The Orks and their role in WH40k. - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
40k Fluff Discuss GW background material here. All those bits in the Codex that aren't stat blocks or special rules. Post your custom character/chapter/army background in our Homebrew Fluff subforum!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Malus Darkblade's Avatar
Malus Darkblade's Flag is: Kuwait
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,332
Reputation: 8
Default The Orks and their role in WH40k.

"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

Warhammer40k is a science fiction, dystopian universe with elements of Cthulhu-like horror intertwined in it.

Several alien empires come closer, day by day, to overrunning the defenses of mankind and consuming, enslaving, or destroying them once and for all.

However, the Orks cannot be said to be part of those encroaching upon humanity's domain and wiping it out once and for all simply because of the fact that they squabble amongst themselves far too often to pose a serious or as serious of a threat as the other alien races. And more importantly, it isn't on their agenda. They don't specifically have the Imperium in their sights.

In addition, in my opinion, their happy, carefree and go-lucky attitude to things doesn't really fit well with the bit at the very top.

Moving on, what role do the Orks really serve nowadays? Warhammer40k has changed tremendously since its inception and I doubt the people behind the franchise back then thought it would be as successful or that it would become so grimdark with humanity's doom at the hands of aliens and primordial monsters lurking in the dark becoming a major selling point.

The Orks speak a form of Cockney English, they build titans that look like garbage cans, their guns are painted various colors because such a practice is believed to make their weapons more effective (which arguably it does given their psychic status), and there are many other examples.

They have no goals or fears like the other races such as: Eldar/surviving until Ynnead, Dark Eldar/Slaanesh, Necrons/closing the warp and restoring their dominance, Tyranids/sustaining their hunger, Tau/bringing their way of life to all and becoming a major power, etc. In a way they are the total embodiment of Chaos in that their movements and personalities are fickle and ever changing and they just do things for the sake of doing them.

So are they needed anymore? Surely another menace could replace them if they were to suddenly go the way of the Squats. Or do we truly need some form of comic relief in the series to balance people's humors?

Last edited by Malus Darkblade; 01-05-14 at 12:59 PM.
Malus Darkblade is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 01:38 PM
Senior Member
 
locustgate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Planet 404
Posts: 2,353
Reputation: 11
Default

The ork hordes role seems to the uncontrollable barbarians at the gates/some in it that seem to care not for taking over but simply destroying everything. While orks are not organized usually when they are united by a great warlord they steam roll across the Imperium like a bipolar mongolian horde. When their great warlord dies their horde usually shatters sending group of orks in all direction. Along with that any world an ork touches will have to deal with orks forever.

Soooo basically orks are usually like a jab at the Imperium until a ork warlord takes over then they are like an explosive boulder that crushes all in it's way till it explodes sending shards of orks throughout the Imperium.

P.s. Yeah they seem like the comic relief guys
locustgate is offline  
post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 02:36 PM
Deathwing Commissar
 
Phoebus's Avatar
Phoebus's Flag is: USA
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wandering...
Posts: 1,846
Reputation: 23
Default

Spot on, Malus.

locustgate, your last point hit the nail on the head.

At their core, the orks are comic. Even with the dark turn they've benefited from at the hands of Abnett, ADB, etc., the baseline material for orks is - sadly - a built in joke. The purposeful misspellings and puns, the ramshackle look of their equipment, it all undermines any seriousness in their portrayal, and thus undermines the dystopian quality of the setting whenever they are present.

A lot of their concepts are actually very solid: a species engineered for war; a species whose potential for intelligence and prowess increases in proportion to their numbers; that, and more, makes for a convincing faction in this universe. A lot of the peripherals, to include speech and much of their look, needs to be stripped away, though, I think.
Phoebus is offline  
 
post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 04:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Chompy Bits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,514
Reputation: 9
Default

Thing is, a lot of the times the Ork "funny moments" are written from their perspective. But if you consider those same actions from a human perspective, it's actually quite horrifying. Take the "squig brain transplant". Its description is written in a slapstick sort of way but, when you get down to it, they basically cut someone's head open, remove their brain and stick a monstrous, violent, overgrown parasite in there. That seems like something straight out of the most extreme scifi horror films.

A novel, while not the greatest book BL has released, that really brings the more terrifying aspects of the Ork race across is Rynn's World. At one stage there is a bit about a painboy who keeps people in cages, only so that it can later skin their faces off and wear them like a mask. That's pretty fucking grimdark to me.

With regards to the Orks as a threat, I think they are a plenty big threat. The Beast and his crusade proved that a powerful enough Warlord can bring together a large enough Waaagh to pose a very serious problem for the Imperium. Not to mention that the last Ork codex mentions that there are more and more Ork empires popping up, and more of these are uniting and fighting together. There are also other mentions such as Orks slowly encroaching deeper into Ultramar territory, especially the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon. So while not as in your face as Necrons, Chaos or Tyranids, Orks do most certainly pose a threat to the Imperium.

The human appendix. Proof of a higher power. A divine kill switch so to speak.

No one really likes a smartass, but people tend to like a dumbass even less.
Chompy Bits is offline  
post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 04:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Moriouce's Avatar
Moriouce's Flag is: Sweden
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Borås
Posts: 2,195
Reputation: 63
Default

I think the comic part is acctualy in our interpetation of their way of life and that is easy to do the no-brainer joke.

