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View Full Version : Orks and their Waaagh's - a complete discussion



Aun'aart'al
24-03-2008, 04:28
I figured that I'd try to start a discussion on the Waaaghs of the Orks, from the Warlords that lead them, the amount of orks involved, to the number of ships these things can bring with them.

Now, granted Waaaghs vary in scale about as many times as there are languages on Earth today, so why don't we go from the small Waaaghs that attack several outposts, then die out/stop, to the Waaagh that attacked Armageddon.

To begin, let us hear what your opinion would be for a Waaagh to attack, say 10 worlds, and let's go from there. Now remember, we're talking number of ships and types, to number of tanks, gargants, and boyz (exact numbers are not required :rolleyes: )

Gussy
24-03-2008, 04:54
I've never played Orks before let alone know what a Waagh is. By the way, what is a Waagh?

Aun'aart'al
24-03-2008, 04:56
basically your "Ork Kroosade"

Sikkukkut
24-03-2008, 10:56
I've never played Orks before let alone know what a Waagh is. By the way, what is a Waagh?

A Waaagh! is part military crusade, part mass migration. It begins when an Ork warlord builds up enough momentum from repeated victories to tip from "successful leader on a winning streak" to "force of nature". The fightin' fever spreads from the boss down through his boyz. They begin to push harder and further to seek out battle, but by contrast to normal ork behaviour also become more focused and determined, burning less of their energy on battles against one another. As the Waaagh! spreads it catches up other ork tribes as other bosses clamour for positions under the big Boss' command. The Meks capture the fever and begin upgunning Space Hulks and Roks, and building hordes of Gargants to lead the Waaagh! into battle. Soon the whole horde achieves critical mass and turns into a full-bore green juggernaut rampaging toward whatever enemy it can find.

The size and ferocity of the Waaagh! is only part of why it's so dangerous: what makes it even worse is the way that they form spontaneously and organise almost by instinct, drawing orks together far more rapidly and with tighter organisation than they're ever capable of otherwise. Thus even with decent intelligence it can be very difficult to see one coming: there's no long, massive military buildup the way there would be with a conventional campaign. A Waaagh! is, in the words of Commissar Yarrick, "a thunderbolt from a clear sky".

ChaosBeast
24-03-2008, 11:06
i'd say to attack ten worlds (presuming them to be just gaurded by PDF and not Adeptus Mechanicus, SM etc) itd probably have abouthalf a billion orks, hundeds of stompas and probably about 40 gargants. just my little estimate

Archangel_Ruined
24-03-2008, 16:31
Some Waaghs build up momentum, drawing in orks from surrounding systems. The initial wave of orks in a waaagh! might be relatively small, such as a planet full of orks jumping on a passing hulk and invading an agri-system, resulting in a few more ork hulks being drawn to the fight, and then they move on together to another system. They carry on as such, drawing more orks until they're defeated, run out of things to kill and fight each other or lose the warboss holding the Waaaagh! together and break up into factions fighting each other. As a side note, you can tell how much momentum a Waaaagh! has built up by how many A's it's gathered en-route. If a WAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!! rolls into your system you're in trouble...

Waaagh Grignak
24-03-2008, 17:09
The Waaagh build up in the apocalypse book looks fairly accurate

Easy E
24-03-2008, 21:40
Personally, I think Waaaagh's are over-represented inthe Fluff. In my mind, the Orks do a lot more raiding and pillaging on an individual planet scale. Since the Orks don't have a very sophisticated language just about any attack bigger than a raid would be termed a Waaagh!. Plus, any warboss worth his salt is going to label his attacks a Waaagh! just to try and gather more supporters. A true Waaagh! requires boyz to be drawn to a leader on a nearly unconscious and animal level. Everything else is just PR and low cunning by the ork warboss.

That being said, I would say an Ork Waagh! would have a minimum of 1 Space Hulk, a swarm of 25 Roks or other Capital ships, and 250 smaller escort craft. That translates to about 55 Regiments* of IG with the appropriate number of support vehicles. Everything smaller would simply be called a migration, invasion, attack, or a raid.

