Characters: Warhammer 40000 Orks
"We're da best. Think different, do ya? Come and have a go then, ya runty little wimp!"
We is gonna stomp da universe flat and kill anyfink that fights back. We're da Orks, and we was made ta fight and win.
— Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
The Orks are Warhammer 40,000
's race of greenskinned barbarians, a brutish species that exists only to wage war on everything else in the galaxy - or failing that, themselves.
Inhumanly tough and naturally inclined toward violence, Orks are exceptional warriors, if unruly soldiers. Their technology tends to be crude but effective, their vehicles ramshackle, smoke-belching contraptions that can be built from whatever scrap metal is available. All of Orkish "kultur" is geared towards battle, and the only ruling principle is "Might Makes Right
." This makes the Orks naturally fractious, but once in a while a particularly strong or charismatic Warboss is able to unite a large force of Orks into a Waaagh!, a combination migration, holy war, and barroom brawl that can shake the foundations of the galaxy. Such events are thankfully uncommon, as the Orks are so widespread that they manage to outnumber humanity, and the only reason they haven't conquered the galaxy yet is that they spend so much time fighting each other.
If the Orks have a parallel in any historical army, it is of a vast barbarian horde scouring the land in a tide of howling violence, mixed with cheerfully psychotic Football Hooligans
and the odd Mad Scientist
for good measure, making them the closest thing the setting has to "comic relief."
Part of the Orks' success comes from their unique biology - in ancient times, a long-forgotten precursor race
engineered them to be the ultimate warriors, splicing fungal/algal DNA into their blood. As a result, Orks are tough enough to survive decapitation in time for a "body transplant," and strong enough to tear apart a Space Marine in close combat. Each Ork possesses an instinctive grasp of tactics and weapon maintenance, while their "Meks" and "Doks" are born with an innate understanding of mechanics and medicine, respectively. More than that, the Orkish race is latently, if unconsciously, psychic, which explains how some of their stranger devices are able to function - the Orks think they should, so they do
. Finally, Orks reproduce by shedding spores, especially upon death, thus ensuring that any world they visit is doomed to do battle with recurring greenskin hordes.
Ork tabletop armies are highly diverse, ranging from the classic "green tide" of massed infantry that swamps the enemy battle line with sheer numbers, mechanized swarms of warbikes, trukks and buggies, clanking mobs of Deff Dreads and Killa Kans,
" armies with loads of devastating if inaccurate firepower. Standard Ork soldiers are highly-effective in close combat, mercifully cheap in points cost, and so long as their numbers are sufficient, fearless to boot. The army also has a strong random element
in the form of Weirdboyz' psychic powers and the Meks' more esoteric weapons, which can either clinch a victory or make a plan fall flat on its face. Most Ork players quickly develop a sense of humor about this, laughing when a Mekboy manages to fire himself out of his own gun, the Grot slaves are used for mine clearance, or a looted vehicle slams into a wall instead of shooting correctly. Most battle "plans" then consist of charging in with an almighty "WAAAGH!!!" and the knowledge that no matter what happens, the Orks will always be back for annuver go.
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We Gotz Some O' Dem Fancy Trope-Thingies, Boyz!
- Abnormal Ammo: The Squig Katapult, whose payload can be easily surmised, and the Shokk Attack Gun seen under Tele-Frag below.
- Achievements in Ignorance: If Orks knew how impossible some of their devices were, they certainly wouldn't work.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Part of the Snakebite clan's initiation is goading a poisonous serpent into biting and then sucking out the poison, and in general they spend a lot of time around venomous creatures.
- Action Bomb: Bomb Squigs, which Tankbustas load up with dynamite and other explosives, then send to chase down enemy vehicles. Though sometimes they get excited and rush an Ork vehicle instead.
- The Ageless: Orks can't die of old age, but since they're constantly fighting most end up killed in battle before very long. They also never stop growing, so the oldest known Orks are currently about the size of the Imperium's Dreadnoughts.
- Alien Kudzu: Orks are more than just a single species, they are an invasive ecosystem unto themselves. Thanks to their spore-based reproductive process, every type of greenskin sub-species from Orks to Gretchin to Squigs to Snotlings tend to breed wherever Orks make planetfall, as does a variety of strange fungi with practical uses (like being distillable into fuel and/or beer or food least of all). This makes completely rooting out an Ork invasion of a planet a very difficult task, as Ork remains and habitats must be meticulously purged to prevent regrowth, and any previously invaded planet must exercise careful military patrols to prevent any feral Ork populations from growing to a threatening size. Given enough Orks and enough time, an entire planet will eventually be "orkiformed" into an Ork-based ecology, though this thankfully only happens on planets which have been Ork-dominated for generations. There have even been reports that Squigs have been encountered aboard Tyranid hive-ships, or Ork corpses recovered from the underhives of Necromunda.
- The Department Munitorium, ever pragmatic, actually considers a planet that has repelled an Ork invasion something of a boon to its Imperial Guard recruitment tithes, as the planetary defense forces stationed there are necessarily disciplined and methodical, and such regiments often have already been "blooded" in combat against feral Orks.
- The Alleged Car: Looted Wagons, enemy wrecks the Mekboyz have put back in a semblance of working order, are a bit unreliable, and may surge forward when the driver hits the wrong lever instead of firing.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe from an Eldar philosopher, Uthan the Perverse:
The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn't even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.
- An Ax To Grind: The Orks are famous for their Choppas, which are huge cleavers, axes, or chainsaws capable of hacking through even Space Marine armor.
- Armless Biped/Cephalothorax: While there exist a wide variety of different Squig types, most breeds used as attack animals are little more than a pair of legs with a head on top, with most of that being teeth.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Wholly justified for the Orks, since their very biology ensures that not only do the biggest ones tend to seize power, but those in power naturally grow bigger. An Ork Warboss can be twice the height of a human, all of it sociopathic muscle.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Whether it's daemonic hordes or undying metal skeletons, the Orks' natural response is going to be to yell and charge it.
- Ax-Crazy: Every single Ork is off his rocker in a violently proactive manner. Some are more in control of themselves than others, and will even work with other races, but when it comes down to it, every single Ork that has ever existed is a murdering psychopath. Some are just Psychos for Hire or playing Punch Clock Villain after learning that simply by doing what they want to do anyway on a different planet, other races will give them loot, thus saving time.
- Badass Biker: Ork Warbikers, speed-obsessed lunatics known for holding down the trigger of their vehicle-mounted weapons up until the moment they crash into the enemy firing line.
- Bald of Evil: No Orks have natural hair, but can use specialized hair Squigs to grow topknots and the like.
- Bang, Bang, BANG: Orks often "kustomize" their Shootas to make them extra loud.
- Barbarian Tribe: The Orks to the rest of the galaxy, and Feral Orks to the Orks themselves. Such "Wildboyz" have regressed to a pre-gunpowder technology level, place as much emphasis on marksmanship as close combat, and make use of Squiggoths or boars instead of vehicles. Other Orks view them as backward, but Feral Orks can be quickly absorbed by a tribe or Waaagh! to join mainstream Ork society.
- Battle Cry: "WAAAGH!!!"
- Battle Trophy: Orks like to collect (and display) the skulls, horns or tusks of particularly dangerous enemies. The real prize for their Bosspole, though, are Space Marine helmets, which not only indicate a Worthy Opponent but come in a variety of bright colors.
- Beast of Battle: Some breeds of Squig, rather than bouncing heads with legs, instead develop into mammoth quadrupeds that can be rode into battle like War Elephants, supporting howdahs of artillery or howling Orks.
- BFG: The standard Ork Shoota is so large that only a human built like a Catachan Jungle Fighter can wield it effectively, while Big Shootas are even... well, you know. Even larger Ork-portable firearms are the Deffguns used by Lootas, which come on shoulder-mounted metal rigs.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Along with the Bizarre Alien Reproduction noted below, Orks have a "triple helix" DNA pattern, with the third helix being that of a fungus/plant symbiotically intertwined with them on a cellular level. They have chlorophyll in their skin, redundant organs (mentions are made in at least one codex of having "specialised arteries" that can pump blood around the body if the heart gets shot out), and sustained levels of adrenaline make them grow larger.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Orks reproduce by giving off spores, which happens naturally throughout their life, and a great deal more are released upon death. Many will grow into ordinary fungi, but in the right conditions - and particularly if the spores land some distance from an Ork settlement - the spores will develop into other Orkoid creatures. Useful mushrooms and variants of Squig are quickest to grow, followed by Snotlings and Gretchin, which will start cultivating the land, taming the local beasts, and establishing a crude settlement, until finally Orks will emerge from their cocoons to take charge of the burgeoning tribe. Thus, every garden-variety Ork is capable of producing an entire ecosystem.
