This is the Nicolas Cage of the Ork army. Is it good? Is it bad? Who knows. If you intend to use them, be prepared to go all out. Most other armies would kill for this transport, aside from DE and AM. It is the cheapest transport in the game, and has the capacity of heavy transports 3x it's points. As a fast vehicle, it can cover the distance between your deployment and your opponent's deployment in one turn. Ramshackle isn't as good as it once was, but it's still stackable with cover saves and helps against penetrating hits which are absolute murder. Open topped means your entire squad can shoot from inside, or disembark and assault on the same turn. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword. Being open topped also means +1 on the penetration table meaning any S5 hit has the potential to blow it up. AP1 has 50% chance of an explodes result. Basic Orks aren't very survivable, if it does explode, it will kill many, possibly forcing a LD test, possibly losing more to Mob Rule. Be prepared to lose half of it's full capacity. Not to mention any squad embarked either doesn't have the survivability or speed to make it across the board, essentially dooming them too. On top of all that, the explosion can radiate outward, killing more Orks or even glancing other trukks. You can use this to your advantage though, enemy models can also be hit. Park it 1" away from an enemy squad and dare them to explode it. Dictate the pace of the game, force your opponent to react to you. You'll take the game into your own hands, for better or worse.
A single trukk in a footslogging list is a massive target, you won't get the value out of it. Take at least five if you're going to take any at all. Use surviving trukks to taxi surviving units who's own trukk got destroyed. Explosions might be relatively common, but the most likely result is still a simple destroyed result. AV10 means it can be glanced by basic bolter fire. Always go for the rokkit launcha over the big shoota. The trukk can fire independently of the unit inside and the rokkit has more utility. The ram is also a must take. Its speed is its greatest and only asset, an immobilize result is as bad as being destroyed and dooms the unit within just as equally. You will need to deal with terrain, either to line up charges, firing lanes, or obtaining a cover save. Think of those 5 points as protecting your 130-250+ investment, reducing the odds of something really bad happening from 1/6 to 1/36. Every time you see me mention trukks in this article, assume I'm recommending rams as well. Boarding planks are popular, but they aren't points efficient. You can already move 6", disembark and move another 6", possibly run with Waaagh for another +d6", and assault +2d6" with a re roll. I don't really see an extra 2" being a game breaker, let alone being worth jacking up the cost by 50%. It definitely doesn't make it 50% more effective. Not points efficient. The Wreckin' Ball can knock off a HP here and a model there, but the trukk isn't survivable enough to get stuck in to really make use of it. Besides, they should be taxiing other units. The trukk is too prone to instant death explosions to make use of Grot Riggers. None of the other upgrades are even worth mentioning. Don't embark a KFF inside one, that 85 points is protection the single 30-35 point trukk as embarked KFFs don't get their 6" radius. A KFF + warbike combo is great though, possibility giving multiple trukks that 5+. Consider the Void Shield Generator as well. It works well protecting them from small arms entirely and requires a not insignificant amount of firepower to knock down. You save the game if you end up going second, which usually ends up with them blowing up multiple trukks in your own deployment zone. Depending on terrain, deployment, mission, and opponent's firepower, it may be best to deploy trukks in reserve. They still have the speed to cover the board relatively quickly if need be. The best advice I can give is this: Be conscious of what units you are embarking inside.
Trukk Boyz - 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, making it a very fragile 200 point unit. As I mentioned above, expect only half to walk away after all is said and done, not enough to really make a difference vs a competitive list. Even the full trukk worth of boyz will get trounced by anything with a half decent save and I. They need raw volume to succeed and despite it's high capacity, it still isn't enough. Shootas in trukks are an option, but a full trukk will only average 1 unsaved wound vs MEQs per turn. Not good. You might think you could use them as Fast Obsec MSU, but for every two squads with the basic loadout you could take 5 "fast" Obsec MSU warbikes who have better dakka and are more survivable or 8-9 Obsec MSU gretchin squads. Trukk boyz are simply outclassed in every way. Non competitive.
