It’s Like Tactics: Killa Kans Review

Warning

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

The Kan Kan Can’t

Where Deff Dreads were just obvious, the Killa Kan are an extra slice of whimsy that fits perfectly within the 40k Ork mythos. In terms of playability they have always been the more shooty walker in the Ork arsenal. Killa Kans are blessed with a great plastic model and during 5th edition they were amazing, but when 6th edition Hull points hit it all changed. As we look at the latest iteration for 7th edition, the Killa Kan took a few more hits, but unlike the Deff Dread there might be something to salvage.

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

killakanpic
Killa Kan Rules 2007

Heavy Support: Killa Kans – 35 Points

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

kkrules

Killa Kan Rules 2014

Heavy Support: Killa Kans– 50 Points

WS BS  S Front Side Rear I A HP
 2 3  5 11 11 10  2 2 2

UNIT TYPE: Vehicle (Walker). UNIT COMPOSITION: 1 Killa Kan WARGEAR: • Big shoota • Kan klaw SPECIAL RULES: Cowardly Grots!: If a unit of Killa Kans suffers 25% or more casualties during any one phase, the unit must roll a D6 at the end of that phase. Add +1 to the dice roll if there are three or more Killa Kans in the unit, and a further +1 if there are one or more Deff Dreads within 6″ of the unit. On a result of 3+ the test is passed and nothing happens. On a result of 1-2 the test is failed and every model in the unit immediately suffers a Crew Shaken result. Note that no models lose a Hull Point as a result of a failed Cowardly Grots! test. OPTIONS: • May include up to five additional Killa Kans…50 pts/model • Any Killa Kan can replace their big shoota with one of the following: – Rokkit launcha…free – Grotzooka…5 pts/model – Kustom mega-blasta…5 pts/model – Skorcha…5 pts/model • Any Killa Kan can take any of the following:                                                                                                                                             – Grot riggers…5 pts/model – Extra armour…10 pts/model

[show-rjqc id=”25″] 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 Killa Kan utility always existed because they were great weapon platforms and serviceable Assault threats. This has taken a hit in a few ways, with higher costs for the best weapon configurations and removal of Dreadnought close combat weapons. Combined with only have 2 hit points, GW compensated by only increasing the unit size.

Speed

Like all Ork walkers the Killa Kan is forced to walking across the board, since the average weapon range is only 24″ inches, good luck getting into position to kill something. GW, would have been wise to allow Kans to embark in Stompas or Morkanaughts, not only is very Orky it would actually make both units more usable.

Assaulty

This is where Killa Kans took the biggest hit. They always had low WS, but the threat of S10 claws protected them many engagements. It made Kans great counter assault units, now with the Kan Claw is severely limited. Since we have Super Heavies walking around the nerf is doubly bad. Still, if you facing most targets the Killa Kan is still very much a threat to cause some damage.

Shooty

In not so arbitrary GW fashion the Killa Kan has some strange point costs, which look very intentional. Weapons like the Grotzooka saw a point increase if you factor in base cost, but the Kustom Mega Blast saw no increase. It is as if GW saw what people were playing and decided to make them change weapons. The overall effect is to diminish the variability of the Killa Kan load outs leaving you with an expensive Walker we didn’t have before.

As we look at the latest iteration for 7th edition, the Killa Kan took a few more hits, but unlike the Deff Dread there might be something to salvage.

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Cowardly Games Workshop!

Explaining one of the dumbest rules Cowardly Grots!, but hey it is fluffy!

In the hierarchy of dumb rules, the Cowardly Grot! is near the top. You can have bad rules, often making no sense, but when it comes to Orks GW tries to make rules to unnecessarily make things more complicated. The “hey look its random” Ork rules are never fun for anyone, especially a rule punishing Killa Kans in a spot where they need to be reliable. This rule could be explained if Killa Kans were actually a good unit, but this is more an over compensation for past glory. Walkers already have a hard time surviving, and the Killa Kan is only effective in large units, so to add a potentially crippling rule is nonsense.

Imagine you are an Ork player and you actually got your Killa Kans across the board, but on the turn they are actually in range of a target they are forced to snap-shoot!. Worse you actually decided to take Grotzookas, so  now you cannot fire them at all, but hey it is Orky and fun! Right! At least for your opponent it is possible.

Putting it all Together…
         Killa Kans, suffer like many walkers past and present, but they always had something going for them, somewhere between being inexpensive and decent damage output. These days though with the advent of Hull Points Killa Kans will have a tough time even getting one shot off before being blow away off the table. Survivability is key to using Killa Kans. The only measurable boost Killa Kans received with the 7th ed codex was increased unit size from 3 to 6.  Now instead of putting 6 hull points on the board, opponents must go through 12 instead. This minor change goes a long way, especially with no speed bonuses. The other thing to keep in mind with Killa Kans is keeping them behind other Ork units so they will at least get a cover save. Making your opponent prioritize away from Kill Kans is very important if you want them to live.
Conversely, you can use Killa Kans to bait opponents into shooting at them or protect other units with a wide screen. The big difference with using those tactics is now Killa Kans are more expensive for what you get, especially with the increased unit sizes. As for outfitting Killa Kans the Grotzooka is still the best around, the amount of templates you can put on units is great, you just have to get them in range to be effective. If it wasn’t for Gets Hot! Kustom Mega Blasters would be amazing, but as is you are better off with Rokkits. The biggest problem is other Orks units do the same thing better like Buggies or Copters, so you will always find it hard to justify their use.

— Killa Kans Army Templates–

Killa Kan Allied Detachment List

Killa Kan Combined Arms Detachment List

Killa Kan Dread Mob Formation List

Killa Kan Great Waaagh! Detachment List

Killa Kan Ork Horde Detachment List

Formations

Dread Mob: This formations forces you to take a lot of Kill Kans, so you might as well goes ball to the wall. Try to keep the points low and avoid expensive load outs. Keep the Kans close to any Morkanaut taking advantage of any Kustom Force Fields. Kans make great screeners protecting the bigger Walkers and provide some counter punch if they need to assault.

Detachments

Ork Horde Detachment: Since most lists in this Detachment pose many threats, it is possible to slip some Kill Kans as your opponent will have bigger fish to fry. Make sure to balance what you need from them, with Rokkit Kans being the best cheap bet to blow of up some transports when necessary.

Great Waaagh! Detachment: Just like Deff Dreads there is a chance you can get Kill Kans to Deep Strike, unlike Deff Dreads they will have a better chance of doing damage once they land. If they don’t get to Deep Strike just hope you have enough saturation from other units to keep them from being a target.

Final Thoughts….

Overall, Killa Kans have suffered a lot since 6th edition and for the most part GW felt it wise to keep on piling on. Killa Kans lacks the defenses to be an efficient unit, so more than likely we will have to wait until the next go around before they get more serious play. It is too bad because they are a classic Ork 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…