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Characters / Warhammer 40000 Orks

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"'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO, 'ERE WE GO! Let's break sum' zoggin' 'eads!"

"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 most populous race in the galaxy of Warhammer 40,000, Orks are a race of green-skinned brutes, a barbarous and warmongering species that exists only to wage bloodshed on everything else in the galaxy, including other Orks.

Stubbornly tough and naturally inclined toward violence, Orks are exceptional, if unruly fighters. While the majority of their technology tends to be crudely-made but effective machines built from whatever material that is available, some of their more eccentric technology is deceptively advanced, capable of rivalling or exceeding anything the Imperium can build, at least when it works. All of Orkish civilization and "kultur" is geared towards endless conflict, and their only ruling principle is "Might Makes Right." This makes the Orks naturally fractious, but when a particularly strong or charismatic Warboss is able to unite a number of tribes, a Waaagh! is formed. A combination of mass-migration and a holy war, a full-scale Waaagh! can exterminate entire civilisations and shake the foundations of the galaxy. While such events were once fairly uncommon, the anarchy and violence consuming the galaxy in the wake of the opening of the Great Rift (known to the Orks as Gork's Grin) has agitated the greenskins like never before and an increasing number of Waaaghs! are being launched by successive Warbosses.


Part of the Orks' success comes from their unique biology. What little can be gleaned of the history of the greenskins indicates that, in ancient times, a long-forgotten precursor race engineered them to be the ultimate warriors. 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 scientists (the technologically talented Mekboyz and the medically gifted Painboyz) are born with an innate understanding of their field of study that they call "Orky know-wots". More than that, the Orkish race is latently, if unconsciously, psychic, producing a surge of psychic energy that galvanises a horde into an endless sea of greenskins. At its peak, this energy becomes a tangible gestalt field of pure aggression that the Orks believe to be the gaze of their warring gods, Gork and Mork.


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 Those Wacky Nazis, Pirates and cheerfully psychotic Football Hooligans.

On the tabletop, Ork armies are highly diverse and can be played in many different ways, such as the classic "green tide" of massed infantry that swamps the enemy battle line with sheer numbers; "shooty" armies with loads of devastating if inaccurate firepower; mechanized swarms of warbikes, trukks and buggies; clanking mobs of Deff Dreads, Killa Kans and even Stompas and Gargants; or any combination of these. Standard Ork Boyz are very 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, 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.

The Orks have been a part of the game from the very beginning with the first ever Warhammer 40,000 model being a special edition Space Orc released a year before the game itself. During the 1st Edition of Warhammer 40,000 note  the Space Orks, as they were then known, received three sourcebooks: Waaargh: Orks (focusing on background and painting); Freebooterz (containing the rules and army list), and 'Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000 (focusing on the Goffs, Snakebites, Blood Axes and Freebooterz). The Orks dropped the Space part of their name during 2nd Edition and have received rules in every edition of Warhammer 40,000 since, as well as appearing in many of the game's spin-offs and computer games. The Orks were the focus of three such spin-offs, the 1992 board game Battle for Armageddon and the 1997 skirmish game Gorkamorka, and the 2018 vehicle combat game Speed Freeks. The 8th Edition rules for the Orks can be found in Codex: Orks, released in November 2018, with additional rules published in March 2020's Psychic Awakening: Saga of the Beast.

"We gotz some o' dem fancy trope-thingies, boyz!"

