Friday, 7 August 2009

MANz and Nobz

Despite never using one version of them, I wish to compare the two nob types - Mega Armoured Nobz (MANZ) vs Normal Nobz.

Starting off, both types have the basic ork rules: Furious Charge, Mob Rule and Waaagh!. And taking a warboss allows for a single mob of either type to be taken as a troops choice (per warboss in the army) thus making them a scoring unit. The stats are the same, each having WS, S, T4 W2 I, A3 LD7.

The differences arrive in the form of armour, weapons and wargear.

Mega Armoured Nobz (MANz)

These beefy orks come clad in heavy duty armour, gifting them a 2+ save in combat. This makes them great at soaking up firepower, along with T4 anything less than a bolter spraying spree is not going to result in many dead nobz. Instead it'll take higher strength/AP weapons to take these guys down.

In addition to this save increase they automatically come with stikkbombz (assault grenades), a power claw and a twin-linked shoota. All this for 40pts per model. The skikkbombz are pointless, being as the claw makes them I1 anyway. The claw is the best thing about them - orks lacking in power weapon options the power claw is the only truly reliable option available to them for cracking things like MEQs, Termies or even vehicles. The shoota is OK, the re-roll for twin-linked makes it a bit more reliable in hitting but nothing really to down an ale over.

The downside to these behemoths is the following rule: slow and purposeful. This rule means that the MANz are slow. At best a 6" move, probably averaging a 4" each turn. This includes their charges being capped by the random roll. Making them less reliable at getting into range and hitting the unit, unless... they have transport. Trukks can get a maximum of 6 in, due to MANz counting as two, and the battlewagon 10.

They have two options, for 5pts they may have either a combi-skorcha or a combi-rokkit instead of the twin-linked shoota.


In comparison to the have only a 6+ save and come armed with sluggas and choppas, for 20pts each. Instead they get spoilt for options. They can have the painboy option for 30pts - giving the whole unit the Feel No Pain universal rule and allowing the unit to have cybork bodies (5+ invulnerable save) and 5pts per nob for the cybork upgrade.

Alongside this they have the options for bikes (which I'm not going to look at here) and two upgrades that increase their WS by one point (Waaagh Banner) and allow them to re-roll failed morale tests (Boss Pole). They have access to a single armour upgrade, making it 4+, rather than 6+. For weapons they all have access to power claws, big choppas, combi-weapons and twin-linked shootas. All for additional costs.

Transport wise the unit may have either a trukk or a battlewagon, both being able to hold their maximum size of ten.

The comparison bit

Looking at the options available to each it is obvious that the nobs have the more and better options. Non-wargear wise they have the pick of the litter. They have access to invulnerable saves, making them able to stand up to power weapons - something that is the bane of MANz - and low AP weapons. In addition they get the Feel No Pain rule from the painboy, giving them a second save of 4+ making the unit on a whole even more durable. In comparison, the MANz have only their 2+ save; whilst great against most things any form of power weapons will quickly see an end to the MANz. One thing the MANz miss the most perhaps is the Bosspole option. The ability to re-roll failed morale checks is handy, doubly so for MANz as their high cost means low numbers per unit. The final option is the Waaagh Banner. This gives nobz a +1 WS, making them hit most units on a 3+.

Lets look at the combat skills of these two units;

6 MANz vs 6 Nobs

The MANz would cost 240pts; all armed with power claws
The Nobz would cost 285pts; 2x power claw, painboy, cybork, 'eavy armour, waaagh banner and 2x bosspole

In combat - assuming they charged - the MANz would have:

18 (3+1) attacks at WS4 S9 I1. All ignore armour and instant kill T4 or lower.

Nobs would have:

15 (3+1+1) attacks at WS5 S5 I4.
6 (3+1) attacks at WS5 S9 I1 All ignore armour and instant kill T4 or lower.
4 (3+1) attacks at WS5 S5 I4 ; 4+ poison

Now, I'm not going to do mathhammer - mainly because I dislike it and it generally varies due to good luck, bad luck etc (but if you feel like doing it... then by all means). But looking at that it can be seen that the nobz have in for sheer volume of attacks, but most of which will be allowing saves - making them less ideal vs MEQs due to their high save. On the other hand the MANz are made for MEQ fighting, lots of armour ignoring attacks. Nobz are better at dealing with hordes that have average or low saves - or even just drowning MEQs in dice rolls.

In defence the MANz have 2+ armour whilst the Nobz have a 4+ armour, then 5+ invulnerable and a 4+ Feel No Pain save. This makes them very durable, able to soak up attacks from power weapons, where MANz would just die.


The two units have different targets. Throwing MANz into a mass of average save models is a waste of their abilities, where as Nobz would eat them up with ease. And in reverse MEQs are for the MANz to handle. That said, Nobz are more durable in terms of taking wounds due to their mulitple saves. Its all about the right ork for the job.

As an aside, the Nobz are cheaper in terms of points and £££.


I didn't write this as a review or proper comparison, due to not having played enough to compare each. However I just wanted to write something for fun and compare for myself if my preference for Nobz over MANz is a good choice. Personally I would say yes, I prefer the high volume of attacks, making them viable against most opponents - the claws deal with armour and the choppas with the squishy stuff.


  1. Personally I love the look of the MANz. So I would field them in an Ork ary if I were doing one.

    I more of a kool model guy that a meta gamer.

    Although I'd prolly do a Squad of Nobz too.

  2. I prefer the MANz, they become more resilient if you add Mad Dok Grotsnik to the mix as he can give them Cybork Bodies and Feel No Pain, two of the best bonuses Nobz have over MANz.

  3. Jim - They do look quite cool, and I'll probably get some to play about with but looking at them gaming wise I like Nobz, for my posted reasons.

    Liam - True, but I dislike the use of special characters in general. Also, he makes the unit have to move forward and charge closest unit. Not always something that is desirable.


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