7th Edition Ork Codex
I hope to compile new relevant tactical analysis of the 7th Ed codex with regards to current competitive meta. The other Ork Tactica posted is comprehensive but was written half a decade ago and is massively outdated. (Found here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Dakka_Dakka_Ork_Takktica) I took inspiration from it's formatting and analysis but it basically has to redone from scratch for the newer codex, 7th Ed, and what I'll call 7.5 Ed meta. I intend to use math and theoryhammer to substantiate this analysis. I also Intend to cover all the Ork units, characters, wargear, psyker abilities, traits, fortifications, formations, and even opponent faction strategies. Each will be rated competitive, non competitive, or specialized . Competitive is a must take regardless of list type, specialized can work within the confines of certain lists fulfilling specific roles, and non competitive should be avoided. I am not rating fluff and I am analysing effectiveness in relation with every other faction rather than just within the ork faction, so I make no claims against taking units for fluff, fun, or playstyle purposes. Entries will include a strategy section with further analysis. The end of each entry will be short sections focusing on the entry's synergy with Units and Wargear. These units and gear will be listed from most effective to least effective to not effective enough to be included. Entries will also include Base Builds to show popular combinations of wargear which can be built up or down to match a particular list. Please note I'm considering my numbers within an 1850 point game with regard to model count, etc. Without further ado:
7th Ed Orks
Units & Characters
Warboss by GorFrag
While many races find themselves running minimized HQ choices, the Orks find themselves in possession of an HQ choice worth kitting out. His high WS, S, I, and A make him very capable in CC with even a base model. He hits and wounds on 3+ vs MEQs and strikes at their I step. His high WS and T leaves MEQs hitting on 4+ and wounding on 5+. Unfortunately his base armour of 6+ does not cut it and must be upgraded in some way. His LD is high for orks, enough to keep his squad in the game reliably vs shooting or losing in CC. He can't hit anything if he tried so it's not worth trying to run shooting upgrades. Unfortunately, his wargear is rather limited compared to most races, leaving few viable builds and a lot of garbage options. Keep him out of walker transports, they are not open topped and thus leave him exposed to shooting when disembarked. The Waaagh special rule is incredibly useful in any kind of list, but he does not benefit from it himself as a biker. (Bikers turbo boost instead of run and thus Waaagh has no effect.) Even with war gear buffs to survivability, he's below average at surviving and requires careful consideration when striking at I 1 to ensure some level of effectiveness. He can be challenged out easily, so a mek or a nob nearby to eat challenges can be invaluable. He is susceptible to stomps due to the AP 4 of the majority of the stomp table and can be instakilled by S10 without a warbike. Those combined with the fact he has no true invulnerable save is a problem. Manage challenges, take care around GMCs, and don't leave him on an island. You do not want to give up Slay the Warlord so be sure the warboss is in your main thrust with lots of boyz on hand.
Biker Star- The relatively cheap cost of the Warboss and the possibility of taking multiple CADs or a Ork Horde Formation leaves the door open to multiple Warbosses. This allows you greater flexibility in combat with respect to equipment load outs. Two with power klaws can tear just about anything in the 40k universe apart, or having one strike at MEQ I 4 so he can pre empt unwieldy weapons or strike simultaneously with MEQs and a few MCs. A painboy is a must with the unit providing FNP to a unit and two warbosses at once which is a steal. The star is most effective on bikes which buff their mobility, survivability, and dakka substantially, specifically the bikes provide increased T, jink with a bonus, and turbo boost.Competitive
MANz Star- More survivable than the biker star in a sense but way less mobile and dakka-y. The unit is reliant on a trukk for quick deployment but the bulky rules and an effective capacity of 6 MANz models limits your potential. The trukk itself is an easy target, and while the MANz may laugh at an explodes result, they won't be laughing trying to haul their slow & purposefully butts across the board. A battlewagon is more survivable and has a greater capacity, but much slower and way more expensive. Maybe useful in a trukk heavy speed freak list looking to use cheaper MA HQs rather than slightly more expensive biker HQ or making use of the bullyboy MANz formation.Specialized
Horde Leader- His LD can make a unit of boyz harder to break. A warboss and a full unit of boyz can be very hard to shift. A footslogging mob is a poor delivery system for a star, so there's no sense doubling up on them for one unit, multiple warboss are better spread across horde armies in multiple units. The Green Tide formation is the most effective way to utilize a Boss in this manner. The real threat here is the sheer weight of models, so a min warboss can be effective fulfilling specific roles. One warboss might be the limit, horde lists need painboys and Big Meks with KFFs badly and the extra HQs are hard to part with. Horde orks desperately need that one Warboss with Waaagh though so he is a must if you are going horde. Sadly, being slower means less chances to use his good CC abilities. No extra protection from a warbike either. Mega armour means his entire unit can't run because of slow & purposeful, making him even less likely to actually make it into combat. At best he's going to have a 4+ save. Ouch. This strategy basically reduces him to yelling at boyz all game. Not the most point effective use of a warboss. Non competitive
Superfriends- The Ork version of superfriends is the Bossboys Formation. However, the Big Meks, Painboy, and Warboss don't really synergize well together, leaving it more like 2 mini cliques of friends, one ranged and repair-y and the other CC orientated. Better off spreading the HQ accordingly. The other way is running double Horde detachment with a painboy, big mek w/ KFF, and max warbosses. This can fit into a trukk or on bikes, but is extremely expensive and not very survivable compared to the super friends lists of other factions. Non competitive
Solo- Any unit will be greatly enhanced with the warboss's CC abilities and single mobile units with a warboss can effectively hunt vehicles, MCs, (Not FMCs or GMCs.) or elite infantry.Specialized
Unit synergy: Painboy, Warbikers, Big Mek w/ KFF, MANz, Trukk, Boyz, Battlewagon.