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  • Ace Pilot: Any Speed Freek Nob can be assumed to be this. As Speed Freeks tend to drive with a reckless disregard for their own safety, any who survive long enough to become Nobs will necessarily have to be very good at successfully pulling off daring vehicular maneuvers.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: If Orks knew how impossible some of their devices were, they certainly wouldn't work.
  • Achilles' Heel: The Orks have two:
    • Taking out their leader — due to their nature, if a Waaagh! loses its leader with no clear successor, it will implode as the orks turn on each other in order to decide who is the new Boss. Of course, this is easier said than done, as Warbosses are not only often surrounded by a literal army of slightly less powerful orks, they are, by definition, themselves the biggest, baddest, hardest to kill orks in the army.
    • Lack of fighting. Ironically enough, the Orks' overall threat level depends on what they are fighting against over a protracted period of time — those who have nothing to fight will get thin and scrawny, while the Orks under the Beast of Ullanor got so powerful that they were able to lay siege to Terra because they had practically the whole Imperium fighting them. If the Orks were to be deprived of any enemy beyond each other for an extended period of time, they might regress to the point of being easily bested by the Imperial Guard in melee. That is a very big if, though.
  • 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 their 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 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. This is covered in-game by the "Don't Press Dat!" rule, which can force them to make an extra Flat Out move.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe from an Aeldari 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 Aeldari 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.
  • Anti-Villain: Orcs are not evil, they're just acting on their nature, and their nature is joyful battle and murder. Sadly, the rest of the universe doesn't really appreciate this.
  • Artificial Limbs: Orks make use of a variety of crude but effective bionik replacements whenever a limb cannot simply be replaced (or the Painboy ministering to the patient was bored). These limbs can range from basic hooks, blades and peg legs to more traditional robotic limbs, some of which can include additional, and often eccentric, systems such as hidden blades, caged squigs or telescopic extensions. The 2nd Edition of the game included a number of special Wargear Cards to represent the more esoteric Ork bioniks, but later editions mostly relegated these to simple aesthetic differences with no in-game rules.
  • Anti-Structure: The big lobbas fitted to Mega-Gargants are oversized mortars that fire equally massive shells designed to create a shock wave that does tremendous damage to buildings and fortifications. In the Titan Legions Edition of the Epic scale rules, this is represented by the lobba ignoring the usual modifications to hit enemy troops in cover, as well as a having a greater chance of damaging building.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Whether it's daemonic hordes or undying metal skeletons, an Ork's natural response is going to be yelling and charging at it with a Choppa.
  • Attack Reflector: The original version of the Bubble Chukka surrounded an enemy unit with an invisible force field. When the enemy next fired, their shot would ricochet off the inside of the force field back at the firing unit, much to the amusement of nearby Orks.
  • 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.
  • An Axe to Grind: While they can take the form of anything from large machetes and maces to chainswords and buzz saws, the axe is the traditional, and most popular, style of Ork choppa. The axe type choppa is so widespread, it is also used extensively in Ork iconography.
  • Badass Army: The Orks are an entire race of alien Super Soldiers created by disappeared precursors. Their physiology makes them resilient to gunfire and Meatgrinder Surgery, and strong enough to rip grown men limb from limb, and they also possess a bestial cunning and surprisingly effective ramshackle technology that other races tend to underestimate. Combine that with their latent psychic potential that covers what they normally lack, and you have a race of barbarians on a galactic pub-crawl that can overrun the defenses of entire planets and even sectors!
  • 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: Orks don't have natural hair, but they can use specialized hair Squigs to grow topknots and the like.
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: Orks often "kustomize" their Shootas to make them extra loud.
  • Battle Cry: "WAAAGH!!!" In-game, don't be surprised if an Ork player actually yells this when using the "Call the Waaagh!" special rule.
  • Battle Thralls: Any given Ork warband defeated by any other warband will fall under the Proud Warrior Race Guys and Barbarian Marauders category both, happy to serve under a bigger, 'arder warboss since he's likely to lead them into even grander, wilder fights. In fact, the Orks' near-constant internecine warfare just serves to sort out who is working for whom, until they get a stable hierarchy and the green tide of a Waaagh! is unleashed.
  • Battle Trophy: Orks like to collect (and display) the skulls, horns or tusks of particularly dangerous enemies. The real prizes for their Bosspoles, though, are Space Marine helmets and Commissar Caps, which not only indicate a Worthy Opponent but come in a variety of bright colors.
  • Belly Mouth: The smaller, melee-focused Slasher Gargants often replace their belly gun with a set of mechanical jaws known as a Snapper. The Gargant uses these steam-powered jaws to rip and tear pieces from enemy Titans, causing massive damage to the target area.
  • 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 Squig variants 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.
  • Blind Jump: Orks have yet to master the navigation of Faster-Than-Light Travel. Instead, their Weirdboyz are able to detect when a Space Hulk randomly drops out of the Warp, and any Orks on nearby worlds will gravitate to it and convert the Hulk into their flagship. When the Space Hulk inevitably is drawn back into the Warp, the rest of the Orkish flotilla will be pulled with it to emerge somewhere else in the galaxy at some random point in time. Orks don't care when or where they end up, so long as they get to fight something when they get there.
  • Bling of War: The Bad Moon clan in particular is famous for being a bunch of "flash gitz", blinging out their guns to show off their wealth or pimping their rides with Squig-leather seats and deafening sound systems.
  • Blood Knight: Orks need war like humans need food and water. Denied a proppa scrap, Orks develop huge paunches and weak muscles, as the Ork that was dissected in Xenology shows.
  • 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.
  • Booby Trap: The elite Feral Ork Trappas, from the 3rd Edition Chapter Approved list, use traps and snares to catch their prey, both on and off the battlefield. In-game this was represented by units of Trappas being able to purchase traps to lay at the start of the game, ranging from the explosive Bang Traps (bundles of explosives that hit with a Strength greater than that of Imperial krak grenades) to the more primitive pit traps known as Punji Traps (weak traps that turned into difficult terrain after being sprung).
  • Born as an Adult: Greenskins of all kinds have no childhood phase of their life cycle; after gestating, they emerge from the ground fully formed, already knowing how to speak, recognize enemies, and fight. An Ork's age can usually be determined from his size and the shade of his skin, with younger Orks being smaller than older Orks, with fewer scars and a brighter tinge to their greenness.
  • The Brute: Pretty much the entire race as a whole, in terms of overall disposition.
  • The Bully: Every Ork to every other greenskin smaller than him. Grots, being smaller than all Orks, are perpetual bully victims in this society. Orks are also very abusive to human slaves for this reason. Runtherds are Orks who take particular pride in their ability to boss around creatures smaller than them, and will elevate their bullying to an art, often pushing around entire mobs of grots right into the enemy's guns.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Deffkopta was originally a unique vehicle created by a Mek special character from the Gorkamorka Gaiden Game and was introduced to the main game during 4th Edition as a more generic unit.
  • Cargo Cult: Orks have a habit of seeing other species make or do things that look awesome, and then try to imitate the surface details of those things, reasoning that if non-Orks can do it then Orks should be able to do it even better. While this does lead to some pointlessly absurd practices note , more often than not they can actually make it work despite themselves. Even the white-and-black of their checkerboard-pattern colors were adopted from those of the Sons of Horus, who krumped them so hard at Ullanor.
  • 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)." Under the leadership of the Beast, the Orks went well beyond this, developing into a terrifyingly intelligent and disciplined force able to nearly bring down the whole Imperium.
  • Chainsaw Good: What's more choppy than a choppa? A choppa flashed up with a motor and buzzing teeth! Orks love this almost as much as the Imperium, if not more so, though not every Ork can afford one.
  • 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. In the modern incarnation, the Blood Axes are the only clan that still holds to the old look.
  • Cigar Chomper: While they are rarely mentioned in the background material, some models and artwork show specialist and high ranking Orks smoking thick cigars, adding to the tough look of the greenskins. One of the most notable instances of this trope are the Burna Boyz models who have slots cut into their welding masks so they can smoke while they burn.
  • 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 like to make planetfall via 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!
  • Cool Boat: During the Third War for Armageddon, the Orks retrofitted scuttled Imperial promethium tankers into massive, submersible landing craft. The Orks used these ramshackle submarines to circumvent the defenses of Hive Tempestora to deliver hordes of Boyz directly into the heart of the Hive.
  • 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.
  • A Commander Is You: Brute/Spammer. Orks are one of the most numerous armies in the game and also one of the most threatening in melee combat. Depending on the edition and size of the game, Ork armies can field upwards of 100 models, and their basic troops each have multiple melee attacks. Having so many models on the board also means that tactical mistakes and bouts of bad luck aren't so costly. Orks can also be one of the most customisable armies in the entire game. However, Orks are pretty slow-moving with low armour saves, and thus they can take heavy casualties from concentrated fire. The main weakness the army suffers from, however, is their lack of reliable, long-range firepower with armour-piercing ability, which can make then vulnerable to heavily armoured opponents and vehicles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cyborg: 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.)
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Some Orks who undergo radical Cybork conversions do not always take to it well. Whether because the crude brain-interface with their Cybork bodies are on a perpetual fritz, or perhaps because they simply awoke from the surgery with a radically different body than they intended, they end up enraged and insane by the changes wrought to them. Such "Mad Cyborks" are extremely strong and tough, but also completely unpredictable and as likely to attack other boyz in the heat of battle as they enemy. However, the other Orks, being who they are, do not seem to mind.
  • Deflector Shield:
    • The Kustom Force Field is a defensive shield created by Mekboyz for personal use or to mount on their most prized creations, such as Morkanauts or Wazzboom Blastajets.
    • Ork Gargants are typically protected by more powerful Power Shields that are the equivalent of Imperial Void Shields, just less reliable.
    • The modern version of the Bubble Chukka uses the force produced when an energy shield collapses to cause damage to enemy units.
  • 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.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Deth Ray fitted to the massive Mega-Gargants are strange energy weapons that emit a beam of green light that envelops the target and causes it to simply disappear. The Adepts of the Cult Mechanicus are unable to explain exactly how the Deth Ray works, with many theorising that the Mekboyz that create them don't either.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Ork drivers are inevitably described as recklessly enthusiastic, particularly the Speed Freeks. If a buggy in the squadron happens to crash during a high-speed combat turn, it just gives the rest of the squadron something to laugh at.
  • Drop Ship:
    • The Ork Landanote  is a large shuttle used by some Ork warbands to ferry boyz and their equipment from orbiting ships to the planet's surface. While slow, Landas are incredibly durable, able to fly straight through enemy Anti-Air fire that would destroy the drop ships of other races while unleashing a hail of fire from its own weapon systems.
    • Some of the more straightforward Ork hordes, such as those of Grukk Face-rippa's Red Waaagh!, will use their spacecraft as makeshift drop ships, landing or crashing even battleship sized craft into a planet to deploy their crew directly onto the planet’s surface.
  • Dumb Muscle: The default state for Orks. With a very few exceptions, Orks aren't known for their cleverness, sagacity, or grasp of basic tactics, but nobody doubts their ability to deal out a sound thrashing.
  • Earn Your Title: Orks are very straightforward with their naming conventions, typically taking and giving names based on an individual's most famous, impressive or amusing accomplishments.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Due to their limited imagination and desire to let everyone know who's boss, the majority of Ork formations, from mobs all the way up to a full Waaagh!, are typically named after the Ork that leads them, such as Slasherz Speed Freeks, Warboss Bulzak's Destroyaz and Waaagh! Ghazghkull. Names that don't include the leader's name normally indicate the presence of a particularly intelligent Ork Boss.
  • Enemy Civil War: The constant status of Ork society, luckily for the rest of the galaxy.
  • Enemy Mine: 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.
  • Epic Flail: Ork transport vehicles can be equipped with Wreckin' Balls, large spiked balls attached to a crane jib that the passengers and crew can use to crush any enemy who comes too close.
  • 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 Is Angular: While it depends on the editionnote , the design of vehicles and technology used by the violence-obsessed Orks are often blunt and brutal, with a jagged scrapyard look that gives away their common origin as battlefield salvage. This can also vary by clan, with the more militaristic Blood Axes preferring more regimented designs similar to those of the Imperium of Man while the primitive Snakebites prefer to add spikes, skulls and spines to make their vehicles look like mechanical beasts.
  • Evil Knockoff: Orks can loot and use Imperial weapons and vehicles without any difficulty, and as the War of Dakka shows, they're even getting the hang of Tau stuff. In-game, 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 (getting it to work reliably is another story—looted vehicles have a 1 in 6 chance of going out of control each turn). In one or two stories Orks have even managed to loot an Avatar of Khaine. And it turns out that a living statue infused with Warp energy embodying rage and murder has a lot of synergy with the Orks...
  • 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!"
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Cockney football hooligans meets Mad Max baddies.
  • 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.
    • In the olden days, the Nightbringer instilled a fear of death on every race except the Orks. That said, there's one thing the Orks are scared of, and that's Commissar Yarrick.
  • 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.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: A number of the battlewagon variants from the old Epic gaming system had a single large, forward-facing weapon that often takes up much of the vehicle's chassis. Examples include the Braincrusha, the Goff Lungbursta and the Evil Sunz Spleenrippa.
  • 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." But, at the same time, that level of "friendly" is pretty friendly.
  • 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. They're 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". Hell, their name is an example.
  • 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.
  • Giant Mook: Averted; the bigger an Ork is, the higher up it is in the hierarchy.
  • Giant Scrap Robot: As with most of the vehicles that they make themselves, the large walkers used by the Orks, such as Stompas and Gargants, are constructed from a mishmash of scrap, stolen technology and guns. Constructed as idols to their barbaric gods as much as weapons, these enormous, vaguely Ork-shaped monstrosities often look like walking junkyards, with weapons fitted almost at random across their superstructures. Despite their incredibly crude look, these ramshackle war machines are incredibly durable, sporting thick armour plates and a rugged design that allows them to continue attacking even if large chunks have been blown off. Due to their lower level of technology, the Steam Gargants built by the Feral Orks tend to look even more ramshackle and typically have tracks rather than legs as they lack the skills to make a true walker.
  • Gun Accessories:
    • Orks of the Bad Moon clan and the ostentatious Flash Gitz love to flaunt their wealth by "snazzing up" their guns, adding additional barrels, extra sights, ammo feeds, gitfinder squigs, underslung bomb launchas, and other shooty bitz to their weapons. In some editions this was represented by Flash Gitz being able to purchase a variety of upgrades that increased the power of their weapons. The 8th Edition version of the rules, meanwhile, has the Flash Gitz ability 'Gun-crazy Show-offs' and the Bad Moon Clan Kultur 'Armed to da Teef' that increase the effectiveness of their shooting.
    • The 8th Edition Ork Shiny Gubbinz, Gitstoppa Shells consists of an ammunition microfactory that can be bolted onto a Character's shoota. This device continuously produces extremely powerful armour-piercing rounds known as Gitstoppas that, in-game, improve the Strength, Damage and Armour Piercing characteristics of the weapon.
  • Guttural Growler: The Orkish language is slow, gruff, guttural, and thick with saliva, often punctuated with physical violence.
  • 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. Half the time, an Ork's idea of reattaching a severed limb is to just nail it back on — and an Ork's Healing Factor is so strong this actually works.
  • Helicopter Blender: Deffkopta pilots take great joy in using the rotor blades of their craft to mince enemy troops in combat, laughing raucously as the sharpened propeller removes heads and limbs. The 8th Edition of the game represents this with the spinnin' blades weapon that can make multiple attacks each turn.
  • 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.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: The cluster blaster fitted to some Slasher Gargants in early editions of the Epic game system consists of a large central cannon surrounded by multiple smaller, rapid-fire cannons that are all designed to firer together so that, while the main gun takes out the primary target, the smaller weapons destroy supporting infantry. This is represent by giving the cluster blaster a one in three chance of hitting any unit close to the target of the attack.
  • Hidden Weapons: The 2nd Edition Ork bionik arm known as the Spike Arm conceals a number of hidden blades and spikes that the user can trigger at just the right time to distract, or even impale his opponent. In game, the rules represented this by giving the bearer of the Spike Arm bonuses that made it more likely for them to win a combat.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Anything related to their psychic consensus and Commissar Yarrick. If the Orks believe he can kill by a glance, by the Emperor he will get an optical implant capable of shooting Eye Beams. The Orks believe he's an unkillable Badass? Then an unkillable Badass destined to be the Orks' archnemesis they will get! But it's all good and fun for an Ork.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Headlong frontal assaults with the army's general front and center? Mobs of troops instead of battle formation? Assaults on fortifications instead of proper sieges? Short-ranged, open-field shootouts? Orks make it work, both in the fluff and on the tabletop.
  • Homing Projectile:
    • The most common form of Ork guided missile, in early editions and background material, was the Grot Bomb. This weapon was a large missile piloted by an unfortunate Gretchin who is generally unaware that he is on a one-way trip.
    • The krooz missulls fitted to Mega-Gargants, from early editions of the Epic game system, are guided to its target by the Gargant's Kaptain using a remote control and a teevee kamera stuck in its nose. To represent this, the weapon could be fired at any enemy unit in range, even if it didn't have line-of-sight.
  • Horns of Barbarism: Orks often wear helmets decorated with horns, typically ones taken from large animals that they hunted and killed, in order to make themselves look tougher, to emulate the fearsome appearance of these creatures and as a symbol of their own prowess by advertising that they managed to kill something even bigger and nastier than themselves.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Orks don't fear death, seeing it as just another chance to have a fun brawl. But if there's one thing they're scared of, it's Commissar Yarrick.
  • 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 — P 
  • Idiot Savant: Orks seem profoundly moronic in most situations, but their cunning and combat skills cannot be underestimated lest their opponents are quickly destroyed.
  • 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 is an Ork? In previous editions, Orks 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. In-universe, their marksmanship is so bad even at the best of times that an Imperial officer or official officially reported as assassinated by an Ork sniper is tantamount to "It was Unfriendly Fire, and they deserved it".
  • 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. Though pretty much any Ork weapon qualifies really, as it's mostly cobbled together out of scrap.
  • Industrial World: Some ork worlds ruled by mekaniaks can become cruder versions of this known as mek worlds. One of the most famous, Mordax, used to be an imperial Forge World until it was captured by orks, who harnessed the factories for their own use (and renamed it Moredakka).
  • Insane Troll Logic: Prolific enough to be called "Insane Ork Logic". As you may have noticed by now, Orks run on this, given their tendency to paint their vehicles red to make them go faster, and their views on winning and losing.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: The Orks technically started out as this, having been created by the Old Ones to serve as soldiers in their wars against the Necrons. However, the Old Ones died out, and without their masters or their traditional enemies, the Orks began to expand beyond all control: having been introduced to an environment ill-equipped to naturally repel them, they soon become a persistent menace to civilizations across the universe. These days, however, it's most common for Orks to "introduce" themselves to a new environment.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Lobbing insults is a common Orkish pastime, usually because it's a good way to start a fight. Even in the middle of combat with humans, Orks will use their crude knowledge of Low Gothic to try and provoke the 'ummies into responding in kind.
  • 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. These frequently realize their error only when ambushed by the non-existant Orks in brightly colored camouflage.
  • 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.
  • Kill It with Fire: Given their spore based reproduction, the best way to try and get your planet back after an Orkish 'visit'.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: A common attitude among Orks is that a shoota is not "proppa" unless it leaves a chunk of something in its target. Their own Super Toughness may have something to do with this perception. However, Orks make plenty of exceptions for Energy Weapons that are sufficiently "killy", like a shokk attack gun or a beamy deffgun.
  • 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.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: More like "Ork Strategists Get No Respect", but same principle. The Old Ones probably intended the Blood Axes to be the Orks' natural leaders, while in practice the other clans sneer at them.
  • Lack of Empathy: Typically, individual Orks feel nothing for practically any other organism, and will kick around others with no remorse for doing so. Even seeing other Orks get butchered on the battlefield is more likely to make an Ork laugh at how Bloody Hilarious it is rather than feel any particular rage, horror, or revulsion.
  • 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".
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Inverted and Exaggerated. All Orks have a forward-jutting jaw to accommodate their larger lower teef. This naturally makes them look brutish, but Orks wanting to look even bigger and meaner will have an "iron gob" with teeth-like serrations installed as additional plating around their jaw. Sometimes this is just an additional part of their armor made for intimidation, other times it is actually bolted to their jaw as a cosmetic implant.
  • 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 towers over any infantry model being of comparable size to a Imperial Redemptor Dreadnaught as of Saga of the Beast.
  • Laughably Evil: Even though they're homicidal killing machines, the Orks are so over the top about it that they're hilarious.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Orks firmly believe in the power of color. Green is best, yellow is for More Dakka, the Red Ones Go Faster, blue is lucky, and black is dead 'ard.
  • Lightning Bruiser: An Ork Warboss who can't afford or for whatever reason chooses not to bother with Mega Armour is still several hundred pounds of sociopathic alien muscle with a powerful running stride and light feet, with also enough rage to rip a man apart and shrug off a rifle round like a light shove. Even Space Marines are cautious about fighting them in close.
  • 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 '80s (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.
  • Made a Slave: Greenskins routinely enslave humans, Tau, or whoever else they are currently fighting against, 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. Unfortunately, Orks tend to treat said slaves like they would anything smaller than themselves, which means slaves tend not to last very long.
  • Made of Iron: It's truly astounding the kind of punishment an Ork can take and keep going. Being partially dismembered, having large chunks of their heads blown out by gunfire, there are even reports that some have survived head transplants. That said, because of the same fungal physiology that lets them survive all this stuff, fire works swimmingly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • This is so ingrained into Orks that they can even accept non-Orks as Bosses as long as they seem strong enough to earn their loyalty, usually by killing their current Boss. In Armaggeddon Saint, Kage is able to maintain the loyalty of an Ork after killing his Boss, but only by constantly projecting the impression that he in charge, even if he has to beat up his Colonel to show it.
  • 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.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon:
    • Like many other races, the Ork Mekaniaks will often combine a pair of guns into a single weapon to increase the firepower a single Ork can unleash, with kombi-rokkit launchas and kombi-skorchas being particularly popular. While some of these kombi-weapons are kustom-made from scratch, many Mekboyz will cut corners and simply connect together a pair of pre-made weapons with wires, welding, bolts, or (in the case of Snakebite Mekboyz) rope and squig glue.
    • Many of the larger Ork walkers are often fitted with close combat weapons with ranged weapons fitted to them. These weapons range from the Claws of Gork and Mork fitted to Gorkanauts and Morkanauts that have multiple big shootas attached to them, to the ripper fists fitted to gargants that consist of a motorised saw with a huge cannon mounted on their side of the blade.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Boomdakka Snazzwagons carry a large supply of burna bottles, bottles and pots filled to the brim with highly flammable squig oil that the crew throw at anything that comes near. In the 8th edition of the game, these improvised incendiaries can cause a large amount of hits against an enemy unit and ignores cover as the volatile burning liquid sloshes over the scenery.
  • Money Mauling: The 8th Edition Bad Moon Shiny Gubbinz shoota known as Da Gobshot Thunderbuss fires crates' worth of gold-plated teef at the enemy, in a great blunderbuss-like blast that does as much damage as a pair of Imperial heavy flamers. As the Orks use teef as currency, only the richest of the rich Bad Moons are able to afford such an expensive weapon.
  • 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.
  • Nail 'Em: The rivet kannon fitted to Kustom Boosta-blastas fires red-hot, arm-length rivets at the enemy, and has such a massive rate that it makes up for the inaccuracy of the unrifled tool-cannon. In-game, these weapons have an exceptionally high Strength characteristic for a solid-shot weapon fitted to a light buggy, twinned with an impressive number of shots per turn.
  • 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.
    • Freebooterz Kaptains prefer tricorne or bicorne hats, in keeping with their pirate image.
  • Nitro Boost: Ork starships almost always have a set of supplemental boosters and secondary fuel tanks that can be tapped for a brief burst of extra acceleration. Often used for ramming, it is usually activated via a Big Red Button on the Kaptain's console in the bridge.
  • 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. Why would you make anything if not to dare them to come and take it or destroy it?
  • 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.
  • One-Wheeled Wonder: During the 2nd edition of the game, Ork characters could purchase the gyro-stabilised monowheel as a Wargear Card. An eccentric form of bionik limb, the monowheel replaced the character’s legs with a single wheel that doubled their Movement characteristic at the cost of being unable to cross obstacles and certain types of terrain.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Starting with the spelling, and continuing down to the spore-based reproduction, Insane Troll Logic, and unconscious Psychic Powers.
  • Outside Ride: Orks, particularly those belonging to the Kult of Speed, will hang onto anything on a vehicle in order to get a ride into battle quicker. Some editions represented this by giving every Ork vehicle larger than a buggy a Transport Capacity, whether it was intended as a Transport or not. The 8th Edition Blitz Brigade Specialist Detachment, meanwhile, represents this with the Hold On Ladz! Strategem that allows a Blitz Brigade Battlewagon to transport a mob of Boyz without them having to embark upon it.
  • 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.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Orks often use their guns, flamethrowers and assorted firearms as clubs and bludgeons in melee, generally due to getting carried away in a fight and either getting too close to their targets or using up all their ammunition. As Ork technology is built to be sturdy enough to be able to withstand severe beatings, this tends to be a rather effective strategy as often as not.
  • 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.
  • Power Fist: 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 'umie has enhanced his feared reputation among the Orks.
  • 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.
  • Psycho for Hire: Orks, especially Blood Axes or Freebooterz, 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.
  • Pyromaniac: Orks as a whole have a notable love of fire, but certain ones bring this to particularly extreme levels.
    • 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.
    • The Arch-Arsonist of Charadon leaves each world he conquers a charred cinder, for the fun of it.

