I mentioned in my last post about how AV14 is a complete Red Herring in regards to how Orks play, so I thought I’d talk about that this time.

First off, its fairly obvious that Orks have an issue dealing with AV14 with shooting.  The most prominent Ork anti-vehicle shooting attack is only S8, meaning it can only glance AV14, and therefore probably is wasting its time shooting at it.  The only shooting attacks Orks have that can pen AV14 are the Wierdboyz’s power, Shokk Attack Gun, and the Zzap Gun.  None of those are even remotely reliable; so can pretty much be ignored. So, yes, that is a weakness of the army.  But it’s really not a big deal.

Orks have tons of options for killing AV14 vehicles in melee, but then they are only hitting on 4s and 6s if the vehicles are moving.

Lets start by looking at the vehicles in the 40k universe that are AV14 and what they mean to Orks.

Leman Russes:  A viciously effective shooting platform and a tough cookie to deal with as several of its configurations are tailor made to make Orks die in droves (I’m looking at you, Nova-Cannon!).  But unless they are bringing one of the three really expensive variants; they have a 10 AV on the rear.  Enough S4 attacks will make those tanks useless.  Even the AV11 variants are easy pickings for a S9 power klaw.

Battlewagons:  This seems kind of pointless in trying to talk about how Orks can win if they are fighting each other.  All the same things Orks can do to Leman Russes they do to Battlewagons.  Moving along…

Monoliths:  Most armies in the game have issues taking out monoliths with shooting, so Orks aren’t alone here.  The thing about them is that they have to be fairly close up to do any damage, so they are going to be in melee range fairly easily.  Also, since they move so slowly, you can hit them on 4s and so they are actually fairly easy to take out.  Plus, Necrons in 5th are terrible and since monoliths can’t hide units inside of them you can just ignore them and phase out the army…

Land Raiders:  These seem to be the vehicles that most people point to and say “AHA!  Suck it, Orks!”  Land Raiders only worry me in two formats; as a transport for some scary melee force or else as a transport for troops that are coming to contest an objective.  As a gun platform, they are just not that intimidating, either they don’t move fast enough to not be hit easily, or they move over 6 and fire very little.  You get more shooting punch out of a vindicator for half the price.  Unlike Monoliths, they can move over 6″ and so you’ll need 6s to hit them.  Definitely problematic compared to the other AV14 options here; but nothing insurmountable.

Since we don’t care about them as a gun platform, how do you deal with them when they are acting as a huge ol’ block o’ scoring and how do you stop them from disgorging that scary unit of killy death on your boyz?

Land Raider as an objective holder:  This is probably the biggest issue that these things can present, but look at the problems with this set up.  Unless its a minimum-sized scout squad in there; that Land Raider is eating up a crap-ton of points.  If you can ignore it and take out other elements of the army, you can eventually swamp it and bring it down with enough power klaws.  Not ideal by any means; but the strategy that has always worked for me.

Land Raider as combat force transport:  This issue is less worrisome simply because any assault force in a Land Raider that scares me is probably costing a ridiculous amount of points, and much of the above strategy can be applied as well.  However, you still want to not just get murdered by the unit in that Land Raider, how do you stop it?  Best bet is interdiction.  I like using buggies for this as they can move up just outside an inch of the land raider quite easily and block its path to my army, forcing it to go around or try a risky ram (S5 hit, low possibilty of it blowing up…).  Trukks also work well in this situation; but only if they’ve already dropped their load.  This can buy you some time to go after the other elements of the enemy force.  At that point, letting that unit of death jump out, blow up a mob and then get swamped by the rest of my army isn’t too bad of an idea.

The final reason Land Raiders aren’t as big of a deal to Orks is that in tournament settings, Land Raiders aren’t as useful against the meta game.  Melta guns are everywhere and Land Raiders are easy pickin’s for them.  Armies that bulk up on these point sinks are usually not as successful elsewhere; so you shouldn’t be seeing them as often.

And while we’re kind of on the topic, I’ve heard people say that Orks are bad against Mech…  I can’t even believe how much rubbish that is.  Orks armies have access to a metric ton of shooting that AV11 and AV12 should fear:  Mostly in the form of Lootas, Lobbas, and Rokkits.  In addition; all of those vehicles are rear armor 10, so getting those hits in melee means they go down easily.

I’ve only lost to Mech IG once and that was in a special scenario where the center of the board in a 3D6 radius counted as difficult terrain for movement purposes…

In summary; AV14 can be a pain to take out at range; but if you can get into melee with those units, you can take them out.  Use interdiction and ablation to reduce losses caused by scary units and concentrate on killing the rest of the enemy army.

Questions for Comment:

  1. How big a problem is AV 14 for Orks?
  2. What should Orks fear more than AV 14?
  3. How has AV 14 faired in your experiences against Orks?