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The Competitive Pivot



To avoid burying the lede, the TL;DR is that I'm switching to Necrons.




Every game of 10th that I have played has been with Orks. I've managed to track every game since my third in the (excellent) Tabletop Battles app. You can see my stats below:




As you can see, I've now played thirty games of 10th. And while I have a lot of thoughts about the edition in general, this post is about my experiences playing Orks, and my plans for the foreseeable future.



Evolution of a List


A quick rundown of how to win a game using the Leviathan mission deck:



You can score up to fifty points on the primary objectives

You can score up to forty points from secondary objectives

If you take fixed secondaries, you can only score twenty points from each secondary


Scoring the primary is often about being able to take the objective and hold it. Scoring secondaries is either about having units in the right parts of the table at the right times, or killing specific enemy units (or just in general, for one of them). The choice for fixed or tactical secondaries usually comes down to your opponent and what their list easily gives up (exceptions occur, of course). There are sixteen tactical secondary objectives, and only four require you to kill enemy units; the other ten are of the "unit(s) in the right part(s) of the table at the right time" variety. To score the full points, you need to average 12.5 primary points per turn (as you don't score in the first turn, with one exception), and 8 secondary points per turn. When playing tactical, you can get two secondaries per turn, which each need to score, on average, four points to max score. Tactical secondaries score between two and eight points each, which averages to roughly 4.5 points, but 3/4ths of them score up to 5, another three score up to 8, and one scores only 3.



Ok, so scoring points and winning games with tactical secondaries is about putting units on objectives, surviving on those objectives until you can score, having units that can be in the right place at the right time and, of course, killing the enemy as needed. While you don't have to score the full 90 to win every time (just have to have more than your opponent, afterall), it's generally safer to have a plan on how to get the max. You can win the game by tabling the enemy, but you can also lose after tabling the enemy. You cannot lose by scoring the max number of points (though you can tie, hilariously enough), and you can max score without killing a single enemy unit (though that is so incredibly unlikely to occur).


Over time, I learned these facts. I started early with Mozrog, pound-for-pound the best beatstick in the index, but I quickly grew so enamored with him that I had to add another Squigboss. I bought, assembled, and (barely) painted a unit of Flash Gitz, and converted a counts-as Kaptin Badrukk, after I played another Ork and saw how deadly that unit's shooting was (especially their overwatch, a tool I otherwise don't think Orks can make use of). I went from three trukks to four, then five, and eventually six, and I think if there wasn't a limit, I would have kept going. They are the right combination of fast, durable and cheap, and they consistently score me secondary objectives. And I've expanded my Squighog Boys unit from being mobile objective doers to being the primary hammer of my list.


Some things haven't worked for me:

  • Beastsnagga Boyz and the Beastboss. I've used this unit in the vast majority of my games, but I just can't help but feel like it doesn't do enough. Often, the best thing about it was the OC, which I can get cheaper from regular Boyz. The Beastboss has been especially disappointing, as he is so reliant on generating Devastating Wounds in order to do any damage, and even against vehicles, it's pretty easy to have a bad turn and not get enough 4+s. At least the Squigbosses are durable enough that when they whiff, they can be expected to stick around and get another shot at it. This is a recent drop for me, but I can't imagine I'll miss them.
  • Nobz and the Warboss. I've gone back and forth on these guys, from running a full 10-man, to having none, to having two 5-mans (each with a warboss), and most recently, back to a full 10-man. The truth is, they are the best source Orks have for a large quantity of AP-2 attacks, something we sorely need. But they suffer from being too easy to kill; -1 to-be-wounded is nice and all, but 2W and no innate invulnerable save just make them too soft, and we can also slap a -1 to-be-wounded on any non-vehicle unit. This is a high-finesse unit and one I've been really trying to use well.
  • Anything that shoots other than Flash Gitz. We just don't have enough support, our weapons are good enough, and we can't field enough of it to matter.


In the end, this meant I've found the most success by making lists that focus on staying power over offensive burst; a few units can lay down the hurt, but the vast majority of the list isn't interested in killing the enemy as much as it's just trying to find points to score. And even those best, most deadly units, the Squigbosses and Squighog Boyz, are really about being ultra-durable and forcing the opponent to over-invest in killing them, lest they let my stuff get to them. That means it's very viable for me to keep my units on objectives but out of Line-of-Sight and force the enemy to over-commit to clear the objective. It's simple, it's effective, and frankly, it's a lot of fun.


But, there's a problem.


The Problem


Sitting back on objectives and forgoing charging into the enemy isn't very Orky. There's room for kunnin' and I'm a Blood Axe at heart, but still, it will never feel right to go "my Squighog Boys are not going to move to charge that Dreadnought" and instead just score points by sitting there. But, that's what I'm often doing! And, again, I like it! Playing the game tactically and for the win is an enjoyable experience. It's just not what I signed up for when I selected the greenskins.


There's a couple more:

  • I cannot paint Orks fast enough to react to changing metas and my own preferences. I paint every detail on my Orks and use a lot of colors, and it just takes me forever, which isn't ideal when you want to quickly swap and add units.
  • hate the movement rules in the Charge and Fight phases. I just don't find it fun to do, and those phases being so key to my army's (meager) offensive output actively saps my enjoyment.


So, what's the solution?

The Solution


Enter the Necrons. They have it all:

  • Primarily a shooting army, so no need to perform charge/fight phase movement a dozen times per game.
  • A quick paint scheme that I can bang out fast when my list needs to change.
  • Similar overall strategy of holding objectives and just surviving the onslaught to score points.


But most importantly;

  • They play competitively like they are in the fluff.


Currently, competitive Necrons are all about using "bricks" of either Warriors or Lychguard (or even one of each!), getting them on objectives in No Man's Land and just outlasting everything. They get killed and then just get back up, an implacable force that laughs at the puny weapons of the younger species of the galaxy. Their esoteric and arcane technologies allow them to make the laws of physics into tools for acts akin to magic, such as the teleportation of troops. And so on and on, fluff reflected on the tabletop in a manner that isn't just faithful, but is also good.

It's for these reasons that I'll be switching to Necrons, a faction I didn't even consider at the beginning of the edition, as the name of this blog implies. In fact, other than painting the Indomitus set three years ago, and another five Immortals as a palette cleanser some time later, I never seriously thought about collecting the army, let alone playing them as my main faction. But then again, 10th is my edition of trying new things, so I should be less surprised.

But for now, the Kharezt dynasty awakens, and marches to war.

Edited by toaae

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This was a really interesting read, especially the part about optimising points per turn. I'd be interested to learn how you're getting on since making the switch! 

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