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.
Ever since that one Dawn of War video, where a Tankbustas blew up a dreadnought the concept of the vehicle busting Ork crystallized. Never has a name so aptly described a unit; Tankbusta do one thing, take out vehicles. Have they always been capable of doing the job they're meant to do? In the previous edition Tankbustas never lived up to expectations; with strange rules limiting their potential, now a new life has been breathed into them, a life not just regulated to vehicle destruction.
Before we start dissecting, lets take a quick look at the differences between the 2007 and 2014 Tankbustas codex rules.
(Click to Enlarge)
Tankbustas Rules 2014
Elite: Tankbustas - 65 Points
Infantry. Boss Nob is Infantry (Character).
• Rokkit launcha
• Tankbusta bombs
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Mob Rule
• Tank Hunters
Glory Hogs: In a mission that has the First Blood Secondary Objective, the Ork player
receives double the normal number of Victory Points from that objective if the first casualty
to be removed is an enemy vehicle that was destroyed by an attack made by one or more units
• May include up to ten additional Tankbustas…13 pts/model
• May include up to three bomb squigs…5 pts/model
• Up to two Tankbustas may replace their rokkit launchas with tankhammers…15 pts/model • One model may be upgraded to a Boss Nob…10 pts
• The Boss Nob may take items from the Melee Weapons list.
• The Boss Nob may take a bosspole…5 pts
• The unit may select a Trukk as a Dedicated Transport.
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.
Tankbustas, can finally do what they are suppose to do: bust tanks. In editions past Tankbustas were restricted by lame rules forcing them to target the first vehicle they came across. The changes to grenades have also made Tankbustas viable as Monstrous Creature hunters. Then you have the little bonus of the Glory Hogs rule; this above all else should put fear into many opponents, providing an extra first Blood Victory point if you blow up a vehicle.
Tankbustas could have kept their old point cost and been viable, but with a two point reduction they are even better. There are some hidden cost risers, like no more discounted Power Klaws and expensive Tankhammers, but these are minor quibbles for a unit that can destroy vehicles and MEQ units with ease.
Like Burna Boyz, Tankbustas got a dedicated transport, but just like Burna Boyz, Trukks are more of death sentence than anything. If your plan though is strike for First Blood than Trukks add six inches to your threat range.
Tankbustas can handle their own in assault if you want to invest the points. With Tankhammers and Power Klaws you have a unit that can deal a fair amount of damage, only problem is they cannot take it back. The truth is Tankbustas should be using Assault to destroy more tanks using their amazing Tankbusta bombs!
Tankbustas are blessed with Assault type weapon the Rokkit Launcha, it allows Tankbustas to move and shoot while keeping their distance from the blast radius. In a meta that features Lords of War and Knights, Tankbustas have a important role pealing Hull Points off these dangerous units. Even with their poor BS full units of Tankbustas should have no trouble getting the job done.
Never has a name so aptly described a unit; Tankbusta do one thing, take out vehicles.
Tankhammers - 15 pts per model
Tankhammers are a pricey bit of wargear, providing your Tankbustas with some hidden AP3, but without Armour-bane it isn't worth much when you already have Tankbusta Bombs.
The Tankhammer is a decent fallback item when being assaulted by units that aren't Monstrous Creatures, but for so many points is it really worth it? Tankhammers also replace the Rokkit Launchas diminishing the main purpose of the unit. Tankbustas are cheaper for a reason; in most situations it is just better to keep it that way.
Putting all Together...
The Tankbusta is a role specific unit, and unless your meta is vehicle/Monstrous Creature-less you will find a role for them. The major issue with Tankbustas is survivability, once again either a Painboy or Kustom Force Field comes in handy. The Blitz Brigade is another option as the ultimate Tankbusta Alpha Strike, especially since Tankbustas have no specific formation. When you think about the opportunity to get an extra victory point with First Blood any Tankbusta's sacrifice becomes worth it. Tankbustas because of their fragility must rely on cover, but at the same time be aggressive, it is sometimes worth throwing this unit away if it means your opponent dedicates its life's work to its annihilation. It also means having backup tank hunting will do you well if your Tankbustas fail. Without cover, layering this unit behind other units isn't a bad idea, as they are good enough to shoot over into the enemy. Just remember Tankbustas are about taking risks, otherwise you risk dying to tactical paralysis.
-- Tankbustas Army Templates--
As mentioned before Tankbustas don't get a unit specific formation.
Ork Horde Detachment: With Tankbustas being defensive challenged, getting the opportunity for more HQs join the unit is a blessing. It also helps that Tankbustas are cheaper than you average Elite choice ,making investing points into said HQs much more palatable. Tankbustas units can also hide and snipe, if you use the spam Troops route for board saturation.
Great Waaagh! Detachment: This Detachment gives you the opportunity to take four Elite selections. More importantly that is four attempts to get your Tankbustas units to Deep Strike. Take minimal unit numbers full of Bomb Squigs and go for Glory! This little trick while won't work all the time is a good investment for an otherwise whimsical Detachment.
Overall, Tankbustas got a lot a better, but their defensive capability makes it a hard sell. Any Ork player would gladly pay for better armor on this unit. As it is, Tankbustas ability to deal with Monstrous Creatures makes them very alluring and the Glory Hogs change gives them reason enough for a few test runs.
It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
For tactical articles feel free to email me to continue the discussion or if you discover an inaccurate interpretations of the rules– edits will be made accordingly. Also check out other articles in this series…
- Chaos Space Marine Tactica Link Page
- Chaos Daemons Tactica Link Page
- Ork First Impressions
- Breaking Down the Ork Codex
- Warboss Review
- Weirdboy Review
- Mek Review
- Big Mek Review
- Painboy Review
- Mad Doc Grotsnik Review
- Kaptain Badrukk Review
- Boss Zagstruk Review
- Boyz Review
- Gretchin Review
- Burna Boyz Review
- Tankbustas Review
- Nobz Review
- Meganobz Review
- Kommandos Review
- Trukk Review
- Stormboyz Review
- Deffkopta Review
- Ork Flyer Review
- Warbikers Review
- Warbuggies Review
- Mek Gunz Review
- Battlewagon Review
- Deff Dread Review
- Killa Kans Review
- Gorkanaut & Morkanaut Review
- Lootas Review
- Flash Gitz Review
- Ghazghkull Thraka Review
- Stompa Review
- Final Ork Codex Breakdown