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Iracundus
04-11-2007, 09:11
Given that Orks believe themselves the "'ardest" race in the galaxy, how would the survivors rationalize being defeated by "weedy" humans or even worse the Eldar or Tau? We know it happens, both on the tabletop and in the fluff as the 40K universe exists in a state of dynamic stasis/balance with all races inflicting defeats on each other.

I am well aware of the ancient Orky quote about how if they die, they die and if they run away they live to fight another day. However there still remains to explain just how they rationalize why they the big tough Orks had to run away from puny Eldar or Tau in the first place.

Goq Gar
04-11-2007, 09:13
DA ORKS NEVAH LOZE!

'Erez why:

If weze all ded, den it don't count.
If we win, den we win!
An' if most of us iz dead, we can alwayz come back later wiv MORE BOYZ!

~~~

I think that was the rationale I got out of the fluff in the codex. (Theres a section dedicated to that idea I believe).

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 09:16
It would help if you had read my post in more detail. I already specifically said I am well aware of that ancient ancient Ork quote which has been repeated in multiple editions. However for a race which believes in their own no nonsense superiority over the other more weedy races, there remains the jarring fact that they had to run away in the first place, and how to go about explaining that in their own psyche and worldview.

Saigon-87
04-11-2007, 09:17
If you win..its because you da orks! If you lose...well...its because you da orks...









psst, here is a secret: orks dont lose...ever

Ktotwf
04-11-2007, 09:19
I don't think the Orks spend too much time thinking about it to be honest.

Their only thought on defeat is probably "We'z gettin shot up!" and not [Received English] "You, know, this really makes me think about not only my place in the universe, but my race's place in the universe. How can I reconcile our apparent defeat with my belief in our superiority? This I must ponder. Oh yes. This I must ponder."[/Received English

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 09:20
For the last time, people, stop harping on that quote that everyone knows about. The point is that quote doesn't explain everything. For those who fantasize about being Orks and spelling in typing in mangled Orkish, I suggest you take it to the roleplaying forum instead of giving purposeless and pointless replies on a detail I already addressed in the opening post.


Orks may be simple and straightforward but they aren't meant to be downright dense and stupid. They are capable of low kunning and also of inspiration. Even if the vast majority of Orks do not wonder, the sheer size of the population and legnth of time they have been around surely suggests that somewhere sometime some Ork has wondered "If we're so tough, how come those pointy ears just beat the snot out of us?" He may not articulate it in so many words but the processing and thinking can still be there.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 09:25
The opening post well addressed the anticipated quote long before the first poster replied, or the second, who both obviously did not bother to take the time to read before replying. Not taking the time to read the OP and endlessly repeating variations of that quote does not make for a meaningful answer.

Ktotwf
04-11-2007, 09:28
Orks may be simple and straightforward but they aren't meant to be downright dense and stupid. They are capable of low kunning and also of inspiration. Even if the vast majority of Orks do not wonder, the sheer size of the population and legnth of time they have been around surely suggests that somewhere sometime some Ork has wondered "If we're so tough, how come those pointy ears just beat the snot out of us?" He may not articulate it in so many words but the processing and thinking can still be there.

In the entry for Commissar Yarrick in the Third Edition Guard Codex, the Ork Warlord Mag Uruk Thraka is talking about his defeats at the hands of Yarrick.

His underling says something to the effect of "Surely this 'umie was just a lucky bastard"

Thraka says "You think luck is all that some 'umie needs to beat me? I suspect he had some orkish blood in him"

Or something vaguely like that. I didn't actually orkify the paraphrasing.

DantesInferno
04-11-2007, 09:30
Orks may be simple and straightforward but they aren't meant to be downright dense and stupid. They are capable of low kunning and also of inspiration. Even if the vast majority of Orks do not wonder, the sheer size of the population and legnth of time they have been around surely suggests that somewhere sometime some Ork has wondered "If we're so tough, how come those pointy ears just beat the snot out of us?" He may not articulate it in so many words but the processing and thinking can still be there.

Orks are perfectly capable of respecting their opponents. If they got beaten in a fair fight by some humans or Eldar, they're capable of saying "They're tough even though they're not Orks!"

Ghazghkull respected Yarrick for holding out so bravely at Hades Hive, so much so that he let him go after he captured him on Golgotha.

And as an aside, it is quite annoying that, whenever someone says "Oh, and you don't need to say X" in their opening post, the first response to the thread is invariably "X!"

devolutionary
04-11-2007, 09:35
You are trying to attribute rationalisation in a very human sense to a collective species of brutes driven to fighting. If they lose, if they die, then it was a zoggin good fight and they'll have to go back later, or some other boyz will deal with it, or maybe they'll go somewhere else because they're bored.

Orks don't rationalise, not in the way that you want to imagine they do. The occasional Ork might (Ghazghkull in particular is noted for this, but he acknolwedges the strength of the human forces) but as a whole the only reason they lose, if they ever acknowledge it, is probably because the other side were sneaky gits, and that doesn't count because it's cheating.

