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.

Pain to the Gain

The Painboy has always been one of silliest members of the Ork pantheon; really think about it for a second and let it sink in: Ork Doctors? The Painboy is usually the friend you always want at your parties. When it comes to actual playability the Painboy fills an important role for many Ork armies. For the newest Ork codex the Painboy has greater sway over defeat or victory than ever before. Like most critical units it can also cripple your decision-making abilities in the process.

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

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Painboy Rules 2007

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Painboy Rules 2014

HQ: Painboy - 50 Points

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UNIT TYPE:
Infantry (Character).

UNIT COMPOSITION:
1 Painboy

WARGEAR:
• ’Urty syringe
• Dok’s tools

SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Independent Character
• Mob Rule

OPTIONS:
• A Painboy may take items from the Orky Know-wots and/or Runts & Squigs lists.

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 real secret to Painboy utility is being moved from upgrade character to Independent Character. This big switch is mostly for the good, with limited HQ slots the only drawback. The Painboy is able to jump from unit to unit if need be, providing the one of the best USRs in the game: Feel No Pain. The Painboy makes any unit that much better from Nob Bikers to an entire Green Tide. The Painboy also have access to the right Wargear like the Warbike and the only poison weapon available to Orks.   

Cost

The Painboy cost hasn't changed between editions, but the Independent Character bonus makes for a hidden cost reduction. The Painboy pays the same cost for the very few tools available to it. The Grot Orderly at five points is a bit much, especially when you can only take one, the other surgical tools are priced fairly. Really though, the Painboy is only looking at getting a Warbike or maybe a Bosspole for certain situations.

Speed

The Painboy can get a Warbike and that is really all you need to know, the mobility and defenses it provides makes the Painboy joinable to any unit and is a creative way of giving Feel No Pain to say a like a unit of Stormboyz. When not riding a bike Painboys are not bulky so feel free jumping into any transport and get moving. 

Assaulty

The Painboy can only use the ’Urty syringe in combat, but going at I3 isn't too bad and Poison is still Poison especially against annoying Monstrous Creatures, and against Daemon Princes can mean re-rolling wounds if you get off Furious Charge. The Painboy is also a Nob giving it three attacks, not too shabby if you want to force saves to be made. Painboyz only have green skin and Feel No Pain standing in the way of being rolled over, so  never get in a challenge unless your secret master plan requires it. 

Shooty

Shooting what Shooting? Unless you take a Warbike you won't be shooting anything. Having twin-linked S5 guns in the hands of Orks is never bad, so a Painboy isn't worse than any other Ork riding a hotrod. 

For the newest Ork codex the Painboy has greater sway over defeat or victory than ever before.

 The Doctor will see you now...

Famous Painboys: Painboy Kutrag

Kutrag served Gashrakk, the Warboss of the Split-Grin Bad Moons klan. As the richest Ork of the wealthiest tribe in the Sanctus Reach Sub-sector, Gashrakk is the only Ork who can afford Kutrag's ridiculous rates, keeping the Painboy supplied with teef so he will fix up the Split-Grin Boyz. Often, "fixing" an Ork means making him better in some new and unusual way; Kutrag has a reputation for hacking off perfectly good limbs so he can replace them with something better.

 

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Famous Painboyz: Mad Dok Grotsnik

Mad Dok Grotsnik was a typical Ork Painboy of the Deathskulls, obsessed with the performance of "surjery" and rooting around in other people's heads to see what he could find -- or alter. Mad Dok Grotsnik is an absolute terror, the most bloodthirsty and deranged of an unhinged breed. Once a Painboy of some skill, Grotsnik is now all but berserk with the desire to do harm to others. He rose to prominence when he became the personal Dok of the future Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka and Ghazghkull gave him credit for opening up his mind to the messages of the Ork Gods Gork and Mork that subsequently led Ghazghkull to lead the two greatest Ork Waaghs in recent history during the Second and Third Wars for Armageddon.

 

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Famous Painboyz - Painboy Fourklaw

A notorious Ork Painboy who possessed cybernetic limbs, Fourklaw served in Warlord Grukk Face-rippa's Red WAAAGH! that ravaged the Sanctus Reach sub-sector in the late 41st Millennium. He was known to be the best mate of the notorious Big Mek Mogrok.

 

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Putting all Together...

The Painboy is one of clearest must-haves for most Ork armies and there lies its biggest weakness. It is a unit where usually you can only take two max, but four if you really want to get creative. Even then an army built around a Painboy won't get you very far, because they don't have access to Ork unique gear, nor the offensive capabilities of even a Big Mek. So typically, you will be using one Painboy assigned to one unit in particularly usually the hammer unit for your army. While the Painboy does so much it can seem very restricting, but consider other possibilities. The Painboy can also be assigned to a more defensive unit. A unit of 30 'Evey Armour Boyz with a Painboy becomes a pretty unmovable object and neuters Mob Rule tests pretty effectively; a Ork unit like this can just spread out hanging back to protect objectives with ease. A Painboy is also optimal for an Ally Detachment, requiring minimal investment and brings focus for the rest of the Ally units nicely. Still, the Painboy for any Ork Deathstars is a auto-take providing the extra save all Ork armies severely need and lack.

-- Painboy Unit Groups--

Stormboy Group: 475 pts

HQ: Painboy (75 pts)
   1 Painboy, 75 pts Infantry (Character); 'Urty Syringe; Dok's Tools; Warbike; Twin-linked Dakkagun x1; 'Ere We Go!; Feel No Pain; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Mob Rule)

HQ: Warboss (140 pts)
   1 Warboss, 140 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Bosspole; Warbike; Power Klaw; Da Lucky Stikk; Twin-linked Dakkagun x1; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule; Waaagh!)