- Bling of War: The Bad Moon clan in particular is famous for being a bunch of "flash gitz".
- Blood Knight: Orks need war like humans need food and water, so that Orks denied a proppa scrap develop huge paunches and weak muscles.
- Bloody Hilarious: The Orks' sense of humor tends to run toward this, much to the disadvantage of anyone they happen to fight, capture, or simply be larger than.
- Blue and Orange Morality: It isn't really fair to call Orks evil, they're simply Living Weapons that have outlived their wielders and were never told to stop fighting. War is all they can understand, and they never bear any particular malice towards their enemy; Orks just love, and live, to fight.
- Boarding Party: Beyond space battles, Ork trukks and battlewagons sometimes sport boarding planks so their passengers can attack other vehicles in close combat.
- Boisterous Bruiser: This is generally the way Orks act around each other. To anyone else they might seem more like a Boisterous Berserker. The few Orks who are less inclined to such activity tend to be seen as a bit odd by other Orks, and often become Kommandos.
- The Brute: Pretty much the entire race as a whole, in terms of overall disposition.
- Butt Monkey: Grots, played for laughs.
- Camping a Crapper: Ferocious Squigs breed in an Ork settlement's many cesspits, "lending an air of unpredictability and excitement to even the briefest trip to the drops."
- Cannon Fodder: Gretchin mobs have the It's a Grot's Life special rule, allowing the Ork player to use them to remove minefields in the most direct way possible. In older rules, Grots could be used as living cover, or to help Orks move through difficult terrain faster (by providing better footing).
- Chaotic Stupid: Orks are not very high up on the intelligence ladder, and are best described as having a sort of "low cunning". Only Ogryns are less intelligent than Orks. That being said, Ciaphas Cain notes in Death or Glory that "dismissing them as simple, unreasoning brutes is a fast route to the graveyard (or more likely their stomachs)."
- Characterization Marches On: Orks from earlier editions had a more "regimented" appearance, with identical equipment of clear formal manufacture. This was thanks to the limitations of pewter casting and plastic molding that Games Workshop had access to at the time. As their techniques got better (driven forward by Gaiden Games like Gorkamorka) the Orks got more customized appearances and Art Evolution pushed them into more of a Mad Max or "junkyard dog-cobbled together-gang of barbarian brutes" look.
- Cigar Chomper: The Kommando Nob model features a cigar, while some Burna Boyz are noteworthy for having cut slots in their welding masks so they can smoke while they burn.
- Clan of Hats: Beyond tribal or warband affiliations, Orks across the galaxy may join six major Clans embodying a different aspect of the Orky mindset, each Color-Coded for Your Convenience - and which incidentally give them another reason to fight each other.
- Goffs (black) are no-nonsense fighters who excel in close combat and consider themselves the 'ardest of the Orks.
- Bad Moons (yellow) are the richest and flashiest gits around, and can afford the biggest, loudest guns.
- Evil Sunz (red, of course) are obsessed with speed and racing about on bikes and 'buggies, or at least hitching a ride to the battle on a trukk.
- Snakebites (brown) are traditionalists who prefer a good choppa to a firearm, and cavalry charges to machinery.
- Deathskullz (blue) are expert looters who pride themselves on being able to disable, repair, and fight from an enemy vehicle all in the same battle.
- Finally, the Blood Axes use camouflage instead of clan colors, even if it appears lurid to human eyes, as well as untrustworthy tactics that make the other clans consider them culturally contaminated by the stinkin' 'oomies.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Orks' WAAAGH! energy goes a long way toward making their technology work as well as it does, as well as ensuring that red paint actually does increase speed, and also explains why captured Ork equipment is so temperamental in human hands. In early fluff, this was far more pronounced; cross-sections of Shootas showed a mish-mash of gears and bullets in the general shape of a gun, and Ork pirates flew away in stolen spaceships that never had any fuel loaded into them. More recent fluff has severely downplayed the level of this while preserving the general idea that anything that the Orks think is possible, is possible, but the more realistic that belief is, the easier it is to make happen. Thus, the better the Mekboy is at making something work properly without help, the more WAAAGH! energy he can (subconsciously) channel into having it make massive explosions or reinforcing the forcefield it generates. This principle may also explain why so much Ork equipment explodes, or why Commissar Yarrick fully lives up to his dreaded reputation, particularly when fighting the greenskins that so fear him.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Some Orks are so far gone that even the rest of the tribe can recognize that they're insane. These Madboyz live apart from the others and are easily identified by the odd knick-knacks they carry around, and can sometimes be heard to mutter nonsense about "rolls" and "the metagame," but are considered to be signs of good fortune by the other Boyz, and form natural retinues for Weirdboyz. On the battlefield Madboy mobs are utterly unpredictable, and may stand around and pick their noses while under heavy fire, foil a night raid with a sudden shouting contest, or tear apart an enemy squad with their bare hands.
- Colonel Kilgore: Any Ork nob worth the title will be this. It helps that his boyz are every bit as enthusiastic about war as he is. Sometimes Nobz will band together to form an entire elite mob of nothing but Kilgores.
- Colony Drop: Orks combine this with It's Raining Orks in the form of Roks, asteroids or meteors hollowed out into flying battle stations, which can then be dropped on planetary targets as a form of simultaneous attack and troop deployment. If the landing systems work and the Boyz survive to swarm out of their space-deployed fortress, that's fine. If everything goes hilariously wrong and there's a huge explosion, that's just as good!
- Combat Pragmatist: Blood Axes can use tactics more sophisticated than frontal charges or More Dakka, bother to gather intelligence before beginning an assault, and are even willing to retreat rather than die pointlessly. This earns them the derision and mistrust of other clans, but the fact remains that Blood Axe Warlords are among the Orks' most successful leaders.
- Confusion Fu:
- It can be hard to predict what the Orks' plans are, as even if they have a plan there's no guarantee all the Boyz will follow it. At the same time, assuming the Orks will always straightforwardly attack with Hollywood Tactics will also fail because sometimes the Orks do have a plan and see it through.
- More specifically, the tabletop army runs on this. The Shokk Attack Gun has a lengthy table for both Critical Failures and Critical Successes. Weirdboyz' psychic powers are determined randomly each turn. Looted Vehicles can break down or veer out of control. Wrecked Trukks can take flight like a missile or clatter apart comically without injuring their riders. And so forth.
- Conspicuous Consumption: The Bad Moon clan is best known for blinging out their guns to show off their wealth, or pimping their rides with Squig-leather seats and deafening sound systems.
- Covered In Scars: Skarboyz, veteran Orks who sport an array of respectable scars from their battles. Impressive scars are so esteemed in Ork society, in fact, that Nobz will pick fights with each other just to earn more—it's said that thinking up vile insults is about as much exercise as a Nob's imagination gets.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Orks' kunnin' planz.
- Crown of Horns: Orks often wear the very large horns of various creatures, usually to show that they've killed something bigger and meaner than themselves. In previous rulesets this gave them a bonus to their Leadership stat.
- Cybork: Even if an Ork gets his limbs blown off, or takes injuries that would be fatal to other aliens, a Mad Dok can simply graft some cybernetic limbs to him so he can get back to fighting. Thanks to their Healing Factor, Orks take extremely well to cybernetic grafts, even if that graft is ripped off another machine and crudely bolted to the Ork's skeleton (which it often is.)
- Deadly Doctor: Ork Doks are just as willing to fight on the front line as the Boyz they're keeping alive and kicking, using the same bonesaws and 'Urty Syringes on the foe as they do their patients.
