I’ve finished tackling the organization of my orks (finished should be in quotation marks because I am constantly re-organizing them) and I am now to the point where I can begin refurbishing, re-painting and getting them tabletop-ready.
Some things have changed in the 20-ish years I’ve been away from Warhammer 40,000. The basics are the same, orks is still orks (an’ dey’z da best) but the clan rules are much more fundamental to army construction. Visually my ork army was always a pastiche of influences, painted yellow and blue with black and white checkerboard and other random fun like flames and eyeballs and zigzags. It worked visually when I didn’t have to pick a clan kultur, and I suppose I could just run them as Freebooterz but I don’t wanna do that just yet. I have my reasons.
I have the minis to make three complete armies of 3000 points each. That plan doesn’t use absolutely everything orky I have in my collection but I’m not sure there’s a point in making armies of a higher points value. That’s as high as the army builder goes. Do people play bigger games than 3000 points? (No one’s playing any games now I guess but my question remains) After much reading and thinking and obsessing I have decided that my three armies will be Snakebites 🐍 , Blood Axes 🪓 and Deathskulls 💀 . I would have gone with Goffs 🐃 but there’s no satisfactory way for me to convert Skarboyz. I’ve seen it done by using Nob bitz and mixing them with bitz from the regular Boyz kit, and as fun as that sounds I’m not going out and buying more orks when I have hundreds already. Once I’ve refurbished the orks I have, then I may reward myself with MOAR ORKSES.
Warhammer is not just a game, it’s also a hobby which means you never really stop. When you’re not actually playing a game it doesn’t just go back in the box. A hobby is something you sort of think about a lot even when your not doing it.
I’ll be spending a lot of time with these orks, creating narratives with them through model making, mini painting, lore writing, army construction and… last and least is gameplay. The majority of my time investment will be on things other than playing games, so it shouldn’t factor that much. The 40K game rules will change over time, so the meta just doesn’t matter to me. The game will have updates and new editions and this faction will get buffed and that one will get nerfed and I don’t want my enjoyment to be tethered to factors that are beyond my control. I hope to play in tournaments and events, and obviously it’s nice to win, but partially I enjoy the orks because it’s always fun to play them, winning or not. (Orks nevva lose tho)
So here’s my thinking about the Clan Kulturz and why I picked these three as my favourites.
Deathskulls – I primarily like da Boyz in Blue because I love kitbashing. I have quite a few scratchbuilt and converted vehicles, and the Deathskulls are particularly known for this. Their lore is very fun as they are known to be thieves who loot whatever they can whenever the opportunity presents itself. They feel the colour blue is lucky and because they believe this, it’s really true. This army will be the home for my more outlandish Mekboy creations and probably my more shooty army. Their warlord is a Warboss named Gorkamungus Prime, a towering monster with a Supa-Cybork body. He’s basically an ork head that I stuck on top of a Battletech figure. His army is called Da Blue Meaniez.
Snakebites – Just love these guys for the old rusty dusty rural flavour; backwoods orks that spend all their time hunting, lighting big fires and trippin balls on wacky fungus juice. So much fun to be had with the lore of this clan which is summed up as ‘da old wayz iz da best’. They listen to their Weirdboyz and also spend time learning a lot about squigs and grots and fungus. Visually all the tribal motifs and leather and rust and dirt is really fun to paint. Looking forward to crafting a distinctive army with this in mind. I’ve got 2 scratchbuilt Squiggoths, Gorkzilla and Morkzilla and I am excited to refurbish them and start terrifying my opponents. Their warlord is a Big Mek known as Da Wizzerd of Zzog who smokes a lot of mushrooms and gets inspiration for new inventions and his warband is known as Da Durty Dawgz.
Blood Axes – they have been my favourite clan from the first ork source book ‘Waaargh the Orks’. These are orks that see the Imperium and think, ‘oi, dem gitz iz quite klevver’ and then imitate them crudely. They like uniforms and marching and drills and barking orders and a bit of discipline – it’s fun for them, while orks of the other clanz think they’re un-orky and sneaky. I’ve always leaned more towards the ‘Kunnin’ but Brutal’ side of the ork philosophical debate. They are known to actually negotiate with the Imperium and co-operate with them sometimes. I love the idea of ork mercenaries fighting alongside the Imperial Guard. Back in the day my friends and I organized a huge 6-player game with Orks, Imperial Guard and Eldar holding a fortress against a massive Tyrannid swarm. Good times.
My Blood Axe army is called Da Dark Moon Troopaz, and I think I may try and give them a Pink Floyd theme. It will be the last of my three armies that I work on, so I will have some more time to figure them out. I like the marching hammer logo from The Wall and an orky version of it would look pretty dope. My Blood Axe Warlord is a Waaagh Banner Nob named Ug-Waa Moondog og-Nazgof, and he actually will float between all three armies. According to my lore, Boss Moondog is the Dark Moon King, the great unifying leader that brings the three tribes of Nazgof together for da WAAAGH!!!
Lots to keep me busy while I anxiously await the new Ork Codex. I may not be able to resist new orks if GW puts out a new box, but for now I will focus on Da Blue Meaniez and get them ready for the end of lockdown.