Detachment Focus: Bully Boyz

In this series of articles we take a deep dive into a specific detachment for a faction, covering the faction’s rules and upgrades and talking about how to build around that faction for competitive play. In this article, we’re covering the Bully Boyz Detachment from Codex: Orks.

The Tenth Edition release of Codex: Orks gave the faction six Detachments to work with and while most of them were generally pretty cool it quickly became apparent that the strongest of them was the Bully Boyz Detachment. The ability to functionally call a second Waaagh! has huge implications for the army and allows it to launch a brutal, sustained assault on opponents. Also we’d like to give a special thanks to Ben Jurek for lending his expertise on this write-up.

Detachment Overview

The Bully Boyz Detachment pushes you toward using Nobz and Meganobz, giving you the power to call a second Waaagh! which applies only to those units and your Warboss units. The ability to double up on the power and durability from your Waaagh is huge, and Bully Boyz lists tend to act a lot like melee “jail” lists as a result, pushing a load of meganobz into the opponent’s deployment zone early, trapping them in melee hell while their cheap boyz and gretchin units clean up on objectives.

Detachment Rule: Da Boss is Watchin’

At the start of a battle round in which you have not called a Waaagh! if you have one or more WARBOSS models on the battlefield (or embarked within a transport that is on the battlefield), you can call a Waaagh! for a second time this battle. When doing so, that second Waaagh! only counts as having been called for WARBOSS, NOBZ, and MEGANOBZ from your army.

This is massive – it lets you both double up on the power boost you get from the Waaagh (the +1 Strength and Attacks in melee), but also the durability – a 5+ invulnerable save and a 4+ Feel No Pain on your Meganobz. In most games, this will mean you’re firing off a Waaagh! on rounds two and three, meaning your army is at its most powerful – and durable – during the game’s most pivotal turns. It also ensures you’ll get the most out of your Stratagems during those turns. Because doubling up on Waaagh power is so great for Meganobz, a Bully Boyz army will generally be built around taking three units of Meganobz, with at least two riding in transports (the third will typically arrive via Deep Strike), and possibly supported by some additional Nobz, though those are less necessary.

Sirrus Bizniz, Goff ork warlord in mega armour. Credit: Charlie Brassley.

Enhancements

The Bully Boyz Enhancements are alright. Tellyporta is a must-take for one of your Warbosses in Mega Armour.

  • Big Gob (20 points) – Goes on an INFANTRY WARBOSS. At the start of the Fight phase pick an enemy unit within Engagement Range of the bearer. That unit has to take a Battle-shock test with a -1 penalty. This is too unreliable to be super useful, though it can occasionally turn off your opponent’s ability to use Stratagems and that can be useful if they have something like Armour of Contempt or Disgustingly Resilient in their back pocket, and as a result it makes its way into some lists.
  • Da Biggest Boss (15 points) – Gives an INFANTRY WARBOSS +2 wounds.
  • ‘Eadstompa (10 points) – Goes on an INFANTRY WARBOSS. Each time the bearer makes an attack targeting a unit below Starting Strength, re-roll a Wound roll of 1. If it’s below Half-Strength, you can re-roll the Wound roll instead. This isn’t bad, and if you have 10 points left over, you could do worse things with them.
  • Tellyporta (25 points) – Goes on a WARBOSS IN MEGA ARMOUR. Models in the bearer’s unit have the Deep Strike ability. This is fantastic, and a must-take on one of your Meganobz units. It gives you a ton of flexibility, letting you avoid buying an extra Transport for what is a pretty slow unit. This one’s a must-take.

Generally, the Tellyporta is the only one of these you’re taking, as it’s cheaper than taking another Trukk and gives you a ton of added flexibility with your third Meganobz unit.

Meganobz. Credit: Rockfish
Meganobz. Credit: Rockfish

Stratagems

The Bully Boyz have a decent set of Stratagems, most of which gain an added boost while a Waaagh! is active for your unit, meaning that you’ll generally want to save your CP to use them on rounds 2/3 when you’re in the middle of your big Waaagh! turns. They’re all priced to move at 1 CP.