Of course they will take inspiration from cheating, because after all, if everyone knows all the tricks then it's no longer cheating right? It's only the first time when it's a problem.

Orks aren't human, and indeed there is nothing to say in any part of science, real or imaginary, that sentience implies human rationality or thought process. Don't dwell on it too much, Orky rationalisation really is that flimsy (by our standards), but as long as they believe it, they don't really care.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 10:04
Although Orks are focused on fighting, they are not devoid of recognizable humanlike emotions or thinking, even if they differ in intensity. There have been numerous examples from past Ork background: The Mek that gets envious of a Warhound Titan and then goes on to build the first Gargant in order to trump human Titans. The Boyz on Nuzzgrond's World having a fleeting moment of solemness after witnessing Ratgrab's last stand against some Marines...

To say Orks are alien and therefore it's useless to think about what they may feel or think since they're not human is a bit of a copout, just like when the same style of reasoning is applied to the Eldar.

mistformsquirrel
04-11-2007, 10:10
I think the key is to simply look at the Orkish mindset. Orks love *fighting*. Its not about winning or losing for them as far as I can tell - but rather how many 'eads they got to bash in.

The quote that is so often repeated to your annoyance, is in fact, the very epitome of Orkish thought on the subject. That's why its been repeated despite your protestation.

To go further though - its not so much a matter of Orks being "alien" - to a degree there's that, but there's also simply the fact that orks love nothing better than a good fight. Winning is just a bonus, and losing isn't really that important; because most often they're all dead if they lost. (Remember, aside from the Blood Axes, Orks don't employ retreat very often)

This isn't to say no ork has ever considered the matter; but they probably give it about as much thought as we give a favorite sports team losing 'the big game', or how you feel after you lost a game of 40k.

Dragonlv8
04-11-2007, 10:16
I don't know much about orks other than there quite silly but, You would think hang on we are supposedl better than those marine boyz why did we get beaten? so as the guy above said, they steal the other blokes ideas sometimes it works :p

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 10:19
Waaghs don't always end up with a total wipeout of the Orks if it fails. In most cases, such as Ghaz's attempts on Armageddon, the Waagh loses momentum after defeats or the death of the Warlord and starts to splinter. There would be Orks then that would remember these setbacks, or that were witnesses to setbacks. Past Ork background such as Nuzzgrond's World show the Orks do indeed care about defeats, often taking the form of desire to come back and take vengeance. Orks are in it for the fighting AND the winning. They differ from Khorne worshippers in that they aren't in it for the killing per se.

For Yarrick's case, it is more easily comprehended and rationalized for an Ork due to the fact Yarrick displayed toughness and brutality in an Ork-like manner. He behaved like how a Nob or Warboss would behave. How though to explain defeat at the hands of physically weaker species like the Tau or Eldar who do not display such "Orkish" virtues of brutality? Defeat in this case being either at the hands of their guns or in HTH.

Ward.
04-11-2007, 10:22
It's not saying there alien therefore incomprehensible, they just don't possess human emotions.
Think of it this way, they're DNA contains everything they need to know to "survive", they don't need to know how to deal with defeat, therefore they don't.

devolutionary
04-11-2007, 10:22
To say Orks are alien and therefore it's useless to think about what they may feel or think since they're not human is a bit of a copout, just like when the same style of reasoning is applied to the Eldar.

To instantly assume that similar emotions equate to near-identical thought processes and rationale is flawed as well. From my perspective, you want them to think like humans. They don't. My dog feels emotions of envy, it doesn't mean she rationalises like I do.

That you managed to ignore the entire point of them being alien and having different perspective is also ironic given your above statements about people apparently ignoring you. I laugh, oh how I laugh.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 10:24
Except as mentioned in previous Ork background, they DO have humanlike emotions, ranging from envy (Mek for Warhound), to hate (Ghaz for Yarrick), to fear (Ork facing surgery), to even something akin to mourning (Nuzzgrond for Ratgrab's passing). If one looks beyond just Orks and into Gretchin, you find even more such as entrepeneurship, curiosity, attachment (to a pet squig) etc...

While there has been background showing the existence of these emotions, there hasn't been any background supporting they have such alien perspectives as to defy attempts to study or understand them. Alien yes, incomprehensible no. One does not equate to the other.

DantesInferno
04-11-2007, 10:25
For Yarrick's case, it is more easily comprehended and rationalized for an Ork due to the fact Yarrick displayed toughness and brutality in an Ork-like manner. He behaved like how a Nob or Warboss would behave. How though to explain defeat at the hands of physically weaker species like the Tau or Eldar who do not display such "Orkish" virtues of brutality?

While the brutality of the Orks may have been more emphasised in 3rd ed, it's not the only "Orkish" virtue out there. They've got two gods, remember, and one of them is the god of cunnin' and sneakiness. Orks don't only respect people who can beat up other people, but people who can build big guns, be really sneaky, and so forth.

Which is why I don't think they'd think of the Eldar way of war as "cheating" per se.

devolutionary
04-11-2007, 10:36
While there has been background showing the existence of these emotions, there hasn't been any background supporting they have such alien perspectives as to defy attempts to study or understand them. Alien yes, incomprehensible no. One does not equate to the other.

