by Andy Chambers and Andy Hoare
The clanz embody almost religious beliefs among Orks. each clan emphasising particular elements of Ork kultur above others. For example, the Goff clan embraces aggression, hardiness and hand-to-hand combat as true Orky virtues, while the Evil Sunz dan is dedicated to speed, lightning attacks and having the snazziest vehicles. Like-minded Orks tend to stick together and often fight Orks of different clanz to prove which is best.
When I originally wrote the Codex: Orks army list I tried to angle it so players could make up clan-themed warbands. The right paint schemes and a few choice units (I reasoned) would create a Goff warband or a Bad Moons warband by cunningly utilising the codex list. Ever since writing the codex I've intended to do a follow-up article about specific variant lists for Orks clanz and I've read a number of interesting ones on the Net (kudos to Cannibal Bob for his unstinting efforts). What follows is a simple set of rootz for theming different clanz based on the Codex: Orks list.
Each clan has a list of what's different about their army, broken down as follows:
The core mobs are the kind of Orks that most typify the clan. Mobs of this type may be chosen as Troops, regardless of which Force Organisation slot they would normally occupy. In addition, they may also be taken from the slot they normally occupy. For example, a Goff clan army may take Skarboyz as both Troops and Elites, meaning the army could take up to nine of these mobs in a Cleanse mission. They also have any restrictions on number removed (ie. 0-1. 0-2). A clan army must fulfil its compulsory Troops choices with core mobs.
These are units that are common and/or popular with the clan and so have no limit on the number that can be chosen (subject to the normal Force Organisation chart limits, of course). They are still taken from the Force Organisation slot as normal.
These units are less likely to be seen in a clan warband and so become 0-1 choices. If the unit is already 0-1 then the clan may not use it at all.
Clan Warboss upgrades: A Warboss exemplifies the traits of his clan and may have compulsory wargear choices or extra options to reflect this.
Clan Boss upgrades: Many clanz have a preponderance of 'Oddboyz' -Mekaniaks or Bad Doks for example. Where appropriate they can include these as leaders for their Boyz mobz in place of Nobz. Other clanz may be distinguished more by the wargear the Nobz carry, and so this category may also contain details of wargear the character must take, or gets a points break on.
Da richboyz. Dey grow teef a lot faster den wot kan da uvver clanz, so dey iz richer den wot da uvver clanz iz, see? Loadsa teef-snatchin Gretchin 'angin around 'em all da time. Loadsa slaves an' all. Dey 'ave to spend it all on gear to fight off da over clanz wot wants to redistribute der welf a bit.'
The symbol of the Bad Moons clan is a grimacing, yellow moon-face wrapped in a halo of black flames. Bad Moons are the richest of all the Ork clanz. Orks use their teeth for currency, and as the Bad Moons' teeth grow faster than everybody else's they are very wealthy. This is not regarded as an unfair advantage, as any Ork who is tough enough can always bash a Bad Moon on the head and steal his teeth! The Bad Moons are what passes for a merchant class in Ork society, continually buying, selling, swapping and conning to get even more teeth.
Bad Moons like to display their wealth with expensive and highly decorated wargear. They usually have the best wargear, and wear the most gaudy clothes preferring a yellow and black pattern derived from the clan symbol. They also love to spend their teeth on food, which means that many Bad Moons are a bit stout around the belt.
Core mobs: Flash Gitz
Common units: Battlewagon
Rare mobs: Stormboyz; Slugga Boyz; Skar Boyz.
Clan Warboss upgrades: The Warboss receives a kustom mega blasta for free, and must purchase at least 40 points of additional wargear.
Clan Boss upgrades: Any Troops choice other than Gretchin mobz can choose to purchase a Mad Dok or Mekboy for +10 pts, instead of upgrading a model to a Nob. The Mad Dok must take three Grot Orderlies, and the Mekboy must take three Grot Oilers. Each may take any other wargear they would normally be allowed to take from the armoury.
'Da skinkin` ooman lackeys. Sum Orkses will do anyfink fer teef. Nufink wrong wiv dat, but hob-nobbin' wiv 'oomans, dat's difrunt.'
