9th Edition Faction Focus: Orks

An article by and    Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

9th edition is out in the wild, and with it a whole raft of changes to the factions of Warhammer 40,000. Today, by extremely popular demand it’s finally the turn of the Orks. We decided waiting till November would be too mean.

Once they finally got a Codex in November 2018, Orks had a pretty good run of it in 8th Edition. On launch their book was exceedingly powerful, sufficient that it got taken down a few pegs by subsequent nerfs, but even after that they remained a reasonable force. Things dipped a bit during Space Marine winter, but some help from CA2019 helped get them back onto the tables, and the sheer brute force of 90+ Boyz backed up by some surprisingly deadly shooting consistently proved to be a recipe for success.

On the face of it, the 9th Edition changes are pretty hard on Orks. Core rules changes weaken their units on the table, the new detachment system hurts them, and several key units took point hits. Things may not be as dire as they seem, however – as people have finally started to cotton onto, the 9th Edition missions are set up to reward a certain style of play hard – moving into the mid board in force and bowling over anyone who tries to stop you. As it may not surprise you to learn, Orks are pretty good at this – maybe good enough to punch through the challenges and make themselves a force to be reckoned with on the tournament tables.

We’re going to go through the big wins and losses the faction sees in 9th, cover off the changes to the units in the various battlefield roles, and finally look at some army lists to get you started with the new edition.

Overview

Credit: Charlie Brassley

The changes to rules and missions for 9th edition have fundamentally changed the game and player priorities, putting an emphasis on holding objectives and durability. Meanwhile changes to morale, coherency, and combat have changed the way Orks have to think about their army and how it plays.

The Good

First, the good news:

  • 9th Edition missions reward aggressive melee playstyles. The emphasis on holding objectives in the middle of the board coupled with shorter games and Command Phase scoring means that gunline armies that prefer to sit back and shoot won’t be successful – units have to rush forward early to capture objectives if players want to maximize their primary points. Command Phase scoring also benefits melee units, who are some of the few units capable of flipping an objective – wiping an enemy off it and taking control of it – in the same turn. 9th edition being about board control fundamentally benefits the Orks, whose large numbers make it possible to control large swaths of the table, blocking off enemy movement and dedicating multiple units to each objective.
  • Marginal Points Increases for Boyz. Boyz and a few other units get only a single point increase, making them competitively priced relative to other Troops. 
  • Ghazghkull got a buff. Between a rules upgrade, low point increase, and shorter games, Ghazghkull looks like a force to be reckoned with. The ability to Advance and charge is big on him, and the warping effects of the Abhor the Witch Secondary Objective mean that fewer armies may be packing the psykers needed to potentially kill him in a single turn. Paired with a Painboy and the ability to regenerate lost Wounds, Ghaz can be a real pain.
  • Morale is less severe on hordes. While large units of boyz still have the advantage of using Mob Rule to get high Leadership values, the penalty for losing 20+ boyz in a single turn of shooting is no longer near as harsh; you can now auto-succeed on a 1 for your Morale test, and on a loss you’re only losing 1 model + the results of your combat attrition test, making it less likely that your large unit will be wiped out.
  • Objective Secured is incredibly powerful. With the emphasis on holding objectives to score primary points in 9th, Objective Secured has become even more important in 9th edition. This is good news for Deathskulls, who give the Dis is Ours! Zog Off! rule to all of their INFANTRY.

The Bad

Now for the bad:

  • Horde and melee changes make large units harder to use on the table. The changes to coherency make large units trickier to move, requiring tighter formations and preventing you from stringing one unit across multiple objectives (well, you can still do this but it’s incredibly risky). Changes to fight range – from 1” to ½” – make it less likely you’ll be able to fight with more than two ranks. And the requirement that a unit reach every target it charges to get off a successful charge makes doing big multi-charges considerably more difficult.
  • Blast. Blast weapons are going to be more of an issue for orks, where the large unit sizes are going to mean you’re constantly taking full-shot volleys from Blast weapons. The one help here is that Morale is not quite as devastating for large units as it used to be.
  • Army construction changes. Orks are one of the few monofaction armies that have been hurt by the changes to army construction – grots were a marginal tax to pay at most, and the ability to take three Battalions or a Brigade means that Orks will likely have less CP to work with in 9th edition than they did in 8th. There’s also a harsh penalty for mixing Kulturs since you’ll need to pay the CP to take multiple detachments. The upside is that you have to buy (and paint) fewer grots. While we love grots and want to see more of them on the table, that’s not the end of the world because…
  • Disastrous point hikes on Grots and Shokk Attack Guns. Grots and Shokk Attack guns got some heinous points increases (seriously–five point grots?!) that make taking a ton of them much less palatable. Shokk Attack guns are still OK but…
  • The loss of Specialist Detachments takes away one of your best relics. Losing the Dread Waaagh! Specialist Detachment in Competitive Play means losing Da Souped-up Shokka, one of the best relics Orks could take
  • A few nasty point increases on mid-tier units. Stormboyz, Flash Gitz, Meganobz, and the Wazboom Blastajet all saw significant points increases they could have done without (though some weapon options on Meganobz got cheaper, so if you run double killsaws their overall cost went down). That’s not great for army/list diversity.

 

The Units

HQ

Big Mek. Credit: Kevin Genson

There are some big changes here to consider. Big Meks, particularly those with Shokk Attack Guns, may have taken the biggest hit in all of 9th edition, simultaneously going up 40 points in cost while losing access to Da Souped-up Shokka relic and Kustom Ammo strat, as Specialist Detachments are no longer permitted in Competitive Play. These are a rough sell at 120pts, especially given that it’s also now much harder to screen them and they sit in a valuable slot. Given that other shooting options also got rougher, we could believe one these seeing use as Bad Moons where they can still double shoot with Showing Off, but the days of three in every list are done.

Kustom Force Fields appear to have two different costs but have gone up, though they’re likely to be more useful than ever thanks to 9th edition’s emphasis on unit durability and holding objectives. Note that now we’re through the FAQs, the foot Big Mek’s KFF Invulnerable is also brought back in line with all the other ones, applying to TRANSPORT if he embarks in one and to ORK units rather than CLAN, but going back to only working against ranged attacks. The extra resilience these provide, especially in concert with a Painboy or Mad Dok Grotsnik, is a huge boost to your ability to deploy aggressively and soak up a turn of fire, so expect to see these still.

Ghazghkull saw a fairly modest increase compared to other units, but got a big boost from errata allowing his Great Waaagh! ability to apply to MONSTER units as well, making him significantly better now that he can also Advance and Charge. On top of this he’s still a very difficult unit to kill and potentially even moreso if the Abhor the Witch secondary objective causes players to take fewer psykers, as that reduces the number of phases he’s going to take damage in. It’s also worth noting that Ghaz is large enough to shield other characters even with the new FAQ change, and so it may be worth considering Ghaz with a Painboy attendant to use the Medi-Squig Stratagem to heal him D3 lost wounds, brutally punishing opponents who are unable to kill him. Finally, it’s worth identifying that a one-turn reduction in game length is a huge deal for him, as it further increases the proportion of the game your opponent is going to have to work around him (even more so if you Tellyporta him). Since he can be included in any detachment without breaking Kulturs (now including Subkulturs), expect to see him out and about a lot.

Credit: Soncaz

Weirdboyz took a moderate hit (+10 points), making them a bit harder to slot in but not placing them out of viability. Though you’ll still need to decide if you want to rely on Da Jump or take your army in a different direction in order to gain access to Abhor the Witch against armies like Grey Knights, Thousand Sons, and Daemons. If you’re running Boyz blobs the value from having the threat of Jumping is probably high enough that you do take them still, especially as Orks can use their strong board control to play lots of secondaries, but you should definitely cap at two max – it would be very embarrassing to score an entire secondary for your opponent just from your own casters blowing their heads up.

