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.

The Bigger is Better...

We're da best. Think diffrent do ya? Come and have a go then, ya runty little wimp! For many editions Nobz have been a quintessential unit for Orks, but it wasn't until the end of 4th that they really came into their own. The dominance of this unit has often times overshadowed the entire Ork codex, now with many more units to tickle a Ork players fancy, where does the venerable Nob stand? Nobz still have a role to play in many Ork armies, but no longer is it just take Nob Bikers and call it a day. 

Before we start dissecting, lets take a quick look at the differences between the 2007 and 2014 Nobz codex rules.

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Nobz Rules 2007

Elite: Nobz - 60 Points

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BS

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4

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3

7

+6

 

 nob2007

Nobz Rules 2014

Elite: Nobz - 54 Points

WS

BS

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4

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7

+6

 

UNIT TYPE:
Infantry. Boss Nob is Infantry (Character).
UNIT COMPOSITION:
2 Nobz
1 Boss Nob
WARGEAR:
• Slugga
• Choppa
• Stikkbombs
SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Mob Rule
OPTIONS:
• May include up to seven additional Nobz…18 pts/model
• Any model may take items from the Ranged Weapons and/or Melee Weapons lists.
• One Nob may take a Waaagh! banner…20 pts
• Any model may take an ammo runt…3 pts/model
• Any model may take a bosspole…5 pts/model
• The entire mob may take ’eavy armour…4 pts/model                                                                         • The entire mob may take warbikes…27 pts/model
• If the unit does not take warbikes, it may select a Trukk or Battlewagon 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

Nobz utility relies on survivability and ability to soundly defeat opposing units. It is the having two woulds that makes everything possible for Nobz units. They also have wargear options to increase defense and multiple weapon choices to maximize killing.

Cost

Beyond all expectations, Nobz went down in price and still gained Stickkbombz in the process. When you add everything up with wargear Nobz cost often becomes a wash, as many options saw point increases. This incentivizes taking Nobz cheap, with minimal upgrades and use their wounds to soak up damage as they bring a world of hurt to your opponent.

Speed

Nobz have the suite of Ork speed options. They can get Warbikes, Trukks, and Battlewagons. Nob units shouldn't have any problem getting from point A to point B with relative ease, and unlike other Ork units they have potential to survive unexpected explosions.

Assaulty

Nobz are some of the best assault units in the game for the points. Nobz still three base attacks, decent strength, and access to Power Klaws. It is the beloved Power Klaw that gives Nobz their deadly reputation, it though is the ability to hide Power Klaws along with a smattering of other tools that make Nobz so effective.

Shooty

Unless you go super Kombi route or take Warbikes you won't be getting much shooting out of Nobz. It isn't a total waste of points if you take weapons from the Ranged Weapons list, Shootas are free and you can't go wrong with Kombi-scorchas from time to time. 

Nobz still have a role to play in many Ork armies, but no longer is it just take Nob Bikers and call it a day. 

Nob Toys

Warbikes - 27 pts per model
 
When most players think of Nobz they think of Nob Bikers, and rightly so, they have dominated Ork lists for almost three editions. Today nothing has really changed, they provide everything a Ork unit typically lacks; Mobility, Defense, and Shooting. People often forget about the Shooting (add Gitfindas for the real crazy) to have upwards 30 S5 Twin-Linked shots!
 
You can still add Kombi-weapons if you really want too. Nob bikers do face a few threats, most notably, Thunder Cav and Space Marine Bike Stars. Thunder Cav because they are cheaper and can have S10 attacks and Bike Stars because they Hit and Run away. Still, the bread and butter Assaulting, take the added Hammer of Wrath attacks making Nobz that better at dealing a world of hurt to your opponent. It is also convenient that all the basic HQs can all have Warbikes as well. The bonuses those units provide only makes Nob Bikers deadlier.
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Waaagh! Banner -20 pts

If there ever was an auto take piece of Wargear for Nobz it would be the Waaagh! Banner. The Waaagh! Banner differentiates Nobz from all other Ork units, and is what makes them really dangerous in Assault. GW even goes out of the way to make it inaccessible to Megannobz knowing the potential of being able to hit on 3s for most combats. Just remember, the Waaagh! Banner can be easily be sniped out by certain units or armies. The Waaagh! Banner is really important if your meta is filled with Space Marines, not only because you hit them easier, but because your Warbosses will thank you. Most Space Marine characters are WS6, so having your Warboss in challenges not being hit on 3s is very important.

The only excuse I could come up with for not taking a Waaagh! Banner; is if you don't have the points, or you go all Kombi-Nob and shooting is more important than Assault.

 

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Putting all Together...

The collective consciousness when it comes to Ork Nobz, is the vision of them riding on Warbikes, this hasn't changed with their newest incarnation, but it shouldn't limit how otherwise they can be played. The options are many for non Biker Nobz. You can keep things cheap going with just a few Power Klaws and the Waaagh! Banner, remember Nobz are not Bulky meaning you can fit them easily in a Trukk and still have room for a Warboss. At full strength you are looking at 45-50 S5 WS5 attacks, with the only drawback being swinging at I3. One of the best assets with Nobz is the ability to mix and match between Power Klaws and Big Choppas. It is important because it is unlikely all your Nobz will make it to combat even in the first go, so having basic Nobz to soak up damage when delivering the real heavy damage dealers. The idea of free wounds is doubly important if you go full Death Star and pile in ICs into the unit. If you want to talk about drawbacks, Nobz have a few; the removal of every Nob being a Character and all or nothing 'Eavy Armour, these do reduce shenanigans, but also took away tons of unit flexibility to redirect wounds to certain models.

-- Nobz Army Templates--

Nob Ork Horde Detachment List

Nobz Allied Detachment List

Nobz Combined Arms Detachment List

Nobz Council of Waaagh! Formation List

Nobz Ork Warband Formation List

Nobz Waaagh! Ghazghkull Detachment List

Formations

Ork Warband: Most likely the hammer unit in this formation is going to be the Nobz. Biker Nobz cannot take advantage of the Waaagh!, so going with Battlewagon Nobz is your best bet. If you are double lucky you might even get Hammer of Wrath attacks off if none of your Nobz die before Assaulting. Just be careful about the points you spend as you still have to fill out the rest of the formation requirements.

Council of Waaagh!: Nobz in this formation are its fulcrum, and with all the other point sinks you better keep them cheap. All the IC Power Klaws floating around you won't need to invest too much, just a few Big Choppas to destroy vehicles and you are set. Since you have foot slogging ICs joined you are best off with a Battlewagon to transport this Formation of death around the board.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: This Detachment is tailored made for Nob Bikers, you can the triumvirate of Big Mek, Warboss, and Painboy to join your Nob Bikers and destroy almost any opposing unit in the process. This is an alternative to the Council of Waaagh!, giving you the mobility most crave.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: Nobz don't have any great place in this Detachment, with the exception you can take four units of them if you want, still you are better off filling your elite slots with other choices, and maybe use one for Nobz at the most.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, Nobz are a vital cog in many Ork armies. Now, even cheaper opens up different possibilities beyond just Nob Bikers, but many players will hang their head on not having the ability to make them a Troop choice, but if that is going to stop you from taking this unit you better look at all the other codexes facing similar dilemmas.

Warning

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