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Thread: Orks are in desperate need of depth

  1. #1

    Orks are in desperate need of depth

    I love Orks. Orks are my first love in 40k. I started collecting them back in 3rd edition and I have been on and off ever since. There's just this thing that I have noticed over time that's making me malcontent. Orks are presented as a 'completed' culture. "For them the great struggle is won," after all. Orks are the way they have always been and will continue to be that forever. This stuff with The Beast was welcome in that it showed Orks advancing but its just not enough.

    Mostly my problem has to do with the Klans. Most other factions have lots of interesting sub-factions with their own place in the universe, goals and agendas. That all ultimately boils down to a way to play their faction on the table top but everybody else got a little bit of fluff surrounding that which has built up over time. We've got all these Marine books out there to represent factions that were originally there just for a paint scheme and an iconic playstyle. Orks got the shaft on that. Who are the Deff Skullz? Why they are Orks that have painted themselves blue and love to steal things. Where do they come from? What are their goals? Who leads them? They aren't led. Their goals are to steal things and they hold no territory. All you need to be a Deff Skull is be an Ork, paint yourself blue and call yourself a Deff Skull. Klans are essentially just the Ork's favorite football teams. Famous Orks can claim allegiance to them but its just plain shallow. We need to break away from the Klan as the be all end all of the face of the Orks. I don't want to get rid of them but they are about the dullest, blandest pieces of fluff that have ever existed.

    Does anyone else have a desire to see the books organize Orks by their Empire or Waaagh than by Klan? The Ork Empire of Charadon. Waaagh Gorgutz. Anything. Klan is just how they fight, not why they fight.

  2. #2

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    All of the new codexes give special rules to different chapters, and sub factions, so I strongly believe the Orks will get that too when GW gets around to releasing their codex.

  3. #3
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSaylesMan View Post
    Klan is just how they fight, not why they fight.
    True but you've got to leave something to the players. They don't need to be told everything. Why do the Deff Skullz fight? Well you could say same as any other Orks, because that's what they where designed to do, and you could say that's pretty shallow, but it's not really more in-depth than the setting's golden boys, the Space Marines; why do the Ultramarines fight? To defend the Imperium. Why do the Blood Angels fight? To defend the Imperium. The fact one comes from the Eastern Fringe an the empire of Ultramar, and the other near the galactic core and is based on a barren moon, won't really impact their fighting style. It's the player's choice to decide, my Ultramarines are hunting a Tyranid splinter force, seeking retribution for the Battle of Macragge, or that the Blood Angel Captain is seeking atonement for losing a Chapter relic, etc.

    Also, GW has been increasingly moving away from the idea of "Warzone" level participants, which would include stuff like Ork Empire of Charadon; the Ultramarines took part in the 13th Black Crusade, despite the Cadian Gate being on the opposite side of the galaxy, Tyranids and Tau forces jumping around because otherwise they'd only take part in battles effectively on their doorstep. GW these days wants everyone to be able to fight everyone.
    Last edited by Rogue Star; 09-11-2017 at 09:00.
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post

    Also, GW has been increasingly moving away from the idea of "Warzone" level participants, which would include stuff like Ork Empire of Charadon; the Ultramarines took part in the 13th Black Crusade, despite the Cadian Gate being on the opposite side of the galaxy, Tyranids and Tau forces jumping around because otherwise they'd only take part in battles effectively on their doorstep. GW these days wants everyone to be able to fight everyone.
    The lost sphere of the tau in the new fluff soport this and I think why: one of the biggest mistake in fantasy is being very "warzone" making some fight very painfull to create, the same in WH40K with the tau, hell now even terra can be atack any moment now.

    the message is clear: nowhere is safe.

    Now that being said, the problem with the orks is that they are the comic relief and give them more depth can ruin that, the beast is good showing what they can do, let hope they can expand of that later.

  5. #5

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    True but you've got to leave something to the players. They don't need to be told everything. Why do the Deff Skullz fight? Well you could say same as any other Orks, because that's what they where designed to do, and you could say that's pretty shallow, but it's not really more in-depth than the setting's golden boys, the Space Marines; why do the Ultramarines fight? To defend the Imperium. Why do the Blood Angels fight? To defend the Imperium. The fact one comes from the Eastern Fringe an the empire of Ultramar, and the other near the galactic core and is based on a barren moon, won't really impact their fighting style. It's the player's choice to decide, my Ultramarines are hunting a Tyranid splinter force, seeking retribution for the Battle of Macragge, or that the Blood Angel Captain is seeking atonement for losing a Chapter relic, etc.

