This one's kind of half battle report, half Codex review, all rambling. I played an Open War game against Narrative Wargamer Tony and his Deathskulls with my Snakebite Orks. At the time of writing it was about two weeks ago, and for various reasons the game was a bit stop-start - not least of which was us talking about stuff in the new Codex. So this might be lacking in detail somewhat...
Anyway, I was running a Snakebite Battalion, a bit of a mix of units with Nipper Jr and a Battlewagon loaded up and providing a tough forward push, supported by a load of Boyz. It was something like this:
HQ: Warboss (Killa Klaw, 'Ard as Nails, kombi Skorcha), Weirdboy, KFF Big Mek (Brogg's Buzzbomb)Troops: 27 Boyz (klaw), 20 Boyz (klaw), 20 Boyz (Shootas, big shootas, klaw), 10 Boyz (klaw)Elites: 15 Kommandos (klaw, distraction grot), 8 Burnas/2Spannas, Painboy (Brutal but Kunnin), WAAAGH Banner Nob (Dead Shiny Shoota)Fast Attack: 5 DeffkoptasHeavy Support: Battlewagon (deffrolla), Squiggoth
Tony was also running a Battalion, though focusing on vehicles, and using the Speed WAAAGH from the Wartrike. He also had a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment for the Gorkanaut, who I think was either a specialist or had a kustom job. There was also a kustom job on the Trike - the Shokka Hull, which we forgot about all game! It was something like:
HQ: Deffkilla Wartrike, Weirdboy, KFF Big MekTroops: 3x20 Boyz (big choppa, big shootas)
Elites: 3 Meganobz
Fast Attack: Megatrakk Scrapjet, 2 Boomdakka Snazwagons
Flyers: Wazbom Blastajet, Burna BommerLord of War: Gorkanaut
Here's the mission and the deployment. Instead of a twist we used the warzone rules for the dried up river bed (which I think we talked about in a Podcast - this one?) Essentially this meant there was a dam off map about to burst, and when it did everything in the middle of the board would take a load of mortal wounds from the flood waters and movement would suddenly become more difficult!
We both deployed in a pretty predictable fashion, spread out to cover out objectives and with a strong central element at the tip of the arrow. Tony used Boyz on the right flank ad buggies/planes on the left, so I shored up the left with the Kommandos hiding in a ruin. Deffkoptas started in the sky, Burnas on Nipper Jr and the 20 Shoota Boyz in the wagon ready to dakka out of it. Tony kept the Meganobz back in reserve to punch the dam a bit. We rolled and I got first turn.
Somewhat predictably, everything went forward. Good shooting from the mounted Burnas and Shootas dropped a bunch of opposing boyz, but the Kommandos failed their charge in to the Deffkilla Wartrike, leaving them a bit exposed. That would have been massive because, assuming they didn't get battered in melee, they would have been holding an opponent's objective at the end of the turn.
Tony responded by immediately calling the Speed WAAAGH! and zooming forward to meet in the middle. His list had a lot of shooting elements, and with the extra AP they managed to tear through my Kommandos (even with their 3+ cover save), take out Nipper Jr and remove the Burnas. Ouch. It could have been worse however - they all took a fair amount of firepower to take out, and it didn't leave him much left for the Battlewagon...
Which survived the charge from the Gorkanaut and the Deffkilla Wartrike - in part due to the Ramshackle rule kicking in, and helped by the stratagem boosted KFF that burned out at the end of the turn.
Time for the counter attack, and a WAAAGH of my own! - Boyz mobbed round the central units, with my characters coming in for the kill. The big boyz mob managed a big advance so were able to threaten a depleted mob in the Deathskull deployment zone. Deffkoptas also came in and shot up a plane, but failed to kill it with a successful Ramming Speed charge!
Redtoof himself swung at the 'naut, reducing it significantly, but then getting splatted by the return swing. Elsewhere lots of dice were thrown to limited effect, though my Boyz did cut down a fair few opposing ones, thanks to the WAAAGH!!! - Both the extra attacks and the +1 banner.
