The Burna Boy Tactica
Many people feel that there are so many better choices in the ork codex that the lowly burna boy is often ignored. Well I am here to tell you that the burna boys are one of the best choices the orks have for their elite slots. With the profile of a regular ork, they are the closest thing we have to being a super unit.
Now of course this unit must be correctly used, putting it in the wrong place and they will do nothing all game, pitting them against the wrong opponent will simply get them wiped out, but having them in the right place against the right enemy units will be game winning. So hopefully this article will help all you aspiring war bosses to better equip your army.
First, let us discuss size, as in most things ork, the bigger the better, and the more the merrier. Unfortunately, for us, GW sells them in packs of five. Actually, there are only four burnas and mek, so if you want a pure burna squad you will have to buy four packs, which will leave you one extra, of course you can just use this last one for your commando squad. Nevertheless, you will need at least five, as this is the minimum size squad you can take. The best is a squad of 10 as it makes math easier, but for ludicrous results, you should take a squad of 15. I personally run a squad of 15 of which 3 are meks with KMB.
The flamer template causes a wound on any model it touches; this is good as ork shooting is poor, so causing automatic hits is a good thing for orks. Since you are allowed to move the template around to optimize wounds you can usually get multiple hits that turn into multiple wounds. A single burna can usually cause multiple wounds that usually results in a fatality of at least one enemy. The less the armor save the better the chances of killing more, and since the AP for the burna is 5 when fighting eldar, IG, nids, and other orks the burna will certainly kill as many as it hits. Now if your squad has more flamer templates, then you will certainly kill even more. Thus the more the merrier!
There are many uses for burna boys; the obvious one is the flaming of massed troops. Move into a semi circle around a large squad of IG or nids and lay out as many templates as there are burna boys and wipe out the squad. Of course, this means that you maneuvered them well and got to within burning distance without being shot to pieces or assaulted. The solution to this is to mount them, put them in a looted vehicle or battle wagon.
Of course, you can buy a truck for your boys or nobs and then make them walk so the burnas can ride, but this requires some careful maneuvering and set up, not to mention your nobs will be mad at you for taking away their truck. So just, buy a looted vehicle for about the same cost, as a truck and you do not have to worry about the transport problem.
When mounted in a vehicle the templates stack. According to the rules, (page 70 of the rule book) all models in an open top vehicle can fire measuring from the hull. This means that you can place the template from any point in the hull; and this allows you to maximize the amount of hits. Again according to the rules (page 29 of the rule book) it says to resolve the shots one at a time. Well now, here comes the beauty of the mounted burnas; instead of laying the template down once for each burna boy you simply lay it down once and you then multiply those hits by the number of burna boys.
For example, if your vehicle has 12 burna boys in it, and it drives up next to an enemy unit and lays out the template that covers 5 marines, now multiply that by 12. That is 60 hits, which should average 30 wounds, which should average 10 casualties. That's one dead tactical squad, and if it is a larger squad of other types of enemy then you will get better results. For example if you can cover 13 termagaunts that's 154 hits that will result in 110 wounds, this in turn will cause one wiped out squad of nids.
The next use of the burn boys is to clean out bastions. According to the rules (page 80 of the rule book) if a template covers a firing port the contents of the building take D6 hits. So again the templates stack and cause 12D6 hits which is usually enough to dramatically thin out the defenders, against lightly armored enemy, such as IG and daemons, you will clean out the bastion so that another of your units can just walk in and claim the building for themselves.
Yet another use for them is the power weapon spam. If you do not shoot with them before you assault you can use the burna as a power weapon in combat. Against most things, this will wipe them out, the burna boys get three attacks on the charge, this is more than enough to cause massive casualties to the enemy, and this is great against higher toughness enemy like bikers and their like. Unfortunately, as their initiative is low you will lose some before they strike so you will not get the full amount of your potential impact. So against a squad of regular marines you will lose about half your squad, but the good news is that the half that remains will kill enough to win the combat if not outright kill off all the enemy unit. Against units with lower initiative, like necrons, the burna boys are absolutely devastating in combat.
About the meks. You have the option to make up to three of them as meks with kustom mega blasters (KMB). The mek weapon is basically a plasma gun, and of course, it gets hot, and when it does it kill that mek. The advantage is that they have longer range than the burnas and can kill most things armored when they hit. They are good for fixing your vehicle that you are in too. Say your wagon gets immobilized; you now have three chances to fix it. The KMB has a chance to insta-kill most thing toughness 4 like space marine heroes, and nid warriors. Of course, you have to hit, which is why you take three. On an average shooting phase, one will hit and wound, and the AP is low enough that unless the victim has an invulnerable save they will die. In addition, the meks are good for taking as casualties in combat, assign them wounds first. This will leave more power weapon attacks for later.
My favorite way to use them is in a battlewagon with a death roller. This allows the unit to ram vehicles, or to slow down for a drive by flaming. Not to mention the better armor of the battlewagon will help keep the burna boys alive longer. As once you have flamed a unit out of existence a time or two, this squad will become a higher target priority for your opponent.
The last thing, but not least, is to add a big mek with a KFF and a boss pole to this unit. The burna boys do not have the option for a boss pole so the big mek can fill this role nicely, as well as adding another burna to the mix. The built in cover save will also allow your battle wagon to live longer, and thus the burna boys live longer to kill more of your enemy. Then if the battlewagon gets destroyed, you still have the ability to re-roll any failed leadership, smacking the lesser meks of course.
While this article is not the end all of the burna boys, I hope it has given you some good ideas and has encouraged you to get your own squad so you can go out and make your enemies do the burny dance