Monday, 10 December 2018

POWER ARMOUR BALANCING ACT

EDIT: I got 90% of this article completed just before the leaks for the Chapter Approved appeared.  I'll be going back and having a look at my predictions once I get my hands on the actual book.


With chapter approved looming on the horizon, I thought I would take a couple minutes and talk about power armour.  More specifically why it's so terrible and why just dropping points for models in power armour is not actually the answer we are looking for.

First things first though, we need to talk about why power armour actually sucks.  The main reason is the change to how AP works in 8th ed.  In previous editions armour saves were an all or nothing dynamic, you get one or you don't.  In this age, a gun that used to have no effect on a model with power armour can now potentially have a great effect on it.  The heavy bolter for example has a greatly increased damage output verses power armour.  In previous editions the power armoured model would get it's normal save, now there is a modifier to it's save decreasing it's survivability by 25%.

This change in AP wouldn't be an issue if they hadn't directly "ported" over the stats and points for most of your basic power armour units which are identical from the 7th ed codex.  The increase in damage output by mediocre weapons decreases the durability of power armour, thus decreasing it's worth.

In the upcoming Chapter Approved it looks like most power armour units are going to get a points decrease which will possibly make them a viable option in games.  However, as I said before, this is a mistake.  Unfortunately this is the only real option they have for this as they totally fucked up right from the get go.


Not that it makes any difference now, but the stat line for a Primaris Marine is what a normal space marine should be, with a normal marines points.  When you read the books a space marine is a giant being capable of killing an entire squad of guardsmen single handed in mere moments.  Actually, after reading a couple sections from the eyes of a human it would almost seem that the stat line of a Custode would be more accurate but things would get quickly out of hand, but I digress.

Since it seems we have resigned ourselves to reducing points as a bandage fix, lets compare some power armoured units to non-power armour units that have an equivalent role.  Perhaps we will be able to figure out how many points the power armour unit will need to be adjusted to compare to it's non-power armour counterpart.  I'll be comparing these units on 3 main areas, lethality, durability, and table presence or control.  In comparing those factors I hope to come to some conclusion that will be rendered pointless in a couple weeks when the Chapter Approved actually comes out, but I need something to do during my lunch break.


Our first contestant, and possibly my favourite unit, is Possessed.  Possessed are supposed to be these bad ass guys that have been partially taken over by a daemon who rush across the table and absolutely pound whoever they charge into.  Ork Nobs and Tyranid Genestealers are not at all odd choices to compare them too, so lets take a unit of each of these and let the games begin.  For Possessed, we can get 7 for 154 points, 13 Genestealers at 156 points, and 8 Nobs all equipped with big choppas for 152 points.  Our first event is the lethality, and we will determine how many Guardsmen, Marines, and wounds from a vehicle can be removed in one round of combat.

Genestealers - 20 Guardsmen, 11 Marines, 8 wounds off a Rhino
Nobs - 11 Guardsmen, 5 Marines(including Primaris), 8 wounds off a Rhino
Possessed - 6 Guardsmen, 4 Marines, 2 wounds off a Rhino

With fewer attacks and fewer numbers, the Possessed just can't keep up.  The Genestealers get an extra attack due to them having more than 10 models, which boosts their lethality considerably and makes them more than 3 times deadlier than the Possessed while the 2 wounds from the big choppa keeps the Nobs in the running against bigger targets.

For the next event, we will look at how many shots from various weapon profiles, at BS 3, it takes to wipe out each unit.  Starting with Bolters (S4 AP- D1), the weaker profile from a Reaper Launcher (S5 AP-2 D2), and a supercharged plasmagun (S8 AP-3 D2).

Genestealers - 59 Bolter, 44 RL, 35 Plasmagun
Possessed - 126 Bolter, 24 RL, 19 Plasmagun
Nobs - 96 Bolter, 22 RL, 15 Plasmagun

So we have some skewed numbers here, as expected.  While the Genestealers are by far weaker when it comes to small arms fire, they greatly outclass the other 2 challengers when it comes to quality firepower.  The Possessed come next thanks to their power armour and daemon save with Nobs bringing up the rear.

Our final event in this heat is board control, which the Genestealers easily win.  They are more mobile and far more deadly than both of the other unit combined, plus they have a larger foot print.  While this means it's harder to hide that unit, it also means that it will be more likely to reach multiple units.  I'm going to give second place to the Nobs for a bit of a contentious reason, they have weapon upgrades.  I know I didn't include all of them in the initial mix but you can't deny that they exist, even in our bubble and they greatly increase the units threat range and versatility.

While our Possessed are far below the other units in damage output, they are far more durable when it comes to small arms fire.  This is where we see that simply lowering their points isn't going to really bring them into balance properly.  If you drop the points, you will increase the number you can take which will increase their damage output, but it will also increase their durability.  But if you were to just change their A characteristic from d3 to 3 and their damage to 2 or d3, you would increase their damage output while keeping their durability the same.  As we can see, it's their damage output that's their weakest point.  If we were to add models to bring their damage output to somewhere in between the Nobs and Genestealers you would need 14 Possessed (12 Guardsmen, 8 Marines, and still only 4 wounds off a Rhino).  Now in order to keep the unit within the same 150ish point level you would have to change the points of each model from 22 points each to 11 points each, and that just aint gonna happen.  I could see them coming down 3 points bringing them just under 20.


For our next heat we look to a faster moving unit that isn't necessarily focused on combat.  For this I chose Raptors, a unit of 7 models with 2 plasma guns and the Champ has a plasma pistol and power sword for 156 points.  To find a close comparison I had to keep in mind the ability to deep strike and FLY.  This led me to a unit of Scourges, of which I can take 10, with 4 of them wielding Haywire Blasters, the Solarite also has an Agoniser because I needed 4 more points to bring me to 156 points for that unit as well.  I had a little trouble finding something similar but also not in power armour (and that you see on the table all the time) but I decided on Tzaangor Enlightened, of which  I can get 9 of them with the greatbows for 153 points.  It was difficult for me to figure out how the Guided by Fate works in the set up I use, but my numbers won't be off by much.