Tankbusta Trukk - Tankbustas are every bit as vulnerable as regular boyz in a trukk, but way more killy. A full trukk will average 4 MEQ W or 3 AV 12 HPs. Very. Nice. Don't be filling them to maximum capacity though. Remember to MSU. The number of squads is more important than the squad's model count. This allows you to better spread fire to avoid overkill and greater flexibility, to cover the board giving you board control, and saturate targets making each one more likely to survive any given turn and causing your opponent to waste firepower overkilling a very easy to kill vehicle. Take 6-8ish models per squad. Don't bother with Nobz, the bustas are even less effective than basic boyz in CC but twice as expensive. You don't want them in CC at all so a powerklaw is a waste. They should be in small enough squads that they'll probably be wiped in a round of shooting anyway so there's no point in a Bosspole, and the Nobz LD isn't even any better than the bustas. Tank hammers are a waste, you don't want a 30 point model with a 6 point stat line striking last in CC. There's nothing a busta with a tank hammer can't do that two bustas with rokkits can't do at 24" range inside the relative safety of the trukk. Bombs squigs are okay, but only take enough to ensure that 2 VP first blood, it's generally better to take the extra tankbusta over 3 squigs where you can over the course of the entire game. Use the trukk to line up rokkit shots vs side and rear armour, or hitting expensive MEQs. It might be one trick, but it's effective against any faction in the game. Play these trukks more conservatively though, keep your distance from the opponent.Competitive
Manz Missile - MANz and trukks were made for each other. The MANz desperately need speed to get stuck in CC ASAP, and they have the armour to walk away from an explosion unscathed. The open-topped TEQ combo is roughly offensively equivalent to a LR+assault terminator squad at half the point cost and double the speed. Make sure you have some killsaws so that you can dump them off in front of super heavies and reliably take them down. You can fit up to 6 MANz, which is pretty much more than you'd ever need. 3 MANz or 5 bullyboy MANz and maybe some ICs are the way to go. Competitive
Unit synergy: MANz, Tankbustas
Wargear synergy: Ram, Rokkit, KFF
Base builds: Ram+Rokkit Launcha, 6 Tankbustas + Trukk, 3 Manz + Killsaw + Trukk, 5 Bullyboy Manz + 2x Killsaws + Trukk
The Stormboyz are another excellent looking model that unfortunately does not perform as good as they look on the board, some of that is due to criminal misuse but let's start at the beginning. Stormboyz are exactly Ork boyz but as Jump Infantry. 9 ppm and 45 for min of 5 is pretty steep especially since they carry over the base boy save of 6+. This is definitely a unit that benefits massively from MSU style tactics. Run them in min squad sizes with a nob who has a powerklaw and a boss pole. These are not units meant to rush down the board. They are a counter assault nob delivery system or a ambush unit. Trukk rushes work because the trukk acts like a shield. It'll hold vs small arms fire that would delete a mob of boyz. A unit of scat bikes for example would be likely to destroy the trukk, but unlikely to explode it allowing the Ork player a chance to do what he will with his full unit while giving that unit further cover for the duration of the shooting phase, and essentially allowing your Orks a free move as you can disembark in any direction. Conversely in this scenario, if the stormboyz were targeted by a unit of scat bikes, they'd likely be destroyed.
It is tough to justify taking them when the FA slots are desperately needed to MSU warbikers or deffkoptas, but more on that below.
