BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

WFB: Ogre Kingdoms Magic and Item Reviews

9 Minute Read
Oct 13 2011

Last time I covered every Ogre unit.  This time lets look at the big lunk’s magic items and spells.

a guest post by Nate Stevens

The past 6 months has been a real treat for me. First my Tomb Kings get an update… then my mediocre Daemonhunters are morphed into the mighty Grey Knights… and now my ogres have finally gotten updated as well!

Last time, I talked about each individual unit and this time I’ll review and share my thoughts on the magic items, big names, and the Lore of the Great Maw.

Before I cover more, here is a quick review of how I rate units:

My Rating System for Magic Items and Big Names:

· A – the item/name is one that is almost an auto-include in most 2000-2500 point lists. It helps an army in a way that common items will not.

· B – the item/name deserves consideration in most builds and generally won’t hurt you if you select it. They are on par with the common magic items.

· C – the item/name belongs on a specific character build for a specific army build. Better options are available from the pool of common items for non-specialized characters.

· D – the item/name is a characterful one of limited usefulness, or it may only be really good against a couple of army books out there.


· F – the item/name is just bad. Someone had a brain-fart when they figured out this item. Just leave it alone.

· + & – will be used to differentiate my opinion within a particular grade of which unit ranks higher or lower in my opinion.

Note: these tend to be ratings comparing them to other units within the book, but are at least a little bit influenced by how they fit with into the overall Warhammer landscape. Where applicable, I will also add my recommended unit sizes, or least the size I intend to play them at.

Magic Items:

Thundermace – This item wasn’t worth it when it was 55 points and hit like the old stone thrower (4 (8) small template with no armour saves). Increasing it by 30 didn’t help at all, nor did reducing the multiple wounds to D3. And then add a limitation to only affect infantry, war beasts and swarms and WTF are they thinking??? Why in the world would anyone trade in all attacks on their lord for the chance to do this against a few unit types while crippling your ability to buy defensive gear?
Overall Rating: F-

Siegebreaker – The change to this item is even more frustrating. This was an amazing 30 point magic weapon that was perfect for a butcher to wield. Now it is 85 points and adds less strength to the model. The secondary ability is a poor trade even if you know there is going to be a 10 inch high building. That many points for sometimes getting to trade all your attacks for D6 attacks at a variable strength in a very limited situation is just plain poor weapon design.
Overall Rating: F-

Gnoblar Thiefstone – A really interesting item that provides you with magic resistance and a random magic item that destroys any other standard version of that item in either army. Unfortunately, magic resistance isn’t all that hot these days. Provided you plan your item selection around its effects, it could be good at harming the enemy. At the same time, I prefer to know what bonus I am getting and would generally prefer to just buy the item I really want.
Overall Rating: C+ (but you must plan the rest of your item selection in your entire army around it)


Greedy Fist – A very nice Talisman providing a strength buff, light protection, and potentially really cool secondary effects – a successful parry save destroys magic weapons and each hit the ogre lands on a wizard steals magic levels. Then again, most wizards are just dead when fighting an ogre. The notable exception is the impact that this may have when battling a Vampire Lord, Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon.
Overall Rating C+

Gut Maw – A decent protective item, but rather expensive. It still restores a hero’s wounds after winning a challenge (up to the amount of damage done). Of note is that it also adds Terror to the model. I would prefer that this secondary bonus was gone and its cost was closer to the previous rendition (20 points).
Overall Rating: C-

Grut’s Sickle – A risky arcane item that can enhance your magic phase nicely providing +2 to cast, but harms your own units by doing a wound, and can kill the wielder if you are really unlucky by rolling snake eyes at the end of the phase. In my view, it is worth using on a Butcher or Slaughtermaster to improve its potency, BUT I would strongly hesitate to put it on a Slaughtermaster if he is also your general.
Overall Rating: Rating: B (but don’t put in on your general)

