Lamentations of an Ork Player

Sad OrkWhere to begin? I suppose it doesn’t matter seeing as this article will have very little structure to it, unless you count pissing and moaning as structure. My FLGS is hosting a 40K tournament this Saturday. It’s a hobby focused event that’s heavy on the army composition. Being the masochist I am, I decided to bring my Orks out of retirement. A decision I’ve regretted since I conceived it.

Since that choice, I’ve played five games with my Orks and have taken five thrashings on the table. If these games were scored, we’ve been using the tournament missions to practice with, I’d have taken losses in the area of 30 – 3 on average. As you can see, complete and utter defeats.

Now, my list at this point is irrelevant. Lists had to be submitted yesterday and so it was. At this stage there is nothing I can do with my list. For better or worse I’m stuck with it. It is, however, a Speed Freek style list and that’s my second mistake, first being deciding to run my Orks.

If ever there was a glass hammer Ork list then Speed Freeks are it. Back in 4th edition, and the old Ork codex, I got into Speed Freeks as I began my Ork army. The Ork vehicles were faster and Trukk Boyz had better survivability when they lost their Trukks compared to other armies in an edition where things like Rhinos were affectionately referred to as death traps. On the other hand vehicles were also easier to destroy. Anyway, that’s when my love of speed flourished with Orks.

A few things happened since that made Speed Freeks nigh unplayable. Orks once had a ‘Mobbing Up’ rule. When Orks failed morale they would fall back towards the nearest Ork unit behind them. When they got within 6″ of that unit they would make a leadership test and if passed they would ‘mob up’ with the unit and form a single mob. It was, in a way, an Ork version of ‘And They Shall Know No Fear’. As someone who ran small vehicle mounted squads this rule was invaluable for me. Orks had basically the same Mob Rule! they do now regarding unit size and leadership but with the small squads I ran it was barely a factor. Instead I relied on mobbing up. The removal of that rule was a huge blow to my preferred style of play.

Then 5th came out. The biggest change with 5th regarding my Orks was the preliferation of melta on the field because AP1 now gave +1 to the result. Vehicles became harder to destroy in 5th and so you saw them a lot more as a direct result. The result of more vehicles, as said above, meant more melta to deal with the mech environment. A melta weapon on an AV10 open-topped vehicle is as close to a guaranteed kill as you can get.

These things, combined with the ‘Mob Rule!’ (unit size for leadership), forced the hand of Ork players into playing horde and I despise playing a horde army. For these reasons my Orks had been shelved for a long time until my gluttonous nature decided to pull them out for Saturday.

I have played a lot of power armor since, Space Marines and more recently Chaos Marines. You honestly can not truly appreciate a Space Marine army until you’ve played a Xenos army. My Orks have low base leadership, though a re-roll to it at the cost of potentially losing a Boy, and low initative making them easily swept in combat. Oh, not to mention a 6+ armor save. Marines, however, are rocking power armor and terminator armor, are either fearless or act like it so they can’t ever be swept in combat and can regroup when below half unless there’s an enemy within 6″. Sprinkle in the various chapter specific codex rules and you can easily understand why Marines are so popular.

I’m not knocking Marines, I love mine too, and playing my Orks recently has reminded me why I enjoy them, well a reason I enjoy them anyway. Marines have ways to get around the vicious rules that plague many Xenos armies. It’s a whole different game when you have no fear of sweeping advances and next to no fear about being run off the board.

I’m just sad at the fact that a tournament I was really looking forward to is now, for me, shrouded in self-loathing. The things mentioned about Orks are not new at this point. I shelved my Orks for good reason but I thought it would be fun, and there was that hope for redemption, to put them on the field. My regret at this decision can’t be expressed enough and instead of looking to this tournament for a great day of gaming and the chance of winning something in the gaming categories, I instead look only to trying to win in the painting categories.

An Ork Player


  • Loquacious

    Hugs. I will send SinSynn your way to help you feel better. =)

    • It’s not easy being green…

  • therhino

    To be honest, I think it’s the composition scoring that’s murdering your Speed Freeks, not 5th Edition. Orks have always been about numbers, whether they’re in big mobs of 30 Boyz, or smaller mobs of 10 in a Trukk. The system forces you to skimp on the Boyz in Trukks in favor of supporting units you might not normally use.
    How many Trukk Mobz can you purchase for the price of a single tactical Squad in a Rhino? because of the limitations on dedicated transports and FOC setup, Speed Freeks just don’t comp out well. How much tougher would your army be if you traded in one of the units you took purely for the FOC comp considerations for one or two more Boyz mobs in trukks?

    • Comp hammers my Speed Freeks, no doubt about it. Trukk Mobz are surprisingly expensive. Having 12 Boyz, Nob, and Trukk (few minimal upgrades), runs 142pts. Another reason Speed Freek isn’t favored. For marginally more points you could throw down 30 Boyz.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t gain a ton by swapping in more Trukk Boyz. They are, after all, still riding around in tin cans. It would help, don’t get me wrong, but would it help enough to compensate for the comp hit? Doubtful. If I ran what I normally would for this type of list then I’d be sitting around 45pts on comp and still have a mediocre list all things considered. Then again anything would be an improvement honestly.

  • hippie

    With any luck you will get paired up against 3 good people and have a great time regardless of win-loss.  There are so many variables in the new missions you could do really well as long as you play to them.  Hell, depending on what table you get on you could ”hide’ some trukks and then floor it when the time is right. 

    • Odds are it will be against 3 people in the same boat as I, lists that won’t hold up, as I’ll be playing other people losing matches. If I’m lucky I’ll win one too.

      It’s not losing that bugs me, it’s losing in epic fashion. My game against Steve’s Deathwing last night was a big victory for him but it was close for a while there, I hung on and made him earn it. My other games have been pretty one-sided though.

