Orks Orks Orks
Orks first appeared in the Rogue Trader rulebook and the Space Orks boxed set, containing eighteen metal models. These Orks were squat, powerfully muscled humanoids, armed with bolt guns, blades and stick grenades; along with their helmets and other paraphernalia, these were apparently modelled on German equipment from World War I. Additional rules, cultural details, and painting guidelines were given in the later expansions Waaagh Da Orks and 'Ere We Go!. 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 possibility was established later on that these may have been the Old Ones, who created the Krork as part of a last-ditch attempt to fight off the Necrons. Orks were genetically engineered to be tough, muscular, aggressive and primitive-minded. Their technology is maintained by a caste of Oddboyz who have genetic dispositions to do well at such tasks. Indeed, the Brain Boyz were apparently able to encode information on how to build simple machinery in the genetic strands of Orks; thus Mekboyz require very little training in their function, since they understand mechanical principles at an instinctive level. Other castes include Mad Doks (or Painboys) who patch up Orks wounded in battle and Runtherdz (also known as Slaverz) who direct the efforts of the Gretchin.
Waagh da Orks also mentions more specialised castes such as Diggaboyz and Brewerz; however, as the game became more combat-oriented, these were not mentioned again. Even Waagh da Orks gives no information on them other than their bare existence; it may be assumed that when the Orks go to war, these castes fight as ordinary, shoota-armed Boyz.
Orks use their teeth ("teef") as currency. This is quite a natural solution to inflation and income support, as Orks regrow their "teef" in a similar manner to sharks, replacing them quite frequently. They degrade over time so it is impossible to hoard them. This keeps prices constant, ensures all Orks have access to money and allows constant values to be placed on commodities. A toof will buy a good squig pie and a tankard of fungus beer, while a bag of teef will buy a cheap Warbuggy. A big flash Battlewagon could cost a Warboss hundreds of teef.
Orky Kultur, originally intended as a joke, has given birth to several concepts widely recognized among GW gamers. For example, most longtime gamers have a collection of assorted metal pieces, additional weapons, and parts left over from modeling projects, which they keep around in the expectation that they may be useful in future scratch-built models. (Games Workshop encourages this practice by giving prizes for the best gamer-built models at their annual Golden Demon awards, and by including a choice of weapons or optional parts in their own models.) This has become known as a 'bitz box', from the Orky spelling of where a Mekboy keeps his stock of reserve parts.
Similarly it is a well-known fact among gamers that 'Red wunz go fasta,' from the Orky belief that this is so. Finally, there is a general Ork stereotype, portrayed by hunching the head down between the shoulders, showing one's teeth, and 'talkin' like dis, me.' Shouts of 'Waaagh, da Orks!' and ' 'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go' can often be heard at tournaments, particularly when an Ork player is doing well, but also as a sort of general rallying cry for the entire hobby. (The Imperial battle cry "Kill the mutants. Burn the heretics. Purge the unclean" does not seem to have the same appeal.)