Friday, January 6, 2012

Tactics for Tyrants - Ogre Kingdoms Army Book Review Part 5: Special choices.

Here we go again! Today Eg Giant-tripper covers the plethora of Special choices available in the new Ogre Kingdoms army book. So many choices and so few points... what to pick!?  

Ogre Kingdoms Special Units

Like many other Ogre units these fat fellows dropped dramatically in cost. The changes to their shooting have resulted in a much more reliable but generally less potent unit, though the sizes players tend to field them in (6-8 strong) compensates for this. No longer able to blow units (including their own) apart in a single volley, their fire will nevertheless consistently shred a few models from an infantry unit a turn and will give some serious worry to smaller units such as knights and monsters. However, despite getting cheaper their minimum unit size means that the smallest unit will cost almost 130pts, and while that’s not bad for a unit of shooting Ogres, there is an awful lot of competition in the special choices.

7 out of 10 Gnoblars

Our favorite Monty Python-esque Ogres have utterly stolen the show in the new book and it’s not hard to see why. The greatest relative price drop of any unit, a drop from rare to special, new access to full command and a magic banner, and an ability that makes them one of the most versatile units in the game, all on top of their already monstrous stats. Poison and Sniper will give enemy wizards good cause to fear for their lives, with Scout a unit of six can threaten an opponent’s flank like almost nothing else in the game. They can also make a potent entourage for characters, bringing Stubborn and thus freeing up the points that might normally be spent on the Crown of Command. It’s not all entirely rosy for them though. They’re still as fragile as before and don’t have access to Ironfists, making them easier to hurt than even an Ironfist wielding Ogre. They’re also still very expensive, with a decently equipped Maneater coming in at around the 60pt mark which increases even further with command and a banner. Overall they offer massive tactically flexibility for a fairly expensive cost, though I suspect most Ogre generals will be willing to take the risk.

9 out of 10 Gnoblars

Sabretusk Pack
Still very similar in cost and rules, Sabretusks stand to be some of the best redirectors and assassins in the game. Cheap, fast, and very kill-tastic for their size (out-performing their Ogre masters), there’s really not much else to say. Another unit they could be compared to in another book is the Beastmen Razorgor, and that shows up in nearly every Beast players list. It’s unwise to run them in large units without a Hunter, they’re very vulnerable to missile fire, very likely to flee, and can potentially panic other nearby units.

9 out of 10 Gnoblars

Poor, poor snowmen. By their lonesome, they’re much improved. Around 1/3 cheaper, faster and with a much more sensibly priced champion option (which really should make a showing on Yhetees whenever they’re fielded). Flammable isn’t really an issue as many armies can only get it via the Banner of Eternal Flame and Yhetees should easily be able to bypass any unit which carries it. The new Aura of Frost is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s not as effective on the defense, only having an impact against WS2 and 4 troops in that respect. On the other hand, it makes WS3 troops (the most common kind) considerably easier to hit, which combined with the high strength of the Yhetees makes them good chaff blenders. The greatest problem for the Yhetees now is, much like with other units, the range of competition in the special unit section. It’s not as though they just have to contend with just a single competitor like the Tyrant does, instead they’re up against some of the army’s best (most expensive) units at that. So while they’re miles away from being a bad choice, I fear our furry friends won’t be seeing much use before the 3000 point mark when a general can afford several toys.

4 out of 10 Gnoblars

Mournfang Cavalry
These are one of those expensive-but-good special units. Point-for-point, there are few units in the game which are so brutally destructive and straight-forwards in usage. With plenty of auto-hits, bucket loads of attacks, a brilliant armor save, surprising movement value and full command options (with a magic banner), these are my personal favorite new unit in the army (from a competitive perspective). It’s not to say they don’t have weaknesses, some of which are their typically poor weapon skill, initiative, and leadership, but these drawbacks are a fact of life for any Ogre general and can easily be worked around. With such a straight-forwards unit there’s not many subtle nuances in usage, though there a few ways to mix it up. One route is to use them as an almighty sledgehammer, a unit of 4 with full command and the Dragonhide banner, utterly steamrollering almost everything in sight barring the chunkiest of units. The other option is a unit of 2 as a flanking unit, keeping your own flanks safe by killing anything in that part of the board, and then threatening to get around the opponent’s line. I don’t want to give the impression that these things are unbeatable on the charge, Chaos armored infantry and Swordsmasters are two units I would be wary of, especially the former as without great weapons a lot of attacks will be negated by armor even with their high strength. They’re also very prone to being shot due to their relatively poor leadership and the ever-present prospect of panicking. Much like Maneaters, they’re a good value but quickly get expensive, though you do definitely get bang for your buck.

8 out of 10 Gnoblars

In a similar boat to Yhetees, Gorgers improved overall when compared to the previous book but the army around them as changed significantly. Frenzy and Ambush are definitely worth the extra pocket change in my opinion. However, where before they were invaluable as one of the army’s very few options for taking down warmachines, the Ogre Kingdoms army no longer struggles to do this, with Maneaters and Sabretusks performing the same role but usually more reliably, and with access to the Lore of Heavens to confound firepower-toting units. Much like Yhetees though, not an inherently bad choice, just outclassed in their category.

5 out of 10 Gnoblars

Overall verdict - Big beasts, big hits, big points, big fun. Everything is bigger in the Special choices and you'll have a good time trying to fit in all your new Ogre toys. 

Which of the Special choices are you a fan of? Leave us a comment and let us know! Tomorrow we'll look at the final category of Ogre units with Rare choices. 


  1. Thanks for the in-depth analysis. Do you think that the Gorgers become better value in a Skrag-led list, where they can be taken in greater numbers and get benefits depending on his actions?

  2. Glad the articles are proving useful for you!

    Gorgers absolutely become a better value when led by Skrag, in part due to his ability to create larger units of them. Where 1 Gorger may be something to overlook for some opponents, a unit of 2 is something altogether different.