Orcs & Goblins
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Make sure your rose-tinted glasses are on nice and tight, and prepare for a lovely walk down nostalgia lane.
FOREWARD: This article will be translated into Orcish by volunteer greenskins.
The Warhammer Fantasy equivalent to the Orks of the OTHER Warhammer ( these guys were first, so Orks are the 40K version of proppa Orcs dat's roight, dem greenzy boys from da world o' pantsy-battlehamma's some o' wutz dem humies may call feral orks, but deyz still sho nuff orky and can show up fer a proppa krumpin izzat right gits? Wot? Dey sez dey wuz first? Well we's gonna hafta hav a chat on dat one, git.... ) and Age of Sigmar's Orruks & Grots that leads the Grand Alliance of Destruction. don't tell me de age ov Sigmor, 'e can get a roight krumpin too, but we'll allow he's up tere wi' ole Yarrick f'a'umie, buh I guess dey'z thinkin' he's loik dat goldy git dey'z got on dat throne...oi, who let them ratsy gits up 'ere with all this crazy talk 'bout this world anyhow?
Generally speaking, the Orcs & Goblins army is made up of a species with mysterious origins called "greenskins" in slang terms by players, Games Workshop, and many in-universe races. The race generally speaks in a Cockney (a type of British accent (yes the lime-men come in different types). It's supposed to sound sorta like this ) accent, much like the original orcs from the Lord of the Rings movies. They incorporate things from football (soccer) hooligans as well, since during the time that Warhammer was first created there was something of social unrest as soccer matches often devolved into (very) violent fights. Just as soccer fans are prone to strange practices like wearing specific clothing the day their team plays to assigning particular meanings to colors and designs, Orcs follow suit. Any time Orcs get lines of speech, their words are spelled in heavy-handed parodies of their accent. They are prone to renaming things, like spears being "STABBAZ" or Dwarfs being "STUNTIEZ".
Unlike 40k, Fantasy greenskins are far more diverse in origin, some even being capable of sexual reproduction (maybe). Also unlike 40k, where the greenskins are pretty much just Orks and their goblin-like diminutive expendable servants called Grots, Fantasy greenskins consist of an extraordinary variety of different types based on region of origin and role in the greater group with the smaller Goblins having equal importance to the bigger Orcs. The army also consists of Giants, Trolls, Squigs, Dire Wolves, Dire Boars, and pretty much anything else greenskins can goad into battle and in earlier editions had savage Humans and Half-Orcs as well. Going beyond the tabletop, mercenaries from other races such as humans and Ogres may find themselves marching with more intelligent groups of Orcs and Goblins. Greenskins are, along with humans, particularly susceptible to Undeath. Just about anything you can think of to put in would work in fluff, as the army books continually state that greenskins are a very diverse group. Greenskins usually congregate into groups called "mobs" lead by a "Boss" or "Warboss" (although there's no unified term). Orc chain of command is usually established passively by size, and when size is close then by physical combat or more trivial ways such as yelling louder than the other greenskin. Goblins tend to be more intelligent, and establish the pecking order through convincing others of their importance, usually just by being the goblin capable of telling the biggest lie and getting others to believe it. Mobs organize themselves further into tribes, and at the largest level (invariably one on the march to war) a "WAAAGH!".
How Greenskins breed is open to speculation, with most just assuming they release spores upon death, which permeate the ground (since that's what happens in 40k, though it was never confirmed for Fantasy). Most are born with a rudimentary level of knowledge, with larger varieties rarely learning more than what they began with.
We'z da down to Earff boyz, not loik dem gitz in spess. Da humiez, stuntiez, and pointy 'eadz calls us "greenskinz". Deyz can all zog off.
We'z not all just Orcs an' Gubbinz though. Sumtimes we get'z biggunz, and trollz to stop muckin' about an krump some gitz wiff us. Oh, an evry proppa' boy haz 'is own Squig. Sum boyz got a fing for findin' beastiez dat can foight, an hitchin' em to wheelz to get into da foight fastah'. Dat's smart finkin', ammright?
So da Boss of da greenskinz's is da Boss. Bosses ain't always called Bosses, sumtimes gitz call 'em uvver fings'. But dat's dumb. Bosses are da' biggest and bestest in da group, and da biggest and bestest alwayz' end up leadin' a big enuff group an' lead a WAAAGH! against who needz' a good WAAAGH!in'!
So'z when we'z get krumped, lil'unz' pop outta da' dirt. Dey'z dumm as Ogrez, but giv 'em a beatin' an dey get in loin' kwik enuff.
The main drive in life for greenskins is to fight and die in spectacular ways. Greenskins may gather into a massive WAAAGH! to invade a human city, slaughter its defenders, then disperse into infighting and eventually wander away in small bands without even entering the defenseless metropolis because there's no longer a fight to be had, and plenty of loot already on the field (to fight over). More intelligent varieties may see greater purpose in life, from Orcs who realize that gold has value or who witness a great sight such as a knight mounted on a dragon which they will seek to emulate, to Goblins who may dedicate themselves to the Chaos Gods or decide to entirely wipe out a group which has for as long as their tribe can remember kept their numbers low. Tribes that have been entirely wiped-out sometimes resurface, either because a story told by a Shaman inspires new greenskins to "join it", or because of the intervention of Gork and Mork, or maybe Mork and Gork. Simply obtaining looted gear belonging to an older tribe may inspire the new wielders to align themselves to it, leading to the same tribe existing in multiple places at once and having no knowledge of each other. Greenskins are not only willing to fight their own, many look forward to it. They tend towards xenophobia, and combined with their diverse physical forms leads to constant conflict. As previously stated, this is in their minds a good thing. When they do fight other groups, results are varied. Depictions of deities and figures are usually defaced, and remade into dedications to their local gods or the supreme gods of the greenskins Gork and Mork (or possible Mork and Gork). Some of these, through the magic of their race, animate. Things of value to them are looted, usually weapons and armor before things like gold and gems. Wood that can be re-purposed is taken to save time from chopping it. Conquered peoples fare different fates depending on numerous factors; sometimes winding up as slaves, beaten to work and dying at the boredom of their captors. Some are consumed as rations, men women and children alike. Some are ignored, since they provide no decent fight to be had and bothering with them would be a waste of time that could be spent marching to a fight.
Many players migrating from 40k may find greenskins to be less customizable than the 41st Millennium variant. While Orks are known to "loot" things from other races, like space ships and gear, and slap it together with shit (literally) and duct tape then simply mass-believe it into working until it does allowing players to buy what they want from other armies and Ork it up, Fantasy greenskins are less prone to the same level of extreme change. While it's certainly possible to take a chariot from the Tomb Kings and put a few shields on it and paint it red it never has quite the same effect as taking a Rhino and putting patches of welded metal along with a hydraulic arm on the side will. Ogres tend to be the more custom army. Greenskins tend to make their own gear, usually out of another race's but rarely will it still have the same look as it did originally (thus an Orc wearing an Empire helmet would be unusual, as they'd pound it to be more Orcy in most cases). That's not to say that greenskins aren't amazingly open to options. Quite the opposite, they have more tabletop options than any army in the vanilla game and represent the "jack of all trades" option for the Destruction (evil) armies with their opposite being The Empire. That's also not to say they aren't a modder's dream, as they within the fluff do loot and slap their own styles onto what they take or sometimes adopt strange behaviors unlike those seen before. But while in 40k one may find Orks making a flying Dukes of Hazzard car wearing metal cowboy hats, Orcs would probably be mostly sticking to more realistic medieval things (but of course anachronism isn't new to the setting either).
So da' point in loif' is to foight'. Ain't nuvvin' else to do. Anyfing else is muckin' about. Yooz don' wanna be muckin' about, or yer Boss is gonna krump you. So keep yer feet goin' to da fight, an' if da Boss says dat you loot you loot, an' if da Boss tells you eat yooz eats, an' if da Boss sez It's time to WAAAGH! den yooz in luck! Dem uvver guys, dey foight' only when dey "got reason to". Dun' look at me, me dun unda'stand it eiver. But we'z green! We'z smart! We foight' 'cuz foightin' iz wot der iz to do!
Lil'unz dat come troo da swirly magic holes from spess land whine dat dere' ain't enuff loot around. You do dis, you get krumped by da boss for bein' dumm. And in da hardest way as 'e can. Dat alway'z givez us a good laugh.
The forest goblins also worship a nameless spider-god, but beyond the basic gist of this being a god of all things spidery, we don't know much about them.