- Deflector Shield: Used for defense in the form of Kustom Force Fields, which Mekboyz can strap to their backs and bring into battle, but also weaponized. Pulsa Rockets' warheads emit pulses of unstable force that wreak havoc among enemy troops, while a Bubble Chukka encases enemy vehicles in invisible force fields, to their great surprise when they try to fire and find their shots ricocheting back at them!
- Delusions of Eloquence: Bad Moons consider themselves the nobility of Ork society, and love to show off by making poetry and using fancy words with more than two syllables what they looted from other races, like Eviscerate, Disembowel or Credenza. This can sometimes approach Wicked Cultured and Sophisticated as Hell for the most dangerous Orks.
- Ditto Aliens: Orks have this view of humans. Orks grow larger as they grow more successful, and the order of their hierarchy is based strictly on who is bigger than whom. Humans on the other hand all look more or less the same size to Orks, which leaves them wondering about how humans can know who is in charge. Some of the smarter ones realize that humans like their Bling of War as much as Orks do and the highest ranking humans will have the shiniest bits, but then some human authorities (like many Inquisitors) prefer to be more subtle, again confusing the Orks.
- Dressed to Plunder: As seen on the piratey Freebooterz. Yarr.
- Drop the Hammer: Tankbustas sometimes give up on hitting an enemy vehicle at range and instead attack it with a Tankhamma, nothing more than anti-tank rocket on a stick swung like a sledgehammer. Somehow this doesn't have a chance of harming the weapon's wielder.
- Dumb Muscle: Nearly all Boyz.
- Enemy Civil War: The constant status of Ork society, luckily for the rest of the galaxy.
- Enemy Mine: ...But the quickest way to get different tribes of Orks to reconcile their differences and unite is to present them with a non-Ork enemy to fight.
- Everything's Louder With Bagpipes: Gretchin occasionally kill a particular breed of bouncing fungus-monster and work their hide and bones into a set of Squigpipes.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Orks have difficulty with the concept that any sentient being might not enjoy going to war for its own sake. For example, they regard humans as "friendly" because they are so good at making military fortresses for Orks to come and knock over. The idea that a fortress is supposed to deter them never occurs to the Orks - why else would you build a big killy fort if you weren't daring someone to come try and attack it?
- Evil Knockoff: Ork versions of Imperial vehicles exist and are tabletop-legal as long as they're sufficiently bastardized in an Ork-y way (i.e. painted correctly, Imperial insignia defiled, Spikes of Villainy are a plus, etc.). Because of WAAAGH! energy, Orks can salvage almost any busted-up vehicle as long as it looks like it could still work, regardless of how F.U.B.A.R. the inside is.
- Evil Overlord: Your average Warboss is this.
- Extreme Omnivore: Let's put it this way, Ork pilots run their Fighta-Bommas' fuel lines through their cockpits in case they get thirsty during a mission.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Inverted. "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin' so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, 'cos we can always come back for anuvver go, see!"
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Orks have yet to master interstellar flight; rather their Weirdboyz are good at detecting when a Space Hulk randomly drops out of the Warp, and any Orks on worlds nearby will gravitate to the massive conglomeration of ships and debris and convert it into their flagship. Then it and any other vessels in the Orkish fleet will be drawn into another Warp rift to emerge somewhere else in the galaxy - Orks don't care where they end up so long as they get to fight something when they get there.
- Fearless Fool: Any Ork becomes this when surrounded by other Orks. Orks naturally gravitate toward each other, and enough of them together puts them into a kind of herd mentality where concepts like self-preservation and awareness of danger become practically irrelevant. This is one of the reasons why a big mob of Boyz is so inclined to use Hollywood Tactics, and thanks to their Super Toughness, it works.
- Fictionary: Orks have their own spoken language, though in the same manner that Orks loot manufactured components from other races, so too do they loot words. The end result is that a lot of Ork words are actually "loan words" from languages like Imperial Gothic. For example, "shoota" is the Ork word for any type of firearm, and "choppa" is the Ork word for any type of edged weapon. They also have their own system of writing, which takes the form of ideogramic characters.
- Fire Keeps It Dead: Burning an Ork corpse cuts back on the number of spores it releases, and in some cases can even prevent a world's re-infestation. This process was discovered more or less by accident, as Imperial forces are quite flamer-happy.
- Follow the Leader: In-universe, a Mekboy named Ushbek got the idea for Gargants after seeing Imperial Titans in action, and reasoned that if the 'umies could build their god a metal body, he could build some for Gork and Mork so they could gang up on and stomp the Emperor.
- Fragile Speedster: Ork Warbuggies, Wartrakks and Trukks are among the game's flimsiest vehicles, but make up for that in speed, and can pack a big punch for their size - or in the Trukks' case, get a mob of Boyz in the enemy's face in a flash.
- Friendly Enemy: The Orks do not have a concept of "friend," the closest they get is "favorite enemy."
- Full Boar Action: Like their medieval counterparts, Snakebites and Feral Orks love to ride into battle on the back of a vicious boar, though sometimes their steeds will be enhanced as Cyboars.
- Fun Personified: Orks are the only race that really enjoys war purely for its own sake, and see the galaxy as a big playground full of wacky hijinks. Plus, their codices are hilarious. Pretty much the only race The Loonie can play and not get a Dope Slap.
- Funetik Aksent: Spelled with X Treme Kool Letterz, and typically including English slang such as "git" or "gob".
- Gadgeteer Genius: Mekboys instinctively know how to build mechanical objects, from gunz to Gargants.
- Genetic Memory: The Orks are born knowing how to fight, and have all of their knowledge of machinery and science preprogrammed into their genetic code. Most of the latter does not take hold until in the presence of Orkish "teknology," however, which results in a bit of "kultur" shock if Feral Orks discover the abandoned equipment of the Waaagh! they're descended from.
- Genius Bruiser: The oldest Ork Warbosses - the ones that are typically called Warlords - are as cunning as they are strong. It really says a lot about how calculating and devious something is when it's a towering brute almost twenty feet tall, yet its physical prowess is considered the lesser threat when compared to its mind.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: Some of the Weirdboyz' powers take the form of a psychokinetic foot or fist that crushes the enemy, which Orks take as a sign of Gork's (or maybe Mork's) favor.
- Giant Mook: Averted; the bigger an Ork is, the higher up it is in the hierarchy.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Some Feral Orks confronted with even simple mechanical devices will go out of their tiny little minds, becoming Madboyz.
- Gun Accessories: Most Ork guns are cobbled together from the pieces of other machinery, but some Orks don't know when to stop adding pieces. Such "flash gitz" (most famously the Bad Moons clan) are fond of "snazzing up" their guns by adding additional barrels, useless sights, ammo feeds, clever gubbinz, know-wots, and other shooty bitz to the weapons. In game terms Flash Gitz can purchase a variety of upgrades that increase the power of their weapons, but none that actually help them hit things - which isn't to say that the guns aren't fun to fire.
- Guttural Growler: The Orkish language is slow, gruff, guttural, and thick with saliva, often punctuated with physical violence.
- Harmful Healing: Ork Doks are more commonly known as Painboyz due to their delightful tendency to "eksperiment on da subjekts" when they are strapped to the operating table, and disdain anesthesia as they prefer to know their patient is still alive and twitching. "An unfortunate ork who goes to the Dok to have his toothache fixed might wake up with a set of lungs that allows him to breathe water instead!!"
- Healing Factor: Regardless of how many pieces an Ork gets chopped into, if a Dok stitches him back together in time he'll be back on his feet and good as new.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Orks and Gretchin cultivate certain varieties of Squig for their meat and hides, so most greenskins wear Squig leathers as their primary form of clothing. This is tough enough to provide some protection from small arms (when worn by an Ork), but no more than typical leather clothes on anyone else. Orks who can afford it will often upgrade to crude metal armor.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: The Blood Axes love camouflage, but not all have figured out that it's supposed to blend in with the surrounding scenery, or that you shouldn't mix different types. However, regardless of how a Kommando is painted he's still able to Infiltrate.
- Hollywood Tactics: Headlong frontal assaults with the army's general front and center? Mobs of troops instead of battle formation? Assaults on fortrifications instead of proper sieges? Short-ranged, open-field shootouts? Orks make it work, both in the fluff and on the tabletop.
