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  1. #1

    Question Why Have Orks Lost Their Seriousness?

    Weather it be in the Dawn of War video games, conversions on the table top or just the lore GW has put out there in one form or another, I feel that Orks have lost any hope of being a serious enemy.

    Don't get me wrong here, I love Orks and I might even pick them up for 8th Edition as my main army, but I am concerned about their lore. When did a savage, barbaric, mongol horde of spore-born space-orcs who are many times stronger than humans, many times more numerous, incredibly resilient to all but the most severe injuries and perhaps the most warlike race in the galaxy (besides warp-spawn) turn into... well, a joke?

    They went from being a serious grimdark sci-fi force of billions of murderous roaring monsters raiding around the galaxy, slaughtering men and aliens alike with crude but effective technology to soccer hooligans with severe speech impediments and an overwhelming presence of goofiness. And worst of all, seen as "tools" to slow the enemies of the Eldar and Imperium alike.

    When did it go wrong? Is Dawn of War to blame or did GW orchestrate this for the kiddos? I'd like to think that Orks are a truly MAJOR faction in the 40K galaxy, not just another xenos race relegated to mediocre "existence" like Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tyranids. These guys were the original Tyranids, the original horde army to oppose the Imperial Guard regiments. They spread like a plague, conquered, enslaved and murdered entire worlds, and they didn't need mutations and warpspawn to do it.

    While I realize that I can see them how I want in my own mind, it won't change the fact that in the lore which we base our imaginations on, has been changed to make them more accessible or something to new and younger players. Back when "WAAAGH!!!" meant that your world was about to be overrun by millions of barbarian hordes intent on pillage, enslavement and murder. Now it means "Oh boy! Here comes the comical cannon fodder to shoot at! Ready for target practice men!"

    ... ugh...
    "Even the servants of the great enemy fear the crushing depths of our lair." - Jathalon Tidefury

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Perth, Australia


    Orks have gone back to what orks were originally. They were based on football hooligans originally; incredibly damaging if you get them riled up, but prone to infighting and always always with a edge of the sheer ridiculous. I don't really recall any lore where they've been mongol horde style enemies? Armageddon and Beast Arises show they're a threat and the later is rather new, if that's the sort of thing you're seeking.
    Kabal of Venomed Dreams

  3. #3


    Um...methinks the topic creator hasn't been playing very long. Originally Orks were VERY silly.

  4. #4


    If we fire up the waaaaaay back machine to Rogue Trader: Space Orcs (as the box cover said) used to hang out in space bars with space marines and get in space bar fights.......not joking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Norfolk (God's County)


    Looking at my RT, neither RTB2 (Space Ork Raiders) or the RTB13 (Space Ork plastic sprues) uses the Orc spelling. They were always 'jolly' football hooligans until 3rd ed and the whole look changed.

  6. #6


    Strong possibility of spelling typos on my part.

  7. #7


    OP, I feel you.

    I took a look through Rogue Trader for you, here's how they're described:
    Orks are an extremely violent race, they have a deep, irrational dislike of all other life forms. They despise weaklings, respecting only power and insane courage. No Ork every learned to be patient. They speak in short bursts, swear continiously and laugh hysterically whenever something strikes them as funny (sudden accidents, news of terminal illness, struggles of a doomed victim, etc). Orks always appear angry, their faces twisted into a permanent snarl, their eyes stabbing resentment and loathing, their teeth continually chomping and grinding. Orks are difficult to befriend; they even fight amongst themselves. When an Ork kills another in a brawl it is not regarded as a crime, rather the victim is blamed for being careless, stupid or just weak.
    Not exactly the murderous hoard of berserk monsters we want, but I can see how the loutish football hooligans developed from this. If anything, at this point they sound like a minor Star Wars race you'd meet in a cantina, and they could be developed in several ways. By 2nd Edition, I think we can agree Orks were now just silly (maybe much more silly than they would become post-Gorkamorka).

    So maybe they never really where ever that serious, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be taken in a new direction.

    I didn't get a sense of silliness from them in the original Dawn of War campaign; in fact they seemed a genuine threat that was mass-murdering civilians. You also get much more of a taste of Orks actually being somewhat intimidating in game flop Space Marine. Orks in a more horror-themed game would certainly work, but I guess the closest we ever got was the first Gears of War (just pretend the Locust are Orks...)

  8. #8


    I get where you're coming from, With 8th I would actually ****ing love if GW started writing better lore (Also while i'm wishing the lottery would be nice) but something like Ghazghkull realising that the Imperium is weaker than ever with the Cicatrix Maledictum splitting it and becoming a Genghis Khan type character, along with some other ork tribe leaders (so Ork players don't just have to play Goffs) he could start gathering the Orks and using actual tactics and strategy rather than just waaghing, doing **** like capturing enemy leaders and interrogating them to find a way into their stronghold



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