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Thread: Orks are in desperate need of depth

  1. #21
    Chapter Master Hellebore's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    It is trivially simple to invent difference. GW does it with their space marine of the month.

    Each aspect shrine has its own traditions, methods of training and fighting styles. You could easily build an eldar space marine chapter out of each shrine. You just have to to define how different weapons describe a facet of the aspect - the exarchs have access to weaponry that is not standard equipment, so they are obviously training in more than just their signature stuff. Arha and Karandras show just how differently two people can emulate a single aspect, therefore not even shrines on the same craftworld would be the same, let alone on different ones.

    Similarly, orks are easily distinguishable. You can go for Klans, you can go for speciation via geographic segregation that means that different parts of the galaxy have different types of ork, or even different parts of the same planet. Each Klan can represent an aspect of that.


    It is actually easier to create variation within whole cultures than it is between knightly orders, because you're working with population scales. a force of 1000 dudes is going to be more similar to another force of 1000 dudes than Segmentum obscuras orks are to Tempestus orks.
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  2. #22
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    True but rules-wise, the difference between an Ultramarine and say, a Raven Guard Space Marine is, Ultramarine units gain 1 to their Leadership characteristic and they also can fall-back and still shoot, with -1 modifier to hit, while the Raven Guard opponent must subtract 1 from any hit rolls when shooting at units more than 12" away.

    This does make them play differently, if not always accurate to the lore*. The Raven Guard will be encouraged to keep their opponents at arm's length to make the most of this difference, while rules-wise, I can see Ultramarines players loving bikes... At the end of the day, whether the Orks are from the Goff Clan, or the Ork Empire of Charadon, letting them advance +2" and can charge after falling back isn't going really going to impact the lore...

    *Codex: Space Marines is probably the best example of a rules writer trying to create theme without really grasping the rules... the Ultramarines CT provides the best hit and run bikers/fast units, the White Scars the best Assault Marines, Salamanders CT encourages Meltas (sort of alright) and lascannons (nope), etc...
    Last edited by Rogue Star; 04-05-2018 at 01:38.
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  3. #23
    Chapter Master Hellebore's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    One method to backwards add depth, would be to emphasise a degredation of their genome.

    They were invented 60 million years ago and in that time the purity of their genome has slowly been mutated, as all life is want to do.

    It allows you to decouple them somewhat from their preprogrammed purpose without entirely removing it - basically the amount of preprogramming that still exists in their genome can be entirely at the discretion of the author and used for thematic purpose.

    IE there could be an entirely civilised offshoot isolated for millennia that became pacifists - the brainboy genes appearing more strongly and producing a group that has more free will and less aggression.


    There could be feral orks that lost their kulture genes, and so are basically entirely medieval and brutal.


    And all sorts in between.


    If you look at that the state of the factions currently, they've all had success and failure added to their histories that create distinctions within the society (they managed it with the personalityless necrons...).

    The orks are the only ones that seem to cling to the original simple image of themselves.
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  4. #24
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    One method to backwards add depth, would be to emphasise a degredation of their genome.

    They were invented 60 million years ago and in that time the purity of their genome has slowly been mutated, as all life is want to do.

    It allows you to decouple them somewhat from their preprogrammed purpose without entirely removing it - basically the amount of preprogramming that still exists in their genome can be entirely at the discretion of the author and used for thematic purpose.

    IE there could be an entirely civilised offshoot isolated for millennia that became pacifists - the brainboy genes appearing more strongly and producing a group that has more free will and less aggression.


    There could be feral orks that lost their kulture genes, and so are basically entirely medieval and brutal.


    And all sorts in between.


    If you look at that the state of the factions currently, they've all had success and failure added to their histories that create distinctions within the society (they managed it with the personalityless necrons...).

    The orks are the only ones that seem to cling to the original simple image of themselves.
    Didn't the War of the Beast do exactly this?
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  5. #25
    Chapter Master Hellebore's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    I don't know, but if it did, then obviously they've already got their depth set up and ready to go.
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  6. #26
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    I don't know, but if it did, then obviously they've already got their depth set up and ready to go.
    http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/War_of_the_Beast

    Basically, much of the Ork race were united in a Waaagh! in retaliation against humanity for the Great Crusade, led by "The Beast", an Ork more than capable of taking on a Primarch. The Imperial Fist Chapter was wiped out. Led to the formation of the Deathwatch. The 'current' Orks we've got are definitely degenerated descendents by comparison.
    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” - William Shakespeare
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  7. #27

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    One method to backwards add depth, would be to emphasise a degredation of their genome.

