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"Let 'em tell da King. Da east belongs to da Orcs. Da east belongs to Morglum. Da east is green."

—Morglum Necksnapper[3a]

An immense Orcish warrior of great status.

The Orcs are perhaps the largest and most warlike of the Greenskin race, whose large size and raw physical strength easily allows them to dominate much of Greenskin society.[1b] As a tendency of their race, the Orcs are an extremely violent and brutish species in both mind, body and soul. They are brutes and louts of the first degree, insensitive to pain and higher thought, and are singularly geared towards constant and ever escalating warfare. In a more practical term, the Orcs simply live to fight.[2a]

Orcs are known for producing large, brutal armies of difficult-to-kill troops, usually supported by a variety or sub-groupings of other Greenskins. Such are their skills on the battlefield that the majority of the most destructive campaigns ignited by the Greenskins are more often led by an Orcish Warlord of great strength, wit, and brutality. Goblins are the more prolific, but it is the Orcs that do the bulk of the bloody work in most battles. They are an overly pugnacious lot and if the Orcs find themselves without an enemy, they will often pummel each other just to keep their spirits up. Orcs naturally take their robust physique for granted and regard everyone else as weak, puny or squishy.[1c]


"Red-eyed brutes, the larger ones seem to be natural leaders of their kind."

Gavius Klugge.[4a]

A typical Orc in an upright posture

A typical Orc is a naturally large creature that stands taller than the average Man, with long arms and short legs, huge slabs of muscle moving underneath tough green skin, and their jaws are lined with vicious fangs that jut out from their underbite. They have beady red eyes, a generally foul demeanour, and are naturally bald. Normally six feet tall, they can be up to seven feet tall when stretched out of their characteristic stoop.[1a]

Another strange characteristic about the Orcish race is their ability to grow in both strength and stature as they grow older.[2a] Orcs respect power and strength, and naturally tend towards becoming bigger and stronger as they rise through their society.[1a] As an Orc grows older and wins more battles, he would begin to grow at an extraordinary rate, to such an extent that should he not be beaten by an even bigger stronger foe in battle, the Orc would continue to grow for the rest of his life. In fact, it is said that an Orc can never truly die of old age, for by then, he would have already been beaten by a foe even bigger then himself or just simply killed outright.[2a]

Orcish Society

"We iz the best. We iz not dem weedie Gobbos or stoopid Trollz, we iz well 'ard! An' if anywun sayz we ain't, we iz guna stomp on der edz."

—Gurkk Skulltaka, Orc Boss.[5a]

Within most of the known world, the Orcs are the most dominate force within much of Greenskin society. Most tribes are usually a mixture of both Goblins and Orcs, with the Orcs often possessing the highest position within the tribe's violent hierarchy. Due to their strength yet lazy attitude, the Orcs occupy the "Warrior Caste" of Greenskin society, while the Goblins occupy the "Worker Caste". In this union, the Orcs are given a large and plentiful source of labourers that will do all the menial task of daily tribal life, such as chopping wood, crafting weapons or building huts. In return, the Goblins receive the intimidating protection of their larger cousins from the threats of outside invaders such as fierce predators or other tribes of Greenskins.[1b]

However, there are times when a tribe can consist almost entirely of Orcs. The composition of these Orc-dominated Tribes is both wide-ranging and diverse. Regardless of their composition, however, most Orc tribes are formed around a hard-fighting core of Orcish warriors. Without a large Goblin work-force to do the tribe's menial labours for them, the largest of the Orcish warriors forces the smallest and most weakest of their members to do the task for them. As a result of their violent tendencies, this makes the always belligerent Orcs even angrier, resulting in many full-on fights at an almost alarming regularity, even within Greenskin tribes. These physical struggles often help to establish a hierarchy within the tribe, forcing the lowliest warriors to do all the hard-work while their larger and more powerful brethren loll about. [1b]

An Orc is a stubborn and lazy creature, and to bear both the work and humiliation of reproductive tasks such as chopping wood or building huts would only result in another fierce fighting within the imminent future. In time, these Orcs would once more fight amongst themselves, establishing a fresh new pecking order from the remaining survivors. This extremely hostile and unstable environment ensures that most Orc-dominated tribes are smaller yet far more battle-hardened then a typical Greenskin tribe. However, as a consequence of their frequent infighting, the camps of Orc tribes are usually lack even the most crudest amenities that enforced Goblin labourers normally provide, such as stockades or even simple skin-huts.[1b]


"All Orcs, even the cleverest, resemble nothing so much as squabbling Human toddlers that have been magically granted enormous size, horrendous strength, and a variety of barbaric weapons."

—Heinrich Malz, High Priest of Verena


Standard Orc Boyz in battle.

When the tribes go to war, these greenskin brutes are formed into tough-to-kill warriors called Orc Boyz or simply Da Boyz. These Orcs Boyz would then form up into units, simply called Mobs, which are led by the biggest within their particular group, the Bosses. On the battlefield, Orc mobs are distinguished by their own symbols or markings, which are most often displayed on shields, banners or totems. It is common practice to brag about one's own mob, while rudely scoffing at other mobs. Naturally, this leads to punch-ups, scrums and actual combat between rival groups.[1c]

A unit of Orcs Boyz carries a range of weapons into the battlefield, such as long-staved spears, a variety of bladed cleavers, giant crude axes, bloodied clubs, rusty swords and occasionally looted wargear. These weapons often feature prominently in a mob's name; such as the Rusty Choppas Boyz or Gutnik's Jabbers. All Orc close-combat weapons are collectively called choppas and are kept in a battered condition. To an Orc, an untarnished weapon is a sure sign that a fight has been long overdue.[1c] While they lack even the most basic intelligence of more advanced races, Orcs possess immense cunning and survival instinct, but rarely adopt new tactics to replace their fondness for close quarters brutality.[1a]

Before battle, mobs of Orc Boyz have been known to chant and stomp the ground as a means of intimidation and as a way to pump up an Orcs unnaturally adrenaline rush. Should the battle take to long to begin, fights have been known to break out between individuals or rival mobs as taunts and rocks are flung back and forth. As such, it is common to see a mob of Big 'Uns travelling up and down a Greenskin army as a disciplinary figure to stop such animosity from getting out of control. When their Warlord roars his Waaagh!, Orcs have been known to lend their own guttural voices in the swelling of the barbaric battle cry. With battle finally commencing, these Orcs can finally release all of their violence into one ground-shaking charge.[1c]



  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 6
    • 1b: pg. 8 - 10
    • 1c: pg. 36
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Old World Bestiary
    • 2a: pg. 22
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins (5th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 98
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th Edition - Core Rulebook
    • 5a: pg. 325