Finally, pour one out for the Warboss on Warbike, who has now passed into Legends after seeing only a small points increase initially. RIP. On a serious note, this is pretty challenging, as a Bike Warboss with Da Biggest Boss and Da Killa Klaw was pretty much a staple of competitive lists, and there’s nothing that immediately fills that slot. Players will need to decided if they’re happy with an inferior foot Warboss, or whether to take a Deffkilla Wartrike – the latter potentially attractive if you’ve gone wide on buggies, especially as he only went up a tiny number of points.

Troops

Credit: Greggles

A tale of two units. Ork Boyz remain very cost efficient, going up only one point each. Unless you skew hard towards vehicles you’ll definitely still need some of these as the backbone of your army, probably even at least some 30-model blobs of them, as the sheer force that presents, plus the threat of redeploying with Da Jump, is something an infantry Ork list needs badly. The threat of Blast weapons does probably mean that this is no longer going to be the only game in town, however, and you’re likely to see more 10 model squads brought in for space control and Actions. Boyz were extremely efficient previously, and that combined with their low point cost probably makes them one of the few horde units to remain actively good in the scary, blast-filled new world.

Grots, sadly, got absolutely dumpstered, going up to 5 points per model thanks to some weird insistence that 5 points be the minimum cost for a model. That’s the only reason we can think of as to why these now cost the same as a Guardsman as that isn’t a comparison that looks terribly fair. This does, unfortunately, have a pretty significant knock-on to other units in the army, as a lot of the shooting options relied on the assumption you’d have a bunch of Grots ready to “heroically” leap into the path of shots against them with Grot Shields. Now that taking these sucks, it’s a lot harder to justify taking a big blob of Lootas, unless some galaxy brained plan involving open topped transports works out.  We sort of get that there was a need to get the model count down from where it had reached in 8th, but in the case of Grots the detachment changes would probably have done that anyway, and this feels really rough.

Elites

Ork Kommandoes. Credit: SRM

The big winners here are Kommandos, who only went up one point each and whose Kunnin’ Infiltrators ability to drop in anywhere more than 9″ from enemy units can give them some nasty mobility and the fact that they gain Objective Secured in a Deathskulls detachment makes them worth looking at as competition to Boyz. Now that Ork players don’t need to fill as many detachments with Boyz, there’s a lot more room for Kommandos to operate in lists – having a large number of ObSec 5-model units waiting in the wings to chuck onto opponents (or pop up to score secondaries) is going to cause them a massive headache. Alternatively, you can do the same with Evil Sunz for the boost to charges out of Deep Strike, though if you’re doing that you probably want some slightly bigger units so they can reliably clear out enemy units.

Nobz on Warbikes also saw a pretty small points increase, and now that the Warboss option is gone, this is your next best option for using those models. If you’re looking for tougher units to throw down on an objective you probably end up taking Meganobz over these, because the 4+ save on the Nobz makes them way too brittle to a wide variety of shooting, whereas anything with a 2+ needs real attention to take down. Meganobz being able to benefit from the various varieties of cover is also a big deal, as it’s now pretty challenging to get a boosted save on the bikers. Meganobz also get a comparitive boost from 8th in that they no longer look completely embarrassing when you compare their cost to a Centurion – so that’s nice!

If you want something a bit cheaper but still made of sterner stuff than your average Boy, Nobz might be worth a look, most notably in a Trukk to push onto an objective then Loot the vehicle when it dies. That puts their save up to 3+, essentially giving you a squad of DIY Intercessors to hold onto an objective and cave in the skulls of someone who comes looking for a fight. This is especially nice in Deathskulls, where they benefit from having Objective Secured.

Credit: SRM

Tankbustas also managed to make it through without any points increase, which makes them look significantly better as an option. Given that doing drive-bys with these mounted up in Trukks or Battlewagons was an occasional fringe option, this might get them some attention from players looking for a bit of ranged punch. You can also walk a squad of 10 on from a board edge for 1 CP and that’s probably worth at least thinking about thanks to their short range and fragility.