Again you seem adamant on ignoring my point (oh the delicious irony). Emotions do not equate to rationale or methods of reasoning, not in the sense you are wanting to discuss. People from different cultures feel the same range of emotions but they view the world and reason about it in distinctly different ways, and even then those differences aren't that diverse (if only because we are all human). Imagine those differences expanded out across species to a culture that shares very few similarities to humanity.

I am not saying they are incomprehensible, but you are searching for a human rationale for an alien species, and I truly don't think it exists. Orks are not human and do not think like humans. The emotional aspects are utterly irrelevant to this, because, as I clearly said, my dog has emotions but none of the same rationality that defines human reason.

devolutionary
04-11-2007, 10:38
Which is why I don't think they'd think of the Eldar way of war as "cheating" per se.

If they beat the Orks by being sneaky, then they were cheating, because every Ork knows that Orks are the Cunningest! Otherwise why would Mork be THE God of Cunning? yeesh, it's simple logic :D

DantesInferno
04-11-2007, 10:43
If they beat the Orks by being sneaky, then they were cheating, because every Ork knows that Orks are the Cunningest! Otherwise why would Mork be THE God of Cunning? yeesh, it's simple logic :D

That gets back to the main point of the thread, though. Is a Marine "cheating" if he beats the living stuffing out of an Ork? The Orks know that he's not an Ork, but still respect the fact that he was able to beat up an Ork (perhaps even ascribing some Orky qualities to him). Same deal if an Eldar was able to out-cunnin' a Blood Axe, or something. Not cheating per se, but being a tough (and valued!) foe.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 10:51
Devolutionary you have conveniently ignored or failed to comprehend the point in my earlier post which was that the recognizable emotions are signs of some form of reasoning and rationalization that is not beyond human comprehension. Dogs and bonobo chimps all have emotions and all have their own species specific psychology but that in itself does not preclude humans from attempting and even succeeding in understanding how they think within the limits of their own biology.

Orks as an alien race have persistently and consistently been shown throughout their existence in 40K as having emotions and thought processes that are similar to and understandable to humans, albeit different in intensity and skewed towards a certain narrow range. Orks may not wrestle at great length with the deeper questions of existence or the whys of life and the universe, but neither are they complete unthinking brutes. Their entire racial culture is built up around a cornerstone belief that they are the toughest, strongest race and therefore deserve to boss everyone else around. Such superiority complexes have to have a way to internalize or justify challenges to perceived notions of superiority in order to remain intact, even if such explanations do not necessarily hold up to closer scrutiny. We have examples of such even in recent history from WWII Nazi attempts to explain away the resilience of the Soviets as the "inhuman" qualities of the untermensch.

Luthien
04-11-2007, 10:53
I thought gork was the cunnin' one :D

Savant
04-11-2007, 10:54
Orks love fighting. Let me emphasise that. Orks LOVE fighting. If they were in a fight in the first place, they already won - because that was their objective. Get in a really good fight. Winning, losing, living, dying - these are all completely irrelevant details.

Keep in mind that Orks are not a natural species. They were created solely for the purpose of fighting forever, for no good reason.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 10:55
Gork is the strong but cunning one, while Mork is the cunning but strong one. They are brothers and apparently quite similar in looks, to the point of Orks finding it difficult to differentiate between them.


As I mentioned in a previous post, Orks do care about the results. Else Ghaz would not stew and steam over having been driven away by Yarrick, and Nuzzgrond wouldn't have shaken his fist and vowed to get vengeance on the humans kicking him off his world. Orks like to fight and they also like to win.

Savant
04-11-2007, 10:57
Their entire racial culture is built up around a cornerstone belief that they are the toughest, strongest race and therefore deserve to boss everyone else around.

Wrong. Orks don't think that at all. They think that whoever is the strongest deserves to boss everyone else around. They aren't so closeminded as to just assume it's just them - they're not even sure who among them is worthy of leading the orks, nevermind the rest of the universe. Thus all the fighting to decide who is worthy.

Savant
04-11-2007, 10:59
As I mentioned in a previous post, Orks do care about the results. Else Ghaz would not stew and steam over having been driven away by Yarrick, and Nuzzgrond wouldn't have shaken his fist and vowed to get vengeance on the humans kicking him off his world. Orks like to fight and they also like to win.

Yeah, they like to win. But winning to them is just having a really good fight. They'd only 'stew and steam' over the results if it was because the fight had been cut sort before they'd managed to hit enough things.

And an Ork has never hit enough things.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 11:10
...the fundamental tenet of Orkish society is a simple one...: the belief that might makes right.

Orks instinctively obey those larger than themselves, provided they are a healthy shade of green - most Orks would rather die than bow to a non-greenskin's will.


The above shows the Orks believe two things: might makes right and they are the mightiest of them all. One only has to read their past background to see how often they refer to humans or other races as "weedy" to get an idea of the Orkish view of the totem pole of races in the 40K galaxy.

