vs — Ogres
vs — Ogres avatar

One of the players in our circle runs Ogres, and I wanted to address some of the specific challenges you’ll face against them for this week’s VS article.

Know your foe. The Ogres are a tough bunch of brutes, almost entirely classified as Monstrous Infantry.  They bring a large number of wounds and attacks per model, meaning that you effectively need to deal 3 wounds to diminish any attacking power.  While they have a number of ranged options, their real strength comes from close combat, where they can absorb a ton of damage and dole out even more.

There are a few weaknesses that you must use to your advantage if you want a fighting chance against Ogres:

  • Initiative. Leave those Great Weapons at home; Ogres strike at I2. Unless you’ve got a similarly terrible Initiative, you’ll be going first and will have the ability to inflict maximum damage before they can hit back.   This, combined with the general expense of their units and relatively small unit size, means you can start thinning ranks.
  • Low Leadership. The Ogres have a lot of Leadership 7 in their army.  While their Lords can boast LD9 and many Heroes LD8, the Ogre player will likely have to keep flankers outside of his Leadership bubble.  This makes them prime targets for Fear, Terror, or other psychology-based warfare.
  • Outrank. Because of the big base sizes for Monstrous Infantry, and their relatively high cost, you should have no problems outranking the Ogre units.  If Ogres can claim steadfast against you, something’s probably gone wrong.
  • Multiple Wounds. Much of the expense of Ogre units is based on the fact that they’re getting 3+ wounds per model.  Anything with killing blow or multiple wounds can negate this advantage, making them just a group of slow, T4 lightly-armored models.

Beware. Ogres have a handful of nasty tricks available to them, and you’ve got to keep these in mind when you’re up against them:

  • Charging. Ogres get nasty bonuses for charging.  They get impact hits, but can add their rank bonus to the strength of the impact hits.  Additionally, if they roll high enough for the charge distance, each model gets d3 impact hits!  If you’re ever in doubt, charge them before they charge you.
  • Mournfangs. These cavalry units are pretty renowned.  There’s a ton of stomp attacks to go around, plus they can be tough to kill with a 2+ save and a parry.  Make these a priority, because they’re fast with 8″ movement and hit like a pile of bricks.
  • Gnoblars. Yes, they’re Goblins.  But they’ve also got trappers that can make charging them an irritating prospect.  Gnoblars will often be used as a fence to make you take dangerous terrain checks.  They’re very effective as redirectors because they can give the Ogre player a turn to tweak his lines, and may even inflict a few casualties.
  • Lore of the Great Maw. Ogre magic may not be as fearsome as other races, but don’t discount it entirely.  Their Lore is filled with buffs to make their troops even tougher in combat.  Don’t forget that they also have access to Fire, Heavens, Beasts, and Shadow, so there’s a variety of magic to face.

Tactics. When you’re at the table, try to keep some of these tricks in mind:

  • Schoolbus formations. Ogres sit on 40mm bases.  Keeping in mind that they only need 3 for a rank, or 6 for a horde, you’re looking at 120mm or 240mm of frontage, respectively.  Depending on whether your army uses 20mm or 25mm bases, you’ll likely be better off avoiding the horde formation so that you can stack up extra ranks against your opponent.
  • Strength 5. Generally speaking, many Ogre units won’t be getting better than a 5+ armor save.  Aside from parry saves (which even mounted units get with Ironfists) there’s little in the way of ward saves.  Don’t bother spending money or extra power dice to get to high strengths above 6.  S5 will erase most saves, but will generally wound on 3′s.
  • Unique shooting. Ogres have a few ranged units that are pretty distinct from other armies’ options.  The Leadbelchers, for example, can fire a flurry of d6 S4 shots.  Ogre Pistols can throw out 2 S4 armor piercing attacks at the same 24″ range.  Outside of 24″ though, your only real threats are the warmachines, which are technically classified as Chariot stonethrowers.
  • Leadership battle. Make sure your Leadership infrastructure is up to the challenge — you’ll be facing Fear units in every combat.  Either make sure that you’ve got a general/BSB nearby, or bring your own Fear and Terror-inducing units in response.  Ogres don’t do too well with Terror.

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