Orks and their Allies

 

Jolly_Ork

From the release preview, we’ve known about the ‘alignment wheel’ and that, accordingly, Orks are able to ally themselves with both the Imperial Guard (okay fine, Astra Militarum) and the forces of Chaos. Sounds good, right? We’ve gotten previews for all of these factions now, so let’s take a moment to look at some potential combos with the Orks!

A few things to consider first: the yellow circle thingy indicates that a particular card belongs to a Warlord’s signature squad and cannot be used in any other fashion. A blue circle thingy means that a particular card is ‘loyal’ to its printed faction and, thusly, cannot be used in a deck belonging even to an allied faction. Finally, you may choose only 1 of the 2 allied factions to be included your deck.

loyal sig

I am not going to get into thematic appropriateness with these cards today. Even though I love the fluff, we will be speaking strictly in terms of mechanics and strategy. While it may be weird to see an Umbral Preacher in an Ork deck, he still has his tactical uses.

As an aside, I’m sure it’s obvious but it may be worth noting that a deck always aligns to its Warlord’s faction.

Puny Humies

Of the spoiled cards for the Astra Militarum only two can be played by allied factions. In the card fan, though, I see a nice Hellhound that could potentially serve as a lovely looted vehicle, assuming it is not loyal. Those two cards are the Ratling Deadeye and the Catachan Outpost.

Ratling-Deadeye-40K-Conquest-Core-Set-Spoilers Catachan-Outpost-40K-Conquest-Core-Set-Spoilers

The Deadeye is a cheap army unit that will let you ping one enemy during the Ranged skirmish before the battle proper starts. He also has one command hammer, which can be useful with a cheap ally to secure an empty planet for the command struggle. But is he worth including in an Ork deck? Unlikely.

While Orks do have lots of damage manipulation/shifting abilities which could potentially leave a weakened enemy unit open to being picked off by the Deadeye, it’s hard to say if his ability is worth taking up precious space in your deck. It would be difficult to scale his ATK: his miserly 1 HP means he cannot benefit from Brutal without expanding his HP pool, and his HP pool can only be expanded to 2 with Cybork Armour.

The Catachan Outpost, on the other hand, looks great. +2 ATK is always welcomed, especially when the core Orks are all about boosting the Boyz to greater attack strength. Now notice that the Outpost is not unique, so you can have up to 3 copies in your deck and 3 in play. That’s +6 ATK to spread around your Boyz. Seems like a natural fit and the versatility of multiple copies should be exciting!

Within the card fan is a Hostile Environment Suit which costs just 1 resource and grants an army unit +3 HP;  perfect fit with the direction Orks are taking! However it’s unclear whether or not it is a loyal card. If not, it’s an easy inclusion for the Ork/AM deck.

Gork, Mork, and Tzeentch

Not unlike the AM cards, most of the spoiled Chaos cards are either loyal or belong to a signature squad (which is pretty much the same thing) and of the three full spoilers that aren’t I don’t see many good fits.

Warpstorm-40K-Conquest-Core-Set-Spoiler Umbral-Preacher-40K-Conquest-Core-Set-Spoilers Soul-Grinder-40K-Conquest-Core-Set-Spoiler

The aforementioned Umbral Preacher is an interesting ally, designed to stick around (4 HP) and keep anyone from retreating from a battle. If you’re mixing in Chaos with your Boyz anyway, this could be a good fit when played properly: if you have the advantage of a nice swarm of Orks then his ability is potentially fatal to the enemy. Do note that it says ‘army‘ unit, so this will not prevent the Warlord from escaping, but it does have the power to keep a large enemy force tied up and hopefully smashed.

The titanic Soul Grinder is a tough call. It is massive with a terrible ability: if the daemon is committed to a planet in which you win a command struggle the enemy must choose and discard one unit. Ouch. However, it’s cost is 6 and unless you include some Cultists to help mitigate the costs that’s going to prevent you from fielding too many Boyz and will leave you tapped for later phases. I’m on the fence with this guy, unless you’re planning on a ‘big unit’ deck and are prepared for it.

Finally, there is the Warpstorm. Apparently an easy fit with core Ork decks, this 3 cost event deals 2 damage to all units at a planet. It’s basically a more potent version of Ork Kannon or the Weirdboy and should be used as such: either to pick off enemies or pump your Orks up for use with the Brutal keyword. Using bigger units would make the 2 damage negligible and a great boon along with Brutal.

