- "Da furst an' da best part o' da WAAAGH is a gud ol' mob o' boyz."
- — Kaptin Bluddflagg
Ork Boyz are the different types of troops deployed by the Orks, a savage, warlike, green-skinned race of humanoids of the Milky Way Galaxy. They are in some ways equivalent to Warhammer Fantasy Orcs, particularly in terms of their physical appearance, but they vary from the Warhammer World's Greenskins in some biological and cultural details.
Orks are seen by their enemies (pretty much everyone else in the galaxy) as savage, warlike and crude, but they are one of the most successful species in the Milky Way, outnumbering possibly every other intelligent race, including Mankind. However, the power of the Ork race as a whole is limited due to the fact that they are split into hundreds of tiny empires, klanz and tribes, which are more often warring between themselves than not. Were the Orks ever to unite as a species, they would undoubtedly crush all opposition in a massive migration-invasion known as a WAAAGH!.
The average Ork Boy stands about 2 metres (six and a half Terran feet) tall when fully upright and varies greatly in their specific battlefield tactical roles. Ork Boyz who occupy the same field of interest often band together in groups known as "Mobs," and frequently these Mobs are led by an Ork Nob who is the epitome of that particular group's tactical skills. As basic Ork troops, Ork Boys vary greatly in the weaponry and equipment available to them. Below is detailed all the different types of Ork Boy found among the armies of the Greenskins.
Slugga Boyz represent the standard heavy infantry of the Orks and they are generally armed with ramshackle, semiautomatic, solid-shot ballistic pistols known as Sluggas and brutal, bladed melee weapons similar to human battleaxes known as Choppas. A few scraps of Flak Armour or the Ork equivalent and a shoulder or back plate with the Ork's klan or personal insignia make up the poorly maintained armour of a Slugga Boy.
Slugga Boyz are the most common and typical Ork warriors, and represent what the average Imperial human thinks of when they imagine an Ork. Slugga Boyz are anarchic brutes who love nothing more than a good fight, often leaving a horrific mess of whatever they attack on the battlefield. A Slugga Boy Mob consists of 10 to 30 Slugga Boyz which may include a Nob as the leader or the equivalent of a "non-commissioned officer." For every ten Orks in the Mob one might be armed with either a Big Shoota or a Rokkit Launcha.
Shoota Boyz are those Orks who prefer the "shooty" side of combat and serve solely as ranged infantry with no melee component like the standard Slugga Boyz. A Shoota Boy's prized possession is his ballistic, solid-shot automatic rifle or Shoota, from which he takes his name.
Despite their love of ranged combat and firearms, Shoota Boyz have no appreciation for marksmanship, and are more addicted to the violent noise and heavy recoil of automatic gunfire. This is psychologically due to the Ork belief that a firearm will not cause any real damage to the enemy unless it makes a loud, terrifying noise. A Shoota Boyz Mob consists of 10 to 30 Shoota Boyz which may include a Nob. For every ten Orks in the Mob one might be armed with either a Big Shoota or a Rokkit Launcha.
Stikk Bommas are those Orks so intellectually gifted that they know which part of a grenade is thrown once the pin is removed. For this reason they are equipped with Stikkbombz (grenades of Greenskin manufacture) but otherwise they are effectively identical to the standard Slugga Boyz.
A Stikk Bommas Mob consists of 10 to 30 Stikk Bommas which may include a Nob. Ork Stikk Bommas are similar to Slugga Boyz in that they are combat oriented. While they are less well-armed than Slugga Boyz, they carry Stikkbombs which allow them to take on opponents in cover and light armoured vehicles much more effectively than basic Slugga Boyz.
'Ardboyz are the heavily-armoured standard Ork infantry who fulfill the same tactical role as the basic Slugga Boyz but can take a great deal more punishment. 'Aedboyz outfit themselves in thick scrap metal plates that they've scavenged and that is known as 'Eavy Armour. Despite poor maintenance, the result is a suit of armour than can withstand most small arms fire.
