My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a seal pup. I will endeavor to speak from my experience and always be honest about what is theory and what is play tested. Never will I assume to know better than anyone else... unless I must call out ego or pretension.
Diving Feet First...
Boss Zagstruk flight pattern has always been a winding course through all his iterations. In the past Boss Zagstruk had very specific tactical options, but now Boss Zagstruk is free of most constraints, leaving him to do what he pleases on the battlefield. Still, the 2014 edition of Boss Zagstruk like Kaptin Baddrukk doesn't bode well for playability-- within the over-stuffed Ork HQ slots. Boss Zagstruk at least doesn't suffer cost run-ups and can lead a worthwhile unit into battle.
Before we get started dissecting, lets take a quick look at the differences between the 2007 and 2014 Boss Zagstruk codex rules.
(Click to Enlarge)
Boss Zagstruk Rules 2014
HQ: Boss Zagstruk - 65 Points
Jump Infantry (Character).
• ’Eavy armour
• Cybork body
• Rokkit pack
• Bellowing Tyrant
• ’Ere We Go!
• Furious Charge
• Independent Character
• Mob Rule
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.
Boss Zagstruk utility is very specialized and doesn't leave much experimentation. More than likely, Boss Zagstruk will be attached to (fully utilizing the Rokkit Pack) a unit of Stormboyz. It also means your Stormboyz have another character to take challenges leaving the Power Klaw Nob to do the real work. Now, more creative players could consider Boss Zagstruk for other units, as a poor mans Biker Boss, but this is only for the desperate.
One of the shinning reasons to take Boss Zagstruk is his cost, as a second HQ you are not risking much. What you get is a Nob with an extra attack, +1 WS, +1 Str and some extra wargear, you can see where the points are coming from, but he lacks that little something extra to be a winner.
Rokkit Pack Orks are amazing especially if you combo it with the Waaagh!, there is no doubt your opponent will tremble at the sight of Boss Zagstruk leading 30 Stormboyz into an Assault, and with his decent defensive abilities any basic upgrade character will be easily pummeled. You can also use his speed to threaten any objective on the board with ease.
Boss Zagstruk's greatest sadness is GW inability to get the Da Vulcha's Klaws right. Each edition we get a new way for them to work and each time they fail mightily, when all they need to be is Power Klaws without Unwieldy. Da Vulcha's Klaws this time do have a purpose: you can gamble with them. The gamble is taking challenges to Instant Death out powerful characters. The Hammer of Wrath is an auto hit, so all you are asking for is your opponent to fail one Invulnerable save. The head games you can play are worth it enough.
The only time this Slugga is going to see action is attempting to ground a Flying Monstrous Creature, and that is all you need to know about the shooting ability of Boss Zagstruk.
In the past Boss Zagstruk had only very specific tactical options, but Boss Zagstruk is now free of most constraints, leaving him to do what he pleases on the battlefield.
A Real Bad Moon
Years ago, Badrukk was chased out of the Bad Moons clan on charges of having too many teef for his own good. From the day of his exile, Badrukk's accomplishments have far outstripped those of his fellow Freebooter kaptins. Fighting alongside the fleet of Warlord Garaghak, Badrukk blunted a tendril of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken in 993.M41 with an all-guns-blazing raid upon the Norn Queen at its heart. During the War of Dakka, his warriors outshot a Tau Hunter Cadre. Some even claim that the Kaptin personally brought down a Freeblade Knight armed with nought but a hair Squig and several inebriated Snotlings, though it seems likely that such tales have grown in the telling. Some even claim that the Kaptin has personally killed one of the powerful spaceborne leviathans called Void-Whales.
Putting all Together...
Boss Zagstruk low-cost and "unique" Hammer of Wrath has some potential, but being a HQ really hurts. Boss Zagstruk should have been an Elite upgrade character only, as it is you have better options to use with your precious HQ slots. With that said if you run a Stormboy heavy list you really should take Boss Zagstruk, if for nothing else Nob protection. It is critical to pick the right second HQ if you take Boss Zagstruk,with Mad Doc Grotsnik, or a Warboss the obvious choices.
Boss Zagstruk decent strength and weight of attacks can also work over most vehicles, without threat of the vehicle exploding. Boss Zagstruk being an Independent Character means you can rescue other units locked in stalemated combats, as well as late objective grabs using his Rokkit Pack run. These sort of tactics are good in a pinch, but shouldn't be the basis for some grand plan. There is of course the Da Vulcha Skwad formation, which you will read about later, but safe to say is really the best way to use Boss Zagstruk.
-- Boss Zagstruk Army Templates--
Boss Zagstruk Allied Detachment List
Boss Zagstruk Combined Arms Detachment List
Boss Zagstruk Da Vulcha Skwad Formation List
Boss Zagstruk Great Waaagh! Detachment List
Boss Zagstruk Ork Horde Detachment List
Da Vulcha Skwad: This is one amazing formation; acting like the Green Tide, you can make one super unit of Stormboyz. The formation has flexibility; as you can keep the units seperate if you want. The big drawback though is forced into Deep Strike, but is minimized by the Dead on Target rule. Remember you don't have to Deep Strike right next to your opponent the speed of Stormboyz easy makes up for a slight deviation. Probably, the most effective way is going with three units of 10 with Power Klaw Nobz and Hammer of Wrath your way to victory. Remember to take at least one Boss Pole because Boss Zagstruk doesn't come with one.
Ork Horde Detachment: This Detachment always come to the rescue for under used HQs. Boss Zagstruk as your third HQ choice leading Stormboyz provides a great hammer/distraction unit on the cheap. This is also an opportunity to try strange configurations like Boss Zagstruk joined with Warbikes or Deffkotas.
Great Waaagh! Detachment: As the silly Detachment you might as well add Boss Zagstruk to Deep Strike with Stormboyz if you have a flare for the thematic. If you are trying to make this Detachment work, you are better off avoiding Boss Zagstruk completely and going with something a little more reliable.
Overall, Boss Zagstruk won't win the award for Ork HQ of the year, but he can shoot for at least a gold star. If you run a unit of Stormboyz and have the extra points Boss Zagstruk is only going to make that unit better. It is just disappointing, Boss Zagstruk is so close to be really good; if he was a different FoC slot, or those fancy feet were Air Jordans, not Greg Odens.
It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
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…
- Chaos Space Marine Tactica Link Page
- Chaos Daemons Tactica Link Page
- Ork First Impressions
- Breaking Down the Ork Codex
- Warboss Review
- Weirdboy Review
- Mek Review
- Big Mek Review
- Painboy Review
- Mad Doc Grotsnik Review
- Kaptain Badrukk Review
- Boss Zagstruk Review
- Boyz Review
- Gretchin Review
- Burna Boyz Review
- Tankbustas Review
- Nobz Review
- Meganobz Review
- Kommandos Review
- Trukk Review
- Stormboyz Review
- Deffkopta Review
- Ork Flyer Review
- Warbikers Review
- Warbuggies Review
- Mek Gunz Review
- Battlewagon Review
- Deff Dread Review
- Killa Kans Review
- Gorkanaut & Morkanaut Review
- Lootas Review
- Flash Gitz Review
- Ghazghkull Thraka Review
- Stompa Review
- Final Ork Codex Breakdown