Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bubble Wrapping Ork Boyz

As I’ve mentioned before Boyz are great bubble wrap for a Tau Gunline, with one exception – they are too resilient in assault!

The whole point of a Kroot bubble wrap was that it stopped stuff getting to your suits by getting in the way i.e. the scary stuff had to assault your Kroot first, before getting to your suits. The Kroot were never supposed to survive. The idea was that they stopped the scary stuff, broke in your opponent’s assault phase, leaving the scary stuff to be shot to death in your shooting phase.

The problem with 30 fearless boyz, is that this seldom happens. There are few assault units that can put out enough attacks to kill 20 boyz in one round of assault. What that means is the boyz remain fearless and hold into your assault phase. If they break in your assault phase you’re in trouble, because it means they can then assault your suits in their assault phase. Now if they hold until your opponents next assault phase that’s great, because you have now had 2 turns of shooting while the scary stuff waded through the boys. The problem is that it’s unpredictable.

But I think I’ve found a solution in the rules, and I want everybody’s view on whether I have it right. It's all about Pile In Moves.

As we all know in 6th ed models pile in at their initiative step. Boyz are initiative 2, so most things will go before them. So imagine this. A thirty man horde of Boyz are assaulted by 10 blood angle assault marines. The Boyz are bubble wrap, so are well spread out. The marines are able to get into base to base with say 5 boys. So that’s 5 Hammer of Wrath attacks and say 3 dead boyz. Which are taken from the front. So the marines are now only in contact with 3 boys. But then they get their 3 inch pile in move at I4, which brings them back into contact with say 6 boys. The marines then swing at initiative 5 killing 10 boys (assuming Furious Charge from a priest and no Ork saves). Again I remove the 10 nearest boyz. But because the boyz are well spread out my 3“ pile in move at initiative 2 does not bring me into base to base. Accordingly to p23 the combat comes to an end and both units get to consolidate. You must role combat resolution as normal, but because the Boyz are still fearless, it has no effect.

So is this a way to get boys to break away after one round of combat, leaving most of the squad intact to counter charge in your turn and, more importantly, leaving your opponents scary unit out in the open to be shot by the Tau?

Now I know it’s not as reliable as Kroot, and it will need some careful positioning (much easier now because of premeasuring), but according to the rules it seems to work.

What do you think – do I have it all wrong?



  1. I love the strategy but I think it will be very difficult to pull off consistently. Have you considered dropping a few boyz from the units in an attempt to hit that sweet spot where they only stick around for a turn? I'm thinking somewhere in the region of 15 boyz a unit.

  2. Good idea, but incorrect rules.
    After the Boyz' I2 Pile In, the marines and Ork make one MORE Pile In at the end of the assault. Only after THAT set of Pile In moves fails to result in engaged models do you consolidate away.

  3. @ The Rhino. I've re-read the pile in rules and I dont see where it says you have 2 additional pile in moves after the I2 step. Im obviously missing something,can you point me to it?


    1. Let me rereadit when I get home from work. I may be the one reading it wrong!
      There is a line at the end of the assault rules that requires models not in B2B to Pile In after the combat is resolved (if no one Fell Back). I just have to get the hard quote.

    2. Ok, I'm back, finally!
      You were correct. If after the I2 Pile In move, none of your Orks are in base contact with an enemy, the melee ends immediately. The problem is that it does NOT say you immediately consolidate. It says you lose all remaining initiative steps, and determine assault results as normal on p26. You're still fearless, so you still hold.
      The post-melee Pile In I was referring to is on page 27, End of Combat Pile In. You'd apply this after the Fearlessness determines you're still locked. 3" for the enemy models AND 3" for your models.
      It's only AFTER that End of Combat Pile In move that you can consolidate away.
      So, you'd remove 10 Boyz at I4, pile in 3" at I2, then you'd both pile in another 3" at end of combat. Only after that extra 9" of total pile in movement would you be able to break out with a fearless unit, and only if no models were in B2B, which is highly unlikely.