Yes that's right, I'm still alive! (amazing isnt it!) Today we'll be deviating from our regular programming (or lack there of) and crossing onto some Warhammer Fantasy stuff! While I've played Warhammer 40k since 2nd Ed, I've only been playing Warhammer Fantasy since 6th Ed, and only heavily since 7th.
I've been wanting to do a post on my Ogres in 8th ed, but didn't want to do so until I was familiar with the rules. And So now we have an indepth look at all your unit options (including Forgeworld, for friendly games) and such, starting today with your Core options. I won't be covering too many general rules (i.e. how charging has changed) but I will mention them, so make sure you have your rulebook ready to cross reference my yammering!
I am basing my discussings off the most common points-level being played where I am, which is 2000 pts. This means that for Core, todays discussion topic, you need at least 500 pts of Core units
and now, on with the show!
Ah, the staple of all Ogre Kingdoms armies. As you're required by the rules to have at least one squad of bulls, you have no option as to whether or not you'll take one, but how to outfit, and use them? A full Command Squad (Crusher, Belower, and Standard Bearer) are always a must for any Ogre squad. and for the ogres, you should max out all thier options for the most effective unit.
Even though now you can have worthwhile ranks (3 models wide), you'll still find the best squad layouts are blocks of 6, or 9. You could go for a horde, 6 models wide, but you'll find in anything 2000 pts or less, it becomes a bit unwieldly, and eats up lots of points(829 pts for a full, optioned horde of 18).
Light armor and Ironfists, definately get both. Ogre clubs count as a hand weapon, for the purpose of a parry save, and so for 1 pt per model more you get maximum versatility - against weaker models (str 3 or less) you can still take the extra attacks to tear into them, and against anything stronger, take a parry save(6+ward) (and possibly still an armor save) to keep your Bulls alive for one more round.
Remember now that combat is on initiative value, so at initiative 2, you need to keep as many Ogres alive as possible each round of combat, even on te charge. Also don't forget, your caster can cast "Toothcracker" on your squad, and give them +1 Toughness, for that little extra in survivability (will cover further in the Lords and Heroes part).
WWAD(What would Albrek Do?) - I use this squad in a block of 6, with a Bruiser BSB (so 5 bulls and a Bruiser) and use it as a support unit - Use your Butcher to buff it up AFTER you have buffed up your ironguts, keep them within 12" and either charge with, or one turn after your iron guts.. preferrably on the enemies flank. Bulls are no more survivable than Ironguts after the Butcher has had his way, but they dont hurt as much, so they're better suited for support.
Ah, my favourite unit. They come with heavy armor and a Great weapon, and boy can they hurt. As with the bulls, a unit of 6-9, with a full command tends to work best. Having great weapons they have 'Always Strike Last' but at initiative 2, are you really worried about that?
A unit of 6 Ironguts is only 30 pts more than a unit of Bulls, for +1 Ld and +2 Str, but no Parry save. Remeber how I said buff your bulls second? Well with your Butcher's spells, you can give them MR(2) and a Regen save by casting Trollguts, solving the parry save deficiency. Don't forget the +1 Toughness buff too (and +1 str "Bull Gorger" if you can manage to get it off) With how magic works now, you SHOULD be able to get a few buffs off by turn 2, which is really really awesome.
WWAD - I field these guys in a block of 9, with my Lord, and my Butcher(butcher in the second rank, to keep him safe from BTB attacks), Less the Gutlord as he does nothing for me in this setup (he would be stuck in the second rank, so only gets 3 attacks anyways). Get Regen and +1 Toughness on them (and of course, +1 Str if you can) and get them into combat. I field them in a block of 9 as you are likely to lose an ogre and a half or so on the charge anyway (even with all the buffs you'll probably still lose one) and so having the 3 extras ensures you get all your supporting attacks, which being Str 6 (7 if you get off your buffs) is really, really awesome.
There are multiple reasons as to why you should have a squad of Gnoblar Fighters in your army, and as crazy as it sounds, I've found them to be quite an awesome little(0r large) unit. smart deployment with these guys and with the new steadfast rule, you can use a nice big block of these guys to tie up the opposing player's Deathstar unit while you go hammer all his support units to tiny little bits. If you can manage to keep thier combat within 12" of your Lord and BSB, they're taking break tests and Ld 9 with re rolls too - so they wont go anywhere fast.
Against some of the opponents weaker units (such as Chaos Marauders) they can be quite effective, and MAY even win combat. Most importantly though - you need a gnoblar unit for a Scraplauncher (1:1, of which I field 2, and so have 2 gnoblar units), so take one already.
Edit: I originally referred to buffing a Gnoblar with Gut magic, ooops! checked the army book, and no this cannot be done. Thanks Max for pointing out my boo boo :)
WWAD - I use this unit as a blocker. I field them in a Horde of 40, so they usually have steadfast and get supporting attacks in 3 ranks. Against a squad of Chaos Knights maxed out - they only have to kill one of them (1.311 actually) to make thier points back.. against chaos knights.. which they usually will get one or two down before being chopped to bits, usually from breaking once they've lost a couple units. Against anything weaker, better again, add to that some buffs, and they'll more than pull thier weight.
Hmmmm... To be honest, the only thing I've found them useful for, is to fill points. "wait" i hear you say "aren't fighters only 2 pts each?" Yes, but for each unit of fighters, you need another unit of bulls. Meaning another unit of fighters will cost you 348 pts, so that you also have another worthwhile unit of bulls (no point fielding them with no ranks and gear) whereas a unit of trappers start at 48 pts.. They also fulfill the requirements for a second Scraplauncher in your army. so take a squad, but dont expect much from them.
They get some extra benefits from having a Hunter close by, but again, not enough to make them any good.
If you deploy them in a building, or in another ingenious way, you might get a few good hits with your sharp stuff, but thats about it. They would be a good annoyance unit for your opponent though, if you do get them into a building. Maybe a good bait? hmmmmm...
WWAD - take one squad, to fill your remaining points, and to meet the requirements for another Scraplauncher. Unless you want to take another squad of Bulls.. in which case take the fighters, for 48 pts you can field 24 of them, 12 more points for a horde of 3 ranks (or normal unitof 6, whoo!).
And so that concludes todays discussion on Core choices for Ogres.. as per usualy, comments below please, Id love to hear what you all think :) Next time, Special choices(yes, Heroes and Lords is last, bwahah!)