Thursday, July 21, 2011

Orks Elites - A closer look!

Mega Nobz with Lascannons? The good old days...
Last week we started a review of the current Codex: Orks with a look the HQ's and what they can do for you. Admittedly it was just a glance and as various people from over the internet pointed out, it needed more. I am not a ashamed to admit my short comings on this, but looking it over I don't feel it was missing that much. This week I am taking an in depth look at the Elites section of the codex and I hope you all enjoy it after the break, a long with a quick Q&A about the HQ article.










As requested, I am going to respond to some of the questions on the forums.

Here are a couple of questions I picked out, as I feel I have solid answers for:

Jidmah asked:

Why outfit a BigMek with a PK and not a burna?

First of all, Jidmah is a person whose advice I have followed almost religiously, so him taking part in my discussion brings a sense of “internet awesomeness” to this for me personally. Also his question is more about my personal choice. I am sure he has a rock solid explanation in his mind for the wargear selection for the Big Mek.

I chose to go with a power klaw for the very simple reason of, Power Klaws are always good. In my battlewagon rush, I find that by turn 4+ I have control of the board. When this happens I have usually isolated shooting, or have locked up shooting threats with my boyz. Also at this point, my battlewagons are spread out deffrolla’ing whatever they can as often as they can. If all these things are true, then the Big Mek just sitting there is sort of a waste. I like to use him to hunt people on the flanks. A common occurrence for me, is to see Psyflemen dreads on the left or right hand table edges to get side shots. If this is the case and I can get the Big Mek to him safely, he can tie up the dread for multiple turns / rest of the game and actually have a chance of killing the Dread. I feel the bonus strength gives him a purpose after the initial bubble is broken and he can do something else. I considered running him with a bosspole with my burnas and giving him a burna as well. I used it in our local campaign and he was less effective and had issues killing anything. Our Meta is Mech or Orks. The positioning on using a flamer vs either of those and having it do anything is less efficient than a Klaw.

Juvieus Kaine from the UK mentioned:

Zogwort's stats are not meager, by any means. He's got d6 wound 2+ I4 attacks then a few more wound 2+ attacks and in CC he has 50/50 chance of having a power weapon - that's crazy damage. His armor save like most orks though is meager so...

I agree that Zogwort’s stats are not that bad, he is just no way viable compared to a KFF Big Mek or a Warboss / Ghaz in a competitive list. Zogwort could be an okay Elite choice. If you could purchase a squad of Weirdboys as elites and have him as a named character upgrade (ala Snikrot or Zagstruck) and have Weirdboys act like Sanctioned Psychers with an Ork flavor, now we are talking about a unit that may or may not see competitive play. As it sits, all weirdboys / unique or not are in no way competitive and in all but the most conrner case scenerios, will lose you games in competitive play. However, in casual play, my HQs of choice are Zogwort and a Shokk Attack Gun Big Mek.

Something I also failed to mention in the original article is the variance between fun armies and competitive Ork armies is very dramatic. With Ghaz and KFF Big Mek rolling forward in Battlewagons, it makes the Orks feel like a ravenous alien horde seeking to blood at all costs. Take Zogwort and a SAG, and your army turns into the comic relief! Mega Nobz clumsily clanking forward, Storm Boyz falling out of the sky, Zzap guns microwaving grots in the back field, it becomes more like a 3 Stooges episode than a supreme fighting force. This is my favorite army to play, but I would never take it to a tournament.

I guess if you need any clarification on MY stance on casual play versus competitive play it can be found in my article here.

Alrighty then! Now onto what I was going to talk about!

ELLLEEEEEETTTSSS!!!!!


Nobz
The first selection from the Elites slot is Nobz. Oh the glorious Nobz. At 20 points per model, you get the toughest of the Ork Boyz short of a Warboss. 3 attacks base and 2 wounds is what makes the Nob a pretty tough customer. Nobz have a plethora of tools they can select from to make them extra killy. Also, 1 nob can be upgraded to be a Painboy, which confers the USR: Feel no Pain to the unit.

