Sunday, January 8, 2012

In a pickle: Vamps or Ogres

Right now, I'm still pretty undecided.  Both armies are 8th Ed. books which means balanced, fun and well-designed.  I currently own High Elves and I used to have Dwarfs.. but I sold them off because I didn't "feel" them.  I always ended up going back to High Elves..

Right now, the only thing I have built for Vampires right now is my 10x Dragon Princes to be used as (well, Dragon Princes) Blood Knights.  I have nothing for Ogres but a whole bunch of stuff for my Vampires.  This totals up to 80x Mantic Ghouls, 30x Mantic Zombies and 40x GW Grave Guard still sitting in boxes.  Let's list a bunch of pros and cons and see what happens:

First, I need an army that's radically different than High Elves.  Let's go over what High Elves are known for:
  • Elite troops, everywhere, nothing is expendable and everything costs an assload of points.
  • This also means they ASF, re-rolls to hit with high WS and Initiative
  • Masters of magic, know all the lores, wields High Magic
  • Dragons are big and powerful, have Griffon friends and Eagle allies
  • Fairy little girly Elves connotation
  • Aesthetically beautiful pleasing to look at; a beautiful army made of silver and azure
  • Everything is on infantry bases or cavalry bases for the most part
  • Requires expert generalship to win out these days.  I'd rate HE as one of the hardest armies to play right now if you avoid the book and Teclis due to the nature of the army.
  • Probably somewhere in the middle for popularity
  • Assloads of models to assemble, but this is my first army and I have everything already

So what about Ogres?
  • Big and fat; monstrous troops, cavalry and monsters all over
  • Still elite because of the points that goes into everything gives you..
  • High toughness, low armor, but a lot of wounds per model.  Low WS and low Initiative.
  • Not masters of magic, but have interesting hungry Gut magic
  • No Dragons, but Giants, Cannons pulled by Rhinox, Mourfangs (bearcats), freaking Mammoths!
  • The exact opposite of little girly Elves with big, burly, fat, questionably manly, full-retard Ogres
  • Aesthetically hysterical to look at.. not beautiful in the slightest but.. interesting..
  • Bases are mostly monster bases with lots of chariot and monster bases too
  • Requires solid generalship since your Ogres are few, your charges must be well-calculated and you have to know which models you can break with combat and which ones you can't.  Primarily melee-orientated army.
  • Not a really popular army, a plus for me
  • Very few models to assemble because everything is big and burly

OK.. now Vampire Counts..
  • The core of the army is expendable troops with elite supporting elements
  • Crappy WS expendable troops with powerful fighter lords, cavalry, killing blow elite infantry and cav
  • A mix of points spread around.. dirt cheap fodder and expensive elites
  • Very solid magic with a good mix of movement, augments and power
  • Big Undead Dragons, Terrorgheists, spectral ethereal stuff, Coven Throne, and flying Vargheists
  • Not really girly per se, but Vampires have that emo connotation about them (e.g. Twilight)
  • Aesthetically a mix of zombies, skeletons, Vampire Knights (HUGE!), ghosts and a mix of the above
  • Bases are very diverse too; core is mostly infantry with powerful knights to giant monsters
  • Pretty low generalship I'd say.  In 7th Ed, it was all Innvo-spamming GGdeathstar and Blood Knight bus of doom.  In 8th, almost nothing changed.  Regen Banner in a GGstar with +1 to hit or BK bus in almost all games.
  • Probably the biggest bandwagon of Fantasy to date (think GK to 40K)
  • A fucking million models to assemble because of all the cannon fodder

The biggest problem I have right now is that I simply cannot decide on what army I want.  In a nut shell, VC really appeal to me because of Blood Knights and fighty Vampire Lords.  I'm not a huge fan of undead, I don't care much for the whole zombie-revive undead mechanic.  Aeshetically, I just want to see fully armored vampiric knights riding into battle, smashing against anything in the game and winning.  It's a pretty linear way of thinking when it comes to Vampires I think.  I really hate the emo connotation and the caster lord in a bunker playstyle what might be effective.  It's really all about the Blood Knights for me, Blood Dragons or mauling the opponents in vicious hand-to-hand combat.  I want superiority in WS, skill and martial prowess.  Maybe that was one of the reasons why I was attracted to High Elves but also Khorne Daemons.

