Faction Focus: Orks

GW brings us the scoop on Orks and how they operate in 9th ed 40k!

They’re mean, they’re green and, in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, they’ll be making a scene. Longtime Grand Tournaments player and Orks expert Matt Root is here with his advice on how to get your Waaagh! on.

Who Are They?

The Orks are the most savage, warlike and numerous species in the galaxy, and can be found infesting its every corner. Far removed from the enigmatic and scheming nature of many other races, greenskins are simple beings who live only for battle. They thrive on violence and rarely think beyond their next punch-up, breakneck race or deafening gunfight.

How They Play in the New Edition

We’re going to hand you over to Warboss Matt Root, a man who has won so many tournaments that even Ghazghkull is jealous of his achievements. He has plenty of tips on how to get the most out of an Ork army in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000.

Matt: The nature of Orks has always been aggressive, aiming to overwhelm your opponent with bodies or bullets or both. In this regard, the green tide has not changed, but the options that have opened up to the army are numerous. One of the most striking changes is to vehicles. Orks units like the Megatrakk Scrapjet are deadly both in shooting and in combat, but previously, you had to choose one or the other because being stuck in combat stopped you from shooting. In the new edition, this is no longer the case – you can unload rokkits with malicious glee as you charge towards your opponent’s lines, and if you get stuck in combat, you can still keep shooting with your other weapons!* 

This is of a massive benefit to Orks, as they have some of the most melee-oriented vehicles in the game. Killa Kans and Deff Dreads are just some of the big winners in this regard and are great options to lead your charge.

The new terrain rules will also be appreciated by all Orks players. With terrain having clearly defined features, you don’t have to worry about your opponent seeing through a crack in the wall to shoot your entire Boyz squad. You can even give your squads a -1 modifier to be shot! This is a big advantage to Orks (and any army that likes to get stuck in) as it means you can seriously limit your opponent’s ability to stop your advance with their shooting.

Key Units

But what are going to be the best Orks units to take advantage of the changes in the new edition? Let’s get back to Matt.


Matt: Burna-bommers were already good, but the changes to Flyers in the new edition make them even better (take two!). While they’re great flying around immolating targets, they’re even better if someone is foolish enough to shoot it down. Unlike most other exploding vehicles, Burna-bommers explode on a 4+ instead of a 6+, and they do 3 mortal wounds instead of D3. With the Flyin’ ‘Eadbutt Stratagem from Psychic Awakening: Saga of the Beast, you can guarantee that it will crash and burn. So rush them into the middle of your opponent’s gunline and do an incredible amount of damage.

Skorcha missiles are also Blast weapons in the new edition, giving you more hits against hordes. Plus you can fly your Burna-bommer off the table without any regret, and your opponent can’t shoot what isn’t on the board! While your first plane is blowing up, the second can hide off the table and then return safely in your turn to drop a whole new load of bombs on your enemies.


Matt: Orks are a very Command point-hungry army, which meant that you often had to take two or three Battalion Detachments to get the points you needed. This made it tricky to fit in some of the more elite and expensive units – Meganobz being a prime example. In the new edition, thanks to the way that Detachments work, all armies start with the same Command points. That means that if you don’t want to take loads of Gretchin troops, you don’t have to!** You want an army filled with nothing but Meganobz and Warbosses? You can have it and still have all the Command points you’ll need. Which you can then spend back on your Meganobz to make them hit even harder in combat.

The change in the overwatch rules will also help out the Meganobz. If you charge your opponent’s entire army currently, they essentially get a free shooting phase. In the new edition, they will have to choose a unit to shoot with and pay the necessary cost in Command points. This means more of your green tide will make it to combat.

Thanks, Matt! There’s a lot to be excited about, and even more to look forward to. With that in mind, you’d better get cracking on getting your Boyz ready for battle as it won’t be long before the new edition is here. Join us over on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page to let us know how your Waaagh! will be rampaging across the new edition.

* As it’s a Blast weapon, the rokkit kannon can’t be fired at Engagement range, but your other weapons can.
** Of course, if you want to take a swarm of Gretchin, you’ll still be able to do that too.

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

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