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> Dim's Gretchin Tactica, It's very long. Sorry...
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Dim_Reapa
post Mar 23 2011, 10:17 AM
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[or: Everything You Wanted To Know About Gretchin But Would Never Bother To Ask]


Introduction
Well, firstly I must warn you that this is incredibly long. To an extent I am sorry for this, and my old pal Zagursnik (whom as our veteran posters will know I hold in high esteem for editing and shortening my posts) has given me some views on this but has other real life issues to contend with, so I'm going to post it up in the entirety I have written it. Hopefully there are some words of wisdom in here that make up for its length.

Okay, so, this is a tactica born mostly from my last 6 or so years playing a Grot Horde in Warhammer 40k. I've experimented with Grots in almost every combination over the years, especially as I've spent the last 6 needing them to do a pretty good job. Our own Waaagh Tactica (a very good pinned resource, I might add) puts them as Weedy. However, I don't like their definition of weedy, so to begin with, I would like to offer a new one!


The True Value of Weediness
So Grots are rubbish are they? Some people seem to think so, and I donít correct them. Being underestimated gives Grots a tactical edge, but also explains why Grots are a very love/hate unit. Ask most Ork Players what they think of Grots and youíll get a mixture of responses. Mostly it seems a lot of Ork Players know how good Grots are. Although sometimes they will be dismissed as little more than cheap cannon fodder, cheap tactical maguffins and/or not as good as shootas.

There is a fair amount of merit to this. Grots are clearly no replacement for shootas, and they certainly die very easy and are rather cheap. Of course, it remains that many 40k players heftily underestimate the importance of cheap tactical maguffins, and are just as likely to look a gift horse in the mouth as far as anything that costs points, whether itís a huge bargain or not.

There are a few players out there who really don't seem to 'get' what Gretchin are about. There were a lot of 'Grots Suck' threads thrown around during 4th Ed after the Codex had just come out, despite that in my estimations they were better than before or since, even without the Grot Screen/unit cover rules. People do tend to place a lot of individual pressure on units as if they all have to perform to 'effective and optimal standards' and need to be made 'viable' to use. People should really start looking at their armies collectively, rather than just unit by unit, because if a force can't support itself well, having the odd unit being 'viable' doesn't count for all that much.

Believe it or not, but Gretchin are one of our most flexible units. Whilst itís clear that there's one thing they can never deal with (vehicles), Grot mobs of all shapes and sizes have many uses in pretty much any Ork army. Before we get around to discussing how to use Grots in more detail, first lets explore The Weedy Side of Gretchin usage.

The Power of The Dork Side
The important thing to remember about Grots is to never fight fair with them. Grots in the fluff donít fight fair, and neither should you. Grots are best used in underhanded ways, manipulating the course of the game or affecting it (or your opponent) in subtlety. Grots do not win fair fights, but if the odds are slightly stacked in their favour, they can perform much better than youíd anticipate. Expecting Grots to be a directly useful unit and successful in combat unaided is to misunderstand what Grots are about.

As a generally underestimated unit, they can have a massive impact on the outcome of games whilst still being a relative unknown to your opponent. The one thing that people do know is that the Grot statline is rubbish. They may be right, but they donít know anything else. If you exploit this, your Grots will be a lot more effective.

Also remember that it is perfectly fine to dismiss your grots and treat them with utter disdain; casually letting them wander to their deaths. Regardless of the kind of Ork (or Grot) army you have, Gretchin mobs will not be the elite of your troops. They are there to fight a bitter battle, and unless survival is very important (kill point games for instance), one should not be squeamish with using them. Although their subliminal uses are far more useful, when these are done, Grots should be utilised viciously.

Grots have a number of subliminal uses that I will discuss in this section. Unfortunately some of them are increasingly more common knowledge than they once were, and are certainly the least sneaky things you can do with Grots, but are the most effective and commonly used ones:

Nabbing Objectives
As a cheap troop choice, Grots are ideal for ĎObjective Sittingí. If you have an objective (such as a bunker) in your own deployment zone, Grots are a very good choice for babysitting it. Even if you are using a Speed Freaks force, you should consider taking some Grots to Ďleave behindí. Whether it is about holding table quarters, bunkers or other objectives, Grots are cheap enough to throw at them, Ďweedy enoughí to forget about and generally out of range enough of enemies to spend most of the game going to ground.

Opponents really hate Ďwasting shotsí on Grots, so it really isnít a problem for you to send them after valuable objectives. A cunning Ork Player will be giving their opponent far more dangerous things to worry about than a small group of runts! Donít expect Grots to hold an objective from an awful lot that moves in to contest, but regardless they are still one of our best units for taking objectives.

I will discuss techniques for taking forward objectives in a short while.

Providing Cover
The ĎRunt Saveí as I like to call it, Grots have always been popular for their ability to screen the much more expensive and valuable units behind them. In the last codex, it was an inherent rule, and now it is incorporated in the 5th Edition ruleset. Runt Saving is so popular with Ork Players because it easily allows for Grots to revert to tarpitting when the ground is closed and with Grots moving directly ahead, they are also in a good position for grabbing enemy objectives.

Runt Save units can provide the odd unit (say, that your KFF cannot cover) with a very effective cover save and your opponent is unlikely to 'waste shots' on the Grots themselves. When they close ground they can help in assault, revert to tarpitting, send them after objectives and/or use blasta shots to annoy your opponent and score cheap kills.

The smaller the Grot unit, the more annoying they can be. They are easy to kill though, in combat and shooting, so they are not invulnerable. However a unit starting with 10-20 Grots can cover a large amount of Orks and make a difficult tarpit obstacle for the opponent. It can often be worth covering the Grots with a KFF. This may seem counter-intuitive, but this ensures grot survival and the save for the unit they are personally covering is already better anyway, just now, you might keep it a bit longer.

Obviously the main issue is running. If either the covering unit or the unit behind fall short, issues start to arise. Iíve found that the easiest way to avoid this if both units are running is to line the covering grots on the deployment edge in as few tight rows as possible, and give between 1 and 3 inches between them and the units they cover behind them. This will reduce the potential of the Orks sitting around with movement they canít use.

The other main issue is that Grots being in the front almost definitely slows down the potential progress of the unit/s it covers. Usually, this is worth it, even with Shoota units who in most cases have the Grots providing the enemy with cover as well. Be aware of what your opponent is. Against Beakies, that cover is generally worthless, and if they go to ground, that is an advantage to you anyway.



In the poorly drawn diagram above, youíll see a rough example of the kind of things you can do with Grot cover. Here, a Gretchin Mob of 20 is providing cover to a 30-strong Boyz Mob. Obviously a Grot unit could cover more, or less, but the principle I see is that, unless you are desperate, Grots should provide a long row that is at least 2 grots deep. 1-deep cover can be whittled away very easily, but covers more, so it is ultimately up to you.

You may be wondering why the Runtherds are on the ends. It is purely aesthetic on my part, really. I suggest experimenting with where you put your runtherds. I sometimes align them like that, and I definitely avoid placing them in the front line where possible. You want to try and maximise the location of those grabba Stikks/grot prods, so think about where you need them at the time. Remember that the Grots are probably an inch or so ahead, so better run rolls can be spent reforming whilst running. Also, sticking two on the end (whether theyíre grots or runtherds) extends your LOS coverage slightly.

The distance between the two units isnít always important. If you are using Shoota Boyz, you donít need to be so far behind the Grots, as youíll be shooting most of the game (and running for one turn might not account for the distance). Grots should run every turn, and even if you donít want to move too far forward from the unit/s you are covering, you can use the run moves to form your Grots up into a useful tactical shape. There are many, but Iím going to talk you through two.



We will discuss tarpitting in a short while, but you can prepare for it whilst advancing. The formation picture above shows how I have moved the runtherds into the centre, deepened the flank sides, moved the Orks in and curved the front row slightly. The reason for all of this is control. When you choose to tarpit, you need only move your Grots the full distance, unload a volley of shots from the blastas and brace for the charge, taking any position you like (remember that this picture is showing a formation preparing for a tarpit, not the actual tarpit itself!).

The flanks of the Grot unit are deeper to allow optimum cover whilst making sure you wonít run into coherency issues (which is why the Runtherds are in the middle, as no matter what happens youíll not remove the runtherds if you have the choice, and you still have coherency if they are sniped). The Runtherds are also in the middle so that they can be easily moved to get into b-t-b with any charge. You can have them on the front row, but that depends on what you are facing. Sometimes it is better to choose positions that allow you a better choice of placing for the first round of combat.

