Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ork unit breakdown and probable army list Pt 1: HQ

So now that I'm rolling on my way towards a Greenskin army, I thought it might be fun to do a little run down of each unit so that those less familiar with the codex can get a feel for what is on offer to a budding Warboss. I will give my understanding of the ups and downsides of the unit, my personal feelings for/against them and would appreciate any feedback from followers. For those who like more tactica reading, there is a pretty comprehensive ork article series on DakkaDakka though I feel some of the info is a little dated when looking at the current metagame

I will state up front that I like to play tough games, but that I tend towards having more fun than tournament level play. To me though, you don't have to have a random collection of units for it to be fun. I think you should take the character of the force in question and then mould a list that you are happy with (and can afford) in order to play.

All pictures are being taken completely without permission, mostly from Games Workshop's website, though since I'm advertising for them and soliciting suggestions on what I should purchase from them, I hope no legal action will be forthcoming ;-)

So without further ado here is the ork codex....

PS: I'm excluding special characters for now.


The warboss is pretty much a face-beating whupass kind of ork (WS5, 4 attacks). He brings instant death immunity to most weapons through his T5 and with a power klaw he will hit at a nasty S10, charge or no charge. At 85pts with a Power Klaw he is very affordable too and can be customised with other weapons and tricks. The warboss also allows a unit of Nobz to be taken as troops.
I've seen three main types of warboss being taken.

- Foot warboss. Usually a Power Klaw, perhaps Eavy Armour, an attack Squig (+1A) and hidden in a mob of boyz/nobz to add punch. Cheap and solid.
- Mega Armoured Boss. Here we trade mobility for a 2+ save and Power Klaw. This boss really needs transporting, perhaps in a battlewagon with a retinue of MegaNobz. A more expensive choice but will hit hard and stay in the fight.
- Biker Boss. By adding a bike you give him T6 to non S10 weapons and add a lot of mobility to his assault options, making him a great tank hunter. Typically a power klaw will be added so he can deliver both dakkacannon shots to side armour at S5, then carve up the rear armour with a S10 power klaw. With 6 attacks on the charge (with an attack squig) he's got a good shot at landing a hit even on a cruising speed vehicle and strength 10 messes up the rear armour of most things.

From my perspective, the foot warboss is an easy and cheap deal because you get one in Black Reach and the model is badass. I've converted my single warboss to include an attack squig stolen from the Grot box set's runtherder. I will be getting another Warboss from Black Reach soon and plan to convert him to a biker boss so I can choose between them.

Big Mek

Now here is a star unit for the orks who comes in two main flavours. The first is a go-to unit for lots of players, for very good reason, and the second is fun, unpredictable but potentially lethal.

I am of course talking about the Kustom Force Field Mek and the Shock Attack Gun Mek.

The Kustom force field gives every ork unit within 6" of the model a 5+ cover save and vehicles count as being obscured. This is a great deal up front but when you lead a unit with the big mek, only a single model from each unit needs to be within 6" so you can cover 3 mobz easily. In a a vehicle the 6" is measured from the hull. This gives a classic footslogging formation with a big mek boyz in the middle, two more either side and perhaps a grot screen up front, all benefiting from the cover save field. Or the infamous battlewagon spam where you'll have 3-4 battlewagons next to each other, grinding across the table with AV14 up front and a 4+ cover save. You have 2 turns max to deal with them before they are in your face and disgorging nobz & boyz, often lead by Ghazghkull Thraka. The last nasty trick is the Kan wall where you get 9 Killa Kans in front of a wall of boyz. The Kans give cover to the boyz and the KFF mek gives cover to the Kanz.

When facing a KFF mek, you pretty much have to accept the cover save and deal with it through careful target priority and volume of fire. Against footsloggers, I would probably focus fire on the mek's unit to force wound allocation on him and wipe out those he is with. If you manage to bring the mek down, good, if not just keep working away at the boyz to cut down their assault power. Vs vehicles I would shoot at the KFF mek's trukk/wagon. If you manage to immobilise or stun it, the other vehicles will have to decide whether to huddle for the save or move out forwards and perhaps give you another turn of firing. Against Kan wall, I would just pick on Kan squadron and shoot until it goes down. Use blockers against the other squads if need be until you can do the same to them

The Shock Attack Gun is a relic of the older, quirkier editions of the Ork codex when it would add all sorts of zany battlefield antics while occasionally doing something deadly. I think this unit was really updated well to fit into the current editions of 40k. It is still random, a bit funny and can end up doing horribly powerful things.

To sum up the rules. It is a large blast, AP2 weapon which has a strength of 2D6. With an average roll of 7 on the dice that makes it dangerous enough, but when you roll a double (or 11) then crazy things start to happen. I can't recall each result but they range from:
Bad - placing the blast marker over the big mek (low roll), giving the opponent a choice of target
Medium/Funny - making the weapon hit the nearest unit to the target (friend or foe), teleporting the Mek into assault with his target (60" assault potentially)
Outright Nasty - On a double 6, everything under the blast template is removed from the game with no saves of any kind. Yes, that does mean you could lose two land raiders full of assault terminators if the dice go that way, or a titan if you're playing apoc.

In conclusion.....

I know I've missed out the weirdboy. I have no play experience with this unit and don't intend on getting one for now. The dakka articles make some comments on them.

In model and collection terms, I want 2 warbosses, a KFF big mek and a SAG mek. The first warboss will be the AOBR footslogger, the second will be a biker boss converted from AOBR. You can't knock the value of the boxed set when trying to make an army in the current economic climate.

The KFF mek model from GW doesn't set my excitement field buzzing so I will probably convert one from the Mek you get in the Loota/Burna boxed set. I think that with some guitar string wiring coming out of the Kustom Mega Blasta barrel hooked up to a techy backpack (finally, a use for my spare Tau gubbinz) I can have a nice KFF mek.

The SAG mek on the other hand is an awesome mode and I would love to field one in game for the fun. Just look at the snotling digging his nails in not to be fired through the warp. On the other hand the model is $30 and that puts it over the cost of the great new plastic sets (nobz, lootas/burnas, stormboyz) so the value is a little tougher to assign. I'd definitely like one but dropping $24 (after online 20% discount) is a bit steep for me. We'll see. I'd love the model but unless I can find someone selling it second hand for cheap I think I may pass or convert my own.

So that ends my first foray into orkdom. I will be back soon with Pt 2: Elites.

Thoughts, comments, criticism, insults and outpourings of adulation are all welcome


  1. The KFF mek is a must when running a speed freak or evil suns army. It is great fun when your opponent has to shoot all he has at your big mek wagon while the rest of your army closes in for the kill. Try it you'll like it.

  2. That's for sure Skeeter. I have already converted one of the meks from my two Loota&Burna sets into a KFF mek to give my boyz some cover as we get across the field. It's definitely one of the real utility options in the codex.

    Now I have to figure out a way to convert a Shock Attack Gun to add to the other mek figure I have. $30 is a bit much for a single model, despite the SAG looking great.