Friday, September 3, 2010

Tactics: Keeping Your Ogryns Their Bone ‘eadiest


Hey everyone,

So I recently had a really fun discussion over on the BoLS post about the Penal Legion (They still suck!), but I decided to cover one of the units I run pretty often in my Guard: My Ogryns. A lot of people find them useless in an Imperial Guard army, and, well, in an entirely Mech army, they are pretty useless. However, with me running only 3 chimeras and a Valk/Vendetta, I have a lot of footslogging men that need some extra defense, and that’s where my Ogryns come in at! Lets start with some Pros and Cons!


  • Toughness 5 means only Demolisher Cannons and Railguns will insta-kill these dudes!
  • Furious Charge and Stubborn means a couple of S6 beasts are going to wound Marines on 2+, while not breaking as easily when they get attacked back.
  • 3 Wounds means these guys can take a LOT of damage before being torn down!
  • Ripper Guns provide a TON of s5 fire before they charge into combat!


  • No Power Weapons means most enemies will just shrug off their attacks.
  • I2 means that even with Furious Charge, they probably aren’t going to hit first.
  • Face it, the models blow, and the older edition ones are even worse!
  • Ld7 is still ld7, so attach a model with a high leadership to ensure your Ogryns stick around.

Their True Potential

Ogryns aren’t a dedicated assault unit. With a 5+ save and no Armour-Ignoring attacks, these guys will die quickly to a unit that puts out a lot of attacks. When I run my Ogryns, they’re usually supported by at least one infantry squad, as well as a Hydra or a Leman Russ. Against assaulty units, Ogryns turn into the perfect speedbump, as long as the unit doesn’t have all Power Weapons or something stupid like that. I’ve watched my Ogryns tie up Assault Marines, Nobz, and Skyclaws with ease. I’ve seen them take an Earthshaker shot dead on and take one wound, and I’ve seen their shooting drop a couple wounds on a Tervigon.

The true trick to Ogryns is the amount of high strength hits they put on an opponent when they shoot and assault. S5 and 6 is nasty in today’s current game, and the ability to put out nearly 40 s5+ hits when they shoot and charge is something not to be underestimated. When I run them, I also run 4 Ogryns with a Bone ‘ead, putting the squad at just over 200 points. Sure the unit is a little expensive, but they’re Elites, and since they can’t take Objectives, let them get stuck in and put the hurt on something before that something can put the hurt on your Artillery and your Troops.

Also, so anyone jumping over from BoLS who saw my anti-Penal Legion posts: I have a Unit of them, they’re fun to paint, but unless the game is more fun than competitive or I’m playing Apocalypse, they don’t see the table. 

Penal Legion (1)

Penal Legion (2)

I also put up a new poll about the oddball units in the Guard Codex that some people run and some don’t, for some reason. So I want to get my community’s opinion on these units, and why they run them or why they don’t. Something I forgot to put up was Special Weapons Teams. I really like the ability to run a 6-man troops choice that can sit in cover with Plasma, Melta, or hell, even a Demolition Charge, and blast pretty much anything that comes close!



  1. I sometimes use Ogryns (though am a fan of penal legion, using them far more often) though when I do I tend to go for the 5 "man" squad. I usually use them as a bodyguard for Yarrick though. This makes this unit fearless, and gives it rerolls to hit on the charge, making it far more effective than before. Yarrick makes up for the lack of power weapon in the squad. And from Yarricks point of view, majority T5 helps him out against shooting, and putting 15 wounds worth of bodies for the enemy to shoot through before they catch him is just fantastic.

  2. Very true! I have run my Ogryns with Yarrick before, and they do provide him with a very nice shieldwall of doom before he gets to mess something up! Something fun to do for everyone, I played a fun game based around Yarrick, 30 Ogryns, and 20 Penal Legion, it wiped the other guy off the table nice and quick!

  3. No one expects combat guard! I do that from time to time (but not EVERY time, I like to keep my opponents on their toes) and the standard pattern for a game like that is turn 1, I run at them, they look confused. Turn 2, I prove there is some assault potential in the list, they panic... turn 3 onwards their game plan is out of the window and they're just taking wild guesses with what to do from turn to turn :oP

  4. I like Ogryn.

    Ld7 isn't too bad. If you're mostly slogging, make sure there's a standard nearby for a reroll. With terrain, what tanks you do have, and guardsmen it's easy to get them a cover save, so them having to check too often from shooting is unlikely unless the enemy really concentrates on them, in which case everything else is that much safer. And in combat, Stubborn 7 is just as good as base 8 if you lose by 1, just as good as base 9 if you lose by 2, etc. And if you don't lose, it doesn't matter!

    If you're planning a mostly stationary early game, they can also be fun (like RRs) in Reserve, being immune to fire until they arrive, then engaging whoever has gotten close to your lines.

  5. With my main opponent being a 'Nids/Dark Eldar player there will always be some poison in his list and taking Ogryns just gives him a target to send those troops at. Then I just have dead Ogryns because I finally gave him something worthwhile for his poison to attack.
    Now when I play against his brother, the Tau player or some other friends then Ogryns can be quite effective.

  6. Hey MattS!
    I totally agree, Ogryns don't like poison weapons at all. They do, at that point though, protect your more important infantry squads or veterans, albeit for a hefty sum of points. I still feel like Ogryns have a spot in the Guard codex, but its a weird spot at that.