Gorkamorka Project

CLICK HERE to see all of my Gorkamorka related progress since I wrote this post… boyz, vehicles, forts, buildings, terrain etc

Gorkamorka is a skirmish game system that GW brought out in 1997.  It has very similar mechanics to Necromunda but with the notable addition of vehicle rules that involve a little bit of risk management and a lot of shouting “Yahtzee!”

The game is strongly influenced by Mad Max II: The Road Warrior, except that instead of featuring Mel Gibson, actors from A Country Practice and pervert biker rapists it features orks.

Gorkamorka occurred during an awkward adolescence for orkoid development in 40K.  As a concept they had lost their way at some point before Gorkamorka was released, becoming gaudy buffoons rather than a proper barbaric menace.

Although Gorkamorka definitely didnt wipe that image out (I mean the game is called Gorkamorka for crying out loud), it certainly laid the groundwork for the single-minded, homicidal galactic plague that they became in 40k the 2000s (and which they seem to be moving away from again these days).  A lot of that was simply due to the top class miniatures sculpted by Brian Nelson for the GoMo range which took them from comical to monstrous.

As a GW fanboy I bought GoMo (as it seems to be called online these days) when it came out.  It sounded like fun and I had enjoyed Necromunda, which was largely an identical system.

Unfortunately at the time I didnt have many opponents willing to get into GoMo so it didnt get much table time, just an afternoon or two.  I bought some of the GoMo miniatures back then but they stayed in storage, until I sold on all of the orks to pay for a weekend boozing and clubbing in 2000.  It was the right decision at the time.  At least I kept the Mutie figures.

Zip forward a decade and MT, SOS and I have a weekend of GoMo planned for June.  I dont play 40K any more, MT plays a teeny, weeny bit and SOS is getting back on the 40K scene having played in a weekend long tournament in January, which included painting even more Orks for his already vast, epoch spanning greenskin collection.

We all have a lot of 40k (and other games) under our belts and we are all pretty familiar with the basics of the GoMo system.  SOS already has enough miniatures assembled and painted to field numerous mobs.  I have existing suitable terrain and the enthusiasm to make some more (like the ongoing Fort Grayskull and the recent Foam Rocks).  I am also looking forward to painting some of the nice ork figures that have come out in the last twelve years or so.

Somewhat uncharacteristically, MT is a bit of a wild card this time.  Often he is more reliable when it comes to getting a project finished for a deadline than SOS.  This time SOS has more than enough models ready to go before he starts and MT is in a something of a painting slump (a familiar thing to most figure painters I think).

Even if MT doesnt get his mob painted (it looks like even odds to me right now) he will still be able to use SOS spare figs so it looks like the project will materialise fully.  Hopefully MT will get to play with figures that he has done himself though.  He has had a Space Marine Land Speeder with wheels added to it knocking around for nearly a decade.  That really should get its time in the sun and if not now then when?

The GoMo rules system is familiar and will be quicker to play than Necromunda (its less fiddly for a few reasons).  We have also agreed on a handful of very straightforward streamlining house rules.  They should hopefully help us to get enough games in to watch our mobs gain skills and the like and for us to experience the over the top and hopefully entertaining intra-game Gorkamorka elements (visiting dodgy car mechanics and over enthusiastic doctors with a penchant for amputation).

All of this means that many of the hurdles often encountered when we try to get some gaming off the ground have already been passed.  Hopefully that means that we can concentrate on having fun rather than on rules intricacies or other tedious slog and just have a few giggles.

That in turn means that barring something serious that some GoMo will definitely be played this summer.  So I will be putting my progress on it up here for the foreseeable future, starting with the as yet unnamed ork and his gretchin buddies above.  Here is a picture of one of the grots standing in the mine entrance part of the Fort Grayskull project next to a Copplestone figure (Dr Leghorn), for scale.

In the interests of getting the project finished in a reasonable timeframe the ork and gretchin were painted quickly, with some areas getting simply a base coat and a wash.  Not too bad as a prototype models I think, but I have decided to try a different approach overall.  More on that at a later date.

Comments and criticisms welcomed as ever 🙂


13 Responses

  1. I hope you guys get your campaign off the ground. GoMo is pretty kick-ass when you’ve got a load of people enthusiastic about it.

    I’ve got a couple of questions:
    -What kind of stream-lining house rules are you using?
    -Did I miss the mine entrance photo? I’m not seeing the pic you mention.


    • Whoops. Embarrassing last minute editing error re the mine entrance photo. It should be visible now.

      Currently proposed streamlining involves:

      * the likely removal of the Injury table. It involves a lot of ineffectual dice rolling, some more or less pointless movement and recording of related characteristic decreases that achieves little in our opinion. That was true of Necromunda at least, so we reckon it will just speed things up here (even though it is a little different in GoMo).

      * allowing one re-roll of a post game result per player for each of the first three post game sequences. We reckon that that might help avoid one of the players getting off to a demoralising start if their gunner kills their driver or something like that.

      * we are likely to make the cost of a Trak equal the cost of a Trukk. The intention is that it will encourage players to use WYSIWYG vehicles rather than starting to create models to match the rule set, if you know what I mean.

      They are all pending testing so far, but are likely to be employed. What do you reckon?


  2. Ah, it’s working now.

    I take it you’re talking about Fleshwound/Down/OoA, in which case I kinda wonder what you intend on replacing it with. If you’re playing Orks-only then I don’t imagine it being a huge problem. Our campaign features virtually all factions so the injury table is very important and is quite a crucial part of gameplay – particularly for our new faction (details forthcoming over the next month or so).

    As for re-rolls, that seems fair enough. In our campaign we played it so that each mob got one free pass when their leader died. The rest of the mobs were on their own though.

    Lastly the trak thing seems fair enough. I field two traks in one of my mobs. One of those traks has a total cost of ~50 teef!


    • Currently we plan to simply omit the Injury table.

      To start with the three (or maybe four) of us will be exclusively playing orks, just to keep things straightforward.

      Usually the extra, non-standard gangs/mobs while fun, often have issues regarding balance. We are trying to keep things simple to start (although my assembled but unpainted Mutie models are in the painting queue, plus the new plastic Boarboyz would also be a fun project, but later).

      While Pinning (which is essentially “Miss-a-Turn” if a non-ork target is hit) becomes important once non-orks get into the mix, the Injury table is consistent throughout, isnt it? I dont see that much of an issue even when non-orks get involved. Am I forgetting something?

      The re-roll thing is an effort to keep everyone involved in the event of something very random that scuppers someone early on happening. The emphasis is on having a somewhat competitive laugh, not a very competitive min/max fest if you know what I mean 🙂


      • When you say “omit”, what takes its place? If you shoot someone and wound them do they just go out of action, 40K style?

        GoMo isn’t a particularly well balanced game, I feel, so one must ensure players bear this in mind and don’t power game. It’s very easy to dominate a campaign if one knows the “winning” strategy.

        The importance of the injury table I was referring to is concerned with a faction we over at tUGS have been working on. I can’t tell you the details right now, but I can say that flesh wounding their basic troops can affect the game a lot, as can putting them down. So you’re missing something, but also not, if you see what I mean? 🙂


        • “If you shoot someone and wound them do they just go out of action, 40K style?”

          Sort of, but essentially yes. They do not take any further part in the game. Rather than rolling to see if they stand back up every turn we will just roll once post game: 1-4 Nothing Happens, 5-6 Serious Injury. These are the same odds as those results occurring in game, but without having to roll every turn (which we find tedious). It does make the game a little more lethal.

          The reason that we plan to remove the Injury table is that the three core players independently came to the conclusion that the table was unnecessary and that it slowed things down. This was based largely on our experience with Necromunda many years ago. Our GoMo experience is currently negligible.

          “It’s very easy to dominate a campaign if one knows the “winning” strategy.”

          You have lost me here Im afraid 🙂
          If there is a winning or power gaming strategy to GoMo then I dont currently know what it is. Do you think that ignoring the Injury table in some way relates to that kind of play?

          For what its worth, all GW games that I have come across are easily exploitable. So much so in fact that it is pretty much a given. I am not sure of the connection between that and the Injury table though.

          If we get heavily into GoMo for a while (which I hope that we do) then we will likely try out the oddmobs, both the Digganob stuff and the unofficial mobs etc. If it looks like the Injury table is necessary then we may introduce it at that point. Currently our thinking is that it is superfluous.

          I am looking forward to seeing your new faction and how it interacts with that Injury table. Plague Zombies from Necromunda also interacted with the Injury table (“No Pain” = ignore Flesh Wounds).

          As I have an interest in zombies and a lot of zombie figures for gaming I plan to introduce zombies to our GoMo games. Whenever I get around to that I will probably give the zombies a 5+ or 6+ unmodifiable save, which amounts to the same thing as No Pain (Flesh Wounds are one in six in Necromunda, not one in three as in GoMo).


      • Interesting. I’ve never come across anyone suggesting the injury table should be removed, hence my comments. I like the effect flesh wounds have on gameplay, even if they can be a bit tiresome to track. I love wearing down a tough opponent until I can finally put the out of action through sheer blood loss! 😀

        The power-gaming thing wasn’t in relation to the injury table, it was in response to your comments on game balance.

        I’ve not tried it but I believe the “winning” combination is orks with two choppas on each warrior and nothing else. The two most lethal things in Gorkamorka are ramming and hand to hand combat. Shooting doesn’t even come close unless you’re using Mutie weaponry. So tooling up a mob with just choppas means you can have off the bat a mob structure as follows:

        Nob with two choppas (14 teef)
        Spanner with two choppas (8 teef)
        Yoof driver (3 teef)
        5x Boy with two choppas (7 teef each)
        4x Yoof with two choppas (5 teef each)
        1x trukk.

        A mob like that should be able to brutalise just about any other mob by sheer force of numbers. As I’ve said, I don’t know for certain, but if someone fielded a mob like that against me I don’t think it’d be all that fun.

        I play skirmish games mostly in the spirit of whatever mob/gang/warband I’m using if at all possible. I occasionally farm experience points as in I’ve been known to ask when there’s nothing obvious “Is there anything I can shoot at?” if I’ve got a heavy weapon going unused, but beyond that I just play for the joy of it.


  3. The concept of wearing down tough guys is cool, no doubt. The practice is (in my experience anyway) a bit fiddly. Honestly, I am unsure if discarding the Injury table is absolutely necessary. I wont know for sure until we have a few games under our belts.

    As for winning combos, we are likely to limit Big Guns to max one of each variety per mob. It avoids any potential min/max thing like the choppa boyz above. In practical terms it also means that I only have to paint up and magnetise one type of each weapon.

    That mob look looks like it would be tedious to play against and with, regardless of its efficiency. Although it is hard to legislate regarding that sort of thing, I highly doubt that mobs like that will end up in our games. Like you, its not what we play for.


    • Sounds like a good plan. The mob list I gave is exactly that – monotonous. By the sounds of it your friends are good people though so you should be fine!

      If you’ve got any photos of the mobs I could post them on tUGS.


      • I dont currently have any photos of the mobs, but I will be getting some as we get closer to the summer.

        I will keep you up to date 🙂


  4. Who or what is the fella with the top hat? I want him!!

    Liked by 1 person

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