    Q — Z 
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All greenskins, from the violent and brutal Orks to the malicious Gretchin, are normally depicted in the artwork and background material as having blood-red eyes.
  • The Remnant: A species-wide example — the modern Ork Clans are actually the remains of the army of the Beast of Ullanor, who created their signature markings as ways of denoting which Orks did what (axes for leaders, horns for heavy melee infantry, and so on). After the Beast(s) died, their forces fragmented and became the clans as they are today.
  • Retcon:
    • 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 subsequent Ork codices mention both origins, and leave it ambiguous as to which, if either, is 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.
  • The Rival: Every Ork to every other Ork of similar size to him. A core part of the mature Orkish identity is derived from the other Orks they are competing with, often in a mutually friendly if vitriolic way. Any Ork smaller than them is to be pushed around into helping them in their rivalries, and any Ork bigger than them is to be followed without question. Thus it is that Orks form their hierarchy. Even mobs of the same types of Orks are usually competing with each other to see who can kill the most enemies, grab the most loot, build the fastest buggy, or whatever else it is they are doing. Stormboyz are an aversion: having not yet formed many rivalries or found anything particularly interesting to do, they tend to actually team up and work together because being told what to do is easier, even if most of them eventually grow out of it.
  • Scavenged Punk: While they have not always been depicted this way, the Orks tend to lean heavily in this direction post-Gorkamorka, with much of their technology being made out of other things that are repurposed, pulled apart and bolted back together, and looted from other races.
  • Schizo Tech: The eclectic nature of the machines the Orks are able to loot or make on their own, combined with the fact that they don't understand technology all that well, often results in their vehicles becoming patchworks of tech of very different levels of sophistication. For example, it's entirely possible to find a trukk propelled by jet engines scavenged from a fighter plane and giant squig-powered hamster wheels.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Though Meks and Doks are born with innate knowledge of their fields, this comes with the price of a very literal mental illness in the form of urges to tinker and experiment with what should maybe be left well enough alone. 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.
  • Shoulder Cannon: In some editions of the Epic scale game, Ork Great Gargants could take shoulder mounted battle cannon turrets, the high position giving the weapons a good field of fire.
  • Shouting Shooter: The Orks' love of loud noises often leads to them competing with their guns to see who can make the most noise.
  • 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 officially ended when it was renamed Gorkamorka and an official stance that it could be either was taken — and outside the city, the war still rages on.
  • 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 biggest, toughest warrior.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: As a species, they lean heavily toward "Warrior". Only Stormboyz and Kommandos lean more "Soldier", and even then only by degrees.
  • 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. That being said. there was a time when they had entire attack moons equipped with gravity whips which functioned as massive Webway-analog gates, and were implied to be on the brink of going full Krork, but that didn't last past the Beast's death.
  • Space Orcs: Literally so — they began as Warhammer Fantasy's Orcs transplanted directly into a space-age setting. They're big, green, dim-witted apelike brutes who live to fight and kill, speak in a rough and crude manner distorted by a heavy Funetik Aksent, and go to war in massive hordes of howling barbarians supported by crude smoke-spewing technology, ramshackle war machines and giant beasts. They have very little technical knowledge themselves, and what technology they possess they either steal from others or build from hardwired instinct. They could quite easily overrun the whole galaxy if they united, but will never stop fighting one another long enough for that to happen.
  • Space Pirate: Freebooterz, Orks who have separated from their clans to travel the stars and raid starships. Many of them even have the hats!
  • The Spark of Genius: Painboyz and Mekboyz can be absolutely brilliant in their field without even realizing how they know their "Orky-kno-wots" thanks to Genetic Memory, and it is impossible to predict which Orks will manifest this knowledge and at what point in their life that will happen. Even the Orks themselves often do not understand what it is they are doing when they apply this, just that it seems to feel right and that it works. Reverse-engineering Ork technology inevitably fails due to a lack of appropriate belief in 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. It also lets them pilfer the shiniest enemy uniform or in the case of the Imperial Guard, the Commissar's Nice Hat.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: In two ways:
    • Out of universe, whether they are a major threat to even Space Marines or a complete joke even to Guardsmen depends on the story, and can even vary wildly within the story. A common plot is Orks arrive, curb-stomp the standing army, and spend the rest of the tale being slaughtered in droves by rag-tag bunches of survivors.
    • In-universe, the stronger a WAAAAAGH! is the more powerful and organized its members are and the more advanced their technology gets. The Mad Max scavenger level that often shouldn't even work is the baseline; when a leader like Ghazghkull is in charge their tactics improve tremendously and toys like mass-scale teleporters come into play. The Beast's historical Waaagh! had them acting in disciplined formations and using techology far beyond human and into the Eldar/Necron level, while the new caste of Primorks shaped their followers into new and more specialized forms (which have since degenerated into the Clans); it's implied that more than that and they would have graduated into full-on War-in-Heaven-level Krork.
  • 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.
  • Talk to the Fist: Some Imperial xenolexicanic scholars, and Inquisitor Amberley Vail in the Ciaphas Cain novels, describe the Ork language as having as much of a gestural component as a spoken one, said gestures often being varieties of punches, kicks, and headbutts.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha:
    • The technologically limited Feral Orks lack the ability to create proper walking war machines and so their primitive Steam Gargants are moved by means of large, boiler-powered tracks.
    • The mammoth and rare Mega Gargants are so large and heavy that it would be impossible to build legs strong enough to move them.
  • Teeth Flying: A good way for an Ork to get rich, and why Bad Moons aren't seen as cheaters; see Weird Currency below.
  • Tele-Frag:
    • The dreaded Shokk Attack Gun, which vacuums up nearby Snotlings, creates a force field tunnel through Warpspace, and generates the exit in the midst of an enemy (or friendly) unit. The experience drives the unfortunate little Snotlings completely mad, so they emerge in a clawing, mouth-foaming 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.
    • The Tellyport Blasta works by randomly teleporting an enemy unit in a random direction, with predictable consequences if it got shunted straight down.
  • Teleporter Accident: When Big Mek Grabork started throwing Orks into his space hulk-sized shokk attack gun, due to a lack of snotling ammunition to continue the assault on the Imperial world of Fratarn, one of his fellow Meks attempted to stop him by switching the weaponized teleporter into reverse, causing it to suck the target planet through the gun's dimensional conduit, utterly annihilating both the world and the ship.
  • Teleportation: The Ork Mek dubbed Orkimedes is thought to have invented the first "Tellyporta". Such devices were used extensively during the Third War for Armageddon to instantly deploy reinforcements from orbiting Kroozers or 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 the chagrin of the Tech-Priests) and Orkimedes is currently attempting to refine them even further in order to construct a "Tellyporta" that can transport boyz between star systems.
  • 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.
  • This Is a Drill: Some Killa Kans are armed with drillas, large industrial drills that are just as useful on the battlefield, putting holes in enemy tanks and infantry, as it is in a Mek's workshop. While most editions treated these weapons as basic Dreadnought close combat weapons, the 8th Edition rules give it a high Armour Penetration characteristic and a special rule to do extra damage, representing the drill powering through the enemy.
  • Those Were Only Their Scouts: Not only are there a lot more of them living on their own worlds and only rarely going to knock some humies around, they are actually a degenerate form with a degenerate technology, the original being the Krorks, a species which gave the Eldar Empire at its peak a lot of trouble. The Beast's invasion was children compared to Krorks. Modern Orks are bumbling toddlers.
  • Throw the Pin: The difference between Stikk Bomma mobs and regular Boyz is that the former have figured out to "'old on to the pin, throw the uvver part."
  • Top-Heavy Guy: From the 3rd Edition of the game onwards, Orks have typically been depicted in artwork and models as having large, heavily muscled torsos with broad shoulders and well developed arms sitting atop a pair of legs that are relatively short and stubby by comparison. Prior to this, Orks had a more humanlike, though still heavily built, appearance.
  • 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.
    • Orks use tractor beams as anti-aircraft weapons with the imaginatively named Traktor Kannon used to grab hold of enemy aircraft and smash them into the ground, much to the amusement of the crew. Sometimes, however, the Kannon malfunctions and is instead pulled towards its target and into the air, much to the panic of the crew that gets carried away alongside it.
    • The Ork Fleets Grunt Assault Ship is a more sophisticated version of the Brute Ram Ship that incorporates a massive traktor field reactor that not only increase the damage done when it rams into an enemy but also allows it to stick to the enemy vessel so that the mobs of Ork Boyz it carries can perform a more effective boarding action. On the downside, the poorly distributed mass of the ship considerably reduces its manoeuvrability.
  • Translation Convention: In the novels, it's emphasized that Orkish is an entirely different (crude) language from Gothic, although it's not like Orks are ever interested in communicating with Imperials as they shoot them to bits. The crude lower-class English Funetik Aksent that the fluff gives the Orks (with X Treme Kool Letterz) is the best approximation that the Ordo Xenos can get to it.
  • 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.
  • Trick Bomb: The Pulsa Rokkit is a missile containing an unstable Kustom Force Field generator. When the rokkit hits the target area the generator activates sending waves of energy in all directions knocking infantry off their feet, flipping over vehicles and causing serious damage to nearby buildings.
  • The Unfettered: Even compared to every other faction, the Orks' total devotion to warfare is completely insane. In Death or Glory, a Warboss ambushes an Imperial fleet by taking all his Weirdboyz, placing them on a ship in the Warp, and using the corresponding boost in energy to fry the navigators of the human fleet and drag it into realspace prematurely. This had the side effect of killing all the Weirdboyz, but not only is this a moot point to the Warboss, if he'd had more greenskin psykers, he'd have tried the strategy as often as possible — and the Weirdboyz willingly went along with this, because Orks will do anything for an edge.
  • Unpredictable Results: This applies to some of the more entertaining aspects of Ork technology. On the tabletop, this is often reflected by a 1 in 6 chance of having things go horribly, catastrophically wrong.
  • 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, each of whom represents one style of greenskin warfare. While some editions of the background material states that arguing which god is which is used as an excuse for a fight between rival Orks, most depictions agree that the highly aggressive Gork is "brutal but kunnin'", willing to enemies in the face with his choppa, while his more intelligent brother Mork is "kunnin' but brutal", preferring to hit his opponents while they aren't looking.
  • War Is Glorious: Or at least a heck of a lot of fun. Ork 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 ARE Struggling Together: Your average Ork warband, at the best of times. Applies species-wide as well: it's suggested the Orkoid race, if it ever united under one banner, would be a galactic juggernaut — not even the vast, chittering hordes of the Hive Fleets would compare, and the Orks would brush aside all opposition. Sure enough, one Warboss, his real name lost to history and known today only as "The Beast", actually succeeded in doing this and his Orks devastated much of the post-Horus Heresy Imperium in a gigantic Waaagh! that was finally stopped at great cost and desperate measure. No other Warboss has managed to do the same, many of them haven't even attempted to do so, though Warboss Ghazghkull may one day...
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Mad Doks and Mekboys can take Orks that have taken massive amounts of damage and cyberneticallly enhance them. Sometimes this rebuilding happens even if the patient has only taken a modest amount of damage, if the Mad Doks and the Mekboys get a bit too excited by their "project".
  • Weird Currency: Orks use their teef 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 other 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." Notably, they do use the teeth of other creatures as currency too, but because bigger and more-impressive teeth are valued higher than smaller, weedier teeth, they don't bother taking the teef of humans or Grots. (They are also vaguely aware that humans are somewhat-protective of their teeth, which don't grow back.) This is part of why Orks love picking fights with Tyranids, who offer up a huge supply of big, fancy, impressive teef that can make an Ork community that successfully krumps a splinter fleet very, very rich.
  • 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. Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) has noted that because of how unpredictable Orks can be to a logical tactician, the best bet for facing them is to assume nothing, lest they actually try it.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Da Clanz an' Other Big Groups

Da Six Great Clanz

"Each of der clans 'as 'dere own partic'lar fing, see? 'Da Evil Sunz is fast an' loves 'dere trukks, 'da Deathskulls is a bunch of filchas, Bad Moons is snobby an' flash, 'da Blood Axes is a pack of filty 'umie luvvas, an' 'da Snakebites is jus' weird. Us Goffs is 'da biggest an' 'da greenest an' 'da meanest uv course, 'dats wot makes us 'da best bosses."
Galthaza, Goff 'Ard Boy

Beyond tribal or warband affiliations, Orks across the galaxy are typically part of one of 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.

The origins of the clans are not entirely clear. Some speculate that they were hard-wired into Orkish minds when the Old Ones created the Krork, some that they originated from the remnants of the Beast's specialist legions, and some that they simply formed on their own as different ideas evolved in Orkish culture about the best ways to wage war.

  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each clan has an associated color that features prominently in its members' armor decorations and warpaint, making it easy to tell which Ork belongs to which clan. The Bad Moons have yellow, the Blood Axes use garish camo instead of a specific clan color, the Evil Sunz use red, the superstitious Deathskullz prefer the lucky color blue, the Goffs use either black-and-white checkered patterns or black alone, and the Snakebites use brown.
  • Gang of Hats: Each clan has a particular approach to life and war, set of habits and role in Orkish society followed by almost all its members:
    • Bad Moons are the richest and flashiest gits around, and can afford the biggest, loudest guns.
    • The Blood Axes use camouflage, even if it appears lurid to human eyes, as well as untrustworthy tactics that make the other clans consider them culturally contaminated by them stinkin' 'oomies.
    • Evil Sunz are obsessed with speed and racing about on bikes and 'buggies (painted red, of course), or at least hitching a ride to the battle on a trukk.
    • Deathskullz are expert looters who pride themselves on being able to disable, repair, and fight from an enemy vehicle all in the same battle.
    • Goffs are no-nonsense fighters who excel in close combat and consider themselves the 'ardest of the Orks.
    • Finally, the Snakebites are traditionalists who prefer a good choppa to a firearm and cavalry charges to machinery.

    Bad Moons

"Yer rich! Yer flashy! Yer got a proppa Orky stoutness about yer belly and yer got more big, shooty, and ded 'ard gear 'dan any udder two Orks put togevvur. Now tell me 'dat ain't 'da life."
Blazarg Gilttoof, Bad Moons Flash Git

Distinguished by faster-growing teeth — and thus faster-replenishing funds — than any other Orks, the Bad Moons are far and away the richest and most ostentatious of the great clans. Possessing the best weapons, fastest rides and flashiest gear that teef can buy, the Bad Moons are seen by other Orks as a bunch of flashy, no-good showoffs always flaunting their wealth. This isn't a terribly unfair issue insofar as Orks are concerned, though — after all, if you get too jealous of a Bad Moon's stuff, you can always bash him over the head and take his gear and his teeth.

The Bad Moon clan symbol is a crescent moon with a toothy grin bristling with fangs.

  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Some Bad Moons, not content with just owning the deadliest or loudest weapons, decide to use their wealth to bedeck their guns in gems and precious metals (or at least in sparkly stones and shiny metal, which is effectively the same thing insofar as most Orks care).
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Bad Moon warlords make immense and conspicuous shows of their wealth. Their vehicles are covered in golden plate and gaudy paint and topped with colorful totems and glinting statues of Gork and Mork, and when on foot they strut around to show off their kustom weapons, jewelry and gem-studded piercings and retinues of grots carrying around the boss' extra weapons and immense chests filled with teef.
  • 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 or disembowel or credenza.
  • Fat Bastard: As they can generally afford to eat more and eat better than other Orks, high-ranking Bad Moons tend to be much fatter than them as well. Bad Moon Warbosses are almost always shockingly obese.
  • Nice Hat: They have taken up human military fashions and like to wear peaked Commissar Caps modeled after, or just as often looted from, the officers in question.
  • Stout Strength: Bad Moons tend to develop a gut as a sign of their wealth and power, but are no less fearsome in combat for it.