Burnthem
04-11-2007, 11:11
First of all, calm down guys, its only a game! :)

My 2 cents/pence; i agree that you cannot apply human psychological traits to aliens, especially aliens that are bio-engineered for specifically one thing and one thing only. Just because they may show emotions approaching those of humans that doesnt mean that thier perspective on life/the universe/everything is anything approaching the same as ours.

Orks are born to fight, Orks love fighting, whether they win or lose, live or die, it doesnt matter. I can see that some of you may have trouble comprehending this, but you have to remember that these are ALIENS, with absolutely NOTHING in common with mankind.

@ Iracandus - It seems to me that you started this thread with the answer already in your head, if your so stuck in your views whats the point in posting them on a discussion forum?

monkey child
04-11-2007, 11:14
Ive always thought orks would look for some other explaination rather than accept that they were bettered for any defeat possibly attatching supernatural powers or abilities to enemies who don`t really have them.

Two examples like are an old ork persective description of a battle in which orks point out that the reason they can`t drive off some marines is because they are painted red and thus too fast, another is the recount of a number of orks copying the catachan style of dress which the narrator suggests could either be a show of respect or an attempt to somehow get their soopa kewl jungly killy skills.

So in my mind an ork would never lose because the other side were better fighters, only because there were too many, they were too sneaky, had special powers ect. ect.

Easy E
04-11-2007, 11:18
Here's my take on it. The boyz just claim that the boyz that lost simply weren't 'ard enough or propa' orks in some way.

For the orks involved, they probably project the same ideas onto their fellows, and think that it wasn't them that ran off, it was those other guys. Since they weren't propa enuff to stick around why should I have stayed?

Essentially, those that lose simply weren't "true" boyz or simply weren't doing it in the "true" ork way. Of course, the "true" ork way always leads to success. It is kinda like Authoritarianism(sp) in that respect.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 11:19
The contention that Orks have nothing in common with mankind isn't true though. The same line of reasoning applies to the Eldar or the Tau. All of these races, despite being alien, have emotions and psyches which despite being alien are comprehensible to humans. Comprehensible at no point means identical, but neither are they so alien that it becomes pointless to try to discuss what they might think or feel as some people seem to be arguing.

None of the past Ork fluff, or even Eldar fluff, in particular supports this contention of "they are aliens so their perspective is not human and so we cannot apply any form of analysis to them." The Orks have been shown by GW to care about winning, their mates's deaths (very mildly compared to a human equivalent), envious of what others have, attachment to pets, etc... Orks are far from being very alien at all. Their three main differences are their utter disregard for life, their general focus on the eternal present, and their endless enjoyment of conflict. The rest of their psyche from GW sources is simply human football hooligan writ large, differing from humanity only in the intensity and depth of emotions and thought. They may not think like a human philosopher but that does not render it pointless to try and see how the Orks deal with their world.


Addendum: Where is the reference for that Ork perspective on the red marines? I think I know where that jungle fighter thing is from. (3rd War for Armageddon website?)

Argastes
04-11-2007, 14:05
Addendum: Where is the reference for that Ork perspective on the red marines? I think I know where that jungle fighter thing is from. (3rd War for Armageddon website?)

It's in the 2nd Edition Codex Imperialis, pages 60-61. Basically, the Orks are shame-faced after having been repelled whilst attacking a Blood Angel position on Armageddon, and as their nob chews them out, they make various excuses:

"Dat ain't fair boss. Da humies at da bridge woz tuff. Dey woz da big wunz. Da wunz in red armor."
"Dat's why dey woz so fast, Boss," added Mazdak. "Everybody knowz dat a lik of red paint makes things go fasta."
"We only came back for a bit of rest," added Grund.
"Yer, we woz tired!" Mazdak yawned conspicuously.

And:

"Dat ain't fair, Boss. We ain't no gretchin. We woz just surprised, dat's all," said Grund
"Yer, surprised," agreed Mazdak. "Surprised dat dey started shooting at us."
Grund glared at his fellow Goff. It had all been going well until Mazdak opened his mouth.

Those are the highlights. Now, it's not clear whether the Orks are actually saying those things to reconcile their belief in their superiority with their defeat, or if they are just providing excuses to avoid having their heads thumped by their nob. But I tend to think that even though they may have just been making excuses, similar lines of reasoning would be used by Orks to actually explain away their defeats to their own satisfaction as well. After all, we know that there's practically no limit to human rationalization; people can rationalize ANYTHING if they want to strongly enough. And Orks are exceptionally stubborn and perhaps rather dim-witted (although yes, still "cunning" too, before anyone points that out), so I'd imagine they are willing to latch onto practically anything to explain why they lost even though "they're the toughest". I find it hard to imagine a battle without even one unfavorable (for the Orks) occurrence that could be used as an excuse for defeat if they need one. Even if the enemy defeats the Orks by extremely straightforward and obvious means, I'm sure the Orks could come up with some way to claim that it "weren't fair", and then tell themselves that they're just going to rest up a bit and then come back for another go. I don't think the battle has ever been fought, or ever will be fought, in which a person determined not to accept honest defeat couldn't find at least one instance in which the enemy "cheated" or some random, uncontrollable and unpredictable quirk of fate or circumstance worked against them. That's just the nature of warfare.