- The Horde: A Waaagh! is basically this, with elements of mass migration/holy war/pub crawl with a little genocide thrown in for good measure.
- Humongous Mecha: Ork Gargants, which are walking effigies of Gork and Mork. They are built in their image, striding across the landscape, stompin' anything which gets in their way, and making a glorious ruckus while they do it.
- I Have Many Names: Some Orks take on nicknames referring to particularly remarkable feats or defeated enemies. For example, by the end of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade's Ork campaign, a Warlord is known as Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter, Rage Screamer, Blood Spilla, Death Killa, Daemon Killa, Gun Smasher, Ghost Killa.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Orks will happily snack on Gretchin, their own dead, and slain foes alike. A Tankbusta's initiation ceremony, for example, involves barbequing an enemy tank crew in their own wrecked vehicle, washed down with a steaming mug of engine oil.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Orks have the lowest Ballistic Skill in the game, so statistically only one in three shots fired will actually hit the target. This doesn't lead to many friendly fire incidents, however, as Orks reason "If I hit it, it must be an enemy."
- How bad a shot are Orks? In previous editions they were allowed to loot sniper rifles, which normally hit on a 2+ on a d6 (that's a 5 out of 6 chance of hitting for those uninitiated in gameplay mechanics). In Ork hands, they managed to hit only half the time.
- Improvised Armor: 'Ard Boyz have managed to strap enough scrap metal onto their frames to give them the same protection as Imperial carapace armor. Other Orks think this makes them look like walking magnets, but don't point this out within earshot.
- Improvised Weapon: Ork Biker models are wielding chains, socket wrenches and engine parts for close combat.
- In Working Order: Orks can loot and use Imperial weapons and vehicles without any difficulty, and as the War of Dakka shows are even getting the hang of Tau stuff. This translates into tabletop rules, as Orks armies can field nearly all Imperial vehicles as long as they're painted Ork-y enough... up to and including Baneblades.
- Insane Ork Logic: As you may have noticed by now, Orks basically run on this.
- It Amused Me: The reason Orks do anything, including burning planets or using fleeing noncombatants as target practice.
- It Can Think: This is the greatest danger in facing Orks - the majority of Boyz are moronic Blood Knights, but there are always exceptions. The Warboss leading a Waaagh! can be highly intelligent, Mekboyz come up with devices that no one else would expect to work, and some Imperial commanders refuse to believe that Ork "Kommandos" exist.
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: At best a Mek can point at the "clever gubbins," "know-wots" or "spinny bit" that he thinks makes his device work. The real answer is probably Waaagh! energy.
- Keystone Army: While the effect is not as pronounced as with the Tyranids, taking out the Warboss can disrupt a Waaagh! as his Nobz slug it out in a Succession Crisis. If there's no clear winner, the formerly-united tribes and clans can turn on each other, becoming easier targets for the enemy.
- Klingon Promotion: Not many ways to advance your career as an Ork besides this. Boyz considering this actually gain muscle mass in anticipation, allowing attentive Nobz to put the upstart in his place.
- Language Equals Thought: The Orks have no word for "equal", and as previously stated the closest they come to the concept of "friend" is "favorite enemy." Also note that the universal battlecry of all Orks is a corruption of the word "war".
- Large and in Charge: Thanks to their biology, Orks grow larger the more successful they are in battle, and Warbosses are naturally the biggest, meanest Orks around. The veterans of a decades-long Waaagh! were reputed to stand twice the height of a man, while the mighty Warlord Ghazghkull is estimated at about six meters (20') tall!
- Laughably Evil: Even though they're homicidal killing machines, the Orks are so Crazy Awesome about it that they're hilarious.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Green is best, yellow is for More Dakka, the Red Ones Go Faster, blue is lucky, and black is dead 'ard. Fanon has added orange or purple as a "sneaky" color, because you've never seen an army in purple camo, have you?.
- Lightning Bruiser: Ork Warlords who don't bother wearing Mega Armor are typically described as such, and despite their massive size are just as fast and agile as Space Marines.
- Lightning Gun: The Zzap Gun, an unpredictable weapon whose power depends on how long its Gretchin operator is willing to hold down the electrocuting lever.
- Lower-Class Lout: The parts of the Orkish character that aren't standard fantasy-setting Orcs (or ancient Irish Celts) are based on yobbish British youth culture of The Eighties (when 40k was first published): Football Hooligans, skinheads, boy racers and thugs in general. One of their rules updates was titled 'Ere We Go, a common chant in Orkish mobs and football audiences.
- Lukk Nounverba: Mostly nicknames, but sometimes their first/only name as well.
- Mad Doctor: Painboyz, whose skill at surgery is unfortunately matched by their curiosity and desire to tinker. This can go from cutting open a unwounded limb to "check that everythin' is workin' roight" to replacing the patient's leg when it was his arm that needed the attention. Thankfully, the Orks' Healing Factor means that this is usually recoverable... most of the time.
- There is one step higher for a Painboy to go: becoming a Mad Dok. These Dokz go far beyond a Painboy's usual experimental antics and are often a shadow figure in Ork society, assuming they aren't exiled from the tribe entirely. It's a "find someone who knows where the Mad Dok is, then know the right boyz to get in" situation.
- Mad Scientist: Mekboyz, though at least they're not as scary as the aforementioned Doks.
- Made a Slave: Greenskins routinely enslave humans, not to make a statement, but because Orks can't be bothered to do most labor, and there are never enough Gretchin around when you need them.
- Man in the Machine: Like the Dreadnoughts they're patterned after, Deff Dreads and Killa Kans' pilots are wired into their war machines, but unlike Dreadnoughts these pilots volunteer for the role rather than end up in one as an Emergency Transformation. In the Dreads' case, their Ork pilots "soon find out that the disadvantage to being permanently wired into an enclosed metal can is being permanently wired into an enclosed metal can." The Gretchin are just as enthusiastic about piloting a Killa Kan, largely because they haven't witnessed the implantation process.
- Masochist's Meal: Face-eater Squigs, which are the subject of contests where a daring Ork tries to eat the Squig before it lives up to its name.
- Meat Grinder Surgery: Every Ork boy treats the idea of going to a Painboy as an absolute last resort for a reason. This is also why Painboyz love practicing battlefield medicine, as their patients have no choice but to accept their aid!
- Might Makes Right: The Orks' ultimate philosophy. If an Ork wants something from someone smaller than him, he feels he has every right to take it. If it resists, he has every right to smash its face (and might do so just for fun even if it doesn't resist). When Orks of similar size quarrel over something, they just fight it out, with the winner getting a tiny bit bigger than the loser. The biggest Ork calls the shots, and anyone who questions him gets made an example of.
- Military Mashup Machine: The Deffkopta. As its inventor said, "Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."
- Mini-Mecha: Deff Dreads and the slightly smaller Killa Kans are the ramshackle counterparts to Imperial Dreadnoughts, crewed by Orks and Gretchin respectively.
- More Dakka: The Trope Namers. Given their sub-par Ballistic Skill, it is the only way for them to have reasonable odds of hitting a target at range.
- Musical Assassin: In the oldest fluff, mention is made of Orks from a particular clan who have had Meks construct electric stringed instruments for their loud, pounding music - these are Goff Rokkers, of course.
- My Brain Is Big: Ork Weirdboyz' brains swell to abnormal size with the power of the Waaagh, to the point that the top portion of their skull needs to be removed to relieve the pressure.
- Nice Hat: The Blood Axes clan has taken up human military fashions, and like to wear peaked Commissar Caps modeled after, or just as often looted from, the officers in question. Freebooters Kaptains meanwhile prefer tricorne or bicorne hats.
- No Indoor Voice: Ork warbands without access to radios can convey orders through a special caste called Shoutas, known for their well-developed vocal chords and voice projection.
- Obliviously Evil: Orks don't hate you. They're butchering your family and shelling your home because war is what they're made for, and the only thing they understand. Also, they're bored, and they don't understand that you might not enjoy it too.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Every Ork wants to kill off all non-Ork life, partly because they view them as inferior, but mainly because it would be fun.
