The new War Zone Octarius Blood Axes Warhammer 40k has been released! Orks are known for being relentless and clannish. If you’re interested in playing an outlier clan, consider the Blood Axes–they now have a special 9th edition codex supplement.
Among Orks in the Warhammer universe, the Blood Axe Clan is viewed with suspicion. Blood Axes interact with Imperials, trading or fighting among them as mercenary crews. Additionally, they have adapted other human-like tactics and strategies, such as the tactical retreat–something shameful, unheard of, or just too logistical for other Ork clans to execute or consider worthy.
The Blood Axes Codex Supplement, along with this tactics post, include information about the Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Relics for the Blood Axe Ork Clan.
Introduction to 9th Edition Blood Axes: Ultimate Ork Clan
The Blood Axes’ outlier nature among Orks doesn’t stop with their interaction with representatives of the Imperium. Their other habits are specifically repugnant to fellow Orks. For example, the Blood Axes use camouflage to help them advance towards the enemy undetected. The use of camouflage pairs well with their many Kommandos, who enjoy any tactical advantages of the sneaky-sneak variety.
Being a bit more tactical than most Orks, Blood Axe Warbosses are known to combine strategies. Their enemies often underestimate them, thinking they’re just like any other Orks… but they’re not: they’re Blood Axes.
The Blood Axes Codex Supplement patches some early criticism of the Warhammer 9th Edition Orks Codex. Namely, the problem with vehicles preventing Kultur, and the weaknesses of Buggies.
What is a Blood Axes Detachment?
Blood Axes Detachments only consist of units with the Blood Axes keyword. Exceptions are units with Unaligned keywords and Specialist Mobs. To maximize your effectiveness, consider running a Blood Axes Detachment.
What Are Kombi-Weapons?
Have you seen those weapons with the word “kombi” in the profile? If the weapon includes that word, or it’s a Relic that replaces one, it’s a Kombi-weapon. As the name suggests, they are weapons combined out of two weapon types–the Orks’ equivalent to chaos and Imperial combi-weapons.
Why Play Blood Axes?
Blood Axes are interesting narratively because they’re a bit different from the other Ork clans. If you have an Ork army but have yearned to play some of the more well thought out, tactical moves usually restricted for Orks’ opponents, the Blood Axes might be a quality contingent for your army. Most of your Orks can go on bludgeoning opponents with reckless abandon while your Blood Axes can take a stealthier, more strategic approach.
If you’re on a table with lots of terrain or fighting lightly armored armies like Tyranids or even Dark Eldar, Blood Axes are particularly effective.
New Warlord Traits for Blood Axes
The Blood Axes 9th Edition Supplement in the War Zone Octarius includes three new Warlord Traits specifically for Blood Axes. You can use the Blood Axes Warlord Traits on a Blood Axes Character designated as your Warlord. Games Workshop suggests rolling a D3 to select one if you don’t have a preference.
Duk An’ Kuvva
What happens when you have Kommandos and Boyz who favor sneaky tactics when they’re part of a clan that embraces the use of camouflage? You get a Warlord with the Duk An’ Kuvva Warlord Trait.
How it works: At the beginning of the Shooting phase of your opponent, check to see if your Warlord is fully in an Area Terrain feature. If so, choose one of your Blood Axes Kommandos or Blood Axes Boyz units also fully in that same terrain feature. Your opponent cannot select that unit for ranged attacks if the enemy models making the attack are not within a foot of the terrain feature. This Warlord Trait lasts until the end of the phase.
Blood Axes are more observant and tactical than other Orks, and this Warlord Trait reflects that. Imagine a Warlord shouting orders, passing his tactical wisdom on to his warriors so they can quickly react.
How it works: If your Warlord has a friendly Blood Axes Core unit within 6 inches, that Blood Axes Core Unit can perform Heroic Interventions just as a Character could.
Some Orks are just smart. And some Blood Axes are even smarter.
How it works: This Warlord Trait applies once per battle round. This Warlord Trait is in play when you use a Strategic Ploy Stratagem when this Warlord is on the battlefield. During those conditions, reduce any Stratagem’s CP cost by 1 CP. You can only reduce CP cost by 1 CP for that specific use of the Stratagem. Using it in the future costs the typical amount of Command Points.
Relics for Blood Axes
When a Blood Axes Warlord leads your army, one Blood Axes Character model can receive a Shiny Gubbinz Relic instead of another Relic. This happens when you are mustering your Ork army. You cannot give these Relics to named characters.
