Tuesday, 23 March 2010

[Orks] Waaaagh! Nobrot!: Tankbustas

Another update from the Galaxy storming Waaaagh!! Nobrot!. To semi-quote The Fast Show "This week, I have been mostly..." - playing with Tankbustas!

Tankbustas are a unit that took a mega dip in popularity, due in no part to their "Glory Hunters" special rule, meaning that they have to shoot and / or assault vehicles, regardless whether or not a big unit of Marines is stood within Krumpin' range.

I think this was mostly due to GW's effort to stop Ork players using them as a Marine hunter squad. 5 - 15 S8 Ap3 weapons used to mean the squad was going after Marine equivalents. Nowadays, with the exception of playing Nids, there's usually always a vehicle or two on the table to cause issue.

Personally I find the Tankbustas useful for sticking in a Battlewagon and use Cover around the tabletop to prevent their special rule becoming problematic. Generally as well, I find the Tankbustas more useful to actually hunting Tanks... as opposed to trying to take out Marine squads.

Combined with their Tankbusta bombs and a Transport, I find they are more than capable of earning their points back through destroying light Vehicles - especially handy in Kill Points missions, to free up your larger mobs of Boyz.

The majority of my Tankbusta models are simply converted Boyz, with the Rokkit Launchas from the Boyz boxset. I managed to scrape together about 6 of these, then filled out the remainder of the Squad with normal Boyz with Choppas carrying Rokkit backpacks - I like to think of these guys as the Ammo runts of the unit.

These guys break from my normal paintscheme for Waaagh Nobrot in that they have Red dotted around. The main reason for this was to distinguish the models easily on the tabletop, but then also for a bit of fluff as I like the idea that they've spent some time in the Kommando's and been kicked out because they like blowing things up too much!

Wargear Options
Every Tankbusta comes with a Rokkit Launcha and Tankbusta bombs as standard, but the first choice is whether or not to take a Nob. Personally it's a no brainer - the bosspole in a small unit (small for an Ork) become invaluable. Also, the option is there for a Power Klaw to ignore armour saves if you end up stuck in Close Combat. Most times I don't give him the Power Klaw for points reasons, but it's definitely worth upgrading a Tankbusta to a Nob - keep his Rokkit launcha and just give him a Bosspole.

The second option you have for the squad are unique weapons to the Tankbustas - Tankhammers. S10 melee weapons which stike at initiative order. Unlucky for the Tankbustas, these don't ignore armour saves, but in recent games the guarenteed S10 hits on vehicles has been excellent in dispatching enemy vehicles that the Ork ballistic skill fails to dent, and removes some of the random element of the Tankbusta bombs.

I can imagine that some people will prefer to keep the Rokkit Launchas, but I like to take 2 of these. They also make Characters think twice about the unit, provided the Bustas get lucky.

The other option you can decide for your Tankbustas is to go for a Bomb Squig or two. I like the concept and fluff behind the Bomb Squigs, but they're far too much of a liability for me to use often, especially since I run a fair few Ork vehicles! I do like the fact they can mash a vehicle and leave the Bustas free to attack and destroy other units.

I've been running the following squad in a club league:
15 Tankbustas
- Nob with Rokkit Launcha
- 2 Tank Hammers
- Battlewagon

I've found the unit to be quite handy, destroying numerous vehicles in games.

Another pretty nifty trick is they're good for fighting against the Tyranids with, due to the fact you're no longer bound by the Glory Hogs rule. Meaning you can get a lot of high strength Ap3 shots off against the Monstrous Creatures.

Most people like to complain about Tankbustas - same way they do against a fair few units in the Ork Codex - but I've given them a chance and quite enjoy them and likely intend to keep them in lists in future.

So in short - show the Tankbustas some love! Get them on the table for a game or two, and be clever about the Glory Hogs rule. Use them for what they intended, as opposed to a bunch of Marine Hunters.

Peace out,


  1. Tank busters are a nightmare if you are either a chaos daemon or tyranid player. With no armour to shoot at they are free to shoot the big stuff!!

  2. doesn't make much diff to chaos daemons to be fair as they are all immune to instant death and have have an invunerable save. So are just as likely to die to a tank hammer to the face as a punch in the face. Plus you can always run them around with a soul grinder --- its pretty hard to block line of sight from these guys ---- they're a beast !!!!