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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm back into 40k and this time I'm green ;-)

After a long absence, I am back into the blogging scene and ready to go.

Lots of things have been going on with me recently that filled up my time but I have been gaming a reasonable amount. Two good friends of mine I met in the last few months both decided to get into 40k and are now a wargaming couple. Since Old Shatter Hands from The Tau of War loaned me his wargaming table and terrain to make way for his new baby I had a great setup to show them how to play on.

Playing and teaching the game to new people got me really excited to get back into things and when OSH decided to offload his small collection of ork sprues onto me, I took the plunge. I've always wanted to make a characterful greenskin mob and turn my AOBR set into something that can really be played at a decent game level.

However I have to do it on the cheap and so the challenge has been laid down. Can I make a fun, tough ork army list that I will enjoy playing without breaking the bank?

So, like any wallet-respecting ork general, my army is coming from the roots of Assault on Black Reach. This set (should you have been under a rock since 5th edition launched) gives you a power-klaw warboss, 5 Nobz, 20 Boyz, 3 deffkoptas and a bevy of marines.

Ignoring the power-armoured forces, you have a nice solid base for an ork force. I have one set of painted AOBR orks and got another set from OSH minus the warboss. To this I decided to add two boxes of the new plastic grots (cheap and fun) and a set of the plastic Nobz. I'm off to England for Christmas and I should be able to inherit another black reach set of orks when there so I will have a veritable horde of green bodies when I'm done.

So far everything has been assembled in a fairly stock way with the exception of the Nobz. For those who haven't read the ork codex, this unit brings a set of 2 wound combat machines who can be customised greatly to fit the task at hand. The problem with AOBR is that you only get the basic slugga & Choppa Nob who, while hitting with 5 S5 attacks on the charge, doesn't really take advantage of the power on offer with wargear.

So out came my clippers, X-acto knife, files, saw, glue and bitz box. Old Shatter Hands recently took on an Ogre Kingdoms (OK) commission painting army and let me root through the remaining sprue pieces for things that could be used. Orky Know Wotz imagination let me get all excited at the chance of kitbashing some neat power claws out of punch daggers and the like. The Ogre hands are pretty much the exact same size as a Nob hand so you can just clip and swap with ease.

After a brief clipping, cutting, snapping, gluing and bodging session, I had my first ork with a power klaw converted from the Black Reach set.
For those who like details I used, one curved OK punch dagger, one small sprue cylinder offcut, two OK knives cut in a curve, a shaving of sprue (as a strap) and a couple of gubbinz to make it look more mechanical. 15 minutes work and we have a free power klaw, another 10 minutes for klaw no.2. Woot.

Soon after this my boxed sets arrived and I contemplated the great variety on offer from the Nobz kit. There is sooo much in this box and I've only used a portion of it so far despite using pieces of it on 11 Nob models.

Here is my Wrecking Krew all kitbashed to Orkish perfection. In this picture (not great, just a camera phone) I have 6 power klaws (3 boxed set klaws, one counts-as buzzsaw from the set, 2 homebrew), 3 big choppas, a twin-linked shoota (far right), 2 kombi weapons and a Waagh banner (from an OK banner).

I'm really happy with these guys. They have such character, are going to be a tough prospect on the battlefield dishing out S7 big choppa hits and S9 power claw hits on the charge while being able to play with wound allocation and survive a lot of fire. I still have leftover bits to use on the next AOBR set I will pick up from England. Plastic is a joy to convert and it simply wouldn't be orky without some 'Mek Adjustin' ;-)

So here's to a greenskin holiday season. I hope life is going great for everyone.