WHK-cardfan-chaos

The card fan here provides some potentially more interesting options.

Rune-encrusted Armor is a no-brainer. +2 HP and +2 ATK for 2 cost is crazy and an easy fix for some of the weaker Ork units to benefit from Brutal. Those weenie Snotlings are now a respectable 3 ATK, 3HP unit for 3 cost. Not too bad! Or, of course, it can be used on a Nob to take him to even greater heights of power.

The rest are Chaos Space Marines and other creatures that could potentially fit snugly in your Ork deck if you’re going with a heavy unit focus. We can’t see all of their stats or abilities, but I’m sure we can safely say they’re nasty and will compliment well any Ork swarm.

I’m excited to try an Ork deck augmented with some of the nice abilities we’ve seen from the Astra Militarum so far. Blood Axes are my favorite tribe so it’s a nice thematic fit as well!

What do you think? Are you pleased with the options for AM and Chaos, or underwhelmed?

Ork Preview, 2

So the Orks’ full preview was released last week and previously I spent some time going through the card fan and the remaining cards of Nazreg‘s signature squad. Today, let’s have a look at the rest of the cards that were spoiled in the thing and sink our teef into some strategic possibilities. And there’s a special spoiler from Adeptus Podcastus at the end!

It’s a Weird’n! And he’s doin’ stuff!

weirdboy-maniakHopefully you were all pleased to see this chap arrive: the Weirdboys are some of the most exciting and orky boyz in play. Unfortunately this card doesn’t capture all of the oddness and randomness of the Weirdboyz as known in tabletop and other presentations, at least not mechanically. In essence, his ability is an Ork Psyker out of control: when he deploys every other unit takes one damage in a psychic explosion sure to give Gork and Mork a shiver there in the Warp.

Not unlike Kraktoof Hall, this allows for some nice damage manipulation and plays to the strengths of the hulking greenskins. Each enemy on a planet takes a hit, softening them up, and any boyz there will take a damage, potentially adding to their ATK if the Brutal trait is in effect. The true joy of deploying a Maniak would be a quick one shot punch that will take out a number of wounded enemies at once.

Medicine Man

bad-dok

Semi-spoiled long ago was another Oddboy: the Bad Dok. Mad Doks are a subset of Painboyz, which are a subset of Oddboyz, which encompasses just about every Ork who can do something besides fight (and win). The interesting thing here is that the Bad Dok in particular does nothing to heal or enhance your boyz. I suppose a proper Mad Dok will be seen in a future War Pack, so for now we have this guy whose main utility is winning command struggles. He’s a natural pairing with Bigga is Betta, which will put him into play for free and damaged with four command hammers. This is huge, especially when you’re in need of extra resources or cards from those precious other worlds.

As a combatant he’s nothing to sneeze at: 4HP plus Brutal could mean he swings for 4ATK. I could only see using him for this purpose in a pinch, as there aren’t any Ork cards (that we’ve seen yet) as good at tipping those command struggles as the Dok.

WAAAGH!!

battle-cry

Need I say more? I think we all expected something like this to show up. The Orks are characterized by the WAAAGH!! more than anything else: that psychic link that makes a rabble of boyz into a terrifying battle machine.

Giving every single Ork on a planet +2ATK is certainly a huge bonus, but as a single card it’s a little plain. With a half-dozen or so damaged boyz, plus Brutal, that simple +2ATK starts to look a little meaner and greener. The art is perfect — a massive green wave sweeping in with a Kan in the rearguard. The real question with Battle Cry, for me, is timing. Picking the right time to use this card to wipe out some nastier enemies in a key battle is clutch.

Big Blastin’ Time!

ork-kannon

Damage manipulation, damage manipulation, damage manipulation. Just like Kraktoof and the Weirdboy, it’s a global (ish) dose of damage meant to hurt your enemy and pump up your boys that can also be used to pick off damaged enemy units.

This Kannon will get a lot of use in the early game at key battles where your Gitz or Goffs can really stand to take some damage, as a fresh Warlord will be making plenty of appearances across the system. In the late game it gets a little dicier as your boyz may need those few remaining hitpoints to survive, as opposed to taking the luxury of another point of ATK. The fact that it’s indirect damage means its usage is a bit limited as well, since your opponent gets to pick where the damage goes. It won’t be used to pick off that one nasty unit you really want dead if other options are deployed unless you’re using multiple Kannons: three points of indirect damage could make a huge difference, especially if there’s one unit lingering around a planet, taking command struggles.