Do the orks because they think it is fun to destroy things? No! They do it because an urge, enigeered into their genes, to do it. They are an automatic weapon of war with no master. Everything with them is engineered to be the final weapon of desperation. A weapon that can go on forever making the life of, whoever vanquished their creators, though as hell. They wanted war and we could not win so we have them eternal war.

Comic? Just that spark in the fluff to make sure that the galaxy will burn forever and that no one goes safe.

Their bad english is just for fun and nothing I believe is orkish. They would do much better with their glyphs like the Necrons.

Good to be green

Barks Dakka Ladz: W3-D2-L3
Altansar Eldar: W3-D0-L2

Moriouce is offline  
post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 04:46 PM
Bane of Empires
 
Child-of-the-Emperor's Avatar
Child-of-the-Emperor's Flag is: United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 5,131
Reputation: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malus Darkblade View Post
Several alien empires come closer, day by day, to overrunning the defenses of mankind and consuming, enslaving, or destroying them once and for all.

However, the Orks cannot be said to be part of those encroaching upon humanity's domain and wiping it out once and for all simply because of the fact that they squabble amongst themselves far too often to pose a serious or as serious of a threat as the other alien races. And more importantly, it isn't on their agenda. They don't specifically have the Imperium in their sights.
The Greenskins certainly can be said to be a part of "those encroaching upon humanity's domain". They have probably been the most consistent and ever-present threat to humanity throughout Imperial history, and Greenskin Empires and raiding parties don't just exist, but they constantly seek ingression into the realms of Man.

The destruction of the Imperium may not be specifically on their agenda, but waging war is, and from an Imperial perspective there really isn't much of a difference.

Let us also not forget that whilst the Greenskins are a fractious species some Ork Empires, under particularly fearsome warlords, have come very close to conquering the galaxy. The Beast's Waaagh in 544.M32 being the most prominent example.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cegorach View Post
I do love how we don't even need CotE to comment anymore, chances are he has already said something intelligent before that can be re-applied to the current situation.
Heresy's Background FAQ. (Fluff Project)
CotE Reviews: Prospero Burns (HH Review), Age of Darkness (HH Review).
Child-of-the-Emperor is offline  
post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 05:17 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 154
Reputation: 1
Default

Orcs were at one point the biggest threat to the Imperium . With the Emperor and the primarchs they drove back and defeated the orcs. Something tells me with the primarchs and the Emperor they would of done the same to the Tyranids and Necrons.

It's that in 40k the Imperium is at a weaken state and would prefer the orcs to play a lesser role. But I think the orcs plays a balance to all the other enemies to the Imperium.

An Orc would fight a nid as much as they would fight a necron. So in a way it's like check and balances.
kwak76 is offline  
post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 05:41 PM
Feed
 
Serpion5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Space
Posts: 10,976
Reputation: 51
Default

I also want to point out that ork language is not bad english, it is simply portrayed that way to the readers in fluff because that is the easiest way to represent the crude nature of their language.

There are exceptions, for instance orks are capable of learning human speech and even human writing, the best example being Ghazkull. And of course humans are capable of learning the greenskin language as well.


Nonsense is our Salvation

Serpion5 is offline  
post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Malus Darkblade's Avatar
Malus Darkblade's Flag is: Kuwait
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,332
Reputation: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Child-of-the-Emperor View Post
The Greenskins certainly can be said to be a part of "those encroaching upon humanity's domain". They have probably been the most consistent and ever-present threat to humanity throughout Imperial history, and Greenskin Empires and raiding parties don't just exist, but they constantly seek ingression into the realms of Man.

The destruction of the Imperium may not be specifically on their agenda, but waging war is, and from an Imperial perspective there really isn't much of a difference.

Let us also not forget that whilst the Greenskins are a fractious species some Ork Empires, under particularly fearsome warlords, have come very close to conquering the galaxy. The Beast's Waaagh in 544.M32 being the most prominent example.
I don't dispute the fact that as a whole, they are a very dangerous foe. The way they're described in the codex/forge-world texts is great and makes them seem very scary. But once you zoom in, you start hearing their Cockney accents and see them punt their smaller goblin slaves just because its funny, etc.

It's hard for me to imagine the Emperor getting strangled by a huge Ork Warboss laughing at his face in a Cockney accent.

It just robs them of the seriousness they represent on paper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwak76 View Post
Orcs were at one point the biggest threat to the Imperium . With the Emperor and the primarchs they drove back and defeated the orcs. Something tells me with the primarchs and the Emperor they would of done the same to the Tyranids and Necrons.
The Necrons and the Tyranids are much more dangerous than the Orks. With the Greenskins, they can be bribed, manipulated or tricked. You can't do those things with the Necrons or the Tyranids.

Had they have been around back in the Emperor's day, I'm quite certain the Great Crusade would have come to a screeching halt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpion5 View Post
I also want to point out that ork language is not bad english, it is simply portrayed that way to the readers in fluff because that is the easiest way to represent the crude nature of their language.

There are exceptions, for instance orks are capable of learning human speech and even human writing, the best example being Ghazkull. And of course humans are capable of learning the greenskin language as well.
From Helsreach


Last edited by Malus Darkblade; 01-05-14 at 05:49 PM.
Malus Darkblade is offline  
post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-05-14, 07:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 75
Reputation: 3
Default

The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn. And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn't even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.
— Uthan the Perverse, Eldar Philosopher
Karthak is offline  
Reply

  Lower Navigation
Go Back   Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums > Warhammer 40K > 40k Fluff

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome