Morkanaut/Gorkanaut: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Unit Review

Imagine it: a hulking, clanking, lumbering, dakka Spewing, face krumping killing machine.  Built by Meks in the vision of their god, towering over most everything else in the battlefield.  But, like most Orky contraptions, their bark is worse than their bite. Big and scary looking, but with rules that just don’t match.

A guest article from Brian Dickerson

What if I told you that a Morkanaut with a Kustom Force Field only cost 15 points less than a Wraithknight?

Or what if I told you it had 7 weapons attached to it? [more than a Stormsurge if you don’t count individual missiles]

What if i told you that’s not even close to why this is one of the worst units in the Ork codex?

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Well, I’m going to go into excruciating detail of everything right and wrong with this misfire of a big release. All in just 3 easy steps: Good, Bad, and Ugly.

First, a brief history lesson:

The year, is 2014. Games Workshop has been adding large, focal point models to armies. At one point in time, this could have been considered the DredKnight. But, like most arms races, other armies had to have bigger and badder models. So we saw models like the Riptide, the Imperial Knight, and the Wraithknight debut. A big, durable, powerful model that you invested a huge chunk of points into.  Then the spring of 2014 came around and, at long last, Orks were getting their 4th edition book updated, along with several new models. And Keeping with the arms race tradition set before, they’d be getting a big bad, the Gorkanuat and it’s brother the Morkanuat.

All seemed well till the rules were revealed, leaving many to scratch their heads. So, getting to it;

The Good

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Armor

It is kind of easy to dismiss or even overlook this fact, but the Gork/Morkanaut are actually pretty beefy. At least in a vacuum or a world without Grav. But being AV value 13/13/12 is technically great. And having 5 hull points is higher than almost any non Super-Heavy vehicle out there. It even means that it takes 3 grav shots to kill, and not 2.

KFF footprint

While pricey in points, a Morkanuat with a Kustom Force Field can actually cover a sizeable area with it’s aura. One Big Mek on his infantry base can’t cover that much space. With the Morkanuat base, you get a little more bang for the buck.

Rampage

The Gorkanaut has rampage. That’s good.

…If it sounds like i’m stretching, it’s because I am. So now we move onto:

The Bad

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Nothing Special

One of the biggest problems with these models is that, when you boil down to it, they are just big bloated Deff Dreds, and nothing else. With the single exception of Rampage on the Gorkanaut, these beer-kegs with legs have no Universal Special Rules. Nothing. That, worse then a lot on here, is just boring design.

The Transport capacity is useless

This nearly made the Ugly cut. The fat bellies of these beasts can transport an incredible 6 models across the field with no firing ports and not being an assault vehicle.

Arsenal

I carry a D8 specifically so i can fairly roll weapon destroyed results on the Gork/Morkanaut. And for all those weapons, if I fire them, I expect to inflict only a couple of wounds.

The Ugly

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Slow

Imagine being good at your job, but you have to commute via a Razor Scooter. That kind of sums the Gork/Morkanaut movement.

Explodes

There is just no getting around it. No one wants to invest so many points in something that can die in 1 hit from anything ap 2 or 1.

Points cost

Speaking of points.

From the best I can surmise [which is is in no way perfect] GW said that the base of the model is 150 points for the walker, then said the weapons systems are 80 points[30 points for the klaw, 30 for the “big” gun, and 20 for the rest] bringing it to 230. The Gorkanaut has Rampage so, it is 15 points more at 245. And if you ever do bring a Morkanuat, you take the KFF really bringing it 280.

Making them more expensive than nearly every other unit that is supposed to fill the focal point roll.

The Verdict

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No matter which way you come at it, GW just missed the mark on these models. Yes, they have good armor, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that they are incredibly vanila in how they are played with no extra rules to make them cool. Their firepower is so lackluster it’s actually better to just run them. But you pay so many points for that firepower that it make the whole thing not worth it.

How to fix it?

It’s been put out there that the easiest solution to ‘fix’ the Gork/Morkanaut is to make them Super-Heavy Walkers. This does solve almost every problem, but look at those legs:

He clearly skipped leg day, why should he be able to Stomp?

It’d also make it the cheapest SHW in the game.

