Greetings my fellow war-gamers and welcome to the latest entry in my Ork Tactica series! This time I'll be looking at the Dakkajet, the "fighter jet" of the Ork air force and the most versatile of the bunch. I hope you enjoy the article!
The first of three fliers that Orks have access to is both the most versatile and generally the least risky to use by nature of not having to perform potentially suicidal close-range bombing runs, but this is balanced by it being the most expensive after some essential upgrades are purchased. That last part isn't a nice distinction to have given that all three of the Ork fliers have truly earned the "paper plane" adage; AV10 on all sides with a mere three hull points and no other kind of save outside of Jinking is about as bad as it gets for fliers, meaning even the lightest of anti-air presence can and will put them down for the count. On the firepower scale of things, the Dakkajet is fairly decent as far as fliers are concerned; it isn't quite as good as something like a Stormtalon that has less shots but greater accuracy and either higher Strength or Rending to make it a relevant threat against tougher targets, but otherwise it is better against lighter targets due to the high rate of fire. Provided you take the optional third gun, a Dakkajet puts out nine twin-linked Strength 6 AP4 shots per round at Ballistic Skill 2, though that characteristic can be improved in two ways; the Dakkajet natively has Strafing Run and is thus Ballistic Skill 3 against ground targets, while the optional flyboss upgrade has a similar effect when facing down enemy fliers, jetbikes, skimmers and flying monstrous creatures.
Do not let the middling profile on the supa-shootas fool you; three of them average a pretty darned high number of hits due to twin-linking and they can quickly glance AV10 and AV11 vehicles to death while also really putting the pain on many flying monstrous creatures. They outright murder Tyranid Harpies and Hive Crones if those don't Jink, while even Flying Hive Tyrants should lose one or two wounds per salvo to the Dakkajet. The damage output is nothing amazing but I would say it is fair given the points expenditure, though there is yet another way to improve this; on a turn in which a Waaagh is active, the Dakkajet fires either eight or twelve shots depending on the number of supa shootas it possesses, effectively adding a fourth supa shoota in the latter example. This makes the Dakkajet a pretty serious threat to other fliers but it comes with a cautionary warning; any other flier will obliterate the Dakkajet without thought or at least force it to Jink, where admittedly the high number of twin-linked shots does somewhat work in the Dakkajets' favor. Another thing to keep in mind is that a Dakkajet is a Supersonic flyer, meaning it can't Hover and thus is fully incapable of generating victory points such as Linebreaker or for holding objectives; keep this in mind if you plan on running one or multiple of these fine Ork planes in your army list.
How to Equip Them
I find that two of the three upgrades are almost mandatory to maximizing the effective uses of a Dakkajet; the third twin-linked supa shoota and the flyboss, adding three extra twin-linked Strength 6 AP4 shots and Ballistic Skill 3 against skimmers, jetbikes, fliers and flying monstrous creatures respectively. The extra three Strength 6 shots are well worth the points to give the Dakkajet a total of nine shots, or twelve on a turn in which you declare a Waaagh! which should see it destroy any AV11 vehicle with three hull points in one go. As far as the flyboss is concerned, this pairs up with Strafing Run to essentially provide the Dakkajet with Ballistic Skill 3 versus all possible targets and thus improve its accuracy from averaging roughly five hits to seven hits when not Snap Firing (assuming the third supa-shoota is taken). I wouldn't bother with the red paint job as moving an extra inch on a supersonic flyer seems just a tad wasteful, especially as the supa shootas themselves don't exactly have a small range.
Given how insanely fragile a Dakkajet is, "dodging" is generally a good strategy; this involves purposefully modifying your reserve rolls or positioning it as such so that it can arrive on the field after enemy fliers or at least hide from them. It can engage other fliers short of Stormravens fairly reliably in the sense that it will force them to Jink, but if it gets alpha struck by another unit of the same type then it will likely meet an untimely end. Strafing Run allows it to provide decent ground suppression if there aren't any good aerial targets to go after due to the mess of Strength 6 AP4 shots being able to scythe through light to medium infantry, or strip valuable hull points and wounds off of poorly armored vehicles and most monstrous creatures. It might not seem like it does much damage in one go but if you factor in how cheap the Dakkajet is and its natural advantages as a flier, its damage output over three to four turns tends to be worth the price of admission; just be careful to pick its engagements and pay attention to the positioning of both itself and enemy models to keep it running smoothly as long as possible.
There is only really one build I recommend for Dakkajets;
Dakkajet - additional twin-linked supa shoota, flyboss - This provides you with the most firepower in one model for maximum damage and a much greater chance of winning a dogfight with other fliers, both because of the extra shots and the improved Ballistic Skill.
Thank you for reading this article discussing the swift Dakkajets! These jet-fighters aren't quite as good as they used to be back in 6th Edition but they are nonetheless still a fairly priced unit that offers Orks a nice all-round flyer that can destroy most light fliers reliably well so long as it gets the jump on them first. Thanks again and I look forward to reading your feedback!