Make the Most of the Green Horde [3rd Ed.]

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Freddie Hope

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Okay, as the name suggests, this is a post on advise for newbies to the Ork race.One of the best tricks I've got: Using grots as gun crew on a battle wagon. 10 grots plus slaver on a battle wagon with 5 big shootas, you have you own mobile gun wagon!
Before this begins, listen to this very imporant rule which I'm telling you: don't buy 'use choppas. Thank you.


Well, you've got to have a warboss, and here's choice number one: Do you give him everything to make him Uberhard, or give him just enough, or give him a choppa and tell him to get on with it? In regards to mega armour, Ii wouldn't bother unless: A) You're not expecting to move him much, or B) you have a transport for him. Because just when you need that extra burst of speed, you find you can roll nothing but ones.....this can be countered by buying a mega booster, but theres still the chance you will roll the same, if not lower then you did previously, although armour save can be useful.
In regards to guns, many people will be tempted to give him the latest 'hot-off-the-press' custom upgrades, personally, I wouldn't bother, as your low BS Definition: Battle Sister or Ballistic Skillmeans that those points are going to be wasted. Myself, I don't bother giving my warboss (gorg) a gun at all, as the choppa bonus is useful for anything that has equal or lower initiative, combined with a power klaw, for anything higher, means that anything thats not dragging a force weapon will be hard pressed to beat my warboss in combat, but that's down to personal preference. If you want kustom jobs, be my guest.
Also, Big horns on a warboss are a must, if for no other reason, than they look cool!
Armour: Ok, you can give him light orky armour, but then he has the same save as a genestealer. You can give him 'eavy armour, which is better, but still leaves him vulnerable to anything with a decent AP value. Personally, I'd go for 'eavy armour with a bionic bonce to bounce his save up to the same as power armour, with a bionic body for inconvienient power weapons.
Body Guard: Right. are you really sure you want these guys? In order to make them effective they have to be pretty points heavy, and you have to be a pretty skilled player to make them earn their points back. I'd go with making them similarly equipped for the warboss,[Whatever he's got] again, only give them mega armour if mobility doesn't matter very much. Although a fully equipped warboss and bodyguard can do unpresedented amounts of damage, if you don't make the mistake I did:
K.J's Mistake: Taking a mad doc, with 3 orderlys. I figured, come on, he's bound to be useful. Within three turns of shooting from rezzy, each turn rezzy killing one and a half nobs, my mad doc took it upon himself to finish off the half dead one. Since then I just haven't bothered. that experiance rather disheartened me........
Ok, now Mek your warboss in a transport? Do you want a heavy weapons command squad? Do you want to save points on invulnerable saves? If the answer to any of these is yes, then take a mek boy. in case one (transport) give him some oilers. case 2 (shooty) give him a custom mega blasta, case three (You're a cheap git) give him a kustom force field. There...that was easy!
Additional HQs: Do not take the pain boss. He will make it his personal duty to kill off your own side, and can only affect one Ork a turn. His only bonus is his bodyguard (T marine + 1, invun save) and I really would not bother. Take a Big Mek. Give him the aforementioned Kustom Force Field. Slam him in a unit of Skarboyz. this unit is now even nastier then it was before.


