Ogre Kingdoms Tactics: Maneaters
Hey everyone and welcome back! As you may have read, I recently did a general synopsis of the Ogre Kingdoms book. This will probably serve as a good starting point for new OK players, but I wanted to give a bit more attention to some select units, and probably the ones that need the most attention are the Maneaters.
The first thing you'll probably notice about Maneaters is their impressive stat line. There is nothing in the game that I think can compare with them on a point per point basis. In close combat, they're dishing out 4 attacks at WS 4, S5 and at a respectable Initiative 3, and that's without weapons! If you use an additional hand weapon (or brace of pistols) their damage output will be devastating, especially when you consider that they have S5 impact hits and stomps. Unlike previous incarnations, Maneaters now have access to a full command group, as well as a 50 point magic banner. Being able to equip everyone differently, as well as their wide variety of skills, your Maneaters will always be a tough unit to face.
Been There, Done That
In the previous OK book, Maneaters were Stubborn and Immune to Psychology by default, which made for a unit that was very hard to shift in combat, in this new book though, they have lost those rules (kind of) but instead have their choice of two skills from a list of 8!
- Immune to Psychology - This is a solid choice, as it will keep your Maneaters from panicking when friends around them die or flee, and it will also protect you from the odd Terror test and magic power. I don't always take this ability, but when you're not sure what to take, this is always a good choice.
- Poisoned Attacks - Poisoned Attacks at first sounds like a no-brainer, especially when you look at the high number of attacks that the Maneaters are dishing out, but when you remember that they're already S5, it may be less relevant, unless you know you're going to be hitting some monsters. Additionally however, Poisoned Attacks also works on your brace of handguns, which can definitely be a scary thought.
- Scouts - This is one of my favorites, people don't often like having even just a few Maneaters on their flank, or behind their lines. Unfortunately, the rest of your army will struggle to support them, so they will probably die, but they will go down swinging.
- Sniper - When combined with handguns or a brace of handguns, sniper can be really nice for killing mages, BSB's and so on. Because you only have two abilities, I would only recommend this if you are taking your entire unit with ranged weapons, otherwise you're going to be restricting yourself.
- Strider - Walk right through terrain like a boss, this gives you everything strider! I like this ability on paper, but because you could take a magic banner to duplicate this ability if you really need it, I don't often take it.
- Stubborn - This is another very solid choice and probably one to always consider, there is nothing more embarrassing than having your 400 point unit lose combat by 1 and get run down.
- Swiftstride - I think that Swiftstride is an underestimated ability, if anything because it increases your chance to do extra impact hits significantly, and it will also give you a long charge that your opponent may not see coming. Because this tends to get your Maneaters off on their own, you usually want to be sure that you're Stubborn so that you don't end up running away.
- Vanguard - Similar to Scout, except that your Maneaters still take up one of your normal deployments, but you will see where your enemy scouts go before you have to move. I personally would rather scout, but if you're running two units of Maneaters, this may be something to consider.
Unlike any other unit that I'm aware of in Warhammer, Ogre Maneaters are able to mix and match their weaponry within a unit. This allows you to do some interesting combinations, but really, it generally comes down to either a brace of handguns for everyone, or front rank with additional hand weapons (or pistols) and the second rank with great weapons. Since you are restricted to 3 supporting attacks for Monstrous Infantry, the second rank will not benefit from additional hand weapons, so there is no need to pay the points for them, I love it!
Putting It Together
There are many ways you can build this extremely versatile unit, and it can actually be a bit overwhelming, so I'll give you a few suggestions that I've run:
Urgut's Shootin' Squad
Equipment: Brace of Handguns, Ogre Pistols, Heavy Armor, Banner of Eternal Flame Special Rules: Poisoned Attacks, Snipers
This unit is a fairly common set up, and usually taken in 6's. You have the ability to pick out and shred your opponents characters with 6-12 shots, often hitting on 6's. Since you're going to usually hit on 6's, any hits you cause will automatically wound due to Poisoned Attacks and will ignore regeneration because of the Flaming Banner. Another good use for this unit is to put some flaming shots onto regenerating monsters in the shooting phase, before you lob a cannon ball at it to finish it off. In combat, these guys are no slouch either, if you know you're going to get in a fight, reform as wide as you can to get the most in base contact, even 4 wide is going to dish out 26 poisoned flaming attacks!
Lugnut's Sneakin' Lads
Equipment: 4x Additional Hand Weapon, 2x Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Standard of Discipline Special Rules: Scout, Stubborn
A unit of 6 Maneaters with Ld9 and Stubborn, sprouting up deep in enemy lines is going to cause most players to have a mild heart attack. I've had pretty decent luck with this unit in the past, and it often ends up completely ruining a players battle plan, since they're going to have to deal with a gross unit right away. If you think you're going to be within your general's LD or BSB range, then you could probably exchange the Standard of Discipline for a Razor Standard (for dealing with those tough WoC) or the Ranger Standard to ignore terrain.
Equipment: 4x Additional Hand Weapon, 2x Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Banner of Swiftness Special Rules: Swiftstride, Stubborn
This is another fun combination that totally catches people off guard. With the Banner of Swiftness and Swiftstride, these larders are no slower than a barded warhorse, and stink at least twice as bad. With their immense speed, they have a good chance of landing those extra impact hits (4D3 S5 will make people cry) and striking deep in enemy lines. Because of their stubbornness, you'll probably cause a ton of damage on the charge, the enemy will overcompensate and as long as one is left alive, they'll probably be in a vulnerable place for you to counter charge with the rest of your army.
Overall, Ogre Maneaters can fill a wide variety of roles and take on many different kinds of opponent. Even when you take them specialized in shooting, they are still a devastating close combat unit and don't forget it!