Blood of Kittens has decided that the Ork hatred currently populating much of the 40k interwebs must be challenged. So it is our great pleasure to introduce a new segment called the Ork Defense Force: its job is to defend and stop all illogical transgressions against Greenskin kind. To help get this started I have illicit the help of a LEGENDARY Ork player Nathan Fluger from Seattle…here is his story.
Orkses Nevva Loze!
I must admit I’m fairly new to the 40k blogosphere. Until a few months ago I pretty much never went to Bell of Lost Souls and I couldn’t tell you who Stelek was. I lived in a blissful world without vitriol-laced blather about different aspects of 40k, and frankly, that was fine by me.
All of this changed while I was at TSHFT (The Seattle Heart of Fire Tournament), happily atop Table 1 after my close-fought victory against Wadmore’s vicious Scythes of the Emperor Marines. It was at this point that a couple nice gentlemen approached me and commented on how incredible it was that I was doing so well at the tournament with my Orks. I can think of few times in which I’ve been more shocked.
Since the Ork Codex hit the scene; my boyz had been a rampage fueled by the mutilated corpses of my foes. To whit; I had lost only a handful of games with them and then mostly to other Ork armies! The consensus among the gamers I played with was that the Ork codex was extremely powerful and borderline cheesy. I heard people say that Orks was the Daemons of 40k. I had to take extra care to try and point out the ways in which Orks could be beaten and had to furiously defend the rationale of a 6 point Ork Shoota boy vs a 16 point Space Marine… No one really bought it; after months of beating people up, I started to play Eldar so I could get games in.
Now, let me quickly point out that I wasn’t playing against fools here. Regular players at our store are Gerry Sunada (best general at Conquest 2009 and robbed of best general at Conquest 2010); Zen Zhang (2nd best overall at Conquest 2010); Koyote (best overall at TSHFT 2009); and many other quality opponents. The boys at Fire and Sword are pretty tough customers in general and have a rep for bringing tough lists. So basically, what I’m saying is that this wasn’t done in a non-competitive environment or against weak opposition.
So anyway, there’s this guy sitting here telling me that where he comes from, and on the interwebs, Orks are considered a poor tournament army. That guy was tastytaste, and I was dumbfounded. He spoke to me of this obtuse mind-set that since Orks couldn’t easily destroy AV14 vehicles that they were somehow doomed to obscelescence. That seemed to be the sum-total of the supposed deficiencies of the Ork codex, and apparently enough to convict them of suckiness. I’m not saying I don’t lose with my Orks; far from it; I lose enough of my games now against the new guard and space wolves that people have started to accept Orks again, which is awesome. However, I do have a solid track record of success with them, and I’m convinced I can win any battle with Wurrzdreg’s Best Lads.
I can get into the reasons why AV14 is a red herring; but I’d like to first focus on the units in the Ork Dex that are just plain incredible; some of which just don’t seem to get enough love.
Ork Shoota Boyz: I think there isn’t a better troop choice in the game. Pros: WS4, T4, 2A, S4 Assault 2 weapon; Fearless lite, and furious charge. Cons: BS2, I2, and 6+ save. Why are those Cons not too bad? BS2? No worries; volume of fire! At 12.1″-18″ a shoota boy will get as many hits as a single Space Marine…at almost a third of the cost. I2? Well, furious charge means you go simul with Guardsmen… In all honesty, this is probably the only legitimate weakness of Orks. 6+ armor save? Who cares! Cover is available everywhere, they give it out like candy! Also, check out this sweet thing called a Kustom Force Field! WOW! Now I don’t even have to be in cover in order to get cover saves! Considering that cover is so easy to get, Orks become almost as survivable as Space Marines…only for almost a third of the points.
Rokkit Buggies: 35 points of Fast Attack win! Twin-linked BS2 isn’t SUPER exciting (hits about 55% of the time), but its good enough that these babies can go after vehicles and knock them out fairly effectively. Their speed and cheapness means you can get them in bulk and go after exposed flanks of vehicles. They’re also great at going out and contesting objectives later in the game. Zen is of the opinion that they are the best buy in the ‘Dex and I’d be hard pressed to disagree. He once threw down against me with 9 of these buggers, and trust me, it’s hard to get rid of them, and they are only a piddly 315 points!!!!