The Blood Axes are not trusted by other clanz who consider them to be treacherous gits who will march off to war alongside other Orks only to run off when things get tough. Blood Axes will even trade and deal with humans, which is considered a sure sign of their lack of proper Orky spirit. In fact most of this reputation is quite unjustified and evolved because it was the Blood Axes who first encountered the armies of the Impenum, and who have had the most contact with Imperial culture. This has led to them picking up a number of Imperial battle practices which are not used by the other clanz, most notably the wearing of camouflaged wargear and the use of captured or traded Imperial vehicles driven by Blood Axe crews. Their Warlords tend to have a better understanding of grand strategy, and will even retreat if they are losing, rather than fighting to the bitter end like other clanz. This has earned the Blood Axes the reputation of being cowardly gits with the other clanz, who fail to notice that the Blood Axes normally come back later, reinforced with more Boyz and better prepared than they were before.
Core mobs: Kommandos
Common units: Looted Vehicle (may not take more than one of each type of vehicle in the army if over 51 points).
Rare mobs: Stormboyz; Trukk Boyz; Battlewagonz.
Clan Warboss upgrades: If the Warboss and his retinue numbers 12 or less models (including squigs, Grots etc) they may take a looted Imperial Chimera as a transport, instead of a wartrukk. This vehicle is subject to the Looted Vehicles rules in the army list entry.
Clan Boss upgrades: Any Troops choice other than Gretchin mobz can choose to purchase a Mad Dok/Mekboy for +10 pts, instead of upgrading a model to a Nob. The Mad Dok must take three Grot Orderlies, and the Mekboy must take three Grot Oilers. Each may take any other wargear they would normally be allowed to take from the armoury.
'Da best lootas in da 'oonivers, dese is thievin' blighters wiv loadsa runts and grots runnin' about nikkin' stuff.'
The Death Skulls are renowned as plunderers of the battlefield. After a battle the Death Skulls descend upon the wreckage to salvage weapons, equipment, clothes and anything else they can find. They are also tremendously good at scrounging (some would say stealing) equipment from their fellow Ofks. All this has earned them a bad reputation as a bunch of looters, spivs and petty camp pilferers, and Orks from other clanz normally keep a wary eye on any Death Skull Boyz that are hanging around.
The clan is named after their horned-skull totem, and skulls and bones are prominent among their personal adornments. The Death Skulls are notoriously superstitious and often paint their skin blue to bring them luck, believing this habit earns them the attention of the Ork war gods, and thus brings them better fortune in the field of plunder.
The oddments the Death Skulls pick up on the battlefield or elsewhere are used to augment the warriors' already bizarre wargear. Death Skulls never seem to throw anything away, and end up festooned with weapons, bone amulets, strange items of clothing, and cherished bits of long-dead enemies. Death Skull Meks are highly skilled at welding and bolting together bits and pieces of weapons to produce the highly-feared, if rather unreliable, kustom kombi-weapons with which so many Death Skull Boyz are armed.
Core mobs: Lootas
Common units: Looted Vehicle (may not take more than one of each type of vehicle in the army it over 51 points).
Rare mobs: Skarboyz; Kommandos; Flash Gitz.
Clan Warboss upgrades: Warboss must purchase Lucky Tattoos at +5 pts (counts as Cybork Body).
Clan Boss upgrades: Any Troops choice, other than Gretchin mobz, can choose to purchase a Mekboy for no additional points, instead of upgrading a model to a Nob. If taken, the Mekboy must take three Grot Oilers and may take any other wargear a Mekboy would normally be allowed to take from the armoury.
'Biggest an' ugliest Orkses, loadsa Stormboyz an' Nobz. Dey fights 'and-to-'and. None of dis sissy-stuff, 'anging back an'sneakin' like grotty Gretchin an' snivlin' Snotlin's. No uvver clan is as 'ard as da Gotfs.'
The Goffs can be identified by their predominantly black wargear and the clan totem, a black bull's head. They have the reputation of being the biggest, ugliest, meanest and most ferocious of the Orks - which is saying something! Of all the Ork clanz, the Goffs are the most inspired by the thrill and thunder of battle, and are specialists in hand-to-hand combat. They consider themselves superior to the cowardly Orks of other clanz. who hang back to shoot when they could get into the thick of battle. Most Goffs carry brutal short-ranged weapons, such as choppas and sluggas. so they can get stuck in as soon as possible.