So that's my answer: The Orks can suffer defeat and still remained convinced that they're the best because, just like humans, they possess an unlimited capacity for rationalization, and can always say that the enemy only prevailed through some sneaky trick (or thanks to any other factor that isn't them being better than the Orks), and that they're just retiring from battle to recuperate a bit before they go back in and win like they ought to. And their belief in their superiority is so deep (arguably gene-deep), and their stubbornness and ability to selectively ignore the facts is so strong, that they can keep telling themselves this excuse over and over again, for defeat after defeat, and it will never wear thin even long after a human would have become disillusioned and realized that he wasn't necessarily the toughest after all. As you said, Iracundus, they have a "focus on the eternal present"; their past experiences in warfare, no matter how negative, are never assessed in their totality and then used as a factual baseline against which to critically evaluate their beliefs. They just don't bother; it's not how they think. They never rigorously compare the real to their ideal.

The latter portion of that story in the CI reveals this rather well: The nob has a bit of an introspective moment, and ponders how the Waaaagh seem to be losing on Armageddon even though memory "rooted right down in his cells" tells him that Waaaaghs are always supposed to be victorious, and he feels uneasy as he contemplates the idea of defeat for the Orks. But he deals with this uneasy feeling by giving his lads an Orky pep talk and then leading another charge against the bridge, and the last line of the story is, "He leapt forward, bolt pistol blasting, and knew that this time the bridge would be theirs." Looks like no matter how strongly harsh reality tries to intrude, it can't wear down an Ork's rationalizations of his genetically hardwired conviction that Orks always win--and that if they ever do lose, it's only a temporary setback due to unforeseen circumstances, and will quickly be reversed.

EDIT:


Here's my take on it. The boyz just claim that the boyz that lost simply weren't 'ard enough or propa' orks in some way.

For the orks involved, they probably project the same ideas onto their fellows, and think that it wasn't them that ran off, it was those other guys. Since they weren't propa enuff to stick around why should I have stayed?

Essentially, those that lose simply weren't "true" boyz or simply weren't doing it in the "true" ork way. Of course, the "true" ork way always leads to success. It is kinda like Authoritarianism(sp) in that respect.

Yep, I think this is exactly right. Every mob of boyz in the defeated warband blaming some other mob of boyz for the defeat would be just the sort of rationalization I mean; and it also handily fits with Orkish propensities for infighting. It's not hard to imagine the whole warband having a big argument/brawl after the battle over who let the enemy win by running off like a cowardly grot.

Mr_Rose
04-11-2007, 14:19
For the last time, people, stop harping on that quote that everyone knows about. The point is that quote doesn't explain everything.
Actually it does explain the answer to your question; Orks don't rationalise defeat because they literally don't understand the concept of defeat. The closest they approach is "not gettin' what you want" and since what every Ork really wants most in all the 'ooniverse is to fight and kill, "not gettin' what you want in battle" just doesn't register since they already got it since they're in battle, aren't they....

Savant
04-11-2007, 14:36
The contention that Orks have nothing in common with mankind isn't true though. The same line of reasoning applies to the Eldar or the Tau. All of these races, despite being alien, have emotions and psyches which despite being alien are comprehensible to humans. Comprehensible at no point means identical, but neither are they so alien that it becomes pointless to try to discuss what they might think or feel as some people seem to be arguing.

They don't have anything in common with mankind. They're space fungus that is genetically programmed to fight and fight and never ask why. They're not even proper life - life exists with the purpose of propogating and prolonging itself, but Orks show little interest in their own self preservation. Quoting obscure bits of fluff doesn't change this - the fluff is a complete mess if you hadn't noticed, and I can find quotes that justify Eldar with lasguns, Space Marines who are former convicts and Khorne berserkers who spare unarmed soldiers and civilians.

Argastes
04-11-2007, 16:39
They don't have anything in common with mankind. They're space fungus that is genetically programmed to fight and fight and never ask why. They're not even proper life - life exists with the purpose of propogating and prolonging itself, but Orks show little interest in their own self preservation. Quoting obscure bits of fluff doesn't change this - the fluff is a complete mess if you hadn't noticed, and I can find quotes that justify Eldar with lasguns, Space Marines who are former convicts and Khorne berserkers who spare unarmed soldiers and civilians.

I sort of agree with some of this, but there are two things that aren't true.

1. They are "proper" life. They may be artificially engineered, but they are still "proper" life. They reproduce, so they meet that particular criteria for the definition of live. It doesn't matter whether reproduction is their purpose; it only matters that they do it. And showing no interest in self-preservation doesn't matter either; that's not a criteria for any definition of life.

2. It's not just "obscure bits" of fluff that indicate Orks possess emotions analogous to those of humans; it's basically ALL the Ork fluff. I've been an Ork player since 2nd edition, and I have read and re-read all their fluff (both codices, the Gorkamorka books, etc.) many times, and they are consistently portrayed as being quite human-like in their emotions, albeit in a caricatured way. Their biology may be completely alien relative to ours, but like it or not, GW has anthropomorphized them quite thoroughly. Yeah, they're genetically engineered space fungus that loves to fight for no reason; but they're genetically engineered space fungus that loves to fight for no reason AND display more or less the full range of human emotion, and always have in ALL the fluff dealing with them, not just "obscure bits".

