So, once again, Forgeworld gives us a unit that helps to fill a big gap in a list. Meet Zhadsnark, Da Rippa. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
Who is this Ork Warboss? He’s the updated Biker Boss from the Dread Mob FW list. He’s an Ork Faction HQ, and is really, really good. Why is he so good? Here’s why.
On the surface he’s pretty run of the mill, really. He’s a standard Warboss on a bike, but, the devil’s in the details. First of all, he’s got a special Power Klaw that swings at initiative (not unwieldy) and he does have grenades (take that, Dark Eldar!). He also comes with Skilled Rider (which confers onto the unit), and twin linked Big Shootas on his bike. He can also turbo boost 24″ and tank shock, cool! Those are all nice, but not amazing. What really sets him apart, is that if he is the warlord, he makes Warbikers troops. If he joins a unit of Warbikers, he gives them Scouts.
Now, we’re talking! Due to the craptastic Mob Rule this edition, Boyz are pretty sucky. It hurts to say that as they should be the backbone of an Ork army, but as is, they are really unreliable. You have to support them with Characters to get much out of them these days. Warbikers though, are solid as they are affordable, MUCH more resilient with T5 and a 4+ (which goes a long way to mitigating Mob Rule), are very mobile and shoot well, too. They are a superior troops choice. With Zhadsnark, a unit of 15 with Scouts and a Painboy become quite a flexible unit that shoots very well, can assault effectively and is blisteringly fast. With Scouts, they can be in the enemy deployment zone turn 1 and they then jink for a 2+ cover save (Ork Bikes get a +1 to their Jink save save when they Turbo Boost). That causes huge pressure, especially when paired with other fast moving pressure units. A unit of 3 Warbikers to fill one of the mandatory troops slots is a great choice, not much more expensive than a unit of Grotz, but much better. A few of those are a good comparison to a unit like Eldar Jetbikes…but Orky! Another benefit here is being able to get multiple Klaws into a combat. Often, an enemy can just challenge and kill a Klaw to take it out of play which stinks for Orks as they are what do most of the killing in a fight. Min/maxing Biker units with a Nob with Klaw also gives you a way to put multiple Klaws into a combat to ensure your heavy hitting power gets to swing. It also makes them a big threat to vehicles for a reasonable price point.
On the downside, Zhadsnark prohibits you form taking the excellent Big Gunz and less excellent Ork walkers, so there is a trade off. I think it is well worth it, though, for the flexibility of potentially ObSec Warbikers (depending on the detachment you use). So, you need a solution for AA. I have been using a pair of Dakkjets and Lootas to fill that gap, and it has worked quite well so far.
Give him a look for a new way to play. He gives you a great utility character that also hit hard. His I4 St10 Klaw is extremely good, and in a pinch, can go into a Knight and punch it in the lug-nuts.
-Thanks to Goatboy for pointing out the updated dirty Warboss to me!