Almost done with my first ETL vow, so I'm starting to plan the next one. I'm pretty proud that I'll have finished the 4 characters in a month, especially with how complicated Tortoof and the SAG Big Mek* were. I'm hopeful that the next vow can also be completed in a month, but I do want to make sure I don't accidently vow too much, only to find myself unable to finish in time at all.
So, the first thing I'll be painting is a Gorkanaut. My wonderful wife got me one for Father's Day, and I just cannot wait to paint it. Though I first have to finish assembling it. Going along with what I'm doing for my Lootas, I'm thinking it'll be a primarily orange vehicle, with major red details and yellow accents. I'm hopeful that I can be a little sloppier and a lot quicker by using the airbrush to paint large amounts of it, with weathering/washing covering up the bleed over (a tip from OrkPainterNerd). I'm also going to be using chipping medium for the first time. Should be an interesting experience.
With one Gorkanaut on the docket, what else can I include? This is a little bit of a grey area, since I have a lot of stuff that needs to be painted, but due to participating in tournaments, almost all of it already has color on it (to meet a 3-color minimum). This means the remaining 5 nob bikers, 8 lootas, 3 weirdboys, KFF big mek, 40 boyz, and 30 grots that I'm using in my lists are ineligible for vowing for the ETL! I could just get back to work on them, but I really want to contribute to the ETL, so I'm looking for stuff that I have that I can paint. I have a Dakkajet 98% ready to be painted (need to finish the cockpit), so that'll probably be on the vow. I also have this second-hand battlewagon from the same lot as the SAG Big Mek and some of my lootas. The trick with it is while it is only primed black, it is very poorly primed. But I don't think I can easily strip it due to the size. I'm thinking about vowing it, and if I decide it's un-saveable, finishing it to a minimum standard, and either putting it aside to be stripped or turned into terrain later.
Other than that, I don't have much else to do. I'll probably include 10 grots, just because they aren't to the 3-color minimum, so I'll just tag them onto the vow to get them done.
Now, to segue, I'm thinking about how to use the Gorkanaut in a list. Per our discussion after the FAQ, vehicle-heavy Orks is something I'd love to see. Despite my professed love for horde Orks, I've been thinking about what such a list would look like. Ben Jureck's Freeboota Orks (scroll to 3rd place) feature two Gorkanauts, and he's been doing pretty solidly with that list. However, I think his list is more akin to the "gunline"-Ork style Nick was referring to.
For vehicles, I'm just not a fan of the rules of any of the new buggies, with the notable exception of the Deffkilla Wartrike. Even that one is merely "ok", with the reason I take it in my current lists and why I'll probably take it in the vehicle-list being that it allows bikes and vehicles to charge after advancing. So, with the new buggies out, that leaves Kans, Dreads, 'nauts, trukks, old buggies, battlewagons, and the stompa as Ork vehicles. Oh, and the Forgeworld vehicles. Straight off, let's eliminate the non-'naut walkers. Dreads aren't awful, but I don't think they'll work unless you're tellyporting them, and Kans and Stompas need no rationalizing their exclusion. Old buggies aren't good, trukks are 100% about whats inside them, and the Forgeworld vehicles are either over-priced or too similar to something I've already hit on.
This leaves battlewagons and 'nauts in my mind. With the Dread WAAAGH! specialist detachment, you can double fire a 'naut in a turn, and with both of them packing lots of weapons and very good main guns, this makes their inclusion in a vehicle-heavy list worthwhile. I'm thinking one of each type; against hordes, Gorkanauts would be chosen to double-fire, putting out 36 S6 AP-1 shots, alongside their myriad of other guns. Against vehicles/monsters, the Morkanaut would have 6d3 S8 AP-3 Dd6 a turn. In addition, the Morkanaut could bring the KFF onto the battlefield. Now, I'm not 100% certain on this, but I think with the size of its base, that would effectively cover a massive area in the deployment, covering the Gorkanaut and some battlewagons even without using the stratagem to extend the size.
Speaking of battlewagons, as much as I'd love to just have them bristling with guns, it just isn't worth the points. Spending 48 points on 4 rokkit launchas, or even 20 points on 4 big shootas is pointless, and do not get me started on how bad the main weapon for a Gunwagon is. The reasons to take a battlewagon are: either T8 or open-topped for up to 20-models, and 6+ S9 AP-2 D2 attacks in assault. Those are beefy numbers, and I'm leaning towards 'ard case, because alongside the 'nauts, three battlewagons would give the list 84 T8 wounds. That's more than a triple knight list!**
Those five vehicles and the deffkilla still leave almost a thousand points to round out the list. I'm torn between running battlewagons with 20 boyz inside or bonebreakers with 10. The extra d6 attacks is appealing, and there'd be some left over points to take other stuff. Also, how important are command points to a list like this? There isn't a big unit of boyz to take advantage of Unstoppable Green Tide with, but there would be ample opportunity for More Dakka! and either Kustom Ammo or Showin' Off. On one hand, it's fairly trivial to fit two battalions and a spearhead into the army, with some grots for board control and weirdboyz for smite. On the other hand, if I skip that CP battery, I could probably find the points to take a pair of dakkajets. Probably not worth it, though.
So, my preliminary list would look like:
Blood Axe Battalion
Warboss in Mega-Armor
3x 10-Choppa Boyz
Blood Axe Battalion
Bad Moons Spearhead (Dread WAAAGH! specialist detachment)
Big Mek w/ SAG
4x Mek Gunz w/ Smasha Gunz
I'm not positive on the clan choices. Bad Moons over Deathskullz because of the Gorkanaut, while the Morkanaut would avoid some mortal wounds. Blood Axe because extra save is always nice early in the game, but more importantly, Bonebreakas could fall back and charge again. However, it's unlikely an opponent wouldn't fall back themselves, so maybe some other clan. Goffs, for more attacks? Deathskullz for the re-rolls, and invulnerable outside of the KFF? Hell, Snakebites for extending their wounds? Ironically, Evil Sunz doesn't really seem to add that much, due to the high base movement.
I'm considering building this list and running it for the late part of the year, like for the SoCal Open. As much as I love horde Orks, it's exhausting to playing so hard against the clock, moving so many models around across three games in a day. This list has 74*** models, at least 30 of which wouldn't need to be deployed on the board. Hell, the list can be as few as 10 drops, across 13 models. Think of the exhaustion and back pain I could avoid!
Anyways, that was a long-winded reasoning for me thinking that maybe I'll be painting another 2-3 battlewagons and a 'naut in a third vow. Depending on how well the second vow goes.
* = Pictures coming, just waiting to ask my photographer (cough*mywife*cough) until I'm finished with the last model for the vow, since it's a day away from completion
** = Admittedly, with a worse invulnerable save and without the sheet number of weapons that make all those wounds on those knights so important to take out
*** = Technically, 94, because of the 20 grot gunners for the 4 guns. So far, I've had 0 issue in the 4 tournaments I've been to this year not putting the gunners around the gun, including at the LVO. They just don't serve a purpose behind slightly enlarging the footprint of the model.