Rightyho. The second in my planned series of articles on various units in the ogre army, starting with rare choices. Rare choice #2 in the ogre arsenal is the slavegiant; a much maligned monster in my opinion. He's not quite as powerful as a standard giant, but he makes up for it in other ways. Let's take a look at his pros and cons.Pros
-Equal movement to the rest of the army.
-Able to move, but not charge, 360
-Smaller frontage than a standard ogre unit, thus (combined with the point above) much more maneuverable.
-US6: rank breaking is magical.
-Very powerful against ranked infantry if
-Cheaper than a standard giant.
-Fantastic model. Let's face it, GW advertised him to death, but all things considered it's an absolutely amazing model. Cons
-Random combat possibilities make him unreliable.
-Not stubborn. Can't be used as a tarpit or solo unit killer.
-Terrible against larger models.
So what we have here is a giant that's not very good at the two things giants are renown for. This tends to shock a lot of people and drive them away from the slavegiant. With gorgers 100pts cheaper and with significantly greater utility, why use a slavegiant at all? Personally, I do the following: if I'm in a tournament, I use gorgers. In most games, I use a slavegiant. And yet, I still win games using a slavegiant, and in many he proves himself an integral tool. In this article, I'm going to explain why.
There's a very easy trap to fall into when considering the slavegiant: using him like a giant. It's the same model, but it's a completely different unit in its application. A giant excels as a tarpit and monster hunter: a slavegiant fails horrible in both respects, but here's where you have to consider the context of the army. In many armies, the giant is the speedy hammer unit that runs in with the big boys and hits things with a beatstick until they stop moving. That's because most armies have M4, and the giant has M6. He’s fast, tough and hits hard; a heavy cavalry substitute if you will.
When the rest of the army has M6 though (as we do) then the slavegiant comes into a league of its own; as not a hammer but a knife. He's not the big melee beatstick any more, he's the assassin's dagger. I'm going to bring back a trio of points from before...
-360 degree movement.
Normally, the giant uses his superior movement to run ahead of the army. When he does this, he becomes the target of every single spell and artillery piece on the battlefield. The slavegiant however, moves just as fast as everyone else, and coupled with his bad reputation tends to get ignored. The enemy sees your big ogre units as better targets and tends to forget about the giant entirely. 'You're using a slavegiant? What a laugh!' they say. Use this to get him into position. By the time they realise there's a great big bugger standing in the flank, it's usually far too late. Or even if it isn't, they tend to go a bit ballistic with their shooting against him at this point, and give your other units at least
a turn of reprieve.
So what we see here is that while the giant is a heavy cavalry unit, the slavegiant is light cavalry: just the right level of unobtrusiveness combined with absolutely terrifying mobility makes him a force to be feared indeed. In combat, there seems to be little middle ground: he either annihilates the enemy or flops. Once again, consider him like a unit of light cavalry: he’s a dedicated scout, disruptor and flanker, and should never charge into a unit unsupported. Never. He’ll either utterly smash the enemy or stand there looking angry: but he doesn’t smash reliably enough to do it on his own. If he’s negating ranks, he’s doing his job. Leave the killing to the big boys. Or little ones. Little…er ones. If you charge a giant into the front arc of a ranked enemy unit without support, I will personally hunt you down and poke you in the eye very hard. If you charge in the flank without support, I’ll merely send you a pointed letter, and hope you get a papercut. Either way it’s unpleasant. Just don’t do it. Like any light cavalry unit, he’ll crumple without support.
So here’s a rundown again; He’s speedy, excessively mobile and capable of breaking ranks. He has a terrible reputation and tends to get totally ignored as a result. He should not charge ranked units unsupported under any circumstances. Bringing back the metaphor from before, he’s the assassin’s dagger in an army of blunt instruments. Except 40 feet tall. Use him well.