Fast Attack: Stormboyz (260 pts)
   24 Stormboyz, 260 pts  Jump Units; Stikkbombs; Choppa; Slugga; Rokkit Pack; 'Ere We Go!; Bulky; Deep Strike; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      1 Boss Nob Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Rokkit Pack; Power Klaw; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Nob Biker Group: 775  points

HQ: Painboy (75 pts)
   1 Painboy, 75 pts Infantry (Character); 'Urty Syringe; Dok's Tools; Warbike; Twin-linked Dakkagun x1; 'Ere We Go!; Feel No Pain; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Mob Rule)

HQ: Warboss (115 pts)
   1 Warboss, 115 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Bosspole; Warbike; Power Klaw; Twin-linked Dakkagun x1; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule; Waaagh!)

Elite: Nobz (585 pts)
   1 Nobz, 585 pts  Warbike; Waaagh! Banner
      1 Boss Nob  Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Warbike; Power Klaw; Twin-linked Dakkagun x1; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      3 Nobz Infantry; Assault Grenades; Slugga; Warbike; Power Klaw; Twin-linked Dakkagun x3; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      3 Nobz Infantry; Assault Grenades; Slugga; Warbike; Big Choppa; Twin-linked Dakkagun x3; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      3 Nobz Infantry; Assault Grenades; Choppa; Slugga; Warbike; Twin-linked Dakkagun x3; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Meganob Group: 400 points

HQ: Painboy (50 pts)
   1 Painboy, 50 pts  Infantry (Character); 'Urty Syringe; Dok's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Feel No Pain; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Mob Rule)

HQ: Warboss (115 pts)
   1 Warboss, 115 pts  Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Bosspole; Power Klaw; Da Lucky Stikk; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule; Waaagh!)

Elite: Meganobz (235 pts)
   1 Meganobz, 235 pts
      1 Boss Meganob Infantry (Character); Assault Grenades; Power Klaw; Twin-linked Shoota; Mega Armour; Bulky; Furious Charge; Mob Rule; Slow and Purposeful)
      4 Meganobz Infantry; Stikkbombs; Power Klaw; Twin-linked Shoota; Mega Armour; Bulky; Furious Charge; Mob Rule; Slow and Purposeful)
      1 Trukk Vehicle (Fast, Open-Topped Transport); 12 model capacity; Big Shoota; Reinforced Ram; Ramshackle)

Shoota Boyz Group: 452 points

HQ: Painboy (55 pts)
   1 Painboy, 55 pts Infantry (Character); 'Urty Syringe; Dok's Tools; Bosspole; 'Ere We Go!; Feel No Pain; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Mob Rule)

Mek (20 pts)
   1 Mek, 20 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Choppa; Mek's Tools; Rokkit Launcha; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mekaniaks; Mob Rule)

Troops: Boyz (377 pts)
   29 Boyz, 377 pts Infantry; Stikkbombs; Choppa; 'Eavy Armour; Shoota; Rokkit Launcha x3; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      1 Boss Nob Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Shoota; 'Eavy Armour; Power Klaw; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Flash Gitz Group:  434 points

HQ: Painboy (50 pts)
   1 Painboy, 50 pts Infantry (Character); 'Urty Syringe; Dok's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Feel No Pain; Furious Charge; Independent Character; Mob Rule)

HQ: Big Mek (119 pts)
   1 Big Mek, 119 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; 'Eavy Armour; Kustom Force Field; Mek's Tools; Bosspole; Power Klaw; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Mek (45 pts)
   1 Mek, 45 pts Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Slugga; Killsaw; Mek's Tools; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mekaniaks; Mob Rule)

Heavy Support: Flash Gitz (220 pts)
   9 Flash Gitz, 220 pts Infantry; Stikkbombs; Snazzgun; Bosspole; Gitfinda; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)
      1 Kaptin Infantry (Character); Stikkbombs; Snazzgun; Bosspole; Gitfinda; 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule)

Formations

Dreadmob: In one of the strangest turns of events the Dreadmob is the only formation that includes a Painboy. It also happens to be one of the worst formations for the Orks. If you plan on going Big Mek or go home, then you can use this Painboy for whatever unit you put in the belly of a Gorkanauts because it will at some point need Feel No Pain. The formation though does free up your main detachment to take any HQs you want, but the Dreadmob is base 1235 points, so you have to think really hard what unit if any you can attach the Painboy to.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: If you design on making the double-headed Nob Biker dragon this is the formation for you. Typically people run two Warbosses, but with the Ork Horde Detachment you might be better off with two Painboyz; cheaper and more defensive, as the biggest threat Nob Bikers face is mostly from being shot to death. This Detachment is also great if you go with a unit like a 30 Ork boyz and still have slots to take another Painboy for wherever your Warboss goes.
 
Great Waaagh! Detachment: A Painboy is a "good choice" for the formation especially if the unit its attached to is Deep Striking, having the extra Dangerous Terrain defense isn't bad. This detachment acts mostly like a normal detachment so standard Painboy procedures usually will apply.
 
Final Thoughts...

Overall, the Painboy is the second most important HQ you can take for your army. Having the Painboy able to join any unit is fantastic and a much-needed boost. Now, if only they didn't take up a HQ slot you would really have a game changer, but as it is the Painboy is vastly improved from before, it is just a matter of what unit you think needs them most.

Warning

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