Well, I did it with Winter Assault 1.41 and so it's only fair I did it with Dark Crusade 1.2.
Dark Crusade 1.2 1v1 Ork Strategy Guide
Why write this guide? Because there's plenty of ork strategies out there and it makes sense to have them all in the same place. Also, while Spadez's Guide is good (if not a little hard to understand with all of the ork language), it really only caters to the beginners. What about those that already know how the race works and want to fine tune their skills? This guide is for you.
So, as I just said, this guide is for those who already know what they are doing with Orks. I'll assume you know how the pop and teching system works, what's available at what point in the tech tree, and what each unit's strengths and weaknesses are.
If you are new to the Ork race, this probably isn't the guide to read. Here's some places to get you started:
Dark Crusade Ork Tech Tree
Explanation of the Ork Population System
Spadez's Strategy Guide
Info on the new DC 1.2 mob bonus
This strategy guide has been born through my own experience with orks, as well as from talking to and watching replays from other skilled ork players such as K0lyan, Xerxes, Slow_Runner, Santiago4ever, marteffyo, Balllaman and r3r3drum, amongst others.
General Play with Orks
Harrassing and Teching
There's one thing to note about Orks that will become pretty apparent quite quickly - they generally tech slower than the other races, especially from tier 1 to tier 2. This is because Orks are the most requisition-hungry race to tech from tier 1 to tier 2, and this of course requires map control which isn't always easy to achieve. The other races generally don't need to worry about securing as much of the map as they can in the opening minutes as orks do in regards to needing that requisition to tech, but most of them are quite good at denying orks the map control they need.
For this reason, a lot of your early game should be focused on harrassing your opponent to try to slow them down enough to allow you to get to tier 2 and get your heavy hitters out - and games WILL go to at least tier 2. Between two players of equal skill games in DC are never outright won or lost in tier 1. It's all about getting as much leverage as you can in tier 1 to launch yourself into tier 2. Other races that can quick tech can do it easier than orks can, so that's why it's really important to start pressuring them early to try to put the brakes on their tech as much as possible.
Hit them early, hit them hard.
The Big Mek
Another note is that unlike some other races who can do without their commanders in tier 1, building the BM is generally not an option with orks. He's your main deterrent against harrassment and the main force in a harrass itself. Even if the opponent doesn't build their commander in tier 1, you should always build the BM. He has awesome killing power and can tie a squad up forever, giving you a much better chance of fighting for the map. Don't forget though that he'll lose in a straight 1v1 fight against most other commanders (even the farseer if she uses both her spells on him), so whenever it's possible attach him to a slugga squad to provide extra protection. Oh yeah, he's also your only mobile detector until at least late tier 2.
This should go without saying but research tankbusta infiltration as soon as it's time to start using tankbustas. It's invaluable. Grot infiltration is also a good idea, though don't get it too early unless you are facing a rush.
- The first upgrade you should probably get is the armour upgrade from the PoG...mostly because it's available quite early and doesn't take too long. It's important to get it as early as possible - the longer your boyz are staying alive, the less you'll need to spend reinforcing them and the faster you can tech.
- Next on the list would be either choppy or blastier, depending on whether you are focusing on a more CC or shooty army. It's usually a good idea to get both eventually, but which one you go for first will be dependent on what strategy you are using.
- It's almost always a good idea to get the Big Mek's Kustim Gadjitz upgrade
- Tougher bosses is also usually a good idea, but not before the previously mentioned upgrades
- The Burna upgrades aren't a good idea unless you are massing burnas (which also isn't a good idea generally speaking)
- The Dakka upgrades can generally wait until quite late when you are thinking about going tier 3 and getting flash gitz out
To Free Slugga, or not to Free Slugga
There's no doubt that making use of Free Sluggas can be powerful in the right situation - though it's not so much of a problem in 1v1's as it is in larger team games. It also however relies pretty heavily on your opponent leaving you alone for the majority of the game, because it does take a lot of time and resources to get to. Heading straight for tier 3 and free sluggas is never a good idea as you'll almost always get overrun before you get there or before you can reach any great number of sluggas. But regardless, if it's used as part of a normal tech into tier 3, it CAN win you games that you probably otherwise wouldn't have won, especially if you combine them with flash gitz and vehicles. Use it sparingly, or risk being accused of being an abusing n00b...it's use is generally frowned upon by the competitive community.
General Ork Strategies
Despite the fact the build time on shootaboyz has been increased in DC, the shoota rush is still effective in the right situations (generally on smaller maps). Whack down an early banner, and while your sluggas are off capping go shoota, BM, shoota from the boyz hut (you can also go shoota, shoota, BM, but this puts your BM out on the field quite late which usually isn't a good idea). Reinforce those two shoota squads and send them in along with the BM to try to do some damage. Target LP's and gens, and try to knock out some of the troops that come to defend when you get the chance. While this is going on assess the situation...if you think you are getting on top, throw down a generator and PoG and equip big shootas to your squads to push the advantage. If you think you are getting overwhelmed, don't be afraid to pull back.