This is the area that i think needs the most planning. Orks aren't like the Dark Eldar (One mistake and you've lost). They can forgive quite a few mistakes. However, neither are they Space Marines (Will forgive almost anything you do). So, critically analysing the elites section.....
Stormboyz: Advised upgrades: Krak stikkbombz.
These are the most expensive of your elites choices so really need to be used wisely.
I can see one of three possible uses...the "blitzkreeg" tactic, which is basically lighting striking the enemy forces in a bid to A) Hold them up till the rest of your Green Horde arrives or B) Do some damage so that they are significantly weakened for when the rest of your green horde arrives.
Option 2: You can use them as a lightning response unit, buzzing around behind your lines and aiding any combats that you fear you are in danger of losing.
Or you can deep strike them. I myself am not a major fan of deepstriking as it leaves you hanging around waiting to be shot at, so if your going to deep strike these be damned sure you get it right.......either right in front of an immobile enemies lines (as very expensive distraction) or behind an advancing enemys lines to get rid of inconvienient artillery pieces or to charge units in the rear.
Either way, these have to be used carefully.... Because of low armour saves, most Ork units are actually rather fragile and if the enemy concentrates his fire power your 300+ point unit of stormboyz has mysteriously disappeared..... (Which, if he has any sense, he will..)
Kommandos: Advised upgrades: Tankbusta bombz, Rokkit, Frag Grenades.
These also have to be used carefully. They lack armour of any kind, none at all, they don't get it, none, zip, zilch, zero. (Which is a bad thing!)
Also, the limited squad size means that they can be taken out in one turn relativly easily. If you're going to infiltrate these, put them somewhere where they won't get shot, then use them to try and pick off artillery pieces. They can move faster through difficult ground then most troops, so take advantage of this.
I have found out a particualar use for these against the Tau. Seeing as they can move for terrain very quickly, these can be used to combat any annoying Stealth battle suits. Run at them full speed. now your Stealth suit dude has a choice: Ignore the Orks closing on him and concentrate on his objective, or shoot at them and ignore the rest of your horde. if he knows whats he's doing he will concentrate on your force, and then he is almost ceratinly yours.
'Ard Boyz: Advised upgrades: frag stikkbombz, big shootaz, or burnas, depending on how you equip the skwad.
I'm not a major user of these, so you may want to look into these yourself. These are an absolute god-send...orks with relativly good armour saves. these means, obviously, that your hated foe will have to expend more fire power to get rid of them. they can be equipped to be shooty (Upgrade, big shootas) or close combaty (Upgrade, burnaz.) Either way, they make a good screening/defensive unit. you want to hold up a building? 'ard boyz. You want to defend a bridge? 'ard boyz. you want to check your hair for your hot date? 'ard boyz....with a bit of polish, o'course.....seriously, these are a really useful unit to have in any Ork horde. they are characterful, useful, adaptable....what's your excuse for not having any?
Skarboyz: Advised upgrades: frag stikkbombz, burnaz.
These are equally as useful as 'ard boyz. the codex allows you to make them shooty or close combatish, however i don't see the point of making them shooty. the plus one strength they have over ordinary boyz is amazingly useful. even more then other Orks, in combat, these are born marine killers. take my advise on this one. get a nob for this squad. give him some good stuff. then go find that assault marine over the other side of the table who's making faces, and kick his head in. the only draw back to this unit is that they have the same armour save as normal boyz. However heres where the orks all looking the same has its advantages....hide them behind a unit of normal boyz, and pray your opponent doesn't ask what they are...
Flash Gits: Advised upgrades: Kustom Job Of Your choice, Rokkits, Big Shootas.
This unit is your fire base. you will eat it. you will sleep on it. you will take it out of its glass case and polish it, thanking Gork and Mork for being so good to you.
Kustom Jobs: Shootier. +1 strength over normal shooters....good against other Orks and Marine scout armies;
Blasta...very useful against Marine armies, if you can get close enough, although the misfires can get annoying;
More Dakka.....Most useful against Mob armies, but still quite effective against other things, through sheer volume of shots
Now this is where you listen, Grot boy, an you listen good.....the entry sez you can take so many heavy weapons. and it says you can have a Nob. the Nob can also have a heavy weapon. so that means that a kwarter of your mob can be armed with Big Shootas (for mob killing) or Rokkits (for hard nut marines). Dakka Dakka Dakka...


