Big Names and Magic Items Tactica (2008)
Kineater- At first this seems like a wonderful bigname. But like many things it is deceptive. Panic tests are one of this army's greatest weaknesses, with Ogres' low ld and poor armor saves, so who wouldn't want a re-roll? The thing is, the range is only 6", and when you consider a unit of 3 ogres has a frontage of 6" it quickly becomes apparent that this item is pretty much only going to be effecting the tyrant's unit (because only a tyrant can take this bigname), and at ld9 he doesn't really need this. And to compound the terrible range of Kineater it takes up a Longstrider/Mawseeker slot. Taking Kineater means that you cannot also take the Tenderiser and a protective item (such as the Wyrdstone Necklace). If Kineater were cheaper or had a longer range it would be a nice item, but it isn't either of those things so stay away.
Mountaineater- This item again doesn't have a useless effect, but it is overpriced, and it doesn't save anything, it just turns a 2+ to wound to a 3+ to wound. There are so few things out there that will wound an ogre character on a 2+ that it isn't worth spending the points on this item. So again, overpriced for what it does.
Longstrider- One of the best of the lot. Well worth the points. The additional d6 for pursuing, or fleeing if alone, the ability to get surprise charges, and the extra boost of speed to get your characters in the fights they need to be in are all very valuable assets. Definitely worth taking, and there is a good reason this one sees alot of tournament play.
Giantbreaker- +1 strength. Awesome. How could I not love that? Oh, I have to take a slavegiant as well. No thanks then. In you are going to take a slavegiant anyways (and the reasons not to are for a different tactica), and you haven't taken another Bigname, this isn't a bad Bigname to take. However, you don't really need S8; Giantbreaker+ greatweapon of some sort. A possibilty with this Bigname is the Sword of Striking+ Giantbreaker+ some protective item, which means a tyrant will be hitting and wounding most everything on 2's (and he can get S7 with bullgorger, very nasty), but this requires not taking the Tenderiser, and this combo is designed to take on masses of things with medium armor, medium to low toughness, and medium to low WS (i.e. infantry and low level heroes, the things your troops should be taking care of because only your tyrant can tackle the big nasties). One last thing, YOU CAN'T FLEE CHARGES. You might not want to that often, but when a unit of 10 bloodknights are bearing down on your flank and a flee into some terrain will save your 500 point unit you'll bemoan ever taking this item.
Deathcheater- Eh, thanks GW. Tyrants don't get wounded often, and they very rarely fall in combat (mine has only ever been killed by Archaon), and bruisers/hunters don't really have the points to spare to take this Bigname. Having it only work once per game against a single model puts this in the "try out once for fun and never take again" category.
Beastkiller- First thing first, Beastkiller does not double the wounds caused by magic weapons. So no 2xd3 wounds Tenderiser. Because this is limited to tyrants and hunters only it hurts even more. Tyrants don't need it, they have ld9 and the Tenderiser for taking on big nasties. And Hunters, while fluffy, can not take great weapons so they make very poor monster hunters, and they also have ld9. Ogres have ways to deal with big things (Tenderiser), and they cause fear already so there aren't alot of psych tests they'll be taking. Also, ItP (Immune to Psychology) only works if the character is alone, and you don't want your expensive tyrant alone (unless he has Longstrider, but then he can't take Beastkiller), and you don't want to lose the option to flee with your very expensive character.
Wallcrusher- Anything that effects the Bull Charge is not a good item, as it is more than easy for the enemy to negate our Bull Charge. And really, how often do you charge something behind an obstacle? Once every 15 games?
Mawseeker- Another Bigname that adds to a stat. Unfortunately this one also gives the character Stupidity. Because the Ogre army relies on its movement phase one failed Stupidity test can spell doom, so if you take this item you must take the Jade Lion. On a tyrant (and no one else should take this combo because of the cost) you only have a 2.8% chance of failing the test, so no worries. The beauty of this item is that many things that would have wounded you on 3's now wound on 4's, and with a simple spell (Toothcracker) Elves and anything else with S3 will be physically unable to wound you.
Common Magic Items
Sword of Striking- Very expensive, and to be honest a great weapon is just as good, if not better. The SoS will help you hit, but a great weapon nearly guarantees every hit is a wound, and decreases the enemy armor save (SoS does have the advantage of being a magic weapon though, which is useful against daemons and treespirits). The only time the SoS comes into its own is with the Giantbreaker, for 2's to hit and 2's to wound against most things. Just wait until the new book comes out and these are 15 points a piece before you think about taking them.
Sword of Battle- Meh. +1 attack is pretty mediocre, and again, a mundane gw(great weapon) is a better buy (in this case a much better buy).
Sword of Might- Reasonable on a Bruiser battle standard bearer (bsb), but really this is a pretty bad item for Ogres. Other armies might take this to preserve their initiative and get a strength boost, but ogres have very poor initiative so not taking a gw so you don't strike last (not that that will matter as your goal is to be the charger, not the chargee) doesn't make sense.