Eventually I took down the Gorkanaut, but in Tony's turn the Snazzwagons took it's place and along with the fliers peppered my unengaged Boyz. Then the dam broke, killing a bunch of stragglers and wounding all my remaining characters.
At the end of turn two we'd both lost a fair chunk, but we also still had assets. A bunch of boyz, including a full unit of Shootas in the wagon for me, but Tony still had some in his deployment zone, along with the damaged planes and Scrapjet. With it getting late we had a bit of a think and ended up calling it a draw - after all, Orkz is never beaten! However while packing up we did then realise the Meganobz existed, and would probably be able to just saunter on to the board to hold an objective and swing the game. I guess we'll never know - we'll just assume it was a great big scrap and the Orks probably forgot about the objectives anway!
As mentioned, this was only really half a report - it was more of a learning experience for both of us. We both agreed that we liked the new book, and it felt like our units generally had a bit more teef than before. I've since played a couple of games on TTS as well, so with a little bit of experience, here are some of my takeaways from the new 'dex:
Boyz. Toughness 5 and -1 AP Choppas is a big deal. But perhaps not as big a deal as some people feared when it was initially teased. It means they can threaten tougher units more reliably, and they are not so trivially easy to remove. I think this is going to be even more of a benefit to the various expensive specialist units like Burnas and Tankbustas, that previously were either in a transport, or dead. That said, they still will all die to sustained fire without any question, and morale is now much more of a worry. I think for most competitive lists standard Boyz are probably a tax, with so many other good efficient units to pick from in the book. That said I have plans to try and make the Green Tide work for me, so we'll have to see how it turns out. Also probably worth mentioning the WAAAGH, which is a huge help for the Boyz, with extra attacks across the board and one turn of advance and charge regardless of how close the Boss is. I know some people consider the change to once per game rather than an aura to be a nerf, but I found that I rarely used it more than once in a game anyway, and frequently found I needed it for units on the flanks away from the Warboss.
Buggies. Vehicles seem to be big winners in the new book. Ramshackle is massively helpful against mid strength weapons that have traditionally been the worst enemy of trukks and dreads, most of them seem to be reasonably priced (or perhaps criminally undercosted) and they benefit the most from weapon changes. They can get dakka weapons up close for extra shots and suffer no penalties for firing the newly heavy D3 Rokkit Launchas. In addition, the Speed WAAAGH bumping up the AP across the board for them is really scary. The Gorkanaut suddenly getting 30 shots at ap -2 with it's mega shoota, as well as 20 at -1 from the big shootas is quite a sight! I'm a believer that a 'strong' Ork list will overload the enemy with either bodies or armour, and I can definitely see a force full of light vehicles doing very well. I'm not really a buggy guy, but my Kans and Deffkoptas feel like they will get on well with the new rules!
Bosses. The big lads have definitely gotten a bit of an upgrade! In addition to the toughness, plenty of the characters got a bit of a buff elsewhere, and there are a whole host of relics and warlord traits worth picking. In fact, with the stratagems being otherwise fairly situational, it makes sense to take as many as you can get your hands on. Brutal but Kunnin' and the Super Cybork Body is currently looking like my default Warboss combo, and I quite like the look of the Dead Shiny Shoota on a WAAAGH Banner Nob to add a bit of token dakka to an infantry blob. Even the Kustom Force Field mek, who recieved a bit of a downgrade to be honest, now has a -1 Choppa so can get stuck in a bit.
Overall, the Codex has shifted the power from the stratagems, clan rules and certain specific units, to being spread out through most of the units themselves. Almost everything seems to have had a buff to it's datasheet, at the exchange of fewer must use strats or stuff like Deathskulls endless rerolls. I'm personally much happier with this state of affairs, Brutal but Kunnin!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this ramble, and the new Ork Codex (if you could get it, grumble grumble...) Stay safe!