Where 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