    Blood Axes

"Eh, don't pay 'dem no mind, 'dem uvver Boyz is just jealous. We was 'da first ta meet 'da 'umies, and it was us what learned 'da best way 'a tradin' wit' 'em an' krumpin' 'em before 'dat lot evva knew how ta use a shoota. 'Dey wouldn't know kunnin' if it bit 'em in da face."
Halgaz Darksneeka, Blood Axe Kommando

The earliest clan to contact the Imperium and thus the most influenced by humanity, the Blood Axes are generally held in low regard in Orkish society thanks to their adoption of deviant and un-Orky behaviors such as camouflage, tactics and retreating when they're losing. The likeliest Orks not to be on purely murderous terms with humanity, the Blood Axes have even been known to trade weapons with and work as mercenaries for the Imperium. Unsurprisingly, they have the greatest proportion of Kommandos and Stormboyz of any clan.

The Blood Axe clan symbol is a pair of red axes crossed behind an Orkish skull.

  • Combat Pragmatist: The Blood Axes tend to be much more willing than other Orks to employ sneaky, underhanded or seemingly cowardly tactics in order to win. While other Orks make a point of always fighting to the death, for instance, Blood Axes will run for it if a fight turns against them in order to regroup and recover for another go.
  • 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.
  • It Can Think: The Blood Axes are notable among the Orks for their willingness to come up with complex strategies, exploit their foes' weaknesses, coordinate and time their various forces' attacks for best effect, and use underhanded and sneaky tricks to get an advantage. Most other factions rarely assume Orks to be capable of more that brutishly direct aggression, and tend to be caught rather flat-footed when dealing with the Blood Axes.
  • Private Military Contractors: Having caught on to the idea that some people will actually pay them to fight an endless stream of fresh targets, they're known to work as mercenaries for desperate or particularly unorthodox humans or other aliens.
  • The Strategist: While most Ork clans tend to make battle plans that are little more than "Find 'em and crump 'em!", the Blood Axes tend to do a lot more elaborate planning and perform extensive recon to inform those plans. These aren't necessarily good plans, mind, but they make the Blood Axes feel delightfully "kunnin'" for coming up with them.


"Oi, wot's 'dis, 'den? A whole pack a 'umie shootaz just lyin' 'ere in 'da dust wit' no one usin' 'em? 'Dat's a shame, 'dat is. 'Ere, 'elp me move 'dese bodies so's we can give 'dese shootas a proppa home."
Bilesnik Litefinga, Deathskull Loota

Looters, thieves and scavengers, the Deathskulls will steal anything they can get their hands on, from unattended weapons to Imperial war machines to another Ork's squig pie to random junk that may or may not come in handy later. The Deathskulls are deeply distrusted by other Orks, who see them — not unjustifiably — as sticky-fingered, untrustworthy thieves. Superstitious to a fault, the Deathskulls make a habit of painting themselves and their gear bright blue, as Orks consider blue to be the luckiest color.

The Deathskull clan symbol is a horned Ork skull, painted blue.

  • Battle Trophy: Deathskulls often take trophies such as scalps, skulls and bones from defeated enemies, which they usually keep on their persons as good-luck charms.
  • Plunder: The highlight of war, insofar as the Deathskulls are concerned, is the opportunity to sack their way through enemy camps and settlements for weapons, vehicles, food, gear and assorted shiny trinkets.
  • The Scrounger: Deathskull Orks nigh-obsessively comb battlefields and camps for every scrap of tech, weapon or shiny object they can find, either because they think they may have a use for it at some point or to trade to a Mek in exchange for gear.
  • Sticky Fingers: The Deathskulls have a marked tendency to filch anything that catches their eye, regardless of whether it's clearly unattended, just laying around, in another Ork's pile of stuff or in another Ork's pockets.
  • Skeleton Motif: Deathskulls make heavy use of skull ornamentation, welding or mounting their horned skull symbol onto every piece of tech they appropriate. They also often fashion helmets and chest plates to resemble grinning skulls and wear talismans and amulets fashioned from bones, often those of particularly good enemies, as good-luck charms.
  • Tribal Face Paint: All Orks make use of warpaint to some degree, but the Deathskulls stand out in this even among them, painting themselves blue from head to toe before battle due to their belief that this color will improve their luck.

    Evil Sunz

"Evil Sunz like two fings most: Going fast and krumpin' stuff. Dat's why we'z so good at it."
Lugnut of the Bladed Wheels

The truck freaks of the Orkish world, there's little the Evil Sunz love more than loud vehicles, fancy new rides, rumbling motors, the smell of exhaust and going as skull-rattlingly fast as Orkishly possible. They may in fact love speed and rides even more than they love killing things, although of course riding as fast as possible while also killing things is really the best of both worlds.

Evil Sunz warbands are often very closely tied with the Kult of Speed — indeed, the distinction between the two groups is often highly theoretical — and tend to feature large numbers of meks to keep their numerous trukks, bikes and coptas up and running.

The Evil Sun clan symbol is a blood-red sun sporting a tusked grimace, usually adorned with flames or spikes.

  • Badass Biker: Big, bulky, roaring warbikes are popular mounts among the Evil Sunz, and gangs of howling Orkish warriors roaring into the thick of battle at borderline suicidal speeds, waving axes and guns and often while pulling gratuitous tricks and maneuvers, are a common sight in Evil Sun Waaaghs!
  • Badass Driver: As reckless as they get with speed and driving safety, the Evil Sunz are nonetheless very skilled drivers. Experienced pilots can perform stunts in enormous trucks that would normally be well beyond most people's ability to do with dedicated stunt bikes, nimbly darting in and out of enemy formations in armored juggernauts that by all rights should handle like drunken rhinos.
  • Big Badass Rig: The huge, armored war trukks already used by most Orks reach their peak among the Evil Sunz, combining insane speeds with truly ridiculous amounts of ornamentation and engines deliberately designed to be as loud and smoke-spewing as possible.
  • Cool Bike: Your typical Evil Sun warbike is very deliberately meant to be cool as much as effective, with loud motors, impressive paintjobs and built-in clan totems all being crucial parts of their design.


"Dat's enuf outta you, git. You watch yer mouf around yer betters, an' don't be talkin' while grown folkz 'as got things ta say."
Borzarl Gitstompa, Goff Mekboy

While all Orks live to fight, the Goffs take it to extremes even by Orkish standards. They consider the gimmicks, specializations and obsessions of the other clans to be pointless fripperies that get in the way of proper fighting, and detest anything resembling subterfuge, cowardice or deviation from the proper Orkish lifestyle. They have a particular bent towards melee combat: while they certainly employ ranged weapons, they prefer close-combat guns such as sluggas; even then, they see gunfire as largely a preamble to the real business of getting stuck in a proper brawl with axes, choppas and their own big, meaty fists.

The Goffs' clan symbol is a fanged bull head on red, surrounded by a black-and-white checkered ring.

  • Animal Motif: Bulls. The Goffs identify especially closely with these bad-tempered and aggressively direct animals, and often wear helmets adorned with bovine horns.
  • Brutish Bulls: The most brutish, hard-headed and dogmatic of the Ork clans, and the most brutal and feared as well, the Goffs fittingly use the bull as their clan symbol. This also reflects their preferred battlefield tactic — a direct headlong charge with no pretense of subtlety.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Goffs are very fond of down-and-dirty melee brawls, and tend to disdain excessive use of firepower, vehicles, and other methods of combat that don't involve getting close and personal with the foe.
  • The Dreaded: Among Imperials who know enough about Orks to tell their clans apart, the Goffs' viciousness, ruthless savagery and massive hordes of ferocious infantry make them easily the most feared.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: The Goffs are entirely humorless and stiff to the extreme, in sharp contrast to the ferociously jovial and fun-loving natures of the other clans.
  • Evil Wears Black: Goffs certainly do, appealing to their no-nonsense approach to life and rejecting the bright colors common to other Ork clans. Among the Goffs, the only "propa'" ornamentation is some black-and-white checkerboard patterning and maybe a Crown of Horns. Anything else is too extravagant, demonstrating more focus on appearance than on fighting.
  • Large and in Charge: While this tends to apply to Orkish species in general, the Goffs themselves are noted to be noticeably larger than their fellow Orks as a matter of course, and as a result of this and their fighting prowess tend to become the leaders of mixed Orkish tribes.
  • Serious Business: While most Orks act like Fun Personified and treat the battlefield as a playground, Goffs are known for taking fighting particularly seriously and tend to look down on the frivolities of other Orks. Since Goffs tend to grow larger and stronger more quickly than most other Ork clans, this often means they often get to brutally enforce their idea about what, who, and how to fight on many of the other Orks around them, and tend to produce some of the most aggressive and determined Warbosses.
  • Use Your Head: Goffs often resort to headbutts and headlong charges in battle, something enhanced by their tendency to wear horned helmets.


"Live off the land. Go to find war. Kill wot comes close. The old ways are best."
Grodd, Snakebite Runtherd

If Orks have die-hard traditionalists, the Snakebites are them. Downright luddite in their rejection of high-tech warfare, the Snakebites staunchly refuse to use any more guns or motorized vehicles than they have to: for them, a proper battle is one fought with giant bladed weapons, clubs and warpaint, preferably from the back of a giant boar or a towering squiggoth.

The Snakebites' clan symbol is a coiling snake.

  • Animal Motifs: Snakes. Their clan symbol is a winding serpent, they often carry poisonous snakes and serpentine squigs around with them both as living emblems of their clan and for a variety of initiation rituals, and they seed the creatures on each new world they visit.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Snakebites allow their pet snakes to bite them throughout their lives, sucking out most of the venom after each bite but allowing some to remain. Over time, this allows them to develop a considerable resistance to poison.
  • Beast of Battle: The Snakebites make greater use of these than any other Ork clan. Their runtherdz are known for breeding the best and biggest squigs in the galaxy, and they keep herds of gigantic, ill-tempered boars and several varieties of horribly venomous snakes around as well.
  • Evil Luddite: The Snakebites are highly fundamentalist about their rejection of technology. While some accept things like crude guns or steam power, others willfully choose to remain at Stone or Iron Age levels of technology even when much better alternatives are available.
  • Full-Boar Action: Among the main clans, the Snakebites are the only ones to still make regular use of the vicious semi-domesticated boars more primitive tribes employ, using them both as war mounts and attack animals.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Instead of the crude vehicles favored by other Orks, the Snakebites ride into battle astride hopping squigs or enormous boars.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Snakebites clothing usually consists of poorly-cured hides adorned with the fangs and claws of their former owners.
  • Rite of Passage: Snakebite yoofs are initiated into the clan through a rite of passage where they allow a venomous snake to bite them and then suck out the poison.

Uvver Major Groups

    Feral Orks 
After a Waaagh! conquers a planet, it typically only hangs around for long enough to sack the ruins and then moves on to other fights. However, the marauding horde leaves behind a large quantity of spores, which root themselves in the soil and eventually mature into mushrooms, squigs, grots and eventually Orks. As these new Orks have no access to any complex technology or connection to wider Orkish "culture", they typically form crude, Stone Age societies, divide themselves along tribal lines, and get to the business of fighting each other.

Typical Feral Orks rarely wield weapons more complex than stone axes, but some bands can create crude chariots or even primitive, steam-powered gargants. They instead rely on the herds of boars and squigs with whom they share their worlds, and often become very skilled at taming them. Feral Orks usually live like this indefinitely, but are often picked up by their spaceborne cousins when a wandering horde passes by one of their worlds. The Feral Orks never truly get used to complex technology, however, tending to see it in a suspicious light and often joining Snakebite warbands.

  • Barbarian Tribe: While all Orks are this to the rest of the galaxy, the Feral Orks are this to the Orks themselves. Having grown without access to technology, their weapons vary from crude stone tools to primitive steam power, and they make use of Squiggoths or boars instead of vehicles.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: If a particularly low-tech Feral Ork tribe are able to salvage a wrecked vehicle, they will often put it to use as a transport vehicle by shackling boars or cyboars to the front and creating a rough and ready chariot. In the 3rd Edition Chapter Approved rules these boar-powered Junker trukks, as such salvaged vehicles are known, use the same statistics as the more advanced steam powered versions, making such chariots merely an ascetic choice for conversions.
  • Full-Boar Action: Feral Orks make extensive use of large, ill-tempered boars as working, meat and war animals. Herds of these things accompany most tribes as they roam around, are ridden as barely-controlled steeds, and are sometimes hitched to wrecked enemy vehicles to make rather anachronistic chariots.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Some Feral Orks confronted with even simple mechanical devices will go out of their tiny little minds, becoming Madboyz.
  • Stealth Expert: Feral Ork Trappas use stealth and traps to hunt game to feed their tribe. In battle, these elite warriors use their skills to hunt their enemies as easily as they hunt game, infiltrating behind enemy lines to set traps across the battlefield and hunting down isolated enemy units. The 3rd Edition Feral Ork rules represented this by giving Trappas the Infiltrate and Slippery special rules that allowed them to set up anywhere on the battlefield and move easily through rough terrain respectively.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Those few Feral Orks able to get their hands on crude explosives tend to band together in elite Stikk Bomma mobs that are envied by their fellow boyz because of the volume of their attacks. The rarity of these Feral Ork Stikk Bommas is represented in the 3rd Edition rules by limiting the number of mobs an army could take to one.

The Jolly Ork, symbol of the Freebooterz

A motley assortment of outcasts, outlaws and outright maniacs, these roving crews of pirates and plunderers roam the galaxy in an endless search for fights, booze and treasure. Usually relatively minor factors on the galactic scale, some Freeboter bands and captains achieve sufficient strength and notoriety to become formidable threats in their own right.

The Freebooterz' motives for leaving their birth tribes are as numerous as the crews themselves. Among the Freebooter bands can be found ex-Warbosses and their retinues who survived a change of power, rogue meks, mad doks and warphead wierdboyz who struck out on their own, the survivors of destroyed Waaaghs!, shipfuls of renegade Gretchin, those rare Orks fallen to Chaos, and Orks who simply woke up one day and thought "Hey, I'd like to be a pirate!"

  • Dressed to Plunder: Typical Freebooter garb consists of long frilly coats, bicorne and tricorne hats, eyepatches, and other stereotypical accouterments of fictional pirates.
  • Nice Hat: Freebooterz Kaptains often prefer wearing eye-catching tricorne or bicorne hats, in keeping with their pirate image.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Freebooterz travel the galaxy in powerful starships that typically sit in low orbit above the battlefield where their warband is fighting, lending their support with their powerful gunz. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the "Kill-Kroozer Broadside" Freebooterz Stratagem that has a chance of inflicting mortal wounds on any unit close to multiple points on the battlefield.
  • Pirate Booty: Freebooterz routinely amass hoards of plundered gold and jewels. This isn't because they place any real value on the stuff — if you can't eat it or make weapons from it, Orks likely have little use for it — but because they know that other species do, and that gathering a lot of treasure in one place is a very reliable way of getting large numbers of heavily armed people to come and fight you.
  • Pirate Parrot: In an Orkish take on the trope, many Freebooter captains have special squigs trained to sit on their shoulders and repeat their boasts back to them.
  • Space Pirates: Very much the stereotypical golden age of piracy IN SPACE! version. Freebooterz gleefully embrace all traditional pirate tropes, from the dress to the rum swilling to the talking parrot equivalents to the space shanties to flying the Jolly Ork.

