Monday 5 November 2018

8th Edition Ork Codex Review: Part 1- Special Rules, Clan Kulturs and Warlord Traits

Welcome to the first part of my 8th edition 40k Ork Codex review. This will take a look at the special rules, Clan Kulturs and Warlord Traits. 

I have been eager to see what the new codex has to offer for the Orks. They were a pretty strong index army, even as other codexes came out, so was keen to see how they would boost the army in the new book. 

Special Rules
Dakka! Dakka! Dakka!
Each time you roll an unmodified 6 to hit with a ranged weapon, the hit roll succeeds, regardless of modifiers. In addition, you get to make an additional hit roll with the same weapon (which cannot generate further hits). 

This new special rule was previewed a while back. Overall, I like it. With Orks, it was very easy for some armies to stack up the modifiers to hit against them, making it literally impossible for your ranged weapons to even hit certain units. This ensures that you will also be able to count on your firepower to some degree in the army, rather than making it a waste of points. The bonus shots for rolling a 6 to hit are also a great bonus, both for large volume units such as Shoota Boyz, where you might get lots of hits, or for smaller units, like Tankbustas or Lootas, where every extra shot and hit with their powerful weapons are a great boost. 

'Ere We Go
You can re-roll charge rolls for this unit, and can choose whether to re-roll any or all of the dice. 

This got even better from the index version and is a huge boost for the combat effectiveness of the Orks. Getting to re-roll one or both dice is a big boost to the army. Imagine the situation where you need a 7" charge and roll a 5 and a 1. Under the new system, you can choose to re-roll the 1, giving you great odds of making the charge. Under the old system, you had to re-roll both, giving you roughly the same odds of making the charge or forcing you to use a command point re-roll on the 1 to give you better odds of making the charge. 

The other big bonus is that it allows you to re-roll charge rolls, not only "failed" charge rolls. For example, say you were multi-charging two units that were 3" away and 7" away. If you were to roll a 4" charge, you could contact the first unit, but not the second. You could not re-roll for free as you have not failed a charge. In the new rules, you have the option to re-roll one of the dice to allow you to have the chance of catching both units without the risk of failing the charge overall in many cases. This is also great for giving you the option to roll further on charge and opens up more tactical options, such as consolidating into other enemy units to tie them up in combat or getting further to surround a unit and stop them from falling back in the following turn. 

Mob Rule
When using the Leadership of  this unit, you can use its own Leadership characteristic or can choose for the characteristic to be equal to the number of models in the unit, or the number of models in a unit within 6". 

This is a great special rule that makes large unit of Boyz viable and very effective. Running a couple of 30-strong Ork squads together is great for keeping both units safe from morale purposes for long. Your opponent either focuses on wiping out one squad, thereby keeping one squad at full strength and keeping the damaged squad relatively safe from morale, or they can whittle down both squads, still leaving both a relatively strong effectiveness at the risk of losing a few models to morale if they can get both squads down to half strength. 

Speed Mob
The first time the unit is set up on the battlefield, they must be placed within 6" of each other, but acts as independent models from then on. 

This rule applies to the new Ork buggy-type models, allowing you to take up to three buggies in a single fast attack slot and acting as single deployment drop. A nice bonus for reducing the number of drops you need, but with the limitation of having to deploy close to one another, which may reduce your tactical options. 

Clan Kulturs
Most of these have been revealed previously, but here are the summaries once more and my thoughts on them. 

Each time you roll an unmodified 6 to hit with a melee weapon, you can make an additional attack using the same weapon (which cannot generate additional attacks). 

A nice chapter tactics for the Orks. Great in large mobs of Boyz, giving you a good chance of getting a number of additional attacks. It can also be a nice bonus for powerful Ork Characters every once in a while, getting an additional Power Klaw attack is always a nice bonus. I think this one is pretty strong and great for a combat-focused army.

Bad Moons
Re-roll to hit rolls of 1 for attacks in the shooting phase.

A nice source of re-rolls in an army that lacks them. This could be useful for units like Lootas, Tankbustas and Slugga Boyz.

Evil Sunz
Add 1 to the move characteristic of models with this Kultur, and add 1 to Advance and Charge rolls made for them. In addition, these models do not suffer the penalty to hit for Advancing and firing Assault Weapons. 