Wargear synergy: Da Lucky Stikk, Da Finking Kap, Warbike, Power Klaw, Mega Armour, 'Eavy Armour, Killchoppa, Attack Squig, Kombi-Skorcha, Big Choppa, Bosspole, Cybork Body, Blitzbike.
Base builds Warbike+Power Klaw+Lucky Stikk, Mega Armour+Lucky Stikk, Finkin' Kap+Powerklaw+Attack Squig
Papa Dedeyez by MeanGreenStompa
Unfortunately the weirdboy does not get a lot of love. His survivability is very bad, so never make one your warlord. He will not survive the battle between perils of the warp, 6+ armour, and average ork T and LD. The bonus WC for being around 10 boys is nice, the penalty is very manageable. Inside an open topped transport he can freely cast witchfires without having to worry about taking hits from his unit if nothing is in range. He is very limited by the psyker abilities he can take. The Ork abilities are not good. It is one of the weaker psyker tables in the game, with several powers being outright useless ('Eadbanger.) and others have limited viability. There is two above average powers in this list tops. They also have access to Daemonology. Malefic is tempting but the worst choice of all. You will average a perils per casting attempt on WC 3, and orks have no psyker buffs. Sanctic may be the most effective tree with abilities like sanctuary, gates of infinity, or hammerhand. Orks also have trouble vs Daemon lists so Sanctic could be helpful here. Finally the weirdboy does come with a force weapon and I3 A3 base, meaning he can seriously surprise some poor MC or HQ choice. The weirdboy teeters on the edge of non competitive and specialized, but what drops him to non competitive is how surprisingly crowded the Ork HQ slots are. He's also too random with his powers to consistently gameplan with in the pre game, the wrong powers can completely throw your strategy off. In addition to all that, he's surprisingly expensive points wise and has almost no wargear options.
Unit synergy: Large Boyz mobs, Painboy, Big Mek with KFF/MFF, Trukk, Battlewagon, MANz.
Wargear synergy: Mastery Level 2
Base builds: Mastery Level 2
The Big Mek is not a good overall character like the Warboss, but he is very effective at fulfilling specific support roles. His LD is high enough to have a >50% test pass rate, so he can be useful as a min HQ LD buff for horde armies, but otherwise his statline is similar to the weirdboy or a Nob, meaning he's slightly above average at CC but with crumble to any dedicated CC unit. He has the most wargear options of any HQ choice in the book, which makes him more effective in the shooting phase than any character in the army and most units in the army even. His extenisve wargear also gives him decent anti armour capabilities. He's a slightly above average range character in all of 40k. He has great potential but high variablility, making him hard to count on and gameplan with. His Mega Armour comes with a Kustom Mega Blasta instead of a TL shoota, making it more points effective. It also gives him access to a discount killsaw. In the wake of recent FAQ makes the killsaw a more appealing for anti heavy vehicle. With regards to the Big Mek however, an HQ slot is too valuble to waste trying to get the Big Mek to do something he's not really optimized for. There's better and cheaper ways to get a killsaw across the board into CC. Mek's tools allow him to repair vehicles about as well as a tech marine for a fraction of the price. This works great with vehicle heavy lists, but please note many ork vehicles, especially walkers, are non competitive and would be a waste of the Big Mek's skills and leave him vulnerable to boot. One major error many players make is over upgrading him. He should have one purpose, and wargear should be light overall. Too much wargear explodes his points cost but only a couple options modestly improve his survivability at the cost of his weapon flexibility. The Warbike and Shokk attack gun for example are good options individually but do not synergize at all and by themselves are worth twice the price of the Big Mek, so easy on the wargear. His biggest downfall is the same as most of the orks: High variance meaning wildly inconsistent.
