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Part 2 of Beating GK with an Ork Horde

7 Minute Read
Nov 17 2011
This is part two of the article which was posted a few weeks ago. Today I want to talk about and demonstrate some tactics I use with my Orks to take the fight to the enemy or goad them into making a mistake. 

I attended Da Boyz GT recently and used these tactics to go 5-1-0 and get tied for second overall.  My loss was to our very own Darkwynn.  It’s the second time he has gotten the better of me at table one to win a national event.  Next time Nick. Next time.

Snikrot and the Red Skull Kommandos
Snikrot is a powerful option for many a Warboss.  Snikrot has the powerful ability to appear from reserve on any table edge.  There are a lot of people who use this in tandem with a warboss on a bike or on foot to get him wherever he needs to be.  This is personal preference, and essentially an army list decision, which I won’t get in to. 
The best outcome for Snikrot is to force the opponent to alter their deployment, come on from the table edge, and destroy several valuable targets.  This is a tactic that I use in order to shelter my Kommandos from enemy firepower on the turn after then enter play.  It can also be used to shelter any of your melee units provided you have maneuvered correctly.   The object of the tactic is to engage an enemy unit in melee such that the assault ends in your enemy’s assault phase.  It is essentially a variation on Spacecurves “Passive Aggressive Assault” and it uses a vehicle as a second target rather than movement distances to achieve the desired effect.  I’ll let the comment section figure out a suitable name for it.
Stage One: Find a Suitable Target. 
You need to find an enemy unit and vehicle which are close together.  The unit should essentially be a pushover in assault, the vehicle cannot have a weapon skill.  Strike squads, or shooty inquisitorial henchmen with their transports are both good selections.   These units both need to be in striking distance of your assault unit.
Fig 1: Two Chimera full of shooty inquisitorial henchmen
Stage Two: Ripen for Assault.  
Now we need to do the ground work.  If my enemy unit I want to assault is in a transport like the pic above, I need to prepare to fire my ranged anti-tank firepower at it in order to demount them so I can get locked in.  I also need to position my assault unit correctly.  They should be in place such that the majority of the unit can assault the distracting vehicle, and a few can assault the target assault sissy unit.
Fig 2: Kommandos arrive and get into position.  Loota fire destroys one of the vehicles.  Note that the Kommandos have moved near the rear of the chimera holding the target sissy unit. This is so that if the Chimera is Wrecked, the occupants will still be nearby.
Stage Three: Commence Assault. 
Declare an assault on the closest target, tank or unit.  This is important only if you don’t think you will make it into assault with one of the targets, or if you are going through difficult terrain.   Now here is the key part: Place as many of your models as possible such that they may attack the tank.  You are still obligated to engage as many of the enemy models as possible, but engage is defined as “base to base, or within 2” of a model who is in base to base”.  Depending on how clustered they are, you may be able to do this with one model.
This is actually not as simple as it seems.  Ideally you want the combat to be a draw.  I’ll frequently calculate how many wounds I expect to take, and then try to engage the enemy unit with enough models to cause the same amount of wounds back. For example, if I am engaging 6 GK strike squad members, I expect them to deal 1-2 wounds.  As a result I’ll put in 6 Kommandos against the strike squad and the rest on the tank.  I should be able to deal 2 wounds with those six Kommandos tying, or narrowly losing/winning.  
Fig 3: Kommandos get stuck in. This is a legal assault and will stand in national tournaments.  If you disagree, I don’t want to hear it. Discuss it on a forum.
Stage Four: Resolution.  
Now it all falls into place.  The combat with the unit results in a draw or a narrow victory/loss which the leadership check is passed easily (Be careful with codex marines and Combat Tactics here).  You may or may not destroy the vehicle, it doesn’t really matter.  Since your assault unit is still locked with their unit, and the vehicle does not have a WS and therefore cannot lock you in assault, the Kommandos are forced to engage the enemy unit.  Now that you have brought your powerklaws to bear and additional grunts in, you have an excellent chance of wiping the enemy unit or forcing them to flee in the following (your opponent’s) assault phase, leaving you free to act in your next turn.
Fig 4: Kommandos scrum in after the resolution of the combat.
Ork Foot Mobs and Correct Formations
Ork foot mobs are a powerful part of an ork army, but I often see the models in the unit way out of position. This doesn’t seem like it would make any difference at all, but the position of each model within a unit is very important.  This is essentially made up of two elements: Squad formation, and the positioning of important models within the formation.
Position of Important Models
In an ork mob, one generally has 4 important models.  The Nob, and the three special weapons.  I usually run 26 shootas, 3 big shootas, and a Nob.  The correct positioning of these models within a unit is pictured below.
Note that the big shootas are in the rear of the unit.  This is because their weaponry has twice the range of the rank and file.  There is only so much room at the front of a unit to be in shoota range.  Imagine your frustration when you have 10 shoota boyz within 18” of the enemy, and 3 of them are carrying big shootas!  That’s 6 shots you’ve lost from poor positioning.  
The other important model is the Nob.  A very common mistake is placing the Nob in the very front preparing to get stuck in.  This is a big mistake.  You generally want the Nob centrally positioned, and back one or even two ranks from the front.  Why?  Consider these situations:
Fig 5: Death cult assassin squad moves up in preparation for an assault.
Fig 6&7: IG blob squad and Inquisitor Lord get stuck in!
In Figure 5 things have gone a bit pear shaped and we have let a very henchmen unit move up to assault our mob.  At current strength we have a good chance to beat the unit in combat.  After the enemy’s shooting phase though, that may not be the case.  Luckily due to excellent positioning of our special models within the squad we have prevented the enemy from having his cake and eating it.  If puts the squad under fire, we can remove models from the front of the unit, thereby denying the assault.  If he assaults without weakening the unit, he will lose his assaulting unit.  Had the Nob been in the front rank, we would have had the terrible choice of either allocating wounds from shooting on to him in order to deny the charge from the enemy, or preserving the Nob and getting hosed by the Henchmen in the assault phase. 
In figure 6&7 we have a situation that can work no matter which end of the assault you are on.  If the mob and the blob squad get stuck in, the Nob will be able to move to allocate attacks on the Commissar Lord causing Instant Death and a throaty cheer from nearby greenskins.  If the Nob is in the front rank, a canny IG player will simply base the Nob with grunts and send the Commissar Lord after rank and file Orks.  Since the Commissar Lord is an independent character, we won’t be able to lay any of that sweet sweet powerklaw love on him.  A tragedy for sure.
This is a little bit more basic of a tactic then the others we have discussed.  When deploying, look over an opponent’s list and check out the number of blast/template weapons he carries.  Grey Knights generally don’t take many despite having access to incinerators.  If your opponent doesn’t run heavy on blast and templates, you have free reign to bunch up.  This doesn’t seem important but after a few games of observing it, you will understand that it is.  The destruction of enemies in 40k is often an exercise in concentrating your force on parts of the enemy.   Small elite armies are better at this since it takes less work to concentrate all their strength in one place. Conversely, horde armies struggle here.  
Spreading out allows you to take less damage from blasts and templates but also has the unfortunate side effect of diluting your strength.  Often a 30 man mob spread out will be unable to attack with every member during the first round on an assault.  Additionally when firing weapons, some of the squad will be in range, and the rest won’t.  
That’s all we have room for today.  Feel free to let me know how you are getting on with your boyz now that we have necrons to contend with or if you have used these tactics to great effect.

Special thanks to Sam Butler for the photography

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