Killa Kans: For the same price as a terminator, you can have a model that kicks out 3 S5 shots at BS3 at 36″ range and has two s10 attacks in melee. Yeah, that makes sense… Killa Kans are, like Rokkit Buggies, a ridiculous buy in vehicle squadrons. I personally run mine with Rokkit Launchers for some more anti-tank fire power, but Grotzookas are ridiculously good buys and Big Shootas are a cheap option. While Killa Kans suffer from WS2 and get mulched by MCs with WS5; their cheapness and effectiveness against vehicles in melee can’t be understated. WS10 hits a vehicle as easily as WS2, so big deal! Also, their AV11 on front and side armor means they are essentially immune to S4 attacks, which is awesome. My Killa Kans are used mostly to interdict the opponent’s nasty stuff and tarpit units that lack numerous high-strength attacks. Watching them tear through marines fills my heart with a warm glee. I’m looking forward to locking down a unit of Tyranid Warriors with Toxin Sacs with these guys and slowly killing them. Oh, and I can have 9 of them for only 360 points. Wrap your head around that!
Stormboyz: Sure they take away slots from Rokkit Buggies; but they are superb units. One of the fastest units in 40k, they make a great unit to put into reserve and bring on later to help out as needed. They combine all the things that make orks great in combat with stupidly fast speed. Oh yeah, they’re only 12 points each. Avoid Zagstruk like the plague though. Assaulting after deepstriking sounds awesome, but it’s super hard to pull off. Better to just come in from reserve and jump your opponent at a crucial area. The units you lose to being exposed to more fire-power are probably the units you could buy to make the squad bigger…
Lobbas: “But, fluger! True line of sight means that indirect fire isn’t as special anymore!” “Shut it, newb!” Indirect fire is ALWAYS useful, and grots do it better than most. First of all, it’s not that hard to hide lobbas, so being out of sight is easier to do than some vehicles. Second of all, lobbas are stupidly cheap at 25 points a pop. That’s the same price as a single Sternguard. Third of all, barrage is awesome, especially when coupled with ammo runts, which let you reroll the scatter dice! As I said before, cover is plentiful in 5th Edition, so its all about doing TONS of wounds. S5 barrage weapons can certainly deliver. By far my favorite is popping open transports and then hitting the newly exposed passengers with lobba fire! Also, at S5, lobbas can glance Rhinos and penetrate Chimera-chassises. The first time I play people they’re like, “Oh lobbas, never seen those used before, I heard they suck.” The second time we play they are a priority target.
Big Mek with Kustom Force Field: I love force multipliers, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a model better adept at it than a Big Mek with Kustom Force Field. Granting a huge bubble 5+ cover saves to your mobs of boyz is incredibly powerful and makes those big mobs really work. In addition, the cover save gets conferred to vehicles; so your cruddy AVs become less of an issue. One big note here, I’m of the opinion that the wording on the KFF coupled with the rules for vehicles getting cover saves implies they get a 5+ save, not a 4+ save; but either way you slice it; it’s really awesome.
Kommandos with Snikrot: Absurdly effective unit. For those of you living in a cave for the last two years; Snikrot lets a unit of Kommandos show up on any board edge you want when they come in from reserve. One of the few units you can put Burnas on, This unit will cut through most back-edge units out there in seconds. As well, Snikrot re-rolls misses in combat and hits at S6 with 6 attack when charging. Can you say dead vehicles? I actually dropped this unit from my army because it felt dirty and sinful.
There are other gems in the Codex, but these are ones that I have used and know to be super effective; I thought it would be a good place to start in terms of discussing Orks.
I’m going to be posting some more stuff here on Blood of Kittens and on Zen’s Bloghammer about Orks and the games they play; so if you have any questions, comments, hate-mail, etc; throw it my way and I’ll try and answer it in the comments or else in an article.