Tag Archives: Lizardmen

ZombiePirate’s Ogre Kingdoms Review – 8th Edition


Welcome one and all. Last night I took full advantage of my wife being out and Gribblin and I threw down for another game of Warhammer Fantasy. Now, regular viewers may remember from way back when I chose High Elves as the army I was going to be doing. Unsurprisingly for one as fickle as I am that changed on a whim and rather than hordes of Always Strikes First ridiculousness I went with something way out of left field, the much maligned Ogre Kingdoms.

Ogres have had a bit of a rough ride in Fantasy. When they were first released way back in 6th edition they were decried, not only because they were perceived as a bit rubbish due to their MSU build philosophy but also because Wood Elves were due an update and had to wait even longer to get a new book. At the point in time the Ogres arrived I had been waiting for Wood Elf models that didn’t make my eyes bleed as they were an army I’d always liked the background for, Gribblin put paid to that though as a long time Woodies player and having an army, if I had picked up the hippy elves I believe we’d have had some very boring games over the years.

For me, picking Ogres was about challenging myself, sure they are better than they have ever been, but it’s a bit like saying a turd is better than it has ever been if you give it a wallet full of cash. It’s still a turd after all, even if in monetary terms it is the king of turds. This would also give me an army that would have a low model count, something I can do something with and have a chance of painting someday. Hey, a fella can dream can’t he?

So it was that I built an army and last night it had its second outing against the tweaked Lizardmen fielded by Gribblin. My list was unchanged from the last time we played and we are fighting at the 3000pts level, so we both expect plenty of nastiness on both sides. It was a fun game and the initiative was definitely with the Lizards for the first couple of turns, however, an interesting charge declaration in the bottom of turn two set me up to ROFLstomp my way through his lines in the following turns. I had to sacrifice a unit of Ogres really to do it but in the end it worked out. We were playing the Blood and Glory scenario and I broke the Lizardmen on turn 5 with the death of the Slaan and his unit.

Rather than a play by play (my poor memory is not good for writing battle reports) I thought I’d run through the same format as I did with my War of the Ring choices, a breakdown of the items in my list and their performance to date, OK it’s only two games but I am starting to get a feel for things and how they play. Now might be the time to start looking at tweaks.I think I’m on borrowed time before I get creamed by the Lizardmen or he brings out the Vampires.

Lords

Tyrant – Mawseeker, Fencers Blades, Greyback Pelt, Wyrdstone Necklace, 2 Sword Gnoblars, Luck Gnoblar.

This guy is nuts! Yes, he is expensive, yes he suffers from Stupidity, but a re-rollable Ld9 is not too much to worry about I feel. Unbuffed he is WS10, T6 with 6 attacks at S5 at 2 more attacks at S2. At best you hit him in combat on a 5. He is designed to challenge and get overkill and he easily makes back his points. So far he has a Slann, an Ancient Stegadon, a Skink Chief and some change, not bad from only two games. When fully buffed from a Butcher this guy is even crazier. I may look at what I want him to do and play with some different items but I really enjoy using this guy, he is blunt force trauma in the truest sense of the word, completely unsubtle but then, he’s an Ogre so why not.

Slaughtermaster – Talisman of Preservation, Blood Cleaver

Mandatory level 4 spellcaster. Sure, the Gut Magic Lore isn’t exactly the best in the game but it does have its benefits. Stackable buffs that can take Ogres over the top in terms of their hitting power and overall survivability. In an army with next to no armour getting the right few buffs off and keeping them up is a strategy in and of itself. The Blood Cleaver is a nice little tool that allows him to reclaim wounds he will inevitably suffer at the hands of his own casting. The Miscast table for Gut Magic is pretty brutal but I rolled on it for the first time last night and he just ended up with Frenzy, result!

I wouldn’t leave home without him at this points levels, single dice casting is alive and well and on a decent Winds of Magic roll I’ll typically end up with dice left over to dispel anything that my enemy has and as that enemy is a Slann there is generally something around.

Heroes

Bruiser – BSB, Heavy Armour, Talisman of Protection, Great Skull

Again a mandatory choice in any army is now a Battle Standard. The Re-rolls to leadership test is too valuable to give up especially with a low Ld army like Ogres. This fellow doesn’t do a whole lot other than hide in his unit, he has a basic ward save and so far the Great Skull hasn’t done a thing, probably a good thing considering the Slaan can throw miscasts at me. I’m likely to drop this item and use the points elsewhere. He doesn’t really have a job to do but does lend his attacks to a fight while he cowers in the second rank doing re-rolls. No matter the points level this chap would be one of the first things I put into the list.

Butcher – Dispel Scroll

Backup to the Slaughtermaster, carries a scroll for when I really need to stop a spell that didn’t get IF, provides another avenue for buffing the Ogres and can also single dice cast before letting his more experienced compatriot get on with things. It would be possible to drop this chap but I think that would leave too big a hole in my buffing prowess trying to cover all the Ogre units.

Core

6 Ogre Bulls – Standard and Musician

You have to take a single unit of Bulls, in this edition they got better due to Stomp and Monstrous Infantry. They can’t be Killing Blowed and some of the big spells won’t work on them. Giving them proper ranks also helps no end. They still suffer from low Initiative, low Weapon Skill and lack of armour but the can absorb a lot of punishment with Gut Magic around. These guys can do some damage but are mainly a flank protection unit for the others, they are small enough to be able to manoeuver around things but big enough to provide a threat in combat. I am happy to sacrifice these guys to achieve goals with the other Ogres.

9 Ogre Bulls – Standard and Musician

This is the second main combat unit, two ranks and generally the hiding place of the Butcher. They can get buffed and are likely to make it into combat with a large number of attacks, it takes a concerted effort to shift them although last night an Oldblood with Blade of Realities shows just how easy it can be to get rid of a 300pts+ unit when you take a 300pts character  with a 75pt magic weapon against someone who generally can’t pass a Leadership test to save his life (and being out of range of the BSB didn’t help). I do like this unit as it’s pretty beefy, although I could combine the two units and go for a Bull Horde, I am just wary of the fact I’d have all my eggs in one basket and one IF Purple Sun could potentially then remove me from the game.

7 Ironguts – Standard with Rune Maw and Musician

I LOVE THIS UNIT!!!! This is the core of my offensive line, if you’re a character and not the Butcher you go in this unit. I know, it’s a Death Star but that is the way to play Ogres and have any perceivable chance of winning. I deploy them 4 wide therefore giving two Ironguts a chance to attack alongside my Slaughtermaster and Tyrant. I’m happy to take challenges on either one of those guys really although the Tyrant is built for it. The Great Weapons are really not a hindrance on a unit that has low I anyway but between all the impact hits they do, the stomps and the huge number of high strength attacks they can roll they wreck things. Last night they went into the Slann and Temple Guard unit, two rounds of combat later and the Slann legged it and was run down, he only had a single wound left after the entire unit of Temple Guard got clubbed to death, I lost 1 Irongut…

The unit totals (with characters) over one-third of my total army cost but it is well worth it to see them rampage across the battlefield. I’ve not yet used the Rune Maw due to nothing offensive being cast their way but I’m going to keep it as I think that may change.

40 Gnoblars

Nothing much to say here, 5*8 for steadfast they are a giant roadblock and sit on the flank of the Ironguts, they die in droves to anything half decent but if kept close to the Tyrant’s unit (if they don’t bicker) they provide a valuable disruption unit and ablative wounds for the Rune Maw, at 80pts they are ridiculously cheap for what they bring to the table and if they don’t all die to a man or flee from the table it’s a bonus.

8 Gnoblar Trappers

These guys buy me a second Scraplauncher and the models are ace. However, they have done nothing in either game, they have just died although they have taken a cavalry unit out of the game for a few turns which is not bad for a unit costing less than 50pts. I’m waiting for them to wow me but they’re Gnoblars so I’m not expecting it anytime soon. Scouts is good but when you can’t setup out of line of sight in a wood somewhere or something they lose some of their effectiveness. They are still funny though.