'Ard Boyz are equipped with either Sluggas and Choppas or Shootas and can also equip Stikkbombz. An 'Ard Boyz Mob consists of 10 to 30 'Ard Boyz which may include a Nob. For every ten Orks in the Mob one might be armed with either a Big Shoota or a Rokkit Launcha.
Only veteran Ork Boyz who have managed to survive many battles and slaughtered many foes have the chance to scavenge sufficient materials to build or purchase 'Eavy Armour. This also means that 'Ardboyz are excellent scavengers even for Greenskins.
'Ard Boyz usually spearhead Ork advances as their increased durability allows them to survive heavy fire fights with barely a scratch. Mobs of 'Ardboyz retain all the tactical versatility of standard Ork Mobs, thus being able to fill the roles of Shoota Boy Mobs or Slugga Boy Mobs, but usually serve in the latter tactical role, as their armour proves more useful when close to the enemy.
In the hierarchy of an Ork klan or tribe, 'Ard Boyz tend to hold a position just below Nobs (though given the unpredictability and flexibility of Orks this is not a hard rule). More techno-hesitant Ork klanz (such as the Snakebites) tend to look down upon 'Ard Boyz, seeing their love for heavy armour as a sign of weakness and cowardice. 'Ard Boyz are more frequent among the Bad Moons and Deathskulls klanz, as both tend to be naturally wealthy or streetwise enough to gather the materials for the armour.
'Ardboyz almost always grow arrogant and laugh at the casualties incurred by their less well-armoured comrades, who in turn call them "walking magnets" (referring to their attitude to pick up scraps for their armour as they proceed even when in combat), but only when those comments won't be heard by the 'Ardboyz in question.
Although a standard Ork Boy's genetically-encoded knowledge base allows him to keep his weapons in working order, there is always a need for specialists who can do things most Greenskins can't. These "Oddboyz" develop genetically-encoded instinctive knowledge that is useful for specific tasks. Oddboyz include the following specialists among their ranks.
Painboyz, known also as "Mad Doks" or "Doks", are responsible for fixing injuries even the highly regenerative Ork physiology cannot repair, such as severed limbs and brain damage. They use "Stabby Bits" as their medical tools. An Ork will only go to a Painboy when he has no other choice, as these Oddboyz are infamous for trying out experimental procedures (such as the greatly feared Squig brain transplant) on patients while they are under anesthesia (known as a "concussion" to other intelligent races).
Painboyz are responsible for attaching crude bionics to Ork patients that have been created by the Mekboyz, although sometimes they are not paying attention and replace the wrong part of the patient's body. This is often distressing to a patient who is the lucky recipient of an exploding leg, especially if it was his arm that needed attention.
High-ranking Painboyz are called "Painbosses" and are known to be accompanied by Cybork bodyguards. Orks are surprisingly resilient and have had arms, legs and even heads swapped around and the Ork in question has survived to tell the tale!
A Mekboy, known also as a "Mekaniak" or simply as a "Mek", is a type of Oddboy who serves as one of the engineers and technicians who build all the weapons, vehicles, and other advanced technology used by the Greenskins. Mekboyz are especially important to Ork Speed Freeks, as they maintain the prodigious amount of bikes and vehicles used by Ork warbands.
The most important and skilled Mekboyz are known as "Big Meks," who lead groups of lesser Mekboyz armed with a wide variety of Greenskin kustom equipment and Kombi-Weapons, sometimes including even full warbands or whole WAAAGHs! armed with a large amount of less-than-conventional Ork weaponry.
A Big Mek's mastery of technology is unsurpassed amongst the Orkoid races and a Big Mek is often seen generating a "Kustom Force Field" around himself that protects his person and his creations. A Big Mek who becomes the leader of a Greenskin WAAAGH! will be known as a "Mek-Boss."
