Monday, September 8, 2014

Thoughts on Ogres

Over the past 3 weeks I have been playing a few 2000 point games with my Ogres. The list I've been using is basically:

Slaughtermaster - Level 4 (Heavens), Fencers Blades, Glittering Scales, Scroll

Bruiser - BSB, Crown of Command
Butcher - Level 1 (Maw), Hellheart

8 Ironguts - FC, Standard of Discipline
3 Bulls - Muso

3x 1 Sabretusk
6 Maneaters - Muso, 5x AHW, 1x Great Weapon, ITP, Stubborn
3 Mournfang - Muso, Heavy Armour, Ironfist


Like all Ogre lists it has a very small model count. However 2000 points really makes it hard. Why?

Well first of all there is the "Butcher Tax". If you want to take a Slaughtermaster on a lore other than Maw then you need to take a Butcher. This costs you a sizeable amount of points - even for a Level One - for limited return. That's not because Maw is that bad - the spells are generally all useful - it's just you rather not have to do it.

So why pay the "Butcher Tax"? Well because Ogres are WS3. For your main combat troops this is "problematic". It is also the main reason you see Maneaters - WS4 is soooooo much better. With WS3 you need to buff your troops. There are two common ways to do this - Beasts or Heavens magic. A lot take Beasts seduced by Wildform and its +1 T and +1S. However there are two reasons I advise against this. Ironguts are already S6 and more importantly it doesn't help you hit. I also think the rest of the lore is a much weaker option.

I much prefer "Heavens". Why? Well it has two spells that increase either hittiness or reduce that of your opponent - Harmonic Convergence and Ice Shard Blizzard. Re-rolling 1s to hit and wound is golden (and you can bubble it). Ice Shard reduces the pain by restricting opponents hit success rate. For Ogres this is vital.

To back it up you have solid other spells. Opponents fear Comet and you can use this early game to drag scrolls. This helps when you get to combat phase. Thunderbolt is also a great spell for removing chaff.

To back this up I'll generally hope for Braingobbler or Trollguts on my Butcher - otherwise he's not casting.

As to the rest of my list. At 2000 points you can't afford disasters. That means you need to minimise the chance of failed break tests. The Maneaters are Stubborn for that reason and I back that with ITP to insulate vs. bad Panic check. A case can be made for other traits - Swiftstride, Scout - but I like certainty.

Which brings me to my Ironguts. The BSB goes there and he has the Crown of Command making them Stubborn. Yes, I could rely on the Maw signature spell but that doesn't give me the certainty I need. At 35 points in a 2000 point game it is necessary.

I am totally unconvinced on the Hellheart. On paper looks wicked, in practice I've found it totally underwhelming. It's commonly seen as a way to kill enemy magic users. Generally that won't happen. It's main benefit is shutting down a phase. However it's variability is a killer at 2000 points where it makes up 5% of your army. It will likely go.

Not much to say on Sabrecats. Even with their low Ld they are the best re directors in the game.

Which brings me to the Mournfang/Ironblaster toss up. Two Ironblasters is very very tempting. And I think it might be the stronger option. However at present I am enjoying the combined arms approach that Mournfang bring, giving hard hitting speed to the army. At 2400 you can fit the two cannons, while at 2000 they seem an indulgence.

Certainly enjoying playing with the Ogres after a long campaign with the Skaven. The games are always "contests" with the potential to go either way. They have a lot of very bad matchups though. Still combating those matchups is part of the fun.


  1. I thought Harmonic Convergence allowed you to re-roll 1's to hit, wound and armour save, not +1 to hit (or does it effectively "math out" to +1 to hit?)...but yes, I have been on the recieving end of a bubble harmonic gutstar + mournfang + maneater star charge and it is not pretty!

    Joel v

    1. Sorry, you are right. Monday-itis

    2. Pete If you take these to Skitterleap I reckon you might be seduced by two cannons :) hellheart out, scroll to the L1 earthing rod on L4