Wednesday, 31 March 2010

[Orks] Waaaagh! Nobrot!: Looted Wagons

Morning folks. Time for another installment of Waaaagh! Nobrot! This time, I thought I'd look at one of the often declared useless units in the Ork Codex - the Looted Wagon.

The Looted Wagon gets a bad rep for a couple of reasons:
- Same cost as a Trukk, which is a FAST vehicle.
- Takes up a valuable Heavy Support slot
- Unreliable nature of "Don't Press Dat!" special rule.

On the other side of the coin, let's look at why Looted Wagons aren't half bad:
- Can give Transport to a non-transportable unit like Tanbustas or Burnas
- 2/3 Cheaper than a Battlewagon.
- Awesome modelling potential

Now, there are 2 clear types of Looted wagon you want to be going for: Transport and Artillery.

The Transporta
This is the less commonly used option for the Looted Wagon in my view, mainly due to the lack of speed. However, I've not heard Codex marine players complain about the speed of a Rhino - so why should Orks? In lieu of this speed, we get a more secure armour value, as opposed to a Trukk - which should your opponent look at it funnily, it will blow up.

I made mine before I'd got to grips with the Ork codex properly, using it in small scale games (500 - 1000), with a couple of Tankbustas inside it. It was made using a Chaos Rhino I'd picked up cheap, with a couple of Ork gunners in the top with Big Shootas and a spiffy Red Paint job. I also chucked on the Chaos Spikes and made it open topped by leaving off the top set of doors and putting an assault ladder in. I wasn't getting too hung up attempting to carve up a Rhino for a 35pt model that rarely gets used. I'd painted it Red for the Red Paint Job upgrade, but then realised I could blag it as a Blood Angels looted Rhino... Orks would go for that as they'd be the fastest!

The issue is with the Don't Press Dat roll, should you be unfortunate enough to roll a 1, you'll hurtle forward until hitting stuff. However... depending on the unit being Transported, this isn't so bad. For example, I've used Burnas in a Looted Wagon before (before I bought Battlewagons), had them speed forwards with the roll of a 1, which, so long as you as concious about what you want to do with the unit, where you face it etc. is probably what you would have done in the movement phase anwyays! For Tankbustas, then it's not so good as you'll lose the ability to shoot the precious Rokkit Launchas, so yeah it is an issue.

Another downfall is that it can only carry 12 guys, meaning it's competing with the Trukk again, and limits your units to 12 / 11 with an attached Character. This means should anything happen to the Wagon, you're under Fearless amount with an expensive unit inside. Bad times.

What I do think though, is Looted Wagons are definitely good in a smaller points arena, anything 1,500 and below - housing a medium size unit of Elite Troops. Or even another dirty trick is just spend the 35pts basic and sit a unit of Grots inside it as last minute objective grabbers, assuming you don't roll 5 turns of "Don't Press Dat" and zoom forward like a loon. Minimise this by leaving them in reserve until then, bring em on and keep em safe for the remainder of the game.

Also don't underestimate the fact the Looted Wagon can take 3 weapons (Skorcha and 2 Big Shootas / Rokkits). Meaning essentially, from glancing hits it's got 3 wounds after it's immobilised. It also means after dumping your troops off where you want them, it can sit for a turn and unleash a hail of fire on enemies. Shame they've made it so Big Shootas are no longer defensive weapons, otherwise it'd be extremely handy.

For the Transport Wagon I'd say to use it for a non-Vital unit (so not Meganobz and a Warboss), something like Burnas or Tankbustas, expect that it will roll forward and account for that and most importantly of all - it's not a Trukk!

The Gun Wagon
This is the more commonly used Looted Wagon I'm led to believe. Sporting a Boomgun and the Ard Case upgrade, meaning it's no longer open topped.

I made mine from a Chaos Predator I had lying around spare, stuck an Ork in the top, some spikes and a big wrecking ball for incase anyone got too close. The idea was to paint it in Ultramarine colours as a nod to a friend's Marine army and also that the Orks would loot something blue to save more time painting it, meaning more time killing with it!

The Boomwagon can advance if you want it to, but then it just takes an unlucky roll to send it rolling forward and into assault range, the issue is the reduced range, only being 36" as opposed to longer range Battlecannons the other armies have access to. It also has to put up with still being Light Armour, as opposed to a Marine Predator or a Leman Russ.

Personally, I think these are a steep use of 105pts (+ extras) and I'd be more inclined to just stick a Killkannon on a Battlewagon and use that. Or rely on a unit of Lootas which can multi-task. Also, by taking the Boomgun, you cut out all transport capacity which is a downer, as opposed to the Killkannon on a Battlewagon which still means you can cram 5 Meganobz and a Warboss in there.

I personally still like Looted Wagons, mainly for their cheap transport usage, despite their unreliability in the random roll. I'd simply say, account for that the same way you would account for a bad roll with the Lootas for their amount of shots or a bad Waagh roll for your units.

Simply manouvre the wagon where possible to mitigate the eventuality you'll plough forward. On the bright side, moving forward means you can possibly Tank shock enemies or Ram another vehicle - which you never know, might work in your favour and help.

At the end of the day, Looted Wagons do what they do - they're cheap and expendable, albeit an easy kill point. But don't underestimate taking one for small units, or even chuck some Grots in to give them a bit of mobility!

As always, peace out.



  1. Nearly spit my coffee over my keyboard reading Waaagh "Nobrot."

  2. That's the beauty of the name... A running joke that got incorporated into the name of the Warboss :)

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