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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Codex Orks Review. Part 6a, Heavy Support: The Battlewagon

I was flicking through the book, trying to work out how to separate the Heavy Support choices when I realised that I should just take the most important codex entry, and do a whole post on it.

Ladies and Gentle-grots, I present .... The Battlewagon.

This is, unfortunately, the proverbial "it" in the Ork Codex.

I want to give a bit of a background on the Battlewagon first.
The current wagon model, and stats, have obviously changed over the years. For those people under the age of, I dunno, 32, lets go back, way back, through the past history of Battlewagons.

The original looked like this:
Circa 1991
Then we moved onto this, which is a BattleFortress (Battlewagon on Crack) but as close to a real model as Orks got...
Of course, this happened to be a Forgeworld model so what actually happened was this:


Great, No?
No? Hmm. Belial's gonna be PISSED when he sees the mess you made of his Landraider.

So then, come 2008/9, we finally get a model and it looked like this:
Uhh, I mean this:
So where does that leave us now.

Well, I suppose, actually analysing the codex entry.

So, its a 14/12/10 box, well, more like rectangle. Our frontage is sooo small that almost any shots we take (with the legit model) will be on AV12. We have a transport capacity of 20, the largest in any codex I know of, and cost the princely sum of 90 points. We are also Open Topped and a Tank.

You may notice I haven't rated the Wagon yet, and that is because it has many, many roles. This baby basically is our be-all and end-all of wheeled Heavy Support Choices.
It has 16 upgrade options, which doesn't sound like much until you realise that only 3-4 of those can't be taken together.

So let's outline these.
Shooting Upgrades:
Killkannon: S7 AP3 Ordinance Large Blast, 24" range.
They took a battlecannon, and bolted it in. It will cost you 60 points, and you lose 8 seats (transport capacity becomes 12). However, its big, shooty, and don't rely on BS2.
Kannon, Lobba, Zzap Gun: You can take 1 of these for 10/15/15 pts respectfully.
Kannon is a Marine Missile launcher (S8 AP3 / S4 AP5) with 24" range. Lobba is a S5AP5 48" Mortar. Zzap gun, while AMAZING in the last codex, sucks in comparison now. S(2D6), AP2, 36" Heavy 1 and always shakes the target on a glance/pen on top of the result roll.
Up to 4 of: Rokkit, Big Shoota: Same as before stats wise, S8 AP3 24" and / S5 AP5 36" respectively

Transport Options:
'ard Case: Become closed topped. 15 pts
Red Paint Job: +1 inch movement with no downsides.
Grot Riggers: become un-immobilized on a 4+
Stikkbomb Chukka: armed with frag grenades on the charge
Armour Plates: Ignore Crew Stunned
Reinforced Ram: re-roll Dangerous Terrain Tests and +2 Frontal Armor vs Death-or-glory (to a max of 14)

Offensive Options:
Boarding Plank: Allow any embarked model to strike in CC vs a vehicle as if charging, when within 2" of the plank.
Wrecking Ball: On a 4+ an enemy unit within 2" of the ball (vehicle or infantry) take a S9 hit.
Grabbing Klaw: On a 4+ a vehicle with 2" may not move next turn

Broken Options:
Deffrolla: Any tank shocked or Rammed unit/vehicle takes D6 S10 hits. If you death-or-glory, we can make it 2D6 :)

So what does this mean to a layman playing a battlewagon in their army for the first time.
Basically, you can design your wagon for nearly any purpose, as long as you are willing to pay the points.
A fully (and I mean fully, that's every damn upgrade) kitted Wagon runs in at 285 points. We are talking above Landraider territory there! Ouch

Mordian 7th

So lets look at some builds, prices, and rate them. Maybe we can make some sense out of all of this:

Troop Transport Wagon
Say I want to stick Nobs (remember this is a Dedicated Transport option for them) or Boys in a wagon. What do I need to make it work.
Well, we need to keep moving. So Armour Plates. We need to get there fast, so Red Paint. We can buy Grot Riggers for nothing, so they go on too. That's 20 points, taking us to 110. We want a Big Shoota, the cheapest gun, so we don't auto-immobilise on a 3+ (weapon destroyed upgraded to immob). Finally, we need something to open transports when we get there so ... ... Deffrolla.
Price 135 points.
Rating: The best an Ork can get
Fun Factor: Demolition Derby :)
Fail Factor: When you get a side armor shot, or a meltagun, you can kiss this baby Good bye.
So how do we run it? Simple, fast, flat out, and into as many enemies as you can.
You can also add a Boarding plank if you don't feel the need to get out, as those (usually 4) PK attacks on a secondary target to the 'Rolla make a difference. Personally, I don't do it as I always forget.
A Ruzzbot, is that yellow contraption above. Created by a guy called KrooZa on the Waaagh Forums, these bad boys are Leman Russ's build standing and are a mini-Stompa. Short story long, they act fluff-wise like a Defiler.
So what do we want?
Traditional layout: Killkannon, Deffrolla, 'ard Case, sometimes 4 Big Shootas
My Layout (something different): 4 Rokkits, Kannon, 'ard Case.
Neither are cheap, neither have a good range, and neither can hit ANYTHING.
However, I love mine. AbusePuppy basically laughed at my suggestion that these work, but as a target to be shot with a LRBT profile and length, he dies to shooting once per 6 games.
Anyway, enough hyperbole.

Rating: Dakka Dakka Dakka
Fun Factor: Throw those dice! 5 Rokkits cant miss!
Fail Factor: When you get a side armor shot, or a meltagun, you can kiss this baby Good bye.
Now, for tactics. Battlewagons really tend to behave more like Rhinos than Russes or Land Raiders on the field of battle. By this I mean:
- Screen
- Move
- Dump guys
- Make a nuisance of yourself
In the same way as Rhinos, you also need to have multiples for them to be effective.
1, is dead.
2, at least 1 should see T3, seriously hurt
3, will get your troops across the board
4, is pretty much your army.
This idea forms the basis of the Battlewagon Blitz force, which is usually a dual (Mega)Nob-Star in Wagons, 40 Boys (1 'ard boys for the 4+ save) and 2 Wagons from HS. Coupled with either Dual-Warboss's (of some form) or Ghaz and a Mek. Any points left over are squeezed into Anti-Tank.
Your Wagons and PK's need to take the weight of anti-tank in these lists, and they sometimes perform great, other times all 4-5 get melta'd before they move.
Of course at this point I could go on, and on, and on, and sound like VT2, but I want to pass it back to you to find out how your Wagons are run, upgrades, tactics, and ideas.
I think these are one of the most important units in the codex, not because it's and auto-choice, but because its a flexible unit that forms the core of the Ork's dedicated transport platform.

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