*= 1 Hulk can transport about 5 regiments worth of boyz, one capital ship can carry aproximately one Regiments worth, and each escort can carry an IG Company sized warband. An Ork Escort is capable of landing on the surface of a planet per BFG.

Grimbad
24-03-2008, 21:54
Based on a bunch of sources, new and old, I've got this impression of how a waaagh! works:

1. Ork mek gets vision from Gork/Mork/Gork and Mork and goes off into the wilderness.
2. Meks come from other nearby planets, continents, and settlements to follow the mek.
3. Meks emerge from wilderness with a gargant. The emergence of a gargant draws attention to the planet/settlement on which this happens, and yet more meks come in to help. The nearby settlements become more and more devoted to the construction effort, mines are dug, metal is cut, etc. etc. The economy booms as thousands of orks now need food, shelter, and alcohol. Opportunistic grots become incredibly rich and/or dead.
4. As more and more orks gather in the area, a leader emerges to claim the gargants. This leader rallies all the orks in the settlement, then the planet, then the system.
5. As the Waaagh! energy builds up, a space hulk is drawn into the system. (this makes sense- the waaagh! energy probably makes a small warp vortex, which then draws in debris floating nearby in the warp) The hulk is boarded and made habitable and war-ready.
6. With enough gargants and war machines built, the work force turns to building ships. After a few more months, the new fleet is ready, and the orks and their machines tellyport onto their hulks and ships.
7. The orks chant 'ere wo go and push the big red button, sending the hulk and the rest of the fleet into the warp.
8. Wyrdboyz, da Godz, and luck guide the fleet to another habitable system. If the system is not occupied, the orks probably build settlements and factories before moving on. If the system is occupied, the Orks begin their invasion.

Brother Siccarius
24-03-2008, 22:21
From the Ork Codex we know that an Ork WAAAGH! begins with the warboss taking control of whatever system they are in, beating down the bosses from the other clans and destroying any resistance. According to the latest fluff this is usually initiated by a vision of conquest and/or Space Hulk drifting into the system. The WAAAGH! then musters up the war material that they have built up both through generally being orks and having a large amount anyways, and through the conquest and resource raiding that happened during the system conquest. The Ork Fleet then goes on it's merry way to destroying the nearest systems or wherever they end up.

The start of an Ork WAAAGH! is somewhere around the population of all planets captured initially, plus or minus garrisoned/rogue elemets that stayed planet side. This would bring even the smallest WAAAGH! into the billions.

Most of the Ork raiding and piracy would stem from the main WAAAGH! as pirate elements hire themselves out to the Warboss and the fleet "Seeds" territories they pass. This "Seeding" effect of ork WAAAGH!s represents ships dropping out the warp or fleet to attack neighboring systems (Ala GorkaMorka, and Caves of Ice respectively), or just generally splintering as minor bosses and clans within the WAAAGH! lead attacks on nearby systems in a buy for more power within the WAAAGH!.

There are a lot of smaller ork clans and such, but the majority of those don't get off system much less off planet and fall into the Clan or "Me Boyz" (As the ork in charge would call it) instead of the WAAAGH! category. This would also account for the amount of smaller raids and planets with continuing ork infestations (Armageddon's wild Orks and Valhalla's minor ork troubles). Though there are multiple clans per WAAAGH!, as each warboss and nob will generally have their own minor clan. Which is not to be confused with the major clans (Bloodaxe, Deathskull, Badmoon, ect.) which are unusual in their own right and more of a generalized umbrella category that minor clans will fall into, such as the Bloody Sun Boyz (Kult of Speed).

There have also been Multi-WAAAGH! WAAAGHs, as evidenced by the one perpetrated during the 13th Black Crusade which contained multiple WAAAGH!s, WAAAGH! Bosses, and Warbosses and yet was known and worked as a single WAAAGH!, "The Green Kroosade!". This is furthered by Ghazghkull's attack on Armageddon which also contained multiple WAAAGH!s in his single WAAAGH!. It may be easier to rename such WAAAGH!s as Kroosades (Using the latest term for such a structure), as they are largely an exception to the general layout of the WAAAGH!.

