Ogre Kingdoms (Warhammer)


Ogre Kingdoms (Warhammer)


An Ogre is a large humanoid creature in the Warhammer Fantasy fictional universe. They are based on the ogres of mythology.

Prior to the release in 2005 of Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms for Warhammer Fantasy Battles tabletop game Ogres appeared only as mercenaries or Auxiliaries to other armies. The Ogre Kingdoms book expanded the history and character of the Ogres and they can now be fielded as a single army of their own, although the option to use them as mercenaries in other armies remained. However, the option to field allies or use mercenaries in general has since been dropped from the core Warhammer rules, with the discontinuing of the Dogs of War and the Regiments of Renown. Furthermore, the release of the Ogre Kingdoms Army Book itself was controversial, as many core armies had yet to be released at that time.

The ogre army differs from most other armies in Warhammer as it is composed mainly of monstrous Infantry (i.e. models mounted on larger bases which are significantly tougher than normal man-sized infantry, but fewer in number). This has proved popular with gamers who like to spend more time painting individual models than massed regiments, players who like a slightly more 'quirky' army and those looking to build an army on a smaller budget (with current UK prices it is possible to construct a playable 1000 point army for less than £90 including the cost of the Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms sourcebook. Most other armies require an investment of well over £100 to reach this level).

Contents

Appearance and physiology

Ogres are described as being essentially humanoid in shape, though much larger than any human, standing 8–10 feet tall. Though they appear quite fat, sporting a noticeable paunch, in fact most of their critical internal organs are centered in the gut region of their stomach, which is protected by a thick sheath of muscle. This muscle also aids in digestion, as it can contract to help grind down tougher substances. As a result, Ogres are capable of eating nearly anything. All Ogres wear a personalized, dual-purpose gut-plate. This serves to protect their gut - which they consider the spiritual center of their being - and can be used as a weapon. Ogres also have extremely tough skin, which is speculated to have little to no feeling, which could be the reason for some of the brutal acts they commit on each other and the amount of punishment they can take while wearing little to no armor (indeed, in one instance an Ogre managed to eat an entire battalion, dying only after a handgun in the hands of his last meal went off in his throat).

Ogre culture

Early sources described Ogres as dwelling primarily in Human lands and in the northern reaches of the Old World. With the release of the Ogre army book for the 6th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy, Ogres have been given a homeland in the Mountains of Mourn. These "Ogre Kingdoms" are loosely organized into a number of small empires and kingdoms, each separate from the others. While their society is described as being brutish and barbaric, Ogres are shown as being capable of dwelling among members of other races, and as being better accepted by others than some of Warhammer's more brutal races.

The Ogre culture is described as being oriented around eating, and as such, most ogres sport large guts and they worship a god known as the Great Maw. In ogre mythology it appears as a vast creature that was released from a comet that destroyed the original Ogre Kingdoms in what is now Cathay, the Warhammer Fantasy equivalent of Imperial China. In their myths it ate many of the inhabitants of the Ogre Kingdoms and is said to have passed through the centre of the world (it appears that another Great Maw exists in the sea on the other side of the world, in the form of a giant whirlpool that sucks in passing ships). In actuality this is probably a regular comet that crashed into the earth simply smashing not eating the Ogres but the ogres believed it to have eaten them because all that was left was a giant pit. The Ogres venerate and fear it in equal measure and the reason ogres have a desire to eat and worship the Maw by eating is due to the fact that many starved in the migration to the mountains of Morn. The priests of the Great Maw, known as Butchers and Slaughtermasters, also fulfill the roles of cooks for their respective tribes and supervise their religious holidays, which consist (mainly, and some times solely) of gigantic banquets and pit fights.

The overall leader of each kingdom is known as the Tyrant. Young bull Ogres challenge him for the leadership of the tribe. These challenges take the form of duels which take place in the tribe's 'maw-pit', a stake-lined pit into which pieces of red meat are thrown, as an offering for their god.

