At a Glance
One of the first things you’ll notice is a Stormboy is twice the cost of a normal Boy and wonder if there’s justification to that cost. I feel they are worth every point if they are used appropriately. Stormboyz are normal Boyz with rokkit packs, so they have the same 6+ save and stats. This means you can’t just throw them at your opponent, you need to be selective in who they attack and when. I feel any list, be it KoS (Kult of Speed), footsloggers, mekanized, etc., can benefit from this unit as I’ll explain.
The biggest advantage of Stormboyz is their speed. They are jump infantry and so they have a 12″ normal move. Stormboyz also have a 1d6″ move on top of the 12″ move, giving you up to 18″ of normal movement. If you charge then you’re looking at a potential of a 24″ movement. The can also run, so again you’re looking at possibly a 24″ move.
I think anyone can find a use for a 24″ move without going into detail. Stormboyz may not be scoring units but their speed lets them get to an objective quickly to contest it.
Since Stormboyz cost so much by comparison to normal Boyz, they are often fielded in smaller units. Because of this, the Nob should be given a bosspole. The size of the unit you field will depend on who you fight and the point value of the game, however I wouldn’t recommend anything less then 7-8, but of course the more the merrier! That 1d6″ extra move Stormboyz get can also harm you if you roll a 1, so take that into consideration when factoring how many to take.
Just like normal Boyz, Stormboyz are best used on the charge. Because of their smaller unit size, generally speaking, you do not want to get charged. Make full use of their range, stay hidden as long as you can and jump out only when needed. There’s no need to position yourself too close to the enemy, you’ve got a 19-24″ charge range. Keeping yourself at range will also make you seem like less of a threat, it’s easy to forget just how far these guys can go, and it keeps your opponent wondering where you plan to move them.
I do not generally lead a charge at the enemy with Stormboyz, instead I use them to back up other units and to counter charge. Their speed lets you easily get them where you need them the most. If you do charge in with them then make sure you are selective in your targets. I don’t recommend throwing them at hardcore CC units (Terminators, Berserkers, etc.), their size normally won’t allow for it, but pick off softer units and entrenched units. Stormboyz are great at harassing, not so much in straight up slug fests.
They are all armed with stikkbombz so they do well hitting low initiative units that are stuck in cover, Fire Warriors, Guardsmen, Orks, etc. They can also be great for taking out heavy weapon teams like Devastators if you have enough. Also, the stikkbombz give you a chance, though minimal, of glancing vehicles with AV10 rear armor. Give the Nob a PK and you have yourself a backup armor hunting unit.
With 5th you can deep strike Stormboyz. I have not tried doing so as it’s not something I feel it worth the risk. Having a fast moving assault unit arrive by deep strike and be unable to assault the turn they arrive just does not appeal to me. You can take Zagstruk and be able to assault the turn you arrive but I don’t recommend it in smaller games as the unit cost goes up significantly for something that I see as situational. I’m not saying deep striking them isn’t viable, just that you should consider who you are fighting and if it’s really worthwhile before doing so.
Where They Fit in a List
I run KoS lists most often and I use my vehicles to screen my Stormboyz. Once my Trukks deploy their Boyz I’ll then charge them in with those Boyz or find another unit nearby to attack so that I can tie up as many units as possible at once. If I find a sudden threat to my vehicles then I may charge that threat with my Stormboyz to keep my vehicles protected. This is one of the only times I’ll use them as fodder, preferring my scoring units to advance safely to take an enemy’s objective. If I’m playing someone who also has a fast moving army then I’ll keep my Stormboyz mid-field so that I can quickly get back to my lines if needed or rush forward.
They are just as effective in a footslogging list or a mekanized list. Any unit that can move as fast as Stormboyz do always have a place in a list, even if it’s just to contest an objective since objectives are more valued in 5th then ever before.
Stormboyz are amongst one of the harder units to use effectively, to get your value out of them. I feel the real trick with them is recognizing their weaknesses, that 6+ armor save, low model count, and high cost, and keeping that in mind as you move them around. Don’t throw them away at any unit that you can reach, pick your targets carefully. Keep them out of sight until they are needed. It can be hard to just sit the unit somewhere for a few turns but patience is the key to using these guys.