Now there is one rule think that applies to Ork troops: B.I.B. (Buy In Bulk). Your two main choices are Slugga Boyz (C+ C) and Shoota boyz (guess what they do) now, remember B.I.B. however, also remember 3 skwads of twenty is better then 2 of thirty, because it gives the enemy more targets, therefore making it harder for them to concentrate fire power.
Slugga Boyz: Advised upgrades: Burnas.
These are what I consider to be the epitome of orkyness....a mass of charging green, with spikey bits......they can be relied upon to tear apart almost anything in combat. choppas are a major help against Marines, and sheer volume of attacks should do for everyone else. Use these to screen even harder CC units, and to generally kill anything they get into combat with. Watch out for anything with higher initiative (Wulfen, Genestealers), anything with high movement (jump pack troops ETC) or things with ludakrisly high toughness, such as Wraithlords and C'tan.
You can also, if you wish, make them into a Jack-of-all-trades unit by equipping them with big shoota as a heavy weapon. However, this just says to me "indecision," although other have sworn by them.
Shoota Boyz: Advised upgrades: Big Shootas, Rokkits.
These are often sidelined in favour of Slugga Boyz, although they are still quite deadly in combat. They are, in my opinion, best used as a support unit, to help thin numbers slightly for the main green rush. as well as this, they are quite proficient in combat against things like Eldar, and could probably put a dent in a squad of hormogaunts if they somehow managed to charge.
Burna Boyz: Advised upgrades: Erm... burnas?
This is your assassination squad. The CC bonus provided by the Burnas means that they are invaluable against things like Assault Terminators who could prove very inconvienient. as opposed to most ork skwads, they can be led by a mekboy rather then a Nob. see the entry for Flash Gits for deciding what to equip him with... or you could give him a Kustom Force Field to give your assassins that little bit of extra survivability.
Stikk Bommas: Advised upgrades: Big Shootas/rokkits/burnas, tankbusta bombz.
Right. This is a very diverse unit. they can be used as either: Another Slugga boyz mob, for removing annoying things in cover, or as a larger tankbusta mob. 1 disadvantage of this unit is that they stand out...they all holding stikkbombz, so your opponent can generally get a pretty good idea what they do. when buying these, try to have quite a large unit......but not so large that your diverting points that could better be spend else where.
Tankbustas: Advised uprades: Rokkits.
Okay... now be careful with these, the squad size is limited, so try to avoid exposing them to unnessessary ememy fire. however, they are a tankbusting unit without peer. at +1 to all armour penetration rolls, and the skill to always pass tank shock tests, this is the unit that the smug Imp Guard tank company player is going to fear, and try and shift heaven and earth to get rid of. Keeping them out of line of sight is advised, until they can get round to slamming tankbusta bombs on his prize basilisk. As an intresting attachment to the squad, you could take a Big Mek with a super krak stikkbomb for that extra kick against vehicles.
Gretchin: Aadvised upgrades: They're grots!...who's gonna waste good equipment on them?
You gotta love these lil guys......they are cheap, yet amazingly useful....for getting rid of minefields, for moving your Orks along through difficult terrain, for providing much needed cover saves......they can be used as a unit to man (Erm...grot) the bolt on big shootas on your battle wagon, or hold up that wraithlord etc, etc......people who work on the stats of the game don't expect Grots to do that much....and statistically they can't, and we all know what that means.
A friend of mine tells me he saw a squad of Grots take out 2 squads of eldar CC specialists in the same turn (One of banshees and one of scorpions, since you ask) and my own Grots have taken out 2 tzeentchian terminators in the same turn, infuriating the chaos player into wasting an entire turn of shooting from the termies (who had Blast storm bolters) which still didn't finish off my grots! A trick that my fellow ork friend tells me that this is the one occasion when 'uge choppas are useful....give them to the slaver, along with a squighound or two means that A) Your slaver hits with +2 strength, and seeing as he can't get power of the wwagh, striking last isn't that bad, and B) You can re-roll leadership tests when this squad goes to ground.
And if the worst does come to the worst, bare in mind that the worst that is going to happen is you lose a unit that costs a little over a hundred points maximum.

Fast Attack

Generally, I don't make great use of the things listed here... they tend to be too fragile, lacking both the numbers and basic toughness to take the hits. And their speed is not that much of a bonus, because A) anything floating along in front of your lines is sporting an automatic "shoot me" sign.
These need care to use, but alas, I doubt I am the person to tell you in the greatest detail how. My love of vehicles is more to do with the entries found in heavy support. Still, I shall do what i can.... so, starting with Trukk Boyz:
Trukk Boyz: Advised upgrades: Armour plates, red paint job, bolt on big shootas, grot riggers.
Okay. Listen up: these things can still rush. As in assault from a vehicle. so do that. shove them at the front of your lines. and pray you have the first turn. Speed across the table and hit him hard. Hold him up in close combat, hopefully long enough for the rest of your army to arrive and kill him.
Grot riggers help keep you moving...personally, I try and slap these on all my vehicles, to try and keep 'em going.
Buggies/Wartracks: Advised upgrades: Red paint job, armour plates, grot riggers.
These mobile fire bases. I would not advising buying these one by one... I'd take the full squad, as then you can shoot out more fire power. As with trukks, these are fragile, so please be careful with them, 007.
It doesn't much matter what you slap on them, although I'd advise big shoota, simply cuz they got more change of hitting something. IVEATCH tells me that a couple of these with Rokkits are good for taking out irratating enemey vehicles, when positioned on a flank.
Always keep these babyies moving. That way, even though their armour is pathetic, they can only be glanced. not only is it practical, its also characterful..... Rev the engines, speed 'em up. Be an ork... be an Ork!!
Warbikes: Advised upgrades: Don't! Also I'm serious, just get the squad as it is. This is just my opinion, IVEATCH reckons that a fully upgraded nob gives the squad some good hitting power, but i think its too many points then. Mind you, we are different people, and thats down to personal preference.
These is my favourite of all the fast attack choices....I mean, come get to fire as you enter combat....with twin linked big shootas no less......they provide cover saves for things behind them, and have good toughness. They even have a better save then most of the rest of your boyz. Now the down side: These don't come cheap. They cost as much as a buggie (Before weapons). and, in my games, they tend to get picked off faster then any other unit. I'm still not entirely sure why this is, seeing as they can't actually do that much once they are in combat, except against low armour save thingies. You can choose to strip the big shootas off the bikes and use them as an assault unit, in which case their points cost goes down, but then you lose all shooting capacity, which is bad considering this is one of the few units you have that can hit anything.
Put them in front of mobz of boyz you particually want to screen......use them to blitz a squad that you are going to charge with something else next turn......we all know the fickle rolls of the dice, this is not a unit that survives well in combat unaided.
Oh and one more thing...this is the only other unit that could benefit from having an 'Uge Choppa in the squad, because the Nob only gets his base attacks anyway, and powerfist is overkill in my opinion.

