"Da ooman base iz got walls an’ fings, see. So, if I’z goes up to da wall, all sneaky-like, and blows it up wiv me bombs, den dere’ll be an ‘ole in da wall wot da ladz can go fru, see. So, when you’z lot ‘ears sumfing go boom, you charge,’ cos dere’ll be an ‘ole in da wall. Unnastand?"
- — An Ork Kommando explaining "da sneaky plan" to a group of other Orks.
Kommandoz serve as the Orks' infiltrators and saboteurs, and are masters of the arts of stealth, ambush, unconventional tactics and striking at the opponent from a totally unexpected quarter.
Unlike Boyz, these Orks use dirty tricks like stealth, camouflage, and creating distractions. Such methods rely on a trait lacking amongst Orks -- discipline. Though Kommandos exist in all Ork clans, other Orks tend to distrust them.
Most consider the use of stealth and camouflage distinctly un-Orky, as killing the enemy before they get to fight defeats the point entirely. Though Warbosses instinctively understand a Kommando’s tactics, most are deeply uncomfortable in the presence of any Ork that would voluntarily stay quiet.
The aberrant mindset that distinguishes each Kommando serves the entire tribe; just as the average Ork is driven above all to fight, a Kommando finds the highest pleasure in covert operations. Sneaking through an enemy base to slaughter surprised enemies, patiently waiting to strike to make an ambush more successful, utilising timed explosives to cripple supply lines; all epitomise Mork's battle "taktiks."
Some Kommandos range so far ahead of the tribe that they find themselves deep behind enemy lines -- so deep they are forgotten, continuing long campaigns without orders, executing stealth missions purely for pleasure.
"Listen! I’s sneaky, yous sneaky, and Deftoof is sneaky too. If we all sneakin togetha, dats triple the sneak! Now, help me get dis muffler Squig on dis ere Rokkit Launcha."
- — Bog Tiktaks, Ork Kommando
The life of an Ork is a life of constant warfare, and luckily for the other inhabitants of the Milky Way Galaxy, Orks spend most of their time fighting amongst themselves, with battle devolving into massive bouts of close-quarters fighting. To an Ork, the best fighting is always up close and personal, and usually involves chopping his opponent to bits.
Ork Kommandoz are those rare Greenskins who disdain this cornerstone of Ork "kultur". A Kommando epitomises the Ork virtue of low cunning. Nothing makes a Kommando happier than creeping up on an unsuspecting enemy, his fellow Kommandoz slithering through the undergrowth at his side. When the time is right, the Kommandoz will burst from their concealment, slashing, stabbing and shooting their stunned prey before they have a chance to strike back.
Ork Kommandoz are those rare Boyz who have been "touched by Mork", and emulate that Orkish god's tendency towards "kunning" (i.e. resorting to dirty tricks) first and open combat second. Unlike the average Ork Boy who enjoys loud weapons, big explosions and fast vehicles, Kommandoz prefer spreading panic behind enemy lines before launching a perfectly timed ambush. Kommandoz put on camouflage and make use of cover, and favour stealth, espionage, guerrilla warfare, and other unconventional methods to kill their foes.
Their favoured modus operandi is creeping up on an unsuspecting enemy, and when the time is right, bursting from their concealment, slashing, stabbing and shooting their stunned prey before they have a chance to strike back. On the field of battle, Kommandoz will assassinate enemy sentries, destroy gun emplacements, blow up fuel depots and ammunition stacks and generally do as much damage as they can in an opponent's vulnerable rear area.
A rarity amongst the usually simplistic and simple-minded Orks, Kommandoz prize intelligence and initiative, as well as base cunning and a hunter's instinct. Kommandoz also value reconnaissance and planning ahead, and the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos has been horrified to recieve certified reports of Ork Kommandoz being able to both speak and even read Low Gothic.
Although the methods used by the Kommandoz are crude by all other sentient races' standards, they are often efficient enough to wreak major havoc, for few of the Orks' opponents ever consider that Greenskins will come up with anything other than a full-on frontal assault as a battle plan. The horrified look on the faces of their prey, who assumed they would be able to see the Ork attack a kilometre off, is tremendously rewarding to the members of a Kommando mob.