    They were invented 60 million years ago and in that time the purity of their genome has slowly been mutated, as all life is want to do..
    Modern Orks are already mutated from their form from the War in Heaven. All Orkoid variants are expressed as distinct organisms that are born in relation to the number of Orkoids present. We are pretty certain that the Brain Boys exist and that they were Orkoid. Whether it be a forth, missing major grouping of Greenskin or the Snotlings are degenerated versions of them, Orkoid society cannot function the same way as it did in the presence of the Brain Boys. That is another way to give them depth. Tackle that little mystery.

    I would also like a return of Grot Revolutionaries. They make for a very nice way to diversify that faction. Perhaps borrow whole cloth from AoS and introduce Gorkamorka worshiping Ogryns? Troggoths are also up for grabs though I would shorten their name to Trogs. When I tried to think up a way to introduce them to 40k while sticking close to their Troll roots, I noted that Trolls in most incarnations share some traits. Many trolls are green, have big noses and have long ears. Then it struck me that Trog sure looks like Grot spelled backwards if you are terrible at spelling like greenskins are presented to be. Grots are also weak, cowardly, envious, backstabbing and constantly downtrodden by Orks which makes them prime candidates for Chaos corruption. I'm honestly surprised it hasn't come up before. Grots aren't like Goblins. They aren't allowed their own societies. Trolls are creatures of Chaos. So there it is. Trogs (which is Grots spelled backwards poorly) are a species of Greenskin created by fell ritual by Grots as a means of escaping Orkish oppression. They are all Greenskin traits mashed into a single, grot-like organism. The strength of Orks, mutability of Squigs and in the case of the unnaturally smart ones, brains of Brain Boys. They breed true as they are not true Greenskins and their spores only produce more Trogs. They are incredibly cruel as they are essential Grots given massive physical ability but they produce nothing of value in regards to technology. Everything they have is stolen from other Greenskins.

    But all in all those are some pretty out there ideas.

  8. #28
    Chapter Master Hellebore's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    The main reason orks lack depth is because the premise they are built on lacks depth.

    They have no real variety because all their variety is genetically imposed. From how they make weapons, to how they form groups of like minded individuals. That structure contains built-in variety and depth, but it also limits that depth to its confines.

    I'm talking about removing the constraints and conceits that keep orks 2 dimensional (only X does Y because of Z genes) and opening them up to more nuanced development.

    Depth comes from subtlety and the Orks are currently not capable of being subtle.
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  9. #29
    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellebore View Post
    The main reason orks lack depth is because the premise they are built on lacks depth.
    I really don't think the genetically encoded thing removes depth as much as made out, as GW typically never went into great detail on it... While a Mekboy might never become as physically imposing or dominating as a warboss - he's an "oddboy", and as such has preoccupations beyond simply looking for things to defeat, which is 'odd' to the average Ork - nothing stops him from doing all manner of insane things, like seeing if a squig can pilot a deff-dread, or stuffing a wyrdboy into a missile to create a psychic bomb, etc... the only limit is materials and what the rest of the Orks will let him get away with... there's always plenty of Oddboys which got namedropped (Yellers) but which again, were never explored. The only thing GW insists is that as long as the Orks spring up, they carry a fully functioning society with them...
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  10. #30

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    I'm completely opposed to Orkish society and organizational structure being mandated by their genetic. Oddboys? Sure, fine. There has to be a reason why Ork society can function as a threat on a galactic level which would be impossible if they couldn't on some level side step thousands of years of scientific trial and error. The idea that the Klans would emerge from astrographically isolated Ork populations because its literally in their genes? Horrible idea. Also an idea that I have only ever heard spouted by the community instead any official sources. Closest thing we have to some kind of genetic component of Klan affiliation is the Bad Moons being able to grow teeth faster and there are a ton of explanations to that. Orks with faster growing teeth choose to join them because they feel they should. Orkish belief accelerating the tooth growth of the Bad Moons. Other than that there is nothing. There very well could be something though if the community parrots it enough. That is why we have a Void Dragon now, based off of a single article the community latched to, instead of simply The Dragon.

