It’s Like Tactics: Da Planes Review

Warning

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

Fly for your Life…

Half way through 5th edition 40k were introduced to a host of flyers, and leading the charge are the amazingly crafted Ork Flyers. Ork Flyers are a combination of World War 2 and early Jet Age aesthetic, initially performing as expected when arrayed against the technology for the 41st millennium. The 5th edition flyer rules were barely dry on the paper when everything changed with 6th edition, and now with 7th edition Ork flyers might have a place on the battlefield if played correctly.

Before we start dissecting, lets take a quick look at the current Ork Flyers codex rules. (Click to Enlarge)

Dakkajet Rules 2014

FA: Dakkajet – 110 Points

BS Front Side Rear  HP
2 10 10 10  3

UNIT TYPE: Vehicle (Flyer). UNIT COMPOSITION: 1 Dakkajet WARGEAR: • Two twin-linked supa shootas SPECIAL RULES: • Strafing Run • Supersonic Waaagh! Plane: During a turn in which a Waaagh! is called, each of this model’s Assault weapons fires one more shot than normal. OPTIONS: • May take a red paint job…5 pts • May take an additional twin-linked supa shoota…20 pts • May take a flyboss…15 pts

Burna-Bomber Rules 2014

FA: Burna-Bomber – 115 Points

BS Front Side Rear HP
2 10 10 10 3

UNIT TYPE: Vehicle (Flyer). UNIT COMPOSITION: 1 Burna-bommer WARGEAR: • Twin-linked big shoota • Twin-linked supa shoota • Two burna bombs SPECIAL RULES: • Supersonic • Waaagh! Plane (see Dakkajet) Grot Gunner: When a model with this special rule fires a big shoota or twin-linked big shoota, these shots are resolved at Ballistic Skill 3. OPTIONS: • May take up to six skorcha missiles…10 pts each • May take a red paint job…5 pts

Blitza-Bommer Rules 2014

 

FA: Blitza-Bommer – 135 Points

BS Front Side Rear HP
2 10 10 10 3

UNIT TYPE: Vehicle (Flyer). UNIT COMPOSITION: 1 Blitza-bommer WARGEAR: • Big shoota • Twin-linked supa shoota • Two boom bombs SPECIAL RULES: • Grot Gunner (see Burna-bommer) • Supersonic • Waaagh! Plane (see Dakkajet) OPTIONS: • May take a red paint job…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

The obvious utility for Ork flyers is flyer defense, especially with the Dakkajet. The truth though is all Ork flyers are about anti-horde. The Dakkajet with its shooting, the Burna-Bomber with its ignores cover weapons, and the Blitz-Bommer with its low AP blasts. It makes all the Ork flyers great at culling opposing herds, so the rest of your Ork army can mop up.

Speed

The Ork flyers are easily the fastest units (thanks to Supersonic) in the Ork codex, able to get from one board edge to the other edge with ease. The only drawback with moving at such high speeds is you won’t be doing anything. Since GW in its infinite wisdom decided you either make a Bombing run or Move Flat not both in the same turn. Still, even with the pretty useless Supersonic, Ork flyers are just like every other flyer, highly mobile, getting into position to shoot anything you want.

Assaulty

Like most flyers these boys can’t go into hover mode, so no sense in talking about the Assault phase.

Shooty

This is the bread and butter of Ork flyers. You can go all out shooting with a Dakkajet or be more nuanced with the other flyers. The other flyers, especially the Burna-Bomma can deliver a world of pain with its bomb and additional weapons. The amount of fire power is surprising and all for minimal costs, even better all bombing flyers get two bombs unlike other flyers. Ork flyers get extra shooting bonuses like twin-linked or a better BS making them highly efficient.

Ork Flyers are a combination of World War 2 and early Jet Age aesthetic, initially performing as expected when arrayed against the technology for the 41st millennium.

