Waaaghing with the Great Waaagh!-band

,The Waaagh! Ghazghkull supplement for Orks provides multiple additional Relics, formations, and options to the Ork armies. It also provides an Ork “uber-detachment” similar to the Necron Decurion or Space Marine Gladius Strike Force… the “Great Waaagh!-band” detachment.

This detachment provides several additional rules, including changes to the Mob Rule table, a requirement to accept challenges and bonuses if you win them, and Hammer of Wrath for any units with 10 or more models that successfully charges. Most importantly, it allows a Warlord from this detachment to call a Waaagh! every single turn, EVEN THE FIRST ONE!

In terms of a “tax,” the Great Waaagh!-band requires one or more CORE choices, 1-10 AUXILIARY choices, and 1 HQ choice per CORE choice. The CORE choices both require a significant points investment, but are decent, the HQ choices range from small/flexible (Oddboyz) to large/powerful (Council of the Waaagh!),and the Auxiliary choice are generally quite versatile, allowing you to take several effective formations or customize your army with multiple specialist units like Tankbustas, Stormboyz, Deffkoptas, Battlewagons, Mek Gunz, etc. etc.

So, how do you maximize the special rules of this detachment, namely the ability to declare a Waaagh! every single game turn? Here are some of the key ideas I have right out the gate:

1 – Mechanized Ork Boyz — If you take the Waaagh-band CORE choice, then you have to take at least 6 squads of Boyz and 1 unit of Nobz/Meganobz. Mount them all in Trukks with Boarding Planks, declare a Waaagh! turn 1, then move up 6″, disembark 6″, run D6″, and finally charge 2D6+2″ (with the ability to re-roll one charge dice, thanks to “Ere we go)… that translates into an average charge threat radius of 23-24″ on turn 1, giving you multiple opportunities to charge any opponents deployed on the edge of their DZ in the first game turn (or at least the second, if they are deployed deep in the DZ). This of course is exactly where Orks want to be, especially when combined with potent AUXILIARY choices like Mek Gunz for efficient supporting fire, Gazghkull’s Bully Boys for Fearless WS5 Meganobz with potent CC hitting power, or lots of cheap Gretchin to take objectives all game long.

2 – Stormboyz — With the ability to declare a Waaagh! turn 1, Stormboyz can move 12″, run another 2D6″, and finally charge 2D6″ more, for an average charge threat radius of 26” on turn 1. While not the most powerful CC units by themselves, the Stormboyz can tie up enemy units until slower elements of the Ork army (like Meganobz) can catch up and lay the smack down in assault.

3 – Ork Flyerz — Since all three of the have the Waaagh! Plane rule, allowing them to fire +1 shot with any Assault type weapons when a Waaagh! is declared, then they all benefit significantly from being able to call a Waaagh! every single game turn. This is especially true of Dakka Jets, which can put out 12 x S6 AP4 shots with their TLed Supa Shootas a turn (combined with BS3 via Strafing Run and the Flyboss upgrade and you are averaging 9 x S6 AP4 hits a turn, which can do some serious damage against light vehicles and infantry, just ask Eldar Jetbikes with Scatter lasers!).

4 – Ghazghkull himself — If you take the big ole War Boss (the only way to do so is via the clunky Council of the Waaagh!, unfortunately) as your Warlord, then you can pile on benefits from being able to declare a Waaagh! every turn. First off, this means that Ghazghkull and his unit can ignore their Slow and Purposeful and still run/charge when Waaaghing, which means you can potentially get him, his S10 AP2 attacks, and his unit into combat as early as TURN 1 if they ride in a Battlewagon with Boarding Plank to start the game. Second, Ghazghkull’s gains a 2++ save, making him RIDICULOUSLY tough to kill, as he then has T5, 4W, Eternal Warrior, FNP (thanks to the Mad Dok), and 2++ save to boot! Finally, with Ghazghkull as your WL and the ability to declare a Waaagh! every game turn, you basically make your entire army Fearless the entire game, as long as Ghazghkull is still alive… this is AMAZING for Orks, as low leadership/Mob Rule is one of their biggest “built-in” weaknesses and this completely negates it (i.e. even your humble Boyz squads will never run and fight to the death against enemy Wraithknights, making them very useful as tarpit units and/or objective seizers).

As you can see, there are multiple ways to leverage the “Great Waaagh!-band” detachment special rules (probably several I haven’t thought of to mention here) and, while the CORE and HQ choices of the detachment can be somewhat restrictive, I think a savvy Ork War Boss can craft a pretty competitive army using these rules.

