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Gangsta Orks 
Lately, my friend Pat and I have been using the Codex: Cityfight rules in our Tooth and Claw Campaign. Watching how Dark Eldar and Space Wolves battle in urban environments has prompted me to think about how other armies adjust to cities. In particular, I wondered what would happen if an army occupied a city for a long time. These musings, plus some inspiration from real life, led me to create a themed army exclusively for city campaigns: Gangsta Orks. 

When Orks conquer a hive city (such as those found on Armageddon), most move on to the next target. But some stay behind (assuming the city was not demolished) to “lord it up” over the defeated citizens. Lacking a common enemy, these occupying Orks inevitably begin to fight amongst themselves for control of slaves and material resources. After a while, life in “da Big City” changes these greenskins and they may become “Gangsta Orks.”

When regular Orks become Gangsta Orks, they re-organize in one of two ways. “Old Skool” gangs possess well-defined hierarchies (with a “Big Boss” at the top), assigned roles, and plenty of “roolz” to keep the bigger, older, Orks in power and the younger Orks (and Grots, of course) firmly under control. Old Skool gangs tend to be wealthy, extremely organized, and rely on an extensive network of contacts to “do bizness”: i.e., the exploitation of captured civilians and their resources. 

Old Skool Orks can display a remarkable ability to work with other gangs, even in different hive cities, if doing so would benefit them. Usually this cooperation is achieved through a system of exchanging “favurs:” a Big Boss who is troubled by a rival may turn to the rival’s enemy for assistance, with the expectation that sometime in the future, the “favur” will be reciprocated. 

Surprisingly for Orks, Old Skool gangs eschew wanton mayhem and destruction: they’ve established a lucrative set-up, and have little reason to disrupt it. 

A hive city can be under the control of one or more Old Skool gangs, who may have an uneasy truce amongst themselves or be actively fighting for domination, with the original inhabitants of the city keeping out of the way. 

In contrast, Gangs of “Yung Punks” tend to be made of younger Orks or those recently arrived at a hive city under the domination of one or more Old Skool gangs. Yung Punks sneer at the “roolz” that Old Skool Orks adhere to: anything goes, usually at the whim of the “Big Dawg” who runs the gang. 

Yung Punks often lurk in the “underhive” areas previously held by the lowliest of citizens. There, Yung Punks prey on mutants, other surviving civilians, rival Yung Punk gangs, and the occasional incautious Old Skool “solja” that wanders into their territory. Yung Punks frequently mount raids into territory held by Old Skool gangs, mostly to abduct slaves and steal “goodz,” which they use or sell to other, non-hostile gangs. 

While most Old Skool Gangstaz consider Yung Punks “skum,” some Big Bosses will employ them, for example, to carry out a covert mission against a rival, the advantage being that if the Yung Punks are killed or captured, the Big Boss can disavow any knowledge of them. 

Although disorganized and usually smaller in numbers, gangs of Yung Punks are notorious for their unpredictability, aggressiveness, and sheer ruthlessness. As they have little to lose, they are fond of destroying property and committing mass murder. If a lowly slave refuses or displeases a Yung Punk, the gang is likely to kill that slave and every other civilian in sight, pausing only to set fire to nearby buildings and to smash whatever they can until they grow bored and find something else to do. 

Inter-gang warfare among Yung Punks is especially fierce, with no quarter taken. Sometimes, a hive city will be under the control of one or more Yung Punk gangs, and woe to the original human populace who has to live in such a lawless and violent environment. 

Old Skool Gangstaz and Yung Punks enjoy intimidation and do not tolerate insubordination or disloyalty. A gang leader will usually order (or commit) the murder of any underling he suspects of not being 100% behind him. 

Orks only become gangstaz after spending a long time in hive city environments: once removed from the hive city, they will go back to their traditional ways.

As per Codex: Orks. An Ork gang is always led by a Warboss, referred to as a “Big Boss” among Old Skool gangstaz. To display his wealth and power, a Big Boss is always accompanied by a bodyguard, each of who must have at least 20 points of wargear. Big Bosses prefer to have lots of Nobz in their bodyguard, as well as a Mekboy or two to take care of his gang’s gear. Especially rich and well-equipped Big Bosses will hire a Big Mek, possibly with their own bodyguard, to maintain their weapons, armor, and vehicles.

Yung Punks are also led by a Warboss, referred to as a “Big Dawg.” Because Yung Punk gangs are not typically as large and wealthy as Old Skool gangs, the Big Dawg may or may not have a bodyguard. If he does, each member is limited to no more than 20 points of wargear. Because Yung Punks often dabble with illicit drugs inevitably fond in the underhive, Big Dawgs frequently include a Mad Dok or two along with the Nobz in their retinue. Especially large and powerful Yung Punk gangs may include a Painboss, with or without Cybork bodyguards, to help oversee production of drugs, which are often sold to other gangs or used by the Yung Punks themselves.

As per Codex: Orks. Old Skool gangstaz routinely include Elite units to show off their power and to intimidate rivals. An Old Skool gang must include at least one Elite unit, with ‘Ard Boyz preferred above all others. Because they are typically not wealthy, Yung Punks are limited to one Elite unit, either Kommandos, Skarboyz, or Flash Gitz. 

As per Codex: Orks. Big Bosses have found that the sight of a large caliber weapon and the sound of gunfire easily frighten most human civilians, so each Old Skool gang must have at least two mobs of Shoota Boyz. In contrast, Big Dawgs have learned that the extremely dangerous nature and cramped confines of the underhive favor close combat, so each Yung Punk gang must have at least two mobs of Slugga Boyz. 

All other Troop choices are helpful in a city environment. Gretchin (also known as “Smurfz”) are particularly useful as cannon fodder, to negotiate difficult terrain, and to clear mines placed by other gangs or rebellious humans.

Fast Attack
As per Codex: Orks. To demonstrate their power and wealth, Old Skool gangs must include at least one Fast Attack choice, preferring Warbuggies and Trukk Boyz (in that order). Yung Punk gangs that use Fast Attack units must select a Warbike squadron (who are suitably wild and dangerous) as their first choice. 

Heavy Support
As per Codex: Orks. Due to the difficulties of fighting in the concrete and steel tangles of a hive city, Big Gunz Batteries are not used. For the purposes of showing off, Old Skool gangs prefer Dreadnoughts and Killer Kans, which Yung Punks cannot afford, and thus may not field. All Gangsta Orks make use of Lootas, Battlewagons, and Looted Vehicles.

Painting and Modeling
Gangsta Orks usually wear an “ooniform” (for Old Skool Orks) or bear “cullurs” (Yung Punks) that mark them as belonging to a specific gang. Thus, members of a gang will tend to dress and look alike. This makes it easy for a gang to determine if other Orks encountered are friend or foe. As can be expected, Old Skool gangstaz prefer dark, somber colors and subdued patterns, and the wilder Yung Punks prefer brighter hues and garish patterns. 

Some gangs require their members to deliberately mutilate themselves, chopping off a hand/finger/ear or gouging out an eye, to prove their loyalty to the leader and to further distinguish themselves from other gangs. Tattooing is also very common, with gang members bearing similar designs in conspicuous places. 

General Tactics
Gangsta Orks have adapted to fighting in cities, and most (if not all) battles involving them should be in urban settings using the rules from Codex: Cityfight. If you’re going to play Gangsta Orks, you should read, re-read, and memorize the Cityfight material to get the most out of your army. Just as Catachans should be used in jungles, Gangsta Orks should be used in cities: recall that once they leave the hive city, these aliens will revert to their traditional Orky ways.

Related Pages
Other Ork Themed Army Ideas

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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, April 2003. 


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle