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Orc Army

Greenskins is a common collective description for the forces of the Orcs and Goblins and other biologically related races. The broadest division is between the Orcs, who are strong, brutish, and savage warriors, and the Goblins, who are smaller and weaker, but cunning and full of guile. [7]

These two related races are divided into countless barbaric tribes who fight each other nearly all the time. They only stop fighting each other to fight another foe instead, like the kingdoms of men or the realms of Dwarfs. On these rare occasions they often vanquish and destroy whole armies, plunder and burn villages, ravage the countryside, and sack, raze, or conquer large cities and fortresses. [7]


Orcs and Goblins often attack one another merely to stave off boredom or establish a pecking order but their Bosses are used to such behaviour and merely dismiss it as petty squabbling. The Greenskins usually constrain their animosity to crude insults or brief fist fights but it can become more serious and their enemies are able use this tendency against them. [6c]


All greenskins have a waxy, tough skin which over time becomes tougher and gnarled whils their blood varies in colour from black to red and purple and is sticky, thick and pungent. They feel less pain than other creatures, and orcs in particular require a serious wound to stop them fighting. [7]



The Orcs arrived in the world at some unknown point in pre-history. The most likely explanation is that their insidious spores were either mistakenly introduced to the world by the starships of the Old Ones, or that they drifted through space and arrived in the world by their own means. The Old Ones later discovered them infesting the dark places of the world. [1][4a]

The Slann and the Elves note their appearance around -10,000 IC but the greenskins themselves keep no records and care little for where they came from. [6b] Ever since, the greenskins have spread to become an everpresent and belligerent enemy of the other races. [1][4a]

A closer look

A closer look will reveal that these two large races contain several subgroups. Most of these distinctions are cultural in nature.


Orc Boy
  • Common Orcs are the majority. They know how to forge crude but efficient weapons of iron and steel and mail armour. This knowledge was taught to them by the Chaos Dwarfs. Their preferred weapon is a Choppa, a large and crude but also very dangerous weapon.
  • Savage Orcs tend to live either in deep forests or in the jungles of the deep south. They look down upon the use of armour and use mostly weapons made of rock, wood, and bone. They firmly believe in their magical tattoos which, indeed, protect them somewhat. Other Orcs find this quite intriguing.
  • Black Orcs are quite rare in the Old World, being much more numerous in the Dark Lands. Black Orcs are larger, stronger, and much better fighters than average Orcs. Also, unlike other types of Orcs, Black Orcs demonstrate excellent battlefield discipline, making them very dangerous foes indeed. Ambitious Black Orcs may become leaders of tribes composed of all three types.
  • Iron Orcs are a variety with armor imbedded into their skin. Unique to the mountains of Carcassonne, only Bretonnians from that province have seen them and, though real, they are believed by outsiders to be a myth.[5]



Other greenskins

  • Hobgoblins are a nomadic eastern Greenskin race whose territory is the steppes of the Dark Lands.
  • Snotlings are even smaller than Goblins and are present in all tribes. They are largely treated as pets and sometimes eaten by their larger relatives.


Although the Orcs and Goblins often worship many gods, many specific to particular tribes, all of them, even those no contact with other tribes, worship the pair of giant Orc brothers. Gork, brutal but cunning and Mork, cunning but brutal. On ocassion a strong and powerful Daemon will gain worshippers amongst the Greenskins. [6b]

Although they are not immune to Chaos, they care little about it - although they might respect followers of Khorne for their devotion to bloodshed and war. Should a greenskin gain mutations, it will simply be judged on if it makes the individual stronger or weaker. [6b]


Orcs and Goblins live in countless barbaric tribes; some are composed only of one or the other, but the majority include both. In these mixed tribes the Orcs will always dominate the smaller and weaker Goblins. Goblin tribes have no Orcs at all, as any self-respecting Orc will quickly become the tribe's Boss. [7]

Orcs are huge, brutal creatures. On average they stand taller than a man, and are stronger and tougher. They are vicious and brutal, with an abundance of brute force and very little brain power. An Orc loves nothing more than a good fight, even against other Orcs. Unlike races like humans however, Orcs do not suffer from doubt - if they want to do something - they do it. Goblins are smaller and weaker than Orcs, however they are quite cunning and smart, and love nothing more than to trick and trade with their slow-witted relatives. [7]

The leadership of the tribe nearly always belongs to the largest and strongest individual who will impose his rule by any means necessary. Rivals are defeated in savage fights and most fights are not meant to be fair at all. These are called Bosses, Big Bosses, Warbosses or if very successful a Warlord. [6a][7]

If an Orc Boss is weakened or wounded his rule will quickly be challenged by an ambitious Big 'Un. The Big 'Un's are elite warriors who act as the Boss's lieutenants. They usually lead smaller warbands or form their own elite warband and a wise Boss will always watch his Big Un's closely.

