Monday, April 28, 2008

Tactica - Beating the Ogres


Greetings all,the following will be a detailed account on how to deal with the ogres and have success vs them with DOWMy examples will be at the 2000-2250 pt level as thats what I typically play

First up lets take a look at the enemy in detail:Special rules to note: Ogre Kingdoms Ogres cause impact hits. All Ogres cause fear, which can be a problem if you're not prepared. The good news - Ogres will rarely outnumber your RnF troops - unless of course you take some serious casualties to their magic and shooting (lead belchers)

Lords - not a whole lot of options here, Ogres can use a Tyrant or Slaughtermaster. However, you will only see the Slaughtermaster at the 3k point level or above, so really, you should see a Tyrant in virtually every Ogres army that you face. The tyrant is a close combat powerhouse, with a high toughness, high strength, solid number of attacks and good leadership. We cannot really field anything to deal with him in close combat on even terms. Perhaps some of our special characters, but its always more rewarding not having to resort to those to win a game, and our special characters just aren't on the same level as many of those from other races.Where you will see the Tyrant: In my experience I typically encounter him in 1 of three places: 1 - in a unit of iron guts; 2 alone (but not unsupported); 3 attached to rhinox riders.

1 probably the most common place for him - here he boosts the abilities of the ironguts with his Ld and adds several more high Strength attacks. One also needs to be wary of the Tyrant charging out of a unit while the unit either stays put or charges another unit - depending on his equipment the tyrant is capable of dealing with certain units on his own

2 The lone Tyrant is no less dangerous, although a bit more vulnerable to shooting/magic. This provides the ogres with flexibility as he can go where needed to support their units and spread his Ld range around. The Tyrant (again depending on equipment) can thus act as a flanking unit on his own while ironguts etc do a frontal charge.

3 This may not be that common, although my regular Ogres opponent started doing this. The Tyrant will either deploy according to 1 or 2 above, and will at some point join a unit of rhinox riders or do a flanking charge to support the rhinox riders. A Tyrant with the 'longstrider' kin name is something to watch out for as he can conver a considerable charge distance with this option, and when attached to a unit of rhinox riders will not slow them down. This can be especially effective against opponents unfamiliar with the Ogres and who may view the move of attaching the seemingly slower Tyrant to a Rhinox unit as stupid.

Butcher - 'the' magic user for the ogres. Ogre magic is very easy to cast and contains a good mix of destructive spells along with spells that buff your own units. The butcher himself is a fairly capable fighter unlike virtually all other human-sized wizards in the game. I'm going to exclude vampires, as we all know their new rules permit some very scary fighter-wizard combinations. Butchers can be carrying a variety of items. I commonly faced an Ogre army with a Tyrant & 3 Butchers which could put out quite a few low-casting-cost spells & bound items. The bound item I most typically encounter is the Bangstick, a nasty little item that contains a magic missile. It is only power lvl 3 but if you're facing several butchers, chances are a few spells will get through. I'll go into detail about the ogre spells below.

Gut Magic - 6 spells like everyone else and alleasy to cast, although many are damaging to the cast himself. Look for ogre players to lure out your dispel dice by casting a few spells successfully with 1 power die and then saving up 2-3 dice for something they want to get through. It can be difficult to choose which ones to get through. It certainly makes things difficult if you have a T5 ogre unit getting the charge off on you, or S7 ironguts. Ogres also have access to a few bound items such as the bangstick which contains another magic missile. If left unchecked you can have several 'buffed' ogre units hitting your lines at once and causing massive damage.
Ogre remains in play spells can be dispelled on a 7 in the follow turns despite their low initial casting value.

Bloodgruel - allows a Butcher to regain a wound up to his starting total, although if a 1 is rolled he takes a S6 hit which can be humorous of the Ogres player keeps failing these :)

Braingobbler - Forces a unit within 18 to take a panic check. Can be deceptively effective especially if several butchers start casting this. Needless to say its useless vs undead and immune to psych units.

Bullgorger - butcher must pass a strength test first. If passed, a unit within 6 gets +1 to its S; remains in play.

Bonecrusher - short range magic missile that does 2d2 S2 no AS hits - absolutely deadly vs cavalry units.

Toothcracker - A unit within 6 gets +1T and Stubborn, Bucther takes a S6 hit.

Trollguts - A unit within 6 gets MR2 and Regen while the caster takes an unsaveable wound.

Bruisers - a hero level version of the tyrant. These guys can still put the hurt on you.

Hunter - an interesting hero choice with a wide variety of applications. One could say that the hunter is a jack of all trades - fighter, flanker, missile threat, march blocker, warmachine and/or wizard hunter - pun intended.

Statswise hes what you would expect from an ogre level hero and he does get the sabretusks which he can send off to 'hunt' targets of opportunity. The Hunter also comes with a harpoon (?) that he can launch and it acts just like a bolt thrower, albeit with a shorter range.