In this lethality challenge I am going to incorporate one round of combat from a successful charge after shooting the target unit as the Raptors are supposed to be useful in combat as well.

Enlightened - 17 Guardsmen, 8 Marines, 4 wounds off a Rhino
Scourges - 10 Guardsmen, 4 Marines, 6 wounds off a Rhino
Raptors - 9 Guardsmen, 4 Marines, 5 wounds off a Rhino

I was rather surprised with how poorly the Scourges did in this instance.  I really thought that their Haywire Blasters would have put out a lot more damage, but with 8 shots on average turning into 6ish hits resulting in only 4 mortal wounds with one more coming from the regular saves they sound more dangerous than they really are.  Enlightened are great at taking out infantry which is what brings them to the top even though they struggle a little with killing the vehicle

Now for the durability test results...

Enlightened - 81 Bolter, 31 RL, 25 Plasma
Scourges - 45 Bolter, 27 RL, 22 Plasma
Raptors - 63 Bolter, 24 RL, 15 Plasma

Once again we see power armour keep them in the game when it comes to small arms fire, but as soon as anything with teeth target them they drop like flies.  The 2 wounds on the Enlightened is huge for them while the 6++ offered to Scourges allows them to come off better against those bigger guns, and they still have a 4+ versus small guns.

As for board control, that has to go to the Enlightened.  They have the highest range and are the biggest threat.  I'm going to say that the Raptors are next in this lineup mainly because the Scourges die so easily to small arms fire, once they drop in they are easy to pick off with your secondary weapons.

Again we see a case where the Raptors just don't have a strong enough offence, however in this case, their power armour does not do much to keep them alive.  If you can't kill your opponent and your opponent can kill you, you are not going to win the game.  In this case it looks like simply dropping the points could go a long way to actually balancing the unit and bringing it in line with the other 2.  In order to put it somewhere in-between the Enlightened and the Scourges you would need 10 Raptors (11 Guardsmen, 5 Marines, 5 wounds off a Rhino).  To keep the unit at 150ish points that means you would have to drop each model down to 12 points per model (keep in mind 37 points of wargear).  Again, a drop of 5 points is too high, so I could see them coming down a point or two, maybe more if the weapons don't drop in points.


For our last unit in this little comparison game I chose the basic Chaos Space Marine.  Now I expanded the size of the unit a little to allow for the unit to take 2 special weapons.  So there are 9 marines, 2 plasma guns, and the champ with a plasma pistol and a power axe for 176 points.  They will be going up against a unit of 9 Ork Boyz with shootas, 10 with sluggas and choppas, 2 with big shootas, and a nob with a slugga and power klaw for 177 points.  And finally 4 Guardsmen squads each with a mortar and a sergeant with pistol and chainsword.  Also, I chose things that you would actually see on the table which is why the Guardsmen only have mortars.

For the lethality test I have included attacks from a successful charge, because some units are good at shooting and some are good at punching, much like the challenge for the Raptors.

Ork Boyz - 29 Guardsmen, 11 Marines, and 9 wounds from a rhino.
Guardsmen - 20 Guardsmen, 7 Marines, 4 wounds form a rhino.
CSM - 11 Guardsmen, 6 Marines, and 6 wounds from a rhino.

Now doesn't that look a little pathetic?  An equal number of points and the Orks and Guardsmen come out ahead in 2 1/2 of the challenges.  Even if you pit the units against each other, the marines would lose.  You could charge the Marines into the Guardsmen, kill 11, and there would still be enough guardsmen left to wipe half of the marine unit.  Speaking of wiping out units...

Guardsmen - 135 Bolters, 90 RL, 72 Plasma
Orks - 83 Bolters, 49 RL, 40 Plasma
CSM - 90 Bolters, 34 RL, 22 Plasma

Well that say a lot right there, the power armour can't even keep them safe.  With numbers like those it's no wonder that Cultists are more popular than Marines.  And Guardsmen are even better than Cultists with a 5+ save and options for more and better weapons.

As far a table presence, it's no surprise that the Guardsmen take it, 36 models on the table in 4 different units can take up a ton of space.  Orks take second with more than double the wounds than the Marine unit and double the damage output.

In order to bring the lowly marine to a comparable damage output you would have to double the number of marines, which would put them past the Guardsmen, but still below the Orks in lethality and above the Orks but still below the Guardsmen in durability.  This also means you would have to drop the cost of the marines to around 7 points which is ridiculous but I can see them dropping by one point, or possibly none if they lower the cost of weapons.

So there we have it.  The flaws of power armour.  You are paying too much for durability and sacrificing for damage output and quantity of models when other armies get more damage output and more models for sacrifice in durability.  The thing it, those increased numbers of models make up for the lack of durability in most cases, so power armour actually does not give you any advantage.

EDIT: There we go, we now know some of the outcomes of points reductions, and I will start an article soon now that we have some of the leaked photos available.  Keep posted for that.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

ORKS: IS DA BEST


Orks are back and meaner than ever!  This is a book that a lot of players have been waiting for for a long time.  Orks used to be a real powerhouse back in the day, can this book bring them back from the brink of obscurity?  How 'bout we quit mucking about and have a look shall we?  Oh, and this is going to be a LONG post.  I may even end up limiting some units if they don't really stand out, but what do you expect with a codex that has 47 dataslates in it plus all the other stuff. 

Lets open our books to page 82 and look at the special rules.  There are 4 of them, and 3 of them are fucking amazing as far as army wide special rules go.  First on our list is Dakka! Dakka! Dakka! and what a humdinger we got here.  Unmodified hit rolls of 6 auto hit.  This in of itself is really good because there are quite a few units out there that can get -2 to hit, essentially making it impossible for an ork, with it's 5+ BS, to even hit it.  The rule doesn't stop there though, for each roll of a 6 gets the shooter another shot.  Now you might not be thinking this is a big deal with your 3+ BS, but it is to orks.  You see, the ork guns in this book have been given so many damn shots to compensate for the crap BS, that you will be seeing lots of 6's.  If you think about it, half of your successful hit rolls will actually be generating you more attacks.

