Warhammer 40,000/3rd Edition Tactics/Orks

From 1d4chan

This is an old Edition's Ork "tactics". The 5th Edition Tactics are here while the 2nd Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Sisters of Battle ORKS![edit]

Because you're a proud fa/tg/uy who can remember the good old days when the models were pewter, the vehicle armour was Papier-mâché, and the universe was populated by Orky gits instead of whiny 'Eavy Armoured Mary Sues. And with the animal-fest that is the galaxy, an entire army composed of badass 'Eavy-Armoured mushrooms with nothing but a Burna and their Waaagh! is like a breath of fresh air. What's that? Aspect Orks? Zog your Squig-dung. Go play elda... alda... da pointy eared gitz. These are blasts from the past, when everything was scratch-built, the force org chart was 50% HQ, and the Warboss had a Gork(or possibly Mork)damn Bionik Bonce. You're going to win for the same reason you always have. You're the hardest, Squigiest, git around and you've been pushing these kids' Squig-dung in since they had Yu-Gi-Oh lunch boxes. Welcome to the new hard mode.

Ahem, now we've got that out of the way. 3rd edition Orks're a very adaptable army with a lot of different ways to play, as well as a truly staggering number of Troops choices to choose from (sixteen across three different army lists), and easy access to weapons and vehicles from other factions to fill gaps in their line. And with all the various customisation options available, never before nor since will Orks be this Your Dudes-friendly.

Special Rules[edit]

  • MIXED ARMOUR: It's entirely possible for single mobs of Orks to've multiple different types of armour and thus Armour Saves in them, so the normal casualty rules're slightly altered. Basically, when an Ork player's rolling Armour Saves, they use use the best Armour Save in the mob as long as that Armour Save's the majority, else the next highest's used if it's the majority instead, and remove casualties from the members of the mob with the Armour Save used. The idea being that the enemy'll aim for the bigger ones first.
    • So, if a Warboss in Mega Armour's joined by his bodyguard of Nobz in 'Eavy Armour and they outnumber him, the Warboss can't be attacked until the number of Nobz with 2+ saves's equal to the number of Warbosses with 4+ saves. In the same way, if a Warboss in 'Eavy Armour's joined by his bodyguard of Nobz in Mega Armour and they outnumber him, the Warboss still can't be attacked until the number of Nobz's just one. This's a massive boon for your characters, as it means they can't normally be targetted until you whittle down their escorts, increases their survivability immensely.
  • ORK MOB RULE!: Orks're more resistant to the effects of Morale and Pinning as long as they've got numbers on their side. Mobs role for these tests as normal, but if they fail then they immediately roll 2D6 and compare the number rolled to the number of Ork models in the mob (so not Gretchin). If the number rolled's equal to or less than the number of Orks left, the failure's ignored. By this rule, Ork mobs of twelve or more're essentially considered to always pass these tests, so your thirty-strong mobs aren't going anywhere in a hurry.
  • MOBBING UP: If an Ork mob of foot troops (that is, not Stormboyz or Warbikes) has fallen back, they can move towards the nearest Ork mob located behind them instead of the nearest board edge, and if any models in the retreating mob come within 6" of the new mob during this move, then the two mobs can attempt to merge. This's done with a 2D6 roll against the retreating mobs' Leadership, and if the number rolled's equal to or less than their Leadership value, then the two mobs join and the models of the retreating mob can immediately make another 6" move to join up with the new mob.
    • Retreating Ork mobs that mob up count as destroyed for Victory Points purposes, and the newly created mobs still use their initial starting strength and points value for Victory Points purposes. This allows you to create the over-strength mobs of your dreams under the right circumstances, but it isn't a sure thing if it'll work, so don't rely on it to save important assets.
  • POWER OF THE WAAAGH!: They feel the Waaagh! overtaking them, it's a good pain! When an Ork mob charges, immediately roll 2D6 and compare the number rolled to the number of Ork models in the mob (so not Gretchin). If the number rolled's equal to or less than the number of Orks left, all Ork models double their Initiative for the remainder of that assault phase. Again, this means that Ork mobs of twelve or more always double their Initiative on the charge, allowing them to get the jump on regular Human opponents and trade blows simultaneously with Space Marines.
  • GRETCHIN MOBS: Gretchin mobs always use the Leadership of Ork Slavers accompanying them if available, and aren't affected by Mob Rule. Gretchin mobs that fail their Morale check go to ground and're removed from the board to represent them hiding, with their Slaver remaining to indicate their position. Under these circumstances the Slaver can't move, shoot, or charge, but can be shot at and can fight back if charged, and if the Slaver's killed or if no Slaver was present, then the Gretchin mob's counted as destroyed.
    • As long as a Slaver's alive and remains on the board, their Gretchin mob can attempt to regroup even if there're under 50% of them left and/or the enemy's within 6", and a Gretchin mob that has gone to ground and regroups may be placed back on the board in coherency with their Slaver. This helps Gretchin mobs survive slightly longer, so they can get on with sacrificing themselves for more important things.

Ork Clanz (White Dwarf 290)[edit]

Optional rules for Codex: Orks if you want to run an army themed around a particular Clan, as opposed to the more generalist armies presented in other material.

Core Mobs make up the rank and file of the Clan, and thus can be taken as Troops choices, in addition to whatever FOC slot they originally came from. A Clan army must take Core Mobs as its compuslory Troops choices, and all restrictions on the number of said units, like 0-1 or 0-2, are removed for them.

Common Units meanwhile're standard in all armies, and're thus taken as normal with all limitations still applying.

And finally Rare Mobs're those that aren't much seen among that Clans' forces, gaining the 0-1 limit on how many you can take, and if said units already have a 0-1 limit, they aren't employed by the Clan at all.

Ghazghkull and Nazdreg both've their own Special Rules for army formation, which override these ones.

Bad Moons[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, dere's nuffin teef can't buy.

This clan is the richest because of how fast their teeth grow. When you can manufacture so much currency, there is no reason not to buy out the best Loot and Gubbinz from the Mek boys and Lootaz. Thus does the clan make very ostentatious displays of their wealth by buying the flashiest guns teef can buy.
On the tabletop they are the shootiest of the orks, drowning their foes in more accurate Dakka that's less likely to blow up.

