Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ogre Kindoms - Basics for Beginners: Core

Well I have been playing my Ogre Kingdoms army for a little over one year now. Back in December of 2008 I wrote this "unit guide" for the Ogre Kingdoms book based on my own experience and opinions. I decided to post them here in a series of updates as a way of keeping track of my own thoughts about the list as well as helping out new WHFB and OK players in some way. I would love to hear comments on this overview if you have them! Today's update will focus on the Core choices in the Ogre Kingdoms army book.

Ogre Kindoms - Basics for Beginners: Core

Unit upgrades and Command are very costly for OK units and do not add much tactically. You will find that most OK generals shy away from Full Command. Banners are almost never taken, and if so they are on a "heavy" main unit of Ironguts (or other "Deathstar") with backup from characters. Unit champions are rarely taken unless it is in a unit of Ironguts to avoid nasty character challenges. The most common unit upgrade for OK core units is the Bellower as it is used to break combat resolution ties and adds +1 to your rally after a flee. With this in mind let's look at the Core choices for the Ogre Kingdoms:

Bulls: You are required to field at least one unit of Bulls in every OK list. Many players stop there but Bulls can have their uses against certain opponents. Here is a basic overview of their strengths and weaknesses. Typical units size is the minimum of 3.
Strengths - Cheap and "disposable" in most lists. Good for baiting an enemy into a charge and fleeing, or setting up flank charges for stronger "anvil" units like Ironguts. Ogre Club is actually pretty good as it provides a -2 Armor Piercing to their basic 3 attacks.
Weaknesses - Low leadership, no armor to speak of, crappy (or situational) high cost unit upgrades.
Upgrades - Don't bother with Light Armor unless you plan on adding Ironfists. Ironfists and Light Armor makes the unit cost almost as much as a unit of Ironguts so it is rarely used. If you want an extra attack (which is good against low toughness horde type armies) use Additional Hand Weapons. The most common upgrade to a unit of Bulls is a Bellower to add +1 to your rally roll after baiting a charge. Normal unit upgrade "rules" apply here (see above).

Ironguts: While it may not be readily apparent on paper, Ironguts are superior to a normal Bull in most situations. Do not be lured into taking a charge with these units because they have armor, Ironguts are meant for smashing things not getting smashed. Never accept a charge if you think you might lost the subsequent combat! It is okay to flee with a unit of Ironguts, especially if you have a Bellower in the unit. Rallying on a roll of 9 is very likely to happen. Typical unit size is the 3-4, rarely more.
Strengths - Hard hitting, most armored Core troop available, good character bunker.
Weaknesses - High cost, not that great in subsequent rounds of combat due to Great Weapons.
Upgrades - Most common upgrade is a Bellower. Banners are rarely seen before higher point total games (2000+), and magic banners are rarely used (because most of them are terrible). Normal unit upgrade "rules" apply here (see above).

Gnoblar Fighters: Gnoblars are great for taking hits, magic, and shots you don't want your Ogre units to absorb. The first rule for Gnoblars is to never depend on them! Use them for what they are; a slightly unpredictable and cheap unit. Good for luring frenzied troops, or Dwarfs, away from your Ogres. Good for initial deployments when trying to lure out your opponent's "scary" units. It's typically not a good idea to take a charge with these little guys! Gnoblars are made to die and fleeing is almost always your best option. Typical unit size is 20.
Strengths - Cheap mass of bodies, good for a laugh, sometimes do extraordinary things with sharp stuff.
Weaknesses - Low leadership, easy to kill, will bicker when you don't want them to.
Upgrades - You can add a Groinbiter but it won't do much for you. If you have 2 points just sitting around do it for laughs.

Gnoblar Trappers: Point for point this is one of the best units in the Ogre Kingdoms book. These guys are great at misdirection, march blocking, line of sight blockers against magic and shooting, frenzy bait, hatred bait, and getting in the way of charges (only to flee of course). Just like Fighters don't depend on them to do what you want when you want it, but use them in a general way to get what you need. Typical (and ideal) unit size is 9.
Strengths - Scouting skirmishers! Great for turn 1 march blocking against fast movers that might flank your Ogres. Good for luring troops into difficult terrain after fleeing. Good for wounding, harassing, and killing many types of troop.
Weaknesses - Low leadership, easy to kill, will bicker when you don't want them to.
Upgrades - You can add a Snarefinger (which is slightly more useful than a Groinbiter with +1 BS) but it won't do much for you. Typically better to add another Trapper instead for more wounds and Sharp Stuff shots.

And that covers it for the Core choices! The next update will go over the Special choices available to OK players.

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