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Orks Top Units

Like for Chaos Marines I thought I do the top units for Orks, after all like Chaos Space Marines they're branded as a low tier uncompetitive army by some. Lets see how many units are actually decent...

In no particular order we have:

1. Warboss

This cheap HQ at base level is only 60 points and is quite a bad ass in close combat. The Warboss is S5, T5 has 3 wounds and shockingly for Orks is I4! Throw in 4 attacks with leadership 9 and makes the Warboss pretty decent. Only suck part about the Warbosses profile is the ballistic skill, but no need to worry about that and also the armour save - which I'll move onto in a moment. Oh, and the Warboss makes a single unit of Nobz counts as troops too :D

As standard the Warboss isn't too bad but can be made a lot lot better. First sort out the crap armour save by giving a cybork body for a 5+ invulnerable save. I don't see the point in 'eavy armour because there's a great deal of AP4 out there, so use the invulnerable and if you're smart stick the Boss with a Nobz unit which has feel no pain so that will be 5+ invulnerable followed by 4+ feel no pain, nice ;) . Next throw on a power klaw, don't bother with the big choppa just go for the power klaw because this makes your Warboss S10! We can also deal with the crapola ballistic skill by throwing in a kombi skorcha for softening up units before assaulting, but the Warboss isn't about shooting so don't worry about it. With the Boss now with better armour and a better weapon we can tool him up some more, give him a bike if you want to go the biker route but something you should take is a attack squig. Yeah it's 15 points but gives the Warboss a extra attack so that will be 6 S10 attacks on the charge!

Tactics are simple with uno bosso - throw in close combat and mash stuff up with that power klaw. Just make sure the Warboss is with a unit to be protected but just remember majority toughness will make the Warboss back down to T4, though you cannot have everything. What you can do is as mentioned pop the Warboss with a unit of Nobz with a Painboy this will make a uber killy deathstar unit which should be hard to put down with feel no pain, especially if the Nobz all have different wargear ;)

2. Big Mek

The Big Mek has the profile of a Nob and allows a single Deff Dread to be taken as troops, groovy, and can repair vehicles too. A standard Nob is 20 points so I feel a extra 15 points to make a vehicle work and allow a single unit as troops (which cannot score anyway) is a bit of a rip off. But the Big Mek isn't all bad, certainly not. The Big Mek is a army utility.

Your Big Mek should be only used in one way I believe and that's with a kustom force field. The field gives infantry a 5+ cover and vehicles a 4+ cover so in any form of Ork army it will be useful. This makes the Big Mek a army utility rather than a hard hitting clobbering close combat unit like the Warboss. A lot of people do consider a shokk attack gun this can be fun but the shokk attack gun is too unpredictable and not the best weapon for a competitve player; it's random strength cannot be relied on. The first thing I'd do is give my Big Mek cybork body for the same reason as the Warboss so the gezzer is now more survivable, remember the Big Mek is a I.C so can be picked out in close combat and if the Mek dies then no force field! Any upgrades after that is your choice.

Tactics are simple with this fella. When using a KFF make sure the Big Mek is either in a vehicle, only get the Big Mek out the vehicle if the worst comes to the worst. If the Big Mek is on foot make sure he's in a large unit to protect him and keep him out of base combat so he cannot be engaged. If taking a shokk attack gun pop him with Lootas with a bosspole, this will stop the Lootas running off but also add to there fire power.

The downside to the Big Mek is it can be killed easily so close combat make sure you get into base to base and smack the Big Mek with a S8 weapon, bye-bye. The Big Mek also isn't the best fighter for a HQ so if the Mek does get bogged down in combat make sure it has support, a power klaw would be handy btw.

3. Nobz

What's there not to like about Nobz? These guys act as the Orks Space Marine Terminators, yes that sounds weird because they have no armour like Terminators etc but just here me out.

Nobz are ace in close combat but firstly upgrade one of them to a Painboy and give all cybork bodies; you now have feel no pain and a invulnerable save. Then give them all unique wargear so you can play with the wound allocation. Big choppas can be fun for some strong attacks wading it at I4 and power klaws are ace for S9. Take a bosspole on them so they don't run away and a waaagh! banner is mandatory as this gives the Nobz +1 weapon skill, so that Warboss with the mob becomes WS6 as it's the mob which benefits from it, which the Warboss is part of ;)

As mentioned give your Nobz unique wargear so each Nob has to be wounded once before removing it as a wounded model. Transport always put them in a Battlewagon, yes it costs more points but Nobz can soon tot  up the points and you do not want your expensive elite unit getting blown to pieces while in a weak Trukk. If you do not want a Battlewagon consider bikes for them. Bikes make Nobz expensive but they can get into the fight quicker and also this gives them a 4+ cover save too from the Warbikers special rule ;)

Nobz have only one weakness, really, S8 weapons will smash them dishing out instant death and then wound allocation will not work - bye bye Nobz! :( . The best tactic against Nobz is gun them down and then follow up with a assault from a elite tough unit, if Nobz get the charge they can smash Terminators too due to the amount of attacks they can land.

4. Lootas

Not a lot to say about Lootas except they have a massive range S7 gun which fires D3 shots per unit, yes D3 shots. This makes the Lootas excellent for anti infantry and light armour as weight of fire power is there thing.

I always say take Lootas in large units; some say units of 5 or 15. Reason I do not agree with units of 5 is because Lootas work on volume of fire power. The most shots you'll have in a unit of 5 is 15, not a lot and you're BS2. If you have 15 Lootas or even 10 you've got 30-45 shots which is a lot lot better. People say the reason for taking 5 Lootas is because or morale, well kill 2 Lootas and they're facing morale and ok if they run you haven't lost a lot but also do not expect 5 Lootas do do a lot. If you take 10 Lootas you need to kill 4 before they face morale. Really the best number is 12 because they're fearless and need to lose 5 before they take morale tests which is a large portion of the unit - in case you're wondering how I got that Orks are fearless if over 11 so kill 2 and they're no longer fearless but 25% of 10 is 2.75 or something so round it up, and then if you do fail morale you can regroup because you're not under half strength.

Lootas weakness is they're at the back of the board so outflanking units can get them. Don't worry about deep strikers because you can turn on them and gun them down and any smart player would put the Lootas in cover so you'll get a cover save if they do get shot at. Also if because they're LD7 they can be prone to running off and without a bosspole they do not get re-rolls.

5. Deffkopter

The Deffkopter is a funky little unit which can be really annoying. These guys are probably best used as alpha strike units, suicide units and tank busting. The Deffkopters profile makes all those roles pefectly dobable. Firstly it has scout rule so if you get first turn zoom ahead and then take your turn, or consider outflanking them and tackling some rear tank armour. Bonus is as well because they're jetbikes that means they turbo boost 24" and get a 3+ cover save which is highly annoying and they do not take terrain tests, only dangerous ones if you land in terrain so make sure you don't! Something I do think is weird is that the Deffkopters get the mob rule, which makes Orks in a unit of 11+ fearless just except Deffkopters are in units 1-5 so how does that work?

Simple tactics for these like all Orks. Kit them out with twin-linked rokkits and buzzsaw and turbo boost them or outflank them to the toughest target and alpha strike it. Treat them as a throw away unit, although they're expensive and you'll be fine. Also use them to tie up units too like that long range Space Marine Devastator squad. Also take them in singles so you do not have to take morale tests and you have three flying targets to annoy people with and three chances to take out three seperate enemy units.

Bad news about these guys is they're expensive with the load out I mentioned. They like all Orks suffer on leadership and without a bosspole they can fall back swiftly.

6. Battlewagon

The Battlewagon is a awesome bit of kit which is highly flexable. It packs armour 14 at the front with armour 12 at the side which isn't shabby. It can be used in various roles from basic transport to a gun tank to ramming other vehicles.

Wagons come "naked" so it's a must you throw on a big shoota to asborb the weapon destroyed results or other wise without it a weapon destroyed will make it immobilised. If you're using it as a transport do not put any more guns on it or else you can only move 6" which goes against transporting that squad into the fight a.s.a.p. Consider red paint job for that extra 1" though to me it's just 1". A reinforced ram can be useful for those terrain tests and a boarding plank is essential as this allows you to assault vehicles with a single Ork model without getting out putting yourself a risk.

Orks lack serious anti tank though now Games Workshop have finally decided to say deffrollas work on vehicles (like it's obivous they did anyway) you can smash vehicles pretty easily as the deffrolla is S10 and gives D6 hits - don't bother for infantry as it allows armour saves.