  • Core Mobs: Flash Gitz
  • Common Units: Battlewagon
  • Rare Mobs: Stormboyz, Slugga Boyz, Skar Boyz
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: A free Kustom Mega-Blasta for your Warboss! He also MUST take at least 40 points of wargear, but you were gonna do that anyway.
  • Clan boss Upgrades: Each of your non-Grot Troops choices can take either a Mad Dok or a Mekboy instead of a Nob, and if brought must take either three Grot Orderlies or three Grot Oilers. A useful way of getting more medics or engineers on the field.

Blood Axes[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, those gitz won't know wot hit 'em!

The Blood Axes are all about using tactics that other factions wouldn't expect them to use, anywhere from sneak attacks to covered advances. Truly, the pinnacle of orkish strategy. These orks tend to be the ones most likely to be hired out by other factions, and they'll tend to use them in their own flashy style.
On the tabletop, just imagine if the Ultramarines and Raven Guard were green. And dumb. And used tactics that may or may not be entirely ethical. Or tactical.

  • Core Mobs: Kommandos
  • Common Units: Looted Vehicle
  • Rare Mobs: Stormboyz, Trukk Boyz, Battlewagonz
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: If your Warboss and his Bodyguard put together number twelve or less models, they can take a Chimera Looted Wagon as a Dedicated Transport, about the only way to get around the 0-1 limit on those.
  • Clan boss Upgrades: Same as the Bad Moons Clan Boss Upgrades, Mad Dok and three Grot Orderlies or Mekboy and three Grot Oilers, instead of a Nob for each Troops choice that isn't Gretchin.

Death Skulls[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, findaz keepaz.

This is the luckiest clan and the most eager to loot the battlefield.

  • Core Mobs: Lootas
  • Common Units: Looted Vehicle
  • Rare Mobs: Skar Boyz, Kommandos, Flash Gitz
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: Your Warboss must paint himself blue with Lucky Tattoos for a few points, which count as a Cybork Body.
  • Clan boss Upgrades: Only have access to Mekboys and Grot Oiler trios instead of Nobz for Troops choices, with their focus on nicking machines taking preference over healing other.


In the grim darkness of the far future, da 'ardest boyz don't muck around wif all that flash, dey just go to Waaagh!

The most brutal clan led by Ghaz smashes anything in front of them. This makes them the face of the army, and that is a role they perform well. Goff strategy doesn't tend to evolve far beyond the need to get stuck in and apply choppas to the forehead.

  • Core Mobs: Skarboyz
  • Common Units: Stikk Bommaz
  • Rare Mobs: Kommandos, Trukk Boyz, Warbuggies/Wartrakks, Warbikes, Lootaz, Looted Vehicles
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: Free Big Horns for your Warboss! You also MUST take a Waaagh! Banner, to show the lads who's boss.
  • Clan boss Upgrades: Free Big Horns for your Skarboyz Nobz in twenty-strong mobs!


In the grim darkness of the far future, sometimes all dem shiny gubbinz just don't cut it, and a good ole' choppa is all you need.

The Snakebites are the closest thing in 40k that greenskins can get to their AoS counterparts. They're dumb, even for orks, and shun fancy technology for practicality - even though there's no stipulation against taking any mekaniaks.

  • Core Mobs: 2+ Huntas from the Feral Orks list
  • Common Units: Boarboyz, Madboyz from the Feral Orks list
  • Rare Mobs: Big Gunz Batteries, Dreadnoughts, Stormboyz, Flash Gitz
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: Your Warboss can take a Super Cyboar from the Feral Orks list, for a more shooty version of the Feral Ork Warboss.

Evil Sunz[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, da red 'uns go fasta!

The Evil Sunz are the fastest orks in all the galaxy. They're mean, green, and ready for some speed.
On the tabletop, they're fast... No, that's it. If you want to play a mobile ork army, then the Evil Sunz are for you, with basic boyz that move as fast as marines, vehicles that move faster than eldar, and strategems that make them go even faster than before! All with the sweet cherry of ignoring the Assault rule.

  • Core Mobs: Warbikes
  • Common Units: Battlewagon
  • Rare Mobs: Grots, Skarboyz, Dreadnoughts, Killa Kanz, Lootaz, Big Gunz, Kommandos
  • Clan Warboss Upgrades: You may take a Kult of Speed Warboss on a Warbike to lead your non-Kult of Speed army, keep him with some regular Warbikers since you won't have Nobz on Warbikes.
  • Clan boss Upgrades: Mekboyz instead of Nobz for Troops choice leaders, but have to take Kustom Force Fields instead of three Grot Oilers, for maximum bubble coverage.


Faithfully recreated in alphabetical order for your reading pleasure... Y'know, as opposed to, like, something sensible Gork (or possibly Mork) forbid. And your basic Shootas and Sluggas aren't even given profiles in some copies of your own book, as some print runs of Codex: Orks replace the Summary with a photo collage and a quote, leaving you without the stats for all the infantry weapons in your infantry-heavy army. Don't worry Andy, we don't blame you for that.

Ork Wargear[edit]

