Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yes The Truth Hurts Skrag the Slaughterer - Part 3.

The Skrag saga continues with this latest post from Stelek on YTTH. I have added the relevant sections from my last message into the body of Stelek's reply (hard to see what he is responding to otherwise). I have also included my response to his comment in the body of this post. We'll see how this works out...

Stelek wrote:

Thanks for the reply. Sorry the comment system fails ya. =/
I don't use the Trappers to literally screen Skrag (wouldn't do much good against Warmachines and shooters on hills) but I do use them in forests or other terrain that I want to use to screen him. That way they can march block or otherwise harrass the fast movers and hard hitters my opponent points his way.

Don't underestimate a Gnoblar! The trappers have never failed to make their points back for me and they have many uses (skirmish screen, march blocking, sharp stuffing large targets or lone characters, shooting bait, frenzy bait, hatred bait, etc). As long as you don't depend on them to do something they will usually surprise you - just never count on a Gnoblar!
1) Well maybe you have great success with 1 unit of unarmored gits, but I don't. People figure out to kill them or ignore them as their army needs.

As I said, if people are spending any points or turn phases on killing my Gnoblars I am all for it. The only thing I worry about with them is Flyers and Terror causers. I don't expect them to live, I expect them to re-direct charges into difficult terrain, march block, shoot stuff, bicker, and die. Sometimes I use them only for a turn 2 march block and then hold a table quarter - or maybe follow a big block and pelt it with Sharp Stuff until someone is forced to deal with the green bastards.

Your general attitude towards the Gnoblars is exactly what makes them so great. People disrespect them or write them off all together and that is when they are at their most dangerous. It is the law of averages, I am bound to roll 5's and 6's and you are bound to roll a 1. When combined you lose models (hopefully expensive ones) and I laugh. This isn't some bs mathhammer or wish on a star type situation, I am speaking from personal experience with Trappers. Point for point they are the best unit in the Ogre Kingdoms army book and I try and always take at least one unit in every list I write.
Ah, I see what you meant. I don't usually put him in a unit so I can use his higher US to my advantage by breaking ranks on a flank or rear charge.
2) He still gets singled out was kinda my point. Running him on his
own or in a unit, I can still pick him out. Have to come out from
behind the woods (and not charge) for 1 turn. That's usually all it
takes to down him.

The same could be said for almost any Ogre Character so I don't see this as being particularly relevant to Skrag.
I'm not going to disagree with you here because you are mostly right. The Ogre magic phase is all about the bluff - casting order is essential. You can throw one dice at all the Gut Magic spells in the game until they are successfully cast or fail (or you run out of dice). If I cast a spell with one dice and you dispel it, guess what I am casting it again on one dice. It is only when the spell is successfully cast (i.e. not dispelled or scrolled) that the casting cost goes up for the next Butcher.

Look, I am not saying that any Ogre list can compete with a heavy magic list but if you want to run Gut Magic and have it be in any way successful then Skrag is the way to go.
3) I realize how the OK magic works. It's woefully underpowered and always has been. Wasn't well thought out TBH. I can usually get some gut magic off with my OK list with just 2 butchers. Often as not, it's all about rolling a 3 and the other guy rolling a 2...which is a sad place to be for any magic user.

There are certainly flaws to be found in Gut Magic but to say it is "woefully underpowered" is a bit extreme. Underpowered compared to what - High Magic? Dark Magic? Chaos Magic? Gut Magic seems more in line with O&G magic and even that has its moments. Anyway, the point of my comment wasn't to talk about how Gut Magic fails but to praise Skrag for what he brings to the OK Magic Phase. Again - if you are planning on going "heavy" with Gut Magic you can't go wrong with Skrag and 2 or 3 Butchers. Short of taking a DoW caster it is the best you can get as an Ogre general. It seems a Gut Magic tactica would be worthwhile for new OK players though, perhaps I will write one sometime soon.
Bait and flee is the standard Ogre way of dealing with fast units - often using Leadbelchers for this very tactic. Personally I don't like them as I tend to do more damage to myself then my target. I don't like Gorgers that much either but they get much better when you can take more than 2 in a list. If you are shooting at 75 points with your guns or warmachine that is just another turn I can spend getting the charge on your units or setting up a flank charge.
4) Gorgers don't deny flanks or give you a flank bonus, so I ignore them and let them get on my flank and rear. Adds to the combat resolution for my side when I put wounds on your gorger. All they have going for them is T5. While 'scary' against say a block of Empire troops--I don't think that's a good example of why gorgers are good since empire troops are so shitty. Try it against Demons, CW, or Elves (either one). You'll get punched in the balls real quick.

Not in the balls!!

Who said anything about flank charging with my Gorger? "Setting up a flank charge" here was in reference to Ogre units. I do sometimes charge my Gorgers into crappy troop blocks who can't hurt them (mmm Marauders taste like chicken). Pretty much a guaranteed 2 turn tar pit against most troops with the exception of truly elite forces. Again, it is about slowing down the enemy advance, re-redirecting, and misdirection. The kill is a secondary benefit (although Killing Blow always helps scare away the lone characters mucking about), the versatility and tactics options Gorgers allow is what makes them a decent choice.
Agreed - Skrag does not charge Knights unless they have been baited for him to be in a position to. And to say Knights don't give a crap about Maneaters is a little ridiculous. Decent WS, high T and S, 4-5 attacks each with Stubborn and ItP?! Of course a Knight wants to avoid that (or at least get the charge). Throw in a Bruiser with BSB or other magic weapon and you have one nasty combat block. I've obliterated many units of Chaos Knights, Blood Knights, Black Knights, etc ... with ME.
5) If you are charging knights with maneaters, then sure you might win. Didn't you already win the game though, because you ARE charging slow ass shit into fast shit? Knights should always charge you in power checkers. Failure to do so when Ogres cannot stop it in any way, well...that's your opponents failing at the basics imo.