This is a pretty solid Kultur as well. If you are near a Warboss, this gives you an extra 3" range and still being able to assault. You can also put out a fair amount of firepower with a unit of Shoota Boyz or some of the faster moving elements of the army. It also works great with some of the stratagems, allowing you to deploy from reserve and need only an 8" charge, improving your odds of getting into combat.

Models get a 6+ invulnerable save. In addition, you can re-roll a single failed hit roll, a single wound roll and a single damage roll for each unit with the Kultur when it shoots or fights. Also, all Infantry units in the Kultur gain the Ork version of objective secured.

This is a great Kultur, and I am glad my Ork army is already painted up as Deathskulls! The 6+ save is a great boost for durability for the army, applying to almost all models in the army, so giving you a good save for vehicles in the force too.

The single re-roll for to hit, to wound and damage is also pretty damn good too. It is a nice little bonus for standard infantry and vehicles, but is really good for characters. Getting a bunch of free re-rolls for your Warboss with Power Klaw will definitely maximise his damage output, as well as allowing you to maximise damage output with the rest of the army.

The army-wide "objective secured" for all Infantry is also incredible for me. This is a great special rule and means that all infantry units in the army are great at grabbing objectives. This makes backfield units such as Lootas very strong for taking objectives, forcing your opponent to use Troops to take objectives from them if they cannot easily eliminate the unit.

You get a 6+ feel no pain type roll for each wound caused (cannot be used with other such abilities).

This is an OK Kultur for me. It gives you a lot of saves, but I think the 6+ invulnerable is better, as it also allows you to make use of Painboys to give you an additional save.

Blood Axes
Unit gains the benefit of cover, even if they are not on a terrain feature, as long as the attack is at least 18" away. In addition, units can fall back and shoot or charge (not both).

This is an odd one for me. Normally, these types of Chapter Tactics abilities kick in at over 12", but with the Orks it goes up to 18". For me, this will limit the utility of it, as most Ork armies are going to want to get up close. The ability to fall back and still shoot or charge is also a strong ability. I use the ability to fall back and charge to good effect with my White Scars in many situations, and this is scary on the big mobs of infantry that the Orks can field.

Add 1 to the hit rolls for attacks made by models if any other friendly unit with this Kultur within 24" has destroyed an enemy unit this phase.

This one has some interesting potential. It could benefit firepower units, allowing Orks to hit on a 4+! It could also be incredibly strong in combat, allowing most units to hit on a 2+, very scary with the volume of attacks the Orks can put out. The only problem might be getting it to activate much of the time.

A very strong set of Kulturs for the Orks. I will be probably running Deathskulls most of the time. Not only is my army painted in that way, but I think it is a strong Chapter Tactic for the army. I play a lot of maelstrom games, so almost army-wide objective secured is a big boost for me.

On top of that, I think Evil Sunz and Goffs are very strong as well, giving a great deal for mobility and combat prowess, respectively.

Warlord Traits
Orks also get the standard 6 warlord traits, as well as the Clan-specific ones to add a bit of flavour to your army.

Follow Me, Ladz!
The warlord gains Waaagh! (advance and still charge within 6") and Breakin' Heads (pass morale test for D3 mortal wounds). If he already has these abilities, add 3" to the range of each ability. In addition, gain one command point if your army is battle-forged.

This is a strong ability to have on a Warboss. Getting a 9" bubble for being able to advance and still charge should give you a big field for getting into combat. The extra command point is also good for some of the stratagems available.

Bigkilla Boss
Add 1 to the wound rolls for your Warlord's attacks when they target a Vehicle or Monster.

This is very strong, allowing you to wound most vehicles on a 2+ with a Power Klaw. Being able to wound Knights on a 2+ is very strong, allowing you to do a lot of damage.

'Ard as Nails
Add 1 to your warlord's toughness.

This takes a Warboss up to T6 and a Big Mek up to T5. This helps them to have better survivability. I don't think it will have too much impact much of the time, as many high strength weaponry will still be wounding you on a 3+.

Brutal but Kunnin'
You can re-roll hit rolls in the Fight phase for your warlord. In addition, add 1 to the damage characteristics for any melee weapons on the turn that you charge, are charged or make a heroic intervention.

This will really increase the damage output of your Warboss considerably. Getting re-rolls to hit will ensure maximum hits. The +1 damage is also strong on a Power Klaw, allowing you to do between 2-4 damage, great for taking on enemy vehicles and monsters.

