Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
"Nobody bigger den Ghazgkull ya ignorant git! "
- – Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter
Ghazghull Mag Uruk Thraka, the Beast of Armageddon, is the Warlord of one of the largest Ork WAAAGH's in existence. AND 'E IS DA BIGGEST AND DA BEST BOSS OOO SMASHES ALL DA UMIES, AND ANYFING ELSE WOT WANTZ TA 'AVE A GO!
Being from the political days of Rogue Trader (when the setting was a straight up parody of 80's British politics), he's also supposedly named after then-prime minister Margaret "Fuck Yo Unions" Thatcher; similarly to Thatcher's "Iron Lady" moniker, Ghazghull has been referred to as the "Iron Ork". Take this as you will. Andy Chambers created Ghazghkull's Goff warband from an assortment of figures that the painting team had put together. The actual name came from the Orc-ish language that he and those he LARP'd with made up based on the Black Speech language from Lord of the Rings. Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka's name is a combination of Ghazgh = Metal, Kull = Skull(Head), Mag = Big(Great), Uruk = warrior(Orc), Thraka = Leader. So put it all together Ghaz's name means "Metal head big ork leader". Its likely that a lot of people think its Margret Thatcher because a few people thought the names sounded similar. It could be a little of both, who knows.
"Humies is all weak scum that deserve ta get stomped. 'Cept for One-Eye Yarrick. He knows how ter fight."
- – Ghazkull's opinion on Mankind is rather low.
Ghazy started out as an Ork of very little standing or prestige in the Goffs Clan on the planet of Uruk, where he also got his name 'Uruk', Yeah, we thought it was a LoTR reference too (why can't it be both?). Anyway, this meant that he was at least slightly tougher than the regular git, but hey, who's counting?
Anyway, an unknown group of Spess Mehreens (confirmed to be the Dark Angels per the WAAAGH! Ghazghkull Supplement) were forced to attack the Orks in Uruk. Oh, poor Ghazghkull fought, but a bolter round tore into his head, destroying over 30% of his skull and pulping most of his brain. Rough, considering that like most Orks, he had little there to begin with. After the Spess Mehreens systematically left Uruk, Ghazghkull was found by a particularly... creative Painboy known as Mad Dok Grotsnik, who rebuilt the small Ork's head with adamantium for shits and giggles. (They don't call him Mad Dok for nothing.)
Apparently metal plates unleash psyker potential within Orks, because Ghazghkull had some visions from Gork and Mork, convincing him he was blessed. So yeah, Orks can be religious too. So, after this, he became delusional - sorry, I meant DESTINED FER GRAET FINGZZZ and rose to become Warboss of his tribe after a short period of 6 years. Guess he needed to check in with his Ork Minister. Anyway, here's where the lulzy shit starts going down. A year or two later, Uruk's sun began to die, killing boyz with radiation from severe solar flares. However, conveniently enough, a massive Space Hulk appeared and provided Ol' Ghazzy a chance to be someone for a change. (Apparently the dick had something to do with this, as otherwise the WAAAAGH!! would have headed straight for Craftworld Idharae instead and we all know how much the Eldar would prefer not to die and, by then, Eldrad already knew that the Imperium could always beat any amount of Orks.) He decided to get all them boyz on Uruk together and made for that Space Hulk. It failed to start up several times. In the warp of all places. Which also meant they got to whack some daemons while they waited. The daemons may not have found these incidents as amusing as the Orks did.
"Travellin' through space is boring. Well, boring unless da hulk yer on is full of dem gene-sneakers, or a base fer da chaos lads wiv da spikes, or already has Boyz on it. Or if humie lootas come callin', that's always good fer a bit a sport. Or unless yer have a mutiny or two to pass da time, or unless strange fings start happenin', which dey usually do when yer out in da warp. One time we had some bloody great ugly fing come straight out of Weird Lugwort's 'ed! It butchered half da lads, that was pretty entertainin'. Come ter fink of it, space is a pretty good larf. And that's before yer find yerself a nice world ta crush!"
- – Bigmaw, Orks on Space Flight
Anyway, they finally managed to reach Armageddon, kicking off those massive wars we all know and love. They were all great failures, especially considering how consistently Ghazghkull would get fucked over by Yarrick during the Second Armageddon War. Then the SPESS MEHREEENS arrived and it all went about as well as you would expect things to go for the Orks when the Badass Catholic Space Nazi Warriors of the Imperium decide to get their act together.
