Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ogre Kingdoms (Slave)Giants: Are they worth it?

Hello, hello, hello. Long time no see, I know, but as always I have been a busy little gamer! As promised, the shiny, new Ogres have been built and have seen some tabletop action against the other races of Warhammer.

But we are here to discuss GIANTS!

My Ogre Kingdoms Giant!
As a leftover from my unsuccessful Orcs and Goblins Waaaagh, my Giant quickly found his place in my Ogre Kingdoms list, even at 1000 pt. games. At first, he was just a giant point-sink - something worth 200 points that allowed me to quickly fill-up a list. Add to the fact that Giants are quick to field, sturdy, easy to transport (no puny, fiddly details, not finecast - just good ole plastic!) and you can see why I decided to include one in my previous army. Heck, the previous sentence is also the reason why I'm playing Ogre Kingdoms in the first place..

So.. what do you get?
Well, for 200 points you get possibly one of the most balanced, well-rounded big, nasty creatures in Warhammer Fantasy. A random table of effects allows a giant to deal with other big monsters either by killing or shutting them down and he excels at stomping on big blocks of guys or holding them in one place until your Ogres get in position for some delicious flank charges. Add to that the benefit of the survivability granted by Lore of the Great Maw and maybe you'll see why a Giant can be a great addition to your army. Lets start with the most obvious reason to use a Giant:

Bullet Magnet:
A Giant is the cheapest big monster that you can add to your list and as such he should be used to taunt your opponent and fish out his artillery, magic missiles and shooting.
Multiple Wounds: In other armies Giants stick like a sore thumb and are surrounded by big blocks of numerous models with only one wound. As such they are usually the first thing to be shot at by cannons, balistas, etc.However, if you do use a Giant in your OK you'll realize that their biggest importance is to be the center of attention. You want cannons to shoot at them and not at your Ogres and Ironguts, because they will go through your models, they will wound them and they WILL cause multiple wounds to your Ogres.
Sure, they have no armor, but what they lack in defense they have in Toughness. With 6 Wounds and Toughness 5, I Giant can and will absorb some shooting. If you manage to get some soft cover from specific terrain pieces, many archer units will hit you on 6's and wound you on 6's. Your biggest weakness will be some of the army-specific magic missiles which hit automatically and have a high Strength.

However, your best augment spells can greatly benefit your giant! Toothcracker adds +1T, making your Giant even harder to wound at T6. However, what truly makes the Ogre Kingdoms Giant is the ability to give him Regeneration. Yep, a 4+ save by casting Trollguts. Hit your lumbering behemoth with that spell and all of a sudden he's getting some awesome resistance against most attacks.
Similarly, casting Toothcracker on your other units will make them T5, thus making them equally hard to kill. What does that mean, then? Well, it will force your opponent to make choices, especially if they are shooting you with S3. All of a sudden your army is tougher to kill and your opponent has to decide what to go for and every time there are decisions to be made there will be mistakes!

Beast Slayer
Giant are great at "tar-pitting" and even slaying your opponents monster, chariots, cavalry, etc.
But before we discuss his arsenal against the big, nasty things.. let me reveal to you what the most important factor is: Initiative 3. That's right. A Giant's most awesome stat when it comes to fighting monster is his average Initiative. Many creatures have lower Initiative than your Giant and in many cases it is vital for him to strike first. Hydras are I 2, Necrosphinxes - I 1, etc. etc. Coincidentally, their low Initiative makes them that much easier to kill. When fighting Big Things you roll on a chart to see what happens. Half of the time you basically shut down your target until the next turn. The other half is a painful thump with club.. 
Yell an Ball - If you roll a 1 on the table for killing Big Things (which affects Monsters, Monstrous Beasts, Monstrous Infantry, Monstrous Cavalry, Chariots, War Machines, etc.) you automatically end the combat and with by 2 points. This is great as a tar-pitting "technique" and will save you against some especially hard-hitting things - like giant blocks of Always Strike Last great weapon-wielders. A lot of the time monsters are stubborn but have low Initiative, so your chances of making your opponent's scary beast to run away are pretty good!
Thump with Club - (2-4) This is the deadliest weapon your Giant has against big things. A failed Initiative test inflicts 2d6 automatic wounds. No armor saves allowed. Remember how I mentioned that many monstrous creatures have piss-poor Initiative? This is when it truly, truly matters. I've killed Hydras and Necrosphinxes without even taking a wound. Yeah, a Necrosphinx has Heroic Killing Blow, T8, S8 (I think) and other nasty surprises, but with an Initiative of 1 that failed test will inflict 7 wounds on average, thus instakilling it. ;D Thump with Club tests against the lowest Initiative in a unit (so a Chariot will have to pass an I2 because of its Cold One or Horse), so that makes it useful against mixed units as well.
'eadbutt: On a 5 or 6, your Giant inflicts an automatic wound on any model in the unit. No armor saves. The model is then "stunned" and if it hasn't attacked this turn it loses all of its attacks. If it has, it loses next turn's attacks. Yet another tar-pit ability useful against things without a Ward save or Regeneration. It will save your skin many, many times!

Suicide Horde-Stomper
Sometimes it is necessary to have one or two units that can dish out enough damage to horde units just to reduce their ranks. At 200 points your Giant is 22 points cheaper than your 6-man Ogre unit with Iron Fists and Full command. Not to mention that he does not have a banner, so when he dies (and he most definitely will), your opponent will only be able to capture his loincloth.
What should you aim for? Obviously lower Strength, lower Initiative blocks of guys - Empire Halberds, pretty much anything Lizardmen, Orcs, Goblins, other Ogres. Going after blocks of Dark Elves is tough, because of Hatred, but you have Terror and if you're lucky their WS will be reduced. Same goes for the other armies - when charged or getting charged don't forget to mention your Terror ability, because a failed Ld check by your opponent will mean you're getting on 5's, rather on 3's or 4's.
Your Ld10 and Stubborn mean you don't care if you get the charge or not. If you use your Giant as a suicide unit you'll be going after other Stubborn regiments.
The trick is that even if you lose, even if you die before using any of your Special Attacks you still have a chance of doing tons of damage by falling on them. Most of the time you'll be hitting around 15+ small models and wound them on 2+ (S6). Also, Multiple Wounds (d3) on bigger things, so multiple wound blocks are also in trouble if your Giant falls on them. And if you somehow survive your epic charge.. well.. that's a bonus, I guess. No matter how badly you lost by you are Ld10 Stubborn, so just don't fail at rolling dice. Oh, and don't roll a 1 after losing.. :P


  1. You just convinced me to run a giant.

  2. Ha! I'm very glad I did! The kid is just so good and Giants make a GREAT addition to the army. Not to mention the conversion potential, the center-piece factor.. Go buy one if you don't have one already! :P

  3. Looks like you had your "Sunday Best" on when you threw this post up. I hope you don't mind me throwing you a shout-out on my blogs weekly top-x. Cheers and thanks for the in-depth look at the Giant.

  4. Oh I don't mind it. I don't mind it at all. :) Thank you again for the comment and the mention on your blog. You've been one of the most active readers of Wolves for the Wolf God and I'd like to thank you for that.

    And as for the "Sunday Best" deal.. It actually took me a few days to write this. I'm glad that people found it useful.


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