    Orks were not built on the shallow premise of genetic predestination that makes them Tyranids-Lite. That is an invention of 3rd edition that has escalated wildly out of control. Keep the sporing. Keep the latent psychic belief system. Keep the oddboys being genetically engineered into the species. Just emphasize the point that Orks are in nothing, wildly unpredictable and should not be treated with the absolutes that they have been treated with. Relegate Klans to an Aspect Temple like aspect to Orkish society. Start detailing some of the prominent Orksih locations that have depth and character in addition to the Waaaghs that are driven by a single boss with force of personality. Let's take a look at some things that don't relate to fighting. Like Runtherds teaming up with Meks to make "Kanneries" churning out tins of canned squig because of frustration over the Boys eating all the Runtherds Grots when they have important things to do. Tell a story about some Meks who come up with the bright idea of stockpiling munitions for later instead of immediately using it and making more as needed. Show us what Orkish mass communication looks like even if it is just a haphazard collection of radio towers and satellite dishes maintained by weird Orks who believe themselves to have something really important to say.

  11. #31
    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
    Start detailing some of the prominent Orksih locations that have depth and character in addition to the Waaaghs that are driven by a single boss with force of personality. Let's take a look at some things that don't relate to fighting. Like Runtherds teaming up with Meks to make "Kanneries" churning out tins of canned squig because of frustration over the Boys eating all the Runtherds Grots when they have important things to do. Tell a story about some Meks who come up with the bright idea of stockpiling munitions for later instead of immediately using it and making more as needed. Show us what Orkish mass communication looks like even if it is just a haphazard collection of radio towers and satellite dishes maintained by weird Orks who believe themselves to have something really important to say.
    The problem is, that the Orks are so individual that any such creations would be on a roughly individual basis. It's sort of like an Ork Mekboy with a "Kustom Force Field" - even the first part of the wargear description implies it's a one-off - it could be represented on the model as a backpack, with antenna and looped cables and spinning bits to represent it if the Ork is from Segmentum Obscurus, or if say he's from the Eastern Fringe... a T'au shield-drone he keeps hovering on a length of chain with Orky bits bolted on it's buckled domed surface...

    There is literally no 'standard' version, which is why I think fans fall back on the genetic coding... how do you present a summary of something so individual? Your Orks might control an empire of several worlds, mine might be located on a Space-hulk and nomadic... yours might be raiders attacking fringe worlds on the border of Imperial wilderness space, looting what they can before retreating... mine could have been spat out of the warp after looting some ancient Eldar technology which allows them to explode stars...
    “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
    “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” - Oscar Wilde

  12. #32

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    The problem is, that the Orks are so individual that any such creations would be on a roughly individual basis. It's sort of like an Ork Mekboy with a "Kustom Force Field" - even the first part of the wargear description implies it's a one-off - it could be represented on the model as a backpack, with antenna and looped cables and spinning bits to represent it if the Ork is from Segmentum Obscurus, or if say he's from the Eastern Fringe... a T'au shield-drone he keeps hovering on a length of chain with Orky bits bolted on it's buckled domed surface...

    There is literally no 'standard' version, which is why I think fans fall back on the genetic coding... how do you present a summary of something so individual? Your Orks might control an empire of several worlds, mine might be located on a Space-hulk and nomadic... yours might be raiders attacking fringe worlds on the border of Imperial wilderness space, looting what they can before retreating... mine could have been spat out of the warp after looting some ancient Eldar technology which allows them to explode stars...
    All the standard needs to be is the mechanical units and maybe the character design of the Orks themselves. All GW needs to do is provide some baseline models and then let fans kitbash them to their hearts' content. Just like how its always been. The mutable nature of Orkish society should be a strength in creating distinct sub-factions that fit the greater whole. Take my Kanneries example up there. All an Ork faction really needs to be is the society built on top of innovations that are too useful or too well defended to destroy. Then you explore the ramificaitons of that technology and take them to their logical (or hell, illogical because Orks) extreme. That Kannery planet finds that it makes it so much easier to make war when the boys always have full stomachs and accessible water/grog. The success of "Squig inna Kan" makes copycats crop up. You get other squig kanz. Grot inna Kan! 'Umie inna Kan! Then you make things go weird. Like "Paint Squig inna a Kan" sure confused a lot of the Lads when it came out but they sure don't mind being able to paint their trucks in a hurry. You get a world-spanning industrial nightmare run by an Orkish X'ekutive that launches invasions for more real estate to build Kanneries on and more things to shove into Kans. A booming enterprise of Freebooterz springs up that is more than happy to trade teef and slaves to the X'ekutive for a mess of Kans or maybe just have a go with them to loot it. Bam. You have character, motivation, room to customize your own guys and even avenues to make rules like some way to represent their improved logistics or penchant for Killer Kanz/Deffdreadz/Gork/Morkanaughts. That barely took any time to come up with but its already deeper than "I like black and white checks, hate laughing and REALLY like smashing guys up close and personal" like the Goffs have. Give them some neighbors, a list of achievements and a timeline and you have the seed of something worthwhile.