Nearly all tribes also have shamans; gifted individuals who are able to employ Waaagh! magic. There are Orc Shamans and Goblin Shamans; only the Black Orcs don't have shamans. Shamans are always regarded with respect and fear. Most of them are quite content to be feared advisors of the tribal leader, second only to the Boss himself, while some rare ambitious shamans manage to usurp this position.

A tribe can consist of just a few hundred individual or thousands. [6a]


Orcs and Goblins as a race have a basic knowledge of carpentry, letherworking, leatherworking, and even engineering enabling them to construct basic but often effective armour, fortifications and weapons. They can even fabricate crude and ramshackle machines such as chariots, bolt throwers and stone throwers, and bolt throwers. However, their newest designs are no more sophisticated than those made thousands of years ago. [6b]

Waaagh! magic

Waaagh! magic, unlike all other forms, does not come from the Winds of Magic. Rather it seems to originate from the Greenskins themselves and then channeled by shamans. Its potency increases as the Orcs and Goblins get excited, especially during a battle. In extreme cases a shaman will be unable to contain it and his brain will, quite literally, explode.

Trolls and Giants often appear in large Greenskin armies, as even the dimmest Orc realises the value of something "'Uge and 'itty'".

See also


Orcs & Goblins
Units Arachnarok Spider - Black Orc - Black Orc Big Boss - Black Orc Warboss - Cave Squig - Colossal Squig - Doom Diver Catapult - Forest Goblin Warboss - Goblin - Goblin Archer - Goblin Big Boss - Goblin Fire Kobold - Goblin Great Shaman - Goblin Shaman - Goblin Wolf Chariot - Goblin Troglagob - Goblin Warboss - Goblin Wolf Rider - Hill Goblin - Mangler Squig - Nasty Skulker - Night Goblin - Night Goblin Big Boss - Night Goblin Fanatic - Night Goblin Great Shaman - Night Goblin Netter - Night Goblin Shaman - Night Goblin Warboss - Orc Arrer Boy - Orc Battle Chariot - Orc Big Boss - Orc Big Un - Orc Boar Boyz - Orc Boar Chariot - Orc Boyz - Orc Great Shaman - Orc Shaman - Orc Warboss - River Troll Hag - Rock Lobber - Savage Orc Big Boss - Savage Orc - Savage Orc Boar Boy - Savage Orc Great Shaman - Savage Orc Shaman - Savage Orc Warboss - Snotling - Snotling Pump Wagon - Spear Chukka - Spider Rider - Squig Herder - Squig Hopper - Troll
Characters Argor Foespike - Azhag - Big Red 'Un - Black Tooth - Borgut Facebeater - Borzag - Brak Batwing - Cragtooth - Crazy Spider - Cruzzik Cacklespit - Dagskar Earscrapper - Dork - Durgath Spine Cracker - Durkol Eye-Gouger - Funglus - Git Guzzler - Gobbla - Goggrul Skarlug - Gorbad Ironclaw - Gorfang Rotgut - Gorgog - Grabnatz Sourbelly - Grimgor Ironhide - Grom the Paunch - Grotbag Dungbreath - Grotfang Skab - Grua Gribbleback - Grulsik Moonclaw - Gulag - Little Gork - Masked Chieftain - Morglum Necksnapper - Oddgit - Ogdruz Swampdigga - Oglok the 'Orrible - Radzog - Ratscrote Boggobbler - Roglud - Skabend - Skumwort Skabbad - Slygit - Skarok Gnawrock - Skarsnik - Slygit - Snagla Grobspit - Spinecracker - Squatting Troll - Taugrek the Throttler - Torgoch - Urk Ironskull - Vagraz Head-Stomper - Vish Venombarb - Wurrzag
Strongholds Black Crag - Iron Rock - Mount Bloodhorn - Mount Grimfang - Red Eye Mountain - Thunder Mountain - Black Pit
Images - Magic Items - Miniatures - Vehicles