GCE is a community-driven reimplementation of Games Workshop’s 1997 skirmish game, Gorkamorka. The books are free and can be shared and remixed according to their licences (usually Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International – check the documents for details). In other words they’re safe to share without worry.

There’s two ways to get the rules – PDF releases and the development documents.

  • The PDF releases are complete and ready to be printed off, shared, and so on.
  • The dev documents are where we do the work – they may be incomplete, unfinished, or even a battleground of comments!


Download Links for Releases

If there’s no PDF it’s because we’ve not got that far yet – see “Do I need the old books?” (below) for what to do.


Development Files

These are worked on using Google Docs as a collaborative tool. Editing is limited to the team but comments can be added by anyone.

Each faction gets its own faction pack – if your faction doesn’t have one just use the existing ones.



What’s changed?

Each book has its own changelog but mostly the difference between the original rulebooks (ORBs) is the restructuring. Our version lays out the rules differently from the ORBs in a way that we feel makes more sense. You might disagree, of course, but hopefully you’ll like it!

Other than that there’s a few minor things like the elimination of the Artillery Dice. In the ORBs it is literally never used at face value – every time the value is halved. A standard D6 can do the same job!

Another thing is the change to capitalising game concepts. You’ll see things like “Charge” (rather than “charge”) to refer to a charge move, for example. There’s even a glossary for those terms!


Do I need the old books?

That depends. We’ve done our best to split up GCE in such a way that we retain compatibility with existing content. Lots of it we plan on reimplementing but we all have our own lives and commitments so that’s not an instantaneous process. Each faction is to receive its own “faction pack” which provides the GCE version of their rules. If your faction doesn’t yet have rules then you can use existing rules.

Similarly if your faction does have rules but you’re not a fan of the GCE version then your old faction rules still work. Use those instead!

So the answer there is basically – no, but it depends on whether we’ve got as far as writing the rules you need.


Can I use my old mobs?

Mostly yes. There’s a few changes to the generic skill tables but your existing warriors could simply use the original rulebook skills.

If you want to use the faction’s GCE faction pack you might run into a few changes, dependant on faction. Converting the roster would be one option – using the original faction rules would be another (yep, GCE works with Gorkamorka’s rules).


Why not just copy and paste stuff?

The answer lies in how intellectual property law works (which varies by jurisdiction but quite a few things are commonly true in most countries). The text, layout, and illustrations found in the GW books belong to them. They hold the copyright. That gives them various exclusive rights – for example distribution rights. Copyright also covers derivative works – which is what a copy-pasted job would be. Anything like that would remain their property and they’d be well within their rights to take legal action.

However game mechanics and ideas aren’t covered by copyright. No one owns the concept of rolling a D6 and consulting a table, for example. The authors know how Gorkamorka works and have created a ruleset based on those mechanics from the ground up. Things haven’t just been fed through a thesaurus – the entire game’s mechanics have been rewritten. The whole text is licenced under a permissive Creative Commons licence specifically to enable people to distribute, remix, and otherwise use the ruleset as a basis for their own creations. Fill yer boots!


But they gave away the rulebooks didn’t they? That’s public domain!

No, it’s not. A copyright holder can distribute their IP however they like – paid, free, whatever. They can also change their mind at any time. Things enter the public domain if they’re deliberately released into it, such as by using a CC0 licence, or if their copyright has expired (e.g. H. G. Wells’ work). Unfortunately copyright lasts a really, really long time these days – it might as well be infinite in terms of our likely lifespans (the authors).


Why do you always call it “GCE” and not “Gorkamorka Community Edition”?

Trade marks. We do not own the trade mark to Gorkamorka – that is to say the legal right to use that name and branding. It’s a different part of intellectual property law and that’s an important distinction here. The owner of a trade mark is required to take legal action if another party is using it against their wishes. Otherwise they risk losing that trade mark. The same is not true of copyright infringement.

We’ve no interest in using their trade mark – it’s theirs. We also have no interest in making money from using the name – which can be a factor in these things. We did toy with making it an acronym for Genericised Ork & Related Kits Asynchronous Multiplayer Offshoot Ruleset with a Kludgy Acronym (inspired by TWAIN) but ultimately it makes more sense to just stick with the fairly generic “GCE”.