Tactica- Lootas

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IVEATCH


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What we need to know about Lootas:  The Negatives

The first time you roll one-shot-per-model your going to wish you'd taken something else. The first time they fail leadership and they run like babies off the table your going to wish you'd taken something else. When SaG mek (Shock Attack Gun Mek) is forced to target them as the closest squad .. uh huh ... your going to wish you'd taken something else. When your friend says he used Snikrot and a Battlewagon full of burnas to win his last game, well your are ... okay ... enough of that. Let's forget the negatives for a awhile and look at them with some objectivity.

Army Builds

Your army build needs to able to support them. If your boyz are in Trukks in a typical KoS (Kult of Speed) list they wouldn't be as useful as in a list that employs more footsloggers. Trukk boys will get into combat quickly denying you many targets. In such a list I would use only one squad of Lootas at the most. But consider this ... Orks... a 1000pt ork shoota list, is actually evil. Two shock attack meks, twenty lootas in cover, and two mobs of shoota boys moving up (ideally though cover) is a load of grief. Who said orks can't shoot? A list using six Killa Kanz and two Deffdreads with shoota boyz and two Big Meks (one with a Kustom Force Field and one with SAG) backed by lootas for some fire support is a killer list that is becoming popular now. It can be adjusted to play from 1000 points all the way to 1500 points and is quite viable. This is a good build that takes advantage of the Lootas strengths.

Mob Size

Quite simply you need to remember that a larger mob has a better chance of survival. You can use two small squads, of course, to split the firepower and double your targets. But I have found one larger mob to be preferable. Five lootas have good range + Str 7 gives light armour of 12 (and even armour 13) something to think about.  But with a maximum of only 15 shots, they won't be much good against infantry hordes. If your army is light on anti-light tank, then yes, go for it. If you have plenty of Rokkits and some Power Klaws for enemy armour, then maybe go for bulking one of the units you already have. It depends on your army list. You could add a dozen Ork boyz armed with  Shootas for nearly the same cost. A small mob of Kommandoz including a Nob with a Big Choppa is cheap , infiltrates, and still enough attacks and strength on the charge to make hurt your opponent. For the cost of a smaller squad of Lootas you'd get six of the little menaces plus the Mek Boy in charge. Unfortunately the Mek Boy cannot take a Bosspole.  This makes leadership an issue with such a small Mob.  Lootas are fantastic, but I know from personal experience just how quickly a unit can go down. One good round of shooting for them and a bad morale test by you and your unit goes running. Five extra Orks gives you at least one extra round of shooting.  My recommendation - always try to get at least a squad of ten and if points allow a squad of twelve to fifteen. I would only use a smaller Mobz in games of 1000 points or less.

Using Meks

Now you can take Meks with your lootas and arm them with Big Shoota, Mega Blasta or Rokkit Launchas. They have different range then your Deffguns and it makes very little sense to give up a potential 3 shots with a Deffgun to add a Mekboy. Some like to place a Big Mek with a Bosspole with them as protection from failed leadership rolls and to alleviate the problem of having them run off the table. However, you waste an HQ slot by doing so. You may want your SaG Big Mek positioned away from your Lootas so he can target another squad.

Placement

One needs to be careful with their placement on the table and try to give them some cover so they don't take off the first time they get shot at. Never count on cover though. If possible, stick these guys somewhere they're simply out of range of the enemy, and then cover is not necessary. The back corner is their friend. They are Elites and therefore place after both Heavy Support and Troops so you can really maximize your line of sight. They require LoS so keep your fire lanes open. Remember that Deffguns are heavy weapons. If you need to move in order to gain Line of Sight, you will lose a turn of shooting. So be careful with your initial placement.

Firepower and Targets

Deffguns are excellent at laying down a lot of dakka. They can take down skimmers, Devastator Squads, Terminators and light armour. With a potential of up to three Str 7 shots one squad can wipe out a beakie squad off the board on the 1st turn. They also take out skimmers pretty well and are great against other non AV 14 vehicles. Volume of fire will take out AV 13. A loota has a range greater than a Big Shoota  (not sure I'm allowed to give specific statistics) they are a great supplement to your overall dakka. Their range covers most of the board. Lootas can also take down Defilers, Wraithlords and other targets to leave your Power Klaws free to go after the heavier armour. Lootas can shoot with the best units in the game.

Tactical Applications

Lootas can be used to your tactical advantage. Your enemy will not like them and will hopefully try to get at them early. A half-way decent general will, of course, go after your Trukks straight away or your bikes and Stormboyz first. If you do not use those units he will start nailing the Elite foot units that don't have the protection of a transport or big numbers. After that, he'll try and take out your Deffdreads and Killa Kanz and maybe some of your Ork boyz that are armed with Shootas.  Finally, he'll go after the lootas. If you supplement your Lootas with a SaG Mek then suddenly you have a formidable firebase if you use enough Lootas. Try to force your opponent into dealing with them earlier - you might lose them but this will allow you to move up your other troops into favorable positions unscathed.

Lootas and Other Elite Choices

What are you losing to get your Lootas? I've never had good luck using Burnas or Tankbusters and would certainly take Lootas before either of them. Kommandos, however are a very good option. You could take five Lootas if points allowed or Kommandos ... a minimum sized unit with a couple of Rokkit Launchas may be able to pick a target on the first turn before getting wasted. Examine your list carefully (this is why I say small squads are less effective for general gameplay when using Lootas). Would Snikrot with two Burnas or Rokkits be better suited to your list then a few Lootas?




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