Tuesday, 17 August 2010

[Orks] Response to "Why Orks Suck"

Hey all,

I've spent the past 2 days recovering from Britcon, so expect a (very hashed together) report coming soon. However, this morning while flicking through the Blogs I was following, I came across a post on Imperial Life forwarding and responding to a post on Yes The Truth Hurts called "Why Orks Suck".

So I thought I'd offer my opinion on the matter, purely from my own point of view and go from there. Here goes. You can see the original post here: Link

1) No melta weapons to knock out tanks.

Personally, this is a Non-Issue. Yeah, Vehicles are a bit more reliable, so the AP1 and (if you're close enough) 2D6 Pen helps. But not every army needs (or wants) Melta Guns.

In terms of knocking out Tanks, Tankbustas are, as the name suggests, extremely decent. Yeah, so only 1/3 will hit, and they're S8. But Tankbusta bombs in assault FTW.

2) No S9 weapons to knock out tanks.

As above. To me, S9 is only even an issue for dealing Land Raiders, Monoliths and other Battlewagons. For these, the only option is to get up close and personal. The way Orks should do anyway.
3) BS is exceedingly low, and even 'good shots' only hit 50% of the time.

They're Orks, that's the point. They're not Elite crack-shot Snipers. Make up for it with weight of fire, especially since the Interwebz says Shootas are awesome. So clearly, every army should be made up of them. This is why I go Big Shootas in my Mobs and leave the Tankbusting to be done in Assault.
4) The Trukk. When you build a vehicle that is worse by far than any other vehicle in the game, you've really hit a high note. What's wrong with the Trukk? It's open-topped, leaves no wreck when destroyed, does random 'ha ha funny' things when blown up, has AV10, BS2, a single non-linked weapon, and upgrades that can make the vehicle cost 2x it's normal value--and it still sucks!

I wouldn't say it's far worse than other vehicles in the game. Don't bother with the upgrades, except maybe Red Paint. It's a delivery method, same way as I see a Drop Pod.

Even the "ha ha funny" things can be helpful. In one game I remember, the Trukk someone was waiting to launch forward blew up, went towards enemy  battle lines, did well not to lose any in the explosion (still needing 5s to wound) and was then in line to move up, assault and take an objective late on in the game.

As for open topped, I don't understand why this is even an issue to debate? I wouldn't change the fact it's open-topped, I love the fact the Orks can assault out of it. If they couldn't it'd be turd.
5) Mono-build. Let's see now. You bring a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field, or two. Maybe you bring a Warboss to give yourself a semi-reliable troop unit.

This is being judged based on the strength of HQ units and what they do. For me, there's a few Ork builds out there:
- Mek with KFF. Dreds as troops with Shoota Boyz, Killa Kans and Artillery.
- Ghazgkull with 4 Battlewagons full of Shootas
- Wazdakka (admittely very over priced) giving you an all bike option.
- Warboss and Grotsnik, to make an uber scoring Nob unit backed up by whatever you want.

Personally, the Warboss comes before the Big Mek in terms of priorities for me. But, that's personal preference.

6) With the exception of Lootas, Warbuggies, Deff Koptas, Kans, and Kannons...there is nothing remotely reliable in the Ork army for killing tanks or MC's at range.

That's still a fair bit of stuff listed there. 5 Units that are spread from Elites, Fast and Heavy. Also, Warbuggies mounting Rokkit Launchas are still only 24". Same as a unit of Tankbustas, so I'd consider chucking them into the midst. Thats 6, 2 from 3 different Force org slots.
7) Forced to CC. When you can deliver a whole mess of attacks, but hit like a girl and take hits like a girl, people aren't afraid of you. They line themselves up out in the open, and trade you units. Given it usually takes 2-3 Ork Trukk units to destroy one solid defender, you have serious issues.

2 - 3 Trukk units is the problem. You're still only 12 Boyz strong and a Marine unit can smack you off the face of the table before you even get a sniff. Now 20 - 30 Boyz charging in can roll a ton of dice, along with any shooting on the way in.
Yes, S3 basic is pitiful, but it's just something you need to work around as an assault army.

8) Dependence on cover. Hey, everyone has flamers. And Orks don't get move through cover. Ass.

Neither do Guard Platoons on foot. Flamers are just something to accept. Same way I can shift a unit of Eldar Rangers with a well placed Flamer, or some heavy weapon Guardsmen squads in cover. Even Tyranids get shafted by Flamers, with their Move through Cover.

9) Fearless. If you decide to bring a big unit of Troop Orks along, anyone that can out CC you (so, that's EVERY dedicated CC unit in the entire game) will annihilate you in short order. Worse, because you are so ungainly--it's possible to pull off multi-charges and instead of crippling one Ork unit--you can easily destroy two Ork units.

