Well, continuing on the journey of trying to come up with some basic ground rules and ideas for how to use a balanced Ork force against a variety of army types. I’ve now come to the last archetype: Assaulty Infantry.
Assaulty Infantry is based around lots of infantry that are either elite at assault or else numerous. They rely on getting to grips with the enemy as quickly as possible and beating their face in.
Before I go on too much further; I want to thank Devon for exposing a GAPING hole in my posts; namely, not addressing deployment types. Instead of starting up with this, the last of this series, I’m going to do this one as before, and then go back and address the implications of deployments for all the archetypes in a further blog post (that’s called foreshadowing!).
Terrain setup, when possible should basically come down to a question. Can you beat this foe in combat, or are you going to need to shoot them? A balanced Ork army as I proposed it, should be able to shoot the enemy up and then engage them, absorbing assaults on the big mobs and killa kans and counter-attacking with the speed elements. Perhaps using buggies to interdict things and such. Anyway, in that case, put terrain in the middle of the board to slow down their advance. You’ll be giving them cover saves, but you’re also buying yourself more time. Also, against armies like ‘Nids, more terrain is great as they lack grenades, and going first when you get assaulted is awesome! If you think you can out-melee your opponent (not unlikely with Orks, especially if you have Nob squads and lots of killa kans and such), then I’d clear the center and just run at each other in the center of the board; Braveheart style.
Final quick note on terrain and these types of armies; Blood Angels have lots of jump pack troops in these scenarios; try and put as much area terrain down in the center of the board to force them to take dangerous terrain tests. Its funny and gives you a warm feeling when they die.
Common Foes: Nids, BA, SW, Eldar, Orks
Usually the army that fit in this category the best is Tyranids; as they obviously don’t have any vehicles to speak of, and they usually focus on assault rather than shooting. Nids have an advantage in that they have effective, cheap horde type melee units (hormies, gargoyles) as well as elite style melee units (genestealers, warriors, raveners) and big combat MCs. Space Wolves can be effective all on foot just hoofin’ it at you, especially when you factor in Thunderwolf Cav and the Fenrisian wolves. BA can be Jump Pack Assault Squad heavy because of FnP from priests. Harlequin-based Eldar are something I run into in the Pac NW quite often, not sure about their popularity elsewhere. Obviously, Orks can fit into this category; but, as I’ve discussed before; this is about how Orks beat OTHER armies; not each other! How do you deal with armies like this with a balanced Ork force?
This is kind of a mixed bag for Orks, especially the way I play them (camp the middle and win the mid-range fire fight) as by advancing into the center where the objectives are (or on my way to my opponent’s objective in their deployment zone) I’m shortening the distance they need to go to get to grips with me. In this situation, I’d try and keep the objectives closer to the most likely deployment zones (corners and close to table edges) so that I can stay put longer and go get the objectives later with less issue. In the draw mission; I like to keep the objective as far away from my opponent’s deployment zone (with a mind towards potential outflanking and deepstriking forces) as possible for my grots to camp it. However, if, again, you think you can win the slugfest, put the objectives as close to the middle as you can and force the issue in the center.
The main problem with dealing with a mostly infantry force focused on assault is that either one of two things is going to happen. One, they are going to outnumber you or two they are going to be much more killy and or resilient in combat than you are. The first situation isn’t as likely since you are an Ork; but potentially, armies like ‘Nids can bring an absolute cloud of combat troops that will overwhelm you. Consider that the points saved on not bringing transports for everyone means more models on the table (obviously not THAT many more as even a rhino is only 35 points…) to kill. WHen the larger numbers are also backed up by scary-effective combat troops like genestealers, wolf guard, death company, et al; its hard to deal with. You really have to look at the enemy force and decide that you can win that fight. Can you really isolate and eliminate all those scoring troops choices and not get beaten by the more elite type enemy forces as well? That question can only be answered with practice.