Biting Blade- It is a magic version of the basic weapon we get for free. Ignore it.
Talisman of Protection- A 6+ wardsave is garbage. If this item were 5 points I'd take it, at 10 I'd think about it, but as is it is just too expensive for a save you'll never make.
Staff of Sorcery- Far too expensive. The OK army doesn't have the number of wizards it takes to let you get mediocre items like this, and this item has no place in butcher lite armies, or butcher heavy armies. Stay away.
Dispel Scroll- Very good. Nearly every army contains these, and for very good reason. These provide a nice magic defense boost, and there are some spells you just can't risk failing the dispel roll on (e.g. Pit of Shades). 3-4 scrolls in a 2000 point army is a good number.
Power Stone- Considering every spell casts on a 3+, and a miscast can kill every butcher on the table, you'd be hard pressed to find a worse item to take. The ONLY place powerstones have are in OK armies containing a Slaughtermaster and at least 3 butchers.
War Banner- A great banner. Better than the OK specific ones, which sucks. It provides a nice bonus, and is cheap, so if you already have an irongut unit with a banner, you might want to think about taking this.
Ogre Magic Weapons
Thundermace- Hah! Two characters can take this- Slaughtermasters and Tyrants. For Slaughtermasters it is a very, very expensive magic gw, and for tyrants it is a fluffy but ultimately bad item. To take effect you must sacrifice all but one attack, which means missing 1/3 or 1/2 of the time, and wasting ~300 points. If it does hit it can cause tremendous damage, but really is only good against large blocks of small bases. So, it's a weapon that only works for half of the characters who can take it, and requires a huge amount of luck in order for it to possibly have any effect. Leave it at home.
The Tenderiser- The standard. This is a great item, and it looks even better in comparison to the rest of the trash we have for options. I never leave home without it. The OK really struggles against combat monkeys, large monsters, and uber characters, as we don't have cannons with which to shoot down the dragons, or static CR with which to overwhelm the Khorne berserkers. The Tenderiser allows your tyrant to take on what the rest of your army can't, and pretty much guarantees the outcome of every challenge.
Siegebreaker- The second good item. +3 strength is nothing to scoff at, and since things with low initiative usuall how high toughness, these is even better. Besides the Tenderiser only this item really gives us a chance to take out Steam Tanks. This is also a nice item to give a Butcher (the one with the Skullmantle so you can still afford all your Dispel Scrolls) to make him combat worthy and surprise the heck out of folks who expect your wizard to be push over.
Skullplucker- Don't take. Ever. A gw pretty much guarantees the wound, and turns armor into so much tin foil, so Killing Blow means nothing. And it is way overpriced.
Bloodcleaer- This means your butcher is in combat. It also needs your butcher to cause wounds to take effect, which will happen once every 2 combats (against a WS3, T3 opponent with Light Armor and a Shield a butcher only gets .8 wounds). And to compound the uselessness of this item, you can simply cast a spell to replicate this effect.
Mastodon Armor- Because it is heavy armor it can't ever get better than 5+ against shooting, and since the armor is designed for lone characters, you'll get shot at alot. Ogres are very fast, and will spend very few turns not in combat, so I'd prefer to spend my points on something that helps all the time and doesn't require me to put my characters in harms way. And it is pretty expensive.
Greatskull- A great magic defense item. This item is best when playing a larger game where you have one or no butchers, but if you have a good number of butchers (and thus have a magic defense already) don't take the Greatskull.
Bullgut- This is alright, and doubles your US (allowing lone characters to negate flanks). But to be of use this really needs to be combined with the longstrider, or the Greyback Pelt (ignore terrain), and since it is too expensive to do either, leave this alone.
Gut Maw- A cool item at first, but once you start playing and realize your characters don't really die in combat this item gets left at home more and more.
Greedy Fist- Very few wizards can stand up to a tyrant, and Ogres don't really have good saves. If you know you are going up a killtastic magic weapon (e.g. Archaon or Karl Franz), like in a special gladiator scenario, take this with the Wyrdstone Necklace. But in reality, this item is to be used against the sort of magic weapon (which most people don't take any more, preferring a simple gw) that will completely obliterate your character, and is based on the thought that you'll stick around to fight the character after the weapon is gone (which will rarely happen, considering that both you and your opponent are well equipped to turn the other into meat jelly). Other than that, forget it.
Cathayan Jet- Spend the points on two Thiefstones, which will protect both the character and the unit much better. And the Cathayan Jet doesn't help against the spells you really want to stop (those from the High and Dark lists).
Spangleshard- Terrible. This item seems wonderful, but take into account that if the result of the to wound roll is a 6 and the opponent needed a 2, you just wasted 30 points. At its best the Spangleshard has the same chance of protecting you as a Wyrdstone Necklace, and if your opponent rolls high you are screwed. Take the Wyrdstone Necklace for a conistent ward save that actually works. Thanks to Avian for the math.