After a spectacular defeat Ghazghkull fled, tail between his legs, and abandoned Armageddon in defeat. Almost immediately he began plotting and planning his return. As part of these preparations he, along with Bad Moons Warboss Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub, invaded the world of Piscina IV where they
got their asses handed to them seemingly legged it when the Dark Angels answered the distress calls. What the Imperium would only realize much later is that said raid on Piscina IV, along with a couple of such other 'defeats', were merely ol' Ghazzy testing out new 'gubbinz' and 'taktiks'. Unbeknowst to them, he was leading the Imperials on a merry dance until he was ready for round two.
Once he was ready to get back to it, Ghazghkull lured Yarrick to Golgotha where he ended up crushing the overextended and overconfident Imperials. Still, he let the old man live to prepare Armageddon for him. This ended up being a very stupid idea. (As for why Yarrick had not a single Space Marine in his army: by that time they'd all left for seemingly more urgent battlefields, leaving Yarrick to bring a seemingly fleeing and finished opponent to heel. Except Ghaz' was absolutely not finished, he'd just pretended to be.)
Then the Third War for Armageddon started and he ends up fighting to a standstill with the Imperium, and withdraws simply because he received messages from Gork and Mork that his destiny lay elsewhere. Sometime between all of this, Yarrick swore to avenge the dead of Armageddon and kill Ghazgkhull. A rather strange thing to hear from a Commissar, but ol' Yarrick is hardly a conventional specimen.
Ghazgkhull developed an... equally unhealthy relationship with Yarrick, regarding him as 'the bestest 'umie evar'
And that's all there was to him for about twenty years, till 7th edition. It just seemed falling on his ass twice wasn't enough for da big boss no mores, so the Games Workshop team *gasp* advanced the storyline.
Well, just Ghazghkull's storyline.
See, Ghaz left Armageddon to go find something he wasn't quite sure of. Then, he had this revelation from Gork and Mork, telling him he was to create a galaxy-wide Waaagh! Ghaz had a space battle with Yarrick and Helbrecht, but got away after Gork and Mork themselves spoke through his Weirdboyz to announce to all the Orks present that Ghazgkhull was indeed the Prophet of the Waaagh, leaving his humie boyfriend in the dust. Ghazghkull, now determined to unite the orks under the Great Waaagh, went around the galaxy, thumping heads and getting orks in line. Then he went to Octarius and intervened, killing all the tyranids on Octarius and, essentially, driving over Hive Fleet Leviathan's testicles in a battlewagon. He did have a minor hiccup where he was swallowed by a super-Mawloc. Though he cut his way out he suffered acid burns and had a spike impaled in his body that even teams of Nobs and a Trakkor beam couldn't remove- Ghazghkull's most serious injury since the time he took a Leman Russ battle tank round in the gut. It took a buzzsaw and a Deff Dread with magna-clamps to remove it and Ghazghkull took a long time for an Ork to recuperate; about 1 or 2 hours and he's back to normal by the end of the day.
He let the empire of Octarius and its overfiend know he was the prophet of the ork gods and would bring an eternal Waaagh to the galaxy. Now endless orks flock to Octarius to join the fight against the remaining tyranids, turning the whole area into an endless war of attrition against the tyranids just as Armageddon is against the Imperials. Get that? With pretty much every major ork concentration between Armageddon and Octarius is united under Ghazghkull, he is on his way to uniting the ork race. Oh yeah, and he can psychically sense big concentrations of orks so he knows where to go.
Nowadays, unfortunately, he doesn't get ta have a proppa scrap like he used to. Oh, sure, it'd be nice, but organizing all the orks together into one titanic WAAAAGH! isn't going to happen on its own. There's authority to delegate, multiple fronts to manage, the occasional orky bit of improvisation... It's a good thing he's actually turning out to be a genuinely genius strategist and tactician or it'd all fall apart on him. But when he does take to the field, he's still the most dangerous ork around.
The Deathwatch codex strongly suggests he's finished with Octarius, and fielding the largest Ork fleet the Deathwatch has ever seen. And given that they were first founded to fight The Beast, that's saying something. And it seems now he can be at several places at once. Recently during the Psychic Awakening, he had his head chopped off by Ragnar Blackmane (though he did chop off Ragnar's arm and break his neck before the decapitation), but somehow this did not kill him. Courtesy of Mad Dok Grotsnik, he now has a new, even bigger body.
