The Weirdness of Weirdboyz
From the day that young boy explodes his first head, his life is a turbulent stream of glorious violence and all that is Green. If a Warboss is the head of a Waaagh! and the Mekboy is the brains, then the Weirdboy would be the heart. He channels the energy that fuels every boyz lust for battle. He feels the motion of the fight, and expresses the rage and excitement that surrounds him.
The life of a Weirdboy is a short and brutal one, resulting in a great rarity. And this even is portrayed in their use on the table. Few players use them, and hopefully this article will inspire my fellow brethren to not leave the heart out of their army.
The Weirdboys that survive to maturity carry the stature of a Nob. For the power of the Waaagh! strengthens him and elevates him beyond Boy-hood
The Weirdboy has the same stat line as a nob. Which is what makes him seem so underwhelming at first. He doesn't have the beef of the Warboss, nor the toys of the Mekboy. And his entry seems offly sparse. However, this belittles his volume of built in abilities. For a mere 20 points more than a Mekboy you get an interested assortment of psychic powers. And fully kitted out is the cheapest (still effective) of the HQ's we have to select from. Leaving plenty of room for other toys in the army.
However, one must realize that a Weirdboy will never go against his nature and not do weird things on the battlefield. He will never play the same way twice. One battle he may pound the opponent into the ground with devastating shooting attacks. Another he boosts his fellows to astonishing levels of violence. Or he completely lets loose and rearranges the field of battle, or blows up in a rain of gore and green bits. And most likely will do all three of these in a chaotic fashion. Elevating one to a Warp Ead might add a bit of control to the weirdness, but a general should never relly on a consistent pattern of play. This would undermine the strengths that a Weirdboy brings to a battle. For it is this chaos that you must embrace and throw the enemy down a similar path. Your comfort with the randomness will be your strength while your opponent struggles to get a handle on your strategy.
From Weirdness comes Victory!
The Eb and Flow of a Waaagh!
When the Waaagh! begins, the Weirdboy has little choice in being swept up in it. How it will manifest is unknown even to him.
The powers offered to the Weirdboy are an odd bag. I will go through them one by one, and hopefully expand upon them. Offering up my opinions, ideas, and general feeling of each. Fortunately the weirdboy gets them all, and doesn't pay any extra for them. This is about the only consistent thing you will find about the weirdboy.
General Power Notes
You determine your powers at the start of the Shooting phase. But remember, you don't have to use it at the start. You just find out what power you will or will not be able to use that power. And you have to use that power. One final fantastic feature is the auto hitting, who cares about BS 2 if you auto hit!
A Weirdboyz first and only real negative power. This basically frazzles your own Weirdboy and any unlucky enough to be next to him. Keep this in mind when you are moving him and his unit. Keep him in front of the unit, keeping a 2" gap between him and the unit. This will hopefully minimize the impact of it. If you are lucky enough to be close to the enemy, you could even catch some of them. Remember, the blast doesn't scatter, it centers on him and then resolves. Also, these are shooting wounds, so you don't have to wound the Weirdboy himself, but pop the poor fellows that are with him. The only unit in the army that can really stand up to this landing is Meganobz and a tooled up nob squad. But remember once you are in close combat, the negative of this roll turns into a positive. Turning your attacks into power weapon strikes.
This in opinion scares the life out of MEQ players. Many players often forget that this automatically hits. That means you place the template how you like, and it is there guaranteed. You can figure on 2-3 hits minimum from this power, and unless it is TEQ, it will not get to use its armor. The decent strength of the attack means against T4 or lower you are wounding on a 2+. So you can pretty much count on inflicting 2 wounds with it. And being moderate range means what ever you target will most likely not have cover. This power is one of the many reasons that you should try and keep the Weirdboy out front and unobstructed, so that the opponent won't get a cover save. The pinning aspect of the power is just icing on the cake. But don't expect much out of it, not many things in 40k will actually fail a pinning check in 5th edition. For anti-infantry this power is great.
This is the Weirdboy doing his best to imitate a rail gun. It has good range so it can reach the targets you want, namely vehicles. Strength doesn't get much higher either, so it can wound those monstrous creatures as well. It's AP isn't the best, but it still beats TEQ just fine. And the amazing part of it being Melta. Anything short of a Monolith will cringe at a melta gun with this kind of range. When in melta range, you are looking at an average penetration roll of 17! If the AP was one lower, it would be the deadliest anti-tank shot in the game. As with all the powers though, don't rely on your Weirdboy to be your anti-tank. But rejoice when such a pure out pouring of Waaagh! energy happens.
This is the mixed bag of all the powers available. It can be a waist if it pops up when you can't assault, and makes a general wanna cry wasting so many extra attacks. But woo to the enemy that stands before a horde of Orks on the warpath. The results of this power when it works are astounding. This power makes the most sense in large boy squads, where the most bang for the buck is received. If this power is up and running, charging into a group of genestealers is still viable, for even with heavy losses the bonus attack will make up for them. And even if the Weirdboy meets his demise, this power keeps on trucking right until your next turn, meaning you will have those extra attacks in your enemies phase as well!
'Ere We Go
This power can either be a blessing, a curse, or something in between. It can deliver a shoota squad into shooting range of a juicy target. Or it could throw the whole unit into reserves. The larger the squad the Weirdboy is with, the riskier this power is. Remember your footprint matters with deep striking. Also, keep in mind that you can't assault after using this power. If you use this power, and the opponent has templates or pie plates, use a run action once you deep strike. You will give up shooting, but will save you the nightmare of flamers or battle cannons gobbling up your entire unit. This power will also rip you out of a combat that you are stuck in with, for better or for worse. To many this is almost a negative power, but I see it as the epitome of a Weirdboyz randomness, and the ability to throw a curve ball at your opponent. You could end up taking an objective or threatening an opponent.
