Monday, July 07, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Ork Codex Review - Special Character HQs

Today I'll be finishing off the HQ section by covering the special character HQs. Their numbers have dwindled somewhat with two going completely AWOL and Ghazghkull moving to Lords of War. We've therefore only got three left. I have to say I think this a huge shame as they're often my favourite part of the codex. I'd be gutted if they did the same with some of my other armies. I suspect my wolves are safe as they've got models for all of theirs (except Bjorn actually) but my Dark Eldar might suffer as there are very few of the special characters who actually have models!

Wazdakka and Zogwort
Frankly I'm gutted by this. Zogwort used to be great fun to use and there's no joy quite like explaining to your opponent that their tricked out HQ is now a squig. I've never used Wazdakka but I have been picking up cheap bikes on eBay with the intention of buying the FW warboss on bike and running a Speed Freeks army. Nevermind. Who knows maybe they'll make a return if GW can be bothered to sculpt them? I think it's a huge shame when the new character models they have released aren't particularly exciting or indeed necessary. Ho hum.

Mad Dok Grotsnik (same price)
Grotsnik is the only special character HQ left of the four from the last book. He's retained his Cybork Body but you can no longer upgrade his squad to have them too. Mind you since it just gives a 6+ FNP now instead of an invulnerable save it seems totally pointless as he has 5+ from his tools anyway?!? His warlord trait is fixed at Brutal but Kunnin' giving him a re-roll. His One Scalpel Short of a Medpack special rule has changed slightly giving him and his unit Fearless and Rampage now. He still can't leave the unit though. Rampage is unlikely to be much use unless you put him with a low model count unit like meganobz. His 'Urty Syringe is slightly worse now due to the poisoned weapon changes.

Making a unit Fearless is always going to be useful and with the Mob Rule changes even more so. I'm just not sure he's worth the extra cost on top of a regular painboy. He gives you a power klaw for challenges I suppose but with a 4+ save and no invulnerable is he going to survive them?

Kaptin Badrukk (25pts cheaper)
Badrukk has moved to HQ from the Heavy Support section where he used to be an upgrade for Flash Gitz. I'm not sure anyone bothered to tell the GW web team though as he's still listed as Heavy there. His warlord trait is fixed at Kunnin' but Brutal (confusing isn't it?) giving him a re-roll to his saves each turn. Still with two wounds that might not be enough to save you very often. Crucially you can't use him as a warboss to call a Waaagh! though. This means he's unlikely to be your warlord anyway. His ammo runts are now optional but his Goldtoof Armour and Da Rippa are the same as ever. Gitfindas now give a bonus to BS if you stand still which mitigated the low BS to some extent.

I'll cover Flash Gitz separately but purely from a battlefield role point of view he's probably best joining them (as you might expect). The range of Da Rippa compliments the snazzguns of the Flash Gitz well. Sadly once again I think there's better options from the generic HQs. If you're running a Freebootaz theme then fair enough but I just can't see much benefit in running Badrukk. Not awful by any means but just limited usefulness.

Boss Zagstruk (20pts cheaper)
Another mover, this time from Fast Attack (although again the GW site still has him there). He used to be an upgrade for Stormboyz. He's dirt cheap as special characters go. There's a good reason for this though as the nerfbat has given him a whack. His Vulcha's Klaws now give him just a S8 AP2 Hammer of Wrath and he's lost his Swoop Attack rule in keeping with the no assaulting from reserves thing that GW insists on maintaining. It's a shame to see glass cannon units like this be lost. Sure they could be powerful when they arrived but they'd be dead shortly after.

He's also calmed down a bit and lost his Violent Temper which, with only Ld 8 (formerly Ld 9) would've been quite useful for Stormboyz. Instead his warlord trait, Bellowing Tyrant, gives him a 12" morale re-roll bubble. This actually makes him a tempting choice until, once again, you realise that would mean losing your ability to call a Waaagh!.

Even with such a low cost he's unlikely to appear when there's competition from the other HQs.

EDIT: I've noticed Zagstruk's strength has now been increased to 5. Not sure it makes him anymore viable but wanted to note it all the same.

Well, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with the offerings here. Losing two SCs right out of the gate is a major blow but then to move upgrade characters to the HQ section where they can't compete with the generic choices is a massive shame. It's already a clogged section even with 3 HQ choices and moving these characters up there has probably sounded their death knell. Ultimately Zagstrukk and Badrukk's fate will be decided by how effective Stormboyz and Flash Gitz are but I'll get to them in their appropriate section.

The big problem is the Waaagh! rules. I really think you need to be able to call one to make an effective Ork army and that means you must take a Warboss who must be your warlord. That seems incredibly restrictive to me but perhaps my opinion will change as a I work through the rest of the book. The only saving grace I can see so far is the Ork Horde detachment allowing 3 HQs.

I'm not sure where this leaves Blog Wars. Insisting on a compulsory SC seems a little unfair when the options have been limited. Depending on what happens with other codices between now and November I might need a rethink. Well, onto the Troops next I suppose.


  1. I totally agree with you. I think the only reason they moved the SC to HQ is, because without them there is only one named HQ, mad dok. And sadly he's the only one with more than 2 wounds.
    The loss of Zoggy is soo sad, he was such an iconic and very orky character. And I got to say that the codex lost some of its fun orkyness imo. The whole codex feels like a step back from the former one, except for the 'ere we go rule and the relics

    1. many of the recent codices have felt like that to me, Astra Militarum was especially dull, Dark Angels was overly prescriptive with only two real builds, Tyranids had many reduced options and was so bad they had to rescue it with overwhelmingly good formations, Tau offered nothing new. The only improvement was to Chaos Space Marines and Daemons, and CSM was only an improvement because the previous book was so dire that it could hardly get worse! Eldar seems OK, but so overpowered compared to everything else that I haven't beaten them yet...

    2. I think a lot of the character has gone from many of the new books. I can understand the streamlining of rules and removing some of the randomness but that's what makes 40K for me sometimes. The removal of units is inevitable in the backlash of Chapterhouse but I can't say I'm not gutted by some of the units we've lost.

    3. To be fair, I feel that the Ork codex has been losing in Ork-ity rapidly after the 4th edition. I still remember what a blow it was that I could no longer loot weapons and vehicles from the other armies, instead relying on "standardized" looted stuff, which feels wrong on so many levels!

      Also, loss of Choppa's armor piercing bonus, initiative, toughness, strenght...

      Are they stronger? Maybe. But i don't play to get the strongest army, I play for the feel it gives me. And to this day, me and my friends are still vastly readapting many of the 4th ed ork rules to the new stuff (It took me a YEAR to build that bloody Basilisk from gits and pieces. It's a Basilisk, goddammit, not a generic looted tank)


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