Skip to content

New Warhammer 40,000 Codex Orks Review – 40k 9th Edition

WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Da Orks are finally back with their 9th edition codex and ready to launch the biggest WAAAGH since Armageddon.

Warhammer 40,000 Codex Orks is available for Pre Order now, if you would like to support the site then why not pre order through our affiliate Element Games and get your codex.

Our thanks to Games Workshop for providing us with this copy to review for Sprues and Brews.

SundayPreview Aug29 OrksCodexes

The Orks have always been a popular army for many hobbyists whether you are big into converting, love killa Kans or just want to shout DAKKA and Waaaaagggghhhhhhh this codex is for you.

The book contains all the things we have come to except from a 9th edition codex, new rules, crusade content, stratagems and ways of customising your force with specialist mobs and custom jobs.

You can check out our first impressions video below


To begin with let me say that this hefty 136 page codex is jam packed with content that updates the Orks for 9th edition with a new faction of Orks the Beast Snaggas, these new Boyz bring with them the biggest and meanest squigs that I think most people will agree, look amazing. I personally have just started an Ork army and I keep coming back to the Beast Snaggas as my favourite faction within the book which says a lot as I really want to do a force of speed freaks and a dread mob, basically I want to paint loads of Orks.


The lore in the book really delves into what ork kultur is like, everybody knows that the biggest and meanest Warboss rules a klan and the cowardly ( and kunnin) Gretchin are at the bottom of the food chain, quite literally. Theres a small segment about weirdboyz and how they interact with the warp and how even other orks are weary of them being a bit too ‘weird’ sometimes that I found very funny.

Then comes the klans, all the named klans that are in the codex get their own spot light, the beast snaggas get a whole double page to themselves being the new Boyz on the block, everything from why orks love vehicular mayhem to why bad moons love Dakka is covered and for me the lore was concise enough to keep me interested while still being very enjoyable to read.

OrkEvolution Aug24 EarlyOrkArt


Now on to the real juicy bit of the codex the rules or as an ork would say da rulez, man I love orks, I am going to be doing this in the same order as the codex, so to start with ….

Detachment abilities

Nice and quick one here first off there’s a little bit here that says ork units in the deatachemnt gain a klan culture if all models have the Ork key word and that troop units (not Gretchin) gain the objective secured ability, all pretty standard, Gretchin can’t be trusted with important things.

Next we have the specialist ladz, which is basically all the named characters can be included in different klans to their own without breaking the klan rules for other units but they themselves don’t gain the culture again all pretty standard but still with covering.

And finally the I’m da boss rule which states that only one Warboss or Defkilla Wartrike can be included in each detachment, continuing the trend in the newer codex’s of limiting particular HQ choices in a detachment.

Ork klans

Klans are a big deal in the new Ork Codex and all seven get their own kultur, warlord trait, stratagem and unique relic.

I’ll talk about my two favourites in detail then give a brief run down of the others.



  • each unmodified hit in melee of a six scores and additional hit, handy considering ork boyz with chopper’s have three attacks each.
  • whenever a unit charges does an intervention it gets +1 strength ….. amazing !!!

Warlord trait

  • +1 attack for your warlord
  • improve the armour pen for belle attacks


  • 2 CP makes melee attacks trigger the extra hits on 5+’s in melee instead of 6’s


before the bearer consolidates pick an enemy unit within one inch on a 2+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds, very nice for finishing off those annoying models that refuse to die.

Bad moons


  • Add 6′ to the range of Dakka (most guns in the book more on that later) and heavy weapons.
  • unmodified wound rolls from ranged attacks improve the armour penetration by 1

Warlord trait

  • Gives a 4+ invulnerable save to the warlord and +1 save both very useful for keeping your warlord alive.


  • 1 CP gives a core unit / character unit an additional hit when firing a Dakka weapon in the shooting phase, I really like this as its an extra hit not an extra shot so this can really help units like Loota’s get those much needed hits in against their targets.


  • this relic is super Orky, its basically a 12′ heavy 2D6 heavy flamer which might not look great until you consider ork shooting and being able to overwatch.

So those are my two favourites as for me they encourage two very different builds.

  • Evil suns – These guys are the speed freaks and have some bonuses to the movement values of units with the speed freaks key word, the best part is the warlord trait allows core units to advance and charge.
  • Snakebites – these ladz all have the space marine equivalent of trans human where anything that is strength 8 or higher only wounds on a 4+ which is very handy, the stratagem allows a unit to deny the witch very good to have now that all those thousand sons players are around.
  • Death skulls – ALL yes all infantry units in a death skulls detachment gain the objective secured ability, yeah they are all dead clever. They also get some bonuses against vehicles and are themed around killing vehicles.
  • Blood axes – These guys are awesome they have the ability to charge or shoot after falling back which is great and not that common a mechanic, they also have a cool artefact that on a 4+ gives a command point sweet.
  • Free Bootaz – Yaaar the pirate orks are back and they are really competitive with each other, their kulture gives units +1 to hit if another unit has destroyed an enemy unit in the same phase their relic is also very cool as it can take the objective secured rule away from enemy units within 6 inches…. and can be put on a vehicle.