It still goes down to the dice. "Everyone dedicated CC unit in the entire game" can take out an Ork unit, but still goes down to rolling dice. On the flip side, I could charge in a big Ork mob and take out someone's big Thunderwolf Cav unit. I've weathered a charge off 4 Thunderwolves along with a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, leaving 13 Boyz from a 30 Mob, still standing, being Fearless and getting their attacks back. Killing 2 full Thunderwolves off.

Personally, I'd rather them not be Fearless. As combined with crap armour saves, it means you're basically taking another X amount of models off the table straight away.
10) Special characters that suck. Yes, you have the majority of them. Even decade old Grey Knight and Dark Eldar special characters look better and perform better than yours do.

Wouldn't say they suck, just that they cost a bit much.

Wazdakka offers some good options, since you could combine him with a Warboss and get 5 Troop Warbikers, along with a big unit of Nob Bikers as the core of your army.
Ghazgkull is pretty good, although again, suffers from over-costing. He's a force to be reckoned with if someone uses him well.

Grotsnik also fills a hole for your Mega Nobz, but again, you pay the cost for this.

11) Troops have a stupid 10 to 1 ratio for special weapons, because obviously the way EVERYONE ran their army before...with 3 weapons, a Nob, and 6 bullet catchers...was far too powerful.

I think this was more of a design choice to make people want to be taking more models, meaning bigger units. 5 Man Las-Plas was rife at the time and GW were aiming to move away from these multiple small units and put the emphasis for the Orks on big stuff.
12) When your old Codex is FAR more competitive than your new Codex, you should seriously ask GW what the hell happened. Besides wasting designer time on War of the Rings and Apocalypse, that is. Chaos, Eldar, and the Orks all thank you for these excellent games nobody plays. Just how are those sales doing, GW? Up in the UK, down dramatically everywhere else? That's not a good thing, fyi.

I have to say, before the 4th Ed Codex I never saw an Ork army in a tournament I went to, and it was an asbolute rarity to see one on a table somewhere.

Let alone if you look at where Orks placed in some tournaments compared to how they place now. They've just been shelved a bit by Imperial Guard by Numbers being rife, along with other "Meta-Game" builds.
13) Lack of survivability. Orks in Trukks can run forward and annoy people while in cover, but they can't actually survive if people focus on getting them out of it. Sure sure, you can go to ground and get a 3+ cover save against my Bolters, making you statistically as awesome as Marines. Which everyone can kill. But I digress. So what happens when the tactical squads charge into you in support of their Thunder Shield terminators instead of shooting at you? Oh yeah, you lose all of your Orks.

The same can be said of most units though. If someone wants your unit dead, they will try everything they can to make it so. Again, no major focus on the Orks as the same applies to pretty much any army. On the flip side, if I have my Nob Bikers charged by say, a ton of Gaunts that I just can't thin out, then chuck a Boyz unit into assault, there's no issue. The Gaunts are gone.

Again, if someone wants your unit dead, they will try everything possible to make it so. Same for Guard, Eldar and lil' Tyranids.
14) Back to the mono-build thing...virtually all Ork armies end up looking the same, because the Codex has clear 'this is better than anything else' units within it. Lootas, Nobs, Warbuggies, Kans...toss in some Trukks and KFF to try and annoy the enemy to death, and there you go--the build itself isn't terrible, but when every Ork army builds the same, plays the same, well...everyone knows how to beat it. You can be fucking awesome with them, and scrub01 will still kick your ass with a better Codex and a lower amount of skill, because Orks cannot surprise anyone. Just like Necrons, Chaos Demons, Chaos Space Marines, Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos, and soon--Eldar. The latter at least have a sharp blade, where everyone else is bringing their butter knife to the gunfight and wondering what happened. Eldar can still shiv you, but without a Codex refresh or a complete and utter change back to 4th edition rules--their days are numbered.

I'm not claiming to be some uber-competition winner, but the last builds I saw do well were 4 Battlewagons with a KFF Mek and Thraka, then a Meganob heavy army with Stormboyz and then my own Ork horde backed up by the Burna Wagon of Doom.

I don't use Lootas, Buggies or Trukks and still do pretty alright in things. Likewise a lot of the other people I've seen play Orks and do a lot better than me, don't always use those armies. Maybe it's a difference with the tournament scene or "Meta-Game" in the UK?

15) Lack of Terminators. Meganobs are pathetic. Even when you waste a HQ on boosting them with Mad Dok (who costs you a Nob unit as a troop, and usually the game) they still get their asses stomped because hey guess what? 5+ invulnerable saves on go-last terminator units is seriously shitty.

Lack of Terminators really isn't an Issue. Guard don't have Terminators (forget Allies), Eldar don't have Terminators, Necrons don't have 2+ armour save models, nor do Dark Eldar or other such armies.

