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?
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;
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.
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.
The Gorkanaut has rampage. That’s good.
…If it sounds like i’m stretching, it’s because I am. So now we move onto:
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.
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.
Imagine being good at your job, but you have to commute via a Razor Scooter. That kind of sums the Gork/Morkanaut movement.
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.
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.
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?
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!