Codex Orks – 10th Edition: Crusade Review

Welcome Boyz (gender neutral connotation) to another crusade review. The Orks have made a huge splash with their new detachments but are their crusade rules up to snuff? I assume you clicked this article to find out, so read on!

As always we’d like to thank GW for providing us with a copy of the book for review purposes.

Orks. Credit: Rockfish
Orks. Credit: Rockfish

Launching The Waaagh!

This is the core mechanic of the Ork crusade rules. It’s meant to represent your warband (waaaghband?) growing over time along with your warboss gaining more and more notoriety. The first step is to select a Warboss from your army, meaning no Meks, Weirdboys, or even Painbosses, and that character becomes your Waaagh!boss (yes the exclamation point goes in the middle of the word; yes I hate it). This character is going to get access to a whole mess of unique upgrades and will need to perform well in battles so choose wisely.

Once you have your Waaagh!boss it’s time to start tracking Stompin’ Points. These indicate the size of your Waaagh! and are gained through a variety of methods such as:

  • Doing specific Agendas
  • Increasing your supply limit gives you one
  • Winning battles gives you two
  • Killing enemy Warlords gives you two
  • Having your Ork characters hit Legendary gives you five
  • Playing games, but the amount differs depending on which stage of the Waaagh! you’re in

It’s also worth noting that if you ever remove your Waaagh!boss from your order of battle for any reason, you lose twenty Stompin’ Points, so don’t go removing him just because he got a scar you don’t like.

Stages of the Waaagh!

As you gain Stompin’ Points you’ll progress through the different stages of your Waaagh! To start with you just get one point for playing games but can’t suffer any Orky Ructions (more on these later). Once you hit 10 points you can get a Kustom Job for one of your vehicles, at 25 you get some Bestest Bossloot for your Waaagh!Boss and start getting two points per battle at 50+ you no longer can gain points, but you get an extra requisition point and an additional Mark for Greatness every battle. It’s not all rewards though, after you hit 10 points you need to start making tests for Orky Ructions after each battle.

Orky Ructions

These are meant to represent the infighting and destructive antics Orks who aren’t fighting somebody else get up to. After each battle you make a Ruction Test with a negative modifier depending on what stage you’re in using your Waaagh!Boss’s leadership. If you fail you suffer a Minor Ruction but if you fail and roll a double you suffer a Major Ruction

Ork Deff Dread
Ork Deff Dread. That Gobbo

Minor Ructions are, as their name implies, mostly minor and mitigatable effects. The Ructions range from things like Impatient Irritability which reduces your leadership in your next battle by one or to Rowdy Yoofs which increases the cost of your next Increase Supply Limit by an extra Requisition point. There are also some “sidegrade” Ructions like Reckless Meks which has an Ork Vehicle auto fail an out of action test but a Mek in your army gets 2XP. Overall these are not so bad, but can add up depending on how many games you play. Mathematically, since Warbosses are Ld 6, you will fail one of these tests every other battle so these are basically inevitable.

Major Ructions on the other hand are meant to be catastrophic. Things like Fizzlin’ Momentum, which makes it so you can’t use the Waaagh! In the first or second battle round or Lost in da Warp, which reduces your Requisition Points to 0, can really set you back. The most benign things on the table are things like Ruckus in da Ranks which just has an Ork Infantry unit gain a battle scar can still be a big issue even if it’s mitigatable. 

Norman: This mechanic is, in short, awesome. It’s unfortunately more downside than upside with the way the Ruction mechanic works, but those downsides are relatively easy to navigate compared to other crusade rules. That said, this mechanic does a great job of capturing the feeling of managing a bunch of idiots who get up to moron antics but god damn there’s a lot of them and they’re very strong. Also for those paying attention at home, this is the first crusade section that has an entirely new mechanic compared to its 9th book that wasn’t a launch army. Space Marines and Necrons needed new mechanics because their original ones were very light compared to the standard ninth went on to establish, but Orks had a fully fleshed mechanic that has been fully reworked. Hopefully this is the start of a trend. 


Orks get a standard array of four faction specific Agendas to help them accelerate their Waaagh! 

Sirrus Bizniz, Goff ork warlord in mega armour. Credit: Charlie Brassley.

Scrap ‘Em: gives you 1XP if a normal Ork unit kills a vehicle in melee and two Stompin’ Points if you did it with a Mek. This seems a little low for a Vehicle killing Agenda and most Meks shoot better than they fight.

Show ‘Em How It’s Done: has your warlord kill Characters, Vehicles and Monsters, giving them 2XP per kill or 3XP if its your Waaagh!Boss. This is insanely strong in some matchups, especially if your boss is a Beastboss on Squigasaur. I can a ton of XP farming using this.

