- "Dis isn’t some puny Killa Kan, so get ready ta get krumped, all ya Grots! Dis is no Killa Kan!"
- — Ramtusk Wraahr, Deff Dread pilot
The Ork Deff Dread (Ork shorthand for Death Dreadnought) is a large Ork combat walker that is essentially a cross between an Ork Killa Kan and a Space Marine Dreadnought. The machine is smaller than an Ork Stompa, but is larger than a Killa Kan. The Deff Dread is also capable of carrying up to four weaponised arms. Also like a Dreadnought, a Deff Dread's Ork pilot must be cybernetically hardwired into the machine. As a result, the construction of a functional Deff Dread requires the skills of both an Ork Mekboy and a Painboy. When it is possible to craft a Deff Dread many Orks volunteer for the process since it will allow them to essentially become one of the biggest and most powerful Orks in the clan. Deff Dreads are also popular with other Orks since their immense destructive capacity, large number of weapons and tendency to stomp things to death lie at the very heart of what defines Ork "kulture." To many Orks, however, the process of creating a Deff Dread is the opposite of what they usually want, as their dreams of power are hampered by the fact that they are permanently wired into a metal can. This causes the Orks inside to turn a bit mad, and hence new Deff Dreads often need "runnin' in," often at the expense of any nearby buildings. Deff Dreads are rare Greenskin war engines and will cost an Ork Warboss or Warlord around a hundred Greenskin teef to build and/or purchase from another clan.
Deff Dreads are clanking, rattling, lumbering, smoke belching, implacable engines of destruction. A terror to behold on the battlefield, these deadly machines are hulking, heavily-armed and armoured bipedal walkers, bristling with heavy guns and slashing close-combat weapons. Based around a similar, if infinitely cruder technology than those venerable machines of war, Deff Dreads are infinitely more powerful than their smaller Killa Kan cousins. With heavier armour, bigger guns, and a more powerful power plant than many walkers of their size and class, Deff Dreads pack an incredible amount of firepower and destructive potential in a relatively compact package. As with Killa Kans, and indeed the majority of things built by the Orks, there is little commonality between Deff Dreads. They are typically armed with two forward-facing heavy weapons like Skorchas, Rokkit Launchas, or Big Shootas bolted directly to the kan, along with anywhere from two to six mechanical arms. These arms usually end in some combination of slashing power klaws, hammers, and numerous types of loud and cruel flesh-tearing saws.
No two Deff Dreads appear alike, and each is usually crudely painted and covered in spikes, skulls and the decaying bodies of slain Ork foes rotting on spears as typically seen in all Ork decorating schemes. Aside from these basic design elements, Deff Dreads are decorated, armed, and configured in countless ways, each one reflecting the tastes and vision of the Mek who designed it. Orks owners will then often paint skull-like devices or add large Ork skull masks to cover the front of their war machine.
In battle, Deff Dreads act as support units and mobile weapons platforms, working in compliment with mobs or backing up a Warboss and his mega-armoured Nobz. Wading into the thick of battle in support of infantry forces, even a single Deff Dread brings enough firepower and general good “stompy killiness” to an engagement to tip the scales of even the most fearsome battle in the Orks’ favour. Extremely expensive and, for the Ork’s enemies at least, blessedly rare, Deff Dreads are used sparingly by those Warbosses who can afford them. This irritates none more than the pilots locked within, whose only release from the tedium of being welded inside these machines comes in slaughtering their foes on the battlefield. When they are deployed in support of an Ork mob, however, the destruction they inflict on their enemies is truly shocking to behold. Only the most stalwart or foolish of Imperial Guard troopers can stand against these metal monsters, whose crushing feet, tearing claws, and rattling guns shatter anything that falls within range.
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 52
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition),
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pg. 56
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