Ogre Units and Characters
This article will list all the 'proper' Ogre characters and units and I will talk a little about what works for me. Gnoblars and non-ogre units in the Ogre Kingdoms army will be dealt with in another article. Having played with Ogres since before they got an army list of their own, and having won the vast majority of my battles (when I lose it's nearly always to armies with a lot of shooting), I believe I have sufficient insight to make a decent summary, even for those units and characters I have not fielded all that much or at all (Ghark, for example, is a character I will probably never field).
Firstly, there are a couple of things it pays to be aware of regarding ogres, which people often get wrong:
- Ogres are not monsters, they are large infantry models. This is explicit in the new 7th edition rulebook but was the case in 6th edition as well.
- Single ogres have a 90 degree line of sight, as they are larger than mansized, they cannot see all round like smaller single models can
- Ogres are not Large targets. I get this question a lot and can inform my opponent that they do not have the Large target rule.
- Ogres can be screened by smaller infantry models, such as gnoblars (not that this is a very good idea). Often people think that ogres can be seen over smaller models, since they are bigger, but this is wrong. The only models you can see over other models are Large targets (barring special rules, such as the Small rule some swarms have, for example).
- Ogres get a rank bonus in the same way as any normal unit. Thus in 7th edition you will need 5 models to get a rank bonus and in 6th edition you needed. Three models have never been enough to get a rank bonus and neither is the rank bonus connected to the unit strength of the models.
Dogs of War units
Regiments of Renown
First a little on the special rules that apply to all Ogres (well, nearly, anyway). Ogres don't really have all that many special rules and once you have the hang of how multiple Wound models work in the game, they are reasonably easy to deal with (though a lot of my opponents have trouble with how Gut Magic works).
Everything bigger than a Gnoblar gets this rule in the Ogre Kingdoms army,
unless they have Terror (heh, heh, heee!). It can be useful or it can make your
units more expensive for no real benefit. There is two ways to use this rule.
The first is not to care about it and be thankful when the enemy fails the odd
test. The other is to go for Outnumbering to auto-break enemies who are not
immune to Fear, in which case you either want decently sized units of
reasonably cheap Ogres, or combine several units charging at the same enemy
unit (personally I recommend the latter). In any case, large units of expensive
Ogres is a bit pointless since you get less out of their enhanced combat
abilities and you may find that a large unit of basic Bulls is often better.
Strangely enough, I have found that Fear is more useful against enemies with
high Leadership. Enemies with low Leadership will often be able to send
multiple units against you in case one unit fails the test and those units will
probably be less of a threat anyway. It is after all much more useful to have
High Elf Swordmasters hitting on 6s than Goblins doing the same. Thus a single
Ld 9 unit that fails a test is often more useful than two Ld 6 units failing
Another bonus is that it makes your units immune to Fear and less affected by Terror. Having an Orc army that has to pass both an Animosity and a Fear test to charge some measly skellies, I know how good this can be.
Let's face it, against competent opponents, you are only likely to get a Bull Charge if his unit can't or won't either get out of the way or move so close that the Bull Charge is negated. Against less skilled opponents chances are more common and should be exploited at every opportunity. There are a small handful of ways to force a Bull Charge. The first an easiest is if the opponent is locked in close combat, in which case they can't do anything about it. The second is to block the enemy unit with units of your own (or his own units, if you are lucky), forcing him to stay within 6 to 12". This is rather hard to do and does not happen very often. The third way is to have units ready to flank the enemy if they move closer than 6" to you, again not an easy thing to do and more often than not the opponent can angle his unit to both get within 6" of at least one Ogre and avoid a flank charge. All in all, Bull Charge is not worth worrying too much about and items that rely on getting it (Wallcrusher, Bull Standard) should generally be avoided.
The biggest advantage to having a basic trooper with 3 Wounds is that you
can take Wounds and still hit back just as hard. When a normal unit takes 2
Wounds before it gets to strike, it normally loses around a third of its combat
ability. Not so with Ogres, who strike back at full strength. With the low
Initiative of Ogre units, this can be quite useful, though if you get to strike
first there is not much difference. Another advantage is that it preserves Unit
Strength, which is useful for getting the Outnumbering bonus and possibly
auto-breaking enemy units. On the downside, it tends to suck rather bad when
you just lose an Ogre and all his luvverly Attacks, considering that this is
how you win combats.
Just about the only reason for taking Ogre champions comes as an extension of this rule, it lets you absorb up to 4 Wounds before losing an Ogre instead of 2. However, this only applies in close combat and only if the opponent actually attacks the champion. Thus, if you decide to buy a champion, make sure that enemy models that can only attack them actually resolve their attacks against the champion, or you are wasting points.
The main advantage of any Ogre character is their very high number of Wounds, meaning that they can take a whole lot of damage before they go down, even against weapons that ignore armour saves. Of of their main disadvantages is their 90 degree line of sight, compared to 360 degrees for nearly all other characters.
I would personally never go without a Tyrant if I could take one, he's
that good. You don't need an expensive one, and just Kineater and a
great weapon will get you a long way. A Tyrant has a huge choice in item combos
available to him and though a few of them are very common, there are a lot of
effective ones. With a basic Toughness and Wounds of 5 each, not much will
actually kill a Tyrant and thus it is often more tempting to stock up on items
that make you kill more enemies and protect the unit he is with in some way. I
am a great fan of keeping my Tyrant mobile in my battle line, moving from one
unit to another as the need arises and even charging things on his own if the
chance presents itself. Sometimes you get a situation where a character in a
unit could charge something the unit itself could not (due to other units in
the way or whatever) and I rarely shy away from such an opportunity, reckoning
that a Tyrant can usually manage on his own if he needs to (though a Battle
Standard Bearer nearby is useful).
Weapon-wise I tend to take either the Tenderiser (excellent against enemy characters) or Siegebreaker (relatively cheap and quite good), though you might settle for a great weapon to save points. If you take the Giantbreaker Big Name you might want a Cathayan Longsword or one of the Common Magic Weapons, such as the Sword of Battle, but then you'll have to take a Slave Giant.
I must admit that I don't bother much with Magic Armour, I find them just a bit too expensive for what they do. Talismans, though, are nice. I have previously taken the Wyrdstone Necklace a lot (along with a Luck Gnobbo), but I have found that it often causes more Wounds to my Tyrant than it prevents and a Gnoblar Thiefstone or two is often a better choice. Enchanted Items I usually leave to my lesser characters and instead save points for a decent Big Name (i.e. Kineater). Kineater is great - the range may not be all that, but normally keeping Ogre units close together is a good survival trait and this enhances that. And you only need to be in range of a single model in the unit to have the effect, which is not that hard to do. I have used the Mawseeker / Jade Lion combo a bit, but over all I find Stupidity to be a bit too annoying and, as I've said before, people don't get to attack my Tyrant all that often.
More info can be found in the article on Ogre Tyrants.
Compared to other Lord-level Wizards, who often cost twice as much as their Hero-level friends, the Slaughtermaster is a good deal, only costing 50% more than a Butcher, while generating twice as many magic dice, having a better range on the boosting spells and being able to cast with 3 dice, should you want to. In addition, he has better combat stats, which makes it more interesting to buy him a magic weapon. The downside is that he only has 1 more Wound, which can be bad news considering that he'll most likely do twice as much casting as a Butcher, so buy him the Wyrdstone Necklace or the Halfling Cookbook (ot both). Equipment suggestions is otherwise much the same as for a Butcher, one suggestion being Siegebreaker + Wyrdstone Necklace + Halfling Cookbook + Dispel Scroll + as many Gnobbos as you want.