Right. Well I don't want to fall back on the "your opponent sucks" argument so let's talk real strategy here. Everything (aside from Gnoblars and Yhetees) in the Ogre army has M6. That puts Ogres at a disadvantage to every army who has access to Cav. Do you expect Ogres to always get charged by these units with higher Movement? How do you deal with them? In your 2,250 list you have many units of Leadbelchers. I assume you use these to deal with Cav based on your previous comments regarding Skrag/my list.

The way I deal with Cav is bait. Put units out there, make a tasty target, flee with units they aren't expecting and get the counter-charge (hopefully with Flank support). Sometimes I do rely on bad charge declarations - it is an annoying little dance in the middle of the board as one side waits for the other to make a mistake and get charged. This is the only way I know how to win with Ogres. If you have some other ideas to share I would love to hear them!
Large blast template with Killing Blow doesn't scare you? The must charge (I call it "crappy frenzy") issue is a problem yes, but the Scraplauncher can hold it's own in most combats (assuming there isn't a S7 attack in the mix). Flyers and Fast Cav can give it a hard time but there is nothing like killing an entire unit of Empire troops or Warriors of Chaos with a Scraplauncher. Good times ...
6) Nope, not really. Gotta hit me first, assuming I don't park a skirmishing unit in your LOS and in charge range of you (14") and make you unable to fire. Yeah, I don't do that all the time. ;)

Fair enough. It is a decent tactic, I use it all the time with the Trappers you seem to think are a waste. Very unlikely a unit of Skirmishers are going to hold up to the charge of the Rhinox. If they flee I migth have more problems but I might also just catch them and eliminate the threat.

The only real worry for me and my Scraplauncher is S7 warmachines or spells. If I only get one or two shots with it that's fine. My guesses are usually spot on (if only my scatter die would stop coming up 8 and 10) and it only takes one to get the job done. I don't expect you change your tune until you see one or two Scraplaunchers in action - I know I didn't!
Trappers Scout and start in cover (typically a forest). They don't get shot on Turn 1 but they might pop out and blast a unit of Fast Cav to death with 16 shots.
7) Except against the competitive armies, you DO get shot--by magic. There is lots of magic that requires no line of sight, and virtually all armies bring it. I don't hold much weight in trappers firing on fast cav (move and multiple shot? assuming I'm dumb enough to be in range of your unit--which is another basics failure btw) and killing them.

Okay, we seem to be talking in circles now. So you don't care about my Trappers but you are going to waste an AoE spell on them? Okay, great! See my first point about Trappers (and Gnoblars in general) - I don't care if you are shooting them with guns, bows, magic, dinosaurs, whatever. If they are being shot instead of my 35+ points each Ogres they are doing their job!

Same with your movement. If you are changing your deployment or move to avoid my Trappers, well to steal a line from you "another basics failure btw". Trappers have Multiple Thrown Weapons meaning they can move and shoot without penalty (for 9-10 shots needing 4's) or multi-shot (for 18-20 shots needing 5's). Both wound on 5's and 6's mostly. Again, until you have seen a unit of Trappers wipe out a unit of Fast Cav or take off a Knight or two you can't appreciate what I am saying. It happens. I do it almost every game I play with Ogres.
I think for the most part we agree on things, especially trying to make a "competitive" list for Ogres. But I love my fatties (my first army and lucky for me I don't really give a crap about winning. If I want to win I just play my Vampire Counts. :D

Besides where is the challenge or fun in playing one of the "broken" and "competitive" lists? Seems boring to me...
I don't know about not being fun, for many players Fantasy isn't 'fun' period. I enjoy my goblin army very much. They are much maligned but I've done well with them.

While my comment was made in jest, it looks like I stirred up the bee's nest on this - I will get back to this thought in my next post.
I have yet to win a game against Daemons with Ogres.

I have yet to lose a game against Vampire Counts or Elves but WoC are about 60/40 for me at the moment.
8) I've beaten Demons but tbh the majority of demon players locally suck at the game so it means nothing. No idea how you are beating good Elf lists, Ogres are totally outclassed. What, ya gonna charge them? lol Is that before or after you get fried by Teclis? Or a Supreme Sorceress? ;) WoC make me giggle but sadly they have the WS, S, and saves to beat ogre face. If they run them like Dwarfs, it's a serious bitch for OK. I'll try to incorporate more Fantasy. A lot of the readers don't seem to like it lol.

Ogres are outclassed against most armies though, doesn't mean you can't beat them with enough practice and patience! To be fair I have only played 4 or maybe 5 HE players. They gave me a hard time, no doubt about that, but most anything T3 makes me happy in CC. Daemons are another story altogether...

I think you need more Fantasy tactics on your site. Take a break from all the 40k list bashing to explore the wonderful (and broken) world of Fantasy lists! And since when have you tried to do things that your readers liked?! Heheh...

Note: Since Stelek's initial post there have been a few additional comments made that I will respond to in my next post. To be continued...

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