Aun'aart'al
27-03-2008, 04:57
hmm so so far we have multiple warbosses with 1 main warboss (basic knowledge), but numbers ranging quite widely, from simple thousands in small raids, to whole Waaaagh!s having billions of Orks, and a couple dozen vessels for your general Waaaagh!

what about Mega Gargants? Or just gargants in general. What do you all suppose the ratio is for Gargants per Boyz? 1:10000? Further, how many warbosses could you agree would be believable for a Waaaagh! to have under your head Warboss?

Brother Siccarius
27-03-2008, 06:14
what about Mega Gargants? Or just gargants in general. What do you all suppose the ratio is for Gargants per Boyz? 1:10000?

Well, generally mega gargants, and mekboy gargants are fairly rare, only being made by especially "Visionary" meks (usually because they had a vision of it). Each of those types of meks could make multiple gargants only limited by supplies and material to do so. There will likely be at least one in roughly every Waaagh!, but it depends on special circumstances.

For instance, a normal ship isn't equipped to even hold a titan, much less land one on the surface of a planet. Hence why the Admech uses special ships for the undertaking. So it would have to be built in a large enough hull, and in a way that it could be reasonably brought to the surface (likely crash landed). I would imagine Roks and modified Space Hulks would work well for this. A larger Space Hulk might even have it's own gravity or force fields built around the outer portions to hold such equipment as Gargants and (crash)landers.


Further, how many warbosses could you agree would be believable for a Waaaagh! to have under your head Warboss?

For smaller Waaagh!s 5 larger bosses sounds about right, 1-2 for each planet in the original system taken over by the Warlord*. With anywhere from 20-200 nobz leading clans/mobs depending on how sparsely populated the system was with orks. Smallest I could see would be a single warboss with a handfull of Nobz leading larger clans/mobs for Waaagh! started in a system with relatively few orks.

Honestly the numbers are off the top of my head, but it would seem about right. For a system controlled by orks already (likely remnants or spawners from a previous Waaagh!) I'd expect multiple Warbosses per planet, because there'd always be some big nob with a big clan/mob threatening the Warboss for power. There'd always be some kind of infighting, and that means there's always the opportunity to rise above if you're a particularly hardy ork. The times when the planet is united are usually when some boss is Waaagh!ing or in the process there-of. Take into account that each Warboss has several nobs and their mobs/clans under them, and you've got a fairly numerous social structure.

Do I think all the Warbosses will survive being assimilated into the Waaagh!? No, but a Nob willing to work under the Warlord would eventually step up, or be narrowed down through process of elimination, and claim the mantle of warboss for that particular tribe/clan just because it's natural for orks to do so. That is unless the Warlord gets it in his head to unify them all under his tribe/clan, in which case the other warbosses are &^*%ed.

*again, warboss just doesn't sound right for something that high ranking

Goq Gar
27-03-2008, 06:30
hmm so so far we have multiple warbosses with 1 main warboss (basic knowledge), but numbers ranging quite widely, from simple thousands in small raids, to whole Waaaagh!s having billions of Orks, and a couple dozen vessels for your general Waaaagh!

what about Mega Gargants? Or just gargants in general. What do you all suppose the ratio is for Gargants per Boyz? 1:10000? Further, how many warbosses could you agree would be believable for a Waaaagh! to have under your head Warboss?

Ratios to follow are in Unit in question to boyz, or # Unit in question: # boys.

