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.

Not the best Milkshake...

Ork Boyz are the basis in which all Ork armies have been eternally designed around. Boyz were once the pinnacle of Ork army construction, but since 6th edition they have fallen on hard times. The release of 7th edition and the newest codex brought new challenges without fixing the old ones, but for all the naysayers things aren't as bad as you might think. It is time to take a look again at the Ork Boy, and see how they can still fit in your Ork army.  

Before we get started dissecting, lets take a quick look at the differences between the 2007 and 2014 Ork Boyz codex rules.

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Ork Boy Rules 2007

Troop: Ork Boyz - 60 Points

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Ork Boy Rules 2014

Troop: Ork Boyz - 60 Points

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UNIT TYPE:
Infantry. Boss Nob is Infantry (Character).

UNIT COMPOSITION:
10 Ork Boyz
WARGEAR:
• Slugga
• Choppa
• Stikkbombs
 
SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Mob Rule
 
OPTIONS:
• May include up to twenty additional Ork Boyz…6 pts/model
• The entire mob may replace their sluggas with shootas…1 pt/model
• The entire mob may take ’eavy armour…4 pts/model
• For every ten models in the unit, one Ork Boy may replace their ranged weapon with one of
the following:
- Big shoota…5 pts
- Rokkit launcha…5 pts                                                                                                                                 • One other model may be upgraded to a Boss Nob…10 pts
• The Boss Nob may take items from the Ranged Weapons and/or Melee Weapons lists.
• The Boss Nob may take a bosspole…5 pts
• The unit may select a Trukk as a Dedicated Transport.
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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

Ork Boy utility relies on the propensity to become whatever type of unit you need them to be. Want shooting? Go with all Shootas. Want Assault stick with Slugga & Choppa. Want mechanized add Trukks. Tar pit or defensive take 30 boyz with 'eavy armour. The sheer variety puts any Space Marine Tactical squad to shame. The fix though is in, as each way you play Ork Boyz comes with its own set of drawbacks.

Cost

The cost of a Ork Boy unexpectedly didn't go down, and if you go with Shootas has actually gone up. Still, you get the added bonus not paying for Stickkbombs and new abilities like 'Ere We Go! If you separate the Shoota boy nerf from everything else, the Ork Boy is a great buy for what you get.

Speed

Ork Boyz believe it or not are faster than before. 'Ere We Go! is the best thing to happen to Boyz in a long time, with random charge distances, every Ork player can attest to this little rule turning defeat into victory. Ork Boyz still have access to Trukks providing quick mobility across the boar, but survivability of the Trukks is a story for another day.

Assaulty

Ork Boyz rely on their ability to crush opponents in assault. A few things conspire to put a damper on successful Assaults. The Mob Rule being the main culprit and the negation of Furious Charge when multi-charging. One depends on Nob survival and the other Stickkbomb proficiency. It really makes small units of Ork Boyz unable to inflict enough damage without being wiped in one turn. Leaving most Ork players forced to bring the full might of 30-man Ork Boyz units, since no matter the Mob Rule roll you can still devastate almost any unit. 

Shooty

Many Ork players have decided to put Shootas on the shelf when confronted with the new minuscule upcharge. This knee jerk reaction was unfortunate because if everyone was honest they would admit six point Shoota boyz were under-costed. The damage output hasn't changed and throw in cheaper Rokkit launchas and you are only paying an additional 15 points for 30 Orks. The ability to throw so many dice at decent range can't be dismissed, just keep in mind this unit is more dedicated to shooting than assault, which is different from editions past where they could do both effectively. 

The release of 7th edition and the newest codex brought new challenges without fixing the old ones, but for all the naysayers things aren't as bad as you might think.

The Fall of the Nob

No review of Ork Boyz is complete without discussing the Ork Nob. The Ork Nob has hit tough times, no one can deny it. GW got clued into Ork Boyz being nothing more than extra wounds for the Nob. The one-two punch of Mob Rule and Challenges has taken the Ork Nob from gangbusters to just buster. The worse part is you still need him, because otherwise Ork Boyz are either run down or falling back all the time. The Power Klaw is still going to have trouble ever swinging and you can't give him 'eavy armour without the whole unit taking it. Not to mention, no more Invulnerable saves.

This usually leaves the Ork Nob bare-bones, avoiding challenges and hiding in the corner. There though is still hope, the addition of the Mek adds another character, at the very least you can get one round to swing the Power Klaw before hiding again. You can also switch up by taking a Big Choppa and having the Mek with Kill Saws do work.