  • Ammo Runt: A single miniature with a Gretchin stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, that can't be targeted by enemy shooting but can get caught in Blast markers and other templates. Once per battle, one Ork model in base contact with this guy can re-roll one To-Hit dice in the shooting phase, after which the Ammo Runt is removed, and this doesn't count for Morale or Victory Points.
  • Attack Squig: A single miniature with a Squig stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, roughly equivalent to a Human with S and T 3 and two WS3 attacks at I4.
  • Choppa: Your basic sword, much more nasty back in the olden days of yore. This thing limits an opponent's saving throw to 4+, making Space Marines that much more easy to puncture.
  • Big Horns/Iron Gob: Two different upgrades with the same effect, +1 Ld for your Warboss or Nob. The two can't be combined for +2 unfortunately, so you can't sport both a pair of horns and a metal jaw. Remember that when assembling your minis'.
  • Bionik Arm: For when you design your Ork right after playing Assassin's Creed. The Bionik Arm can incorporate all manner of built-in weapons, with examples given such as small pistols, retractable blades, or even cages containing live and livid wild animals. Whichever one you choose is purely cosmetic, as they all give the same bonus of a single automatic melee attack at S4 and I6, and the target of this attack must be in base contact with the wielder. Additionally, it counts as a regular CCW, and can't be taken with Mega Armour.
  • Bionik Bonce: Because who doesn't want to cosplay as the Big G? Bestows +1 to your current armour save, which obviously can't be combined with Mega Armour.
  • Bosspole: Bought for a Nob but can be carried by one of his Boyz or Grots if he's in a mob, allows you to re-roll any Leadership tests if you fail on the first try.
  • Burna: Can be fired in the shooting phase as an Assault 1 template weapon, or swung in the assault phase as a Power Weapon, but not both in the same turn.
  • Cybork Body: Your 5++ Invulnerable Save for anyone that wants it. Give it to your Nobz along with Mega Armour and they can pretend they're Terminators.
  • Dok's Tools: Limited to healing ONE Ork miniature per turn at the end of the enemy shooting phase, but even models reduced to zero wounds can be brought back if the dice gods be with ye. A roll of 1 results in the Mad Dok actually injuring his patient further, whilst a 6 returns a single wound, and anything else means nothing happens.
  • 'Eavy Armour: Gives your Ork a 4+ Armour Save, which can combine with the Bionik Bonce above for a 3+, and if you do this you should totally give him Space Marine Pauldrons.
  • Grabba Stik: A tool to increase the range of your Runtherd's melee attacks, allowing him to attack enemy models up to 2" away in close combat, but he can't use any other special weapons like Choppas.
  • Grot Orderly: A single miniature with a Gretchin stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, each one in base contact with a Mad Dok gives +1 on their Dok's Tools roll up to a maximum of +3. Overenthusiasm on the Grot's part however means that a roll of 1 before bonuses always fails.
  • Grot Oiler: A single miniature with a Gretchin stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, each one in base contact with a Mekboy gives +1 on their Mek's Tools roll up to a maximum of +3. Overenthusiasm on the Grot's part however means that a roll of 1 before bonuses always fails.
  • Kannon: Heavy gun capable of firing one of two ammo types over 36"; S5 Heavy 1 Blast Frag Rounds, or S8 Heavy 1 Krak Shells. Frags are fired like ordnance, rolling a Scatter dice and 1D6, and moving the Blast marker that many inches in the direction indicated, but if a Hit and a 6 are rolled then a Gretchin Krewman is killed. Kraks count as ordnance against vehicles, rolling 2D6 for armour penetration and picking the highest, and penetrating hits roll on the Ordnance Damage table.
  • Kombi-Weapons: A regular Shoota with another gun bolted on to it, usually either a Skorcha or a Rokkit Launcha, which can only be fired once per battle. The Shoota may be upgraded with Kustom Jobs.
  • Kustom Mega-Blasta: Orky Plasma Cannon goodness, on a To Hit roll of 1 scores a wound/glancing hit on the Ork/vehicle carrying it.
  • Kustom Force Field: Your 5++ Cover Save for all models that fit within a 6" bubble around the model carrying the thing, so you don't need to fit the whole mob in for it to take effect, but only the miniatures within the field will benefit.
  • Kustom Job: Comes in three flavours; More Dakka, Shootier, and Blasta. More Dakka makes your Shoota or Slugga Assault 2 instead of Rapid Fire or Pistol, but Sluggas can still be used in melee. Shootier makes your Shoota or Slugga S5 instead of S4. And finally Blasta makes your Shoota or Slugga AP3 at 12" range, and AP2 at 6" range, but like the Mega-Blasta above, on a To Hit roll of 1 it scores a wound/glancing hit on the Ork/vehicle carrying it.
  • Lobba: A weapon with a Guess range of 48" and S and AP 5. It's a barrage weapon so roll a Scatter dice and 1D6, and moving the Blast marker that many inches in the direction indicated, but on a Hit and a 6 a Gretchin Krewman is killed.
  • Mega Armour: Gives your Ork a 2+ Armour Save, and comes with a Shoota and a Power Claw as standard. The wearer always moves as if travelling through Difficult Terrain so 1D6 random movement, but if actually travelling through real Difficult Terrain gains no additional penalty. Mega Armour built-in weapons may not be exchanged for different ones, but the Shoota can be upgraded to a Kombi-Weapon or a Kustom Shoota. Mega Armoured models can't use Jump Packs, Bikes, Bionik Arms or Bonces, Frag or Krak Stikkbombz, or Tankbusta Bombz, and can't Infiltrate.
  • Mega Boosta: Allows Mega Armoured models to re-roll their movement dice.
  • Mekboy's Tools: Limited to fixing ONE Ork vehicle per turn at the end of your movement phase, and the Mekboy can't shoot or assault in the same turn. A roll of 1 results in the Mekboy actually damaging his ride further, whilst a 6 repairs either a single weapon or the engine, and anything else means nothing happens.
  • Skorcha: Can be fired in the shooting phase as an Assault 1 template weapon, swaps around the S and AP of the Burna.
  • Squighound: A single miniature with a Squig stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, weaker than an Attack Squig by two Initiative, one Attack, and one Leadership. If one is in base contact with a Slaver, they may re-roll Leadership or Morale tests for their Gretchin mob or Big Gun battery.
  • Super Stikkbombz: A bundle of Krak Stikkbombz strapped together, rolling an armour penetration of 10+2D6, but if a double is rolled the user suffers an automatic wound with armour save allowed.
  • Stikkbomb Chukka: A bit of kit that allows an Ork in Mega Armour to use Frag Stikkbombz, but if they do they can't use their Power Klaw in melee and must fight at base Strength.
  • Tankbusta Bombz: Function like Krag Stikkbombz but double the D6 roll for armour penetration.
  • 'Uge Choppa: Reduces an enemy's maximum save to 4+ just like a regular Choppa, but gives you +2S in exchange for forcing you to strike last.
  • Waaagh! Banner: Can be carried by the Warboss himself if he doesn't trust any of his men to do it. If a mob has at least one model within 12" of the banner, they may re-roll their Power of the Waaagh! test when charging.
  • Zzap Gun: Auto-hits with random 2D6 Strength and AP2, though an 11 or 12 results in no shot fired and one Gretchin Krewman is killed. Against vehicles, it adds 2D6 for armour penetration.
  • Banna Wava (Chapter Approved 2001): A single miniature with a Gretchin stat line that follows the Ork you bought him for, he's just there to carry your Nob's Bosspole or Warboss's Waaagh! Banner, but he can also take a Grot Blasta for a bit of additional firepower.
  • Boar (Chapter Approved 2001): You now count as Cavalry, congratulations!
  • Wyrdboy Stikk (Chapter Approved 2001): An earthing rod for psychic powers, lets a Wyrdboy re-roll the Strength of any 'Eadbang attacks he suffers.

Ork Vehicle Upgrades[edit]

  • Armour Plates: Additional 6+++ Feel No Pain protection for vehicles against glancing and penetrating hits, but doesn't help against ordnance. Easy to add to your models by just sticking a load of spare panels to it.
  • Big Grabber/Wrecker Ball/Reinforced Ram/Boarding Plank: Functionally identical rules wise, they all allow Ork vehicles to attack enemy vehicles in close combat. You only get one attack per weapon, and can only have one of each, for a maximum of four. Attacks always hit on a 4+ and are S6, but can't be used against walkers, skimmers, or infantry.
  • Bolt-On Big Shoota: For Wartrukks only, and has to be operated by a passenger. That's all there is to say, really.
  • Grot Riggers: Gives your immobilised vehicle a chance to restart again on a 4+ D6 roll, only once per turn at the start of each turn. Auto-take if you have the points spare.
  • Searchlight: Only bring these during missions with the Night Fighting Special Rule, useless otherwise. Each vehicle with a Searchlight can illuminate one enemy unit per turn, allowing themselves and other friendly units to fire at it as if it were day, but consequently all enemy units can also fire at the vehicle doing the illuminating as if it were day too. So either stick it on something expendable that you can live without, or something tough that can tank the hits.
  • Spikes 'n' Blades: Enemy infantry that miss their melee swings against vehicles equipped with these babies suffer S3 hits. Can't be fitted to Wartrukks because it doesn't meet the Health & Safety code. Cute but situational, obviously close quarters is where you want your Orks to be, but if your non-Deff Dred and Killa Kan vehicles themselves are dragged into close combat, they won't last long anyway.
  • Stikkbomb Chucka: Spelt differently to the infantry-portable one for... reasons? Allows a non-tank vehicle or walker to perform a Tank Shock attack, and gives actual tanks a -1 modifier to their unfortunate target's Morale check. Adds a bit of extra versatility to your smaller buggies.
  • Turbo Boosta: +D6" during the movement phase which doesn't count towards shooting or disembarking limits, but must be in a straight line, and on a 4+ the vehicle and passengers can't shoot or disembark. That means you have a 50% chance of not being able to do anything with your vehicle or its compliment, for only the paltry gain of being up to 6" further up the board. Red Paint Job is more reliable.
  • Red Paint Job: +1" to all movement distances. You know it, you love it, and available to Orks of all Clans now courtesy of blood splatter.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • 0-1 Warboss: A very different beast to the lovable guy we're familiar with in later editions, he's only T4 poor lad, but can take up to 80 points of wargear from the armoury, so he'll quickly beef up with extra gubbinz. You MUST include at least one Warboss in your army as stipulated by an unnamed Special Rule. An 'Uge Choppa keeps him cheap and cheerful, whilst a Power Klaw lets him open cans.
  • Warboss's Bodyguard: A motley crew of lackeys for the boss, which doesn't take up a HQ choice but may only be taken if you also have a Warboss. You can choose from between five and ten Nobz, up to two Mekboyz, and up to two Mad Doks, all of whom may take whatever equipment they're allowed from the armoury up to 40 points (or 80 points including Mega Armour if they're Meganobz escorting a Mega Armoured Warboss), and can be mounted in a Wartrukk as long as they number ten models or less including Gretchin and Squigs. You want a mob of Meganobz? You can do that. Jealous of Space Marine Command Squads? Hire your own Apothecaries and Techmarines.
  • 0-1 Big Mek: Half the price of a Warboss, and he can take anything from the armoury allowed for both Warbosses and Mekboyz up to 60 points, so a good budget option. Doesn't come standard with Mekboy's Tools, but can buy them for tuppence.
  • Big Mek's Bodyguard: A Big Mek can have his own retinue of between three and five Mekboyz and optional Wartrukk, none of which may have the same weapons loadout courtesy of another nameless Special Rule. They can ALL take Mekboy's Tools though, so the amount of vehicles a full mob can fix in a turn is a true sight to behold.
  • 0-1 Painboss: He's a HQ this time around for the same price as a Big Mek, and like the Mekaniak he doesn't get Dok's Tools by default, though it is just a 1pt upgrade. Can take any equipment allowed to Mad Doks up to 60 points.
  • Painboy's Bodyguard: Each Painboy can also take a bodyguard of between four and nine Cyborks in a Wartrukk if he wants, which are considered a single unit with him if taken, so feel free to Counts As with a Looted Servitors. They can't take any upgrades so you're stuck with the base Sluggas and Choppas, but they all get a 5++ invulnerable save and T5, making them pretty resilient.
  • 0-1 Wyrdboy (Chapter Approved 2001): An Ork Esper, with access to two powers he can choose from each turn. Psychic Vomit's a S4 Flamer template of stuff better left undescribed, whilst Gork'll Get 'Em's a S8 Blast with a range of 72", which manifests as a giant green fist or foot that squashes anything beneath it, which'll be more accurate with his WS/BS3. He can have up to 40 points worth of equipment from the armoury, so give him something nice to make up for everything.
    • 'Eadbang: Because his powers come from the gestalt psychic field of the Orks around him, a Wyrdboy'll never be attacked by Daemons when using his powers. His head may occasionally explode, however, meaning he suffers a single Sd6 hit if he rolls snake eyes or boxcars.
    • Wyrdboyz: Because he really doesn't want to be here on account of 'Eadbang, an unaccompanied Wyrdboy always counts as a mob with only one man remaining, so must make a Last Man Standing test at the beginning of each turn to prevent him bolting.
    • Minderz: Because the Warboss really does want him to be here, if you also have a Brute Mob at least ten-men strong in your army, you may split off between two and five of them to act as an "escort" for your Wyrdboy, but they've got to be normal Brutes, not Nobz or ones with special weapons. As long as at least one Minder remains alive, the Wyrdboy doesn't've to take Last Man Standing tests.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Ghazghkull Thraka: "He was an avalanche from an unexpected quarter. He was a thunderbolt from a clear sky." - Commissar Yarrick. Only available for use in armies already over 2,000 points, and then only if all players in the battle agree to using special characters, so if That Guy doesn't want you to use him, he can totally say no. He's equipped with Mega Armour, a Mega Boosta, a Bosspole, an Iron Gob, a Stikbomb Chukka, and a Kustom Shoota with the More Dakka and Shootier Kustom Jobs.
    • Goff Army: As a leader with very specific preferences, he carries certain army restrictions, and you MUST have at least one Skarboyz mob, but can only have up to ONE each of Kommandos, Burna Boyz, Warbuggies or Wartrakks, Warbikes, Big Gunz, Lootas, and Looted Vehicles.
    • Adamantium Skull: A unique brain-plate crafted for him by Grotsnik, which makes him T5, and gives him a free headbutt attack in close combat. Can only be used against one enemy model in base contact at I4, and if that model suffers a wound from this attack they're stunned, and may not attack in melee for the rest of the turn if they've not already done so.
    • Waaagh!: Once per battle, Ghazghkull can call his own special brand of Waaagh!, giving him a 2++ invulnerable save for the remainder of the turn, and making all Orks on the TABLE pass all Leadership and Morale tests for the duration, as well as double their Initiative in close combat as if they had charged, though Gretchin again aren't affected.
  • Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub: "By their account this leader spoke good Imperial Gothic and used reward as well as punishment to ensure increased production of munitions and armaments." - Inquisitor Nastor. BACK WHEN HE STILL HAD RULES, I'M NOT CRYING. Just like Ghazghkull above, your army must be over 2,000 points to use Nazdreg, and an elegan/tg/entlemans' agreement to use special characters. He packs his Kustom Blast-X, an Assault 1 Plasma Cannon, as well as Mega Armour, a Mega Boosta, a Bosspole, and a Stikkbomb Chukka.
    • Bad Moon Army: He's a real force multiplier for an Ork army, his Special Rule allowing you to include one additional Heavy Support choice. To balance that out though, you can't bring more than ONE each of Skarboyz, Stormboyz, Kommandos, Slugga Boyz, and Stikk Bommas.
    • Kunnin' Plans: This means one Elites or Troops mob of twenty models or less can stay in reserve, and enter the battle by either the Infiltrators or Deep Strike rules.
  • Mad Dok Grotsnik: "Operate! Operate! Still time to operate!" - Himself. As hilarious as ever, this time around his Special Rules're titled Mad! and Bad Influence, making him and any mob he joins immune to the effects of Morale and Pinning, and forcing them to move in a straight line directly towards the nearest enemy model and assault if possible. He comes with both Bionik upgrades as well as a Cybork Body and Dok's Tools, and his More Machine than Ork Special Rule makes him T5.
  • Wazzdakka Gutzmek: "'E's still da toughest, meanest, greenest, most fightinest bad Ork bikeboy dere is." - Unnamed Mekaniak. The Speedboss himself, riding a Warbike with Twin-Linked Autocannons instead of Big Shootas.
    • Speed Freek: As a Speed Freek, he must make a Leadership test at the start of each Ork turn, and if he fails then he must immediately move 12+2D6" in a straight line in the direction his miniature's pointing in. If he's in combat or joined to a mob, he leaves and moves off, and if he moves off the board, he is removed but not counted as a casualty for Victory Points purposes.
    • Scrabbla: This Special Rule represents his Grot Rigger, Fixit, who can lean over as a counterweight to improve balance, and let him re-roll Difficult Terrain tests.