    Da Kult of Speed 
Most Orks like speed. Some Orks really like speed. Some Orks like speed to such maniacal degrees that even other Orks find them dangerously reckless and unsafe to be around. These Orks typically band together with like-minded speed lovers, careening their way through the galaxy as part of the devotees of daring driving known as the Kult of Speed.

  • Drives Like Crazy: While Orks are pretty reckless drivers in general, Speed Kultists are recklessly unsafe drivers even by the loose standards of their kind, careening at preposterous speeds through raging battlefields, screeching around tight corners on one wheel, performing daring tricks at breakneck speed and generally treating the galaxy as their personal stunt course.
  • Sense Freak: Literally addicted to the thrill that comes with the sensation of going really fast.

Oddboyz, Bosses an' Bosses wit' Proppa Namez

A Warboss with a power claw.

"You buncha worthless grot-lovers wanna know why I'm da boss, do ya? I'm da boss cos I'm da biggest! I'm da boss cos I'm da meanest, and da loudest, and da 'ardest! I'm killier than any of yooz lot and I could kick all of yer teef in at once in a fight, then rip yer faces off fer good measure! So unless any of ya wanna 'av a go right now, den I'm da boss! No? Didn't fink so..."
Warboss Grukk Face-rippa

The biggest and meanest Ork of their tribe, Warbosses sit firmly at the top of the Orks' chaotic hierarchy, keeping their troops in line (sort of) through liberal use of violence, a steady stream of new targets to fight and a great deal of shouting. While often more intelligent than their opponents give them credit for, it is in combat that Warbosses truly excel. Leading by example Warbosses are generally found at the forefront of their tribe, slaughtering the enemy with abandon and representing everything it means to be an Ork.

Warbosses are sometimes known by a number of different titles relating to their tribe's specialities, such Speedbosses (the leaders of Speed Freak hordes) or Tank Bosses (the leaders of the mechanised Blitz Brigades). Those Warbosses who have grown in power to subjugate multiple tribes, each with their own Warboss, are known as Warlords with the most powerful of these often taking on grand sounding monikers such as Arch-Arsonist, Great Tyrant or Overfiend.

  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Orks respect nothing but size, fighting prowess and brute strength, and the only way to advance in Orkish society if you aren't an Oddboy is by picking fights with your superiors and winning. As such, the only way to become — and, more to the point, stay — the leader of the horde is by being the nastiest, strongest and most vicious fighter in the entire Waaagh!
  • Cool Bike: Skargrim's Snazztrikenote  is a legendary Wartrike that has passed from Speedboss to Speedboss since its original owner disappeared fighting daemonic hordes within Gork's Grin. The Snazztrike is incredibly sturdy, having rarely received a scratch or dent despite the rugged use such vehicles get put through by their Ork riders. In the 8th Edition rules this is represented by the Snazztrike giving its owner a bonus to their Toughness characteristic, and an invulnerable save.
  • Klingon Promotion: By and large, the only (or at least most common) way to become the new Warboss is to fight and kill the current Warboss. The main exception is if the current Warboss is killed by a non-Ork, in which case becoming Warboss is accomplished by killing all the other Nobz who think they could be the next Warboss.
  • 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.
  • Large and in Charge: Orks grow larger the more they fight and the more power and prestige they accumulate. As a result, Warbosses are invariably the tallest and most imposing members of any given Ork horde — three meters is a typical baseline, with the leaders of some of the biggest and most fearsome Waaaghs!, such as Gazghkull Thraka, topping six.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Speedbosses mounted on Deffkilla Wartrikesnote  are often armed with snagga klaws. While not quite as powerful in combat as a regular power klaw, the snagga klaw is fitted with a short-ranged Harpoon Gun that allow the Speedboss to rip chunks out of the enemy as they pass by without slowing down.
  • Straight for the Commander: Going for the Warboss as a priority target is a primary anti-Ork strategy for the other races. Generally speaking, the authority of the current Warboss is one of the few things keeping an Ork horde in something approximating order, and as such his death will throw it into chaos as the stronger and more powerful Orks promptly start fighting one another to decide who's going to be the new Boss. The Orks also use this themselves, as every Warboss relishes the chance to fight his enemy counterpart.
  • What a Drag: Many Speedbosses mounted on Deffkilla Wartrikes enjoy using their snagga klaw's Harpoon Gun attachment to impale an enemy and then "accidentally" drag them across the battlefield as they speed away. In the 8th Edition of the game this is represented by the "Snagga Grapple" Ork Stratagem that gives the Speedboss a chance of doing multiple mortal wounds against a single target.


A Painboy with a Grot orderly.

"Right, first I'll take those teef out for yer, dat should help ease da pain in yer leg. Grokkit, hand me that wrench. Now then... open wide, and say... AAARGH!"
Dok Gutslash

The masters of Ork medicine, surgery and dentistry, the Oddboyz known as Painboyz or Doks work their trade with a mixture of improvisation, trial and error, and the instinctive knowledge known as Orky know-wotz. Like their technologically talented counterparts, the Meks, Painboyz are often far more interested in eksperimentin' with their patients than in the more mundane task of repairing their wounded bodies. Due to this, Painboyz hold a fearsome reputation in Ork society, and are only sought out by those with absolutely no other choice. Painboyz enthusiastically accompany their tribes to the battlefield, not only to search for "willing subjekts" too injured to flee but also to snag some extra teef and enhance their reputation should a rich and influential Nob or Warboss require their services. Should armed enemies get in the way of Orky curiosity, the Doks' thorough knowledge of anatomy and wide array of sharp tools make them more than capable of holding their own in combat.

Some Doks lose themselves to their sadistic urges and insane curiosity, becoming known as Bad or Mad Doks. Shunned outcasts even among the Orks, these especially eccentric Doks roam the galaxy alongside bands of Freebooterz in search of test subjects, performing grisly and terrifying experiments on anyone they can catch.

  • Afraid of Doctors: Painboyz are one of the very few things Orks genuinely fear, and for very good reasons.
  • Brain Transplant: The feared Squig Brain Transplant, where the Dok switches an Ork's and a Squig's brains around, resulting in a somewhat smarter, very angry Squig and a dumber, just as angry Ork.
  • Comically Inept Healing: A Dok's cheerfully savage medical practices can be very much this for anybody not actually subject to them, with a good dose of Black Humor.
  • Deadly Doctor: 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, especially if they're feeling curious as to what dem 'umies and Tau and whatnot look like on the inside.
  • For Science!: A Dok's "eksperiments" don't serve any real purpose, aren't recorded or replicated, and rarely have a clear goal or gain in mind, serving only to satisfy a Dok's morbid curiosity.
  • Harmful Healing: 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!
  • Mad Doctor:
    • A Painboy's skills at surgery are unfortunately matched by their curiosity and desire to tinker. This can go from cutting open an unwounded limb to "check that everythin' is workin' roight" to replacing the patient's leg when it was his arm that needed attention. Thankfully, the Orks' Healing Factor means that this is 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.
  • 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!
  • Organ Theft: Painboyz are not above swiping a patient's organs or limbs if they look interesting or useful for the dok's pet projects. This goes double for teeth — "teef" are the Orks' currency, and the Doks consider pulling the fangs straight out of a patient's jaws their due and owed payment.
  • Playing with Syringes: Ork Nobs and Warbosses often have their Doks try to "upgrade" them and other Orks. However, given the Doks' Mad Scientist tendencies and their being Orks to start with, this can go disastrously (or hilariously) wrong, with unlucky Orks ending up with anything from non-functional artificial limbs to bombs in their craniums to having their brains swapped with those of animals.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Like other Oddboyz, Painboyz' unique mentalities are quite literally in their genes. They're born with an instinctive drive to perform crude medicine and learn as they go, which comes with urges to experiment they can't truly control. Even by the loose standards of the Orks, they're quite literally insane.
  • Skip the Anesthetic: Doks never use anesthesia, as they see it as just getting in the way of telling if the patient is still alive.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Standard practice during surgeries, to ensure that the patient doesn't get cold feet and bolt when he sees the Dok bring out his tools.
  • Tap on the Head: Doks don't always apply anesthetic, but when they do it usually consists of a large mallet applied directly to the back of the patient's skull. This is usually less about mitigating the patient's pain than it is getting them to quit struggling when undergoing delicate (by Ork standards) surgery.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: Doks rarely, if ever, bother to tell their patients about the various experiments their inevitably perform on them once they get them Strapped to an Operating Table.
  • Wolverine Claws: The power klaw worn by the Painboy model, released during 7th Edition, replaces its figures with a plethora of syringes, scalpels and other 'medical' tools so that the Doc can use it to carry out his craft, as well as to rip apart his enemies.
  • Worst Aid: Doks don't have that much pertinent medical knowledge beyond what they know by instinct, so standard medical practice for them is to follow their gut, cut out what looks bad, stitch what looks like it needs stitching, maybe replace an organ or limb with a (hopefully) better replacement while they're there, and hope for the best.

A Big Mek with a kustom force field generator.

"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."
Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta.

Mekaniaks, more commonly known as Mekboyz or simply Meks, are born with an instinctive understanding of machines and love of nothing more than to tinker and experiment with chunks of scrap and scavenged technology. From the most basic slugga to the most complicated tellyporta, it is the Mekboyz who construct and maintain the Orks' crude but surprisingly advanced technology and, if not for their knowledge, a Waaagh! would never get off the planet it started on.

While Mekboyz are quite content to be left to tinker in peace, they're more than happy to join their fellow Orks on the battlefield, eager for the chance to salvage interesting enemy technology and field-test their latest creations.

Some Meks become so renowned amongst their kind that they gather a following of Meks, Spannersnote  and other technology obsessed greenskins. These Big Meks, as such Mekaniaks are known, are the true masters of Orky know-wotz and are responsible for the construction of some of the most dangerous weapons used by the greenskins such as the infamously deadly shokk attack gun and the truly massive Mega Gargants. A rare few of the most influential Big Meks are even able to gather enough followers to lead a Waaagh! of their own.

  • Ace Custom: While everything a Mekboy builds can be classed as a custom job, the Mek's personal conveyance will be a truly unique piece. Whether it is a Warbike, Buggy, Speedsta, Deffkopta, Battlewagon, Wazbom Blastajet, Morkanought, Stompa or Gargant, the vehicle that a Mekboy builds for himself will typically be festooned with a plethora of powerful, if temperamental, experimental weaponry and equipment such as Kustom Force Fields, Lifta-Droppas or Destrukta Rokkits.
  • Body-Count Competition: The Meks who pilot Wazbom Blastajets enjoy competing against each other to see who can use their kustom weaponry to take out the most enemies in the shortest period of time. Extra points are awarded for how spectacular and humorous the kill is.
  • For Science!: A Mek's experiments aren't meant to prove or disprove anything, and the Mek's subconscious use of psychic powers to make his gadgets work means they're nothing close to replicable. Meks don't seek knowledge or personal gain; they just want to make bigger, killier, flashier weapons.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Mekboys instinctively know how to build mechanical objects of every sort, from guns to Gargants.
  • Impossible Genius: Mekboyz, especially Big Meks, can take the most rudimentary of technological salvage and turn it into frighteningly effective pieces of functional technology that may not even resemble the bits it's cobbled together from.
  • 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 generally WAAAGH! energy.
  • Mad Scientist: Mekboyz run as much on instinct as understanding, love to experiment, and tend to be more focused on making impressive lights and explosions than on research, though at least they're not as scary as the Doks.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: A Mek's workshop becomes one of these in short order, quickly filling with discarded parts, flashy lights, bare cogs and wires, spinny bits, and arcing electricity. Generally an Invoked Trope, as many or most of these don't serve any real purpose; the Meks literally just put them there for the look.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Befitting the Orks' general blunt approach to life. Horrified Imperial Tech-Priests speculate that Ork Meks brutalize their machine spirits into submission.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: All Orks are driven by instinct as much as by reason, and Meks are no exception. They're quite literally compelled to tinker and experiment with machinery, and feel a very real need to make it look impressive when they're done.
  • The Spark of Genius: The only reason most Meks' inventions work at all is due to their innate connection to the energy of the Waagh! allowing them to subtly bend reality. For non-Orks, they'd work badly, explode, or just fall apart.


"Too much noise! Too much! I fink I'z gunna... I'z gunna... WAAAGH!"
Weirdboy Gazrog

All greenskins subconsciously generate massive amounts of psychic energy and the Oddboyz known as Weirdboyz act as focal points, manipulating and focusing this energy into powerful psychic abilities. Lacking control over their powers, Weirdboyz are prone to violent psychic discharges that can be deadly to both themselves and others, requiring them to carry copper rods to discharge any excess energy, wear bells to announce their presence, and live apart from other Orks.

While many young Weirdboyz attempt to avoid battle, due to the agony caused by the psychic pressure generated by war-hungry Orks, those who have learned to (almost) control the build-up of power can enter a battle-trance where crackling Waaagh! energy builds within and around them until they can release it as strange and deadly burst can that explode heads, summon the fists and feet of the Ork gods or enhance the strength and rage of surrounding Boyz.

Those Weirdboyz who survive long enough often become addicted to the excitement of risking their lives to absorb Waaagh! energy and the euphoric feeling they get when they finally release this pressure. Such Weirdboyz, known as Warpheadz, seek the thrill of battle and are known to recklessly release their powers at every opportunity. As such, many Warpheadz are expelled from their tribe to become Freebooterz but the sheer power they can unleash means that most Warbosses will still cautiously welcome their presence on the battlefield, so long as they keep their distance.

  • Baleful Polymorph: Some Weirdboyz have the ability to turn enemies into Squigs. It's known as the "Zogwort Special", after its most famous practitioner, the infamous Warphead Old Zogwort.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: "Minderz", the Orks who function as bodyguards, jailers, and artillery operators for Weirdboyz. Their job is to keep the Weirdboyz isolated from the rest of Ork society so they don't soak up too much Waaagh! energy too quickly, then drag them kicking and screaming onto the battlefield and keep them pointed at the enemy when that power discharges.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Some of the Weirdboyz' powers take the form of a giant foot or fist to crush the enemy, which Orks take as a sign of Gork's (or maybe Mork's) favor.
  • Mage Tower: Due to their Power Incontinence many Weirdboyz live in high towers on the edges of Ork settlements. These towers are typically insulated with copper in order to ground excess Waaagh! energy and vary widely in form from a simple pole that the Weirdboy is chained to the top of, to rugged huts on copper stilts that can be mounted on battlewagons or Gargants and driven into battle.
  • 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.
  • Power Incontinence: Weirdboyz have to be isolated from the rest of the tribe, lest they soak up too much Waaagh! energy and cause a few 'eadbangers.
  • Power Limiter: Weirdboyz' Power Incontinence keeps them building up Waaagh! energy as long as they are near other enthusiastic Orks. Fortunately, copper acts as a "ground" for this energy, and Weirdboyz are often given copper staffs to keep their power from building to unsustainable levels. When they are dragged onto the battlefield, their Minderz will take away their rod so their powers discharge as frequently as possible.
  • 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.
  • Shock and Awe: One of the ways Weirdboyz' powers manifest is through bursts of psychic lightning.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: The psychic power Roar of Mork allows a Weirdboy to unleash a psychically enhanced roar that resonates in their opponent's brains to cause panic in even the most disciplined soldiers. The in-game effect of this powernote  reduces the Leadership characteristic of an enemy unit as they begin to feel dread in the back of their minds.
  • Super Spit: Psychic Vomit is one of the Psychic Powers that Weirdboyz can manifest in some editions of the game and involves the Weirdboy spewing a stream of florescent green psycho-plasma at their enemies. The exact in-game effect of this power varies by edition but generally results in the vomited psychic energy hitting multiple targets directly in front of the Weirdboy.
  • Teleportation: Some Weirdboyz are able to teleport themselves, and any Boyz in the vicinity, from one part of the battlefield to another in a flash of green light by using the psychic ability Da Jumpnote .
  • Your Head A-Splode: Weirdboyz are very 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 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, but they figure it a small price to pay for being able to watch a Weirdboy's pyrotechnics.

