A Nob (pl: Nobz) is a larger Ork Boy who is smaller than and subservient to an Ork Warboss but still possesses some authority amongst other Greenskins of his tribe or clan because of his greater-than-average size and strength. The term "Nob" is believed to be an Orkish corruption of the Imperial Low Gothic word for "noble."
The average Ork Nob stands a good head taller and two shoulders wider than the average Ork Boy. They weigh almost twice as much, and all of that extra weight is hard, green muscle. Ork existence can be summarised by the concept "might makes right", and Nobz are the living incarnations of this concept. Orks continually challenge each other to determine their respective hierachical positions, and an Ork who emerges victorious in challenge after challenge will soon start growing bigger and put on thick muscle while his hide will take on a darker shade of green. Victory and the respect of his peers will act as a growth hormone on the Ork, and he will keep on becoming bigger and burlier until someone (usually another Nob, or the Warboss himself) "puts him in his place" by soundly beating him in a contest of strength. Most such contests are simple brawls, however some are settled by what is known in Ork Kultur as a "Eadbuttin' Kontest": The two Orks face each other, stripped of weapons and armour, grab each other by the shoulders, and take turns delivering a mighty headbutt to the other until one of the two passes out. The one remaining conscious is considered the winner of the bout.
In addition to being the largest and strongest of the Orks, Nobz are also the best-equipped ones. Nobz have second pick of the spoils of a battle, just after the Warboss himself, and will not hesitate to bully lesser Orks for anything that catches their fancy. They thus have larger assets to barter with the Mekboyz for the weapons they want. Many Nobz also outfit themselves with a very visible token of their position, be it a large pair of horns, taken from a creature they hunted, or a massive Iron Jaw, to show they have the meanest bite around!
Ork Nobz can be found in three general places on the battlefield: in command of their own band of Boyz, in command of their own "kustom" vehicle (be it a large Battlewagon or a nice tank looted from the Imperial Guard) or gathered in a coterie around their Warboss, following the biggest and meanest of the Orks around into the thickest of the fray, "ta show da uvva' boyz 'ow smashin' an' stompin' is done!" There are two types of "specialist" Nobz:
- Meganobz - The term "Meganobz" is short for "Nobz in Mega-armour", and are the most powerful and successful Nobz from the army of a powerful and successful Warboss; the amount of loot, teef and bullying of the Painboyz and Mekboyz necessary to get oneself installed in a suit of Mega-armour and to keep it working is extraordinary. Mega-armour tremendously augments the already impressive capacity for destruction of its wearer, and a band of Nobz outfitted in these powerful contraptions is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
- WAAAGH! Banner Bearer - The banner bearer of a WAAAGH! is often the Warboss' Gak'ena (Orky term meaning at the same time "best friend" and "worst foe"), and is the strongest, burlyest and meanest of the Nobz around the Boss. He is honoured by being placed in charge of keeping the WAAAGH! Banner aloft - the thing that comes the closest to a sacred artefact amongst Orks. The WAAAGH! Banner serves to attract the attention of the Ork Gods Gork and Mork, ensuring their blessing is always with the Orks. It also doubles as the a more mundane means to transmit the Warboss' "orders", which means that it is brandished in the general direction the Boss wants his troops to charge.
Nobz have no standardised wargear, as each Nob invests his spoils in the best way he sees fit. Some are traditionalists, going to war clad in leather armour, and equipped with a good Slugga and a better Choppa. Others want "moar dakka", and get the coolest Kustom Shoota they can find. Others prefer "betta stompin" and get a Power Klaw while some prefer investing in a buggy or other means of transport. A few prefer outfitting themselves with armour, either bulky Karapace Armour made from armor plates bolted to the ork's body, or even a mighty suit of Greenskin Mega-armour.
The following is a selection of the wargear Nobz can carry:
- Choppa/Big Choppa
- Shoota/Kustom Shoota
- Power Klaw
- Karapace Armour
- Iron Jaw
- Big Horns
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (3rd Edition), pg. 248
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (4th Edition), pg. 153
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pp. 33,39, 91
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition)
- Gorkamorka (Game)
- The Art of Clint Langley (Art Book), pp. 75-79