  • Wartrukk: A Fast Open-Topped vehicle with a capacity of ten models, it can take a single Big Shoota or Rokkit Launcha. Can't take a Burna like the Feral Ork Junkatrukk, but also less likely to break down on you.


  • Stormboyz: Can't yet match Slugga Boyz in terms of mob size at only twenty max, and can't take any squad support weapons, but may have Frag and/or Krak Stikkbombz, and their Jump Packs Special Rule gives them extra mobility.
  • Kommandos: It takes a real Ork to run in to battle naked, no wonder they're so good at hiding. With no armour save at all, Kommandos are in the same boat as Gretchin, and so they'll need to stick to cover if they want to survive. They can take all three types of Orky grenade, Frag, Krak, and Tankbusta, and may have a mix of Shootas and Sluggas & Choppas.
    • Infiltrators: These guys're dead sneaky, and can thus use Special Rules for Infiltrators in scenarios that allow it.
    • Slippery: Roll 2D6 movement through Difficult Terrain instead of 1, which means they can actually move faster through dense scrub than in open country.
    • Blind & Smoke Grenades (Chapter Approved): For a couple of points per Kommando, you can give them these.
  • 'Ardboyz Twenty Slugga or Shoota Boyz with a 4+ Armour Save, a third more expensive points-wise, and can take Frag and/or Krak Stikkbombz.
  • Skarboyz Twenty Slugga or Shoota Boyz with S4, similarly priced to 'Ard Boyz and with identical options, though they pay two points more for a Burna.
  • 0-1 Flash Gitz: Only Boyz this time around, with Shootas that can have one (and only one) Kustom Job, giving them either a higher rate of fire, stronger shots, or better armour penetration. Up to four of the twenty can bring any of the squad support guns, the most of any Ork mob save Burna Boyz who're limited to Burnas, and Lootas in certain configurations, so they can be more Rokkity than Tankbustas, and as Burny as Burna Boyz.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Boss Zagstruk: "If ya wanna be big an' mean, If ya wanna best an' green, If ya wanna get da job done fast, Da Vulcha Skwad iz where it's at!" - Themselves. An upgrade to a regular Stormboyz mob which becomes Da Vulcha Skwad, he lacks his signature Power Claw feet, instead having a S5 Assault 2 Slugga and Tankbusta Bombz as a consolation prize.
    • Turbo Swoop: He gives himself and his mob his signiature Special Rule, which allows them to assault up to 12", and add +1S on the charge. However, they must always roll Difficult Terrain tests when landing, and 1D6 must be rolled for each member of the mob including Zagstrukk after close combat attacks have been resolved, with a single model being removed for each roll of 1 with no armour save allowed, which counts towards combat results.
  • Boss Snikrot: "Half-glimpsed shadows? Orks wearing camouflage? Do you take us for imbeciles?" - Unnamed Provost-Major. An upgrade to a regular Kommandos mob which becomes Da Redskull Kommandos, unlike the Kommandos he accompanies he actually has an armour save, albeit only 6+.
    • Unseen, Unheard: He gives himself and his mob his signiature Special Rule, which forces enemy units trying to shoot at them to first check if they can actually see them, via the Night Fighting Special Rule, making his mob much more survivable. To see if they've been spotted roll 2D6 and triple the result rolled, and if taking place during night halve that result after tripling, if all models in Da Redskull Kommandos're outside that range from the firing unit in inches, then that units' shooting is wasted as they blast away at shadows.
    • Backstabbers: This also gives them an edge against sentries, and all enemy sentries halve their Initiative when trying to spot Da Reskull Kommandos, as well as only raising the alarm on a 6+ instead of a 4+ when killed in close combat by them.


