Orktober has Begun!

If you’re an Ork player like me, get pumped for their impending Codex! GW has given us this fun article about the Orks to get the hype train rolling…choo choo!

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

The first day of Orktober is here at last! We’ve got stacks of cool and exciting stuff to show you and talk about over the coming weeks, but before we get ahead of ourselves, we thought it only right and proper to formally introduce the Orks to those who may not be familiar with this fan-favourite, belligerent, green-skinned race.

Let’s take a look…

Ever since Mankind first set forth across the stars, it has been subjected to war and death on a scale previously undreamed of. Yet of all the myriad xenos races responsible for this relentless warfare, the Orks are in a class all their own. A crude and warlike breed of hulking brutes, the Orks love nothing more than a good scrap – so much so, in fact, that in the absence of a suitable enemy to take their aggression out on, they will readily fight amongst themselves just for the sheer joy of it. As such, any attempt to reason or negotiate with Orks is doomed to failure.

Orks have been encountered in every corner of Imperial space, and due to their unique biology and the incredible rate with which their populations replenish, they are all but impossible to eradicate. Even the most ruthless purge of Ork numbers seldom earns little more than a temporary respite. The question of how to rid the galaxy of the ‘greenskin menace’ has vexed Imperial scholars and agents of the Ordo Xenos for thousands of years. To this day, Orks remain one of the most bitter enemies of Mankind, responsible for the loss of countless trillions of lives, vast tracts of territory and once even threatening Holy Terra itself.

Ork populations in their infancy form crude and barbaric societies founded on the notion of ‘might makes right’. Due to a quirk in their physical development, the most aggressive and dominant of their kind grow, accordingly, into the largest and most powerful of their tribe, which in turn is led by its strongest member. As their numbers increase and their encampments develop, rival tribes are conquered or otherwise subsumed into larger groups. It is at this stage that Orks begin to emerge who have an innate knowledge of how to push the growing mob to its next evolutionary step, and they are known collectively as Oddboyz:

(Big) Meks:

Ingeniously skilled mechanics with the ability to create deadly weaponry and war machinery from little more than scrap and scavenged parts, Meks provide the ‘teknology’ that Orks rely on to spread carnage and destruction across the galaxy. More often than not, these guns and contraptions shouldn’t function in the conventional sense, but that never seems to stop them and has baffled millennia worth of Tech-Priests and Imperial scholars.


Sometimes referred to as Warpheadz, Weirdboyz are latent psykers who channel the cumulative energy given off by large exuberant Ork hordes into suitably impressive and deadly pyrotechnic displays, from green lightning to giant, stomping manifestations of their deities’ feet! The more Orks there are nearby, the more powerful these manifestations can become.


Named for their callous lack of patient care or bedside manner, Painboyz are surgeons who are able to patch up traumatic injuries, or work alongside a Mek colleague to graft mechanical replacements onto missing limbs, to get maimed Orks back into the fight.


The handlers of the Orks’ diminutive Grot cousins, the Runtherdz have an instinctive talent for goading their charges into doing something useful in battle, be it swarming the foe or bodily clearing a minefield. Runtherdz also serve as the cultural history keepers of the Orks, for they are born with an ancestral memory of past events and the deeds of their clan – not that anyone listens to them.

You can’t learn about Orks without learning about the Waaagh! Ork tribes and clans are unrivalled in the swiftness with which they can develop, rapidly changing from a warband of savages armed with scavenged and improvised weapons into a deadly, space-faring invasion force able to bring whole planetary systems to their knees. Once the population has reached a critical mass, its (now towering) Warboss will launch a Waaagh!, named after the ferocious Ork war cry that has terrorised the armies Mankind on battlefields beyond counting. The Orks will mobilise and unleash total war on their nearest prey, taking to the stars aboard flotillas of crude ships once they have scoured their current location of everything worth fighting.

Sometimes referred to as the ‘green tide’, the bigger and more successful a Waaagh! is, the more Orks it attracts, sometimes from systems away. No one is certain exactly how this occurs or by what means other Orks find out about a Waaagh!, but it appears to take place on a subconscious, even instinctive, level. Buoyed by this steady stream of reinforcements, once a Waaagh! has begun, only the most horrific losses will deter its advance. More often than not, this will be due to the Orks losing their enthusiasm for the fight rather than ‘losing’ in the conventional sense. This is sometimes the result of the death of their leaders and the subsequent in-fighting, and sometimes they just get distracted or find a better fight. In any case, entire worlds or even star systems will have usually been destroyed by the Waaagh! before enough forces can be mobilised to inflict a meaningful defeat against it.

In battle, Orks fight in the simple manner of their gods – the cunning brutality of Gork and the brutal cunning of Mork. More often than not, this sees them perform various types of headlong charges into their intended victims either on foot or on the back of sturdy transport vehicles. After all, the only thing that Orks enjoy more than firing guns, blowing stuff up and racing at dangerously high speeds is fighting in combat. War allows them to freely indulge in most – if not all – of these favourite pastimes, which is why they love it so much!

Since the emergence of the Great Rift, the wars that have erupted across the galaxy in its wake have seen the Orks in their absolute element. One of the largest conflicts has emerged on Vigilus, with Warlord Krooldakka’s invasion giving rise to a Speedwaaagh!, a Genestealer Cult insurrection and, more recently, an Aeldari invasion as well. The escalating conflict has seen more and more Orks drawn to the sector in search of a good bust-up.