Fast Attack

Credit: Head58

The special buggies generally went up 10 points across the board, meaning the Shokkjump Dragsta and Mekatrakk Scrapjet continue to look pretty good. Confirmation that you can still use a Kustom Job without a Mekboy workshop also helps both, as either an entire Scrapjet squad with the double fight drills to act as a hammer or the objective scoring powers of three teleporting Dragsters are both great additions to your list. We’ve already seen a successful list loading up on buggies, which can use them to protect key characters and block enemy movement. With that in mind, it’s probably only these two types you’ll see frequently – they have the weaponry best-tuned to the early metagame (where multi-wound bodies are common) and the most flexibility in how you can use them on the table.

That might create a role for Warbikers, as they’re fast enough to keep up with your mobile characters and put some bodies and ground coverage down a bit cheaper than their bigger, Nob Biker brothers do. This also provides you with an option on an emergency burst of anti-infantry firepower against an enemy with numbers to match your own. These have seen play already in one of the first winning Ork lists of the edition, so expect to see people getting them out of storage and giving them a go.

Stormboyz went up a few points as we mentioned earlier, which isn’t great, but they’re also much better in the new missions, where their mobility is a major asset. Stormboyz lists were occasionally popular in 8th as a way to overwhelm opponents with large numbers, and that may still be a viable option, especially given 9th edition’s smaller table sizes. The main concern here is whether you actually need them to threaten enough of the table any more, and running full units when they’re 50% pricier than boyz for the same defensive profile feels like a big risk, especially when you can supplement your board control with Kommandos. Our gut feel is that these aren’t quite priced to move at the new cost, but it’s somewhere that we’re willing to be proved wrong.

Heavy Support

The roughest news here is that Flash Gitz took a massive points increase in 9th, going up 8 points to 32 points per model. The small consolation is that Ammo Runts only went up 1 point per model, but it still makes them an expensive unit to work with, and probably banishes them straight back off tables, having just started to see a bit of experimentation in the wake of Saga of the Beast. Their guns are very good in a Marine-filled world, and the smaller tables reward them, but they’re a huge investment to get down in numbers where they’re workable. The only possibility is that their slightly higher native save and ability to use cover works in their favour – but the flipside of their weapons being great against the metagame is that they’re exactly the kind of unit they’re good at killing, so other players are going to be gunning for them too!

Lootas saw a much more modest change – going up to 20 points – but the bigger challenge is that without Grots to shield them they’re going to be much less survivable, and their AP-1 looks increasingly inadequate in a world full of power-armoured models. They’re also a big victim of the changes to detachment construction – the only thing you ever really wanted as Bad Moons was exactly one squad of these, and you tended to put them in a detachment with Weirdboyz and Grots. That’s now a much more expensive prospect, and given these need a big CP investment to do their thing as well, they’re probably on the bench for a while.

Mek Guns came out of the changes in a pretty good place point wise, and they can move and shoot without incurring a penalty to their hit rolls since they’re vehicles, but that’s a double-edged sword: they’re also going to bleed you points to the Bring It Down Secondary Objective, where their T5, 6-Wound frames do not do enough to protect them. Unless you’re going all-in on vehicles, that probably caps you at maybe 6 of these as a sensible number. With that in mind, there probably isn’t much draw to take a detachment just for running these, and you’re more likely to see a small number stapled onto another detachment. That isn’t the end of the world – the dreaded Smasha Gun is still an extremely nasty piece of kit, and giving up kills isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. It really only takes one spike turn from a battery of these to waste a big target, so keeping some around is worthwhile. It does seem a bit less likely you’ll see them in Grot Mobz, though that is an option if you end up needing to take a Patrol to squeeze in HQs.

Ork Killa Kan

Ork Killa Kan. Credits: That Gobbo

In less good news for any budding Grot Revolutionary Committees, Killa Kanz got hit with a massive point increase, and are catastropically bad for bleeding Bring It Down, meaning the brief bit of experimentation people had going on with them is probably over. Deff Dreads get off a bit more lightly, and there’s maybe still a case for loading a trio of the up with kustom mega blastas and the Sparkly Bitz kustom job as, as they present a real threat to enemy vehicles and are less likely to find themselves outranged.

Morkanaut

Morkanaut. Credit: That Gobbo

Neither Gorkanauts nor Morkanauts get hit too hard by the changes, but neither does notably well either, probably leaving both still stuck as fringe options that just aren’t pulling quite in the right direction for the army – vehicle lists want to go-wide with smaller things, and they’re a conspicuous target in otherwise INFANTRY-heavy lists.

