It’s Like Tactics: Stormboyz Review

Warning

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

The Rocketeers…

Blessed by an amazing kit the Stormboyz are some of the most creative and passion filled models Games Workshop has ever made. On the battlefield they always have had middling success, but with the current Ork codex they possess certain qualities pushing them towards greatness.

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

(Click to Enlarge)

Stormboyz Rules 2007

FA: Stormboyz – 60 Points

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
4 2 3 4 1 2 2 7 6+

2007stormrules

Stormboyz Rules 2014

FA: Stormboyz – 45 Points

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
4 2 3 4 1 2 2 7 6+


UNIT TYPE:
Jump Infantry. Boss Nob is Jump Infantry (Character).
UNIT COMPOSITION:
5 Stormboyz
WARGEAR:
• Slugga
• Choppa
• Stikkbombs
• Rokkit pack
SPECIAL RULES:
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Mob Rule
OPTIONS:
• May include up to twenty-five additional Stormboyz…9 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

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

As far as Utility goes Stormboyz are nothing but fast moving Ork Boyz, so in a certain sense they don’t provide anything too different. The usefulness of Stormboyz usually comes by being an amazing distraction opponents must deal with. With their Rokkit packs most armies only get one turn of shooting before the Stormboyz are locked in Assault, leaving your opponent with some hard choices.

Cost

No one was really expecting a cost reduction, but the new Stormboyz are now a whopping 1/4 cheaper than before! This cut is without a hidden tax, the only major difference is how Rokkit packs now work. That is only 3 points more  than a regular Ork boy. Breaking it down you get a unit that moves 12″ per turn plus, an extra 1D6 towards their run and the potential for some Hammer of Wrath attacks = well worth a measly 9 points!

Speed

Stormboyz act like normal Jump infantry with some extra Run distance. As mentioned before it puts Stormboyz in Assault range almost immediately, making them one of the fastest units in the codex. Stormboyz can also Deep Strike when necessary, either way Speed and Cost is the name of the game when it comes this unit.

Assaulty

Stormboyz have the same stat line as a Orks Boy, but really shine if you can get those Hammer of Wrath attacks off, which with the help of the extra Rokkit Pack boost is more likely than other Jump Infantry. Just  don’t expect miracles from this unit, they are still normal Boyz; don’t go assaulting units you have no business assaulting unless you have a specific goal like tying up units. 

Shooty

Stormboyz get few extra options and certainly none shooting related, so you just have to settle for the good old Slugga for your shooting needs, so in other words you are better off running.

On the battlefield they always have had middling success, but with the current Ork codex they possess certain qualities pushing them towards greatness.

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Jump for your Life

Rokkit Pack

The Rokkit Pack has gone through a few different iterations through the years. In 5th edition it was an extra D6 move on top of the regular 12″ inch move.  In the 3rd edition codex it was a nothing special jump pack, but Stormboyz were an elite choice at the time.

The best iteration (on paper) was the 4th/5th ed version, where you could easily surprise an opponent with how quick Stormboyz moved. Rokkit packs in the 7th edition codex in a certain sense got worse, but with longer distance charges found in 6th/7th edition it becomes a wash. Taken together with Ere We Go! you can see just how powerful the longer run is a turn later. Like most assault units or armies GW takes great pains making sure an opponent always gets one round of shooting before being assaulted, so you can see what GW was trying to do with the change to the Rokkit Pack.

Like all things Orky, GW just has to make things random and/or dangerous for all Orks involved. The difficult terrain test for using the Rokkit Pack statistically shouldn’t be a big deal, but with one bad roll can pose a few problems. Stormboyz don’t have defensive options. On average you will lose 4 Stormboyz from a full 30-man mob, almost a 6th of the unit, and annoyingly enough this can cause a Mob Rule! test. It is just something you have to keep in mind when using the Rokkit Pack, and remember no one is forcing you to use the Rokkit pack especially if you have an aggressive opponent.

Putting it all Together…

There is no doubt the Stormboy is better than ever, with a steep cost reduction being the main reason. The biggest under the radar change though is the increased unit size from 20 to 30. This not only increases damage output, but protects against Mob Rule! along with the Rokkit Pack crashes. It also means a greater chance Stormboy units will make an Assault in decent numbers. The only drawback with the unit size boost is Deep Striking; a 20 man footprint is hard enough land, but with 30 Stormboyz you should forget about Deep Striking. This is too bad when it comes to the taking the all Stormboy formation because you have to Deepstrike.

This comes to another point, Boss Zagstruk, he is no longer an Nob upgrade meaning you can have him in addition to a Nob, just too bad he isn’t like Snikrot, so he will take up a valuable HQ slot in your army. Other Stormboy drawbacks include a lack of options. You cannot give Meks Rokkit Packs, nor can any other HQ. Warbike HQs are an option though you will just lose the bonus Run distance from the Rokkit Packs, but with the dangers using them poses you can easily. This is also a good way to get some Feel No Pain for the unit with a Painboy Biker HQ as well.

Stormboyz primary role should always be about getting in your opponent’s face. Either for a Assault or Shooty army, Stormboyz are a great release valve, capable of forcing your opponent to deal with something they probably would rather not deal with. Stormboyz are also great for contesting and taking objectives, their speed really helps for late grabs. Don’t expect this unit to live an entire game though as they can be quickly whittled down if your opponent is at all competent. Stormboyz can also be combo-ed with other fast Ork units really bringing the Speed Freak design to fruition. If you cannot afford Biker units, Stormboyz do much of the same things for half the cost. It is too bad Stormboyz don’t get an options for Burnas or other tricks, because then you would see a really special unit for Ork armies.. As it is you cannot complain much, Stormboyz got cheaper got large units to play with and generally more badass.

 

— Stormboyz Army Templates–

Da Vulcha Skwad Formation List

Stormboyz Allied Detachment List

Stormboyz Combined Arms Detachment List

Stormboyz Ork Horde Detachment List

Stormboyz Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Formations

Da Vulcha Skwad: The only dedicated Stormboy formation is pretty darn good. The biggest drawback is being forced to Deep Strike, minimized by the Dead on Target…ish rule. You can make a unit from 16-61 Stormboyz, the balance is somewhere in the middle, but just like the Greentide you can hide multiple Power Klaws into the unit making a devastating unit. I think a Vulcha Skwad between 20-30 models it a good bet, especially with Deep Strike dangers.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: There is nothing special for Stormboyz with this Detachment, but is if you find yourself over points, Stormboyz are a cheap way to get your multiple HQs ablative fast wounds. This is optimal for running Warbike HQs in the Detachment.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: The Detachment isn’t special either for Stormboyz, but if you are keeping a Deep Striking theme for this Detachment Stormboyz can fit right in. This is a really a Detachment for units with lots of different options and sadly Stormboyz don’t really have many beyond smash face.

Final Thoughts…

Overall, Stormboyz are better from the unexpected cost reduction. They are also in a slot that isn’t very competitive when it comes to other choices. Stormboyz are a cheap Assault unit that can cause a lot of problems ffor an opponent. It is too bad they don’t get some other interesting options, and the Rokkit Packs could be a little less dangerous but these are minor complaints for an excellent unit.

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…