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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The battlewagon, is a heavy rolling slab of steel, juggernaut of pain and death and one of the most powerful units in the ork force.

These beasts of armoured transports, will the topic of this tactica.

Over many of my games I've certainly found my favourite style of ork list; is the battlewagon one, usually having between 4 and 5 as the preference. If anyone has been following my progress with the many variations of lists. For interest I will include a collecting of my own lists both from the 4th edition codex and the 6th edition codex as to show the progress with experimentation with different ideas of the battlewagon in an ork lists.

The battle wagon is a quite potent tank, with a front armour of 14 is certainty very difficult to damage but the first point which the wagons weaknesses is being the 12 side and 10 rear armour. This certainly leads to very specific movement requirements, the most survivable is certainly the front armour, which needs to be pointed at the largest threat. But often there is threats on both sides this is where movement of each wagon will be needed to block fire to the sides and rear of the wagons Or to have the side armour as a preference to having shots go into the rear armour.

Its main use is the adaptability of the chassis, depending on the loadout it can drastically change the way the APC or battletank might function. Of the major roles these can take are the straight up APC with either reinforced ram or roller and enough weapons to prevent immobilization. Or battlewagons can act in more of a battletank roll with killcannons or supa kannons along with kannons, lobbas and zapp guns. All for that extra firepower which the tank might be needed to have.


The main use that many people use (as with myself) the battlewagons for is as the before mention APC, carrying up to 20 models, for my this usually comprises of close to 18 boys and a power klaw nob. This particular configuration works best in lists where there are multiple battlewagons or multiple other threats. The particulars of this list often come into play with deployment and target selection:

· Deployment is one of the easier things for this style of list, depending on the list you are facing a central deployment behind whichever terrain may be able to block hits. But a caviot for this is a preference of 18" from the initial target unit, a 6" move 6" dissimbarkation and the average of a 7" charge, this is the average charge range of the embarked unit. The only other option would be to charge units which would be a turn 2 charge with 12" move, then the 18" charge range.

· Target selection is the other primary criteria for this list, there are two main ideas behind assulting an enemy unit firstly to kill it/remove it. Or too become locked in combat to avoid the shooting of the enemy, then kill it either with another turn of combat or with additional units pilling to either destroy them or to lock them down until either they can be dealt with or it no longer matters (such as the game ending or be unable for them to reach anything useful).

The only other little, inquiry which may need to be commeted on is the actual unit selection, to place into the wagon; as before my more common loadout is to have around 17-19 boys and a power klaw nob, this is primarily a anti infantry unit certainly. The other two units that funtion great for a battlewagon list, burnas usually in a large squad size, where you take as many burnas as possible 15 or lower, which can murder anything which they can wound. The other as always is the humble nob, i have found a cheap alternative for the burna wagon is to run three nobs preferably with 'Eavy Armour and a kombi-skorcha or the not so humble mega nob.

Only other thoughts for running the APC style of battle wagon is equipping it, first thought is basically to NEVER take "hard case" unless you want your boys or other units sitting inside the tank like plebs making no contribution towards the game (though possabilty for Objective Secured gretchin hiding in a wagon till the end of the game). Other thoughts come toward the the choice of "Reinforced ram" or "Deathroller" both of which count as a dozer blade so reroll on dangerous terrain for the vehicle in question. But then comes the bonuses the reinforced ram offers the dozer blades ability then also a buff to the front armor when ramming which is quite nice for possibility for vehicle destruction with almost impossibility of returned damage, deathroller offers this and then the buff of a D3 hit against units if they fail a death or glory attempt. For the extra 5 point the deathroller seems like a decent idea but with the new rules and it only activating with death or glory and the new rules against death or glory the roller no longer has much place in most ork list (sadly the nurf bat hit this iconic weapon too hard).

The other primary options are for turret or pintle mounted weapons which have a 360 degree arch or fire which itself is nice. of these there are the Big Shoota, rokkit, along with the option of one special weapon which are also pintle or turret mounted: Which include the Kannon (glorified Missile launcher), Lobba and Zzapp gun. Of these weapons Ive found the big shoota is lackluster with boys or worse for anti infantry it finds little use, where as rokkits are decent for the chance of a tank kill but are near useless against much else. As to the use of the special weapons Zzapp guns are extraordinarily random and often will achieve little (better with rokkits), lobbas often wont fire at all due to the wagon moving too much for the solely template weapon to fire and the Kannon with its variable fire it has the potential for some reasonable commitment to the game apart from the obvious transport and blocking potential.


The other primary load-out is the "Tank" load-out, usually with a killkannon and hard case (to increase survivability), the primary ideas for this list is a more cautious movement unlike, the other style. Hiding behind terrain getting close enough to shoot the targets, all while preventing damage and damaging the targets. While the load-out itself can have a wide range of variations the main idea would be to have as many guns to prevent the main gun being removed, while still having enough damage output.

· There for the Tank loadout often requires a safe deployment, sitting close to the table edge and behind terrain, with the kill kannons range of 24 “the wagon will need to be placed 30” or less from target units.

· Targets for such tank wagons are usually marine or equivalent squads out in the open to take advantage of that AP3. The tank loadout often works best in pairs to limit or deny field presence, and having ability to remove full squads.

That is about all I have to say in the case, of the battlewagons, I now will list some specific cases, what the battlewagons will be used for and what they struggle against.

Manticore's and vindicator are particularly devastating against closely packed battlewagon formations, both of which can effectively kill multiple wagons with single shots being S10 and either having multiple shots in the case of the eagle strike missile on the manticore or the single S10 AP1 shot from the vindicator. Further problems arise when facing lists with such weapons is that the automatic response is to space out, if the enemy has other weapons such as missile launchers or similar they can still reasonably damage the side armour which is then not protected, by the close packing of the other wagons.

Other cases with units which can deep strike or infiltrate behind the wagons is concerning, in these case particularly when large proportions of the enemy force have such abilities. The response is almost the same as facing a heavy assault list with a gun line, a refused flank or hiding in the corner limiting angle of attack, and when the majority has attacked, attack with your counter assault.

Extra Skip if uninterested in a little history and proof of experimentation/experience for making of this tactica, if any real interest is in the progress of lists further can be found on the “D20hub” website still under the title of Battman if a cashed copy can be found, as the website is now defunct.

Some army lists under the 4th edition codex, with many extra discussions in most.
Under 2000 points Ork Battle Wagon List (1850)
Mega Armour Spam 1750
1500 Point Battle Wagon List
Battle Wagon Tau 1500
1500 Point 4 Battlewagon LIst

Some army lists under the 6/7th edition codex.
Four Battle Wagon list (1751pts)
Four Battle Wagon list MK2 (1846pts)
Battle wagon List Mk2 (1458pts)
5 Battle wagon lists 1750

Another thought had recently is to include more content in regards to the the formations that can be used which contain battle wagons and my thoughts on them. The only real one which seems much play often seems to the be the "Blitz Brigade": its a specific foramtion of 5 battle wagons which must take either a reinforced ram or deathroller. Certainly of the two options the reinforced ram is better in the broader range of situations while as above the deathroller has less options with just being extra hits in ramming for more points. This formation seems in my opinion if running it as a primarily APC capacity at around 1750+ points as with lists I've planned below that threshold the units inside or wagons themselves are particularly vulnerable, where maybe a maximum of 4 wagons is more suited which cannot be run under the formation of the Blitz Brigade". the main interesting factor with the formation is that all of it can scout, a potential 12" for each tank to move before the enemy even has a chance to shoot, this is quite a powerful ability allowing wagons particularly against shoot armies (tau, guard and some eldar) where the possibility for crippling the battle wagons in the first turn is high without the movement this is problematic, no real buff was given apart from possible survival if it didn't explode.

Overall with limited experience of the uses with the formation more testing is need to give a clear indication if the the "blitz brigade" is worth the minimum of 575 points invested along with monetary output for fielding 5 battle-wagons.

Thats all i have to say feel free to ask any more specific questions in regards to the mighty battlewagon either myself or one of the other ork players will be able to give some experience. Hopefully this was helpful.

1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here are some other thoughts i had in regards to the uses for battlewagons in ork lists.

In armies such as my current ones, that need multiple wagons, the use of distraction units is very effective almost required. In earlier lists I used dakka jets, as a fast unit, which has (or had) a variety of different uses as a rapid response unit to assassinate other units but they also provide additional threats to distract from more the more nasty units depending on what target are. The more recent lists ive been focusing around the idea of either warbuggies, deathkoptas and looted wagons. The options are the same use as the dakkajets rapid response, fast moving units which can keep pace with the battlewagons and also flank them and provid other threats. I've found having either 2 or more distraction units from the more expensive wagons and the units inside of them. Or in some cases the distraction units are the more damaging units, particularly in the more recent case of the cheap looted wagons with the large AP3 blasts for dealing with marines squads.

Other units which could be useful are rokkit buggies or even some trukk mouted units such as burnas or tankbustas. Depending on needs of the army, these additional units add more power and viability to the list.

Hopefully this double post isn't too obnoxious, just thought to drag some extra attention to promote discussion.

520 Posts
I agree with your analysis, I've never been let down by my battle wagon, it's a stalwart addition to my lists.
I've always been intrigued by the Blitz Brigade, but have never got around to trying it out.
I have to thank you too, I never realised that vehicles scour 12", I always assumed 6". That means, at cruising speed you could effectively be in your opponents deployment zone, turn 1!
5 wagons full of Boyz, effectively a green tide, would terrify the living bejeezus out of any opponent, especially if they are only going to have 2 turns of shooting to deal with them because they are right up in their face from the start.
I'm off to get more battlewagons! :biggrin:

1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah the scout move uses the rules for the unit, they can move up to the maximum they normally can in a movement phase. Only problem as i mentioned with the s outing it the "know ur limitz" or whichever the rule is you cannot charge the first turn if you scout. But if your facing an army which can kill wagons with impunity scout everything just to be close enough to charge the next turn.

With testing ive found juggling with some wagons scouting for blocking purposes and having the others sit further back seems to work nicely. More testing is needed.

1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With the updates I thought that I'd give a quick commentary in regards to the new Blitz brigade formation in the 2nd edition Ghazghkull supplement. The only difference is having S10 ramming, as a standard, insted of the janky strenght 9 with the buff when ramming due to the plus 2 strenght of the reinforced ram or deathrolla. This can be clutch now giving yet another opportunity for some high strenght attacks to crack those hard targets, land raiders and the like.

Overall there is very little difference between the slightly alternate formation, the only real difference is in regards to the assosiation with the decurion formation now available to the orks. The main change for the battle wagons is in regards to the transporting of boys to a fight while keeping them above the magical 10 models, with a 10 man squad with slugga/choppa they can now crank out 50 attacks, 2 +1 for charge +1 for two weapons and powerfully at I10 another attack (at strenght 3), this is certainly limited by getting contact with each model but with 'ere we go the possibilities for long charges to get around squads is there. All of which wouldn't be certain without the mighty battlewagon.
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