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

Mad Doc Grotsnik is the quintessential Painboy with a great many services rendered for Ork kind. Mad Doc Grotsnik is the best named character in the Ork Codex hands down, besting any other Ork trying to claim the title. The newest version of Mad Doc Grotsnik is a refinement over preceding editions, he is amazing in large units and doubly amazing in small ones. It comes down to the right combination of powers at the right price, making Mad Doc Grotsnik such a badass.

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

(Click to Enlarge)

Mad Doc Grotsnik Rules 2007

HQ: Mad Doc Grotsnik - 160 Points

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Mad Doc Grotsnik Rules 2014

HQ: Mad Doc Grotsnik - 160 Points

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UNIT TYPE:
Infantry (Character).
 
UNIT COMPOSITION:
1 (Unique)
 
WARGEAR:
• Slugga
• Power klaw
• Dok’s tools
• ’Urty syringe
• Cybork body
 
WARLORD TRAIT:
• Brutal but Kunnin’
 

SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Independent Character
• Mob Rule
• One Scalpel Short of a Medpack

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

Mad Doc Grotsnik does a great job checking all the boxes lacking in the Ork Codex. Mad Doc Grotsnik gives any unit he joins Feel No Pain and Fearless, making every unit he joins that much better. His T5 makes him immune to most Instant Death attempts. The final twist though is Mad Doc Grotsnik granting Rampage to the unit he joins. Mad Doc Grotsnik biggest flaw though is not being able to leave the unit he joins, so no last-minute objective grabs or jumping between units.

Cost

At 160 points you get one of the most cost efficient units in the entire game, especially when you consider the army Mad Doc Grotsnik is in. Mad Doc Grotsnik does everything a Painboy does times a thousand, with a Power Claw, ’Dok Tools, and One Scalpel Short of a Medpack you can see where the points are coming from. With the T5 and three wounds is pure icing on the cake.

Speed

Mad Doc Grotsnik has limited speed options, being as slow as the unit he joins. Not being able to leave units, means Mad Doc Grotsnik shouldn't ever join a Stormboyz or Biker unit. This is where the purchasable Warbike for a normal Painboy can come in real handy.

Assaulty

Thanks to one ancient model Mad Doc Grotsnik still retains his Power Klaw, as well as a ’Urty syringe if you find yourself actually needing poison more than S8 AP2 attacks. Mad Doc Grotsnik also has the number of attacks and Weapon Skill as a Warboss. Still, with everything else he does Mad Doc Grotsnik shouldn't be taking challenges as every wound he has is extremely precious. 

Shooty

Mad Doc Grotsnik gets a token Slugga making him as good as any Ork, in other words pretty terrible.

Mad Doc Grotsnik is the best named character in the Ork Codex hands down, besting any other Ork trying to claim the title.

When Doc met Ghaz

One fateful day an Ork Boy named Ghazghkull Thraka entered Grotsnik's operating room, holding his brain in place with his hands. Grotsnik saw a great opportunity to make "improvements" and quickly set to work. Several hours later, Ghazghkull left Grotnik's operating room with an adamantium skull. It is disputed amongst Imperial historians whether the surgery triggered Ghazghkull's latent psychic powers, or whether Ghazghkull was just an unusually delusional Ork, but within a week of claiming to be able to communicate with the Ork Gods, Gork and Mork, after his surgery, he was the Grand Warlord of the WAAAGH!. Suddenly Grotsnik discovered he was very popular among his fellow Greenskins as a metallic skull (known as a "Ghazghkull Special") became all the rage among the Nobs of Ghazghkull's WAAAGH! and Grotsnik's services were in great demand.

Putting all Together...

As tired as this analogy is, Mad Doc Grotsnik is the Swiss army knife HQ for the Orks, he provides relief for all those nagging problems people focus on with the current Ork rule set. Sure, gone is the ability to give invulnerable saves to any unit, but in most situations it was an expensive proposition. Mad Doc Grotsnik operates best in smaller units, because of Rampage. The obvious unit choice to join is Meganobz with Killsaws, this combo means at least six S9 AP2 attacks per model on the charge!! The degree in which this combination can cut down any unit is awe-inspiring. Mad Doc Grotsnik can also join in Ork hero hammer, with the Council of Waaagh formation. Then there is the Green Tide Formation, where Mad Doc Grotsnik not only brings another Power Claw, but giving Feel No Pain to 100 Orks, leading to instant demoralization. Mad Doc Grotsnik isn't though a panacea for everything, Ork armies who relying on mobility or shooting don't necessarily need him. If you don't plan on utilizing Rampage then don't be afraid to consider a normal Painboy along with a Big Bosspole Warboss; saving you 90 points and providing pretty much the same thing Mad Doc Grotsnik does.

-- Mad Doc Grotsnik Army Templates--

Mad Doc Grotsnik All Comers List

Mad Doc Grotsnik Allied Detachment

Mad Doc Grotsnik Council of Waaagh List

Mad Doc Grotsnik Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Mad Doc Grotsnik Green Tide List

Mad Doc Grotsnik Ork Horde Detachment List

Formations

Council of Waaagh!: This formation is tailored made for Mad Doc Grotsnik, as it uses all his gifts, bringing the ultimate Ork Deathstar to fruition. The only drawback is Mad Doc Grotsnik inability to get a Warbike, limiting some of the best killy configurations. Just make sure you keep Mad Doc Grotsnik's unit smallish, so you can get the most Rampaging possible.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: Using Mad Doc Grotsnik in this Detachment allows you play around with other HQ combinations you wouldn't otherwise. It opens up taking some of the other named characters; a good example is Badrukk + Mad Doc Grotsnik isn't half bad with Flash Gitz, still leaving space for a Warboss for Waaagh! or Big Mek for a Kustom Force Field. In other words, Mad Doc Grotsnik really releases the Ork player to make creative, but effective lists.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: Mad Doc Grotsnik ability to check so many boxes can give any Deep Striking unit a comfortable landing in difficult terrain and stout defenses if near opposing units. The limited nature of this Detachment means Mad Doc Grotsnik can balance out any deficiencies innately present.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, Mad Doc Grotsnik is the best HQ in the Ork codex. Mad Doc Grotsnik fits into almost any Ork army that doesn't rely on mobility. Ork codex  typically requires you to make tactical sacrifices in the HQ slot, but with Mad Doc Grotsnik he accomplishes so much, for so cheap it makes taking him usually a no-brainer.

Warning

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