Big Mek by Bavius
Heavy Weapon Support- A IC with mega armour confers slow and purposeful to his unit. Combine with Lootas, who have heavy weapons, allows them to move and shoot. This allows them to ride inside a trukk or wagon and have it move and shoot. It also allows him to tank most non AP2 incoming fire, and your Loota's 6+ save will thank your for it. The Big Mek is cheap and shooty to boot so synergies well in this capacity, improving the mobility and survivability of your slow and fragile shooting unit. His higher LD will also keep the Lootas in the fight longer, and the KMK on the MA has a similar S value to the Loota's Deffgunz, ensuring shooting is synergized and not wasted. The catch is the range difference. Lootas are pretty effective holding down an objective or terrain without mobility due to their 48" range, which is huge for orks. Mobility serves them better for scoring and survivability. (Granting them an AV to hide behind.)Specialized
Stompa Support- A Big Mek can ride inside a Stompa and use repair rolls from inside regardless of CC to repair HP and penetrating results. A KFF or MFF gives the Stompa an inv save vs shooting. Since the Stompa is a god in CC and un-target able there the shooting protection is key. Many units can take mek upgrades in place of nobz, so a min unit with max meks + a Big Mek will give 4 rolls of 5+ to repair, making your huge point investment much, much more survivable. Da fixer upperz is a good choice here as well. An upgraded big mek is almost as much as a battlewagon, so it's not a good investment for Big Mek repair rolls. Specialized
Dakka- The Big Mek can take a gitfinda to upgrade it's stationary BS, and ammo runts for re rolls, so some of the awesome Ork Dakka actually has a decent chance to hit. Shokk Attack Gunz are the real scary gun. Tellyporta is okay but doesn't synergize well with Mega Armour. I would not take kustom blastas without Mega Armour, the Big Mek only has 2 W and will not survive multiple get hot rolls over the course of the game. With Mega Armour they are effective, if expensive. The Dead Shiny Shoota makes a surprising appearance, there is competitive merit to it. For five points you get an awhile lot of shots, but it's best for a Big Mek and a squad who have some distance from the rest of the horde to minimize friendly fire. For five points it's a why not kind of situation. Specialized
Mobile Inv Save- The most classic use of the Big Mek dating back to 2nd Ed is to provide inv saves vs the orks greatest weakness: incoming fire. Useful in horde, speed, or dakka lists alike. The KFF should be placed right in the vanguard of your forces allowing the maximum amount of units within it's 6" range. In a speed list, the Big Mek should be on a warbike, even if solitary. Embarking restricts the use of the save the vehicle he's embarked on. The weirdboy can see some use here, rolling sancturary can transform the KFF to a 4++ and the MFF to 3++. Very good save, for orks. Combined with a Painboy for FNP and we're looking at some serious survivability, even with just basic boyz. Many players have concerns about the enemy benefiting from it's effects within the 6" due to the wording of the rule. If the enemy is within 6" of the vanguard of your ork forces and you're worried about the effectiveness of your ork shooting rather than getting in CC, you're already in trouble. It's even useful on a bike in a unit of bikes, it will protect you from smaller volumes of fire without the need to jink, increasing your shooting potential.Competitive
LD Buff- A basic Big Mek is one of the cheapest HQs out there, so if you're looking for a LD buff and warlord on the cheap to maximize model count, this is your spot. Would be rated Specialized, but the Horde style formations and detachments are either ineffective or tax heavy to really be competitive. Better for a vehicle horde army because of not having the Waaagh ability but having repair rolls. LD isn't that amazing so the buff is only slight. Non competitive
Unit synergy: Lootas, Stompa, Painboy, Mek Gunz, Warbikes, Battlewagons, Trukks, Boyz, Tankbustas
Wargear synergy: Kustom/Mega Force Field, Da Lucky Stikk, Da Finkin' Cap, Shokk Attack Gun, Warbike, Da Fixer Upperz, Grot Oilers, Mega Armour, Kustom Blastas, Gitfinda, Ammo Runt, Bosspole, Da Dead Shiny Shoota, Cybork Body, Blitzbike.
Base builds: Warbike/Blitzbike+KFF, SAG/DSS/Mega Armour+Gitfinda+Ammo Runts, KFF+Da Fixer Upperz+Grot Oilers
Mek by Camkierhi
Instead of taking a Big Mek, a Mek fufils many of the same roles, some different roles, and is very cheap. Wargear is much, much more limited, and he has a statline of a basic boy. The oiler is the only thing worth taking, if you're going for repairs. He does not use up valuable HQ slots however, and can do a good job of fixing vehicles while letting you max warbosses and painboys. The fact he's so cheap gives him a use you wouldn't want your Big Mek for - eating challenges. Most Ork characters should have the Powerklaw, meaning they're going to strike last and have poor protection relative to the 40k universe, so they may not survive to strike at all if their boyz can't be their bullet shields. 15 point meks let you redistribute wounds away from your Warboss and Nobz to himself and boyz from challenge spillover, and allowing those other Ork characters to attack and try to win that combat, or at least test at decent LD if they lose. The one thing is that they have to be attached to a unit, so they aren't as flexible. The killsaw is an attractive option but his basic boy profile does not optimize the potential of a killsaw. His profile and general utility do not line up with him being a 45 point model.
Challenge Fodder- 15 points to save your 100 point Warboss or your 40 point Nob from a fast angry MEQ. The fact they're "HQ"s at all may draw enemy attention to them, which is very useful psychology. Competitive
Vehicle Support- You can attach one to any battlewagon/stompa unit for some cheap repair rolls to keep them in the game. Better in shooty units in battlewagons, the battlewagon shines as a mobile gun platform and the dakka unit gives the mek an excuse to stay inside his ride for repairs.Specialized
Unit synergy: Warboss, Stompa, Battlewagons, Boyz
Wargear synergy: Grot Oiler
Base builds: None
Painboy by em_en_oh_pee
The Painboy is a definitive must take. Don't use one as your warlord, (2 W, LD 7, no Waaagh.) but besides that you couldn't go wrong taking one with every other HQ slot. 5+ unit FNP is huge for the otherwise poorly protected orks from basic boyz to MANz to bikers to your Warboss. FNP stacks with armour, force fields, and jinks, which is massive. His Nob statline and 4+ poison means he can follow your boss into a fight and contribute somewhat vs MCs and GMCs or basically anything T5+, but optimal vs low armour saves. He gets a slight bonus with Furious charge, allowing him to re-roll to wounds vs
T2T3. Almost nothing is T2 so like I said, slight bonus. If your weirdboy rolls hammerhand though he gets those re rolls vs T3T5, which is nice but niche. The big selling point is FNP, that can join or leave any unit for relatively cheap. Combine with KFF or MFF for maximum survivability. Be aware of it's limits, S8 will burn through that FNP vs most Ork models who have T4. It is better than the more expensive KFF for infantry, sacrificing range and buffing multiple squads for the ability to use it within 6" and in CC.
I said I wouldn't talk about fluff so much, but here's some props to a surgeon who can transplant organs and limbs with the most basic tools on motorbike for a patient on another motorbike, at speed, with no medical training!
