Today I bring another installment of my Unit Highlights and this time I’m taking on the big nasty greenskins, the Ork Nobs.
Nobs are very flexible. They start off very basic as just 3 nobs on foot, but from there you can really make whatever you want if the price is right. They’re Elites, but a Warboss can make one squad a troop. They start off pretty cheap and their options are reasonably priced, but can add up fast. You can run them simple, or build them out to be a 700+ point green ball of death.
Speaking of options…For starters, any Nob in the squad can upgrade their CC weapon to a Big Choppa or Klaw. Then they can take their choice of Kombi-weapon. They can add ‘eavy Armor, Cybork bodies, bosspoles, Waaagh banners and Stikk Bombs. Then you can add a painboy and give the whole mob FnP and you have something survivable and nasty that makes a great escort for your Warboss. Even better, the way the Painboy’s rule is worded, the Warboss would also get FnP when he’s with the squad. That’s where the 5th edition fun came with the old wound allocation as you could build a full squad of 10 guys and not have 2 models the same. But this is 6th now, so you don’t have to play that game and can now build them for maximum damage output. They can take a Trukk or a Battlewagon as a dedicated transport and if that weren’t enough, you can instead put the whole squad on warbikes making them T5 and giving them a cover save, a twin-linked s5 gun and the ‘eavy armor save without having to pay for that seperately. Like I said, you can build the unit you want to do the job you need.
Foot Nobs are a good choice if you want bigger numbers and are looking for a bodyguard for a foot character. They’re also the only way to get a Battlewagon without sticking it in a heavy slot and if you’re taking Nobs on foot, you probably want a transport for them anyway. You could go cheap with a truck, but remember in a firefight, they’re about as durable as your average snow blower. If a Trukk’s more your speed it might not be a bad idea to hold them in reserve. Sure they won’t be fighting until later in the game, but you can avoid having that trukk shot off in the first 30 seconds and it’s speed means you can pin the pedal towards whatever you want to go away as soon as they do come on. I always want a Pain Boy, but on foot thanks to a pretty stupid FAQ, you can’t put any options on him so he gets his t-shirt and FnP and that’s it, so that’s something to consider... be mindful of where he ends up in the squad to keep him safe. Considering the stellar shooting ability of an Ork if you want to invest in any Kombi-weapons, go Skorcha. Make sure there’s a bosspole in the squad since they won’t hit the numbers to go fearless.
Personally, I prefer bikers. I run 5 as a bodyguard for my biker Warboss. I will say…this unit is a fire magnet. Place it well and make sure to put the pressure on so your opponent has more the just the bikes to shoot at. Of course, sometimes this isn’t so bad…I’ve had an opponent shoot his entire army at my bikes while the rest of my Orks got right where they needed to be to put the hurt on. 300 points is a lot to lose, but it may be worth it to get the rest of your army up close and hurting stuff. I build the squad with 5th edition wound allocation in mind, and haven’t really changed it yet but if you have the points to go all klaws, it’s not a bad idea…your enemy will usually attack first anyway, so might as well hit him back with a dozen power klaw attacks that are boosted by the Waagh banner. My 5 Ork squad has 2 klaws, a Pain Boy, one big choppa and one regular Choppa. Everyone has Cybork and remember when I said Pain Boys don’t get to take armor? Well, the still get the save from the bikes so problem solved.
The nice thing about these guys as opposed to mounted Nobs is you don’t have to worry about keeping a vehicle alive and planning out where they’ll disembark. They just move where they need to be. Also, remember these guys shouldn’t necessarily be the unit to take on your opponent’s death star but rather eating softer targets so their speed means they can pick their battles. If you take them as a troop, they can then go steal objectives after eating the enemy troop that was camping it.
Nobs start out pretty cheap so they can fit into smaller armies, but as the size of the game increases, you can add wargear and bodies as needed to build exactly the unit you want to fit your army. In an army that has so many options and can be tailored to almost any play style, these guys are customization personified and can be fun in the typically Orky way to model, too. No good Waaagh is complete without some Nobs out Krumpin’ stuff.