Whether to go first or second is a pretty easy choice in this case; IMO. The drawback of Assaulty Infantry is that, by and large, it doesn’t move that fast and lacks alpha strike potential. With that in mind, go second to have the advantage of grabbing objectives late game. Also, by letting your opponent move up first, you are more likely to have your guns in range to start thinning their ranks early.
As always in an Objective based mission, try and keep your troops alive and kill their troops. Seems obvious, but its something to always keep in mind. Also, sometimes to keep your troops alive, you have to kill non-troop threats. Again, fairly obvious statement, but important to remember. For instance, if you’re playing against Space Wolves and they have some Thunderwolf cav bearing down on you, it might behoove you to take care of them before they tear through your boyz instead of taking shots at the Grey Hunters.
But, beyond killing troops, what are your target priorities? Again, this is going to come down to your army’s strengths and weaknesses and the weakness in your opponent’s army that you can exploit. I tend to go with the strategy of going after the stuff that is easiest to kill rather than trying to tackle the hardest stuff first. As in, say my opponent has a unit of 4 thunderwolf cav and Canis; but he also has two units of 15 fenrisian wolves. For me, even though the Thunderwolves represent a bigger threat, I know my lootas/lobbas/shootas can more easily take out the wolves, so I will target those and take them out ASAP.
Another thing to consider when picking targets, try and take out units that make other units better. Things like Venomthropes, Sanguinary Priests, or Dreadnoughts with Saga of Majesty and the like. Not always the easiest to take down; but if you do, you take the wind out of their sails. Is it worth sacrificing a unit of stormboyz to kill a Sanguinary priest that is making two units of Assault Squad have FnP? Tough to say; but be prepared to make tough sacrifices to even the odds in your favor in the future.
One advantage you should have in this matchup is one of speed. As much as I denounce fully mechanized as not as good as people seem to think it is, I still think having transports and vehicles is a MUST in an Ork army. Try and use the speed of your units to dictate combats and perhaps misdirect your opponent’s attack: as in, deploy heavy to the right, then shift the speed elements to the left. Try and use the fast units as a threat to his advance on you; make him choose whether to go after those annoying little elements or kill the bulk of your force. This is where I love buggies for instance. I can zoom around and interdict, or threaten to contest objectives in the rear of my opponent’s lines. Basically, you can force them to use their melee troop units to sit on objectives instead of doing damage to your army (as in, if they go after you to assault your troops, they’ll move off the objective anyway and lose).
Kill Point Missions:
Again, like I said in the previous post about dealing with Shooty Infantry; Kill Point missions are a bear when dealing with an Assaulty Infantry army for similar reasons. Transports offer the easiest to nab KPs in the game; but when your opponent doesn’t have them; you’re out of luck.
This makes this type of fight an uphill battle for a balanced Ork force because; as I mentioned above; you should have SOME vehicles, and those are going to make you vulnerable. The difference between Shooty and Assaulty Infantry is that Assaulty Infantry are going to have a harder time snagging those as they are more melee focused (or, short-ranged mostly); which means you can keep those easy-to-kill elements at arm’s length from them.
In these missions its all about protecting your easy KPs and going after your enemy’s easy KPs. Killing big units like Hormigaunts or tough units like TH/SS terminators are just like pulling teeth in KP missions. You might give up two KPs to get one; that’s not a winning formula. Do what you can to avoid fights with uber units and try to grind them into manageable sums or at least scare your opponent into not using them so aggressively.
No matter what, don’t be afraid to be un-orky to get the win. If you’re down to just one, beat-up Kan; don’t send it into a fight, start running it away from the enemy. Don’t make it easy for them.
In the end, that’s a tough fight for balanced Orks; but, not as bad as dealing with Shooty Infantry in this situation.
Going forward, expect a quick recap on the four types of army archetypes in the various mission types but with an eye towards deployment types. I’ll show you why to LOVE Dawn of War.