That pretty much covers an overview of the Orks for the moment. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be investigating the six major clans of the Orks and their respective kulturs in greater detail, as well as the ancient legend of the Brainboyz and even more besides.


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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

17 Responses to “Orktober has Begun!”

  1. Hank October 1, 2018 12:33 pm #

    Exciting times! I’m so pumped for the codex, I can’t think straight!

    Interesting note, the Ork boyz in the last picture are on 32s. We felt this was coming after the killteam was boxed with 32s, but I’m just not a fan. They make the boyz look smaller and make fielding a proppa’ horde of them more unwieldy. I’m going to be keeping mine on 25s and any future ones I build, too.

    I can just see the arguments, though. Despite GW not having a hard rule on bases, it somehow seems to cause controversy.

    • Reecius October 1, 2018 1:18 pm #

      Well, GW may not have a basing guide for Orks at this point in time but looking at AoS it seems like it may become a possibility that you should be open to.

      The 32s are obviously worse for game play but man, da Boyz look much better on 32s, especially units like Lootas and Stormboyz.

      • Hank October 1, 2018 2:24 pm #

        See, I disagree. I think the larger bases make them look weedy and small, and I wouldn’t move to 32s if it was aesthetic alone.

        What’s the AoS base rule? Wasn’t it just a suggestion?

        • Reecius October 1, 2018 2:40 pm #

          Hey, to each their own. For normal Boyz I could see that argument but Lootas especially look good on 32s and Stormboyz at least stand up on them, lol!

          AoS’ base chart is a rule for Matched Play, IIRC. It’s not for open and narrative play.

          • greggles October 2, 2018 4:32 am

            They look great on 32mm’s. I rebased mine when 32mm’s came out years ago. Never looked back. Really helps with some of the top heavy guys. Kinda of glad they actually ended up on 32mm hahaha.

      • Venkarel October 1, 2018 7:20 pm #

        This means you can only fit 2 ranks in a cc instead of 3 so it has game impacts. If SMS have to be on 32s Orc should as well.

    • Joe October 1, 2018 1:31 pm #

      I’ll be happy if they go to 32’s. They were always a little too big for 25s, they’re not some weedy hoomie or groot. It also means they fill more board space, which seems crucial this edition.

      • Reecius October 1, 2018 1:47 pm #

        Yeah, they do look much better on 32s. It is good for taking up space but sucks for actual combat where you get less models in range to krump, and the Boyz need maximum weight of attacks IME.

        Eh, we’ll see what happens.

        • Michael Corr October 2, 2018 1:00 am #

          I really hope they don’t go the Age of Sigmar route with base sizes, as I really don’t want to have to re-base over 200 Orks! The time and money involved would be horrendous.

          Though I will agree with re-basing the Stormboyz. These are some of the worst models for actually staying upright on a 25 mm base that I have ever come across.

  2. Dakkath October 1, 2018 12:39 pm #

    A proppa WAAAGH!! is alwayz spelled wit at leas 3 As and 2 exclumatin points.

  3. Tyler October 1, 2018 1:13 pm #

    I know it’s still probably too far away to know for sure, but are there plans to allow Codex: Orks at the SoCal open?

    • Reecius October 1, 2018 1:14 pm #

      We will allow them so long as they don’t come out the weekend of the event.

  4. Shas’O October 1, 2018 6:33 pm #

    What if they put them on 32s but increase the range a model can be in and still fight? That seems orky!

    • rivercity_gaming October 2, 2018 5:31 am #

      AoS has melee weapon ranges, so maybe. I think it’d be wild if they just changed all that in one codex though.

  5. An Actual Englishman October 2, 2018 2:41 am #

    If GW are going to release a basing suggestion for 40k that precludes me from matched play unless I re-base all my Orks are they going to pay for the cost to re-base them? How about the significant time investment for me to go about this re-basing project? Are GW going to fund an external organisation, such as FLG, re-basing my models for me?

    Its a disgrace. I have neither the time nor the inclination to re-base my models and for me its not just Boyz, its my many, many bikes too. Yet if I don’t do it I will be unable to play matched play following the rules (assuming they release a base guideline doc. I hope no one gives me the rubbish about base extenders either. They look awful and they are still an expense I didn’t need.

    This will be the straw that breaks the camels back for me as a hobbyist. I really hope GW reconsider if this is something they’re looking at moving forward with. I’m sure I’m not alone in my feelings on this.

    • Reecius October 2, 2018 6:30 am #

      Well, before any righteous indignation, wait and see what happens, first. I’m just saying it is a possibility based on AoS. It happened for space marines, too and I felt the same way you do but then started switching mine to 32’s and they just look better. I still haven’t finished swapping mine all out but I do it as I need to. It’s a PITA for sure, but in the end I didn’t mind so much.

  6. Jade Prout October 4, 2018 6:11 am #

    @Reecius… I’m curious, does ITC have specific rules about base sizes? I was under the impression that models on “bases provided” were “legal” (and all my Boyz were provided with 25’s) but I’m being told that Tournaments require “currently supplied” bases. If Boyz go to 32’s, will ITC events require re-basing? Thanks.

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