Lessons Learned: Kommandos

KommandosKommandos have always been a favorite unit of mine, especially with Snikrot. They’re a unit that as soon as I put into my list the list becomes exciting for me. For a while I had not fielded them and I couldn’t honestly recall why. After this month’s tournament I recalled why, mech.

Here’s how I run my Kommando unit:
Kommandos x 10 w/burnas x 2 + Snikrot (11 total) = 235pts

For 11 Orks that’s a big price tag and most of it is Snikrot really. Now, as much as I love Snikrot, he has his downsides. Foremost for me is he has no bosspole, which I find essential in small units like this. Second, no power weapon or power klaw, though having burnas in the unit helps. He’s a monster in assault despite that but really only against GEQs (Guard Equivalents) and worse. Where these downsides show is against MEQs (Marine Equivalents), and the amount of mech I see. In the tournament I used my Kommandos for all three games to charge tanks, not what they are suited for with Snikrot. Now, in two of the three games it didn’t work out poorly and I dare say they made their points back, but I just felt like I was pissing away a unit.

You pay a premium for Snikrot to pick your table edge, well worth it to me. However, being able to pick your edge but not being able to be utilized to your fullest potential is a waste. Snikrot led Kommandos are perfect for smashing into a Dev Squad, Fire Warriors, IG Heavy Weapons Teams, things like that. They need to show up, smash something and get out to move on to the next. The problem with assaulting vehicles with Snikrot, other than not being suited for it, is if you blow it up you’re now getting shot in the face next turn. A small unit with a 6+ save and no bosspole is done for when this happens. You’re not locked in combat with a vehicle so if it can it will drive off and leave you standing in the open to get shot in the face. You need to assault a unit to either stay locked in and not get shot next turn or at least get a consolidation move that can help you avoid return fire.

I’ve debated a standard Nob with a PK (power klaw), and I may try it but I’m not sure. The PK will definitely deal with vehicles better than Snikrot but there’s still that problem of what happens next. Also, outflanking without Snikrot leaves me to pick short edges only and with a 66% chance of getting the one I want. Coming in on short edges with a slow foot unit is not what I consider ideal. I have also never found infiltrating Kommandos to work out terribly well.

So, as much as I really love Kommandos I feel they have to sit on the shelf again for a while until the fun of mech wears off.


I began playing Warhammer 40K in 2006, and have been an avid player and hobbyist since then. I have also been blogging about 40K for almost as long as I've been playing it, having started Creative Twilight in 2009.

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  • sonsoftaurus

    For me the value of the Kommandos isn't in what they do directly (though sometimes they can do very well) it's in how they make the other guy play. Knowing you have a unit that can pop on from an edge, double flamer and then charge you before you can react, many people try to avoid the edges. This helps clump them together in the middle for the main force to jump on.

  • I have struggled to use kommandos, despite loving the idea of them. I find too often they present a handy target to shoot at while my opponent waits for everyone else to charge.

    I haven't run them with Snikrot, though, so maybe I'll give that a try.


  • I agree. Kommandos present a psychological asset. Nobody likes having a unit arrive flawlessly behind them. The meta in my area though doesn't let me fully utilize that since they are all hunkering in vehicles, at least with Snikrot. I think a normal Nob with a PK outflanking would give more scare to those I face than Snikrot does. Maybe that's it, I just need to adapt my use of the unit instead of waiting on everyone else to adapt to allow me to use one of my favorite units.

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