For protection he Nobz are able to select 'eavy armor (4+) and/or cybork bodies(5++) if there is a Painboy in the unit. For killing the Nobz come with the standard slugga and choppa. Sluggas can be swapped out for kombi-rokkits, kombi-skorchas or a twin linked shoota. I usually take 1 Nob with a kombi-skorcha to add to the diversity of the unit. The Nobs choppa can be upgraded to a Big Choppa or a Power Klaw. The Big Choppa is a 2 handed weapon that gives +2 to the models strength, and the Klaw functions as a powerfist. Both of these items have their places in the Nobz squad. Striking at I4 on the charge, the Big Choppa goes at the same time as most Marines and ahead of quite a few other armies. This is a nice boost at the top of the initiative order. The drawback to the Big Choppa is that it’s not a power weapon so they will get those pesky power armor saves. The Power Klaw is a menace at I1. Nobs are Str 9 on the charge and will have 4 attacks. I run 3 Klaws so that’s a total of 12 Str 9 power weapon attacks coming in. This will result in casualties! Another required piece of wargear for the Nobz is the WAAAGH!!! Banner. This adds +1 WS to all models in the unit. Now not only do have have the 12 Str 9 attacks, we also hit on 3’s versus the majority of opponents. If you combine hard hitting weapons in assault and the ability to allocate wounds individually because of equipment, along with a 4+/5++ and Feel No Pain, you have one of the baddest groups of mother fuckers in the galaxy! Nobs can also ride bikes! A unit of Nob Bikers is a devastating terror on the board. Ork Warbikes come with a 4+ cover save and a Dakkagun which is just a bike mounted big shoota. The ability to turbo boost makes this unit slightly more reactive, but losing the ability to WAAAGH!!! limits their range on the charge.

Did I mention they can take a Battlewagon as a dedicated transport, and they can be made troops if your army includes a Warboss or Ghazghkull Thrakka? I will cover Battlewagons in a future section, but just know that they are awesome as well.

There weakness of the Nobz squad is getting shot up by high S weapons. Nobz are not and have no way to become Eternal Warriors so they will be insta-killed by any of the 20+ strength 8 guns out there, and Feel No Pain does nothing for that. Nob Bikers are more vulnerable to shooting, as they cannot be in an AV14 Battlewagon to shield them from the deadly rain. Nobz also suffer from relatively low leadership and can find themselves fleeing or pinned from very silly things. Aside from those 2 things, Nobz are a hammer and I highly recommend them to make people cry.

Here is how I equip my Nobz:
Nob 1
Power Klaw
Waagh Banner
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 2
Power Klaw
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Bosspole
Nob 3
Power Klaw
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 4
Big Choppa
Stickbombs
Bosspole
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 5
Stickbombs
Big Choppa
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 6
Shoota / Kombi-Skorcha
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 7
eavy Armor
Cybork Body
Nob 8
Painboy upgrade
Cybork Body
BattleWagon Dedicated Transport
Deffrolla
Big Shoota
Armor Plates
Big Shoota


 































MegaNobz
The next unit we come across in the codex is much more armored brother of the Nobz, the Mega Nobz. At 40 points per model, the Mega Nobs have the same stat line as a Nob but come standard with a 2+ armor save and a Power Klaw. They are also plagued with the USR: Slow and Purposeful. While these guys may seem like the best thing since sliced bread, they really are not. Mega Nobz cannot take a WAAAGH!!! Banner and they cannot upgrade a Painboy, which also disallows them taking Cybork bodies. No Feel No Pain, no invulnerable save and erratic movement / assault range makes this unit less desirable than there non-mega kin. They also cannot take bikes which pigeon holes them even more for crappy movement. The worst part is, if you wanted to get a unit of Mega Nobz, they are $20.00 each!! I suck at converting so if I want something I have to buy it from the man and I would not pay $48 - $160 for a subpar unit. (our affiliate, Spiky Bits can get you a cool 20% off!!!) I have not used Mega-Nobs since 2nd edition and I do not see myself using them any time soon.

Burna Boyz
The Burna Boyz are defined by their equipment. They are a standard Ork Boy with a flamer. If the flamer is not fired, it can be used as power weapon in assault. This may seem middle of the ground as far as power versus cost goes as most armies pay 5 points for a flamer and Burna Boyz are 9 points more than an Ork Boy. However Orks are the only army that can mass flamers into open topped vehicles!!! Shooting a template out of an open topped vehicle allows you place the template anywhere around the hull, as long as the skinny end is touching the vehicle. This is done for each flamer inside the vehicle and they can all be fired from the same exact spot!!! If you can manage to get your transport into the correct position, you can put out an extraordinary amount of hits!! Catch 5 marines with the template? 5 X 15 = 75 hits! It has unlimited potential, but this potential is hard to realize. Moving into that position is tough, and finding units out in the open is not a common thing in my local meta. If I had a unit of Burnas versus Footdar, the joygasm would be endless!! In close combat you have 3 Str 4 attacks at I3 on the charge. They are power weapons, but the timing and the strength are underwhelming most of the time. In the 2nd round, should you manage to not kill everything on the charge, you become a lot more suckier. I always run my Burna Boyz in max packs of 15 to maximize first round killing capabilities. I lack the understanding of how less Burna Boyz could possibly be effective.