Always think about where your runtherds should be placed. Although no longer easy to remove in combat, these are your main combat elements and you do need to exploit your runtherdsí location if you want to reduce the combat impact. Your Runtherds with grabba Stikks in particular need to be deployed effectively, so always be wary of where you place them.



An alternative formation that I favour is a flanking formation. You use this if you intend to move the Grots and Orks in different directions, such as flanking an enemy unit. The main advantage of this manoeuvre is that it still provides cover but allows both Ork and Grot units roughly the same movement potential, but on the downside reduces the amount of Grots that could potentially provide cover, as well as being fairly predictable as to what your units are going to do. It is generally a good idea to face the Grotsí flank towards the largest mass of enemy firepower if possible. I will cover flanking shortly, but first letís discuss tarpitting.

Tarpitting and Charge Blocking
Two terms you may or may not be familiar with, but mean essentially the same thing. The idea is to place a blocking unit that prevents the enemy from assaulting more valuable enemy units behind them. The enemy can ignore the Grots, but if they remain intact, the Grots will still be able to move freely, and either way, the enemy still cannot touch the unit behind in combat. More to the point, regardless of the result, the enemy will not be able to reach the protected unit/s behind and are now at the mercy of those units in the following turn.

The important thing to remember about tarpitting is positioning and bait. You want to make sure that the Grots are positioned in such a way that the enemy cannot easily move around them, and that your valuable units are a sufficient number of inches away that they are protected but able to counter charge in the following turn. Obviously, if your enemy units have larger charge ranges or fleet, you will need to take the extra movement into account (an easy way to do this is to widen your Grots and move your Orks back). Here is another bad picture to show a general tarpit setup:



As you can see, the Grots are set up to accept the charge from one opponent. The basic idea is to fully block the unit and a good rule of thumb is to prevent an enemy model from drawing any straight lines to the unit/s you are covering without passing through the Grots. Runtherds sit in the front (with grabba Stikks, accepting a charge is an easy way to reduce attacks no matter what the position, so positioning is only important if you want to neuter a specific character) and try to keep your grot rank deep if possible.



On occasion, you may need your Grots to protect valuable units from a number of enemy units. In these cases, the process is still the same. Spread your Grots wide enough to cover the unit/s the Grots protect in such a way that you cannot draw a straight line from the enemy units to any of them, and keep the rows of grots at least 2 deep where possible (this will mean that it is easier to maintain the protective barrier of grots if you have to remove shooting casualties).

Once positioning is sorted, baiting is usually the easy bit, and is also when you find out if your tarpit is successful, or if your Grots are lucky enough to be out of charge range (ignoring stuff that can fleet, anyway). To bait an enemy into accepting the tarpit, all you need to do is unleash a Grot Blasta volley. Some shooting at BS3 should be enough to suggest to your opponent that leaving the Grots alone is a reasonably bad idea. Plus, killing enemies increases the chance of the Grots surviving to at least attack back, so either way shooting them is good.

As Sweeping Advances are gone, fighting Grots is pretty much a death sentence if the enemy will promptly stare down an Ork unit that is within 12". A situation of tarpit trapping is the one main time you should consider not re-rolling with the Squig hound in combat. Although consolidation becomes an issue (for getting out of range of the Ork unit/s behind the tarpit), keeping Grots around for a second combat means even with fresh attackers on your side, without wiping the enemy out you will probably lose the combat if there are more Grots than attackers.

Because consolidation cannot lead to assault, there is not much stopping you from keeping your Orks a lot closer, and this is most recommended when trying to tarpit jump troops, as youíll need to make sure they canít get past the grots, and the best way to do that is have the other side of the grots being 1-2Ē away from Orks (which would be an illegal move for jump troops). Generally though against really fast things, the tarpit can fall down if you arenít careful, so always remember to exploit positioning, distance and terrain if you can.

The main downside of tarpitting is that it can, on occasion, block your own units from getting into combat themselves. This is fairly rare though, as Grots are very easy to kill and the opponent is not really rewarded in success anyway. It is however, almost guaranteed to result in either a destroyed or fleeing Grot unit; an almost certain kill point for the enemy, especially in units of 20 or less (inflicting 11 or more casualties to a Grot unit in a single turn can be very easy).

Remember that often (especially with multiple units) it is easier for the foe to just shoot your grots dead. The speedbump/tarpit effect is the same, as they can only shoot you after moving, and it is unlikely that theyíd be within 6Ē after shooting if youíve placed them correctly. It is best to always be cautious about losing your grots to shooting, especially when nearby units can fleet. People can get around speed bumps, so always think twice when trying to deploy one.

Unit Flanking
Depending on the situation, tarpitting can sometimes be a waste. If you have the advantage of distance and your opponentís unit/s lies within 6-12Ē, there is seldom much point in letting your Grots stand around doing nothing! A tactic I tend to favour is Unit Flanking.

This is essentially the final development of the flanking formation I showed you earlier (it may help to go back to familiarise yourself if necessary). The theory behind it is that the Orks have continued to gain cover from the Grots, but are merely less than 2Ē behind the front of the uppermost Grot rank. This means that the two units can split apart, and with the right amount of cunning, can do a number of clever things, and the distance travelled between them is very similar.

The flanking formation mostly protects a single unit geared for assault (but provides an impressive screen to other units behind as well!), but otherwise allows that little extra movement to deploy quickly and effectively into combat. If timed well with the rest of the army, this is a wonderful time to consider calling your waaagh and getting as many of your Orks into combat as possible. You should also bear in mind that Grots cannot ĎWaaagh!í (and thus cannot fleet), so they may not have as much potential to move ahead as the Orks potentially have.

The main tactical advantage of the flanking manoeuvre is being able to surround an opposing unit from two sides; either to throw both units into combat, or to move off the Gretchin for a few volleys of shooting without interfering with charging potential.



Although this manoeuvre mentions a Ďdouble assaultí it is not necessary. The important thing to take note is that the Orks have a greater potential to surround the enemy if you are able to fleet that turn. If you have no need of running the Grots, even if you do not charge in, a volley of Grot Blasta fire (plus whatever the Ork unit has if they donít fleet) is worth unleashing. This could potentially lead to the unit fleeing, but it all depends on what you want to achieve. If you are hesitant to consider any concept of charging Grots in to assist another unit, I will cover this later on when I discuss using Grots in Combat.



Alternatively, you may want to use this tactic to tarpit an enemy unit close enough to support the unit your Ork unit will be charging. In this instance you may need to utilise a run move to pull it off effectively (although avoid this if possible to get a volley of blasta fire off). Alternatively you could use this manoeuvre in order to make a sprint for an objective, leaving Ďda boyz ta get on wif watz proppaí. If they win the assault, consolidation is best spent making sure the tarpit works, otherwise ideally the enemy unit (if it survives) should provide an obstacle to aid the tarpit. Be clever if you can about where you place your charging Orks, and from where you remove casualties.

Flanking is very simple to do, although can be a little time consuming. It is however very effective for exploiting movement, if a little more predictable and easy to spot for the opponent. A clever opponent will tend to ignore the gretchin half (although depending on how well you did the formation it is possible to switch around in a turn if you have time. However the best way to get away with this is to make your opponent notice other rather dangerous Ork units and otherwise distract from the weedy nature of the grots (although they could be screening 30 boyz, which would scare anyoneÖ) with more vital concerns. However if you want to deploy two units quickly in separate ways, it is a very useful tactic.

It is also worth considering getting the grots to a position where they might be within 6" of the enemy unit for if it flees from combat. It is a tough one to get right, and the fleeing troops will probably shoot the grots quite badly, but it is an easy way of neutralising an enemy unit (credit goes to Kaan for this suggestion).

Other Grot Screens/Manoeuvres (Zog Diz is New Stuff!)
This section is a work in progress. I'm determined to add at least half a dozen more diagrams and examples over the coming months, if possible. As I mentioned earlier, Grots are extremely useful, and there are a myriad of useful tricks, shapes and manoeuvres that can be used in order to get the best out of your Grots. As time goes on, I plan to integrate suggestions into this section, although I'm not quite sure how many more pictures I can add in directly, but I'll experiment and see how it goes. In the immediate future, I'm thinking up two or three more to add to this, and always, more suggestions are extremely welcome!

Irondog's "The T-Bone"
A great deal of us are familiar with our friend Irondog. In addition to being a member of this site, Irondog Studios is filled with lots of Orky goodies, such as his wonderful conversions. He also has a quite interesting Gretchin 101. This tactica does seem mostly out of date, as it seems geared around 4th Edition (the time of numerous "Grots Suck" threads), but still has some useful words of wisdom. Still to this day, the stand-out part for me is his "T-Bone" Grot formation, something I used a lot back in the days of 4th Ed. I honestly don't know why I hadn't included it before, but here it is, and more information is available on one of the two links to his site I've included above.

