My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a seal pup. I will endeavor to speak from my experience and always be honest about what is theory and what is play tested. Never will I assume to know better than anyone else... unless I must call out ego or pretension.

Tool Time...

The plumber of the Ork world has always had a semi-valuable role for many Ork armies. The Mek is sorta the equivalent of a Techmarine, at a very discounted price. Now, Meks are an extra HQ choice for any Ork army, providinggreat back up, as a cheap upgrade character for any Ork unit.

Before we get started take a quick look at the differences between the between the 2007 and 2014 Mek codex rules.

(Click to Enlarge)

Mek Rules 2007

HQ: Mek - 15 Points

WS

BS

S

T

W

I

A

Ld

Sv

4

2

3

4

1

1

2

7

6+


Oldmekrules

Mek Rules 2014

HQ: Mek - 15 Points

WS

BS

S

T

W

I

A

Ld

Sv

4

2

3

4

1

2

2

7

6+

 

UNIT TYPE:
Infantry (Character)

UNIT COMPOSITION:
1 Mek

WARGEAR:
• Slugga
• Choppa
• Mek’s tools
• Stikkbombs

SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Mob Rule
• Mekaniaks
 
OPTIONS:
• Any Mek may replace his choppa with a killsaw…30 pts
• Any Mek may be accompanied by a grot oiler…5 pts
• Any Mek may take items from the Mek Weapons list.

Readers of my previous tactics will notice a few changes to how these reviews are presented. Now you will find is a break down each unit into five broad categories.

Utility

The Mek has a variety of battlefield roles, with the most obvious being vehicle repair. The idea of Meks running around repairing your Stompa was instantly recognized by anyone with a pulse, still it is a very limited view of what a Mek can do. Two important things distinguish the Mek from previous iterations: being a Character and access to the Killsaw. The first one is critical when applied with the new Mob Rule. If you attach a Mek to a unit without a character you are less susceptible when you fail a Morale or Pinning Test. A Mek gives units at worse 1/3 chance of still passing a failed test using Mob Rule. As a character, Meks can take unwanted challenges, and now having a Killsaw gives a Mek flexibility, especially in units with a variety of Assault options.

Cost

The cost of a Mek is fair considering what you get. To put in clearer perspective, the Mek is only 10 more points than a Grot Oiler which doesn't do anything, but one re-roll. You also get options from Kombi-weapons to the Killsaw. Mek also don't take up any slots, so you will never feel like you have to take them, and by not being a must you are not beholden to spending those points for them.

Speed

Mek are quite limited, since they get no upgrades like a Warbike or instant access to vehicles you are left with Meks being attached only attached to Infantry or Artillery. They are still Orks so they get the basic Assault movement bonuses that comes with that. I guess it could be worse, they don't have Slow & Purposeful.

Assaulty

Mek are no different from an average boy when it comes to Assaulting. The only difference is the access to the Killsaw, which unlike a Power klaw gets Armourbane. The biggest drawback to the Killsaw is the base S3 basic Meks have, still that is S7 on a charges with three attacks on the charge. The price is pretty steep at 30 points, but in the right situations having an extra set of AP2 weapons can turn the tide of many fights.

Shooty

The Mek has access to the exotic Ork weapons, like the Kustom mega-blasta, but as you well know with BS2 it doesn't matter for much. This leaves you wasting points on pretty useless upgrades, but luckily a Mek gets access to of all things a Kombi-skorcha. One Heavy Flamer shot is worth it in certain units, but at 10 points isn't something you want to bet the farm on.

The Mek is sorta the equivalent of a Techmarine, at a very discounted price.

Mechanical Upgrades

Meks with Burna Boyz

One of two unit who can get upgrade Meks is Burna Boyz. Using Meks with Burna Boyz has the complete opposite utility from Lootas. Besides getting a Character for your Burna Boy units you also get access to AP2 weapons with Killsaws. Now Burna Boyz go from just MEQ killers to a real pain in the ass for almost any unit. Burna Boy Meks get discount Killsaws (20 pts), sure the discount is baked in with spending the points for Burna Boyz, but it can save a total 30 points if you take max Mek in that unit.

It gives you another option beyond Nobs as a real hammer unit for Ork units, especially if you attach a Da Lucky Stikk Warboss with the lot. This is also a good reason to consider taking Kombi-skorchas if you want to mix-up even more flame for your Boyz.

