Howdy everyone, Severus here. I have been wondering lately if orks can compete with the big boys (space marines, tau, and eldar). Each of those big three poses a different challenge to my beloved green skins. Well, we are preparing for a little in store tournament, and I am deciding which force to field. Orks or Iron Hands. It’s a generally accepted thought that Iron Hands are a pretty good space marine list. So, that brings me to my point, can the orks compete?
I have run TONS of different ork lists since the 7th ed book dropped. I have fought the previously mentioned big three in the past, and my orks have not done well. So lets take a look and see if we can’t break this down somehow.
Space Marines are tough as nails (particularly when you have a lack of ap 3 in your army). They can also split up into combat squads. Ultimately this boils down to one issue with my games. When it comes to the end of the game, they have more units left alive to hold objectives (with objective secured) than I do. A crafty player can feed my ork horde small units to keep them held out of position and then make a run at objectives late game. Nothing is more frustrating than to lose a game because you whittled a tactical squad down to 1 guy and he ended up claiming the game winning objective.
The counter to that is playing an MSU ork list. I feel like those lists don’t work well with boys. You would need to go MSU with tough units, likely mega nobz. They can either take on the big nasty space marine units or spread out to hunt down the stray. Plus a decent armor save should help against the massed bolter fire that marines can put out.
On to eldar. My biggest issues in the past with them has been there speed. They shoot well (like the tau), but they are so hard to pin down. Board control becomes an issue. If you can take away there mobility, you can squash them. Problem is that they tend to have many fast skimmers, jet bikes, flyers, jump pack monstrous creatures, ect that can way out pace your orks. Ultimately they tend to just dance around you and whittle you down.
The best counter I can think off with them is board control with several large mobs of boys. Make a giant foot print with them and try to hem the eldar. You will need a few mobile units to chase down any units that break through your blockade. You should be able to get the vehicles pinned, bikes maybe harder. Although with the new mob rule your orks threat range is much longer, so it maybe hard for the eldar to slip through your ork grip.
Tau I feel are probably the worst match up for the orks. They have mobile units in the form of stealth suits, crisis suits, and riptides that can lay down fire on you while trying to stay out of assault range. The have plenty of decent long range units to blast your boys, aka fire warriors, broadsides, and hammerheads. They have plentiful access to ignore cover, and most of there weapons are ap 4 or 5, ignoring you armor. Ultimately with tau, if you can reach there gun lines you can mess them up. It’s just a matter of weathering the storm and catching those faster units.
The best counter I can think of for surviving is pain boys. Feel no pain will cut down on your losses since there is not much strength 8 running around in shooting anymore. Also deploying up on the line and going first (hopefully) and move as fast as possible at the fire base. Try to minimize the amount of turns you get shot at. Ultimately, I almost think ignoring the fast moving elements maybe easier. If you get the chance to assault one of them, take it.
So the question becomes can you build a list that has durable infantry, lots of them to control the board space, with some fast moving elements to hunt down smaller units that escape your noose. I think you can. I have a list worked up that I want to test out, so for now I will leave you in suspense. Hopefully shorereaper and I can give our tournament lists a go and make a batrep out of it. Until then, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.