Ogres also appeal to me because they're funny.  I think if you want playstyles, Ogres are pretty much the exact opposite of High Elves.  They're slow, low WS but fast to get into combat and just smash things aside.  They're vulnerable to I-test spells or anything that can dispatch them before they can do serious damage.  The low WS doesn't help either, showing me that the army is pretty much made out of brawlers and lowly-trained fat people who use their guts as protection.  However, they do have BEARCATS! in the form of Mourfang Cavalry.  My wife calls me bear because she thinks I'm big and burly (maybe I'm getting heavier?) and this is something that I'm willing to accept.  They also have awesome cannons, radically eccentric fluff and powerful warbeasts.  I also think they're pretty characterful simply because the Ogres themselves are funny, almost a parody of wargaming.  I can't really picture an army made of Shreks.. can you?  Definitely something different from the seriousness that is High Elves (and me for that matter).

Well, there you have it folks.  Everyone knows me as the guy that plays High Elves but now I'm looking for a second army to offset that.  I just don't know!  Help! (more below)

For me, I usually choose an army based on the following in order of importance:

The "coolness" factor
Army design, skill factor and playstyle

The "coolness" factor

Vampire Knights are REALLY cool to me, as is the Grave Guard/Black Knights and spectral riders.  I'm a fan of the Zombie Dragon and the Terrorgheist, but everything else is meh.  I don't see myself ever buying the Mortis Engine/Coven Throne.  I don't like the undead.. but I like Blood Knights and Vampires.  Interesting..

I like how Gut magic works and I think that's outrageous.  A Slaughtermaster eats something loudly and belches it out and something magical happens is just.. ridiculous.  Freaking Ice Mammoths, Bearcats and Ogres totting cannons.  Super cool.

Even though I like the idea of Blood Knights, I won't be using the models.  The Dragon Princes are just perfect for me because I love the look of them.  Besides, aren't Blood Dragons supposed to have Dragon iconography?  I'll probably convert a Vamp Lord to ride a steed, but I actually like the Ogre models more.  There's just more diversity in there instead of ranks and ranks of cannon fodder that all looks the same backed by a few specials.

Vampires have a "cooler" feel to them, especially to a player who plans on using a lot of vampires who focuses on martial skill, but Ogres have better models imo.  Fuck me, this looks to be a tie.

Winner: Tie

The playstyle of the army

Vampire playstyle is basically this in a nutshell:  Cannon fodder holds things in place, they're Unbreakable so who cares.  The cannon fodder sucks ass in combat anyway, but no matter how many your opponent kills, you'll just res them up and wait for your heavy hitting Knights or Grave Guard to get in there.  Once that happens, two scenarios arise:  You hit the enemy like a ton of bricks and force enough wounds to either break them, or don't break and your opponent swings back at the fodder, thus killing your expensive units as well because of the undead rules.  Anyone with a brain will swing into the fodder instead of Blood Knights imo.

The army requires wizards and casters to constantly bring the dead back to life.. or unlife I don't know.  They can't march without being near Vampires and once the general of the army dies, the entire army begins to crumble into the dust.  The plus side is that despite all the cannon fodder in the army, you get to be a WS9 Vampire Lord or have really elite Blood Knights fighting for you.  I like the idea of high WS because that's supposed to resemble you on the battlefield.. and high WS makes my ego higher.

Ogres playstyle is this:  Push models forward, calculate which models needs to go where to inflict the largest amount of casualties to force a break.  Not as straight forward as 7th Ed. Khorne Daemons, but the idea is to get into close combat and use your fat to break the enemy lines.  Magic has a lot of augments that can be cheaply cast to buff your Ogres in combat and in toughness.  Your WS is bleh but your strength and toughness is above average.  In short, Might is Right.

However, when you look at how VC players win their games, they do so with 4+ Regen Banner, +1 hit to hit, Great Weapon Grave Guard OR... Blood Knight bus with all the right tools.  This is a very linear way of playing.  For Ogres, I have cannons, Mourfang, Ironguts, Bulls, Leadbelchers.. just a lot more units who all have very different roles on the battlefield.  This is a more combined arms approach and offers a lot more win conditions and replay value than what VC offers.

Winner: Tie

Army popularity

There are 7 VC players at my nearest GW and a couple more are bound to start up.  I know zero Ogre in the area.

Winner: Ogres

The background and lore

Undead, don't really care for that much.  Vampire invades lands, gets triple-teamed by Empire/Bretonnia/Dwarves and gets owned.  Tries again in a few decades.  They're dead, so you can't really kill them and they constantly get brought back.  Not much for background and lore there.  The only thing I like is the Blood Dragon lore, and Walach and the knights of Blood Keep.

Ogres, just outrageous lore and background.  I like the story more.

Winner: Ogres

Still not sure.... since I'm a gamer first so I really care about the playstyle and rules.  I also really care about the coolness factor but both these things are tied!  HELPPPPPPP

No comments:

Post a Comment