The most appealing power to many who field the Weirdboy. But with the advent of 5th edition a lot of this powers power has dimished. Rarely will a first turn Waaagh! benefit anything but a trukk boy squad. However, this gives you plenty of reason to have at least one Trukk Squad in your army. A first turn Waaagh! with a charge from a Trukk squad can shift the momentum dramatically in your favor. Also, this power can lend you additional Waaagh!s through out a game. Which could mean far more assaulting, which is always the best for Orks.
Where a Weirdboy can be at his Weirdest
Those that travel with a Weirdboy consistently find themselves a bit Weird themselves. Raw Waaagh! energy can be a hell of a drug.
Picking who your Weirdboy will run with is crucial to getting the most out of him. I will go through each unit and discuss the merits of placing a Weirdboy with them.
By His Lonesome
This is in my opinion the worse thing you could ever do. Not only does he feel lonely missing out on his mob rules, but he is extremely vulnerable. The heart of an army can't survive with out the body.
A crew of fluffy Madboyz are in fact nobz. But sometimes it isn't always the best to travel with them. The plus side is that they make for an excellent body guard unit for the Weirdboy. With tons of wounds, the addition of a painboy, and plenty of upgrades they can keep the heart of the army alive for a good time. However, this can be a giant point sink to tool up a nob squad. On the other hand you are already saving points by using a Weirdboy, so using them hear isn't a waist. Remember, your nob squad needs to be 10 man, so that you get that very important leadership bonus. The Weirdboy can also become the nobz biggest liablity though. A 'Ead Bang could cost you some very expensive models in the unit, and a 'Ere We Go could move your best unit into a poor location. And worse of all, if your Weirdboy uses a shooting power, you can't run. And you always have to use the power, so this could slow down the unit in general. Running a Weirdboy with Nobz is moderately good.
A small grouping of Meganobz can benifit from the 'Ere we go power the most. Getting them across the field far quickly than any other method. However, if you want a leadership bonus you are looking at spending an enormous amount of points. The shoota's they carry do mix well with the shooting powers of the Weirdboy, but this means your not running. And with Meganobz being slow as it is, this can be a real liability. The good news is that a Ead Bang won't do much to the unit. Overall this is less than ideal mob to run a Weirdboy with
I have mixed feelings about this unit. It can provide the numbers a Weirdboy needs, and with 3 mek boyz with guns the shooting powers mix well. However, leardership and fragility becomes a major issue. You don't have access to a Bosspole with a Weirdboy, so if this unit breaks it is bad news. Burna Boyz are sub-par usually, a Weirdboy doesn't bring much to this unit. I don't recommend this combination
This can be a very interesting combination. They can provide the numbers and Pole that the Weirdboy needs. But they also bring along that horrible glory hog rule that the Weirdboy will have to abide by. However, a timely 'Ere we go can be amazing for this unit. And the Weirdboyz shooting powers fit right in. An odd combination, but not a terrible one. You will need to be creative to get the most out of it
Lootas or Kommandos
NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO! These units don't want a Weirdboy with them. Neither benefit from his presence and drag him down if stuck with them.
Ah, this is a Weirdboyz true home. Huge numbers to fuel his powers, and solid leadership from a nob. A shoota boy squad is the most ideal combination. They mesh with his shooting powers very well. Slugga Boyz still prefer to get a run in, but if you throw in big shootas or rokkits it can work just fine. The biggest danger to the unit is 'Ere we go, as your foot print will be massive if the unit is large. And if a weird boy is with them, it should be at least 25-30 boy strong at least. This is the unit I highly recommend for your Weirdboy to run with
These guys are just too weedy to bother running a Weirdboy with.
As much as I wish a Weirdboy could fly, he can't, so doesn't mesh at all. Not to mention these rebellious Orks are CONFORMISTS!!!! The dirtiest of dirty words.
Now this is an interesting combination. These nobz with guns actually mesh nicely with a Weirdboy, better than Nobz do. Their guns mean that they prefer to shoot than run, allowing the Weirdboy to express himself with out the guilt. And can provide the sturdiness that a Weirdboy needs. The only thing lacking is a Pole, which can come from Badrukk if you are feeling like spending some points on this unit. Again this can be a point sink, but the Weirdboy is cheap, so you will have the points. I rate this matching as good as Nobz.
The following I will discuss various Army archetypes and whether or not a Weirdboy should be present
Weirdboyz are a bit of a waist in this type of army. He doesn't bring anything that speeds up the army, like a Warboss on a bike. Nor does he bring the defenses of a Mekboy with KFF. Overall a Weirdboy will feel out of place in this army.
Again, this army doesn't play to a Weirdboyz strength. The need of 2 warbosses to make nobz troop choices makes the Weirdboy a poor choice.
The Weirdboy feels right at home in this army. With so many boyz in battle the Waaagh! energy is at its purist. He has plenty of boy mobs to run with, and can even hop from one mob to another. And those points you are saving on a Weirdboy means you will be able to buy more boyz. This is a good choice for a Weirdboy
This army is one of the worse choices for a Weirdboy to run with. The lack of boyz means the Weirdboy has no one to really mob up with.
Armies that are a smattering of different units. These armies can actually play to the strength of a Weirdboy. Since there is no obvious point of focus to these armies, the randomness of the Weirdboy fits right in. This is the type of army that I play personally and recommend the most for a Weirdboy.