Next we got 'Ere We Go! which is almost the same as it was in the index but for one little addition.  You can re-roll failed charge rolls, if you do so you can CHOOSE to re-roll ALL OR ANY of the dice.  Yup, that got real good and most of the units in the book have this rule, including all of the new vehicles.

Mob Rule has always been a bit of a sketchy rule and never really seemed to work quite right, but I think they got it pretty close with this version.  Like before, a unit with this rule can choose to make your Ld characteristic equal to the number of models in the unit.  So if you have 30 orks and lose 10, you're taking a morale check against Ld 20.  You can also choose to make your Ld characteristic equal to the number of models in a unit within 6" if it also has this rule.  So, if you have 30 orks and lost 20, but there is another unit of 30 orks within 6", you would be taking a morale check on Ld 30.  Abso-fuckin-lutely awesome.  Now there are fewer units with this rule than the previous two as it generally applies to "real" orks and not those little runty gretchin.

The last rule, Speed Mob, really does not have to be here.  It's a rule only for the few new vehicles that basically states that the models in the unit must be deployed within 6" of each other but after that they are individual units.  This is more something that should be on the units datasheet as it only applies to 5 units.

Now compare those first 3 special rules to ANY other special rules from ANY other book and already the Ork Codex far outpaces any of them.  If you're lucky, your army will have one rule that is almost as good as one of the ones above.


Lets step out of the order of the codex and discuss the Ork Kulturs as I think it's pretty important to know about these as we talk about the units.  There is something to note though, and that's that these abilities apply to the whole army (except units comprised entirely of GRETCHIN), that means Deff Dreads, both 'Nauts, the fliers and the Stompa. Unlike most of the other armies who's rules only affect specific units.  For example, the Chaos Legions Traits only affect Infantry, Bikes, Helbrutes, and Daemon Princes.
First up we got the Goffs, and they basically get Dakka! Dakka! Dakka! for punching.  Every unmodified hit roll of a 6 generates another hit roll, this one is really good, and we will get into why in a little bit, but basically it's because Orks love to punch stuff.
Bad Moons can re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the shooting phase.  This one is really good as you can build a really strong shooting list that maximizes the number of bullets.  The more dice you throw, the more ones you get, the more re-rolls you get, the more 6's you get, the more dice you get...I'm dizzy.
Evil Suns add 1" to their move characteristic (2" if the unit has the Speed Freek keyword) and 1" to their  advance and charge rolls.  Note to self, all of the fancy new vehicles have the Speed Freek keyword.  This is good for everything, particularly things that charge after "deep strike".  An extra inch is great.
Every Deathskulls unit gains a 6++.  Each unit can also re-roll a single hit roll, wound roll, AND (not OR) damage roll each time it shoots or fights.  Finally ALL INFANTRY becomes "ObSec".  In an army with such shitty saves, a 6++ is a pretty big deal.  Yes you can take a KFF and get a 5++, but fitting your whole army within 9" of it gets tricky and spending the CP to make it bigger gets expensive, especially when you want to spread out to get objectives.  The re-rolls equate to 6 command points per turn...PER UNIT!  Now this obviously benefits some units far more than others, Characters and low model count units that have that one big gun that always fails one of the rolls, that tankbusta who missed with his tank hammer, etc etc.  Then think of all those times you roll 1's to wound, or 1 for the damage on a D6 damage weapon.  Well, not any more.
Snakebites get a 6+ FNP.  Simple.
Blood Axes have Taktiks, which means they count as being in cover if they are more than 18" away, even if they are not in cover.  Plus they can shoot OR charge (not both) if they Fell Back.
Freebootas can add 1 to their hit rolls if a friendly unit with this kultur and within 24" destroys and enemy unit in the same phase.  24" is a pretty big distance, and it says nothing about the first unit destroyed.  That means you can daisy chain out this effect across the battlefield starting with a sure kill and moving out from there, buffing your entire army like a wave.

I have to say, those are all pretty good but we aren't really going to get a feel for what they do for this army until we start to look at the army...so let's do that then.


I don't typically talk about special characters, but I really feel I have to mention Ghazghkull and how happy I am with his set of rules.  A lot of people wanted to see him Primarch level powerful, at least non-daemon Primarch.  While he does not have the abundance of special rules that Guilliman has, he does have a very similar stat line.  I quite like this, Ghaz is an Ork, he is big and mean and very punchy, and even though he is the most cunning ork ever, you can't pretend he has the tactical capacity of even your average Astartes character.  I do wish they would have made him a Lord of War though and maybe added a little more to his weaponry as his Kustom Klaw and twin big shoota leaves a little to be imagined.  They don't even address the metal plate that is his skull cap, which has had it's own rule for the last 3 versions of the Codex.  Overall I'm pretty happy with his rules, and you will likely see him in quite a few lists.


First things first, lets look at the war gear that the Warboss is armed with.  He has a kombi-shoota/rokkit launcha, a power klaw, TWO sluggas, and stikkbombs.  OH! and an attack squig because it's free so why the fuck not?  He is WS2+, BS5+, S6, T5, has 6W, 4A and a 4+save.  All in for 90 points he is about as good as it gets right there.  You can swap the rokkit for a skorcha, but I think maximizing rokkits might be the way to go as you will not be hurting for ways to kill infantry.  His biggest downfall is that he only has a 5" move...but thanks to the Waaagh! rule any infantry unit can charge even if they advance when they are within 6" of him.  On top of that he can perform some commissar style inspiring to units within 3" of him, he inflicts D3 mortal wounds and the unit passes it's morale test.  By far and away the best 90 point character in the game.