Way, way back when Realms of Chaos was a thing, greenskins would also sometimes turn to the worship of the Chaos Gods and so could be found as followers in the retinue of a Chaos Champion. When rolling on the D100 Retinue table in "Slaves to Darkness", a roll of 47-51 would generate d6 Goblins, a roll of 74-78 would generate d6 Hobgoblins, and a roll of 83-87 would generate d6 Orcs. Even Chaos-worshipping snotlings might occasionally show up, if you rolled a 100, then a 4, then a 2, in that order! This lore has been dropped for years, though.
Females and Hybrids?
Way back in the day before 40k cast its grimdark shadow over Fantasy (in fact, long before 40k was even thought of) Warhammer Orcs were not only the biggest threat in the setting, but also had normal biology. Half-orcs existed from 1st to 3rd edition Warhammer, and females had models.
However, much like everything else it borrowed from Fantasy, the creation of 40k shat all over the Orcs and Goblins concept. After Goblins ("Grots") were relegated exclusively to the status of "bitch Orks", GW concocted a bullshit explanation for their endless numbers; that Orks are mono-gender. They are fungal rather than mammal, and where an Ork's dangly bits should be there's instead a bloated sac full of spores which, upon death, bursts releasing thousands of baby Orks into the ground (interestingly, this means that all Orks lack a penis and thus urinate like females). While it was mentioned in early 40k fluff in a large list of Ork mutations that "Femboyz" exist, they were never elaborated on nor mentioned again. Little else on the list that never received a model was either however. This handily explains the massive population growth of Orks despite their comically high losses, which were dialed up to 11 in 40k as well.
While it was never made legitimately all-encompassing canon in Warhammer Fantasy via an all-inclusive "Orcs and Goblins breed through spores only"-style entry, GW nonetheless never mentioned Half-Orcs or Orc females again after 3rd edition. Night Goblins are mentioned to come from spores in a Black Library Skarsnik novel, although this can be explained by the strange anatomy and fungus obsession of the buggers as it is. In the ill-fated Warhammer Online game, Orc players begin their life emerging from a spore cave; but this game is non-canon, and took many liberties with lore.
Greenskin origins are suggested (but not confirmed) to be from spores brought accidentally by Old Ones. But since it was never actually retconned or contradicted, some players use the fluff that at least some Orcs and Goblins are technically still mammals and thus have some females who breed sometimes with some humans. Somewhere. There's many fan explanations, from sexually breeding Orcs being a mutation to the spore Orcs being a mutation, to a non-greenskin species that dwell among the greenskins like Giants do being mistaken for Orcs, to Chaos Orcs of Slaanesh, and so on. Some have even (possibly) jokingly suggested a connection between the fungal nature of the new greenskin lore, and yeast infections. These are only a fan theories designed to bridge the gap between new and old lore, however.
The "Orcgina" and "SpOrc" argument is known for being an easy trigger for fights on /tg/. Much of the argument stems from two groups of purists; the first believing that the spore "Orkyness" makes Warhammer greenskins more unique. The second argues against anything that came from Warhammer iiiiiiiiiiin spaaaaaace. Factor in accusation of Magical Realm, and you have a complete disaster.
Uncharacteristically, Half Orcs are not described as pig-disgusting to humans and weak to greenskins. They simply exhibit traits of both, and have the Orcish/Norscan tendency to not get along with either. While they were described as being usually evil, Orcs back in the day were actually evil as well rather than being the fight-loving dimwits of today. As a result, when going with the assumption that they DO still exist, it's likely that they are simply barbarians uninterested in reading or magic rather than outright malevolent beings.
Anyone wishing to field half-orcs could simply hybridize Empire/Bretonnian bits with O&G bits. Female Orcs (Orc Girlz? Femboyz?) can be found in several ranges, notably Russian Alternative which produces models to use as proxies with Warhammer anyway. Female Goblins are rarer, as the specific look of Warhammer Goblins are rarely replicated elsewhere. Of course one can always just get creative with the Greenstuff...
Despite all of the above, the spore AND female Orcs are canon to Blood Bowl. Half-Orcs are mentioned in fluff blurbs, the old Orc cheerleaders are female, and there has also been mention of spores.
Here's the flavor text, directly from their Forgeworld model page: "The Waaaghs (Wifes AAAnd GHerlfriendS) are the self-appointed cheer squad of the Gouged Eye. Stronger and larger than most of their male counter parts (you try raising Orc kids) the Waaaghs, disappointed with a poor season from the Orc team showed up one day to properly ‘motivate’ them. Now the Waaaghs can be regularly found on the side-lines whenever the Gouged Eye take to the pitch, hurling insults (and sometimes bottles) at the players, starting crude Orcish chants or egging the Orc players on to give the opposition more of a kicking. "
Oi'm twalf an' wots dis? DAT GIT WUZ KRUMPED FOR DAT POST.
Artwork from Blood Bowl depicting an Orcy cheerleader.
Greenskins don't care about history. At best, they are entertained with tales of violence (particular emphasis on the onomatopoeias). Shamans who manage to work up illusion magic and form visuals are well-prized by the group.
Greenskins factor into the histories of most races in the world. Although their numbers used to be far less, they still managed to get WAAAGH!s "organized" and rile up the other races. Earliest firsthand knowledge comes from a Tomb King in the days before the collapse of the Warp Gates who spent much of his mortal life hunting them for his amusement and to keep their race from spilling into Nehekhara. Before that, it's known greenskins suddenly appeared while the Old Ones were creating the other races of the world without explanation as to their origins. The Lizardmen Saurus were immediately tasked to wipe them out (a task they failed at, and put on the backburner when the Gates collapsed and Daemons came into the world). It is unknown where they fit into the plan of the Chaos Gods and Old Ones, but their natural affinity for chaos surpassing Chaos assures that whatever plan they were meant for, they almost certainly are no longer on that path.
HIZZTRI OV DA WORLD IZ DIS; FIRST, DERE WER NO ORC BOYS AND DERE WAZ NO WAAAGH! BUT DEN DERE WER DA ORC BOYZ AND NOW DEREZ LOTZ OV WAAAGH!!! HA HA HAAA!
Greenskins adapt to their environment over time, resulting in varied greenskin subgroups.
Ma longest ago memoriez were uv 'da sunny hills. Den da Boyz marched north for a fight, dose Boyz were darka green an’ lived in snow hills an' krumped us. Now I’m wun uv dere boss’s Boyz. I miss da sunny hills.
- Plain Goblins
Your standard Goblin. Not necessarily found in plains regions. Goblins are short greenskins with sharp teeth and large noses. They are generally cruel and cowardly, torturing anything they catch to death and the cruelest ways for lulz, and generally running from any fight unless full of adrenaline, afraid of what would happen if they run, or outnumber the enemy by a substantial margin. They're also fairly backstabby, and survive primarily by cleverness or being able to coerce a strong enough ally/army to do their work for them. Due to being more dexterous and on average, intelligent than their larger kin, Orcs will bully Goblins into doing the manual labor and work such as maintaining equipment or constructing anything.
Forest Goblins live in deep forests, as the name indicates. Unlike plain goblins and hobgoblins who ride wolves, the mount of choice of the forest goblins are giant spiders, which they 'milk' for poison. Forest Goblins revere the biggest spiders as gods.
While plain and forest goblins are essentially the exact same goblins, just with different living locations and customs, Night Goblins are considered a separate kind altogether, even more cowardly than regular goblins if more agile. The Night Goblins live in the tunnels beneath the World's Edge Mountains, wearing long hooded black robes to blend in when underground and protect themselves from the sun when on the surface. The Night Goblins have a heavy connection to fungus, being the only ones willing to consume Madcap Mushrooms and attempt to domesticate Squigs. Night Goblins have established themselves as the Arch-enemy of the other underground races, the Skaven and the Dwarfs.
- Plain Orcs
Standard Orcs, also not found exclusively in plains. Orcs are taller than humans and as muscular and stocky as a Dwarf, and possess a pig-like nose and tusks. Orcs are capable of being as cruel as Goblins, but less interested in asserting their dominance via torture unless a foe is entertaining enough to make suffer. Generally speaking Orcs look at smaller non-Orcs as food, labor, or something to simply kill and move on. Thanks to their strength, Goblins that outnumber Orcs use THEM as labor instead and force them to do the grunt work under the directions of a Goblin master.
- Savage Orcs
Orc traditionalists, eschewing the iron working of the orcs. Savage orcs go into battle wearing nothing but body paint, much to the displeasure of any non-orc fighting them. They have a variety of customs that other orcs consider to be unusual such as music made with drums or piercing themselves with bones. Despite this, Savage Orcs are even more bellicose than regular orcs, fighting even more ferociously.