The nature of Irondog's T-Bone has somewhat changed in 5th edition. Now it is no longer a formation that makes Grots immune to being destroyed in one assault, but it does still provide unrivalled cover, and now thanks to 5th Ed's cover rules, still provides the tarpit/speedbump effect, and also brilliant cover for at least two Ork units. Here's a badly drawn diagram:



You'll note this uses a maxed out Grot unit, but that isn't totally necessary. The important points always remain the same. You make a long line along the front, taking care to place your Runtherds in the centre, and a "divider" going down in a thin line in the middle. This allows you to place two Ork units at each side of the T, being covered by the front row of Grots. It is, simply put, pure genius.

Irondog suggests you put the runtherdz on the far end, but I disagree. My reasoning is that you always want the runtherds in the middle. This guarantees them getting into assault, as the enemy will charge the centre or side, or two units at each side. If he hits a side, your runtherds will easily form up into combat. If the middle is attacked, your Runtherds are guaranteed to be in combat, and will easily reduce the combat impact. There is also the issue of consolidation. If it gets to the point where you start losing grots from the front row (a perfectly likely possibility), then you will need to start removing Grots from the ends of the front row. With your Runtherds central, you wont run into the issue of coherency. If your runtherds are sniped, being in the middle, the line is easy enough to readjust (Credit goes to Kaan for this suggestion). If you prefer Irondog's way, he explains it in his section on the T-Bone.

There are a few things to add. Now that consolidation cannot lead to assault, you are free to bunch up your Orks. In this regard, the T-Bone works to Runt Save and tarpit in the same ways I've suggested above. A main advantage of the T-Bone, is casualties can be taken from the "divider" in the middle first, allowing your screen to be thinner, yet allow casualties to be removed without affecting the nature of the line at the front.

Putting your Orks in after the initial assault may be difficult if the Grots hold, but the Orks can easily move around the side if you declare your waaagh, and if the Grots flee, your Boyz will be scarily close. Against massed mobs of assault infantry that can threaten multiple assaults at the same time, this tactic is incredibly useful.

The only main downside to the T-Bone, is that it is very hard to form it up moving, so you'll need to do it in the deployment phase, and that means your opponent will immediately see it coming. It is also very hard to give the Grots a multiple use, as they are very widely spread out, that reforming will take quite a while to pull off. However, considering that this can cover two large Boyz/Ork units from fire and assault, makes it a highly useful manoeuvre to use. Once again, Kudos and credit goes to Irondog for this tactic.

The Weedy/Squishy/Fungal Curtain
Indecisive naming aside, I'm sure we are all more or less familiar with the idea of wrapping a friendly unit with a small unit of grots. For many of us with Lootas and Big Gunz accompanied (or not) by a SAG Big Mek, wrapping a Grot unit around them is an extremely popular tactic. It essentially follows on from our discussion on screening, but as it is one that is typically stationary and also a little different in approach, it deserves its own entry. Following the trend, here's another badly drawn diagram:



This somewhat assumes a Loota/SAG combo, but that isn't strictly necessary. It could be 15 Lootas, 3 Big Gunz, or anything else. The uniting concept for this, however, is the idea of protecting a less combat orientated (read: squishy) support unit with an even more squishy (but very cheap) protection. I've seen the merits of this first hand, as an Ork player, if I see a Big Mek/Loota unit at the back of an opposing Ork army, my Deffkoptas have them at the top of their hit list. They are very glass-jawed in combat, and a small, cheap baby-sitting unit becomes incredibly useful.

You'll notice this diagram is divided into two parts: Standard and Extended. Essentially they have exactly the same function, which is to cover the protected unit. Normally, against most armies, you'll find the standard to be pretty much perfect. It is also the easiest to do, as all you need is 10 grots. The extended comes into play when you know you'll be dealing with hidden and/or outflanking units. In that case, you want to address the possibility of incoming assaults and shooting from any direction. Typically, for a large unit, you'd potentially need more Grots for this, although you could probably stretch coherency a bit to make it stick, although as I've said before, the less Grots, the less effective they are.

Note that the runtherds are on the side. This is so that when forming up into combat, no matter what direction the enemy hits from, your runtherds are going to get in. Be aware of where your defended unit is being deployed. If there is a more likely entry point for the enemy, you'll want your runtherds in a position which addresses that. If your unit is more than 6" wide, a sideways assault is likely to prevent a runtherd from getting into base-to-base.

Aside of that, you've essentially got yourselves a standard screen and tarpit. The enemy will have to shoot and/or assault the grots, meaning that, for one turn at least, your support is protected, giving you enough time to react with a unit kitted out to deal with them, or to at least buy you another turn of shooting. The main downside is that it gives cover. This can be damning for Lootas if you end up obscuring light tanks. Grots are short though, and the distance away might make up for it. Plus, Lootas are common shooting targets themselves. The screen is however much more useful for protecting SAG meks and Lobbas, which don't have that problem.

You'll notice I didn't mention deep strike. I highly doubt that a player would risk deep striking behind a support unit that will likely be near a board edge. Even if they do somehow manage it, most cannot assault that turn, thus allowing you time to reposition your Grots, and to get a pre-emptive blasta volley onto them.

Finally, you could also use this merely as an assault shield. If, say, you have a building to protect your unit, or they are sitting on a hill-top, your grots really don't need to get in the way, so you can use them merely as an assault tarpit, and bonus points if you're also sitting on an objective.

Refused Flanking Manoeuvre
This is something I've been formulating since I started using my flanking manoeuvre (mentioned above). As I mentioned, the main issue with the flanking manoeuvre is that shrewd players can see it coming. In a couple of instances, I've had players attempt to react to this, with occasional success. Essentially, it usually entails something one cannot deal with, such as increased frequencies of shooting attacks or pulling something out of the hat that you weren't expecting (this is Gimmickhammer 40,000, after all!), but one I've noticed is attempting to commit a larger threat to loom over the unit your Boyz are intending to assault.

This reaction I've planned here is actually something I have to thank my friend Simon for, who plays a footslogger force. He read my tactica and now swears by Gretchin. He likes the flanking manoeuvre in particular during objective based missions, and recently faced an opponent who not only shrewdly saw what he was doing with it, but presented a more tempting assault target than the one he'd been moving towards.



Essentially this is the same in principle as the normal flanking manoeuvre, but you essentially refuse the obvious advantage from your positioning to move the two units in a counter direction to what is alluded at by your manoeuvre's shape. My diagram doesn't really help show quite how this works, so if you are desperate to have this in your arsenal to completely befuddle and destroy your foe, I suggest practising it. Needless to say, the best way to utilise this is to move the grots forward, and somewhat to the right, bringing the front ranks of the unit to the right-hand side and move the models at the rear up to fill in the gap on the left. This gives your Orks an awful lot of room to move, although generally speaking I will be surprised if you don't need a run move to pull it off.

Now, needless to say, this particular manoeuvre is highly reliant on a well-timed waaagh, and usually a damn good run roll. It isn't completely necessary, but it does go without saying that a footslogger army with Ghaz at the helm, calling his personal Waaagh! will make this manoeuvre go off without a hitch. Naturally, this is not an easy manoeuvre to use. It is one of those situations where your desired movement falls short of the measuring implement. So, I suggest only using it if it is really worth your while. Generally speaking, your Grots are likely doomed anyway if unsupported, but it does allow your Boyz a good choice of two units, one of those two being extremely unexpected.

The best time to use this is when the supporting unit on the opposite side to your Boyz flank is a much more enticing target. Perhaps they're a nastier unit, worth more VPs, perhaps even an easier kill point, or just too dangerous to leave hanging around. Your Boyz are therefore heading in their direction, leaving your Grots with the unenviable task of dealing with the bewildered initial target, that was expecting a boyz unit. You can do a few things with your Grots in this situation. You could use the run move to attempt a tarpit of that particular unit, thus trying to protect your Orks from being charged until the following turn. Alternatively, you may have even managed the tarpit in regular movement, or simply take advantage of not running to chuck out some blasta fire. If your enemy is moderately squishy it might be worth charging in with the grots.

Another use of this tactic is actually to move the Orks first, moving them off to the refused flank, and then moving the grots out of the way of they enemy unit (perhaps you have a truck/stormboyz/deffkoptas/bikers approaching from behind, or another Ork unit nearby that is making its way over. Thus you could chuck the Grots in to make the most of the grabba sticks, shoot the enemy, or just get out of the way.