A modified version of the shoota rush is to build a gen first before the banner, which of course limits you to only one squad of shootas unless you forego one of your starting sluggas. This has the advantage of being able to start stockpiling power early, but with only three squads running around, it's much harder to secure map control. Still, this can work on certain maps in certain matchups. Just don't leave building your banner until too late or you'll quickly find yourself outnumbered.
Be very wary of the fast tech...if you encounter little resistance, this usually means your opponent's going straight for tier 2. Remember to target their builders. Pull back and minimise losses when the tier 2 troops hit you until you can get some nob backup.
Most effective against Eldar if they go Reapers, or Tau if they go Fire Warriors, but can also be useful against SM if they decide to mass tacs on you or IG if they equip grenades. It involves building two fairly quick banners then pumping out a couple of squads of stormboyz. It's up to you whether you want to throw those two banners down one after the other straight away, or wait a bit to get the second banner so you can get a shoota squad out first - though the former option is more risky and doesn't give you good opportunity to secure early map control. One way or the other, you'll need the PoG down fairly quickly so you can make use of stikkbombs, research armour and choppy and put a nob leader on them. Hit their economy once you have them on the run and tech up to tier 2 to push your advantage.
Two fast generators at the start, start stockpiling that power and LP2 all of your points as quickly as possible while harrassing and defending with a small force. Depending on the map you can build the two generators before your boyz hut then stick the hut next to an LP2 on a forward point to use as an added fallback position. This leaves you wide open to rushes at the start of the game, and basically surrenders map control to your opponent, but the rewards are there if you manage to hold off until the economy kicks in. Better on some maps than on others.
This is more of a delaying tactic than anything else, since sluggas are not good at destroying economy.
Exactly as the name suggests. Forget about building shootas at the start and go for three squads of sluggas. Use them along with your BM to make a nuisance of yourself as you build your econ and tech, then once your nobz arrive push into the opponent's base as hard as you can. Don't forget upgrades! You may decide to forget about nobz and go for trukks for some shooty support instead...and this has the added bonus of being able to get your troops out of trouble if things start to look hairy. Don't suicide your BM or boyz.
The Nob tech still works despite the fast teching system in DC, but you need to be careful about when you use it. Combine it as part of a good shoota rush or 3 slugga build, and don't forget those armour and choppy upgrades. If the nobz arrive early enough you can really put the brakes on any teching your opponent is doing. Use MANZ as backup as well, but don't spend too long lingering in tier 2...even if you think you've got the game won, tier 3 units can turn the game around in seconds, so don't forget to tech up yourself.
Race Specific Strategies
Whatever a chaos opponent is going to throw at you is fairly predictable. Raptor Harrass->Fast tier 2 and berzerkers/sorc->fast tier 3 and psm's/oblits. Yay. The stupid thing is, it's extremely hard to counter. The one weakness this fast teching chaos strategy has is that it's difficult for them to attain map control, so use this to your advantage. Try and take as much of the map as you can and build an economy in the opening minutes, and prepare for the zerks. Once they start arriving keep them busy with shootas and possibly some upgraded nobz, but don't waste any time in tier 2. Yes, upgraded nobz will beat zerks (not necessarily for cost, but they will beat them regardless), but spending too long in tier 2 is a big mistake. Get to tier 3 as fast as possible or you won't have much of an answer to the PSM's and oblits that start heading your way. The DP can also be a real pain for orks...sick your Warboss and BM on him and juice them up if necessary.
Occasionally you may come across a Chaos player that's a bit creative who decides to mass tacs on you. Stormboyz and shootas are your answer here, tech to nobz to finish him off, but be careful of the fast tech to tier 3.
Eldar can be a hard matchup for orks. 90% of the time they'll reaper spam you, and this can really hurt if you aren't prepared for it. Get your stormboyz out but keep a shoota squad around for some ranged support. Keep the Eldar player moving and microing his reapers like crazy, throw stikk bombs when you can and get those armour and choppy upgrades. If your opponent is smart he'll try running you around LP2's - if you can take the opportunity to smash them with your BM and shootas to try and dent his econ.
If Eldar decides to build rangers against you, simply use your BM to keep the rangers constantly tied up. Banshees are a bit more of a problem though, it's a wonder why more Eldar players don't use them. Shootas under the fire of your buildings guns is your best bet.
Watch out for Fire Dragons and that sneaky little trick of getting them into your base and taking down your economy and vital buildings. They are ridiculously resistant to your building guns and will level your base in seconds if you are not careful. Always make sure to try to tie them up (I know, not always easy when there's reapers and Warp Spiders running around). Remember Eldar are pretty heavily dependent on power, so don't hesitate to take out their gens if you get an opportunity.
