As I have been re-acquainting myself with the orks and adapting them to sixth edition I’ve noticed that they (still) have some issues dealing with tanks at long range. I’m working on some tankbustas to help with this, but even these are only really good against tanks when they get up close. Lootas are better against tanks in sixth but still struggle with AV12+. In fifth edition I ran primarily Speed Freek builds, using speed to overcome the ranged disadvantage. In sixth I have option of allies so I’m considering some Imperial Guard.
Benefits of Imperial Guard Allies
Although they represent the downtrodden everyman of the Grimdark, Imperial Guard are widely regarded as one of the more competitive armies out there. What they lack in statline they make up for in numbers and equipment. They offer the chance to take cheap and durable scoring units, squadrons of shooty transport fliers, tanks and an unsettling number of heavy weapons. It’s everything an Ork Kaptin loves but without the dodgy craftsmanship! But the cool stuff still adds up in cost pretty quick and an allied detachment needs to be cheap or it may as well be the main detachment. Tanks are pricy, and they’ll be stuck in a squadron if I want more than one. It’s the same deal with the flyers. Tons of boots is kind of an Ork specialty so it seems silly to work that angle.
So, what to take?
What I’m really looking for is long ranged fire support, so my goal in choosing units is to unlock the heavy weapons teams for as few points as possible. I’ll start with the mandatory HQ. The cheapest option is the Company Command Squad. I can take it as is for minimum cost and use it to support other units by issuing orders. It won’t have much direct impact on the game but it will improve the effectiveness of other units and as a means to an end it’s not a bad option. I also like the idea of taking a Master of Ordinance to drop Str. 9 AP3 large blasts on things. While I’m at it I can add a cheap mortar to add a little firepower while the unit hides but I’ll lose the ability to use “Bring it Down!” if he’s hidden away. Another option is to add a lascannon team. I’ve doubled the cost of the unit but my goal is to threaten heavy armor and a lascannon plus Str. 9 ordinance can do that and I’m still just shy of a boomwagon with ‘ardcase.
Next I need a mandatory Troops choice. Since I’m looking for heavy weapons teams the only one that makes any sense here is an Infantry Platoon. This comes with its own compulsory choices so we still need to add these in before I can start buying heavy weapon squads. I need at least a Platoon Command Squad and two Infantry Squads. This gives me three cheap scoring units, comparable in price and effectiveness to three minimum grot squads, so it’s already a bargain in points and FOC utilization! If I take the bare minimum with no upgrades I can unlock the Heavy Weapon Squads for 180 points (plus cost of said Heavy Weapon Squad.) However, I’ve practically a flimsy Command Squad and three grot mobs and one of them can’t score. I appreciate the value of a token grot mob to camp a backfield objective but I wouldn’t take three of them. Well, I might if they all fit in one Troop slot but it’s not worth allies to do so. The good news is that all of these units can include a heavy weapons team. Adding a lascannon team to each unit plus a Master of Ordinance to the Company Command Squad is only five points more than a three-lascannon Heavy Weapons squad. Now I have four lascannons, one ordinance blast, and three scoring units for 290 points. For now I’ll add a few minor upgrades to these units and call it good. This should already be enough to fill the ranged anti-tank gap and I now have the option to add up to five cheap heavy weapon teams!
Lucky for me, I happen to have a lot of Necromunda models hanging around. Most of these are armed with lasguns or autoguns (which happen to match the stats of a lasgun) while many of them are armed with pistols. Using these I can cobble together a nice collection of mercenary guardsmen. All I need to buy is a box of heavy weapon teams. This will allow me to quickly field the allied detachment and these can double as allies for the Reavers, my counts-as Space Wolves.
Many of these will need to be (re)painted, and I’ll base them and deck plating to match my Reavers army (this is also appropriate for Necromunda on the off chance I ever play that again.) Although I’ll start with human mercenaries I’ve long dreamed of building a rebel grot army. As I expand on the allied detachment I’ll model them as grot equivalents and eventually replace the human models entirely. Human mercenaries work with pretty much any army so my starter detachment will always have a purpose (at least in sixth) but I think it will be a lot more fun modeling ramshackle grot gear.
Let me know what you think!