The Rare choices for the Ogre Kingdoms are a tricky lot. Similar to the Special units, many OK generals have a love/hate relationship with the Rare choices. Don't be afraid to give them all a shot before you decide which one works best for you!
Ogre Kingdoms - Basics for Beginners: Rare
Maneaters: While pricey, Maneaters are the elite troop for the OK. Think of them as slightly cheaper Bruisers that don't take up your Character slots. Heavy Armor is a must, but the other upgrades can be more situational. Typical unit size is 2-3.
Strengths - Stubborn and Immune to Psych make these guys great Character bunkers. Higher WS and BS make these guys better at killing other elite enemy units.
Weaknesses - Costly, making choosing your targets much more important if you want to get the most "bang for your buck". Weak against shooting and magic like all OK units, but tends to attract more of it from smart players. With minimal unit size and a few characters you can usually distribute the wounds enough to keep your Maneaters on the table.
Upgrades - Maneater upgrades are a point of contention among most Ogre generals. It mostly comes down to playstyle and which opponent you are facing (and what they are playing). Try out the different loadouts and go with one that works for you, and remember it is possible to have a mix of weapon loadouts among the unit (although this tends to lower their effectiveness).
- With BoH you can pick off lone enemy models or decimate most fast cav, plus have five S5 attacks in close combat! 24" + D6 inches means you can usually move 6" and shoot something on the first turn. The downside is you can't march and make use of your shooting so this had a tendency to slow down your approach and keep you out of CC longer.
- Great Weapon is a fine choice for Chariot smashing as it get the Maneaters to that dreaded S7 territory. S7 is nice against heavily armored troops as well but Maneaters can suffer in later rounds of comabt due to the GW always hitting last.
- Cathayan Longsowrd is good for taking on high WS and Initiative troops but I prefer the smashing power of the GW or shooting flexibility of the BoH over this option.
Slavegiant: While not as good as the typical Warhammer Giant, the Slavegiant still has its uses in an OK army list. They are wildly unpredictable and great fun in combat, and will often attract and absorb a lot of shooting (leaving your other Ogre units mostly unharmed).
Strengths - High leadership, can kill a lot of stuff if it gets into combat. Good at flank negation and great as an enemy flanker. Terror can be a huge asset against some armies but with the amount of Immune to Pysch or Fear causing enemeis out there it can also be a waste. I like to use my Slavegiant as a "set it and forget it" choice for a flank to either deal with Fast Cav or soak up shooting while my Ogres get into combat.
Weaknesses - Will get shot. A LOT. While decent in close combat it can still break due to combat resolution so be careful running him in alone! Wildly unpredictable with his attacks and the random chart for large targets is pretty bad.
Upgrades - N/A
Gorger: The answer to enemy war machines and gunlines. Many OK generals take 2 Gorgers if they are going to take any. 1 Gorger can sometimes be unreliable as they do come into play on a random turn.
Strengths - Unbreakable and Killing Blow. Add in their high S5 and T5 and you have a combat monster designed for wreaking havoc in the back lines or flanks of your enemy. Great in a Skrag list where you can take multiples in upwards of 10 Gorgers!
Weaknesses - Random, very susceptible to shooting. Be careful to minimize the number of possible shooting attacks that can target your Gorger on the turn he comes into play or you will have a dead pincushion instead of a hungry killing machine.
Upgrades - N/A.
And that covers it for the Rare choices! I have used all of these choices to some degree of success but like most Rare choices I find it is often more effective to "double up" at 2,000+ point games. Two Gorgers, two Slavegiants, or two units of Maneaters can often be more effective than a mix of the different types. Again, this mostly comes down to individual playstyle and tactics for each list. I prefer to run the Slavegiant and Maneaters over the Gorgers but in a Skrag list the Gorger can truly shine. Try out a few lists and let me know what works for you! Next time around I will cover the Character options for the Ogre Kingdoms, both the good and the bad.