Ambush- This work best in footslogging or dakka lists. These lists tend to draw the enemy toward you. Tarpit them with the appropriate units, grots or something, and then spring the Stormboyz. This saves them from overwatch and allows them to deliver the powerklaw. If they were to engage solo, I 2, 6+ save, and garbage ld would ensure their demise. The nob would be challenged out and murdered, and the survivors would flee very far. Your opponent however will totally misjudge how far they can move. So bait the lure and wait to spring the trap. Keep them in ruins, preferably out of LOS. You can leapfrog between terrain pieces if you want, but never leave them in the open. You may not even spring them them til turn 4, but they're they to deliver a pk into CC when you need it the most. Keep it to that and the cost Specialized
Unit synergy: Footslogging Boyz, Grots, Warbiker Big Mek w/ KFF/MFF
Wargear synergy: Nob, Bosspole, Powerklaw
Base builds: 5 Stormboyz, 5 Stormboyz + Nob w/ Powerklaw, Bosspole
Warbikers are the cornerstone of any competitive ork list. 54 points buys you only 3 orks, which may give some pause. 10 boyz are only 60 after all. However, if I had to pick between 10 boyz and a single warbiker, I'd go with the warbiker. First off, tey have all the usual perks of a boy, furious charge, 4a on the charge. There are two key differences. The warbike itself, and the dakkagun. The warbike is a great tactical and survivablility buff. Total movement is 61% greater on average, but I say average because run moves are inconconsistent while turboboosting is reliable. This allows for more confident forward planning while positioning your army turn one and two. On top of the movement bonuses, the benefits to survivability are considerable. T5 means the increasingly common S8/9 shooting does not ID, which synergizes well with the 2w nobz on bikes, as well as ork HQ options. It also provides a base 4+ armour save and a 3/4++ jink save, which is about as good as it gets for orks, and most armies really. Vs the scatter laser, they are 4x less likely to take a wound. The other part of this is the dakkagun, while short ranged, may be the most efficient dakka unit in the codex. TL bumps their chance to hit from 33% to 55% or 5/9 of the shots per unit. At S5 they are perfecty suited for taking down infantry and even light vehicles but are elite tier leafblowers. One unit of 3 shooting would remove 5 gegs, are largely immune to their shooting, out manuver them considerably, and would hold their own in CC averaging another five while averaging only 0.5 w lost for every 12 a in return.
Taking Zhardsnark as your warlord really takes the warbikers to the next level. This allows you to take warbikers as a troop or fast choice, effectively allowing you to spam them to unreasable levels. (Zhad + DLS PK biker boss + 18x 3 warbikers = 1257 points. 168 tl s5 shots, woowza.) This also gives them obsec in a CAD detachment, basically allowing you to dominate objectives. On top of all that, Zhad grants scout and skilled rider to his unit. This allows you to counterdeploy, rush, or even outflank, along with rerolling difficult terrain. The cherry on top is a flat bonus to his unit's jink save, when combined with the bonus from turbo boosting brings the unit's overall jink save to 2+, which is rerollable for the warboss. Yes, this is ITC legal and in general the only issue that may arise is the fact he is a FW model. I find the best solution is a great paint job, who can say no to that? Zhad also comes stock with a pk that strikes at I4, which is huge for Orks, allowing him to pre empt stomps and unweildly power weapons. S10 AP2 can put the hurt out. Superior WS and T6 means MEQ attacks wound only 9% of the time. Zhad strikes ahead of any unwieldy high S low AP weapons and IDs T5 and lower. Zhad and a DLS boss combo should be able to deal enough wounds on average to take a wraithknight down in one round. Ya.
Despite Zhad being a beast in CC, the warbiker is no better offensively than a footslogging boy. They are tougher and faster, so make good tarpits. Because of this and the low squad size, nobz are really only worthwhile for a squad with a HQ choice to accept challenges in place of those hqs. So don't worry about giving him a pk, the big choppa will do if anything. I find 5-6 to be a good squad size for an hq.
In general, use warbikers tactically. The combination of fast and survivable make them great objective players, linebreakers, tanks, and fire support. They synergize well with the MSU and min/max strategies common at the competitive level. I prefer to keep them at the very front of the army, usually deploying along the edge of my deployment zone so they can bubblewrap trukks and other worthwhile targets. This will potentially provide a cover save vs shooting and provide a buffer against combat. They work well in this role becayse of their comparable speeds. They can also eat overwatch well, being cheap pointwise and being able to jink. No objective is safe. Easily one of the top choices in the codex. Watch out for anything that ignores cover or jink saves, this is their Achilles heel. combo that with at least AP4, and suddenly they drop pretty easy. Don;t be afraid to deploy them in reserve, they're fast enough to make it into the fray when they arrive.