This manoeuvre is a very tricky one to pull off, but if your opponent is shrewd or just used to seeing you use a regular flank manoeuvre, this gives you the opportunity to surprise them. Grots are always good for that.

The Price of Weediness
The Price of Weediness is something worth paying, and (more to the point) not as expensive as you might think! Iím prepared to assume that a lot of ďMathshammerĒ will be thrown around to show that statistically, at least, Weediness isnít much to be sniffed at. I am hoping the content in this tactica has at least got you to consider rethinking your position on Grots.

Obviously, the main failing of Grot units is the Gretchin statline. The 2s in particular are considered with a great deal of dismissal. For the most part it does mean that you at least know why Grots are so cheap. But Grots do at least have the saving grace of BS3. This is particularly attractive in other Gretchin units (Big Gunz, Grot Tanks and Kanz), and in a regular Grot unit this does mean that blasta fire can be reasonably destructive up close.

The main thing people tend to complain about with Grots is their apparently poor leadership. So I had a quick look through the codex. With Runtherds, a Gretchin unit has between 1 and 3 models that grant leadership 7 to the unit. More than half of the units in the Ork Codex with an Ld stat (some 11 units) have a maximum base of Ld 7 (outside of the Mob Rule and IC joining), and only two of these can greatly exceed a unit size of 8 without a significant cost. These two units are Grots and Boyz (the unit Grots usually screen). Weirdboyz, Nobz, Meganobz, Burna Boyz, Tankbustas, Lootas, Warbikers, Deffkoptas (who cannot exceed 5 models), and Big Gunz (who are in the same boat as Grots) are the others, and only really the Weirdboy can avoid leadership issues by joining Boyz units.

There are 9 units in the Ork Codex who have access to leadership 8 or greater, and of those about 80% of them are special characters or a unit that gains a higher leadership by having a special character upgrade: Ghazkhull, Mad Dok Grotsnik, Wazdakka Gutzmek, Old Zogwort, Warboss, Big Mek, Kommandos (Snikrot only), Stormboyz (Zagstruk only) and Flash Gitz (Badrukk only).

There are 4 Independent Characters with access to Bosspoles (2 of which are Special Characters), 7 units with access to bosspoles, and of those, only one Flash Git unit may have one (through Badrukk), and Storm Boyz (with Zagstruk) and Kommandos (with Snikrot) must do without a bosspole if they take their special character upgrade.

So on that note, Grots are very cheap, and runtherds provide the average Ork leadership as well as a leadership re-roll for the cost of a nob, whereas other units need an IC or pay an additional 5pts for the privilege. Oh and you can have up to three of these in a unit and are a lot harder to take out even with marksmen on the board. So what was that some people were saying about Grot leadership being rubbish? By the looks of it, theyíre bordering on above average for Orks.

The major threat to Gretchin is just about anything that isnít them, really. Specifically though, Grots really donít like dedicated combat units (especially ones with a high initiative and armour save) and units with a high toughness value. In shooting, Grots can handle stuff a bit better, but with strength 2 attacks in combat, only your Runtherds have any hope of hurting monstrous creatures. As monstrous creatures tend to be common tarpit targets, this almost guarantees the slaughter of your grot unit.

Grots that arenít protected by their own cover can be quickly whittled down by enemy shooting. Strangely gaming savvy opponents will determinedly deal with them, especially if you use a lot of tarpitting against them. Grots killed though are cheap casualties. This is one of their main advantages, but coupled with this, they do take a valuable troop slot.

Grots have some specific banes of course, which may appear to be an unreasonably short list. The truth is that most units can kill Grots. There are a few that are utterly perilous to come up against. Grots can always stand a chance of doing some damage to even the most dangerous of foes. Iíve beaten Khorne Berzerkers in combat with a Grot unit before. But here are a few things to watch out for:

Vehicles/Walkers: The obvious is unerringly true. Grots can never harm vehicles. Nope, your Runtherds canít use furious charge, so you canít even dent AV10. Grots make excellent tarpits against walkers (especially dreadnaughts), but they can only hold it up, and can never harm it. Dreads in particular will make you regret the day you dropped your grabba stikks for grot prods.

Pie Plates and Template Weapons: Like most Ork units, Grots donít fare well against template weapons. By far, flamer weapons are actually worse, because even if youíre cunning enough to protect your Grots with a KFF, flamers will ignore any cover save your Grots have and still wound on twos. Templates are always an easy way to remove Grots. Your only solace really is that at least it isnít your Orks this time (watch these though when covering, especially against hellhounds!).

Now is a good time to mention this. Watch out for pinning. It is a serious problem for Grot units that you have on the move.

Scout Sergeant Telion: Of the beakie characters, Telion is by far the worst for Grots, as he can easily take out your Runtherds, and has two Marksman(!) shots within a very decent range. Scout squads are a bit nasty for Grots anyway (especially with snipers), but with Telion they are a very serious threat. Other beakie characters to watch for are Pedro Cantor (mostly as heís so sodding popular) and Shrike (who is unlikely to be waisted on your grots, but stranger things have happenedÖ). beakies are particularly tough opponents for grots, but they are not numerous, and they are very expensive in points. Every beakie lost (especially terminators) to gretchin will be a major blow to your opponent, and a good way to pay for a Grot unitís points.

Death Company/Sanguinary High Priests: I hate Blood Angels. Theyíre fast, as hard as any beakie, and now annoyingly able to hand out Feel No Pain to tonnes of units. Feel No Pain is one of the Grot unitís biggest weaknesses. Grots struggle to make dents as it is, and FNP greatly reduces this even further. Count in power armour and it starts getting really annoying. Oh, you want to know about Death Company? Nobody likes Death Company. There is Mephiston too, of course, but Grots at least can attempt to tarpit him, and if you roll lucky, can bring him down. Grots can't wound him in combat though, although your Runtherds can. Just.

Plague Beakies and Berserkers: Chaos are quite nasty to Grots, but those two are my least favourites. Although youíd think I like Zerkers less, itís actually Plague Beakies. The FNP and high toughness are a horrible combination. The only time my Grot horde has ever been tabled and massacred recently was down to a Plague beakie army. Zerkers, have extra dice in combat. I have beaten them before, though, and the best thing about Zerkers is, you can always shoot them first.

Dire Avengers: If your panzee playing opponent is willing to waste a turnís shooting on your grots with his avengers, in all likelihood, they will not be there afterwards. Avoid, where possible. Dark Reapers (or whatever they're called) aren't nice either - see the above blast templates reference.

Before I move on, Iíd like to say this isnít an exhaustive list, and I invite people to suggest other examples that I can add. This is merely based on my experience of opponents. Iím yet to face the new Space Wolves for instance.

Constructing Gretchin Units
Okay, now Iíll give some advice on how to build up your grot units. It seems pretty simple, but it ultimately depends on what you want them to do. Grots are incredibly flexible, but how you build a Grot unit will have a massive impact on how it works in game.

Unit Size
How large to make your Grot units is probably the biggest issue you will face. Regardless of how you go about it, there are two things to remember: firstly, Grots take up a troop slot, and secondly, that Grot unit will be hugely cheap for what youíre getting.

A big deal in the Ork 40k community is the amount of Runtherds. A lot of people like to take up to one less grot than required to buy the next one. Previously, I used to oppose this as against the rules, but I donít bother now. It can add army list flexibility and save points, but it is often not as practical as people make out.

You can indeed buy a fair bit with 13 points (two more Orks etc), but it is worth considering paying that little bit extra, for what you get out of it. For a start, thereís strength in numbers. It isnít always important to just have lots of Grots. Runtherds are hard to get rid of without Marksmen, but it is still possible. Also, an extra runtherd adds a massive (for Grots) amount of extra combat clout to the unit. I can see lots of Vindicares and other Marksmen Snipers in our future: I can see the 1 runtherd Grot units getting deeply discouraged...

Iíd say the advantages of taking the extra runtherd usually outweigh the small points bonus of leaving him out. Ultimately, it depends on the rest of your list. Grots need to work well, but the same is true for the rest of your army, so it is up to you.

Sizes vary, depending on what you want to do.

If you only have a few points to spare, a unit of 10-18 Grots can be a useful harassment and/or objective sitting unit. You can even use them to cover and tarpit, although I wouldnít expect them to last very long.

In my view, Grots start getting good from 19 onwards. A unit of 20 preferably (or if you need to save points, 19 and a runtherd) will do what you want and survive quite well. The extra investment beyond this depends on the army, but you can do all of what I have mentioned previously pretty reliably.

