Sunday, 28 April 2013

All is not as it seems

At the club on the weekend, I arranged to play a 2500 point game of Warhammer. I was experimenting a bit - trying out an Ogre Kingdoms army for the first time since the 8th edition book arrived. Yes, I am a long way behind the curve - I've been a bit focused on Empire stuff for the last couple of years. My list deliberately shied away from most of the stuff you see in competitive Ogre tournament armies, and was a bit random. I'll include my list down below in case you care to see what I came up with, but suffice to say it was more a product of fiddling and including a lot of variety than it was a serious army.

My opponent was Nick Cook, who is just starting to play around with Warriors of Chaos lists again after giving up on them a couple of years ago under the previous book. He does have a small army's worth of models from that period, but clearly he was not interested in using most of those for these experimental games. In fact, his army was a complete mess. He had warned me there would be some proxies involved, but just how dire the situation would be was not made clear until he started looking for models at the table.

Below is a photo of Nick's army. I have already told you it's a Warriors of Chaos list, so that will help you. Now see if you can work out what each unit is meant to represent. Go on, I dare you...
Proxies of Chaos, assemble!!
To say that Nick received a lot of crap for his efforts is a gross understatement. To make matters worse, if he'd just been organised enough to warn me an hour beforehand, I could have scrounged up some far more accurate models for him to use. As it was, the Ogres in the back row and Oscar the Grouch in the front row all came from what I happened to bring along, whilst the Warmachine Myrmidon next to Oscar was stolen from Pete, who didn't need it at the time. 

Whilst I play the thinking music and you continue to ponder what the hell could be in that list, here is a picture of the man himself, Prince of Proxies and the Sultan of Substitution, Nick Cook:
Nick makes a poor attempt at a bow in acknowledgement of the adulation/ridicule he was bombarded with for his efforts.
OK, you have probably had long enough to think about what that pile of models is meant to represent. I shall put you out of your misery...

Perhaps I should have made his models wear name tags.
Shockingly, a couple of the units were actually what they were meant to be. I feel this was a slip-up on Nick's part, and that he could make things more confusing next time with a little more application. The pairs of horses representing Shaggoths were probably his crowning achievement, although the use of a Warmahordes model blue-tacked to a square piece of plastic was a fair effort too. Actually, that was Pete's idea. I can't remember what Nick was going to use, but it might have been a Marauder on the same plastic base...

Now don't get me wrong, as I was experimenting with things myself, I also had proxies in my army. There were a couple of normal Ogres making up the back rank of my Leadbelchers and the standard bearer of the Maneaters was not really a Maneater himself (gasp!) I also had Elmo  the Yhetee posing as a Firebelly, as it seemed fitting with his fiery red fur. 
Elmo was a Firebelly, whilst Oscar the Grouch turned to the dark side and posed as Scyla the Chaos Spawn (after I forbade Nick from using Cookie Monster for the job).
I think using proxies is a very sensible practice in the early stages of working out what you want to do with an army, and it was to be expected when Nick's range of Chaos models is fairly restrictive and in no way aligned with the new options in the recently released book. But in general it's probably a good idea to at least make sure you have models of roughly the right size (and base size) so that the game can work without too many headaches. If Nick had been using different types of chariots, or a variety of monsters rather than 2 Shaggoths, things would have gotten very confusing indeed. Maybe name tags would actually have been required...

Anyway, I said I would include the list that I used in case you're curious.
  • Tyrant with Fencer's Blades, Glittering Scales, Giantbreaker and Talisman of Protection
  • Bruiser BSB with Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon, Lookout Gnoblar
  • Butcher (Level 2 Lore of the Great Maw) with Great Weapon
  • Hunter with Extra Hand Weapon, Dragonbane Gem
  • Firebelly with Extra Hand Weapon, Potion of Speed
  • 10 Ogres with Full Command, Ironfists
  • 7 Ironguts with Full Command
  • 8 Leadbelchers with Champion, Musician
  • 4 Sabretusks (yes, in 1 unit)
  • 3 Mournfangs with Standard, Musician
  • 3 Maneaters with Standard, Champion, Gleaming Pendant, Heavy Armour, Braces of Pistols, Scout, Stubborn
As I stated, it's not the best list. I figured I would try using Sabretusks differently by putting them with a Hunter. My insistence on experimentation meant I had to shell out for 5 different characters. I didn't include any big beasties because I'm not yet sure about them from a conversion perspective (as I'm looking to make an entire army of Empire Ogres, perhaps in time for Axemaster around September/October, hence the 2500 point limit). The same goes for an Ironblaster, despite it being a no-brainer inclusion in most lists.

I lost the game in the end. It was a bit of a see-sawing affair, but all the various Nurgle-marked things curbed my effectiveness in combat and saw me break from some combats I might otherwise have been able to fend off. I did kill 1 Daemon Prince (through the combined efforts of the Mournfangs and Maneaters over several round of combat), but in the end Nick had the other Daemon Prince, the BSB and 6 Nurgle Warriors remaining. For my part I had 3 fleeing Sabretusks, a fleeing Firebelly on 1 wound, and the unit of 10 Ogres minus their standard. It was an honourable defeat, but I think I will need to keep fiddling to give the army some more options.


  1. I'd love to see a Giant in your Empire's uniform. For a Ironblaster, could you convert a steamtank with an Ogre driver somehow? I'm imagining the roof sort of ripped off so he'd fit... And a gnoblar scraplauncher crewed by halflings could be fun. I'm not sure about the other big Ogre beasts though... unless you went with giant moose, which sort of fits as giant wolves would definitely need some large grazer to hunt in their off hours. Just some thoughts, I've loved all your conversions so far, and your battle reports are great!

    1. Cheers. I guess I could do a giant in Empire uniform as part of the Ogre army, although he would have no real use in an Empire list. I might look into it, but probably not in the first wave of conversions - especially as I find Giants very frustrating to use. I always roll the wrong attacks.

      There has been talk of a "steam wolf" as an Ironblaster, and also a massive animated stone wolf statue for a Stonehorn. I'm undecided about whether this it taking the wolf thing too far.

      Hmm, a gigantic frost moose Thundertusk. Sounds totally plausible (though not entirely scary)...

    2. Heh, I don't know about not scary. When the deer's shoulder is at head-height and it has a short temper... I grew up in Alaska though, so I may be biased there ^_~

    3. Sure, it may stomp on you. But it will still look goofy when it does it. Maybe if it had glowing blue eyes...

  2. The smiling assassin strikes again! I'm all for proxies when testing a new army/miniatures, but there has to be some sense of progression over time and definitely not in a tournament.