Greetins' me fellow Orks, me name be Kaptin Eelubber an' 'dis be me Waaagh! Pathetic attention-grabbing humor aside, this is my take on the not-pirate Flash Gitz and what they are capable of. I hope you enjoy this article!
The swashbuckling hybrid result of mixing Nobz and Lootas together, the pirate Flash Gitz are a curious unit for many reasons and they capture that perfect blend of insanity coupled with genius that only Orks could successfully replicate. Every Flash Git has a profile in keeping with a Nob, meaning they have a large amount of Strength 4 attacks with Initiative 3 and Weapon Skill 4 providing mediocre speed and accuracy in a melee. Critically, they all have two wounds per model for double the durability against almost all incoming damage; a single Flash Git is worth two Ork Boyz for survival rates save for when a Strength 8 or Instant Death weapon is involved that denies them that advantage. Otherwise, their stats are fairly standard for Orks; even despite their shooter billing they are still only Ballistic Skill 2 with an awful 6+ armor save and poor Leadership 7 score making them fairly fragile and unreliable at face value. Thankfully, their equipment and various other units in the codex help to make up for these assumed weaknesses and allow them to compete against the other competitive Heavy Support choices reasonably well. Withstanding incoming punishment is much easier if you are willing to spend the extra points to have a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field or Battlewagon dedicated to their protection. On the flip side, assaults don't scare them as much because four Strength 5 attacks on the turn they launch an assault by way of Furious Charge and three base Attacks can actually bring the pain to most units short of Toughness 5 or greater models, especially as Initiative 3 will strike before most Xenos armies and Unwieldy weapons in the game. The fact that their guns are Assault weapons and they still have the usual charge-oriented special rules such as 'Ere We Go makes them a fairly good combat squad more than capable of beating down Tactical Marine or weaker equivalents, while they even handily possess Stikkbombs to strike at full Initiative when moving through terrain. On the Leadership front and the topic of running away or being Pinned, Orks do have an unreliable and heavily penalizing defense for that with the Mob Rule special rule and Flash Gitz are no different in that regard. However, each Flash Git is handily equipped with a Bosspole to allow you to re-roll any Mob Rule test result that isn't Breaking 'Eads; this serves to almost guarantee they cannot flee from a failed Morale test or involuntarily Go to Ground because of an unsuccessful Pinning test.
The issue of accuracy is also somewhat solved by the Flash Gitz' fancy Gitfindas that perhaps unsurprisingly provide a +1 Ballistic Skill bonus to the unit (meaning they hit on 4s rather than 5s) albeit conditional on the unit remaining stationary in the preceding Movement phase. In any case, where the comparisons to Lootas come in is through the Flash Gitz impressive Snazzguns; firing three shots each with a short to medium range of 24", Snazzguns are unique because their Strength 5 and previous characteristics are preset but the AP value is randomly determined. They can hurt anything that is Toughness 8 or lower and AV11 or less, but anything from Cultists to Terminators can potentially claim an armor save against them depending on how you roll for the AP value - this is resolved as a single roll made after you select your target, meaning you really have to play the odds when using the squad and deciding to shoot at anything with better than a 5+ or 4+ save. Make no mistake; a sizable mob of Flash Gitz that have their Gitfindas activated and roll up AP1 or AP2 should absolutely tear through things like Centurions with little difficulty, but the inability to guarantee this is what makes them inherently unreliable against anything that isn't itself poorly defended in terms of either armor save or armor value. Once you also factor in their cost per model, it is clear that they aren't nearly as efficient as Lootas against a wider range of targets - though they do have the advantage of always firing three shots - but they do have a few things in their favor, such as being able to withstand more incoming fire, more easily circumventing Leadership problems and having above average melee capabilities. I would thus rate them as being a fairly decent unit but one that might be just a bit too random for you to really capitalize on next to Mek Gunz, Lootas and the like. The only other thing of note for Flash Gitz is that their free squad leader in the form of the Kaptin is a Character but otherwise has nothing to differentiate him from the other members of the mob, save for that envy-inducing pirate hat.
How to Equip Them
With even less options to choose from than Lootas, Flash Gitz are very much set in their role as a midfield general suppression unit with little variation from that. Other than increasing the unit size, the only thing you can add to Flash Gitz are tiny Ammo Runts that provide any individual model with a single re-roll on a failed to-hit roll once per game. They aren't exactly cheap and don't majorly benefit the units' shooting as they do for Lobbas so I would probably skip these in favor of more worthwhile upgrades elsewhere in an army list.