The various flavours of Battlewagon all go up a little bit, but although they weren’t used that much previously they’re probably worth at least a little bit of a look. The Bonebreaka gains quite a bit from the edition change – the smaller boards favour it and large models that provide a “speed bump” for a turn of enemy shooting are more valuable in shorter games – and being able to chuck out a bunch of infantry onto an objective when they die is great for scoring primary objectives. Don’t forget to give your first the Forktress Kustom Job for substantially increased resilience. That’s probably the most likely to see use, though the Gunwagon does pick up the boost that its Kustom weapons now get to double shoot. The only other fringe possibility here is that if Ork players are hard up enough for shooting threats you might look at a Forktress basic Battlewagon for carting around your shooting units – but being unable to target them with More Dakka will continue to put a damper on that option. You can also have a basic Trukk for half the price, and motivated opponents can definitely crack open a wagon.

Big Trakks I am forced to briefly talk about to remind you that a.) they exist and b.) their biggest, nastiest gun appears to have accidentally become free without a corresponding cost increase on the body. Make of that what you will – they’re probably not even terrible now, and used to be a niche fave in Indexhammer 8th.

Finally, a late entry, the basic Squiggoth is back and is probably…fine, actually? Surprisingly fine almost. Especially now they can advance and charge thanks to Ghazgkhull, and having the upside of being a transport and being nasty in combat, these feel like they’re surprisingly close to having real play. The Bonebreaka probably outclasses it most of the time, but if you’ve dreamt of running your very own stampede there have certainly been worse times to do it.

Dedicated Transport

Trukks made it through the transition almost unchanged (+1 point). That’s pretty good and given that 9th edition’s mission structure seems to reward Infantry units in Transports, it may be the humble Trukk’s time at last. These are so cheap that throwing a couple down with 10 infantry of some sort in each has got to be worth trying, especially as Deathskulls, as it gives Orks something to push an early objective grab with that doesn’t instantly die to anti-horde fire. This has already been used successfully in a 4-1 list played by “Seth the Mad Dok”, which we are going to assume is his real name.

Flyers

Ork Flyers mostly saw points changes that were on-rate for the 9th edition transition except for the Wazbom Blastajet, which went up 41 points. That means that the Burna Bomba stays enticing after the addition of Flying Headbutt (though technically it still needs an FAQ because of the different name on the rule), and despite their increased costs you might still occasionally see Wazboms, as their ability to act as a mobile provider of a KFF is handy.

Lord of War

Credit: Silks

Stompas didn’t go up by much in the points update, but still have all their problems and taking one will cost you a significant amount of your already-reduced CP now.

In “Forge World unit news designed to drive One_Wing mad” news, the Garanguan Squiggoth‘s cheapest build went down in price and now it can Advance and Charge in the same turn with the benefit of Ghazghkull’s upgraded aura, making it significantly more mobile. Sadly, it still has some big problems that’ll probably keep it out of contention. The main ones are that it doesn’t have any sort of “sweep” attack in melee, and can’t fall back and charge, so is under constant threat of getting stuck in combat if your opponent has anything numerous, and is so physically massive that you’ll struggle to deploy or maneuvre it on some tables – and if you ever have to take the “skip a turn” option on deploying, it’s a huge waste. This probably relegates them to gimmick builds or just maybe for an event where you’re really sure the tables are going to be terrain light, but they’re genuinely pretty good when you look at their stats in a vacuum.

Fortifications

The Mekboy Workshop is cheap-ish and easier to take, but almost certainly still not worth it.

 

How They Play

Orks ultimately win via pressure, and that’s going to be more true than ever now that overtuned Big Mek shooting isn’t going to be reaching out and atomizing enemy vehicles with impunity. The good news is that the 9th Edition missions are well set up to reward you for playing aggressively, with both primary objectives and many of the secondaries favouring it.