Special

2 Scraplaunchers

Interesting units these guys, they are a chariot with a stone thrower on it. A Large Template Killing Blow stone thrower. They’ve not really killed a lot so far. They have been lobbing templates with impunity and last night they shot every turn but only rolled one Hit. They are horrific models to assemble but if I were to drop them I struggle to see what I could add in their place other than more Ogres, not necessarily a bad thing, maybe I just need to start rolling average for scatters and Leadership tests and my mileage with things may change.

2 Leadbelchers

Small and annoying, hilarious when an opponent doesn’t know too much about them and they choose to Stand and Shoot. They haven’t managed to blow themselves up yet and I can consider adding a second unit like this to sit on a flank and being annoying. I like them.

Rare

2 Gorgers – My Warmachine and Lone Character hunters. I like them, they are a little uncontrollable and I sent them against the wrong unit in last night’s game but they will always feature in my list as appearing in the back field of an opponent is something they need to plan for and worry about.

2 Giants – Both got mullered in the first game, second game one survived to the end. I use them as a tag team on a flank and I think they are doing their job well. They attract a lot of fire and all those poison shots are not going against my Ogres which is a good thing. Using two is definitely a good thing as otherwise it would be too little of a distraction, one turn of shooting generally sees it off. They are a threat which you need to deal with, I like the threat saturation approach.

Overall I’ve been very pleased with how my Ogres perform. I’m remembering all of their rules now which is a good thing and they’ve done me proud against one of the current top-tier armies. Gribblin is tweaking his army still and last night’s game was a lot tougher than the one before as it had a lot more Ogre killing potential than its predecessor, I don’t see that changing and I need someway to destroy that Oldblood with Blade of Realities, avoiding the unit he is in also sounds easier than it will be to pull off.

I might change some items around and still need to make up my mind on the Scrappies, I am sure they will have one game where they don’t miss and I just have to endure until then.

 

 

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Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 2


I know it has taken a while, my boss feels that it’s relevant to make me do some work during the day rather than admit that work is an 8 hour lull spent thinking about the next model we’re going to paint or game we’re going to play. As soon as I figure out how to monetise writing a blog sufficient to fulfill my needs, well, we’ll have a really happy writing staff if they can get a piece of the action.

Anyway, enough with the inane waffle, time to leap right back into our series on the changes wrought on the Warhammer armies due to the advent of the 8th edition of the rules.

DWARFS

Dwarfs have undergone some pretty major changes thanks to the new edition of the rules. These changes have catapulted them (or grudgethrowered depending on your bent) right up into one of the most dangerous and powerful armies of this edition. Random charge moves mean that the short ones will on average be going 10″, much faster than they were previously capable of. If an enemy isn’t expecting this it can come as quite a shock. True line of sight means there is little space to hide from all the artillery that can be thrown your way, 50% of an army on special choices is a lot of Cannons, Bolt Throwers and Grudgethrowers, before you factor in what can be taken from the rare choices or that core Quarellers and Thunderers can now fire in two ranks.

Dwarfs with their base leadership of 9 are going to be tough to beat in combat too, large infantry units have been a staple of Dwarf armies for a long time, now they are going to be even more difficult to shift. Due to their poor Initiative I reckon you are only ever going to face them when they are armed with Great Weapons, you are going to be striking last anyway so might as well fight back with some oomph, and with large blocks you are not going to be suffering enough wounds (at T4) to reduce attacks back in the first round. The stunties are really going to have to be softened up before anyone can hope to beat them through combat. Their magic defence is still as nuts as ever as Runesmiths can still take three dispel runes while all other armies are reduced to taking one scroll if they choose nothing else from Arcane Items lists. Premeasuring also means that shooting is rarely going to miss and it is all high strength. Fighting against Dwarfs means you are going to take a pounding going in and a pounding when you get there. Unfortunately you need the same kind of tactics to fight them, soften them up and thin them out before getting into combat and that is much more easily said than done.