The next HQ dude is the Big Mek and you get 2 options, with a shokk attack gun or with mega armour for 80 and a 100 points respectively.  The shokk attack gun has been dumbed down significantly simply having D6 shots at a S value of 2D6.  It is AP-5 and D6 damage with a 60" range which makes it really good in that aspect.  It does get a little crazy in that if the S value is 11+, then each successful hit deals D3 mortal wounds IN ADDITION to normal damage.  We do still have to remember that the Big Mek still only has a BS of 5+, but with the right kultur you can make this weapon a little more reliable.  The Big Mek in the mega armour is the only way to get a Kustom Force field on an infantry model (in this book), but I'm not convinced you're going to want to take one, not with a Tellyport Blasta as another option.  It only has a range of 12", but it's S8 and AP-2 and assault 3.  The real trick is that if the target suffers a wound and is not slain you roll a D6, if the result is higher than the remaining wounds of the target, it dies.  Just straight up removed from the battlefield and tellyported right into your army case, you can get a bigger KFF later anyway.  They can both repair D3 wounds to a nearby vehicle.


The Wierdboy has had a couple changes to him that were probably necessary.  His Waagh! Energy ability still gives him a +1 to cast for every 10 Ork models within 10" of him but Gretchin don't count towards it and its maxed out at +3.  While we are at it, and since the Wierdboy is the only psyker in the army, lets take a look at the powers available to him.  As a side note, almost all of these powers have too high of a warp charge to them.  I know that he can get +3 to cast them, but if that's the case, then make the powers stronger at higher casting levels similar to Smite and you can't forget that the +3 can also cause him to perils.  These powers have to be worth that risk and in my mind, only 2 of them are.  Eadbanger has a WC of 8, has a range of 18" and will just straight up remove the closest model if you can roll a D6 higher than the targets T.  Warpath has a WC of 7 and is probably the second best power in this list, will give a +1A buff to a target unit within 18".  Da Jump, otherwise known as the only reason you will take a Wierdboy, has a WC of 7 and picks up any infantry unit within 12" of the psyker and "deep strikes" them anywhere on the table.  Fists of Gork have a WC of 6 and give a character within 12" +2S and +2A.  Da Kruch has a WC of 8 and a range of 18" and you roll a D6 for each model in the target unit, on a 6 the unit suffers a mortal wound.  Then roll 2D6 and on a 10+ you do it all again.  The last power, and the least, is the Roar of Mork with it's WC of 8 that targets all enemy units within 18" and reduces their Ld characteristic by 1.  You will want to watch out for Da Jump and Warpath.  If you are thinking that you will want 2 wierdboys so you can get both of those powers, think again.  All you need to do is spend 1CP on making him a Warphead which allows him to know and attempt to manifest a second power.

There is a serious lack of art for the Wartrike, so here is Zhardsnark
We lost a Warboss on a bike (yes he is still in the Index), but we gained the Deffkilla Wartrike, which is pretty much the same thing.  Now the first thing I noticed is that there are NO options for this guy, which means you can't give him a power klaw, but then I saw all the other shit going on and quickly got over it.  Where do I start, M14", T6, W8, 5A are all good places but I'm going to talk about his wargear because, like the warboss, this dude is packin heat.  First weapon is the trike itself, and it's basically an 8" twin meltagun OR a heavy flamer.  Then we have 3 twin boomstikks which are S5 shotguns.  They have a range of 12 and get +1 to hit when within half range.  Lastly it has the snagga klaw which has a terrible shooting profile but a pretty decent melee profile at +2S, AP-2, D3D.  All that shooting adds up and will definitely soften up some light to medium infantry before he goes charging in.  This guy even has his very own stratagem called Snagga Grapple which inflicts D3 mortal wounds if he falls back in the movement phase.  This combos pretty awesome with the Blood Axes Taktiks as he can then shoot or charge after, and if you use Ramming Speed that's another D3 mortal wounds on the way in..  Similar to the Warboss's Waagh! ability, any friendly BIKER or VEHICLE within 6" of the DkWt can charge even if they advanced that turn.  This is crazy awesome for Speed Freek armies easily being able to make turn 1 charges with a large number of units.


Alright, now here is the meat of a classic Ork army, da Boyz.  At 7 points a pop they almost seem a little expensive with such lacklustre ranged ability and barely a tank top as armour, but when you see just how potentially devastating they can be in combat you will change your mind.  Before we get into that can of worms, we have some options for them, any of them can be armed with either a shoota or a choppa and slugga.  For every 10 models one model can take a tankbusta bomb, and for every 10 models one can replace his choppa and slugga for a rokkit launcha or a big shoota.  The unit can have a Boss Nob and he has access to the Nob Weapons.  Ok, this is all whatever, but we really need to start doing some fucking math here...


An Ork Boy has an attack characteristic of 2, his choppa is basically a chainsword and gives him an extra attack, then if there are 20 or more Boyz in the squad they get another attack, that's 4 so far.  Then lets say you take bad 'Ol Ghazzy, they get another attack if they complete a charge move and are within 6" of him, and they get ANOTHER attack if a Weirdboy casts Warpath on them.  That is 6 attacks.  6 ATTACKS!!!!


That's 120 attacks for 20 Boyz, and if you made them Goffs they will generate another 20 attacks which will result in 15 dead Marines, 41 dead Guardsmen, or 5 wounds off of a Knight.  That is pretty god damn fantastic for 140 points of Boyz.  Yeah, just BOYZ!  The nob with his fucking power klaw will also have 6 attacks (generating 1 more for Goff).  A new bomb has just arrived folks, and it's a mean green machine.

Gretchin are 3 points a model.  That's about all I really have to say about them as a unit, but there is a stratagem that brings back the old "grotshield" from the earlier days.  Ok, for 1 CP you can activate Grot Shields witch allows and infantry unit that has been hit by a ranged weapon to shrug off wounds it has suffered onto a unit of Gretchin within 6" and closer to the firing unit.  If you are a Snakebite CLAN then their warlord trait makes Gretchin within 12" of the warlord immune to morale.


You are gonna want to keep your boys alive, and what better way to do that than have a doctor nearby.  A Painboy can heal a friendly Infantry or Biker model within 1" for D3 wounds on a 2+, if you roll a 1 the target takes a wound.  That's why you take a Grot orderly who lets you re-roll that roll OR re-roll the number of wounds healed once per battle.  He also has a 3" aura that gives a 6+ FNP, which if you combine with the Deffskulls Kultur they get a 6++ and a 6+FNP making that 7 point Ork Boy far more durable.