The rarest and most dangerous of the orcs. The Black Orcs came into existence when the Chaos Dwarfs tried to breed a smarter and stronger breed of orc. Which is exactly what they got. These orcs quickly led a rebellion and escaped into the wider world. Unlike the rest of the Greenskin kind, Black Orcs are disciplined soldiers and leaders, meticulously maintaining their armor and weapons, both of which they carry in greater abundance than regular orcs and Black Orc leaders do not tolerate any infighting in their clans. Widely considered killjoys by the rest of the Orcs.
Hated by all other races of greenskins for not supporting the slave uprising against the Chaos Dwarfs. Backstabby even by greenskin standards. Its noted that in lore no other greenskin would trust them or suffer them to live, but in actual descriptions of the Hobgoblin warbands their armies are described as mixing greenskin groups, and being brought in as allies of others. Hobgoblins have canonically been hired as mercenaries by many factions who should see them as nothing but enemies including Black Orcs, the Empire, and Vampires. So take the whole “trusted by nobody, hated by all” lore as you will. Their closest allies are each other as they are described to gather into clans, then into hordes lead by Khans, which are all loyal to one Khan...but lore also says they're so prone to backstabbing that they are unable to form into large groups for long, once again causing a contradiction. In fact the only alliance that isn't contradictory is the lore that many are the thugs of the Chaos Dwarfs due to the fact no other group is willing to trust them, although in some of that lore its implied that all Hobgoblins serve in Chaos Dwarf armies as a massive disorganized mob that is busy stabbing itself to death in the back no matter what the task, while other lore implies that they are the managers of the slaves of the Chaos Dwarfs and serve as a regular army. So even in consistent lore, its vastly inconsistent as to who trusts Hobgobs and who doesn't.
Hobgoblins unfortunately were largely dropped from Warhammer in the late 90’s alongside the rest of the Dogs Of War army, although in this case likely due to the entire race basically being a giant unironic racist caricature of the Mongols (compare to the Hung, who at least are portrayed as “cool” evil Mongols). Seriously, Hobgoblin models tend to look like "Yellow Menace" propaganda that someone accidentally spilled blue on before it dried. Hobgoblins are treacherous even among a treacherous race, have disgusting hygine even compared to a disgusting race of literal fungus apes, and are cruel and arbitrarily evil even among a race that is cruel and arbitrarily evil. Hobgoblins only have one positive advantage, which is that some members of their race are more intelligent and manage to speak, read, write, and do proper math. These examples usually lead a horde, with all hordes and clans loyal to the Great Khan. Their combined horde is hinted at being one of the greatest threats in the world, but in all apocalypse events they are wiped out offscreen with no difficulty. A direct quote from a Hobgoblin implies they prefer a fight against an enemy who is fighting back to one cowering and soiling themselves, but then lore also notes them as the most cowardly greenskins who are incapable of going against survival instinct even when in a large frenzied group. Once again, fans may interpret this multiple ways. Also, they ride wolves and the wealth is a Khan is largely measured in their wolf herds.
The only major physical differences between Hobgoblins and Plains Goblins are a more sloping brow and a bony plate in their back which results in a permanent hunch. Hobgoblin models are distinguishable by their hats, although old core Goblin Archers wore a similar hat: consider it looted, coincidence, or further evidence other greenskins ally with them as you will. Their models appeared to be taller than ordinary Goblins, but this could be because the released Hobgoblin models are part of an elite army of successful survivors and may be bigger by virtue of age and nutrition.
tl;dr Hobgoblins are Black Orc versions of Goblins, and everyone hates them including GW.
Standing a little taller than a mans waist, Gnoblars are the weakest goblin variant, the only Greenskin even weaker are the Snotlings. The Gnoblars quickly figured out that they would have the longest life expectancy by finding the biggest sapient they can find and glue their lips to its butt cheeks. In this case, it is the Ogres who they serve, performing the menial tasks in exchange for protection and whatever the Ogres cast off. Almost every Ogre has a Gnoblar of his own, marking them as his by biting off a portion of its ear.
The smallest, weakest, most insignificant of the greenskins. Snotlings resemble goblins but are even smaller. Snotlings are barely above an animal in intelligence, behaving like enthusiastic and uncontrollable puppies. Orcs are fond of Snotlings, training them to do entertaining tricks or simple tasks. Goblins hate Snotlings, who often show off their hiding spots, follow them when they're trying to be sneaky or pantomime their murders.
- Iron Orcs
Introduced and only ever described in "Knights of the Grail", a Bretonnia splatbook for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition, Iron Orcs are a strange new orc subspecies recently seen in the Bretonnian province of Carcassonne and nowhere else - which has led to even their neighbors thinking that the Carcassonians are making them up. In fact, they're very real, and very dangerous. Iron Orcs are described as looking like orcs in plate armor, sans helmet, until you get closer - then you see that the armor plating is actually set directly into their flesh. They are described as faster, stronger and better armored than Black Orcs, but also dumber and more savage in nature. They are typically led by Black Orcs, and their numbers are reputedly increasing, which Duke Huebald of Carcassonne understandably finds quite worrisome. Iron Orcs favor the Big Choppa, a kind of orcish great-weapon that is big and clumsy even to orcs.
- Fire Kobolds
One of several goblin sub-species introduced in a White Dwarf article for 6e called "Goblinoid Breeds". Normal kobolds are utterly indistinguishable from common goblins. Fire kobolds, who live in volcanic regions and who have adapted by gaining resistance to fire and the ability to spit short-ranged gouts of flame, are much more distinguishable. They're easily recognized because they have large patches of fiery orange or red on their skin, with each individual's splotches being unique.
One of several goblin sub-species introduced in a White Dwarf article for 6e called "Goblinoid Breeds". Troglagobs are coastal, swamp and river-dwelling goblins who have evolved into amphibious lifeforms, gaining webbed digits, a more blue-tinted skin tone, and gills. They can't go too far from water, or they'll die. They favor poisoned weapons.
- Hill Goblins
One of several goblin sub-species introduced in a White Dwarf article for 6e called "Goblinoid Breeds". Arguably an attempt to bring back hobgoblins in a less-stereotypical way, the "Great Goblins" are an unusually large, confident and aggressive goblin strain native to the hill country at the very edge of the Badlands. Strong as orcs, these brutally ambitious goblinoids have much darker skin tones, some even approaching Black Orc coloration; they love to fight almost as much as orcs do, and will even hire out as mercenaries as well as joining WAAAGHs. Wrestling and brawling are favoured leisure activities for these hulking Goblins and they enjoy nothing more then bullying around their smaller Goblinoid cousins.
- Dust Goblins
One of several goblin sub-species introduced in a White Dwarf article for 6e called "Goblinoid Breeds". These are undead goblins that occasionally arise in the deserts of Khemri, after the Tomb Kings wipe out an invading WAAAGH! Unlike Humans, Elves and Dwarfs, an Undead Goblin corpse retains a small pan of its mischievous and unpleasant qualities from its previous malevolent life. These Undead Goblins, known as Dust Goblins, still bicker and taunt one another like spiteful children. Dust Goblins have a peculiar fondness for wielding blowpipes.
Another fungus-based lifeform considered to be among the greenskin race, despite having almost nothing in common other than reproduction method. They technically come in all colors, but in artwork and paintjobs they are almost always red. A Squig is basically just a mouth full of sharp teeth behind which sits a large tongue and behind that very strong corrosive stomach acid, while the rest of the Squig is some seemingly random number of eyes and other spike/scale features, all of which is usually propelled by two legs that serve no purpose other than to literally cause it to bounce. The actual behavior of the Squigs is extremely simple, they fiercely eat anything edible around them then use their legs to bounce themselves in a random direction until they find something else to eat. They're almost mindless in most cases, although a notable exception exists in Gobbla, the pet Squig of the head Night Goblin Warboss Skarsnik. Gobbla has intelligence comparable to that of a dog based on how he behaves in stories, and Skarsnik has the very un-Goblinlike trait of loving his pet Squig.
Squig is short for "squiggly beast" strangely enough. Most people coming from 40k know exactly what Squigs are, but just like how Grots are extremely unimportant in 40k compared to Goblins, Fantasy Squigs are extremely unimportant in Fantasy. Orks use Squigs for virtually everything, from leather to beer to something to chew on and so forth. There's a Squig for every task, and supplement materials cover Squigs in great detail while adding more varieties. By contrast, in Fantasy the only group of greenskins to use Squigs are the Night Goblins, the cave-dweller Goblins, due to the fact that Fantasy Squigs are also usually found underground. Night Goblins herd the smaller ones towards foes, or if particularly insane the Goblin may try to ride them. Larger Squigs are chained together and allowed to bounce off each other causing a destructive living wrecking ball. Colossal Squigs are drugged by being fed live Goblins full of sedatives, then controlled (in the loosest sense) while barely awake and let loose into enemies as a titan of dumbass destruction. A particular variant of Squig actually can spit an acid and anything in its mouth at a high velocity, so Goblins fill its mouth full of smaller Squigs and point it towards their enemies. The final variant of war Squig is only present in the Warhammer Online video game, where a class of Night Goblins use them as a pet similar to Skarsnik and Gobbla, but by literally beating their Squig over the head it grows in size and the Goblin can then jump into its mouth and hold on for dear life as they try to guide it like piloting a giant living tank.
The only non-combat form of Squig identifiable in Warhammer Fantasy is a type of Squigpipe, a bagpipe-like Squig. These are actually described in canon in 40k, but in Fantasy they are never mentioned and exist in the form of a model playing one. The stretched faces of Squigs can be found on some Orcish shields, but its not actually stated if use of Squig leather is common or simply just something a few Orcs did to look more intimidating.
- Everywhere... In the Old World.
- No really, that's more or less it. Orcs and gobbos can be found everywhere in the world to some extent, unlike pretty much all other races in Warhammer Fantasy. Each region has its own variant of Orc or Gobbo, but for the most part, it's mostly the same. All green, all love to fight. However, one region that has very few Orcs and Goblins is the New World, Naggaroth and Lustria. There are colonies from the Old World there, but nothing too large.
- The Badlands.
- This is practically the mainland of Orcoids everywhere. Dry, grassy expanse, the occasional mountain and a lot of dangerous wildlife makes it a real heaven for the Orcs and Goblins alike... Of course that means that the Badlands is uninhabited by pretty much all other races, who simply cannot make a living in such a barren and wild landscape. The Badlands are home to a multitude of clans of all sorts, and is also the region where Black Crag, an enormous Orc fort and city lies, a place that is constantly fought over by Warbosses. It is also home to the Spire of Bone, a fulcrum of sorts for shamanistic magic in the Badlands, and an object of worship for the Shamans of the mobs in the Badlands.
The greenskin army list is rather large, and may take some time to peruse.
Oy, I'z sad I'z not muckin' about!
Pretty famous for uniting every greenskin within smelling distance of his warboar (considering that Gnarla was the absolute foulest pig that ever lived this side of Grom the Paunch, that's a lot of greenskins). Renowned for smashing right into the very heart of the Empire in his WAAAGH!!!, looting the Soland Runefang, and siccing an entire brood of wyverns into the Imperial Palace, among other things. The obligatory legendary warrior that you find in every army book.
The Fantasy equivelant of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, what with seeing visions and being tactically sound and stuff. Azhag was born in the Troll Mountains to the far North, near the ancient ruined Dwarven Holds of that area. The place was riddled with Orcs, the ancient tribes having infested the caverns and roads of the long dead Dwarves. Apart from interclan Orc warfare, the Orcs fought the native trolls and nearby Chaos Northmen.
All was going along fairly dull until Azhag, who was at the time a weak chieftan in charge of a small mob, was driven deep into a tomb by a large Chaos warband. Hiding from them in the dens of Trolls (and butchering said trolls for a bit of sport) Azhag found an ancient crown with three green emeralds set into it. Azhag liked the "Shinee 'At" and promptly put it on his head. Unfortunately, said Crown was in fact an ancient artifact first forged by Nagash, and it had a fraction of the Necromancer's terrible power/personality put into it (so a Horcrux/The One Ring). Almost immediately, Azhag was overwhelmed by voices and commands to "Head North"; Orcs are notoriously stubborn however, and despite (or perhaps because of) his simple mind, Azhag could not be possessed by the crown.
Nevertheless, the crown granted Azhag mastery over the dark arts of Death, greatly heightened intelligence, and would often whisper advice and instructions into his ear. Under the Crown's influence, his tactics quickly became "unorcy". Azhag began to use pincer movements, flanking, feints, and other methods of that sort. More than that, Azhag began to actually give orders to the Orcs in his army, instead of just smacking them about and telling them to "Git on wiv it!". Using these methods, Azhag quickly united the Orc tibes in the mountains under his leadership and anyone who objected was either hacked to pieces or turned into dust. The orc tribes themselves didn't mind that Azhag would argue with himself or shout at empty air, dismissing him as "eezen-trik" and following him to war quite readily.
Azhag then began to move south under the urging of the crown, shattering Kislev and rampaging in a massive Orc Waaagh! that completely overwhelmed the human defenders. Used as they were to the usual Orc tactic of "Git all da ladz den smash da gits" they were completely unprepared for actual tactics. If that wasn't enough, Azhag was a beast in combat, riding on the back of a massive Wyrm and shooting bolts of purple lightning from his eyes.
Ultimately, the crown itself proved to be Azhag's undoing. Tired of the easily distracted Orc wandering around instead of heading south the crown tried to achieve complete control over Azhag during a terrible battle, leaving him quite defenseless when a warhammer came screaming down at his head. The crown itself was taken from Azhag's headless corpse and sealed inside the deepest vaults of the Imperial capital, and Azhag's warband splintered and was driven off. And that was the end of Waaagh! Azhag.
In the Total War: Warhammer continuity Azhag is still alive, and exists in the modern day. Now Nagash is pushing him south to reunite Crown with Books and body. Azhag is more interested in killing traitors, Dwarfs, and Chaos (Nehekhara didn't even exist in the game at release, and even now is more effort to subjugate than its worth).
The youngest of the three great Orc Warboss characters. Grimgor is a Black Orc brute who’s backstory is largely unknown, having appeared one day alongside his “Immortulz” elite warband and set about assembling a WAAAGH. He’s the one of the three active in the modern date of the setting, and can be fairly considered the main character/faction leader (note that this is controversial as some fans find him less interesting than the aforementioned two). In both Storm Of Chaos and End Times Grimgor lead the Orc forces. In the former his army was defeated, so he himself managed to defeat Archaon AKA the main bad guy via sucker punch and headbutt (it makes SO much more sense in both the in-universe and meta contexts, but is the main reason Grimgor has many fans), in the latter he became the living embodiment of Gork (or possibly Mo-no, never mind, it was definitely Gork) and the embodiment of the magic Beasts before Archaon beheaded him.(Fuck the end times)
Grimgor is the primary greenskin general in Total War: Warhammer.
The mysterious wandering Shaman that travels the world searching for the fabled warboss destined to lead them into the last, greatest scrap. Wurrzag used to be your standard savage Orc boy until he shot out green lightning from his mouth with a sneeze, and turned the tribe's Shaman into a rampaging squiggly beast during an important ceremony. After the Squig was caught and killed, the tribe prepared to ritually kill Wurrzag for his "Tranz-Gessons" when Wurrzag came under a trance. Dancing and gyrating more furiously than the tribe had ever seen Wurrzag proclaimed that Gork and Mork were angry because the Lizardmen had come and destroyed their stuff before building an ancient city where their temple once stood.
Leading them to the ancient ruins, Wurrzag cajoled and ranted until two great totems were built and erected in the glory of Gork and Mork. It is said by the savage Orcs that while the totems stand they will never truly be defeated by their enemies, a prophecy which is holding true so far. Wurrzag soon left his tribe, driven on by gibbering madness to find and talk to other Shamans and get them ready for the Green Tide, an era when orcs will unite under a powerful warboss and take over the Old World.
Moving through to the lands of the dead, he was given a great Boar called Spleen Rippa as tribute by the Spotted Skullz, and after a terrible battle against the Tomb Kings he looted an ancient staff made from bonewood. Now equipped with a magical artefact of not insignificant power and on top of a mean Boar, Wurrzag wanders throughout the Badlands, meeting with Orc warlords and chieftains to dispense judgement, and smash gits whenever he can find them.
Wurrzag is currently attached to Grimgor's warband, and was left behind in the Badlands to "protekt da place". Mostly because Grimgor couldn't stand Wurrzag's constant yammering about Gork and Mork and his incessant shamanistic shuffling.
In End Times Wurrzag informes Grimgor and Skarsnik that they are Gork and Mork incarnate respectively, then drops out of the story. In Total War: Warhammer he is a general of his own army, and can recruit Grimgor as a cohort.
I saw dat 'un once. Showed up as we was fightin' da spiky Pointy 'eadz down by Throatslash Cliffs cuz we wanted dere boats, made his hands glow green an' a giant glowin' foot krumped da Pointy 'ead Boss an his boyz! Didn't even hafta' twitch and foam at da mouf like our Shammy. Was a larf riot, but he kept dancin' tha entire time like he had melty ironz under his feet an' a spider gob stuck in his britches. After the killin' an lootin' he looked at our Warboss real long, den said 'yer not Gorky enuff' an danced back to his boar. Boss wuz never da same after dat, looked like a Snotlin' that lives after drinkin' summa' what tha Night Gobs drink. We put 'im outta his misery, then had a punch-up fer who'z da new Warboss. Lost tha fight but got da most Teef, so I say I won.