Some consider Ghazghkhull to be the Warhammer 40K to Warhammer Fantasy's Grimgor Ironhide, but really there's not a lot of common in between. Ghazghkull is much more of a general and statesman rather than Grimgor's epic super-champion that spends his days kicking major ass and taking names but falls flat on his face in strategy, diplomacy, logistics or generally anything that does not involve driving his choppa into some other git's head. Grimgor kicks more ass in a personal combat, but Ghazghkull kicks way more ass with an army and is able to keep it all together long past the point where it should have fragmented into rival warbands, so if anything his FB equivalent should be
Skarsnik Azhag the Slaughterer, who's basically the same guy, but with a mind-controlling crown rather than a vision-inducing chunk of adamantium for a skull. Grom the Paunch also works, considering he is canonically in fantasy the greatest Greenskin Warlord to have existed. *KRUMP* NO PUNY GROT IZ BETTER THAN AN ORK AT BEIN WARBOSS!!!
It is worth noting that Yarrick, Ghazghkull, and Old One-Eye are all essentially takes on the same old fishing story about the one that got away. It's also worth noting that Mag Uruk Thraka means "I am Slaughter" heavily implying Ol' Ghaz is on the way to becoming like The Beast. The implication is taken further after the opening of the Great Rift, where just like the Beast, there seems to be more than one of him. On top of this, he has access to Necron loot as well, so his technology level will be even greater than WAAAGH! of The Beast as well...
Ghazghkull used to be the Ork HQ. He was the only Ork character with Eternal Warrior, and he had 2+ armor and a 5++ in the form of Cybork body. With Fleet and Fearless in 5th edition, this guy was bad fucking news. In addition to that, if you called a WAAAGH using him it would last TWO TURNS and he would have a 2++ for the duration of that. And anything in his unit that had Slow and Purposeful, including him, could run during the WAAAGH. Though it was admittedly cheesy, especially for Orks, it fit the fluff and it was so awesome no one really cared since he costed as much as a Land Raider.
Then 7th Edition happened.
Among the list of gut punches and groin kicks include:
- Cybork body became a pathetic 6+ FNP. And he lost an extra attack.
- His WAAAGH only lasts one turn now. And is changed from auto-running 6" for the whole damn army to just allowing him and the squad to run and charge (which can still find some use but not nearly as good as it used to be).
- Moved to Lord of War slot.
- Expensive price kept the same despite the nerfs.
- Actually with his supplement, he can call a WAAAGH!!! every turn granting him a 2++ save EVERY TURN. Still not really worth it though.
This is practically the equivalent of taking This Guy and punching him in the face, clipping off one of his testicles, and throwing him in jail for something he didn't do and didn't deserve.
Don't get it wrong, he's still no slouch. He can tank and kill most HQs in the game and is still the most powerful Ork character. Sadly, enough focused fire can take him out, and even Abbadon or a well-equipped Hive Tyrant can take him out one-on-one. The sad part is despite the nerfs to his WAAAGH, he'd still be good if he were just an HQ. Now as a Lord of War, he's thrown into the unfair category of Titans, Super-Heavy tanks, and Gargantuan Daemons. As flattering as that sounds, he is horribly underpowered as a Lord of War. He can't be redeemed as long as a generic warboss with da lucky stick is better and 2 times cheaper. And that very lucky stikk is taken from the cold, dead grasp of legendary Makari who used to hang out with Ghaz...
Changed again as of 8th. He's back as an HQ now, and got himself a 4++ along with some other nice bits and bobs. On the other hand his special WAAAGH!!! while decent is not nowhere near as amazing as SM stock characters and he looks very weak in presence of monstrosities like Papa Smurf or Mortarion who are not that much more expensive... Powercreep continues I guess.
Pre New Model
8th edition ork codex rumors suggested that he might get full Primork status and a new model with stats rivaling those of the most powerful models on tabletop currently available. This was not confirmed in any way. IT IS NOW, YA GIT!
(Spoiler: he didn't, but he got slightly punchier with the Goff Clan warlord trait. Additionally, if you run him in a similar configuration to his bully mob from last edition (and what proppa goff wouldn't) you can make probably the closest thing to a death star 8e can manage with da Lukky Stikk, a Painboy, a couple warboss leftenuntz and a weirdboy to cast Fist of Gork.)
(Spoiler 2: 2020 LVO has revealed that Ghazghkull is gonna get a new model and holy fuck does it look nice. It is now twice the size of old Ghazghkull, has twice the power claw blades and twice the DAKKA!!!!!!! But the most awesome thing about the reveal was of course the return of Makarii. Rumors were true, just...a year off.)