Skrag Da Killiest Git: your standard “kill the most expensive unit” Agenda. It gives you some leeway in that you get 3XP for just getting it below half strength, but if you manage to kill it you get another 3XP and you get two Stompin’ Points. This is an insane bump in games where the most expensive unit is not something that’s necessarily been invested in. I would take this most games.

Overwhelming Aggression: has you try and have more Orks units in each table quarter than enemy units. For each quarter you do that in, you pick one unit there to get 2XP and if you get all four corners you get two Stompin’ Points. I feel like this should have been models, not units because this can be a tall order depending on how much you’re beefing out individual units, especially since crusade rewards you for building tall not wide. 


As always there’s a slew of Requisitions here unique to the Ork Codex. All of them, except one, are focused on keeping your Waaagh!Boss going and growing. First up is Dok’s Orders which you can only purchase after your boss gets a Battle Scar. In the next game your Boss is in, you get 2XP for killing something or 4XP if you kill a Monster or Vehicle. If you get the 4XP you can choose to either gain five more or remove the scar. I guess its true what they say (s)laughter is the best medicine.

Next up is Time for New Gear which is how you represent your boss moving to a new way to krump. You basically trade your boss in for a new Warboss datasheet, keeping your XP but notably losing other upgrades. This is a nice mechanism to evolve your Waaagh!Boss as the crusade goes on but losing out on your Bestest Bossloot stings a bit.

Kustom Job is the only requisition that doesn’t buff up your WaaaghBoss. Basically it gives you a Kustom Job Battle Trait for 2RP. 2RP is kind of steep for what is being offered in the Kustom Jobs list, but you also get them from advancing your Waaagh! so it’s not all that bad. Consider this if you’re doing a more mechanized force.

Last up is Bestest Bossloot which gives you access to one of the Bestest Bossloot relics. Again though, this costs 2RP which makes a bit more sense considering the strength of the relics in that section. That said just earn your bossloot the honest way by doing the main crusade mechanic.

Battle Traits

As is standard with codex crusade sections, the Orks book has its own Battle Trait tables. We have four tables here although two of them only have two entries.

Ork Beastboss on Squigosaur. Credit: Magos Sockbert
Ork Beastboss on Squigosaur. Credit: Magos Sockbert

Mounted Units

Ride ‘Em Down: Gives the units +1 to Advance and Charge rolls. This is an easy win especially with the advance and charge granted by the Waaagh! Making your go turn even more potent.

High-Speed Dakka: Gives you +1 to hit on shooting attacks. +1 to hit is just solid on ork units since it gives you a 50% increase on your hits. That said most of the Mounted unit’s shooting is kinda lame so this might not be your best pick.

Smog-Belchas: This unit gets SMOKE and can use smokescreen once per game on them for free. While I’m horrified at the implication of what this trait is supposed to do to Squighog Boyz, this is a banger and might be the standout trait of the table as it lets you get some extra survivability after (or while setting up) your big push.

Mob Units

Ded Choppy: Gives reroll 1s to wound during the Waaagh!. Simple and effective.

Bionik Targeters: another +1 to hit trait on a couple units that are not great at shooting. Nice for the errant rokkit launcha I guess.

Dakkaladz: Forces a battle-shock test on a unit this unit shot once per battle. Without leadership debuffs this is kinda anemic to give a unit for a once per game ability. Hell I was on the fence about it when I thought it was every time this unit shot on the first read. This one is a safe pass unfortunately.

Ded Keen: Free Heroic Intervention! This is super valuable for mob units as it lets them bog down an overzealous opponent with a whole bunch of bodies they won’t be chewing through any time soon. It’ll take some guile to use this one effectively, but it’s a really good one.  

Opportunistic: Once per battle +1 OC. This one’s nice but somewhat situational since a bunch of Boyz are likely gonna out OC most things on objectives.

Gnarly Scars: -1 Ld while in engagement range of this unit. God if only this could combo with Dakkaladz. Again, this doesn’t do a lot on its own and will likely come up rarely.

Mek and Big Mek/Painboy and Painboss Units

I’m gonna lump these together because their traits are identical. Both of these tables get two traits. First up is ignore one out of action test for units this model cares about (Vehicles for Meks, everyone else for painguys). This is a rank coward Battle Trait and I hate to see them. Scars are part of what makes Crusade cool and frankly don’t come up often enough. The other trait is a 5+ invuln, which is nice across the board, but often if these support characters are getting hit, they’re already in trouble.