There are 2 big drawbacks to Burna Boyz. One is that they cannot select a dedicated transport. This means you have to select the Battlewagon for them separately or steal a Trukk from a Boyz squad. Boyz squads can only take a Trukk if their total size is less than 12, so now you have a small boyz squad on foot. The other downside is that there is no Nob upgrade available. No hidden fist with the unit and no bosspole for the crucial LD rerolls. I guess just having 6+ armor is a downside as well, but you are Orks, you better get used to that.

I have recently found my Burna Boyz to be under performing so they have been cut from the tournament list, but time will tell if that is a permanent move.

Tankbustas
I have never used Tankbustas, but I have had them used against me so I will comment on them from that perspective. They suck. Ork shooting is not good and a bunch of Rokkits coming out at BS2 will rarely do anything. You can have a Nob and 2 tankhammers (further reducing your rocket count) str 10 in assault vs vehicles is cool, but there is a high percent chance that attack will need 6’s to hit in my experience 6’s to hit sucks worse than 5 to hit! Bomb squigs are a gimmick that have a chance to kill your own tank.+2 they hit the closest enemy at with a str8 hit if its within 18 inches, on the roll of a 1 it goes after your vehicles! They have the special rule: Glory Hogs. Tankbustas must always shoot / attempt to assault if there is a vehicle in line of sight, regardless of range. This is fail. Clever opponents can make you sit there and shoot at an out of range target, and it doesn’t matter if it is only 1 turn, that’s 1 turn to many to not be controlling my units. I will definitely never be using these, even in my fun lists, they are just not my style!

Lootas
The Lootas are the shootiest of all Orks. They are the “elite arsenal” of the ork army and they are the most effective tool we have versus light AV targets. Why? Deffguns!! Range 48 S7 Heavy D3. I have fielded Lootas in the past and they haven’t provided any type of anything for my army, that is until I took a unit of 15. 15 kills something every turn.  They don’t have a lot of versatility or any options, they are just shooty goodness. Weaknesses? Low LD, No CC capabilities, Move or Fire, BS2… still all competitive armies play them, sometimes up to 45 of them!

Kommandos
Finally we come to Kommandos. At 10 points per unit, Kommandos are the scouts of the army. They are Boyz with Infiltrate and Stikkbombs. They can take a Nob upgrade, so you have the option of have a hidden fist and boss pole for those pesky leadership checks. They are limited to a squad size of 15 which is small for Orks and they do not have the option to take a shoota, meaning these guys are best to ignore the rokkits and big shootas they have the options of. The best weapon upgrade option they have is the pair of burnas. The gold nugget of the Kommandos though is Boss Snikrot. He is a special character unit upgrade. He’s got super ork stats and he comes with a pair of scared ork blades that allow you to reroll wounds in combat. He has a special rule called Ambush. This lets Snikrot and his unit move on from any table edge when they get called from reserves, and he passes on this ability to any IC that joins his unit. I have never played with Kommandos but I have seen an Ambushing unit of Kommandos come in Ghaz and wreck a parking lot IG force. So many exploded tanks in 1 turn it looked like a Michael Bay film! Snikrot replaces the Nob in the squad and he doesn’t have a bosspole so there is that drawback to him, but who fucking cares about that part. Kommandos weaknesses are, they are just orks. 15 orks is okay in assault if they get the charge, but they are still a bit underwhelming for me. They do however seem very fun to play. I plan to add these to my fun list in the future, especially for Apocalypse games where Snikrot can really have fun with stuff! Kommandos make it into a few competitive lists in a disruption / support role.


Well this concludes my coverage of the elite section of the Orks codex. Next week, Troops and Fast Attack!! Feel free to comment here on our site, We love to see now faces!

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