Wyrdstone Necklace- A good wardsave, and a great way to protect your character. The 1/6 chance of taking the wound (at the beginning of the game) is very slight, and when you have as many wounds as ogre characters do it matters little.
Gnoblar Thiefstone- A nice little item. Great for armies that are going Butcher-lite to make up for the lack of dispel dice/scrolls.
Hellheart- Before you take this remember if your opponent is willing to bet a miscast on his part can actually kill ALL of your butchers. Having said that, if you feel that Dispel Scrolls are not enough take this along, because most opponents won't be willing to take the risk of casting while the Hellheart is on, and you will completely shut down their magic phase.
Grut's Sickle- Gut Magic is cast on a 3+, so you'll cast spells successfully more often than not. This item is only good if your Butcher is in a large unit, which in and of itself is a bad idea. A single die from the Sickle costs 45 points (Grut's Sickle+ 1/3 of a Bull, and if the unit has already taken wounds, or will, which is likely, the cost sky rockets up to 70 points), which is just under what 4 dice from Power Dice would cost. However, if you are fielding over 12 power dice this item can help you get off the spells you need, and if you are fielding that many power dice you have extra wounds. All things said and done, the Sickle is used on spells that have already been cast (and are thus more difficult to cast), in which case a power stone does the same thing, without hurting your own troops.
Halfling Cookbook- Some people love it. This item simply decreases the chance of taking a wound from spell casting, but a simple roll of a die can heal that wound with Bloodgruel. This is one of those items that is down to personal preference- if you like taking an item that can be replicated by an easy to cast spell, take this, but if you prefer more Dispel Scrolls pay no attention to the Cookbook.
Bangstick- This is an invaluable item. The Bangstick is either a closer, or an opener to your magic phase. It is either used to draw out dice so you can cast Trollguts on your hammers, or you use it at the end of the phase to cut that annoying dryad unit down to half strength. If you want a magic phase, take this.
Skullmantle- Another great item. Braingobbler is a wonderful spell, and the Skullmantle makes Braingobbler roughly 11% more effective (based on the average of the difference between leadership values caused by the Skullmantle). And remember, this item effects ALL leadership based tests caused by the bearer, or the unit he is in (including terror caused by the tyrant if they are together), including break tests, psych tests, panic, and fear. Take this on your second butcher.
Brahmir Statue- Very army specific. Only good against two armies, but it works wonders against those armies. Combine this item with the Skullmantle and watch the enemy lines crumble. If you know you are going up against Chaos or Skaven take this item.
Daemon-Killer Scars- Terror is very good. Unfortunately DKS is prohibitively priced and forces you to make a choice between the Wyrdstone Necklace and this if you take the Tenderiser.
Greyback Pelt- This is a nice item. Ignore terrain is very good, as is the -1 to hit. Unfortunately, like many of our items, you can't take this and everything else you need. Go without it unless you are taking a bunch of hunters (which is crazy), but if you can afford a bunch of hunters why aren't you taking the far superior yhetees?
Jade Lion- Great item. It's a little expensive for what it does, but when combined with the Mawseeker it makes for a very nice combo. The Mawseeker makes you very tough, while the Jade Lion protects from pesky things like panic tests, and makes sure your unit doesn't high tail it off the battlefield.
Rock Eye- This is a complete waste of points. The only time I'd think about using it is against dwarves, because I don't want to get stuck in a combat with a 1+ rerollable armor save regenerating 4+ ward save dwarf lord with T5 and W5. Even then, I wouldn't take it because it cuts into my magic item quota too severely. Several armies have a version of this item, and I don't think any one actually takes them.
Fistful of Laurels- A beautiful item. It replicates the most important effect of a bsb for a mere 15 points, albeit once only. Still, this item is very nice and should be used quite often if one has the points. The most common cause of death for ogre characters is getting run down, so taking this is a no-brainer.
Dragonhide- This banner can only be taken by the bsb, and based on that fact it should be a very good item. Unfortunately this is no so. The reroll 1's effect is nice, but not worth 60 points. And that's all you are paying for, because you will never see anyone playing a Kislev force.
Ragbanner- A nice item, considering most ogre units' low ld. Unfortunately, the only units that will have this item are ld8, minimum. But to take this you need either a bsb (too expensive in most games), or a banner on your ironguts (which is just free VP's). If you have the points, or a Rhinox Rider, why not take this.
Cannibal Totem- Just like the Brahmir Statue this is very army specific. If you know you are playing against a minotaur or Ogre army, take this. Otherwise, leave it alone.
Bull Standard- Don't ever pay for something that effects the Bull Charge. The Bull Charge is too easy to negate and you will rarely, if ever, get it against anyone who knows how to play.
Rune Maw- Another great item for butcherless armies. Combined with the Greatskull, and some Thiefstones you can have a nice magic defense on your most important units. When taking this item also field an exta unit of gnoblar fighters to redirect spells onto, because ogres are simply to expensive to make them your standard spell sink. Also a very good item to put on Rhinox Riders.
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