      • hippie

         Are you just being too aggressive?  Or are your trukks getting ramshackled early?  I haven’t seen any of your games.  Also who have you played and what were they running?  I know one of your losses was against a comp “illegal” list. 
          I guess I’m just saying keep your chin up, above all you are a good player so with some help from the dice, scenarios, tables and opponents, who knows?

        • Losing vehicles really. In the comp system I’m restricted, unless I want to get hammered with penalties, to a few vehicles. So, each Trukk loss is huge. Add in the pinning test, since I often lose fearless once I lose a Trukk from the explosion, and it’s often a kick in the balls once failed. I can’t re-roll pinning with a bosspole, it’s specifically for morale tests. So, I only have a few fragile vehicles, in turn fewer Boyz than I’d like, who are prone to failing pinning tests. Once I’m pinned, well you can imagine what happens to them next. Plus, the obvious downside to a Trukk squad is the size. Other than never really getting fearless, they are easily reduced below half and unable to rally. As was the case last night, I had 3 squads of Boyz bolt, Stormboyz bolt and Nobz get run down.

          Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea.

  • Bigtoof

    Hi Thor,
    I really feel for you as an Ork player.  But, I think there’s hope.
    As other websites (cough SS cough) are currently in the recovery stage, I’d like to chat up what can be done.
    What do you have in your list and you’re willing to run with?


    • The list you can see here:

      The real problem is at this stage the list is locked. I can’t change anything on that list if I wanted to. The list is hard to explain other than to say what you see is the result of a heavy comp system and is not what I’d choose to run if I had free will with it.

      At this point it’s all going to come down to strategy and tactics…and luck.

      How is SS going these days? I know I asked you last time and you said you were still there. Honestly, I’d go back if it weren’t for some issues I have with a few things there. How’s that for cryptic? ;)

      • Bigtoof

        Well, it’s currently down due to a server problem, hopefully be up eventually.  Sorry to hear you had problems.

        As for the list…  Yowza, this isn’t going to be easy.
        Do you have a mission pack yet, or is it random standard missions?

        • Told you, not ideal :P

          Missions are included in this:;topic=575.0;attach=133 (should work for you)

          • Bigtoof

            Ok… good things: Battle points are only about a third of the overall points.
            So as long as you do alright with comp (which it sounds like it is), sports and paint, you shouldn’t be entirely out-classed.

            Comp is… a little wonky.
            I can see Draigowing walking away with this one, as they can make a legal army with no real penalties.  The Comp does seem to penalize Chimera and Razorback spam at least.

            No Dawn of War is kind of sad, but what can you do.

            Given your list Thor, I think you’ll have to play switcheroo. 

            Find a good place for the Battlewagon and centralize it with your Mek.  Hide the Lootas behind the Wagon and make sure that they have easy LoS to all the objectives.  Trukks should be hidden as best you can or in reserve.  There’s just too much firepower on the table I forsee.

            The really good thing that your list has is speed and five troop choices, which is a lot for this tourney setup.  You’ll have to preserve them until the end.

            The Nobz and ‘ArdBoyz are going to be your hammers and sadly enough, your fall-guys I feel.  They can absorb a lot of damage, and if there’s mostly infantry, then you should be fine in at least threatening the central zone.  (i.e. middle of the table)  Go to ground a lot and make them come to you to take you off an objective while you take theirs.

            Your speed is really key here, as I think you should have a lot of vehicles for the lists out there.  Basically, play keep away, let your Lootas weather the opponent down and assault when it’s safe.  4×6 at 1500 points and mostly infantry means that there should be safe zones for your Trukks if terrain is decent (which I hope it is).

            I know this is crazy, but have the Stormboyz reserve.  Even consider deep striking if the opponent looks aggressive.  A fast moving big (12 models is a lot) unit will turn heads, I think that you should be able to threaten armies and get them to spread out, which you can then take advantage of late game.

            Playing to the mission is key here, and I don’t know how to give you advice with the kill point mission except to try and get an early lead and then run like mad.


            • Good advice and really along the same lines I’ve been thinking. My execution hasn’t been perfect and being rusty is not helping matters. I need to stay focused and not allow myself to mistakes because as I became aware of again, my list can’t recover from them so well.

              • Bigtoof

                Wow, these columns get small quick.
                Just a few things to let you know about if you’ve been away:
                GKs are absolutely evil to Orks, as they all have force weapons.  Purifiers are the worst, which I think you may have run into, as they have built in anti-horde.  Still, they have only 24″ guns and if they’re on foot, you can drive around them for a while shooting Big Shootas and then drop a squad on them to finish them off.

                Necrons still can’t fight worth beans, although Wraiths are pretty annoying, but it’s like fighting assault marines for the most part.  Scarabs now can wreck almost any vehicle on the charge, and Spyders can make more of them, but they are pants versus almost any infantry unit the Orks have.
                The grand majority of Necron vehicles are AR13 front and sides, but drop to AR11 if hit.  Oh, and Overlords can try and mindshackle guys IN BASE CONTACT with him, and essentially force them to attack their own squad.  (Note the capitilization as to how to get around that little problem with Orks)
                Good luck!


                • Indeed they do get narrow!

                  I’ve been away from my Orks but not 40K. Played a fair amount of Crons lately, not so much GK. I’m used to facing them with power armor though.

  • Ming from B&C

    I think you must be doing something wrong!  Go over to miniwargaming dot com and watch some of Dan’s battles as an ork playuh.  He plays a similar list to you and does just fine most of the time.  It is very very entertaining to boot.  Get to it!

    • therhino


      • Ming from B&C

        Jelly donut.

%d bloggers like this: