With a new edition of Age of Sigmar comes new strategies and tactics to consider for every one of the game’s factions. In today’s Faction Focus Peter of the Plastic Craic blog is talking about Ogor Mawtribes and how the rule changes affect them.
How they win games
Ogors have two win conditions: kicking your head in, and existing.
While they are around, they are probably outcapping their opponents on Objectives. And I say while they are around, because they tend to get tabled by most decent armies: the armour saves are alarmingly bad on the Gutbusters side of the army. Many is the time I’ve won 2nd Ed games with Ogors via a Round 4 scramble, running and retreating onto Objectives and racking up just enough VPs before they finally evaporate.
The BCR side flips the script on those bad armour saves though, especially the iconic Frostlord on Stonehorn, who rocks the 3+ base save with a 5++ shrug. And that brings us onto the second way they win games: smashing stuff. Ogors are a solid combat army who can apply focused pressure on any area of the board at a given point in time. They won’t win a slog if they get bogged down, so it’s a matter of combo-charging multiple units into one pressure point, crashing in waves of mortal wounds on the charge then demolishing what’s left in combat, freeing you up to go again.
ABC: Always Be Charging.
Impact of Rules Changes
So yeah…about that charging. There’s quite a bit of stuff that punishes you for charging now, or indeed prevents it from happening entirely. Soulsnare Shackles, Raise Hell, Redeploy…they all hurt Ogors. Your own shooting is awful, and in no way scary enough to deter charging, so you’re a net loser there for sure.
Your Gutbusters models generally hate the new coherency rules, coming as they do on 40mm bases and rocking 1″ reach (the exception being Ironguts, which you will definitely want to run). And the low / zero rend combat profiles are left lagging in a world of 2+ armour saves.
Ogors also liked their Battalions, which combined useful abilities with access to useful artefacts, and therefore will be a net loss to the army.
On the flip side, you have some great Rally targets: spike a couple of 6s and bring back expensive 4-wound (or 6-wound) infantry, and you’re laughing.
Non-Battleline chaff occupies a sweet spot right now in that they are as good at denying easy Battle Tactics as they are at wasting output from power houses like Archaon and Gotrek. So your Gnoblars are sitting pretty, which might even give you a practical use for those hideous Hobgrot minis you accidentally picked up via Dominion.
The Beastclaw side is a bit more exciting. Restrictions on spamming Mount Traits have been lifted, so you can have Metalcrunchers for days. At time of writing you could even have multiple Metalcrunchers on individual Stonehorns, but that’s obviously a bit silly and unlikely to last.
Multiple Metalcrunchers spread across multiple Stonehorns (via Boulderhead) is more likely to last the course, and is essentially no different than what FEC have been doing with Gruesome Bite for years, so hopefully that survives FAQ.
BCR also has some great Monster Heroes, including our boy the legendary Frostlord on Stonehorn. Any 3+ save is money right now, because it will rarely be worse than a 2+ in practice, and this dude already comes with a built in Amulet of Destiny. Healing on both turns, let’s go!
The flip side of save stacking is that GW removed a lot of rerolls, so that natural 1s do actually fail, making volume of attacks (or mortal wounds) the go-to. Ogors do actually have a save reroll still available, albeit only a one-shot artefact: Alvagr Rune-tokens. Once per battle, at the start of your hero phase, the bearer can use this artefact. If they do so, until the start of your next hero phase, you can re-roll hit and wound rolls for attacks made by the bearer and re-roll save rolls for attacks that target the bearer. This is great double-turn insurance since it operates until your own next Hero Phase. A modern classic power move will be to park your tanks on your opponent’s lawn in Round 2, with an Alvagred-up Stonehorn crashing into their screens and ready to rip into the heart of their army.
If they go first, you remove one of the Objectives and have your re-rollable saves to carry you through; if you go first, it’s showtime.
Impact of points changes
The loss of the horde discount, and the minimum unit size of 6, was absolutely brutal on Gluttons. You rarely saw these taken in anything other than either minimum 3s as cheap Battleline (there is now no such thing on the Gutbusters side), or maximum 12s for the horde discount. A hike from 400 points to 520 for a unit of 12, in the context of the core rules shifting heavily against them as noted above, is utterly crippling.
Wizards came off well, with minor points drops, albeit in the context of what were previously overcosted single-cast wizards who aren’t even that good in combat.
While it’s a shame that some unplayable units like Gorgers basically got ignored (for a change), the stuff you generally want to take didn’t move up so much as to be problematic. My Eurlbad list is now 2000 points on the nose for example (without the Battalion), and although it’s not the optimised tournament machine it once was, it’s a good illustration of where this army’s points sit right now – which is, in a nutshell, fine.
List Building Tools: Fundamentals
You remember what I was saying about Frostlords earlier? Well they’re really good, so take them.
There’s been a bit of chatter about 18-man blocks of Gluttons, which is quite funny if nothing else. A 72-wound hunk of beef, capping as 36 models on Objectives, with total Battleshock immunity from the Tyrant and Rallying back 4-Wound models is not going anywhere in a hurry. So that’s your Grand Strategy sorted, then.
Their output is woeful on 40mm bases with 1″ reach and no rend, but that one Objective is yours. I’m not sure that it’s more than a meme list – the existence of Seismic Shift alone puts a bit of a cap on how useful a static ~800 point unit that does nothing but exist can possibly be – but you could have some fun mucking around with the Soulscream Bridge to get them from A to B if needed, and they would look baller on the table.
Worth a mention is that the Monster keyword is disproportionately useful to Ogors by definition:
Cast this and your little wizards are capping as 10 models and smashing mortal wounds out on the charge. Love it.
There are a couple of Mad Scientists in the Ogors community (Mick Wendel and Stuart McCowan spring to mind), who explore all aspects of the book and come up with some great combined-arms lists that always give you interesting, engaging games. One thing that Stuart has already flagged up is the dual mobility role of Yetis.
Specifically, they have the 6″ pile in that allows them to bypass Unleash Hell; but those pile ins are generally vulnerable to stepping back out of range with Redeploy:
What’s great about Yetis is that they can run and charge with a Thundertusk nearby, so you have that flexibility to run right up the board and then choose to pile in or charge depending on your opponent’s reactions. Glorious.
List Building Tools: The Jank
So that’s all well and good, but do we have any bullshit? Yes, we have some bullshit.
Ogor NoTribes: Curse
The Curse Universal Prayer is the current darling of every Captain Obvious on the internet, but we won’t let that stop us taking our own angle on it:
Anything that chucks a million dice to go fishing for 6s obviously loves this. If we had Opta-style stats for Age of Sigmar, “Dice chucked per point” (regardless of quality) would be a big one to look out for, with any remaining rerolls really jacking it up. It’s also obviously better in shooting if you have it, so you can point and click at the unit of your choosing without having the inconvenience of movement, or screens, or being good at Warhammer.
Namarti Reavers have been talked about by a lot of people, but Savage Orruk Arrowboys aren’t hating life either (with their mate the Wardokk dishing it out). Where it comes into play for Ogors is the humble Gnoblar.
These idiots have a trash-tier warscroll backed up with a trash-tier points cost. A single, minimum unit of 20 flings a lazy 60 dice at your opponent: 20 in the shooting phase, 40 in combat. Get off a Curse and run multiple blocks of these, and you can have a serious mortal wound threat without blowing up your points budget.
It’s true that Curse only goes off on a 4+, but I don’t mind that for a few reasons:
- Gnoblars are contributing even without Curse, by wasting entire turns of output from Archaon and Gotrek
- They are a non-Battleline chaff screen, so they don’t even bleed out Battle Tactics
- Three single units for 360 points gives you 60 bodies, 3 layers of chaff, 180 dice thrown at Curse and plenty of wiggle room to still have a proper army
The way I’m looking at it, it’s all upside for them, and I’ll be happy to chuck at least 2x 20 into any Ogors list.
So who’s going to pray Curse for us? Well there’s the Huskard on Thundertusk, who can have his own little Stone Skeleton now thanks to the Amulet, and could be worth a tech slot in your lists.
But if you didn’t want to run one of those, could I interest you in running no Tribe, and grabbing the following CT?:
Touched by the Everwinter: This general is a PRIEST. If this general is already a PRIEST, they know 1 additional Everwinter prayer.
You can slap this on your Stonehorn, and have a General who is more than happy to be mixing it up within 9″ of the enemy. And as a side note, moonwalking up into Curse range on your opponent’s turn is a great use of Redeploy.
I see this option as being especially relevant at 1000 points, where you wouldn’t have room for a Huskard on Thundertusk, but even at 2000 points it has some gas.
Ogor NoTribes: Wizardy
I’ve got some Grade A nonsense with the Butcher right here! If you’re one of life’s optimists, can I interest you in dishing out an infinite number of mortal wounds in your opponent’s hero phase?
Spell-eater: Each time this general dispels an endless spell, you can heal any wounds allocated to them. If this general has no wounds allocated to them, you can instead add 1 to this general’s Wounds characteristic until the end of the battle. In addition, each time this general dispels an endless spell, they can cast 1 additional spell in that phase.
Soooooo we now dispel Endless Spells on our opponent’s turn…and then get to cast a spell right away! BOSH.
If there’s another wizard in the game who gets to cast in your opponent’s hero phase, I’m not aware of it. How much fun is that?! With +1 to dispell near the Mawpot and 30″ dispel range, it’s pretty feasible that this will come up in practice too.
There are couple of obvious candidates for this: Mystic Shield is always a winner, and stacking it up to shield from rend is A Thing. He could Arcane Bolt himself to crack off D3 mortal wounds against anything that charges him (clutch if your opponent has a beatstick down to his last couple of wounds), or how about the Butcher’s own warscroll spell?
Voracious Maw: The Butcher’s great hunger manifests itself, and the ground splits to reveal a tooth-lined, bottomless pit that hungrily snaps and snarls. Voracious Maw has a casting value of 7. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster that is visible to them. That unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. After resolving any damage, roll a dice. On a 1, 2 or 3, the maw is said to be satisfied and the spell ends. On a 4+, the target unit suffers D3 additional mortal wounds. Keep repeating this process until the maw is satisfied or the target unit is destroyed.
BOOM cop that! And on your own turn too, if you don’t mind!
Both of these rely on taking no Tribe, to unlock a generic Command Trait. Outside of the (still very strong) Boulderhead Stonehorn lists, I do think it’s a legitimate consideration, because the toolkit lists don’t generally lean on the Tribe benefits too much. A Gnoblar “Screen ‘n’ Curse” list could make a decent skew army, whereas the Butcher thing is more of a fun gimmick, but I could see myself running either or both at an event.
While there are clearly winners and losers, overall the army has gained as much as it lost, and Ogors remain a solid lower A-Tier army. There are some triple Metalcruncher lists starting to be refined that look very promising competitively, but this is a deep book with plenty more to explore. The key to success with Ogors is identifying your “outs” in the bad matchups – how do you sneak across the VP line in the games where you’re going to lost the scrap?
You can rush everything forward and smash up their screens, then pray for that first priority roll. Although I reserve the right to use that on occasion, and turn a match against some S-Tier netlists into a coin flip, it’s really just a recipe to go 3-2 if that’s your only plan. If you want the 4-1 or better, you need to identify alternatives.
I’d still happily take Ogors to competitive events, although it might take a while to fine tune the list (and the play style) to get back to the level where I barely ever lost a game with Mawtribes (flex). But that’s the spice of life, right?
As mentioned above, The Honest Wargamer has done an excellent show covering Ogors with Stuart McCowan:
I’d also direct you to my own Plastic Craic blog, because of course I would. This is an army I play competitively so it gets regular coverage, and I’ve recently published an interview with legendary Tyrant Mikey Wendel that’s well worth a look.
Mick famously won a GT with Gutbusters back when they didn’t even have allegiance abilities, and he’s still taking names in this brave new world, so digest his words like the tenderised flesh of your vanquished enemies.
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