Ah, the humble Grot. In
every society, there are those who are on the bottom of
the heap. Quite literally downtrodden (and kicked and beaten),
the Grotz are always on the wrong end of things - including
the food chain!
Individually, Grotz are piss-poor troops. Their statline
sucks, their gun is a peice of junk, and their morale -
well, we just won't talk about it. But you get them together
in a mob, and they suddenly become ... well, still piss-poor.
However, they do have their uses.
Grotz do have a few things going for them. Number one, they're dirt cheap.
If used poorly, you'll get exactly what you pay for. Your
opponent also knows this. So use their apparent worthlessness
to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to shove that 20
grot squad into the meat grinder and have it wiped out.
After all, it was only 80 points.
Grots also have a couple of abilities and options, as well
as some tactical tricks to make them very useful. They've
lost a couple of neat tricks with the new codex, but they
can still prove pretty useful. Here's how to use and abuse
Ork saddled with the thankless task of driving a grot mob
into battle is known as a Runtherd. Runtherds, also called
Slavers, are responsible for keeping a grot mob in line
and to keep them from running away like the cowardly gits
they are. To assist them in their chore, Runtherds have
a few nifty items at their disposal.
Grabba Stikk: Whether
it takes the form of a large spiked claw on a pole or a
nasty looking whip, a grabba stick is a Runtherd's tool
of choice for keeping grotz in line and throttling anything
within reach. They can cause a single enemy model in base
contact to lose an attack (to a minimum of 1). This can
work great when using the "Tar Pit" tactic (see
Squig Hound: A foul-tempered
(and foul-smelling) little beasty that eats errant grotz
on command. These vicious critters are very handy for keeping
the grotz in the fight. If the grot mob fails a morale check,
just feed D3 grotz to the hound and re-roll the check.
Grot-Prod: A handy
electric prod that allows a Runtherd to wound any enemy
on a 4+. This would be great, but it replaces the grabba
stikk and your opponent still gets his armor save. Personally,
I prefer having my opponent's big nasties lose an attack
(or more with multiple Runtherds in base contact), rather
than have a half-ass attempt at laying a wound on him.
a Grots Life
This is a marginally useful
ability that allows a grot mob to remove a minefield. Wow.
I mean really, how often have you even SEEN a minefield
in 40k, let alone been willing to potentially damage a unit
by going over it. I really would have preffered they keep
the "Living Shield" and "Better Footing"
abilities, but c'est la vie.
The rule operates like this: The grot
mob is charged over a minefield to make the mines safe!
Take 3D6 grotz away as casualties and remove the minefield.
It's a very characterful rule, but not a game-winner by
Well that does it for their options and special
rules. Let's look at how to use the little runts
I generally use my grots
as an assault shield. Orks are at their best when charging
an opponent and a grot mob deployed as a skirmish screen
can help you acheive that.
The "T-Bone" tactic is a essentially
like the "Speedbump" tactic I talked about in
the Unit Tactics section, but modified slightly to take
into account the unique makeup of the grot mob. The basic
idea is to spread out the grots so they can't all be killed
in one assault, but any in the kill zone are done for. If
you're keeping grotz in base to base, hoping to tie up the
unit and get some licks in, consider these points:
The T-Bone in action
1) I don't care who you are fighting,
the grotz WILL lose the combat. They don't have the statline
to cause more than one or two lucky casualties, and they
will undoubtedly take more than that.
2) Their leadership sucks, pure and
simple. The squig hound can help mitigate this, but plan
on the grotz running for their lives.
However, in spite these two rather major
flaws, grotz can be one of the most useful units in an ork
army if used correctly. As an assault screen, they help
get your boyz charging instead being charged. Here's how
the "T-Bone" works:
Stick your grotz out in front of your
boyz mobs, make a long line across the front to get maximum
coverage. Then run a single line of grotz down one side
of your boyz unit (or down the middle between units if covering
more than one). This configuration will look like a "T"
or an upside-down "L" depending on how you place
them. Near the bottom of the "T", away from the
enemy, is where you put the Runtherds (see picture). Make
sure the front line of grotz is at least 3" or more
from the nearest ork.
Now, assume a nasty close combat unit
wants to get you. Well, they're going to have to get through
the grot shield first. The assaulters will hit your grots,
and since the little runts are spread so thin the assaulting unit will likely mop the
floor with every grot in the kill zone. Make damn sure that
you remove every grot from base contact when pulling casualties.
When the time for a morale check comes around, one of two
things will happen.
First up, let's assume the little blighters
decide to run like the weedy runts that they are. You had
no models in base contact with the enemy, so they can't
sweeping advance. They get their 3" consolidation which
isn't enough to get to your orks if you placed them properly.
On your turn, the orks rush in and do what they do best.
Now if the grotz hold (yes, miracles
do happen from time to time), the assault unit must pile-in
on the grotz and can't contact another unit. The enemy has
to pile-in first, since it's his turn and he charged you.
