Core Units Tactica (2008)
Ogre kingdoms don’t have a lot of core choices, but it may be difficult to choose because they are so different. Here is a rundown of all the different core units: their uses, and comment on equipment in an MSU list *place a link to the MSU tactica here*.
The maw’s grunts.
Ogre bulls are a 1+ choice, so you always need at least 1 unit. Their most common uses are baiting and fleeing (letting your opponent charge them, you flee, and countercharge him with ironguts), and flanking (for +1 combat resolution, or up to +4 against a fully ranked unit). They're a really useful support unit.
The preferred unit size in an MSU list is 3. That way, they’re expendable, and at their most manouvrable.
If you have some points left after making your army list, giving them additional hand weapons is a good option. Even if the unit is reduced to 2 ogres, you’ll still get 8 attacks.
Ironfists and light armor mostly aren’t worth the points you put in. A 6+ save vs shooting will be reduced to nothing by most missile fire. The ironfist will likely be used as additional hand weapons, so while their versatility may seem tempting at first, it might be better to just go for the additional hand weapons.
If you do equip them with light armor and ironfist though, remember that for 5 points extra, you could just get another irongut with a constant 5+ armor save (instead of 6+ vs shooting, and 4+ in close combat), S6, and +1 Leadership.
-Champions are a useless upgrade. The points for 1 extra attack is very overpriced.
-Bellowers are a must. Your bulls will flee from charges, and the +1 to rally is always good to have.
-Standards are not that good on bulls. They support ironguts in combat, and if you want to use banners, it's best to give them to ironguts.
They’ve got guts and have the iron to prove it.
Ironguts are our best core choice. They’re the bread and butter of an ogre army. With S6, they’ll mostly be wounding on 2s, which helps with their low weapon skill. Although all ogres look like killing machines, these are the best equipped for it. Their increased leadership is also a big plus, and the heavy armor is a bonus. They are also very good bodyguards for your characters to join. Although it's tempting to only use ironguts, that's not always the smartest thing to do. You need units to support them - getting them into the right combats, and helping them afterwards: e.g. in 2000 points, you could have 4 hammer units (ironguts), and 3 support units (bulls or leadbelchers)
The preferred unit size in an MSU list is 3. That way, you can get more units on the table, which your opponent has to spread his missile fire ove. As with bulls, they’re at their most manouvrable in units of 3 as well.
-Champions are a useless upgrade. The points for 1 extra attack is very overpriced.
-Bellowers aren’t needed as on bulls: ironguts aren’t supposed to be fleeing from charges, but charging themselves, and it’s rare that they tie a combat. If you're playing vs an army with a lot of missile fire, they can come in handy though if they fail a panic test, the +1 to rally afterwards can save your unit from running off the table.
-Although ironguts win through kills, and not static combat resolution, standards can be useful, but at a risk; be aware that if your ironguts do break from combat, your opponent gains 100 victory points. If you do give them standard bearers, and let a character join them, getting a look-out gnoblar is very good upgrade for the small amount of extra points you put in. A warbanner is a good option on one of the units if you're buying standards since the extra +1 combat resolution (+2 with the banner), may swing combat in your favor. In the end, standard bearers are not a necessity, but aren't a bad upgrade either.
So they’re calling themselves fighters now. That’s not what ogres call them though. The only thing they fight is the urge to turn tail and run.
At first, it's hard to notice the little buggers with all those big guys running around, but they're there. Opinions on gnoblar fighters are divided; some people have great success with them, others have found them useless. There are some things gnoblar fighters can do in an ogre army, some good, and some bad - the best being distracting your opponent by making funny remarks on just how puny and "dumb" they are.
A rule you can't forget when using gnoblars: they don't panic anything, not even their own kin. This can come in handy e.g. against a dwarf player. Charge one of his powerful units which must remain in place to have its full effect, lose combat (not hard to do for gnoblars), and he has to pursue because they hate greenskins, taking his unit away from his battle-line, and with the right planning giving you a nice flank for your ogres to charge. Even with sneaky tactics like this, you don't have to fear panic tests to your other units.
An important rule for gnoblars which can ruin your plans if you counted on them to do something that turn. Bickering is one of the major downsides to gnoblars. That's why counting on them in a battleplan is risky. They could do all you want and shine in a single game, but the next game bicker each turn, not moving at all. This is something to consider when building your lists and is the main reason you can't perfectly rely on gnoblars.
Aiding ogres in combat resolution with static CR
The problems with this tactic are the gnoblars’ M(ovement)4 against ogres’ M6, and the bicker rule. This will lead to the gnoblars arriving much later than the ogres. If they do arrive though, they could swing your combat resolution by +4 (+1 for outnumber and +3 for ranks). You have to pick your combats carefully with them though, as they die very easily and could give some easy kills for your opponents to aid his combat resolution.
The tactic of using a cheap unit to run in front of a costly unit to protect them from shooting is common, and it sounds good for ogres, but the problem is one of speed. The ogres will lose one of their main advantages; their movement value. Ogres need to reach the enemy as soon as possible, and gnoblars slow them down to no end. The difference in movement is very big, during a normal turn, an ogre marches 4” less, and if the gnoblars bicker, they march 12” less then they normally would. If you do reach the enemy line, and there’s still some gnoblars in front of your ogres, you can’t charge in with your ogres. This doesn’t even take into account that the opponent has a ranged unit on a hill, giving him the ability to shoot your ogres, regardless of the gnoblars in front, and he gets more turns of shooting at them since the gnoblars move slower.
Taking down unarmored large targets
Against things like a giant, who is a large target without armor, gnoblar sharp stuff can kill it outright. With 21 gnoblars in a unit, that's 42 sharp stuff shots; with some good rolling, it may only take a single turn to take it out.
In the end, there’s a another use they excel at;
Grabbing table quarters
Place your unit of gnoblars in your deployment zone, and leave them there. At the end of the battle, if there’s still 5 or more gnoblars left, you’ll get a nice 100 victory points from a 40 point unit which isn't a bad deal.
21-25 is the preferred unit size. With a unit of 20, only 5 need to die to force a panic test from shooting, with 21+, they’ll need to kill 6.
While being one of the most funny names for a champion, a groinbiter is better replaced by an extra gnoblar, who adds another wound to the unit.
An ogre’s best friend
In comparison to their fighter counterparts, these are one of the most valuable units in an ogre kingdoms army. Mostly because of 2 things; annoying and marchblocking.
As with gnoblar fighters, trappers don't panic anything. You can let your opponent charge them with something, only to run away through one of your own units without fearing having to take a panic test, and charge with that unit the following turn. This takes careful planning in distance though.
As with gnoblar fighters, trappers are also keen on bickering. This can be a problem if you position them in a way that you're planning something the next turn. Always try to have a back-up plan for when your trappers bicker.
Trappers are very versatile: from standing in front of a missile unit to block line of sight to your ogre units to throwing sharp stuff at unarmored units or occupying a warmachine crew for a turn. They can do a lot to protect your ogres from the start, and will work on your opponent's nerves, which can only work to your advantage.
Being scouts, they can marchblock from very early on. This is most useful against armies that are faster than ogres, giving us the speed advantage.
One unit of 9 gnoblars is great in any army list. They’re not too big a unit because otherwise they’d need a lot of deployment space, which isn’t always available to scouts, and with 9, it takes 3 trappers to die from shooting to force a panic test instead of 2.
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