In terms of theme, though, it’s a green homerun.

BOOM!

tankbusta

The good lads over at Adeptus Podcastus have been getting a spoiler for every army! Matthew and Nate were kind enough to release this boy over on their Facebook page, so let’s have a look-see.

I. Love. This. Card.

The art and flavor text are so spot on and the unit is exceptionally powerful. 4 cost is a bit pricey, but it gets you 2 command hammer, 4 HP, and 3 ATK (6 against Vehicles!). As long as you have initiative (or a Rokkit Launcher) this boy could knock out some armor before it gets to attack, spoiling the plans of many an army.

So while it’s best against vehicles, of course, a starting ATK of 3 with a pool of 4 HP coupled with Brutal means this guy can be quite effective against infantry as well. In short, he is well worth the cost to field.

It appears we’re all caught up on the current Ork spoilers! How do you feel about how the Orks are taking shape? How will they hold up against the other dangerous factions of Conquest? What strategeries have I missed on these current cards?

As always, I’m interested to read your feedback and I appreciate you stopping in!

The Howl of Who?

So before I post the second part of the big Ork preview, the first War Pack has been announced! I, for one, was certainly not expecting the announcement so early, but it seems FFG are trying to set a new precedent for getting a head of the ball when it comes to LCG expansions — the entirety of the new Lord of the Rings cycle was previewed before the first pack ever came out!

So, the first pack is called The Howl of Blackmane and, completely unsurprisingly, will feature a new Space Marine Warlord. The good news is that he is a Space Wolf captain and they are, surely, the coolest of all the Adeptus Astartes chapters.

But what does this mean for da Orks? Not a whole lot so far. The only Ork card that was half-spoiled looks like this:

7-9-2014 8-50-22 PMIt’s a 2 cost Event card that will, apparently, let us both smash and bash! Who knows what Smash ‘n Bash will actually do, but my money is on perhaps a Combat ability that will let an Ork unit attack twice. You know, smash then bash.

So! Not a lot of Ork news on this preview but it is nonetheless very exciting to have some info on the War Packs in general: they will feature a new Warlord and his signature squad, plus 17 new cards smattered around the rest of the armies. The actual distribution isn’t specified but that’s 17 cards besides the Warlord and his squad, divided amongst 7 factions. Take 14 of those cards and that’s two per faction leaving three outliers. Will these three go to the ‘featured’ faction, the Beakies in this case? Or will they be more randomly distributed?

I don’t know. Ain’t finkin wot humies do?

class-o2_2x

 

Ork Preview, 1

And right on time, right along the alignment wheel, comes the full faction preview for the Orks! Released just yesterday, this thing goes full on with lots of Orky goodness and plenty of spoilers. So many, in fact, that we’re going to spread it out over two parts: this first entry will dissect the fan at the top of the article and go through the rest of the signature squad. The second will take a long, hard look at the remaining cards from the preview. I like small, digestable bites and room for detail, so let’s get krumpin’!

Fightin’ and Winnin’

WHK01-fanLet’s start with the fan here, in which enough is cut off but there is still plenty to go on. Starting from the right we get a full spoil of the Sniveling Grot. This is a 0 cost army unit with 1 ATK and 1 HP. Were we really expecting any more from these little guys? I will say that I love the fact that Runt is one of their traits. I do not expect that this trait will get fleshed out in the future, but it really is a nice touch. And who knows? Could there be a Rebel Grot pack in the future? Probably not. But I can see these guys being there to do just what the runty squeaks are bred to do on the battlefield: soak up bullets. Amassing enough of them should frustrate a battle pretty quickly, because while they go down easily taking out a gretchin uses up an attacker’s action, and if they choose to ignore the Grots then they can expect death by a thousand cuts with enough of them in the field.