Well, I would think smaller gargants, the ones designed to accompany troops in a really really heavy support role, would be at a ratio of about 1:500-1000

Larger gargants, ones designed for inter-titan battles and most often depicted in art, would be rarer, as they would probably only have uses in destroying cities/defenses/other titans/anything that happens to be in their way at that point in time. On pitched battles, they are less useful and so would probably only be seen in the epic engagements Orks are famous for. These would be closer to a ratio of 1: 3000-5000

The Mega Gargants, the ones that kill you, everyone else in the room, then everyone else in the building, and then everyone else in the block, and then everyone else in the city, with one shot, are only used to kill things along the lines of an Imperator Titan, a massive citadel, or the population of a hive. For size reference, these things would be on par with the massive Pyramid siege weapon in "Gaunt's Ghosts: Necropolis". So I would say, at the most, 1: 10,000-30,000.

Moving on to tanks, and other specialized troops:

Tank legions are necessary in any waaagh. Every ork army of any decent size will have a few lumbering contraptions along the lines of a Looted Vehicle or a couple of ramshackle ork vehicles. I would say, in the average ork force, "Tanks" would be on a 1:150-200 ratio, while other vehicle ratios would be variable on the Ork Tribe in Question.

Jump pack troops are, admittedly, a rarity, seeing as even your average ork has enough common sense not to strap one of the mek's new "flying inventions" to his back, so only the bravest and dim witted orks (Often hard to tell apart) would be jump troops. I would say 1 Mob of Jetpack troops: 4-5 Mobs of regular troops, or 1:4-5 jump boys to regular boys.

Heavy support troops:

Variable based on the tribe, but roughly 1 mob: 3-7 mobs, depending on the wealth/wimpiness of the boyz in question.

As for warbosses:

A warboss can only call as many boys to his banner as his prowess will allow. Ghazgkull is the biggest, baddest, and strongest ork in existence (because he says so) and so calls massive waaagh!s. He would even call lowlier warbosses to his command! Smaller warbosses would lead their own waaagh!s to join his, creating, collectively, an intergalactic cross between a holy crusade and a pub crawl: A WAAAAAAAAAGGHH!!!!!!

The ratio would probably work on a tiered system.

Biggest warboss
3-5 Warbosses below him
3-5 Warbosses under each of those
3-5 under each of those
And so on, so the bigger the biggest warboss gets, the more warbosses, and with them, more boyz, he commands. A deeply kunnin warboss like Ghazgkull knows to keep these warbosses fighting against each other, instead of uniting against him, and so will play them against each other like pawns, almost like an intelligent commander! It would not be unlikely, in my opinion, in a massive waaagh as we are discussing, for the biggest warboss to have a retinue of maybe 20, 50, even 100 smaller warbosses! Each one capable of a small apocalypse by themselves. This kind of organization is when an ork waaagh! becomes something to be truly feared, an unstoppable, but by far worse above all, organized mass of millions of nigh-invulnerable killing machines.

And as Siccarius said, each of those would have dozens, maybe hundreds of nobz to command, leading clans across planets. Warbosses would in turn lay claim to planets of their choice... and then fights would break out because they wanted that planet, they saw it first, and the beer was running low, and there hasn't been anything to kill in days except for that oomie we caught sneaking around the food tent. This is the inevitable end of a Waaagh!, the fightings over, the system is divided up and ruled by heirarchal Warboss/nob standards, and of course, a war starts because they all get a bit bored. But hey, what would the orks be if not blood thirsty, mindless beasts of destruction which cant go 7 seconds without tearing out something's squishy bits with a crudely built killing contraption?

Bigger than a mega gargant?

There are rumours that one day a waaagh! will be started that is so big, that "every ork in da ooniverse will want ter get inta da fite!", and a gargant will be built, through the collaboration of so many orks, that will dwarf even small moons. Capable of inter-planetary travel, landing on planets only to decimate everything in sight before moving on, leading a waaagh! so massive it will leave a war-torn scar across the galaxy, and entire races will be wiped out.

Of course, such rumours are the things of legend, but it is concievable that one day, if proper steps are not taken, such a maniacal, unstoppable force could be created which would plunge the entire galaxy into chaos.

This rumour is the topic of the first novel I intend to write about 40k, a possible future for the 40k universe, where the orks rule all.