Though the majority of Orks will never venture far from their tribe or klan, there are those strange few who are driven to explore, compelled to do so even in preference to fighting. Such pioneers will seek out the deepest jungles or most arid deserts, where most creatures would struggle to survive at all. Should they endure and multiply, it is common for these remote Ork tribes to degenerate into savages, sometimes known as "Wildboyz."
After a time, some of these groups will seek out and return to their parent warband. There they learn about Ork kultur and take their place in the warrior society, exchanging stone spear and axe for Slugga and Choppa. However, should the new tribe emerge on a world where their technologically advanced Ork ancestors have been driven off or slain, the Wildboyz will instead develop into a tribe of Feral Orks.
At first, Feral Ork tribes pose little threat to the planet they infest. They are uncivilised, even by the low standards of their Ork brethren, and live by the old Neolithic ways of hunting and exploring. As the tribe increases in size they breed ever-larger varieties of Squig, riding around upon great tusked beasts that vary in size from that of a horse to that of a Baneblade.
Through constant conflict and strife with one another, eventually, the Wildboy enclave will mature into a fully-fledged and technologically-capable warband in its own right, only to spawn wandering Wildboyz of its own.
Speed Freeks are those Orks who become addicted to the sensation of speed. These speed-obsessed Greenskins band together in their own Mobs and warbands, which are full of buggies, bikes, and trukks. They belong to what Ork kultur refers to as the "Kult of Speed" and become members of the Speed Freeks. Speed Freeks tend to be found predominantly among the members of the Evil Sunz klan.
These grinning Greenskin loons roar into battle on exhaust-belching jalopies and crude but effective flying machines, intent on getting into the thick of the fighting before their ground-pounding comrades. Most vehicles used by Speed Freeks are painted red as, according to Ork superstition, "Da red wunz go fasta!"
Due to the large number of vehicles in each Speed Freeks warband, they often have several of the Oddboyz known as Meks amongst their number to keep their vehicles running efficiently. Sometimes a warband of Speed Freeks is even led by a Big Mek instead of a true Warboss.
The oil and promethium each Warbike consumes sends great clouds of smoky exhaust fumes out in pillars behind its wheels. Boyz who enjoy riding Warbikes are often also members of the Speed Freek kults who get an enormous adrenaline hit from riding their Bikes into combat as fast as possible.
Warbikers are armed with Sluggas and Choppas and operate in Mobs of 3 to 12, which may include a Nob or even sometimes a Warboss at their head.
Flyboyz are Ork pilots who are actually a sub-cult of the Speed Freeks and have been determined to be an unstable part of a klan that that holds an irrational desire to fly. This marks them as very different from most Orks, who prefer to have their feet firmly planted on the ground.
Flyboyz are also not satisfied with the speed of ground-based vehicles and thus take to the air as part of their own Speed Freek quest for greater exhilaration at breakneck speeds. They are often seen in states of manic euphoria as a result of their search for greater speed as well as their reckless attacks and dive bombing, which seemingly have an effect on their brain pattern.
This has resulted in many Orks seeing Flyboyz as just a different form of Madboy. As a result, most Flyboyz live in a state of semi-exile from their klan or tribe's hierarchy, which means they mostly associate with other Flyboyz. The only other contact they usually have with other Greenskins is Gretchin slaves and the Meks who maintain their aircraft.
As is typical among Speed Freeks, Flyboyz hail predominantly from the Evil Sunz klan.
Weirdboyz are the Orks' psykers. One major difference between them and the psykers of the other intelligent species of the galaxy is that Weirdboyz draw on the gestalt psychic power generated by the Ork WAAAGH! instead of directly upon the psychic energies of the Warp.
However, the WAAAGH! has its own perils for Ork Weirdboyz: if they soak up too much of this power, their heads explode, causing a powerful psychic backlash that can cause other Orks' heads to explode as well.
Naturally, Weirdboyz try to avoid combat as much as possible, but the ability to gout green flame capable of melting armour and shoot bolts of lightning is too great for most Warbosses to resist, and they get dragged into combat anyway. Some Weirdboyz actually become addicted to the power they can unleash and seek out battles; these exceptionally dangerous individuals are known as "Warpheads", and even other Orks are wary of them.
