Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ork Psykers

I was blessed by Mork (or was it Gork) with good friends and one o' dem granted me a very nice Ork army which I cherish.  I added to it since gettin' it and through my many contacts in da gaming world I listen when people are talkin' tactics to see if I can pick up the odd bit of unusual thought patterns to bring to my game.

One such conversation led me to start thinkin bout Ork Psykers.  As Psykers go, Orks ain't remarked on much in any forums I frequent.  That could be because, by and large, people don't consider Orks competitive in da big boy ring and da players who play Orks tend to be attracted to other sexier parts of da codex I s'pose.

Consider for a moment though dat da Ork Psyker phase can be dramatically impressive.  Level 2 Ork Wierdboyz have The Power of the Waaagh! and Daemonology disciplines and 'dat means primarily the Sanctic if they wanna' keep their heads attached, though I s'pose they could dabble at their own extreme peril in da alternative.

Let's take a look at da possibilities.  Imagine five o' these fellas leading its forces (since no self respectin' Ork is bringin' "just a few" o' nuthin).  Three Combined Arms Detachments will allow it, and give you Objective Secured units; or you can take 'da exact same number of Wierdboyz and their troops and gain The Greenskin Hordes special rule in the Ork Horde Detachment.  Dat will largely be an issue of taste and so I won't delve too deep into whether you should prefer one or 'da other. Certain tournaments will not allow more than two of 'da same Detachment, in which case da Ork Horde Detachment becomes da default.  I'll leave dat up to you and da T.O. to work out.

To maximize da usefulness of da Ork Wierdboyz you need to keep a mess o' Orks around 'em (10+ at all times) and dat is easily done through taking 6 units of 'em.  What this does is takes those 70 point Psykers and given 'em an extra helpin' of juice, one die per Wierdboy.  Net result:  a Psyker phase with fifteen to twenty-one  Psyker dice!!!  Dat eclipses almost any other forces number of dice in most games. What can 'umies do against an Ork commander with such oomph?  Nuffin'.

No two Psykers can cast da same power twice from wiffin da same unit so it matters what they roll as to whether you want several in one unit OR just one per smaller unit.  For this reason I would have at least one maxed out squad for Psykers whose powers don't overlap much or at all to travel in.

ALL the Psykers are going to get da Frazzle power if they go just from da Power of the Waaagh! psychic discipline.  The STR 6 AP 3 blast it creates is quite impressive and adds immensely to da pre-punching-yer-face festivities.  It has da added bonus of scattering rather than having to hit on BS 2.  One can see easily see why five such blasts going off in one round would frighten absolutely any 'umie.  Dis Primaris power times five is a scary proposition to anything wearing an approximation to power armor or less.  If you gave any other unit in da 40K universe dat many STR 6 AP 5 blasts and I then told you it was effectively a Splitfire weapon (since it can be fired at something other than what da unit will eventually fire weapons at) wouldn't you think highly of it?  Ork Psykers come standard with Frazzle, only in da Psyker phase instead of shooting, but big deal. Wanna' make sumthin ' of it?

On da other hand, there's 15-21 dice to use up and dat only took up 3-6 of them cubie things!

Da 'EadBanger Power is a little on da weak side, used mostly for powerful characters.  It can force enough toughness checks on a target that they simply can't make 'em all and kills 'em.  Da powerful part of dat is dat it is a Focused Witchfire so you can snipe important unit elements with dat power if you get two or more successes on da power!  Six Snipers hiding among the boyz units in Trukks takin' out all da 'eavy weapons in a unit before chargin'?  Sounds pimpin'.  It's not as effective against characters unless they is alone, because they just bounce it to someone who don't matter with Look Out Sir.  Then again, it might be worth da attempt.  You decide.  Feelin' lucky, 'umie?  Well is ya'?  Ultimately da power itself relies on failed toughness checks so it ain't really my favorite among da powers.

Da other shooting attack Power is da Kill Bolt.  That power gives an ork unit a legitimate weapon to use on Land Raiders and Gargantuans.  At STR 10, Ap 2 it don't get meaner.