Archangel_Ruined
27-03-2008, 22:56
Many of the really big warmachines might well be made in transit out of the hulk itself, or upon planet fall in big campaigns. I also think that luck has very little to do with the direction of a WAAAAAGH!, as they're eerily accurate when it comes to falling upon major systems, although this is probably due to innate orky pyschic abilities, drawing them in to conflict and large population centres. I think the snow ball effect is massive with WAAAGH! energy, pulling in more orks as they go. I also agree that 'kroosades' are a rare event as they'd require an immense psychic pull and warlords that powerful are thankfully rare within imperial space.

Aun'aart'al
28-03-2008, 00:17
rare

a word that seems to come up so many times, that one would think "rare" means "numerous" :eyebrows:

"This tank is rare, but there are one hundred billion of them across the galaxy!" :rolleyes:

now, a couple things I have wondered about; 1 being "tellyportas," and how successful they really are, how common they might be, and what people think their range might be. 2; if/when an ork army is defeated from a planet, they are not truly "defeated" in the true sense of the word, as we all know there are always spores left over, and Ork Kill Teams are sent out to eradicate them. Now, how fast do these spores take to grow into a battle-ready ork? I realize that they would be primitive orks, even by ork standards, but would this depend on the number of ork that attacked the system to begin with?

Brother Siccarius
28-03-2008, 01:14
a word that seems to come up so many times, that one would think "rare" means "numerous" :eyebrows:

"This tank is rare, but there are one hundred billion of them across the galaxy!" :rolleyes:
When you're dealing with multiple systems, hundreds of worlds, and plenty of open space in the galaxy, you've got quite a lot of room for a lot of "rare" things to show up.


now, a couple things I have wondered about; 1 being "tellyportas," and how successful they really are, how common they might be, and what people think their range might be.
Probably not that common, or "rare" if you like. We haven't heard much about them Ghazghkull and Nazdreg. While possible for it to be in another ork's army, it might have to be dealt with directly through Nazdreg or Ghaz's forces.

2; if/when an ork army is defeated from a planet, they are not truly "defeated" in the true sense of the word, as we all know there are always spores left over, and Ork Kill Teams are sent out to eradicate them. Now, how fast do these spores take to grow into a battle-ready ork? I realize that they would be primitive orks, even by ork standards, but would this depend on the number of ork that attacked the system to begin with? Generally the speed and number of orks hatching from spores has to do with the number of orks nearby. Orks tend to come out less around larger ork populations, so if the orks have been pretty well chased off planet, then there should be a substantial population of orks growing.
How fast is another matter entirely, and oft debated. Best guess is anywhere from several weeks to several months. Attacks won't begin right after they emerge though. They usually develop their surrounding areas and build up some primitive weaponry, before going on full blown attacks.

Though if they've been spored from a defeated army, they're much more likely to develop as Feral orks rather than your normal average orks. They'll pick up whatever discarded weaponry they can salvage from the battlefields, but they tend to remain fairly low on the technology scale.

Grimbad
28-03-2008, 01:22
Well, let's see now. Take a look at the ZOMBIE Armageddon 3 site, back from the grave at:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070314205120/www.armageddon3.com/English/Campaign/Troops/ork_forces.html
Warbands range from 600-3,000 boyz with associated vehicles and artillery. Let's take the average and say a warband is 1800 boyz. The total number of warbands on the page: 1307, if I added right. Multiply by 1800... about 2352600 boyz on the ground at a time, but I suspect more warbands leaned towards the 3,000-boy category in Ghazzie's horde. Anyways, let's assume that's the number of boyz on Armageddon, as more probably waited in orbit, crewed/built war machines, or raided nearby systems. So now the gargant tally: 108 (possibly 107, one gargant has a (?) next to it).
2352600/108= 1 gragant for every 21783 boyz during Ghazkull's second invasion. Note that there were a bit more gargants than normal in that horde thanks to Orkimedes, but also note that Stompas do not count as gargants (they were not superheavy before Apocalypse) and that there are far more battlefortresses.