Which brings us to the second card from the left: Snotling Att[ack]. That’s got to be attack, right? In any case, this event card puts 4 Snotlings into play, presumably by their token cards. Snotlings are the lowest rung of the Orkish Kultur, a small (pun intended) notch below Grots. So it makes sense that they would be cheap to put into play and it’s safe to assume that they aren’t going to be much stronger are more dangerous than their Sniveling counterparts. Again, I think a swarm is really going to be the way to go here as they do not benefit from Nazreg‘s Brutal buff and are useless in combat on their own. The interesting thing is that it seems we can deploy these little guys across any number of planets, which may not be entirely useful but flexibility is always a welcomed option.

The Goff Nob has already gotten some attention from an earlier preview, so we move now to the Rugged Killa Kan. I called it! And I love this machine already. It is 4 cost, 2 ATK, and a sturdy 5 HP. The Kan has two command hammers and has the Brutal ability built in. Like the other vehicle units we’ve seen it cannot have Wargear attachments — makes sense. I can see this guy being a workhorse for the Ork army: he has the command icons to potentially tip the scales in those struggles, he can soak up a bit of damage and dish it back with some serious hits. The 4 cost is a little high, but I see this as a natural pairing with Bigga is Betta — more on that later.

The final card in the fan is our first look at Orkish Wargear (I believe), the ever present Rokkit [Something]. Let’s go out on a limb and say it’s a ‘launcher’. It is 1 cost and reads ‘Attach to an army unit. Attached unit gains R–‘. Since the next line mentions a ‘Ranged attack’, I think it’s safe to say that the unit will gain the Ranged ability, which will be super useful. As we learned in the battle preview, the Ranged Skirmish happens before the battle proper and Ranged units get to shoot first. Imagine a Goff Nob wielding a Ranged weapon? At 6 ATK, potentially more with Brutal, a Warlord or large unit could be taken out before the fight even starts (assuming no shielding happens to ruin your plans).

Get in dere!

kraktoof-hallThe first full spoiler in the article shows us Kraktoof Hall, presumably a base of operations of some kind for Nazdreg and his Bad Moonz. It is yet another addition to the warlord’s signature squad (like the Flash Gitz) as we can see by both the yellow icon on the right and, of course, the article itself. What is the utility of shifting damage around? It’s already been made very clear that the Ork ‘flavor’ is all to do with damage: the Brutal trait, the ability of the Flash Gitz, and so on. So, it is not too surprising to see the addition of this support to Nazdreg’s squad. It allows (1) the shifting of damage amongst your own units to make more and better use of Nazdreg’s buff and (2) the ability to deal 1 point of direct damage to an enemy unit. I like the choice granted by this card, as both generating an additional point of ATK on a friendly unit and picking off enemies are both perfectly useful. It’s also a little bit of subtlety in an otherwise unsubtle faction.

Being a Support card it is not in the direct line of fire, but doubtless there will be cards that directly destroy/discard Supports.

It really is

bigga-is-bettaFirst, this is the kind of art we want to see: Nazdreg (or some other yellow Mega Armoured Nob) stomping a Guardsmen (are they still called Guardsmen?). It comes, in fact, from the cover of the Only War supplement, Enemies of the Imperium.

Art aside, I love this card. It is the perfect link between big units like the Goff Nob and Killa Kan and the Brutal trait put in place by the Warboss. Not only do you get to reduce the cost of said unit by 2 when you put it into play (making the Kan and Nob an affordable 2 and 3 cost, respectively) they automatically take a point of damage. At first this seems like a simple question of balancing: reduce the cost at the price of taking damage. But, since this is central to the Orks as we know them now, it’s really a boon as long as it’s used properly.

That, I think, will be the great challenge to us Ork players in the core set: balancing the damage required to make full use of Brutal while keeping your Boyz alive. I wonder if we’ll see a card that lets us recycle all the dead Orks that will inevitably stack up in our discard piles?

Bring out da Tinboyz!

cybork-bodySometimes a soldier’s body just can’t take any more. For Space Marines, this means living death inside the body of a Dreadnaught. For Orks, though, it means a future in cybernetics. As the flavor text says, Orks adapt well to cybernetic additions to their person, likely performed by a Dok or Mekboy. Thanks to their genetic coding, Orks always know what they’re doing (even if what they’re doing is crude) and so many an Ork can head back into battle with bits and scraps fused to him.