Specialist Mobs

The next part of the codex is the specialist mobs and custom jobs, which is where you can upgrade one of your Ork units to have a specialist mob keyword which gives the unit certain bonuses depending on what unit it is, this new upgrade does however override the klan kulture keyword, so if you have the bad moons keyword it will be replaced with the specialist mob keyword so choose wisely.

I not going to run through all of them but here are my top choices

Specialist Mob

  • Big Krumpa’s = this basically gives gorkanauts/morkanauts, models in mega armour as well as deff dreads +1 to hit in combat, very useful especially if like me you want to do a stompy army.
  • Trukk Boyz = gives this to a unit of boyz, nobs or a warboss and a trukk they are embarked on gets +1 to hit with ranged attacks, thats not that great I hear you say I agree, it also lets your unit disembark after the trukk has moved oh and you can still charge.

Kustom Jobs

Fortress on wheels = nice generic choice here but it gives a trukk or wagon a 5+ invulnerable save, I should mention that unlike specialist mobs custom jobs do cost points and increase your unit power level.


So like all 9th edition codexes the Orks have access to a nice 25 stratagems which to me seems like a good amount to have across the army, as any more I feel would be too much for my tiny mind to handle, here are a few that I think stand out to me for being fun and tactical.

  • Tellyporta 2CP = basically lets you set up a reinforcement unit on the battlefield 9 inches away form enemy models…. the best part if you select a transport any units go with it !!!
  • Get stuck in ladz 1 / 2 CP = this stratagem does exactly what it says it lets a unit of boyz or snagga boyz pile in and consolidate an extra 3 inches ….. oh yes think of all those extra attacks.
  • More dakka 2 CP = pick an Orks unit and they are considered to be with half range for the purposes of the dakka rule (more on that later)

and these are just some of the stratagems in the book that for me really make some units in the game more enjoyable and lets face it, telly porting a battle wagon full of mega nobs into your opponents territory is sooooo orky.

Warlord traits

The warlord traits are divided into 3 types depending on the key word your warlord has. We have the generic ork traits, beast snagga traits and of course speed freaks. Over all there are some nice ones that can give invulnerable saves to your warboss, increase the range of any auras they might have and give extra attacks, all things a respectable ork warboss could want.

Psychic Powers

So this will be my first proper army with any psykers in it so needless to say I was very interested in the psychic disciplines in this codex, we are treated to two different sets, one for generic orks aka the weirdly and the other for the more wild wurrboy (he’s a beast snagga so I like him a lot).

We get everything you could want from these disciplines, mortal wounds check, extra attacks for your boyz check the ability to teleport a unit across the table also check. Oh and thats just the weirdboyz one.

The new Wurrboy’s discipline basically does mortal wounds and makes your ferocious squigs even more ferocious with extra attacks that can do mortal wounds.


The relics in the book are actually pretty good and in struggling to find which is my favourite, we have da killa klaw which is a better power klaw without the -1 to hit, then there’s the supa cyborg body that gives the bearer a 4+ invulnerable save and halves all damage the bearer suffers so now your ork characters can be tougher than those smelly plague boys. Like I said they are all worth taking and with the shiny gubbinz stratagem 1 CP you can add more in.

Chapter Approved Rules

In the codex there are 4 unique secondary objectives for you to do da biggest and da best jumps out as being the most orky and therefore the most cool which gives you 3 victory points for

  • Killing a vehicle or monster in melee
  • killing an enemy character ….. in melee
  • or killing 5 or more models with any attacks

Now the downside to this is that you can only score 5 victory points so it won’t really be taken if your playing competitively but if your not like me then this secondary is great.

The other secodaries are good with green tide being a different version of engage on all fronts with some minor tweaks overall though I think most players will take the generic ones from chapter approved if you are looking for the optimised choice.


We all know how orks like to go on crusades or as orks call them WWWAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHSS well now you can, although the codex does not add a lot it does add some great things for your ork force, to start off with you pick a waaagh boss to lead your crusade, if however another character from your force gains more renown them them they take it personally and you have a little mini game to determine who is now leading the crusade…… narrative level 100 !!!

Now the primary focus of your crusade is to gain scrap for your meks (which as we all know make the best stuff) by killing vehicles that do not explode lol. The best part is that by completing agendas you can gain more scrap so its not just about killing your opponents vehicles… although it is fun. This scrap can be used to repair ork vehicles that have suffered battle scars and also give an ork vehicle a kustom job.