  13. #33
    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
    Take my Kanneries example up there. All an Ork faction really needs to be is the society built on top of innovations that are too useful or too well defended to destroy. Then you explore the ramificaitons of that technology and take them to their logical (or hell, illogical because Orks) extreme. That Kannery planet finds that it makes it so much easier to make war when the boys always have full stomachs and accessible water/grog. The success of "Squig inna Kan" makes copycats crop up. You get other squig kanz. Grot inna Kan! 'Umie inna Kan! Then you make things go weird. Like "Paint Squig inna a Kan" sure confused a lot of the Lads when it came out but they sure don't mind being able to paint their trucks in a hurry. You get a world-spanning industrial nightmare run by an Orkish X'ekutive that launches invasions for more real estate to build Kanneries on and more things to shove into Kans. A booming enterprise of Freebooterz springs up that is more than happy to trade teef and slaves to the X'ekutive for a mess of Kans or maybe just have a go with them to loot it. Bam. You have character, motivation, room to customize your own guys and even avenues to make rules like some way to represent their improved logistics or penchant for Killer Kanz/Deffdreadz/Gork/Morkanaughts. That barely took any time to come up with but its already deeper than "I like black and white checks, hate laughing and REALLY like smashing guys up close and personal" like the Goffs have. Give them some neighbors, a list of achievements and a timeline and you have the seed of something worthwhile.
    See, to me that just feels a little too silly, even for Orks, although it's much better than putting it into Codex: Necrons. It reminds me of the bits of lore behind Wazdakka Gutsmek and his Orks who are basically conquering planets to extend the size and length of their racing track, ala the 2009 anime movie "Redline". Also gets Abe's Oddysee/Oddworld-vibe...

    Also, while GW could do that, it's really the kind of motivation they leave to the fans. You could also just as easily attribute such things to the Clans...
    Last edited by Rogue Star; 17-05-2018 at 04:37.
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  14. #34

    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    Also, while GW could do that, it's really the kind of motivation they leave to the fans. You could also just as easily attribute such things to the Clans...
    I suppose it does have a certain Bad Moons vibe to it. Except once again, Klans have no leadership, no territory, no history and no achievements. I suppose its only in GW's interests these days to divorce their models from any astrographical constraints. Best I can hope for is for the book to present examples of the Klan's empires.

    Anyway, too silly? I suppose its just a matter of presentation. It fits in with the grimdark so long as you emphasize the misery and suffering that had to happen to achieve this ludicrous mission.

  15. #35
    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
    I suppose it does have a certain Bad Moons vibe to it. Except once again, Klans have no leadership, no territory, no history and no achievements.
    Well again, Orks do not have 'unity'. Factions of the Bad Moons will go off and do their own thing. The Ork Warlord "Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub" for example could easily be considered the greatest Warlord of that Clan, in a similar way Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka is undoubtedly the greatest Goff Warlord currently in existence... but that doesn't mean there won't be other Goff Warlords running other empires. I mean, both Nazdreg and Ghazghkull are considered great enough to be listed as "Special Characters", exemplifying the race or a part of the faction's character, but I've never heard of their empires. At best Nazdreg had a personal Space 'Ulk (Scylla) which was loaded with kustom stuff he bought/traded/stole (Ghazghkull got his planetary "teleporta" from him) and Ghazghkull seemed to hang out on the planet Golgotha, but I've never heard of anything comparable to these...