    Also, GW has been increasingly moving away from the idea of "Warzone" level participants, which would include stuff like Ork Empire of Charadon; the Ultramarines took part in the 13th Black Crusade, despite the Cadian Gate being on the opposite side of the galaxy, Tyranids and Tau forces jumping around because otherwise they'd only take part in battles effectively on their doorstep. GW these days wants everyone to be able to fight everyone.
    You are severely underselling the Chapters there. They all have history, culture, homelands, allies and enemies. Blood Angels did things and they continue to do things because of their legacy. By their very nature, the Klans cannot have a legacy. All they are is a set of colors and a desire to fight in a certain way. They can be put on and taken off as they see fit. The empires and the Waaagh's are the perfect frame work in which GW can have their cake and eat it too with everybody fighting everywhere. Empire's launch Waaagh's. They pop into the Warp and then pop out somewhere in the galaxy with little rhyme or reason. So you start with a history and a culture from an astrographic region and then the player can have their personal Warboss be from those places and muster a Waaagh all their own.

    Perhaps I'm just noticing the glaring contradictions in Orkish theme these days. They are wildly individualistic with scratch built tools and yet they come in mono-skin-toned masses with drab clothing. Each Mek is a mad scientist with a list of triumphs, follies and works of genius under their belt and yet they are literally a genetic caste that is just pulling schematics out of their subconscious. Nothing is standardized so Orks are supposed to be wildly unpredictable and yet they are actually so tactically limited that the entire scope of their society has stratified all kind of combat into one of a simple list of types based on Klans. I swear one of these days I'm going to write my own take on 'Ere We Go! and make sense of this.

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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSaylesMan View Post
    You are severely underselling the Chapters there. They all have history, culture, homelands, allies and enemies.
    True but Orks do not care about such things. The Orks of the Charadon Empire will just as happily jump into a Space Hulk and let it take them... Gork (or Mork) only knows where, and hopefully fight. Whatever connection they had to the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, will be lost. He's light-years and decades if not centuries away, the second they emerge in realspace and find a place to set up, they're a new faction, with a new Warlord taking over. You could say the Orks of Charadon, following the Arch-Arsonist, live in solar system with a large, highly radioactive sun (the Eye of Gork/Mork) which burns the surface, and inspires them to burn everything... meaning the Evil Sunz are basically the order of the day, vehicles needed to cross Charadon's scorching surface, and flame-weapons as the Orks imitate the decree of their Gods' watching them...

    But the second Orks from this empire board a Space Hulk, get chewed up and spat out by the warp, they might crash on a tectonically unstable world used by the Adeptus Mechanicus to harvest minerals. After several clashes, which Snakebite Wyrdboyz psychic shenanigans result in an eruption that devastates and drives off the Mechanicus... these Orks now refer to themselves as "Da Brimstonez" tribe, raiding nearby sectors, captives taken as slaves are often tossed into the volcanoe (which is the Ork God's fury incarnate) and they often use scar-branding, daub themselves in ash and launch the "Ashen/Brimstone Waaagh!" several centuries later...

    The Clans are the only part of Ork culture which turns up anywhere, being genetically encoded. Ideas for Waaaghs!, paint schemes for them, etc are as vast as the players and collectors can devise.

    It's like the Codex Astartes: you'll get differences, but there needs to be a core to work from, otherwise you can literally justify anything...
    Last edited by Rogue Star; 10-11-2017 at 04:50.
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  7. #7

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    I always reckoned that Orks we're largely based on cults of personality; meaning a waaaagh will form whenever some Nob or Warboss convinces enough Orks that he knows about a good fight and promises to take them there. If their hulk pops out by an sparsely populated agri-world they'll off him, and squabble until someone else takes charge and leads them back into the warp to find a proper fight.

  8. #8

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    True but Orks do not care about such things. The Orks of the Charadon Empire will just as happily jump into a Space Hulk and let it take them... Gork (or Mork) only knows where, and hopefully fight. Whatever connection they had to the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, will be lost. He's light-years and decades if not centuries away, the second they emerge in realspace and find a place to set up, they're a new faction, with a new Warlord taking over. You could say the Orks of Charadon, following the Arch-Arsonist, live in solar system with a large, highly radioactive sun (the Eye of Gork/Mork) which burns the surface, and inspires them to burn everything... meaning the Evil Sunz are basically the order of the day, vehicles needed to cross Charadon's scorching surface, and flame-weapons as the Orks imitate the decree of their Gods' watching them...

