Deffkopta, the Musical – Act 2: Increasing the Tempo

Guest author Justin Del Valle is back with a followup to his first Deffkopta list article.  This time he talks about how to efficiently play a large model count army.

The Necrons had the first turn.  They were being very aggressive and moved deep into no-man’s land, intent on securing the Relic. Three Ghost Arks skimmed towards the center of the board disgorging their warriors. The vast Ork Horde was waiting to charge in and wreak havoc on the robots.  It was round two of a local ITC tournament, and I was keen to work on my Deffkopta list that I wrote about last time.  I knew that I was on the verge of something great. I had narrowly lost the first round versus a Demon summoning list in the Kill Point mission, so I was feeling confident that I could steal a victory from the Necrons, since Kill Points was the worst scenario for my unit heavy list.  The Great-Waaagh! Band let’s you Waaagh! every turn so when I saw the Necrons so close I knew that I could charge them my first turn and cause some serious damage.

Little did I know that the Necrons were not my true enemy that round.


The rounds were two and a half hours long, which is pretty standard for an 1850 point game. After we deployed, rolled Warlord traits, psychic powers, agreed on terrain, shot the breeze, and the Necrons took their first turn we had two hours left to finish the game.  His Ghost Arks were in range of a far charge from most of my Trukk squads and like a starving mouse, I took the bait.   I unloaded four of my seven Trukks, placing 48 Boyz on the table. I moved my other units to be able to assist where needed in the following turn.  I shot my Kannons with minimal effect.  I then ran my Boyz forward, getting decent rolls.  I then began declaring charge moves: Charge here. Overwatch. Charge here. Overwatch. Charge here again. Charge here. Overwatch.  Combat time.  I rolled buckets of dice. Removed casualties. Finished combat. My turn is over. 1 HOUR LEFT.


My turn took just about an hour to complete.  My first turn.  Even with my Koptas and Warbuggies sitting in reserves, I took this long.  I was not slow playing.  I did not need to reference a rule book.  I was shocked at how much time had passed. I felt bad for my opponent who was basically just sitting around and rolling a save here and there. I lost faith in my list and my ability to play it.  I lost this one badly and we only made it to the bottom of turn two.  My first game we ended on the bottom of turn 3, but he was using a ton of psychic powers and summoning a ton.  I assumed that it was his fault, but now I see that it was probably mine.  After I despaired and contemplated dropping the list, I realized that in order to truly do the list justice, I needed to up my play efficiency.  I need to figure out how to speed up my play.  Seeking advice from players much better than myself and blindly asking around on the Internet, I have found a few tricks to speed up my play. A lot of these seem like no-brainers, but these are things that can easily be overlooked during the course of a game.  In no particular order:

Have what you need on hand.  I have a bad habit of leaving my tape measure on the other side of the table.  It doesn’t matter which side. I always have to go get it from where I last used it.  The solution to this is to make it a habit that I put the tape measure in my pocket after use.  The same thing happens with templates and blast markers.  I need to always know where they are and have them on the correct part of the table.

Quit fiddling with blast markers.  I see this from many other players as well.  We place our blast over the unit, hold it there, roll dice and then try to maneuver the marker under the tape measure.  Inefficient!  Pick out the center, roll, measure from the center and then place the marker to see. Eliminate unnecessary dexterity checks!  In the same vein, roll multiple blasts at once, use a different color for the first in a barrage, then measure from there.

Know your army.  You need to know everything that your army can do.  This will eliminate the need to reference the rules in the middle of the game. You may not know the enemy, but to speed yourself up you need to know your own army’s rules.


Plan ahead.  Don’t wait for your turn to decide what to do.  Have a plan in place and adjust according to what happens on the board.  If you wait to plan your attack until your turn it will take you longer to finish.

Unpack for the game.  I have a bad habit of packing away my models as they die to save time at the end of the game.  If I play faster, then it won’t matter, the games will finish.  With everything packed away, it takes me longer to get models onto the table (i.e. Trukk Boyz).
Have everything as organized as possible for easy access.  Sometimes this is hard, especially at tournaments where space is limited.  Organization of your models is key.

Reserve rolls at the same time.  This is huge for the Deffkopta list.  So many duplicate entries in the reserve spot means that instead of one unit at a time, you can roll them all together. You can do the same thing for outflanking rolls.  Just roll all of the duplicate units together.

Roll saves together.  Unless you are dealing with Look Out Sir, you can shave a lot of time by rolling saves all at once. The BRB has an entire fast dice entry on page 37 that correctly illustrates how this works.

Run during your movement phase.  Ask your opponent if it is okay to run during your movement phase if you have models that you know won’t or can’t shoot.  The same goes for moving flat out or turbo boosting.

(Picture 3)

Tournament play by necessity needs to be quick in order to grind out three or more games in a single day.  These tips will allow us as players to speed up our games allowing for more interactivity and a greater game play experience.  With what I have learned, I will continue to work on the Deffkopta list until I exhaust every avenue.  Follow along on my blog.  What tips and trick do you use to speed up play during a tournament?


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.

16 Responses to “Deffkopta, the Musical – Act 2: Increasing the Tempo”

  1. Heldericht August 23, 2016 7:02 pm #

    I don’t know how I missed your first article about the list, but both the entries were very entertaining to read. Would love to see more!