    Dregruk and Gathrog
    The empires ruled by the Great Despot of Dregruk and the Arch-Dictator of Gathrog have been at war for solar decades. Lying to the galactic north of the Eye of Terror, the resolution of their conflict could have major repercussions. Should so vast a tide of Orks unite, the resulting WAAAGH! could potentially change the face of the war for the Cadian Gate. Were forces from Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade to meet it as they poured into the region, the Despoiler's plans for galactic conquest would be severely disrupted, quite possibly saving the entire galaxy from annihilation. Yet these two Ork empires could never be persuaded to abandon a perfectly good (and very enjoyable) battle for such a noble and civilised cause. Excepting some miraculous act by Gork (or possibly Mork!), the empires of Dregruk and Gathrog will fight on, blissfully unconcerned as their chance to change the fate of all slips away.
    Ork Empire of Charadon
    The Ork empire of Charadon is the largest and most long-standing of its kind in the late 41st Millennium. Controlled by a pyromaniac Ork berserker known as the Arch-Arsonist, Charadon has been the bane of the Ultima Segmentum for countless Terran centuries. The Arch-Arsonist counts his victories not by the worlds he has conquered but by those left blazing in his wake. His legendary propensity for leaving even the most well-defended worlds as searing conflagrations has garnered him a sprawling empire of Greenskins devoted to his cause. Each successive Warlord of Charadon takes the title of Arch-Arsonist, lending the persona a kind of immortality. Until recently, the expansion of the empire of Charadon was kept to a minimum by the efforts of Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius and the Space Marines of the Ultramarines Chapter. Yet in the face of the increasing Tyranid threat, their success is beginning to wane. The current Arch-Arsonist has seized his chance to invade Ultramar, swearing that he will reduce Macragge itself to cinders.
    Ork Empire of Calverna
    The Arch-Maniac of Calverna rose to power after conquering the Forge World of Magnos Majoris, the iron heart of the Calverna System. The wily old Deathskulls Warlord then cemented his power for good by having himself wired into the almighty central processing engine of the Forge World, turning himself into the biggest Cybork ever seen. Though this rather drastic step has left the Arch-Maniac all but invincible, the vast data-streams pouring into his tiny brain have also driven him quite mad. So it is that, while the Orks of the Calvernan empire are numerous and well equipped with tanks and guns, their attacks are random and display little in the way of logic or cogent strategy.
    Ork Empire of Octarius
    The Ork Empire of Octarius is an Ork Empire that stretches throughout the Octarius Sector, a region of space almost as large as the Realm of Ultramar. Located in the Ultima Segmentum, it is centred on the Ork World of Octarius. Controlled by the Empire's ruler, known as the Overfiend of Octarius, this Ork Warlord has bedevilled the Imperium, ruling his alien empire in the heart of the Emperor's realm. In the closing years of 989.M41, the Imperial Inquisitor Kryptman would redirect a portion of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan into the Octarian Empire. Blaktoof, the current Overfiend of Octarius, launched a counterinvasion straight into the maw of the Tyranid Hive Fleet. The resulting war has badly bled both sides, but it has yet to be determined which side will emerge victorious.
    I mean Ork Empires do exist... they just don't really impact the faction's playstyles...

    As an example, what would you suggest for the above as their equivalent of "Chapter Tactics"?
    Last edited by Rogue Star; 24-05-2018 at 08:41.
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  16. #36
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Star View Post
    I think the current problem is that, while I like in general what GW have done with 8th edition WH40K, they've confused streamlined with homogenous; every faction gets six or so warlord traits, a collection of psyker powers and artifacts specific to them, and a universal army wide rule that affects everything with a particular keyword. It's nice, but doesn't utilize each faction's nature.

    I'd love for example if, instead of Stratagems, Orks got "Orky Events", of which half where good cards ('Waaagh!' every charging Ork gets to roll 3D6 and select the highest result, etc), and the other half were bad cards ("Lootin'" - one unit or Orks decide to start scrougin' the best bitz furst. Play this on any unit more than 9" from the enemy. That unit does nothing this turn, etc) which your opponent can spend their pool of stratagem points on, to represent the infighting that goes on, and the Orks inherent barbaric/disorderly nature.
    I can see where you're coming from. The problem is that random events that take control away from the player aren't really a good thing.

    Madboyz used to have a chart to roll on to see what they did each turn - they could spend half the game looking for a lost sock, which although amusing isn't necessarily contributing to the Ork players enjoyment.

    Madboyz haven't been seen since 2nd edition when GW turned them from the comedy option that had a disadvantage due to random effects into a serious army.
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  17. #37
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    Re: Orks are in desperate need of depth

    Th problem with is they are not tie to ANYTHING in general tha can make diferent faction into something.

    I mean with other faction you have some forms tha diference it: their patron god, beliefs, the land the chararter is tie for.....

    What a Ork have aside of that? nothing, I will said that if you want diferent faction to exist make it like a code or something like that, something and ork always carry with it.

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