BoLS logo Today's Tabletop & RPG News

How to Play Orks in Warhammer 40K

8 Minute Read
May 1 2024

Today, we will examine the basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Orks.

The Orks are a classic and hilarious Warhammer 40K faction with iconic style. Engineered for battle, they are brutal Xenos who love nothing more than fighting. Filled with characterful sculpts, including some with actual humor in the grimdark of Warhammer 40K, the Orks are great fun and pack a powerful punch. So below we will offer some tips on how to play Orks and get started with the army.

Who Are The Orks?

Orks are warlike, crude, and highly aggressive green-skinned Xenos.  Although their society is entirely primitive and brutal, the Orkoid race is also the most successful species in the whole Galaxy, outnumbering possibly every other group. However, due to their aggressive and warlike nature, this massive group is split into hundreds of tiny empires, warring as much between themselves as against others.

In the 41st Millennium, another extremely powerful Ork warboss, Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, began wreaking havoc across the Galaxy by invading the planet Armageddon twice. He leads the Great Waaagh! and has been spotted in several warzones across the Galaxy. The Orks of Warhammer 40K hail Ghazghkull as the prophet of the Ork Gods, Gork and Mork.

Why Play Orks

Orks are an aggressive army with a variety of play styles. Waves of Boyz, fleets of Speed Freak vehicles, or herds of Beast Snagga Squigs are all reasonable ways to go with Orks. Whether in shooting or combat, Orks roll buckets of dice and show quality through quantity. Sound like fun?

Warhammer 40K Orks may be the way to go for you!

Strengths of the Ork Army

  • Numerical supremacy for army type.
  • Low points per model and high toughness/wounds make it hard to remove units.
  • A huge selection of dynamic and recent units, models, and themes.

Weakness of the Ork Army

  • So many selections can make it difficult to pick the right units for a job.
  • Low point cost results in high numbers of models and a high army cost in real-world cash.

Ork Army Rule

  • Waaagh!– Once per battle, you can call the Waaagh! for a significant suite of boosting rules.

Ork Detachments

1. War Horde

  • RulesGet Stuck In gives your Boyz Sustained Hits.
  • EnhancementsFollow Me Ladz deserves a call-out for making your units faster, which is almost as good as being red.
  • Stratagems: All the good ones happen in the Fight phase.

2. Da Big Hunt

  • RulesDa Hunt is On gives your whole army buffs against a prey unit chosen during each Command Phase. There are some limitations on what can be Prey, but it is pretty open.
  • EnhancementsGlory Hog gives a Squigasaur Boss and his unit a pre-game move, which is huge and makes them an instant threat.
  • Stratagems: These run the gamut from very killy buffs to very sneaky tech.

3. Kult of Speed

  • RulesAdrenaline Junkies means all your buggies and tanks will keep firing, whether advancing or retreating.
  • Enhancements: Call out here to Fasta than Yooz which allows an infantry unit to charge out of a transport that moved- every Meganobz dream.
  • Stratagems: Grab a unit with a ton of shots and unleash a Dakkastorm!

4. Dread Mob

  • RulesTry Dat Button gives a powerful buff anytime a unit with the applicable keywords shoots. This buff is usually random, although you can pick at a price.
  • Enhancements: Press it Fasta is a neat option, giving you two rolls on the detachment rule table.
  • Stratagems: Multiple stratagems here add more buffs and are more Hazardous to attacks.

5. Green Tide

  • RulesMob Mentality gives all Boyz keyword units a permanent invulnerable save.
  • Enhancements: Most of these enhancements are enhanced if you are in a unit of 10 or more.
  • Stratagems: All of these stratagems can only be used by Boyz keyword units.

6. Bully Boyz

  • RulesDa Boss is Watching gives you a second Waaaagh! that only applies to specific units.
  • Enhancements: The focus here is clear- almost all of these are Infantry Warboss only.
  • Stratagems: Likewise, these are all for Nobz.

Key Ork Units To Know

Warhammer 40K Orks have a sizable unit roster, and knowing which units to take can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.


Ghazghkull Thraka

The Prophet of Da Great Waaagh! himself is the big baddie of the faction. In addition to significantly boosting his unit, Ghazghkull is tough as nails and an absolute beatstick.

