Thursday, July 17, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Ork Codex Review - Heavy Support

Coming onto the last sections of this review now and as I said in Tuesday's post I'm liking this book more and more as I read through it. It's still not top tier but frankly it was never going to be without making Orks into something they're not.

Mek Gunz
One of the few new kits from this release, the Mek Guns look great. Frankly they're disgustingly expensive though so they'd have to be pretty special to make me fork out for them. Conversions might be a better plan I think. The basic gun is effectively a BS3 missile launcher and I have to say I don't think 18 pts is much to pay when you consider the marine equivalent is theoretically easier to kill. You can throw in some extra Gretchin or Ammo Runts but I'd be tempted to keep costs down.

The key to the Mek Gunz is in their upgrade weapons. The Lobba is a free swap that gives an S5 barrage blast but frankly I'd rather keep the option of having S8 if I've not got the points to spend on upgrading the gunz. The Zzap gun is cheaper than before but unreliable and potentially lethal if it Gets Hot. That's the old weapons covered. The rest are sort of new in that some of them have appeared elsewhere before.

It has been pointed out to me that I've got the wrong end of the stick with the bubblechukka. When I read it in White Dwarf I actually got it right but whilst writing this I forgot that it's one dice for S and AP. That means it's probably most useful on a "3" as you're then killing marines on 5+ (assuming no cover). Of course it suffers the same issue as any blasts in that people don't normally let you get many hits thanks to model spacing. 

The Bubblechukka could be totally devastating if you roll S6 AP1 but get it the other way around and it's useless. Not reliable enough for competitive play but fun nonetheless. The Kustom Mega-kannon is reasonable but for the same points you can have the Smasha gun which is AP1, doesn't get hot and could potentially have a higher strength. It's a toss up because the KMK is a blast and has a reliable strength mind you. The one that gets me more excited is the Traktor Kannon. With S8 AP3 it's not especially lethal but having Skyfire and Grounding FMCS/Immobilising Flyers it's pretty good.

The way I see it the best loadout will be a mixture. Stick in a couple of traktors and then some smashas to give the best chance of dealing with flyers and vehicles alike. Only problem with that is that half of your weapons are useless half of the time i.e. they're snap shooting against ground/air targets. Running them cheap as massed kannons or lobbas might be fun as a distraction too. Realistically the Bubblechukka could be awesome or awful but most of the time will be average so I'll probably avoid it.

An optional transport for Nobz, Meganobz and Flash Gitz means that Battlewagons can avoid using up much needed Heavy slots. They've gotten more expensive unfortunately and I can't really see why. Having said that certain loadouts are now either the same price or cheaper than before. The killkannon still limits the capacity but can now be taken with Nobz inside. As with everything else the big shootas now cost the same as the rokkit launchers so I'd be tempted to take the rokkits every time.

The deff rolla isn't as good as before as it's now for ramming instead of Tank Shock but gets a reduction in cost as a result. Grabbin klaws are still fun but incredibly situational. Boarding Planks are pretty good but not sure they're worth the points.

I think the main benefit for the Battlewagon comes from the 7th edition vehicle changes. AV14 got that little bit harder to deal with so I expect we'll see more Battlewagons again. They aren't particularly brilliant but present a good way of getting a big mob of Orks into combat.

Deff Dread
In the same way as SM dreadnoughts, I really want to love Deff Dreads but I find that I just can't because they've got the same issues. If you can get them into combat they'll smash people's teeth in but they rarely get that far. Unlike SM dreads the Orky equivalent doesn't even have the ranged weaponry to make up for it. I often take them and find I move and run them for a couple of turns only to have them die just before they get close enough to do damage.

Of course Grot Riggers and Extra Armour help but I can avoid the feeling that you're piling points into something that won't make a difference. Of course, if your opponent is shooting your dread they're not shooting your other vehicles and you could potentially hide them behind a Stompa/Gorkanaut to get them up the field safely. Still, I think there are better options in this segment much as it pains me to say it.

Killa Kans
Bit of a shame about the Cowardly Grots rule but I still think Killa Kans have a role to play. Like the Deff Dread they're not going to get up the field unscathed but they've got some decent firepower thanks to BS3 and they can act as nice mobile cover for your boyz behind them thanks to the increased unit size. At 50 pts they've become pretty pricey but there's something I love about them. I still think the Grotzooka shines as the weapon of choice too but its a shame the kan klaw isn't as good as a DCCW, especially with the price increase.