Orks basically have two ways they can apply this pressure – go hard on Infantry, with a large number of Boyz backed up by Kommandos and some meatier options such as Ghazghkull and Nobz, or go wide and take advantage of their (very cost effective) buggies to flood the board with multi-purpose threats and confound their opponent. Other than big Ghaz himself, there’s not really anything that Orks can put down that can stand up to the concentrated firepower of the game’s biggest threats, so whatever plan you’re on you need to be forcing the opponent to engage on multiple fronts (or at least have to defend them) right from the get go, and ensure you’re scoring as many Primary points as possible from your second turn. With a shorter game, you’re at a lower risk of running out of gas or getting blasted off the board, and the unique threat that Ghaz himself poses gives you a tool you can use to hold on to a position long past the point anything else would have died.

Realistically, with this as your plan two Clans stand out – Evil Sunz for speed, and Deathskulls for durability, force multiplication and extra ObSec. Results also don’t lie, and it would appear from some hot-off-the-press results that getting the most from Ghaz is enough of a draw that people are now giving Goffs a second look.

Realistically, if you’re going mechanised you probably want Deathskulls – the synergy with the various buggies is huge, and it allows you to use small, cheap units like Kommandos or Trukk-riding boyz to handle your ObSec needs. Continuing an irony that has been present since the codex, foot lists are much more likely to want to go with Evil Sunz for extra mobility, with Goffs as the new kids on the block if you want to try something classic.

Whichever you choose your goal is simple – make as much of the table as possible a live, dangerous place for your opponent, grab the objectives and focus your biggest threats on taking out whatever they have that might actually sweep you from the table fast. With 9th’s gameplay being faster and more brutal, it’s never been more true that Orks is never truly beaten – if your opponent tables you in turn 5, that won’t help if you held most of the objectives all game prior to that!

Secondary Objectives

Orks tend to be mobile and able to spread out to grab a lot of space and objectives, which helps with quite a few secondaries.

  • in Battlefield Supremacy, Domination is great for infantry lists, as it’s one of those things where if they’re ever consistently failing to score it they’ve probably already lost, while Engage on All Fronts is ideal for vehicle spam lists on most maps – just be ready to drop a single point on Search and Destroy deployments.
  • No Mercy, No Respite is a weaker category, but While We Stand We Fight is worth considering for the infantry lists, as many of them will have Ghaz plus other characters as the eligible models.
  • Just like any army, Purge the Enemy secondaries need to be chosen based on what your opponent has – though here the vehicle builds probably do a bit better, as they’re more reliably able to pop enemy tanks.
  • Infantry lists shine at Shadow Operations – With lots of cheap Infantry to work with, Orks can afford to throw small units at Actions without a significant loss of damage output. Raise the Banners High looks especially good for armies with plenty of Kommandos. Deploy Scramblers is probably higher value than normal as well, as you’re planning to try and get a big lead on the primary.
  • Warpcraft isn’t fantastic for Orks, as Weirdboyz are not even slightly the kind of caster you want to try these with. Since the vehicle lists tend to be a bit less capable in the other categories, they should probably avoid taking a Weirdboy to give them a shot at Abhor the Witch in some games.
  • Mission secondaries often work well for the Orky game plan.

 

Sample Lists

We’ve talked about how Orks play, now let’s look at some list concepts and see how we might put some of these concepts into action. We’ll also discuss some recent winning lists (one of the advantages Ork players get for checks notes patiently waiting for this) and how one of them changes with the FAQ.

Credit: SRM

Deathskulls Vehicles by Andy Penn

The List

Orks Outrider Detachment (-3 CP)
Clan: DEATHSKULLS

HQs

WARBOSS on BIKE [110] (100) Relic :- da Killy Klaw (10) WARLORD – MIGHT IS RIGHT (-1 CP) da Biggest Boss (+ 1 Att and wound & +4 inv)

DEFFKILLA WARTRIKE [125] 2nd Relic (- 1 CP) da Fixer Upper

FAST ATTACK

3 MEGATRAKK SCRAPJETS [330] (90 each) 2 twin big Shootas (20)

3 MEGATRAKK SCRAPJETS [330] (90 each) 2 twin big Shootas (20)

SHOKKJUMP DRAGASTA [110] (100) rokkit (10)

