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Friday, September 23, 2011

Ogre Kingdoms Now & Then - The Now Part 7 - Magic Items

We're rapidly closing on the end of this lovely new Ogre Kingdoms review. Saramoff looks at the Magical Items now available to Ogres.

If you've seen any of the other hardback books you'll know that a lot of magic items have been removed. With Ogres this is no different. Many will be sad to see that the Greyback Pelt has gone. Mostly me. The changes may not be that easy to take, but you'll have to take it in and realise that somethings just won't get used.

Thundermace: Essentially a Great Weapon that can do a Thundercrush attack. It's pretty much the same, other than said attack doing S3(9) and D3 wounds. It also costs you 30 more points. Taking up a huge chunk of the item budget for something that people didn't really take to begin with is horrendously expensive compared to other methods of building your Tyrant. Unfortunately, too costly to do much with.

Siegebreaker: Another 85 points weapon which lost a point of strength. Still strikes against initiative but can't have parry saves taken against it. Otherwise, you can make a Siegebreaker attack against a building. Instead of normal attacks you get D6 hits with a strength equal to the height of the building in inches, from bottom to the highest point. If you play in a game or scenario where you need to knock down buildings, this may see some use, otherwise it's horribly costly for what it does. Much like the Thundermace, this won't get a lot of use.

Gnoblar Thiefstone: No longer stackable, for 45 points you get Magic Resistance (2) (which cost you 30 points before) and a 15 point benefit of a chance to get a random magical item. This item, if rolled on the chart, takes it from your enemy or any of your characters that have it, which may result in making your enemies character less worthwhile. The items you can get range from cheap to very good, so the Thiefstone will see some use for people that like a bit of unpredictability in their favour entering the game.

Greedy Fist: For 40 points, you get a +1 Strength and a 6+ ward. In normal magical items this costs you 35 points. The rest of the 5 points is in the other rules, where if a magic weapon's attacks get saved by the Greedy fist, they lose their properties. The biggest bonus is if you hit (not wound, hit) a wizard, for every hit it loses a wizard level and a random spell. This is an absolutely huge benefit on top of already giving you several passive benefits. The strength also stacks with big names and other magical items. The ability to stack another dot of strength, paired with a ward saver and magic destroying properties makes the Greedy Fist an excellent choice, even on a Bruiser.

Gut Maw: 45 points for Terror (bye daemon-killer scars) and a wound gained for every wound caused in a challenge. If you take this with Giantbreaker (meaning you can't refuse challenges) then you're looking at a nice challenge build. Other builds however, still do the job better by causing more damage. Health regeneration is nice, especially against stalemate challenges. This will see some use, but more will take the Greedy Fist for the all-around benefits it gives.

Grut's Sickle: Costs a lot more and takes up your whole budget on a Butcher. On the plus side, you inflict a single wound (it doesn't say you can't take saves, this may need clearing up but right now, you can take saves) and get +2 to casting total for that wizard for the entire phase. Excellent synergy with Bloodguel, netting you a decent modifier to your spells to help cast those extended totals. The downside is if you roll a double 1 after the phase is over, they lynch your wizard. The risk isn't as big as the reward luckily but always there. Worth taking if you can afford it on a Slaughtermaster, but make sure on a butcher you have some other wizards for a dispel scroll and whatnot.

Hellheart: Being an arcane item limits the Hellheart to only being on wizards. That's a downside. The other downside is bad luck. The benefits are if you use it on it's one use only lifespan every wizard within D6x5” takes a misfire and every wizard that did miscast gives you an extra dispel dice. This item has the potential to dominate that magic phase. The best way to use it is to dispel anything that helps prevent miscasts and right when you can use it, when you're up close and personal, let it rip. If your enemy has a clump of wizards together, this has the potential to utterly destroy his magic phases. The ability to neutralise wizards is worth the 50 point price tag, so expect people to use a lot of Hellhearts.

Rock Eye: 5 points, same as before. Much cheaper now, this makes for a steal if you have the points left over and have an Enchanted Item slot free. This can help a lot if you face anything with a hidden unit, as you can target it if you can see it. For 5 points, why not?

Rune Maw: 60 points says “no more ironbulls or maneaters for you, sir”. Nominated to a Battle Standard Bearer only, the Runemaw is practically the same. The issues with the Runemaw are subtle. It doesn't specify enemy spellcasters anymore, which means you're deflecting your own augment spells away from your unit. Being on a Battle Standard Bearer is dangerous as the enemy will want it dead and you can't keep it augmented. Not to mention it's quite costly as well. The Rune Maw has seen better times, but if you don't mind a unit that's mostly immune to your spells or theirs and is worth a BSB, then take it. Otherwise, it won't see as much use as the previous book did, where it was almost automatically included.

Dragonhide Banner: 10 points cheaper means this little piece of drake ass will be able to fit on any unit that can take a magical banner. Whilst you're no longer immune to magic that doesn't exist, you still reroll all rolls of 1 to hit, wound and your armour saves. You also get a nifty little S3 breath weapon that the owner can use to make anything hit by it Always Strikes Last until the end of it's turn. This little benefit is huge, as the owner gets to sacrifice it's attacks to help it's unit and anything else charging it.

The Dragonhide banner works very well if you charge. In your turn, you charge the enemy and get your rerolls whilst the owner of the banner uses his breath weapon. On the next turn of combat, they Always Strike Last if you haven't rolled over them, meaning you go first most of the time and at the same time at worst. The best way to make benefit of this banner is to ensure you have a lot of hits, wounds, decent armour saves and in the next turn you want to go first to finish the job.

This sounds exactly like Mournfang Cavalry and this banner fits them well. It makes the Mournfangs more expensive but makes them very good at their job. Even on Maneaters or Ironguts this banner performs well, and makes a decent 50 point addition to your army.

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