  • Slugga Boyz: Thirty Boyz with Sluggas and Choppas, and three of them can take Big Shootas, Rokkit Launchas, or Burnas. Your bread and butter as an Ork player, they do their job.
  • Shoota Boyz: Same as above, but with Shootas instead of Sluggas and Choppas, a point cheaper per Boy, but their Nob's a point more expensive to upgrade. Go see the 8th Edition Tactics for a more detailed assessment of the benefits of Sluggas versus Shootas.
  • 0-2 Stikk Bommas: A unit that'll be lost from the Codex entirely in future publications, rendered unnecessary by giving their trademark gear to literally everyone. One of thirty Stikkbommas brings a Slugga, CCW, and Frag and Krak Stikkbombz into battle, and can bring Tankbusta Bombz too, whilst three can pack either a Big Shoota, Rokkit Launcha, or Burna.
  • 0-2 Burna Boyz: If only they were Troops in later editions too, though in fairness they aren't nearly so well equipped as their successors. The ten of them come with Sluggas and Choppas as standard, with the options for the whole squad to take Frag and/or Krak Stikkbombz, and up to four can take Burnas. Can be lead by a Mekboy instead of a Nob, who doesn't replace another member, giving them eleven models in total.
  • 0-2 Tankbustas: Another unit that moved from Troops to Elites in later editions. Each of the ten Tankbustas comes with a Slugga, CCW, Frag Stikkbombz, and Tankbusta Bombz, and up to three may take Rokkit Launchas for a couple of points MORE than other mobs pay for the SAME weapons.
    • Tank Hunters: Their Special Rule allows them to always pass Tank Shock tests, and adds +1 to all Armour Penetration rolls, so these guys are really more aimed at taking down tanks in melee with their Tankbusta Bombz than at range.
  • Gretchin Mobz: You get one Slaver and between ten and thirty Gretchin armed with Grot Blastas, which also don't have a profile in your sacred text. In this addition Gretchin share the same low BS of Orks, so you don't take these guys for their accuracy. Instead they have some nifty Special Rules to buff your Boyz out;
    • Living Shields: Does what it says on the tin, and gives Ork mobs behind them a 5++ Cover Save, with each save, successful or not, resulting in one of the Gretchin models being removed.
    • Better Footing: If a Gretchin mob's in Difficult Terrain, and a non-Mega Armoured Ork mob moves through the same Difficult Terrain, the Orks may use the Grots as stepping stones and re-roll their movement dice.
    • Mine Clearance: And last but by no means least, again self-explanatory. If a Gretchin mob moves into a Minefield, roll 3D6 and remove that many Gretchin and the Minefield, but if there aren't enough Gretchin models to meet the number rolled, the Minefield remains and the Gretchin mob's still wiped out anyway. They give a 5++ Cover Save more easily and reliably than a Kustom Force Field, and you aren't reliant on a single model to provide it.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Trukk Boyz: A mob of Ork Boyz limited to ten models and a Wartrukk, in exchange they get the Bailin' Out rule which means that when said Trukk is inevitably destroyed with them in it, they only suffer wounds on a 6+ instead of a 4+, thanks to their experience of jumping in and out. The Boyz may have a mix of Shootas and Sluggas & Choppas in the same mob. Thanks to their Special Rule, they can risk getting closer to enemy anti-armour with a good chance of survival, letting them carry on and krump the gits that wrecked their ride.
  • Warbuggies/Wartraks: Two entirely different models with exactly the same profile, each of the three models in the squadron can have either a Twin-Linked Big Shoota, Twin-Linked Rokkit Launcha, Mega-Blasta, or Skorcha. These guys are Fast, so they can cover a lot of ground in not a lot of time, so treat them like your own Attack Bikes, providing mobile fire support where it's needed to bolster the line.
  • Warbike Squadron: You can only take up to ten of these guys in a mob, and they're armed with Twin-Linked Big-Shootas instead of Dakkaguns by default. They can remove their guns and go as pure assault troops with Sluggas and CCWs such as Chains and Tyre Irons, in which case they're a third cheaper. These guys have a host of their own Special Rules;
    • Short Ranged: This limits the range of their Big Shootas to 18", thanks to their lack of suspension making it hard to aim.
    • Hard to Hit: Gives them and anyone behind them a 5++ cover save from their exhaust clouds.
    • Speed Freeks: Different to Wazzdakka's, and makes them immune to Pinning and Morale effects due to their status as "speed-crazed loons".
    • Psycho Blastas: And finally, this lets them strike first on the charge, and shoot their Big Shootas in the first round of close combat instead of chopping normally.
  • Boarboyz (Chapter Approved 2001): Again, these guys suffer from the same reality-break as Imperial Guard Rough Riders, being Cavalry with identical statlines to regular infantry, and WS/BS3, despite being much larger models. Each starts with either a Shoota or a Slugga & Choppa, and can take Frag and/or Krak Stikkbombz.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • 0-2 Big Gunz Battery: Limited to a maximum of three gun carriages, each coming with two Gretchin Krew be default, but up to three additional Krew can be purchased for each gun, both to use as living shields to protect the artillery, and ensure that if the guns backfire and kill off the odd one or two, they'll still be some kicking around to man the damn things.
    • All the carriages in a battery must be armed with the same type of gun, either a Lobba, Zzap Gun, or Kannon. The battery may also be accompanied by a Slaver and/or a Mek, to keep both the guns and Krew working.
    • Hits on the Battery: During the chaos of battle, with Krew swarming all over the guns clearing and reloading them, shots aimed at the artillery can sometimes hit the Krew instead, and this is represented by this Special Rule, where you roll 1D6 for each successful hit on the unit with a shooting attack, with it hitting the Grots on a 1-4, and the guns on a 5 or 6. The gunz don't have a statline as such, just counting as having AV10 and all it takes is a single glancing or penetrating hit to destroy one.
  • Lootas: Everybody's favourite game of Musical Force Organisation Chart Slots, still in Heavy Support this time around. A completely different squad to the Lootas we're more familiar with today, sharing only the Fluff and having entirely different Crunch. By default, they can take weapon options from Space Marine Tactical Squads, Devastator Squads, or Scout Squads, or Imperial Guard Infantry Squads, Fire Support Squads, or Anti-Tank Squads. However, if all players involved in the battle agree to it, then your Lootas may alternatively take weapon options from ANY ONE SQUAD IN THE GAME. Yes, this means you can have actual Ork snipers.
    • All these glorious options make them an extremely adaptable mob, able to fill almost any role in your army. They can be anti-infantry with Flamers and Heavy Bolters, anti-tank with Meltaguns and Lascannons, a bit of both with Rocket Launchers and Autocannons, anti-character with Sniper Rifles, or even light artillery with Mortars. They do suffer from Orks low BS though.
    • Looted Weapons: This means that if you roll a 1 To Hit, the attack hits one of them instead of the enemy.
  • Ork Dreadnought: Better armoured and with more attacks than an individual Killer Kan, it comes stock with two DCCWs, and must choose two guns from either Rokkit Launchas, Big Shootas, Mega Blastas, or Skorchas, for varying prices.
    • It has the option to swap one or both DCCWs for additional guns like a Mortis Dreadnought, but can't swap one or both guns for additional DCCWs, so you can't employ the fan-favourite 3 x DCCW and 1 Skorcha combo.
  • Killer Kan: Piloted by Orks instead of Gretchin, so their BS is BS, and they can only be taken in squads of up to three. They can swap their default Big Shoota with either a Rokkit Launcha or a Skorcha for free, though, and the WS is Ork-level, so a pair of them could move up and unleash one more attack than an Ork Dreadnought for only a few points more and at the same Strength and Initiative.
  • 0-1 Battlewagon: The OG Battlewagon, absolute unit. You get a twenty-man transport with three Twin-Linked Big Shootas base, with the option to exchange any of them for Twin-Linked Rokkit Launchas or Skorchas for free, and one of them for one of the three Big Gunz, all of which cost the same so magnetise them and swap loadouts on the fly.
    • Bolt-On Big Shootas: You can also fit up to five more Bolt-On Big Shootas, which must all be operated by passengers.
  • 0-1 Looted Vehicle: Just like the Lootas above, you're limited to only Space Marine Rhino and Land Raider variants, or Imperial Guard Chimera and Leman Russ Battle Tank variants, and they use the rules as written in their own codexes, so you'll need two codexes in order to field one. They can take any weapon upgrades listed in their original profiles and their points costs remain the same, but they can only take non-weapon upgrades from the Ork armoury, and their BS is reduced to 2, so don't expect them to compete with their non-looted brethren.
  • 'Eavy Bomma (Chapter Approved 2001): Example statblock courtesy of the Vehicle Design Rules. It's an expensive Flyer at just over 200 points, but comes with two hull-mounted Twin-Linked Big Shootas, one turret-mounted Twin-Linked Big Shoota, two Rockets, two Bombs, and two Big Bombs.
    • Rocket: One-shot weapons with Range Unlimited S8 AP3 Heavy.
    • Bomb: One-shot weapons with Range G48" S4 AP6 Heavy Blast.
    • Big Bomb: One-shot weapons with Range G12" S6 AP4 Ordnance.


