Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ork Elite Choices

Hey guys,

once more I’m sitting in the train and therefore have some time to write something for my blog (sometimes travelling by train has its advantages).  I’ve already told you something about possible HQ and Troop choices for an Ork army. This time I’m going to talk about the very important and interesting Elite slots. Opposite to many other armies the Orks have a quite great amount of playable Elite units and it is very important to make the right choices here. To help you finding those units that fit your personal playing style the most I can only suggest to proxy all of these units and just find it out by playing with them. This is at least what I often did and by now I get a really good idea which units are valuable for me in decent army lists. But now let’s jump right into the action and take a closer look at the units themselves.
All in all there are six(!!!) possible choices we can buy and in the right list every single of these is playable. First up there is the already well known (by my Nobbiker list) Nob squad. We have to buy at least three of these guys and may buy up to ten getting a rather big and scary, but also expensive, unit this way. Interesting in this unit are several options we can buy. Of course, we can buy loooooots of power claws in this unit and we should always include three or four of these things, because they strike with 3 (4 in an assault) attacks at strength 8 (9 with FC) that ignore armour saves and because they strike at I1 the enemy is not able to stack them on single models. This directly brings me to a rather important option, namely Stickbombz. I would always recommend to buy them, to strike in initiative order when attacking through terrain, I explained you already the reason for this ;)
No matter how big your units of Nobz actually is, always try to maximize on woundgroups, to get the biggest effect of having two wounds per model, otherwise you are just wasting points in this unit.
Basically I would tend to two different versions to play this unit, either as Nobbikers (you already know the setup for this unit), in this case the unit does not always have to count ten models, but sometimes even 5-7 of these guys are more than enough and way cheaper. The other way is a squad of 6-8 Nobz mounted in a Battlewagon. I would always recommend buying the Painboy upgrade for both units, because this way you are able to buy invulnerable saves for the unit and get the very important FnP special rule, which will keep your Nobz alive much longer.
Nobz are a really powerful unit, but cost us lots of points and struggle against several enemies (to be named TH/SS-Termis and SpaceWolves with Jaws), but what makes them really valuable is the fact that we can often buy them in the Troop slot, making them a scoring unit. Besides this we can buy a Battlewagon with them and save a Heavy Support slot this way, both are good reasons to buy Nobz, but normally I prefer them only to buy a squad as a Troop choice and stick to other Elite units.
The second Elite choice we can buy are MANz (Megaarmoured Nobz or shorter Meganobz). Those guys already come with Terminatour armour without the invulnerable save but at least with a power claw. This fact makes them of course way more expensive than normal Nobz. We only have the options of different shooty weapon upgrades and normally I buy just squads of three MANz with maxed woundgroups for 130 points. Without an invulnerable save they tend to die rather fast and are just too expensive to buy them in larger units. I tend to support them with a WB to have someone with an invulnerable save, T5 and a BOSSPOLE (why can’t they buy at least this one?!) in the squad. In this setup the unit stays relative cheap and normally brings its own Battlewagon along (same option as the normal Nobz).
When I have decide whether I want to play Nobz or MANz I often take a look at the points and buy MANz if I need a small unit and Nobz if I need a larger unit. Always remember that the unit needs to fit your style of play and has to fit into your lists, there are people, who will never play the one or the other, but I tend to decide from situation to situation what I need. Of course, MANz can also be bought as scoring Troop choices, what makes them even stronger than a normal Elite unit and that’s what I normally do, when I do not buy normal Nobz.
The four remaining units share a huuuuuge problem (ok, the Kommandos mostly ignore this problem by outflanking). None of these units can buy a dedicated transport, which means that we mostly have to buy Battlewagons for them to be mobile or they have to run (not always a good idea). When you play one of these units you should always keep in mind that they most often want to have a transport and you will always loose a Heavy Support slot this way.
The first unit that doesn’t consist of Nobz are Burna Boyz. Basically these are normal Ork Boyz, which are equipped with flamers. Those weapons can be used as power weapon, as long as you haven’t used them as flamers in this turn already. Up to 15 boys are allowed per unit, but I think that normally 10-12 boys do the job as well. The main reason I would buy such a unit is to put them into a Battlewagon, tankshok a unit to ball it up and then lay lots of templates on it, dealing lots of damage this way. I did this sometimes against Tyranids and it’s a great way to kill large units of Symbionts or stuff like this. But to be honest I don’t think that this unit will often find its way into my army lists. The current 40k edition sees lots of vehicles and against vehicles of any kind this unit does nothing at all. If the meta takes a shift towards horde armies, the Burna Boyz might make a comeback, but I don’t really believe this. So it is a funny unit and if you need something against hordes at short range you should buy them, but otherwise stay away from them. I nearly forgot to talk about their options … just ignore them ;)
Next up are the almighty Tankbustas. A unit equipped with assault missile launchers sounds great, but of course they still suffer from having BS2. But still they WILL hit vehicles and do damage to them. If you play against armies without any vehicles at all you will have targets for them as well, normally everything that normally has FnP or is a monstrous creature tends to hate lots of rokkits flying towards itself.  The option to buy two tankhammers is always welcome to me, who does not like S10 CC weapons for autokilling enemy ICMs? The other option for the unit would be to buy Bombsquigs, those are basically one-shot rokkits that can only be aimed at vehicles and always hit on 2+, certainly not a bad piece of equipment, but I often do not have any spare points to buy some of those. What I always buy is a Nob with a power claw, this guy is good in nearly every unit and with his bosspole he keeps my boys where I want them to be. A unit of Tankbustas can consist of up to 15 models. I normally just play squads of 9 of them and this has two pratical reasons. First of all I try to save points for other units and they are not that cheap, the other reason is that I need to block lines of sight for the unit, because the always have to shoot at enemy vehicles when they can see any even if they are not within reach. So it is very important to only let them see what they should shoot or assault, the larger the unit is the harder it is to achieve this. Tankbustas are always happy to be in a transport, but I often play them on foot, because they are a great counter unit as well.
The fifth possible Elite unit are Lootas. Lootas are one of these units that are either loved or hated, normally loved by me and hated by my enemies. A unit of 10-15 Lootas can spit out lots of shots and whenever Orks shoot a lot even they are able to score hits. With S7 these hits even hurt whatever they are aimed at. Be it transport vehicles, monstrous creature or just infantry, everything can be taken out with these guys. Lootas are especially an interesting unit, because they come with a range of 48” and for an Ork this is really long range firepower. Options for this unit are to upgrade three boys to Meks … same option as for the Burna Boyz and again you should just ignore it. There is really no, I repeat NO good reason to do this. You just loose one of your best weapons for a shorter range, so why should I do this?
Lootas in a transport vehicle are fun to play, because first of all the vehicle has to be destroyed and as long as the vehicle can see an enemy unit ALL of the Lootas inside may shoot at it. If you do not have a spare Battlewagon for them, it is of course possible to play them without one, but you have to seek a good position for them where they can see enemies but are not seen by too much enemy fire, because they are just boys and therefore tend to die quite fast.
Last but not least we can buy units of Kommandos. Kommandos are the only unit in our codex that have the ability to infiltrate (and so to outflank, but Deffkoptas can do this as well via Scout). Kommandos basically do not need to buy a transport, because they are normally not deployed in your deployment zone and loose every advantage of being inside a vehicle this way. The common setup for such units is 8-12 Kommandos equipped with either two flamers or two big shootas (the cheap version and an option to damage vehicles from behind after outflanking). Whenever I play Kommandos I buy a boss with pole and claw for them or, if this is ok for my enemy, Snikrot as a boss. This way I lose the claw, but may decide where the unit enters play and this can sometimes be incredible valuable, because it destroys my enemy’s deployment strategy.
I for myself often buy a single unit of Nobz (or mostly MANz) as a Troop choice and fill the Elite slots with one or two units of Lootas and one or two units of Tankbustas. This way I get a solid firebase and units with rokkits that are free to move around wherever they want. Paired with two big units of Boyz as Troops I normally have more models on the table than my enemy and can spit out lots of shots and attacks, dealing massive damage this way. Of course there are lots of other possible ways to fill up your Elite slots and I strongly recommend playing around a lot, until you find out whatever is the best setup for yourself and the armies you most often play against.
Hopefully I gave you some ideas what to do with your valuable Elite slots for an Ork army ;)

So, now I really have to write new articles, because up to now I always already had the next article ready or at least some pictures on my computer to post something, but this time I'm really without reserves ... Let's hope that I'll find some time soon to write more ;)

Cheers Cleutin

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