It’s Like Tactics: Deff Dread Review

Warning

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

Deffinitely not so Good

The Ork Dreadnought like many Ork units has a long history, from a silly stacked garbage can metal models to the current impressive Deff Dread plastic kit. Typically cheap and efficient the Deff Dread is now a unit lost to an ever changing game and meta. The decline of the Deff Dread is written by comparable units found in other books with options the Deff Dread would be blessed to have.

Before we start dissecting though, let’s take a quick look at the past and present Deff Dread rules. (Click to Enlarge)

Deffdread
Deff Dread Rules 2007

Heavy Support: Deff Dread – 75 Points

 WS BS S Front Side Rear  I A HP
4 2 5 12 12 10  2 3 3

2007defdread

Deff Dread Rules 2014

Heavy Support: Deff Dread– 80 Points

WS BS  S Front Side Rear I A HP
 4 2  5 12 12 10  2 3 3

UNIT TYPE: Vehicle (Walker). UNIT COMPOSITION: 1 Deff Dread WARGEAR: • Two big shootas • Two power klaws OPTIONS: • May replace any of its big shootas with one of the following: – Rokkit launcha…free – Kustom mega-blasta…5 pts – Skorcha…5 pts – Power klaw…10 pts • May take any of the following: – Grot riggers…10 pts – Extra armour…10 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 Deff Dread is really hurt by it’s utter lack of utility. The AV isn’t good enough against so many shooting threats that can easily bring it down. The point cost is a bit of a help, but one lucky Grav shot makes it almost completely useless. So why would need such a unit? There is nothing to make it stand out or fit a needed role.

Speed

The Deff Dread doesn’t get Drop Pods it is as simple as that. They also don’t get squadrons to make their average speed worth a damn. As it is, you will be spending the entire game chasing down units who can get away or be shot down before you even get started.

Assaulty

As mostly an Assault unit, the Deff Dread wasn’t terrible until the new Space Marine Dreadnought rules came out making it highly unlikely they would survive any combat with them. The biggest assault problem with the Deff Dread has always been around: I2. Leaving the Deff Dread dead long before it even gets a chance to swing.

Shooty

As a shooting platform Deff Dreads are pretty inept as well. You could maybe make an argument if it was able to replace all its weapons for Dakka, but as it is you are really only left with taking Skorchas and hoping you can get close. All the other shooting is poor due to a terrible ballistic skill.

The decline of the Deff Dread is written by comparable units found in other books with options the Deff Dread would be blessed to have.

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The Two Choices

If you plan on taking a Deff Dread you really only have two builds available, unless you want the dirt cheap no upgrade option.

Assault Build – 100 pts 

By taking two extra Power Klaws you get a Dreadnaught with a ton of attacks.  Combo-ed it with a Kustom Force Field to move with the Deff Dread and hope it doesn’t get shot up.

Target the units that cannot hurt the Deff Dread back, especially spam shooting units or elite assault units with minimal high strength weapons.

Burning Build – 90 pts

By switching out the Big Shootas for Skorchas you get a Deff Dread which can put out some hurt on blobs or thin out armored unit by generating enough wounds.

Consider putting this Deff Dread in reserve or as a counter assault unit, and have Meks close by to repair a Immobilization result if it happens.

Putting it all Together…
           The Deff Dread is one of the worse Walkers in the game, there is no way around it. The combination of little mobility and a low Initiative is really detrimental. In a world where Grav is everywhere Deff Dreads won’t even get the dignity of a quick death, as they will sit immobile with nothing to do. You just cannot throw one of them in a list and hope for the best, you will throw those points away. Then you have competition with other units in the Heavy Support section. You have to think what can this unit do the rest of my army can’t– besides GW wants you to buy Morkanauts instead.
           So, what hope is there for the Deff Dread? Well if you are determined to make them work you have two choices. The first one is using it to protect backfield units. Deff Dreads are a serviceable Gretchin protector, if you want to make opponent think again about trying to score cheap points attacking your grots. This applies to protecting Mek Gunz or Lootas as well. The second choice is supporting the unit with bubbles of protection or distractions. The easiest is throwing enough threats at your opponent, so they don’t have an option to target the Deff Dread. The second option requires using the Dread Mob Formation. If you don’t have the models to pull that off use Kustom Force Fields or intervening models as the Deff Dread makes it way across the board for protection. In either scenario the Deff Dread isn’t a focal point of your army, just a tool to deliver S10 hits when necessary.

— Deff Dread Army Templates–

Deff Dread Allied Detachment List

Deff Dread Combined Arms Detachment List

Deff Dread Dread Mob Formation List

Deff Dread Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Deff Dread Ork Horde Detachment List

Formations

Dread Mob: If you have the models the Dread Mob makes typically bad units kinda useful. The main reason the Dread Mob is good for Deff Dreads is they don’t take up any Heavy Support slots from a Detachment. With Morkanauts and Kustom Force Fields you have slow moving wall that can push your opponents into a corner. In addition, the Deff Dread won’t be the highest kill priority your opponent focus on.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: This Detachment can possibly make use of Deff Dreads as a complement to the other HQ driven units. If you think you need even more S10 attacks beyond Warbosses the Deff Dread can fill a hole, and probably won’t be targeted until later in the game as well.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: So Deff Dreads cannot get Drop Pods, well here is your 1 in 6 chance to get them Deep Striking. Try risking as few points by keeping them bare bones, leaving the rest of your points to a Detachment very well suited for spamming units.

Final Thoughts…

Overall, the Deff Dread is one of the worst units in the codex. The Deff Dread has boring rules and doesn’t have any real specific role. The cost is cheap, but what you get will be destroyed well before it has any effect on the game. Too bad because the current plastic model is fantastic and deserves showcasing in the battlefield.

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…