The increased durability, shorter range and innate re-rolls on the Mob Rule chart almost guaranteeing they won't get Pinned or flee for all Flash Gitz as opposed to their chief rivals in Lootas leads to me billing them more as a mid-range fire-base Ork mob than anything else. Having two wounds per model and greatly increased close combat stats compared to regular Orks allow them to better defend themselves in an assault while the assured three shots per model in Overwatch should be a bit more of a deterrent to enemies. The 24" range of Snazzguns coupled with Flash Gitz only becoming truly reliable shooters if they remain stationary (they can't rely on the Strength value of Deffguns) leads to them acting as a "zoning" mob, one that wants to get setup in good cover early in the game and fire at the preferred target that comes into that death zone each turn. Speaking of which, Flash Gitz' are ideally suited to killing Toughness 6 or lower models of any kind due to the high rate of fire per model, good Strength characteristic and variable AP value that is equally capable of bouncing off of Imperial Guard Flak Armor as it is punching through a Riptides' nigh impenetrable save. Consider that there is essentially a 33.3% chance of rolling a 1 or 2 on the random D6 roll to determine the units' AP value, meaning that you should be ignoring 2+ armor saves in one out of every three Shooting phases - the chances of it happening on any given turn aren't that great but when it does and you have an elite unit in your sight, green-flavored destruction follows very swiftly. Light vehicles are also fairly easy prey regardless of how well you roll for armor piercing because the number of shots and Strength value - the two most important tools for destroying vehicular models - are such that anything with AV11 or AV10 should be rather afraid of Flash Gitz, though obviously they are incapable of harming else.
All of that aside and getting back to the topic at hand, making effective use of Flash Gitz is somewhat trickier than it is for Lootas even despite all the advantages in their favor such as having double the wounds per model; the range deficiency puts the former unit firmly into range of almost any aggressor and makes it difficult to really capitalize on their ranged damage output in the first or second turn. The increased cost of each individual Flash Git has a knock on effect of you not wanting to take too many in a mob but also simultaneously presenting a more valuable target to your opponent that doesn't have board-reaching potential as its saving grace. In that case, liberally hugging cover is necessary - or you could alternatively attach a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field which is admittedly a far more interesting and reliable option that doesn't get screwed over by Ignores Cover weapons. Depending on the size of the mob you may also want to consider a Battlewagon as a Dedicated Transport for them to employ in much the same way as Burna Boyz or Lootas would use one; a Trukk is a much less costly alternative but doesn't really serve to protect them, and nor do I think they really need that level of mobility that you would usually use a Trukk for. One thing you absolutely must keep in mind at all times is that Flash Gitz are essentially Nobz that trade close combat weapons for Snazzguns; that profile stays the same, meaning each Flash Git can output four Strength 5 attacks on the charge backed by Weapon Skill 4 and Initiative 3. Because those aforementioned Snazzguns are actually Assault weapons, you can fire them at a target and still declare an assault in the same turn to really lay on the punishment with what amounts to seven Strength 5 attacks of the ranged and melee variety, perfect for dealing with weaker units or poorly armored vehicles.
Here are a selection of builds I heartily recommend for Flash Gitz;
Flash Gitz (5) - A bare-sized mob like this doesn't really need any support as you mostly take them in this size to keep costs down while still providing a fairly efficient shooting unit that needs a bit more attention than Lootas might (taking range out of the equation) in terms of actually killing them.
Flash Gitz (10) - If you want to go all-in on Flash Gitz then this build will lay the smack down on most enemies, but beware that Toughness 9 or AV12 models are entirely immune to their attacks and so taking more than one unit like this is less than ideal. Attach a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field or hijack a Battlewagon to protect them.
Thank you all for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it! Flash Gitz are an intriguing unit that I rate fairly highly all things considered, though I tend not to rank them in the upper echelon of Ork Heavy Support choices because there's nothing that really stands out for them on top of how random their effective damage output can be against non-vehicle models. I'm eager to read your comments regarding them as truthfully reviewing the unit was rather difficult; they aren't as easy to judge as most other Ork units as they have a good mix of limitations and capabilities coupled with a fairly on-point price per model, so if you want to leave some feedback regarding them then - as usual - feel free. Thanks again!