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Three Core Ork Units from Index: Xenos 2

Submitted By: Blazinghand Date: August 3, 2017, 06:02:27 PM Views: 69
Summary: Eighth edition has arrived, and with it, a brave new world for Orks. This article explores three core units for Orks from Index: Xenos 2, why they are effective, and how to use them.

Three Core Ork Units from Index: Xenos 2

Eighth edition has arrived, and with it, a brave new world for Orks. There are Index books covering all the major armies on release, so we do not have to wait for our Codex to play with some new rules. Although we can expect some changes to come along with Codex: Orks, for now we should think about the changes that eighth edition has brought to the rules, the contents of our Index, and the opportunities it provides for our army.

I have looked through both the eighth edition rulebook and Index: Xenos 2, played nearly a dozen games against a variety of armies with my Orks, and watched a few games from the sidelines. From my experience in eighth edition, a few Ork units stand out as the core of many good Ork lists, both for the abilities and rules, and for how they interact with other armies. Below are three top units that make up the core of many good Ork lists, and how they ought to be equipped and used.

3. Big Mek with Kustom Force Field

One of the big problems Orks face, with only a few exceptions, are our low quality defenses. Though it has been said that quantity has a quality all its own, and though basic small arms no longer prevent us from making saves on our infantry, our Boyz remain highly vulnerable to even the basic bolter. Anything that can provide protection to our infantry would be doubly useful since they are so numerous. This is where the Big Mek comes in. Though his ability to heal vehicles is nice, we want him for his Kustom Force Field option.

A Big Mek equipped with a Kustom Force Field provides crucial protection to Ork units that need it. Whether big unit of Boyz that would benefit from a better save, or tougher models that would like a chance of shrugging off a Lascannon shot, almost everything in the Ork army benefits in a big way from the Big Mek’s Kustom Force Field. Unlike most invulnerable saves which are worse than the unit's armor save and only sometimes used, this one is better than the base armor of the Boyz, generating value any time they are shot at. You must carefully position your infantry and vehicles around the Big Mek to make sure they are all within range of the Kustom Force Field. Keep them close both during deployment and as they advance up the field whenever possible. Remember that every model in a unit must be within the 9" bubble, or else the unit does not get the benefit. If some models are outside the bubble, consider removing them first when removing shooting casualties, so the unit gets the benefit against further shooting.

In terms of wargear options, a Big Mek benefits from being able to keep up with whatever it is protecting with the Kustom Force Field. If you are running Boyz in Trukks and Battlewagons, or faster units like Stormboyz, the Big Mek should be on a Warbike to remain in position. If you are running foot Boyz, you do not need to spend the points for mobility. It is a good idea to give the Big Mek an additional piece of wargear. If you suspect he will get stuck into combat often, a Power Klaw or Killsaw is a good choice. You can just put a Rokkit Launcha on him and call it a day, though, if your army needs more high-strength shooting.

2. Weirdboy

The Weirdboy is a cheap HQ that that provides a crucial power: Da Jump. For Da Jump alone, it merits the #2 position on this list. Orks as an army are brutal in assault, and anything that gets Orks into assault more quickly is valuable. He is nothing special in assault and has no shooting, but the power alone is worth it.

With Da Jump, even a humble squad of Boyz is a threat to anyone on the board. Most armies require expensive specialized units to effectively deep strike. A Weirdboy cheaply allows any unit in your army to threaten the entire board from turn one. Although you cannot reposition the unit right on top of the enemy, you can put the unit close enough that with the ‘Ere We Go! ability, it will have about even odds of succeeding on its charge roll. As a delivery system for a maximum size squad of Boyz, this is as good as it gets.

The Weirdboy also benefits from being near Orks for its psychic tests. You can reliably get a +3 on your roll, especially when using Da Jump on a unit of thirty Boyz, making it all but guaranteed that you succeed in casting the power. Although this makes the Weirdboy somewhat more likely to suffer Perils, he has plenty of wounds and will not have any problems with this the first time.