Extremely fat Goblin who regenerated like a Troll due to eating some Trollflesh. Had an illustrious career, more than almost any other Greenskin in history, crowned by doing more damage to the most powerful non-Chaos race in the setting, the High Elves, than any faction other than the Dark Elves. It should be noted that Goblins instinctively fear Elves. His WAAAGH mainly existed on a giant mobile wooden city-wagon early on. Managed to conquer an entire region of the Empire and created a capital city out of the ruins, where he enjoyed himself for some time until he heard the words of Gork (or possibly Mork) in his ear telling him to go west across the sea. He then managed to do the unthinkable, and invaded Ulthuan. His army was defeated, High Elves claiming he drowned trying to flee into the waves while some Elves and most greenskins claim he escaped into the mountains of Ulthuan, where the magic is strong, portals to the Warp appear, and many strange things happen.
He never reappeared. In non-canon post-End Times musings, Warhammer author Josh Reynolds put forth his idea that Grom did reach the mountains but died in the Warp. Its the closest the plot has to a resolution.
Dat gits a myth, no gobbo could do all da thingz dey say he'z done. Errytime sum gobbo starts squawkin' about Grom, I go outta my way to krump dem. Happened in a WAAAGH once, lost all my boyz 'cause I was busy chasin' da stoopid runty gobbos so dey'd stop sayin' Gromz real an da pointy star 'oomans chopped dem all up, my Big Unz like dey wuz just a gobbo. I started to charge back an' bash 'em all good, but da gobbos started runnin' and screamin' an before I knew it I wuz tryin' to run on toppa' ground o'gobbos so I gave up an' let 'em take me where dey wuz runnin, den krumped da little gits I could catch when dey stopped.
Grom's arch enemy that he never knew existed. Git wanted to be the biggest Goblin to ever exist and lead the biggest WAAAGH. Since Games Workshop forgot he existed, he probably failed. He’s also the arch-enemy of Josef Bugman, whose brewery he famously destroyed.
I neva' heard o'dis one. Sure its not more gobbo babblin'? I hate gobbo babble. I swear, I eva' find gobbos wif no moufs, I'm makin' my WAAAGH! outta dem.
While Grom was the epic Alpha male that goblins feature in their Orc-bullying fantasies, Skarsnik is the true epitome of the cunningness of goblins everywhere and the top contender for greenskin main character/faction leader alongside Grimgor. Skarsnik is so cunning that eventually came to be seen as the Morkier counterpart to Grimgor's insatiable battlelust. Skarsnik’s primary companion is an “intelligent” Squig pet named Gobbla whom he genuinely loves.
Skarsnik’s story is too long for a summary, but he’s most notable for controlling one of the most important fallen Dwarf Holds and fighting Dwarfs lead by Belegar Ironhammer and Skaven lead by Clan Mors to keep it. He’s the leader of the Night Goblins, and coordinates most military action against Dwarfs to some degree.
In End Times he became the embodiment of Mork, and Gobbla was killed by a Skaven, causing Skarsnik to leave the Eight Peaks to form a WAAAGH after finally slaughtering the last Dwarfs and Skaven in it, but dropped out of the story. According to Josh Reynolds non-canon endings, Skarsnik’s WAAAGH united with Grimgor’s and he went out butchering Chaos. In Total War: Warhammer he starts in the Grey Mountains where he was looking for allies (same as Belegar) and the Peaks rebelled in his absence.
An Orc in charge of Black Crag who hates Dwarfs more than anyone else (unless you count Chaos Dwarfs and Grimgor). Basically exists to be Skarsnik's Orc bottom bitch. Don’t let that fool you though, he’s still quite massive for an orc and was able to best Queek Head-Taker in head on fight.
Took a Dwarf Hold, now squats in it getting fat. Killed by Thorgrim Grudgebearer right before End Times, while in Total War: Warhammer he is almost invariably the first enemy you wipe out while playing as Wurrzag, Azhag, or Grimgor.
I don’t know 'oo ‘dat iz.
Black Ork Warboss mounted on a boar. In recent fluff his tribe is mapped as being in the Grey Mountains while he is depicted throwing a Bretonnian crusade back though Mad Dog Pass. Gets his back broken by Grimgor in End Times.
Gitilla is the Big Boss of da Drippin Fangs tribe. Riding an enormous wolf named Ulda, Gitilla is a nasty one to fight due to his constant attacks from angles that happen in a single moment.
Forest Goblin Comanche Warrior. Empire wiped out his tribe, so he wants to push them out of the spider lands. There isn't much else to his lore.
The greatest of the Hobgoblin Khans. It takes the combined forces of Cathay and Tilea to keep his horde from overwhelming Cathay, and its thanks to him that expeditions down the Warhammer Silk Road have a 10% success rate.
Once a very wealthy and powerful warlord under Hobgobla Khan, until at the Battle of Xen-Tu the Hobgoblin leader and Oglah’s ally Hablo Khan was killed. While most Hobgoblins would flee as Hablo’s army was, Oglah decided to use his signature move of siding with the opposite army, rallying his 600 Wolf Riders into cutting down Hablo’s troops from behind. It was during this treachery that Hobgobla’s own army appeared. Hobgobla dealt with the Cathayans, during which time Oglah fled. Despite the fact that treachery is valued and expected and constanf betrayal is WHY Hobgobla was fond of Oglah, somehow the sudden but inevitable betrayal angered Hobgobla and Oglah was banished from the steppes. Despite the fact that Black Orcs HATE Hobgoblins, the Black Orc Warboss Gordug Smasher, who was WAAAGHing his way through the Old World to wipe out Tilea, hired Oglah’s army as scouts. During the ensuing Battle of Long Knives Oglah predictably switched sides, helping Tilea destroy Gordug’s army and for his “bravery” Oglah was paid generously by the general Giovanni Giuliani and hired as his army’s own scouts. At some point later Oglah was seen fighting as a Vampires' scouts against the Border Princes before, as always, betraying his own side and saving the humans.
His original 600 have been whittled down to a small detachment, but each is battle-hardened and skilled in combat far beyond any other greenskin. He’s also always pulling the same trick, backstabbing his own army and being rewarded by the foe and fleeing if that doesn't work.
Khan of the Blackwolf Clan, undefeated in open field battle, and ruler of the most powerful of the Hobgoblin mercenary armies including several famous companies. Ghazak prefers a total war approach, entirely slaughtering and consuming populations then razing all that remains, resulting in a Goblin feared far beyond any other. While he himself only speaks the language of the Hobgoblins few who address him directly survive the meeting, the Hobgobla Khan sent him and his men to survey the distant west. Only merchants have met him and survived, for he tolerates no rival and sees any military force as a foe while useful noncombatants are invited to his great village-sized tent. His personal banner is white with three red claw marks, and those who serve him bear flags depicting a black wolf tail. His battlecry inspires terror and can be heard for miles, his mount is a giant wolf named Warghan whose species has never before been seen west of the World’s Edge, and his helmet contains a Wind Daemon that he outwitted and made serve him.
Of the three Hobgoblin characters, only Ghazak has a model. Its also one of the single most racist minis GW ever produced, after Pygmies of course...
Black Orc WAAAGH!less Boss from much older Warhammer lore, his Mother Crushers tribe is the single most hated and feared group of greenskins in the Warhammer world not due to scope of destruction or size of horde, but simply because he's managed to make his small group of elite warriors survive and wipe out enemy armies for a ludicrously long 42 years without a defeat. One of the strangest groups of Orcs, who use complex tactics as well as discipline and reading/writing.
Asexual life partners of dubious canonicity from Warhammer Online. Semi-witting willing pawns of Malekith via their intelligence-boosting magic amulets that fight alongside alongside a Chaos invasion of the Empire, they united the Badlands greenskins to wipe out the Dwarfs in Malekith's complex plan to take Ulthuan. Grumlok is a Black Orc, Gazbag is a Night Goblin, they share one model due to their inseparable nature.
Black orc warboss who had a WAAAAGH! literally shot to pieces under him by Chaos Dwarf crossbow fire, after which he was ousted from his position as Warlord of the Crooked Eye Tribe. He and his few remaining loyal followers stumbled across the ruins of a long-destroyed dwarfhold, where they found the remains of a savage battle between dwarves and chaos dwarves. Struck by inspiration (and a boulder that fell from the roof), Ruglud covered himself in armor and taught himself how to use the crossbows he looted from the ruins, making his boys do the same. They now roam the land as the only known orcish mercenary company.
The new Grimgor for the Orruks.