Meganobz can be decent, although the lack of even buying the Cyborks or Painboy costs them for the Mad Dok, also robbing you of a HW choice. Stick em in a Wagon with a Warboss and pick your targets well.

And surely the argument of a 5+ inv on "go-last Terminators" is only even an issue nowadays because of the TH/SS combo that seems to be everywhere? Why not complain the Orks don't get their own Equivalent of Storm Shields. Like a Waaagh Shield.

16) In short, Orks suck because they can't reliably kill mech. They have 6+ saves, and heavy flamers kill ALL of them. Every single unit, dead. Meltaguns get delivered, and your vehicles, shoddy as they are, get blown to bits. That Battlewagon kit is a nightmare--you can't cover it, you can't stop side shots, and it's a big piece of shit until it RAMS you. Hey, isn't that clearly listed as a last-gasp tactic in the rulebook? Ah, that's the primary tactic. Right, here's the shelf you lot of green shitbags. Have fun watching my real armies get played, because you suck ass.

So basically, because an army can't "reliably kill mech", have low saves and heavy flamers do a lot of damage, they're canned?

The "reliably kill" statement is a bit redundant in a game that rolls dice. Even with your 3 Twin Linked Vendetta Lascannons of Doom, you can still miss or not destroy them. Deal with it.

Melta blow up your vehicle? You now at least know they're in assault range to hit them back. Accept it and charge in.
17) Did I mention Ork fearless rule is horrible, and is the easiest way to destroy Orks? Followed closely by their non-fearless LD7? When CC armies (I'm looking at you, Blood Angels) can wipe out your whole fucking army in the time it takes to get to you...well, your CC army probably sucks big cow balls.

Non-fealess LD7 only when below 8 models, admittedly, not a big deal at all, but still. If you're taking LDs on LD7 or less, then expect to be getting wiped out. It's as straight as that. Same way Gaunts outside of Synapse range or crapy Guardsmen get bum-rushed.

The main point of this debate seems to stem from the fact that Orks don't do Mech as well as Guard, nor do they have the reliability of a 3+ 4's across the board Spehs Mareeens, or the special weapons other armies have access to.

Oh well, if someone wants to play Orks, let them play Orks. Chuck 100 Boyz across the table at the opponent, watch as your Trukks explode and fly across the board or grin and bear it when a Heavy flamer batters your Boyz.

I've had plenty of times where I've felt absolutely Evil when I land the Burna Wagon within range of a decent target ("OUCH! 100+ hits on the unit????" said the Tyranids), so I can only accept the same can happen to me.

If you want an army that does Mech, has a top armour save, access to Meltas, can reliably survive Combat and gives you Terminators that have a better than 5+ save - play Codex: Space Marines and realise Orks are different. Comparing them is like comparing a Xbox 360 to a PS3. One might sound better on paper, one might look really nice, but it all boils down to personal preference and using them properly.

I'm not intending on starting an Interwebz flame-war here between Blog sites, I just thought I'd post my thoughts on the matter as a infrequent tournament playing Ork player, who is part of a gaming club. I get pasted a lot, but I also beat the snot out of a lot of other armies. It depends entirely on what mood I'm in, how the dice roll and how enjoyable the game is as a whole.



  1. "until it RAMS you. Hey, isn't that clearly listed as a last-gasp tactic in the rulebook?"

    This bit makes me laugh. Isn't it stated that Orks like ramming, because its fun and they don't care if its a "last-gasp tactic" its like in Battle fleet Gothic, Space ships dont like to ram, but Ork Space ships do!

    As for the rest of it, that guy just repeats his complaints, surely I could complain that Eldar don't have any dedicated assault units that will do anything, 30 attacks hitting on 4's and wounding on 5's are crap, and thats the Banshees!!! its the same for every army, learn what your good with and improve your game!

  2. Same as my Slaanesh Daemons !!!! Same as Dark Eldar !!!! Same as any friggin army with the exception of the generic "spaesh mahrines" who do everything with mostly baseline stats. Its what makes the game fun to play --- if all armies were identical it would get dull fast

  3. Very nice article.
    The original list left me suspicious that it was written by someone who read the codex but never played with or against orcs.
    I'm playing Guard, I'm playing highly mechanized, I'm playing competitive (but still for fun and not fo rteh win at all costs) and still Orks can give me a hell of a fight most of the time.

    Orks have IMHO the second most versatile codex after Guard.

  4. Well written and thought out reply. It says everything I would have to the same criticisms. ;)

  5. Stelek's complaints, while not terribly well-organized, are largely accurate. Their anti-tank comes in exactly two flavors: Lootas (great unit, but like any, has its weaknesses) and Rokkit Buggies/Koptas (extremely vulnerable). It's virtually impossible for them to de-mech a smart opponent, and they NEED to de-mech opponents because otherwise they can't assault them.