Ork and Chaos Space Marine Synergy

So, both Orks and Chaos Space Marines are, relative to the Imperium or Eldar (all types), a bit on the back foot competitively right now and also have pretty limited access to allies to make up for their weaknesses.

Something that not a lot of people realize is that Orks and CSM are actually Allies of Convenience, meaning that while they cannot share ICs and Psychic Blessings, they also do not have any real negative consequences for working together as allies. Somewhat surprisingly, I think these two factions actually bring a lot to the table in terms of synergizing with one another.

Here are a few ideas I have right off the top:

–ORKS–

1 – Cheap Hordes — While CSM are relatively affordable (starting at 12 PPM), they are still paying MEQ points for their basic troops (Cultists aside). Orks can literally flood the table with T4 bodies that are dangerous in CC, in turn pulling enemy combat power away from the more pricy CSM units. Also, since almost everything except Meganobz have a 6+ armor save, Orks provide a great meat shield/distraction against Grav-heavy Space Marine armies that normally are so dangerous to CSM.

2 – Mega Force Field — This is a Relic from the Ghazghkull supplement for a Big Mek that projects a 4++ Invul save against shooting attacks to ALL models within 6″ (this means that even enemy units get the save, which applies to allied CSM, who count as “enemy” models per the Allies of Convenience rules). There are lots of applications for this with CSM allies, such as giving Chaos Land Raiders or Spartans a 4++ to help them get across the battlefield and deliver their assault troops successfully, buffing nearby CSM with Mark of Tzeentch to a 3++ save against shooting, providing Cultists camping on objectives with a 4++, etc. etc.

3 – Mek Gunz Fire Support — These are one of the hidden gems of the Ork codex, I think. With T7, a 3+ save, and multiple Gretchin crew per gun (and the ability to take up to five guns per battery), they are surprisingly survivable and can put out some very potent firepower to supplement CSM allies, despite Gretchin BS3. The Kannon provides a versatile Missile Launcher equivalent with both Frag and Blast shells, the Lobba and Bubblechukka provide anti-horde capacity with their blasts, the Zzap Gun and Smasha Gun provide potential anti-armor/anti-TEQ with their low AP shots, the Kustom Mega-Kannons are basically S8 AP2 Plasma Cannons, and the Traktor Cannon gives cheap and highly effective AA defense to CSM forces that often lack this.

4 – Tankbustas — Another little-known gem from the Ork codex, Tankbustas are quite solid against a variety of targets, despite their BS2. With 10 Boyz in a Mob they can reliable get 3-4 hits with their Rokkit Launchas per turn. Add in Tank Hunter USR for added power against vehicles and easy access to “bunkers” in the form of Trukks or Battle Wagons from which they can shoot all their weapons (thanks to their Open-Topped nature) and they provide massed S8 AP3 firepower at a very economical points cost to deal with enemy MCs, vehicles, and medium infantry, all of which often requires much more expensive options in the CSM codex.

–CHAOS SPACE MARINES–

1 – Psychic Might — While Orks have Weirdboyz, they are limited in numbers, PML, and available disciplines. With the advent of the Cyclopia Cabal, CSM now can get 3-5 Sorcerers (all of which can get up to PML(3) easily)), all of whom can access Chaos disciplines plus Biomancy/Daemonology/ Telepathy plus their unique formation ability “Shroud of Deceit,” which enables you to take control of an enemy non-vehicle unit and shoot with it at your opponents (obviously, this can be an amazing  help to Orks, especially when facing firepower heavy opponents like Eldar, Tau, and Astra Militarum).

2 – Dirge Casters — Since Orks are really geared to getting into assault in large numbers, anything that helps them do that and minimizes enemy interference is a boon. Enter the CSM Dirge Caster. Shutting down Overwatch by any enemy units within 6″ of the vehicle equipped with the Dirge Caster can make quite a difference for the poorly armored Orks, especially when charging armies like Tau or Dark Angels that have significant “buffs” to their Overwatch abilities.

3 – Heldrakes — While Orks have multiple flyers of their own, none of them have the raw power, survivability, and anti-infantry damage output (at least consistently) of one or more allied Heldrakes with Baleflamers. Able to come in 36″ and then torrent another 12″ with their S6 AP3 Ignore Cover Templates, you can reliable kill entire squads of key enemy units in a single turn with these weapons. In terms of supporting allied Orks, this can be critical for taking out key enemy non-vehicle units (i.e. Long Fangs, Eldar Warp Spiders and Jetbikes, Tau Pathfinders, AM Heavy Weapons Teams, Necron Destroyers, SoB Retributors, Skitarii Vanguard, etc.) that would otherwise be devastating to Ork forces.

