Many thanks to Games Workshop for providing an advanced copy of Hunter & Hunted for us to review. While Ogres have been well served with Underworlds warbands, they’ve been lacking in Warcry (not that the Underworlds bands aren’t great with their variety of birds, kitties and monkeys that can be dragged and dropped into Warcry). Now we see the first new unit added to Ogres in AoS, and a dedicated Warcry Warband.
Abilities and Reactions
The Gorger Mawpacks abilities and reactions lean heavily towards dealing out damage/improving damage output because while each model can already deal out fairly big chunks of damage, you don’t have a lot of them and getting models into combat is going to be your key issue (move 5 + large base vs terrain and carefuly placement by your opponent). Ideally you want to multicharge with Bounding Leaps and eat enemy chaff models two at a time, but planning your activations and ability use at the end of your previous turn/start of your turn is going to be key. There’s a level of irony in the big dumb monsters who aren’t smart enough to pick up treasure being the thinking players team, but imagine you’re wearing a hat with I R SMURT written on it.
The Gorger Mawpack reaction, Rending Bite, allows you to react when attacked with a melee attack action but before dice are rolled. If you use it then your opponent rolls their dice and if they don’t score any crits then the attacking model takes six points of damage. This is really good for scaring your opponent, getting them to change the order they attack in order to attack with a model that rolls a lot of dice and likely will score a crit, or making them sweat when they attack with someone with only five wounds left. Note that range is irrelevant in this reaction, which means if they are attacking with a range 2 or 3 melee weapon you can still bite them back even if you couldn’t melee attack them back due to being out of range with a range 1 melee attack (and weapons with longer reach tend to get less dice, making this even riskier).
Double – Bounding Leaps – If there is a visible enemy model within 6″ you can make a bonus move action and must finish closer to the nearest enemy fighter than when you started. This is essentially a free move to get into combat and means you can then spend two actions eating enemy models.
Double – Glimmer of Consciousness – Until the next battle round, the fighter is not considered to have the Beast runemark (the Clawback cannot use this, but it would have no effect on it anyway). If the model is carrying treasure at the start of the next battle round, it drops it. Every model except your leader has the Beast runemark so if you are playing a scenario involving treasure (which a model can only carry one of) then you can be forced to use this instead of Bounding Leaps simply to play to the scenario victory conditions.
Double – Unnatural Force – Add one to the damage for normal and critical hits that this fighter does to enemy fighters in melee attacks. If you’re already locked in combat, this is great for increasing damage output, but can only be used on the Clawback (though having four attack dice still means this is potentially really good).
Triple – Agonising Roar – Roll for each enemy fighter within 6″. On a 4+ they cannot make disengage actions until the end of the battle round. Great for setting off with the first activation if your models are in a giant mosh pit and the enemy wants to run away with treasure/move to score objectives/avoid getting eaten. Useable only by the Cave Howler, but that model has a solid pile of dice for attacks and chewing on models they’ve stopped from disengaging.
Triple – Maddened Blows – Until the end of this fighters activation it scores criticals on 5+. Another one that’s great to increase damage output if you are already in melee and can use two attack actions, but limited by only being useable by the Gorger with Great Club.
Quad – Starving Rampage – Gain the Beast runemark, drop any treasure you’re carrying, but make a bonus melee attack action for each visible enemy model within 1″ (you must target different models with each bonus action). If you’re engaged by 2 or 3 enemy fighters this is incredibly good and really helps clear up hordes. Bear in mind if you are using it on a Gorger with great club and range 2″ you can strike targets at range 2″ using bonus attacks generated by models within 1″.
There’s only one hero model in the faction, and it’s the only one without a Beast runemark, so they’ll be the default for carrying around things you don’t want to lose, like treasure, keys and the shopping list.
The big beast of the warband with 35 wounds and a 4 dice str 5 3/6 attack, with a specific ability, Unnatural Force, to make that 4/7. You have to take one of these models, and you could theoretically squeeze two in at the cost of other specialists. As a low model count warband your leader will be in the thick of the fighting, and I’ll come to some of the possible pitfalls in that when I look at the strengths and weaknesses of the band as a whole.
With four fighters available, two with abilities tied to them specifically, you have a decent variety available. The fighters all have Move 5, Toughness 3 and 30 wounds, so while they will take damage your opponent has to get through a lot of wounds to bring models down.
The Cave Howler is the best of the fighter options, has a unique ability in Agonising Roar, but costs you 40 points more than the average Gorger for it. It’s got the same move, toughness and wounds as the Gorgers, but has a five dice strength 4 3/6 attack, which is a lot of dice to be throwing around (one extra dice and one extra critical damage in comparison to the standard Gorger). Best in the midst of your line, and if you think you can get Agonising Roar off, within 6″ of as many enemy models as possible.
Gorgers – Standard, with Club and with Great Club
The variation between these models is weapon load out. The points difference is slight, and the Gorger with Great Club is actually only better (unless you are using the triple Maddened Blows) against toughness 5 enemies or you need Range 2 weapons as there are a lot of spear armed enemies around. In the Comparative Damage Output table below I cover the various fighters and their average damage against different toughness enemies.
All of these models are equivalent to the heavy hitter models you get in other warbands, but you pay heavily for it in terms of the number of models you have to play with.
Comparative Damage Output
|Fighter||vs T3||vs T4||vs T5||vs T6|
|Clawback w Unnatural Force||12.67||12.67||10||7.33|
|Gorger w/Great Club||6.67||6.67||6.67||5.33|
|Gorger w/GC and Maddened Blows||8||8||8||6.66|
- Clawback – Leader
- Cave Howler
- 2 x Gorgers
- Gorger with Great Club
This gives you a 990 point warband with access to all the abilities. You can switch a Gorger to a Gorger with club but it is only useful against toughness five enemies and it’s really marginal given you then have less attack dice to roll.
Overview and Suggested Allies
This is a monster warband, more elite than Stormcast Questor Soulsworn and this is going to give you problems, particularly in competitive play where you have to hold objectives, table quarters or heaven forbid, lug treasure around. Treasure is where you’ll really struggle, as only your leader can carry it without you spending a double on Glimmer of Consciousness instead of something like Bounding Leaps.
You’ve got a lot of wounds in the warband, but everyone is toughness 3, so even low strength missile fire or weak chaff fighters could potentially whittle you down, and that’s the smartest thing for your opponent to do. If you are playing a treasure scenario, then a smart opponent with prioritise killing your Clawback and Cave Howler (as the only model that can carry treasure and a model that can prevent enemy models disengaging) and then watch you burn doubles trying to carry things and dropping them and not be able to use those dice for other, potentially far more dangerous to your opponent, abilities.
Move 5 means you aren’t slow, and Bounding Leaps helps get you into combat, but as a warband you are going for tabling your opponent (can’t win on objectives if there’s no one left alive) in a lot of cases. Five models is not a lot of board control, and you’ll often find that the enemy has twice as many models as you. Against other elite warbands (stormcast, vampire heavy Soulblight, Warrior heavy Chaos, Ironjawz) then this is much less of a concern and a model lost will hurt them almost as much as it hurts you. You’ll likely get only a little damage done in the first battleround, but spend it getting your models into position to chow down on your opponent in the second round. Don’t hesitate to Bounding Leap after a double move to put you next to an already activated model ready to double melee attack in the second round.
A five model band of big mean ogres is fairly efficient, but gives you some very tough games in some scenarios.
For allies you’ve got the Destruction faction open for you to plunder, and you can find mitigations for a lot of your weaknesses (lack of bodies, no missile weapons, lack of guys to get treasure) and if you sacrifice a Gorger or two then you’ve potentially got a fair whack of points to spend on allies. I’d recommend looking at Warcry warbands, as they open up a lot. Blackpowder’s Buccaneers is one option, and gives you some little treasure carrying guys accompanying a big bruiser with a missile weapon. You could go Clawback, Cave Howler, Gorger, Blackpowder and two little goblin guys for 1000 points, leaving you with four big ogres and two little guys to run around, and four out of six models that can carry treasure.
Finally Destruction are getting some Warcry love, and it’s a solidly interesting warband that I think will see play in the hands of skilled players who can maximise positioning and abilities to spend three turns eating most of their opponents models and then trying to score the victory conditions.
The Mawpack are like Knights in 40k or Ents in Middle Earth – a low head count army with individually powerful models and nobody wearing trousers. As always – drop us a line if you have any questions or suggestions: Contact@Goonhammer.com.