Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Orks in 6th : Battlewagons

I want to start talking about the Orks since (at least for me) they seem easier to comprehend how they function in 6th edition. I also want to start from specifics before I move on to any general conclusions.

So, the mighty Battlewagons. They've been a staple for my army for a while now and I've been relying on them to deliver my Boyz in to the enemy lines. They gave me mobility (almost a guaranteed second turn charge) and they were very durable if you tagged along a Mek with a Kustom Force Field for the ride. So how has this changed with 6th edition?

First of all , like all other vehicles out there, Battlewagons are so much easier to destroy now. Sure, they have 4 Hull points but that's not much if you think about it. With the increased mobility (Flyers, FMC) this edition brings, it's very easy to get some side/rear armour shots on the Battlewagons even from the first turn and that munches the hull points away very fast. Take in to account that KFF only gives a 5+ cover save (and generally most of the saves you'll be getting are going to be 5+), so you can't rely on them for their survival.

Also, Battlewagons are going to explode much easier these days . With +2 on the damage roll table for AP1 weapons, +1 for AP2 weapons, still having +1 for being open topped and how much easier they are going to get hit in close combat (with AP2 close combat weapons too) you can see that they won't stay around for long. To add insult to injury, now the hits the passengers of an open topped vehicle that explodes are Strength 4. You could potentially lose half your squad from an explosion. Not good at all!

Let's look at the logistics of charge range. Our test subject is charging on the second turn with a Waaagh!(assuming your opponent didn't come near you).

5th Edition: 13''+13''+3''+D6''+6 = 36'' - 41''

6th Edition : 19'' + 7'' + 6'' + 2D6'' = 34 - 44''

Pretty much the same eh? With a bit of luck it's even better.

Well, the main problem is that if you want to keep up with 5th edition range you have to move 19'' inches in the first turn. That pushes you way too forward, way too early. Now the Battlewagon is going to be in a dire position. In range of everyone's meltaguns and offering loads of shots on it's side (even rear) armour. Maybe half of the Boyz die in the ensuing explosion and now they are stuck in a crater with 5+ cover save. Are they going to survive the opponents shooting? Probably not. Also if you consider the lethality of 6th edition (more shooting, less cover saves) I think that just 20 Boyz just won't cut it.

I think Battlewagons took a hit in this edition. Easier to kill, more dangerous for their passengers and not that useful overall. I am very used playing them and I love the models but I think I will have to let them go for the time being. 

Stay tuned for more of my thoughts concerning the orks very soon!


  1. Only 1/4 of the vehicle needs to be behind cover to claim a cover save now though.

    Plus, if you are using the "players alternate placing scenery" method of setting up terrain you have the opportunity to place building ruins mid table. This gives you a staging area to position you're wagons behind from which you can jaunt out and assault the next turn.

    No need to worry about flyers strafing your vulnerable side armor since they must reserve and cannot enter until turn 2 at the earliest.

    If anything I think 6th will be better for the Wagon Rush since you really don't need to spend points on a Mekboy w/KFF now.

    It gives you the slot for a second Warboss and another unit of Nobz/Meganobz as Troops. Or you could actually field Mad Doc Grotsnik for a change and give those Meganobz FNP and a 5++ save.

    My boyz iz gonna luv 6ixfth!

  2. I've been sitting too comfortable and fat behind my 4+ cover saves, 5+ seems like a huge downgrade! My biggest problem with BW yet is: move 19'' first turn, get meltagunned to death, half of the Boyz die in the explosion, rest sit in a 5+ cover crater ready to die from shooting.

    Boyz are gonna rule of course but in scores of 30 running and screaming across the battlefield!

  3. I see the humble truck making its way back. Even in fifth, I'd try to have at least two trukks per Battlewagon flanking it. This gives cover to side armour of the Battlewagon, granting a little more survivability to it. It also means I have three units instead of one potentially charging from one point. This reduces the willingness of Melta squads wanting to stand withing 6" of the Wagon, as they're getting Ork'd up side the head the next turn, regardless of how many explode. I ditched KFF's time ago for this method which a) reduces points on the number of Battlewagons required, b) free's up heavy support slots for Dreads and Kans and c) is way more Orky than cheesy cover saves, plus you get more Green for your buck!


    1. The Trukks will have the same problem as BW. If they explode half the boyz will die. Having said that though, Trukks with Meganobz (and a Megaboss) inside is not such a bad idea since they won't suffer from the explosion. Two or three trukks won't cut it though, you'd need to oversaturate if they are going to be effective. That leaves less slots for Lootas + less points for allies. 5 trukks with meganobz though....mmmmm....

  4. Remember with a Waaagh! and the fleet gained from it you can reroll one or more dice for the charge distance. This increases the average roll of 7 to 9.

    This means that 6th lets you get quite a bit further than 5th.

    1. Well, if you take Waaagh! into the equation then the maximum charge distance out of a BW in 5th was 28'' (as opposed to 24'' in 6th). But that's not the issue. The problem is that if you want to keep up with 5th charge distance, you'll have to move 19'' in the first turn. That will make you very vulnerable to melta and side (even rear) armour shots and then you'll be surrounded by the enemy army.