Below 2,000 pts, this guy will be your General, you don't have any other choice. Being a sort of mini-Tyrant, most of the things that go for a Tyrant applies to a Bruiser as well, though with only a 50 pt magic item quota, I rarely have the available points for a magic weapon and instead stick with a great weapon and items that protect him or his unit. Greatly preferred are those that hamper enemy magic, such as Thiefstones. My Bruisers rarely get Big Names, mostly because they can't take Kineater and Mawseeker is a bit too risky (even with a re-roll from the Jade Lion). I personally reckon that the best setup for a fighter Bruiser is two Thiefstones and a Fistful of Laurels (if you don't go with a Battle Standard in your army).
Ogre Battle Standard Bearer
I quite often take a Bruiser with the army Battle Standard, despite some other
people's opinions that Ogres either win or lose by so much that there is no
point in a re-roll. With 7th edition they get even better, as the bonus stacks
with that of a normal banner, and static combat bonuses are hard to come by in
an Ogre army. Since he can't take a great weapon he will often end up with
nothing but his Ogre Club, though if spare points are plenty he gets a Sword of
Might for that very nice S6. Other items are the Greatskull, Thiefstones or the
Rock Eye (against Dwarfs). I don't really see the point in a magic banner, the
Ogre banners are not very useful and the Ironguts tend to get the War Banner.
It's better to have some other magic items, if you ask me.
More thoughts can be found in my generic tactics article on Battle Standard Bearers.
I tend to take one or two Butchers in all my battles (most often two).
Since they know all six spells in their lore they are very flexible and with a
Toughness of 5 and 4 Wounds they are quite survivable (though excessive casting
og Gut Magic with no Bloodgruel will use them up!). Since they can handle
themselves in combat Butchers work both in units and outside them about equally
well and the decisions on placement is really guided more by the low ranges of
their spells than by any other factor. If your opponent has a lot of missile
fire you may want to place them inside units and give the unit a Look-out
Gnoblar. Some players also buy Champions for these units to keep the Butchers
out of challenges, but I disagree - the Butcher has good enough stats to go toe
to toe with most enemy champions out there and even a lot of hero-level
When it comes to casting, some people favour a lot of one-dice spells, but that's a bit too random for me. You never know which spells you'll get off and then the opponent can generally dispel the ones he doesn't want to let through. Two dice per spell for me, plus the Bangstick, a full compliment of Tooth Gnobbos and a Power Stone now and then.
Item-wise, the two best are the Bangstick and the Skullmantle and I give one of these to each of my Butchers. If you want a combat-support Butcher you can also give him the Siegebreaker in addition to the Skullmantle, which is very good against opponents with Initiative 1 or 2. A Dispel Scroll or two is also good (I find them rather dull, so I rarely take more than 1), as are Power Stones, Thiefstones and the Fistful of Laurels. I must admit that I have rarely found a need for the Halfling Cookbook.
More info can be found in the article on Gut Magic.
Whenever I take a Hunter, he tends to get shot and die without achieving
anything much. Each time this has happened, I have told myself that I should
only take the Hunter against enemies with little in the way of missile fire,
but sadly those armies tend to have quite a bit of magic and the need for
another Butcher becomes too great. Realistically, there is not much a Hunter
can do which a unit of three Yhetees can't, and they don't take up a character
slot. Another problem is that Hunters tend to cost a lot, having a higher base
cost than the other two Hero types (for some reason) and you probably want two
'tusks. And then he has the problem that he can only take one of the three
items that he really wants (Longstrider, Bullgut or Greyback Pelt). I only
field my Hunter now and then, because he's too frustrating to field on a
regular basis. If only he could move and fire his Harpoon Launcher or take any
Sabretusks: The fastest thing in an Ogre army, and one of the things people tend to like about the Hunter. Mine tend to get shot and very few of my opponents are considerate enough to leave fragile Wizards somewhere they can charge them, so they mainly have the role of ablative Wounds for my Hunter (a job they are not too bad at doing).
Ogres are a bit strange in that all of their units can be hired as Dogs of War units. I suspect that this is because the designers wanted to play safe and make the models available to most players out there, in case the army itself flopped.