In 'friendly' fights, over some food for example, the forfeit for losing is generally an ear or a couple of fingers given up to the winner as a victory snack. In serious duels, such as a challenge for tyranthood of the tribe, the loser becomes the victor's next meal.

The ogres are a primitive culture and most of their equipment is made from scavenged scrap metal, loot from their adventures, or is crafted by the Chaos Dwarfs of Zharr Nagrunnd in exchange for Gnoblar and other races captured in battle slaves. That which they do create is made from the hides and bones of various quasi-prehistoric creatures, such as mammoths, sabertooth cats and ice age style rhinos, known as rhinoxen. The ogres hunt these creatures for food as well. Elaborately carved clubs are one of the few weapons that Ogres often craft themselves.

Storytelling is also quite common amongst Ogres, especially Maneaters. Ogres love to tell others of his/her life story. However, most of the story is false. Many have exaggerated (or not) about how a maneater's greatest ability is to tell long, boring life stories.

Ogres also believe in an almost ancient tale of how the Ogres beat up and ate the entire Skytitan race, also known as giants. Skytitans ruled the Mountains of Mourn with benevolence, until the Ogres came. Skytitans are described to have lived in massive castles built atop the highest mountains, coming down only to tend to the mammoth flocks. Once the Ogres were through with them their once great palaces are turned into either rubble or defiled mess halls filled with troughs for the tribe. The mammoths are all but consumed by the Ogres.

The ogres are served by Gnoblars, a small species of goblinoids. They are smaller than typical goblins, and play the role of pets, servants and, on the battlefield, cannon fodder. Gnoblars don't make good eating; Ogres find they don't have enough meat on them. Many ogres pick a favorite gnoblar, and it is identified by the bite mark that is bestowed upon its right ear. In a dispute over the ownership of a gnoblar it is customary for both ogres to take a bite out of the left ear, who the bite matches is clearly the owner. It is considered a grave insult to eat an ogres favorite gnoblar, and in fact it was this mistake that cost Skrag the Slaughterer to lose his hands after his tyrant cut them off and fed them to him as punishment for serving his Tyrant's favorite gnoblar as a meal.

Characters

Greasus Goldtooth

Greasus Goldtooth, the "Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms", is leader of many tribes all of which pay him tribute. His full name and title is Tradelord Greasus Tribestealer Drakecrush Hoardmaster Goldtooth the Shockingly Obese. He is so fat that he has to be carried around on a throne by Gnoblars. As his name implies, Greasus has replaced all his teeth with new ones made of the one thing that he loves more than anything else in the world: gold - the name is pun on "Croesus" and "grease". He's also unbelievably fat, easily the size of two Tyrants.

He was the Ogre who started the incursions outside The Mountains of Mourn, and he was the one who "persuaded" the Orcs of the Dark Lands to pay him tribute. Like his brothers, he grew up to become strong and fat. Unlike his brothers, he subsequently killed and ate his own father.

There is some controversy over why other Ogre Tyrants do not try to overthrow Greasus: is it because he has become too powerful (his magical weapon, the Scepter of the Titans, apparently grants him more than enough magical strength to wield it properly, even though he has become too fat to wield ordinary Ogre weapons), or is it because he has bribed so many other Tyrants into allegiance with himself? It may be, however, that because in Ogre society a large gut is a sign of nobility and grandness, Greasus has earned his reputation thanks to his enormous gut (or, perhaps, through fear of it, as Greasus once broke the neck of another tyrant, in his youth, by diving and landing belly-first on the tyrant).

He possesses two important items: the "Sceptre of the Titans" and the "Overtyrant's Crown". The former makes Greasus stronger than a Bloodthirster daemon while the latter makes Greasus smarter than the average ogre. His wealth is often used in battle to sway the enemy into his service and to further strengthen the "loyalty" of his troops.

Skrag the Slaughterer

Skrag the Slaughterer, Prophet of the Great Maw, earned his title shortly after being kicked out of his tribe. Prior to his life as a prophet, Skrag was the Slaughtermaster to a wealthy Tyrant. One day the Tyrant found his favored Gnoblar as the main course for the feast. Needless to say he was furious. He had Skrag's hands hacked off and, as a final insult, ate them in front of the beaten Slaughtermaster. Skrag's Cauldron was hooked deeply into his skin and was thrown into the caverns beneath the mountain, the only exit sealed off with a boulder.