- One-Gender Race: As spore-based lifeforms Orks are technically without gender, but are universally referred to as "boyz." Strangely enough, some Orks have been known to give their warmachines or weapons sweet sounding feminine names like Daisy.
- Organic Technology: Some of the staggering number of Squig varieties function as this, and can be cultivated as natural syringes, oil cans, or even hair plugs.
- Ork Strategists Get No Respect: The Old Ones probably intended the Blood Axes to be the Orks' natural leaders, while in practice the other clans sneer at them.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Gretchin are a runtier variety of greenskin that the Orks bully into doing all the food preparation, message carrying, and anything else the Orks can't be bothered with. They may also be herded onto the battlefield to serve as slave labor, emergency rations, mine clearance, cover, gun crews, rocket guidance systems, ammunition, and in desperate times, as actual infantry. They are smarter than the Orks, so they need plenty of "encouragement" to fulfill these roles, usually a Runtherd's whip or "Grot-Prod." Snotlings are even smaller, and probably not even sentient. Collectively, they're known as "Grots".
- Our Orcs Are Different: Starting with the spelling.
- Percussive Maintenance: Horrified Imperial Tech-Priests speculate that Ork Meks brutalize their "machine-spirits" into submission.
- Phallic Weapon: Some Gargants' "belly guns" protrude from a gap along the bottom of their bulk, so...
- The Pig Pen: Orks care little for personal hygiene, but given their particular biology living in filth does not carry the same health risks that it would among humans (and to some degree encourages growth). Citadel painting guides recommend adding lots of weathering and rust to Ork vehicles and equipment, since they rarely bother to clean them.
- Planet Looters: If Orks need something they don't have (or are simply feeling bored), they'll take it from 'umies.
- Planimal: While many early sources describe the Orks as simply animate fungi and/or plants, this was later retconned to a gene-spliced combination of algae, fungus and vertebrate DNA, which is responsible for Orks' genetic memory, powerful physiology, and green skin tone.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Or the closest the setting has to it, which is not a good sign.
- Powa Klaw: A common weapon among larger Orks is a power-fist shaped into a crude metal "klaw" so large a smaller Ork would be unable to wield it. Some of them are simply strapped to the arm, but others are installed in place of the Ork's forearm as a "bionik" enhancement. The fact that Commissar Yarrick can wield one despite being a runty 'humie has enhanced his feared reputation among the Orks.
- Power Incontinence: Wyrdboyz have to be isolated from the rest of the tribe, lest they soak up too much Waaagh! energy and cause a few 'eadbangers.
- Powered Armor: Orks have invented Mega-Armor, gigantic ramshackle suits bolted together out of giant pistons and tank parts with ridiculously big cannons and huge bladed claws all over. They're powered by anything from nuclear reactors to steam, lumbering and occasionally lethal for the user, but practically unstoppable.
- Primal Stance: With arms larger than a man's thighs, a hunched posture, and sloped forehead, Orks resemble hairless green gorillas. Some of the fluff even lampshades this, saying that a typical Ork is about the height of a man, and would be taller if they ever stood up straight.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: They follow the letter of the trope, if not the spirit.
- Psychic Powers: All Orks are latently psychic, but Weirdboyz act as focal points for all this Orky energy. They don't necessarily have a lot of control over it, however.
- Psycho for Hire: Orks, especially Blood Axes or Freebooters, will occasionally hire themselves out as mercenaries to various factions, including Imperial governors and even Inquisitors who need some Plausible Deniability. They prefer to be paid with weapons that the Orks will almost inevitably end up using against their employers.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The life of an Ork is made up of fighting, tearing around at stupidly high speeds on bikes, trukks, ramshackle flyers, or unguided rockets, drinking, and more fighting. Why? Because it's fun.
- Pyro Maniac: Burna Boyz have to be constantly supervised or given work carving up metal with blowtorches for the Meks, lest they get bored and set their fellow Orks on fire to "make 'em do da burny dance." Skorcha drivers are Burna Boyz whose man-portable flamethrowers just weren't big enough, so they converted a Wartrakk into a fire-belching death machine. And the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon leaves each world he conquers a charred cinder, for the fun of it.
- Ramming Always Works: Orks seem to think so, and can take reinforced rams as vehicle upgrades. They even build Brute-class ramming ships, which are simply a reinforced sharp prow and a bunch of engines.
- Rebellious Spirit: Inverted. Ork "Yoofs" who have yet to find their place in the tribe may get tired of being told to do whatever they want and run off to join the Stormboyz, Orks obsessed with military discipline (relatively speaking), uniforms, marching, and flying around on crude Jet Packs.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: And they glow, too.
- Originally the Precursors who created the Orks and Gretchin were supposed to be none other than the Snotlings, who started off as superintelligent, created the Orks as heavy labor, and slowly devolved into semisentience, eventually becoming their creations' slaves. Later, it was Retconned that the same Old Ones who had created the Eldar also created the Orks to fight their war against the Necrons. The latest Ork codex mentioned both origins, and basically gave the Shrug of God over which, if either, was true. Over 60 million years it could be both, and the Orks themselves don't give a flying zog.
- There was once a time when older Orks would feel an instinctive urge to "go lookin' for somefing," wander off to a secluded area, develop sexual characteristics, breed, and bring home a young Ork in a pouch. Fortunately the "spore aliens" reproductive strategy was devised before the concept of female Orks caused too much mental trauma (the Blood Bowl Orc cheerleaders◊ were bad enough, thank you very much).
- In early fluff, it was mentioned that some Orks took up the worship of the Ruinous Powers, specifically Khorne for reasons that should be obvious enough. Nowadays the notion of any Ork not following Gork (or maybe Mork) is pretty blasphemous... though a plot hook for a Codex: Daemonhunters scenario had a group of greenskins mistaking a mural of Nurgle for Mork (or possibly Gork) and ending up tainted that way.
- Red Ones Go Faster: The Trope Namers. Once upon a time a Mekboy built two superficially identical vehicles, save for their paintjobs, and due to an internal difference the red one went faster. The Orks took the lesson to heart, and their belief in the adage makes it come true.
- Riding the Bomb: Orkish "smart bombs" are actually steered by Grot volunteers who haven't figured out it's a one-way ride. So maybe they're not that smart after all.
- Roar Dakka: In the video games, Orks tend to compete with their guns to see who can make the most noise.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Though Meks and Doks are born with innate knowledge of their fields, they can improve and expand it through practice and experimentation. This can be bad news for the rest of their tribe, as a Warboss finds that a Mek has disassembled his prized wagon and made a bunch of Deff Dreads out of it, or Boyz get dragged in as unwilling test subjects for a Dok's "eksperiments."
- Screaming Warrior: Orks like noise, the louder the better, and when going into combat will contribute as much to the noise with their own lungs as possible. It is not for nothing that a charging green horde is always proceeded by their Battle Cry of "WAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!!"
- The Scrounger: Orks as a species, and particularly members of the Deathskulls clan, are famed for their almost supernatural ability to scrounge useful bits of technology out of anything. Lootas are especially enthuastic and good at this, aggressively finding and nicking the bits a Mekboy is most likely to find useful, and getting rewarded with some of the best guns in return.
- Sense Freak: Orks love the sensations of battle, and due to their addictive personalities may specialize in one aspect of warfare. Kommandos enjoy slithering through the underbrush to slit the throats of enemy sentries, Tankbustas thrill at stalking enemy armor like their ancestors would hunt a great beast, while the famous Speed Freeks are utterly obsessed with going as fast as possible, as much as possible.
- Silly Reason for War: Orks don't really need a reason to fight, but having a context for it makes it more fun because they get to form into big mobz, paint themselves team colors, rally behind big impressive banners, and charge against the gits that are on the other side of the issue, regardless of what that issue actually is. Clan-based squabbles are good for this, and then there's of course the old standby of arguing which of their two deities is Gork and which is Mork, but Orks will happily kill each other over the most arbitrary and absurd casus belli.
- In Gorkamorka, a major civil war was started because of arguments about whether the titular gargant-spaceship-thing resembled Gork or Mork more. It only ended when it was renamed Gorkamorka and an official stance that it could be either was taken.