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Different Jets for Different Folks

Dakkajet

The Dakkajet is the go-to Ork flyer, it is cheap and features a massive amount of dakka to compensate for poor BS. The low cost has some hidden must haves, like the autotake third twin-linked supa shoota. That is 12 base shots and when Waaaghing! 15 shots. The Dakkajet primary targets should be ground targets, taking advantage of Strafing Run, but of all the Ork Flyers it handles anti-air duties the best.

Burna-Bommer

The Burna-Bommer has benefited the most by the changes to 7th edition. Having a Ignoring cover Bomb and the ability to get even more Ignore Cover weapons makes this flyer highly valuable. You will have to pay for it if you go full burn, understand the life span of any Ork flyer is typically not long, so invest wisely.

Blitza-Bommer

In almost any other edition the Blitza-Bommer would be a dangerous unit. With so much cover around you won’t be getting the most out this flyer. Still, the Blitza-Bommer is great at cracking any vehicle, especially Super-Heavies. If your army also lacks good AP2 this is a great choice to fill in the void.

Putting it all Together…The Ork flyers are one of the most underutilized units in the Ork codex. The current meta sees very few flyers and Ork players should take advantage. Especially, with the Dakkajet being excellent against most flyers and monstrous creatures. Ork flyers have the same defenses as any other flyer and are not hurt much jinking. They do suffer from lucky shots, even from something as weak as a bolter, so keeping them away from mass fire is usually a good idea. What really hurts Ork flyers though is being unable to hover making it impossible to claim objectives, except if you use them to sit on a objective so no one gets it. Ork flyers would really benefit having the squadrons, to mask their paper frames.

The bombers fit a growing niche, and with the help of a certain formation can keep on dropping those bombs all over the place. This is where it is important when using Ork Flyers to make sure you have reserve manipulation handy, because they need to come out on turn two to make a real impact on the game. Bombers specifically you want to arrive on turn two drop the first bomb, then turn three drop the second one and fly off the board at the same time. By turn four you are just running interference, by blocking units or covering objectives. This is where Supersonic can actually come in handy for late objective blocking if you are out of position.

Once your flyers are the board, fight the Ork urges to put them in harm’s way. Either position them, so your opponent would rather target something else, or keep them away from units which only have them as a target. Just remember as with any flyer you are taking points off the board for the first turn; make sure the rest of your army is designed to take an alpha strike before flying support arrives to bring the hurt.

— Ork Flyer Army Templates–

Ork Flyer Allied Detachment List

Ork Flyer Combined Arms Detachment List

Ork Flyer Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Ork Flyer Ork Horde Detachment List

Ork Flyer Skyboss Wingnutz Air Armada Formation List

Formations

Skyboss Wingnutz Air Armada: This is one amazing formation, I am very surprised we don’t see it more often. You get auto repairing Flyers and Bomb replenishment, in long games this is great. This formation takes up 600-700 points, so as drawbacks go it can be a big one. The rest of your army cannot be small elite units, either you have to go Ork Horde or hard to destroy Deathstars. A comm relay, is also something to consider when taking this formation. Once on the board though this formation has the tools to deal with almost any unit they will face.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: The role of Ork Flyers in a Ork Horde Detachment is all about support. Usually this support comes in clearing blob units so, the heavy hitters units have an easier time with the rest of the opposing army. Ork Flyers shouldn’t be the cornerstone for this detachment as the FoC clearly wants you going in a specific direction.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: This Detchament isn’t very optimal for Ork flyers, you don’t gain the Tellyporta Strike ability. Since this detachments lends itself to shooting armies, you really don’t need the flyers for that either. Really, the only use for flyers here is Highlander type lists or just wanting some variety.

Final Thoughts…

Overall, Ork flyers have improved since 5th edition, taking advantage of the specific flyer rules. The best part about Ork flyers currently is each type is playable unlike when the Dakkajet was the only one to made any appearance. They still do suffer from being only AV10 and not coming in squadrons. By the time the next Ork codex comes around we should see flyer squadrons for no other reason than operation money grab.

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…