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Into da Jaws of Deff

The Wurrgong Stage: two cranes to bang them, and in the darkness, rokk them.

When Black Squiggoth's best frontman Buzzy Buzzborn returned from his dynamite fishing trip and arrived at the Wurrgong Stage, he gawped at the devastation he found.

This post is the culmination of phase one of the Metalwaaagh. This last fortnight I finished the elites: burna boyz and nobz. More on them in a moment, but first, I shall return to this preposterous write-up of the climactic game of this past weekend. A more sensible (and possibly more comprehensible) recounting is over on the campaign wiki, courtesy of Harvey's scribing efforts.

Some brief context: my orks have teamed up with Tom's orks to mine wraithbone wurrbone among some ancient eldar ruins. Harvey, Drew, Tom and I just spent a weekend playing a short campaign set around the ensuing conflict, and the assault on the webway gate was the culmination: a 2,000 point doubles game that turned out to be, er, quite decisive. This slab of extremely sensible prose is simply a nob's perspective of the aftermath, and by Gork and Mork I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Last night this had been a rokk venue like no other: a stage set in a big pale arch built eons ago by the eldar. The arch was impervious to all attempts to loot it, but it made a really good donnnng noise when you hit it with something big, like an engine block or a wrecking ball. Made the head feel wurr-good. An entrancing accompaniment to the rokk music played onstage.

This had been Buzzy's home for a few months. Concerts every night, the wurr-rhythm pounded into his brain, lads all banging their heads, sometimes against each other, and grog for all. By day they mined the area for the material left by the long-gone pansies: wurrbone. Funny stuff, but dead good acoustics if you put it in an amp. Lots of teef to be made. Good for the fleet, good for the Metalwaaagh. Good for the prospects of their boss, Sirrus Bizniz.

The Wurrgong Stage was--no, had been--the pounding heart of their settlement here. Grub shacks, good-size mosh pit, plenty of space. Workshops and huts further out in the trees. A good spot. Now, though, building after building had been smashed. Some were burned out. The distillery had exploded.

And there really weren't as many orks as normal.

The Wurrgong Stage itself was badly mauled. Most of the set was broken and swinging in the limp night air. What the zog had happened, he wondered? Buzzy collared a lad carrying a big metal sheet away from the stage and asked what was going on.

'Bloody pansies, innit,' the lad muttered, and walked on.

To the left, propped up against the half-collapsed grub shack, Buzzy spotted Sogrugga the runtherd. There was a big gash in his forehead, but the old squigherd was awake.

'Wot the zog happened?' asked Buzzy.

Sogrugga looked up. There was a funny look in his eyes. The grog? No, not quite. When the runtherd began to speak, Buzzy soon understood it to be a mixture of awe, fear, and sadness.

'Half a gig, half a gig, half a gig only,' Sogrugga said.

'You wot?'

'All a valley of deff.'

'Sogrugga, mate, you en't making any sense.'

'On came da pansies,
No warning was made.
On came da pansies,
Wiv zzaps booms and blades.
Fall back ladz, fall back!
Gather at da Wurrgong!
Fall back ladz, fall back,
It's only a furlong.'

Buzzy had no idea what a furlong was, and started imagining a sort of hairy snake. He could tell Sogrugga, dazed and drunk, was embarking on one of his rambles. Normally he would've told the git to skip to the point, but the depth of feeling in the old runtherd's voice moved him. Maybe it was the funny way Sogrugga was talking, or the sense that he'd missed a truly epic fight, but Buzzy thought to himself: if this is good, I'm nicking it, and it's going in my next song. Get the ladz proper pumped up.

That was the thing about the Metalwaaagh: the ladz had taken to telling stories in songs more than just listening to the runtherds around a fire. Some said it was bad luck to mess with tradition, but Buzzy didn't care. Metal was more exciting. He listened, keen to know what had happened to the best concert stage outside Boff's Rok, and eager to steal Sogrugga's words if they were good.

'Under da stage den,
Scared ladz must wait,
Under da stage den,
Don't take da bait,
To charge is to die,
Upon open ground,
We'll wait here and lie,
Until we're all found.

'And found we all were,
By Guluk and Sirrus
Good timing, big sur!
The pansies done seen us.'
"Come on den ladz,"
Said both of da bosses,
"We'll charge at da cadz,
"And take massive losses.
"Zzap guns to tha right of us,
"Shoorikken to da left,
"Here we is,
"Stuck in da middle wiv choppas.
"Ours not to reason why,
"Ours not to sniff and cry,
"Ours but to waaagh and die!"

'Da ladz gave a cheer,
Da hour was nigh,
Dey cast down dere beer,
And waved choppas high.
Was dere an ork dismayed?
No, though the boyz knew:
Some detekta had blundered.

'Ours not to reason why,
Ours not to sniff and cry,
Ours but to waaagh and die:
Into da valley of Deff
Charged da...' Sogrugga paused and did some abortive counting on his fingers, 'Several hundred.'

'Da stormboyz went first
Screamin up high,
Except young Kruglumpf,
He's first to die:
Head first in the roof
Dat made a crunch.'

Sogrugga chortled, then refocused.

'But on da rest went
Up, up and further
Right up da rest went
And found airborne murder
Pansies wiv wings
And accurate shootin
Left Snogdrin and chums
Right in da poo tin.
Below them we ran,
And among us they fell,
And behind us still tolled
Our bestest wurr-bell.'

'Da band still played boldly,
Dey knew da stakes.
They'd keep blasting blast-beats
No matter wot breaks.'

"On now, lads, on now, lads!
"Don't mind da dakka!
"Keep going forwards,
"No time fer a slacker!

'Flashed all our choppas bare,
Flashed as they turned in air.

'Kans, dreads and deffkoptas
Followed us out
Hoped against all
For a good pansy rout
But in came their dakka,
Their pewpew and zzapper,
Landing us all
Right in da crapper.

Ladz all mown down,
But not a step backwards!
Guluk was clowned
By wraithy-faced bastards.

Sirrus Bizniz went on,
The one ork wot got there
He didn't last for long
But gave 'em a good scare
Lay about, lay about, bloody red ruin,
But all of that while,
His downfall woz brewing:
Zzappers and pewpew and shoorikken blastas.

The glorious ork charge meets its shoorikken-y doom

'When ork and deff dread fell,
Right in da mouth of hell,
Stormed at wiv zzap and shell,
There in the burning breach,
Where no uvver could reach,
There lay da chargers, borked.

'When can their glory fade?
O da wild charge dey made!
Da band no longer played,
Torn down by pansies
Wiv zappa an' blade.
Ours not to reason why,
Ours not to sniff and cry,
Ours but to waaagh and die!'

Buzzy frowned. 'If we was krumped, why didn't da pansies finish us off?'

'Ours not to reason why, ours to do and die,' Sogrugga said, blank-eyed. His ramble had been nonsense after all, even if Buzzy could appreciate a forlorn charge as much as any Goff.

'So wot about Sirrus? Is da boss ded? Is da Metalwaaagh over?' he asked, dread in his chest.

'Battered but alive. Da pansies left wivvout finishing 'im off.'

'What? Why'd they do dat? Makes no sense. And where da bloody hell is he?' Buzzy demanded.

Sogrugga jerked a thumb in the direction of the garage.

'You might've opened wiv dat rather dan da longest poem in da cosmos. Zoggin 'ell. Boss? Boss!' Buzzy hollered as he headed off for the garage.

The boss was in a sorry state. He was being tended to by Klutch Kurridge, the bravest and drunkest painboy in the Metalwaaagh. Brave? Yes. Drunk? Yes. Grasping? Also yes. Klutch was smiling widely and asking Sirrus something about a toof deposit and a subscription plan. Sirrus was pretty out of it, and a part of Buzzy told him this was it: his big chance at stomping the boss and taking over the Metalwaaagh. Sirrus didn't even play in a band. A chance for Buzzy, best frontman of Black Squiggoth, to show his quality.

But there was doubt.