Hellheart – This is one of my personal favourites in the new list. For 50 points, you can change the shape of the game by forcing a miscast on all enemy magic users within a D6 x 5” radius. Against undead, it could be the death knell. The downside is that anti-miscast gear/abilities still work, so it won’t be getting rid of Teclis anytime soon. Despite that, it is well worth taking in most armies.
Overall Rating: A

Rockeye – A very useful enchanted item that reveals enemy secrets. If you have 5 points left over, why not take it?
Overall Rating: B

Rune Maw – Another failed rewrite. This was a fantastic 20 point banner that allowed you to divert spells onto a sacrificial unit of nearby Gnoblars. Now it is a BSB only standard that defeats your spells as well as the enemies while not allowing you to pick the new target of enemy spells. An FAQ is needed to know if radius buffs are considered to “specifically target” the unit that has the banner.

Furthermore, it doesn’t protect against the offensive spells that you are really worried about – Purple Sun and Pit of Shades.
Overall Rating: C (unless an FAQ rules favourably to allow buffs, then B)

Dragonhide Banner – A very nice banner… if you charge. On the charge you get to re-roll all “1s” rolled for the round. In addition, it has a breath weapon that also causes Always Strikes Last on the target unit until the end of the enemy unit’s next turn. This is certainly a nice replacement for immunity to ice magic. The situation usefulness of the first ability hurts my overall take on this item. It is on par with the common banners, but doesn’t stand head and shoulder above them either.
Overall Rating: B-

Big Names
As an opening comment, if Big Names did not count against the magic allowance for ogre characters, my opinion on their usefulness would be much higher. As it stands, it is very hard to say that is more worthwhile to buy a name like Giantbreaker (+1 strength, but must accept challenges and cannot flee for 25 points) when the Sword of Might (+1 strength and magical attacks) is only 20. That being said, it does provide some neat combinations that other armies can’t achieve easily (or at all). For example, Giantbreaker with the Sword of Battle provides strength and attack bonuses.


Therefore, you need to consider what forms of synergy that can be achieved through Big Names in conjunction with magic item use.

Finally, it should be noted that the big names are only available to Tyrants, Bruisers and Hunters.

Mawseeker – It is tyrant only. While it costs way more than it used to, 40 points for +1 toughness and stupidity is still really good. The ability to mitigate its effects through the Battle Standard’s “hold your ground” and the Standard of Discipline has vastly reduced the downside of Stupidity. But, given its high point cost, it isn’t an auto-include like the old 10 point version was.
Overall Rating: B

Wallcrusher – An interesting big name, giving your character an extra impact hit and goes right through obstacles. However, it chews up a lot of your item allowance, and there are plenty of better things to be done with them. Given that it only kicks in if you get the charge, it simply isn’t worth the investment of your limited magic item allowance.
Overall Rating: D

Mountaineater – This big name provides extra protection against very high strength attacks. Cannonballs are twice as likely to fail against a mountain eater. However, most of the time, the natural toughness of an ogre hero means that very few things will be wounding it on 2+ in close combat, and your points are probably better spend on other protective gear.
Overall Rating: C

Kineater – It is tyrant only, allowing re-rolls for failed panic tests within 6” of the tyrant. It got a point reduction, but its usefulness is essentially negated at standard point levels for most players. The reason for this is that the battle standard now does the same thing with a bigger radius of effect. The only way I see it ever being taken is under two circumstances – you are playing a large enough game to have a second tyrant (or a tyrant and Skragg/Greasus) in your army, and you want to shore up a flanking force’s vulnerability to panic. I don’t see that happening at less than 4000 points. The second is if you have decided that a Battle Standard isn’t necessary for your army.
Overall Rating: F (at less than 4000 points; It is an A if used to anchor a flanking force for large games)

Giantbreaker – got a very nice re-write. The upside is +1 strength while the downside is having to accept challenges and never choose to flee (which is better than the old requirement of taking a slavegiant). It can be very useful in conjunction with a magic weapon. However, if you aren’t taking a magic weapon on the character in question, simply opt for the cheaper Sword of Might instead.
Overall Rating: B

Longstrider – provides +1 movement. This is essentially a big name meant for hunters that will be running with large packs of sabretusks as it reduces the movement penalty the cats take for having an ogre lead them.

It can be used on a tyrant/bruiser as well, but the benefit isn’t as good. In previous editions of Warhammer, the bump to movement 7 meant that the ogre would be fleeing and pursuing 3D6, but that isn’t the case anymore. If it granted the movement bonus and swiftstride, it would be a lot better on soloing non-hunters.
Overall Rating: C (build specific utility on a hunter in a unit of sabretusks)

Deathcheater – This is the denial big name. For one phase the character forces his attackers to re-roll successful to wound rolls. This has the potential to alter a key combat, making it a potential game changer.
Overall Rating: B-


Beastkiller – A great big name that is limited to hunters only. If you are running a hunter solo with a harpoon, I highly recommend this name. If you happen to also have a firebelly cast Flaming Sword of Ruin on the hunter, he can be wounding dragons on 2+.
Overall Rating: C (build specific utility on a soloing hunter)

Brawlerguts – The only new big name let’s you re-roll to wound on your impact hit. It is a nice perk, but just like Wallcrusher, it only kicks in if you get off the charge. It simply isn’t worth a portion of your item allowance.
Overall Rating: D

Notes on the Lore of the Great Maw
In short, I like everything it does. There are plenty of augments available, some damaging spells, and a sometimes useful hex.

Blood Gruel – the Lore Attribute – this attribute is one of the reasons that the Slaughtermaster is a major winner in the new book. Each time you successfully cast a spell, the Slaughtermaster ( or Butcher) regains a wound on a 2+ and gets +1 to cast his next spell. However, if you roll a one, you take a strength 6 hit. A great ability.

Spinemarrow – the signature spell augments a single unit with Stubborn for one turn. This is great for an army that will seldom benefit from steadfast. The empowered version of the spell doubles the range of the spell.

Bonecrusher – this spell does 2D6 hits with no armour saves allowed. This makes it useful for harming toughness 3 heavy infantry or cavalry at a decent rate. It also makes it rather useful for doing damage to high cost, very high toughness monsters. An average roll (7 hits) will do a single wound to a steamtank (T10) or a warsphinx (T8), and experienced players know that each little bit helps. The empowered version of the spell doubles the range of the spell.

Bullgorger – this augment provides +1 strength to a unit. The empowered version provides the same buff to all units within 12”.

Toothcracker – this augment provides +1 toughness to a unit. The empowered version provides the same buff to all units within 12”.

Braingobbler – This is the only hex spell in the list. It causes a panic test on an enemy unit. This is of very limited use if you are aiming for the heart of an army which is protected by Inspiring Presence and Hold Your Ground, but can work wonders on the flanks. If you can get the angle right, you may be able to set off a panic bomb as the unit in question flees through its friends. The empowered version of the spell doubles the range of the spell.

Trollguts – this augment provides regeneration to a unit. The empowered version provides the same buff to all units within 12.”

The Maw – this is a direct damage spell that forces initiative tests on models touched. If the test is passed, the model takes a strength three hit. If the test is failed, it does a strength seven hit that does D6 wounds. This isn’t the most powerful template spell out there (Purple Sun or Pit of Shades), but it is better than the ones in the Orc and Goblin Book and the Tomb King Book

Nate has been a veteran of Warhammer Fantasy and 40K since stumbling across his local FLGS in 1998. He is the captain of the Adepticon Team Tournament winning (circa 2010) Sons of Shatner, and one of the organizers of the Warmasters Challenge ( tournaments held in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

~Thats’s in folks.  I hope you enjoyed my rundown. What do you think of the new Ogre Kingdoms book?

  • An Alternate 40K Primary Scenario Generator