Howdy there everyone and welcome to a massively delayed entry in my long-running Ork Tactica series, and I aim to do the sneaky Kommandos justice in this particular article! I must offer my deepest apologies to those that have been eagerly awaiting my return both to the greenskins and my more lengthy works, but I guess all I can really say on the matter is that I've been really struggling to get anything written lately due to sleep deprivation and other notable issues. Those excuses aside, let us begin!
Of all the specialist Ork units sharing the same standard profile with the basic Boyz, I'm more a fan of Kommandos simply because they are a finesse unit and a great choice for snatching objectives in Maelstrom of War missions. Even if they aren't necessarily a dedicated melee unit, being Orks with two close combat weapons and all the usual special rules allow them to beat more expensive units in a melee. This is especially true once you consider that they Infiltrate and have the always helpful 'Ere We Go speed boost to effectively choose their fights and allow you to use them to pressure any given part of the battlefield. They can choose from a selection of ranged special weapons such as Burnas or Rokkit Launchas to provide some decent close-range firepower and even have Stealth to somewhat make up for their pathetic 6+ armour saves and Toughness 4. Mob Rule remains a buff for these types of units that would traditionally be fielded in numbers of ten or less, ensuring they will almost never run away at the cost of being highly vulnerable both to killing themselves and also to Fear-causing enemies. Unfortunately, this unit isn't all that great in a lot of match-ups as anything with Ignores Cover just destroys them while they also struggle to deal with vehicles that aren't AV10 on their rear arc, unless they pay for an always handy Nob with a Power Klaw or even a Big Choppa. Larger units are unwieldy with Infiltrate and are too easily countered and destroyed, ending up being a sizable waste of points and thus not really worthwhile except perhaps in their unique formation. Generally you want medium to small units of these as early scoring options in Maelstrom of War missions, just don't expect them to do any serious damage on their own except to units that are generally vulnerable to almost anything anyway.
Classifying more as a Warboss than a Nob with base Strength 5 and 4 Attacks, Snikrot combines these high stats with his Mork's Teeth to provide him with an impressive 6 Attacks on the charge at Strength 6 that are AP5 and re-roll all failed to-wound rolls due to Shred. He is an Infiltrating character with Stealth, Fear and Move Through Cover while also providing bonuses to a unit of Kommandos he joins when placed into Reserves, giving them Shrouded on the turn they arrive and allowing them to freely arrive on whichever table side they wish. A key note here is that the Shrouded buff also works even if Snikrot and his Kommando unit deploys normally - including Infiltration - which gives your otherwise fragile saboteurs a much appreciated defensive boost. He has some expected restrictions to stop him spreading the stealthy love to units other than Kommandos, while the fact that he doesn't take up an Elites slot when he is part of a detachment that includes said unit also sees him double as a Nob replacement for them. He isn't expensive at all for what he does and he gives the unit some much needed melee punch - especially against AV11-AV10 rear armoured vehicles - as well as a potentially crucial one-turn increase to their cover saves, so weighing up whether you just want to spend those points on another unit of Kommandos or a Boss Nob with an upgraded combat weapon is tough. In the end, he - and any of the other choices - make a fine addition to your army in the right list, especially in their formation.
How to Equip Them
Seeing as Kommandos classify more as a disruption unit and backfield objective taker than anything else, the combination of Infiltrate and Move Through Cover plus all of the Orky charge bonuses makes for a very decent vehicle and light infantry squad hunter. Including a Boss Nob with a Power Klaw or a Big Choppa is thus a very good idea, as is giving them Rokkit Launchas or Big Shootas so that they can provide a much more threatening melee anti-tank unit because of their potential to begin the game in close proximity to those vulnerable enemies. I'm not such a fan of investing too heavily into these types of units, however, so the decision to use a Power Klaw should be weighted carefully versus the number of models you want in the mob. I like the fact that two Kommandos in a unit can take Burnas even if they are more expensive than regular Flamers due to also functioning as AP3 melee weapons in a pinch, though one could argue Kommandos really don't need them seeing as each member brings four Strength 4 attacks on the charge anyway. Ultimately, I think Rokkit Launchas are still the better "value" choice given their identical points cost to Big Shootas and the help they provide with destroying medium to lightly armoured vehicles where a Power Klaw also becomes quite useful. It really depends on what you want the unit for as Big Shootas are always useful and will get quite a few more hits over the course of a game.
With their sizable array of special rules aptly suited to guerrilla warfare, Kommandos specialize less in being front-line combat units that Infiltrate in the vein of Flayed Ones, but more in using their special deployment to try and isolate more fragile long-ranged units. They make for good objective takers as, like most Ork units, they will bully any non-dedicated melee unit with frightful ease even though their "elite" nature and fragility as 6+ armoured Orks does make them more of a finesse unit than anything else. The key to using these effectively is to make the most of the fact that they Infiltrate and have Stealth, keeping them in cover and using them more as a distraction so that your true hard hitters can stay safe for a few turns longer; if opponents ignore Kommandos, they can destroy units of similar or even greater points cost in melee quite easily. Make sure to keep them well away from template weapons as they will die just as easily to them as regular Orks do, regardless of them having Stealth and especially because they cannot take a Dedicated Transport of their own.
Here are some unit composition and wargear choices I recommend when using Kommandos;
8 Kommandos w/ 2 Rokkit Launchas - Hiding this unit in cover and using their Rokkit Launchas and potential melee threat to irritate opponents is a great use of 90 points, especially if they capture or complete an objective for either of the primary mission types.
10 Kommandos w/ 2 Burnas - This unit is more of a combat threat that cuts through hordes and puts the hurt on Space Marine infantry quite well, though it isn't as points efficient or versatile as the above unit.
Thank you for reading my long-awaited return to full length Tacticas and also the review of Orks, I appreciate your patience and feedback greatly! I'm a fan of Kommandos in aggressive lists and also just for scoring purposes in 7th Edition Maelstrom of War missions, where their decently high points cost per model by Ork standards is usually justified. However, I must impress upon you that Kommandos are nonetheless a finicky niche unit that is designed to work in tandem with your mobile forces and will quickly fall to pieces if left unsupported given how vulnerable they are to any of the Mob Rule chart results. Thank you again and have a nice day!