Survival Buff- Stick him with any infantry type unit and watch them become 30% more survivable. MANz become even more survivable as terminators, who have the auto 5++ while the MANz essentially traded that for 2 W instead. Bikers with a 3+ jink and FNP become incredibly hard to shift, basically on par with TWC with Stormshields vs shooting. High model count squads of Boyz will take 30% fewer casualties, allowing them to survive into the late game and hold objectives efficiently. Lots of boyz and painboy can tarpit absolutely anything in the 40k universe, and FNP helps offset the orks low I, allowing more orks to strike back in CC. Warbosses on bikes have T6, meaning they can't be instakilled by double S attacks meaning FNP is effective even vs heavy hitters like Ion Rifles or Power Fists. Warbosses with Da Lucky Stikk can re-roll their FNP as well, making as durable as any non named special characters in 40k basically. (Assuming Mega Armour or bike, maybe with Zhadsnark too for +1 skilled rider jink save, with turbo boosting +1 jink, gives you WS6 T6 2+ rerollable jink or 2+ rerollable armour save and 5+ rerollable FNP.) This is a must have in any ork list, fast or slow, krumpy or shooty.Competitive
Unit synergy: Warbosses, warbikes, MANz, boyz, tankbustas
Wargear synergy: Warbike, Grot Orderly
Base builds: Warbike, None
Mad Doc Grotsnik
Mad Doc Grotsnik by Noel
Sounds good in theory with his warboss-esque stat line, improved armour, choice between powerklaw or poison CC attacks. Fearless. Rampage. However, this character is a mess. Why does he have dok's tools and a cybork body?? I bet they made you pay extra for that. Rampage only works when you're outnumbered. Orks are boned if they're outnumbered and +d3 I 2 attacks won't save them from the enemy's numerically superior squad with higher I. Don't expect regular boyz to get good use of rampage. Fearless is nice, especially with Ork Mob Rule, but at that price you could just take another squad to cover for the one that breaks in CC or gets pinned for a turn. At 160 points he's the most expensive ork choice outside of the Orkanauts and Stompas, but can't take any wargear so no bike. This makes him very slow, especially if he's the warboss because he does not have Waaagh. You'd have to take a warboss on top of him to get Waaagh and a decent trait. No Big Mek warlord at all if you have the Mad Doc. Can't leave the unit either so he can't try to duck into another squad to save his own skin when his squad is dwindling. His warlord trait it pretty weak too. The Warboss is generally more killy in CC for like 60 fewer points, which is enough for another warboss! He gives FNP, but so does a 50 point painboy, you could take three of them instead. If you only have one HQ slot left and can't decide between another warboss or painboy, Mad Doc could fill both roles, if you have the points.
Doc Missile - The small size of MANz squads mean they synergize well with Mad Doc's Rampage and Fearless. They are also undoubtedly a fearsome unit in CC. Be aware though that this unit will cost at least 315 points for three manz, the doc, and a trukk. You shouldn't treat this unit as a suicide squad like a typical MANz Missile, so don't throw them away on the board. Should be good for hunting down non-super friends HQs, MCs, non SHW vehicles, and anything without AP1-2, or breaking into stalemate combats. Losing the trukk would be a disaster, it would be extremely difficult to cover ground on foot 6" max at a time. So deploy conservatively. Think less getting them into the fight turn one or two, you more want to have them in the perfect spot to break the game wide open turn three. Might be good to deploy in reserves. Specialized
Unit synergy: Warboss, MANz
Wargear synergy: None
Base builds: None
Badrukk by Singleton Mosby
110 points for a Nob with +1 A and LD 9. He has some sweet 3+/5++ armour, which he's going to need for his 3 gets hot chances per turn, but 2 W means he's probably still going to melt before the game's out. The gun is nice, basically assault 3 plasma. However, like many other ork named ICs, he's a mess. He's a shooting character with BS 2. He has gitfinder, but that only works if he stays still but his gun is an assault weapon, he also only has 24" range so standing still isn't even an option! You're paying a bunch of points for upgrades that do not synergize at all. The slightly above Nob statline is okay, but he costs as much as a kitted warboss! Flash gitz overall are not good either, but he doesn't even synergize with them. +2 S and lower AP than the gitz 3.5 average AP means they should be shooting at totally different targets! If you intend to put in a mobile shooting platform style battlewagon, excessive movement means he has just as good a chance to melt himself than hit anything. Big time skip.
Unit synergy: None.
Wargear synergy: Ammo runt. (So he doesn't melt himself.)
Base builds: Ammo runt
Zagstruk by aprats
Not as egregiously bad as the previous two named ICs, but still bad. For the cost of a warboss you have a character who has the offensive capability of a naked warboss and the survivability of a Nob. 6 S 6 attacks on the charge sounds good, but at AP- he's relegated to tearing up only the softest targets. (All those attacks average one dead MEQ per turn. Yeah...) I 3 certainly doesn't help vs MEQs or Eldar. His T4, 4+ save, and 6+ FNP is not good, especially only having 2 W. Nobody cares about Hammer of Wrath, even if his is S 8 AP2. It's a single hit. That's not turning any battles. Hell, he'd have problems popping a rhino in CC. For a CC specialist, that's really not good! Bellowing Tyrant is okay, but he's probably going to be flying further away than 12" with his jump pack. Unless you wanted to put him in a unit of boyz I guess? For some reason? You could put him in a unit of storm boys, but they're not competitive either. It's just a massively expensive point sink for extremely low benefit. Skip him.
Unit synergy: Stormboyz.
Wargear synergy: None.