Bikerstar- Don't bother with biker nobz who are almost triple the price for equal ranged output. Just stick your bike mounted HQs in a group of 5-6 and you have given them a reliable bodyguard. The painboy further amplifies this, as does a boss with DLS. A WS4 S4 attack will wound 3% of the time, 0.7% vs DLS boss, with ranged weaponry it's actually even worse. DLS Boss would get his rerollable 2+ jink. (BS4 S4 = 0.003 lol) Competitive
Black Tide This is my affectionate nickname for any list with at least six squads of warbikers laying a thick blanket of black tar exhaust all over the battlefield. This allows you to harass multiple enemies, forcing your opponent to play defensively or risk an aggressive tactical blunder. They can hold objectives with their survivability, mobility, and possible obsec. Apply constant unrelenting pressure on your opponent and you will force him into a predictable series of reactions, use this info to plan ahead. Where will they try to break through your net? Competitive
Unit synergy: Zhadsnark, Bike HQs, Trukks, Battlewagons,
Wargear synergy: Nob, Big Choppa
Base builds: 3 Warbikers, 5 Warbikers+Nob+Zhadsnark+Painboy+DLS Boss
Deffkoptas are the cornerstone of any competitive ork list. No, you did no just experience deja vu. The two most flexible units in the book are bikers and koptas, the fact they both share the fast slots makes this choice one of the tougher ones an ork player will face. Of course, Zhadsnark Da Rippa bears a brief mention again as his ability to take warbikerz as a troops choice really gives you the ability to take both. You need all those fast slots for koptas too. A poster once said when he read the Codex: Ork he figured he was really reading Codex: Deffkoptas, and he's wasn't totally wrong. They are an ideal MSU unit and work best solo. They essentially function as a nob on a jetbike with a tl rokkit launcha. (Always take the rokkit launcha.) T5, 2W, jink, and increased movement. Probably the most accurate rokkit launcha you will get, meaning it would be more effective than tankbustas vs AV10-11 vehicles.
Having said that, koptas are not prized for being offensive juggernauts. Where they shine is in tactical flexibility. They are effective sniping lone MEQs (like techmarines, lone wolves, or warlocks.) and rear armour. They make excellent objective grabbers with their speed and survivability, two traits that also make them effective at eating overwatch, grabbing linebreaker, and tarpitting. They also come with scout, allowing you to counter deploy, rush, deny a flank, or outflank depending on your opponent's strategy. Most of all it allows you to build your list with more focus on offensive output, confident that the little chores of war will be in the very capable handz of the psychotic pilots of these ramshackle air machines. Which means your MANz missile or bikerstar can pursue the enemy and cut them down to a man instead of hanging around on an objective hoping to survive a round of shooting for a VP. Well worth 30 points, no?
Secret Agent Man - Solo kopta deployed alongside a wagon, trukk, or biker unit ready to eat overwatch, capture an objective, grab linebreaker, snipe characters/rear armour, provide fire coverage, mobility, and target saturation. Competitive
Buzzsaw - One of the newer tactics to arise since the grenade FAQ. There are questions if this is the most points effective way to go, but if your opponent has no way to deal with them, it could be scary. At 55 points though, I feel like he's a liability. The same trick can be accomplished more effectively with the Secret Service tactic. Specialized
Secret Service - A solo deffkopta actually makes a great bodyguard for a biker HQ, be it a Big Mek Biker with KFF providing rolling coverage, or Zhadsnark Da Rippa/DLS Warboss. A warboss pairing means tanking at T6, jink, then Look Out Sir!, which is surprisingly hard to shift. Laugh as your opponent starts off with small arms fire, only to throw ever increasing amount of anti-armour dakka its way as the shots fail to hit home. If he kills the kopta, you have 5 more, join one of those. This also means you have a handy kopta around you can disengage from so it can eat overwatch so your boss can waltz in clean afterwards. Competitive
Unit synergy: Zhadsnark, Bike HQs, Any Melee based unit.
Wargear synergy: Rokkit Launcha, Buzzsaw
Base builds: Solo Deffkopta + Rokkit Launcha, Biker Big Mek w/ KFF + Deffkopta, DLS Biker Boss + PK + Deffkopta, Zhadsnark Da Rippa + Deffkopta, Solo Deffkopta + Buzzsaw