Orks Tactica: Building a Better Tin Can

For those warbosses who have already managed to finch their very own looted copy of Psychic Awakening – Sage of the Wolf, you’ve probably already realized that the biggest takeaways are found in the Kustom Jobs and Subkultures. Looking at how this book changes the Ork meta (or for many, how it doesn’t) it’s important to stop on these pages first because they offer the biggest potential shifts for units that were by and large non-competitive and rarely showing up in tournament contending lists.

One unit I’d like to highlight today is the oft-forgotten Killa Kan. This lopping, clumsy barrel of grot-encased death has been a long-time favorite for Ork hobbyists. It’s a really lovely sprue when a ton of kitbash potential, but many like myself have long hoped to see a place the lowly Kan in their list. With a sizeable points drop coming back at the tail end of 2019 from Chapter Approved, and now some interesting new opportunities in Psychic Awakening, I’d like to highlight a couple of unique ways to get some almost-competitive mileage out of the Killa Kan.

The Krump Krew

Ok, hear me out – what if you took one of the most cowardly units in all of 40K with a 5+ weapon skill and sent them into the front line to duke it out with Imperial Knights… with the expectation of them murdering it in a single turn? Crazy? We’ll dive deep in how that works, but let me first grab your eye with this.

Not bad right? Strength 8, -3AP and flat 3 damage is a hell of a hit if you can land it. But with a weapon skill of 5+ and only 3 attacks per model, it still really doesn’t seem like much. The trick is to add some easy layers of buffing to push that Kan Klaw is a more useable state. The first step, treat your Killa Kans like Ork boyz – buy a bunch of them.

With the dynamics of 8th Edition’s fight phase, fielding the max mob size of Kans (6) and getting them all within combat range is quite possible, even with their large base size. Fielding six is also rather achievable in list building as well. An Ork melee Deff Dread typically comes in at around 95-100 points per model, while you could have all six Kans for a paltry 210 points if you keep their guns as basic as possible. With a max mob, you’ll enjoy the benefits of Scrag ‘Em for most of their lifespan, boosting their attacks from 3 to 4 per… but we can still do better.

Ah yes, good old Warpath! This and Da Jump have been seen in almost every Ork List since their Index, and with good reason. One important item to note, is that Warpath isn’t restricted to infantry like many Ork powers, and you get the most mileage out of casting it onto the biggest, baddest unit possible. Typically this is going to be a mob of 30 Ork Boyz (or 40, or 50 if you’re a proper kunnin’ boss). A mega-mob of six Kans is certainly worth that investment as well though, boosting each of these tin-cans to 5 attacks each – a hefty total of 30 attacks from the group. Hitting on 5s through…, you’re still only looking at 10 hits.

Every good warboss knows how incredible the Nob with Waaagh Banner can be in most lists, but what most don’t realize is that it affects ALL clan units, including Gretchin. Although Gretchin units, which Kans are considered to be, do not gain the benefit of clan traits, they still receive the clan tag. The +1 to hit from the banner is thus boosting them to a more respectable 4+ to hit with those incredible klaws, but we’re still not in a good enough spot to see that value. This is where the Subkulture comes in.

Tin ‘Eads – Krush n’ Krump
Killa Kans, Deff Dreads, Morkonauts Gorkonaut, Stompas, and Mega Armor units only. When resolving an attack with a melee weapon by a model with this subkulture, add 1 to the hit roll.

And now we’ve done it! With this small upgrade, we’ve boosted the lowly Killa Klan to a powerhouse worthy of serving the greater Waagh and surprising the many, many unsuspecting rival warlords who would never, could never expect a grot to hit them on a 3+ with a S8 -3AP damage 3 weapon 30 times. If we run those numbers through the good ol’ Mathhammer, you’ll find that you’re on average hitting 20 times, wounding an Imperial Knight 10 times, watching him fail his save 8.33 times, and doing an average of 25 damage per turn – just enough to krump any pesky high-pocketed beak-bot by our 210 points worth of scraggin’ Kans.

Keeping Them Moving & On the Board

Photo Courtesy of Kyle Reekie at geargutsmekshop.com

For extra effect and greater resilience, you could consider partnering your scrum of scrap with a Deffkilla Wartrike to allow them to run and charge (the Deffkilla’s power is only restricted to vehicles, which Kans are), but I’m not sure I see the points value in bringing him. An always excellent investment, however, is the slightly revised Big Mek w/ Forcefield to provide the 5++ save from shooting/melee and ongoing repairs. The Big Mek and Nob with Banner work especially well when positioned in death star formation, encircled by the Kan models. You may also consider bringing a Warboss for his Breaking Heads ability to mitigate some of the horrible leadership rolls that will ensue once the enemy catches on to your brutally cunning plan and starts eliminating your Kans. 

Another option (and there is some debate on whether this is actually possible without taking the Mek Shop), is to upgrade the Big Shootas on your Kans for Rokkits, buy the Sparkly Bitz Kustom Job and enjoy a ballistic and weapon skill of 3+, dealing 3 damage from anything that breaks through.

Closing Thoughts

So there ya go fellow warbosses! I encourage all of you to really take a hard look at Killa Kans, Deff Dreads, Gorkanauts, and Meganobz and see what incredible combinations you can untap with the new Subkulture and Kustom Jobs brought by Psychic Awakening!

Photo Courtesy of Kyle Reekie at geargutsmekshop.com

Don’t forget to check out the GDFC Showcase, you could win some awesome GDFC objective markers! I really do hope to see some of the cool stuff you have all been working on. Whether it’s a full army and display board, or a really cool conversion, I want to see it and showcase it!

As always, please check us out on the usual social platforms to stay current with the latest GDFC releases. Be sure to check out our #GDFCShowcase challenge that we are running for a chance to win some exclusive GDFC battle swag.