Base builds: None.
Additional Noteworthy HQs
Zhadsnark Da Rippa
At 150 points he's on the higher end of expensive HQ choices, but he may be the most competitive HQ selection. He automatically gets a warlord trait allowing him to take Warbikers as a troop choice! This is huge. Boyz are generally not competitive, but trukk boyz especially are a mess. He'd be a mandatory requirement for speed lists if it weren't for 35 point squads of Gretchin, but he is a must if you intend to roll a fast, MSU, Obsec army, which is probably the most competitive style of ork play. You don't want to limit them with 3 Fast Attack slots. Get them as troops and run an eldar scatbike spam style with 6-12 squads of 3 warbikes. Additionally, as the Warlord, he gives a unit of warbikes that he joins the scout special rule! Great for denied flanks or forward advances. Furthermore, he grants that unit skilled rider! Do not overlook this. Not only is the difficult terrain buff nice, but skilled rider confers +1 jink save to his unit! This combined with the warbikes turbo boost jink buff means this is the only way to get a 2++ save of some kind with Orks. He's no slouch in CC either. He has high WS and A values, and is basically armed with a power klaw that can strike at I 4! You'll be able to stand up in most challenges with that kind of output as MEQs won't be able to knock you out of the fight before you get your shots in. He also gets an exceptional turboboost and the nifty ability to tankshock. Tankshock isn't breaking any games but there's situations where it's advantageous, especially because it also allows him to become locked in combat potentially, even on turn one, even if you scout. Mostly use it on units near the board edge, moving out of the way of a tank shock off the board will wipe that unit! Low LD infantry artillery is another good target for tankshocks. He has slightly better gunz than the average warbike to boot. Unfortunately he has no wargear options, and bars you from taking walkers or mek gunz. No Mek gunz kinda sucks, but there's other useful heavy support choices, and none of them are walkers.
Biker Star- Zhad synergizes amazingly with a bikerstar. A painboy gives him FNP, he gives the unit skilled rider and scout, a boss with da lucky stikk gets to re roll that 2+ total jink and 5+FNP saves.Competitive
Solo- Maybe you would rather roll for a warlord trait and want a warboss as your warlord. Zhad is still a good buy. Zhad may be 40 points more than a warboss with a bike and powerklaw, but I 4 is huge! I can not overstate that fact. He still confers skilled rider to a unit of warbikes too. Those two things are easily worth the points.Specialized
Unit synergy: Painboy, Warboss, Warbikes.
Wargear synergy: None.
Base builds: None.
Buzzgob is basically a more expensive Big Mek, and outside of ITC is not really worth mentioning. Inside ITC though, he is a very interesting character. A Forgeworld misprint basically allowed him to take a Kustom Stompa, which is even better than a Stompa, as a dedicated transport at half the point cost of a Stompa. While forgeworld fixed their mistake quickly, ITC, looking to give the mostly non competitive Orks a break, just ran with it. Meaning any ITC tournament Orks get almost 50% off their superheavy LOW and a Big Mek to help fix it up to boot. Nice, but probably limited time offer sorta deal.
Stompa Support- Same as the Big Mek strategy from earlier only half the cost and even more dakka!Competitive
Unit synergy: Kustom Stompa, Meks
Wargear synergy: Kustom Stompa, Grot oiler
Base builds: Kustom Stompa
Boyz are generally non competitive. First off though, the good. 6 points a pop with decent WS, T, and A values. Furious charge and 2x CCWs are a nice bonus. The bad: Worst base armour in the game. Bad LD. Mob rule. They will go down to shooting really easily, fail their LD easily, and then kill more of themselves, if you're lucky. Shootas being an extra point sucks, but they can be useful. 'Eavy Armour is nice but nearly doubles the cost of a model. It's better to grab a painboy or a KFF to buff survivability. Big shootas synergize with shoota boyz and rokkit launchas are better for Sluggas. Nobody cares about wasting Slugga shots. However, they aren't going to be pumping out the hurt with their heavy weapon options so it may be worthwhile to skip them altogether. There's better places to get rokkits in your list. A Boss Nob with a boss pole is a must with this unit, Mob Rule can cripple you at the worst moments. He should also have a powerklaw, almost regardless of what set up the unit actually takes. Most of the ork heavy lifting is done with Nob PKs. Frankly, if you aren't going to take 80-100 boyz, I wouldn't bother with them at all. Two units of 15 boyz will probably just get shot off the table, and are easy to avoid. You literally have to flood the table so your opponent has nowhere to run.
Horde- This is really the only way to field boyz somewhat competitively. If you put down 100 models, your opponent is going to have a bad time. You can control the board and win on objectives vs hardened tournament armies who'll resort to knocking off a handful of models per turn. It's expensive money and points wise, and tedious construction and play wise. It can win you games though. Be sure to offer something to buff your boyz. Painboys and KFF for saves, Warboss for heavy krumpin' and LD. You need a Warboss that can Waaagh every turn though, otherwise you are way too slow. Recent clarifications to the void shield generator unfortunately nerfs the key component of this strategy. You can no longer conga line from the VSG, essentially expanding it's reach across the board. Green tide is definitely back, but remember it does not confer objective secured. Ultimately serious questions have now been raised about the competitive viability of this list.Non competitive
Trukk Rush - Boyz in trukks are awful. They don't have the numbers to overwhelm in combat and the trukk is prone to blowing up. The boyz have pretty much no saves by themselves so you're going to lose some boyz when that happens, and then more after Mob Rule. 'Eavy Armour would help in that department but we're talking another 50 points for a near minimum boyz squad. Non competitive.