Some of these Relics replace a model’s wargear. When that happens, you must still pay the wargear’s cost. Don’t forget to record any Shiny Gubbinz Relics assigned to your models on your army roster.
Noise Box Blood Axes Relic
Having defeated an Imperial soldier, an Ork of the Blood Axes clan has relinquished its dead owner of their voxcaster. He shouts orders through the amplification system. This allows him to do the following when within a six inch radius of the ‘Noise Box (Aura):
- Combat Attrition tests taken for this unit are -1
- Leadership characteristics of models in this unit are -1. If the model in question has killed any Character units in this specific battle, its Leadership characteristic gets -3 instead.
Straight Shoota Blood Axes Relic
Though precise, the Straight Shoota is a cobbled together weapon. What makes it special? The Straight Shoota has Tau, Aeldari, and Imperial parts. This only works on a model equipped with a kustom shoota. The Relic replaces the kustom shoota and has its own profile.
Straight Shoota allows you to ignore the Look Out, Sir rule.
Fight Detecta Blood Axes Relic
A battlefield treasure, greenskin Orks use an auspex to find their next battle quickly. After all, it makes lots of exciting noises when an enemy is nearby.
Choose a single Blood Axes Core unity within six inches of the Fight Detecta’s bearer and not within an enemy’s Engagement Range. Use this Relic at the end of your opponent’s Movement phase during their Reinforcements step if your opponent set up their unit within a foot of the Relic bearer. The designated Blood Axes unit can instantly use a Charge as though it was your Charge phase. Get a +2 to your charge roll.
Blood Axes Stratagems
You can use the following Blood Axes Stratagems if you have a Blood Axes Detachment in your Ork army. It excludes Fortification Network Detachments, Super-heavy Artillery, and Auxiliary Support.
Youngbloodz: Blood Axes Battle Tactic Stratagem
What it looks like: It’s hard to find a more determined Ork fighter than the Stormboyz.
How it works: You must use this Stratagem in the Fight phase and it lasts until the phase’s end. Choose a Blood Axes Stormboyz unit. Give the Stormboyz unit at +1 to Strength characteristic of every model in that unit. If the unit has 11 or more models, it costs 2 CP. If it has 10 models or less, it costs 1 CP.
Cost: 1 CP / 2 CP
Trigga Discipline: Blood Axes Battle Tactic Stratagem
What it looks like: Blood Axes pretty much lack trigger discipline, but it can be quite effective when it comes down to it, really.
How it works: Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase. This Stratagem lasts until the end of the phase. Select a Blood Axes Lootas unit from your army and one enemy Vehicle unit. Whenever a model in the selected Lootas unit attacks the selected Vehicle unit, you get a re-roll on your hit roll. If the Lootas unit has 11 or more models, it costs 2 CP. If it has 10 models or less, it costs 1 CP.
Cost: 1 CP / 2 CP
Got ‘Em Trapped: Blood Axes Battle Tactic Stratagem
What it looks like: Ladz mobs are the Blood Axes’ speciality–an intense pile on done as strategically as Orkishly possible.
How it works: This Stratagem lasts until the end of the Fight phase and occurs during the Fight phase. Choose an enemy unit in Engagement Range of at least two Blood Axes unit (not counting Character units). Whenever a Blood Axes model attacks the selected enemy unit, you get a +1 on an unmodified hit role of 6.
What it costs: 2 CP
Speshul Ammo: Blood Axes Requisition Stratagem
What it looks like: Because the Blood Axes clan is so resourceful when it comes to obtaining weapons and other goods, they’ve acquired a heavy amount of unusual ammunition by looting corpses and engaging in trade.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem in your Shooting phase. It lasts until the end of that phase. Choose a Blood Axes unit to shoot. Shoota-equipped models in the selected unit get the following Type characteristic: Dakka 4 / 2, -1 Armour Penetration characteristic. If the unit has 11 or more models, it costs 2 CP. If it has 10 models or less, it costs 1 CP. Kombi-weapons Shoota profile included.
What it costs: 1 CP / 2 CP
Surprize!: Blood Axes Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: Kommandos excel in fighting in cover and being advantageous with the terrain and environment.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem during the Fight phase. It lasts until the end of that phase. Check your Area Terrain feature and choose a Blood Axes Kommandos unit entirely within it. When your opponent makes an attack against that unit, the attack gets a -1 to hit roll. Regardless of any of an enemy unit’s abilities, if it’s in Engagement Range of your chosen unit, the enemy unit can’t use any rules that permit it to fight first and its charge moves don’t count.