- Slave Race: The Gretchin's lot in life.
- Smarter Than You Look: Orks are often mistaken for stupid due to their simple manner and straightforward, aggressive mentality, because Orks are interested in having the most fun in a fight as possible, and Hollywood Tactics are a good way for them to get that. However, Curb Stomp Battles are no fun, so if a foe proves taxing enough, Orks will adopt "brutally cunning" tactics that come as a surprise to enemies expecting mindless frontal assaults.
- Social Darwinist: The Orks entire heirarchy is based on who is the toughest warrior.
- Space Age Stasis: The most Ork technology has changed in the past ten thousand years is through the addition of teleporters to their repertoire and cribbing Gargants off the humans.
- Space Pirate: Freebooterz, Orks who have separated from their clans to travel the stars and raid starships. Many of them even have the hats!
- Stealth Pun: A thoroughly defeated Ork fleet can leave only the spores, which create more Orks, but missing much of the technical know-how of their ancestors, meaning they are Feral Orks. One could say they were bombed back to the Stone Age, eh?
- Stout Strength: Bad Moons try to develop a gut as a sign of their wealth and power, but are no less fearsome in combat for it.
- Straight for the Commander: Not only is this other races' primary anti-Ork strategy, but the Orks use this themselves, as every Warboss relishes the chance to fight his opposing counterpart.
- Stronger with Age: Ork physiology causes them to get bigger, stronger, and smarter the longer they live and the more fights they win.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Orks love explosions, and will use explosives as much for the big fun blast as its possible effectiveness. Even Kommandos, who normally favor subtlety as a rule, like a good blast now and then, and will often use their stealth abilities to set hidden explosive booby traps, or sneak in close to an enemy strongpoint and use demolition charges to blow open a breach for the rest of the horde to pour into. Orks do lay minefields, despite their usual tactics. However, the reason isn't so much to stop humans from attacking their bases, as it is a jump at a chance to cause a massive explosion and take a few enemies down at the same time - the mines are placed so closely to each other that setting off one of them will often detonate the entire field.
- Super Toughness: A characteristic of the Orks, and one of the factors why they display a willingness to charge through a hail of bullets to reach melee range, or strap themselves to rocket packs which are as likely to blow them up as they are to carry them to the enemy. Any wound which does not kill an Ork outright will just make it more belligerent, and even the most serious of wounds can be healed from in a few days.
- Talking with Signs: A recourse for any Gretchin who have spent too long manning Big Gunz, which like all Ork firearms are engineered to make as much noise as possible. Since they don't have access to Hammerspace, it doesn't work very well because they're limited to the few signs they can carry around.
- Teeth Flying: A good way for an Ork to get rich, and why Bad Moons aren't seen as cheaters; see Weird Currency below.
- The dread Shokk Attack Gun, which vacuums up nearby Snotlings, then creates a force field tunnel through Warpspace, and generates the exit in the midst of an enemy (or friendly) unit. The experience drives the little Snotlings completely mad, so they emerge in a clawing, defecating frenzy, oftentimes within enemy vehicles, under the enemy's armor, or within the enemy himself. That's all assuming the gun works as planned, though - other Critical Failures include the Snotlings emerging from the portal as a spray of bone shards and gore, the Mekboy somehow firing himself out of it, or the portal unleashing a tide of daemonic ichor that One Hit Kills anything under it.
- Another Ork energy weapon, the tellyport blasta, works by randomly teleporting an enemy unit in a random direction, with predictable consequences if it got shunted straight down.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Ork Mek dubbed Orkimedes is thought to have invented the first "Tellyporta," and such devices were used during the Third War for Armageddon to instantly deploy Gargants and other reinforcements from landed Roks. In fact, teleporters are one of the few pieces of technology that Orks can build better and more reliably than humans, much to Tech-Priests' chagrin.
- Temporal Paradox: The kleptomaniac Warlord Grizgutz accidentally got sent back in time while attempting to travel through the Warp, and he decided to kill his past self so he'd have two of his favorite gun. The resulting confusion pretty much halted his Waaagh! in its tracks.
- Throw the Pin: The differance between Stikk Bomma mobs and regular Boyz is that the former have figured out to "'old on to the pin, throw the uvver part."
- Tractor Beam: Lifta-Droppas are used both during construction and mounted on war machines for use on the battlefield. Orks get a big laugh out of dropping an enemy vehicle on opposing infantry, or seeing how high they can fling a super-heavy tank.
- Tribal Facepaint: Orks will often paint their faces and limbs in clan colors, or because they believe a particular color to have a beneficial effect. The Snakebites are known for their elaborate warpaint, while Deathskulls paint their faces blue to aid in their looting sprees.
- Unpredictable Results: Some of the more entertaining Ork technology.
- The Usual Adversaries: The former trope namers. Humans have been fighting Orks for longer than both races can remember, and a probe sent out from Terra 14,000 years ago is still picking up transmissions of howling Orks as it travels through the galaxy. Wherever humans go, and no matter what bigger threats there are to deal with, there are always Orks waiting for them.
- War for Fun and Profit: All Orks see the fun in pointless violence, while some of the brighter Blood Axes realize that certain people will even pay them to do it.
- War God: The Orks have two deities, Gork and Mork. One is cunningly brutal, and will bash you when you aren't looking, while the other is brutally cunning, and will bash you really hard even if you are. Debates over which is which provide another excuse for internecine violence if Orks can't find anything else to do, and similarly the two deities are more concerned with fighting each other than flattening the rest of the galaxy.
- War Is Glorious: Or at least a heck of a lot of fun. Orks groups are always either waging war, or preparing to wage war. They live for the moment of it.
- Warrior Heaven:
- The concept of an endless war is the Orks' holy grail, and thanks to Ghazghkull's efforts the planet Armageddon continues to draw Ork warbands seeking to prove their mettle in the world's jungles, ash wastes and hive cities.
- On a more literal note, Warboss Tuska grew so fond of fighting daemons during Warp flights that he led his warband straight into the Eye of Terror. They're now trapped on one of Khorne's daemon worlds, doomed to an eternity of mindless violence, grisly death, and resurrection to begin the cycle anew. Quoth Tuska, "Told yer I knew where da best fightin' woz."
- We Can Rebuild Him: Mad Doks and Mekboys can take Orks that have taken massive amounts of damage and cyberneticallly enhance them.
- Weird Currency: Orks use their Teef (human or Grot teeth are too weedy) as currency. Since Orks constantly grow and shed their tusks, this ensures that a community has a steady supply of coinage, and no Ork can go broke for too long. Hoarding is impossible since Teef naturally decay, which simultaneously prevents inflation. If an Ork wants something expensive, all he has to do is be 'ard enough to punch another Orks' teef out, which is also why the Bad Moons' quick-growing tusks aren't seen as an unfair advantage by the other clans. "This simple approach to an issue most civilisations agonise about is typical of the pragmatic attitude of the Ork race."
- It's worth noting that occasionally some smart Ork figures out a way to prevent teef from degrading. This does not destabilise the Ork economy, because it's hard to imagine anything that would make it more unstable than having Orks in it already does.
- What a Piece of Junk: The usual state of vehicles, ships, and weapons of Ork manufacture, which are never kept in good condition and look like they were slapped together in a scrapyard, and in many cases were. However, thanks to Orks' faith in their weapons, they tend to work a lot better than their engineering has any logical right to.
- Who's Laughing Now?: The biggest motivation for any Grot who volunteers to be installed in a Killa Kan. The first thing many of them do upon being activated is go on a rampage looking to crump those Orks who tormented them the most before they got upgraded. Most Orks (provided they are not the ones being revenged upon) find this Bloody Hilarious, and the activation of a new batch of Kans tends to have a festival atmosphere, while the Big Mek who built the Kans looks on with almost paternal pride.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: Orks can often surprise enemy commanders by succeeding at crossing dangerous terrain or trying daring tactics everyone else has written off as suicidal.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Since Orks only respect brute force, the only way to take over a warband is to prove you're the 'ardest boy in it. These contests are occasionally determined through 'eadbutting contests (except the ones settled by snipping off someone's head with a power claw). This makes Ghazghkull Thraka's adamantium skull all the more useful. A knockout is usually sufficient, but it's a lot funnier when someone dies.