Heavy Support

Yeah!! A drop of the hard stuff! I love the ork heavy support choices... they are just really cool!
Ok, starting with Gun Batteriez:
Big Gunz Batteriez:Advised upgrades: Extra Krew, Slaver, Mek.
These are what I'd consider to be the most under-estimated Heavy Support choice you have....Although also potentially they have the capacity to do immense ammounts of damage. They can incorporate one of three different sorts of guns, so I'll go through each one in order.
Note: Always take extra crew, because misfires will account for some of them.
Kannonz: These is your most versitial sort of gun. In terms of gameplay, they act rather like a shorter range imperial rocket launcher. They can either Frag lightly armoured opponents into the dust, or blow hell out of any vehicles it happens to hit with a Shell. Serious, in terms of vehicle distruction this is your gun.....if you can get it to hit. This is the only Big Gun you have to roll to hit with, and then only on the Shell. If you fire the Frag, it acts as a Lobba with 12 inches less range.
Overall, this gun can take on more or less anything: The Shell counts as ordnance against vehicles, so that takes care of the Imperial guard armoured company (providing you can hit them) Frag is invaluable against other mob armies (including other Orks). the only thing that lets them down is the fact that they have shortish range...... only 6" more then a pulse rifle on an artillery piece isn't all that impressive.
Lobbas: These are the artillery piece i have had the most success with, if only because they are the only one i've been in a good situation to use. against Rezzy. I have rarely made good use of Kannons, and Zzap guns were too short ranged to face off against an Iron Warriors force. These is yore longest range Big Gun. And you don't have to worry about ballistic skill when using them, as they are a guess range weapon. What's their downside, I hear you cry?
The downside of these? They do nothing against marines. Even the worst armoured marines have the ability to shrug off a hit from these things. Against mob armes (And large squads of eldar guardians) they are Invaluable, however, and, as a guess range weapon, you don't have to have Line Of Sight. Again, take extra crew. When using these, aim them at large squads of lightly armoured troops, cuz they will tear through them like a hot knife through thin ice.
Zzap Gunz: These are most effective against Blood Angels, Black Templars and assault orientated Space Wolves. Auto hit up to range 24, with enough potential strength to wound anything. as always, take extra crew.
Things that Zzap gunz are good(ish) against:
  • Space Marines
  • Wraithlords
  • Talos
  • Assault Tanks
  • C'Tan
  • Eldar Assualt Specialists
  • Anything that's trying to get close to you
  • Large Tyranids
  • Seer Councils! (If you get lucky)
Things Zzap gunz are bad against:
  • Imperial Guardsmen
  • Eldar Guardians
  • Other Orks!
  • Tyranids
  • Heavy Weapon Squads
  • Anything that has large numbers
Right, now I've got that out of the way: Take these for defensive missions. In assaults they are only good on really really small boards.
Dreads: These is big mean stompy and 'ard, and have a lot of gunz. In close combat they would have little troublewith dealing with other close combat opponents if it wasn't for one issue: Initiative. With an initiative equal to the basic Ork, other dreads will be striking first and it will hurt. If you do survive, however you will be mincing through them. Use them to pile into assaults in support of your Boyz. This is a task they perform pretty well. Leaving these all alone will result in them dying.
Although I have had a game where my dread spend 5 turns trying to destroy one rune preist. eventually the preist escaped and got trukk boy'd to death. All in all, for the points you are paying i reckon you should buy a couple of:
Killer Kanz: Smaller and less well armoured then the Dread, and with less gunz. however you can take them in mobz. So for the points you are paying for a dread you can have 2 killer kanz, who get more attacks.

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