Taking 2+ Weirdboyz in a big list seems to be popular as well, since it is easier to keep them alive if there are two of them, or perhaps for using the other Ork powers. Smite remains a reliable way to put wounds on tough or flying enemies that Orks otherwise struggle with.

1. Boyz

Boyz are the bread and butter of any Ork list. Thirty Boyz can dish out an incredible amount of attacks and shots, and although they are slow and have poor armor, these problems can be overcome. The Big Mek can make them sturdier until they reach assault, and the Weirdboy can get them to assault very quickly. In assault they are a force of nature: they are accurate, strong, and have many attacks. Mob Rule means that they are effectively fearless, until their numbers go down, and Green Tide makes them an incredible threat, again, until their numbers go down.

On top of that, they are quite cheap, and therefore efficient. In terms of cost-effective troops with good damage output in melée, Boyz are the best. They are good against just about anything short of medium vehicles, and a maximum size squad shooting and assaulting will even crack open a Rhino in one turn given the chance. In a certain sense, they are also “immune” to the bonuses of power weapons and the like, since their saves are so bad that a -2 AP or -3 AP attack is mostly wasted on them.

So, what size and basic equipment makes the best of Boyz? Well, a maximum size squad of Boyz is more likely to make good use of Mob Rule and Green Tide. I recommend taking Shootas over Slugga/Choppas in a large unit, because it is likely to destroy anything it encounters in an assault regardless. The Shootas will let them divert a bit of that damage to something else. On top of that, because there is only about a 50% chance of making a charge out of Da Jump, due to the distances involved, we should have a unit that still does some work during the 50% of the time that the charge fails. If you run Boyz in a transport, remember that this is a much smaller unit that will not win every combat the way a huge mob effortlessly would. Such a unit could have Slugga + Choppa equipment to try to squeeze out as many close combat attacks as possible.

Should you take a Boss Nob? Yes, always. In terms of wargear, the Big Choppa is a perfectly acceptable piece of equipment for a Boss Nob, but if you are lacking in high-strength output, a Power Klaw is a nice choice. There are many Boyz in the unit that will die before the Boss Nob does, so there is a good chance that the weapon will be used. For small squads, I prefer a Big Choppa to keep costs down, and for big squads, a Power Klaw seems worthwhile if you can spare the points.

Should you take special weapons? In a big squad of thirty Boyz that intends to use Da Jump, absolutely. A Big Shoota is a little underwhelming but is cheap and puts out more dakka. A Rokkit Launcha is recommended for armies that need more high-strength output. Owing to the large size of a max squad, these special weapons can live until the end and have a better chance of making back their points.

How Things Play Out

On the battlefield, two or three maximum size squads of Boyz move forward under the protective umbrella of a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field. Each squad of Boyz has Shootas, the Nob is outfitted with a better melée weapon and three Boyz with Rokkit Launchas or Big Shootas, with a price usually just north of 200 points. Each turn, the army moves forward, keeping the Weirdboy and Big Mek in position to use their abilities. During the Psychic Phase, a Weirdboy uses Da Jump to insert a squad of Boyz by the enemy, in order to shoot and potentially charge, each turn dropping another thirty Boyz in. Enemy attempts to shoot back at the main force that has yet to Da Jump in yet will have to deal with the Kustom Force Field save. The battle may well hinge on how many Boyz are delivered safely into assault where they can be efficient and damaging

There are other ways to get many bodies into assault, Kommandos and Stormboyz are not that much more expensive and both are basically Boyz with built-in options for getting to assault more quickly. Boyz can be mounted in Trukks or Battlewagons. Some players may prefer more durable and capable units like Nobs or Warbikers. Specialty units like Big Gunz, Painboyz, and so on will show up in large lists also. We may well see armies that rely entirely on non-Troop units like Nobz, Stormboyz, or Bikers in the future. Nonetheless, Boyz with a Weirdboy and a Big Mek are cheap, threatening, and simply put a lot of bodies on the field. Few units in the game are as cost-effective as Boyz are in assault.

Rating: ***** by 2 members.

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