"FAHCK YOU, DIGGANOBZ!"
Digganobz were originally a group of Humans in the specialist game Gorkamorka, who had forgotten their Imperial lineage and were now influenced by the Orks, to the point where they cosplayed as Orks. The term has now come to refer to any non-Orks who for whatever reason have Species Dysphoria, and either want to be Orks or believe themselves to be Orks.
Reflecting that Orks in 40k were historically boldfaced references to British politics, the word digger is British slang for Australian soldiers, who have their own reputation for cunning brutality.
When the Orks crashed on Angelis there was a Human ship, implied to be an Adeptus Mechanicus exploration and research vessel, in orbit at the time, having already landed a mission on the planet. The cataclysm of the Space Hulk's impact separated the Humans into two factions, based on where they were at the time. Diggas're descended from those Humans who were exploring the pyramids and the caverns below; taking shelter under the planet's surface, they survived the holocaust above, but descended into primitivism.
Diggas have forgotten all about their ancestral connections to the Imperium and have come to revere Orks as the most awesome and impressive creatures they've ever seen. Therefore they try to emulate the Ork lifestyle as much as possible. Orks tolerate this with almost paternalistic disdain; it is, ultimately, much simpler than trying to wipe the Diggas out, especially since they've got the protection of "dem fings under da pyramids". The home of the Diggas is referred to as "Morgarg-Durlurk-Gulskar-Dregsnikslag", which translates as "Fortress of ancient, terrifying power. Land of waiting death, pain and destruction". This shows just how much dread the Orks have of the place. Besides, the Diggas happily trade technological gear dug out from under the pyramids and scrap they have gathered for good Orky stuff, and it's funny to watch them try and be Orks, so it's not so bad.
Throughout the galaxy, Orks have conquered and enslaved entire Imperial Hive Worlds, and put their considerable populations to work manufacturing arms and armour for the hordes. Subjected to arguably even worse conditions than before, it's common for some to break, and begin seeing their Ork masters as an inherently superior race, potentially producing entire regiments of Diggas. Whilst many Orks don't have the time of day for them, Blood Axes appreciate the ability of Diggas to act as double-agents, infiltrating Imperial institutions to gain access to shipping timetables and sabotage vital infrastructure like their own version of Genestealer Cults.
As noted on the main Gorkamorka page, Digganobz can be summed up as "Hard Mode Orks". They're the simplest of the three Oddmobs introduced in the Digganobz splatbook to use, but the extra rules that they do have means they are harder to play than the regular Ork mob.
For starters, Digganobz have the following maximum stat profile, and unlike orks, they're also subject to the Pinning rules:
- Movement: 4
- Weapon Skill: 6
- Ballistic Skill: 6
- Strength: 4
- Toughness: 4
- Wounds: 3
- Initiative: 6
- Attacks: 3
- Leadership: 9
When advancing, Digganobz use this Advance Table:
- On a 2 or a 12, the Digga can randomly generate a skill from any of the Skill tables.
- On a 3, 4, 10 or 11, the Digga can randomly generate a skill from their specific Skill tables.
- On a 5 through a 9, the Digga gets an "'Arder" result and gains a random stat boost, depending on both the initial advance roll and then a D2 roll (roll a d6; treat a 1-3 as a "One", and a 4-6 as a "Two"). A roll of a 5 gets you Strength or Attack, a 6 or an 8 gets you Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill, a 7 gets you Initiative or Leadership, and a 9 gets you Wound or Toughness.
Diggamobs have the following special rules:
- Don't Got Da Know-Wots: Diggaz are even more technologically backwards than orks. They can't fit Gubbins on their vehicles, and you need to roll a d6 for each vehicle in a Diggamob after a battle; on a 1, that vehicle breaks down partially, and you have to roll on the Vehicle Permanent Damage chart, rerolling results of "Destroyed", "Badly Mangled", "Captured" or "Improved".
- Somewot Edjikated: A Digga with the Tinkerer skill cannot knock up free Gubbins in between battle, but can fit Gubbins to their vehicles themselves, so the mob doesn't need to go through the hassle of Dealing Wiv Da Meks.
- Prove Yer Worth: A Diggamob cannot Go To Mektown between battles until it's either won a single battle or survived two battles; the orks regard them with too much contempt to let them through until they're proved they can be proper 'ard. Additionally, a Diggamob suffers a -1 penalty to Da Big Day (Mekshop) and Dealing Wiv Da Meks rolls (see below) until their Mob Rating reaches 200; by that point, they're known to be proper orky, and so the orks actually kind of respect them (sort of).
- Dealing Wiv Da Meks: As stated above, Diggaz can't fit Gubbins to their vehicles unless they have a digga with the Tinkerer skill, so if you want to add Gubbins to your vehicle, you gotta Go To Mektown to do it. And then you gotta roll a d6 to see how the Mek takes the request.
- 1: Swindled! You pay the price and lose the full amount of teef, but the Mek doesn't fit the gubbin to your vehicle.
- 2-3: Digga Tax! The mek charges you an extra D3 teef for being a digga and taking up his time; if you can't pay, he keeps the vehicle until you can.
- 4-6: Lucky! You get the gubbin fitted at the normal price.
- Squishy Oomans: If you're brave (or dumb) enough to vist the Dok's Serjery, then you need to make a Toughness test for the warrior who went there. If you roll less than the warrior's Toughness, they survived intact. If you roll equal or higher, then something went horribly wrong.
- 1: Didn't Survive: Your Digga is dead. What did you expect letting a Painboy tinker with his innards?
- 2-3: Botch-Job: Your Digga has been left notably maimed (roll on the Permanent Injury Table, re-rolling Full Recovery, Dead, Captured and Bitter Enmity results) and the bionik bit failed to integrate, so you don't get your bioniks.
- 4-6: Ling'rin' Komplikashuns: You get your bioniks, but your Digga was also maimed in the process; roll on the Permanent Injury Table, re-rolling Full Recovery, Dead, Captured and Bitter Enmity results.
- Tunnel Rats: A Diggamob generates Income by scouring the tunnels for ancient scrap, producing d3 Teef for each Warrior or Yoof sent to scavenge. However, if you roll 3 or more 6s, then one of the scavengers meets a grisly fate in the darkness and is killed.
- Ancient Tek: If you have at least four Diggas searching for income, there's a chance that you'll unearth a random bit of ancient technology. Roll a d6; you find ancient tek on a 6+ for 4 searchers, a 5+ for 6 searchers, a 4+ for nine searchers, and a 3+ for 12 or more searchers. If you turn up a relic, roll a d6 to see what kind of relic it is; a gun on a 1-2, a hand-to-hand weapon on a 3-4, armor on a 5, and a gizmo on a 6. BUT! You don't know exactly what your relic does until you try and use it in battle. A "figuring out" roll is made the first time you use a weapon, the first time you get hit for armor, or whenever you start your turn and declare you're going to try and make it work for a gizmo. This requires a d6 roll that determines how (un)successfully your digga does at triggering the relic, which in turn leads to its own series of random dice rolls. Once you've figured it out, and presuming you don't destroy the relic in the process, it remains functional throughout the campaign.
A Diggamob must contain a Digganob for 10 teef, can have 0-1 Digga Shaman for 8 teef, can take any number of Digga-Boyz at 4 teef apiece, and any number of Digga-Yoofs at 2 teef apiece - but you can't have more than half as many Yoofs as you have Boyz, just like with an ork warband. The Digganob can take Ferocity, Driving, Cunning and Dakka skills, the Shaman can take Cunning, Dakka, Odd and Shaman skills, Digga-Boyz can take Ferocity, Cunning and Dakka skills, and Digga-Yoofs can take Ferocity and Cunning skills.
Digga Shamans have the "Oracle" rule; if not taken out of action, Digga Shamans can attempt a Leadership test during the "generate income" phase and if they succeed, they grant the diggamob +2d6 teef. Additionally, if your Digga Shaman wasn't taken out of action during the fight, they also lower the dice roll result needed to find Ancient Tek by -1 - for example, if normally you need a 6+ to find it, then the presence of a Shaman drops it down to a 5+. They wield a Shaman's Findin' Rod (two-handed melee weapon, strikes with User+1 Strength, can block hits like a shield) by default, but can take any HtH Weapon, Gun, Armor or Stikkbomb you feel like giving them. The Shaman's unique skill table grants them these skills:
- 1: Troofsayer: Add +1 when rolling to see if your mob goes first, and +1 when rolling for reinforcements.
- 2: Scrap Master: Add +1 Scrap Counter when randomly generating how many Scrap Counters are present in a scenario.
- 3: Tek Master: When searching for income, if the Shaman passes a Leadership test, add +d3 searchers to the number sent out, but only for the purpose of seeing if you find any Ancient Tek.
- 4: Precog: A vehicle with the Shaman riding it adds +1 to dice rolls to avoid being rammed. All models on foot within 6" of the Shaman get a +1 to Initiative checks made to avoid being run over by a vehicle, as does the Shaman himself.
- 5: Duck: Enemies suffer a -1 penalty when shooting the Shaman, and don't get the normal +1 to melee attacks for charging if they charge the Shaman.
- 6: Pinpoint Accuracy: The Shaman ignores the normal -1 penalty suffered for shooting at moving targets.
On the Tabletop
Diggas never got a representation in the main game, but many players have used them as Counts As Catachan Imperial Guard allies, though obviously as of 8th Edition this is now only viable in Narrative and Open Play, as they don't share a Faction Keyword that'd let them join each other in Matched.
Another method would be to use human models as stand in for grots, they even have similar ballistic skill so it's not that farfetched as far as proxies go.
- Blue - A T'au woman who was mistaken for a Gretchin as a child, and adopted by the Scraplootas Warband.
- Clarence - A Human krewmember aboard Da Looted Krooza in the Deffwotch Rogue Trader (RPG) campaign.
- Herman von Strab - Another Human that ended up working for the Orks.