  • Armed to Dateef (Battle Tactic, 1CP) – You can use this in your Shooting phase or the Fight phase on a Nobz or Meganobz unit about to attack. Until the end of the phase they can re-roll hit rolls of 1. If a Waaagh! is active for the unit, they re-roll all hit rolls instead. This is great. It’s a huge boost to Meganobz generally, who only hit on a 3+ with a Warboss in Mega Armour leading them, and can help get around the fact that twin killsaws only give you two attacks, ensuring you get the most out of those. This is one of your go-to tools for when you really need to take down a big target in one round.
  • Too Arrogant to Die (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in the Shooting or Fight phase on a unit of Meganobz or Nobz to give them the ability to shoot or fight on death on a 5+, adding 2 if a Waaagh! is active for the unit. This is also great for those times you know you’re going to get hit first by something big in melee but need it to die regardless. Better saved for when you think you’re going to lose 2-3 models in a single activation, or when all it will take is fighty meganob to kill the attacker.
  • Always Lookin’ Fer a Fight (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in the Fight Phase, just after an enemy unit is destroyed – pick a Nobz or Meganobz unit that killd that unit and until the end of the phase it can consolidate D3+3″ instead of up to 3″, or if a Waaagh! is active for your unit, it can move up to 6″ instead. 6″ is a huge distance for Meganobz, who can’t noormally walk that far. This is great for ending up on a key objective or sweeping into an opponent’s otherwise carefully-spaced unit after you plow through their screen. Keeping units more than 4″ apart is easy, keeping them more than 7″ apart is way more difficult.
  • Crushing Impact (Epic Deed, 1 CP) – Used in your Charge phase, after a Nobz or Meganobz unit ends a charge move. Pick an enemy unit within Engagement Range of your unit and then roll a D6 for each model in your unit in Engagement Range of that enemy unit. For each 5+ you do 1 mortal wound (to a max of 6), or each 4+ if a Waaagh! is active for your unit. Nobz and Meganobz already have grenades, so this can give you an incredible 1-2 punch of mortal wounds to a target before you even start hitting, and the fact it happens after the charge means you can’t mess up your charge due to casualties. This is going to give you more dice with Nobz but it’s just fine on a unit of Meganobz with a Warboss where 6-7 models can often get in against bigger targets, helping you nab an extra 2-4 mortal wounds.
  • Cut’em Down (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used in your opponent’s Movement phase just after an enemy unit is selected to Fall Back, and that unit was within Engagement Range of one of your Nobz or Meganobz units. That enemy unit must make a Desperate Escape Test, and if a Waaagh! is active for your unit, they get -1 to those tests. This is one of those Stratagems that’s potentially really devastating, but the threat of it is even better. Tell your opponent before the game about this ability and watch as they squirm at the mere prospect of a 50/50 shot at losing a model attempting to Fall Back. The best tools are often the ones you don’t even have to use and this one will keep opponents from even testing the waters. This is incredibly effective on units with a lot of models in practice and potentially game altering on high cost single model units. Your opponent needs to weigh his options on falling back and charging or staying in combat.
  • Hulking Brutes (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in your opponent’s Shooting phase, after they pick a Nobz or Meganobz unit as their target. Until the end of the phase, their attacks worsen their AP by 1. Your very own Armour of Contempt. Always useful for shrugging off high volumes of big AP shooting, and a unit of Meganobz in cover with this and the 4+++ from a Waaagh! may as well be invincible. This is the only Stratagem in Bully Boyz which doesn’t get better natively from a Waaagh! but it’s also better during your Waaagh!.

Nobz. Credit: Rockfish
Nobz. Credit: Rockfish

Playing This Detachment

Bully Boyz are the current hotness in the 40k meta, and with good reason – few units in the game are as terrifying as a unit of Meganobz in Waaagh! bearing down on you, and having to deal with those for two straight rounds is more than many armies can handle. Competitive Bully Boyz armies tend to start with three units of Meganobz, of which at least one tends to run full size with a Warboss in Mega Armour with Tellyporta. The plan is generally to put two units of 5 + Warboss in Trukks and the full unit in Deep Strike using a Warboss with a Tellyporta, giving you plenty of flexibility when it comes to moving around the table. The tragedy here is that you can’t fit seven Mega Armour units in a Trukk, but the good news is that 6 models per trukk is more than enough most of the time.

The general plan is to get into a good position on turn 1, then set up for your charges on turn 2, calling a Waaagh! and using your Advance and Charge to close the gap and extending that into turn 3. Against more elite armies, the Meganobz can pin/trap those armies in with support from Nobz and while an opponent is struggling to fight their way out, your supporting units – typically Boyz, Stormboyz, Gretchin, and Transports – can run around the table scoring secondary missions and claiming objectives (you want a unit or two of Boyz for their ability to sticky objectives). You have options when it comes to your backup, but you generally want the rest of your army to be fairly mobile and able to scrap as you’ll need them either to support your containment efforts or drop down/move quickly into position to score a key action secondary. Snikrot also makes a fine lone op addition for this purpose.

When it comes to using your Meganobz, there isn’t a lot they can’t tank for a turn, but they can run out of steam against bigger targets. Killsaws only give you two attacks base so even in Waaagh! they can sometimes just fail to get there if you’re trying to take down something like Magnus or Mortarion. Fortunately that’s where Stratagems like Grenades, Crushing Bulk, and Armed to Dateef come in, helping you ensure those gaps get closed quickly. This also means that you’ll generally want to save your CP for rounds 2-3 in most games, when you’ll need to pop off with 3 Stratagems in a single round.