4 – Tough Objective Holders — Since Orks are so lightly armored and can have leadership issues when not made Fearless by special rules/characters, they can struggle to hold objectives. On the flip side, CSM have access to Plague Marines, which are not only Fearless, but have T5 and FNP built in, making them great for holding those Objective late game even (especially if they are made Troops and gain Objective Secured) when your opponent levels his entire arsenal at them. Alternately, if you have Typhus as a HQ, you can then take super-cheap Plague Zombies with Fearless/FNP for the ultimate in cheap, tough, unshakeable Objective Secured units.

Zagstruk and Da Vulcha Boyz…

So, this is quite an interesting formation in the Waaagghhh Ghazghkull Supplement. Basically, you take Zagstruk and three Mobs of Storm Boyz, with the option to merge them all into a single, “uber” formation (which gives up multiple VPs if destroyed). Additionally, the formation has special rules that makes it only scatter D6″ when deepstriking and giving all members the shred USR for their Hammer of Wrath attacks.

So, how can this formation be used? Well, if you combine it with a Warboss with Waaaggh! and the Stormboyz ability to run 2D6″, you can potentially get Zagstruk and 30+ Stormboyz accross the table and into combat as soon as turn 1. While this is good for getting some early close combat damage against the enemy, what it is REALLY good for is when you use a giant formation like this to pull of a turn 1 multi-charge and tie several enemy units in close combat at once. That means, of course, that those enemy units are not shooting, which buys invaluable time for the rest of your Ork army, whether foot-slogging or mechanized, to get accross the board with minimal damage get stuck in.

This tactic would work especially well with a Green Tide style list, since it disrupts the enemy DZ, reduces his shooting, and allows those green hordes to get accross the table-top while you “hold” the enemy in place with the gian Vulcha Boyz mob. Put another way, you are limiting your opponents ability maneuver and shoot (i.e. reducing his options) while increasing the options for your own army. In this way, aside from any damage they do themselves, Da Vulcha Boyz formation is an excellent “force-multiplier” unit for many different Ork army styles, enabling the rest of the army to doe their jobs better, even in a competitive, tournament oriented all-comers list.

Get on the Bandwagon… I mean, er, Battlewagon. Drive by Dakka, Ork style!

Orks… despite the begrudgings of many, I think they are actually pretty solid in 7th edition, especially if you take into account the Ghazkull Supplement and the trend of other codices in recent months. I also think that the new Ork book allows/encourages fluffy builds (i.e. Green Tide lists, Trukk lists etc,) which are still competitive, which is a big plus.

Now, from a tactical perspective, looking through the updates to Ork units and equipment I think there is a little gem that not many players use (I certainly haven’t seen it) which could be quite solid in competitive play. The unit combination is as follows:

-Big Mek with Mega Armor and appropriate shooty weapons
-Max Squad of Flash Gitz
-Battlewagon with Deff Roller (Big Mek and Flash Gitz ride in this)

Now, since Mega Armor confers Slow and Purposeful (which applies to the whole unit and makes them count as having not moved) and since the Git Finders on the Flash Gitz increase their BS to 3 if they haven’t moved, the entire Flash Gitz squad should be able to ride forward in the Battlewagon turn 1 and shoot out to max range and with BS3. Now, 10 Flash Gitz put out 30 shots, of which 15 should hit with BS3. Of these, against a normal MEQ opponent, S5 Snazz Guns means that they should inflict about 10 wounds. Now, depending on the random roll for AP, if they roll 1,2, or 3, then that is an entire squad of Marines that just got vaped in a single round of shooting.

If they roll AP4 or worse, then only about 3-4 MEQs dies after armor saves, but you still use Flash Gitz firepower against less well-armored opponents and inflict quite a lot of damage. For example, against a typical Guardsman Equivelant unit (GEQ), Flash Gitz have 30 shots, 15 hits on average, 12-13 wounds and, unless they roll a 6 for AP, that’s 12-13 dead Guardsmen (or Guants, or Cultists, or Guardians, or DE Warriors, etc.etc.). Throw in the Big Mek shooting for additional damage and the Battlewagon’s firepower and you can basically take out a squad a turn.

Flash Gitz shooting out of their “mobile bunker” can also do solid damage against light vehicles, with an average of 15 S5 hits a turn, which translates to 2-3 HPs stripped against AV11 vehicles and aout 5HPs stripped against AV 10 armor (i.e. say they are shooting at a Land Speeder Squadron). Finally, after shooting, Flash Gitz are not half bad at assault, so after softening up a unit with lots of S5 firepower they can charge out of the Battlewagon and finish them off with fisticuffs (or, more appropriately for Orks, “fistichoppas”).