Sirrus had vision, and he was dead good at all the boring stuff like thinking about loggy stikks and plans and stuff that Buzzy had no interest in. He gathered up all orks into one big ork, and that felt good. Sirrus was better at those things than any other boss Buzzy had followed. And he'd spread appreciation of Rokk Metil so far and wide that Buzzy had never earned so many teef from playing rokk in his life. Being on stage, standing in front of thousands of roaring fans, had made Buzzy and the others in Black Squiggoth bigger, kulturally and literally. Until now times had been good. Maybe they could be good again.

Buzzy made a decision. He walked up to Klutch and nutted him.

'Wot was dat for?!' Klutch asked, rubbing his forehead and going slightly cross-eyed.

'We's all fixing da camp for free. So you're fixing da boss for free. We needs 'im. Metil needs him. Get on wiv it.'

Klutch opened his mouth to protest, but Buzzy just folded his arms and waited.

A gurgling sound came from Sirrus.

'Wot's dat, boss?' Buzzy asked.

'Gay... tea.'

'You wot?'

'Gate,' Sirrus managed, coughing up some blood.


'Da pan...sies. When dey le...left. Said: we should never have... knocked... on da... gate.'

'Gate? Wot gate?' Buzzy asked, confused. Instinctively, his eye was drawn to the big wurrbone arch. For a moment, he felt cold.

Just the night air, he assumed.

+ + +

If you've been following the Bunker lately you'll know that Jeff's been working on Drukhari, and we all know what comes out of webway gates... so yes, Harvey, Drew, Tom and I spent a whole weekend playing a campaign that's literally just the prologue to Jeff's new army arriving. Naturally it provided impetus for me to try and get two new units ready, and in so doing, I have now filled a patrol detachment (but for one HQ and an aircraft). Awwww yis. Phase one of the army is complete (phase two is to fill a battalion).

Napalm Breff

These burna boyz are a group of technically adept roadies who ended up helping with the wraithbone looting efforts. Entranced by the giant wurrgong, they got more and more obsessed with heavy beats, but were more interested in using samples of sound recordings than in playing instruments like a normal rokk band. They called this new style of music 'angry trance' and started performing stage shows with lots of shouting and angry dancing.

This turned out to be quite divisive.

Rokk purists were extremely upset at the lack of klassik riffs. Kerfuffles inevitably followed. Sirrus Bizniz himself didn't much like angry trance, and felt that perhaps it was time to abandon the wurrgong before the metal kultur was eroded by this new genre. The members of Napalm Breff were, at least, willing to continue their duties, and as such were too useful for Sirrus to just beat them up. He took a laissez-faire approach, and hoped someone would write some rokk good enough to ensure not too many ladz got obsessed with the new genre.


Keef and Maximum

The mastermind behind Napalm Breff is actually not the frontman. Howla - so named because he's unusually quiet for an ork, and generally smoking a fat cigar - arranges songs on his 'mixa.' His compatriots Keef and Maximum then dance and shout random nonsense over the top during gigs, such as:

"I've got da choppa!"
"I've got da armour!"
"I've got da choppa to kombat yer armour!"

Fans of angry trance find this extremely compelling, and point out that it's precisely as sophisticated as most of the lyrics in rokk-metil. 

Black Squiggoth

One of the oldest rokk-metil outfits from Boff's Rok, Black Squiggoth have only recently decided to come along on the Metalwaaagh, and are extremely pleased they have, for it seems that with a huge fanbase comes huge muscles. As ever, though, they are plagued by a consistent problem: they're very much a band of two frontmen. What Buzzy Buzzborn might lack in vocal skill he makes up for in crowd-pleasing antics on stage. His signature move is to eat a live gnasher squig at the apex of the set, and this never fails to get encouraging cheers as the whole crowd of rokkers hope against hope that one of their favourite voices isn't about to get shredded.

Black Squiggoth

Buzzy Buzzborn, best frontman.

Dronny "Flames" B-O, best frontman.

Daggy, master of the two-string bass.

Toofy, ardent drummer and fan of buzz saws.