Dakka - The boyz can't hit anything and the points to give them shootas and armour for firefights brings them up to 11 pts per model. That's really bad. Very expensive for below average shooting. Shoota range is bad too. Shootas and a Battlewagon is better, but still crazy expensive for what it does. Non competitive.
Unit synergy: Painboy, Big Mek w/ KFF, Mek, Battlewagon, Warboss
Wargear synergy: Nob w/ Powerklaw, Bosspole, Rokkit Launchas, Shootas, 'Eavy Armour
Base Builds: 30 Boyz+Nob with Powerklaw & Bosspole
35 points. 10 models. Ob sec. Drop them on objectives while your army does the fighting, but win the game off your gretchin. Great for hitting your troop requirements in place of boyz. Good in any list. No upgrades needed. You could add more gretchin, but it's better just to get another squad. Their stat line is garbage, but they're 3 points a model. The Ork Horde formation gives them Hammer of Wrath attacks. I have no idea, that's basically the dumbest thing I've ever heard but whatever. Gretchin are basically the biggest troll unit in existence.
MSU Obsec - Literally just drop them and forget them. They are tiny, so they're very easy to hide out of LOS of your opponent's shooting so they can rack up VPs. If he does shoot at them, then good. Wasting firepower on 3 point models will not win any games. Competitive
Screen/Bubblewrap - Put a line of them in front of your army. Everything immediately behind them gets a 5+ cover save, unless he wants to shoot at your gretchin first then lol. If the Gretchin live, they'll also work as an assault shield for your battlewagons and stompas. At the very least it'll force a disorganized charge. At best they'll tarpit a unit for a round while you set up the counter charge on your turn with either some boyz behind them or a trukk full of MANz. Don't get too cocky with it, giving up first blood is not how you win games. Setting up your Big Mek with KFF to give them a 5++ vs shooting is pretty funny too. That's not game winner but it has situational uses. Competitive
Unit synergy: Manz, Stompa, Battlewagon, Boyz, Big Mek w/ KFF.
Wargear synergy: None.
Base builds: None.
The first of the elites is kind of a disappointment. Back in 2nd Ed, burnas could be taken by basic boyz, they gave you the template, the power weapon, and a bonus vs vehicles. You could even use the template and power weapon in the same turn, although there was no overwatch. Anyway, here in the present Burna Boyz are extremely expensive. Same boy stat line, but 3x the points. They die every bit as easily as regular boyz, so it is extremely hard for them to make their points back. The fact the entire squad has a burna makes them potent sure. However, the mass templates work best vs low armour horde armies, which aren't represented in competitive meta. The power weapons will strike after MEQs, who will likely wipe the small elite squad before they get a chance to use them. The trukk will get them in a good spot to blast out templates but a single scat laser would blast the trukk and wipe the unit. For 110 points at it's cheapest, that's not a good deal. They do have some value though, instead of having a Nob upgrade, they can upgrade up to three boys to be Meks. Max size is 15 and holy gak that would be extremely pricey. Not to mention at some point you have to expect diminishing returns from template spam, so each additional burna is slightly less effective than the one before it. It may be tempting to run three meks with killsaws for anti-heavy vehicle, but keep in mind the cost out outfitting this unit for that purpose would be over 200 points which isn't the most effective way to utilize killsaws in this list and is just generally a poor option within the entire 40k meta.
Stompa Support - A minimum unit of burna boyz with the max 3 meks will give you +3 repair attempts per turn, and the burnas can fire through the stompa fire points. Throw in a Big Mek for more repairs and a KFF and that Stompa is not going anywhere. You can add additional Meks via the HQ option if desired. Only really worthwhile for the stompa, a burna unit costs almost as much as a battlewagon so using them there is a big waste of points. The battlewagon doesn't even really have the number of HP to make it worthwhile at all, and it being open topped means your meks can be templated out. Specialized
Unit synergy: Stompa, Big Mek, Mek
Wargear synergy: Grot oiler
Base builds: x3 Meks.
The former star of the Ork list. They aren't cheap but they will earn their points against the stuff the rest of your army can't really touch. Each busta comes stock with a rokkit launcha and the Tank Hunters rule, making them scary at range against AV12 or lower, and AV13 should be sweating too. Their rokkit launchas are also extremely effective vs MEQs and MCs. At S 8 AP 3 they can ID MEQs, including almost all non bike characters. Glory Hogs is a nice bonus now instead of a curse. Going up in VPs early will force your opponent to play more aggressively, which plays right into your hands. Bomb Squigs are overrated, but synergize extremely well with Glory Hogs, so if you end up grabbing some, use them all on turn 1 going for that double VP. Try and keep them out of combat. They come in small units, strike very slowly, and are every bit as squishy as the average boy for double the cost. Tankhammers actually kind of suck. The hammer basically allows you to use the profile's 2 A in exchange for -2 AP, no armourbane, still striking last, and costing as much as another busta. Remember, the tankbusta bomb nerf is not a tankhammer buff, they are no more effective then they ever were, especially in relation the the competitive meta as a whole. Tankbusta bombs are now restricted to one per squad per phase, severely crippling their effectiveness. Even find yourself in a position to use one, it's unlikely to destroy a vehicle. Even with tank hammers the squad is unlikely to blow up any given vehicle considering the generally have 3 HPs. In all likelihood you'll knock of a HP or two and the target will just back up and blast you off the board. Keep them out of CC altogether. Trukks are good, the rokkit's range is not good so the mobility really helps getting in range or lining up shots against side or rear armour, which is as important as ever. I wouldn't even consider foot slogging them due to their size, cost, and range. However, trukks are trukks, and boyz will be boyz. Any explodes result will wipe or cripple the unit, so be careful. The tankbustas are just too damn good at killing MEQs and light vehicles at range to leave them at home.They are one of the few ranged options without some horrible random gimmick attached to them. Play them fast MSU style. Lots of small squads in trukks, max out your elites slots even if you want. Hell, grab another CAD and max those slots too. Keep them small and don't sink points into Nobs with bosspoles, just accept that if they get shot at they're gone and bring enough of them to compensate. The one thing they can't really hurt is the Wraithknight. A tankbusta will average 0.07 W per shot or get mercilessly stomped in CC. Avoid wasting the tankbustas on them and just focus on other targets while you pray your PKs can deal with the WK.