    But the second Orks from this empire board a Space Hulk, get chewed up and spat out by the warp, they might crash on a tectonically unstable world used by the Adeptus Mechanicus to harvest minerals. After several clashes, which Snakebite Wyrdboyz psychic shenanigans result in an eruption that devastates and drives off the Mechanicus... these Orks now refer to themselves as "Da Brimstonez" tribe, raiding nearby sectors, captives taken as slaves are often tossed into the volcanoe (which is the Ork God's fury incarnate) and they often use scar-branding, daub themselves in ash and launch the "Ashen/Brimstone Waaagh!" several centuries later...
    You are completely ignoring the individual Orks. They are people too. They have wants, beliefs, habits. Ways that they learned to do things. The fact that Snakebitez exist at all with their "the old ways are the best ways" mentality proves this! An Ork will not shed its entire lived experience because it winds up in a different place with a different circumstance. All Orks have ways they believe things should be done. Its how you get the arguments and fights about what is or is not Orky. You might be able to argue that isolated spawnings of Orks from those marooned Charadon Orks would develop their own culture independent of anything but they will meet eventually and the Charadon Orks have the tech, age, size, language and experience to impose their definition of Orky onto the Yoofs. Orks do learn behaviors so their environment will change them but its just layered on top of the old stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    The Clans are the only part of Ork culture which turns up anywhere, being genetically encoded. Ideas for Waaaghs!, paint schemes for them, etc are as vast as the players and collectors can devise.
    And this particular sentence I find repugnant. The faction that is supposed to represent unchecked id and wild individuality is bound by genetically encoded memories right down to their day to day lives? It completely defeats the purpose of Orks! Mekz having a genetic predisposition towards mechanical engineering is fine. All Mekz just doing the best they can with the materials they have to recreate devices encoded on their DNA? They stop being scientists and start being living cornucopia machines. They wouldn't invent things, they would just copy things they were programmed to copy! The idea that the Klans are genetically hard wired reduces Orks into automatons just as mindless as any Tyranid organism.

    Kulture, the Waaagh, the Klans, all of it. Its so much more interesting if its a common emergent structure that is so similar across the galaxy because of the biological realities of Orkkind than if it is some genetic imperial mandate pressed upon them by some long dead creators. Orks should be ambition and rebellion against their superiors and the freedom to choose what they want to be and be the best at it!

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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSaylesMan View Post
    You might be able to argue that isolated spawnings of Orks from those marooned Charadon Orks would develop their own culture independent of anything but they will meet eventually and the Charadon Orks have the tech, age, size, language and experience to impose their definition of Orky onto the Yoofs. Orks do learn behaviors so their environment will change them but its just layered on top of the old stuff.
    Undoubtedly, but I fail to see why empire or Waaagh! will impart this more than Klan will... I would like to see your suggestions or examples because I don't think I'm arguing against (at least not strongly) or for potential changes, and neither are you (Clans just taking a backseat). Feel free to sell me on the idea, as currently... it just feels like something a player can very easily do themselves?
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    Chapter Master Lupe's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    Undoubtedly, but I fail to see why empire or Waaagh! will impart this more than Klan will... I would like to see your suggestions or examples because I don't think I'm arguing against (at least not strongly) or for potential changes, and neither are you (Clans just taking a backseat). Feel free to sell me on the idea, as currently... it just feels like something a player can very easily do themselves?
    A Waaaagh! or an Empire is more akin to a political party, in the sense that you get to choose, and to support and join the one that is more in line with your goals. You can also choose to change that affiliation at any time, when another Waaagh! comes along that's better suited to your interests, or when your current Waaaagh! fails to deliver.
    A Klan -on the other hand - is more akin to a craftsman's guild, in the sense that you earn your membership based on your actual experience, based on the specific skillset you've learned, and based on who you've done your apprenticeship under. And, you're sort of locked into -or at least heavily pressuerd into - a particular Klan since your birth, much like in medieval times, your trade was pressured onto you, based on what your father's craft was, and what your father's father's craft was.

    Makes sense?
    Last edited by Lupe; 22-11-2017 at 21:29.
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  11. #11

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Maybe we've been Ork-cist for a very long time. We tend to see Orks as a killing force with fun rules and a very special force of will that makes red things go faster. I agree too, Orks need some more depth and a new set of fluff.

    I know GW is no longer on the "custom rules" game, but Ork rules and players would benefit greatly, both fluff-wise and game-wise, from:

    1- Create your own warboss rules! Remember the "create your own chapter" kit? That was awesome! I've always seen Orks as personality cult-driven, as Fangschrecken says, while I envisioned Klans more like genetically-embedded characteristics, more than actual cultures or legacies.

    2- Define Klans. Are they geographic? Are they cultural? Genetic? Mnemotic? Mimetic, and other ics?

    With 1 and 2 we can add depth to Orks. Maybe the Arch-Arsonist has attracted a myriad of Klans, or maybe just two or three. Maybe the Arch-Maniac of Calverna is very monothematic. Maybe we can bring the Gretchin Revolutionary Commitee back to life.

