Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Old Dogs, the Chicken & the Pig

When I play wargames I generally prefer a counterpunch style. Regardless of the genre I seem to perform most effectively when I use an army that can hit the enemy from distance in the first few turns and then close to combat in the later half of the game.

This playstyle was reflected in the armies I’ve had most success with – Emperor’s Children, Death Guard and Ulthwe in 40k and Skaven and Wood Elves in Fantasy. Going back even further when I played Ancients, the Early Samurai army I won Natcon with was completely reflective of this style.

However, every now and then it is good to break out of your comfort zone. Towards the end of my 40k playing, I used a Space Marine Drop Pod army – nine units all in pods – and between Woodies and Skaven I used a Vampire Counts infantry army.

This is why I am really enjoying playing with the Ogres recently. The build I am using is very much (almost entirely) a combat build. I’m finding the skills in using it are dramatically different than that for the Skaven. With the rats, target selection for ranged attacks is key contributor as you seek to neutralise threats or weaken them so you can open your bag of tricks late game. With no ranged attacks, the Ogre strategy is really one of blitzkrieg - hammer units creating a hole and causing a ripple through the enemy lines. The army plays very tight and largely leaves its own table half by Turn 2.

This creates much different games. With the Skaven if I’m in combat Turn 2 then I’ve done something wrong. It’s the opposite with the Ogres. Generally I find we are rolling combat dice at Bottom Turn One/Top Turn Two.

This modus operandi reflects my choice of lore. While a lot of the Ogre players have gone down the Greedy fist/Death magic route, I prefer the Great Maw which has spells that complement the way I intend to play the game. These spells are primarily buffs to my own units increasing their resilience. This is critical in an army that has little armour for its core combat units.

The interesting thing about the change in strategy brings to mind the old adage of bacon and eggs. In the production of a plate of bacon and eggs, the chicken participates but the pig is committed. When you take an army that relies on combat to win you are playing the role of the pig rather than the chicken. Generally this means you have more to lose but can also win big.

After playing Skaven for awhile it is a refreshing change. However it is not one that necessarily comes easy to an old dog.

No comments:

Post a Comment