Madboyz are a type of Feral Ork who have gone somewhat insane from the perspective of their fellow Greenskins. Most Feral Orks have little to no concept of advanced technology and sometimes their introduction to even the simplest mechanical devices will be too much for their puny brains to handle.
When this happens, an Ork can become psychotic and lose what little rational thought processes he had in the first place. These Orks are known as Madboyz or "Nuttaz" by their fellows and are put in separate mobs known as Madboyz Squads. Due to their insanity they can be either a deadly weapon or a clumsy hindrance to the rest of the warband.
Due to their madness, other Orks keep their distance from Madboyz. In battle, if Madboyz fail to keep the tiny bit of sanity they retain, they can start fighting amongst themselves, arguing over whether a cloud looks like Gork or Mork, fall in to a gibbering panic or decide to show the other Orks the true meaning of "Orkyness."
Mobs of Madboyz are considered to be a great sign of luck and good fortune for an Ork settlement or WAAAGH! though their presence is not always appreciated due to their outlandish behaviour. Within an Ork settlement Madboyz may spend their time in eccentric, self-constructed shanty towns that stand apart from the dwellings of the other Greenskins.
Here they randomly hold shouting matches at the worst possible moment and search for non-existent lost items in the dwellings of other Orks -- a habit that often leads to conflict for obvious reasons.
When they go to battle Madboyz often band together and provide an unintentional retinue for a Weirdboy, dressed in bizarre clothing and wielding as a weapon anything that takes their fancy, from unconventional choppas to rusty buckets filled with pterasquirrels.
The unpredictable movements and behaviour of Madboyz has beaten the greatest tacticians as their anarchic unhinged nature means that they are just as likely to pull apart an enemy squad with their bare hands as they are to become engrossed in picking each others noses in the heat of battle.
They are often seen leading Gretchin mobs into the fray or ordering around the Gretchin crews of Big Gunz. Runtherdz often make use of Squig-hounds to eat errant or fleeing Grots in battle to "increase" the morale of their Gretchin mob.
Runtherdz are also responsible for organising and overseeing an Ork tribe's slaves that are taken from other races such as Mankind, and Runtherdz have been known to own slaves from every intelligent race in the galaxy except the Necrons and the Tyranids.
This unique class of Oddboy are an odd combination of a "Dok" and a "Mek", although a Pigdok is not as skilled as either of those Oddboyz individually. Pigdoks are often found in Feral Ork tribes, tending the Warboars that are ridden to battle by the primitive Greenskins. Their main use in battle is to provide "doping" to increase the ferocity of the various beasts that Feral Orks take to war, as well as some of the Orks themselves.
Herdas are Oddboyz who are skilled Trappas and caretakers of Squigs. Common amongst klanz of Wildboyz, Herdas are not seen much on the battlefield in Ork warbands past the feral stage, as their uses are mostly rendered obsolete by the advent of vehicle use among the Greenskins as their technology advances.
Other Oddboyz found amongst the Ork klanz include "Sumboyz", Greenskin bankers who count and loan out Ork Teef, "Yellerz" who serve as the Ork clergy of Gork and Mork, and "Brewboyz" who serve as the cooks of Ork warbands. Each of these Oddboyz serve an important role in so-called Ork "kultur", even though they have no role on the battlefield.
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition)
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pp. 37, 40, 42-47, 98-99, 101
- Codex: Orks (3rd Edition), pp. 10-15, 33
- Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema (RPG), pg. 98
- Death From the Skies (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Da Flyboyz"
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 57
- Epic Armageddon Rulebook (Specialty Game) (4th Edition), pg. 142
- Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000 (1st Edition), pp. 58-67
- Gorkamorka:Da Roolz (Specialty Game), pg. 21 (Stikkbomma picture)
- Imperial Armour II - Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 34
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pp. 33-66
- Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
- Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (Video Game)