This matchup has got a lot harder since WA. A lot rests in the opening minutes in this one, you need to be really aggressive in trying to take map control from them. An IG forward point is almost impossible to penetrate and you really need to be on your guard that they don't sneak up and try to do this on a point near your base. Shootas and Stormboyz are your best counters to the guardsmen threat, but pay attention to what he's doing. If he starts getting grenades, get stormboyz out. If he doesn't, it means he's fast teching to tier 2. Equip big shootas to your shootaboyz and drive him back while you tech to Tankbustas (MANZ are also a good idea...regular nobz not so much in this matcup). Ork vehicles are quite effective against IG infantry as well, so if you can spare the cash get a couple of trukks and traks and the odd Kan. Once you have sufficient resources kick off tier 3, push with your flash gitz, but keep an eye on any fanatacism'd squads. Use your doc juice!
Like most races, Necrons are probably the Ork's hardest matchup. Warriors kill shootas at range, and sluggas in melee. FO's deepstrike into your base and tear down your banners like paper. Before too long Immortals show up and knock down your base in seconds. And that's not even considering what the Lord is doing. So how the hell do you beat it? Hit them hard and early. Hit them with shootas, sluggas and your BM (he's especially vital in this matchup) as soon as you can, kill his scarabs and try to knock down his generators. Try to take care of any warriors as soon as they pop out of the monolith too before they do any real damage. Throw down your PoG, equip big shootas, and try to do more damage, dancing away from the FO's as much as you can. If you like, this is one situation where using burnas may be a good idea...the warriors can't damage you when they are broken. Burnas combined with big shootas can be a powerful combo against necrons if pulled off right.
Don't rely so much on your building guns here...not only do they barely scratch necron infantry, one solar pulse and they are all useless. Invest in tech instead and try to get to tier 3, once your flash gitz arrive you're in with a chance. Don't miss the opportunity to build some traks for disruption.
The golden rule against necrons is to push, push push. Don't give them a moment's rest and don't lay off for a second. Despite your best efforts, you'll probably be forced to cut your losses and retreat at some point, but don't give up when this happens. Use the time to consolidate and hit them back.
Fighting another ork is like fighting yourself. It's a real guessing game...will they try to out-mass me, will they try teching, will they try vehicles? Just remember they have exactly the same options as you do. There are a few tips though to fighting other orks. Don't invest too much in tier 1 troops...those building guns hurt, and spending resources on troops that are just going to die to them is not a good idea. Target banners whenever you can to slow down their tech, and take out the opposing BM if you get the chance. MANZ are always a good idea against other orks as they can stand up to the building guns very well, as can Kans. Keep pressuring your opponent and take map control from them, and you'll generally go on to win.
Space Marine players tend to be more imaginative than their Chaos playing cousins. You can face a variety of different strategies against them. Mass tacs. Scout harrass->tier 2 with Grey Knights and the Chaplain. ASM builds. Whatever the SM player tries, you need to try to match them blow for blow. Mass tacs can be taken with the stormboyz/shoota combo, and get your big shootas on your squads, otherwise they'll just be fodder when the GK's arrive. Scouts in general aren't too much fo a problem for orks to handle...the BM is quite good at stopping them from doing too much damage even if they use snipers, and clever placement of your building guns usually deters any early rushes. Scout builds usually mean the FC isn't going to be around early so feel free to use your BM to chase them around. The golden rule to fighting space marines is to try to hit them as hard as you can as early as you can...because if they hit tier 2 with the majority of their tier 1 troops still intact, they will really, really hurt you when their tier 2 upgrades kick in and their new units hit the field (including dreads which can be a real pain for orks to deal with). If the SM hits tier 3 before you do, you are making things very hard for yourself. Most SM players will try to end the game in late tier 2 though, and understandably so because SM tier 2 is insanely strong.
Tau can be a tricky matchup for orks. You might think that the threat of Vespids isn't a problem, but on a map where you have outer points that are not protected by your building guns, they can be a huge pain...and unfortunately, if the TC tags along (which he normally does), the BM can't handle them by himself. Try to use shootas to back up your BM in this situation and take advantage of the BM's detection ability to bring down any snare traps you might spot. On maps where the majority of your points will be protected by your building guns, it's a pretty safe bet the Tau will skip the Vespids and go straight to Fire Warriors or Kroot. Fire Warriors can be handled by stormboyz, so long as they don't get caught in snare traps (pay attention!) and a lot of shootas with a BM attached to a slugga squad should handle the threat of kroot. Tau tier 2 is when it starts getting nasty though, but it can be quite hard to hurt them enough in tier 1 to make a difference. Make sure you get tankbustas as soon as you can and research cloaking because those vehicles are almost guaranteed to show up at your doorstep. Like Eldar, Tau are pretty heavily dependent on power, so take out their generators whenever you can. Earth caste builders are also vulnerable...take them down whenever you see them.
Now get out there and show them what Orks are made of!