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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ogre Kingdoms Now & Then - The Now Part 6 - Lore of the Great Maw and Big Names

Saramoff is back again whilst Kirby is sick to look at the lovely Ogre magic options. Magical items will be covered in the next post.

Gut magic has had an overhaul too and now sports the title of Lore of the Great Maw. It's true that in being changed it's no longer the same and debatabley it's no longer as easy as it used to be. In turn, it's been granted a degree more flexibility and benefits your army better.

Previously, all your wizards knew every spell and everything was cast on a 3+. Some spells tried to kill you too. In the new book, you have to randomly generate your spells. You no longer have a guaranteed level 4 wizard, though you can buy it for the lofty price of 285 points. Or 425 if you fancy taking Skrag out for a walk.

Your lore attribute is Bloodgruel, which now gives you wounds everytime you roll a 2-6 on a dice. On a 1, your spell tries to eat you and hits you with a S6 hit. Other than that, this is entirely free with every spell you cast, granting you a supply of wounds and funny moments where your spells try to eat you. On top of that, the next time said wizard tries to cast or dispel a spell, he gets +1 to the attempt.

A good lore attribute, meaning you can take some hits and still recover by pumping out spells. It also helps your own casting be just a bit better.

Onto the spells Surprisingly, most of them have remained the same.

Spinemarrow: Signature spell. 6+ augment with a 12” range, makes a unit stubborn. This spell can be enhanced to 24” casting range for a 9+ casting total. You'd think making Ogres stubborn would be brand new and shiny, but Toothcracker originally had it. Regardless, having the spell split in two means you have to pick (and because you're no longer a loremaster, you don't always get the toughness either) which one you'd rather benefit from. Making ogres stubborn is still a great thing to have, and as a signature spell you can get the most out of it by picking it whenever you want. Seeing as enemies will have steadfast, this is a great counter solution to always having less ranks.

Bonecrusher: 8+ magic missile, 2d6 S2 hits, no armour saves. If you're not happy with an 18” range, you can make it an 11+ casting to make it 36”. Although high toughness targets will annoy you, their armour matters little and you'll get enough attacks that you should hit them once or twice. Still good and it helps great against low toughness targets, too.

Bullgorger: 7+ augment for +1 strength for a unit within 12”. This, like all other augments can be enhanced to affect all units within 12” for a higher casting total. In this case, it's 14+. This is perhaps the biggest boon to Gut magic, allowing you to use any spare dice or good Winds of Magic rolls to power up your entire army. +1 strength is nothing to sneeze at, especially at how much strength your heroes and lords can reach. Always nice to use but gets better use when you reach combat. A fun fact is that this also increases the strength of a Hunter's Great Hunting Spear, though whether this will be used a lot depends on your army list.
Toothcracker: 8+ augment for +1 toughness for a unit within 12”. Same enhancement benefit as Bullgorger with a casting total of 16+ for doing so. T5 ogres means man-equivilent models need a 6 to wound you, which increases your chances of surviving a whole lot. A great survival benefit, though no longer gives you stubborn. Still good.

Braingobbler: 9+ hex, panic test from 18” inches away. Make it a 12+ and it can be 36” away. With battle-standard banners being so common, rerolling panic tests can be quite common. It may or may not actually work but on the plus side, it can have some range. The best benefit for this spell is to protect your stuff that warmachine hunters come after. They're too far away for BSB rerolls and don't have amazing leadership most of the time. A well placed panic roll might have them running away and it could make your Ironblaster have another turn of nuking. Situational but can shine.

Trollguts: 12+ augment, gives a unit regeneration and of course you can use it on everything within 12” at a casting total of 20+. When you slap this on a unit, they go from being slightly durable to utterly heinous levels of unkillability. If you manage to get Toothcracker too, you're looking at either one or many units with T5 and regen. On 3 wound models this makes them absurdly tough to kill. Even needing a 12, Trollguts is a very good spell to cast and will notably make your ogres survive better. Pair it up with your other defensive buffs and you're going to be hard to shift.

The Maw: A brand new spell, cast on a 15+. It's basically a template that likes to move about, requires an artillery and scatter dice and sometimes lands on your own ogres. Anything underneath the small round template takes an initiative test. Passing makes it take a S3 hit, whilst failure makes it take a S7 hit with D6 wounds. You can of course use a larger template, at a casting value of 21+.

Perhaps it is a sign of design change that they made a spell with an initiative test not an auto-win, but with a margin for failure that means you can still do something with it. Regardless, it begs the question if The Maw is worth it. There's a chance that you can hit your own ogres, but then again most template spells run that risk.

If The Maw hits, and hopefully it should, it'll be able to wreck things with low initiative (you know how everyone will collect ogres right away?) and even things with high initiative generally still don't like the odd S3 hit or so. It's a risk/reward system. Ultimately, I'd say be careful with it, and aim for stuff in the back ranks if you want some safety with it. Otherwise, aim it carefully, you can place it anywhere and hope you roll well.

Big Names

Big names are something unique to Ogres. They're essentially a one-shot magic item for a hero or lord that's allowed to take them and it gives them a benefit. Can't take them more than once. Some will be seen often, others will not.

Mawseeker: 40 points for +1 toughness and stupidity. Long gone are the days where this was a cheap 10 points and universally taken. At 40 points, this isn't as good as it used to be. Too expensive, considering it eats your magic item budget out.

Wallcrusher: 1 more impact hit and ignored obstacles. Potentially nets you D3+2 impact hits, which can be nice. Might be used and can work but altogether not necessary.
Kineater: Mini Battle Standard Bearer. Considering it costs as much as a battle standard and can only be given to a Tyrant, perhaps wise to give it a miss. 25 points isn't worth it when you can get a BSB. It may work well as a back-up, but you're paying 25 points and hoping your bruiser dies.
Mountaineater: Can't be wounded on better than a 3+. For 25 points this might see some use, especially with an Ironcurse Icon in order to dampen cannonballs and warmachines. It's alright, but would be so much better if it also negated some parts of multiple wounds. It would probably take a pricehike too. Worth taking if you face a lot of Empire, Dwarves and Skaven, otherwise decent.

Giantbreaker: I can pay 25 points for +1 strength and the inability to flee or simply deny a challenge, or pay 20 points for a Sword of Might. It costs 5 more points because it can stack as well, and allows you another magical weapon. With no more giant limitation, Giantbreaker stacks with Potions of Strength, Gutmaw, Sword of +whatever strength. A good bargin for 25 points, seeing as it says nothing about having your unit Champion accept the challenges instead.

Deathcheater: One shot enemy successful wound reroller that must be used after he hits. For 20 points, I'm uncertain if this'll be much use. Seeing as you can't use it when you know they've got a lot of wounds (or heroic killing blows) it might not save your character as much as you'd like it to. It's a risky investment, not one that I particularly wish to make for 20 points off my budget.

Longstrider: +1 movement. This only works on either lone characters or characters that join faster units. Yhetees are one example, sabertusks are another. This will go great on a Hunter in a pack of Sabertusks, otherwise it's not much use when you slap your character into your normal M6 bulls.
Beastkiller: +1 to dice rolls to wound for 20 points on a hunter only, and only on large targets. Situationally decent, but the issue is how often you plan to run your hunter into Large Targets to take them down. A niche Big Name, requiring you to have a hunter who goes after large targets in order to take the maximum benefit.

Brawlerguts: 15 points lets you reroll failed impact wounds. This has some nice synergy with Wallcrusher and gets better the luckier you are. It requires a decent investment and seeing as Ogres generally want to charge anyway, you'll get some benefit from it. At 15 points this isn't too shabby, but more impact hits ramps up it's usefulness a lot. Good if you want to fit it in, better with Wallcrusher.

Next post will look at Magic items!

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