Thursday, September 22, 2011

WHFB: Ogre Kingdom Review Part 4

Sorry for the delay with this.  Real life is kicking my ass.  But enough about my herpe... er... personal problems, how about we talk about burly fat half-men?


Ogres - Here we have the meat and potatoes of the army.  Basic Ogres are pretty cheap for what you get.  The best way to look at Ogre units is to view them as chariots that don't really mind being charged as badly as normal chariots do.  So the big question is, do we ever want to take basic Ogres over Iron Guts?  I think the answer is 'quite' often.  The biggest statistical difference between Bulls and Iron Guts is the Leadership.  One point of Leadership is not that valuable when you have characters in each unit, or you should anyway.  How about one point of armor?  What's a point of armor worth?  That depends.  Going from a 6+ to a 5+ doubles your protection. I'd say it's worth having Iron Fist to double your protection, because I don't think the extra attack is as relevant.

My unplaytested instinct is so say that if you're buying a Look Out Gnoblar and have a 9 Bull unit with a character in it, and are buying Iron Fists, you generally save a ton of points not buying Iron Guts.  Bulls should be the core of your army.  So why buy Iron Guts?  Glad you asked...

Iron Guts:  These guys cost a ton more for +1LD and +1AS, and Great Weapons.  But they possess one trait that sets them far apart from Bulls: they can carry a magical standard.  In the magic items review I made mention of how good the Ogre standards are, as well as some of the BRB standards having pretty fantastic synergy with the Ogre concept.  What I would suggest, for competitive purposes, is one unit of IG per army.  Put your L4 Slaughtermaster in it.  Give them the Banner of Discipline (thanks Vilicate) and have a unit of Bulls nearby with a BSB in it.  I would probably buy the champ, because you don't want your SM getting involved in a challenge with characters who are designed to win challenges.  He is tough, for a wizard, but he ain't that tough.  That's a big, nasty magic bunker with 4+ saves and LD9.  Pretty standout for Ogres.

Gnoblars:  Gnoblars lose a lot in this edition.  Their thrown weapons aren't nearly as scary as they were in the old books, but Gnoblars can still serve two purposes in an 8th Edition Ogre force, as I see it.  

One, they can protect your warmachines.  10 Gnoblars are 25 points and they can guard your warmachines, buying them an additional turn.  Since Gnoblars are beneath contempt, if they get eaten, who cares, they bought your warmachine another turn of unmolested shooting.

Two, they can guard your flanks.  I see most Ogre players bringing one or two big units of Bulls and a unit of Iron Guts.  These units are definitely at risk of being outflanked, like most big, unwieldy units.  A large, deep ranked unit of Gnoblars on the flank can tarpit anyone trying to hit your big guys in the flank.  As most Skaven players know, large units of cheap cannon fodder on the flanks will make sure your center gets there.  Plus, they have relatively easy access to Regeneration.  It can be quite demoralizing for your opponent to realize that he simply cannot kill 50 Regenerating Gnoblars in 6 turns, let alone the rest of your force.

Summary:  Iron Guts are useful, but you should probably only ever have one unit of them per army unless you're playing some ungodly large size game when you can afford to take two Slaughtermasters.

Bulls are now cheap enough to take a couple big units of, and they can be quite scary.  They have shitty leadership, but since most Ogre armies aren't going to have many units, you can probably afford to have a character in each Bull unit to shore that up.  Again, I would almost always go with Iron Fists over the AHW.

Gnoblars should either be taken in giant units to set up on the flanks as a regenerating tarpit, or minimum size units to protect your warmachines.  Though be my guest to experiment with a 300+ strong Gnoblar units in the center that gets Regeneration and nearby BSB bubble.  That can definitely be the type of unit that isn't going anywhere unless you want it to.

All in all, Ogres have a good selection of Core units that will allow versitile and competitive lists to be constructed.  Each unit does vastly different things on the battlefield and my gut (no pun intended) says that a combined arms approach of all three will garner the best results.  Ignore one of them to your detriment!


  1. I must say, Ogres are very tempting as a second Fantasy army. Models are awesome (and all the new big stuff are either plastic or resin so quite user friendly) and I am getting the notion from your articles that they won't be too bad in competitive play. I am looking forward to some sample list and see how much a decent army would cost.

  2. I haven't taken any Gnoblars yet, but I definitely see their uses. If I were to take them, I'd probably use them to help me break up steadfast, but honestly, in the games that I've played, enemy units aren't lasting long enough in combat for that to be a real issue.

    I've been running two blocks of 7 Ogres with one block of 7 Ironguts. With a character in each, 8 seems to be a fairly good number of ogres. I've been running my Slaughtermaster with the Ironguts and the aforementioned Banner of Discipline, as well as a Crown of Command. A Stubborn Ld9 unit of great weapon monstrous infantry? Yes please.

    I'd also like to try spamming like 4-5 units of 6 Bulls across the table and seeing how that plays; I think it'd still be decent.

  3. What scares me off of using MSU Bulls is LD7. I could easily see one unit dying and the whole army breaking. Especially against WoC or DoC who always seem to bring the minus LD banner in my area.