While I am not an Ork player myself, I was very excited about the new crusade rules in the Ork Codex. One of the main reasons I was interested is that the Orks background allows them a lot of narrative opportunities and I was curious to see how the new rules would seek to implement that background. without further ado, here is my quick review of their new rules and my thoughts.
Right off the bat, Games Workshop provides an interesting wrinkle by adding in a rule that, when your army’s general (excluding special characters) ranks up, they gain a point of either strength or an additional wound. This is an amazing ability that really fits into the fluff nicely. I am glad they found a way to incorporate the fluff about how Orks get stronger through combat, and this feels like the right balance (given you can get this bonus only 4 times). Additionally, the Orks also get a system to fight challenges within their own army. When an Ork character unit has as much experience as your general they automatically trigger a one-vs-one fight. If the challenger wins they are now your general, the loser gets a battle scar.
I love this addition. Not only does it show the fractious nature of the orks it can lead to some tough choices on the battlefield. Players will need to weigh their agendas carefully lest they start racking up too many battle scars.
Agendas, Battle Traits, and Requisitions
I grouped these items together to shorten the review and will highlight some of the things I liked. For the Agendas I thought the Orks had some solid, if unspectacular, options. The Scrap ‘Em agenda gives scrap points (more on that later) and some limited experience but is only good if your opponent has superheavies vehicle . The best agenda is likely Krumpin Spree which gives 2 exp for each character, vehicle or monster your Warlord kills. Kunnin Stuntz is an interesting agenda that you can use to farm experience for Speed Freak units as the action is complete at the end of the shooting phase (and provides up to 10 exp per battle) but it keeps you from shooting.
The Battle Traits are all pretty decent with special tables for Squig cav, Meks and Painboys alongside Mobs. Both Meks and Painboys get options that can help you avoid failed out-of-action tests and merit consideration for all lists (though keep an eye on their experience #’s. It’s interesting to note that after the Drukhari codex they have yet to have another set of crusade rules that give out different Battle Scars.
Requisitions are quite limited. You’z Fight for Me Now sees the return of requisitions that only work against another army of the same race (similar to one found in the Drukhari book). There is also the standard resource creating requisition (trading RP’s for Scrap in this case) and another requisition to make your warlord auto-win challenges.
I am not going to lie, I am a little disappointed with the Scrap feature of their rules. It mostly serves as a way to remove vehicle Battle Scars and give Custom Jobs and I feel the mechanic is mostly useless. It seems ripe to be expanded on in future supplements. One the other hand, its limited use will be a blessing to Ork players who mainly go against armies with limited, to no vehicles, as it can be difficult to acquire.
I would argue the Orks get some of the best faction relics I have seen. The Boss Pole (only worth it if you play against Space Marines) is a fun kill counter and the Ded Ard Armor gives you another way to increase your model’s wounds and armor save (between the leveling bonus and this relic you can easily get a warboss up to 11 wounds). Gitstoppa rounds can be used once per battle to put out up to 9 mortal wounds (which is good on a character with a decent BS but seems a bit steep for a legendary relic) If you ever wanted a model with S:30 the other Legendary Relic the Choppa of Da Great Waaagh gives you that chance (something I hope to see just for the memes).
When I look at Crusade Rules I am mainly looking for innovative ways to help tell a story. To that end, the Ork Codex is fantastic. The advancement mechanic gives you your very own Ork Game of Thrones with every character vying for the top spot. The relics make your characters better at Krumpin and the agendas will also reward you for it. Once they figure out how to make Scrap more useful I dare say their Crusade rules will be almost perfect.
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