Ogre (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 of "Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms" in 2005 for Warhammer Fantasy Battles tabletop game, Ogres appeared only as mercenaries or adjuncts to other armies. The Ogre Kingdoms book has expanded on the history and character of the Ogres and they can be fielded as single army of their own, though the option to use them as mercenaries in other armies remains.

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.

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. It appears to be a vast creature that was released from a comet intended to destroy the Ogre Kingdoms near Cathay, the Warhammer Fantasy equivalent of Imperial China. 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). The ogres venerate and fear it in equal measure. 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 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 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. When he was a teenage Ogre, he ate his 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, fear 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 normal ogre (which is on par with the village idiot). 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 and sealing the only exit 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 ogre among ogres and a follower of the Chaos god Malal noted for wearing a set of armour

ociety

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.

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, second-best fighters in the tribes are known as "Bruisers".

Hunters

Hunters are Ogres who prefer solitude than 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 brings 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 equipments include throwing spears or "harpoon launcher": a large crossbow.

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 to be quiet gruesome in appearance due to the many hooks, pierces and barbs attattched to their body, and are often skewered with meat, cooking tools, and various other bits and pieces of their preys. They often have more than one set of teeth which they can frequently change in order to tackle different kinds of food.

In the Warhammer Fantasy war game, Butchers serve as an Ogre army's magic user, utilizing "gut magic" against their foes by augmenting his fellow warrior's strength. Elite Butchers are known as Slaughtermasters.

In game terms, Butchers cannot become army generals and no Slaughtermasters can be fielded in an army unless a Tyrant is included.

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 portable cannons scavenged from earlier battles. 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 noral 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, as he doesn't really care what he eats, as an emphasis on the ferocity of these troops.

Associated creatures

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

Gorgers

When an Ogre is born without a paunch, 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 of competing for their food, ensuring that only the strongest, fastest and largest of them ever survive to maturity. They also have little clothing, wearing only a loin cloth.

They are let loose on the battlefield when they catch the scent of blood, eagerly charging in that direction, hoping for fresh meat.

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.

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.

Slave Giant

Ogre tribes will sometimes locate and enslave lone giants, turning them loose in battle to fight for the tribe. The process of subduing the giant breaks its spirit and robs it of its courage, somewhat diminishing its effect on the battlefield,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.
Forge World has released Warhammer-scale models of Ogres Bulls riding Rhinoxen, and a champion known as Ogre Thunderlord.

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).

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).

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 Beastmen. Chaos (Beastmen, Mortals, and Daemons) can all 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.

ee also

*Dragon ogre - a centaur-like combination of ogre and dragon

External links

* [http://uk.games-workshop.com/ogrekingdoms/ UK Games Workshop]
* [http://us.games-workshop.com/games/warhammer/ogrekingdoms/ US Games Workshop]
* [http://www.games-workshop.com.au/games/warhammer/ogrekingdoms/ Games Workshop Australia]
* [http://www.ogrestronghold.com/ The Ogre Stronghold]
* [http://www.librarium-online.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81392 Ogre Kingdoms resources]


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