Cost: 1 CP
Taktical Awareness: Blood Axes Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: Tactical advantages on the battlefield…unlike any other Ork clan is capable of.
How it works: You can use the Taktical Awareness Stratagem at the beginning of any phase. The following effects last until the end of your turn and select a Blood Axes unit that you choose:
Your chosen unit can perform ranged attacks without failing any action it’s performing.
Character units can perform an action and use any of its aura abilities at the same time.
If the selected unit has already Advanced this turn, it can still perform an action.
Cost: 2 CP
Spotted ‘Em: Blood Axes Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: When Orks believe something, the magic happens. When Blood Axes Kommandos spy a well-hidden enemy, they think the other ladz can also see them. And because they really believe it… it becomes true.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem at the beginning of your Shooting phase. It lasts until the end of that phase. Choose an enemy unit within a foot of (and visible to) a Blood Axes Kommandos unit. Whenever a Blood Axes model makes an attack against that enemy unit, it is as though the enemy unit has no cover.
Cost: 1 CP
Gloryboyz: Blood Axes Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: It’s a frenzy–if one Ork sees another in an engaging fight, he has to jump in on the action.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem during your Charge phase. It lasts until the end of that phase. When you make a charge move with a Blood Axes unit, choose an enemy unit as a target. Whenever a Blood Axes Stormboyz unit charges with that enemy unit as a target, you get +1 to your charge roll.
Cost: 1 CP
Ork Army of Renown: Speed Freeks Speed Mob
Are you ready for some wild Orks obsessed with the need for speed? The Orks’ mob mentality applies to many aspects of their behavior, including the way they race. Goading each other on, the greenskins push each other to go faster, competing with each other. The Speed Freeks Speed Mob allows you to be more mobile, advance, and shoot your opponent.
Some Orks take this to the next level, becoming addicted to speed. They occupy buggies, bikes, and aircraft–anything Orks are known to drive. The louder the engine the better. The faster it goes, the more they want. What’s more, Speed Freeks want to reach the battle first. Those who are the most obsessed and the most violent are known as the Speed Mobs.
The Speed Freeks Speed Mob is an Army of Renown, and you can only have one Speed Freeks, Aircraft, and Wagon units in your mob. If you’ve ever wanted a Skitarii equivalent, but in Ork form–this is for you.
If you include Speed Freeks Speed Mob, every unit in your army gets the Speed Mob keyword. Also of note: Battle-forged armies’ Speed Freeks Biker units get the Objective Secured ability.
Speed Freeks Speed Mob Ability: Adrenaline Junkies
Speed Freeks Speed Mobs gain this special ability, as they believe the faster they go, the closer to invincible they become. With the Adrenaline Junkies Ability:
These models have an invulnerable save of 6+. Whenever you select this unit to Advance during your Movement phase, models in that unit have an invulnerable save of 5+, lasting until your next Movement phase’s start.
Whenever you’re in your Movement phase and Advance this unit, it counts as a Normal Move until the conclusion of your Shooting phase.
If your unit fights after performing a Heroic Intervention or charge move in this turn, Attack characteristics of models in the unit get +1 until the fight ends.
While this unit can’t get a Clan Kultur, other units in the Detachment can have one.
Speed King: Special Warlord Trait for Speed Freeks Speed Mobs
If you decide to make your Speed Mob Character your Warlord, they can have the Speed King Warlord Trait. This Trait represents how a Warlord’s devotion to speed can inspire his inferiors to greatness in the name of speed.
If one of your Speed Freeks units (not a Character) is six inches or closer to your Warlord, you can re-roll wound rolls of 1 whenever a model in that unit attacks.
Vehicle Kustom Jobs for Speed Freeks Speed Mob
Everyone loves the Vehicle Kustom Jobs in the Codex: Orks. Great news: Speed Freeks Speed Mobs get two more Kustom Job possibilities.
Orks have your lift kit needs covered. There’s Raised Suspenshun, which increases your Engagement Range due to the increased visibility of sitting up so high.
Orks also have brutal Drag Chains, which hang out behind their vehicles solely for the purpose of dragging enemies around and tearing them up.
Speed Freeks Speed Mob Stratagems
Speed Freeks Speed Mobs come with five unique Stratagems.