- Your Head A Splode: Weirdboyz are especially sensitive to the psychic field produced by other Orks, and as the number and enthusiasm of the Orks around them grows, their brains swell with the psychic energy of the Waaagh! If a Weirdboy is unable to discharge this psychic energy in time, they may suffer from spontaneous cranial detonation, or an "'eadbanger" as the Orks call it. The same condition can affect nearby Orks, of course, but they figure it a small price to pay for being able to watch a Weirdboy's pyrotechnics.
- Zerg Rush: One of the ways the Orks became so numerous and one of their methods for defeating their enemies, thanks to their method of reproduction.
Som' Propa Orkz Ovah 'Ere
Some Orks have become particularly (in)famous in the game's fluff:
Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
I'm da hand of Gork and Mork, dey sent me to rouse up da boyz to crush and kill ‘cos da boyz forgot what dere ‘ere for. I woz one of da boyz till da godz smashed me in da ‘ead an’ I ‘membered dat Orks is meant to conquer and make slaves of everyfing they don’t kill.
The most famous and feared of all greenskins, Ghazghkull is a visionary Warlord who has united thousands of tribes and billions of Orks under his banner. Only the intervention of three Space Marine chapters prevented Ghazghkull's forces from winning the Second War for Armageddon, which was but a prelude to the devastation he would unleash during the Third War for that planet a half century later. As the Prophet of the Waaagh!, Ghazghkull leads with brutal strength, insane courage and incredible battle prowess, devastating all in his path.
- Ascended Extra: Ghazghkull debuted way back in White Dwarf issue 134 as the Warboss of a sample Goff army list, with his now-trademark adamantium skull and ability to invoke a Waaagh! being randomly-determined wargear options. He went on to appear in the Battle for Armageddon board game opposite Commissar Yarrick, and become one of the first two special characters with his own rules for games of 40k and Epic.
- Badass: He's the biggest, baddest Ork in the universe. And he didn't get that way by being a pussy.
- Big Bad: He's to Orks what Abaddon the Despoiler is to Chaos. In fact, he's a strong contender for the overall universe.
- Bored Now: Spent a half-century preparing for his biggest, baddest battle yet, and threw himself into the Third War for Armageddon with gusto. But once the invasion got bogged down and the Season of Fire enforced a months-long stalemate, Ghagzhkull got bored and took off for new conquests. He only cheered up when he heard Yarrick was coming after him.
- The Chosen One: The Ork gods Gork and Mork have chosen Ghazghkull to lead a Waaagh! like no other, the Waaagh! of Gork and Mork themselves. To do this Ghazghkull must bring every greenskin Warlord under his command and lead a crusade that will drown the galaxy in war.
- Dark Messiah: Ghazghkull is this to the Orks, claiming to be in direct communion with Gork and Mork. Nobody can tell if it's a hallucination caused by his head injury or the result of his latent psyker powers awakening.
- The Dreaded: The most hated and feared of all Orks the Imperium knows, having personally led two of the most devastating Waaagh!s in recorded history. There's an entire Crusade of the Black Templars after Ghazghkull now, with Commissar Sebastian Yarrick in tow.
- Expy: Just a lowly grunt at first, then he got seriously wounded, had visions of conquest, and started preaching about racial superiority. Then he launched an invasion against an incompetent, paranoid dictator who had exiled his best and most popular general, which led to multiple brutal city sieges, only for the war to swing away from him when another faction entered the conflict and launched a counter-invasion on a second front. Hmmm...
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He used to be just a no-name ugly Goff Boy on the backwater planet of Urk. Then he caught a bolter round to the head and stumbled into the tent of a Painboy named Grotsnik. Now look at him...
- Large and in Charge: Ghazghkull may be one of the biggest Orks ever seen. The standard artwork depiction◊ of him, facing off against Commissar Yarrick, shows that his human opponent is lucky to be waist high in comparison.
- Power Klaw: A particularly large one mounted on his left arm.
- Religious Bruiser: He considers himself the Prophet of the Waaagh!, chosen by Gork and Mork themselves to lead the Orks to their Manifest Destiny of conquering the entire galaxy.
- Unwitting Pawn: The famous Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran divined that an Ork Waaagh! was coming, and that if the wrong Warboss came to dominate it, the Eldar would suffer greatly. So Ulthwe's forces made several carefully-calculated attacks on Ork targets, destabilizing one Warboss' position so that another would achieve ascendancy. That other Ork was Ghazghkull Thraka himself, leading Orks onto the humans of Armageddon instead, just as the Eldar predicted.
- Use Your Head: Ghazghkull gets a headbutt attack with his adamantium skull when he charges, which is "much like being hit by a mag-train."
- Worthy Opponent: Ghazghkull considers Commissar Yarrick this, because he's been such an long-standing enemy and because he's fought Ghazghkull so effectively for so long. "Humies is all weak scum that deserve ta get stomped. 'Cept for One-Eye Yarrick. He knows how ter fight." Note that this is entirely one-sided, and Yarrick despises his Ork nemesis.
Warlord Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub
Nazdreg is a typically ostentatious and overweight Bad Moon warlord with dangerously atypical intelligence, enough so that were he more interested in conquest than hoarding wealth, he could prove a greater threat than even Warlord Ghazghkull. The two brokered an alliance during the Battle of Piscina IV, in which Nazdreg traded Ghazghkull the "tellyporta" technology that would be put to good use during the Third War for Armageddon. Nazdreg was presumed slain in that conflict, only to literally crash into the battle for Medusa V; after a good fight the Warlord managed to escape before a Warp Storm claimed the planet, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
- Benevolent Boss: Comparatively speaking. Nazdreg is smart enough to use both carrots and sticks when managing his slaves.
- BFG: His Kustom Blasta-X, an energy weapon he "persuaded" a Mek to build into his Mega Armor.
- Cool Spaceship: A Space Hulk he calls the Ognazdreg Gargdurslagulk, which Imperials have designated the Scylla. Remarkably, Nazdreg's Meks have managed to establish some semblance of control over its movements beyond riding it into and out of random Warp rifts.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted. Nazdreg has a Ballistic Skill of 4, meaning he can shoot as well as a Space Marine!
- The Strategist: His Kunnin' Plans special rule lets him pick a squad to Deep Strike or Infiltrate into the battle.
Mad Doc Grotsnik
Operate! Operate! Still time to operate!
A Painboy who found himself propelled to notoriety along with his most famous patient, Grotsnik gave his tribe's Nobz the "Ghazghkull special" without mentioning the bombs he planted in their new bionik skulls. The Nobz' bloody revenge and Grotsnik's subsequent resurrection at the hands of his Grot orderlies left him a mess of flesh and cybernetics, and utterly insane. Since that fateful day, Grotsnik has become infamous for his bizarre surgical procedures and horrifying medical experiments, and Ghazghkull's patronage may be all that protects him from a more permanent death.
- Ax-Crazy: Even for an Ork, Grotsnik is bloodthirsty, an infectious madness that spreads to any greenskins in his mob. His unit is completely Fearless, must move at full speed toward the nearest enemy and assault it if possible, and unlike other special characters Grotsnik can't leave a squad he joins until he's the only one left in it.
- Came Back Wrong: One of his Gretchin orderlies lost his lunch while up to his elbows in Grotsnik's skull, another lost his pet spider somewhere in the Dok's body, Grotsnik died several times on the operating table, and it was only thanks to repeated uses of a Grot-prod that he ultimately survived the night. Small wonder he's one scalpel short of a medpack.
- The Dreaded: Amongst Orks, who speak of the countless medical horrors he commits.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Subverted; the Nobz tried to do this to him by having a Deff Dread cut his head open and leaving him to die. He got better.
- Mad Doctor: Even other Painboyz think Grotsnik is a total loony! He's gotten into a habit of amputating his own limbs and swapping them with the arms and legs of his customers, simply for the fun of it. He's notorious for his unorthodox brain surgeries, particularly the dreaded "Squig brain transplant" where he removes the patient's brain and replaces it with a live Squig. He's even rumored to be building his own "super-Ork" out of organs and body parts stolen from his patients.