You can't leave home without a unit of these guys, and I usually take two
or three (I would have fielded more, but I only have twelve Bulls models). At
the moment my favourite unit is one of four, with additional hand weapons, a
standard bearer and a bellower. They are reasonably cheap and can handle most
medium-tough enemy units. Against armies with plenty of missile fire you want a
lot of Bulls in nice big units (little point in giving them lots of gear,
though), while against other armies several units of 4 is what I prefer.
Typically, I field my units 4 wide, since that is probably the maximum you can
get into a combat (against missile armies you may want to deploy wider to act
as a shield for units behind). There is little point in stacking your Ogres in
ranks other than to save space, since you are not likely to get either Bull
Charge or a rank bonus. Having more ogres in the unit can get you Outnumbering,
but so can a combined charge of two or more units. The basic club is better
than additional hand weapons against enemies with 2+ saves or better and
equally good against enemies with 3+ saves.
Additional hand weapons: Against enemies with little or no armour, extra hand weapons will on average kill about one extra guy, which can be crucial. If you don't think it will make any difference (for example, if you have a small unit and intend to use it only for flanking) then don't bother and save the points.
Ironfist: If you think it looks better than an additional hand weapon, there is little reason not to spend the extra point on it. However, you will rarely want to use it as a shield, since the extra attack is nearly always better (and when it would have been better with a shield, it would probably have been even better to flee from the charge).
See my article on Ogre Weapon Options for more thoughts and number crunching.
Light armour: In my experience, my Ogres don't get hit with very many weapons that do not cancel out a light armour save, so it's mainly just a wast of points. Get more guys instead.
Command options: I always take a Bellower and it has saved my units more times than I can remember. Losing combat by 1 can be a disaster with only Ld7 while winning it can be great, especially if you outnumber the enemy. Standards are great in an army with little in the way of ranks and not too expensive if you can avoid having them captured by the enemy (and usually you can). They are not very useful in 3-man supporting units, though. Crushers are pretty pointless, costing way too much for an extra WS3 S4 attack. You get the ability to issue or accept challenges and you can absorb more Wounds before you lose an Ogre, but over all it's not worth it.
The cheapest actual fighters in the army and what you want against decently
tough enemies - as a good rule of thumb Bulls are better against enemies with
5+ saves or worse and Ironguts against enemies with 4+ saves and better.
Against tougher enemies, Ironguts actually have the highest kills / cost ratio
in the army and though they lack the psychological advantages of Maneaters and
require a bigger unit to work, they are very effective troops. Due to their
lower cost, they are more resilient to missile fire than Maneaters, though you
still want to protect them from ranged attacks as even with Ld8 they are still
liable to fail the odd Panic test.
As with Bulls, I prefer a unit of 4, with a standard bearer, bellower and the War Banner. This unit can handle itself pretty well and does not need the help of a character to be effective. This is not to say that you shouldn't add a character to the unit (avoid using Butchers, though, if that means you'll have one less Irongut in combat), but Bulls often need the help of a character more than the Ironguts do. There is not much to say about this unit, as it's pretty simple. Toothcracker or Trollguts work well on them.
Command options: I always take a standard bearer and bellower, for the same reasons as for the Bulls. If I have spare points I might also take a Gut Lord, as an extra S6 attack is much better than the extra S4 attack you get with Bulls, for the same cost. Being the only unit that can have a magic standard, I always give them the War Banner. The Ogre-only magic banners are really not very good and should generally be avoided, the exception being the Rune Maw if you have a handy unit of Gnobbos nearby.
Being the only Ogre unit that can deal with fast cavalry and similar
annoying units reasonably well, Leadbelchers should be considered a must in
every Ogre army. Two of them are about the same cost as three Bulls, and trades
the extra body for an admittedly unreliable ranged attack. The only real
downside to 'belchers is the Misfire result, which in my opinion is too severe,
particularly in 7th edition when it may even cause the unit to Panic. Thus a
clever Ogre player should weigh his chances and not fire unless there is a good
reason. Dull? Yes, but I blame the designers. Considering that the chance of
panicing themselves go up with increased unit size, I find that two per unit is
a decent number and it also makes the unit more manoeuverable. Deploy them on
the flanks of the army and let them handle fragile enemy units that come near.
Leadbelchers are also good at flanking enemy units and taking out enemy war
machines (in close combat).
Command options: Again: Always, always get a Bellower. If you do the fire-and-flee tactic it also helps with rallying the unit, much needed with only Ld7. Even at only 10 pts I still cannot see the point in a Thunderfist and there always seem to be better things to spend the points on.
Maneaters have nearly all you want in an Ogre, except possibly the option to
ride a horse and get some decent armour. Most importantly, they have something
that normal Ogres do not, that being a decent Weapon skill and few worries
concerning Leadership. However, all this comes at a cost of up to 30 pts per
Wound, Wounds the elite Maneaters tend to lose about as fast as Bulls do if
they get shot at. This is the only actual problem with Maneaters - if you can
prevent them from being shot or charged by anything too nasty, they will often
carve their way across the table, slaughtering anything in their path.
If you cannot prevent this, take Ironguts instead, they are more resilient to ranged attacks and are about as effective at killing things, compared to how much they cost. A unit of three Maneaters cost 270 pts compared to 267 for four Ironguts with full command and War Banner and are better against some opponents, worse against others. What you get with Maneaters is more concentrated brutality and not having to worry too much about Leadership tests.
You have the option of taking only a single Maneater in a unit, an option I have trouble understanding the point of. A single T4 model with 3 wounds and little armour isn't going to last very long and I don't think it's worth spending a Rare slot on.
When I take Maneaters, I always take a Battle Standard Bearer, both to get a standard in a unit that cannot normally take one, but also because Stubborn on Ld8 is not that great and you'll fail about one test in four, on average. The BSB also adds even more brutality to an already brutal unit and has the advantage of not striking last in a protracted combat.
Great weapons: These are great against enemy knights, which the Ogre army generally struggles with and is overall the best weapon against T4+ enemy units. Personally I always give all my Maneaters great weapons, because Strength 7 is something you can usually only get on characters otherwise.
Cathayan longswords: Better than great weapons against less tough foes (Toughness 3 and either WS4 and/or 2+ armour saves), but then the rest of the Ogre army is good against less tough foes anyway, so I don't really see the need.
Brace of Handguns: These get better in 7th edition since you can stand and shoot regardless of how close the enemy start their charge and they count as additional hand weapons in close combat. Not bad, but two shots from a 90 pt model is not what I call good value for the points. Close combat-wise, the additional attack makes this the best option against horde infantry or very elite light infantry (i.e. Swordmasters and similar units).
See my article on Ogre Weapon Options for more thoughts and number crunching.
Heavy armour: 4 pts for +1 save on an 80-ish point model? Yes, please! Relatively speaking this is very cheap, even if it might not save all that many Wounds.
Ogre Bull Rhinox Riders
(Unofficial new unit with rules in UK WD 309. Rules can be downloaded from
Games Workshop website.)
Obviously, these guys help with a problem the Ogre army generally suffers from, namely the lack of units that have M7 or more. The Bull Rhinox is also big, tough and fights decently in combat. Having 4 S6 attacks and 3 S4 attakcs on a 50 mm wide frontage is quite good in an Ogre army, where units tend to be quite wide. However, it suffers from the same problems a lot of other Ogre units do, namely a low Weapon skill and low Leadership (added to this is the Bad tempered rule, which is often the cause of death for my Rhinox). In addition, it doesn't fight that well, certainly not to break decent enemy units on its own unless it gets very lucky. Thus a single Bull Rhinox should be considered a support unit, albeit a very expensive one, sharing the same fate as a lot of other large monsters. Two or more Bull Rhinoxen are very nasty, but at 300+ points they should be. Overall not better than the Scraplauncher, which cost about the same, but better against some armies and worse against others.
Big or Small Rhinox: For me, the extra 45 pts for a bigger, scarier Rhinox is well worth it. Most importantly, it gives the model US6, which makes it a lot more useful than the US4 version. Admittedly, two smaller Rhinox riders are also good for a mere 200 pts, but then you are starting to lose one of the great advantages of packing a good punch on a very narrow frontage.
Ironfist: It gives you an additional +1 armour save in close combat, which is nice and not too expensive. Ideally, enemies should not get to strike back at the Rhinox, though, so it's not strictly necessary, but a 2+ armour save in combat is nearly impossible to get any other way with Ogres.
Heavy armour: A no-brainer option. Of course you want it!
Command options: Here you don't actually need any of the available options, though they are not bad. 49 pts to upgrade a single Rhinox rider to a standard bearer and give him the War Banner is probably the most effective option, though it is pricy. A Bellower can also come in handy, but you don't really need it. 24 pts for an extra WS3 S4 attack is even more rediculous than the Crusher option for Bulls.
It is worth noting that all Ogre special characters use a chariot base and thus have the additional Dull point that the models cannot be used to represent normal non-special characters, something you can do with most special characters in other armies.
I don't know what they were thinking when they wrote his rules. An Ogre
character that works best if he hangs back in support? Why, oh why, is the
Overtyrant not some close combat killer instead of this oversized santa?
The Good: Granting a +1 CR bonus to every Ogre unit in combat can be very effective if you have several units gang up on the same enemy unit. MSU (multiple small units) style is further increased by having all fleeing Ogre units within his LOS rally automatically. Quite resilient, especially if you can get Toothcracker or Trollguts cast on him.
The Bad: A badass magic weapon, but only 3 Attacks and no save in combat. Moves no faster than a Gnoblar. Vulnerable to spells.
The Dull: For the points and character choices the fatty takes up you could get both a Tyrant and a Slaughtermaster and that would be a much more effective combination.
Skrag the Slaughterer
Well, this is at least a fun character with unique abilities and it also
shows you why Gorgers are normally 1 per Rare choice. Skrag combines the
abilities of a Slaughtermaster with quite decent combat abilities and allows
for a different style of Ogre army, which is always a plus.
The Good: Doesn't cost very many points or take up additional slots. You don't need a Tyrant to field him. Is healed and gains Regeneration after only 1 kill in close combat.
The Bad: Very vulnerable to war machine fire before he gets his Regeneration. Might get lured into solo charges against tough enemy units due to his Frenzy.
The Dull: Excessive use might result in opponents unwilling to play against you.
(Rules in UK WD 309. Phil Kelly has also informed us that Ghark takes up
a Lord + Hero choice.)
Another case of a special character where the result is less than the sum of it's parts (in this case a Tyrant and a Bull Rhinox). Considering the mention he gets in the army book, his rules are definitely a disappointment.
The Good: Allows Bull Rhinoxen to be taken as Special units, instead of Special + Rare.
The Bad: A Tyrant whose weapon is....: a hand weapon! This is ridiculous. Why doesn't Ghark at least have a great weapon? Can't join units.
The Dull: As with Greasus, buying a Tyrant (with Longstrider, if M7 is what you want) along with a Bull Rhinox will probably be both cheaper and better.
(Very hard to get model, since it was only presented to select GW staff.
I found his rules on an eBay auction. It does not say, but presumably he counts
as a Lord + Hero, in the same manner as Ghark)
The most unique of all the Ogre special characters and probably quite effective to boot. Braugh offers teh Ogre player a chance of having a unit with a full rank bonus and outnumbering and which is quite decent in combat as well. And in case something goes wrong, they are Stubborn as well. Of course, at 2 pts per additional slave, you want a lot of them to auto-break enemies.
The Good: High static CR plus a good fighting character with 6s for WS, S and Attacks. Can also block attacks from nasty enemies to make his unit more survivable. Braugh gets a "Look Out, Sir!" roll from his slaves. Unit charges at Braugh's speed.
The Bad: Slaves are rather vulnerable and are easy CR for the enemy. Moves at M4 normally and can get march blocked.
The Dull: Model is near impossible to get (though you could convert one). Unofficial rules.
Dogs of War units
In sixth edition, before Ogres got their own army book, they were only available as a unit entry in the Dogs of War army list in UK WD 201.
Dogs of War Ogres
These guys don't get Bull Charge (not a big loss), but instead gain a
cheaper command and the option for great weapons on what is essentially a Bulls
unit. If you aks me, the only reasonable unit has great weapons and full
command. Whether or not that is worth a Rare choice is debatable, since all you
are actually doing is saving a few points. I predict that this unit will
disappear if the Dogs of War army list is ever updated.
Additional hand weapons: No point. If you want these, get Bulls instead.
Great weapons: This option essentially gives you a cut-price Irongut without the option for a magic standard.
Light armour: Pointless, especially since the Ogres cannot ever get better than a 6+ armour save.
Command options: Considering that Ogres are foot troops, this is an option to save a few points, since you get standards and champions at half price, making champions actually worth taking.
Regiments of Renown
The RoR list in UK WD 202 is actually the old Dogs of War list updated to sixth edition. In good, old fifth edition, there were no generic Dogs of War units and everything was instead unique.
The main thing about this unit is that it's actually rather cheap, if you
don't mind the somewhat odd equipment they have. Certainly, a unit of Bulls
with additional hand weapons, light armour (instead of heavy), a full command
group and a Bruiser equipped the same way would cost you more than 300 pts
using the Ogre Kingdoms army list. So if you want that kind of unit (I must
admit that personally I don't) and are prepared to swap a Hero + Core choice
for a Rare choice, then there is no reason not to take them. Hopefully, 7th
edition will see a redo of their rules and bring them in line with the army
book Ogre units.
Golgfag: A Bruiser with +1 Attack is not too shabby, though normally you would not want to give him an additional hand weapon. A bit prone to getting shot, what with no option for a Look-out Gnoblar.
The Ogres: The price for additional Ogres is a bit stiff, though not excessively so. If you ask me, there is not much reason to go beyond the initial unit size of 4 Ogres.
This is a list of Ogre units belonging to other armies. Ogres get around, see? In fourth / fifth edition they even appeared in the army books for the Empire (along with Dwarf and Halfling units) and the Orcs & Goblins.
With the release of the Warriors of Chaos army book, we now have two types of Chaos Ogres (for some reason, the WoC Chaos Ogres are just called Ogres, despite being clearly chaotic). I have decided to write a new entry for the Chaos Ogres in the Warriors book, rather than simply replacing the old one. When the Beasts book gets released we shall see if Ogres are in that book, and if so whether they are the same as the other ones.
Chaos Ogres (Warriors)
Ogres as they appear in the WoC army book fills me with great hope for the next version of the
Ogre Kingdoms book, as the basic Chaos Ogre is quite a bit better than the basic Ogre Bull, for
the same starting cost. The statline is the same, but they get heavy armour as starting equipment
and a re-roll of Panic tests due to The Will of Chaos rule. Hopefully non-chaos Ogres will get
something equally nifty (Bull Charge and Ogre Clubs are a bit sad in comparison). Even more
annoying for Ogre Kingdoms players, Chaos players often skip their Ogres in favour of the
comparable but faster Dragon Ogres (or the not comparable but just as fast Chaos Knights).
As I see it, Chaos Ogres have two things going for them over Dragon Ogres, that being the option for more useful command options (standard bearer and musician) and Marks of Chaos. If neither of these interest you, go with Dragon Ogres instead and get a much greater chance of running down a fleeing foe.
With any unit of big guys I intend to fight with, I like units of four whenever I can afford it, and that includes Chaos Ogres. I'd try to avoid smaller units, because with only 3 Attacks each and Weapon Skill 3, you struggle against so many things, and even if you do gear them up with chaos armour, they are a bit easy to kill.
Marks of Chaos: Put the Mark of Khorne on your Ogres and they turn into a unit that can really do some damage. This is probably the most popular Mark, and with good reason as four S6 Attacks per model is very nasty. You will probably need to do some effective screening with Warhounds and compulsory charges and pursuits can be a bit bothersome with a Movement 6 unit. The second most popular Mark is probably Nurgle, which is nice in that it reduces WS4 foes to hitting your guys on 4+ rather than 3+. It also helps keep those pecky bolt throwers at bay, along with handgunners and other missile units. The Mark of Tzeentch works similarly, a more reliably, but with less effect over all. My chosen Mark, Slaanesh, seems not to be very popular, possibly because people's idea of a Slaanesh worshipper doesn't mesh well with their idea of an Ogre. Nevertheless, I find that not having to worry about Panic (which is still a problem for Ld7 guys, even with a re-roll) or Terror (passing a Ld7 test without re-roll to charge a Terror- causer is a bit too much of a gamble for my taste) is well worth the 10 points it costs me. Besides, I find the idea of a Slaanesh-worshipping Ogre quite amusing.
Great weapon: Even though they are quite expensive, these should be viewed as standard issue equipment, as it makes their low Initiative irrelevant and makes them good at chopping up tough foes. And it doesn't take too tough a foe before great weapons are more effective than additional hand weapons.
Additional hand weapons: An extra hand weapon is rarely effective in the Warriors of Chaos army (or in any other army, to be honest). Considering that you will most likely be striking last in later rounds anyway, the victim needs to be extra squishy before +1 A is better than +2 S.
Chaos armour: While a decent option, chaos armour should not be seen as compulsory by any means. If you have 15 - 20 points to spare it can be worthwhile, but for the cost, going from an unimpressive 5+ armour save to an only slightly less unimpressive 4+ armour save isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination.
Command options: As alluded to above, being able to get a standard bearer and a musician for your unit is one of the two reasons I'd pick Chaos Ogres instead of (more) Dragon Ogres. 20 points for a guy with a standard is rather steep, but compared to the cost of an Ogre it isn't too bad. Sadly they are the single unit in the army that can actually fight well and not get a magic standard for their standard bearer. Musicians are something I take in just about all units that can get them in all my three armies and I rarely regret the points spent. Champions are rather on the expensive side and though they can get rolls on the Eye of the Gods table if they kill an enemy character while you have a Warshrine on the table, I think the cost is too steep and having to challenge whenever possible too annoying.
Chaos Ogres (Beasts)
I tend to view this unit, which was released a year and a half before the
Ogre Kingdoms book, as a test of what Ogres could be. They are clearly a
development of the Dogs of War Ogres (see above) and have several features that
also show up in the Ogre army book, such as the overpriced Champion and
different cost for additional hand weapons and great weapons.
Chaos Ogres are tough and have a lot of what you want in an Ogre. They don't have Bull charge (not a big loss), don't have Ogre clubs and instead get light armour as basic gear, with the option to go up to a 4+ armour save vs. shooting and a 3+ save in combat, making up for one of the main Ogre weaknesses, that of being easily shot to pieces. Sadly, Chaos Ogres are often overlooked by Chaos players in favour of Minotaurs, who have improved Weapon skill, Initiative and Leadership and get to pursue 3D6", thus making up for even more of the traditional weaknesses of Ogres. Hrmf!
Great weapon: Should be viewed as standard, as it makes their low Initiative irrelevant and makes them good at chopping up tough foes.
Additional hand weapons: Better against whimpy infantry than great weapons, but against whimpy infantry Minotaurs with additional hand weapons are even better.
Shield: Not very useful in close combat, but at least they give you +1 to your armour save against missile fire, which can be quite useful.
Heavy armour: The main reason for taking Ogres over Minotaurs (apart from the "must pursue" rule, but then you generally want to pursue anyway).
Command options: I pretty much always take Musicians whenever I can and it has saved my units more times than I can remember. Losing combat by 1 can be a disaster with only Ld7 while winning it can be great, especially if you outnumber the enemy. Standards can be quite useful, but they can be bought cheaper in other units, so if you plan on teaming up your ogres (for example with some Marauders), then let them buy the standard. Big Ogres are a bit expensive for one extra WS3 attack and their worth is a bit dubious. If you need to save points, then these can be easily dropped.
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