Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Warhammer 101: The armies 40k flavor 2

Today's blog about armies will focus on two of 40ks alien races the Orks and the Tau.  The orks and Tau are a study in extremes; orks are violent and simple who focus on getting up close and personal while Tau are technologically advanced who favor attacking foes from afar.

Let's get more in depth kids! 


In 40k orks are green skinned, axe wielding psychos.  Orks are bad at shooting with a ballistic skill of only 2 (the lowest in the game).  As an ork you will need a 5 or 6 on a six sided dice to hit anything.  Orks have two things going for them however:

1.  Ork weapons don't hit very often, but when they do they hit hard.
2.  Orks are very good in close combat.

Let's look at this second point in more detail.  Orks are skilled in close combat, they are armed for close combat, and orks are cheap meaning you will have a lot of them on the table. 

For comparison a space marine has a weapon skill of 4 and one attack and costs 16pts.  He is armed with a bolter meaning that the most attacks he can have in close combat is 2.

An average ork boy also has a weapon skill of 4 but has two base attacks and costs 9pts.  He is armed with a choppa (think of a really big axe!) and a pistol which grants him another attack.  This means that an ork has 3 attacks minimum and if he charges into combat will have 4 attacks. 

Above is just a basic example but it underscores the theme of the army which is get your big hordes of orks into combat and bash heads.  Ork armies are big, have lots of cheap vehicles, and have a close combat edge.

This doesn't mean that orks can't shoot.  They can, ork weapons tend to offer a lot of shots and their vehicles can have ordinance that use big 5 inch templates that can hit automatically anyone under them.  Orks also utilize a slave race called gretchin or grots who shoot better and can have artillery.  They don't have any ability in close combat but have better ballistic skill. 

Ork armies are supremely customizable, perhaps more so than any other  army in the game.  If you want to have a bit of everything then orks are a great opportunity to model all sorts of crazy things.

If you like uniformity then the ork army probably isn't for you.

As for how successful ork armies can be, they are competitive in the current 6th edition rules. 

Ork armies tend to be more expensive because you need more models.

The Tau

Tau are a technologically advanced race that have expanded at an amazing rate.  They go about their policy of "For the Greater Good," by offering races they encounter a place in their empire, as long as they submit.  This means that in addition to the Tau themselves they have several other alien races that support their armies.

The Tau are very poor fighters, the worst in the game, but they make up for that deficiency by having super technology and aliens who can fight up close.

If you crave having awesomely powerful guns and cool tech like battle suits, gun drones, hover tanks and more than the Tau are for you.

Currently their range is one of the more limited available in 40k, collecting this army is about average in cost. 

The army is currently considered to be not competitive with top tier armies.  That said, rumor has it that a new Tau book is coming soon and could see release as early as next spring.  Games Workshop has not indicated that they will replace any of the range so you can collect the army without fear of something being taken away.

You can have fun with this army, and you can win with it, my above statement should be taken to mean that against top level tournament players with top level armies you will struggle. 

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