Speed Freeks Speed Mob Battle Tactic Stratagem: Blitza Dakka
What it looks like; If you fire enough ammunition, eventually you’ll hit the target.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem in your Shooting phase. It lasts until the end of the Shooting phase. Choose a Speed Mob unit to shoot; whenever a model in your selected unit attacks an enemy within a foot, you get to re-roll a hit score of 1. If you have Kustom Boosta-Blasters keyword on that unit, you can also re-roll a 2.
Cost: 1 CP
CHAAAAAARGE: Speed Freeks Speed Mob Battle Tactic Stratagem
What it looks like: Warbikers charge the enemy as they’re mounted on their warbikes, plowing through the front lines.
How it works: This Stratagem works in your Charge phase and lasts until the end of that phase. Select a Warbikers unit from your army to charge. When this happens, get a +1 to the Strength characteristic, applicable to all models in the unit. Also, whenever a model in that unit attacks in melee, the Armour Penetration characteristic gets a +1.
Cost: 2 CP
Crashin’ Through: Speed Freeks Speed Mob Battle Tactic Stratagem
What it looks like: Speed Freeks push into the enemies, crushing them in their place.
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem in your Charge phase. Use this when you charge with a Speed Freeks unit.
Choose an enemy unit an inch or less away from the Speed Freeks unit you’ve selected. For every model your Speed Freeks unit has, roll a D6, but no more than six D6s.
Your unit cannot use its Spiked Ram ability (if it has that) during this turn.
- For Megatrakk Scrapjets and Kustom Boosta-Blastas, the enemy takes D3 mortal wounds when you roll 2-5; if you roll a 6, the enemy gets 2D3 mortal wounds instead.
- For Vehicles that aren’t Kustom Boosta-Blastas and Megatrakk Scrapjets, if you roll a 4+ then the selected enemy gets mortal wounds of D3.
- For Biker units, the enemy unit you’ve selected gets +1 mortal wound when you roll a 4 or greater.
Cost: 1 CP
More Gitz Over ‘Ere: Speed Freeks Speed Mob Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: A big, fancy new target appears. Shiny!
How it works: Deploy this Stratagem when your Speed Mob unit falls back during your Movement phase. Although your unit Fell Back, it can still shoot this turn. If the Boomdakka Snazzwagon keyword applies to your unit, whenever you make a ranged attack with a model that is part of that unit, you get a +1 to an unmodified 6 hit roll.
Cost: 1 CP
Attack Out O’ Da Sun’: Speed Freeks Speed Mob Strategic Ploy Stratagem
What it looks like: Deffkotpas go up, and then they come down–hard. Preferably on the enemy.
How it works: This Stratagem is especially fun because you deploy it just before your turn ends. Choose a Deffkoptas unit and take it out of the battlefield. When you’re in your next Movement phase during your Reinforcements step, apply the unit to the battlefield again at least 9 inches from an enemy. If the battle is over and the unit is presently off the battlefield, it’s considered destroyed.
Cost: 2 CP
Lotsa Squigs: Speed Freeks Speed Mob Wargear Stratagem
What it looks like: Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy crews drive around, pick up squigs, and launch them–often.
How it works: Choose a Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies unit during your Shooting phase. The number of squig mines the unit has increases by 1.
Cost: 1 CP
Our Nights at the Game Table team has come up with some special battle tactics for those using Blood Axes and Speed Freeks Speed Mobs. Check it out!
Blood Axes Tactics
Stormboyz Central: Lots of play centers around the Stormboyz compatibility with Blood Axes–read the applicable Stratagems carefully and consider building your entire army with this cohesion in mind.
Whole Loota Comeback: This supplement really brings back the glory of Lootas. Give ‘em a try again–they were pretty awful in the last edition, but redemption is upon them!
No Charge For You! Various abilities enable you to stop charge bonuses while putting out additional attacks. Can you find the winning combo?
Stopping Space Marines: Use the Surprize! Stratagem to stop Space Marines or Sisters of Battle (Adeptas Sororitas) from getting additional attacks on charge.
Speed Freeks Speed Mob Tactics
Hold! With a pure Speed Freek force, you can hold objective
First in the Fray: If you add Speed Freeks Speed Mobs to your Ork army, use them first.
Buggin’ Out: Don’t underestimate the power of buggies, thanks to this supplement. Reconsider and realign–they’re much more useful with these rules.
Have you enjoyed the Ork components of the War Zone Octarius? Let us know what you think in the comments!