- "Brute force not work? It because you not use enough of it!"
- — Karg, Ogryn Bone'ead
The Ogryn (Homo sapiens gigantus) are a huge and physically powerful Abhuman mutant subspecies of humans, often employed as shock troopers in the Imperial Guard by the Imperium of Man. Ogryns possess many traits prized by the Imperium; they are brutally strong and completely loyal, although extremely limited intellectually, which restricts their battlefield role to simple and direct assaults. They come from cold and barren planets in the galaxy with high gravity, such as Anark Zeta, which is why they appear larger, heavier and bulkier compared to baseline humans. An Ogryn's speech is much the same as an Ork's. The most famous Ogryn in Imperial service is Nork Deddog.
The Ogryns are the toughest and largest soldiers commonly used by the regiments of the Imperial Guard. Originating from cold, barren, high-gravity prison planets settled many millennia before the founding of the Imperium of Man, the Ogryns' distant ancestors were once normal humans during the Dark Age of Technology. Thousands of standard years in the harsh terrains and brutal living conditions of their prison worlds after the start of the Age of Strife caused the fall of the first interstellar civilisation of Mankind forced their ancestors' bodies to adapt to their hostile environment.
Anatomy and Physiology
The adaptation to the high-gravity environment as described above is the reason for the Ogryns' thick skin, powerfully muscular build and resulting monstrous size. Though their adaptations led them to increase in physical size and strength, the Ogryns' intelligence declined to below average human levels. As the planetary conditions (barren, cold, little food and long periods of starvation) that caused their mutation required only primitive survival instincts, part of their adaptation involved the loss of the ability for more complex intellectual thought since philosophical matters were unnecessary in an environment marked by starvation and a constant fight for life. Ogryns are said to be even less intelligent than some Orks. However, the truth is that their intellects did not actually devolve, but became much more focused on matters such as survival. Ogryns are claustrophobic, which means that they can only with great difficulty be loaded into armoured carrier vehicles to be transported to the battlefield, and can only ride in vehicles if a commanding officer is present. As many as half a squad may be mounted on a Chimera. This slightly slows their deployment speed.
The Tithes Chamber Notaries, sub. Planetary Census (Abhuman) is a sub-division of the Adeptus Administratum that oversees the classification and recognition of stable Abhuman strains within the Imperium. Of these, forty-six types are now listed as extinct, and no records have been received of a further twelve strains for over a generation, suggesting that they too have died out or been assimilated back into the general population of Mankind. The status of the remaining fifteen Abhuman races is quite varied and there is permanent disagreement about their specific classification amongst the Adepts of the Tithes Chamber Notaries. The most noteworthy and contentious matter concerning the Adepts is the Ogryn matrix of Abhuman strains. This complex group is currently officially listed as seven distinct types (Alpha, Theta, Type IV, Type VIIA, H.S. gigantus gigantus, H.S. gigantus cranopus and the mysterious Grey Ogryns), but many in the Chamber doubt that these are all separate subspecies, and yet another official revision of the classification is therefore pending -- in a few standard decades.
Imperial Guard Service
When the Ogryns were rediscovered on their homeworlds during the Great Crusade, the Imperial Army started recruiting the Ogryns as close combat soldiers. Their recruitment was easy because they hardly needed any training, as most Ogryn are quite capable of bringing down almost any enemy and their natural combat skills make them good assault troops. The officers of the Imperial Army, and, after the Horus Heresy reshaped the Imperium, those of the Imperial Guard, also found that Ogryn are extremely loyal once introduced to the Imperial state religion of faith in the Emperor of Mankind -- the Imperial Cult. They are known to believe and do anything their leaders say and ask. They see the orders they receive as having come down the chain of command ultimately from the beloved God-Emperor Himself. On the other hand, Ogryn are known for their inability to understand complex commands and tactics. This simple-mindedness has also contributed to the big Abhumans' reputation as being notoriously easy to corrupt to the service of Chaos, particularly by the temptations of the Blood God Khorne. Many Ogryns, for example, fought in the Vraksian Traitor Militia during the infamous Siege of Vraks.
Their skin is extremely thick and Ogryn can ignore wounds that would cripple or kill a normal man. As they are brutal and direct, they favour knuckle dusters and knives for close combat. They are issued special, large auto-shotguns known as Ripper Guns for ranged combat and clubbing at melee. The use of Frag Grenades is also popular among Ogryn.
Although believed to possess extremely low intelligence, some Ogryn may have a slightly higher level of intellect than others. This boosts their chances to be chosen as candidates for the Biochemical Ogryn Neural Enhancement procedure, also known as BONE; which raises their intelligence further. These relatively smart Ogryn are given the title "Bone'eads," and as they are able to understand more complex orders they are placed in command of a squad of normal, unaugmented Ogryns.
Bullgryns are clad in custom-made Carapace Armour made out of discarded tank tracks, and carry crude assault weaponry intended to capitalise on the Abhumans' stature and resilience. While some wield Power Mauls and buckler-like Brute Shields, the simple but effective Slabshields are their trademark, locking together to form a mobile defence line. So deployed, these Bullgryn units provide their comrades with a wall of walking cover as they advance across the battlefield, soaking up vast volumes of enemy fire in the process. The Ogryns take their protective duties very seriously and will often form a line at the slightest sound of gunfire, which can be most inconvenient in crowded trenches. Yet Imperial Guardsmen advancing behind a Bullgryn squad swiftly forget such mishaps as shots whine harmlessly from the Ogryns' shields, leaving those soldiers crouched in their lee unharmed. Needless to say, casualties are high among the Abhumans themselves, but the close range bombardments of the Ogryns' Grenade Gauntlets exact brutal revenge soon enough. The foe are left reeling and shell-shocked even before the maul-wielding Ogryns charge into their midst and bludgeon the survivors to a red paste.