- Your Head Asplode: Enforced on Nobs that displeased Grotsnik via the bombs he implanted in their heads while giving them their adamantium skulls. After he survived their revenge, the lunatic Dok capered in the moonlight, setting off the remaining bombs as a counterpart to his singing.
The greatest Ork bikerboy of all time, this former Mek was exiled from his tribe on Khasak Prime after being accused of cheating to win a race. Wazdakka has since roamed the stars on the most tricked-out and impossibly cool warbike that any Ork has ever seen, initially fighting for any Boss willing to pay him in spare parts and fuel. Now he's managed to accumulate a Waaagh! of Speed Freek followers who share his dream of an endless rampage from one end of the galaxy to the other.
- Badass Biker: His Crowning Moment Of Awesome remains the battle for Scalex VI, in which Wazdakka ramped his bike off a mesa, plunged through a Warlord titan's void shields, caught fire in the process, crash-landed in the thing's cockpit, and butchered its crew, while still on fire. The (still-flaming) skulls of the titan Princeps and crew are kept on his bike as a Battle Trophy.
- Big Damn Heroes: It's noted that Wazdakka's "sense of dramatic timing is second to none," and many times his intervention is what swung a battle the Orks' way.
- BFG: The Dakkakannon, an extremely powerful tank-buster gun mounted on Wazdakka's bike. Its shots' recoil make the bike actually fly backwards.
- Cool Bike: The Bike of the Aporkalypse.
- Demoted to Extra: Although no longer a playable model as of the 7th edition codex, Wazdakka is mentioned on the Warbikers Datasheet and his Waaagh! is marked on the map of major Ork activity.
- The Exile: Wazdakka was kicked out of his tribe for showing up his Boss, and has since become a Bad Ork Biker.
- Put on a Bus: For legal reasons, Wazdakka doesn't appear as a playable character in the 7th edition Ork codex.
- The Sleepless: Wazdakka keeps himself juiced up on stimulants supplied by Bad Doks; after all, sleep means no riding, and what Speed Freek wants that?
- Visionary Villain: Wazdakka's dream is to build a Portal Network that would allow him to ride across the galaxy without stopping. If enough Speed Freeks end up following him, who knows what will happen?
A deranged old Wyrdboy born during a solar eclipse on the Death World
of Catachan, emerging from his cocoon into a nest of bloodvipers that forced the yoof to start biting back before he took his first breath. Since that day no snake will attack him, and Zogwort's own bite is lethally poisonous, but it is his Wyrdboy powers that make him particularly dangerous. After achieving fame for his ability to turn Orks who annoyed him into Squigs, Zogwort left Catachan to wander the galaxy as a Freebooter.
- Baleful Polymorph: He knows a unique psychic attack that turns enemies into Squigs.
- The Beastmaster: Zogwort has the Nest of Vipers ability that gains extra attacks in melee, representing the array of poisonous squig-snakes that nestle against his body and strike anyone who gets too close.
- Demoted to Extra: Although no longer a playable model, Zogwort is briefly mentioned in the 7th edition codex.
- Eye Scream: Melted his own eyes out of their sockets during a particularly powerful psychic blast, but Zogwort insists He Meant To Do That.
- Expy: Arguably of Wurzagg, the Great Green Prophet, a similarly legendary greenskin shaman in Warhammer who also is best known for turning his enemies into squigs.
- Grumpy Old Man: The Ork equivalent. Hence the name "Old Zogwort".
- Power Incontinence: He's just as susceptible to this as other Wyrdboyz — he has a bad tendency to accidentally turn other Orks into squigs by accident, and once vaporized his own eyeballs by mistake.
- Put on a Bus: Zogwort doesn't appear as a playable model in the 7th edition codex.
- Wandering the Galaxy: Zogwort seeks the purest sources of Waaagh! energy, aiding Warbosses along the way.
The legendary terror of the jungles of Armageddon, Snikrot was a Kommando Boss who came to the planet during the Second War for Armageddon. When most of his troops were slaughtered by the Imperial Guard's jungle-fighting specialists, Snikrot vowed that he and his boyz would beat their enemies at their own game
. His Red Skull Kommandos have plagued Armageddon ever since with their brutal campaign of terror and psychological warfare.
- Blood Bath: His Kommandos are named for their habit of scalping enemy soldiers and spreading the hot blood onto their faces.
- The Dreaded: Snikrot is the one Ork that even the legendarily fearless Ork Hunters of Armageddon are scared of - they tell stories of scalped, eyeless victims left to bleed to death, or how Snikrot loots Imperial dog tags so he can whisper the names of the soldiers he's killed to the jungle moon. On the tabletop, enemies suffer a penalty to their Leadership whilst determining if they'll run after Snikrot wins a battle.
- It Can Think: Ork Kommandos tend to elicit this reaction anyway, as most think of Orks as too stupid to use tactics or stealth. Skikrot is a genius when it comes to guerilla warfare, even by human standards.
- Knife Nut: He carries two jagged blades, each long as a man's arm, called Mork's Teeth.
- Stealth Expert: Any Kommando who survives long enough to grow to a Boss is necessarily this, and Snikrot is one of the best. They say he can pass through a throttlevine grove without disturbing a single leaf.
Zagstruk commands a band of Stormboyz called the Vulcha Squad, which he keeps in line with strategic acts of cruelty and field executions. He and his boyz like to deploy from the bomb bays of Zagstruk's antique fightabomma, Da Vulcha
, firing their rokkit packs at the very last second so they land boot-first on the foe.
- Artificial Limbs: Zagstruck got his legs torn off by a Space Marine Dreadnought, but obligingly hauled himself up and chewed through the walker's wiring until it was incapacitated. He then had the Dreadnought's legs salvaged and remade into bionic replacements for his own.
- Bad Boss: Even by Ork standards, Zagstruck is a vicious, mean-tempered git who doesn't hesitate to brutally punish subordinates. On the tabletop, this means Zagstruck's Vulcha Squad is effectively fearless... because if they fail a Morale check, Zagstruck immediately kills one of them, after which they're so scared of him they automatically rally.
- Death from Above: All Stormboyz do this, but Zagstruck specializes in it, diving like a twisted eagle onto opponents with his clawed bionic legs to smash them into the ground. On the tabletop, he effectively gets a free power klaw attack that doesn't always hit last whenever he charges.
The most infamous Freebooter alive, Kaptin Badrukk of Da Blacktoof
has been plying the stars for several blood-soaked decades, selling the services of his Flash Gits to any Warboss who can afford it. Since taking up the life of a pirate, Badrukk has assisted Warlord Garaghak in defeating a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken through a daring raid on its Norn Queen, and helped Warchief Ironteef win the War of Dakka and outshoot the Tau of the Farsight Enclaves. He and his boyz have a way of "persuading" their employers to give them bonuses after a battle, but many Warbosses consider it a small price to pay to see Badrukk in action.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a greatcoat with lead lining to protect himself from the radiation his own snazzgun produces.
- BFG: His personal snazzgun, "Da Ripper", is a captured Ogryn auto-shotgun kustomized to fire unstable plasma canisters instead of its original extreme-caliber solid rounds. As a side effect, the weapon pumps out so much radiation just by being loaded that standing near it is tantamount to a death sentence - one day, assuming nothing gets to him first, Badrukk's gun will either fatally poison him, or blow up in his hands.
- Bling of War: Badrukk's teeth are plated with a mixture of adamantium and priceless ur-gold looted from the Palace of Undying Light, he has medals from defeated Imperial admirals decorating his Nice Hat, and he wears a thick suit of armor made from thousands of melted-down gold teeth taken from rival Freebooter Kaptins.
- Captain Morgan Pose: His model is doing this on a box of spilled Teef.
- The Exile: Expelled from the Bad Moons for "having too many teef for his own good."
- More Dakka: Badrukk definitely believes in the principle of slinging as much ammo as possible. In the 5th edition, he comes with three personal "ammo runts" (gretchin carrying refills of ammo), and the Flash Gitz he is with can still take up to three more.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Even for a former Bad Moon, Badrukk has so many teeth that his mouth is stuck in a permanent, ghastly grin.
'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO...