. Do you play orks? You seem to have great insights into other armies, but cannot figure this one out.

Orks are not marines. One does not play them like marines, and win. You're entire thinking re: the value of models needs to change, because orks are cheap and expendable, where MEQs are not. You don't need to mech them up, ork foot lists work fine. Trukks aren't ideal but they work because 1) they're cheap as hell and 2) they're fast. If they move a unit 18' and get popped on T2 (you should be hiding them turn 1), who cares? They did their job. With Waaagh (especially Ghaz's) you have a 21'-26' charge range, which is amazing.

Meanwhile, boyz are solid at 6 pts a piece, because there are a ton of them, and they're T4, fearless, have a PK, and decent enough in CC/Shooting. Plenty of things kill them, but they can kill plenty of things too. Cheap, middle of the road kind of unit.

KFF's are fantastic, effectively cutting the likelihood of someone popping one of your vehicles in half. They are also demoralizing, as your opponent will watch pens turn into nothing at all 50% of the time. They're biggest problem is the range. They force you to keep a bunch of units close together, which can be tough with terrain.

Nobz are CC gorillas. With WS5 (banner), FNP (painboy) and wound allocation, they are hard as nails against much of what an opponent can bring to bear, and do great damage in CC. 6 Nobz in a trukk is an assault unit many armies should envy and fear for a very reasonable cost.

I could go on. Kirby, you're REALLY knowledgeable about the game, and have great insights into how many armies work and rank. I don't think you really "get" orks though.

Vercinagorix said...

Wazzdakka, really? that one came out of left field. he's literally terrible and so are the bikes as troops, sure it's a fun army but they're so damn expensive. let's say you want 3 troop choices and somewhat survivable squads at 7 with a nob. that's 240!

240 points, you're paying 30 points a model for guys that are going to run away if something looks at them wrong.

Have you ever tried running an all biker army? I'm with will, you don't really seem to get orks

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