    Trukks being a combination of ridiculously fragile, not leaving wrecks (debateably), and only able to carry twelve Boyz is crippling, especially the latter. You're going to lose 2-3 Boyz when it crashes and you're going to lose 3-4 when you charge- that's half the squad right there, and god forbid you fight something competent; they'll wipe you out.

    Klaws are too slow for tank-killing. I wrote some articles explaining why over on 3++, but the long and short of it is that if you don't start killing tanks until turn 2-3, they will have eaten you for breakfast by then.

    He mentions Fearless several times as well, alluding to No Retreat!, which is also a big killer for Orks. If a BA squad or something else similar charges you, you're going to take a bunch of casualties, do some damage back, and then take a bunch more from combat resolution- effectively, they get to double up their wounds on you. It's not specific to Orks (Tyranids suffer from it as well), but it's a problem for them because they rely on numbers to do their work and don't have a backup plan.

    Orks are fine as a casual play army- and even for casual tournament play. But they lack a lot of the right tools to be a truly "strong" army, in my opinion.

  6. @AbusePuppy

    "Stelek's complaints, while not terribly well-organized, are largely accurate...."

    I'll admit that a lot of it is correct in terms of what Stelek talks about. The American meta-game, but a lot of it was pouring out my thoughts from my past experience, local gaming group and recent tournaments.

    "Trukks being a combination of ridiculously fragile, not leaving wrecks (debateably), and only able to carry twelve Boyz is crippling, especially the latter. ...."

    Admittedly Trukks are a bit pap. But I've learnt to play with the tools I'm given. Keep a Mek near them, use Cover to advance as an obscured target and so on. For me, they're no different from an Dark Eldar Raider with open-topped paper thin armour.

    I do agree, 12 Boyz isn't enough hitting power, but use the Trukk Boyz elsewhere to target weaker units and such.

    "Klaws are too slow for tank-killing. I wrote some articles explaining why over on 3++....."

    True point. Admittedly the options that have been discussed are Kans, Lootas, Rokkit Buggies and Kannons.

    I've just learnt to deal with that fact, using Warbikers as Power Klaw delivery methods meaning weathering an initial turn of Shooting and then getting in (dependant on mission, deployment, etc. etc.).

    It also depends a lot on the setup of the table itself, whether organisers of tournaments are actually using enough terrain (debated over on BOLS recently) and yeah, on a sparsely populated table, an army like Orks with paper thin armour, will get shafted by a Tank based army.

    "He mentions Fearless several times as well, alluding to No Retreat!, which is also a big killer for Orks. ...."

    I had the same problem over the weekend against Space Wolves counter-attacking in. My mob of 30 boyz got pasted for about 14 casualties, compared to about 3. It is an issue, no doubt about it, but I suppose that's where range guesstimating comes into it a bit more in trying to avoid the charges and leave the opponent vulnerable?

    I understand it's not always an option, goes wrong, you forget Unit X has fleet, etc. But again, I accept that fact and learn to try and work around it.

    "Orks are fine as a casual play army- and even for casual tournament play. But they lack a lot of the right tools to be a truly "strong" army, in my opinion."

    True and I will agree to that one. But from my view in that the Imperial Guard and Space Marine recent Variants are getting stronger each time with more open-ness for competitive play. I've seen myself slipping down tournament rankings for persisting to stick with my Orks.

    At the end of the day, we play with what tools are given to us. If GW says Orks don't Mech up well (with Battlewagon exception maybe?) then don't try and be on a Mechanised level playing field, with armies that do it much, much better than you.

    If you want hardcore assault units that take a massive beating, go Wolves or Angels. If you want cheap, reliable Mechanised spam, backed up by long range fire then pick up the Imperial Guard Codex.

    Maybe it's me, maybe it's my gaming group, maybe it's a cultural difference across the Pond as was discussed in the ETC buildup recently.

    Speaking of such, I'm sure at the ETC, one of England's representatives (Exodite) came in about 7th or 8th overall in the Single Player rankings, using a Battlewagon-KFF Mek-Thraka list. He came 1st in the tournament we played in at the weekend with Imperial Guard.

    So it goes to show, someone who is a tournament minded and competitive play orientated person can work around the limitations of a certain Codex (Orks at the ETC) and do well.

    I don't know the ins and outs of what went on, but that's me looking at the situation from the outside.

    Oh well, maybe with a new Ork codex at some point, it can appease the Codex Creep?

    Epic Reply,

  7. waagh !!!! waagh!!! waagh !!! Orks are good fun with lots of choice & some oddities that fit with their character & good characters. If u don't like them don't buy them simples !!! Like I said earlier if everyone rolled out space marines I would have give this up long before I started.

    But reckon mi boyz would give u as good a krumpin as my Blood Angels or Slaanesh Daemons.