    • TheMadMek August 23, 2016 8:58 pm #

      Thanks a bunch. The list is definitely evolving as I try to become a better player. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

  2. Vercingatorix August 23, 2016 9:05 pm #

    Yeah, I definitely had to learn how to play faster when playing as green tide. The part that bothered me was actually how much blame I got for having a bunch of models. I actually kept a clock out at one tournament to show I was using up less than half the time. I found that the biggest thing that added up time was close combat just sucks up time. It’s an absolute beat rolling all the dice necessary for orks. There’s really no good way to get around except to just roll dice crazy fast and hope your opponent doesn’t take offense.

    • abusepuppy August 24, 2016 2:06 am #

      Yeah, close combat is one of the big culprits for timesinks- I find that games that end on turn 4 or earlier are almost always because big, involved combats started happening on turn 1 or turn 2 and bogged the game down. Having to pile in, allocate wounds, roll dice, etc, for lots of different models can be a real grind.

      • Vercingatorix August 24, 2016 9:41 am #

        Especially against units that rely on one tough model to take all the wounds. Ugh, I don’t miss that.

  3. fluger August 23, 2016 9:55 pm #

    I ran a list with 161 Orks at TSHFT in January. I didn’t get a single game done in time. And, usually, had the games gone on, I would’ve done better. 🙁

    Have what you need on hand. I’m pretty good about this.

    Quit fiddling with blast markers. I only have 4 barrage templates, and I’m pretty quick.

    Know your army. I do.

    Plan ahead. I do.

    Unpack for the game. I have 3 bins for my Ork boyz. As they die I just throw them in there. Not even trying to keep them protected.

    Reserve rolls at the same time. I don’t have a lot of reserves, but any duplicates I already do this.

    Roll saves together. Who doesn’t do this?

    Run during your movement phase. I always ask. It saves a ton of time.

    Anyway, I’m already doing all this and it still takes forever. Wat do?

    • abusepuppy August 24, 2016 2:05 am #

      *shrug* Practice, practice, practice. 7E is a slower edition of the game, certainly, but I think it’s quite possible to make games finish on time even with a large army. No offense or anything, but we both know you don’t really get that many games of 40K in these days and that makes a HUGE difference. A big part of the savings comes from simply not having to pause and think about what you need to do in a given situation but rather instinctively being aware of the most useful course of action; the 30 seconds or two minutes doesn’t seem like a big change, but it does add up.

      Similarly, knowing what all of your opponent’s special rules and abilities are without needing anything explained can easily shave ten minutes off the beginning of a game (and possibly even more than that.) The individual savings aren’t big, but five minutes here, ten minutes there, five minutes another place starts becoming relevant very quickly.

      • TheMadMek August 24, 2016 5:30 am #

        Exactly. The small bits of time just add up quickly. Nickel and dime-ing away your 2.5 hours. It really is a challenge to run a high model count, close combat based army in a tournament setting.

      • fluger August 24, 2016 8:56 am #

        Fair enough.

        I still think reducing my model count and including a Stompa would make things faster! 😀

        • TheMadMek August 24, 2016 9:23 am #


        • Vercingatorix August 24, 2016 9:42 am #

          lol, yup.

        • abusepuppy August 24, 2016 1:21 pm #

          For better or worse, it certainly would. 😛

  4. tag8833 August 24, 2016 7:53 am #

    The best thing you can do is practice, but I have some targeted advice from one Trukk-boy army to another.

    1) Get Containers for your transports. It’s not pretty but it is effective. For each Trukk or battlewagon in my army I have a glad-ware disposable container that has the contents of that transport. When I disembark, I dump the container on the table, and then stand up the models. Sometimes I ask my opponent to Stand them up for me. This is also super useful in the case that you take casualties while embarked via “No Escape”

    2) Make your opponent place your blasts and templates for you. “Put this blast over the cultists somewhere in the middle where I get 4 or 5”. You can select your dice, and get everything else ready while they are doing this. Even shoot something small like a big shoota.

    3) Roll all the reserves before you place any. I’ve been running 6 Deffkoptas and 4 trukks in reserves in most of my ITC lists. I roll for all of the reserves (In groups when possible). Then I place the models on the table near the side they are coming in and make it clear that isn’t the final placement. Once I’ve done all my reserves I go around and select the final placement for my models.

    4) Count dice. Slugga Choppa Boyz get 4 attacks each on the charge. At any downtime I’m always grouping dice up into groups of 4, and making these groups 5 rows high. That way the dice are precounted when i need them. Also when I was playing green tide I carried around a separate dice cube. It held 36 dice, and I always kept it full until it was time to roll for close combat. That is 9 Boyz on the charge or 12 boyz after the charge. I’ve got to roll 46 boyz? Ok, I’ll roll 4 dice, and then roll my cube 5 times. 7 Boyz to swing? I’ll dump out my cube and set 8 dice to the side, and roll the remainder.

    5) Plan you movement while you opponent is finishing his turn. I almost always do this left to right. That leftmost deffkopta is going to turboboost onto the object, the one beside it is going to get back armor of the rhino so on and so forward.

    6) Tailor your list for speed. KMK’s aren’t a very fast unit because they require so many rolls. The also aren’t all that good (though that is a topic for another day). If you are having trouble with speed, you could drop your artillery unit for a unit of warbikers or ordinary Kannons.

    • TheMadMek August 24, 2016 9:23 am #

      Great tips. Glad you agree with some of my points. The pre-counting dice is very helpful. I am also curious to see your list.

      • tag8833 August 24, 2016 3:00 pm #

        I tried to link to my lists, but WordPress didn’t like it.

        I’d be happy to share my lists with you if you email or Facebook me. Troy G. I’m still holding on to top Orks for a few more days probably.

        • TheMadMek August 24, 2016 4:07 pm #


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