Crusade Relics

In addition to all this cool bespoke stuff, Orks also get the standard array of crusade relics. While most of these Relics may look like their counterparts from ninth, this is in name only as each has been updated and rewritten with tenth in mind while still being proper Orky Relics.

Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun. Credit: Rockfish
Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun. Credit: Rockfish

Artificer Relics

Two relics here. The first is the Bosspole which gives your leader a Leadership buff and if you play three games against space marines and its bearer’s unit kills something in each of those games, you can then ignore modifiers to Leadership and Battleshock tests. 

Norman: Gotta say this is incredibly lame. Leadership is not a particularly exciting stat in tenth and having to play games against a specific faction to make the relic go from “Very Bad” to “Pretty Bad” is not my favorite. I would skip this one. 

Beanith: And I would ignore Norman completely and make sure this is the very first Battle Honor for my Waaagh!Boss. While 5+ Leadership in game isn’t the most useful toy to have at first glance, it makes passing the all important Ruction tests that take place after each game an almost a guaranteed certainty. 

“Primaris” Kevin Genson: Technically it’s going from a 72% pass rate to a 83% pass rate.

Beanith: Never tell me the odds.

The second relic is Ded ‘Ard Armour. It gives an Infantry or Mounted character an extra wound and -1 to incoming AP. It’s worth noting this only applies to the bearer and not the bearer’s unit so you’re not building your indestructible meganob block with this one.  This is a bit narrow in terms of its usage, since you don’t want to give this to any of those characters who have a 4+ save with a 5+ invuln since AP that’s gonna go into them will rarely be 1 and if it is it won’t matter a ton. It can be really good on Beastboss on Squigasaur though, making for a really tanky character.

Antiquity Relics

Another two relics in this category. First up is the Glowy Gizmo Upgrade which only goes on a Mek and increases the BS of a ranged weapon they have by 1 (this means it stacks with Heavy!) and increases the range. In addition you have to roll every time this model shoots; on a 1 you don’t get to shoot, on a 2-3 the weapon gains Hazardous, on a 4+ you gain Sustained Hits 1. This is a great relic, particularly on the Big Mek With Shokk Attack Gun as it does a lot for that. It’s still very swingy but a very solid upgrade for them. 

Beanith: Make Mek weapons proper old school orky again with random stuff! Sadly there’s still no chance of accidentally slinging your ork mek across the battlefield with the Shokk Attack Gun. 

The other relic is Wazgit’s Kopper Skullcap which gives a Weirdboy or Wurrboy +1 to hit with its Psychic Attacks and if those kill any models then they regain two wounds. The heal is kind of whatever but never turn down +1 to hit in an army that hits on 5’s (Wurrboy) or 4’s (Weirdboy).

Beanith: This is another banger of a Relic and as soon as my Weirdboy hits Heroic they’re getting themselves a fancy new piece of headgear. Because this Relic doesn’t directly replace ‘Eadbanger with an Enhancement or other Crusade Relic, you can still make this ranged weapon even nastier with Weapon Enhancements. Could you imagine the shenanigans with a Finely Balanced Heirloom ‘Eadbanger that already has Precision in a squad of 20 Boyz that can Jump around the field? No enemy character should feel safe from a possible two Strength 10 AP-3 Damage 5 attacks that hits on 2+ popping up out of nowhere.

Legendary Relic

Just a single relic here but it’s a doozy. The Choppa of da Great Waaagh! lets you pick a melee weapon equipped to a character and increase its Strength and AP by 1 and when you call the Waaagh! you get Lethal Hits across your entire army. This effect is insanely strong considering just how many attacks Orks can dish out, especially during the Waaagh! with all their extra effects. 

Beanith: Gitstoppa Rounds failed to make the cut from 9th but Da Choppa returned. Every melee weapon on the battlefield gaining Lethal during a Waaagh is jaw droppingly amazing, it’s almost Vortex grenade worthy (it’s better but I’m saying that under duress)

Bestest Bossloot

These are five custom Crusade Relics made just for your Waaagh!Boss and each seems tailor made for whatever flavor of Orky Boss you’re currently running with. While you may only have one Bestest Bossloot at a time, they can be gained for free as you progress through Stages three and four of the Waaagh or you can access them earlier with the Bestest Bossloot Requisition.  Much like the other Relics, they may look familiar from ninth, but these were nicked from the matchplay nonsense section of the ninth and made great for tenth Narrative Relics. 

