Warhammer's Ogre Kingdoms army is the perfect choice for gourmands

Warhammer’s Ogre Kingdoms army is the perfect choice for gourmands

It’s a slightly unfair observation that ogres are only good at eating and fighting. They’re also loyal mercenaries, savvy traders and, when the need arises, even capable of diplomacy. But deep in the rumbling stomach of every ogre is the realisation that if you love devouring meat and shattering bones that much, why would you do anything else?

Unlike the scheming Chaos powers or cruel dark elves, ogres don’t inflict pain for the sake of it—it’s more often a byproduct of their all-consuming greed. They believe that might makes right. If you’re too weak to stop someone taking something from you, it’s your fault for not being bigger. Not the most equitable approach to property ownership, perhaps, but exactly what you’d expect from a 10-foot cabinet made of blubber and muscle. This way of thinking extends to politics. ‘Ogre Kingdoms’ is a misnomer, conjuring images of laws, structure and royalty. But instead of a monarch, the ogres are ruled by an Overtyrant: usually the largest, richest, loudest and most ruthless creature ogrekind has to offer. 

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Ogre Kingdoms.

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That’s a description that barely does justice to the current Overtyrant, Greasus Goldtooth. Or, to use his full title, Tradelord Greasus Tribestealer Drakecrush Gatecrasher Hoardmaster Goldtooth the Shockingly Obese—an ogre so wealthy and corpulent he’ s given up on walking in favour of being pushed about by gnoblars on weaponised treasure chest.

This insatiable desire to consume extends to—or, quite possibly, originates from—The Great Maw. This gaping chasm in the planet is venerated by the ogres as a god: a bottomless, all-consuming void that taints the landscape around it, so huge it could swallow an entire race. Ogres worship and fear the Maw. It’s the source of their Gut Magic, but also a reminder of darker times. Legend has it that the astromancers of Grand Cathay dropped a comet on the ogres for their transgressions, wiping out most of the race and driving them from plentiful grasslands into the frozen Mountains of Mourne. Now Butchers and Slaughtermasters serve the Maw, creating on-the-fly feasts in service of its bottomless hunger. 

You can see the worship of all things intestinal in their armour. Most ogres waddle to battle wearing little more than a pair of breeches and an upsetting smile. But the stomach is sacred, and therefore usually protected by a gutplate. Greasus doesn’t bother because they don’t make gut plates big enough, and no ogre in his right mind would want to cover up such a magnificent expanse of belly.

Ogre Kingdoms

(Image credit: Sega)

On the battlefield, an ogre army is usually outnumbered but rarely outweighed. Resisting an ogre charge is like trying to fight a landslide with a spoon. Even the most basic ogre troops, Bulls, will crush all but the most resilient enemies on the charge. And their more elite iteration, Ironguts, are the same but with better armour and more self-confidence.

Lowest on the ogre food chain are the Gnoblars: mean-spirited relatives of goblins, whose continued existence is predicated on them being more useful than they are edible. They’re rubbish in a fight, basically existing to slow enemies down while the bigger, more dangerous units manoeuvre into position. They are, however, possessed of enough limited intelligence to build things like scraplaunchers: essentially a way of turning weapons too small for an ogre to use into lethal ranged projectiles.

Leadbelchers have a similar affinity for ranged combat, perhaps because a cannon is one of the few things as loud and dangerous as an ogre. Where other races spend ages manoeuvring their artillery into position, Leadbelchers carry a cannon each. Their range is terrifying, the impact devastating, and they’re still a 10-foot wall of fat and muscle even after their ammunition runs out. And the Ironblaster is the biggest black-powder weapon the Ogres can field; a cannon that makes human and dwarf equivalents look like weaponised sugar sculptures.

And then there’s cavalry. To get a sense of how devastating ogre mounted units are, you just have to ponder what kind of animal would be big enough to carry an ogre and decide whether or not you’d want to stand in front of it. And the answer is no, because it’s essentially like asking if you want to be struck by an ice cream truck driven by a hippo. Mournfang cavalry is terrifying enough—huge, catlike predators which stalk the inhospitable mountain slopes—and Crushers, who ride hulking rhinoxen, are the same but with more weight and worse eyesight. And then there’s the Stonehorn, which answers that eternal question: what if a mammoth made a baby with a mountain?

Let’s finish with a famous saying about Ogre intelligence: they are often observed as being as thick as two short planks, but still intelligent enough to nail said planks together and beat the pithy observer to a bloody pulp. This sums up the Ogre Kingdoms perfectly: there’s little room for subtlety or subterfuge. But you'll be too busy eating, fighting, and hitting things with planks to care.

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