Thursday, October 31, 2019

REVIEW: Ogor Mawtribes

One of the hungriest armies in Age of Sigmar has finally made their triumphant return in the form of a combined book for the Gutbusters and the Beastclaw Raiders with Ogor Mawtribes! While a bit of a refresh for the Beastclaw, this is our first real look at the Gutbusters within the Mortal Realms, as well as brand new rules for both of them!

The cover on this actually reminds me a bit of the Beasts of Chaos book. I think a lot of that has to do with it seeming to be the same artist, but it still kind of gives me that vibe. I personally like that a Gutbuster is front and center on it since I think they're the more interesting and iconic of the pair, but we still see some Beastclaw Raiders behind him as well as a smattering of other ogors. All in all I think this is a pretty solid cover. It's not as great as the Orruk or Cities cover, but still pretty good.

The lore section opens up with a general overview of the ogor race. They're eternally hungry and are always on the move looking for more food. If they're not currently eating, then they're starving and ravenously hungry. Back during the Age of Myth while Gorkamorka was a member of the Pantheon they had to make due with eating the enemies of the realms, but as soon as Gorkamorka broke his pact and Chaos invaded they were able to start eating one of their favorite delicacies again; humans.

We then take a look at each of the major ogor cultures seperately, starting with the Gutbusters. They worship Gorkamorka as the Gulping God and believe that he intends to devour the Mortal Realms whole. In this they seek to imitate him. During the Age of Chaos they were able to stay alive due to their strength as well as their nomadic lifestyle. They would also fight alongside the forces of Chaos sometimes if the payment was right. Though they do have more permanent settlements called Gluttholds, the Gutbusters are more often then not on a Mawpath, or a great migratory trail where the eat everything they come across. They are guided on this path by their Butchers. When they return to their Glutthold after a migration they pour all of the flesh and gore they had gathered into great pots and have a festival. So potent are their celebrations, that a portal is ripped open in the middle of the pots that leads them to a new Mawpath to devour. Since the onset of the Soul Wars they've had to deal with less food due to the abundance of dead things. They'll still eat them, but it's not their preferred source of meat. This has sped up their Mawpaths as they seek new food, putting ever more in danger of the ogors' wrath. A Gutbuster tribe is called a Warglutt and is led by a Tyrant. Though it will consist of mostly Gutbusters, it will often have tribes of Beastclaw Raiders as well. Several Warglutts make up a Mawtribe, which is ruled by an Overtyrant.

The Beastclaw Raiders' lore section will have a lot that will be familiar to anyone who had their previous battletome, but they've also progressed their story quite a bit. The Beastclaw are cursed by a magical storm called the Everwinter. This winter storm follows behind them, and if they ever stop for too long it will catch up to them and freeze them solid. Due to this, they're always on the move, mounted atop Stonehorns, Thundertusks, and Mournfangs. Their culture is also quite distinct from the Gutbusters, who they tend to look down on. Where the Gutbusters have Warglutts, the Beastclaw have Alfrostuns. Though comprised mostly of Beastclaw Raiders, they also have some Gutbusters in their ranks, especially the Butchers whose warm stews they appreciate over their normally frozen food. The Frostlord, Braggoth Vardruk, who was frozen during the Age of Myth by the Everwinter and returned during the Age of Sigmar when an errant lightning bolt from a Stormcast army thawed him, has now taken control of the Boulderhead Mawtribe, or as they call themselves in their native tongue, the Svard. He now seeks to take complete control of the entire Ogor race and has challenged the other largest Mawtribe, the Meatfist, numerous times. This led to the largest civil war in ogor history known as the Battle of Ice and Gold when Braggoth laid siege to the Meatfist Glutthold of the Great Gutfort. He was only narrowly defeated by their Overtyrant, Glittermaw, due to the Meatfist rallying a large portion of the other tribes to their banner. Though they lost the battle, Braggoth still seeks to take control of the ogors and has dashed all alliances with the Meatfist by burning his bloodstained right arm in a cannon. Now the Boulderhead all scorch their right arms as a sign of defiance.

The timeline section spans everything from Gorkamorka's alliance with Sigmar, to their current involvement in the Soul Wars. There are a lot of fun little story hooks here, like a Tyrant who develops a taste for Magmadroth eggs, or the Beastclaw tribe who try to, and maybe successfully, eat the lightning of Stormcasts as they spear back up towards the heavens.