Easy E
28-03-2008, 15:55
Perhaps epic detachments might be a good place to look for size ideas and boyz to vehicles clauclations? I'm too lazy to do it myself. :eek:

Also, the range of Teleyportas are 10 cm in BFG. So that allows ships in low orbit to teleport onto the surface of the planet. Think about the number of miles from the earth's crust to the top of low atmosphere and that should give you a range of teleportas.

Brother Siccarius
28-03-2008, 20:36
Perhaps epic detachments might be a good place to look for size ideas and boyz to vehicles clauclations? I'm too lazy to do it myself. :eek:

Also, the range of Teleyportas are 10 cm in BFG. So that allows ships in low orbit to teleport onto the surface of the planet. Think about the number of miles from the earth's crust to the top of low atmosphere and that should give you a range of teleportas.


Most recently, Ghazghkull allied with the Ork Warlord Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub to make a vicious assault on the Imperial planet Piscina IV. The Orks used a previously unknown type of teleportation device which enabled them to manoeuvre their troops directly onto the planet from a space hulk located a massive distance away from the planet. The Imperial garrison was taken completely by surprise and only the presence of Space Marines from the Dark Angels Chapter saved Piscina from being overrun by the alien hordes.

I get the feeling that the distance in BFG is for a weakened version of the telyporta.

Grimbad
28-03-2008, 22:32
I think the really big tellyporta systems need to have an array set up on the ground, usually in a rok. Didn't they do that in the Medusa Campaign? Seeing as Nazdreg was leading that Waaagh!, it must have been the same or better stuff as Ghazzkull had at Armageddon. I'm a bit lazy, so without going through the whole Epic LRB, I'll just guess that the 10cm tellyporta is more like what you'd expecttellyporta boyz (http://web.archive.org/web/20040705093543/www.armageddon3.com/English/Campaign/Troops/tellyporta_boyz.html) to use. Which, by the way, are an awesomely orky unit. They should have made 'ard boyz an elites choice and made tellyporta boyz a 0-1 per army boyz upgrade, in my opinion.

Easy E
28-03-2008, 22:38
I believe the earth's surface into space is 100 KM? That's a pretty decent range for a shipboard telyporta system in my mind.

However, Orkimedes was the "greatest" mek ever so I would imagine he could build a mean telyporta. That being said, your average ork Warlord would probably not have access to Orkimedes' tech.

Archangel_Ruined
29-03-2008, 00:17
Almost any mek can build a tellyporta with that sort of range, as well as tractor beams with much greater areas of effect. Waaaghs! are launched by meks pulling passing hulks and asteroids into closer orbit of a planet and then 'tellyporting da boyz' onboard before building or reactivating propulsion systems, hopping back into the warp and looking for a fight. They can also build very sophisticated forcefields to keep their constructs shielded from the warp and hard vacuum of space. Ork technology is more advanced than imperial and even eldar technology in many respects.

Easy E
01-04-2008, 16:22
Do they saying "telyporting" on board? Wouldn't it be easier just to fly up there?

I agree whole heartedly that ork force field and traktor tech is very sophisticated. It has been since "Waaaagh! Da Orks".

Anyway, do we agree that there is a difference between a Waaagh! and a migration? A Waaaagh! is a spiritual manifestation and not every Ork incursion/attack is necessarily a Waaaagh!

Grimbad
01-04-2008, 22:50
I think they generally do mention tellyporting specifically. It's faster (getting from here to mars would take longer in a space shuttle than by instantaneous teleportation) which allows whichever orks make it there first to secure it from any other tribes trying to grab it. This would be important- whatever lesser tribes the system's dominant warlord has supressed would probably see the hulk as an opportunity to take control of the forming Waaagh! by grabbing the hulk before the warlord does.

I think Waaaghs! are migrations, but a migration isn't always a Waaagh!.

Archangel_Ruined
02-04-2008, 11:12
I think all migrations are Waaaaghs! of some size, as the orks will migrate until they find something to hit a lot. I don't see there being such a thing as a peaceful migration in ork culture.