Trukk Rush - Every bit as easy to kill as the other trukk rush entries but with way, way more killy potential. Run lots, at least three in a competitive list. Consider deploying them in reserve or within a Void Shield to avoid having their trukks popped before you even get to move. Maybe a couple squigs for glory hogs. Competitive
Dakka Wagon You can fit even more bustas into a battle wagon, and it has better protection. Very expensive. Prone to wasting firepower to overkill vs the MSU trukk style. Slightly better vs a select few opponents. Somehow still preferable to footslogging them, even if you're running a footslogging list. Specialized
Unit synergy: Trukk, Big Mek w/ KFF, Painboy, Battlewagon.
Wargear synergy: Bomb Squigs
Base builds: Trukk+Bomb Squigs
What was once one of the best units in the dex is now one of the worst. They are extremely expensive and unfortunately outclassed at pretty much every turn. They have nice wargear options, but getting creative there will jack up the price further very quickly. Just giving them a Big Choppa and 'eavy armour, a conservative loadout, makes them almost 30 points per model. You can try to kit them out in CC, but they'll never be as good as MANz at 40 points. A nob with a powerklaw is somehow more expensive than a mega armoured Nob. Gotta pay extra for that gakky armour save apparently. I guess Nobz can sweep and the MANz can't, but you can't sweep if you're dead. Nobz get basic ork T 4 and a 4+ save at best, so they ain't exactly going to be getting stuck in. You can take them as bikers, but they're 250% more expensive then a regular biker for +1 S and +1 W. You can almost take a whole min warbike squad for one nob biker and they'll have 3x the dakka, CC attacks, and 50% more wounds. You can give them range weapons, but their BS sucks so that's a waste. You can give them multiple bosspoles for some reason. They are the one entry that can take a Waaagh Banner, but it's crazy expensive. A warboss with the lucky stikk gives the exact same bonus plus a million re rolls for five points more. I guess you can take both and stack them, but why spend that many points to go from hitting MEQs on 3+ to... well... hitting MEQs on 3+. You can put them in a trukk but they'll lose just as many Ws as regular boyz would if it explodes. Just 3x as expensive per W.
Combat Sweep - A unit of just three dumped off into a multi unit combat gives you the best chance you're ever gonna get at sweeping a fleeing enemy. MEQs can't be swept, they'll never catch Eldar or Nids, so... watch out Necrons I guess. Eh... Some Necrons. Non competitive
Pain Star - There is one nasty trick you can play with Nobz. Using the painmob formation, stick a painboy with a squad of them and get them into CC with something tough, something that'll take a couple rounds to resolve. The Painmob formation gives you the opportunity once per game to fight a whole extra round of combat, in your movement phase, with no attacks back! If you wipe your enemy, they can declare a charge later that turn! If you can Waaagh, they can run in the shooting phase before they charge for some extra distance! You can catch your opponent way off guard and make a mess of his battle lines. It's easiest to use defensively, if your nobz get charged you can do this immediately on your turn. (Which is a relief because orks getting charged is bad news.) If they're the ones who charged you'll have to wait through your opponent's turn and another full round of combat before you can do this. As I mentioned the nobz aren't really any more survivable than the average boy, so this is very much a glass cannon style unit. A super expensive glass cannon. If the nobz are wiped, they no longer confer this ability to the characters inside the unit. The formation itself is pretty tax heavy, forcing you to take nobz, boyz, and a deff dread, none of which are really competitive. Attached ICs no longer benefit from formation special rules, reducing their utility. I wouldn't really recommend it because of cost and the extreme care required. It is a nasty trick, but it's a one trick pony and the pony is one of those dwarf versions. Non competitive.