Now that you've taken care of the boys, you gotta have a Mek to help the Big Mek take care of all the vehicles you're going to have.  Aside from being able to heal a vehicle for a single wound, this lunatic is also toting around a crazy pistol that's a supercharged plasma pistol that does D6 damage.  This guy is the perfect candidate to be taken as a Deffskull for those important re-rolls, and it fits a narrative too, if that matters to you.


Those Gretchin make a great shield, but if you're not Snakebites there's a good chance you're little buggers will run away.  That's where the Runtherd comes in, he can use his squig hound to remove D3 models and ignore the result.  This is interesting wording as unlike the Warboss's Breakin' Heads, they still count as having failed, which will be important in some maelstrom cards.  You also have to take a unit of Gretchin in order to take a Runtherd, but the Runtherd doesn't take up a slot in a detachment.  I kind of like this as it prevents players from taking a really cheap option in the elites section to get the CP for multiple detachments, I think there should be other entries in other armies that work the same way.



Who smells BBQ?  The Burna Boyz are all equipped with burnas.  The great thing about burnas is that they can shoot, emitting an 8" gout of flame that does D3 auto-hits at S4, and used in melee, with a -2AP.  For every 5 models, you can turn one of them into a Spanner, who is basically a mini-mek.  They have a nice little trick in that if they kill something in the shooting phase they will auto pass morale tests.  That means that your opponent will have to kill them to a man and while its not that difficult to do, he can't rely on their poor Ld to clear out the last couple models.  These guys are great to throw in a truck and rush up the table for a surprise 12D3 auto hitting attacks.

Lets talk about tankbustas for a minute, they are good.  They re-roll hits when targeting vehicles and the Deathskulls have a strat that lets them re-roll wounds when targeting vehicles, and we haven't even talked about their weapons, which are rokkits.  Each of them get a rokkit launcha which is 24", assault 1, S8, AP-2, 3D.  I really like the flat 3 damage, it's one less thing to have to rely on dice for, which is always a good thing.  Now those are the good weapons, how about the awesome ones?  Like the tankhammer, oh shit I love this thing.  For every 5 models you can swap a rokkit launcha for a tank hammer, which allows the bearer one melee attack that deals D3 mortal wounds and then kills the swinger which is both good and fucking hilarious.  Then we got the bomb squigs, which are kind of weird, they are a model, you get 2 of them for every 5 models in the unit.  They have a ranged attack that can't target unit with FLY and is 18", assault 1, S8, AP-2, and D6D.  After the attack is made the bomb squig dies.  Oh, and they hit on 2+ which is HUGE for an army full of 5+BS.  Then if you happen to get right in the face of said target you want to blow up use the Extra Stikkbombs stratagem so they can all throw tankbusta bombs, which is a D3 grenade S8, AP-2, and D6D.  To run the numbers, if 10 orks throw a grenade, and you use the More Dakka strat, and you use Wreckers, you will generate 17 hits, 13 of which will generate wounds and 8 of those will be failed saves which will inflict 28 wounds.  Now of course this is math hammer, and it does require 5 CP to pull off, but I would gladly spend 5CP to kill a knight.


Nobs are one of the more diverse units that the Orks have in their book, able to take a variety of wargear such as mega armour and warbikes, but when you get right down to it, Nobs just aren't as points efficient as many of the other units that can fill the same role.  Meganobz might be an exception as a 6 man squad is around 200 points and can weather a staggering 350 bolter shots before dying.  Having a Painboy nearby who not only gives them a 6+FNP, but can also restore lost wounds will increase their durability drastically.  Plus they all have power klaws and kustom shootas.

There is a Nob character, who carries around a Waagh! banner, which has a 6" aura that gives nearby friendly units a +1 to hit in melee, I don't have to beat you over the head to tell you how amazing that is.  There is one further rule that all Nobs have, and that is they can prevent a model that has fled due to a failed morale check by rolling a 6.  This will help when your opponent wisely deals large amounts of damage to multiple units and you can't auto pass morale on all of them.  Of course a Warboss nearby will help with that also.


The last of the elites section are the Kommandos, masters of infiltration and sneaky stabbin.  They can "deep strike", add 2 to their save when in cover, and add 1 to wound rolls made with melee weapons against a unit that is in cover.  They are only 1 point more than your average boy, but can only be taken in units of 5-15 and the only weapon upgrade they can take is one in 5 models can take a tankbusta bomb.  Considering 'Da Jump is a thing, and there is a stratagem that lets you deep strike units, these guys are not likely going to see the table all that often.  They would be a good unit at taking out defensively placed sniper type units, with 'Ere We Go and the Evil Suns clan trait helping ensure they make the charge.

Warbikers are fast, especially as Evil Suns.  They can move 16", advance D6+1", and charge 2D6+1", and if there is a Deffkilla Wartrike nearby they can advance and charge giving them a melee threat range of 21"-36".  However, since they have dakkaguns strapped to their bikes, their shooting potential is pretty good too.  Do you remember when Tau could do that terrible "Jump-Shoot-Jump" BS back in the day?  Well a unit of Evil Suns Speed Freeks can do it now with Drive-By Krumpin, allowing them to make another move at the end of the shooting phase.  If they do this they cannot charge, but it's a great tool at getting a round of shooting off and then taking cover, or moving back to an objective etc etc.


Ok, so this is the section you have been waiting for, the 5 new vehicles that have come out.  These vehicles have pretty much been created to replace the old buggy units.  Indeed you can probably do some rather minor updates to some of the buggies you've had for ages and be able to pass them off as a conversion of one of these new fangled souped up Honda Civics.  I'm gonna say something a little controversial, I don't think these things are all that great.  Keep in mind, as I go through them, that each of these things are around 100 points.  They all have a fairly similar stat line the main difference being the models movement (ranging from 10" to 14") and that 2 of them have 9W instead of 8W.  Most of these vehicles feel very unfocused, with a wide variety of weapons and abilities that don't seem to compliment one another particularly well.  Or perhaps you're supposed to engage multiple targets at once, insanity or brilliance, who knows?

