Detachment Focus: Green Tide

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 Green Tide Detachment from Codex: Orks.

The Tenth Edition release of Codex: Orks gave the faction six Detachments to work with and while Bully Boyz may have been a stronger army out the gate, few were as feared conceptually as the Green Tide. Modeled after the classic idea of Orks as a never-ending tide of bloodthirsty hooligans, the Green Tide presents orks at their most fearsome, crashing in like a tidal wave of bodies from which there is no escape. As with Bully Boyz, we’d like to thank Ben Jurek for providing feedback and edits on this article.

Detachment Overview

The Green Tide Detachment is all about taking lots and lots of Boyz, in large units, and buffing them with characters to make them nearly impossible to kill. This lends itself very well to jail-style lists, and there are few units in the game which can reliably tear through a unit of 20 boyz with a painboy attached.

Detachment Rule: Mob Mentality

Each time an attack targets a BOYZ unit from your army, models in that unit have a 5+ invulnerable save against that attack. In addition, each time an attack targets an ORKS unit from your army, if it contains 10 or more models, re-roll a saving throw of 1 made against that attack.

It’s a simple rule but has big implications. The bread and butter of this list is Boyz and a competitive list can run as many as 120 of them, going with the full compliment of 6 units of 20 models. Giving them a 5+ invulnerable save makes them much more durable, and when you add in a Pain boy they suddenly become one of the game’s most durable unitsBeyond that, boyz can make for an incredibly nasty melee unit, and as a battleline unit with OC 2, Green Tide Boyz are one of the game’s scariest objective holders.

Painboy. Credit: Rockfish
Painboy. Credit: Rockfish

Enhancements

The Green Tide Enhancements are pretty solid. Two are must-takes, and Raucous Warcaller lets you get away with some incredibly mean combos. They all either combo off or check for being in a unit of 10+ models.

  • Ferocious Show Off (10 points) – Goes on an INFANTRY model. Each time the bearer fights, they get +1 to the Strength of their melee weapons. If the bearer’s unit has 10+ models, get +3 Strength instead. At 10 points, this is a great deal – taking a Warboss’ Power Klaw to S13 lets him wound on a 3+ against pretty much any MONSTER or VEHICLE target in the game, allowing your Boyz unit to punch up much more effectively against big targets.
  • Brutal But Kunnin’ (25 points) – INFANTRY model only. IN your Command phase, if the bearer is on the battlefield (or in a TRANSPORT on the battlefield), roll a D6, adding 2 to the result if the bearer’s unit is 10+ models. On a 5+, you gain 1 CP. This is OK, but at 25 points it’s a bit pricey, which is a shame because the Green Tide Stratagems are pretty great.
  • Bloodthirsty Belligerence (15 points) – Goes on an INFANTRY model. While the bearer is leading a unit, you can re-roll Advance rolls for that unit, and while they have 10+ models, you can re-roll charges. This is a great deal at 15 points, and at that price it’s pretty much a must-take – reducing the variance in your army’s first wave of charges is huge, and this goes great on a Weirdboy where you want to get free re-rolls for a unit arriving from Da Jump and up your odds of making a charge out of Deep Strike, particularly when you combine it with the Tide of Muscle Stratagem.
  • Raucous Warcaller (20 points) – Goes on an INFANTRY model. While the bearer leads a unit, that unit always counts as being 10+ models for the purposes of your Detachment rule and Stratagems. You could see this as insurance for a unit taking casualties, but it’s much better put to use on a Warboss in Mega Armour leading a unit of Meganobz, who otherwise have no way to get to 10 models and suddenly become a massive pain in the ass to remove when they have a 5+ invulnerable save (note that they aren’t BOYZ but they still get this during your Waaagh! round) and re-roll 1s on their saves.

Generally you’re going to take Raucous Warcaller and Bloodthirsty Belligerence, putting the former on a Mega Armour Warboss to unlock that unit’s best mode, or on a regular warboss as insurance if you just aren’t taking Meganobz. If you’ve got the points left over, Ferocious Show Off is an easy add to a Warboss as well. Brutal but Kunnin’ is pricey but may be worth its weight in points anyways just due to how many great Stratagems the Green Tide have access to.

Shoota Boyz. Credit: Rockfish
Shoota Boyz. Credit: Rockfish

Stratagems

The Green Tide Stratagems all affect units of BOYZ and about half of them key off having 10+ models in your unit to get an additional effect. They’re all priced at 1 CP and they’re all pretty great.

  • Competitive Streak (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Use on a BOYZ unit in the Fight phase to let them re-roll wound rolls of 1. If you’re 10+ models, re-roll all wounds instead. This is great, and re-rolling wound rolls is always a good time.
  • Bulldozer Brutality (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used on a BOYZ unit in the Fight phase within Engagement range of an enemy unit. Models in the unit within 3″ of one or more enemy models are eligible to Fight, and can fight units within 3″ of them and within Engagement Range of their unit. This won’t let you suddenly hit faraway units you weren’t touching, but will let you fight 3-4 rows deep with your Boyz, letting you get full efficiency against a smaller target you might otherwise lose attacks against. It can also help you make up for a bad charge roll which would otherwise leave models out of range after a Pile-in move.
  • Braggin’ Rights (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in your Command phase. Pick two BOYZ units within 6″ of each other and until the start of your next Command phase while they are within 6″ of each other, they each count as having 10 models. Great that this works on two units at once, though having to keep them close can be a challenge, but at the very least it’s good for protecting them with the save re-rolls and invulnerable save.
  • Come on Ladz! (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in your Command phase to return up to D3+2 destroyed non-CHARACTER models to your BOYZ unit. Getting back 3-5 Boyz can be absolutely demoralizing when an opponent is trying to chew through a brick of 20, and if you’re still on full power with a Painboy, that’s going to stack with the D3 you get from the Grot Orderly. With the Painboy’s 5+ Feel No Pain that’s like getting back 10+ wounds on average. Worth using this just to watch the look on your opponent’s face when you make it happen.
  • Tide of Muscle (Epic Deed, 1 CP) – Used in your Charge phase to give a unit of BOYZ +X to their Charge roll, where X is the current battle round. This is huge – even a +1 benefit is massive if you’re trying to make a charge out of Deep Strike or, more specifically, Da Jump, and when you combine it with something like Bloodthirsty Belligerence you can get remarkably consistent at making those 9″ charges.
  • Go Get ‘Em (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in your opponent’s Shooting phase after they pick a unit of BOYZ as one of their targets. After that unit shoots, your unit can make a Go Get Em! move, which is D6″ and must end up as close as possible to the closest enemy unit (including ending up in Engagement Range). If your unit is 10+ models, you can just move up to 6″ instead. This is great for punishing an opponent who wants to shoot your unit of Boyz, but can’t kill them in one go – so basically every unit that would shoot you – and means that shooting a unit of Boyz has to be done from outside 7″ away or you’re going to end up in combat with said Boyz, and they’ll be fighting before you on your turn. This is one of those Stratagems which you tell an opponent about before the game, but may never use – it forces them to play cagey to avoid making a bad play, and give your units a wide berth.

There are a lot of great Stratagems here, which means that you’re going to have to think carefully about when and how you use your CP to get the most out of what’s on offer. Saving CP for Tide of Muscle out of Da Jump is a must, and being able to threaten Go Get Em! moves is huge. You also need to save CP to bring back models with Come on Ladz! It’s a CP-thirsty army. Spending 2 CP to combine Bulldozer Brutality and Competitive Streak is a hell of a drug.

Credit: Charlie Brassley

Playing This Detachment

The Green Tide may have played second fiddle to Bully Boyz on release but they’re still a very powerful option in the Ork codex. A unit of 20 boyz with Warboss and Painboy is one of the game’s most durable and fearsome units, bragging an impressive amount of melee power (particularly when in Waaagh!), plus the ability to bring back as many as 8 dead models in a single Command phase. Any Green Tide army starts with three units of 20 Boyz, at least two of which are accompanied by a Warboss and Painboy.

From there most armies will add another two to three units, though one may be paired with a Weirdboy who has the Bloodthirsty Belligerence Stratagem. This gives the unit a one-two punch of using Da Jump to teleport across the table – bypassing the need for a transport – and then using the Tide of Muscle Stratagem to make either an 8″ or 7″ charge out of Deep Strike, depending on the current battle round.

Getting the rest of your Boyz across the table is a real challenge, as Trukks won’t hold a full unit of 20 boyz and two characters, so that’s where you’ll likely want to bring a Battlewagon, and if you cut one unit of Boyz down to 10 to fit in a Trukk that’s not a bad idea, either. That gives you a general plan of staging and setting up for a turn 2 charge with most of your army, with one unit of Boyz disembarking, one using Da Jump, and a third who just did an Advance on turn one to get in position for a turn 2 Waaagh! with Advance and Charge moves to close the gap. The plan is to hold your opponent in their deployment zone for 2-3 turns as they try and fight their way through 50-60 boyz while your support units – a mix of Gretchin, more Boyz, Kommandos, and Stormboyz – hold other objectives and complete actions for scoring. And if your opponent gets first turn and tries to come to you well, they’re going to find out that Boyz are one of the best units in the game at scrapping over the middle of the table and stealing objectives. The kicker is that your Boyz units really only want the Waaagh! offensively and typically don’t need the 5++ as they have it from their Detachment rule. If your opponent refuses to interact with your Boyz that’s fine too – you can just score primary and hold onto your Waaagh!.

On that note, don’t forget that Boyz sticky objectives – in addition to having 40 OC worth of models, you can also sticky anything you touch and then just move off it freely, trapping your opponent in sight of an objective they’ll never claim. Against an opponent who can break out via Deep Strike the plan becomes more one of spreading out, and you can make someone regret thinking they’ll find a space to deep strike a model on a table holding 100+ boyz models.

That said, Boyz still have limits to what they can do, and even with a massive number of models, and you might find yourself running out of gas if you have to take on a unit of something like Terminators. That’s where it can be handy to have a unit of Meganobz with a Raucous Warcaller Enhancement, and if you’re taking them it’s worth putting them in a Trukk so they can keep up with the rest of the army and crash into the right target when everything goes off.

Finally with Green Tide your biggest enemy is going to be time. You’re going to spend a ton of time moving models, rolling attacks, rolling saves, and getting your positioning right and that means you’re going to eat through your clock at competitive events pretty fast. It’s worth practicing with the army and being mindful of how long it takes to do certain things with multiple 20+ model units so you aren’t getting clocked or accused of slow play. You want to demoralize your opponent and win games early, not win because your game ran so long the opponent never got a turn 3.

The Green Tide Detachment is one of the strongest in the game and has a unique quality in that it actually gets stronger later in the game – only needing a six on two dice to make gigantic charges (using Tide of Muscle Stratagem) can cause huge primary flips on turn 5. Additionally, since the Green Tide army is not dependent on the Waaagh! to do anything, you can just wait out your opponent, and in many games blanking an opponent on one or more rounds late in the game can win you the game.

Gretchin mob. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Noah Beddome’s Green Tide List – 1st place, Storm of Silence

Noah took this list to a 5-0 first-place finish at the 13th annual Storm of Silence Event, beating Space Wolves and Necrons twice and Dark Angels to claim the top spot.

”The

Surfs Up (2000 Points)

Orks
Green Tide
Strike Force (2000 Points)

CHARACTERS

Painboy (70 Points)
• 1x Power klaw
1x ’Urty syringe

Painboy (70 Points)
• 1x Power klaw
1x ’Urty syringe

Warboss (75 Points)
• 1x Attack squig
1x Kombi-weapon
1x Power klaw
1x Twin sluggas
• Enhancements: Ferocious Show Off

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

Warboss in Mega Armour (100 Points)
• Warlord
• 1x Big shoota
1x ’Uge choppa
• Enhancements: Raucous Warcaller

Weirdboy (70 Points)
• 1x Weirdboy staff
1x ’Eadbanger
• Enhancements: Bloodthirsty Belligerence

BATTLELINE

Boyz (170 Points)
• 19x Boy
• 19x Choppa
19x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Boyz (170 Points)
• 19x Boy
• 19x Choppa
19x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Boyz (170 Points)
• 19x Boy
• 19x Choppa
19x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Boyz (170 Points)
• 19x Boy
• 19x Choppa
19x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Boyz (170 Points)
• 19x Boy
• 19x Choppa
19x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Boyz (85 Points)
• 9x Boy
• 9x Choppa
9x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS

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

Kommandos (135 Points)
• 1x Bomb Squig
1x Distraction Grot
• 9x Kommando
• 1x Breacha ram
1x Burna
4x Choppa
1x Close combat weapon
1x Close combat weapon
2x Close combat weapon
2x Kustom shoota
1x Rokkit launcha
4x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

Meganobz (150 Points)
• 5x Meganob
• 5x Kombi-weapon
5x Power klaw

Stormboyz (65 Points)
• 4x Stormboy
• 4x Choppa
4x Slugga
• 1x Boss Nob
• 1x Power klaw
1x Slugga

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

Noah’s list hits all the notes we talked about – there are 110 Boyz here, with two units of 20 attached to a Warboss and Painboy, another unit of 20 which will attach to Bloodthirsty Belligerence Weirdboy, and a unit of 5 Meganobz in a Trukk with a Mega Armour Warboss sporting Raucous Warcaller. The list can easily dump three of those units in your lap consistently on turn 2 even if you don’t move forward, and will likely be able to get a fourth as well, or at least position 1-2 more units to act as additional waves after they sticky objectives. While the opponent is in Boyz jail, the Stormboyz, Gretchin, Kommandos, and the 10-model Boyz unit are more than enough to hold the rest of the board and do actions.

Final Thoughts

The Green Tide Detachment offers Ork players who want to show off their massive horde of Boyz a fun and competitive way to play. It’s really cool to see this as a viable option alongside Bully Boyz, Big Hunt, and War Horde, and in the right hands and meta Green Tide can be among the most fearsome armies in the game. It’s an army that takes practice and skill to use well, so if you’re going this route be sure to get some reps in and watch your clock.

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