Unit synergy: Warboss, painboy, battlewagon, trukk
Wargear synergy: 'Eavy Armour, Powerklaw, Bosspole, Big Choppa, Waaagh Banner
Base builds: 'Eavy Armour+Big Choppa
'Ere we go! The new star of the Ork army. All the things we like about Nobz but with a 2+ save. The ork TEQ essentially. Somehow cheaper than a model from a Nob squad with a powerklaw despite having a 2+ save over a 6+. Less options than the Nob squad, but all those options kind of sucked anyway. 2+ armour and 2 W ensures they'll be sticking around, especially if you throw FNP in there too. Killsaws have found new life with the tankbusta nerf. The +1 A is nice, and the multiple armourbane attacks make them the most effective anti heavy and super heavy vehicle/walker in the codex. I would seriously consider multiple killsaws. Kombi-Skorcha is pretty cool, but don't blow a ton of points, take one max. Slow and purposeful is a hindrance here, their fething weapon is an assault weapon so the option to move and fire is totally wasted. While they don't get the benefit, they definitely suffer the drawback- No running. They also don't get to deepstrike like other TEQs. A trukk is basically mandatory. MANz and trukks actually synergize extremely well. The trukk will get them where they need to go fast. If it blows up, their 2+ save will keep them from getting hurt. They'll still be in trouble however, probably get shot to pieces crawling across the board. The battlewagon could work too, but it's much slower, more expensive, and doesn't synergize as well as the MANz need speed more than the extra protection. If you aren't going first it may be worthwhile to deploy them in reserve, or inside a KFF or void shield generator. If you do go first, the 24" move+flat out should get them into your opponent's deployment and the trukk's job is done. Park it literally 1" away from an enemy unit after moving flat out and dare them to blow it up. The explodes result will hurt them more then it'll hurt you, and they are too close to be able to run away. (MANz still get to reroll a charge distance die.) MANz are pretty damn effective vs everything in CC. Their S8/9 ID's T4, they get a bunch of attacks, AP 2. Anything with AP 2 in CC will probably strike at the same time as them at I 1, so worst case scenario you still get all your attacks in a mutual destruction sort of situation. A 5 MANz bullyboy squad can realistically go toe to toe with a WK. Just don't let them get shot up, and avoid rending like the plague.
MANz Missile - Pretty much as described above. People generally run them in the minimum unit sizes, although some players run the bullyboy formation, which I'll get into later. Good vs pretty much anything, it's just matter of getting there. Don't forget your killsaws. If you run multiplies you can get your surviving trukks to flip around and pick up MANz looking for a ride. The Bullyboy formation is basically 3 large MANz missiles. Competitive
MANz Star - Throw a warboss or two and a painboy and anybody lacking AP2 is going to seriously regret it. Very expensive, trukk reliant. It's not a great idea to have your fire magnet in an AV10 open topped vehicle. Battlewagon could work here, but it's a massive points sink now so I'd probably avoid it. Specialized
Unit synergy: Trukk, Warboss, Painboy, Void Shield Generator, Big Mek w/ KFF
Wargear synergy: Killsaws, Bosspole, Kombi-Skorcha
Base builds: 3 MANz +Killsaws +Bosspole +Trukk , Bullyboy Formation (3x 5 MANz w/ 2x Killsaws + Trukks), Warboss w/ Mega Armour & Lucky Stikk +Painboy +4 MANz +Trukk
I really want to like these guys. They come with a bunch of semi-useful rules. Infiltrate is sweet, especially in Maelstrom. Move through cover helps with the overall lack of boy mobility, and Stealth gives them a basic but stackable cover save. Reasonable stuff. None of it makes up for the basic boy stat line, 10 point per model cost, and tiny squad size. Rokkits are a decent option, but with a max of two you don't really have the volume to do serious damage. Big shootas are very underwhelming, not good vs MEQs. Interestingly burnas are an option here. The squad is too damn small, too squishy, and too slow to get in CC, and they ain't that much better vs range. The flamer template is 8", and having to deploy 18" away from enemy sight means you won't even be able to move into range to fire on turn one if you get it. Maybe if you get the perfect spot out of LOS you can start within 12" and get that average of 5-6 S4 AP 5 hits before your 80 point squad gets blasted off the table. I don't see these guys surviving no matter what you do.
Camping Carl - Take a min unit with no upgrades, infiltrate them on to an objective to try and score a VP or two. Other units do this better. Non competitive
Surpise Klaw - With the right table conditions, you can infiltrate a power klaw within 12" of the enemy, preferably an expensive non AV14 vehicle. Also with the right table conditions, your opponent can't deploy at all, causing you to insta win on round one. That's my long way of saying don't spend 85 points on a prayer. You can't infiltrate and assault so that's what you're banking on to survive being that close to the opponent's firebase. Non competitive
Unit synergy: Boss Snikrot.
Wargear synergy: Burnas, Rokkits, Nob w/ PK
Base builds: 2x Burna, 2x Rokkit, Nob w/ PK
Another warboss/nob hybrid stat line, and he suffers from the same problems as Boss Zagstruk. He's a CC character who can barely scratch MEQs in melee with his terrible AP. The armies he's most effective against are not ones you see in a competitive meta, and it's not like we need his help with those armies either! Nobody is afraid of Fear. Shroud is cool, but useless in CC and the kommandos suck at fire fights anyway. It's mostly useful for camping objectives in cover. Ambush is a fething tragedy here. What could be an amazing special rule is totally wasted. So you come in right behind your opponent, in perfect position, to do what exactly? Fire two rokkits? Drop two burna templates? Laugh them to death? Oh wait, it's either get blasted by small arms, ignore cover weapons, or anything with average I in CC. T4, 6+ save, 2 W, and I 3 isn't doing anything in CC. He could be beaten in a challenge by literally any squad sargent. Oh, and if Snikrot decides to ambush, he can't take any ICs with him, so no painboy! Dear GW, please stop giving us CC ICs that would die from a leaf blower kthnxbai. It's too bad, I kinda like the orky Sam Fischer look.
Objective Ambush - Could be useful taking an empty objective. Why empty? Well, no obsec for one. Another reason is that anything with a 4+ armour save or I 4 will cream these guys in CC. A nice empty objective in a ruin somewhere so they can just camp out is ideal. Great investment of 110 points. Non competitive
Surprise Klaw - If you wanna spend 150+ points for four PK swings vs a vehicle before getting blasted for being out in the open, be my guest. Non competitive
Unit synergy: Kommandos
Wargear synergy: None
Base builds: Snikrot + 4 Kommandos + Nob w/ PK
The competitive analysis of Fast attack and Heavy Support continues here.