Basic tips I found useful when playing as da Orks in Dark Crusade.
Tips to Orks
General squad tips
Prefer more small squads over fewer, larger squads. Two reasons:
- Morale. Each squad has separate morale. The morale boost you get for big squads is less than having independent morale sources. It's better to get 1 squad demoralized than half the horde.
- Nob leaders. Say you have 4 squads of 4 boys plus nob. That's 20 orks, of which 4 are heavy infantry. That's better than 2 squads of 9 boys plus nob (20 orks, 2 heavy infantry). Most of the other factions' early units are effective against regular infantry. This heavy infantry helps squads survive. Often, the nob will be the last guy standing when a fight is over.
I will leave here my comments about each type of squad.
Don't reinforce them apart from the nob leader. Sluggas are trash meant to capture points and die. They'll hold up in the first 5 minutes of the game and will finally get outclassed. They're cheap and weak so if a squad dies early, make a new one, don't try to keep the current one alive.
The most useful guy in every ork game. This guy can kill every other hero unit early on (except the necron lord). Deploy him right after your first two slugga squads. You want to throw him at every problem. Teleport him into melee. Research his aura effect and his anti-vehicle ability.
Along with nobs, these are your main guys. Add a nob and prioritise research of their first big shoota upgrade. Unlike sluggas, shoota squads are expensive, so do take care of them and replace orks within a squad as they die.
Your main melee boys. Until you can deploy them, rely on your mek for melee. The wiki is outdated, they're not equivalent to terminators at all (mega armoured nobz are). You only need a few banners and a pile of guns to deploy them, so build banners early!
These guys are good against vehicle-heavy enemies like the imperial guard. They're also useful if you're playing chaos and see defilers early. In most cases, your mek should be taking care of vehicles so don't deploy tankbustas unless you have a reason to.
I basically don't use these. If you need to swoop on anyone, use your mek's teleporting ability.
Warboss, Mega armoured nobz, flash gitz
These guys are so late game, by the time they're available you will probably find you don't need them.
I like to do a first raid with the Big Mek and two shoota squads, and get nobs out as soon as I can (I only use sluggas to capture points as they demoralize too easily in fights).
Build more banners early
I like to play using mostly the big mek, nobs, and shootas. I only deploy vehicles rarely, if the game goes over 15 minutes. For this reason, I prefer to delay building generators and get some banners up first. You can get four banners up while you wait for the Big Mek to spawn. This gets you to the 50 Ork pop you need to deploy Nobz.
Pile of guns
Get the Pile of guns up as soon as the Big Mek is out. This leaves you with 50 energy. Use that to give your two shoota squads nob leaders (that's 25 energy each). So, without any generators, you've got 4 sluggas, the Big Mek, 8 shootas, and 2 nobs.
At this point you have exactly 0 energy. Build a generator as soon as a gretchin squad becomes idle. Construction time will probably overlap with that of the Pile of guns.
Fighting Other Factions
Marines and Chaos
Sluggas can deal with cultists/scouts in the very early game. It's important to deploy the Big Mek as quickly as possible because marines are stronger than sluggas and shootas. If you see cultists early, stop what you're doing and go deploy the Big Mek. Marines will soon follow (especially Chaos marines) and you would lose your shootas.
Eldar / Imperial guard
The standard Mek + 2 shoota squads works against the puny eldar and guards. The Big Mek can kill the farseer/general. Just be careful to keep your shootas away from the howling banshees. However, these guys are mostly infantry so you might want to build more generators early and prioritize wartruks over nobs.
Tough old gits. These guys are bullet sponges, impossible to demoralize, and stupidly good against vehicles. They're the only faction that can kill your Big Mek fast, so you have to slow down and pay special attention to upgrades here. When I find necrons, I deploy an additional squad of sluggas and another one of gretchins and I tech up a bit. The armor, stronger bosses, and heavy shootas upgrades are a must. I can only face necrons with any confidence once my shoota squads have those three upgrades. Don't invest in vehicles. Instead, upgrade the orky fort and get the second level of those 3 upgrades and the upgrade for the Big Mek in the boys' hut.
The most annoying faction in the 41st century. Their superior range allows them to kill you from a distance. This is a race where stormboys could actually be more useful than nobz. Unfortunately, stormboys tend to get demoralized fast without support, so I normally go for wartruks instead. At least we can rest assured the Big Mek will make short work of their commander.