Power Vomit is da same way.  A big old flamer template at STR 7 AP 2?  Damn.  The Necrons have to buy gear for dat and it only works one time!  Orks can do it along with Frazzle!  And dat's why the orks is always gonna' krump the Chromies.

Da' Krunch is a devastating AP 4 Barrage for wasting things a little further away and as an AP 4 Large Blast size with the ability to potentially fire it again and again?  Scary.  All the powers for da Ork Psykers are really surprisingly good, yet rarely mentioned.

Warpath is a truly ruthless power for Orks.  Adding +1 attacks to Orks is huge.  Orks under perform a little bit in close combat normally because of their armor and da fact that they is only really good on the charge.  So making sure that da charge counts and does damage is important. Warpath lets the unit gain an extra attack, so da (properly armed) Orks are puttin' out five attacks on da charge.  This matters a lot.  Consider if a Wierdboy with dat power gave it to Meganobz in Trukks.  They can now weather any storm on da way in from crazy Dark Angel Overwatch, or an IG blob dat gets da Foreboding power off, yet still bring a blizzard of attacks.  It takes away the downsides of doing Disorganized Charges, which might be da nicest element of it.  Get in a scrape with a Wraith Knight? You'll need all da extra chances you can get to krump it.

Da' Jump is just silly.  Deep Striking orks anywhere you need them?  Who needs Snikrot when you have Da' Jump?  You can port a 30 ork blob right to da enemy doorstep.  Or ten Meganobz.  Just sayin'.  Dat might be one of da best powers on any list because you can do it a little later and therefore secure a more favorable landin' zone.  It also serves your purposes to be able to Line break at will.  The combination you can do with it regarding Relentless artillery?  Pretty awesome.  The list of cool ways that power can help da' boyz, who typically struggle with the journey into da enemy but not after is significant.

So what you can do is take units of ardboyz because ardboyz are 'arder to kill, put dem in trukks so that they are more likely to survive when Trukks inevitably explode (and please don't be naive, they are goin' to explode).  You drop da Warpath power on dem so dat suddenly the 11 'ardboyz and their Psyker are a lot Morkier.  Its like being able to stick an additional 4 Orks in da trukk on da charge.  And dat's one more than three more Orks in a trukk!

Now wrap your brain around 'ardboys protected in a truck that gets 5 charge attacks at STR 6?  It can be done with da Sanctic power Hammerhand (+2 STR).  Not just that but in subsequent phases when orks revert to STR 3, they would instead be STR 5!  Dat is a REALLY big upgrade for your basic orks.  So it ain't no waste to maybe look at dat Sanctic table.

If your power rolls lean to da shooty (and they basically always will), well all da better as a melee oriented force like Orks needs da help in that regar.  Frazzle is free with Psychic Focus. So as long as you can pop transports with da other parts of the force and get to the teef inside, da Ork Psyker should have little problem whittling those units down to a size that Ardboyz can manage.

Da core of such a list looks something like this, split into two Ork Horde Detachments:

350pts  5 Wierd Boyz (level 2)
110pts  1 Warboss (Klaw+Lucky Stick)
725pts  5 units of 11 Ard Boyz (attendant Nob with Klaw)
175pts  5 Trukks (Reinforced Rams?)
215pts  1 unit 30 boyz (with Nob and Klaw)

Dat's about 1575 points, 17 Kill points, and quite a bit of hearty ork goodness to be combined with an Orky Warlord trait and da Ork Horde Detachment special rules if that's da way you're going.  Dis will also work as CAD's too, if da T.O. allows.  You can fill in the rest to taste but dat's da core.  STRONG candidates for additions include Meks with Killsaws, Lootas, Mek Guns and War buggies as well.  None of those would be poor choices as companions to such a list.

I hope dis reminder of da poor forgotten Wierdboyz will help you imagine more possibilities.  Feel free to mash on dat Google+1 button like a true ork if you liked the article, mate!  =)