This is followed by a breakdown of the six major Mawtribes. The Meatfist Mawtribe are the largest of the Gutbusters and the ones on all of the box art with their right arm stained with blood. They achieve this unique look by thrusting their arms into a boiling vat of gore, permanently staining their flesh. They're also particularly good at absorbing defeated tribes, which has led to their numerical strength. They're led by Overtyrant Globb Glittermaw, said to be an ogor the size of a gargant with a mouth full of gold teeth.

The Bloodgullet Mawtribe are disgusting even by ogor standards. They believe that meat should be devoured raw and never cooked and as such they're almost always coated in gore. They have more Butchers and Slaughtermasters than any other tribe and their primal connection to the magic of their god is undeniable. They've also been known to fight alongside the ranks of Khorne's warriors, since where they go, blood is surely to follow. The Underguts are the last of the Gutbuster tribes and make their homes in the caves and caverns of Ulgu. They have a penchant for blackpowder and make great use of Leadbelchers and Ironblasters. They discovered this love after stealing much of it from a duardin mountain empire they invaded. Now they are one of the most powerful Mawtribes and are close allies with the Gloomspite Grots.

The Beastclaw tribes start off with the Boulderhead, or Svard as they call themselves. This is the tribe led by Braggoth himself and which marks itself out with their blackened right fist. They're particularly hardy by ogor standards and see all other as weaklings. They also raise some of the best Stonehorns and Thundertusks and ride a large amount of them into battle. The Thunderbellies Mawtribe, or Olwyr, hail from the Sky Roads of Chamon and are one of the swiftest Mawtribes. Their domain is almost always covered in clouds and the Everwinter that follows them moves with an usual pace. They have a rivalry with the Dragon Ogors that also call the Sky Roads home. The Winterbite tribe, or Fraya, are the Beastclaw we see on the box art with all of their beasts having near white pelts. The Everwinter that follows them blankets everything in an impenetrable white shroud, which they use to great effect to ambush and surprise their enemies. They fight with far more cunning and patience than most ogor tribes, carefully hunting their prey.

The unit section goes into more detail on all of the different units. It also features one of my favorite art pieces for the ogors, the original cover of the 6th edition book. There's a lot to digest (ba-dum tsh) here with plenty of detail on the ogors. The Gnoblars for instance, are cousins of the Gloomspite, and hail from Skrappa Spill in Chamon. They were driven off though by the orruks of the area who bullied them, so they found the ogors and allied themselves for protection. The ogors don't eat them, for the most part, since they're willing to do a lot of the menial tasks, as well as their foul taste. I also really like the bit about the Firebellies, nomadic shamans who worship Gorkamorka as the Sun-eater. Other ogors thing they're a little odd, but usually welcome them into their tribes because they've mastered the art of adding spice to their food.

The gallery section shows off all of the 'Eavy Metal paint jobs in all their glory, as well as some really cool scenic shots. I love the large skeletal remains in the distance. There's an example scheme for each of the major Mawtribes as well. The hobby section goes over how to paint some of these alternate schemes and even has a conversion section, giving you some tips on how to kitbash the various ogor kits together.

Now let's take a look at the rules. There are a couple of allegiance abilities that apply to all Ogors in your army, Gutbuster or Beastclaw like Trampling Charge. Every time an ogor or rhino unit completes a successful charge you get to roll a number of dice equal to the unmodified charge roll. You can increase those dice if you have a larger unit or it's a monster, and for every 6+ you roll you cause 1 mortal wound on the enemy unit. I always loved impact hits from Warhammer Fantasy, so it's nice to see them starting to make a return to the game. Might Makes Right will help your more elite army compete when you need bodies to claim objectives. Every ogor counts as 2 models instead of 1, and monsters count as 10. The ogors of the Mawtribes live in perpetual hunger, and to reflect that there is the Ravenous Brutes rule. This makes it so that any ogor that is more then 3" away from an enemy unit is Hungry, and any ogors within 3" of an enemy unit is Eating. Hungry units get to add 2" onto their move, while Eating units get to add 2 to their bravery characteristic. The last two abilities are specific to the Beastclaw Raiders. Grasp of the Everwinter has you roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3" of any Beastclaw units, and if the roll is less than the current turn number then that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Everwinter Prayers just specifies how the prayers work for Beastclaw Priests, which is what you would expect it to be.