- By default of the "Plains Orc" variety, which is either coincidentally or intentionally a joke about being a plain old Orc. A very big and very nasty git among big and nasty gitz. Armed to the teef and clad in plate and chainmail, this guy is baaaad news because on his tail there sure to be hordes upon hordes of Orcs, Goblins and all manner of other creatures, ready to follow their Warboss to the biggest fight and the juiciest loot. There's also Warbosses for the four other races in the Waaagh:
- Savage Orc Warboss: Just like your standard Orc Warboss, only a brain-addled loony. Savage Orcs shun armor and even most metal weaponry, relying on clubs/bones/obsidian, lucky/magical warpaint on bare skin, and the ability to go into a berserker rage (more so than they already were anyway) to carry the day instead. Won't be winning any contents for brains soon, even by Orc standards. Savage Orcs are the "purest" form of Orc and are considered unpredictable by other Orc varieties, are almost impossible to reason with, and are unpredictable; this from a race already known for all of those attributes.
- Black Orc Warboss: An even bigger, stronger, more heavily armed & armored version of your standard Orc Warboss. Add in brains and the (by Orcish standards) organization of his underlings, and he's even more dangerous. So powerful that, in most editions, he'll use up an extra character slot on his own. Black Orcs were bred...somehow...by Chaos Dwarfs for their greater strength and intelligence, which made their eventual rebellion successful. Other greenskins find them unsettling due to their comparatively un-Orcy behavior (although other races wouldn't see much difference).
- Goblin Warboss: The goblin equivalent to an Orc Warboss. Plains Goblin, a plain Goblin. Nowhere near as killy as a standard Warboss, but he doesn't have to be when he as already a stuck a knife in the enemies backs.
- Night Goblin Warboss: A Night Goblin Warboss. Night Goblins are better organized than most, and most Warbosses must be either appointed or at the very least approved by (read: "not not a threat to") Skarsnik. Night Goblins are also insane even by greenskin standards, almost all addled by mushrooms of various kinds and amounts. This insanity does not make them any less intelligent however, as Night Goblins have been fighting against Skaven and Dwarfs and holding their own for most of history.
- Great Shaman: A shaman who managed to survive a (comparatively) long time and get really good at channelling Waaagh Energy. Or just a prodigy who soaks up the Waaagh energy like a sponge and manages to absorb more without bursting. Provides powerful, bluntly effective magical spells that tend to focus on kumpin' gitz. Don't normally lead Waaaghs themselves, but tend to be the closest thing an orc warboss has to an adviser. The Savage Orc Great Shaman is the more feral and mystical counterpart to the standard Great Shaman. Tends to engage in behavior even other Great Shamans think is pretty loony. Worshipped as a living avatar of the gods by his Savage Orc fellows, so these guys are more likely to lead their own Waaaaghs. Goblins and Night Goblins have Great Shamans too; as with the goblin warbosses, they're weedier, but arguably smarter - their branch of magic focuses on augmenting allies and cursing enemies more than directly attacking. The Night Gobbo Great Shaman has the unique trait of gorging himself on magical mushrooms that act as mana potions, giving him a greater chance to cast spells or more spells per day, but which can cause himto explode like an overripe puffball.
- Big Boss: Younger/weaker equivalent to the Warboss, the second-best fighter in the Waaagh. Either leaders of their own small Waaaghs (in a small-point game), or else ambitious underlings who'll be looking to take the Warboss' place when they're hard enough. As always, come in Savage Orc, Black Orc, Goblin and Night Goblin variants too.
- Shaman: The basic magic-user of greenskin society, tapping into the magical Waaagh Energy which is generated by excited greenskins. Comes in Orc, Savage Orc, Goblin and Night Goblin variants. Orc shamans are more focused on blasty spells, Gobbo ones prefer more cunnin' and tricksy spells. Night Goblin Shamans can still gobble mana-mushrooms for some extra spell juice, but are more likely to go boom as a side-effect.
- Giant Spider: The forest goblins ride these arachnophobes nightmares, using them in much the same way humans use horses. Though unlike horses, forest goblins will 'milk' them for venom which they use on their weapons.
- Giant Wolf: Plain goblins use Giant Wolves as their main pack animal. Being as fast as elven steeds and several times more vicious make goblins great mounted units.
- Gigantic Spider: Even bigger spiders. These spiders have developed a resilient carapace, but are so rare that only Big Bosses and Warbosses ever ride them.
- Great Cave Squig: If you thought Squig hoppers were mad, some Big Bosses or Warbosses let their power go to their head and try to control even bigger Squigs. To their credit, some of these madgobs survive and manage to control the creature, gaining an effective battle mount.
- War Boar: Despite being herbivores, Boars are ill-tempered and vicious beasts. Two traits that are admired by orcs which is why they are the most common mount used by Orcs. The impact a charging boar can produce is worse than that of a charging horse due to their massive tusks.
Ya git, gruntas be omnomnivores, dey happily eat anyfin' from bread'n'beer to bones'n'bacon! Dey care lil' where da noms come from.
- Wyvern: Wyverns have sometimes been misidentified as smaller, fouler-smelling and far less intelligent dragons. Though resembling a dragon, the dragons themselves embrace the idea of sharing a kinship with wyverns with the same enthusiasm as an elf would embrace a drunken vomit-stained dwarf. Not even an orc is daft enough to try to tame a fully grown Wyvern but occasionally they manage to get ahold of a Wyvern egg to raise as a mount.
- Orc Boyz:
Do you really need this explained to you? They're fantasy orcs.
- Orc Arrer Boyz:
The weirdos of the Fantasy greenskin world. Comparable to the Blood Axes of 40k, these orcs fixate on the strange practice of ballistics and archery. Since the concept of Dakka is still alien and mostly delegated to goblins, arrer boyz don't seem to command a lot of respect from both the player base or their orcy brethren. Still, being shooty is appreciated and most greenskins can appreciate the larfable sight of a stuntie turned into a pinchushion (and also the fact that you don't want to insult too much the boy who is behind you with a plinty ztickz and a bow).
- Savage Orcs:
While most Orc groups loot to their hearts content when they have the option to do so, and Black Orcs are capable of making new and exclusively Orcish gear, Savage Orcs refuse to advance in culture. Still living in the state they did when they were first noticed by the Old Ones, Savage Orcs are as dumb as can be. They barely have a language, barely have capacity for learning, and barely have any sort of gear barring teeth, bones, and sticks with mud. They wear simple scraps of leather and grass if anything at all. While they have tales surpassing the normal Orcish attention span going back throughout Orcish history, they are just as tied to fights (and hunting) as one would expect. They cling to these stories as the example by which all Orcs should live by, and have a great deal of hate for their modernized cousins.
So how do Orcs succeed? The same way they do in 40k. Savage Orcs are capable of the same feat of believing in something hard enough that it happens or works. The most complex part of their culture is their system of warpaints, which produces the belief that makes the results true. Blue spikes on the chest protect from arrows, and the Orc's skin cannot be pierced with them. A drawing of an eye on the stomach make them a conduit for Gork and Mork (or Mork and Gork?)'s will, and suddenly you have a level 1 Wizard. As a result, much of Savage Orcish communication (even verbal, as drawing accompanies it) is done in pictographs. Savage Orcs have an amazing capacity for abstract representations in this regard, translating the Elvish script on Waystones before the defacing of them begins. In addition, the capacity for planning and strategy in the minds of modern Orcs is replaced by absolute savagery unknown to even Khornate berserkers as Orcs tear across the battlefield faster than Cheetahs and stronger than Ogres.
Savage Orcs often employ logs with a giant stone tip at the end carried by two Orcs as a giant spear. In ages past, the Orcs used these to hunt large prey and to bring down Lizardmen who hunted them. As a result, Savage Orcs still do this regardless of whether it is useful or not. Shrunken heads, fetish totems, and various other things that not even Elves and Empire Wizards can understand the workings of are carried by their leaders.
tl;dr Savage Orcs are Warhammer Dwarf Orcs.
Are not long for this world.
- Goblin Wolf Riders:
Many goblin tribes are nomadic in nature, raiding, stealing or when in a pinch, trading with other greenskin tribes. Goblins ride four foot tall at the shoulder wolves that are often more dangerous than the riders. They make a good team, perhaps due to mutual instincts to attack the helpless, injured and/or isolated and it can even be hard to determine whether the mount or rider is in charge. Goblin Wolf Riders are lightning quick, only being matched in speed by the elves, making them incredibly effective fast cavalry, pelting targets with arrows and fleeing before the opponent can respond, charging the flanks and picking off small units.