The Kustom Boosta-Blasta is a prime example, it has a rivet cannon which is 36", Assault 6, S7, AP-2, and 2D which is a pretty good gun with decent range.  It also has 4 burna exhaust, which are basically the ranged profile of a burna, and a spiked ram that will deal D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ when it completes a charge, but it has no other melee weapons.  So you want to keep it out of combat to maximize it's shooting, but you also want to get it close, and you want it to charge, but it doesn't have any melee weapons so it's does very little damage in combat.

The Shokkjump Dragsta is fairly well focused.  It's a fast moving shock unit that is designed to pop up all around the table and get off some fairly reliable shooting.  I would generally say you would want to keep this model at the end of it's reach as it's kustom shokk rifle is really good at 24", Assault 2, S8, AP-3, and D6D with a +2 to hit with it.  It being an assault weapons is important because of the Shokk Tunnel rule.  If you roll a 4+ when you advance with this model you remove it from the table and basically "deep strike" it, then on a 4+ it suffers a mortal wound.  If you are Evil Suns you ignore the penalties for advancing and shooting assault weapons, but unless you end up within 6" of a Deffkilla Trike, you aren't charging which makes it's saw blade melee weapon kind of useless.  Also, being able to teleport kind of makes the extra inches you get from being Evil Suns wasted half the time but you still need to be Evil Suns so you can advance and shoot without penalty.

The Boomdakka Snazzwagon is another scatterbrained contraption that has no specific style of play.  It has a big shoota that hits on 4, a Mek speshul that's 24", Assault 9, S5, AP-2, and burna bottles which are 6", Grenade 2D6, S4, and ignore cover.  This thing also has Billowing Fumes, which subtracts 1 from hit rolls when targeting this model.  This is perfect

The Megatrakk Scrapjet is full of S8 AP-2 3D attacks.  The Rokkit kannon doing 2D3 shots and the wing missile with +1 to hit against VEHICLE units and -1 to others.  It's nose drill also brings some S8 AP-2 D3D melee and a spiked ram for D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ after charging.  However, for being a cockpit and wheels strapped to a jet engine, it's deceptively slow at 10".  It almost screams Evil Suns with a Deffkilla Wartrike nearby.

The last one has possibly the most focus with a rather large amount of dakka it can put out.  The Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy is armed with a heavy squig launcha and a squig launcha, which have the same profile except the heavy does double the shots and gets +1 to hit, keep that in mind as I'll describe the heavy version and you can halve the number of shots for the other one.  There are 3 types of squigs that the squig launcha launches.  The bile squig does 2D6 shots with no AP but wounds on a 4+ unless it's a VEHICLE or TITANIC, the bitey squig does 2 shots with S5 AP-3 and 2D while the boom squig does 2D3 shots at S6 AP-1, and D3D, all at a range of 36".  All in all, a little disappointing for being almost 150 points.  It's also got a nifty little gadget called a squig mine.  Once per battle this model drops off a mine along it's movement within 1" of the model and more than 3" from an enemy model, leave a token to mark the location.  From the start of the next phase, if ANY model comes within 3" of the token it detonates, roll a D6 and on a 2-3 it inflicts 1 mortal wound, 4-5 does D3 mortal wounds, on a 6 it deal 3 mortal wounds.

Regardless of what weapons they have, how fast they move, or what special rules they have, they are basically all mobile gun platforms of varying degrees.  You can't forget about the Ramming Speed stratagem, in addition to charging 3D6" you also deal D3 mortal wounds on a 2+, pair that with one of the vehicles with a spiked ram and you could be doing 2D3 mortal wounds, or with the Dragsta so you can pop over to the other side of the table and charge a nice juicy target.

Falling with style.
Do you like mobs of Boyz, but they aren't fast enough for you?  Stormboyz fix that urge to go faster for 2 extra points.  They can also auto advance 6" for the added risk of possibly crashing, roll a D6 for each model in the unit and on a 6 the unit takes a mortal wound.  They can also deep strike, which makes it tempting to take them as Evil Suns so you can get that extra 1" when charging.  But the thing is, if you take them in a Goff army you can take Zagstruk, who makes them fearless to morale if they are within 6" of him.  You can advance them and still charge if you have a Warboss within 6", which makes first turn charges a thing, with masses of bodies, not just a few bikers or fast vehicles.

I'm afraid that Deffkoptas have been priced out of being good.  40 points for a twin bog shoota or 55 for 2 rokkits.  They are fast, and can "outflank", and they have 4 wounds, but you can get 2 bikers for 46 points, they have the same number of wounds but twice as many shots and attacks.  They just simply aren't worth the points.

You will want to know this.
Ok, here it is, the Mek Gunz.  I'm sure you've heard all there is to know.  The traktor kannon auto hits, is S8, AP-2, and D6D.  Against VEHICLES that FLY you roll 2D6 and pick the highest for damage, and if it destroys the VEHICLE with FLY it auto blows up.  You can take up to 18 of them for 45 points each.  The smasha gun is D3 shots, AP-4 and D6D but instead of making a wound roll you roll 2D6 and compare the total to the targets toughness, if it's higher the wound is successful.  It's only 31 points.  There are 2 others that don't really matter.  You are going to see lots of these, particularly the traktor kannon and it's going to put a dent in the number of vehicles with fly that you are going to see, this is going to hurt Ravenwing even more (they didn't need that), not to mention nearly every kind of Eldar (they deserved it).  However, for many other lists out there, it's not really going to affect you all that much.  Daemons don't really care, neither do Chaos Space Marines, Tau take mostly suits even though they have some vehicles with fly, Nids have no vehicles at all, and even Guard don't take many vehicles with fly.  This will put a bit of a dent in knights but even still, all 18 firing at one knight is not likely to bring it down without a little extra luck from somewhere.  Keep in mind that the Mek Gunz are Gretchin units, so they do NOT benefit from any of the Ork kulturz.  Not to mention, they are not that tough to kill with only 6 wounds and a 5+ save.  I have a feeling that games with a lot of these mek gunz will be determined on terrain and LOS, and whether or not the VEHICLES with FLY can hide and or get the first turn and kill a shit ton of gunz.  We will see...

