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I've been assembling a warbiker mob recently and I've wanted to make one unit a Nob. According to the Ork Codex I can then give him either a Big Choppa (+10 points) or a Klaw (+25 points). I know the Klaw is more powerful but it also carries the disadvantage to Initiative.

Is the Klaw really worthy the extra points or is it better to stick with the Big Choppa (which also looks much better on a model)?

Big Choppa - gives +2 Strength

Klaw - energy weapon (ignores armor) and doubles the Strength

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's a few things to weigh up here.

  1. What else could you get with the points? It's easy to go overboard on your 'hero' units, and forget that you could spend that extra 15 points on more basic troops. With Orks, huge numbers is a core strategy. A few extra Boyz could be much more valuable to you.

  2. Who do you expect to be facing? Ignoring armour is a much more useful ability against Space Marines and Necrons than it is against Dark Eldar or Tyranids. If you regularly play against a few particular armies, then this is particularly relevant. More tactically, consider whether your Ork Nob will be likely to be in a situation where he can make use of armour-ignoring abilities. Will he be attacking tanks, Dreadnoughts, or souped up heroes? Or is the primary role of the squad to act as cannon fodder, or take down more generic troops? Bottom line - there's no point taking expensive custom stuff if you don't make use of it.

  3. What do your other models have? I like giving identical units different weapons, just for variety. This is also handy when you need to pull out a specialised weapon combo for a particular scenario.

  4. What do you like the look of more? This is actually an important point, in my opinion. Warhammer is about aesthetics and cool models just as much as it is about optimising armies and strategies. If you think the Big Choppa looks much better, that's a strong argument for taking that as a weapon!

Without knowing the answers to these questions, I can't give you a straight recommendation. The Klaw is clearly a much more powerful weapon. But whether the cost (both points and aesthetic) is justified depends on all these factors.

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If your talking about Nob Bikers, You would be Str 7 on the charge with 4 attacks, using WS5 (waggh banner). Hitting marines on a 3, wounding on a 2. (10) Nob Bikers kited with Waggh banner, 5 choppas, 2 power klaws and 3 slugga & choopas would get 43 attacks on the charge. (20) Str 7 choppa attacks, (8) str 10 power klaw attacks, (15) str 5 slugga attacks. Furious charge grants the str +1. Not to mention the 30 Str 5 TL shots you put into them before.

TL Str 5 shots @ BS2 = 20 hits, Wound on 3's, 10 wounds, 3+ save. 3 die from shooting. On the Charge @ WS5 = 13 hits(Choppa), 6 hits (Klaw), 9 hits (slugga) would theoretically yield = 11 wounds (Choppa) 5 wounds (Klaw), 5 wounds (Slugga)

21 wounds. 5 of which Ignore armor saves and ID. Of the remaining 16 wounds, They would save ten. Yielding another 6 dead.

Shooting+Melee = 14 Dead marines.

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Always go with a Klaw for your Nobz in either biker or normal boyz squads. You need this because Orks are not terribly good in close combat against certain enemies. Walkers, heavy tanks, and units with 3+ or 2+ saves can usually fend off a charge from Orks. You need the Klaw to be able to break even in these situations.

Without that Klaw, your Orks could get tied up in combat with a Space Marine Dreadnought you can't hurt. You'll also have a hard time against infantry hiding in transports. It's hard to destroy even an armor 10 vehicle in hand-to-hand with only ST 6(from the Choppa).

Another thing to consider: a charging unit of 10 Ork bikes will only kill about 2-3 Marines on average(30 attacks, 15 hit, 7.5 wound, 5 save). All it takes in this instance is for the Marine player to roll a little above average, and the Ork player to roll a little under average for the Marines to win the assault. The one or two outright kills you get from a Klaw will help make sure you are going to win the assault. It's even more important if you face a unit with a 3+ save and Feel No Pain.

Don't worry too much about the loss of Initiative from the Klaw. Even with boosted Initiative on the charge, most things in the game that can hurt you are already swinging first. You're opponent will also have to wipe out the whole unit to prevent that Klaw from getting its attacks.

For all Nob units, you don't have to give every Nob a Klaw. You can give most of the unit Choppas to save on points and get the most out of the wound allocation rules.

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