40K: Board Control, or, Why Orks rock 7th Edition

via Photobucket/Warseer, Source

NoName1 here again! Today, let's talk Orks.
There's been a lot of talk recently about how Orks, even after the new Codex, just aren't a competitive 40k army. I've played a handful of full-length games with the news Orks, and even with my reasonable skill and the dirty, cheaty, pointy-eared Space Elves, I've lost. Badly.

You know what makes Orks in particular a powerful army right now? Board Control.
In a normal Maelstrom mission, more than half the the possible Victory Points cards you can get are for controlling Objectives. And for most armies, the only way to beat Orks on the field is to run backwards as fast as possible and shoot the bejeezus out of them.

Which, in essence, hands Victory Points to the Orks, because they can not only drown their opponents in bodies, but drown the board in bodies.
In each game I've played, I've splattered the Ork army all over my proverbial windshield, absolutely smashed them in terms of Kill Points. But in terms of actual Victory Points, I've gotten rocked. Usually two to one (last game ended 13 to 6), and almost entirely because he just kept scoring the Capture Objective X or Capture Multiple Objectives cards.

This would be a small Ork army. With everything on the board now, plus three Trukks full of Boyz, and a unit of Meganobz in that scary fast BattleWagon

This is a thought that recently occurred to me, and that I've since been fascinated by. Because it means that (at least, I think it does) the newest Codices aren't being made with just thought to raw punch, but also in their ability to score the ever-important VPs.
Forgive me for being excited about that, but that's cool! It means that every new army book that comes out is going to merit more strategic analysis than they've been getting on the drop, rather than looking at which units became more or less killy. It's a matter of how the army works on the Tabletop as a single whole.

We knew when 7th Edition dropped that Maelstrom Missions would shake up the game, and they have. It adds a random factor that bothers a lot of people, but I love it. It's a simple, streamlined system that makes the game so much more interesting. With Objectives changing throughout the game, you can't just camp on a few Markers and hope to win, you have to be able to move quickly and ready to tackle any Objective Card you draw. It makes for more scoring mid-battle (more than just Slay the Warlord and First Blood), and makes people less vulnerable to the endgame Hail Mary jumps for Linebreaker or Objective Markers (although in a truly close game, those are still fantastic).

My army is fast, super fast (although arguably 3rd at best, next to Necrons and Dark Eldar, probably behind even Marines with all their Flying transports) and that's how I get some level of Board Control. I can get where I need to as the Objective Cards come in. It's given me a leg-up over many armies I've fought.
But Orks...  Orks can cover the board so thoroughly that I can't even get close to an Objective without giving up a key unit and getting my butt handed to me on a platter. That's a whole different, and arguably more reliable, form of Board Control.

So with that, let me say, rock on, Orks! Keep up the good WAUGH!


  1. Totally agree on the board control part I use a plague zombie army and with my 150 zombies at 1000pts usually works simply from the look on my opponents face when their army seems impossibly outnumbered all I have to do is try and place the objectives midfield and slowly (very very slowly) walk towards them making groaning noises if I get lucky typhus gets in and starts swinging the funny thing is I have no ranged weapons so I have to rely on numbers in combat to do damage and yet it does really well I like to think of it as a zombie shooting gallery ie the opponent shoots and shoots and I just sit happy in midfield knowing im racking up the points

  2. Hey Noah,

    At Nova Open, there was a greentide ork list Run by Marc (Parker I think), which was ork boyz, ork ard boyz, warbosses, painboyz, mek guns, an aegis, and ammo dump. The mek guns were kannons and trakktor kannons. He had around 115 boyz roughly.

    He was 38th overall (out of 180ish people). His army was fast, devastating, and literarly covered the board. One drop pod space marine player was just scratching his head at how to deal with him...there was so many orks he couldn't drop behind the line, he had to drop in front of it.

    So after seeing it in action, at a tournament, I completely agree with you :).

  3. I agree! It took me a long time to wrap my head around the Ork Codex. In comparison to other armies, the greenskins just don't seem to have the ability to keep up with the power house players of Space Marines, Eldar, etc... However... Using the Green Tide formation from the supplement codex the game changes entirely. I'm a tournament player and the tide makes every player I come up against need to quickly rethink their entire battle plan. When I combine that with a void shield generator (which stretches over the entire unit if one ork boy is within 12") and a pain boy from my other detachment, the horde is basically unkillable by shooting...

    Considering my opponent is already ready to flip the table over, I don't feel bad about adding in a few Mek Gun batteries with a Big Mek in Mega Armor to give them slow and purposeful. Suddenly, a unit that should remain stationary is very mobile, compensating for their diminished range.

    Most armies in the tournament circuit excel in killing a few really big things (knights and the such)... no one is prepared for a 102 model unit of T4, feel no pain, fearless (Big Boss Pole), with 3x AV12 shields wrapped around it.

    Do this at a tournament and watch the most seasoned tournament veterans wish, very openly, that they got paired against someone else.

    For Gork and Mork... I vow to make someone else's life hell for 2.5 hours.... or until they flip the table

    1. Having been to more touranments now (LVO and Adepticon), the tide is growing fast in popularity! I've seen people drop the mek gunz entirely for even more boyz, but the void shield is definitely a must take it seems!

      Any reason to not take grotsnick instead of the big boss pole? (since he grants FNP and fearless, so eliminates the need for the painboy and big bosspole)

  4. Some of the new Space Marine units that give buffs if you take three of the same unit in a slot, ie. three thunderfire cannons or three whirlwinds certainly should prove an interesting challenge against armies that are high model count light infantry. I'll be interested, as a sometimes ork player, to see how it all plays out.

    In general, I've done the green tide more than a few times and I've noticed that if my oppponent doesn't specifically prep for it then my experience is usually the same as what you detail. When they do prepare for it, my Maelstrom games have been much tighter.


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