When you pile in, make sure to get your grotz into base
contact with as many of the enemy as you can while leaving
a few gaps for the boyz to get in. Try to get your Runtherds
into base contact during the pile in, that way you can reduce
the attacks of your opponent in the following round.
Here's where it gets REALLY nasty. Most
of the enemy unit is in contact with grotz, meaning they
have to attack them. There will probably be only a few in
contact with orks; meaning da boyz will be able to inflict
maximum punishment, while likely only suffering a few casualties
in return. This is especially important against opponents
with a higher initiative so da boyz can get their licks
This tactic takes a bit of practice
to get down pat, but once you do, you'll never field orks
without a grot mob.
Got a nasty close combat
gribbly coming your way? Need for that guy to cool his heels
for a round or two so you can deal with him proppa like?
Run a Grot Mob forward and bury that assault monster in
a sea of green runtz!
As I've stated before, the grot statline
is pathetic. They aren't going to kill much in close combat.
But they do have one thing going for them. Unit size. Where
else in 40k can you get a couple dozen ablative wounds for
less than 100 points. They may not kill much but they don't
need to, they're there to die. Just not quickly.
The Tar Pit
And hey... any kills they do make are
bragging points. There's nothing sweeter than rubbing your
buddy's nose in the fact that his nasty lord in terminator
armor took one in the groin from a snotling with a sharp
The "Tar Pit" is a tactic
to keep an enemy model occupied until you can properly deal
with it. Likely candidates are chaos lords, hive tyrants,
or any other tough beastie you don't want running roughshod
through your lines. These big nasties can cause a real mess
if left unchecked. In order to deal with them, you often
need a 'specialist' (i.e. a Powerklaw toting Nob) who may
need some time to get into position. The whole purpose of
a "Tar Pit" is to bury the gribbly in grotz to
buy time. Hopefully, the grot mob will hold long enough
for your 'specialist' to get in there and take care of business.
There are a few things to know about
grotz in a close combat. First off, they have a tendency
to die. The "Tar Pit" tactic only works against
a single models, or at least a small number of models. Don't
try it against an assault unit at full strength or they'll
mow you down like grass. The second thing to be aware of
is how you remove your casualties.
In a "Tar Pit", you'll want
to pull the casualties from base contact whenever possible.
That way the grot mob can't be wiped out by a sweeping advance
if you blow the morale check (and the hound re-roll). Against
some enemies this will be easier than others.
Something on a regular 25mm or 40mm
base will likely have quite a few attacks. Since you can't
get that many grotz in contact with such a small target,
removing all models in base contact will be easier. Independent
Characters, Demon Princes and guys in Terminator Armor fall
into this category. If you end up re-rolling the morale
check, take the grots you feed to the hound from base contact
as well. This tactic will help avoid nasty sweeping advance
problems. Against gribblies like these having a Runtherd
in base contact isn't generally a good idea, using a grabba
stikk to reduce the number of attacks will likely keep you
in base contact and vulnerable to getting swept.
Against a really big beastie on a very
large base, like Dreadnaughts, Wraithlords, and Tyranid
Big Bugs, removing all models in base contact is less likely.
In cases like this you want to stick as many Runtherds as
you can into base contact to reduce incoming attacks and
allow you to hang in there as long as possible. Against
things like Dreadnaughts, with a low number of high strength
attacks, you can reduce the amount of damage you take considerably.
I have personally used this tactic against
a variety of opponents. My personal favorite was keeping
a Rune Priest in terminator armor occupied for 3 full turns.
The grotz even laid a wound on him! Not bad for a 80 point
The above tactics are
all fine and good if you're facing an assault army. But
what about an army like the Tau or Imperial Guard who just
sit back and make you eat lead? Since the grotz lost their
"Living Shield" rule, they can no longer provide
cover saves for the Orks behind them. However, they still
have a use: Objective Camping.
Even though the unit costs next to nothing
and has pathetic stats, grot mobs still count as scoring
units. By using grotz, an ork player can hold objectives
cheaper than any other army in the game. By just parking
themselves on an objective (preferably in cover) and sitting
tight, a grot mob can capture many times it's own value
in Victory Points.
Let's say you're playing a table quarters
battle at 1500 points. Would you rather have a couple hundred
points of orks holding down a quarter to gain 375 VPs, or
send less than 100 points of grots to do the same job so
the orks can go smash something?
Grots are all about using and abusing
their points cost. Sure, clearing mines may sound fun, but
when was the last time it changed the course of a game?
The key to grotz is tactics. They don't have good stats
or fancy options, so don't try to use them as something
And remember, the odds of a grot mob
nailing a carnifex are terrible. But when it happens, you
win the game, regardless of what the victory points say.
to "Deep Strike"
"Tau Shoot n' Scoot"