The Nob is still the best option for Boyz units to get vehicles cracked open; is it worth the 25 points for the Claw, but is totally dependent on your local meta, and where the rest of your points are going into. Additionally, on the bright side taking a Kombi-Skorcha is an alternative way to get some utility out of your Nob without risking mostly certain death in a challenge. 

Putting all Together...

The Ork Boy conundrum is simple, with everything able to score objectives, what reason do you have to investing in the unit? Beyond being Objective Secured in Combined Arms Detachments, it usually makes sense taking two Gretchin units and calling it a day. Where the Boyz fit in is the ability to be everything to everyone. The Ork codex is jammed packed with specialized units, but the Boyz unit offers something in the middle, a model for designing all-comers Ork lists. Boyz offer lock down Objective holding along with reliable shooting in large numbers and some vehicle busting ability, all done on the cheap. Only Stormboyz and Ork Boyz can get 30-man units, there is a reason for that, so you should take advantage of it.

And if we are being honest the biggest hit Ork Boyz took wasn't from horde configurations, but from MEQ configurations. The Trukk rush is dead from the nerfs to the Kustom Force Field and Trukks being complete death traps. To put it in simple math terms you are looking at losing on average four Boyz from a 12-man unit explosion, at which point you are going to then take Mob Rule test causing at least a few more dead Orks. You can mitigate this through 'eavy armour, but now you are sinking a ton of points into a unit that really can't accomplish anything anyway.

This leaves with you the go big or go home option when it comes to running Ork Boyz, it is the other side of the coin in comparison to minimal Gretchin units. Investing around 200 points (the going rate for decent Ork Boyz units) you get a unit that won't fall off the board at the slightest breeze; it is a unit that at the very least can sit back in ruins and be a big pain in the ass for anyone who dares to dislodge it.

-- Ork Boyz Army Templates--

Boyz Allied Detachment List

Boyz Combined Arms Detachment List

Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Ork Boyz Grukk's Goff Killermob List

Ork Boyz Ork Warband Formation List

Ork Horde Detachment Formation List

Green Tide Formation Formation List

Formations

Green Tide: Is perhaps the best use you can get out of Boyz. This Formation forces you to bring a minimum of 100 Boyz to the yard. You will get the most use going bare bones, along with 10 Power Klaw Nobz. You can try to mix up Ard' Boyz with normal Boyz or Big Choppas with Power Klaws, it gains you very little, except major book-keeping. The biggest problem with this formation is finding what to do with the rest of your points. You have to pick units which can take down Flyers and claim objectives-- the biggest weaknesses for the Green Tide. If you want a formation both competitive and fluffy this is the one for you!

Ork Warband: This formation forces you to take six units of Boyz. You have to make a choice either go minimal to save points for the rest of the formation or pile on the points make effective units. I would preferably side on going for broke, the formation works best if you can get enough assaults off to increase your chances of Hammers of Wrath, thus requiring sizable Boyz units to do it. This is a formation ripe for combining with another formation, like the Blitz Brigade.

Grukk's Goff Killermob: This formation uses the unique character Grukk Face-Rippa and forces you to take large Boyz units. The benefit is using Grukk's Warlord Trait along with re-rolling charges to win assaults and avoid Mob Rule checks. One 30-man Boyz unit joined to Grukk to and the rest 20-mans with perhaps Battlewagon rides in the waiting. The idea being Battlewagons run first force the issue and the 30-man unit is the counter charge needed to break your opponent.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: This nine troop behemoth gives an unprecedented opportunity to Ork Boyz and provides one of the few avenues to giving Orks in Trukks a go. If you don't mind giving up a ton of Kill Points you can Trukk rush or throw in some Battlewagon Boyz as well. If are going to take this detachment just make sure you go beyond six troop choices otherwise you are not getting anything special. With a little luck throwing enough Boyz at a problem might net you some Hammer of Wrath attacks as well.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: This is a detachment where you can attempt to drop Ork Boyz all over the board. This is an opportunity to take Shoota Boyz, so if you get Deep Strike results you can come in and shoot. You can also get silly and Deep Strike with Trukks as well. Either way this is the Detachment for super causal games, but boy is it Orky.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, Ork Boyz shouldn't be so quickly discounted. I know the temptation to take two Grot units and move on to the harder hitting units is alluring, but Ork Boyz can survive more than a few shots to the gut unlike their cowardly brothers. Mob Rule is easier to work around and people complaining on the Internet doesn't do justice to the success stories Ork Boyz still perform on tabletops everyday.

Warning

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