The Battlewagon like all Ork vehicles is open topped (unless you put an ard case on it) which makes it vulnerable to anti tank weapons as this gives a +1 on the vehicle damage table, it's even worse against melta! While armour 14 holds out well against the front the Wagon can be easily flanked and be vulnerable at the weaker armour 12 side, or even armour 10 rear. Like other Ork vehicles you shouldn't invest a whole amount of points in them because with a whole bunch of melta on the board they go pop rapidly. Just take the essentials and you'll be fine.

7. Killa Kanz

The small cousin of the Deff Dread and now gets a wicked new model design! The Kanz are cheap and highly flexible and they're not too bad at shooting either. They can do anti infantry or anti tank fairly well and act brilliantly as a defense unit.

If you want anti infantry take grotzookas, big shoota or skorcha. You want anti tank consider rokkits or kustom mega blaster, though the mega blaster is good for killing 2+ armour save as it's AP2 ;). They're also not bad at assault having 2 attacks standard and a single DCCW.  Always take them in a unit of 3 because a single one won't last long and don't bother with any of the grot riggers or armour plates because these are useless for vehicles in squadrons ;) . What the best use of these is using them to shield Boyz marching up the field joined with a Big Mek. The Meks KFF gives the Kanz a 4+ save which in turn give the Boyz a 4+ save.

The Kanz weakness is there armour and in squads. You take a single and it won't last 5 minutes and you take them in squads and a immobilised result because wrecked. Keep them alive with a Big Meks KFF.

Notable Mentions

Ork Boyz

One of the two troops choices in the Ork codex. They're pretty cheap but crap are shooting and considering they're meant to be good in combat (Orks that is) they're only S3 and I2 standard which doesn't make them hard hitting or particularly quick. A elite close combat unit will wipe them out and with only one unit being able to take the expensive eavy armour you'll find the normal 6+ armour save Boyz don't last long. If you do take Boyz you need at least 20 of them in a mob for numbers, forget 12 in a Trukk because they just do not last.


Funky little mights which come in handy for claiming objectives and forming protective walls around vulnerable units i.e Lootas. However that last tactic isn't brilliant as Gretchin have no armour save and are T2 so you just look at them the wrong way and they'll die, a smart player will kill them before firing at the unit behind which will stop the unit behind getting a cover save. The only chance these guys have of surviving is cover.


A Ork Boy with a flamer thrower which costs 15 points, hmmm, slightly expensive. Ok it's a power weapon too but you can only use the flamer or the power weapon in one turn, not both. Best thing for these is throw them in a Battlewagon in large numbers and lay down multiple templates - if you hit a unit of say 5 Terminators with 15 Burna templates that's 75 to wound rolls you need to dish out, groovy. But the thing is these take a elite slot which the Nobz and Lootas can hold a lot lot better.

Unfortunately I cannot build a Ork list containing all the best units because none of the Orks troops are in the top units :(  - which is a shame. If I did it would be something like this:

Orks "Goodie Build" - unlimited points


Warboss - power klaw, kombi skorcha, cybork body & attack squig

Big Mek - power klaw, kombi skorcha, cybork body & KFF


15 x Lootas

15 x Lootas

6 x Nobz + Painboy w/ Battlewagon - 2 x power klaws, 2 x big choppas, 1 x waaagh! banner, 1 x boss pole, 1 x ammo runt w/ cybork bodies - Battlewagon w/ big shoota, boarding plank & deffrolla


6 x Nobz + Painboy w/ Battlewagon - 2 x power klaws, 2 x big choppas, 1 x waaagh! banner, 1 x boss pole, 1 x ammo runt all w/ cybork bodies - Battlewagon w/ big shoota, boarding plank & deffrolla

20 x Boyz - Nob w/ power klaw & bosspole

20 x Boyz - Nob w/ power klaw & bosspole

20 x Boyz - Nob w/ power klaw & bosspole

Fast Attack

1 x Deffkopter - twin-linked rokkits & buzzsaw

1 x Deffkopter - twin-linked rokkits & buzzsaw

1 x Deffkopter - twin-linked rokkits & buzzsaw

Heavy Support
Battlewagon - big shoota, boarding plank & deffrolla
Battlewagon - big shoota, boarding plank & deffrolla

Battlewagon - big shoota, boarding plank & deffrolla