- Night Goblins:
Like normal goblins, except they're bat-fuck crazy. Imagine normal goblins, but slightly smarter, loads more crazy, and constantly hopped up on 'shrooms. They hate going outside, so they share characteristics with your typical fa/tg/uy (nigh/tg/oblin?) in that way. They typically refuse to leave their caves except at night, where they raid nearby settlements. They don't just hate the sun, it may actually burn their skin so severely that they could die from being exposed for to long. To prevent burning up immediately every time you need to leave the cave to get the mail or something, night goblins wear black, or sometimes drab grey, robes.
Not as cowardly as your typical goblin, they're actually smart enough to a point where entire tribes of both orcs and goblins may be lead by a single night goblin. Problem is, they're horrifically paranoid, to the point where they feel everyone's out to get them (to be honest, they have a point [an orc spear point to their ribs]). At they're very best, night goblins are completely insane, and their "inventions" tend to be little more than "strap a squig to it and poke it a lot". One famous night goblin "innovation" was to get their craziest gobbos, hop them up on loads of drugs, and give them a huge metal ball. When the time is right, they fling them towards the enemy, run like hell, and hope to Gork (or possibly Mork) that he doesn't follow them.
Living in caves, night goblins are absolutely hated by the dorfs, especially since Skarsnik kind of rules the dorfs' old fortress at Karaz Eight-Peaks. The dwarfs have declared night goblins (like all greenskins) as eternal enemies of all dwarf-kind. For some reason, night goblins also hate skaven, probably because they argue over who gets to live in the shit-and-corpse-filled ruins of dwarven society. The feeling is completely mutual on the ratmens' end.
- Forest Goblin Spider Riders:
In older editions forest goblins were the weedy jungle counterpart of the more prolific savage orcs. They're still around nowadays but since they're basically just goblins that prance around in Village People tier parody costumes of Native Americans their presence in the game is now just cut down to their spider riding aspect. Where night goblins have mushrooms and squigs and regular goblins have being beaten up by orcs, forest goblins have spiders. Forest goblins use them for mounts, shrines, and in the case of shaman, peyote that bites.
- Black Orcs:
Black Orcs are Orcs who were kept as slaves. Yes, Games Workshop went there. More specifically, Black Orcs were enslaved long ago by the Chaos Dwarfs who bred them (how is unclear, given they no longer undergo sexual reproduction, presumably it involved feeding them mutagens, letting orcs spore under controlled conditions, culling those which did not meet the desired criteria and repeating the process with those that did) to be large and hulking, while also obedient. This backfired as the Orcs were much less prone to infighting ("much less" rather than "never" mind you) and capable of learning which resulted in highly effective slave rebellions. Black Orcs left the region of the Chaos Dwarfs and spread out, coming into contact/conflict with both Ogres and their other kin, eventually reaching even the Empire.
Black Orcs are very perculiar compared to all other forms of greenskin. Black Orcs don't simply loot everything, but actually create new things using raw materials and salvage. Beyond that, they are actually capable of maintaining what they create or loot. They are somewhat less prone to the superstitions of the other breeds of Orc, but even without blue paint and a lucky Dwarf foot are much tougher and more skilled than your average Boy or Savage Orc. Most other kinds of Orcs consider them highly useful to have around, but generally not Orcy and worthy of scorn for their aberrant ways. Of course the strong gear, strong bodies, and slightly stronger minds ensure the Black Orcs always end up at the top of the leadership rungs of whatever mob or WAAAGH! they end up a part of. Pretty much they're the warhammer version of the Uruk Hai.
- Orc Boar Boyz:
Orcs may not be the brightest of creatures, but that doesn't mean they're idiots. When they came up against cavalry, it didn't take them long to realize the advantages of riding their own beasts into battle. But, rather than muck around with fiddly, wimpy creatures like horses - except for them weird gits in the Gray Mountains who like to ride Hagranyms - orcs chose a more orcy creature: the savage, aggressive, thick-skinned and flatulent wild boar! Hanging onto these squealing, snorting monsters for dear life, boar boyz may not be as quick as the goblin wolf riders, but they hit with a lot more force.
- Savage Orc Boar Boyz:
Savage Orcs keep the company of large packs of wild boars, who share their food and follow the Orc tribes wherever they go. Said boars are not the boars of Earth, but rather horse-sized monsters with skin like tanned leather. The boars roam freely, as the Savage Orcs believe they are a gift from their gods and are kindred spirits. Before battle, any Orc wishing to ride a boar must (by himself) catch and headbutt into unconsciousness one of the pack. He and his bros will paint the boar, ritually scar, and adorn the boar as they see fit. When it awakens, it finds itself mounted by an Orc foaming at the mouth and often carrying one weapon in each hand swinging at anything nearby. It bears mentioning that, even amongst orcs, only savage orcs are crazy enough to try and ride a boar using only their feet to exert some form of control.
- Orc Boar Chariot:
Once they figured out how to ride boars, the next and obvious step for orcs was figuring out how to strap them to a chariot and go careening around the battlefield at high speeds. In typical orcy fashion, there are constant punch-ups over which form of boar-riding is better.
- Goblin Wolf Chariot:
Lighter and frailer than their orcy counterparts, the goblin wolf chariot still adds a bit more punch to a goblin's Waaagh than mere wolf riders alone can provide.
- Goblin Spear Chukka:
Being relatively clever and inventive creatures, the goblins were quick to figure out that the principles behind their own bow-wielding boyz could be scaled up to create crude, but effective, ballistas, adding much needed ranged firepower to the Waaaagh.
- Night Goblin Squig Hoppers:
Completely fucking bonkers by night goblin standards, which is honestly saying something. Basically a bunch of wily squig herders who decided it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to grab onto angry squigs and ride them full-speed towards the nearest enemies.
- Night Goblin Squig Herd:
Squigs are very common in night goblin society, mostly because they breed them for everyone else. Snce squigs are mostly nothing more than very pissed off mouths with legs, night goblins seem to have the bright idea that they should take the toothiest squigs, bring them to the battlefield, and poke them repeatedly until they start attacking either the enemy, or the night goblins themselves.
On occasion, the most fungus-filled caverns may attract a great cave squig, which some night goblin warbosses will then attempt to tame and use as mounts. They're actually quite effective, if not completely fine with murdering literally everything in their path, including the warboss' tribe.
Smallest, weakest and stupidest of all the greenskins, snotlings infest greenskin camps like fleas and are regarded with disinterest and occasional amusement by their bigger relatives. When the greenskins go to war, enormous hordes of snotlings may march along in imitation, wielding whatever vaguely sharp rubbish they can scrounge up and trying to kill whatever they bump into.
Bigger and dumber than even the biggest, dumbest orc, trolls are brainless eating machines heavily touched by Chaos whose ability to regenerate from almost anything they get hit with makes them virtually impossible to kill, and thus they are valued by orcs for their brute strength. Even if they make Savage Orcs look like educated scholars with how dumb they are. Plus, orcs find it hilarious when a human knight dies a horrible, screaming death being melted by a troll puking hyper-corrosive vomit all over him.
- Goblin Rock Lobber:
Your basic catapult, with goblins dumping rocks into a spring-loaded device that then throws the rocks into the air to, hopefully, bash some gits on the other side of the battlefield. Not as common as the Spear Chukkas because, frankly, goblins are weedy and accuracy ain't the greenskins' strong suit, but they're better suited for breaking down walls, so orcs keep making them.
- Doom Diver Catapult:
Legend has it that this started out as an attempt by the greenskins to create flying reconnaissance troopers. This didn't work, but because a goblin falling on your head from hundreds of feet up is surprisingly deadly - and funny to watch - it was adopted into the greenskin army as a new projectile weapon. Goblins will literally fight to strap on the primitive gliding wings and spear-tipped helmet of a Doom Diver; if you gotta go, then being shot out of an oversized slingshot and whizzing at ridiculously high speeds whilst finally getting to literally look down upon orcs is as good a way to go as any. Besides, some Doom Divers actually survive.
- Snotling Pump Wagon:
Snotlings may have brains the size of grapes, even by greenskin standards, but that doesn't mean they don't want to join in on all the fun. A snotling pump wagon is their attempt to emulate the chariots used by their bigger relatives; a ramshackle heap of junk that lurches across the battlefield, propelled by the dubiously useful efforts of snotling gangs using primitive pump-action engines. Orcs & goblins tolerate this with a paternal amusement. Besides, sometimes it actualy does something useful, and even if it doesn't, they're only snotlings.
- Arachnarok Spider:
An Arachnophobes Worst Nightmare. It is a Giant monster spider ridden by Forest Goblins. One of the best Units the Orcs and Goblins can use.
- Mangler Squigs:
A weapon that only Night Goblins were crazy enough to come up with: take two "Great Squigs", then attach them to each other by sturdy chains. Then poke them in the direction of the enemy and hope their mutual dimwitted antangonism of each other will whip them into a literal whirling frenzy of destruction, like a load of perpetually-propelled chainshot from a cannon.
