Ogre Magic, Part 2: Beasts, Death & Fire
Alright, well I totally forgot about this little series, sorry fellow fat bellies! Today I'm going to talk about the other 3 Lores of Magic available to Ogre Kingdoms, Lore of Death, Lore of Beasts and Lore of Fire.
Lore of Beasts
Now we're talking a lore I can get behind! Lore of Beasts spell attribute wont mean much for your army, but generaly, this lore makes your characters stronger, tougher and have more attacks. Combine that with a nasty curse, a good magic missile and the ability to turn yourself into a Mountain Chimera and we're talking a lore that Ogres can really take advantage of.
Lore of Beasts on a Slaughtermaster
The most impressive spells in the lore, and the Signature Spell are all 10-16+ to cast, because of this, your Slaughtermaster is an ideal Wizard to take this lore. On a Level 4, you'll probably be able to get one of the offensive boosting spells, plus the Curse of Anraheir or Amber Spear. Personally, if I have to pick between one, I'll take the Amber Spear, while the Curse is nice, it does slow down the enemy and can keep them from getting within charge distance, which is never a good idea. The only spell that I really don't like taking is Flock of Doom, generally the rest can all be useful, and often times I even use Pann's Impenetrable Pelt on my deathstar to make all the models in the front rank, sans musician and standard, T7-8.
Lore of Beasts on a Butcher
When I take Lore of Beasts on a Butcher, it is probably for one reason, Wyssan's Wildform. This handy spell is going to turn your unit of ogres into S5 T5 monsters! Even though it has a fairly high casting value, this is a spell that I have no problem taking on a Level 1/2 because I'm going to be throwing quite a few dice at it anyhow! The problem with a Butcher with Beasts is that just about any other spell he gets is going to also need several dice to cast, so it means your lower level wizard may be sucking up all the dice in your magic phase. All that said, if you've got a Level 1 that you're not sure what to give, Lore of Beasts can compliment the Great Maw nicely, giving you yet another spell to make your units stronger with.
Lore of Death
Lore of Death is clearly an offensive based lore, though it also has a sprinkling of debuffing. It also contains the dreaded Purple Sun!
Lore of Death on a Slaughtermaster
When considering Lore of Death, there are many reasons to get it on a Slaughtermaster, the Signature Spell, Spirit Leech is based off of Leadership, so there's a good place to start. A Slaughtermaster has an unimpressive LD8, but that's still one better than a Butcher at LD7! Additionally, there are some spells that just aren't useful, like Aspect of the Dreadknight, and when you're rolling more than one or two spells, it is less of a problem if this one comes up. In terms of utility, having a Slaughtermaster with Death isn't a bad idea, sine it will give you some good offensive magic, as well as making your enemies weaker in combat.
Lore of Death on a Butcher
Sadly, due to the LD7 of a Butcher, it is very rare that I would justify taking Death magic on a Butcher. Since you will frequently take the signature spell with a Level 1/2, having one based on your own LD isn't a great starting point. In addition, all the fun spells have a fairly high casting value, which will mean 3-4 dice, just to have an average chance of casting. Sorry Butcher, I'm leaving this to the Slaughtermaster.
Lore of Fire & Firebellys
The Firebelly is one of my favorite models in the Ogre Kingdoms range, and fortunately, he's pretty useful in the game! In addition to being a Level 1/2 Fire wizard (which I'll get to in a minute) he also has Flaming Attacks, a Breath Weapon and a natural ward save to flaming attacks! The Flaming Attacks is very important because it means he has flaming impact hits! This means, when you charge into a regenerating unit, if his Impact Hit causes a wound, it will strip regeneration from the unit before the normal attacks and stomps are made. Similarly, if he is in a unit of Ironguts, you can use the Breath Weapon at his normal initiative to strip regen, before swinging with his, and the rest of the unit's, great weapons.
In addition to the awesome utility that the Firebelly brings with his combat abilities, he is a Level 1/2 Fire Wizard. Generally, I only take him as a level 1 with Fireball. The other spells in the lore are alright, but typically I find my ogres do best when their magic supports the units in combat, rather than blasts the enemy from afar. Fireball is very useful to kill charge redirectors, but unfortunately the other spells don't fill this role reliably enough. The only other spell from Lore of Fire that I would like is Flaming Sword of Rhuin, which makes your units a bit harder hitting in a fight, but only being a level 2, means the chances of you getting that particular spell aren't very high, so I typically save my points and just be happy blasting chaff away before it slows me down.
There you have it, my take on Ogre Magic! Typically I'm simply running the Level 4 with Great Maw and the Level 1 Firebelly, but every now and then it's fun to mix in Heavens or Beasts instead, and both of those work just fine on a Level 2 caster. How do you run your wizards in the Ogre Kingdoms?