The larger units can be quite unwieldy, but they also take a bit of shifting. Units close to the 30-mark pretty much need KFF protection. Otherwise the chance of them pegging it and you not getting the use of them becomes too irritating to budget for. Grot units of this size will attract firepower. This can be beneficial for you, but if you want them ignored, Iíd stick closer to the 20 mark and not much higher.

A lot of people advocate 29 grots and 2 runtherds. Seriously, donít bloody bother. Go up to the bell, and ring it, or donít go up to the bell. A unit of that size needs all the help it can get to be useful more than it does to save points. 120 points is not a lot for what they do. I fit 3 maxed out units in 1000pts and more than that I have 4. I know how those units work, and I find the lack of runtherd seriously detrimental.

A unit of 30 Grots is to be used as a combat unit. Seriously, if youíve got that many, you want them in the thick of it. At that point, the extra runtherd makes a massive difference. If you keep them out of combat (which is difficult unless you're putting them in a objective in your deployment zone) then Grots are what you need for shooting. In combat however, it is all about the runtherds.

Runtherds
Always remember that Runtherds are dependant on the amount of grots you take. Those people who tell you that you can take 3 and only 10 grots are talking rubbish. Runtherds can only be bought per 10 grots. People can take advantage of this by taking grots under 10 (i.e. 12, 19 or 29), but it doesnít work both ways. You donít get to choose when you buy runtherds. You take them when you need them and only when you need them.

When choosing how to equip your Runtherds, I suggest, that unless you have a specific reason not to, you take Grabba Stikks. You can take on some pretty nasty charges and claw enough back to potentially survive combat resolution. When charging they give an extra edge, but runtherd positioning becomes vitally crucial.

I heavily discourage Grot Prods. Unless you're facing a force that is likely to have some kind of monstrous creature, they're hardly worth it, and the Grabba Stikks are more useful anyway for reducing attacks. The Grabba Stikks have saved me from far worse Combat Leadership rolls countless times, and the Grot Prods are expensive for what they do. Remember, toughness 7 and greater is rare, so at least your Runtherds have the chance of inflicting wounds, no matter how slim the odds.

You could always mix it up and take a bit of both, but I generally advocate that you stick to one type. If youíre going all out to wound, take Prods. If youíre going for damage limitation, take grabbas. Grabbas are much cheaper, and in my view, work best with Grots. Ultimately, if you want to take down MCs the best weapon for the job remains Lootas and PKs. Grots are better used holding them up, not killing them.

Grots On The Battlefield
Now finally, Iím going to mention a few basic pointers for using them in a game. I may have mentioned a few things previously, but these are just general thoughts I have put together for your delectation.

Deploying/Moving Grots
This will be the most important part of the game for your grots. Obviously the scenario/mission objectives will greatly determine where you place your gretchin. Ultimately though, it comes down to what role you want them to play in the battle. If you want them to lurk or sit on an objective, then finding cover is the best bet. Grots without cover are in serious trouble.

Usually, I advocate not deploying with the preparation procedures I mentioned above. It is best to move into them later, as the less time you give your opponent to think about them, the better. Most people undervalue Grots so greatly, that they doubt in the ability for Grots to do one purpose well, let alone multiple ones. However, this is no reason to give them the chance to consider it.

Unless you are playing a Grot Horde, always run with your Grots if you are covering something (even if you just use the run inches to reform them). In my experience, a Grot Horde should be moved with careful consideration, because once the enemy closes ground, you run out of chances to dictate when your Grots charge or are charged if you also close ground. If you can, draw your opponent in, then you can maximise firepower and combat clout.

Move your grots according to your expectations, and be wary of potential charges. Only take the charges you want them to. Remember what I said at the start; never play fair with Grots.

Grots In Combat
I was going to discuss Grots in the shooting and close combat phases separately, but seeing as Gretchin shooting range is so low it is almost inevitable that combat is going to shortly follow suite (either in your turn or your opponentís).

In Combat, the true secret of Grots are 3 things: Runtherds, Squighounds and Grot Blastas.

As weíve discussed Runtherds in some detail, letís move on specifically to Squighounds.

Squighounds
They are part of a Runtherd's wargear, but they are so awesome Iíve decided to mention them separately. The Squighound re-roll is an outright godsend, but there are a few important things to know. The squighound re-roll costs Grots. The bigger your unit is, the better (in particular to keep above 50% unit size) because your Grots will fail A LOT of leadership tests, especially in combat. In almost every situation, if you fail you really have to re-roll. Losing more Grots isnít always good, but making sure your Grots stay put is usually a better bet.

Important Note: Always remember that if you cannot sacrifice the amount of Grots needed for the re-roll, the re-roll does not happen. Squighounds will never eat Runtherds to make a re-roll, so you need the Grots. Bear this in mind.

As far as the Re-roll goes, it is amazing. People forget that a Grot runtherd provides the same leadership as most other Ork units and this unit has a built-in re-roll. This makes them one of the best objective-sitting units in the Ork Codex!

The only disadvantage is the lack of Mob Rule, but if you expect your grots to be brave, you're in for a shock, but not as much as you'd imagine. On a good day, my Grots don't run. Ever. On a bad day, they do anyway, but itís always funny!

One final piece of advice. If you may fail a leadership test and you have exactly half the size of the unit, it is worth considering (particularly if this is during your enemyís turn) not forcing the re-roll and waiting. The logic is that if you force the re-roll and fail, you lose the Grots (because the casualties from the squighound will take you below 50%), however if you wait until the following turn, you will get two chances to pass it. It will limit what you can do with your Grots, but worth considering for a scenario involving kill points.

Grot Blastas
Grot Blastas are one of the most underrated weapons in the game. They're probably the most rubbish guns in 40k, but if you have enough of them together, they can be extremely nasty. Given the choice, yes, I'd plump for shoota shots any day, but Blastas are horrendously evil simply by nature of Grot BS. I've already gone over it earlier, so I just thought I'd add that Grot shooting is a seldom known effect. So many people (Ork Players included) have no idea how nasty Grots can be in shooting. People rule out Grots as a threat, but when they close distance, a turn's shooting will make most players re-evaluate their attitude towards them, whether you follow it up with a charge or not.

A turn's blasta fire is ultimate Tarpit bait. No opponent will leave those guys around to fire again. Also, never forget that Runtherds have sluggas. BS2, but sluggas. Donít forget to fire them, it all adds up.

Grots can and often will do themselves proud, but it is almost always down to luck: good to wound rolls and opposing failed armour saves in particular. If you help Gretchin to soften up a unit with even a slight amount of fire support, Grots can take units down.

Expecting Grots to win assaults is extremely wishful thinking. Nine times out of ten Grots win assaults only by wiping out what they are attacking. Grot casualties are always going to be high, so usually you are relying on failed armour saves or an already weakened foe. Their numbers can be favourable and the Runtherds add a bit of combat bite to them, but expecting them to charge in and succeed can never be taken for granted, even against a weakened foe.

Grots are still very flexible, but they need support. Grot units work extremely well together. Putting them both into a combat is still a fairly large gamble, but a lot less painful than adding an Ork unit that will tend to be stuck with a lost combat regardless of how well they did.

Of Ork units to support in combat with Grots, generally it is better to keep them out of it unless you think the Orks could use help inflicting wounds. Grots however support Meganobz extremely well on occasion, because MANz generally have enough killy ability to destroy units, but the Grots give the enemy something else to attack (reducing potential dead MANz before they strike) and if the Grots are entering in the combat after an initial round, those extra attacks really add up. Plus you can surround any character with 3 grabba Stikks if you're smart enough. Only Khorne Lords tend to cope with that kind of restriction.

It is also worth noting that boyz units tend to lose anyway, so what exactly is stopping you from putting the Grots in? If the boyz are likely to remain fearless (even more so if Grots are dividing the enemy attacks) chuck the little sods in. If the Grots run, who cares? They did their job.

Grots As Retinues For ICs
Grots make good retinues on occasion, but here are a few things to consider.

There is much talk often on the Internet of using Mad Dok Grotsnik to make super grots with cybork bodies and popping him into the unit to grant feel no pain. This is almost always an utterly bad idea (and thankfully often discredited). Maybe in Apocalypse it'll be fun, but actually getting something out of FNP would be (other than against the likes of an Imp Guard horde) a rarity, and a 5+ invulnerable that although is VERY useful for Grots in assault, is a very expensive upgrade better spent on units that can do better in combat anyway, such as Meganobz. Still, Mekkagrots are fun and no mistake. But this is a tactica...