One big change from the Orks FAQ was changing the transport capacity of Battlewagons and Stompas to make Ghaz count as 15 models instead of 18. This means he can now ride with Makari and a unit of 3 Meganobz, and that’s likely just good enough that he’ll see play in some Bully Boyz lists as a result. It’s still expensive, and you have to run a battlewagon, but that was already an option for some lists anyways.

Trukk. Credit: Rockfish
Trukk. Credit: Rockfish

Michael Mann’s Bully Boyz List – 2nd place, Mayhem 3 in 3D

Michael took this list to a 6-0, second place finish at the Mayhem 3 in 3D event, beating Chaos Space Marines, two Knights lists, Death Guard, Black Templars, and Brad Chester’s War Horde Orks on the way. It’s a great example of a Bully Boyz list, but we’ve chosen it specifically because it includes a battlewagon.

The list - Click to expand

No ghaz + wagon (2000 Points)

Orks
Bully Boyz
Strike Force (2000 Points)

CHARACTERS

Beastboss (90 Points)
• 1x Beast Snagga klaw
1x Beastchoppa
1x Shoota
• Enhancements: ’Eadstompa

Boss Snikrot (85 Points)
• 1x Mork’s Teeth
1x Slugga

Warboss (65 Points)
• 1x Attack squig
1x Kombi-weapon
1x Power klaw
1x Twin sluggas

Warboss (65 Points)
• 1x Attack squig
1x Kombi-weapon
1x Power klaw
1x Twin sluggas

Warboss (65 Points)
• 1x Attack squig
1x Kombi-weapon
1x Power klaw
1x Twin sluggas

Warboss in Mega Armour (80 Points)
• 1x Big shoota
1x ’Uge choppa

Warboss in Mega Armour (80 Points)
• Warlord
• 1x Big shoota
1x ’Uge choppa

Warboss in Mega Armour (105 Points)
• 1x Big shoota
1x ’Uge choppa
• Enhancements: Tellyporta

BATTLELINE

Beast Snagga Boyz (105 Points)
• 9x Beast Snagga Boy
• 9x Choppa
9x Slugga
• 1x Beast Snagga Nob
• 1x Power snappa
1x Slugga

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS

Trukk (65 Points)
• 1x Big shoota
1x Spiked wheels
1x Wreckin’ ball

Trukk (65 Points)
• 1x Big shoota
1x Spiked wheels
1x Wreckin’ ball

Trukk (65 Points)
• 1x Big shoota
1x Spiked wheels
1x Wreckin’ ball

OTHER DATASHEETS

Battlewagon (160 Points)
• 4x Big shoota
1x Deff rolla
1x Grabbin’ klaw
1x Kannon
1x Lobba
1x Wreckin’ ball
1x ’Ard Case

Gretchin (40 Points)
• 10x Gretchin
• 10x Close combat weapon
10x Grot blasta
• 1x Runtherd
• 1x Runtherd tools
1x Slugga

Gretchin (40 Points)
• 10x Gretchin
• 10x Close combat weapon
10x Grot blasta
• 1x Runtherd
• 1x Runtherd tools
1x Slugga

Meganobz (180 Points)
• 6x Meganob
• 6x Twin killsaws

Meganobz (150 Points)
• 5x Meganob
• 5x Twin killsaws

Meganobz (180 Points)
• 6x Meganob
• 6x Twin killsaws

Nobz (105 Points)
• 1x Ammo Runt
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga
• 4x Nob
• 4x Power klaw
4x Slugga

Nobz (105 Points)
• 1x Ammo Runt
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga
• 4x Nob
• 4x Power klaw
4x Slugga

Nobz (105 Points)
• 1x Ammo Runt
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga
• 4x Nob
• 4x Power klaw
4x Slugga

Exported with App Version: v1.14.0 (37), Data Version: v379

The standard beats are all here – you’ve got three units of Meganobz, each supported by a Warboss in Mega Armour. The one unit of 5 rides in a trukk, while there are two units of six. One teleports in with the Tellyporta while the other rides in the Battlewagon. The list supports them with three units of Nobz, two of which are likely to start in Trukks, though you can do some fast-swapping turn 1 if you need to protect the Gretchin from something like indirect fire.

Where things get interesting is that Michael chose to eschew Boyz and Stormboyz for Nobz and a unit of Beast Snagga Boyz led by a Beastboss. The Beast Snaggas can’t sticky objectives but will hit very hard, particularly against MONSTER and VEHICLE units, and add some punch that the Nobz can’t quite hit if you have to take down an army more reliant on vehicle and monster units. The Beastboss shines here, getting around invulns and AP reduction with Devastating Wounds on the charge.

Final Thoughts

Bully Boyz are one of the strongest armies in the game as of this writing, to the point where we’ll be surprised if they don’t catch some kind of nerf in the next Dataslate. They offer a ton of power and flexibility once you square away your core of three Meganobz units. They aren’t the world’s most complicated army but they’ll win a ton of games just by going first and facing opponents who aren’t prepared for the pain they can drop the first time they call a Waaagh!

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