So I thought I would stop griping about some of the problems I've been having with my ogres in 8th and instead focus on their more lovable qualities... by way of a tactica.
My ogres were rarely beaten in 7th, and they have yet to lose to anyone other then HE in 8th... but I'm still changing over their tactics, so I'll probably edit this thread occasionally as I learn more tricks and get my ogres back to what they were before the rules change.
Part 1- Lords and gut magic
The Tyrant- learder of the tribe
Almost despite his equipment the ogre tyrant is one of the most fearsome generals in the WFB world. Then he can be tooled up into something thats so nasty he can take on almost anything in the game single-handed... but importantly this is not why you use a Tyrant in an ogre army. The 2 best reasons to take a tyrant are for the Ld9 that he gives your army (not quite as important as it used to be, but still huge) and the ability to take Slaughtermasters... openning up much stronger magical defence for an army (and making letting you spread your forces a little more easily).
Tyrants have relatively simple tactics: you want to keep them in the centre of your army and send them straight at the nastiest enemy you can see in the centre of the enemy lines. You might want to have him in the strongest unit you have to try to make it into an unkillable killing machine, or to put him into a weaker unit to make it strong enough to take on everything the enemy has to offer... occasionally the tyrant can even leave those units and charge out by himself.
Some builds that I often use:
Tyrant- greedy fist, wyrdstone necklace, heavy armour, tenderiser, luck gnoblar (sometimes takes "mawseeker" but onyl if used with a BSB).
Tyrant- glittering scales, greyback pelt, cathayan longsword, dragonbane gem had to lose the crown of command, instead you could use a greatname like longstrider or mawseeker or just give him a wyrdstone in place of the dragonbane...
The first one is a hangover from 7th, but since his role basically hasn't changed he still does incredible well. If I've taken the gamble and used "Mawseeker" then he has 5W at WS6 T6 with a 4+/5++ (and a reroll)... and if you make him take a couple of saves its pretty unlikely that any magical weapon you were using survived long enough to cause mulitple wounds (a 5++ with a reroll is actually really good). Then he hits back with 5 S7 attacks each of which do D3 wounds... which is plenty to bring down pretty much anything short of a steam tank (which with the new rules he'll need a few lucky 6s to seriously hurt).
The second I use the ninja maneater for... because that is exactly what he is. This tyrant can take on whole units worth of enemies by himself: breaking out of a unit and charging into big blocks of enemies and then just being impossible to shift. WS7 with -2 to hit means that anyone WS3 or less needs 7s to hit, WS4-7 need 6s and anyone with WS8+ still needs 5+... then if you do hit him he still has his T5 and 5W to fall back on (and a 2++ against flaming, just in case a BT shows up). While unlikely to win a combat he is certainly capable of killing enemy characters,while no longer naturally stubborn he should be doing 3-4 kills a turn, so against standard units if he does lose it should only be by 1 (BSB is now really needed to keep him in the fight). Leave him gradually fighting his way through those massive 500pt+ enemy blocks of death while you manouver to get into the flank and he should be quite happy.
Slaughtermasters... the art of cooking
So gutmagic may well have lost its sting with the change to the new rules... but that doesnt mean that ogre players shouldn't take Slaughtermasters. In fact, I think there is even more reason to take one now then we used to have.
Slaughtermasters have several important factors: they have a 12" buff range meaning that you are much more able to cover a whole army with 1 caster then with butchers, they have that all important arcane item slot and they give +4 to all dispel attempts. That last one is nearly reason to take one all by itself.
A Slaughtermaster's increased casting range means he can reliably cover 3 units of ogres at a time: his own and the 2 to either side. In an edition where you are unlikely to have many more then 2-3 units of ogres in standard sized games this is great. It measn that you can take 1 slaughtermaster and he can cast any spell you want, to whichever unit you need. His +4 to dispel attempts is almost the equivalent of +1DD per attempt over a standard butcher... which is huge. The sinking feeling when you only have a butcher (or no mage at all) and are trying to survive a magic phase where the opponent has many more dice then you, and a natural +2 or +4 on everything rolled is not a nice feeling. A slaughtermaster should be the first line of magical defense in almost any ogre army as soon as you reach 2000pts.
I mentioned that the arcane slot is an important part of a slaughtermaster... and it really is. With ogres all being expensive we cannot include a cheap scroll caddy into an army... so make good use of the ability to take arcane items and think carefully. Although there are lots of good options around I would advise anyone to have really well thought out reasoning if they aren't taking a standard dispel scroll, the skullmantle (a truly wonderful item), the hellheart or possible an earthing rod. The skullmantle makes all enemies (even steadfast ones) be at -1 for any braingobbler, fear or break tests caused by the unit... which is supurb, while the hellheart makes most enemies blanche in fear and run screaming from their magic phase (though only once) while the earthing rod helps to stop a catastrophic roll of a 1 on the miscast table removing your slaughtermaster (and all of his buffs) instantly from the game.
If I'm not constricted by points for my slaughtermasters there are only really 2 builds I ever think to use:
Slaughtermaster- bloodcleaver, skullmantle and 3 gnoblar thiefstones (possibly a luck gnoblar)
Slaughtermaster- bloodcleaver, skullmantle, talisman of preservation and a luck gnoblar
... although if I dont have the points I try to have at least the skullmantle (and possibly the blood cleaver).
The skullmantle is a game winner in itself and means that you can give people serious problems by sending a quick braingobbler at either nasty flanking unit you are having trouble with (like hydras) with a vague expectation of making them run away or just send the same spell at the enemy general... and with a maximum Ld of 9 against it the chances of a fail changing the game (especially if they dont have a BSB is great). The bloodcleaver means that you can easily recover lost wounds (who wouldnt want that) and having either a 4++ ward save against everything or a 4++ for you and your unit against all magic (including self inflicted gut magic wounds) makes you a very tough coookie indeed.
A note on gutmagic
In general gutmagic isnt nearly as good as it used to be and this is really for only 1 reason: RiP spells can now be dispelled by the opponentin your own magic phase. This means that if you cast trollguts on turn 1 and then charge in turn 2 a sensible opponent will let you waste your dice and then just dispel the RiP trollguts on a 7+, leaving your best combat unit unprotected just when you needed that buff most. For this reason I've been coming up with some new tactics for re-casting magic onto myself... and letting my opponent's cleverness work against them: many are letting me have good buffs early in the game assuming I'll forget about them and they can simply dispel them when I reach combat. Well I'm going to graciously accept that buff, giving me protection from magic/shooting right up until I charge... then just when my opponents think they can reveal their tactic and dispel my buff I cast the same buff at the same unit... leaving some opponents wondering just how mad I am: either they think no harm and let me potentially wound myself again and then try to dispel my buff afterwards (when I tell them they cant since I cast it this turn- light dawning in their eyes) or they use their dice to dispel my re-cast, hopefully having too few left to dispel the RiP that was already in place, giving me the best chance at keeping my buff.
Bloodgruel- just as good as it always was, getting a wound back is always nice. I often save 1 dice for this one and just roll it last... either it casts or I lose concentration, but with no dice what does it matter.
Braingobbler- my favorite spell. Less good with the imporvement of BSBs its still a great spell for its potential. Any unit outside of range of their general or BSB is at a high risk of running away... combine it with a skullmantle and suddenly even general's can be running. This spell is still my favourate way of dealing with Hydras and the like (if out of range of the general/BSB and if I have a skullmantle it has a 44% chance of failing... and if this is the first turn its pretty likely to run off the board).
Bullgorger- not the best buff around, but not to be sniffed at. Excellent at healping you quickly finish off weak enemy units or to help against high T opr good AS. I often throw a spare dice at this spell (especially if unwounded) just beacsue I lose nothing from it. A permanent +1 S that'll stay until I cast something better at that unit or until the enemy wastes some dice in dispelling it.
Bonecruncher- other then the ogre's best way of dealing with steam tanks this spell is really not all that good anymore. It used to be a great way of dealing with enemy heavy cav but has suffered from the twin fortunes of ogres ranking up and no longer being so vulnerable to cavalry, and the reduction in the effectiveness (and so the proliferation) of heavy cavalry. Its still marginally useful occasionally, but I would prefer if I could swap it for the bangsticks D6 S4.
Toothcracker- +1T and stubborn... woohoo, now we're talking. T5 ogres, T6 characters (hell, even T7 Skrag) is a really nice bonus, and having aquick way of getting stubborn in an army that will rarely get steadfast and whose only stubborn units are hellishly expensive is a real boost. Its a bit unreliable though since its almost ridiculous to think it'll last into the 2nd round of combat (unless the opponent forgets to dispel it) and the worst killer of ogres in 8th is the dreaded initiative tests from pit of shades or purple sun. I tend to start by casting this spell onto my slaughtermaster's unit (if he isnt with the tyrant) just to make it harder for him to wound himself.
Trollguts- a great spell, 4++ save for an army that rarely has any armour is a godsend, and absolutely vital in some cases. Can struggle with the new banner of eternal flame but against almost anything else you're laughing (especially against anyone with non-heroic killing blow. Try to keep this spell up as much as humanly possible, especially on you tyrant and his unit: protecting the most important unit on the board with the best buff spell I have.
While buffs are actually unlikely to do anything: the opponent getting to dispel them in their turn with PD before trying any direct damage magic or shooting they will drain dice away from the opponent's magic if they try to dispel them. For this reason gut magic is pretty poor in 8th for protecting you, but can indirectly help you out. I would always make sure my slaughtermaster (or butcher) had at least a 4++ from his self inflicted wounds from gut magic since otherwise you could kill yourself without doing much of anything useful: remember that since the self-inflicted wounds are written into the spells themselves they are spell effects and you do get MR against them.
End of part 1... part 2 and beyong comming soon