Playing the Ork Clans in 40K

Ork society is broken down into a number of clans, collections of Orks who follow one philosophy or another.  There are several clans of Orks, but some of the most prominent noted in the 40K universe are the Bad Moons, Deathskulls, Snakebites, Blood Axes, Goffs, and Evil Sunz.  Below, we’ll look at how you can represent a clan-themed army in 40K.

Bad Moons

Bad Moons are the wealthiest clan, and they have the best armour, weapons, and wargear, as they have the most teef (teeth) to spend. Bad Moons also seem to have the most psychic powers and develop the most Weirdboyz.

A Bad Moons army would do well to include a Weirdboy where possible.  Nobz should always have ‘eavy armor or mega-armor, because they’ve got the teef to pay for that stuff!


Deathskulls take their name from their horned-skull totem and skulls and bones feature prominently in their adornments. Deathskulls are notoriously superstitious and often paint their skin blue to bring them luck.

The Deathskulls are renowned as plunderers of the battlefield. After a battle, the Deathskulls descend upon the wreckage to salvage weapons, equipment, clothes, and anything else they can find. They are also tremendously good at scrounging (stealing) equipment from their fellow Orks. All this has earned them a bad reputation as a bunch of Lootaz. Orks from other clans normally keep a wary eye on any Deathskulls boyz. The Deathskulls use their odd bits to make some truly weird and bizarre wargear. Deathskull Mekaniaks produce the highly feared, if rather unreliable, Kustom Kombi-Weapons.

If you’re going Deathskulls, break out the big guns.  Big Mek is a key HQ choice, and plenty of Lootas and Big Guns.  Looted Vehicles cobbled together from bits of any other vehicle work as either platforms for more guns or transports for getting the Meks around.  Boyz mobs should be equipped with shootas for blasting their enemies from a “safe” distance.


Snakebites do not really feel comfortable with technology, and prefer a more primitive lifestyle. Many of them ride into battle on fierce war boars. They take the snake as their totem.

While there are no rules for the Snakebites’ signature Boarboyz (unless you want to get “cheeky” and try to use Warbike rules for them), there are a few things you can do to represent Snakebites, mainly in limiting your army in a way that will provide a serious challenge.  Because Snakebites are primitive and not keen on technology, you should avoid the following units: Big Mek, Burna Boyz, Tankbustas, Warbuggies/Wartraks, Looted Vehicles, Deff Dreads, Killa Kans, Stormboyz, Warbikes, Deffkoptas.  Big Guns units should exclude Zzap Guns.

Trukks should look properly ramshackle.  If you want to use Battlewagons, I highly recommend modeling them in some way to be primitive looking, or even model some kind of riding beast that uses Battlewagon rules (just make sure your opponent understands this).  Similarly, if you want to use beasts commanded by Snakebites to represent Deff Dreads and Killer Kans, that’s also possible, but, again, note it with your opponent.

Blood Axes

It was the Blood Axes who first encountered the armies of the Imperium, and it is their who have had the most contact with Imperial culture. this has led to the Blood Axes picking up Imperial battle practices such as the wearing of camouflaged wargear, the use of captured and traded Imperial vehicles, and even planning tactics for battles. Blood Axes have even been known to retreat if they are losing rather than fighting to the bitter end like the other clans. This has earned the Blood Axes the reputation of being cowardly gitz with other Ork clans, who fail to notice that the Blood Axes normally come back later reinforced and better prepared than they were before.

Blood Axes are keen on sneaking around, so Kommandos are a top unit choice.  Looted Vehicles and Lootas can represent the Blood Axes trading with or just stealing from Imperials or mercenaries.  Blood Axes also have the highest concentration of Stormboyz.


The Goffs can be identified by their predominantly black wargear and their black bull’s head totem. They have the reputation of being the biggest, meanest, ugliest, and most ferocious of the Orks. Of all the Ork clans, the Goffs are the most inspired by the thrill and thunder of battle. They consider themselves superior to the cowardly Orks from other clans who hang back to shoot when they could just get in there and do battle. Most Goffs carry brutal short ranged weapons such as axes and bolt pistols, so they can get stuck in as soon as possible.  Other clans that wear bright colours are mocked as “not propa’ Orkz,” or “juz’ plain weedy.”

Goffs are pretty simple: They want to get in and bash heads.  Skip on the shootas in the Boyz units, going for “proper” slugga and choppa instead.  Leave the Lootas and Big Guns at home, stock up on Deff Dreads and Killer Kans (Goffs especially love Deff Dreads for their ability to get up close and personal and shred things).

Evil Sunz

The Evil Sunz are irresistibly attracted towards fast Warbikes and loud noise. They are constantly tinkering with the engines of their bikes and buggies, trying to get as much speed out of them as possible. Not surprisingly, the Evil Sunz have many Mekaniaks.

The totem of the clan is a blood-red Ogryn face grinning out of a sunburst. Evil Sunz wear red, and paint their machines red too, firmly believing in the old proverbs, “Red wunz go fasta’,” and, “If it’s red den no wun’z gonna’ catch up wiv ya’.” The Evil Sunz are especially noted for their Bikeboyz.

Evil Sunz are all about speed.  If you can get a transport for a unit, do so.  Whether it’s a Trukk or a Battlewagon, Evil Sunz will be mounted and ready to close with the enemy quickly.  Warbikes and Warbuggies/Wartraks are another key component of an Evil Sunz army.  They’re less inclined to take Deff Dreads, Killer Kans, Big Guns, or anything else that has to walk slowly toward the enemy or sit in place and shoot.

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