Kommandoz are most often found among members of the Orks' Blood Axes klan who also prize planning and cunning due to their prolonged cultural contact with Imperial humans. Kommandoz are viewed with suspicion and looked down upon by most of Orkish society, who overwhelmingly believe that "dat sneaky stuff ain't Orky!" Most Orks consider the idea of hiding from a fight or silently creeping through cover a waste of time, if not downright cowardly.
What they don't understand is that Kommandoz like a good fight just as much as the next Ork, only they know how to get in close without getting shot in the face. There is no greater pleasure for a Kommando than making a good surprise attack, that split second as horror spreads across their victim's face worth all those solar hours of crawling through the mud.
Kommando small-unit specialists do not usually socialise with other Orks, and sometimes exile themselves from their warband, tribe or klan for solar months at a time, or even permanently in extreme circumstances. Yet no Warboss in his right mind would refuse their services, for their methods of stealth combat give "da 'uvva boyz" a better chance of reaching the enemy lines unscathed.
It is common for each Kommando to have a specialist role within the mob, and to possess a nickname appropriate to his role, such as "Fireboy" or "Throatslit". Their unusually organised and militaristic outlook for Orks means that young Stormboyz often develop into Kommandoz instead of rejoining the "right-thinking" Ork Boyz at the heart of each tribe.
The Kommandoz prize intelligence and initiative, and some of them are even able to read other languages, as noted above -- this in itself should reveal just how different the Orks who serve as Kommandoz are from their fellows. Not for them the thrill of a massed charge or a turbo-powered race to the front line in a badly-made Trukk. Instead, a Kommando gets his enjoyment from slitting throats and spreading panic behind enemy lines before launching a perfectly timed ambush. These scare tactics are epitomised by Snikrot of the Red Skull Kommandoz, whose name is now a byword for terror on Armageddon.
- Da Big Raid (Unknown Date.M41) - The Blood Axes of WAAAGH! Grog tell a story about the greatest Kommando attack ever, known as Da Big Raid. It happened on the world of Vor'sanar, when WAAAGH! Grog smashed into the edges of the T'au Empire. Freebooter raids on the T'au planet had been previously repulsed by a huge alien warship with more dakka than anything in the Ork fleet. Called the Korst'la by the T'au and "Da Big Dakkaship" by the Orks, it stalked the space lanes around Vor'sanar, annihilating anything that trespassed on the T'au Empire. The Korst'la 's only weakness was that it needed to use the huge orbital docks around Vor'sanar to refuel and rearm. While Grog knocked the heads of his Freebooter Kaptins together, trying to get a large enough fleet together to storm the T'au planet, a mob of Blood Axe Kommandoz came up with a more cunning plan. They would attack the orbital docks while the Korst'la was away, wrecking the T'au station, and denying the warship a place to repair itself or rearm. The Kommandoz set out in a looted T'au transport ship, using captured codes to approach the Vor'sanar dockyard under the pretence of having been damaged in an Ork raid and seeking safe harbour. The T'au were initially suspicious of the lone vessel limping into their void station, but every demand for identification was met with a satisfactory response, and the idea that Orks could undertake such a ruse was unthinkable to the T'au. It was a horrific surprise then when the vacuum seals opened and Ork Kommandoz poured out into the station. By the time the Tau had mustered to repel the invaders, the Kommandoz had reached the station's reactors. Smashing them to scrap, they set off a chain reaction, dooming the station and allowing WAAAGH! Grog to ransack Vor'sanar and ultimately the entire sector.
