Orks are great and you’re great if you like Orks. And other lies.
It has been some time since we’ve spoken – things have been very busy, have you been well? Good, great.
Anyway, do you remember that time I said you were dumb for liking Orks? Remember how I said cigars and WW1 style fighter jets are silly? That cockney-esque ‘We iz da best’ speech is lame especially against the backdrop of GRIMDARK 40k?
You do? Good. It’s still true. Also I’d like to add Formula 1 style racing cars to the list too – they are also dumb (And you’re dumb for liking them).
But, anyway, times have changed. 40k has a Primarch in it now, and some ass-pulled technology that I am still trying to come to terms with. Some how one dude who spent 10k years in stasis has managed to get new tech out all over the galaxy, in a society famously backward and change averse. That’s dumb too. I need to read more of the plague wars books, I’ve only read Dark Imperium so far (I didn’t hate it). I shall give new-40k a chance… maybe.
Headcanon Noun. (uncountable) (fandom slang) Elements and interpretations of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but not found within or supported by the official canon.
My headcanon of 40k probably errs closer to the 2nd edition flavour. I like things GRIM and DARK. I prefer twisty Inquisitor betrayals to endless Space Marine victories. I like my Marines mean (think Marines Malevolant not Ultramarines, Fleshtearers and Iron Hands, not Salamanders). They’re terrifying gene-wrought killing machines, indoctrinated to be the best shock troopers – yes they were human and do act like it, trying to keep control. That being said they’re coursing with hormones, PTSD and hypno-indoctrination – they would probably at best be arrogant jerks.
Anyway, back to Orks. Orktober brought them to the fore of my mind again, that and I came across a chap on instagram who is doing some sketches of ‘War in Heaven’ era Orks – that is not dumb. That is cool.
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The story goes that Orks were created by the Old Ones as soldiers in the war against the Necrons. I think the old books implied that the Orks were a desperate last attempt, more brutal and direct than the Old Ones other creations like the Eldar. But I’ve often wondered what the original Old One Ork armies would look like. Here are some quick doodles exploring the concept. It seems like their outfits and technology should relate both to the look of eldar, and to 40k Orks— and be plausibly ancient and hitech, which in 40k often means raygun gothic. Swipe for details. #inktober #inktober2018 #orktober #wh40k
The guy on Instagram is @weirdingsway; he has done some fantastic models too – check out his Navigators and if I remember rightly way back in the day he converted some Fremen of Dune fame.
That can fit with my GRIM DARK 40k headcanon.
New 40k and the Ork
So remember the Necron/Eldar fluff? How most of the biped races in 40k are creations of the Old Ones? And Orks are the more reckless last ditch attempt at foot soldiers? What if Orks were less cigar smoking lol-machines and terrible biological weapons?
I know right that is LOADS cooler!
Lets make Orks great again
They were never great I hear you cry, and yes I know but there is a first time for everything…
Orkoids, engineered as a last ditch effort during the War in Heaven. They’re a terrifying self multiplying force that grows with little to no resources, able to self organise and wage war without any technology – a primitive green tide.
Imagine them being dropped by the old ones onto enemy occupied worlds, allowed to grow and bring down the enemy with little or no support.
These primitive savages however each have an innate savant understanding of technology, able to pick up something of Xenos or human manufacture and at a glance know how it works – and even perhaps how to replicate it. Consider the Jokero and their ability to build tech from the basest scraps – maybe the Old Ones put a measure of this ability into the Orkoid?
Couple the above with their psychic potential, something akin to the Tyranid ‘Shadow in the Warp’ . The buzzing maniac aura that surrounds these creatures, as they swarm, driving each to greater feats of savagery, swelling the natural leaders to disproportionate size and strength; all the while interfering with any non-Orkoid psychic ability.
Now, what if they were sponsored and supported by the Old Ones? Not just dropped on worlds and left to expand and swarm (Warrrghhh), but actively supplied with technology, armour and weapons – now that fits into 40k!
Of course, all the Old Ones are dead or moved on (I like to think their are small enclaves of Slaan kicking around that have reverted to tribal cultures, perhaps still clustered around some surviving technology from their glory days they no longer understand).
So there is no sponsorship anymore, they are this primitive horde; driven to swarm and fight, assimilating technology as they go. Re purposing sentinel lifters to build exo-skeleton walkers (Hello Deff Dread) and farming equipment as warbuggies.
Now that fits my head-canon for 40k! To be fair, full props for this goes to WeirdingsWay – check out his stuff!
What do you think? Do you like Orks as they are? Have a better idea? That’s what the comment section is for!