- Stone Trolls:
A less common breed of trolls, more frequently encountered in the mountainous regions, stone trolls have turned to devouring stones and earth to sate their eternal hunger. This has caused their hide to thicken and toughen, making them better armored than common trolls. More importantly, it makes them heavily resistant to magic.
- River Trolls:
As their name suggests, this troll subrace has adapted to life in and around the water. Whilst this amphibious ability can make them more mobile in battles around marshes, swamps or rivers, their true value is in their thick layer of protective slime and gut-wrenchingly vile stink, both of which impede an opponent's ability to deliver a telling blow.
Long ago, Giants lived on the tops of mountains in an area roughly analogous to the Himalayas of our world. They were left there by the Old Ones, who had created them as a race dear to their hearts (like the High Elves) who were nonetheless not the perfect living weapons to use to fight Chaos. They were gifted by many Old One devices, magics, and lessons which guided their race into a utopia of families living in distant isolated castles. Then the race created just after them, half-formed and dumb as rocks stuck in mud, came. Ogres were creatures which possessed little save their massive hunger, and having been driven out of their homeland of the Mongolian Steppes by the arrival of the Great Maw they were looking for a new place to settle. Ogres reproduced as fast as men, with the durability of Dwarfs, and came in MASSIVE numbers. Upon meeting an infinitely wiser race of peaceful beings so tall they couldn't see their faces, the Ogres immediately attacked with the intention of eating every single scrap and bone of every man woman and child of the Giants they could find. After many years, the Ogres finally accomplished their goal; the few remaining Giants had managed to mount their castles upon clouds and fled the world of mortals. After realizing there was no food to be found, the Ogres then moved on westwards again.
But not all Giants had been wiped out. Some during the years of fates worse than death had fled northwards and westwards. The Giants who survived lived in small communities, with each generation hearing less and less of the tales of their ancestors until the modern day Giants who are barely more intelligent than Orcs and have many of the same behaviors (mainly consumption of whatever they can find whenever they can find it) of Ogres. Most stick to themselves, destroying human villages and moving on. But some find themselves captured by the servants of Chaos and are goaded into doing the bidding of the Beastmen. Still others are recruited eagerly by greenskins, who show them a degree of respect (afterall, they ARE the biggest gits around!) that no other races affords them. Giants living among greenskins have good lives, getting intellectual stimulation from conversing with the Orcs and Goblins (who are unusually talkative when asked questions by a creature strong enough to crush a boulder to pebbles within their same tribe) and any captives the Orcs and Goblins take. They are never without food as any time the greenskins fight (including amongst each other) there are ample corpses around which the greenskins have only a passing interest in.
Giants are VERY fond of alcohol. While greenskins have little to no interest in it, most are willing to brew it to secure the services of the Giant. Some Goblins however are clever enough to realize that it is a successful recruiting tool as well.
Giants often adorn themselves in things too large to be of use to their smaller allies, like the parts from Steam Tanks or the bones of things like Dragons.
Racial relations are as follows:
- Dwarfs AKA Stuntiez are being driven back by the Goblins, peak by peak and fortress by fortress. Dwarfs have begun to adapt technology for the upper hand in the long-standing war and have received aid from both elf and human, it may be far too little far too late. If derr's anyfing dem stunties is good at, iz making fine flash choppas an' bluddy great boom barrelz. Wez gotta fights an' loots from em more!
- Ogres make good fights. Also good comrades for the greenskins who can pay them. Dey iz real big an' ard, like da bossez an' skarboyz. Only reesun we ain't buddiez iz dey aint green, an' dey likez eatin' more dan fightin'.
- Dark Elves make use of greenskins as pawns, sometimes rewarding them. Greenskins are usually outsmarted by the more clever Dark Elves into fighting another group. Usually... Dey giv' us loot and shows us where a gud fight is... an' sumtimez we fight 'em afta dat battle! Dese pointy 'eads iz fun ta fight cos dey iz kunnin', spiky, got lotsa big beasts an' likez fightin' as much as we do.
- Wood Elves drive them back from Athel Loren whenever possible. Greenskins continually try to cross it to reach Bretonnia or the Empire for fights. Sneaky pointy 'ead gitz dat use lotsa arrers an' hide in trees. Not gud fightz ta be honest, but sumtimez da trees get up an' fight too, an' deyz gud fightz - plus da wood's gud fer chariots, rock lobbas an' spear chukkas an' wot 'av ya.
- High Elves have earned the respect of greenskins the world over by, after the invasion of his homeland by Grom the Paunch, Eltharion the Grim attempted to wipe out the greenskin race using fire magic and made better headway than any other race in history. He has retreated home, relying on the reputation he has earned to inspire WAAAGH!s to come to him and dwindle against the natural and magical defenses until they are so diminished his forces can finish them off once and for all. It seems that he's been successful at least in getting the word out. Dese shiny pointy 'eads give very good fightz, but dey'z dangerous. Boyz don' spawn afta fightz wiv dem, must be sum pointy 'ead magic. Gobbos fear all pointy 'eads fer sum reason, includin' da sneaky and kunnin' ones. Even more den usual dat is, which is really sayin' sometin'.
- The Empire are easy pickings, not bad for fights. 'Umiez iz weak and deserve ta get krumped. Sometimez dey put up gud fights tho, but only if dey'z got boom barrelz, magic or dem fancy stunty-made-choppas. But usually dey don't. So dey get krumped, heheh.
- Bretonnia is better fights. Dey may be weak 'umiez, but da horsey-boys iz fast an' love ta fight at choppa range. Ya see any fancy-boys muckin' about, ya ignore da runtier gitz and go straitz fer dem cuz deyz gud fightz. Dey also bringz bluddy big rock lobbaz.
- Lizardmen are even better fights than that. Da big lizards are killy, da really big lizards are dead killy and dey got good loot hidden in dem pyramid-fings. If ya take da gold in da pyramid-fings den da scaly-boyz get mad, I meanz real propa mad, an' deyz keep comin' fer ya again an' again ta get it back of yaz, which suitz us just' fine. Such gud fings ta fight, too bad deyz so rare, itza real shame dat.
- Vampires are better fights than Bretonnia and close to Lizardmen, but have less loot. Dem blood-drinkaz iz really gud fights. Lotsa strange boyz wif 'em tho, krump one and sumtimz 'e getz back up, sumz just bonez and sumz ghosty-fings dat choppa's can't chop. An' don't take any of der loot cuz itz alwayz rubbish an' even if da loot looks nice, it tryz ta whisper ta yaz, tellz ya ta do fings - "Put sumfing up ova' 'ere, wreck dat stone ova' der, kill 'im", like wez alwayz needz ta be told ta do dat, fank yoo very much.
- Tomb Kings are good fights and have great loot! Da mummiez is fun ta fight and dey have sum of da best loot. Dere big, walkin' statue fings are loot an' fight pu' tagether! But dey iz hard ta find an' dere's nuffink ta eat or drink when ya do.
- Warriors of Chaos are glorious fights! Dey iz spiky, dead 'ard an' like fightin' nearly as much as we do! Especially da red ones wiv skullz. Sometimes dey have dem strange gits wiv 'em, which means weirder fightz.
- Daemons are strange gits that come from swirly magic portals some places. Shamans can bring them in intentionally when fights are scarce.
- Beastmen are good fights, and better food.
- Skaven are sneaky gits, and make for poor fights. But there's a lot of fighting to be done and they make for good eats. Dem rats' worse dan gobbos an' dey got weird, glowy boom barrelz. Deyz mostly runty gitz, more dan 'umiez even, but dere's lotz n' lotz of 'em, so leest yaz don't go 'ungry afta da fight.
- In addition to the mounts listed above, the 2nd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay stated that some orc tribes in Bretonnia have taken to riding a new monster called a Hagranym, which are Chaos-touched predatory cliff-climbing horses who are actually way smarter than the orcs they're teaming up with. Hagranyms have never appeared on the tabletop, however.
This is a cake. Made for the launch of Warhammer Online, made by those guys who had a cake show on Food Network on an actual episode until it got canceled. Suck it, Orks.
Seeing Tzeentch would drive these guys sane. Seriously, not an exaggeration.
|Playable Factions in Warhammer Fantasy Battle|
|Human Kingdoms:||The Empire of Man - Bretonnia|
|Elves:||High Elves - Dark Elves - Wood Elves|
|Dwarven:||Dwarfs - Chaos Dwarfs|
|Undead:||Tomb Kings - Vampire Counts|
|Heirs of the Old Ones:||Lizardmen|
|Greenskins||Orcs - Goblins|
|Servants of Chaos||Warriors of Chaos - Daemons of Chaos - Beastmen|