Beastboss on Squigasaur

A powerful army leader, the Beastboss on Squigasaur, has a brutal combat profile. He is the perfect leader for a Beast Snagga-themed army. Not only will his claws and jaws wreck units, but he is fast and can join Squighog Boyz.

warhammer 40k ork beastboss
Warboss in Mega Armour

The Warboss in Mega Armour is a dead-hard leader for an army of Boyz. Thanks to Might is Right, he hits hard and boosts the accuracy of the unit he leads. The classic take is to throw him and his best mob of Meganobs in a transport and plunge him into the enemy.

Deffkilla Wartrike

Orks have a variety of themes and unit types. Here is another commander type who could take the army in another direction. The Wartrike is a Speed Freek-themed Warboss mounted on a huge bike. He is great with large swarms of Buggies and leading Warbikes.

Big Mek

The Big Mek’s ability to join units can supercharge them and catch a foe off guard. His More Dakka increases accuracy, and Shock-Boosta lets his attached unit move further and even through terrain!


Beast Snagga Boyz

One of the many Battleline selections available to an Ork player, the Beast Snagga Boyz, is the new Ork on the block. Their high toughness, combined with the Feel No Pain rule, makes a horde of these Boyz a tough prospect to handle.

Ork Boyz

The classic Boyz, back in town. They are cheaper and can be more plentiful than Beastsnagga Boyz. In mass, they are a great source of so-called “dakka”.

Ork Gretchin

Cheap little guys with a good OC stat, they can even produce CP with Thievin’ Scavengers.


Other Units


The sneakiest Orks, Kommandos, utilize infiltration and their Sneaky Suprise to avoid Overwatch.

Squighog Boyz

A nice unit of Squighog Boyz would be the perfect complement to the Beastboss above. They are fast enough to keep up with the boss and pack a whollop themselves. The Squighog Boyz have a place in many Ork armies.

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy

Orks don’t just ride Squigs, they do just about everything with them. For instance, the aptly named Squigbuggy shoots them as artillery with its effective heavy squig-launcha. This makes it a nice mobile fire support unit.

Killa Kans

Little walkers powered by Grots. They have some solid guns and some slicey claws, and aren’t they just so cute?


This is the perfect squad for a Warboss in Mega-armour to join. They are even better when you call the Waaagh! with the addition of Krumpin’ Time.

Kill Rig

With a bucket of wounds and a decent save, this Squig-powered vehicle is full of surprises, such as the fact that it has a psyker strapped to it, with a great buff ability in the form of Spirit of Gork.


Both of these big, stompy boys have big guns, a fearsome claw, and moderate transport capacity. What they don’t have is a good way to tell which one is which!


Now here is a lad you can distinguish (he’s the big one). Packing more of everything the Gorkanaut/Morknaut have onto an even bigger frame, this Titanic Walker becomes the centerpiece of any army it joins.

Sample Starter Warhammer 40k Ork Army

Army: Orks

  • Beastboss on Squigasaur. 1 Model. He is equipped with: slugga; beastchoppa; squigosaur’s jaws; thump gun.
  • Zodgrod Wortsnagga
  • Beast Snagga Boys. Twenty Models. They are armed with: slugga; choppa. One with Thump Gun.
  • Beast Snagga Boys. Ten Models. They are armed with: slugga; choppa. One with Thump Gun.
  • Beast Snagga Boys. Ten Models. They are armed with: slugga; choppa. One with Thump Gun.
Other Units
  • Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy. One Model. Armed with: heavy squig launcha; sawn-off shotgun; squig launcha; squig mine; saw blades.
  • Squighog Boyz. Six Models. Every model is equipped with: saddlegit weapons; stikka; squighog jaws.
warhammer 40k ork

How to Play Orks

Orks are the epitome of quantity over quality. This means if they aren’t rolling buckets of dice, they probably aren’t doing much. Whether actually in close combat, or just wanting to bring firepower to bear, the Orks will always want to be in close proximity of their foe. As an Ork player, your enthusiasm can be a key tool in your arsenal. Winning or losing, a good scrap, and a hearty “WAAAAAGHH” are hard to beat.


Author: Allen Campbell
  • Warhammer 40K: Hot Mess - What's Up With Emperor’s Children Index?