Skrag was beaten and bruised, but he was not broken. He slammed his former cooking tools into his bloodied wrists and made makeshift weapons, hoping to find a way out. Shortly after he was attacked by the Gorgers inhabiting the caverns, his blood was fresh. Skrag was not scared. He charged the gorgers, killing them with unmatched fury. When the largest of the Gorgers (the Grotesque) appeared, Skrag promptly chewed out the Gorger's throat, killing him. Once the Grotesque was dead the others obeyed Skrag instantly. Skrag and his newfound army of Gorgers marched out into the snowy plains and descended upon his old tribe, slaughtering everyone in sight. The Tyrant was boiled alive in Skrag's cauldrons. The great amount of sacrifice imbued Skrag with the blessings of the Great Maw, and the Prophet was born.

In game Skrag is a fearsome opponent. He is the lesser of the two characters and does not need a Tyrant or a Bruiser. Skrag will also gain power as he slaughters more, when he reaches a certain number of kills he will gain certain attributes that will last for the remainder of the game. He is always followed by his Gorgers.

In early editions of the game Skrag was a renegade among his kind and a follower of the Chaos god Malal, noted for wearing a set of armor.

Golfang Maneater

A Mercenary Ogre who starts the battle with a random number of magical weapons and items

Bragg the Gutsman

An executioner Ogre who is feared by all and has slain a champion of every race that walks the warhammer world.

Society

Tyrants

Ogre Tyrants are the dominant males of their tribe. An Ogre can attain the status of Tyrant by defeating the current Tyrant in combat and eating him. As a Tyrant, an Ogre is privileged to the best life an Ogre can have. He will have the best weapons, the finest clothes, the tastiest foods, and vast treasures. Tyrants also enjoy the protection from enemies in the form of Ironguts, whom he hand-picks himself. Tyrants will rule over everything he sees from his throne. Tyrants will also have the largest gut of all Ogres, as they obviously eat well. At feasts they will sit at the front of the table, and eat the finest cuts of meat with the Slaughtermaster and Hunters at his sides. The strongest Tyrants are capable of wrestling a Giant to the ground or smashing through a castle gate with their bare fists: if a Tyrant wants you for his next meal, the only thing standing between you and his gut is a fast horse and a lot of luck.

In the Warhammer Fantasy wargame, Tyrants serve as generals and there can be only one per army. In terms of gaming stats, they are also the best Ogre fighters a tribe can offer. The next level of Ogre society are known as "Bruisers". Smaller and less impressive than Tyrants, they are still fearsome fighters, and often serve as lieutenants and unit leaders for the Ogre army.

Bruisers

Are Ogre heroes who act an enforcers for Tyrants. One if they win the Tyrants favor has the honor of carrying the Battle Standard.

Hunters

Hunters are Ogres who prefer solitude over company. They live in the snowy mountains with their trusted Sabretusks (see below) and Gnoblar trappers. They hunt the beasts on the mountains and take their prize back to the tribe during feasts. Because they are the ones who bring the meat, they are often given the second best cut. They have gut-plates decorated with the pelts and bones of their prey, and their equipment includes throwing spears or "harpoon launchers": a large crossbow.

FireBelly

Are Ogre mages that use the Lore of Fire, they can also breath fire and have a magical resistance to flames.

Butchers

Butchers are the chefs and cooks of an Ogre tribe, who also serve the role of tribal priests or shamans. Within the tribe, they occupy a position of great respect. They usually appear quite gruesome due to the many hooks, piercings and barbs attached to their body, and are often skewered with meat, cooking tools, and various other bits and pieces of their prey. They often have more than one set of teeth which they can frequently change in order to tackle different kinds of food. They are trained from birth to be able to ingest material poisonous even for ogres.

In the Warhammer Fantasy war game, Butchers serve as an Ogre army's magic user, utilizing "gut magic" known as the Lore of the Great Maw against their foes by augmenting his fellow warrior's strength. They can also use Lore of Death, Beasts or Heavens. Elite Butchers are known as Slaughtermasters.

Ogre Troops

Ogre bulls

Ogre bulls, the term for any male Ogre adult, make up the bulk of any Ogre army. While other Warhammer armies have a Musician providing a bonus, Ogres have no appreciation for music, so instead the loudest bull of each group, called a Bellower, bestows these bonuses by yelling confidence into his fellows.

Ironguts

Ironguts are the more "elite" Ogre Bulls of the army. They have access to better weapons and armour than the average bull. Ironguts are selected by a tribe's Tyrant, and are normally the closest friends of the Tyrant or members of his immediate family, they are also renowned for eating things that other Ogres would not, hence the name of Ironguts.

Leadbelchers

Leadbelchers are Ogres who carry cannons (although in the hands of an Ogre they look more like heavy rifles) scavenged from earlier battles as well as being traded from the chaos dwarfs in return for slaves. Though their weapons are unreliable and prone to mishaps, they are capable of inflicting significant damage with a single shot. If no gunpowder is to be seen in the raid to take the cannons then the ogres will quite happily stuff knives or anything sharp into the cannon just to not seem like idiots. Also when they fire they often charge into the enemy using their cannons as clubs.

Maneaters

Maneaters are elite Ogres who have traveled outside the Ogre Kingdoms, serving as bodyguards and mercenaries in the Old World. They may wield exotic weapons or other equipment that they have picked up during their travels, which is reflected by having the associated models appear as Ninjas, Pirates, or other identifiable variations from the normal Ogre army theme. According to the army book, the name 'Maneater' originates with the Ogre Golfag Maneater, who on one occasion ate his employer during a fight. It goes on to say that Golfag himself comments that the name is misleading: he doesn't really care what he eats.

Mournfang Cavalry

Are Ogre Cavalry mounted on huge beasts which appear as a cross between a Sabertooth tiger and a Rhino.

Ironblaster

Is a huge cannon stolen from the Sky Titans when the Ogres fought a decade long war with the Giant race. The Cannons are mounted on a ramshackle chariot pulled by a Rhinox. This cannon can level strongholds and blow regiments to shreds.

Associated creatures

The armies of the Ogre Kingdoms also contain some related species and other creatures who are subservient to the Ogres.

Stonehorn

Stonehorn are Beasts huge in scale that tower over even Rhino; their bones are part fossilized and extremely tough. Their charge can level the toughest castle gates. They are used as mounts either by Hunters or as Ogre troops

Thundertusk

Huge mammoth like beasts covered in white shaggy fur they produce an aura of cold that can freeze enemy regiments and slow down the most dexterous of troops. They are used as mounts by two ogres one equipped with a harpoon launcher another with a mantrap on a long chain.

Gorgers

When an Ogre is born without a paunch (a thankfully rare occurrence), they are exiled and forced to live underground, where they degenerate into a creature known as a Gorger. They have pale skin, are nearsighted and have developed talons on their hands and feet. They are much taller than ogres but their height is concealed by their hunched posture. Their greater size and physique is due to their diet and competing for their food, ensuring that only the strongest, fastest, largest and most ruthless of them ever survive to maturity. They also have little clothing, wearing only a loin cloth.

Gorgers burrow up from their underground lairs to the battlefield, the prospect of fresh meat drawing them in like sharks to the smell of blood, and they eagerly throw themselves in the direction of the carnage. Their talons and fangs are so long and sharp they can pierce steel armour and behead a man with a single bite.

Gnoblars

Gnoblars, small goblin-kin, are often bullied by ogre bulls into being cannon fodder and, sometimes, ammunition for leadbelchers. Gnoblars form into large units to fight. They scare easily and often run from direct combat. Outside of combat, they are employed by Ogres as servants and menial workers, and can use weapons deemed too fiddly for use by ogres.

On the gaming table, Gnoblar are a much-needed low-points cost alternative to the other troops in the army list, allowing a unit that can survive quite a bit of attrition combat to hold up powerful enemy units, at a relatively low points cost.

Gnoblar Trappers are employed by Ogre Hunters to trap animals. They are stealthier than their normal cousins and use a variety of traps to bring down larger foes. They are slightly braver than normal Gnoblars.

Such war machines as are available to the Ogres are invariably of Gnoblar construction, such as the ramshackle Scraplauncher.

Yhetees

Yhetees are a distant cousin to the Ogres, built similar to the gorgers and having bluish white fur. Leaders of these are called Greybacks. Greybacks are sometimes hunted by Ogres for their pelts, as they have magical properties and are considered valuable, but Yhetees refuse to fight for Ogres wearing garments made from the fur of a Greyback.

Yhetees use ice-encrusted tree branches and trunks as weapons. Due to the way they are forged they contain magical properties. The Yhetees themselves also exude a bone-chilling aura that protects them. Yhetees are scared of fire and heat-base weapons.

Giant

Ogre tribes will sometimes locate and enslave lone giants, turning them loose in battle to fight for the tribe. it has been known for a tyrant to bring down a giant on his own such is the power of an ogre tyrant.

Rhinoxen

The powerful Rhinoxen (or rhinox) are large fur-covered creatures similar to a woolly rhinoceros and are used as beasts of burden by the Ogres. Gnoblars construct crude war machines, known as Scraplaunchers, drawn by these beasts (due to their size, neither Ogres nor Gnoblars are able to use weapons left by any humanoid creatures; this contraption will instead hurl these leftovers at the enemy), and Ogres sometimes use them as mounts. In game terms, a Scraplauncher counts as both a stone thrower and a chariot. They are also used by Ogres to carry huge Cannons known as Ironblasters, they act as part Cannon and chariot. Forge World has released Warhammer-scale models of Ogre Bulls riding Rhinoxen, and a champion known as Ogre Thunderlord.

Mournfang

These are huge predatory beasts taken as mounts by the bravest (or dimmest) of Ogres.

Sabretusks

Sabretusks are giant sabre-toothed mountain lions who serve Ogre Hunters as prowling hounds. Sabretusks are fast and strong, making them excellent for hunting down the weakened prey of the hunter. Physically they resemble sabertooth tigers, except with long tusks (hence the name). They can also be used as independent packs.

Dogs Of War

Ogres often find employment as mercenaries as described above. This carried over into gameplay as Ogres can be taken for virtually any army, although only Bulls, Leadbelchers, Ironguts, and Maneaters can be taken. Although they are the "new" ogres, the old rules are still in effect (players just prefer the new models). The Dogs of War army list no longer exists in the latest edition of the game.

These rules allow most armies to field some serious strength, as ogres are powerful close combat troops. Ogres also have a psychological part in the game, as they are typically seen as a good target. Due to their high resilience they can absorb large amounts of fire and still defeat enemy units once they reach close combat.

Other Ogres

Ogres are also native to certain other armies, most notably Chaos. The Warriors of Chaos can take Chaos Ogres, which have their own separate rules from the Ogres of Ogre Kingdoms. Golgfag, the infamous Ogre Maneater Captain, has his own band of Ogres for hire in Dogs of War. Chaos also have the incredibly powerful Dragon Ogres (and their champions, Shaggoths), although the fact that Dragon Ogres are described as having existed before the coming of the Old Ones to the Warhammer world implies that they are unrelated to the Ogres proper, who are strongly implied to have been created by the Old Ones[1].

Ogryns

In Warhammer 40,000, the equivalent of Ogres are Ogryns, a subspecies of humans and used by the Imperial Guard. They have roughly the same color of human skin rather than being gray as well as having low intelligence, but possess superhuman strength. Ogryns are equipped with Ripper Guns (an automatic shotgun which doubles as a club). Ogryn leaders are called Bone'eads.

See also

  • Dragon Ogre - a centaur-like combination of ogre and dragon

External links

  1. ^ Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook, 7th edition

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