Let’s acknowledge that the new Ork codex is pretty amazing and it is going to bring in new players to the existing community like Nob Bikers did in 5th edition. And that is really good for the Orks. It is. I know lots of older folks will be grumbling about lots of young folks showing up in and jumping on the bandwagon… but more people buying Orks shows GW that Orks are an important army to keep planning campaigns and model releases for. So more players are good.
But I want to talk directly to those old school ork players, those folks who had scratch built battlewagons years before we ever saw an official model. Those Ork players who had units of skarboys from 3rd edition and those folks with the old metal dreads.
So let’s take a look at your collection. If you have been playing Orks for multiple editions, it is a good bet you have a bunch of stuff. Hundreds of Ork boys, both shootas and sluggas with choppas, well the good news is these units are now so much better. With the new ork special rules, the basic boy is now significantly improved. Worried about the 7 point per model cost? Don’t. Once you think about the overall benefit of the special rules and CP stratagems, the basic boy is much better than previous editions and significantly better than the index. A slugga/choppa mob with over 20 models is hitting on a 3+ and swinging with 4 attacks. Goffs are exploding sixes on close combat phase. Evil Suns are getting the additional 1 inch move. Want some Badmoons with shootas? Great! Exploding 6s on all hits and Badmoons reroll ones. Use some CP to make a Goff squad of 30 skarboys with Strength 5… or go with Snakebites or Deathskulls for some extra durability with your mobs. Or be sneaky Blood Axes with some free saves. Boys are suddenly a terrific option.
Now let’s take a look at the bad. The new Codex combined with the “no model no rule” business strategy for GW, we saw a lot of units left in the Index. Mega armored warboss? Index. Kannons, zapp guns, lobbas? Index. Big mek with KFF or bike mounted characters? Indexed. The codex dropped options for the DeffKoptas. I know this stinks. Especially for those of us who have spent years lovingly collecting and converting every single option for our Orks… But overall, the new options and rules more than make up for the fact that we lost a handful of options.
Back to the great stuff, like Bikers. Bikers are going to be a huge threat on the battlefield. With two Dakkaguns with assault 3 and strength 5, bikers are going to have a 32 inch threat range for a pile of shots. Including the Dakka Dakka Dakka rules exploding sixes and the speed freeks rule allowing assaulting after advancing with the Wartrike… and this unit is going to be a big part of any Evil Suns armies. This about mobbing up 12 warbikes with another unit of 9 at the beginning of the game and you have 21 bikes shooting 126 strength 5 shots at any unit within 32 inches (or more if you have Evil Suns) that explode sixes…. Ouch. Add in the trike boss to keep them company and you are changing whatever is left over…
Two words. Grot shield. Need to protect your unit of Badmoon lootas? Just put a 30 strong grot mob within 6 inches.
What about those nobs? Can they get some love? Sure. They are going to get the same attack bonus with choppas. Add in a Waaagh Banner and Nobs are hitting on 2s with their standard strength 5. Ten of these fellas in a truck is going to be a real threat for elite units with the number of attacks before any upgrades to the unit.
Remember tank bustas? They just keep getting better. Tank Hunters rule and Bomb Squigs will make mincemeat out of enemy light vehicles and even heavy armor will need to look out with rokkits having a straight 3 damage. Or Stormboys? Guess what… stormboys deep strike now. In mobs of 30. Or Dreadmobs with units or Kans and Dreads. Close combat oriented Kans and Dreads will benefit from additional attacks with high strength and multiple wound close combat weapons. Battlewagons are now split into 3 different flavors. So you can mobilize your heavy armor in a way that better suits your army.
I could go on… but I don’t need to. Ork players that have been around will likely have everything they need to play their old army in a much more competitive way. This codex drops a ton of options for existing ork players. Create a list and you will see that it will perform better than Orks have performed in many editions.