Empire

After the Dwarfs, the one army that has also gained a goodly amount is the Empire. Finally we have a human army that isn’t Space Marines and can hold its own pretty well in a new field. Like the Dwarfs, Empire shooting got even better with the extra ranks you can use and Empire artillery also benefits in the same ways as mentioned above. While a gunline will be just as devastating as before the Empire has access to a lot of very cheap infantry units that will allow them to really have a combined arms force that works very well on the table. Wizards with access to all the basic spell lores gives them incredible versatility and they can be taken at level 4 alongside another lord level character relatively easily. I am imagining some pretty hefty infantry units backed up by melee and ranged detachments with an outfield filled to the brim with as much artillery as can be crammed into the list. Greatswords are going to be worth taking now you will get to fight back due to stepping up and the large number of Knights available will make great supporting units for when your halberdiers and swordsmen get stuck in. This army has really gained a lot and shot up the rankings to be one of the most versatile and deadly books in the current generation.

I even considered switching armies again, but then I read more into the…

High Elves

That’s right, the army I pledged not to use until I had it painted. Then we got 8th edition and War of the Ring. War of the Ring is winning in the painting stakes but these guys are coming out soon after. Elves still suffer from being T3 and High Elves don’t have a huge amount of armour to protect them. What makes them good in this edition is what made them good in the last edition, Speed of Asuryan. Not only do all High Elves come with Always Strike First, but their version overrides all other weapon rules. Swordmasters and White Lions are now equally destructive and will cause a huge number of casualties in whatever they face, supporting attacks help the Lions more than the chaps from Hoeth but both units are quite viable in larger numbers than they were before. Elite army also means you ignore the duplication limits on Special and Rare choices no matter the points level played to. High Elf mages are still some of the best in the game, High Magic got easier to cast with the changes to the magic system and being able to pick any of the other Lores from the book is still a massive gain over others. it is now possible to have a Prince not flying around on a Dragon and for him to be useful.

Repeater Bolt throwers are kind of useless now as they only have 2 wounds, need two crew to fire and everything can wound them on 6’s or better. For 100pts you are normally better taking a couple of Eagles (who are still great) and troubling your opponents war machines or lone characters. Always Strike First now grants re-rolls to hit if your Initiative is the same or higher than your opponents means High Elves are going to be nasty in combat with normal units, Lothern Sea Guard are experiencing a coming of age and Spearelves are back on the horizon too as they can fight in 4 ranks normally or 5 ranks if you go horde! The future is looking bright for the Elves, I look forward to finishing off my army at some point and giving them a try out. Luckily I didn’t finish it as a lot of the options I’ll now be looking at are different from what they were in 7th.

Lizardmen

The last army for this part of our analysis is the Lizardmen, one of the later books from 7th edition who got a power boost with their new toys. While not generally considered a top tier army they were always a tough opponent to beat, not a lot has changed with this. Saurus get better now that they can step-up as their low initiative isn’t that much of a burden overall. Large blocks of them surrounded by a BSB are going to be tough to shift. A Slann in a unit of Temple Guard is even harder to try to break now too, I’d avoid this kind of bunker even more than I would have in the old edition. Again the giant frog is one of those guys that has access to all the Lores in the book, however, forcing you to pick your lore at army creation has the potential for some bad match-ups the same as with other armies who have this feature. The Slann options for magic items can really upset things now, with a really evil miscast table the Slann chucking his miscast’s at an enemy spell caster is likely to hurt big time and removes a lot of the risk that Mr. Frog would other face for chucking as many dice as he can against a spell, although I find it amusing to picture what would happen when the Hex scroll is used to try to turn the Slann into a frog…

Multiple Lords on Carnosaurs are now possible in smallish lists and Salamanders will probably see more tabletime now as well. With big blocks of infantry being the order of the day, the Stegadon spam lists should also dwindle as the last thing they want to happen is to be stuck in infantry. Lizardmen didn’t gain a huge amount from the new rules, certainly not as much as some other armies, but they are still strong enough to hold their own and provide a challenge.

That’s it for now, stand by for Part 3 coming soon!