Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tactics for Tyrants - Ogre Kingdoms Army Book Review Part 7: Special Characters.

In our final article of this Army Book review Eg will be covering the varied "Guts of Legend" in the Special Characters. Which gut will reign supreme?    

Ogre Kingdoms Special Characters

Greasus Goldtooth
The Overtyrant is still very much the same as the previous book, though he has seen a few improvements, some less obvious than others. The biggest boost he got was the changing of his fairly situational 4+ save against non-magical missiles into a full-bodied ward save, making him much more durable in combat. Also, his ability to grant +1 combat resolution and auto rally is no longer dependent on line of sight and instead has a fixed range, meaning that Tonnes O’ Fun can feel free to rumble with the rest on the front lines and ironically no longer suffers from Greasus syndrome. It also stipulates that Greasus himself gains these benefits, making him a pain to finish off if he keeps getting lucky with any flee rolls. On the downside? He no longer counts as the BSB, but that’s no real loss as it’s probably better to spend the extra points and get a tailor-made one anyway.

More significant is he is still chronically slow and doesn’t make any impact hits at all despite the Sceptre of the Titans making reference to them. What may be the killing blow to Greasus’s prospects in every edition still persists – his enormous price tag. How on earth Jervis & Co figured that he brought 120pts worth more to the table than Skrag I’ll never know. He’s not as totally useless as he was in the past, but he’s still a very poor choice when not played in huge games.

3 out of 10 Gnoblars

Skrag the Slaughterer
The prophet of the maw has also changed very little in the new book, in fact you can count his changes on one hand with fingers to spare. He’s gone up in cost but not by much, especially when compared to a generic Slaughtermaster and you take into account that he has always been a good value. He no longer restores his wounds after a single kill, though that’s easily made up for with the new lore attribute. His most significant change is probably how he arranges his Gorgers. Not only do they ignore the usual restrictions on duplicates in the Special category, they can be taken in units of 2, turning them from hard-to-get-rid-of annoyances into dangerous units which can potentially hold up ranked units for a very long time with their shared 8 wounds and high toughness. If you took Skrag before, you’ll probably still like him now, and if you’ve never used him, enjoy your opponents surprise when 8 Gorgers turn up behind their lines.

8 out of 10 Gnoblars

Golgfag Maneater
Much like a standard Bruiser, Golgfag is both potent and versatile, only more so. He boasts attacking stats very similar to a Tyrant’s and has perhaps the most interesting special rule in the game in the form of Easy Come, Easy Go. While he shoehorns any Maneaters in the army into Vangaurd and Stubborn, it’s far from the worst combination and lets you stick a mini-Tyrant in your opponent’s face right off the bat (thanks to the FAQ). His special rule can bite you in the rear on many an occasion though thanks to it’s random nature and despite what the rule states it’s quite obvious that the items he could potentially pick up are already incorporated into his somewhat hefty price tag. It’s this that ensures Golgfag doesn’t see the tabletop that often – he’s an expensive choice in a very competitive slot.

6 out of 10 Gnoblars

Bragg the Gutsman
There is no reason to defer to this Lord High Executioner, he’s pretty bad on the tabletop. How did such a cool model end up with such terrible rules? Once again Jervis’s internal math seems to have failed him, as he mistakenly valued Bragg at twice the cost of an ordinary Bruiser who has identical stats. His abilities are only of any use in a challenge, but he has no ability to force the enemy to accept one. His chances of scoring a Killing Blow are actually pretty poor, and against anything that’s worth using it on (and willing to accept a challenge) he’s not likely to last long having only Light Armor and no other protection. It’s also pretty amusing that despite his background of giving even Ogres the willies, he has no unusually terrifying effect asides from the usual Fear. The only thing you have to fear is seeing Bragg turn up in one of your own army lists as you opponent most certainly will not.

0 out of 10 Gnoblars

Overall verdict - Much like our previous army book only half the Special Characters are really worth considering in most army lists. At least the two new models make for great conversions! 

Poor Bragg... he just wanted to get a head in the old world. 

And with that terrible pun we end our week long review of the Ogre Kingdoms army book. Thanks to Stronghold Guard member Eg Giant-tripper for making it happen! As usual we would love to hear from our readers - what do you think could be done better with the Special Characters? Do you have an army list that you think makes them work? Let us know about it! 

Until next time, keep your blades sharp, and your teeth sharper...

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