A Runtherd with a grot-prod and an attack squig.

A mix of slavers, ranchers and minion handlers, the Runtherdz are responsible for managing the tribe's masses of Gretchin and Snotlings, its herds of squigs and any slaves that may be made when enemy settlements are overrun. The Runtherdz are thus responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including herding Gretchin into battle, overseeing Snotlings as they farm squigs and mushrooms, breeding the best and fiercest battle Squigs for the tribe and making sure that the grot and alien slaves do what they're supposed to. Aiding them in these tasks are their distinctive electric "grot prods" and a very un-Orkish store of patience.

  • The Beastmaster: In additional to grots and snotlings, Runtherdz are also responsible for training and deploying varieties of attack squids.
  • The Bully: All Orks are bullies to those smaller than them, but Runtherdz take a special pride in their exceptional skill at bullying large numbers of smaller greenskins systematically (in as far as an Ork can systematize anything).
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Runtherdz generally keep their minions in line through a combination of Fear (as their gretchin underlings tend to fear getting on the Runtherd's bad side more than they fear most enemies) and Sadism (such as by encouraging reluctant grots into battle through liberal use of electrified grot-prods).
  • The Minion Master: Runtherdz are about as unspecialized for fighting as Orks ever get, but their skill at breeding and raising minions allows them to drown their enemies with hordes of gretchin and packs of ferocious squigs.

An' All Da Uvver Boyz

"Da ooman base iz got walls an' fings, see. So, if I'z goes up to da wall, all sneaky-like, and blows it up wiv me bombs, den dere'll be an 'ole in da wall wot da ladz can go fru, see. So, when you'z lot 'ears sumfing go boom, you charge, 'cos dere'll be an 'ole in da wall. Unnastand?"

Oddities among the Orks, Kommandos disdain the traditional Orky way of fighting — i.e. violent melee brawling and uncoordinated gunfire as a prelude to said brawling — in favor of sneaky cunning, ambushes, sudden attacks from the shadows and every dirty trick that Orkish minds can devise. Considered to have been touched by Mork, Kommandos enjoy nothing more than a successful ambush, the thrill of a silent hunt, spreading panic behind enemy lines and the horrified look on the face on an enemy who assumed they'd be able to see any Ork attack from a mile off.

Kommandos serve as the assassins, saboteurs and guerrillas of the Orkish hordes, avoiding the field of battle proper to instead deal crippling blows to the enemy's supply lines, fortifications, rearguard and command centers.

  • Combat Pragmatist: The end goal of most Kommandos is still to get into a good scrap; the difference between them and other Orks is that they're willing to delay gratification — and thus spend a considerable amount of time and effort on camouflage, crawling through the mud and coming up with something resembling tactics — to make sure they can reliably close in on their targets without getting shot in the face first.
  • It Can Think: One of the Kommandos' main advantages is that few enemies anticipate anything more than mindless bloodlust from the Orks. Tactical geniuses they are not, but the Kommandos' ability to plan ahead, make use of cover and camouflage and analyze enemy formations well enough to figure out where to strike for maximum damage — as well as the fact that many Kommandos are actually literate — as opposed to just going for a roaring, headlong charge never fails to catch their foes by surprise.
  • Stealth Expert: By Ork standards, anyway. Even by the other species' standards, however, Kommandos can be frighteningly good at doing things like sneaking a dozen two-meter-tall masses of muscle, weapons and fangs right under their enemies' noses.


"I dunno wot' you been told! Stormboy mobz is mighty bold! We're da' hardest of da' lot! We make you lot look like Grotz!"
Stormboy drill chant

The nonconformist youth of Ork society, Stormboyz seek to escape from the stifling anarchy of traditional free-for-all greenskin kultur in favor of a liberating life of strict order, military discipline, planned routines and daily drills. While their deviant habits — forward planning, flippant regard for rules, polishing their boots in public spaces — shock and offend their elders, the rigorous training the Stormboyz put themselves through makes them deadly shock troops and valuable additions to any Orkish horde.

Of course, for all their discipline, Stormboyz are still Orks — the end goal of each of their meticulously planned missions is still to get themselves into a good, rip-roaring brawl as quickly as they can.

  • Death from Above: Their specialty — the Stormboyz' signature tactic is to strap themselves to gigantic rockets and very literally launch themselves right in the middle of enemy formations. Insofar as their targets are concerned, the chief difference between an artillery bombardment and a Stormboy deployment is that after the latter is done you also have Orks climbing out of the craters.
  • Jet Pack: In a sense — Stormboyz greatly enjoy flying around through back-mounted thrusters, but rather than traditional jetpacks they just strap colossal rockets to their backs.
  • 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 and marching.

    Burna Boyz

All Orks like fire and the setting thereof, but Burna Boyz are obsessed with it. Addicted to the heat and dance of the flames and the smell of burning fuel, they march into battle bearing giant flamethrower rigs to sow fiery destruction among enemy lines. Of course, this pyromania can cut both ways — bored Burna Boyz can and will set their encampments and fellow Orks on fire — and taking them into a tribe can be a calculated risk for a Warboss.

  • Anti-Vehicle: When faced with tanks, mechs and similar obstacles, Burna Boyz can tighten their weapons' nozzles to focus their flames into narrow, metal-slicing blue jets quite useful for carving up vehicular armor.
  • Cigar Chomper: They're some of the most notable instances of this trope among the Orks. Burna Boy squads are rarely seen without at least one member ruminating on a large cigar, and they often cut slots into their welding masks so that they can smoke while they burn.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Their preferred weapons are burnaz, bulky combinations of flamethrowers and cutting torches. On their more diffuse settings, they tend to be particularly effective at torching tightly packed infantry and flushing enemies out of cover; when their flames are more focused, they're more effective against enemy armor.
  • Mundane Utility: When not engaged in the Waaagh!'s latest fight, Burna Boyz often put their flamers to use as welding and cutting torches to help with the Meks' projects and to aid salvaging operations.
  • Pistol-Whipping: It's not uncommon for overenthusiastic Burna Boyz to exhaust their fuel supplies too early, at which point they generally resort to using their giant flamethrowers as melee bludgeons.
  • Pyromaniac: They love fire to extreme degrees. They 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 Wartrukk into a fire-belching death machine.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: Burna Boyz carry their flamer fuel in large tanks strapped to their backs, and prefer to haul around as large a tank as possible to be able to flame for a long while before running dry. This carries a significant risk for them, though, as their fuel is extremely volatile and, should an enemy round find the Ork's tank, will go up in a violent and very lethal explosion.


Scroungers by nature, Lootas will gladly help themselves to whatever scraps of technology and metal they can find lying around, whether in an Ork encampment or on the battlefield. Once they gather enough, they turn this loot over to Meks to be turned it into the biggest, loudest guns their minds can devise, which the Lootas afterwards proudly heft into battle to serve as the Waaagh!'s heavy fire support.They still steal things after this, of course. Those guns don't upgrade themselves, after all.

  • BFG: Lootas use their hoards of stolen scrap and weapons to build Deffguns, immense firearms carried on shoulder-mounted metal rigs.
  • Chainsaw Grip BFG: Their Deffguns have horizontal forward grips in addition to an around-the-shoulder stock that prevents the ridiculous recoil from tearing the Loota's arm off with every trigger pull.
  • The Scrounger: Lootas aggressively forage for, scavenge and steal whatever bits of scrap and technology a Mekboy is most likely to find useful, getting rewarded with some of the best guns in return.

A Tankbusta with a Tankhamma

Tankbustas live for the thrill of killing powerful armored vehicles, a vocation they approach much like how big-game hunters view theirs. They typically achieve their kills through heavy use of rockets, bombs and missiles, sometimes fielded in fairly unorthodox ways. They're not too popular among more looting-obsessed Orks, who see the Tankbustas' antics as ruining perfectly salvageable rides.

  • Anti-Vehicle: They specialize in hunting and killing armored vehicles in a manner compared to how big game hunters go after big, dangerous animals. They typically achieve their kills through heavy use of bombs and rocketry.
  • Battle Trophy: Much like the big-game hunters they act like, Tankbustas enjoy taking trophis from their most satisfying kills. This can range from a tank's hull plates hammered into their armor to mechanical bits ripped from a vehicle's interior as worn as jewelry to the tanned hides of unfortunate crewmen worn as cloaks.
  • Drop the Hammer: Tankbustas sometimes give up on hitting an enemy vehicle at range and instead attack it with a Tankhamma, nothing more than an anti-tank rocket on a stick swung like a sledgehammer.
  • Suicide Attack: Some Tankbustas wield tankhammers, large metal sticks with masses of explosives tied to one end. When used to attack an enemy vehicle, the resulting explosion does massive damage against the target but, invariably, takes out the Ork wielding it as well. The 8th Edition rules represent this by the tankhammer causing multiple mortal wounds but also automatically causes the Tankbusta making the attack to be removed as a casualty.


"Just becauze wez not runnin doesn't mean we want to be fightin'!"

In Ork society, might makes right and the weedy Gretchin, commonly called grots, and even smaller Snotlings, often simply known as snots, have very little might. Collectively known as runts, members of these two Orkoid species regularly find themselves enslaved, abused and exploited by their larger fellows, doing whatever non-fighting tasks need doing to keep Orkish society going.

The small but cunning Gretchin are possessed of a highly developed survival instinct and often attach themselves to a larger, more important greenskin for protection. As they are fast learners who possess nimble fingers, many grots become assistants to Oddboyz such as Meks or Painboyz. Other grots meanwhile will become the personal servant of a Nob or Warboss, fetching and carrying for their master in return for a limited amount of protection from other Orks. When herded into battle Gretchin make up for their lack of strength with sheer numbers but also find themselves used to clear minefields or as bullet shields.

When not used as pets or emergency rations by the larger Orks, the tiny and scrawny Snotlings are generally left to tend the fungi and squigs that go into the production of Ork food, drink and medicine. As they are far to weedy to be useful in battle, Snotlings are usually used as ammunition for shokk attack gunz.

  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The Gretchins' abuse at the hands of the Orks can reach truly ridiculous levels. Unlucky Gretchin may find themselves used as ammunition, cannon fodder, minefield clearers, stepping-stones, emergency ration...
    • Snotlings are even more pathetic. Even the Gretchin bully them.
  • 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).
    • Snotlings are literally used as Shokk-Attack gun ammunition, and nothing else on the battlefield.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Left to their own devices, Gretchin will avoid anything even resembling a fair fight. They'll happily stab an enemy in the back with a sneaky boot knife, gang up on a single opponent, or only attack after foes are disarmed and wounded. If they're at all uncertain in their advantage, they're more likely to hide if they can, run if they can't, and snivel and cower if they're cornered... only to resume their same tactics the moment someone piteously turns their back on them.
  • Dirty Coward: Gretchin are are notoriously cowardly lot, but still possess the latent Orkoid desire to fight and win. This leads to them having contrasting modes where they'll attack viciously when they think they have an obvious and unfair advantage, and run and cower when they're presented with anything like a challenge. Getting Gretchin to march forward into near-certain death on the battlefield is generally accomplished by Runtherds behind them promisingly absolutely certain death if they don't.
  • Griping About Gremlins: Snotlings are legendarily dumb, but they are curious, and their small size allows them to fit into lots of places they really shouldn't go, like the interiors of various engines and other large complex mechanics. Snotlings wandering around the insides of vehicles, pulling wires and twisting bolts at seemingly random is a perpetual problem for Orks (who are at least well-practiced at dealing with them), and even more of a problem for humans should they ever infest human vehicles (which is more likely to happen than not when fighting in Ork-controlled territory).
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: A long-standing bit of fluff on the border between Fanon and Flip-Flop of God is that that long ago, a puny but brilliant species engineered the entire greenskin ecosystem as a defense against the cruel 40k universe. Aeons after realizing their creations didn't enjoy taking orders as much as pounding their "masters" into mush for jollies, the snotlings have been reduced to something resembling the crops and livestock they tend, managing to make even the orcs look smart.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: The Gretchin's role in Orkish life is absolutely essential. They handle all menial labor in Greenskin "kultur", ferrying supplies, helping Oddboyz in their tasks, loading ammo, fixing technical issues too simple for Meks to bother with, preparing food and alcohol, and generally handling anything that doesn't involve fighting or the Oddboyz' specialized tasks but that's necessary in order sustain the Orks' lifestyles of constant warfare. However, their small stature and the unimpressive nature of their jobs mean that they're never anything but Butt Monkeys and objects of derision for their bigger cousins.
  • Man in the Machine: Some Gretchin volunteer to be wired into Killa Kans, heavily armed walkers similar to scaled-down Imperial Dreadnoughts. They tend to be much more eager to go through this process than Orks are to be wired into the bigger Deff Dreds, if only because it gives them the chance to have some pointed conversations with their old Ork bullies on the subject of "might makes right". The process doesn't make the Gretchin any less cowardly, however, which can lead to the hilarious situation of three-meter tall piles or armor and weapons running for their lives from human infantry charges.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The gretchin frequently utilize this against the orks, being smarter enough than most orks to realize that it's not a good idea to remind most orks that you're smarter than them, and that playing dumb can provide many opportunities for payback. Depending on the Writer, this applies to the snotlings as well, their more destructive and self-destructive acts of idiocy being at least partly the passive-aggressive behavior of a species that's collectively Stopped Caring.
  • Orderlies Are Creeps: A Painboy's Grot Orderlies are just as amoral and sadistic as he is, just with an added dose of underhanded sneakiness and sniveling cowardice. After all, it's a lot easier to be openly antagonistic of a larger creature that would otherwise bully them when that creature is strapped tightly into surgical restraints.
  • 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, but they're crucial for keeping greenskin society running, as they're ones in charge of agriculture and animal husbandry. The first is because they're the only orkoids with enough patience for agriculture, the second because they're the only beings Squigs will tolerate enough not to try and eat too often. Collectively, they're known as "Grots".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After being wired into one of the three-meter-tall, heavily armed Killa Can walkers, the first thing a Gretchin usually does is hunt down the Orks that bullied and abused it in its old life (usually a fairly lengthy list) and turn them into hamburger meat. The other Orks, of course, find this absolutely hilarious.
  • Servant Race: The Gretchin's lot in life is to do whatever necessary but boring, dangerous or demeaning tasks the Orks don't feel like doing themselves, whether they like it or not.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Snotlings. They're so dumb, their only real role is that they have an affinity for cultivating the squigs and fungus (and probably at some point double as food to those) used by Ork society. Otherwise, they're about as smart as dogs if dogs couldn't be trained. Their self-preservation instincts don't even ever kick in until it's already too late, which leads to them getting scooped up for ammunition in Shokk-Attack Guns, because the Gretchins are smart enough to read between the lines and run away from a bearer of one. Their last other use tends to be as an amusing and probably short-lived pet (probably providing amusement in the method of how they depart as well) to Orks.