sabreu
04-11-2007, 17:26
Some of the stances here are...just plain silly. Orks have emotions and they know what defeat is. They just rationalize it very differently, as many canon/fluff has shown.

John Wayne II
04-11-2007, 18:04
They're not even proper life - life exists with the purpose of propogating and prolonging itself, but Orks show little interest in their own self preservation.

They are still a life form, just one that is very different to what we know of. Personally, I think the Ork need for battle is a repressed sexual urge; yes, they reproduce asexually, but methinks the Old Ones still programmed in a sex drive, just with a different focus. As it is, the Ork are driven by an unquenching "bloodlust" that drives them to fight.

But why instill this desire in an Ork? Well, I'll like to remind everybody of the fact that when Orks die they release spores into the wind, which will travel many miles before landing in a random location. So the only way for Orks for reproduce is for them to die. Now, they could just wait for "nature to take its course" and die by (whatever it is for them) natural means. And I bet an Ork tribe, in a suitable enviroment with a regular food source, potable water, etcetera etcetera, could live quite happily without the need for constant warfare. But this constant inner rage, which themselves don't fully understand, dries to seek violence, whether it is with others of their kind or different species, it doesn't matter. So when they finally get to fight like "propa" Orks (notice that they feel inadequate and not confident in their "Orkhood" if they don't get to fight...some sort of warped sexual competition?) their desire for violence is quenched, and they get to reproduce, because the only way for them to die in significant numbers and release lots of spores is trhough bloody warfare. So the battlefield for an Ork is something between a maternity ward and an orgy.

Obviously, just because they need to die for their species to reproduce doesn't mean they will go easy on the enemy. The Ork imperative to fight, coupled with competition within the ranks and the fascinating Orkish pecking order means that they will try to fight as best as they can. If they win they win and if they lose it doesn't count and they can come back later ;). In that way they are quite a bit like a bunch of pumped up dumb jocks.

Where Orks really excel is in their hierarchy. It's the "survival of the fittest" concept taken to an alien extreme. Ork quite literally get tougher the more they fight. It must be some mixture of hormonal release due to the "excitement" of batle coupled with the fact that the older they get, the more they mature and toughen up. So if they are one of the few that (thankfully) fail to reproduce they will acquire battle experience and so will have an advantage over the "younger 'uns". But it's not only that, it's how the Ork is perceived by his peers. Due to the Ork's subconscious psychic potential and the funny way emotions in the 40K universe manifest themselves as physical reality thanks to the Warp, having your fellow Orks believe you are stronger/more kunnin'/bigger than them will actually (to some extent) make you stronger/more kunnin'/bigger than them! It's why leadership contests are held in fighting pits, winning the leadership contest is not as important as having the whole tribe see and believe you have won the leadership contest. It's like the way "red 'uns go fasta" and the way some Ork weapons only work for them, although I believe the latter involves a degree of misunderstanding of alien technology. Faith for an Ork is a very powerful thing indeed, which is why they go on Waaghs!!!! (crusades), following in the wake of monstrous Gargants (religious idols).

When I first came across GW Orks, I thought they were a fairly one sided, dull race, only there as a science fiction representation of Orks and comic relief. But the more you dwell on them the more fascinating they become, and that's without going into "xenoeconomics", the Orkish economic system ("teef"), and their self contained ecological system. Brilliant. :D

Nugottlich
04-11-2007, 18:08
Y'know, the idea of Orks talking amongst themselves with the received pronunciation kinda tickles me.

Savant
04-11-2007, 18:20
Hmm, maybe I wasn't very clear there. I meant proper life as in they didn't evolve. Evolution hones an organism to survive - those that aren't good at surviving go extinct, and no longer exist to propogate themselves. Those that are good at surviving continue to do so. All human emotions are derived from this singular drive to survive and exist - you get happy because you are doing well at surviving, and if you are not doing good at surviving you feel unhappy. That way you strive to become happy (because it feels nice) by trying to survive harder.

Orks didn't evolve, and as such their emotions aren't linked to survival, because survival isn't their purpose. War is, and all their emotions are linked to that. Maybe they do have all the emotions human have, maybe they don't, but it's irrelevant because they don't apply to self preservation. They apply to kicking seven kinds of **** out of you.

That said, I don't think Orks were ever meant to undergo this kind of scrutiny. They're just Orks. They exist purely for our amusement, they're not a real race, and there probably is no Ork rationalisation for defeat - not because they don't rationalise defeat, but because the guy in Nottinghamshire who writes the fluff for them never wrote about it. You can just make something up if you want, or skew current fluff that does exist, but you'll never get a definite answer till that guy does write something.

EDIT - Do Orks need to die to release spores? I thought they just released them all the time. It's an interesting theory anyway. Battle is orgasm to an Ork.

sabreu
04-11-2007, 18:25
If you count recent fluff, what race isn't considered a proper life form? Since currently all races except for tau (and humans?) were created by old ones.

Savant
04-11-2007, 18:31
If you count recent fluff, what race isn't considered a proper life form? Since currently all races except for tau (and humans?) were created by old ones.

Yeah, that's a good point... And humans were created by Necrons as a source for Pariahs, apparently. And it'll probably turn out that Orks created the Tau or something stupid.

RampagingRavener
04-11-2007, 19:06
Yeah, that's a good point... And humans were created by Necrons as a source for Pariahs, apparently. And it'll probably turn out that Orks created the Tau or something stupid.

Well...from what I've read, the Pariah Gene was implanted into the pre-human apes by the Deciever. So when said apes evolved naturally into humans and the 'Crons started to wake back up, the Deceiver popped up started reclaiming the humans who showed active instances of the Pariah Gene.

TheSonOfAbbadon
04-11-2007, 19:17
If you count recent fluff, what race isn't considered a proper life form? Since currently all races except for tau (and humans?) were created by old ones.

The Necrons weren't made by the Old Ones.

Neither were the Tyranids, although it's possible they did make them, but there's no evidence.

Mr_Rose
04-11-2007, 19:44
The Necrons weren't made by the Old Ones.
And the necrons are space undead, hardly a life form at all. Only the C'tan come close to being alive in the entire Necron set up. But actual Necron necrons are robotic shells inhabited by the memory of the ghost of a dead Necrontyr.

Brother Siccarius
04-11-2007, 20:39
As I mentioned in a previous post, Orks do care about the results. Else Ghaz would not stew and steam over having been driven away by Yarrick,

But Ghaz wasn't chased away from Armorgeddum* at all, especially not the first war. After a good year of fighting he quit the field and was chased by Yarrick. Yarrick even fell into Ghaz's trap he set for him after they chased him to an ork held world. Ghaz beat Yarrick up, tourtured him, then let him go because "Orks always needz a good fight!". The Second War for Armorgeddum is still raging strong, so definitely doesn't count as a loss at all. The Imperium are treating it as a glorified combat simulator and the Orks are treating it as a Valhalla where they can always go for a good scrap. Steam and stew? He knows what's what and knows that no matter how many times Yarrick beats his boyz, he's always on top because he's the reason Yarrick's still alive. And if his boyz are beat then he knows he's gotta get him some tougher boyz.

He's currently flying around the galaxy with Yarrick and the Black Templar following in his wake, stopping every so often to get a good scrap in while he picks up more boyz for his WAAAGH!.

If an Ork quits the field he's got something up his sleeve, he just needs some time to get it out as ork sleeves are very tight you see (that's what you get when you wear oomie clothes). An ork fights till he decides he's done, then goes off to another fight or dies. With how hard it is to fully kill an ork (they can survive with their heads cut off for some time) death doesn't always stop them from fighting either.

*I prefer the ork way of saying the name

Tehkonrad
04-11-2007, 21:43
the forst was was a chaos invasion the second war was the first orky war and the third war is the one currently raging.

Champsguy
05-11-2007, 02:23
Just because Orks are the toughest doesn't mean they'll always win. There are LOTS of explanations. You made a reference to a sports fan when his team loses the big game. The rationalizations are the same for the orks.

1) Did you see those terrible calls? The refs obviously were paid off. Stupid refs.

2) We need to fire our coach. He sucks.

3) That was one in a million. We win that game 9 times out of 10.

4) Those guys are the luckiest so and sos I've ever seen. The ball just bounced into their hands.

5) We just can't catch a break! I've never seen such terrible luck.

6) Our guys just weren't trying. Their heads weren't in the game.

7) We need better players. These guys aren't any good. Obviously the coaches couldn't see talent if it cornholed them in the back of a van.

8) It's that new offense they've got. It's so cheesy. Stupid Mickey Mouse offense. See also: Stupid Falcon Grav Tank, Stupid Nidzilla, and Stupid Assault Cannon Spam

These all work for Orks as well.

1) Did you see that? The gods are obviously on their side. Stupid gods.

2) We need to get rid of this Warboss. He sucks.

3) That was one in a million. We win that fight 9 times out of 10.

4) Those Eldar are so lucky. What are the chances that D Cannon would just pop the Warboss like that?

5) We just can't catch a break! I've never seen such terrible luck.

6) Our guys just weren't trying. Their heads weren't in the fight.

7) We need better boyz. These guys aren't any good. Obviously the Warboss couldn't see real fighters if they cornholed him in the back of a van.

8) It's those dirty tricks they used. It's so cheesy. Stupid Falcon Grav Tank/Nidzilla/Assault Cannon Spam.

Just because the Orks lost a particular battle doesn't mean they are inferior. AS A RACE, Orks are the toughest. That doesn't mean that you win every fight. A boy isn't so stupid as to think that he's stronger than every human out there. But the Ork race, AS A WHOLE, are stronger. But the Ork race as a whole isn't necessarily fighting on this one particular planet. If an Ork Warboss loses too much, Orks stop following him. "This guy sucks. Let's follow somebody else. Somebody who knows how Orks REALLY fight."