 

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Meks with Lootas

Lootas are one of two units getting access to Meks as upgrade characters. They cost nothing to upgrade and provide the best way to get a Character in the unit. The bonus for taking a Mek in Lootas is really only for passing Mob Rule tests.

Another good use for taking Meks in your Lootas units is for living in the belly of the Stompa, with four fire points the Stompa is perfect for seven-man Lootas unit with three Meks for repairing-- all for 98 points! Even if it is tempting please don't give your Meks Killsaws in a unit of Lootas, because when ever did your Lootas every want to get into fist fight?

 
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Putting all Together...

Start by looking beyond Meks as only as a vehicle fixer, and more like an extra Nob who will give your units a better chance of dealing with other specialized units. This isn't to say leaving a Mek for repair duty is bad; hiding in Morkanauts, Gorkanautz, Battlewagons, and Stompas, does have its uses, but a Mek can provide so much more. Meks can do something as simple of giving Mek Gunz a LD7 instead of LD5. You can also throw a Rokkit launcha Mek into a 30-man Boyz unit, just to mitigated BS2. Meks can even sneak into a unit of Kommandos (even with Snikrot) providing another Flamer shot or AP2 weapon. Then there is always sticking them Infantry Death Stars. It is the creative ways to use a Mek that makes them stand out, this unit doesn't have the force multiplying power of other units, but it can make good units even better. The low-cost of the Mek keeps all these options open and provides tools you never thought you had for units in the first place.

It is also important to note Mek's Tools work immediately, so beyond regenerating Hull Points, Mek's Tools can make sure vehicle weapons go back online right away, as well vehicles can flat-out from being Immobilized. Too bad the new vehicle damage chart makes those results less likely. If only they could change Stun results or give Will not Die to artillery!

-- Units a Mek should join--

Kommandos (335 pts)
1 Boss Snikrot, 60 pts  Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Mork's Teeth; 'Ere We Go!; Ambush; Boss of the Red Skull Kommandos; Fear; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Infiltrate; Mob Rule; Move Through Cover; Stealth)
1 Mek, 55 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Killsaw; Mek's Tools; Kombi Weapon with Skorcha; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mekaniaks; Mob Rule)
14 Kommandos, 220 pts  Infantry; Stikkbombs; Choppa; Slugga; Burna x2; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Infiltrate; Mob Rule; Move Through Cover; Stealth)
1 Boss Nob Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Bosspole; Power Klaw; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Infiltrate; Mob Rule; Move Through Cover; Stealth)

Boyz (240 pts)
1 Mek, 20 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Choppa; Mek's Tools; Rokkit Launcha; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mekaniaks; Mob Rule)
29 Boyz, 220 pts Infantry; Stikkbombs; Choppa; Slugga; Rokkit Launcha x3; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
1 Boss Nob Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Bosspole; Big Choppa; Kombi Weapon with Rokkit Launcha; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Burna Boyz (300 pts)
12 Burna Boyz, 300 pts ((C:O, pg. 64); Infantry; Stikkbombs; Burna; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
1 Mek Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Killsaw; Mek's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
1 Mek Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Killsaw; Mek's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
1 Mek Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Killsaw; Mek's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Formations

Ork Warband: Is the only formation where you must take a Mek Boy. The obvious choice is the Mek joining  the Nobz units, and add a Killsaw for more AP2 goodness, but your best bet is give him no upgrades at all and use the 15 points as challenge taker, denying your opponent an easy Nob kill. Another choice is one of the Boyz unit to buttress the Nob in that unit. You can also just throw the Mek into another unit not related to the Formation depending on your strategy.

Detachments
 
Ork Horde Detachment: This Detachment has the impressive ability of getting three Meks into your ranks. Sadly, you cannot group these Meks into one unit, so you are left sprinkling them in with other units. This is the best opportunity to make an entire Mek centric force. Utilizing them with MSU units inside Mork or Gorkanuts should present interesting and surprising dilemmas for your opponents.
 
Great Waaagh! Detachment: This is not the best Detachment for Meks. Joining possible teleporting units offers some interesting, but probably not reliable options. This might be a good for fixing Deep Striking vehicles in difficult terrain immobilized by impact? Perhaps, you're just better off applying the same Mek tactics you would use for any Ork army here.
 
Final Thoughts...

Overall, the Mek is a welcome addition, with the flexibly to join most Ork units and provide an extra character for an assortment tactical perimeters. His minimal cost and decent selection of upgrade leaves this unit more than just a set of Mek's Tools. Alone, a Mek won't win you a battle, but it can relieve some various problems other units might face.

Warning

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