Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Da Boyz Weight-Loss Challenge and Assaults

A friend and I were discussing the possibility of our going to Da Boyz GT this year. There are several very good real-life reasons why this might not be feasible to our wives.  Somehow, I managed to strike a deal which will allow us to attend this awesome event in Canandaigua NY on the weekend of November 22nd.  We agreed to each lose 20lbs by the time of the tournament.  We will register early and get our hotel rooms, but all will be forfeit if we do not lose the weight.

It really shouldn't be all that hard.  My own weight is 286 lbs.  20 pounds is not a very hefty percentage of that weight.  All it should take is simple diet and exercise.  I plan on further cutting my carb intake while increasing my vegetables and proteins.  I will detail my progress here weekly. Wish me luck!

This week, Goatboy posted an article on Bell of Lost Souls in regards to making assault work for Orks in 6th edition.  Of course, as usual, he was lambasted in the comments section about his list.  If you can't follow the link, in essence, it was two squads of 9x Meganobz in battlewagons, two Mega-Armored Warbosses, two 30x Boyz squads with Rokkits, and 3 squads of Big Gunz with Kannons.  I'd like to go over the criticisms of this article succinctly.

The first criticism was that it was spammy.  I suppose it's considered unsporting or unrealistic to spam units like this.  I honestly don't know of a single real-life army that doesn't spam units.  This complaint falls completely flat for me.  The concept of it being unsporting is completely preposterous.  Mindshackle Scarabs are unsporting.  Psychobroke Grenades are unsporting.  Spamming Meganobz and Big Gunz is to be expected in this ancient codex.

The second major criticism is that this is not an assault-based list because not every unit is a dedicated assault unit. I think any other Ork player out there who's reading this will laugh at that.  First of all, 30 Boyz in any flavor, either shoota or choppa, are assaulty.  The only difference is, would you rather whittle down the enemy before engaging in assault or just bring all the attacks in the assault phase.  Even as deckchair units, Boyz will execute their final gambit with an assault either by accepting one or delivering one.  Two squads of Meganobz are assaulty as all hell.  That is a freight train the likes of which will strike terror in the hearts of the most jaded opponent.

Another criticism is that the Battlewagons will be destroyed too soon and the Meganobz will be slogging too much.  This is a reality with an Ork assault list right now.  There is literally nothing we can do about it.  This argument is best tied in with whether to even attempt assaulting at all.  For a lot of Ork players, myself included, we are tired as hell of bringing 3 squads of Lootaz and 3 Dakkajets.  It's boring.  It's annoying.  It's not Orky.  Battlewagons are really the only option, especially considering the time constraints of competitive play ruling out most people playing horde.  Besides, a canny Ork player can protect his battlewagons by using angles of approach in creative ways.  I'll do an article on this at a later date.

A minor argument made by the comments section of his article involves a rules argument.  In the 40k rulebook, it suggests that an artillery unit may not snap fire.  It does this in a round-a-bout way by saying something to the effect of, "Since artillery can't snap fire, it may not target flyers" or something like that. However, nowhere in the book does it limit the ability for Artillery to snap fire, at least as far as I can find.  I am about 80% convinced that, when they wrote it, the author of that section didn't think about Ork artillery which does have direct-fire capabilities.  If your T.O. does rule this out, I would suggest switching out the Big Gunz for a pair of Dakkajets.  I still think that they're a little more viable than Lootaz.  If your regional meta does not have a lot of Wave Serpents or Heldrakes, then go ahead and take the Lootaz.  Otherwise, you'd have to put them in Looted Wagons or Battlewagons to give them 1 more turn of shooting and that can get pricey.

But, the problem does remain; Orks are not good at assault and they should be.  The most fun part of the game for Ork players is hamstrung.  We can make it into assault.  The only problem is that we're so whittled down by then that we're making Leadership checks far too soon in the game.  Our Leadership and Initiative are far too poor for us to build a list that hinges on assault.  I think this is the kind of thing that Goatboy's list is trying to avoid.  Those Meganobz are likely going to make it into their first assault and win because it will be on their terms and the exploding Battlewagon and/or overwatch is going to do next to nothing to them.

Even Goatboy's cool list is going to have problems.  Meganobz are an expensive and dangerous unit.  They will attract a lot of attention.  I know first-hand what Monstrous Creatures do to them.  It's very sad to watch your unit of Meganobz get stuck in with a Dreadknight, have half of them disappear, then fail a Leadership check and get caught in sweeping advances.  This does hearken back to the mobility issues that were described earlier as you'd try to stay away from such units, but this is kind of a ridiculous notion because you have to deal with those monstrous creatures at some point or they will ROFLstomp through your back lines.

This is why the Orks need a codex sooner than Tyranids or Imperial Guard. Can the codex compete?  You're damn right.  No matter what the meta is or what new toys other armies get, Phil Kelly's Codex: Orks is capable of producing lists which can not only counter it, but also take all comers.  The problem is that in 6th Edition this involves just putting all the bullets on the field.

Although Orks do love their Dakka, I doubt very highly most of us are pleased with that.