Grot Riggers are pretty cheap for them but then they're only 2 HP so IWND is of limited use and Armour Plates are too expensive on a relatively cheap vehicle. Run them cheap as a first wave of attack and don't worry too much about losing them, they're grots after all!

With any dual kit what you basically want to know is which to assemble the model as. The Gorkanaut comes with anti-infantry weaponry and Rampage making it a combat option whilst the Morkanaut has anti-tank weaponry and the option of a KFF. Of course magnetising gives you the options but I feel like the Morkanaut has the edge.

Remember that giving a big mek a KFF and putting it inside a Gorkanaut is not the same as the Morkanaut's KFF. The changes to the KFF rules mean that only the Gorkanaut would benefit whereas the Morkanaut (confused yet) would be giving the 5+ save to surrounding models too.

Neither variant is especially quick as they're just walkers meaning you'll not be getting them into combat early. That pushes me further towards the Morkanaut too. Having AV13 and 5 HP is great but you're gonna need more than that to keep it alive long enough to transport its occupants and maybe get into combat. That means upgrades and of course increased cost. Let's look at an example. You could give a Morkanaut a KFF (5++ save), Grot Riggers (IWND) and pack it with 3 meks (+ 3 burnas). That means 5++ to deny the hit anyway and then you can try to fix it in the Shooting phase with 3 5+ rolls and then try IWND at the end of your turn if repairs fail. Basically that's four 5+ rolls to get HP back. Sounds pretty good until you total up the points and you're in the 400 pt ballpark. Still, it could be incredibly annoying for your opponent to shift.

Ultimately I think they're both a bit overpriced (both in points and £s) but I like the model so I'm determined to include one. They suffer a lot from not being assault vehicles but should provide a suitable distraction. As I say, you can also hide stuff behind them too.

Freshly moved from the Elites section, Lootas haven't changed a great deal except for dropping in price by a point a piece. They still represent a solid anti-tank/anti-air platform tanks mainly to sheer shot volume but they can be hit and miss. As ever it comes down to the kind of army you want to run but if you're going mechanised then I'd look elsewhere as Lootas are pretty static. Not much else to say really.

Flash Gitz
Nice new models (finally) but it's difficult to decide how effective they'll be. It's a shame a lot of the customisation has gone from their weapons but S5 and a random AP could be excellent with so many shots. It's a shame they have to be static to make the most of their shots but with their reasonable range they should be able to stay out of trouble long enough. They seem fair expensive but they've got a Nob statline making them that bit more durable.

They've gotten cheaper and fire more shots but the loss of 'eavy armour makes them pretty vulnerable. Again it depends on your style of horde but I can't see me finding a spot for them as anti-infantry isn't really something Orks have a problem with.

More than any other section the Heavy Support choices you make really depend on your army style. Horde armies might benefit from Lootas or Flash Gitz but mechanised forces will want Morkanauts and Battlewagons. The Heavy section isn't as exciting to me as Fast Attack was but there's certainly some potential here. I'm keen to try out some of the Mek Gunz but ultimately I think I'll find them too static to be truly effective. Definitely going to pick up a gorka/morkanaut soon though if just for the model.

One more section left and it's a short one so I'll try and get it [posted up tomorrow. Then I need to start deciding what I want to include in my Ork horde and get cracking on the painting.


Looted Wagons
I've been asked to include my thoughts on these so I'll put them here. Looted Wagons are a difficult beast as the rules struggle to reflect the variety of things you could use to model them. It's frustrating to use a land raider making a big model when a rhino chassis carries the same stats. Anyway, their basic cost has seen a slight increase but they retain their AV11 (which is a bit of a shame). You have a little bit more control over Don't Press Dat though as you simply have to move Flat Out whereas before you were forced to move straight forwards. Basically there's a 1/6 chance of not shooting.

For your points you get a 12 man transport that's got better armour than a trukk and comes with Tank (and therefore Tank Shock/Ram. That's not bad for essentially a 7pt upgrade to the trukk. Obviously you're limited in that it's a Heavy choice but for units like Tankbustas it might not be a bad idea to take a LW rather than the trukk.

Anyway, you can also upgrade your LW to take a killkannon, various small arms and a deff rolla. These soon start to rack up the cost of the model but since people are panning the battlewagon it might be an option. Still I think an AV11 vehicle isn't something you want to sink too many points into. They're not going to compete well in the Heavy section either.

Basically, it's great that they've given people the option to keep using converted models but I find it difficult to get too excited about them.


