- "Yar! Oose ‘da biggest an‘ da baddest now, eh? I’ll show ya, I’ll show ya all! Just try an’ stop me!"
- — Grabthroat Shinkicka, Killa Kan pilot
Killa Kans bear many similarities to Deff Dreads, with their snipping klawz, chugging heavy weapons, and lumpy metal hulls. Yet in place of an enraged Ork, Killa Kans are piloted by cackling grots. Though individually smaller than a Deff Dread, Killa Kans charge toward the enemy lines in jostling mobs of riveted iron and roaring saw-blades. The Killa Kans' Grot pilots put their relative skill with firearms to good use, blowing the zog out of anything unlucky enough to cross their path. Despite being hardwired into a ten-foot tall killing machine, Killa Kan pilots still retain a good degree of Gretchin cowardice. As a result they still believe in safety in numbers, and have a bad habit of losing their nerve under fire. It is not unheard of for Killa Kans to waddle about in circles or freeze up entirely at the first sign of danger.
Killa Kans are smallish, bipedal walkers composed of a rickety, lightly armoured “kan” perched atop a pair of piston driven legs, and armed with a selection of ranged and close-combat weapons. Relatively primitive and weak by Ork standards, they are nonetheless fast and incredibly dangerous for their size, and one or two are more than a match for an Imperial Guard Sentinel Walker. As for the operator within, Killa Kans are not so much piloted as they are inhabited by a particularly ill-tempered Gretchin. Requiring the skills of both a Mekboy and a Painboy, fielding a Killa Kan entails first building the vehicle itself, then hard-wiring a volunteer Grot directly into the control systems. This painful procedure is not unlike the technology used in the creation of Space Marine Dreadnoughts, although significantly cruder and messier. Not only is the procedure excruciatingly painful, but implanting a Grot into a Killa Kan often increases the creature’s aggression and brute savagery by an inordinate amount.
Roaring, stumbling and clanking towards the enemy in thick clouds of oily smoke, with huge iron claws snapping and heavy weapons spitting death indiscriminately, Killa Kans are metal monsters built by the Orks to slaughter their enemies. Killa Kans, while superficially smaller, even cruder cousins to the Deff Dreads (and most often with fewer limbs), are actually in many ways very different war machines. This is in no small part because they are crewed not by Orks, but rather by grots, wired into the controls. When Kan construction is in the offing, Gretchin of every metre and stripe queue up for a chance to exchange their picked-upon, bullied and often appallingly short lives as the Orks' dogsbodies for an equally short but far more spectacularly violent and magnificent existence as a Killa Kan pilot. Dreams of lording it over their larger masters and handing out some damage for a change fill their little brains with delight.
Indeed, such can be the competition among them that many Mek workshops and grot mobs hold impromptu lotteries to decide who is picked to pilot the new Kans. This is to cut down on the murder and backstabbing between the hopeful candidates. Once ensconced in their new metal bodies it is not unknown for the grot inside to seek out and wreak some well-earned revenge on their former oppressors. While this is looked on as normal and indeed funny by the Orks, most Meks soon learn the wisdom of fitting their Killa Kans with a handy "off" switch in order to keep them dormant between battles.
Ork Warbosses see Killa Kans as handy and completely disposable shock units, well enough armoured to run in and lead the charge, and with a usual armament of a single close combat art fitted with a massive shear blade claw, buzzsaw or hammer and matched on the other arm with a close-range heavy weapon of some sort with which they are usually better shots than their impatient Ork cousins. Killa Kans are able to do considerable damage even to heavy opposition. An added bonus being that any Kans that get wrecked or blown to bits can easily be salvaged afterwards and recycled into more Killa Kans -- after all there is never a any shortage of volunteer pilots. The downside of Killa Kans is that even a massive, armoured, piston-driven grot is still sadly a grot at heart, despite its newfound power, and grots can often prove cowardly, skittish and easily distracted, having none of the psychotic and often suicidal sense of invulnerability that most Orks succumb to once wired into a Deff Dread.
In order to overcome this, Mekboyz wisely tend to field them in small mobz to bolster their courage -- all grots cleave instinctively to safety in numbers (and the possible chance of betraying your mates to escape), but despite this some Killa Kans have been known to stagger about in panic when shot at or try to hide when things get rough. Conversely when confronted with an overpowered foe or an enemy in disarray, the grots' natural vicious streak comes to the fore and these overpowered little sadists take great pleasure in gunning down, burning, crushing and slicing anything with its back to them.
Armaments & Upgrades
Killa Kans are typically equipped with:
Optional upgrades includes:
Any Killa Kan can take the following:
- Grot Rigger
- Extra Armour
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pp. 179-180
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 53
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pp. 54-55
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - The Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pp. 163-164