The rest of the crusade content gives us ork players relics like the dead ard armour that gives the bearer +1 wound and save almost like its dead …..ard; battle traits and unique requisitions that make the whole crusade aspect even more fun but like I said there is not a lot of crusade content only 7 pages in total, but what we do get is nothing short of amazing and personally I can not wait to get some crusade games in with my orks.

Army Rules and Data Sheets

So we finally made it to the army rules and man it was worth it, the orks army rules are similar to their previous codex, we still have ere we go rule which now allows you to re roll the charge roll (both dice now which is more fair I suppose) whilst ramshackle reduces the damage of attacks that are strength 8 or higher by one, which is again very orky as orks make da best stuff.

The beast snaggas get their own unique rule for well being awesome called …… beast snagga (who said orks need clever names hey) which gives them +1 to hit vehicles and monsters and a 6+ invulnerable save, both are a nice addition especially the invulnerable save as most of the time thats what you will taking and gives you a choice of whether to take regular orks over the beasty boyz (I can’t believe its taking me this long to make that connection).

But the best rule i’ve saved til last the WAAAGH!!!! rule, it wouldn’t be an Ork Codex if there wasn’t a WAAAGH!!! rule personified on the table top, this basically allows your warboss (who has to be your warlord) to call a WAAAGH!!! once per battle in your command phase which last for two turns …. oh yeah more WAAAGH!!! and had two effects the first applies on the turn you call it so for a regular warboss you give all your ork units the ability to advance and charge in the same turn as well as +1 attack characteristic; while in the turn after you only get the +1 attack. I love this rule it makes your orks hit a lot harder and get across the board quicker both of which really help your orks, well done Games workshop you’ve made me a very happy warboss.

And now onto the units themselves, but wait what about DAKKA I hear you say…. well dakkka now is a type of weapon now that has two values on the weapons profile, the first being the number of shots at half range the other being at a range that is more than half. Even more dakka for da boyz.

Warhammer 40K: Orks Are... Less Dakka? - Bell of Lost Souls

and now we come to the data sheets, while there are far too many I will pick out some that really jumped out to me. It goes without saying but all the infantry in the book except for gretchin are now toughness 5 !!! which for small arms fire is basically -1 to wound, meaning you will get more boyz into your opponents face…. not literally of course.

  • Beast boss on squigosaur – This guy is a toughness 7 warboss that rides a giant Squig that has a 6 inch aura of +1 attack to beast snagga units, super powerful character.
  • Beast snagga boyz – you really can’t leave home without these guys especially if you want a beast snagga force, they gain +1 strength over your regular boyz and come with a 6+ invulnerable save to boot, I will 100% be picking up some of these.
  • Kommandos – these guys gain all the weapon options that come in the kill team set allowing you to put them straight into your army they also set up anywhere on the battlefield more than 9 inches from enemy territory.
  • Squighog boyz – in short buy these guys, they are toughness 6 with a lot of damage 2 attacks and with their movement 10 and the ability to advance and charge with the WAAAGH !!! these guys will up the board causing problems for your opponent in no time.
  • Killa Kans – not much has changed except they are ws 4+ which I almost jumped out of my chair when I saw that………. I forsee a kan army in the future even if its only for incursion.
  • Loota’s – their deffguns are now dakka 3/2 which means they always get at least 2 shots now instead of their unreliable D3 shots, plus with the more dakka stratagem they can count as being in short range.
  • Kill rig – the beast snaggas get their own version of a battle wagon and boy is it good, it has a lasconnon ( or the ork equivalent ) that fires D3 shots if the psyker on the back manifested a power that turn and oh … it auto hits. The kill rig can also transport 10 snagga boyz which is very handy, so in short its very Killy, a psyker, a transport oh and its toughness 8 so yeah a bargain for 190 points !!!
  • Gorkanaut or is it Morkanaut – these amazing baby stompas have now moved to the lords of war slot and the Gorkanauts mega shoota is now dakka 30/20 with a 36 inch range….. thats a lot of dakka.


In my opinion this codex does justice to what Is a popular and well loved army to many hobbyists, the flavour of the orks is captured really well in both crusade and matched play rules.

The army it self does two things, runs at your opponent and hits stuff hard and this book has boosted both of these aspects very well the WAAAGH rule really helps make the codex very scary and all the ways you can customise your characters is sooooo orky.

Ive been pouring over this codex and finding that I really want several 1,000 point forces comprised of beast snaggas, kans, speed freaks and of course hoards of both shoots orks and the more traditional punchy orks and with this codex I think multiple detachments is going to be the way I go with the army.

So there we have it the Ork Codex review and my first review done, so go and order your copy now !!!


Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews a copy of the new Ork Codex for review purposes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: