My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a seal pup. I will endeavor to speak from experience and always be honest and steer away from theory when possiple. Never will I assume to know better than anyone else... unless to call out ego or pretension.

It is hard to believe we haven't had an Ork codex since the dying days of 4th edition. Now, that we have the new Ork codex, it was safe to say people seem underwhelmed. The hard to pierce nature of the last few codexes have left many wondering what Games Workshop is doing. On one hand it appears they have toned things down since the Eldar Codex, leaving us now with deceivingly good codexes since. Nothing can be good as the Eldar, where almost every unit excels in some way.

As for the Orks, there are certainly powerful units and builds you can create, especially under the new 7th edition rules. By taking in the developing 7th edition meta it could be sometime before we know exactly where Orks really fall in comparison to other armies.

First, what concepts help to explain just how this new codex plays?

Concept Number One: Keeping the Mob Rule in Check

The Mob Rule works much in the same as Daemonic Instability; by providing balance to an Assault army.

Mob Rule Rules

If every model in a unit has this special rule, and the unit fails a Morale check or Pinning test
(after any re-rolls they may have), roll immediately on the following table:

D6 Result

1 Born to Fight: Orks love fighting, and the prospect of a good punch-up will sometimes
stop them from running off.

If the unit is locked in combat, it is treated as if it had passed the Morale check or Pinning
test. If the unit is not locked in combat, it fails the Morale check or Pinning test.

2-3 Breaking Heads: The mob’s leader knocks a few heads together until the ladz settle
down and get back in the fight.

If the unit includes one or more Ork characters (including Independent Characters), it suffers
D6 Strength 4 AP-hits, and is then treated as if it had passed the Morale check or Pinning
test. These hits are Randomly Allocated, but cannot be allocated to Ork characters (any excess
hits are lost). If the unit does not include any Ork characters, it fails the Morale check or
Pinning test.

4-6 Squabble: A brawl breaks out as the Orks decide what to do. When the dust settles,
nobody can remember what the trouble was about in the first place.

Already Mob Rule is one of the most divisive rules around. Players had gotten use to their Fearless mobs roaming around without a care in the world. To suddenly face a rule which can cripple any small Ork unit is cause for concern. To navigate this problem you have to consider things like Bosspoles and knowing what units to take. Trukk Boyz for instance benefit greatly from being Ard' Boyz with 'Eavy Armor. Mob Rule also doesn't hurt large mobs of Boyz as much, and encourages Ork players to get into Assault quickly. The right unit combinations is critical to mitigating Mob Rule messing with your best laid plans. The biggest problem with Mob Rule is what it doesn't do: giving any Morale test shooting protection. Help though comes from the second Ork concept.

Concept Number Two: Forming up like Voltron

Already, the Orks have 10 formations and multiple detachment options. Many of these Formations give units Fearless, getting around Mob Rule. These Formations alleviate certain packed Force Org slots and makes otherwise questionable units really good. It is obvious GW had intended this all along; getting people to buy more models, in the process it Orks more dynamic then they would otherwise be. A few of the formations also creates super sized units of Orks, fitting well with the Fluff and allows for some powerful combinations.

Concept Number Three: Best get in a Big Scrap

This Ork codex does a great job of fulling the promise of getting your Orks into Assault. The 'Ere We Go rule along with Waaagh!, gives Ork players no excuse for why they are not in Assault by turn 2. The amount of models you can field doesn't hurt in this endeavor either. Supporting units are now better at tank busting and Monstrous Creature killing, making it easier for Orks to crack open any nut and devourer what is left. 

Concept Number Four: Keeping things Simple

Orks armies shouldn't be complicated affairs. They don't dance around the battlefield, they are a hard anvil meant to crush an opponent as quickly as possible. The reason for this goes beyond the typical Ork notions, but is imbedded into the codex's design. Typically having poor armor, low hull points, and  certain special rules, makes it almost impossible for Orks to win games of attrition. Even with mega units created from Formations, Orks damage potential is greatly reduced after the initial charge and other army blobs have better staying power, especially when you consider most will also have higher Initiative. Finding the right combination between Assault and just the right shooty elements is the difficult balance Orks must face.

Concept Number Five: Knowing your Headquarters

Orks now have a logjam when it comes to HQ units. Painboyz, Warbosses, named characters, Meks, Weirdboyz all have places in many Ork armies. Knowing which ones to take is super important. It all depends on what Ork army you are looking to make.The few HQ driven Formations can also help to create more flexible options for your army. If you want to keep things standard though, you will be filling up both slots in order to make a Ork army. Later when I go through each HQ selection will we delve deeper into this concept.

By taking in the developing 7th edition meta it could be sometime before we know exactly where Orks really fall in comparison to other armies.

If you follow and understand these general concepts, I think you will be on your way to making fun and competitive lists with ease.

So, where does each Ork unit rank within the codex?

Mad Dok Grotsnik
Painboy
Stormboyz
Mek Gunz
Gretchin
Boyz

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Warboss
Deffcopter
Dakkajet
Buggies
Trukks
Lootas
Mek
Big Meks
Mega Nobz
Stompa
Ghazghkull Thraka
Snikrot

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Weirdboyz
Kaptin Badrukk
Nobz
Burnaz
Tankbusters
Gork & Morkananut
Burna-Bommer
Warbiker
Flash Gitz
Kommandos

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Blitz-Bommer
Battlewagon
Killer Kanz
Deff Dred
Boss Zagstruk

 

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There you have it, my current overview of the Ork codex. Next up a unit by unit analysis and some bonus features along the way! We will also look back again when I reach the end of Ork Codex unit reviews.

Warning

It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.