Dronny "Flames" B-O, so named for his love of fire and his potent personal aroma, is another matter entirely. The owner of the most powerful voice in the Metalwaaagh, Flames' vocal range and force is legendary. No-one's quite sure what to make of the lyrics, as they normally involve witches and warlocks, but he sings with such enthusiasm that no-one really minds.

The problem, of course, is that both Flames and Buzzy think they're the main attraction, and this has resulted in actual fights mid-gig. While this is immensely frustrating for their ded profeshonul bandmates, it's a source of great entertainment to the crowd.

A note on the unit's build
Big choppas aren't the obvious choice for nobz, what with their dreadful lack of AP, but I just love how they look. Besides, this army was never about optimal choices. Three of the four big choppas get to use a choppa as their second weapon, so at least they get a bonus attack at Strength 5. Unfortunately I also built one firing a slugga (because it looks cool) so he's a flat downgrade compared to the others. I named him Da Optimist, and imagine that he just loves his gun and hopes one day to actually kill someone with it. He won't, but don't tell him that.

The power of optimism

The end... for a short while, at least

With phase one of the army complete, I'm going to take a break and work on other projects for a while. I've been doing nothing but orks since February, so it's definitely time for some variety! I'm really happy with how the army's come together, and have greatly enjoyed making up such relentlessly silly lore for them. Once I've done something else for a month or two, I'm sure I'll be eager to return to the Metalwaaagh! For now, though: this is Sirrus Bizniz, signing off.

The Metalwaaagh so far: 1,272 points of puns.


  1. Dear Crew,

    The setup was impressive, and that table setup around the webway gate was something else to behold, so thank you for all the amazing work.
    I am also surprised at the amount of new Lads in this installment, as these Burnas seem fiddly to paint... productivity married to quality at this scale is a rare outlier, to say the least.

    Thank you for this impressive series of battle reports - Valkhaer is single-mindedly bringing his force into becoming the most evil alignment outlier in all of the 40K Galaxy, EVEN with the Dark Eldar just lurking on the other side of the Webway gate. (SCARED RESPECT).
    And Jesus, that is a LOT of shurikens, even before factoring that Drew´s force composition seems to use megatons/m2 to measure its rainbow fabulousness...

    Poor Orks. I am glad Charlie has also written things from their perspective, I just feel awful for the lads consistently getting sandblasted to the last before even managing a charge. Charlie paraphrasing this particular piece of poetry with an Orkish slant hit again right in the feels (such Pixar, in a good way!), and made for good reading - not all Ork times get to be happy times. To paraphrase the Merchant of Venice, "if you prick us, do not we bleed?"... and the emotional maturity and chilling realisation of mortality by the protagonists was very welcome.
    I cannot hope but that "Napalm Breff" will have absconded with a "Party Wagon" somewhere, wired up to the gills with Boomboxes, where a couple dozen boyz can manage a ride till the frontline without getting sliced into micron-sized particulates...

    In a more personal note, I love seeing the Eldar brought to life as a competent and frightening adversary who runs with the possibilities that their top-of-the-line strategic mobility, navy and intelligence edges affords them over anyone else in the galaxy, and using them to their fullest, frightening implications. The Eridani sector wiki article has done a very good job of showing that behind the scenes. The contrast between the Ybraesil force (which still indulges in ethics) and the Valthaer force (lethality and spite over any other concerns) was a good exercise on exploring two of the extremes of how the Eldar can act upon their relative wealth of options, compared to the rest of the galaxy.
    Which, as we have seen, ranges from an "proactively neutral" Switzerland (Talliesin) to a terrifying "Game of Ender, but without any empathy" (Ulthwe).

    I can only hope that the Boyz will survive Jeff´s webway gate opening...

    1. TBF the ladz did get one battle in which they kicked Taliesin's teeth in, even if the weekend as a whole was a decisive aeldari victory :P

      Thanks for such kind words :)

  2. I haven't read any ork poetry or singing before. But what Sogrugga is singing is actually really good ! I'm honestly surprised that an ork song can be so beautiful.

    As for the rest, I have to say I love the background for these orks, and the paint job as well !

    1. No singin' so sweet as a wall of ladz shoutin' WAAAAGH!

      Most importantly: thank you :D


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