Gah! The Ogres are Coming!

As many may already know, I have recorded about 100 minutes of footage for a Battle Report (Lizardmen vs Ogre Kingdoms). The Ogres book is outdated to be sure and certainly is not toe-to-toe competent with the current army books, or the "Power Dexes". It is possibly the weakest army book of the lot.

The book suffers from fluff-itis, where the writer of the codex narrowed build options in order to fit the background of the army. Almost every power in the book has a drawback. It's not a fun list to play, or at least it could be a lot more fun.

We have a few studio (house) rules for Ogres designed to make them more competitive:

1) Following Ogre units are Stubborn (Bulls, Ironguts, Maneaters, Leadbelchers). Ogre heroes are not stubborn (they are less hungry and less thick-headed).
2) Bull Charge gets d3 Impact Hits on a 6"+ charge, and a single Impact Hit at any distance.

Just those two items make Ogres a tough challenge, even for the razor-sharp spiky likes of the Lizardmen, instead of a pathetic pushover.

Additionally, in our game this last Saturday we gave a 20% bonus of points to the Ogre player (ie 2500 pts vs 3000 pts). I think that's a good stop-gap, but doesn't replace an actual "leveling up" of the army book. To me, this seemed about right. The Ogres gave a rock-solid Lizardmen army a run for its money.

However, after this last game I've decided to really get in there and fool around. Basically, there are two objectives: get rid of the downsides of the Ogres' good stuff and to loosen the army build restrictions. I don't want to change points or stat lines. Feel free to email me with ideas.

3) If a Tyrant is present, a Slaughtermaster can be taken as a Hero choice.
4) A unit of 5+ Bulls can be led by a Bruiser (this does not take a Hero choice).
5) A Butcher or Slaughtermaster regains a Wound at the beginning of each friendly Magic Phase. This cannot take him above starting wounds.
6) Bulls are not 1+. There is no minimum requirement of Bulls.
7) Gnoblar Fighter units are not limited by the number of units of Bulls units in the army. However, they do not count towards the number of Core units required for an army.
8) Ogre clubs do not lose their bonus (of -1 to armor save) when used with an Ironfist.
9) Leadbelchers can move and reload. A Misfire only causes d3 S4 hits (not d6).
10) Yhetee Aura of Frost affects the entirety of any enemy unit they are in contact with (not just models base to base).
11) Yhetees have Regeneration on 5+ and Magic Resistance (2).
12) Scraplauncher: the stone thrower template affects anything touched (no partials). Remove Bad Tempered. Add Immune to Psychology. Add Stubborn.
13) If a Butcher or Slaughtermaster is present, Gorgers may be taken as Special choices.
14) Harpoon Launcher: every wound caused on a Large Target is multiplied into d6 wounds (ignore current rules with respect to Large Targets). This is not cumulative with the Beastkiller Big Name ability (ie the Hunter will only have Beast Killer in close combat).
15) Sabretusks have the Killing Blow ability. A single Hunter can take up to six Sabretusks.
16) Hunter: the following models can re-roll failed Psychology and Break tests while within 12" of the Hunter-- Slave Giant, Sabretusks, Dire Cave Bear.
17) Slave Giant, Sabretusks, and Dire Cave Bear cannot use the BSB re-roll.
18) Rhinoxen Cavalry are Rare choices (they do not take up a Hero slot).
19) Giantbreaker Big Name does not need to include a Slavegiant.

A Butcher or Slaughtermaster may be given the following upgrade for +110 pts:

Cauldron of the Great Maw
Model is now on a chariot-sized base.
Model causes Terror.
Model re-rolls all power dice results of a "2".
Cauldron confers a 3+ armor save.
Model may not join units.
Model and Cauldron are Unit Strength 6.
Cauldron produces an extra dice every Magic Phase (dispel or power as appropriate).

New Units
Dire Cave Bear (285 pts)
This model is modeled on a a 50mm base.
It has the exact stats and cost of a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth from the Beasts of Chaos book (no upgrades). The Dire Cave Bear is a Rare choice. A single Dire Cave Bear can be taken as a Special choice if a Hunter is present in the army.

War Mammoth (350 pts)
The War Mammoth and riders/goads are modeled on a single base and follow one solid profile.
M 7
WS 3
BS 0
S 6
T 6
W 8
I 2
A 8
Ld 7
Stubborn, Terror, Immune to Psychology, Armored Behemoth (3+ save), Impact Hits (d6), Large Target, Unit Strength 15.

The War Mammoth is a Hero choice (it is tamed and crewed by a beastmaster-type Bruiser, though he can have no magic items and his ability is sub-sumed into the profile). A War Mammoth is usually crewed by two additional Ogres with long-reach weapons (their attacks and so forth are also included in the profile). A War Mammoth can take a banner for +20 pts.

Ogre Pit Fighters
Up to one unit of Bulls per army can be upgraded to Pit Fighters for free.
Pit Fighters have Heavy Armor and two Ironfists (+1 Attack, +1 Armor as if hand weapon and shield combination, and +1 armor as if a shield = 3+ armor in close combat, 4+ otherwise). Their attacks are Armor Piercing. They lose the Bull Charge ability.

New Banners
Banner of Blood (25 pts)
Unit charges an extra 1" (add 1" to the charge distance, even a failed charge).

Mammoth Standard (25 pts)
Unit counts a rank of three wide as a full rank.

Totem of the Ice Elk (50 pts)
Unit pursues and flees an additional d6"

Totem of the Cave Bear (25 pts)
One use only.
Use when the unit is required to take its first Break Test. The unit is considered to have rolled an insane courage result.

Standard of the High Mountain (50 pts)
One use only
Use at the end of any Ogre turn, all friendly units within 12" of the standard may make a full reform.



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