The other key feature of the Hunter is that he allows you to take an additional unit of gnoblar trappers. Trappers used in conjunction with the hunter present several key opportunities. If the hunter is charged the trappers can stand at shoot at the charger(s) if they are close enough to the Hunter (6 inches?) - Yes, its only sharp stuff, but then again, it can and will kill your troops in one of those critical situations. Case in point, Empire knights charged a unit of trappers at one of our local tourneys. The trappers managed to down an Empire knight (1+ armor save) - not bad for a gnoblar. The trappers can also use the Hunter's leadership if they are close enough. Lastly, the trappers can scout. An army with 1 Hunter can run 2 units of trappers, 2 Hunters can run 3 units of trappers etc. This can create quite a flanking force as the trappers can marchblock, shoot (sharp stuff can be deadly vs T3 troops with little to no armor), setup enemy units for charges which will bring them out of position, possibly presenting a flank or rear charge to Ogre units. Used in conjunction with the Hunter, you have a powerful hero who can handle small flanking units on his own. Do not leave your flanking units unsupported - a strong flanking force which is also rather mobile (Hunter is an independent character and will have to worry less about terrain than a unit of Ogres 3-4 wide) can wrap up a weak flank by mid-game. The Hunter can also be a missile threat. Lets be clear - an elf archer he is not. Nevertheless, I have seen a Hunter get off a lucky flank shot on a cavalry unit, killing 3 of 5 and causing a panic which the unit promptly failed.

Another interesting tactic with Hunters, which takes some skill to pull off, involves getting a unit of trappers behind an enemy unit, charging the enemy unit with the Hunter and preferably another Ogre unit. With all of the high strength attacks coming against the unit, they should auto-break (outnumbered + fear-causing). Yes, there is always insane courage... The unit will break and if the ogres do not catch the fleeing enemy unit, the strategically placed trappers (who will hopefully still be at US5 or more) will destroy the enemy unit as it flees into them. There are some variations and additions to this tactic that I'll elaborate on during the discussion of Ogre troops.

Core Troops

Bulls --- The average ogres - average WS, Str & T of 4, 3 Wounds, 3 Attacks, and a Ld 7. Can be equipped with either an additional hand weapon or an ironfist. Ogre clubs count as armor-piercing.

Ironguts --- A slight upgrade from bulls and probably the unit which you will see the most. Points to note: Ironguts use great weapons which brings them to S6, and their leadership is slightly better than the average ogre - Ld8

Gnoblars --- Suffer from animostiy, mediocre stats, can throw sharp stuff (not a major threat, but they can do multi-shot, rubbish Ld, suffer from bickering (animosity)

Special Troops

Yhetees --- These guys can be deadly and can present a serious threat to your line if left alone for too long. You don't want these guys charging you at full strength. They are M7 - so they're fast. Treat them as cavalry for all intents and purposes. They pursue & flee 3d6. They are also -1 to hit in combat. They also have a better initiative than the core ogres. Perhaps most importantly - these guys ignore terrain (an ogre version of spider riders).

Scraplauncher - A mobile catapult/chariot combination. Some people swear by them, others see them as a waste of points. It does cost quite a few points. The charge from the rhinox can be dangerous.

Gnoblar Trappers - Skirmishing gnoblars that can scout. Effective marchblockers that really come into their own when used in conjunction with a Hunter.

Rare Troops

Gorgers - a really interesting unit that gives the Ogres a bit of a surprise unit similar to Miners/Tunneling Teams/Tomb Scorpions/Tomb Swarms. As far as stats go, the Gorger is pretty solid and he can dish out serious pain although his average WS prevents him from being overly reliable. Good for sneaking up on warmachine crews, lone characters and wizards or getting of a combined rear-flank-front charge. They are immune to psych which is nice. They cannot pursue as they have to stop and feed on whatever they kill so you do have a bit of time to react should you lose a warmachine to one of these baddies. 1 Gorger can be effective, I've seen lists that use two which can be really painful if you're not prepared for it.

Slave Giant - I haven't seen too many people use them. They aren't as good as the O&G giant. Still, its a giant terror causing monster that can and will put the hurt on your units if he is allowed to make it to your line unscathed. Xbows and duellists should pound these guys and they will fall (literally)!

Maneaters - Ahhh what can I say about Maneaters that hasn't already been said - these guys rock! Stat-wise these guys stand above bulls and ironguts and are the equivalent of many other races' hero lvl fighters.

You have 3 options for these guys - Cathayan Longsword - Great Weapon - Brace of pistols.

Each of these is useful in their own way.Let me briefly mention the abilities of the Maneaters:

Fear + Stubborn + Immune to Psych + Bullcharge

You do pay for this with their extremely high points cost - but they are highly effective and rightly feared by opponents. If not, your opponent will learn to fear them.

Cathayan Longsword - +1 WS, +1 I and its also armor piercing, effectively making you S6 for armor save purposes. Apparently not that popular of an option yet I always take two of these guys in my DOW list. The extra WS means you should be hitting most footsloggers on 3s and with a -3 to AS, everything but knights will get saves.