Grots are never a good idea for Warbosses. Seriously, put them somewhere useful! There may be a debatable use of sticking a Bikerboss in a grot unit in case of first turn shooting, but as Warbosses are combat beasts, Grots are not the ideal candidate for retinue duty.

They might work for Weirdboyz (but shootas or Flash Gits are better imo) but the only real useful retinue job is Big Meks, and in most cases this is limited to SAG meks. As the SAG is a potentially disastrous weapon, Grots are a cheap babysitting unit that takes hits instead of the mek and doesn't hurt as much when he explodes. Generally though Lootas or Big Gunz teams are the best babysitters because of the dakka they chuck out as well (Big Gunz also donít always restrict targeting the same thing). Grots, however, are a decent, and cheap alternative!

Most games I play at the moment are around the 1000 pt mark, and I tend to run 3 units of maxed out grots, covered by a KFF. There are so many Grots that players concentrate most of their firepower on them, rather than the much smaller but equally squishy unit of MANz and Warboss. The Grots at that size are unwieldy and tough to move, and seem to be useless, but 90 Grots makes up less than half of the army cost. Plus, when they close range, that grot BS starts to work wonders. I've dropped Avatars and many other 40k badasses with Gretchin fire.

Uvva Grotty Units
There are of course a few other units in 40k that use Gretchin. Given the nature of this tactica it may be worth mentioning a few of them. However, for reasons explained in more detail below (concerning IA 8), Iím merely choosing units that use actual Gretchin statlines. Units such as Kans and Grot Tanks deserve their own tacticas, and I have very little experience of using these units so far. However, Big Gunz is another unit I like to champion, and they are essentially another Gretchin unit, so letís have a look at them!

Big Gunz
Big Gunz are essentially our smallest, and (usually) cheapest Heavy Support unit. Some other units (such as Looted Wagons, Kans and Battlewagons) are fairly cheap to begin with, but you pretty much need to kit them up with quite a few options. Big Gunz start off cheap, and end up cheap. The most expensive layout is so unpopular as to be virtually a non-event, and you can spend extra on them, but for what they are, they usually remain an excellent bargain.

The trouble with Big Gunz is actually that they are too cheap and too small. In small games, youíll see a lot of big gunz about, but at larger point games, the heavy support slots become incredibly valuable. Of course, you can get Big Gunz on Battlewagons, although they are reduced to a less useful BS2.

Certainly, the main advantages of the Big Gunz are BS3 and low cost. The BS alone is enough to intimidate opponents. Big Gunz can on occasion, spend quite a while of the game being ignored, and, in addition to being fairly easy to deploy in cover, can have their numbers bolstered if you find yourself losing the guns regularly.

A major weakness of the Big Gunz unit is the gunz themselves, because when being shot at, they get hit most of the time, and with a mere AV10 and a glancing or penetrating hit auto-destroying them, this means that you absolutely need these units in some form of cover if theyíre going to get shot at. Big Gunz are at their weakest when they canít be directly deployed. Moving in from the board edge can often waist a few turns getting them into a decent firing position, especially during Dawn of War on the first turn, when you can be moving on with a large Ork army; this can leave them with little options for a number of turns if you're not careful.

There are essentially 3 builds for this unit (I thought there was more, but all the guns in the unit have to be the same type): Kannonz (by default), Lobbas and Zzap Guns. We will discuss the merits of each and then discuss the crew and options afterwards.

Kannonz
Kannonz are the default Big Gunz. There is much to praise about Kannonz: theyíre cheap, theyíre adaptable, they can deal with virtually every target, and they even provide the only defensive vehicle weapon in the entire Ork Codex.

Generally speaking, a 60 pt unit is as good as it sounds. Generally your Kannonz are best suited for light tank hunting, but they also have a decent AP, meaning they can also deal with power armour, and at strength 8, are likely chucking instant-death at BS3. The shell shot tends to see a lot more action than the frag shot, as the high strength is so useful, and a rare fairly accurate ranged tank-killer. Still, the frag shots are excellent against light infantry.

The biggest weakness of the Kannon is positioning. You generally need to get them into a good spot to make the most of them. As they are so adaptable, you donít absolutely need a commanding view of the battlefield, but you will inevitably want one to make the most of their abilities. Their range is fairly low at 36Ē, however. Saying that, itís rare there isnít an interesting target to shoot at within that.

Being the cheapest however, will save you lots of points, which you can either spend on the rest of your force, or allocate them some extra crew. Kannons do present themselves as particularly dangerous threats however, so where possible, make sure you put them in cover.

Ultimately, if you want to try big gunz out, and youíre not sure what to plump for, you really canít go wrong with Kannonz.

Lobbas
Lobbas are surprisingly efficient. They donít cost much more, and for that, you get a massively different effect. I actually like combining the forces of a unit of Lobbas and Kannonz. They free up your kannonz for the big targets, and your lobbas can batter the infantry.

Lobbas truly are infantry killers; strength 5, with a massively improved range, and barrage, allowing you to ignore intervening cover, and even LOS. You can place lobbas in any cover, out of the way, and let them fire off each turn.

Keeping out of LOS is generally a bad idea, as it does hurt accuracy significantly. You really do need the initial shot to hit, as that makes the other two likely so score quite a few hits.

The biggest problem with lobbas is when you stick them somewhere out of the way and then forget that theyíre there. Iíve done that a few times, especially on turns where the odd extra shots would have come in extremely handy. Make sure you donít forget about them!

Zzap Guns
Oh gork. Zzap Guns. For a start, no, they donít auto-hit. I know, itís a shame, and something must be done about it, but just because it says so in the 40k rulebook summary section does not make it a rule. In fact the introduction to the section states clearly that the codex takes precedence. So no, it has to roll to hit, even the Ork Codex FAQ tells you to, and hell, even Forge World spotted it as a typo.

Anyway, Zzap Guns arenít particularly popular. At 35 points a Big Gun, I can kind of see why. They are exceptional if you roll high for their strength, and their AP is enough that they can hunt terminators with ease, but for a gun built for taking out tanks, they donít do a very good job at it.

Still, if you get the weaponís strength above 8, the Grot BS3 gives these a scary potential. A popular tactic amongst Zzap users is taking 3 ammo runts; so on the turn you get a good strength, you can use the ammo runts to make it count.

Zzap Guns also cause auto-shaken, but you have to inflict at least a glancing or penetrating hit in order to inflict it. Once again, it doesnít really justify the added cost, or make up for how random the strength is.

A Zzap will on most occasions fail to perform against tanks, but every so often, when you get strength 10, you can annihilate tanks. Itís such a shame that itís easier to pull off with a Weirdboy, and that one DOES auto-hit.

Crew and Runtherds
Generally speaking, you should always take a Big Gun unit with a full 3 Gunz. It might be worth, if you can spare the points and the heavy slot, taking one or two Zzap Guns or Kannonz as an additional booster, but you really need all of the firepower you can muster, and for an Ork unit, 3 guns isnít a lot.

Always remember that if the crew is removed, so too are the guns, meaning that if you take Big Gunz as a retinue for a Big Mek (a popular choice due to them not restricting targeting options) they will just disappear, leaving your Big Mek out in the open. Therefore you may want to budget some extra crew to help baby-sit him.

However, the same is not true if the guns are removed. If you still have crew, those remain, and you can use them as a makeshift shooting screen (credit goes to Boss Gobbstompa for this suggestion), or even chuck them into combat if youíre desperate (although I tried this, and it seldom works).

The extra crew arenít always worth it, but they are very cheap for what they do. If youíre going to take extra crew, itís definitely worth considering the runtherd. The addition of a runtherd makes the Grots very hard to shift, and the only issue is losing the guns, after which the Grots can be utilised as a small speed bump and/or shooting screen for other units.

The ammo runts are definitely worth the points, especially for Lobbas and Zzap Guns. For Zzaps, theyíre virtually compulsory, as that one time you actually get a decent strength, you really donít want those shots to miss. For Lobbas, they're also very useful, and best used to ensure that you get the first initial shot as accurate as possible each turn (it isnít worth blowing them on the other two shots unless you really need to). Theyíre also pretty useful for Kannonz too, if you need a few shots to count.

Ultimately, Big Gunz are great on a budget, and if youíre losing them regularly, or you need more accuracy when it counts, a few small increases in expenditure can give the unit added resilience and accuracy. Theyíre a wonderfully cheap heavy support unit and incredibly useful. I donít leave home without my Big Gunz.