Maybe there is a fluffier way to fix this.  Perhaps something that takes advantage of the transport capacity and Meks? Or maybe better movement in a certain formation? Maybe a ramshackle rule that allows it to ignore it’s first explode result?  

There are so many things that could have been done to make this an interesting unit. Instead, he’ll be stuck at home wondering why his Mek friends don’t call him.

So what do you think?  Have you had success using a Morkanaut? How about a Gorkanaut?  

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!

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About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

26 Responses to “Morkanaut/Gorkanaut: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Unit Review”

  1. Blight1 July 13, 2016 8:33 am #

    To be fair to the big guy his transport capacity can be useful if you put a min unit of lootas in there with max mek boys. Gets him a fair bit more survivability, though at that point you are spending even more on a massively overpriced unit.
    At least the morkanaught has some ap2 which is sorely lacking in the army but mek guns do the same for a lot less.

  2. greggles July 13, 2016 8:39 am #

    I’d take giving them invincible behemoth for a start. I’d also double the # of shots on the gork, or make it’s main gun twin linked so it actually did something. They should also be assault vehicles, and have a capacity of 10. (maybe prevent them from carrying bulky models)

    I find the mork completely useless due to the insane cost of the KFF and the fact having get hots weapons that miss constantly (gotta have volume with orks) to be aggravating.

    I run two every game, as it’s required for the dread mob. I’d rather have av13 deff dreads that move 12.

  3. Maeglin July 13, 2016 12:03 pm #

    I know it’s not as good a kit but the cheapness of the Stompa model £/$/€ wise does it no favours either.

  4. VonCrown July 13, 2016 12:22 pm #

    You could make them superheavies and add the rule that the Khorne superheavy has, where it can’t stomp but can thunderblitz instead if the legs stomping really bothers you that much. But yeah, something so expensive having all the weaknesses of regular Walker’s is a big problem.

    • tag8833 July 13, 2016 12:56 pm #

      If they were SuperHeavies that couldn’t Stomp (Like the Wraithknight, Stormsurge, and Taunar should be) then it would all work out fine. The biggest problem with them is moving 6″ per turn, and the vehicle damage table.

      One a side note, the Codex Stompa should get a bonus to Stomp to make it more worth its points. Say D6 Stomps instead of D3, or +2 on the chart or something.

      • westrider July 13, 2016 2:10 pm #

        I really think there should be some in-between category for LoW. Some of them really aren’t justifying all the benefits, and there are a lot of MCs and Vehicles that could really use some of the buffs, but don’t deserve all of them. Actually, looking through the SH/GC Rules, it really does come down to Stomp/ThunderBlitz. Take that away from being a universal Rule for the categories, and just give it to the ones where it’s actually suitable, and then make a bunch of the Nids and the Greater Daemons and C’tan Shards and stuff into Gargantuans, and stuff like the Spartan and Gorka/MorkaNaut into Super-Heavies.

        • AbusePuppy July 14, 2016 4:53 am #

          Stomp is insanely good. The real answer is to being stomp down in power (S6 AP 2 no saves of any kind for the top result) would do a lot more to help. or just change the mechanic entirely.

          • Vercingatorix July 14, 2016 12:34 pm
            #

            Even D hits would be fine. As in on a 6, each model suffers a D hit. Then you at least get an invul most of the time.

          • westrider July 14, 2016 3:13 pm
            #

            The automatic Pen on 2-5 against Vehicles is pretty brutal, too. One more reason CC Walkers that aren’t SH get boned.

          • punchymango July 15, 2016 1:56 pm
            #

            I could get behind that.

            As I’ve said before, “lol 6 ur dead” is shitty design.

          • punchymango July 15, 2016 2:00 pm
            #

            Although you’d also have to tone down untouchable psychic deathstars, as right now “lol 6 ur dead” is pretty much the only way you can hurt one if it got its full combo off.

  5. Chris July 13, 2016 1:06 pm #

    Personally while I agree they are not all that good the gorkanaut normally performs pretty well for me. The krushin krew is a ton of fun to use and since before I started running dread mob frequently nobody here brought many vehicles they were super effective for a while. Now they still do fairly well surprisingly. With the mob sometimes the KFF goes nuts and saves everything. Also the gorkanauts are the best shooting unit I’ve ever used…. I’ve killed squads of space Marines and such just with overwatch. Then again the gorkanauts have been excessively lucky for the most part. Both tend to either explode instantly or last all game though.