Greatweapon - A S7 Ogre that isn't a character. Can be a nasty surprise for the opponent who doesn't realize that they are going up against a S7 wielding ogre - They might know that the ironguts are S6 but may make the mistake of thinking the maneaters are the same. Great chariot smasher

Brace of Pistols - The ogre is actually wielding 2 handguns but they follow all of the pistol rules. This option also gives you +1 attack in CC so a unit of 3 Maneaters will throw down 15 S5 attacks + bullcharge if you can manage. Now that is some serious hurt. Another great aspect of this is that they can ALWAYS stand and shoot due to the pistol rules. So that same unit of 3 can put out 6 armor piercing shots if you care to charge it. Their 6 shots are also effective at whittling down your opponent's units until you're ready for a charge. You can also equip your maneaters with heavy armor. While this isn't the greatest protection, I generally take it as the points your're investing for this unit shouldn't go to waste if the maneaters take missile fire (and they will).

Beating the Ogres ---

Ogres rely on one thing to win and that is getting the charge off and killing your units. They can't win on shooting or magic, and they will have virtually no static combat resolution.

What I have found to be keys to successfully beating Ogres

Numbers
Shooting
Solid Magic

Numbers - As mentioned Ogres suffer from a lack of static combat resolution. So keep your infantry blocks big to keep the maximum rank bonus for as long as possible. +3 ranks, standard, and outnumber mean the Ogres player is already down quite a few points.

Shooting - Ogres are not a great shooting army. We as DOW have acces to a lot of S4 firepower. Duellists and plenty of Xbows will ruin the Ogres day.

Solid Magic - You can go magic heavy and annihilate the Ogres. However, you can get by with an average amount of magic. Depending on the type of list your opponent brings, you will need to contain his spells which can be quite dangerous if left unchecked. A couple of lvl 2s with 2-3 dispel scrolls should be plenty. You do not want his units buffed to T5 and/or regnerate etc.

Most Ogre units will range from 3-4, sometimes 5-6. Rarely will you find a massive ogre unit.The key to dealing with the many and varied ogre units is to blast them with shooting and magic to make his units combat ineffective by the time they hit your line. If you can kill 2 of 3 bulls/ironguts etc than that last ogre doesn't pose much of a problem.

Your opponent will also not sit back with ogres. It just doesn't work for that army. They have to get into combat where they can bring their S, T , multiple wounds and attacks to bear. If I see my opponent bringing Yhetees and/or Rhinox riders, they get a lot of my attention. Getting flank-charged by Yhetees is extremely dangerous and can roll your flank. Rhinox riders can cause way too much damage to let them reach you unharmed.

You also have to be on guard for Gorgers popping up. Deal with these guys like any other unit that comes from below ground. They can't charge the turn they come in so you need to hit them with everything in the area. You may want to keep some pistol duellists or fast cavalry in the back to protect your cannons. Another safety check against Gorgers is to make sure you're moving up so you limit its potential charges.

Cannons work great against Ogres and I always roll with 2. This will give your opponent some pause as he may not want to put in expensive units in their line of fire. Creating firing lanes and areas where you want to try to direct the Ogre player's movements is key.

Pikes Pikes Pikes! Call them Ogre skewerers. Pikes will ruin an Ogre players day. You should be able to take down at least one, possibly 2 ogres on average with a pike unit. RoR are actually useful here.

Pirazzo's give you the ability to put some wounds on the ogres before they get to you and then the pike attacks should take care of the rest.

Ricco's will let you hit bulls and ironguts on 3s

Leo's is highly useful vs Ogres as the immune to psych eliminates the usual problems of going against a fear-causing army. Leo also has a pistol to cause that odd shooting wound or two and can be an extra little annoyance to an opponent.

What else works well against the Ogres? Heavy cavalry - S5 on the charge (S6 if you use Voland's) should take care of an ogre unit especially if they're already depleted from shooting.

Light cavalry - march block and redirecting Ogre units. Possibly a good unit to interfere with Yhetees.

Duellists with pistols - Duhh.

Dwarfs - Depending on the build, dwarfs can be a solid anchor unit and they can take a lot of punishment and stick around. Give em great weapons and they'll start pulling down ogres.

Halflings - Lumpin's - march blocking, redirecting, annoying the opponent - Lumpin does it all. Nothing irritates an Ogre player more than losing an expensive Irongut to S3 bowfire from halflings - try it

Norse - Give em great weapons and their high WS, S + frenzy should start cutting up ogres pretty quickly.

Cannons - don't leave home without them

Last but not least - beat the Ogres with their own units. Most of the Ogres list counts as DOW so fight them on their own terms. Maneaters in particular will make short work of other Ogres.

Hopefully the above tactica was useful to you.

1 comments:

RuggedJosh on May 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM said...

Another good tactic's section, Only I need to win with the ogres no lose with them. Still good content.

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