Squiggly beasts, or squigs, are a strange form of Orkoid lifeform that forms an integral part of the greenskin ecosystem and food chain. There is a staggering amount of squig species ranging from livestock to war animals, pets, ammunition and even outright Organic Technology. Squigs are reared by Runtherdz and their runt charges (particularly Snotlings), inhabiting the cesspits known as the drops on the edges of Ork settlements where they feed on the refuse of the other Orkoid species. Generally speaking, the more backwards or primitive groups of Orks, such as Feral Orks or the Snakebites, tend to make greater use of squigs than other greenskins and such groups are often found in possession of bigger and nastier breeds squig such as Squiggoths or the rare and mighty Orkeosaurus.

  • Action Bomb:
    • Bomb squigs are regular squigs whom Tankbustas load up with dynamite and other explosives, then send to chase down enemy vehicles. Sometimes, though, they get excited and rush an Ork vehicle instead.
    • Boom squigs have a natural defense mechanism that consists of them violently exploding at the smallest provocation "to ward off predators", although they also just explode when startled by loud noises or as a result of indigestion. Orks have a variety of uses for these creatures, such as using them as ammunition, scattering them as living landmines, and planting them under each other's seats as practical jokes.
  • Angry Guard Dog:
    • This is the general role attack squigs have among the Orks. They serve as highly aggressive guard animals for Greenskin settlements and high-ranking Orks, essentially acting like extremely vicious, foul-tempered alien guard dogs.
    • There are also squighounds, quadrupedal and vaguely mammalian squigs used by Runtherdz to keep their grots, non-Greenskin slaves and other squigs in line.
  • Armless Biped: While there exist a wide variety of different squigs types, most breeds used as attack animals are little more than a pair of legs with a head on top, with a good deal of that being teeth.
  • Attack Animal: Attack squigs are used most commonly in this role, either as an additional attack for their master or herded into the enemy lines to chomp anyone unlucky enough to get in their way.
  • Bee Bee Gun: Buzzer squigs are a subspecies of squiggly beast that resemble small, fat alien wasps with massive jaws. Some of the more primitive tribes of Feral Orks and Snakebites will often capture swarms of these ravenous creatures, seal them into containers and fire them at their enemies using crudely constructed artillery known as Squig Catapults.
  • 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".
  • Cephalothorax: Most squigs have severely underdeveloped hind bodies, so that the more upright breeds end up resembling heads dominated by a gnashing, fanged maw and mounted on a single pair of strong, clawed legs.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Hair squigs are used by the otherwise completely hairless Orks as a kind of toupee. The squig grips onto the Ork’s head and has long hair-like gills that can be styled.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Squigs, especially the more attack-oriented breeds, tend to have truly enormous numbers of teeth, with their mouths being filled by row after row of long, sharp fangs.
  • Organic Technology: Squigs come in a truly staggering number of varieties, many of which function as this. The Greenskins cultivate several highly specialized squig breeds to serve as natural syringes, oilcans, paint cans, weapons targeting systems, and even hair plugs or bagpipes.
  • Pirate Parrot: Or "Freebooter Squig", if you prefer. Ork Nobz are sometimes known to keep growler squigs as pets, and Freebooterz in particular tend to be fond of ones trained in mimicry, to ride on their shoulders and repeat their boasts back to them.
  • Spike Shooter: Spiky squigs are a kind of spherical, limbless squigs covered in venomous spikes. When agitated, they launch these spikes in every direction, something that the Orks — predictably enough — have been known to weaponize.
  • Threatening Shark: Squigsharks are a variant of squigs that resemble monstrous, spiky sharks. They are highly aggressive and untamable, and will happily devour any Ork they catch in the water.
  • Weaponized Animal: Some breeds of naturally aggressive squig are strapped with explosives by runtherdz to make them Action Bombs.

A gargantuan squiggoth

The biggest breed of squig around, Squiggoths are titanic quadrupeds favored by low-tech Ork tribes as war animals, weapons platforms, troop carriers and living siege engines. As ill-tempered as their Ork handlers and provided with impressive sets of claws, horns, tusks and armored hides, Squiggoths are more than capable of handling themselves quite efficiently in the battlefields of the 41st millennium.

Squiggoths, while individually very varied beasts, come in three general categories determined by the quality of the feed and care given to them as they grew. Regular squiggoths, sometimes found wandering in herds on feral Ork worlds, are around the size of an elephant or a medium-sized dinosaur. The rare and prized gargantuan Squiggoths are much bigger, reaching the size of small Imperial Titans. The incredibly rare Orkeosauruses are the biggest of them all, and far and away the most devastating beasts in the Orkish arsenal.

  • Beast of Battle: The Squiggoths' typical role in the Waaagh! is to be ridden into battle like War Elephants, eating and trampling their way through the enemy and supporting howdahs of artillery or howling Orks.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: While squiggoths usually resemble monstrous pseudo-dinosaurs, those hailing from frozen planets or other icy climates tend to have thick, woolly hair and large tusks that give them a distinctly mammoth-like appearance.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Squiggoths, depending on their specific breed, can grow to truly colossal sizes. The most common variety reaches "only" the same size range as the setting's enormous tanks. Gargantuan Squiggoths, a rarer variety raised only by the most knowledgeable Runtherdz, grows as big as a small Imperial Titan. The incredibly rare Orkeosauruses get even bigger, by implication being the same general size as a big Imperial Titan.
  • Weaponized Animal: Before being sent into battle, Squiggoths are often outfitted with as much artillery as they can carry and turned into living weapons platforms.

    Som' Propa Orkz Ovah 'Ere 
Some Orks have become particularly (in)famous in the game's fluff:

The Beast

Before Ghazghkull or the other great Warbosses who terrorized the galaxy, when the Imperium was still young, there was an Ork known only as the Beast. The greatest and mightiest of all Warbosses, he united the Ork race under his banner and led the largest Waaagh! the galaxy ever saw. The Beast's rampage tore across the Imperium and reached Terra itself, until it was ended with massive loss of life.

  • Asskicking Equals Authority: It shouldn't be any surprise that the Ork who united the majority of Greenskins in the entire galaxy, built Orky tech fueled by a Waaagh! energy field that could flabbergast even the most adroit minds of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and nearly overrun Terra (something that even Horus Lupercal himself couldn't), is one huge face-wrecking monstrosity. The Beast was so powerful that it was an even match for the Primarch Vulkan himself, and the latter had to become one with the Waaagh! to even have a (failed) chance of killing it.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the God-Emperor. And/or the Primarchs, being monstrously powerful "prime-orks" leading vast Ork legions, each with their own fields of specialty. Yes, the Beast(s) were the progenitors of the 40k Ork Klans.
  • Genius Bruiser: In addition to his physical prowess, his brain is an even greater threat. Under his leadership, the Orks are getting organized, forming an actual empire, wielding technologies that are on par with the Eldars.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Beast's Gargant was the largest one of its kind to ever be seen, equal in size to a hive city and carrying smaller Gargants inside it. It needed a Heroic Sacrifice by Vulkan to destroy, and, if a scale model of it was ever made, it has been said that it would be the size of a small office building.
  • Legacy Character: The Beast is actually six different Warbosses, each bigger and meaner than any other Warboss in history.
  • Large and in Charge: All Orks grow in size as they gain power, and the greatest Warboss to ever live was so massive he was confused for a Stompa.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Beast's Orkish name did not translate perfectly to Gothic, but meant, roughly, "beast", "I am slaughter", or "lord who will bring great slaughter." It's Mag Uruk Thraka.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: For the Greenskin species as a whole. The Beast and his Orks had diplomats, wielded professionally manufactured weaponry, exhibited tactics, and covered their home planet in organized settlements, something utterly anathema to the Orks' normally chaotic, mindlessly brutal ways.
  • It's Personal: Why he uses the planet Ullanor, which had been the site of one of the greatest Imperial victories of the Great Crusade, as his home base. Ullanor was also the Orks' homeworld before the Ullanor Crusade, so there's also an element of payback.

Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, Prophet of Gork and Mork, Beast of the Apocalypse

"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 living greenskins, Ghazghkull is a visionary Warlord who has united thousands of tribes and billions of Orks with his brutal strength, insane courage and incredible battle prowess. Over the course of his bloody career, Ghazghkull has acquired a long and ever-growing list of victories that include the looting of forge worlds and the destruction of an entire Chapter of Astartes. The Grand Warlord has twice invaded the linchpin Imperial world of Armageddon and although the planet has refused to fall, the ongoing conflict has only added to his reputation. As Gork's Grin splits the stars the influence of the Prophet of Gork and Mork has grown even greater, and Ghazghkull leads his Great Waaagh! against the other races of the galaxy with greater ferocity than ever before.

  • Arch-Enemy: For Commissar Sebastian Yarrick, as the two of them have had several face-offs both as commanders and in personal combats. Yarrick despises Ghazghkull as the ravager of Armageddon, the thorn in the Imperium's side that it just cannot seem to dislodge. Ghazghkull for his part has come to respect Yarrick and has grown fond of fighting him.
  • 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.
  • Came Back Strong: Twice.
    • The first was back in his youth, when he was almost killed by a bolter shell to the head until Grotsnik gave him his skull plate. Whatever else was attached to that chunk of metal made Ghazghkull a genius (and not just by ork standards either) and he would rise to become the most dangerous Warboss in the galaxy.
    • The second time was when the Space Wolves attack Ghazghkull, with Ragnar Blackmane hoping to take the Warboss' head and put an end to his evil once and for all. Ghazghkull beat Ragnar to a pulp, but the Wolf Lord managed to chop Ghazghkull's head off before succumbing to his injuries. Again, Grotsnik saved Ghazghkull and stapled his head onto a bigger, stronger body with better armor and killy bits, and Ghazghkull was back in business.
  • The Chosen One: Ghazghkull believes that the Ork gods Gork and Mork have chosen him 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.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ghazghkull has no compunctions about utilizing hidden Kommando infiltrators, teleporting troops in behind enemy lines, or deploying specialist teams of Space Marine killers, among other traditionally "un-Orky" tricks.
  • 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.
  • Dead Sidekick: He used to have a Gretchin named Makari that hung around and carried his personal banner while being so lucky he was almost impossible to kill. Canonically he accidentally sat on the little guy. Fanon insists this is Imperial propaganda, and that Ghazghkull went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Makari's death in battle. 8th Edition went with fanon and Makari's back, though whether it's the original or a Replacement Goldfish isn't made clear.
  • 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.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: As one of the characters who can trace his roots back to the early editions of the game, Ghazghkull has had multiple models over the editions. Early editions had him sized more like a normal Ork nob with an almost Mongolian-influence to his aesthetic, while later ones increased his size, gave him a more dynamic multi-part kit, and brought his equipment more in line with the Art Evolution the Orks as a whole have gone toward over time.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Has driven the Tyranids from much of Octarius, smashed armies of Necrons into scrap metal, and banished Daemon hosts, all in the name of being the biggest, baddest villain in the 40K universe.
  • 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...
  • Genius Bruiser: Not only does Ghazghkull stand more than eighteen feet tall, but he's also a brilliant tactician and strategist—not "brilliant by Ork standards" mind you, but genuinely skilled, capable of uniting billions of Orks, managing a galaxy-spanning war on multiple fronts by delegating authority, and improvising like nobody's business.
  • Hero Killer: Everyone who knows of Ghazghkull is terrified of him and with good cause.
  • Large and in Charge: Ghazghkull is not only the most powerful and influential living Ork in the galaxy, he is also the biggest with most sources set before the opening of the Great Rift indicating that he is around 6 meters tall when average Orkboy is around 2m (but they're usually hunched over). The standard artwork depiction of him, facing off against Commissar Yarrick on Armageddon, shows that his human opponent is lucky to be waist high in comparison while his 2020 model, representing him after the opening of the Great Rift, is so huge it dwarfs Astartes Dreadnoughts and is considered a Monstrous Creature.
  • Made of Iron: Usually, being swallowed by a Tyranid Mawloc is an automatic death sentence, no matter how powerful a character you are. Not for Ghazukull, oh no: he not only survives the swallowing, but blasts his way out of the beast's stomach like a Chest Burster, roaring triumphantly. The sight alone inspired the entire planet's Orks to utterly crush the unstoppable Hive Fleet Leviathan, even earning the respect and allegiance of the Warboss whom Ghazghkull came to crush. He later survived getting his head chopped off by Ragnar Blackmane. A little surgery courtesy of Mad Dok Grotsnik and Ghazghkull was back in business. In some versions of the tabletop rules, this is repented by the unique Prophet of Gork and Mork ability that limits the ammount of damage Ghazghkull suffers from any single attack.
  • Magnetic Hero: To the Orks. No amount of individual strategic genius can be effective without competent, organized, and dedicated underlings who can be relied on to carry out the vision, and this is where even very intelligent Ork warlords' ambitions fall apart. However, Ghazghkull's great gift is the ability to inspire other Orks to such a degree that they become genuinely and enthusiastically dedicated to carrying out "da plan". This makes Ghazghkull's strategic thought translate to battlefield success much more effectively than is typical of Orks.
  • More Dakka: All orks love massive amounts of firepower and Ghazghkull is no exception, with each of his official models having a higher rate-of-fire than the last, with the Warlord's 3rd Edition model replacing 2nd Edition's kustom blaster, that fired a single shot with a blast marker each turn, with a double-barrelled, multi-shot kustom shootanote . Ghazghkull's 2020 model, meanwhile, upgrades to Mork's roar, a four-barrelled shoota that has the highest rate-of-fire of any ork weapon that is not artillery or mounted on a vehicle.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Called "The Beast of Armageddon" by the Imperium, for his role in the first and second Ork invasions of Armageddon, and in parallel to The Beast of Ullanor. Massively significant, as Armageddon was Ullanor. Furthermore, "Mag Uruk Thraka", translated as "I am Slaughter", is the true name of The Beast, marking out Ghazghkull as the next one.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: 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...
  • Off with His Head!: On the receiving end courtesy of a Mutual Kill between him and Ragnar Blackmane. Thanks to his ridiculously tough ork physiology and Grotsnik's surgery, he got better.
  • Power Pincers: When he was revamped for 3rd Edition, Ghazghkull replaced his sword with a suitably large and impressive kustom power klaw thatnote  was more powerful than those worn by regular Warbosses. His subsequent 2020 model and rulesnote  take things even further as the mighty Warlord has upgraded replaced his klaw with the even more brutally Gork's klaw that has more powerful characteristics.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Goff Guard who follow him wherever he goes and keep him alive. Urgik's Uglies have also played this role on occasion.
  • 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. And the epilogue of The Beast Arises confirms him as the next Beast.
  • Shoulder Cannon: Ghazghkull's 3rd and 8th Edition models mount stikkbomb chukkas on his shoulders, that allow him to use these primitive grenades as he charges into combat, even while his hands are buisy working his other weapons.
  • The Strategist: One of the most feared Ork warlords for being able to avert the Hollywood Tactics that characterize many other Waaagh!s. Ghazghkull himself often likes to lead from the front to make sure everything is going according to "da plan".
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Ghazghkull has acquired a long list of titles over the years, including: Mag Uruk Thrakanote ; Grand Warlord; Prophet of Gork and Mork; the Beast of Armageddon; Leader of Da Great Waaagh!
  • 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. 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 had part of his skull replaced with a bionic adamantium skull, with which he is able to deliver a powerful head-butt said to be "much like being hit by a mag-train". Whether this is represented in the game rules changes from edition to edition.
  • 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. Note that this is entirely one-sided, and Yarrick despises his Ork nemesis.
    Humies is all weak scum that deserve ta get stomped. 'Cept for One-Eye Yarrick. He knows how ter fight.