The battlewagons are pretty much the same, there are 3 different data slates for them, but all in all their overall use didn't change much.  They carry models around. The basic one is open topped and can carry 20 models but is only T7.  You can make it T8, but it no longer counts as open topped.  The Gunwagon can shoot it's big gun twice if it doesn't move in the moment phase, and the Bonebreaka gets D6 extra attacks in the fight phase if it charged.


This is the part of the review where we get into the big stompy robots.  Most codex's have them, and other than knights, most of them don't really see the table top.  Killa Kans hit the table at around 50 points each, T5, W5, and a 3+ save makes them fairly durable.  Yet their 4+BS and 5+WS makes their offensive capabilities somewhat lacklustre.

Deffdreads, however, are pretty damn well priced at around 100 points.  This could include 2 ranged weapons and 2 combat weapons, giving them both shooting power and combat prowess.  Likely you will equip them with 2 big shootas to take advantage of Dakka!Dakka!Dakka! and it comes with 2 klaws giving it 4 attacks.  This puts it at about the same offensive capabilities as a Dreadnought for 30 points less.  Then there is the Dread Mob rule in which you can take 3 of them in a unit, then once deployed they act independently.  This is what Dreadnoughts should be.

Then we come to the big boys, the Gork/Morkanaut.  They each tip the scales at around 310 points, assuming you give the Morkanaut a KFF.  Something to keep in mind as I go on, is that they gain the benefits of the CLAN they are in, so depending on what you want them to do, you can have some real serious damage output on your hands.  For example, lets take a look at a Bad Moons Morkanaut with the More Dakka stratagem on it, you're looking at killing 9 marines in shooting and combat (using the smash profile on the Klaw), coming very close to killing 2 Rhinos, and doing 14 wounds to a knight.  If the same Morkanaut is a Freeboota and someone nearby as killed something before it in each of the shooting and fight phases, then it increases it's damage to 13 marines, killing 2 Rhinos, and peeling off 16 wounds from that knight.  With just as many guns but far more bullets, the Gorkanaut is better at taking out infantry with the Bad Moons variant taking out 14 marines but only killing one and a half Rhinos while only dealing 12 wounds to the knight.  There isn't a great difference between these numbers, but the Klaw makes up a good deal of ground against the vehicles.  One of each of these guys equals a Castellan Knight, and I think they are worth it if you can build an army around them.  There are far more options in this book however, and I think that more boys in your face is going to be one of the top list ideas.


Welcome to the stars of the show.  You will see lootas in most of the ork lists because they are so damn deadly.  Now it may not look so amazing right off the bat, that's mainly because there are a couple strats that need to be used to get you the real good stuff.  First off, Mob Up.  Basically you will see at least 2 units of these guys, one with 10 or more models and the other with 10 or less so that when you're done you will have a unit of MOAR.  Typically, if you have the first turn you'll get a unit of 25.  Now of course these guys will be Bad Moons which you will use the More Dakka stratagem on and then they'll start Showing Off and shoot again.  If you get 3 shots each, you will be looking at killing 14 marines, 2 rhinos, or taking 12 wounds off a knight, then you do that AGAIN cause that was just the numbers for one round of shooting.  Of course you could get only 1/3 of those numbers and that is not good for 425 points of Ork Boys with big guns, so you're gonna want to save your re-roll for that one.

Flash Gitz are the "Nob" version of Lootas.  They have a Nob profile, but what's this?  BS4+!?!?!?  That right, BS4+.  These guys have a slightly higher damage output than Lootas, but this is when comparing a unit of Bad Moons Lootas and Freeboota (that the auto-choice) Flash Gitz of equal points value and not taking into account the Show'n Off strat AND assuming that the Freeboota kultur has been activated giving them +1 to hit.  Flash Gitz have a significantly shorter range, but with fewer bodies, more wounds, and a better save, they are far more durable against typical infantry fire power, but take heavier casualties to supercharged plasma etc etc.  To make up for the lack of Show'n Off (it's a Bad Moons stratagem and flash gitz are automatically Freebootas), they are Gun-crazy show-offs and can shoot their guns again if you roll a 6 right after they complete their first round of shooting.

Then we got the trukk, not gonna spend a ton of time on it.  It can transport 12 guys and is open topped so they can shoot out.  Pretty good for a unit of Evil Suns tankbustas who don't mind advancing with their assault rokkits.  It also has a 6+ FNP.


It's a bird...it's a plane...oh wait, it actually is a plane.  4 of them actually, each one of them costing around 140 points and they all have the same stat line with one very small difference, 2 of them have a slightly different move value at tier 1 and 2.  I'm not doing to go into great detail with these guys but I will run down some quick numbers and important notes.  The Dakkajet can take up to 6 supa-shootas and gets +1 to hit if all it's guns target the same unit which will result in 4 dead marines.  The Burna-bommer and Blitza-bommer both have a mortal wound dealing bomb that can be used twice a battle.  The Blitza-bommer is probably a little better as it's bomb can use up to 12 dice and "hit" on a 4+, while the Burna-bommber only goes up to 10 dice and hit on 5+ but gets +1 if the unit is infantry.  The Wazbom Blastajet is basically a flying KFF.  I really don't thing that it's other weapons are all that useful, even though the weapons themselves are really good, there just isn't enough of them.