Actually, I'd bet most Ork losses don't require any sort of rationalization. Major battles like Armageddon? Sure, you lose a big, really important fight, and maybe an Ork will start to wonder why. But most fights probably achieve enough of an objective that the surviving Orks are either satisfied, or happy enough that they got out alive to not question it (after all, they got in a fight, lived, and can get in another fight tomorrow -- what's the problem?).

Tehkonrad
05-11-2007, 05:25
that is a very good list you my friend are a champ champsguy

Brother Siccarius
05-11-2007, 06:42
the forst was was a chaos invasion the second war was the first orky war and the third war is the one currently raging.

Well, of course I'm looking at it from an ork's point of view (I called it Armorgeddum didn't I). So the first war wasn't the first war for the orks, the second war for Armageddon is the first war for them, and the third was the second.

Lisiecki
06-11-2007, 16:26
This may just be me
but some how i dont think orks care if they win or lose, as long as they get a good fight

SwordJon
08-11-2007, 00:56
Honestly, I think the OP was answered in the first response. Orks don't rationalize defeat, they just consider it a temporary setback.

Devil-Tears
08-11-2007, 04:29
OP, you seriously gotta look beyond the "emotions" of the orks. They do not CARE if it win or lose, its all about battle. To something like Ghaz's invasion of Armagheddon, the whole thing was an endless war for the orks. Battle is more important than winning or losing. Orks don't think about being "superior", its more of the mentality that if you kill something, you therefore can fight more than that something, meaning you must be better since you get to fight more.

Iracundus
08-11-2007, 04:38
The official GW background DOES have Orks caring if they lose. It's been cited over and over again. The 3rd ed. Ork Codex has Ghaz brooding over the 2nd War of Armageddon and how Yarrick defeated his forces. The 3rd War for Armageddon has Ghaz dropping stuff from orbit to flatten the site of that prior defeat. The old Freebooterz fluff has Nuzzgrond caring very much about losing and being kicked off his world by Imperial forces.

Orks care about the fight AND they care about winning or losing. They get the fight regardless of outcome but they definitely prefer winning.

Lisiecki
08-11-2007, 05:16
The official GW background DOES have Orks caring if they lose. It's been cited over and over again. The 3rd ed. Ork Codex has Ghaz brooding over the 2nd War of Armageddon and how Yarrick defeated his forces. The 3rd War for Armageddon has Ghaz dropping stuff from orbit to flatten the site of that prior defeat. The old Freebooterz fluff has Nuzzgrond caring very much about losing and being kicked off his world by Imperial forces.

Orks care about the fight AND they care about winning or losing. They get the fight regardless of outcome but they definitely prefer winning.


Point taken, and while im not going to pretend i remember what was in freebooterz , Ghaz in my interpretation is not a normal (typical) Ork at all.
IIRC arnt the odds 50/50 that after he had his head explode and a mad doc poked around in it that he MAY be in communication with Gork and Mork, or he just might be nucking futs?

Just my interperation, and your free to tell me im wrong but in my head, your "Da averge boy" is in it for the fight, as per the "Da boyz never lose" quote

thearchiver
08-11-2007, 05:49
If you wish to use emotions you then have the option of faith or fanaticism.

Want to try and convince the pope that scientologist got it right?

The ork mind may very well acknowledge defeat (the fact that the run away when losing backs this up)

It however is another story when it comes to an ork admitting defeat, this goes against everything that is ork, and an ork takes being and ork to levels of fanaticism so knowing that admitting defeat is un-orky they will go to great lengths to talk their way out of admitting it, got bored with the fight, got tired ect.

Or there if the fact the orks are a designed race of warriors, they were made to fight, so there is every reason to say that its not that orks wont admit defeat but orks cant admit defeat, their very thought process may have been engineered that way so an ork admitting defeat is as physically impossible as an ork firing laser beams from their eye or flapping their arms and flying.

Removing the ability to admit defeat does have its advantages you have a group of warriors that will never become demoralized thus losing combat efficacy, will never give up fighting, nor will surrender because all it lost.

BrainFireBob
08-11-2007, 06:04
The contention that Orks have nothing in common with mankind isn't true though. The same line of reasoning applies to the Eldar or the Tau.

That'd be a relevent argument if that was what was advanced. The argument advanced was even if there are what appear to be similar emotions evoked by similar circumstances, we cannot assume that the underlying thought processes- the reasoning process- is the same.

EDIT: I'm going to append what I think you missed from that oft-cited quote.

To an Ork, there's only one outcome to a fight- winning.

If he "loses," the fight's not over yet.

If he dies, then it doesn't count, because he didn't *lose,* his body just *quit.*

It's a completely self-contained and even logical thought process, given certain initial conditions that we as humans consider insane but to Orks are normal. Namely, the Orkish mind knows one fundamental truth: The Orks always win. Sometimes they haven't won yet, but it's merely a matter of time. This is a truth they don't question, because they "know" it, just as we "know" we exist.