There are four tables of command traits, each with six to choose from. There's one for Tyrants, one for Butchers, one for Frsotlords and Huskards, and one for Hunters. For the Tyrant I quite like Furious Guzzler, which lets them heal wounds when they're eating, or Prodigious Girth, which adds 2 to their wounds characteristic. Gastromancer is pretty amazing for the Butcher, and lets them know all of the spells from the Gutmagic spell lore. Touched by the Everwinter for Frostlords and Huskards is nice since it makes them a priest or allows them to know 1 additional prayer if they're already a priest. There's also one that makes it so enemy unit can't retreat if they're within 3" of you which would be good for tying up annoying units. Raised by Yhetees is pretty cool for the Hunter and gives the Yhetees 1 additional attack if they're wholly within range of the Hunter. Unfortunately he doesn't unlock them as battleline, only a Thundertusk does that, but he does unlock Frost Sabres as battleline, so you could take some small units of those then load up on Yhetees.

The artifacts tables are divided in a similar way with the only difference being that the Hunter only has three to pick from instead of six. There are quite a few artifacts that up the damage output of the Tyrant, from making his mace damage 4, to making his pistols 6 attacks instead of 2, and increasing the rend on his glaive to -3. The Butcher has some really nice ones like the Wizard-flesh Apron which lets him cast an additional spell. The Rotting Dankhold Spores is a good horde killer and lets you target an enemy unit within 6" once per battle and roll a dice for each model in that unit. Every 4+ is a mortal wound. Skullshards of Draagar for the Frostlord/Huskard is pretty amazing. Once per battle you can unbind a spell and you don't need to roll for it. Basically like the old dispell scroll. The Hunter's artifacts are all about improving that hero alone, either healing or upping damage and such.

We get two magic lores with this book, the Lore of Gutmagic and Lore of the Sun-eater. The Gutmagic lore can be taken by Butchers and has six spells to choose from. There are some really solid choices in here. Blood Feast lets you add 1 to the attacks of a friendly Ogor unit, while Ribcracker subtracts 1 from the save value of an enemy unit. Molten Entrails increases the damage by 1 on a friendly monster's melee attacks, and Greasy Deluge subtracts 1 from an enemy unit's hit values. Really, a ton of great options that will be hard to pick from. The Sun-eater lore only has three spells to pick from and is for the Firebellys. Fiery Whirlwind is a great anti-horde spell, letting you roll a dice for each model in an enemy unit within 12" of the caster and doing a mortal wound on a 4+. The other two options are good choices as well. Lastly there are three prayers for Beastclaw Raiders to pick from for your priests. I'm a fan of the Yhetees so Call of the Blizzard stands out to me as it lets you return one slain model to the unit. I really want to see some Yhetee heavy armies out there.

Like most battletomes with big beasties we get some mount trait tables as well. There's one for Stonehorns and one for Thundertusks, with six options each. Frosthoof Bull for Stonehorns looks good since it increases the rend by 1 on your hoof attacks, but I really like Metalcruncher just for how cool it is. You get to pick an enemy War Machine or a model with a save or 3 or better and do D6 mortal wounds to them as you munch down. It's a bit situational, but I really like the visual of it. Alvagr Ancient for Thundertusks will probably see a lot of use, since it makes your enemies nearby fight last unless you charged that turn.

The Great Mawpot is the piece of free terrain you get with the army. You have to set it up more than 12" away from enemy territory. Vessel of the Gulping God adds 1 to your casting as long as the wizard is next to the Mawpot. The best rule though is the Battlebroth ability. The pot is either full or empty. It starts off full and if you have a hero nearby you can spend all of its magic which then heals D3 wounds to every ogor unit wholly within 36" of it. After this it's empty, but you can fill it back up if you kill an enemy unit within range of it. Plus, it's just a really cool looking kit.

There are six different Mawtribes you can have your army come from, three for Gutbusters and three for Beastclaw Raiders. You can of course mix and match any units within those tribes, but they're clearly targeted towards those factions. The Meatfist Mawtribe are the ones with the bloody arms that are used in most of the photography. They get to roll an additional dice for their Trampling Charge ability and their command ability, The Unstoppable Feast, adds 1 to the attacks characteristic of your Gluttons' bite attacks. Their trait is also pretty good since you get an additional command point if the hero is Eating at the your hero phase. The Bloodgullet Mawtribe are all about their magic. Your Butchers know an additional spell and can cast an additional spell as well. Their command ability gives Gluttons nearby Butchers a re-roll to their wounds, and the artifact can heal friendly units. I love magic and the look and feel of the Butchers, so this is probably my favorite. The last of the Gutbusters Mawtribes is the Underguts. These ogors love their guns and explosions and as such have an 18" range on their Leadbelchers instead of 12". They can also boost Ironblasters, and the artifact is called the Gnoblar Blast Keg and has the potential to do a bunch of mortal wounds to an enemy units.

