Saturday, 20 February 2010

[Orks] Waaaagh! Nobrot!: The Big Mek

Hey all,

I figured to celebrate the fact there's 2 new awesome Ork plastic sprues coming out (Deff Dred and Killa Kans) I'd go a bit Mek-tastic on this article while I have a spare few minutes.

So basically, the first question is why take a Mek? - An even better question would be why would you NOT take a Mek?

They are ultimately, a support HQ, as opposed to the direct in-your-face combat threat of a Warboss. They allow you to free up a Heavy Support choice in the form of a Deff Dred, but also let you access 2 pretty cool pieces of kit in the Kustom Force Field and the Shokk Attack gun.

The Mek is pretty decent in close combat, although he is effectively just a standard Nob, so don't expect him to be going toe to toe with the big hitters, but he can add a fair punch in a unit of Burnas, Shoota Boyz or Lootas.

First off, lets look at each piece of Wargear the Mek can take, then look at how to use him in a list.

The standard loadout every Big Mek should be toting is 'Eavy Armour, Bosspole and Cybork body, same as your Warboss (minus the Attack squig). After this, it depends what you need the fella to do...

Kustom Force Field
Without a doubt, the best 50pts you will ever spend in an Ork army list. Cover save to all your foot slogging Orks, and obscured targets to all your vehicles, within 6" of the Mek, which the distance extends from the Hull of a vehicle he is travelling in. So using a Battlewagon helps a lot!

Big Mek Rorshark - Slugga, Choppa, Kustom Force Field

I've lost count of how many times this pieces of wargear has saved my 100+pt Deff Dred or Wagon being destroyed by a stray Lascannon or Melta gun. Or how many times I've enjoy a footslogging squad of boyz shrugging off Bolter fire thanks to this.

Shokk Attakk Gun
Some people swear by this, and personally I've only ever really used it in Apocalypse games, it's way too hit and miss for any kind of competitive gaming... but for fun games it's really fun... there's nothing more enjoyable than watching a Big Mek fly across a Battlefield and assault a unit of Terminators that have just deepstriked the previous turn.

Big Mek Lugnutz - Shokk Attack Gun

At 60pts though, meaning your Mek is just over 100pts, I can see him being useful with a Squad of Lootas or with a lucky shot on a group of Terminators etc. Also, some of the double rolls are quite funny and worth it in a game for that.

Now this is the only non-Powerklaw armour ignoring CCW the Orks get, and I really, really like Burnas... maybe it's something to do with playing with Fire...

Big Mek Gubbinz - Burna

You get the option for a standard flamer, or a Power weapon striking at the same time as Space marines. I've found however, whilst he's quite useful like this... this is the sort of build that requires him somewhere with a Nob in the unit to add with the Power Klaw attacks. There've been times when the Burnas he's with get assaulted by a Dreadnaught and that's it then. Game over man!

Kustom Mega Blasta
Finally, the last piece of unique HQ wargear the Big Mek can have is a Kustom Mega Blasta, which is a souped up Assault Plasma gun, but personally with rubbish Ork ballistic skill and the option to be used as a Power weapon, I'd have the Burna any day of the week.

Big Mek Trognutz - Kustom Mega Blasta, Power Klaw

This guy I've also given a Power Klaw to, so basically, he's kitted up for smashing Terminators or heavy infantry. Which is helpful in a unit with low combat capabilities such as Lootas... or even Grotz!

Where to put your Mek?
So yeah, once you know what you want to give the Mek, where's the best place for him to go?

I like to generally ensure he's armed with a Kustom Force Field and sat in a Vehicle, giving a big 6" radius from the hull of the vehicle to my footsloggers, Walkers or Trukkz nearby.

Back him up inside either with 19 Shootaboyz, or 15 Burna Boyz, shooting and flaming as they go, with the ability to either dish out a mega-ton of shooting (the Shootaboyz) or drive-by flaming / power weapon frenzy. If I'm sticking him with the Burna boyz, I'll tend to give him a Power Klaw just to stop some Dreadnaught Tar-pit and special characters having their way with you.

I also always use him to give me access to a Troop deff Dred, meaning I can then take 2 Battlewagons AND a unit of 3 Killa Kanz. And on top of that, he can attempt to repair any vehicles that do manage to get damaged, so pretty snazzy.

So I think I've covered a fair bit of the best ideas for Wargear - there's other items that can be discussed, such as Mega Armour, Warbike etc. but I feel they're all a bit too orientated to the Warboss as opposed to the Mek. I'd have liked to have seen some benefit to the Mek being in Mega Armour (such as being able to take extra arms or weapons) but y'know... you work with what you have.

Any questions or feedback, then gimme a shout! :)


  1. If i take a mek i prefer to give him the shok attack gun simply cos they're unreliable which makes for an interesting game. Any other i'd take a kustom force field -- but if I want a power klaw i'd just take a warboss !!!!

  2. I love these articles. From playing against this army id have to say from an opposing point of view that the kustom force field is the thing i hate to see in an ork army, it means your getting assaulted in turn 2 by a load of boyz in trucks and the damn dread survives a hail of fire to tie up valuable units in close combat. Id have to agree with everything badger has put in this article. Im not an ork player but ive played against them too often to know they can hurt.

  3. Great article, as my only opponent has just picked up orks, I am devouring anything I can find about the green tide. Thanks for putting this one together.

  4. As with all your previous Nobrot Blogs. Amazing. Gives a brilliant insight into the choices for the Orks and why you personally choose them. Looking forward to more, if you have any coming which I assume you have. Keep it up Badger

  5. I just started playing the game and love it! There is so much to learn!thanks for the help. I played a team 4 way 7 tuen objecite game withe the Guard as my team mate against the Space marines and Dark Eldar. They where getting very frustrated with the force field and at one point my Mek had to get out of the Battlewagon to fix my Dread! I need a good list for 1000pt army that is competitive for Orls, not just goofy and fun. I just started playing it with around 7 friends and I just don't have the power to go the distance.
    Big Bo Badd Axx

  6. That's something I always forget during a game, that my Mek can repair damaged vehicles! Glad to see that even though you've only just started playing you remembered that one.

    Orks aren't one of the Internet's super duper "everyone wins we me" army, but they can be really strong. 1000pts is a good size for them since vehicles are cheap, as are hordes of infantry. It's your call where you go dude, but I prefer big blobs of 30 Boyz, Bikers and Battlewagons.