Monday, September 14, 2009

2,250 list review from Saturday's tournament.

While I often add my thoughts and commentary on a list before the army hits the tabletop I rarely share my thoughts on a list after it has been played. Well starting today I want to keep track of the effectiveness of the lists I play – what works and what doesn't?

Starting with the Lord choice...
Tyrant – Heavy Armor, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Cathayan Longsword, Gut Maw, Wyrdstone Necklace (281)
I typically play my Tyrant in one way only; get into close combat and kill a lot of rank and file troops or challenge and crush an enemy champion or character. I usually build my Tyrant to live up to this challenge although he doesn't need a lot of help - the Ogre Tyrant is a close combat machine.

Heavy Armor is a must for 6 points and I usually give him a magic Gut Plate to up the armor save to a 4+. In this list I went with the Gut Maw which "heals" the Tyrant if he wins a challenge, restoring a number of wounds equal to the champion or character he has killed. This only came up once in last weekend's tournament when he smashed a Saurus champion and was able to add +1 wound to his profile. The armor save was often negated by 1 or 2 points giving him (most often) an armor save of 5+. Overall I am still not a huge fan of the Gut Maw but I can see it having a place in the OK army.

I am a huge fan of the Cathayan Longsword at the moment. The addition of +1 to the Tyrant's WS and Ini makes him more of an equal to truly elite fighty Lords and allows him to hit sooner in extended combats or challenges. The Cathayan Longsword also confers an armor piercing bonus of -1 which gives the Tyrant's attacks a -3 AP thanks to his strength of 5. This is a nice even number for armor piercing as it makes a 0 or 1+ armor save something that can actually fail.

I almost always give my Tyrant the 5+ ward save with the Wyrdstone over the more expensive and situational Spangleshard - although I am interested in seeing that item in action at some point.

The sword and luck gnoblars are the first things to go if I need the points but it is great to have some insurance on that crucial saving roll (from the luck) and I have found the extra two attacks from the Gnoblars (mostly wounding on 6's) to be effective as well. I think of them like a mount's attacks, and horses seem to always wound when you don't want them to.

During the three games I played this past weekend the Tyrant only participated in two challenges and won both of them. He wasn't crucial to my success in any situation but I was still glad to have him "on my team" when it came time for close combat. Overall he fared as well (if not better) than I had expected.

Next up are my Hero choices...
Bruiser – Heavy Armor, Cathayan Longsword, Luck Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Greatskull, Gnoblar Thiefstone (207)
Basic anti-magic loadout with the magic armor that makes all rolls of double count as a miscast if the spell is targeted at the Bruiser or the unit he is with, and a Thiefstone for magic resistance 1.

Not a single spell was directed at the Maneater/Tyrant/Bruiser unit in the three games I played. Was that a coincidence or was it because of the Great Skull? I have used this item a few times now and it has never come up - not once. I can't say I am terribly impressed.
Bruiser – BSB, Dragonhide Banner, Lookout Gnoblar, Sword Gnoblar x 2, Heavy Armor (234)
Ah the Dragonhide Banner. Certainly overcosted and probably not worth it, I doubt I will be running this again... unless I can find a way to combine it with the equally useless Thundermace!

A Bruiser BSB without magic items just isn't that good. He had next to no survivability (just his 5+ Armor Save) and I tried to keep him on the ends of the unit as much as possible to ensure he wasn't in combat.
Hunter – Sabertusks x 2, Longstrider, Sword of Battle (235)
The Hunter. His job was to deal with Forest Spirits and Wraiths, neither of which came up in my games. He shot his Harpoon Launcher almost every turn in every game and failed to kill anything with the exception of 1 Cold One Cav in the first game. A total waste of points, I don't think I will be bringing him out again any time soon.

Not the "best" character loadout I have ever used but none of them died in the three games I played either so it wasn't all bad. Now on to my Core choices...
Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Bulls x 3 – Champion (125)
Ironguts x 3 – Champion, Bellower (174)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)
Gnoblar Trappers x 9 (54)
The Bulls were the first to die in most of my games, but it was always for a good cause. Trading 150 victory points for a chance of getting back 200+ is a good trade off in my opinion (killing the Army general, destroying a block of infantry, claiming standards, etc).

The Ironguts failed to do anything impressive in most of my games. I have to say I am very disillusioned with Ironguts in general. I know most Ogre Kingdoms generals swear by them but I find that they rarely hit with their WS3 and they still have next to no survivability with their 5+ armor save since they tend to fight nastier close combat troops. One to two units is the max I plan on running in any one list, I just don't like them for the points when Bulls can do almost the same (bad) job for a cheaper price.

My Trappers were the MVP of this army list - killing two characters in the first game, and grabbing table quarters and sharp stuffing things in the last two. I wish I could field two units all the time without having to take a Hunter.
Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Leadbelchers x 2 – Champion (120)
Scraplauncher (165)
I have really come around to liking my Leadbelchers, especially with the champions randomizing incoming hits from shooting and magic. It does sting to lose 120 point per unit, but by keeping the units small and relatively inexpensive I have managed to make their points back in most games I play. If I have them alive at the end of the game - great! This weekend they did not misfire at all and did an average of 12 shots with 4-6 hits and 3-4 wounds per volley. Not too shabby.

The Scraplauncher did not perform any massive hits with its shots but my guesses were also really off for some reason. It did perform rather well in close combat against the Vampire Counts list I played and in one instance actually saved me from losing a combat thanks to it's rank busting unit strength. Nicely done! Now how about those Rare choices...
Maneaters x 2 – CLS, Heavy Armor (180)
Slavegiant (175)
The Maneaters made back their points and more in every game I played. I know some people frown on the idea of a "Death Star" but I don't consider two Maneaters, a Tyrant, and two Bruisers to be equal to such a thing. To me that unit is simply a character delivery system to ensure I get the most points back out of the points spent gearing them up. The unit survived every game I played and did plenty of damage. Points well spent I think.

My Slavegiant has really been on a losing streak for the past few month but this past weekend he made up for it by rolling two "Yell and Bawl" rolls when I needed them, crushed a unit to death the one and only time he died, and helped win or at least tie some combats that were not going the Ogre's way. All in all I am very glad I took him and I really want to get another model sometime soon.

So there you have it... certainly some changes I would make if I were to play this list again but overall it was fairly effective in the matches I played. I think I learned a thing or two about these units and hopefully my lengthy ramble has proved to be informative to someone reading this out there.

As always comments, critiques, rants, and rebuttals are welcome and appreciated.


Shrink to Fit said...

I've always been intrigued by Ogres, but the lack of diversity within the army list has kept me from getting involved with the big brutes.

I appreciate the breakdown stemming from your experience.

Randroid said...

While Ogres aren't the most diverse force they do have a few options to choose from. Sadly I don't like a lot of the options so I tend to go with "the regular" in many cases.

Lately I have been trying out different items and combos in an effort to really explore the contents of the army book.

Glad to share my experience and I hope folks find it useful!