The Beastclaw Raiders start off with the Boulderhead Mawtribe. Monsters are the name of the game here, with each one having an additional wound, and ALL Stonehorns and Thundertusks getting to pick a mount trait, not just one. Their command ability, Dig Deep your Heels, lets you use a monster as if it were unwounded instead of wherever it's at on its damage table as long as it has a mount. The Thunderbellies focus on the Mounfang, with a way to run and charge as well as a way to re-roll wounds for them. Lastly, the Winterbite Mawtribes gives the Yhetees and Frost Sabres their chance to shine. The command ability lets all Yhetee and Frost Sabre units wholly within range of the hero fight first in the combat phase, while the command trait adds 1 to the wound rolls for those same units within range. If you have your general popping the command ability you can get a nice little Yhetee bomb to go off. I seriously hope I see some cool Yhetee armies.

The narrative battleplan is really fun and cool, and as far as I know, is the first Triumph and Treachery battleplan in a battletome. It involves two rival warlords stumbling upon an ogor encampment and they both try and hire the ogor's services. At the start of the battle round each of the non-ogor player secretly writes down a number for their tribute and gives it to the ogor player. They then accept one of the tributes, and that player then has to remove that many models worth of wounds from their army as they're eaten by the ogor player. They then treat each other as neutral from the first two battle rounds, basically ganging up on the third player. Then at the start of every battle round after the rival warlords have to give the ogors a tribute of victory points, which you had scored from holding objectives. When the ogor accepts one of the tributes they gain those victory points and the player who offered them loses them. The winner has the most victory points. It's a super unique battleplan and perfectly fitting for the mercenary ogors. There's another battleplan as well that pits two rival ogor Mawtribes against each other.

There are 10 warscroll battalions to pick from, with one mega battalion focusing on the Gutbusters and one mega battalion focusing on the Beastclaws. They each then have four regular battalions a piece. The thing I really like about all of these battalions is that they're pretty easy to collect. If you're going to be buying units for this army, more likely than not you'll end up having what you need to field something. The Tyrant's Guard for example is a Tyrant and a unit of Ironguts minimum.You can then add in more Ironguts and some Ironblasters if you want. In return any Ironguts units within 3" of your Tyrant can absorb wounds taken by him on a 4+, essentially making them bodyguards. The Butcher's Band and Goremand are the same unit composition, with either a Butcher or a Slaughtermaster respectfully. They each need at a minimum one unit of Gluttons, one unit of Ironguts, and one unit of Leadbelchers, plus their hero, so basically the core of a Gutbusters army. The Beastclaw battalions are all carried over from the previous battletome with minor tweaks and refined abilities. The Jorlbad for example, allows all of its units to move D6 inches before the start of the game, while the Eurlbad makes all unmodified hits of a 6 in melee generate a mortal wound as well.

The warscrolls are mostly minor tweaks of the existing ones with nine heroes to choose from and 13 units. The Tyrant has a brand new warscroll as far as weapon options go to match the new model. The Leadbelchers can now do D6 shots if they didn't move regardless of whether they're in combat or not, which is a nice improvement on what they could do previously. The Thundertusk's shooting attack has been changed and is now even more devastating against larger horde units, though it won't take out a single model in one shot anymore. All of these warscrolls are up on the App, so you can look at them for free. Everything improved slightly or was refined to make gameplay easier, or both in a lot of cases. The whole army hits a lot easier in combat now for example. There are no new endless spells here though, so the only additions to the army is the scenery piece and the revamped Tyrant scroll.

This is just a really fun book. The background for the ogors is fun, the army seems fun, and the models are fun. It's not fun in a whacky way like Gloomspite, but in a "I'm going to do a bunch of impact hits on you from my charging ogors" kind of way, if that makes sense. I really like the aesthetic and I think they've done a great job of porting the ogors fully into the Mortal Realms. The civil war between the Beastclaw Raiders and Gutbusters is a really interesting angle too. I think this may be the destruction army for me. It ticks a lot of the boxes, including low model count.

I got so inspired reading this battletome that I went ahead and painted up a test model for them. I don't know if I'll expand it into a larger force, but all I'm saying is I've been writing army lists.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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