Black Orcs are the biggest, meanest and strongest of the Orc & Goblin race. Willful and independent-minded, Black Orcs get their name from having darker skin than regular Orcs; commonly black or very dark green. Being more intelligent and disciplined than normal Orcs, Black Orcs do not suffer from the race's rule of animosity.
Created by Rick Priestly in 1987, Black Orcs first appeared in the third edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and have been updated over several editions of Warhammer, by several different writers, with the current incarnation of Warhammer 8th Edition being written by Jeremy Vetock. Black Orcs have also been placed into the Warhammer Fantasy Role-play game currently produced by Fantasy Flight Games.
First appearing in Warhammer 3rd Edition Black Orcs were an expansion to the Orc & Goblin race adding an elite unit to the army. The unit has been kept within the editions of the Warhammer rulebook with its army books the first army book - Warhammer 4th Edition titled Orcs and Goblins.
8th Edition of Warhammer sees the Black Orcs return with the Immune to Psychology special rule to give them immunity to animosity in the current rules.
Within the history of the game, the black orcs were created magically from the ordinary Orc by Chaos Dwarf sorcerers in an attempt to engineer a superior slave (chaos dwarf generals were allowed to field many Orc and Goblin units in their armies). The Black Orcs were too strong-willed, and after an inevitable revolt, many escaped from the lands of the Chaos Dwarfs. They can now be found among Orc societies across the Old World gravitating to command positions because of their size and ability.
- The Warboss Grimgor Ironhide, led numerous campaigns against Skaven and Dwarfs, and more notably, the failed attack on Kislev. He was a key figure in the Storm of Chaos Online Campaign where he knocked the Chaos Champion Archaon to the ground.
- Morglum Necksnapper is a noted black Orc who beat a Bretonnian army at the Battle of Black Fire Pass.
In early depictions of Black Orcs, such as in Warhammer Armies for 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Black Orc skin colour was actually black and they were not that much taller than orcs. Since then they have been shown with very dark green skin and are taller than a man when stood straight with a penchant for metal plate armour and horned helmets.
A range of metal Black Orc models were released in 2000, designed by Brian Nelson, with plastic troop miniatures and a metal war boss released in 2007.
Warhammer Online - the Black Orc is a character class considered a melee tank of the Bloody Sun Boyz.
- Priestley, Rick; Bill King, Andy Chambers (1992a). Warhammer Rulebook. Games Workshop. from Warhammer (4th edition) boxed set.
- Priestley, Rick; Andy Chambers (1992b). Warhammer Battle Bestiary. Games Workshop. from Warhammer(4th edition) boxed set.
- Priestley, Rick (1996a). Warhammer Battle Book. Games Workshop. ISBN 1-869893-97-2. from Warhammer(5th edition) boxed set.
- Priestley, Rick (1996b). Warhammer Rulebook. Games Workshop. ISBN 1-872372-04-X. from Warhammer(5th edition) boxed set.
- Pramas, Chris (1989). Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition Rulebook. Games Workshop. ISBN 1-869893-58-1..
- Priestley, Rick; Jake Thornton (2000). Orcs & Goblins Rulebook. Games Workshop. ISBN 1-84154-060-9. from 'Orcs & Goblins (6th edition).
- Ward, Matthew (2006). Orcs & Goblins Rulebook. Games Workshop. ISBN 1-84154-785-9. from 'Orcs & Goblins (7th edition).
- Vetock, Jeremy (2010). Orcs & Goblins Rulebook. Games Workshop. ISBN 978-1-84154-986-6. from 'Orcs & Goblins (8th edition).