Ogre Bulls Tactics (2008)
by Scroth Scullrippa
There are 2 types of bull units, naked bulls and hard bulls. I will look at naked bulls first.
Naked bulls need to be cheap. Rarely any extra bodies, no equipment and no upgrades except possibly a bellower. By keeping them cheap you create an expendable unit that has a multitude of uses.
First they can be used bluff you opponent in deployment, delaying placement of your important units and forcing your opponent to place thereís. This tactic leads to a refused flank ploy where you make out like you going to set up on one side of the board with your cheaper faster units and then actually set up on the other side with your hard hitters. The bulls can then help slow the out of position units allowing the rest of your army to crush the other flank first.
There second use is to screen your hammer units. Deploy them in the front of a unit of Ironguts then charge units off to the side when you get to the other side of the board allowing your Ironguts to get there unmolested.
There third use is to turn this screen into a bait unit. There are two ways to do this. The first is to flee and expect to get caught. This involves moving right up under your opponentís nose and leaving your hammer unit 13 inches directly behind the enemy unit. Regardless what you roll for your flee move you will be caught and your hammer unit will be able to charge the enemy. A slight variation is to put the hammer unit at 90 degrees to the flee line but your going to have to judge where to put them more.
If you want to keep the bulls you need to put them right in front of your hammer unit with the hammer unit just out of range of your enemies charge range. Bait unit flees through the hammer unit (kineater helps with the panic test) enemy stops at half of there charge range and is in a real bad position.
One other thing to remember is if you havenít got a hammer unit near by you can charge and expect to lose gaining you an extra turn.
The problem with bait and flee traps is that there really obvious and generally your opponents will do anything to avoid this. You can make things less obvious by using units that you wouldnít use for bait. I have personally used a unit of two Maneaters a tyrant and battle standard bearer as bait, this calculated risk paid off and I won, it did however give me a scare when they failed there first rally test!!! The other thing you can do is use Longstrider. A Longstrider Tyrant as your hammer unit can trick your opponent into thinking you have miss-calculated the distances and that heís safe when heís not.
The first thing your opponent might do is shoot the bait unit, unfortunately thereís not a lot you can do about this you can either make the bait more resilient which involves more models or things like Kineater (donít use things like heavy amour), or you can kill the things shooting them, that said who cares if they shoot at a hundred point unit?
The other thing your opponent might do is to not charge at all but this means he has a unit sitting there doing nothing, not such a bad thing either. Just move something up to threaten the flanks and heís going to have to charge or cop two units
Finally, watch out for bait and switch. That is, people that flee your hammer units charge and then charge you in return, you can switch and flee with your hammer unit or you can simply ignore his new bait unit
Naked bulls use number four is to thump the weak, an opponent that has pre-misconceptions that all there good for is screening deserves to get charged. A unit of 3 bulls has quite a good change against soft flankers, skirmishers and bad missile units like night goblin archers not dwarf thunders. Basically anything that doesnít have a lot of static combat resolution, armor and a nasty stand and shoot.
Use 5 is similar to Baiting and fleeing in that instead of have a hammer unit to counter charge you flee the charge and entangle the enemy unit in terrain. There are to ways to do this either charge and expect to lose, just line up your flee line with the terrain or you can just blunder into the units charge arc lining up you the terrain and the enemy unit
Use 6 is to claim table quarters, I rarely bother with Gnoblars for this because I always seem to have a couple of bait units that have rallied to do it.
Use 7 drawing out fanatics, postion they guys between the night gobbo unit the table edge, terrain or an enemy unit and they just become a waste of points or a huge liablity
Onto the heavy bull tactics
Heavy ogres are mainstream units. As a general rule there better than Ironguts against anything with 5+ armor save or worse, worse than Ironguts against something with a 4+ save or better. I usually go with a unit of 4 with additional hand weapons, standard and a bellower. A lot of people say that standards are too risky and that ogres donít need static combat resolution. I disagree. I think that ogres need all the static combat resolution they can get and standards are a cheap efficient way to d o this. As for the problem of losing the standard, all I can say is donít get caught in fights you canít win, donít be afraid to flee charges, this is why I donít like Ironfists, if itís better to use them as shields it would have been better to flee.
In a straight up fight a unit of heavy ogres will generally just beat a unit of average rank and file infantry (WS and S of 3, 5+ armor save). 4-5 wounds plus the standard compared to 0-1 wounds, standard, 2-3 ranks and outnumbering. This shows just how tight things can get and how important the standard is. That said even if you do win your opponent is only going to be testing on 6 if there out of range of the general and 8 if there in range. Not good odds are they. So you need to improve the odds.
There are 3 ways to do this,
The first is to increase your combat resolution you can do this by doing one or more of the following:
Getting a bull charge, while easer said than done, it is the simplest way and also the cheapest, that is free.
Add a fighty character, I personally use butchers with a cheap magical weapon in heavy bulls reserving Bruisers and Tyrants for Ironguts and Maneaters. The other good thing about this is that it increases the number models that required to cause a panic test. It also means you have an extra bull in your back row for when you get flank charged, doubling the number of attacks you can get back
The next option is Bullgorger, Bullgorger is best used on bulls, the problem with it is the associated strength test 1 time in 3 it will fail, this is another reason for putting butchers in a bull unit, increasing his strength and making it easier to cast it again.
Another possibility is to challenge a enemy champion, this will usually kill the champion and hopefully cause one wound of over kill. Obviously this would require a crusher and personally I think heís a bit expensive but itís an option.
The Second way to do this is decrease your opponentís combat resolution, you can do this by one or more of the following
Get a flank charge, easier said then done but itís the most effective by far. The easiest way do get a flank charge is draw units out with bait units and then swamp, but that a bit off topic
Shoot them, a tad obvious but quite effective if you have a pair of scrappyís and 2-3 butchers
Reduce the wounds they cause, you can do this by getting Ironfists but all it will do is reduce the number of wounds you cause, alternately think about Trollguts and Toothcracker, finally you could just kill all things in base contact but thatís just increasing your combat resolution.
Kill BSB, while you canít get at standard bearers you can get at this guy, try to.
The third option is to out number them and auto break them. The most important thing to remember is that you still have to win. As mentioned above 4 heavy bulls will do 4-5 wounds generally. Against a unit of 24-25 models you would require 7-8 bulls which means two units. You can reduce the number required by doing any of the things listed above.
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