    Maybe I can make the rules for my Kommodork from Torktuga and finally have an excuse to buy the AoS Megaboss and convert it with a mechanical arm, a big autocannon and a nice pirater hat.

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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Lupe View Post
    A Waaaagh! or an Empire is more akin to a political party, in the sense that you get to choose, and to support and join the one that is more in line with your goals. You can also choose to change that affiliation at any time, when another Waaagh! comes along that's better suited to your interests, or when your current Waaaagh! fails to deliver.
    A Klan -on the other hand - is more akin to a craftsman's guild, in the sense that you earn your membership based on your actual experience, based on the specific skillset you've learned, and based on who you've done your apprenticeship under. And, you're sort of locked into -or at least heavily pressuerd into - a particular Klan since your birth, much like in medieval times, your trade was pressured onto you, based on what your father's craft was, and what your father's father's craft was.

    Makes sense?
    Oh I didn't mean I don't grasp the difference between a group you're raised amongst compared to joining a faction you share an affinity with... I meant, in lore terms, what would making the Orks affiliations geographic gain them?

    Let's compare it to the Eldar Craftworlds, we know they all hail from different craftworlds... but does that really provide enough reason for them to be different? GW clearly didn't think so, since Iyanden required an event to make them what they are (Hive Fleet Kraken), with ghost-warriors and wraith constructs making up a large part of their forces... the others don't make a lot of sense without development either; why is Saim-hann more 'barbaric'? Sure we know they are, but not why... did they suffer terrible losses fleeing the Fall, and recruit heavily from the Exodites? Why is Biel-tann more militaristic? Religious reasons? Is it because Khaine, as the last surviving god of the Old Pantheon (excluding Chegorach) is a war deity, or are they defending a region of colonies to see it expand as a way to remake the Aeldari Empire?

    If we include the Ork Empire of Charadon, Octarius, Dregruk, etc, what do they provide that the Clans don't?

    I'm more than happy to entertain the idea, but so far it feels like "Clans aren't very good, we should replace them", to which my answer is "Okay, but with what?".

    If, and this is how it sounds to me, if incorrect my apologies, if we're justing saying the "Deff Skullz" Clan are a group of Orks from say, the galactic north-east that control this, this and this world, their capital being a former Imperial Forgeworld, and after generations of looting the tech, they've become adept at it, and thus their forces feature lots of Lootas, Looted vehicles, etc... well that's really just saying the Death Skulls are exactly what we know, but detailing a few odd worlds... it isn't anything a player can't do themselves, and doesn't add anything particular compelling to the faction...
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  13. #13
    Chapter Master Lupe's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    If we include the Ork Empire of Charadon, Octarius, Dregruk, etc, what do they provide that the Clans don't?

    I'm more than happy to entertain the idea, but so far it feels like "Clans aren't very good, we should replace them", to which my answer is "Okay, but with what?".
    Actually, I think i failed to actually add the conclusion to my point.

    Here's the thing. Empires/Waaghs sort of provide less depth than Klans, if you were to just replace one with the other.

    Empires/Waaghs are a lot less permanent, let's say.
    First in the fact that their actual lifespan is often directly correlated to the survival of one particular Boss.
    But, also in the fact that an individual Boy or Nob or Boss may be affiliated to multiple Waaghs or Emprires throughout their life, often on a whim.

    So, if you want to add depth and complexity, you would be looking to define your band in terms of both its Klan of orign, and its current Waagh.
    Because a Waaagh will have warbands from all the clans, and joining for all sort of different reasons.

    And how would that work ruleswise, for example?
    The Klan could define your chapter tactics, while your current Waagh! would give you access to unique stratagems, or powers, or some such.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunnahabhain View Post
    Choose Guard. Choose the right Imperial army. Choose Proper fire Support. Choose Big Guns. Choose Basilisks. Choose Manticores. Choose Deathstrikes. Choose all of them. Choose Artillery regiments. Choose to level the playing-field. Choose to level the Mountain range next to the playing field. Choose Guard.

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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Razios View Post
    The lost sphere of the tau in the new fluff soport this and I think why: one of the biggest mistake in fantasy is being very "warzone" making some fight very painfull to create, the same in WH40K with the tau, hell now even terra can be atack any moment now.
    Part of them turned up in the new Codex: Blood Angels;

    Bloody Retribution
    Hurled across the void by an empyric convulsion, a T’au colonisation fleet begins claiming worlds within the Red Scar. Their efforts are brought to a sudden, violent halt by strike forces of Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers and the Angels Sanguine. The planets of D’sandri and Gendal’s Reach are swiftly reclaimed, and the war spills into the Sevensuns System.
    So depending on various factors, we've now got a T'au colony setting up next to the Blood Angels...
    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” - William Shakespeare
    “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man” - Friedrich Nietzsche
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