    • greggles July 18, 2016 7:34 am #

      I have lost so many gorks on a turn 1 single shot…it’s depressing. First tournament game. Necron heavy destroyer. Fires one shot. Hits. Pens. I had a 3+ cover, failed. Rolls a 6.

      Le Sigh

  6. Lord Krungharr July 13, 2016 5:38 pm #

    If I were to play Orks this would be the one model I’d really really love to use because it looks so krumpin cool! But for what , like 70 points more I can get that special Mek guy with a special stompa? Can argue with those numbers. My best friend got real disappointed by the Gorkanaut too. Damn shame.

  7. doktor_g July 14, 2016 7:14 am #

    I agree with everything you wrote. I would tend to have placed more emphasis on the transport thing.

    I have playtested the “Dorkanauts” extensively including:
    – Formation of 3 Dorkanauts
    – Formation of 3 Dorkanauts, 2 from Heavy support.
    – DreadMob Formation in multiple iterations.
    – Formation of 3 Dorkanauts with Bully boyz

    These have all been dismal dismal DISMAL failures with tabling on almost every occasion.

    There are multiple options in my opinion.

    Keep same point cost and make rules alterations.
    Keep same rules and lower point cost.

    I prefer the former. Here’s an idea:

    -Gorkanaut goes to Superheavy Walker.
    – – Klaw goes to Str D.
    -Morkanaut goes to Superheavy Walker.
    – – Transport capacity goes to 10.
    – – No firepoints (fine)
    – – Gains “Assault Vehicle” (USR).

    – MAYBE change them to a LoW.

    While we’re at wishlisting.
    – Return Mob Rule to previous rules
    – Move KillaKans to Elite
    – Lower Kan’s cost back to what it was or give them the DCCW back.
    – Give us back the Green Tide (what the hell?)

  8. Reecius
    Reecius July 14, 2016 7:36 am #

    Totally agree that the solution is to make him a SHW. That takes it form Zero to Hero.

    • tag8833 July 14, 2016 8:22 am #

      You know we could vote on that right?

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 14, 2016 9:55 am #

        Yeah, that is not a bad idea at all, Tag. I think most folks would agree it would be a fun addition to the game.

        • Vercingatorix July 14, 2016 12:38 pm #

          I feel like there is an inherit weakness to the “vote for what people ask for” system when it comes to positive changes like this. I mean positive as in “picking a unit and changing it to be better”. It would be pretty unusual for a bunch of people to all independently ask for a change out of the blue, and even less likely for it to be a change the same way.

          I really liked the dreadnought question even if it didn’t pass. I think that on each vote y’all should include a change or two like that.

        • Chris July 14, 2016 6:49 pm #

          Just wait till after the beef and wing brawl because I need the three gorkanauts for day one without Lords of war.

        • Dakkath July 14, 2016 9:44 pm #

          I’m more of a mind to give them assault vehicle and the same rule that lets maulerfiends move 12″ a turn.

        • greggles July 18, 2016 7:36 am #

          I wonder what greggles will vote? 🙂

          • Chris July 18, 2016 10:19 am
            #

            Yes interesting that would be.

  9. punchymango July 15, 2016 1:58 pm #

    Honestly, I still kinda hope 8e gets rid of the regular vehicle damage table entirely. Just make everything work like superheavies; pens have a chance to cause extra HP, but otherwise everything just takes HP and dies at 0.

    At the moment, nothing else in the game really works the way vehicles do, where non-lethal damage still debilitates or hinders it. Everything in 40k fights at 100% effectiveness until it dies. Except vehicles. And we wonder why they’re rarely taken.

    • Dakkath July 15, 2016 9:35 pm #

      How about a hybrid with the 5th ed vehicle damage rules so glances roll on the table but don’t remove hull points and gain no bonus for AP and pens roll on the table with applicable bonuses and remove a hull point.

      Though, that would be a major nerf to necrons.

      • westrider July 16, 2016 10:22 am #

        It would also take Wave Serpents back to “nigh unkillable”.

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