Blood Axes


“Eh, don’t pay ‘dem no mind, ‘dem uvver Boyz is just jealous. We was ‘da first ta meet ‘da ‘umies, and it was us what learned ‘da best way ‘a tradin’ wit’ ‘em an’ krumpin’ ‘em before ‘dat lot evva knew how ta use a shoota. ‘Dey wouldn’t know kunnin’ if it bit ‘em in da face.” –Halgaz Darksneeka, Blood Axe Kommando

Orks from the Blood Axe clan have the most frequent interaction with the Imperium of Mankind, and through their long and mostly acrimonious acquaintance with the humans, they have developed skills and abilities that cause other clans to look at them askance. Considered untrustworthy by their fellow Orks due to their peculiar ways, these Orks put a greater emphasis on “cunning and tactics than on the typical brute force approach favored by other Greenskins. Blood Axes often trade instead of steal, parley instead of bellow, sneak instead of charging headlong into the withering fire of their enemies, and even retreat instead of dying in a heap with nothing to show for their effort. In addition to their decidedly un-Orky tactics, they have been known to fight for the Imperium as mercenaries, taking their pay in coin and materiel instead of teef. Some have even taken to the stars as Freebootas, where they split their time between piracy, raiding, and honest trade. They are every bit as dangerous in battle as their less sophisticated cousins, perhaps even more so thanks to their high level of innate cunning, which allows them to think around problems. In combat, they use battlefield tactics closer to those of a professional army as opposed to the more usual Ork tide of violence, using moderately organized squads instead of mobs and employing basic tactics like enfilading fire, feints, staggered advances, and even the occasional clever ruse.

The Warbosses who rise up from the Blood Axe ranks tend to have a greater grasp of big picture strategy than those from other clans, and some of the most well-planned and well-executed Waaaghs! In Imperial history have had a Blood Axe at their head. Among their many strange behaviors, perhaps the most confounding to their enemies are their use of stealth and camouflage, and their proclivity for clandestine warfare.
Blood Axes see little worth in going through all the effort of making a “kunnin’ plan” only to be gunned down like a fool before it can even be executed, and their approach to combat is more circumspect than others. In fact, along with great Warbosses, many Ork Kommandos come from the Blood Axe clan. While not perhaps as stealthy or as well-trained as those Special Forces operatives of the Imperium, Eldar, or Tau, they are still brutally effective. It is their use of obfuscation, misdirection, and plain sneakiness that has given them an unsavory reputation among others of their race. They are roundly mocked by members of other clans that view them as cowardly scumbags, especially the Goffs. The Blood Axes care little for this derision, however. Secure in the knowledge that they alone know how to make war on humans the proper way, and understandably smug in their clan’s legacy of leadership and destruction, Blood Axes take these insults in stride, either having a good laugh and walking off or having a good laugh, knocking all of the offender’s teeth out of his head, and walking off that much richer.

Blood Axes prefer muted colors for their clothing and gear, with black and green being predominant, along with numerous patterns and colors of camouflage, both self-made and looted from enemy forces. While they alone among the Ork clans use camouflage, the Blood Axes do not understand why it works, only that it does. This means that a group of Boyz might have a dizzying array of different camouflage patterns among them, typically none of which are appropriate for the environment in which they are fighting. It matters little, however, because no matter what kind of camouflage they wear, and no matter what branches, bits of moss, scraps of metal, and the like, that they strap, pin, nail, or glue to themselves, the camouflage keeps them hidden as long as they think it keeps them hidden. The Blood Axes’ banner features crossed axes with bloody blades in a dark green circle on a black banner. Along with the axe sigil, their banners often feature other icons extolling their cunning and sneakiness.

Using Blood Axes

Blood Axes use stealth to reach their enemies, denying them the chance to fire and gutting them before they know the battle has begun. Unlike most Orks, Blood Axes actively work to avoid being shot while running screaming across the battlefield. As such, Blood Axes frequently ambush their foes, using dense terrain such as jungle, ruins, or other enclosed areas to close to melee combat before their enemies can react. Blood Axes also employ decoy units from time to time, drawing the enemy force out of position to expose vulnerabilities that they can exploit. If badly outnumbered, Blood Axes sometimes retreat, regrouping and striking again if the opportunity presents itself.

Blood Axes prefer to fight their enemies in hand-to- hand combat, and prefer to get there alive. They often opt for a silent (or, at least, relatively more silent) approach, scattering back into cover if they meet exceptionally impressive resistance.

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