This is represented as the Cybork Body, the card that rounds out the signature squad of Nazdreg. While we only get 2 copies of this, as opposed to four of the Flash Gitz and the max 3 of regular deck-building rules, those are 2 cards that will be put to good use. It all trickles back to Brutal: think of a Flash Git with 8 HP or Goff Nob with 12. After taking some hits, either by combat or Kraktoof Hall, those are going to be some beefy gits. Potentially, a Goff Nob with a Cybork Body and Rokkit Launcher could dish out 11 damage before combat even begins. Granted, he’s not going to last long after that but 11 ATK can finish off the biggest daemon, the nastiest vehicle, even a Warlord.

Big units aside, would this be worth playing on smaller units? Bumping a Grot from 1 HP to 2 is not really worth it, but assuming we see more 2-3 HP units (like the Burna Boyz or the named Ork we cut out of an earlier preview) the Cybork Body could be used to put together a few mid-to-large-sized units, as opposed to just one big Nob. Of course this all depends on card draw and the direction of the battles you’re facing, but several 4, 5, 6 HP units is usually better than just one 12 HP unit, doubly so when one takes into account the fact that everybody gets to take a shot in combat.

So that’s part 1 of our dissection of the Ork faction preview. Next will come the rest of the spoiled cards from the article. Enjoy and keep it Orky!

Jolly_Ork

Red Ones Go Faster

While we wait anxiously for the Ork preview article from Fantasy Flight, and in honor of the newly released Ork Codex, have a look at Teri Litorco painting up a Speed Freek bikey. Even if, like me, you don’t play tabletop 40K, this is still a fun video to watch.

Remember, red wunz go fasta! And I’ll be back to review the Ork preview just as soon as it pops up.

Speed_Freak_Warbike

Goffs

  Orkses are neva’ beaten in battle.

Amongst a race of people who value bigness and meanness, none are bigger and meaner than the GoffsGoffs_Banner2

 

The Goffs represent the Orkiest of Orks. If there is a spectrum on which we can place the various Ork tribes, with cunning on the left and brutality on the right, we would have to put the Blood Axes firmly on the left. That tribe values cunning so much that they are often accused of “finking” (ain’t dat wot humies do?) too much instead of just getting into the fight. The Goffs are perhaps on the exact opposite side. Goffs fight and fight in the most brutal way.

For the Goffs close combat is of the utmost value. They wear all black and often bear no armour, preferring to rely on their tough green skin. They’ll forego shooters for a nice ax or warhammer and will get stuck in before they ever consider sneaking or hiding.

Thus far the only representation we’ve seen of the Goff tribe is from the Goff Nob card spoiled not too long ago. It fits perfectly: a big Ork with lots of hitpoints, plenty of attack, and not much else. The Brutal keyword seems perfect for the Goffs. It’s been part of my gripe with the direction of Orks so far, that a Bad Moon warlord was given a special ability that seems so positively ‘Goffic’.

Imperium-warhammer-40000-фэндомы-librarium-935089

Enraged Ork

Another fine day for da Orks! Fantasy Flight’s most recent article outlines how the combat phase of each round of Conquest is going to work. I really like the alternating combat steps, where one unit from a player gets to shoot and then it bounces back to the other. It’s a fair representation of 40k combat where units go tit for tat, slugging it out all over the planet. I worry that the epic feel of 40k may not be captured; time will tell.

That said, we did get some nice spoilers. Most important to us, of course, is the Enraged Ork boy.

enraged-ork

So! He is a 2 cost army unit with 1 command icon, 0 ATK, and 5 HP. That little blue circle makes him ‘Loyal’, so he cannot be used in any deck that does not have an Ork Warlord.

In the previous entry I talked a little about the flavor of the core set Ork cards that have been spoiled so far. Because of their Warlord card, their seemingly high HP, and cards like Enraged Ork, we know they are focused on the Brutal keyword and will need to take some hits to get pumped up to magnificent proportions. Presumably there will be attachments to help boost their HP so they can’t get EVEN BIGGA. But I still can’t hope but wonder about this being a limited scope. Of course, you say, these are just a few spoiled cards from the core set; the game has many more cards to come! Nonetheless, will there be enough cards to make this a viable archetype before the expansions start rolling out and introducing new Ork types? Or will the packs keep growing this rather risky and, I feel, limited focus?

It seems I end every article this way but it’s the truth: we’re just going to have to wait and see. What about you? How do you feel about the way the Orks are shaping up? Do you care? Or are you holding out for more on other factions?