Makari the Gretchin

Ghazghkull's standard bearer, Makari is a Gretchin with an extremely huge amount of good luck. He's so lucky, in fact, he managed to live to the age of nine while following Ghaz through some of the bloodiest battles in the galaxy until he was tragically killed by his boss in a moment of clumsiness... or so it seemed.

  • Born Lucky: Makari's luck is legendary, so much that during the time of his supposed death orks would clamor for a chance to wield his banner in case some of that luck wore off. On the tabletop, Makari has a 2+ invulnerable save (meaning he can take tank-killing shots with a 5-in-6 chance of not being injured), and his banner (dubbed "Da Lucky Stikk") gave the wielder a plethora of rerolls when it was a relic in 7th Edition.
  • King Mook: Makari's strong for a grot, which makes him about as strong as an average human. On the tabletop he has a strength of 3 and a decent knife that can cause mortal wounds on a good roll (and his ridiculous invulnerable save makes him a surprisingly hard nut to crack), whereas most grots have a weedy strength 2 and will die to a stiff breeze while doing little in return.
  • The Bus Came Back: Makari was removed from the game during 3rd Edition, with no explaination until later lore claimed that he died when Ghazghkull sat on him. The 8th Edition sourcebook Psychic Awakening: Saga of the Beast reintroduced Makari as Ghazghkull's banna wava, although it is left ambiguous as to whether this is the same Makari or not.

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 and, after a good fight, managed to escape the doomed world before it was consumed by a Warp Storm. Since the opening of Gork's Grinnote , Nazdreg has led his Waaagh! into the Farsite Enclaves in an attempt to outdo the War of Dakka and to capture a Stormsurge so that he can build it into a Stompa.

  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Although no longer a playable character, Nazdreg is still the most powerful Bad Moon Warlord in the galaxy and an important ally of Ghazghkull.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted. Nazdreg has a Ballistic Skill of 4, meaning he can shoot as well as a Space Marine!
  • Put on a Bus: Nazdreg was removed as a playable character during 4th Edition.
  • The Strategist: His Kunnin' Plans special rule lets him pick a squad to Deep Strike or Infiltrate into the battle.

Warlord Grukk Face-rippa, Scourge of the Sanctus Reach
Grukk Face-rippa during the invasion of Alaric Prime

Cross me, curse me or even look me in the eye and I’ll kill ya stone dead, just to teach ya a lesson

An extremely loud and violent Warboss, even by the standards of the Goff Clan, Grukk Face-rippa first rose to prominence towards the end of the 41st Millennium when his Red Waaagh! ravaged the Sanctus sub-sector of the Ultima Segmentum, destroying the Obsidian Glaives Chapter of Adeptus Astartes and invading the Knight world of Alaric Prime. Although he was deposed, and thought killed, when the Bad Moon Big Mek Mogrok usurped leadership of the Waaagh!, Grukk survived and was taken from the war-torn world by his last loyal Nobz. In the aftermath of the opening of Gork's Grin, Grukk has become a threat once again, building a new Waaagh! and invading the Imperial worlds of the Bargheist Stars.

  • Demoted to Extra: Grukk was one of the main antagonists for the Sanctus Reach series of campaign books and the Stormclaw starter set where he received a model and rules. Since the release of the 8th Edition of the game, however, Grukk's model is now a generic Warboss and he didn't receive any rules of his own, only appearing receiving a mention the timeline section of the 8th Edition Codex: Orks.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Grukk is renowned for having an extremely short temper, even for an Ork, flying into a berserk rage at the slightest provocation.
  • Power Pincers: Grukk's power klaw, Git-rippa replaces its bottom claw with a ripping buzzsaw. The 7th Edition rules for Grukk represented this by giving Git-rippa the 'Shred' special rule, allowing it to re-roll failed To Wound rolls.
  • Signature Move: Grukk got his nickname after ripping the face off the former Warboss of his tribe. Since then he has attempted to repeat this feat as often as he can, including against the pilot of a Questoris Knight.

Mad Doc Grotsnik, Da Painboss

"Operate! Operate! Still time to operate!"

The Deathskulls Painboy who saved the life of the future Grand Warlord Ghazghkull, Grotsnik soon became just as famous as his patient and found his skills in high demand. After the Nobz of his tribe discovered the bombs that the eccentric Doc had including alongside his "Ghazghkull special" however, the Nobz bloody revenge left Grotsnik on deaths door and in the hands of his enthusiastic, if not terribly skilled, Grot orderlies. The resulting surgery left Grotsnik an insane mess of ruined flesh and cybernetics whose obsession with bizarre surgical procedures and horrifying medical experiments became all-consuming with only Ghazghkull's patronage protecting him from a more permanent death. In an effort to gather more raw material for his experiments, the Mad Dok has gathered his own warband of Painboyz, Freebooterz and Cybork Deathskulls known as Da Corpse Lootas who scour the battlefields of the galaxy for interesting specimens.

  • 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's pet spider hid 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 surgeries, particularly the dreaded "Squig brain transplant" where he empties the patient's skull and stuffs a live fungus-monster in it. He's even rumored to be building his own "super-Ork" out of organs and body parts stolen from his patients.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Painboyz who get as nutty as he does usually end up being killed by their large amounts of angry "patients". Grotsnik, however, is good friends with Ghazghkull; if anyone wants to take on Grotsnik, they'll have to take on Ghazghkull and no one is big enough to take on Ghazghkull.
  • 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.

Wazdakka Gutsmek

The greatest Ork biker of all time, Wazdakka left his tribe on Khasak Prime after being accused of cheating to win a race, but not before single-handedly levelling the tribe's settlement. Wazdakka has since roamed the stars on the most tricked-out and impossibly cool warbike that any Ork has ever seen, fighting as a Freebooter for any Boss willing to pay him in spare parts and fuel. As his legend has grown, Wazdakka has gathered a horde of like-minded Speed Freek followers and plans on leading them on an endless rampage from one end of the galaxy to the other in the first and greatest Speedwaaagh!

  • Ace Custom: Wazdakka rides the Bike of the Aporkalypse, a heavily kustomised warbike that the Bad Ork Biker Mek is constantly tinkering with and upgrading. The exact rules for this warbike tend to change with each edition of the game but they always include a large and powerful ranged weaponnote  and with massive recoil.
  • Badass Biker: One of his most badass moments remains the battle for Scalex VI, in which Wazdakka ramped his bike off a mesa, plunged through a Warlord Titan's void shields (catching fire in the process), crash-landed in the Titan's cockpit, and butchered its crew, while still on fire. The (still-flaming) skulls of the Titan's 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Although no longer a playable model, Wazdakka still receives mentions in the background material every now and again.
  • 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.
  • Recoil Boost: The cannon on his bike launches with enough force that it propels his bike backward. Of course, being the Speed Freak he is, his solution is just to fire it while going at greater velocity.
  • 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?

Old Zogwort

A deranged old Weirdboy of the Snakebite clan, Zogwort was born into a nest of bloodvipers on the remote world of Zurk. His blood thick with the venom of the dangerous reptiles, who still accompany the might Warphead, Zogwort quickly impressed the boyz of his tribe with his peculiar ability to turn his enemies, and anyone who annoyed him, into Squigs. After turning his abilities on the Warboss of his tribe and his Nobz, Zogwort rose to leadership and has led a Weirdwaaagh! that has rampaged across the galaxy.

  • Baleful Polymorph: He knows a unique psychic attack that turns enemies into Squigs.
  • The Beastmaster: Zogwort has the Nest of Vipers ability that gives him 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: 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".
  • The Magocracy: After taking control of his tribe, Zogwort replaced the ruling bosses and Nobz with his fellow Weirdboyz, creating a strange and powerful Waaagh! that is controlled by the psychically sensitive Oddboyz.
  • Power Incontinence: He's just as susceptible to this as other Weirdboyz — 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.
  • The Transmogrifier: He's renowned for his signature move, the Zogwort Special, which transforms any affected units into Squigs. In the lore, he uses this ability all the damn time, to the point that his Minderz often ended up being accidentally transformed during the night before Zogwort finally snapped his leash and became a Freebooter. Even today, he still travels with a large number of squigs, all former enemies remade into his pets.
  • Wandering the Earth: Zogwort wanders the galaxy seeking the purest sources of Waaagh! energy, aiding Warbosses along the way.

Boss Snikrot, Da Green Ghost

Ghazghkull led us to Armageddon. Ghazghkull told us ta stomp da oomans and knock da cities down. Where's Ghazghkull now? Zogged off across da galaxy when da goin' got tough, dat's where.
Don't matter. We ain't goin' anywhere, ladz, and when Armageddon belongs to da Orks, it won't be Ghazghkull's world. It'll be mine…

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 Astra Militarum's jungle-fighting specialists, Snikrot vowed that he and his boyz would learn to beat the environment before turning their attention to the humans. After learning to use the jungles of Armageddon to refine and enhance their already considerable stealth skills, Snikrot and his Red Skull Kommandos have plagued the Imperial forces ever since with their brutal campaign of terror and psychological warfare. Since the daemonic invasion of Armageddon in the wake of the opening of the Great Rift, Snikrot has also attempted to bring his fellow greenskins into line, punishing and making an example of any Nob who fights alongside the humies' against the forces of Chaos.

  • The Dreaded: Snikrot is the one Ork that even the legendarily fearless Ork Hunters of Armageddon are scared of, telling 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.
  • Genius Bruiser: A colossal Ork who nonetheless has a brilliant grasp of jungle warfare and guerrilla tactics.
  • It Can Think: Ork Kommandos tend to elicit this reaction anyway, as most think of Orks as too stupid to use tactics or stealth. Snikrot is a genius when it comes to guerilla warfare, even by human standards.
  • Knife Nut: Rather than a more traditional choppa, Snikrot wields Mork's Teeth, a pair of brutal and jagged knives that the Kommando Boss wields with prodigious skill. In the 8th Edition rules, these knives are able to penetrate thin armour with ease and do a reasonable amount of damage.
  • 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.

Boss Zagstruk

Known simply as Da Boss by his followers, Zagstruk is an infamously murderous disciplinarian who keeps the Vulcha Squad, his personal mob of Stormboyz, 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. With the opening of Gork's Grin, Zagstruk has begun gathering more and more followers from the Goff and Blood Axe Clans with the aim of leading the greatest Stormwaaagh! the galaxy has ever seen. Zagstruk's forces have already conquered the Imperial world of St. Rezmond's Hope (now renamed Planet Zag) and Da Boss has already turned his eye towards his next conquest.

  • Artificial Limbs: Zagstruk 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, Zagstruk is a vicious, mean-tempered git who doesn't hesitate to brutally punish subordinates. In-game, if his Vulcha Squad fails 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 Zagstruk specializes in it, diving like a twisted eagle onto opponents with his clawed bionic legs to smash them into the ground or, preferably, decapitate them. On the tabletop, he effectively gets a free power klaw attack that doesn't always hit last whenever he charges.
  • Death Glare: While it isn't represented in his tabletop rules, the background information for Zagstruk states that Da Boss' intense stare is able to intimidate even Warbosses and squiggoths.
  • Evil Counterpart: Zagstruk is very much like a stereotypical Commissar, being a cruel and foul-tempered leader who constantly bellows orders, keeps his subordinates in line through fear and intimidation, and doesn't hesitate to kill those who displease him. He even has an Orky version of a Commissar Cap. This also extends to his in-game rules, as both he and Commissars can rally their squads after a failed morale check by killing someone.

Kaptin Badrukk, Da Freebooter King

The most successful Freebooter alive, Kaptin Badrukk has been plying the stars in his kustom Kill Kroozer Da Blacktoof for decades, selling the services of his warband, Badrukk's Flash Gitz, to anyone who can afford it and claims to have assisted every major Warlord to have risen to prominence since he began his career. Highly intelligent, for an Ork, with an instinctive grasp of military strategy, Badrukk often acts as an advisor for any Warlord willing to pay his price, something most are more than willing to do just to witness the Kaptin and his Gitz unleash their prodigious firepower. The chaos engulfing the galaxy since the opening of Gork's Grin has seen Badrukk become more active than ever before. With the assistance of Badmek Mogrok, the traitorous Big Mek who once usurped Grukk Face-Rippa's Red Waaagh!, Badrukk has been able to use highly advanced technology to launch raids against isolated Imperial worlds and has even successfully looted a Necron treasure world.

  • Badass Longcoat: Wears a greatcoat with lead lining to protect himself from his own snazzgun's radiation.
  • 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: Appropriately for an Ork Space Pirate, 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.

Runtlord Zodgrod Wortsnagga

A Snakebite Runtherd turned Freebooter, Zodgrod Wortsnagga's dream is to train the best Gretchin and Snotlings in the galaxy. After being kicked out of his tribe Zodgrod discovered the training methods of an ancient Runtherd 'philosopher' and, after replicating his techniques, Zodgrod's Super-Runts are now in high demand for their effectiveness in battle.

  • The Bus Came Back: He returns as a proper character in 9th Edition, after having been relegated to minor flavor blurbs since the 2nd.
  • Demoted to Extra: Zodgrod hasn't been a playable character since 2nd Edition and wasn't even mentioned in the background material until the release of the 8th Edition Codex: Orks where he has some Flavor Text in the Gretchin and Runtherds section of the bestiary.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Other Orks consider Zodgrod firing a Mekboy through his own Shokk Attack Gun an overreaction when all the Mek did was kill a few of Zodgrod's Snotling Kommandos.
  • Elite Mooks: Zodgrod's mission in life is to train the best Runts in the galaxy. The results of Zodgrod's special training were spectacular and, in game terms, his Super-Gretchin had stats slightly better than an average Imperial Guardsman.
  • Papa Wolf: Unusually for a Runtherd, Zodgrod has a tendency to get extremely protective of his Gretchin and Snotling trainees and gets quite upset if they are killed needlessly



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