  1. You Can't roll S6 AP1 on the Bubblechukka. It's a single D6 so the AP and S will always be the same. And I quote;
    * Roll once each Shooting phase to determine both the Strength and AP of the bubblechukka, after the target unit has been chosen. For Example, if you rolled a 3, the shot would be resolved at S3 and AP3.

    Just a quick note there (this article is making me leave the office late today :P)

    1. You're right. I was writing this late at night once the little 'un was in bed. I'll edit the post. I read it right when I first read the dex but must've forgotten by the time I reviewed.

  2. I think you got something confused with the bubblechukka mate, you roll once for strength and AP, so it might be a strength 6 hit, but with ap6 .. and strength 2 hit with ap2.

    Battlewagons ... what have they done to them ? increased costs and removed the deff rolla completely ... it is sooo said. There no reason at all to take the rolla anymore.

    The gorka/morka, tbh I think both are completly useless, yes, people are gonna put meks in them, KFF and whatever. But one lucky lascannon, or a few shocking melta troops and it's gone. The 5 hp are not helping. And i've never been fond of the Stompa, and the Gorka/morka ain't any better in their design, I've hoped for something like the mega dread from Forge world.

    1. Yeah, cocked up with the bubblechukka.

      Everyone is very down on battlewagons. Sure they got more expensive and rolla is useless but I don't think they're suddenly not worth taking.

      I think the naut can be great. Any expensive vehicle is vulnerable to melta but you're looking at it in isolation. Melta isn't what it was either.

  3. Hey, loved the review of the new codex. Just a note on the bubblechukka: the rules say to roll a single D6 for strength AND AP. By my reading it can be S1 AP1, S2 AP2, etc.
    Ran a unit of 4 against daemons. They shot at fleshhounds for two turns, causing no damage, then died in the resulting combat. Love the four large blasts, but can be very unpredictable. Want to keep running them, as they are fun and cheap (pointswise!).

    1. Sorry for the multiple post on the bubblechukka rule, the other two comments were not there when I started posting.

    2. Fun is the key with Orks I think but you're right the chukka isn't reliable enough and I think there are better options in there.

  4. "The deff rolla isn't as good as before as it's now for ramming instead of Tank Shock"

    The reinforced ram also adds +2 to AV for ramming. The Deff rolla only gives you the D3 if they death or glory you. :(

    Don't forget lobba's are still barrage...and you can take five now! One of the best artillery weapons in the game. Take with 5 ammo runts.

    The saving grace of killa kans, deff dreads, and gork/morknaughts is the dread mob formation. Gaining ere we go, (the ability to make use of a waagh), and D3 hammer of wrath hits makes them exceptionally dangerous.

    1. Yeah I missed just how badly the deff rolla had been nerfed. Probably one of the worst nerfs of the new books.

      Lobbas are reasonable but they offer anti-infantry and I think it'd be a shame to take mek gunz and use them in that role.

      I'll be talking about formations in detail after the unit reviews. I wanted to talk about the units in their vanilla codex form first.

  5. Think you're somewhat wrong on the KMK on mek gunz, S8 AP2 is nothing to mess around with and at 30 points saying no becomes really really hard.

    1. As I said in the post, it's a toss up for me between the KMK and the Smasha. Basically you swap Blast for AP1 and a potential higher strength. KMK probably has more use in a dual role of anti-tank and anti-infantry but AP1 is in short supply in the codex. That and the KMK won't fire if it Gets Hot so that means potentially one of your 5 guns is useless every turn.

  6. I wrote up my lamentations on the Deffrolla already

    It's quite sad. Battlewagons can still have a role in a midfield control list that includes a couple of squads of Flash gitz and meganobz taking them as dedicated then maybe some 'ard boyz with a painboy.

    Lootas' role changed dramatically with the shift since you can't auto include them anymore. Mob Rule hits them very hard as well.

    Mek Gunz are fantastic. I'm less inclined to use the Bubble chucka, but 5 large blasts for 150 points is nothing to sneeze at, but all the other choices seem better. I'm excited about the Kustom Mega Kannon for it's Str8 potential to double out T4. Mek Gunz' biggest issue is leadership at only Ld5. You need to take extra grots just to make sure you can absorb wounds.

    1. I'm undecided on lootas really but I don't think they're particularly great. Mek Gunz seem good but the model cost is somewhat prohibitive at £140 for the unit (without a discount).

  7. So if I am reading the codex correctly the transports dont count as heavy spots. So technically you can run as many as you want. So I have seen 3 Morkanauts and 3 Deffdreads run as transports. Much debate about it but it is correct since they are transports...

    1. Not got my codex to hand but don't see how you come to that conclusion


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