These simplistic Abhumans dwell on worlds far from the Emperor's light, and sadly, often fall into the worship of the Ruinous Powers. The Forces of Chaos often forcibly conscript Ogryns into their ranks. Known as Ogryn Brutes, the servants of the Dark Gods will utilise crude surgical procedures, forbidden combat drugs and sorcerous rituals in order to control the beasts and set them upon their enemies. Through the use of further modification and forbidden methods, Chaos Renegades have also created two distinct variations of Ogryn Brutes:
- Ogryn Berserkers - These Ogryns are heavily surgically altered using proscribed neurological and bio-chemical processes. This crude adaptation starts by lobotomising the Ogryn, turning it into an imbecilic, docile creature, unable to even feed itself and becoming utterly enslaved to its masters -- until the chemical injectors installed directly into its upper back are activated. The injectors deliver a cocktail of potent, highly dangerous drugs, including the banned combat drug called "Slaught" into the Ogryn's bloodstream and muscles. "Slaught," once favoured by the notorious Flesh Tearers Space Marine Chapter and the World Eaters Traitor Legion, stimulates the subject's adrenaline glands and the neural pathways to the areas of the brain that govern aggression. With these driven into overdrive, the user becomes a raging psychopath, driven by bloodlust that cannot be sated. Other drugs are also injected, including various phencyclidines that give the user massively increased strength and an almost superhuman ability to block pain -- with side effects such as induced hallucinations and a desire for self-mutilation. Strong beta-adrenoreceptor blocking drugs augment this, allowing the Ogryn to fight on with terrible wounds that would usually kill it outright. The downside of this drug-fuelled rampage is that the body's system is not likely to be able to cope with the drugs for long, and vital internal organs will quickly start to fail. Ogryn Berserkers were used as expendable troops during the Siege of Vraks by the Vraksian Traitor Militia, and were not supposed to survive their first encounter with the enemy. They were a one-use weapon, hurled into the enemy in furious counterattacks with the single aim of inflicting as much damage as possible before collapsing or being slain.
- Plague Ogryns - Plague Ogryns are hideously distorted creatures; hulking masses of bloated, diseased flesh and twisted mutations. The effects of Nurgle's "gifts" on the already massively strong and hardy Ogryn frame are particularly foul and they prove ideal breeding grounds for nightmarish plagues of all kinds. In battle these creatures can prove almost impossible to kill and their merest touch brings a horrific death. The first Plague Ogryns are believed to have been created by the mysterious Renegade Astartes warband known as The Tainted on Vraks Prime during the infamous Siege of Vraks. A faction devoted to Nurgle in his aspect as a mortifier of flesh, they are said to have worked the darkest of their sorcerous arts on the already distorted and chem-augmented Ogryn slave stock being used by the rebel forces on Vraks. Since that war, Ordo Malleus savants believe the secrets of creating Plague Ogryns have been refined further by The Tainted deep within the Eye of Terror, and they now trade these vile beasts among the servants of the Lord of Decay in return for fresh subjects on which to practice their twisted craft.
- Nork Deddog - Nork Deddog is a legend in his own lifetime, an Ogryn whose fighting abilities as an Imperial Guard soldier are almost as astonishing as mental development that can only be called precocious for one of his race. Due to his unusual mental acuity, he quickly came to the attention of the Commissars of the Imperial Guard and Nork soon found himself placed on special duties. Nork's reputation for loyalty is unsurpassed and his skills as a bodyguard have been in high demand by Imperial officers across the galaxy.
Imperial Guard Regiments with Ogryns
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Ebook), pp. 114-116, 160-162, 273-282, 325
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 42, 67
- Codex: Imperial Guard (4th Edition)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, Revised Codex), pg. 42
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pp. 15, 25
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pp. 74-75
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks: Part One, pg. 168-170
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 23-24, 90-91
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, "Ogryns," by Ivan Weeds & Graeme Davis, pp. 46-52
- Warhammer 40,000: How to Paint Citadel Miniatures: Bullgryns (Interactive iBook Edition)
- Warhammer: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 404-405
- Forge World: Khornate Ogryn w/Hounds of Xaphan
- Forge World: Renegade Ogryn w/Axe
- Forge World: Renegade Ogryn Berserker Boss w/Drill
- Forge World: Renegade Ogryn w/Hammer
- Forge World: Renegade Ogryn w/Pick
- Forge World: Renegade Ogryn Berserker w/Post
- Forge World: Chaos Renegades - Plauge Ogryn Leader
- Forge World: Chaos Renegades - Plague Ogryn 1
- Forge World: Chaos Renegades - Plague Ogryn 2
- Games Workshop Online Catalogue - Militarum Auxillia: Nork Deddog
- Games Workshop Online Catalogue - Militarum Auxillia: Ogryns
- Games Workshop Online Catalogue - Military Auxillia: Bulgryns