Kunnin' but Brutal
Allows you to re-deploy your Warlord and D3 friendly units before the game begins.

This is great for allowing you to maximise your deployment to your advantage. This is great for exploiting weaknesses in your opponent's deployment, or for playing tricks with your own deployment.

Might Is Right
Your warlord gets +1 strength and attacks.

Again, very strong on a Warboss, going up to S14 with the Power Klaw and 5 attacks. You will be able to wound most vehicles on a 2+, making him great for taking out enemy vehicles.

Da Best Armour Teef Can Buy (Bad Moons)
Your warlord gains a 4+ invulnerable save.

This is one of the best warlord traits for me, I wish it was available to everyone. It is really hard to get an invulnerable save on your Warlord if you are Orks. This will really boost the combat ability and durability of your warlord.

I've Got a Plan Lads (Blood Axes)
If the warlord is on the battlefield, roll a D6 for each command point spent when using a stratagem. On a 6+ you get the command point back.

A nice stratagem for getting back command points. However, with the change to the rules allowing only a single regained command point per turn, this could have more limited impact. I think there are better traits available.

Opportunist (Deathskulls)
Re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks by your warlord that targets enemy Vehicles. In the shooting phase, you can target enemy Characters within 18", even if they are not the closest.

I'm not a big fan of this one. Re-rolls against vehicles in nice. Targeting enemy characters is always a nice bonus, and has a great range in this ability. However, Ork shooting is not the best in the game. Paired with the various re-rolls the Deathskulls can get, it could pay dividends every once in a while though.

Speed Freek (Evil Sunz)
Warlord and Evil Sunz units within 6" can charge even if they fell back.

I think this is a very useful ability to have. The extra move and charge bonus for the Evil Sunz is also a great bonus for this ability.

Killa Reputation (Freebooterz)
Re-roll to hit rolls of 1 for your warlord and units within 6" in the fight phase.

This is very strong. Orks don't get a huge set of re-roll aura abilities in the army, so this will be a huge boost for combat units in the army. On top of the +1 to hit that you can get with this Kultur, it is a very strong ability that should maximise your damage output.

Proper Killy (Goffs)
Your warlord gains +1 attack.

Strong on a warboss, boosting him up to 5 attacks. Gives you more chance of getting a 6 to hit and getting extra attacks as well.

Surly as a Squiggoth (Snakebites)
You can re-roll failed morale test for friendly Snakebite units within 6" of your warlord. In addition, friendly Gretchin units automatically pass morale tests within 12" of your warlord.

The first part will have limited utility thanks to Mob Rule, but could be useful to reduce casualties every once in a while. This is very strong if you have a lot of Gretchin in the army and a warlord that wants to sit back (Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun). Makes them very strong for holding backfield objectives.

As you can see, the Orks have a very strong range of Warlord traits to choose from, with many good choices for your warlord.

For me, Follow Me, Ladz! and Might is Right are the strongest for the generic warlord traits. I think the Bad Moons with the 4+ invulnerable is one of the best of the Clan-specific traits, and I wish all warlords could take it. 


  1. good review.

    this codex gives the orks a lad of great options and looks like all clans will be useful.

    why would yo ever take the GOFF warlord trait of +1A when might is right adds one to S and A?? am i missing something??

    1. You wouldn't. But named characters have to take the clan specific trait. So basically the Goff trait is for Ghazkhul, cos they didn't want to give him +1 str too...

    2. Yeah, I was going to say something about that. Never gonna see it on anyone but Ghazzie.

    3. I agree, the +1 strength as well is just too good.

  2. On the Blood Axe Kultur, I think the point of the 18" part is that any shooty Unit within 18" of Orks is probably about to be in some very serious trouble ;)

    1. 18" is pretty close if you can advance and charge, but is a lot distance if you cannot assault after advancing (if there is no Warboss nearby).

  3. Worth noting that Brutal but Kunnin' lets you reroll hit rolls, as opposed to failed hit rolls. This makes it extra strong on a powerklaw warboss because you can choose to reroll the 2s that would normally count as hits before modifiers. Of course you might also be taking Da Killa Klaw which makes that distinction largely redundant, but it would help if you come up against anything that's -1 to hit in melee.

    1. That is very true. Getting to re-roll those 2's from attacking with a power klaw are a big bonus for the Warboss.