And...Ignore all that. His new rules have dropped, and he is a BEAST. He's got 2+ WS, with reroll 1s. Mork's Roar gets 12 attacks. I mean, he only hits 1/3rd of the time, but that's still 4 hits on a Heavy Bolter. But that's not why you take him. You take him for his Gork's Klaw. 5 attacks at STRENGTH 14, with AP-4. And Damage 4 (and de-(up?)grading to S12 then 10 but A6 then 7. He's basically a Vehicle killer. He still has the Warboss trick of restoring morale by punching people, so his screening unit only loses 3 models, max, in the morale phase. He's got a 4+ Invul save, and while he's a Goff? He doesn't damage Kulture of any other detachment.
As for survivability? Well there's the good and then the bad. The good: He's got 12 wounds, toughness 7, 2+ save, and a 4+ Invulnerable save. Oh. And he can only take 4 wounds per phase. The bad: Those screening units don't actually help him, cause he has 2 more wounds then necessary. A Turn 1 kill for him is nearly impossible (it can be done if your opponent is playing a very strong psychic army like Thousand Sons), however most armies can kill him within 2-3 turns and won't have to commit that many points to it. He's also a Monster now, which means he's gotta footslog it. Unless you pull out the Tellyporta...
Oh, and Makari? That gives him a 6+ FNP. Just to be MEAN. Only comes in twice, but...those are still 2 very, very fun ones. He is now Warhammer 40K Gotrek (That's broken AoS Gotrek not his Fantasy incarnation) as in you have to devise a list JUST to deal with him. But this is not as hard as it sound. Space Marines can bring him down with a Devastator Squad armed with Lascannons and an assault Terminator Squad with thunder hammers, with maybe a captain mixed in there for re-rolling hits (Shoot with Lascannons turn 1, then shoot him again turn 2 and then beat him to death with the thunder hammers), so do keep an eye on him and keep a pain boy near him for that medi-squid stratagem.
"I'm da hand of Gork and Mork, dey sent me to rouse up da boyz to crush and kill ‘cos da boyz forgot what dere ‘ere for.
I woz one of da boyz till da godz smashed me in da ‘ead an’ I ‘membered dat Orks is meant to conquer and make slaves of everyfing they don’t kill.
I’m da profit of da Waaagh an’ whole worlds burn in my boot prints. On Armour-Geddem, I led da boyz through da fire deserts and smashed da humies’ metal cities to scrap. I fought Yarik, old one-eye at Tarturus, an’ he fought good but we smashed iz city too.
I’m death to anyfing dat walks or crawls, where I go nothin’ stands in my way. We crushed da stunties on Golgotha, an’ we caught old one-eye when da speed freeks blew da humies’ big tanks ta bits. I let ‘im go ‘cause good enemies iz ‘ard to find, an Orks need enemies ta fight like they need meat ta eat an’ grog ta drink.
I iz more cunnin’ than a grot an’ more killy than a dread, da boyz dat follow me can’t be beat. On Pissenah we jumped da marine-boyz an’ our bosspoles was covered in da helmets we took from da dead ‘uns. We burned dere port an’ killed dere bosses an’ left nothin’ but ruins behind. I’m Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka an’ I speak wiv da word of da gods. We iz gonna stomp da ‘ooniverse flat an’ kill anyfing that fights back. We iz gonna do this coz’ we’re Orks an’ we was made ta fight an’ win!"
All were found scrawled on the side of an Imperial Titan in legible Gothic. We suspected his good buddy "Clever" Nazdreg helped him with that. However the next quote comes from the memories of Yarrick himself as Ghazghkull (Chains of Golgotha book) releases him... HE SPEAKS IN FUCKING HIGH GOTHIC!
"A great fight! My best enemy. Go to Armageddon, make ready for the greatest fight!"
The kitbashed model Andy Chambers made of him.
- Makari, Ghazghkull's
- Yarrick, Ghazzy's favorite humie.
- Octarius War, shitstorm Ghazzy is
on his way towards, turning into,turned into a bigger, potentially galaxy-spanning shitstorm.
|Ork Gitz and Bosses|
|From da canon:||The Beast - Boss Snikrot - Boss Zagstruk - Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka |
Grukk Face-Rippa - Mad Dok Grotsnik - Makari - Mek Boss Buzgob
Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub - Old Zogwort - Orkimedes - Tuska Daemon-Killa
Wazdakka Gutsmek - Zhadsnark da Rippa - Zodgrod Wortsnagga
Kaptin Badrukk - Herman von Strab - Ufthak Blackhawk
|From da gamez:||Brikkfist - Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter - Kaptin Bluddflagg - Grimskull |
Mister Nailbrain - Orkamungus - Spookums - Stupid