General Overview[edit]

Compared to the likes of 9th Edition, Ork Boyz in 3rd Edition're only Human Strength, so you're not going to hit as hard in melee as you might be used to, though the Choppas Special Rule does help in this regard. Exceptions to note're Skarboyz and Cyborks, who get S4 standard, and Da Vulcha Skwad, who get it on the charge, but those're only three units, so you can't rely on them too heavily to fill the Strength 4 gap in your heart.

Also, since many of your heavier force elements, such as Battlewagons, Looted Wagons, and Big Gunz, are all limited in terms of how many you can take in an army, large tank formations or artillery batteries aren't really possible. Dreadnoughts and Killer Kans have no such restrictions, however, so a Dreadmob's still viable.

Your Army and You[edit]

When it comes to mustering your horde, all your units can be roughly divided into four broad categories. First, you have Da Boyz, these're all the ground-pounders, your Shoota Boyz, Slugga Boyz, Nobz, Stormboyz, even Grots. The watchword here is still quality in quantity. Da Boyz're primarily a melee powerhouse, if they're not in close combat then you're muckin' about, but their generally poor armour leaves them vulnerable to gunlines, so you need them in large mobs to maximise the number of ladz that can get stuck in when they reach the enemy after taking fire. Your various specialist mobs, the likes of Tankbustas and Burna Boyz, are the exception to the rule, as they want to hold back out of combat and lay down fire at whatever target their specialism dictates.

Second, you have Da Wheelz, pretty self-explanatory, it is everything the Orks have stuck wheels or tracks onto, Wartrukks, Warbuggies, Wartrakks, a lot of other things starting with "War", you get the picture. Like most Ork units, their armour is their Achilles' heel, with most only sporting AV10, so don't expect then to slug it out with Imperial Guard tank regiments. They are however with very few exceptions Fast, usually heavily-armed for their size, and low to the ground with small profiles. So for them its best to try and avoid incoming fire as much as possible, skirting around available cover in support of Da Boyz as a pesky sort of distraction, either keeping to terrain features or using Grots as Living Shields, and keeping the enemy pinned down until the footsloggers can reach them.

