+ inload: Anatomy of the enemy V: Goranhuwl's Guttaz +

+ Ork Raiders of M36 +

As described in the general overview [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] Orks are rarely sedentary. Perfectly capable of constructing vessels of their own, greenskins also frequently 'hitch rides' on passing space hulks – using their precociously advanced field emitter technology both to seal in a habitable atmosphere and to direct the hulk. The main impediment, then, to ork expansion and exploration, is their own nature. Their interstellar capability requires a leader capable of motivating their followers to co-operate – or at least stop fighting – long enough for their technicians to create void-craft.

Goranhuwl is one such ork, and typical of the opportunistic commanders that plagued the borders of the Imperium during the Nova Terra Interregnum. Arising on the wartorn worlds of the Galactic Core, Goranhuwl united the forces of the local region during a series of brutal decapitation campaigns he led against his rivals. During the Nova Terra Interregnum, he and his warband, the Guttaz – named after their leader's unpleasant predilection for tortuously disembowelling his enemies – have conducted numerous raiding and reaving assaults on Imperial and non-Imperial shipping and planets alike. 

+ The Guttaz' warleaders +

Goranhuwl (centre), is pictured here with two of his retinue, the one-eyed totem-bearer Skabby, and his able second-in-command Whitetusk. Typical of the Goff clan, decoration is no-nonsense, restricted to black and white. Only looted trophies provide a flash of colour. 

+ Structure and organisation +

Ork raiding tribes are rarely made up of a single clan – such monocultural warbands work against the manner in which orks breed, and rob the broader tribe of the expertise and particular skills of the orks' clan system. Goffs, for example, produce relatively few oddboyz – instead generating a larger proportion of larger nobz – and a cunning warlord will therefore promote from within other clans to fill in specialisms they feel their force is lacking.

The Guttaz have a number of fiefdoms across their small territory near the galactic Core, but draw most of their warriors from the sprawling ork townships on the planet of Breccia – known to the orks as Deepkut. Each urban centre houses hundreds of orks and countless gretchin servants, all under the gimlet eyes of one of Goranhuwl's lieutenants.

+ Goranhuwl's Bigmob +

Orks cluster in clan-based groups called households. Ruled over by an experienced Nob and his cronies, households tend to number between a dozen and three dozen bull orks – beyond this, an ambitious would-be nob will tend to challenge the incumbent. The loser will leave and form a new household, typically from a core of their closest drinking mates. 

The Warboss' household is invariably the best-equipped – and also the largest, as few are able to challenge the Warboss himself. It will also attract the more promising ork juveniles – Wildboyz – as they learn the skills of warfare, swelling its size beyond others. Such household groups are usually referred to as a variation on 'the big mob'. Acting as an adjunct to the warboss' personal retinue (each a Nob or Oddboy with his own household), the Bigmob serves to give steel to the Warboss' word, enforcing his will and leading the charge in battle.

+ Auxiliary Household group +
Orks don't suffer authority well, and mercenaries – known as freebooters – are common. Households will occasionally strike out on their own, the Nob declaring himself a pirate Kaptin (or similar title). During the Nova Terra Interregnum, many orks fought alongside increasingly desperate populations of both sides of the divided Imperium. Demanding ruinous payment – generally in the form of slaves, weapons or equipment – such mercenaries became increasingly common. 

While they were happy to fight for loot, freebooter groups were most frequently used as auxilia by the orks themselves, slotting into the battle line of a paying warboss as another (often particularly flamboyant and exotic) mob of greenskinned warriors.

+ Specialists and slaves + 

+ Ork shock troops +
Regardless of which world you pick from the multifarious cultures of the Twin Imperium, there are certain common traits to all human warfare. The same is true for greenskins, and like humanity, they are infinitely adaptable, developing technologies, strategies and tactics as new challenges arise. 

Ork power armour shares much in common with Imperial power armour. What it lacks in sophistication and reliability, it compensates for in raw protection. Many technologically-advanced ork groups utilise these 'mega-armoured' shock troops as linebreakers; as much reliant on the veteran orks within as the technology. Goranhuwl's Guttaz often field such mobs against Imperial foes, their thunderous tread and seeming invincibility calculated to break the morale of their foes. The Nova Terran stormtrooper-equivalents, the vaunted NVA were particularly badly affected by this, their elite status proving of little consequence against the orks' crude mirror to Astartes. 

Goranhuwl showed a willingness to learn, and demonstrated adaptive tactics against the Chapters Astartes. Having lost a number of battles against the indomitable Star Leopards on their fief world of Odun Stellar, where the Astartes executed layered retreats to funnel the mega-armoured mobs into deadly crossfires, Goranhuwl redeployed his elites, holding them back as counter-chargers.

While the Guttaz were successfully driven off Odun Stellar, the Gatebreakers Chapter later reported the loss with all hands of two of their frigates around Fortis Binary. Boarded by mega-armoured foes held back from warfare on the surface, the Gatebreakers were beset by the bulk of the Guttaz as the Marines struggled to disengage to scramble back to their fleet, resulting in heavy losses.

+ Mine clearance +
Orks are never found without gretchin. This slave species has a commensual relationship with their larger greenskins, and ape their larger masters. Their small stature belies their inventive cruelty. Despite their physical similarities, gretchin are undifferentiated, generating neither individual nor clan specialism. They are however often swift learners, and many become valued and capable (if ultimately disposable) servants to the warband's orks, particularly the Oddboyz. 

While there are no physical differences between Goff or Snakebite or Bad Moon gretchin, their scavenging and creative nature often sees them scraping together patchwork cloth and leftover equipment from the orks with which they associate. As a result, their allegiance is often clear.

+ Ork Dreadnought +
Orks may not demonstrate much in the way of artistic talent – indeed their banners and trophy-poles are almost invariably rendered by gretchin or slaves who are able to successfully translate the boss' gruff instructions in a way that pleases the master – but they are both excellent mimics and inventive engineers. On seeing a particularly impressive war machine, ork bosses will order their Oddboyz to replicate it – a challenge that usually sees results. Ork mekaniaks rarely back-engineer a creation, and instead rely on their abilities to create a functional – and sometimes superior – copy. 

Dreadnoughts of many species, from Eldar Wraithlords to Q'orl Warforms and even including Astartes Dreadnoughts, function in dual roles. They are both warmachine and spiritual demonstration of service beyond death. In all cases, its form is drawn from the physical structure of the biological being: it seems that some from of physical familiarity is a near-universal psychological requirement for the pilots of such engines. Not so with the orks. 

Resilient both in mind and body, orks frequently practise body modification, and seem peculiarly well-suited to adaptation. Being encased in a dreadnought holds no fear or trepidation for an ork – he will quickly regard it not as an external suit, but an integral part of himself. Indeed, he will almost certainly become convinced of his new giant metal body's prowess as a sensible upgrade. For similar reasons, ork dreadnoughts are varied, and nearly always include more than two arms – an ork will quickly adapt.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent work as always, and a great way to show off your orks. The converted boyz in particular look great in a group, far more coherent than an out of the box mob of arm wavers.

    Have you given any thought to Human slaves of the Orks?


+ submission exloadform: inload [comments] herein +