Greetings all and welcome to a long overdue return to my Ork Tactica! A world of pain awaits those that underestimate the lowly Ork Trukk, specifically when they are part of a multitude of highly mobile and aggressive units which usually populate competitive greenskin forces nowadays. Also, just a quick note; I will complete the Ork series in the same style as the previous articles so that the series has a sense of continuity, while I will adapt any potential changes into the Space Marine series. I hope you enjoy this article!
When the new Ork codex was released, many users of the army recoiled angrily at the perceived weakening of their classic, primary means of transportation; the simple and often undervalued Trukk. Changing the Ramshackle rule from a random and hilarious chart that could sometimes downgrade Explodes results to Wrecked results to what amounts to a lesser version of a Wave Serpents' Serpent Shield that operates on a 6+ combined with the various nerfs to Open-Topped vehicles - such as template weapons inflicting automatic hits on any passengers - led many to start disowning their Trukk-based armies. However, this reception quickly gave way to the realization that Trukks are still absolutely necessary for competitive Ork army lists and they are very valuable for their points as long as you keep the general play-style of the force in mind. Orks are based around being highly aggressive with dozens of close-range oriented units that are both cheap and deadly advancing at a break-neck pace to capture objectives and beat down on "puny 'umies" and other armies. For the slower but still incredibly strong units in the codex like Mega-Armoured Nobz and Tankbustas, Trukks are virtually mandatory to escort them across the battlefield and get them to where they need to be to score victory points.
Their value is also quickly made apparent when you compare them to the beloved (or hated, depending on your perspective of its' necessity) Space Marine Rhino, an ultimately very similar dedicated transport come Fast Attack option; both are ridiculously inexpensive compared to almost all other vehicles in the game, have little actual firepower and are laughably fragile. Both vehicles often concede victory points such as First Blood with impunity but this doesn't change the fact that you do not overspend for what they provide; a cheap transport that is first and foremost a ferry for your units, rather than an expensive (though obviously still good) battle tank hybrid like the Wave Serpent. For Ork purposes, being fast and cheap is the name of the game and thus the Trukk is the perfect widely-available transport for the army, and it even compares well to the Rhino too. The Rhino has a weaker ranged weapon but superior Ballistic Skill, slightly better front and side armour compared to the Trukk and the ability to Repair itself when it suffers Immobilized results. The Trukk instead has similar chances - meaning incredibly low - of downgrading penetrating hits to glancing hits which can often be an Ork-saver in multiple games, it features a boosted transport capacity which is ideal for the heavily assault-based Ork squads and any attached characters, while it also bears the distinction of being a Fast vehicle and thus is just that bit extra speedier which can make all of the difference in an objective-based game.
Being 5 points cheaper than a Rhino is somewhat amusing given that most Ork Trukks will be outfitted with Reinforced Rams in competitive lists to bridge that gap, making it capable of Tank Shocking and Ramming just like an actual Tank but doing so with the benefits of being treated as front armour twelve for the purposes of determining those two rules and getting to re-roll failed dangerous terrain tests, a crucial benefit for what amounts to an assault vehicle. Ultimately, that might be the most important difference of all; the Trukk is open-topped, meaning that units inside can freely shoot or charge out of it - the latter in the same turn that they disembark - which is usually a very much sought after trait in a transport for assault armies, something that obviously applies to Orks. With all that in mind, I feel the Trukk is still a great unit even with the targeted and indirect nerfs which is thankful considering how necessary it is for the greenskins.
How to Equip Them
It might be almost expected by this point, but my general advice with almost any Ork unit - and especially Trukks - is to keep it as cheap as possible without compromising on its' effectiveness. A Trukk is going to be destroyed the moment any decent shooting attack is directed at it so overspending on one is usually a bad idea, though there is one upgrade I consider virtually mandatory; the Reinforced Ram. Priced the same as an Imperial Dozer Blade, not only does the Ram provide the same benefits as its' Imperial equivalent but it also lets the vehicle make Tank Shock and Ram attacks while treating its armour facing as twelve for the purposes of those two rules. Being able to Tank Shock and Ram as an AV12 vehicle while also re-rolling failed dangerous terrain tests on what amounts to a super-charged ferry made of glass is simply fantastic for a mere handful of points, but generally the other upgrades aren't all that worthwhile. The choice of whether to use a Big Shoota or Rokkit Launcha can come down to what kind of firepower your list is lacking, but keep in mind that Trukks will usually rarely survive long enough to get to make use of their ranged weapons; failing that, they should be moving Flat Out and thus sacrificing their shooting attacks in the early phase of the game anyway. For this reason, many take the Rokkit Launcha purely for the extra Strength 8 AP3 shot that can be part of a hail-mary play, even though the Big Shoota is generally the more reliable option as far as getting a hit and making something of it in each turn.
Generally you will be using a Trukk not so much to hide a ranged unit such as Lootas - which Battlewagons are far better suited to - but more so to ferry your many close-ranged units to objectives and potential victims. Being Fast vehicles gives these a considerable advantage over Space Marine Rhinos as far as being an actual transport is concerned, especially if they are taken for Troops choices in a Combined Arms detachment and thus benefit from Objective Secured, though obviously this also means they will make the waiting time between assaults that much shorter for your Boyz and so on. The tactical uses of the Trukk increase significantly with the addition of a Reinforced Ram which allows them to both Tank Shock and Ram, two types of vehicle-exclusive attack that are heavily underrated by players unfamiliar with how they function. The addition of a Reinforced Ram also makes moving through cover more painless with the re-roll on any failed Dangerous Terrain tests, providing a subtle defensive boost that you can capitalize on by moving through line-of-sight blocking terrain while making full use of a Trukk's mobility.
This is fairly easy given that Trukks are generally very limited in terms of the number of different ways you can equip them, and there are certain combinations that stand well above the rest.
Trukk w/ Reinforced Ram - By far the best way to run a Trukk overall as the few extra points spent to re-roll failed dangerous terrain tests and gain the benefits of being an AV12 Tank type vehicle is fantastic on a naturally highly mobile and aggressive unit.
Trukk w/ no upgrades - If for whatever reason you don't have the points to take Reinforced Rams and feel dropping those in favour of upgrades elsewhere is preferable, running Trukks with no extras is certainly a fine alternative given how good they are in their role as it is. As far as the weapon option is concerned, I like the Rokkit but the choice between either should really come down to player preference.
Thank you for reading this article! Despite the crucial change to the Ramshackle rule and the many tweaks having a generally negative impact on the competitiveness of Trukks, this is still the premier transport for Ork armies and valuable by nature of being so darned cheap and quick - the two words best associated with many good greenskin units. I hope this was a useful read for you; if you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments below!