Third, Da 'Ard Stuff, like Killer Kans and Ork Dreadnoughts, again does what it says on the tin. Da 'Ard Stuff has better armour than other Ork units, so they can take a beating, and can give back as good as they get when it comes back around to their turn. The enemy usually needs to dedicated serious firepower to take out these guys, and if they try to just ignore them and send those shots elsewhere they risk having their forces devestated, but Da 'Ard Stuff will go down if focussed on. The trick to keeping them alive and kicking (and punching, and shooting, and...) is to mingle them with Da Boyz, forcing your opponent to split their fire and giving both a better chance of weathering the storm.

And fourth, Da Big Gunz, which get their own category because they act differently to any other units, and should be treated as such. Your own Heavy Weapons Squads pack the meanest punch in the codex, barring some Looted Vehicles however they aren't Orky tech so it doesn't count, but they lack any sort of mobility, so positioning is key. They are glass cannons, which you wouldn't put it past the Orks to take literally, and are vulnerable to both shooting and assault in equal measure, so they need protecting with terrain and infantry to block charges and absorb counter-battery fire.

Kunnin' Plans[edit]

Next, you need to know how to get these four categories of units to work together effectively, and there are three basic battle plans which work fairly well. Now, I know what you are thinking, "Taktiks?! In an Ork army?!", but Orks're actually quite a nuanced force with a few tricks up their sleeves if they had any sleeves. It is all well and good charging headlong at the enemy, but that is a sure way to lose, and that ain't Orky.

The Wartrakk Rumble involves collecting all Da Wheelz in your force together into a roving flotilla à la Soviet Bronegruppa, and arranging them all over to one side of your deployment zone, with all Da Boyz and 'Ard Stuff on the other side to present a bigger target, with the two sections divided by terrain to block incoming fire and forcing the enemy to choose one or the other. Then when the enemy force takes the bait and engages your footsoldiers and walkers, your transports can sneak around and outflank the enemy line while they're distracted, catching them between the hammer and the anvil, the Gorka Morka so to speak.

A Dread Bash meanwhile is an armoured spearhead, formed by all of your 'Ard Stuff gathered down a short stretch of the Ork line, backed up by Tuff Boyz like Skarboyz, 'Ardboyz, and Nobz. The idea is to focus all of your heavy-hitters into one area and simply plough through the enemy formation at a specific point, wedging and keeping open a narrow doorway for the rest of the ladz to flood through and tear the enemy force up from the inside out.

And last but by no means least, an old favourite, Swamp 'Em. This's the traditional green horde the Orks are known for, and as you would expect it is centred around Da Boyz, with Gretchin at the front to tank incoming fire (heh), your generalist Ork mobs like Slugga Boyz and Shoota Boyz in the middle to lead the initial charge, and the specialist Ork mobz like Burna Boyz and Tankbustas hanging back behind the first line as a second line, acting first as a safety net to catch any gits that fall back and Mob Up with them, and then as a follow up charge to polish off anyone who survived the first wave. Liberally sprinkle with 'Ard Stuff and Big Gun cover fire, and your opponent will have too many targets to engage them all effectively, and you will overwhelm their line all over the place.

Army Building[edit]


Whilst you can use your modern Ork army and just adapt its composition to 3rd Edition rules, truly nothing beats the nostalic feel of a new millennium Ork army in all its awkward grinning glory. Most models from this era have been mothballed by GW, with the Deffkopta the last Ork standing thanks to its intended replacement being integral to a now-OOP box set, so you will have to scour eBay to find them in sufficient numbers unless you want to spam helicopters and have an air assault.

You will also want an authentic new millennium board to play on, complete with card terrain and aquarium plants. There are plenty of papercraft terrain templates available online for everything from bunkers to tanks of various scales and quality, and with a good paint job some can even be indistinguishable from the real plastic.


The tried and true approach to making a balanced army list is to first grab your compulsory choices, one Headquarters and two Troops. Your army has to be lead by a Warboss, who can be on foot or mounted on either a Warbike or a Boar depending on the army list you use, so that's that taken care of, but you have far more options when it comes to your 'Boss's followers.

For the Codex list, Slugga Boyz and Shoota Boyz are more generalist, whilst Burna Boyz and Tankbustas are anti-infantry and anti-tank specialists, and Gretchin are cannon-fodder. If you are using the optional rules for a specific Clan, you HAVE to fill your two compulsory Troops with that Clan's Core Mobs, picking from Flash Gitz, Kommandos, Lootas, Skarboyz, Huntas, or Warbikes, and these units all play to that Clan's strengths. Flash Gitz are shooty, Kommandos are sneaky, Lootas are light-fingered, Skarboyz are tuff, Huntas are traditional, and Warbikes are fast. The Kult of Speed list also uses Warbikes, Burna Boyz, and Tankbustas as Troops, but also gives you Trukk Boyz and Warbuggies as well, giving you an array of vehicles to choose from for your motorpool. The Feral Orks list meanwhile also uses Huntas, but introduces Wildboyz and Madboyz, who're exactly what they sound like.

A good approach to take when first expanding your army beyond the compulsory core, is to choose one each of Elites, Fast Attack, and Heavy Support. This lets you try out the various different units and learn how the army works, until you get a feel for which style best suits your favoured tactics. Units that work well at this entry level include Warbuggies, Ork Dreadnoughts, and Skarboyz.


When first starting out with an Ork army, the sheer number of models you need to paint can be quite intimidating, but various tricks have been developed over the years to help make this process go along more smoothly. In particular, washes and drybrushing are your friends. The former is a heavily-diluted paint that goes on over the first green coat after the black basecoat, and sinks down into all the crevices to create shading effects, whilst the latter is a style of painting where most of the paint is removed from the brush with a tissue before painting, and grazes the raised details of the model to highlight texture. Drybrushing can also be used to paint rust and dirt on vehicles and equipment, whilst washes give weathering. Teeth and other light-coloured areas can often be tricky if you are using a black basecoat, so it helps to layer them up with first a dark brown or grey coat, and then a light brown or white coat.

Grots and Nobz can be done a little differently to regular Orks to make them stand out, by using lighter or darker colours for the first coat respectively, and age can be signified by skipping the drybrushing to leave individuals darker overall. And there are also transfer sheets that come with most boxes of miniatures, which are basically stickers for your models that can only be peeled off the backing paper once immersed in shallow water for about 30 seconds, a saucer will do nicely (you have a tea set, right?). For more tips, go see the Painting Guide.