- Da Great Titanheist (981.M41) - The Forge World of Canto II is left badly weakened by a Tyranid splinter fleet, and the Blood Axes' Warboss Mardrug sends a crack team of Kommandoz and Mekboyz to steal the Warlord Titan Wrath of Caseopea amidst the chaos of the planet's recovery. The Kommandoz shoot their way onboard the Titan, and their attendant Meks manage to jump-start its Plasma Reactor. However, the Orks have no way of controlling the Wrath of Caseopea 's indignant Machine Spirit (artificial intelligence). Disoriented and enraged, the Titan goes on a devastating rampage across the planet before overloading its own fusion reactor. The Kommandoz' mission is a failure, but the devastation caused to a vital Forge World is substantial, affecting supply to numerous Imperial war zones.
The tools of the Kommando trade are unusually subtle by Ork standards. Kommandoz use soot-blackened blades and camouflage-style warpaint, painting their skin with stripes of blood, dirt and dung so that they blend in with their surroundings. Some Kommandoz are even more inventive with their camouflage, attaching foliage to their uniforms or even employing "kunning" disguises. Common Kommandoz equip themselves with a good Slugga, a better Choppa and Stikkbombz.
A couple of Kommandoz will sometimes carry around a heavier weapon, be it a Big Shoota, Burna or Rokkit Launcha, granting the Kommando mob some firepower to deal with unexpected resistance and/or vehicles. The Kommandoz' Nob will have his own personalised wargear, with many Kommando Nobz favoring a Power Klaw that allows them to rip open a way through a wall or a vehicle's blindage quickly. All Kommandoz eschew any form of armour heavier than simple hide jackets, however, as such heavy and cumbersome protection would be far too ungainly and noisy to infiltrate successfully.
- Snikrot - Snikrot, also called Boss Snikrot and Snikrot the Stalker, is a vicious and skilled Ork Kommando who has led the company of Ork special forces known as the Red Skull Kommandoz within the equatorial jungles of the Imperial Hive World of Armageddon. He earned particular infamy amongst the Imperial forces for conducting a vicious guerilla campaign during the Second and Third War for Armageddon. Skilled and resourceful, he has become the local bogeyman of the human population, who pray to the Emperor at night to protect them from Snikrot and his band of Red Skull Kommandoz.
- Red Skullz Kommandoz - Boss Snikrot's elite group of Kommandoz who earned renown for their actions during the Second War for Armageddon. However, it was during the many long years of fighting in-between Ghazghkull's withdrawal and return to the war-torn planet that Snikrot's Kommandoz would cement their now infamous reputation. During the bitter fighting amid Armageddon's vast equatorial jungle, the "Armageddon Ork Hunters" learned to fear Boss Snikrot and his Red Skull Kommandoz above all others. Such were their stealth skills and unusual levels of discipline, the Red Skulls would even refrain from firing their weapons so as not to give away their position, allowing them to creep closer to their quarry before launching their ambush -– a tactic all but unheard of amongst the Greenskin race.
- The Bloodfangz - This elite group of Kommandoz wore tiger-striped camouflage, earning a fearsome reputation amongst WAAAGH! Ghazghkull during the wars on Armageddon.
- Bulrag's Fightin' Fifth - A small elite Kommando Mob led by Boss Nob Bulrag, who served in WAAAGH! Ghazghkull during the wars on Armageddon.
- Kragga's Kamo-Boyz - A small elite group consisting of two Kommando mobs and one Deff Dread, who served in WAAAGH! Ghazghkull during the wars on Armageddon.
- The Flashblades - This elite group of Kommandoz wore blue and white checker patterns of camouflage, and were a part of Dazkrit's Killaz. They served as a part of the elite forces of WAAAGH! Ghazghkull during the wars on Armageddon.
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pp. 47-48, 84, 150-153
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pp. 18, 32, 44, 62
- Rogue Trader: Into the Storm (RPG), pg. 92
- Rogue Trader: Koronus Bestiary (RPG), pg. 74
- Wrath & Glory: Rulebook (RPG) (Cubicle 7 Revised Edition 2020), pg. 108
- Waaagh! Ghazghkull: A Codex Ork Supplement (Ebook), pp. 62, 152-153
- Forge World - Ork Kommando Conversion Set
- Games Workshop - Boss Skikrot
- Games Workshop - Ork Kommandos