THE HALLOW 19: OGRES

The tournament prep continued with a match versus Ogres, this time my club mate Drew’s really excellent Gnoll Ogres (Gnollgres). 3D prints from a variety of sources lovingly covered in hyena spots for ultimate sanity destruction. The dude has earned all the painting awards he wins with this army 🫑

Ogres 2150

Siege Breakers Horde – Helm of the Drunken Ram
Siege Breakers Horde – Chalice of Wrath
Hunters Horde – Brew of Haste
Boomers Horde – Fire-Oil
Warrior Chariots Regiment – Boots of Striding
Berserker Braves Regiment
Berserker Braves Regiment
Red Goblin Scouts Troop
Nomagarok [1] – Bane Chant (2+), Heal (4+), Lightning Bolt (4+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)
Ogre Warlock – Lightning Bolt (3+), Drain Life (5+)
Berserker Bully
12 (23)

I swear, you’d have no idea Ogres were nerfed looking at this list. Loads of hammers with perfect items, the thickest of chaff, amazing mobile-scoring-inspiring shooting. The Helm is a fun throw back to when Siege Breakers had CS2 + TC1 naturally. I guess the double drain life is a more unique twist? But one I’m in favor of, Siege Breakers can and will grind out a loss to a win, so keeping them alive is never a bad idea. He dropped two other troops of Scouts to go from 2300 to 2150, picking up some upgrades in the process.

Herd 2150

Lycan Horde – Brew of Strength
Guardian Brute Horde
Guardian Brute Horde
Minotaur Chariot Regiment – The Stampede [1]
Tribal Warrior Horde – Brew of Sharpness
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Tribal Warrior Regiment
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Centaur Bray Striders Troop
Lycan Alpha
Centaur Chief – Blade of Slashing
Druid – Conjurer’s Staff; Bane Chant (2), Heal (2)
Great Chieftain
13 (24)

Same list as when I dunked the Empire of Dust last game! Not feeling super hot about my chances but I do need to pressure test into Ogres so here goes.

We decided to play Raze, with the Ogres going first for one reason or another.

BATTLE

Battlelines! Ogres (left to right): Scouts, Bully, Braves, Nomagarok, fury Siege Breakers, Warlock, Hunters in the wood, Chariots, Braves in front of Boomers, Warlock, thunderous Siege Breakers. Herd (left to right): Centaurs, Lycan deployed back, Centaurs, Great Chieftain, Tribal Warriors regiment, Brutes, Druid, Tribal Warriors horde, Stampede, Lycan Alpha, Tribal Warriors regiment, Centaur Chief, Brutes.

Ogres 1: Roll out! Noms and his Warlocks call down a bunch of lightning as well, with mixed results.

Gnollgres looking dummy good.
Gently scorched vegetables.

Herd 1: I go deep into my metaphorical clock already, in large part because I don’t want to broach the center wood but can’t see much of anything thanks to its large size. The Hunters and the Chariots both have some serious range on me, with their 16″ outstripping my Brutes and Tribal Warriors horde but not necessarily my Stampede’s 17″ threat or Lycan Alpha’s 18″ nimble square. Ultimately, I pull back Centaurs on the left, pushing up the more central ones as bait or to cause a problem next turn, with Lycans in wait and Tribal Warrior reg as another layer of chaff. Centrally I vacate the woods and pressure just a bit with the Stampedes on the Chariots, with Alpha ready to go center or right.

On the right, I shove Tribal Warriors up to bait the thunderous Siege Breakers, which the Brutes very much would like to murder in response. The Druid heals up the Tribal Warrior horde and that’s that.

Ogres 2: The Gnolls play it extremely cagey, with only the left flank chaff venturing out, and the rest of the line holding or tip toeing forward, staying clear of that central forest. Lightning zaps the chaffing Centaurs for 2 damage and the right most Tribal Warriors for 1. The Red Goblin Scouts burn a token, taking the score to 1-0.

Herd 2: With the central Centaurs blessedly alive, I immediately throw them into the flank of the Ogre Chariots, powering the Stampede into their front as well. The other Centaurs join the Tribal Warriors fighting the Berserker Braves, as the Lycan horde crosses over into the Red Goblin Scouts. Finally, Lycan Alpha charges the central Braves to hold them up while the Tribal Warriors on the right hit the Siege Breakers, keen to do anything while their Brutes move into position. The central Brutes end up sitting 12″ away from the fury Siege Breakers, content to see if they want to take a hindered shot next turn, even with the Tribal Warrior horde waiting to piece trade.

Stampede and Centaurs open up this pit!

The Druid’s bane chant fails despite the reroll 😐 but things work out ok anyway. The Lycans blend the Scouts, the Centaurs and Tribal Warriors do 7 damage to their Braves and stall out, the central Centaurs and Stampede shatter the Ogre Chariots, the Lycan Alpha claws 3 damage into her Braves, and the right Tribal Warriors do precisely 1 damage to the TC Siege Breakers. When it comes to reforms, it’s worth noting that once the Stampede backed up D3″, the Centaurs were able to pivot enough to block the Hunters from fighting Brutes or the Stampede next turn.

Ogres 3: (I missed a before shot for this turn!) The Gnolls strike back with authority this turn, thanks in part to some very good Nv rolls. From left to right, the Braves counter and kill their Centaurs, the Bully charges and pops the wounded left Tribal Warriors, the Hunters finish off the central Centaurs, and the thunderous Siege Breakers decimate the right Tribal Warriors. The Lycan Alpha takes 4 damage from her Braves and wavers, the Stampede cops 4 damage from the Boomers for no effect, and the real indignity is the left Brutes taking 2 lightning damage and wavering. This royally impedes my momentum in the center, as the Stampede can only do so much. Oh! This will become important shortly, but the right Warlock drain lifes the Tribal Warriors smooshed by the thunderous Siege Breakers, and uses the heal on the Alpha’s Braves rather than the Siege Breakers.

Herd 3: With a little finagling, I discover that I can engage the Tribal Warrior horde if I take a deep breath and back the wavered Brutes up a full 3″. My heart hurts a little bit as I do so, but it does mean the Tribal Warriors can charge the (ensnaring) Hunters, offset enough that the fury Siege Breakers are in their front next turn. Before this charge happens, the Stampede thunders into the Boomers, for vengeance. Speaking of carnage, the Lycans on the left charge the 7 damage Braves and the Brutes on the right complete their mission and charge the 1 damage Siege Breakers. The Lycan Alpha refuses to regen but keeps standing in front of her Braves. Also, the Centaur Chief on the right zips in before the right Brutes and chomps on the right Warlock. Annnd the Great Chieftain wants to be useful, so charges the flank of the fury Siege Breakers over that wall.

The Druid’s rather critical bane chant on the Tribal Warriors fails despite the reroll 😐 but they manage to do 7 damage to the Hunters despite. The Stampede delivers 9 damage into the Boomers, however I show Drew what Brutes can do by more or less one rounding the thunderous Siege Breakers. More or less because I broke them twice precisely thanks to brutal and the single damage the Tribal Warriors did and the Warlock didn’t heal. Perfection. The Lycans gut the Braves on the left as they do. Note that the Berserker Bully is facing directly ahead, unable to see the Lycan or the Tribal Warriors. The right Warlock does take damage from the Centaur Chief, disordering. (And the Great Chieftain does no damage to the fury Siege Breakers.)

Ogres 4: The Gnolls should be dwindling away but Drew has so many tools left that this is far from over. Fury Siege Breakers and Hunters go into the Tribal Warriors horde, while the Boomers counter the Stampede and the surviving Braves hit the Alpha again. In square base town, the Bully tries to stand in the way of the Lycan horde (but is effectively blocking its LOS), while Warlocks wander around or counter charge the Centaur Chief over on the right.

Drew’s dice are all over the place when it comes to delivering the hurt. The central Brutes take a single pip of lightning damage from Noms and the Great Chieftain suffers 2 drain life damage from the central Warlock (used to heal the Hunters), shortly after which the Tribal Warriors take a mere 8 damage from hindered Siege Breakers and fully functional Hunters. The Boomers, however, shove the Stampede up to 10 damage, to no effect, and the Lycan Alpha is clubbed to 8 damage, likewise holding. The Centaur Chief takes 1 damage from the Warlock’s counter-charge.

Herd 4: At long last, the central Brutes make contact with the furious Siege Breakers, with the Tribal Warriors assisting and showing the Hunters the utmost disrespect. The Stampede, meanwhile, counters the Boomers and the Alpha regens down to 5 damage and gets to slap some Braves. The derpy Great Chieftain trips back over the wall and charges Noms, with dreams of disordering him. Not pictured are the Lycans juking the Bully in favor of burning a token and becoming A Problem next turn, and the Brutes on the right doing everything they can to make contact with the right Warlock but giving up because the Centaur Chief and the tower are well and truly in the way. The Centaur Chief counters its Warlock but doesn’t love it.

The Druid sticks the bane chant on the Tribal Warriors! And the Siege Breakers evaporate. I turn the central Brutes to face the left, which might put too much face in the Tribal Warriors but does make the Ogre heroes over there skedaddle. The Stampede nukes the Boomer and the Braves return to 3 damage. The right Warlock is also kicked to 5 damage by the Centaur Chief, wavering. And the Lycans do burn a token, evening the score at 1-1. The Great Chieftain fails to damage Noms 😦

Ogres 5: The Hunters aim to finish off the Tribal Warriors horde (on 8 damage) and the Braves head back into the Lycan Alpha yet again. The Bully zips away into the Herd backfield, but Noms faces the Brutes and prepares to magic itself to death or glory (with the nearby Warlock’s help).

Nomagarok’s lightning and the Warlock’s drain life only push the Brutes to 5 damage, and they hold. The Hunters however shred the Tribal Warriors (!), and the Lycan Alpha is again wavered, on 7 damage.

Herd 5: The Hallow descends once more. Repeatedly scorched Brutes slam into Noms, the Lycans plow through a wall into a Warlock, the Stampede flanks the Braves wailing on the Lycan Alpha, and the right Brutes crash into the flank of the other Warlock. The Great Chieftain charges the Hunters, knowing that even if his hindered, ensnared ass can’t wound them, at least he’ll be in the way thanks to mighty.

Bane chant happens, everybody dies. The Great Chieftain does 3 damage to the Hunters despite -2 to hit and only CS1. (Before combat, the Lycan Alpha remembered she’s really fast and can still be useful, so backs out 5.5″ to make a play for the right raze token late game.)

Ogres 6: The Hunters counter the Great Chieftain, tearing apart the poor mushroom man but flubbing the 4″ overrun into the Lycans on the wall. The Berserker Bully burns another token, bringing the score to 2-1.

Herd 6: At this point I realize that the game is very close. If the hindered Lycans can kill the ensnaring Hunters by themselves, with the Stampede sitting on the center objective, then I win, as the Lycan can burn another token. If they don’t rout the Hunters, I only draw, as I can’t get another scoring unit on the middle … even if I now realize the Lycan Alpha could have doubled back and just claimed the center. I didn’t see that, as I moved her first to make a Turn 7 play for my right token. The left Brutes, regardless of all this, charge the Bully for murderous purposes.

As is usually the case, this is all a moot point as the Lycan ream the Hunters, burning the token and taking the game to 3-2 in my favor. The Brutes also brute the Bully.

Herd 7: Annnnd then the Lycan Alpha burns the right token (as shown above), bringing us to 4-2 and a very solid …

HALLOW VICTORY

What a smashfest! It really opened up with that double charge on the Chariots after the Centaurs took next to no damage, giving me the momentum, even if I almost lost if Turn 2 with those wavers. I think the Bully’s facing issues were a more significant misplay than it seemed, as he could have chaffed up the green tide that was crashing onto the Ogres at that point. All the same, an encouraging test game for the Herd going into this weekend’s tournament.

I’ve got one more report to go before the tournament, will try to punch it out this week!

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