Credit: Charlie Brassley

Rezmekka’s Red Paint used to be an Evil Sunz relic in ninth which was commonly seen slapped on the side of Kill Rigs before powersliding it into as many enemy units as possible to hand out the Fight Last conditions like candy. Now restricted to your Beastboss on Squigosaur and Wartrike, it gives the bearer and the attached unit Fight First. 

Da Irongob was the must have Relic for every Goff Warlord in ninth and now it is a brilliant choice for every Waaagh!Boss in tenth no matter their clan. Kinda the same effect yet still improved in every way. At the start of the Fight phase you can deal 3 mortal wounds on a 2+ against an enemy Infantry unit within Engagement Range of the bearer. Solid choice all round but particularly tasty on the Wartrike as it is basically a free Tank Shock stratagem.

Frazzle Field Generator is new, awesome and simply grants one Melee weapon equipped by the bearer Devastating Wounds. And again since you’re not replacing an Enhancement or Crusade Relic, there’s plenty of shenanigans to be adding this keyword to a Melee weapon with Weapon Enhancements.

Beanith: It’s a little unclear about what happens when you already have a Bestest Bossloot but we assume when you reach stage three and four of the Waaagh or use the Bestest Bossloot Req again, this simply lets you switch out the Bossloot. Also some people may ask “What should happen to the Bestest Bossloot when you use the Time for New Gear Requisition?” My suggestion for Campaign managers either be nice and allow them to replace it using one of their recycled Battle Honors or be mean by forcing them to use the Bestest Bossloot Req or hit stage three or four again to get back the shiny gubbinz.

Kustom Jobs

Kustom Jobs are a list of Battle Traits that can be acquired via requisition or the Waaagh! mechanic. There five on the table and they’re all pretty neat.

Ork Spider Kill Tank
Ork Spider Kill Tank. Credits: That Gobbo

Fortress on Wheels: Can only go on a Trukk or Battlewagon and gives them +1 toughness and a 5+ invuln. The invuln is great and worth getting this job alone, but the toughness is a bit more nuanced. Trukks moving from T8 to T9 are a bit narrow in the weapons it affects, but Battlewagons moving from T10 to T11 are a lot more valuable.

Shooter Gunz: Gives you a taste of the Dread Mob detachment. When this model shoots, you roll a d6, getting Hazardous on a 1, +1 BS on a 2-5, and ignores cover on top of that on 6. Not only is this a very fun mechanic, getting +1 BS when you can stack it with +1 to hit from other means is incredibly strong. I’m sure there’s a nasty combo using this trait somewhere in the book.

Shooka Hull: Does D3 mortals on a 4+ after you get hit in melee. This one’s a bit too narrow to be something I’d pick with my limited choices of jobs but is definitely something I wouldn’t mind having.

Stompamatic Pistons: Can only go on walkers bigger than a Killa Kan and gives the model +2” of movement and +1 advance and charge. Incredibly solid, getting stuck in early and often is a core part of the Orks gameplan and this only helps you do that.

Fungus-Fuel Injecta: Speed Freaks only for this one. You get +2” of movement and can use Smokescreen stratagem for free. For you rules lawyers out there, yes you technically cant use the Smokescreen strat on any of the Speed Freaks because none of them have the SMOKE keyword and this doesn’t give it to you. Shut up it’s clearly supposed to work. Besides that this is a great Battle Trait and well worth snagging. 

Final Thoughts

Norman: These rules are great across the board. They’re useful, flavorful, and new. This is probably my new standard against which I will be measuring future books. The Waaagh! mechanic is a great example of what I’d like to see. Its low impact and low not particularly involved but it captures the army identity perfectly and more importantly changes how you approach building your crusade force and how you play your games. This is what good crusade rules should do. I hope we see more of it.

Beanith: This is one of my favourite Crusade rules from 10th so far and that’s also taking into account that I am still willing to argue that they’re not completely new. From my point of view,  the Waaagh!Boss rules are very heavily inspired from the 9th edition where it was all about making your Warlord into some green meaty missile that you fired into the largest pile of enemies you could find on the table. In 10th that’s still here but now there is some acknowledgment that the rest of your mob are there as well and I love that it’s all about them fighting amongst themselves while the boss is busy elsewhere as shown by all the Minor and Major Ructions.

The loss of the Scrap mechanic is welcome as I found it generally a pain in the ass to keep track off. It really should have been a Requisition in the first place. Including it in the Stages of Waaagh was a brilliant design choice. I will admit I do mourn the loss of the Looted Vehicles from the Warzone Octarius book but realistically that was never going to make the cut, fingers crossed we see it again in a White Dwarf article. It’s a great set of rules that I’m looking forward to seeing in action in my Crusade Campaign.