Imperial Armour 8
Thereís a lot of Grotty goodness in Imperial Armour 8: Grot Tanks, Grot Scavs, Grot Sponsons etc, and thereís also the newly emerging Grot Mega Tank that currently has experimental rules, and thereís a lot of grot crew and assistants scattered about. Rebel Players (and regular Ork playing Grot enthusiasts alike) are immensely happy with Forge World for this, something we hope they will continue to expand upon in the future.

Now, Iím not a massive Apoc Player (I play a few, but my large scale endeavours have been halted due to my writing projects), so I donít have much experience in this regard. Iím not going to include most of these units in this tactica, as you generally for the most part donít actually see the direct influence of the Grots (much like the Kans in the regular Codex), and I feel there are plenty of other gamers out there far more qualified and able to write tacticas and suggestions regarding these units. So for this reason, Iím hoping weíll see Grot Tank and Kan tacticas in the future, but I most likely wont be writing them.

I have however, used Grot Scavs, and with my Rebel Grot Codex endeavours (for Blakkreaperís Klanz Projekt), Iíve already been experimenting with similar augmentations of Gretchin, so I figure theyíre worth a mention here.

Grot Scavenger Mobs
I really like the idea behind Grot Scavs (although I donít think the term ďScavsĒ is quite as catchy or cool-sounding as Forge World were hoping). Essentially theyíre pretty much a standard Gretchin unit, with the addition of firebombs. It is somewhat concerning that the Runtherds have Waaagh, Mob rule and furious charge, but I wouldnít worry; as the FAQ clarifies these donít work as the Gretchin donít share it.

Scavs are basically slightly better Gretchin mobs. They have the same options, are also troops, and the firebombs allow them the option of defensive and assault grenades for a cost of D3 grots per use. They are also only one point more than regular gretchin. This does add up, but the ability to cancel out charging bonuses and a slight advantage in assault through combat, as well as some anti-tank ability is not to be sniffed at.

Essentially, you could take Scavs and use them as Iíve advised for regular gretchin units. Then, you can take advantage of the Firebombs as and when you need it. Certainly in apocalypse, thereís very little reason not to take Grot Scavs over regular Grots. For one point more per grot, you really canít go wrong, especially in apoc, where pointís costs arenít as troublesome.

One point more is a big deal though, as there is a big difference between 120 points, and 150, for a maxed out unit. Whether the extra points is worth it, is questionable in certain situations. Especially as where the 13 points to upgrade a unit to maximum is demonstrably worth it, the 10-30 points increment for some grenades is somewhat questionable in regular 40k.

I will say however, that knocking the stuffing out of charging bonuses really does give grots a nice little bonus, especially when you consider that youíre reducing 1-3 more from the runtherds, although positioning becomes hugely important there.

Again, Iíd suggest sticking to the grabba sticks. Go all out for damage limitation. Likewise, make sure you make extra use of these grots as you would for other units. It does suggest larger units, but you could get away with taking these in smaller units, although Iíd suggest a minimum of 15 Grots, as you could potentially lose 2-6 grots in a single turn just gleaning the benefits of the unit.

In all, Grot Scavs are another option you can take. In apoc, theyíre definitely worth considering, and it is also worth considering a small point, which is that this does actually gives the Grots some tank-hunting ability. It isnít much, but considering that usually Grots canít hurt any vehicles at all, it is pretty massive, and considering that it allows every single grot in combat with a vehicle that chance to hurt something with AV10, it is a pretty nice bonus worth considering.

Grot Scavs should be considered with care. In my personal view, the best gretchin asset is their cheapness. Even a single point increase in cost seriously affects that. Still, what you get out of it is pretty nice, and in some ways it is a valuable addition to an already useful unit.

Uvva Stuff
I am hoping this section in particular will actually get bigger! I'm not even remotely omniscient, so there's an awful lot of uses of Grots I've not tried yet, so I thought it might be worth closing with a few things I've read about or that have been suggested to me. So if you have something I've not posted up, please do let me know in here and I'll add it. This will just be in bullet points for the moment (as I've not tried them I can't really elaborate) but if you have suggestions for adding detail to it, please do so! I also want as many suggestions as possible. I would like to show the world how adaptable Grots are, and you can help!

Aside of what I've listed, there are many extra considerations and weedy tactics that are very lateral (thinking outside the box) in their approach. These can really catch people off-guard, so there more there are, the more cunning you can be. I've nicked all of these, so if you recognise it and want to be credited for mentioning it, please contact me.

  • Minesweeper: Playing to Lose: Pretty common knowledge, and rare to see used. Grots do have a rule that allows them to get rid of minefields. It can be rather useful, and another role in their arsenal. I've yet to see Scout Bikers, but those use them, and obviously there's special mission stuff (and apoc) too. [Rating: A Pathetic Waste of Loincloths Credit: Andy "Awesome" Chambers]
  • GAPC: Get your Grots to jump into a transport. They can provide some covering fire, and are also a moving objective scorer! [Rating: Weedy! Credit: fester iirc]
  • Barfstormers: Deep Striking Grots! Not really something you'll see in regular play, but in Apoc and Planetstrike, I reckon this is a possibility. Grot Stormtroops sound an absolute blast, and an easy way to capture a forward objective! Make sure your support units keep it that way! [Rating: Dork Side Master! Credit: Cossack iirc]
  • Psycho Blastas!!: This is particularly common amongst Grot users, and too impossible to credit (especially as I use it as well), but it is a well known facet that a Grot unit with an accurate but disturbingly unexpected kill count and reputation for killiness produces marvelous results on your opponents, especially beakie players. [Rating: Weedier than a Mushling in a fungus patch! Credit: Nutters Everywhere]
  • Lazy Gitz: If you have a objective in your deployment zone, but face lots of enemy firepower, leave your Grots in reserve and bring them in later in the game to move into it. It is risky, but may provide a few vital turns of your Grots avoiding shooting damage! [Rating: VERY Weedy! Credit: LukeS]
  • Grotadiers: You can mount a Grot unit in a transport which has stikkbomb chukkas, and upon disembarking they will be treated as having stikkbombs if they charge into combat that turn. This gives them some anti-tank abilities and is rather unexpected. For more information on Grots using grenades, check out the Grot Scavs entry above. [Rating: Weedier than a good ramshackle roll Credit: MrSpermdeath]


If you have more suggestions, let me know!

Conclusion
Ö

**Sounds of evil cackling**

Welcome, my young apprentice, to the Dork Side!!!

MUWAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Walks away muttering ďI donít think this whole ĎDorkí Side thing is going to catch onÖĒ**


Final Note: Now, I'd very much like this to be the Best (read: only) Grot Tactica in the Universe. So therefore I'm open to any suggestions for improvement: additions, changes to improve accuracy, new terms, C&C, corrections, advice for reducing the length etc. Let's hold off on the "It's too long" comments though. Even I know that, so it is obvious to everyone. This naturally needs to be useful, so let me know if it helped, if it didn't, and why. Thanks for reading. Sorry it is so long, but if it helps some of you, it was worth it! cheers.gif

I know this has come out of nowhere, but I've been threatening to post it for months, so I suppose I should have posted it ages ago.


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grotsnak
post Mar 23 2011, 10:25 AM
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Nice mate wow smilingOrk.gif any chnace of a sample grot list? pphhtork.gif
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Dim_Reapa
post Mar 23 2011, 10:48 AM
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QUOTE (grotsnak @ Mar 23 2011, 03:25 PM) *
Nice mate wow smilingOrk.gif any chnace of a sample grot list? pphhtork.gif


At some point, yes. I had three lists (1000, 1500, 2000pts) set aside for this purpose, but I've lost it, and can't be bothered to re-write it today (if you had to code and proof-read that much^ words in a day, you'd probably want a break from writing too! winkingOrk.gif ).

You can search in the Clan Rosters section for the last few army lists I used. They haven't changed much over the years.

The tactica though is designed for use for all Ork Players, not just Grot horde users. In particular it is actually angled with Ork players in mind. My tactics with a Grot Horde are similar, but the majority doesn't apply when you make a unit mostly for support roles into a front-line troop unit.

My typical list at 1000-1500pts is usually (off the top of my head - I'm in the middle preparing for the Waaagh meet with new stuff being made, so lists are up in the air at the moment)

Warboss, Mega Armour, sometimes an attack squig
Big Mek, Kustom Force Field
MANz (3-6 depending)
3-4x 30 Grots (3 runtherds, Grabbas)
10 trukkboyz (Squig Hoppers, Nob PK, bosspole)
3 Deffkoptas (with big shootas and big bomms, occasional Buzzsaw)
Looted wagon, boomgun, ardcase
Big Gunz, Kannonz.

I'm currently experimenting again with my list, so other things are getting added and plan to be added. At 2000 pts I'm planning Snikrot Kommandos, Stormboyz, Rokkit-Buggies and a few other things.

But as said, this tactica is for use with any Grot unit in any Ork army.


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grotsnak
post Mar 23 2011, 10:51 AM
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squid hoppers? smilingOrk.gif Thanks thats very enlightening, I'm going blood moonz so lotas gubinzz smilingOrk.gif but thank you for ur swift reply and sorry for the triple post
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Kaan
post Mar 23 2011, 10:57 AM
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Hmmm, I should have printed this out to read in the gym at lunch (may still do that anyways, just to reread it). One thought,

In the combat/flank/tarpitting schematic, where you are setting the boyz up to charge an enemy unit and the grots veer off to set up a tarpit for the supporting unit.....Should you consider the possibilities of the boyz winning and breaking the enemy in combat? The grots could run and keep within 6" of the enemy (especially beakies with "and they shall know no cheese") so they can't regroup and keep falling back. The grots may get shot up to hell and yonder by the falling back unit, but if you are near the table edge, the falling back unit may run off.....taunted by grots the whole time. That would be glorious!

For your colored schematics, instead of having the runtherds with arrows, maybe use a different color (red?) to show where you would place them. Just a thought.



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Grimuz 'Blud...
post Mar 23 2011, 11:00 AM
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Hey! Amazing work! I just picked up a second unit of Grotz, look forward to trying out some of these strategies....


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QUOTE (Utan @ Mar 24 2009, 12:57 PM) *
Why does "Don't Press Dat!" stop for friendly units? Such a courteous malfunction!

QUOTE (Boss Gobbstompa @ May 3 2011, 10:11 PM) *
It's not that I have more boyz than you have Beakies, it's that I have more boyz than your Beakies have BULLETS!

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Dim_Reapa
post Mar 23 2011, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE (Kaan @ Mar 23 2011, 03:57 PM) *
Hmmm, I should have printed this out to read in the gym at lunch (may still do that anyways, just to reread it). One thought,

In the combat/flank/tarpitting schematic, where you are setting the boyz up to charge an enemy unit and the grots veer off to set up a tarpit for the supporting unit.....Should you consider the possibilities of the boyz winning and breaking the enemy in combat? The grots could run and keep within 6" of the enemy (especially beakies with "and they shall know no cheese") so they can't regroup and keep falling back. The grots may get shot up to hell and yonder by the falling back unit, but if you are near the table edge, the falling back unit may run off.....taunted by grots the whole time. That would be glorious!


That rule is still in the game? laughingOrk.gif

Totally thought that had gone out with 4th Ed! Yes it is rather cunning. I'll add that in when I get a moment.

QUOTE (Kaan @ Mar 23 2011, 03:57 PM) *
For your colored schematics, instead of having the runtherds with arrows, maybe use a different color (red?) to show where you would place them. Just a thought.


The pics are a bit small and don't show it too well, but the arrows are just there to show that I've moved them further in (i.e. the direction I've moved them). The Runtherds are actually dark green with a red circular border. I can make them stand out more if people want me to.

These are the picture versions from my blogger account, so I made them smaller so they'd fit. If I get a moment I might make some slightly bigger versions for this thread so that they're easier to see. You all think that would be useful?


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Boss Gobbstompa
post Mar 23 2011, 11:34 AM
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As for the chasing fleeing units rule, yeah, it's still in the game. I caused a unit of termies to break and chased them right off the board edge. Was a lot of fun, as it so rarely happens with beakies.


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Nkelsch on the differences between disembarking from open-topped vehicles and closed vehicles.
QUOTE (nkelsch @ Dec 10 2009, 10:15 AM) *
Compare a bunch if drunk rednecks jumping out of the back of a pickup truck VS a bunch of old ladies getting off the bus.

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Nazbag
post Mar 23 2011, 01:04 PM
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This is fantastic, once it's finished with all the suggestions do you think the Bosses will Pin it?


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GrogDaTyrant
post Mar 23 2011, 01:14 PM
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Very well constructed post, Dim. It's clear you put a lot of thought and effort into this. I do admit that I was one of the 'Grots-Suck' players at the tail-end of 4th edition. But I think with 5th they've become much more valuable.

Great post! This should be sticked, or referenced in a stickied post.


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Dim_Reapa
post Mar 23 2011, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE (GrogDaTyrant @ Mar 23 2011, 06:14 PM) *
Very well constructed post, Dim. It's clear you put a lot of thought and effort into this. I do admit that I was one of the 'Grots-Suck' players at the tail-end of 4th edition. But I think with 5th they've become much more valuable.


Yeah I remember duking it out with you, ya git winkingOrk.gif

Whilst it's true that Grots certainly have a greater value now than ever, and so many roles its unbelievable, as an offensive unit, they peaked in 4th ed with the new codex. Just think, that cheapness, the BS3, re-rolls to Ld, and a less crippling combat resolution...

My Grots kicked arse back then. Not as much now, but you're right, there's a lot that makes up for it! They still kick bottom. Just less arse.


Oh, and don't forget people, in addition to extra suggested tactics, I'm also looking out for any particularly nasty foes for Grots to come up against that you've encountered in your games.


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Akork
post Mar 23 2011, 10:46 PM
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OP, mind blown... i now realize I want grots, especially the way I run my army. Thank you! cheers.gif
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Galacticz
post Mar 24 2011, 02:58 AM
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Like always Dim, and amazing contribution. Thank you for taking the time to put all this together! CoolOrkDark.gif
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grotsnak
post Mar 24 2011, 03:34 AM
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ummm where is the chasing fleeing units rule? smilingOrk.gif and yh great post
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Dim_Reapa
post Mar 24 2011, 05:31 AM
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QUOTE (grotsnak @ Mar 24 2011, 08:34 AM) *
ummm where is the chasing fleeing units rule? smilingOrk.gif and yh great post


Right, done, now shaddap! pphhtork.gif winkingOrk.gif

(if you're wondering where the fleeing units rule is in the rulebook, its on page 46, under Regrouping)


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grotsnak
post Mar 24 2011, 06:06 AM
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thank you and dont make me go get my dreadz on u P winkingOrk.gif
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Mr Squiggee
post Mar 25 2011, 05:22 AM
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Great job (as ever), Dim. All doo Koodoze, and I second the notion that this should be pinned.

thumbs.gif thumbs.gif thumbs.gif

You have significantly changed my perspective on warband composition, & let's just say that there will be grots in my Apocalypse Now themed army. (All I need to do now is work out how to stick coolie hats on 'em.)

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Mik McMok the Me...
post Mar 26 2011, 03:20 PM
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Thats a really good army tactica for gretchin thanks for all the effort and finger blisters.


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jack da greenski...
post Mar 26 2011, 08:11 PM
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QUOTE (dim @ Mar 20 2011, 07:44 PM) *
[*] Barfstormers: Deep Striking Grots! Not really something you'll see in regular play, but in Apoc and Planetstrike, I reckon this is a possibility. Grot Stormtroops sound an absolute blast, and an easy way to capture a forward objective! Make sure your support units keep it that way! [Rating: Dork Side Master! Credit: Cossack iirc]


This tactic is the most effective, point efficient and fun use of gretchin I've ever seen.

Take 2 units of 20, and some big mobs of boys. Also take the supply drop stratagem.

The supply drop gives D3 of your units meltabomms, but cleverly, you pick at the start of one of your turns. This means you can drop your grots, have them either ignored CoolOrkDark.gif or shot CoolOrkDark.gif and give the meltabomms to the unit that will gain the most from it.

Drop them as far away as you like, you have a turn of running then 12" move+assault. Imagine 20 meltabomms, auto hitting av14 bastions, with 2d6+8 to pen...

all for 160 points + stratagem points.

Just a lot of grots die in the resulting explosion. (LOTS). Seriously, its like the entire unit just drops :L


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QUOTE (Kingh on paroxyism vs waaagh banner.)
This is just further proof that none of the 5th Ed Codexes received any play-testing beyond Mat Ward running around the building with a Land Speeder model whilst screaming 'VROOM VROOM'

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Boss Gobbstompa
post Mar 26 2011, 10:36 PM
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sounds like the Goblin Sappers from Warcraft II


--------------------
Nkelsch on the differences between disembarking from open-topped vehicles and closed vehicles.
QUOTE (nkelsch @ Dec 10 2009, 10:15 AM) *
Compare a bunch if drunk rednecks jumping out of the back of a pickup truck VS a bunch of old ladies getting off the bus.

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