The Stompa, the effigy of Gork and Mork, wreaking destruction across the battlefield, all 900 points.  So lets see if this guy is actually worth 2 knights.  So with shooting alone, and if it's a Bad Moon, you're looking at 16 dead guardsmen, 10 dead marines, almost 2 dead rhinos, and 12 wounds removed from a knight.  This includes all of it's guns, one supa-rokkit, and the Supa-Gatler twice (which you can do on a 2+) but not using the More Dakka strat which is a thing you can do.  Also keep in mind, if the game is getting down to the nitty gritty, the Supa-Gatler can potentially shoot 3 times, but each time there is a chance that it runs out of ammo and can't shoot again for the rest of the battle.  Now the good thing is those numbers don't change no matter how much damage it has taken, none of it's ranged capabilities are affected by the damage tiers.  Combat on the other hand, well it starts of pretty strong.  With 2 melee profiles we can see it's 18 S10 AP-2 D3D slash attacks kill 7 marines, but it 6 S20 AP-5 and 6D smash attack will see 2 dead rhinos and a real good chance you'll do 24 wounds to a knight (unless it has an invulnerable save in combat).  6 attacks, 4 of them hit, and with 2+ to wound and a re-roll CP it's not a far cry that all of them wound.  Then for every 10 wounds you lose you lose one point of WS and one attack.  But don't worry, you have 40 wounds, and on a 2+ you can get D3 back every turn.  I hear you saying you want an invulnerable save, well, if you're 900 points deep already, why not spend another hundo and put a Big Mek with KFF in it.  Oh, that's right, it can also carry 20 models.  So load it up with meganobs and have yourself a good ol time spewing out orky 2+ save goodness.


WOW, that was a lot of units, but we are in the home stretch.  For the last bit of the post lets take a look at some of those extra special things that don't really physically show up on the battlefield.  The Mob Up stratagem is going to be a thing that you will see a lot, but not in the way that you might think.  I mentioned that you will see it right away to make 2 units of lootas into one unit of lootas.  The main reason for that is to maximize the More Dakka stratagem so that it effects a greater number of models, plus if you don't have LOS to anything you can actually use Da Jump on them to get visibility and More Dakka will still ensure they hit and get their extra shots on 5+.  Get Stuck In Ladz is another that you will see a lot, attacking twice with just about anything is a scary proposition.  Force Filed Projekta is yet another great stratagem that increases the range of the KFF form 9" to 18", and the great thing about this is that it's used at the start of the battle round.  So if your opponent gets first turn you can still use this strat to get your 5++.  Grot Shields lets you pass off wounds from your orks to the grots much the same way that shield drones work, except grots are only 3 points each.  You can put unit of 20 Power Level or less into "deep strike" with Tellyporta, you can "recycle" a damaged but not destroyed unit of boyz with the Unstoppable Green Tide which pulls them off the table and brings them back on within 6" of the table edge and more than 9" from an enemy model at full starting strength.  And I've talked about those Bad Moons who like Showin' Off.  Now, most of these stratagems are pretty expensive, many of the ones I've mentioned costing 3CP, but with such cheap units it's very conceivable to field multiple batallions, even brigades.


As for the Shiny Gubbinz, there really is only one that you will see a lot of, and that's Da Killa Klaw.  It's a power klaw that doesn't have a -1 to hit and allows re-rolls to wound.  I have to give honourable mentioned to Headwoppa's Killchoppa which can dish out 2 mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6+, Morgog's Finkin Kap will give Blood Axe characters a warlord trait, which I will talk about shortly, and Da Lucky Stick allows the Goff bearer to re-roll hit and wound rolls AND gives a +1 to hit for nearby Goff characters.

Similar to the Gubbins, you will likely see only a couple warlord traits as they are by far the best.  Brutal But Kunnin' allows your warlord to re-roll hit rolls in the fight phase and adds 1 to the damage of his weapon on the first turn of combat.  Kunnin' But Brutal allows you to re-deploy your warlord and up to D3 units at the start of the battleround but before the first turn starts, which can be potentially very strong depending on if you can bait your opponent properly.

I need to bring this to your attention, and you may have already noticed.  All of the abilities in this book that allow re-rolls do not specify that you only re-roll FAILED rolls.  For example, the Kunnin' But Brutal warlord trait says "You can re-roll hit rolls in the fight phase for attacks made by your Warlord."  This means that if you need a 2+ to hit, and are using a power klaw, you can re-roll those 2's that would typically have failed, since re-rolls occur before any modifiers are applied.  Most of the rules in this book are worded like this which really gives Orks a leg up on the rest of the armies who still can only re-roll failed saves.

Finally, we are done.  Cover to cover we have looked at everything in the book, but what does that mean for the table top?  Well, this is pretty good timing actually because a rather large tournament just wrapped up called the Renegade Open, and guess what, Orks won.  So what did that winning list have in it?  Steven Pampreen had 90 boyz, 35 kommandos, a Warboss, Wierdboy, and Painboy in an Evil Suns battalion, then he had 30 grots, a Wierdboy, Big Mek on bike with KFF, and 22 lootas in a Bad Moons battalion, finally he had Boss Snikrot, a Wierdboy, and 30 more grots in a Blood Axe battalion.  So 210 models, all of them infantry except for 1 biker Mek.  Quite simply, there are just too many bodies to kill them all.  The last match of the event was against Double Spear Ynnari, and the orks took the charge of both units of Spears on turn one and lost a ton of models, but he still had a ton left.  Now that the Spears were so damn close, the orks just turned around and charged them wiping one unit out and putting a decent beating on the other.  And we can't forget that Steven still had all of his kommandos still in reserve ready to come in and take the Eldar's back field.  I think we can expect this to be a pretty common list in the weeks and months to come.

Phew, we made it.  If you're still reading, I have to hand it to you.  You stuck it out till the end and I greatly appreciate it.  I have been thinking of starting to break down the codex reviews into smaller pieces, maybe 2 or 3 articles instead of 1 giant post.  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Thanks for reading.

Tip next time, keep them dice rollin.

As always my Codex Review are brought to you by...


Instead of just plugging the store this time though, I would like to take a chance to not only thank Garth (the owner) but the players who also frequent the store and gaming room.  I played a game there last week and I forgot both the Codexes I was using and my Rulebook.  At the time the back gaming room was full and I did not know all of the guys there.  Since there have been some instances at some other gaming stores where thing have gone mysteriously missing, I had a sinking feeling that I might not see those books again.  Yet lo and behold, when I called the shop a couple days later (it actually took me 2 days to notice I was missing my books) Garth had found them still in the back room, set to the side.


So with that note, thank you to the players that frequent Maxx Collectibles and didn't steal my stuff.  You are quality people.  And thank you to Maxx Collectibles for attracting quality people.