Black is the preferred colour of the Goffs. Other clanz that wear brighter colours are mocked as 'not propa' Orks', or just plain 'weedy'. The only decoration normally allowed is a check pattern of black and white or a contrasting border. Excessive deviation from the way of the clan is met with derision and the miscreant will certainly get clobbered by any Boss Ork that comes his way.
Core mobs: Skarboyz
Common units: Stikk Bommaz
Rare mobs: Kommandos; Trukk Boyz; Warbuggies/traks; Warbikes; Lootaz; Looted Vehicles.
Clan Warboss upgrades: Warboss receives Big Horns for free: one model in the army must carry a Waaagh! Banner.
Clan Boss upgrades: Skarboyz Nobz in mobs that number 20 models receive Big Horns for free.
'First they lets da snake bite 'em, den dey bites da head orf da snake; say it makes an Ork of ya. Dey is always lookin' fer sumfink. Dese are da boyz who likes to hop on space hulks and go places and die inna Warp.'
Snakebites use technology reluctantly and always feel more comfortable with simple machinery and well established Orky ways and values. They preserve some values that other Orks have long since abandoned, and shun certain aspects of recently developed technology. Probably the best example of this is their preference for riding into battle mounted on the back of a ferocious warboar!
The Snakebites can be distinguished from other Orks by their tattooed skin, clothes, furs and rather backward appearance. Their name comes from the strange initiation rites of the clan which involves a new Snakebite being bitten by poisonous snakes and then sucking out the venom straight away to prove his toughness. They are a nomadic clan who rarely settle in one place for long, and always seem to be 'lookin' fer sumfink' and wanderin' orf. They always carry a selection of snakes with them when they migrate to a new planet, just in case the local serpents prove unsuitably inoffensive.
Core mobs: 2+ Huntas from the Feral Orks army list.
Common units: Boarboyz and Madboyz from the Feral Orks army list.
Rare mobs: Big Gunz batteries; Dreadnoughts; Stormboyz; Flash Gitz.
Clan Warboss upgrades: Warboss may purchase a Super Cyboar from the Feral Orks list.
Any new Ork tribe will begin life in the `feral` stage, appearing from the wreckage of a long-passed Waaagh! The Snakebites choose to remain in primitive state, believing it to be more 'Orky'. If you wish to represent a truly primitive tribe then use the Feral Ork army list, but don`t feel constrained into painting them as Snakebites - every new tribe has to start somewhere!
'Da meanest an' coolest Orkses, dese `as loadsa Mekboyz an jalopies.'
The Evil Sunz are irresistibly attracted towards fast warbikes and loud noise. This is a common trait amongst Orks. but especially pronounced in the Evil Sunz. They are constantly tinkering with the engines of their bikes and buggies, trying to get as much speed out of them as possible. Unsurprisingly the Evil Sunz have many Meks, because Mekboyz are indispensable when it comes to keeping vehicles running in order. The totem of the clan is a blood red face grinning out of a sunburst. Evil Sunz wear red clothes and often paint their machines red too - firmly believing in the old proverb that `red wunz go faster` and 'if it's red den no one's gonna catch up wiv' ya'. The Evil Sunz are especially noted for their 'Biker Boyz', who ride large and very noisy Ork warbikes. They dress in leathers marked with the Evil Sunz insignia, bedecked with chains and belt harnesses, and their foreheads are often decorated with metal studs screwed directly into their thick skulls!
Core mobs: Warbikes
Common units: Battlewagon
Rare mobs: Grots; Skarboyz; Dreadnoughts; Killa Kanz; Lootaz: Big Gunz; Kommandos.
Clan Warboss upgrades: The Warboss may be mounted on a bike (see Kult of Speed mounted Warboss).
Clan Boss upgrades: Any Troops choice, other than Gretchin mobz, can choose to purchase a Mekboy for +10 pts instead of upgrading a model to a Nob. The Mekboy must be equipped with a kustom force field, and may take any other wargear a Mekboy would normally be allowed to take from the armoury.
The Evil Sunz list represents a force drawn from that particular clan, but not one that has followed the precepts of the so-called `Kult of Speed` to its full extent (yet!).
If you wish to represent an Ork, army that has taken its love of all things loud, fast and red to an extreme, then simply use the Kult of Speed list in Codex: Armageddon. Just as the Feral Ork list represents the beginnings of an Ork tribe, so the Kuft of Speed represents a particular evolutionary pinnacle that many Ork tribes may reach - not just the Evil Sunz.