KUSTOM BOOSTA BLASTA (90)

BOOM DAKKA SNAZZWAGON [90] (85) big Shootas (5)

10 WARBIKERS [280] (270) Nob w/ Power Klaw (10)

HEAVY SUPPORT

BONEBRAKER [195] (160) Deff Rolla (20) 2 big Shootas (10) Rigger Grots (5) (- 1 CP) FORTRESS (+3 save +5 inv)

BONEBRAKER [185] (160) Deff Rolla (20) Rigger Grots (5)

FLYER

BURNA BOMMBER [155] (125) 2 Super shots (20) Twin big Shootas (10)
Army total 2000
Spend six pre game CP on OUTRIDERS, FORTRESS, DA BIGGEST BOSS & a 2nd relic

This list took first place at the Adelaide GT.

This list is a delight – it’s totally different to most Ork lists we saw in 8th, with the only one that was even vaguely in the same ballpark being the Deathskulls buggy list from the Alliance Open last year. Even that had quite a different plan, able to make use of the powerful shooting of Shokk Attack Guns to strip out enemy threats, but with those banished to the island of over-nerfed units, what’s an Ork to do?

Accelerate to ramming speed, apparently. This army gets up in an opponent’s face and trades on the fact that it’s got a wide range of threats that can disperse around the board and operate largely independently (off the back of Deathskulls re-rolls) to dominate the table. The Megatrakk Scrapjets are especially well suited to the current metagame, as they pack a huge amount of flat damage three shooting to deal with Gravis, so it makes sense that they’re out in force. The Bonebreakers have a part to play as well, and I honestly wonder if part of the reason this list succeded is that against non-FLY units it can literally body block large swathes of the table from being accessible – your opponent can’t hold the objectives if they physically can’t get to them. While some all-in FLY lists exist, in general the stock of it has gone down, so that becomes more of a viable plan.

Last on the list, we have the Bikers and the Bomber. The Bomber is pretty obvious – armies can end up much more clustered mid-table in 9th, so being able to drop a massive mortal wound bomb is pretty spicy, especially with a bunch of valuable Gravis stuff kicking round. The Bikers are a horde-clearing  and space control option – this list feels a little vulnerable to tarpitting if it runs into enemies who are still on a horde plan, so having a unit that can throw down a big volley with More Dakka and plausibly punch up against light vehicles with Wreckers is handy.

Orks had a rough time of the point changes, so it’s good to see some real kunnin’ put into a list that can still kick enemies in the teef.

What Doesn’t Work

One big thing to note here – the first is that the Warboss on Bike is gone, but can potentially be replaced with another Wartrike, as here almost everything can benefit from their version of Advance and Charge. You lose a nasty beater, but it isn’t the end of the world.

 

Goff Boyz by Stephen Mitchell

Credit: John “JackMann” Beattie

Hot off the presses we have our first winning list featuring Ghaz, leading up a massive contingent of Goffs to a win at the Gigabyte GT (there was also a Deathskulls list with Trukks there that did well).

The List

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [88 PL, 1,875pts] ++

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Goffs

+ HQ +

Big Mek W/ Kustom Force Field [4 PL, 80pts]: Grot Oiler

Ghazghkull Thraka [14 PL, 300pts]

Warboss [4 PL, 90pts]: Attack Squig, Brutal but Kunnin, Da Killa Klaw, Kombi-Rokkit, Power Klaw, Warlord

+ Troops +

Boyz [11 PL, 250pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 29x Choppa, 29x Slugga, 29x Stikkbombs

Boyz [11 PL, 250pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 29x Choppa, 29x Slugga, 29x Stikkbombs

Boyz [11 PL, 242pts]: 2x Tankbusta Bombs

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. 28x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 28x Choppa, 28x Slugga, 28x Stikkbombs

+ Elites +

5 Meganobz [10 PL, 190pts]

5 Meganobz [10 PL, 190pts]

Nob with Waaagh! Banner [4 PL, 98pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw

Painboy [3 PL, 65pts]: Power Klaw

+ Heavy Support +

Mek Gunz [2 PL, 40pts]

. Gun: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [2 PL, 40pts]

. Gun: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [2 PL, 40pts]

. Gun: Smasha Gun

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Orks) [4 PL, 125pts, 9CP] ++

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Goffs

+ HQ +

Weirdboy [3 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 2. Warpath, 3. Da Jump, Warphead

+ Troops +

Gretchin [1 PL, 50pts]

. 10x Gretchin: 10x Grot Blaster

++ Total: [92 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

We’ve kind of already covered what your goal is here – overwhelm your opponent in a green tide with sufficient force that they can’t recover. The Meganobz are an interesting call – potentially they’re here as something that can secure an objective once it’s taken and not be trivially shot off by incoming reserves, with the flexibility to be thrown at something spicy with Da Jump if needed. However, the Boyz here hit so hard thanks to the various buff auras that you often won’t need that.

Making this Goffs rather than bringing Ghaz along with Evil Sunz does give you the big upside of having him with a Clan-matched Painboy, letting you heal him up with a medi-squig and further extend his usable lifespan. Some armies will find him incredibly difficult to remove over the course of the game with that layered on top.

The only thing I might consider changing about this list would be to move the Mek Gunz to the Patrol (as they can be combined to a single unit) and making that detachment a Grot Mob, slightly upping their output. Since all you have in it otherwise are units that don’t really need the Goff keyword, it feels effectively free. That would increase the extent to which the Smashas are going to be an incredibly tilting factor – they’re dirt cheap to add, and are occasionally going to spike turn one and instantly murk something critical, and will durably sit on a backline objective otherwise.

This list should tell Ork players two things:

  • Boyz ain’t dead!
  • Ghaz is back!

Our suspicion is that this will be considered good news.

Oh Gork They Coming – Squiggoth Silliness

OK, one from us now. Disclaimer – if you want to win, maybe go look at the two lists above, or look up Seth’s mixed Buggy/Trukk Boyz list. Got that? OK. Rob’s Note: Or, if you aren’t a coward, run the Squiggoths.

Battalion – Deathskulls

HQ

Ghazghkull – 300
Big Mek with KFF – 75

Troops

10x Boyz, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 90
10x Boyz, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 90
10x Boyz, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 90

Elites

5x Kommandos, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 55
5x Kommandos, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 55
5x Kommandos, Boss Nob w/power klaw – 55

Fast Attack

3x Shokkjumps, Kustom Job – Whirligig – 330
3x Scrapjets, Kustom Job – Korkscrew – 330

Heavy Support

Squiggoth – 175
Squiggoth – 175
Squiggoth – 175

Total – 1995, 10CP

Look. Look. What true Ork doesn’t dream of seeing their foes trampled brutally beneath the gigantic hooves of a terrifying warbeast, spurned to even greater rage and rapidity by the presence of the Grand Warboss himself?

Essentially here your Squiggoths are your pressure pieces that you’re going to fire up the board at your opponent. You quite likely blow a chunk of your remaining CP turn 1 to stick Ghaz in the tellyporta and activate Force Field Projeckta as you either weather their first turn or move up to the mid-board. Ghaz comes down turn 2 and the gorin’ begins, with every remaining Squiggoth rushing forwards to try and engage/trample as much stuff as possible, acting as a huge distraction while the buggies plink away and Kommandos sneak on to objectives to secure them in the name or Gork (or possibly Mork). Between their hefty stock of wounds and Ghaz’s durability, you should be able to start a punch up that’ll go down in legend and buy you the time to win the game.

 

Outlook: Surprisingly Decent

While there were certainly some 9th edition changes in that hurt Orks (seriously, 5 point grots is a war crime), any wailing and gnashing of teef was clearly premature. The more aggressive play style that the game requires significantly benefits Ork armies. We’ve already seen multiple successful builds of Orks at the competitive level and it’s likely there are more to experiment with and test that we haven’t seen yet. So stop cowering in fear of blast weapons, grab a choppa, and get out there.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.comOr if you’re a patron, head over to our Discord where you can chat with us directly.

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.