Friday, August 7, 2009

Yes The Truth Hurts Skrag the Slaughterer - Part 2.

The continuation of YTTHStS as seen in this post on Yes The Truth Hurts. Stelek's reply to my defense of Skrag the Slaughterer (and perhaps the OK army in general?) is in that article but I have included it as quotes in my own response below.
Hey Stelek,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my Ogre ramblings. I tried posting my comments on the YTTH site again but that Js-kit stuff won't have anything to do with me (not my blog, blogger id, google id, Js-kit id). Anyway, aside from that I had some comments on your response. I probably could have made a few of my points clearer the first time around, I will try to be clearer this time around.

1) Gnoblar trappers are easy to remove. Magic missiles sends them packing. Being unable to charge until the trappers move out of the way is called telegraphing your moves. I know it's coming, and it's easy enough to counter. So I don't see the point of trying to hide him when you really can't.

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 harass 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!

2) I mean per the answers GW has given on the OK book, you cannot hide Skrag in a unit of Ogres. That means you can pick him out and kill him. That's why he sucks, you know. He's great against armies that can't shoot or magic him to death, but then--those are armies you have a solid chance against because those armies suck, right?

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.

3) Against competitive armies with a heavy magic bent, you can have two Skrags and you won't be casting shit. You let the Ogre player get off anything but regen (unless you have fire for that unit, then nevermind) or stubborn (especially if you are about to hit them with a big beater unit); I don't know about you but having 10 PD does not impress. You still need a minimum score to cast the first one, then a higher score to cast the second. If I let you cast regen on a shitty unit, then YOU start burning PD to try and cast it (you can NOT try to cast a spell you cannot actually cast because a single PD won't power it) since it's at a higher level. At which point, I stop it. I don't care about the other 4 spells, if you think they are 'good' then you need to play say Dark Elf, High Elf, or Demonic magic. 6 or 7 great spells, not shitty filler content like the OK have.

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.

4) Leadbelchers are your only answer to many fast units, and your only way to whittle strong units down. If you are relying on gut magic or close combat to kill strong enemy units, you play against really really bad fantasy players. Gorgers are random, and don't scare experienced players. No matter how many you have. I will gladly accept you having a 300 point deficit on turn 1, kill Skrag, and deal with the gorgers when they show up. It's not hard to push them to the edges of the game and ignore them the entire game. Add in fast cav or shooty skirmishers, and gorgers are silly bad.

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.

5) You missed the point. Skrag doesn't charge Knights. The Knights charge Skrag. Skrag dies, and the rest of the Ogres get run down. If you are charging Skrag into Knights, you are once again playing really really bad Fantasy players. Knights don't give a crap about your maneaters. I know from experience. The good ones suffer less than 2 wounds from each Maneaters, assuming the Maneaters don't just get beat to death on the charge (because for your 86 or 90 points on ONE maneater, other people get 3-4 knights. just no contest). With a -4 modifier, you get a knight a turn. If they know what they are doing, they kill Skrag on the charge OR just wipe your Maneaters out and run him down when he flees from combat. Either way, your Lord is dead to a unit that costs way way less than you do.

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.

6) A scraplauncher has the same 'must charge' issues, which is fun to take advantage of. It's also not scary.

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 ...

7) 8 trappers? That survives 1 turn? Then Skrag gets shot to pieces? Come on.

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.

I think we'll just have to disagree on Skrag. Trying to make a competitive army out of OK is ultimately a futile exercise.

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 ...

Dark Elves, High Elves, Vampire Counts, Chaos, and Demons are just so far above it it's not funny.

Note I mentioned VC and Chaos Warriors...both armies that are NOT in the same class as the pointy ears or demons, not by a long shot. If they can manhandle, that's not good.

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.

Fantasy debates are fun!

I agree! Would love to see more Fantasy content on YTTH. I don't think the tactics in WHFB are as cut and dry as they are in 40k - many different ways you can go and still find some success.

So my thoughts in summary - Ogres are not super-competitive (but you can make them work if you try hard). If you want to have any real success with Gut Magic Skrag is a good option (10-12 PD is the most you are going to get with OK at sub-3k). Don't trust a Gnoblar but don't be shocked when they kill the crap out of your opponent's expensive units.

I think that about covers it. Next time around perhaps I will comment on the OK list you have posted in your lists. Interested to hear why you made certain choices.

Keep up the good work.

Randroid aka Randall

Still awaiting a second response - in the meantime you can read Stelek's 2,250 Ogre Kingdoms list here. I see some favorite and not so favorite things in this list. Hell, it might be worth trying ! At least that way I can say for sure I don't like it.

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