The orks are a race from the fiction Warhammer 40,000 universe. They are described as being tall, muscular humanoids, with green skin and a penchant for violence. In many ways they are analogous to (and based upon) the Orcs of Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting, although differences have emerged as the two universes have become officially separated. Alongside the Space Marines, Chaos and Eldar, Orks are one of the most iconic elements of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Orks first appeared in the Rogue Trader rulebook and the Space Orks boxed set, containing eighteen metal models. These Orks were squat, powerfully muscled humanoid, wielding crude ballistic weaponry (usually blackpowder or other explosive projectile-based equivalent) and large "stikkbombz" or stick grenades. They also wore helmet and other paraphernalia, and the model range was reminiscent of German equipment from World War I.
Additional rules, cultural details, and painting guidelines were given in the later expansions Waaargh! the Orks, 'Ere We Go! and Freebooterz (the first being a fluff-only background volume with some painting guide hints, the second and third providing detailed army lists for each major orkish klan as well for a host of colorful and bizarre collection of mercenary orkish units, from ork space pirates to renegade chaos worshippers, from motor-addicted speed freekz to ork-genestealer hybrids). An explanation for the combination of brutal stupidity with relatively high technology was now found: Orks had been created, in times long past, as a warrior race by the long-vanished Brain Boyz.
The current Codex: Orks was released at the tail-end of 4th Edition, on the 12th of January 2008. . Despite the release date, most players view the Codex (alongside Codex: Chaos Daemons) as having been written with 5th Edition in mind. The Codex was accompanied by the release of a number of new models for the Ork range, including redesigned Trukks and Warbikes. The Codex also added units and equipment to the Ork army, many of which had been featured in the 2nd edition and removed for the 3rd. This includes the Shokk Attack Gun and the Weirdboy.
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