N18 Ogryn Gang Starting Roster advice

Zayneth

Juve
Dec 28, 2017
25
18
3
USA
Like the title suggests, i need advice. how are slave ogryn gangs typically played? they look like they wanna be kitted out for melee exclusively since their BS is so low and their stats are so tough.

Edit: Gang list idea

"Marn" Leader: 245 credits
Paired Augmetic fists, furnace plates, stimm-slug stash

"Knockback" Champion: 205 credits
Paired Augmetic fists, furnace plates, Frag grenades

"Burnout" Champion: 245 credits
Arc Welder x2, furnace plates, Incendiary charges

"Blaster" Ganger: 145 credits
Blasting charges, furnace plates, spud jacker

Lobo(2): 80(160) credits
Axe

with this loadout what skills work with these guys? i considered NAAARGAH! on the champs and overseer on the leader for a potentially hilarious 6 actions worth of positioning or blitz but it seems overly gimmicky and makes the predictible even moreso
 
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El Torro

Juve
Jan 5, 2015
27
28
23
Slough
Yeah, you're pretty much right. Some grenades might be a good idea, especially blasting charges or incendiary grenades. Generally though you want to be getting up close as soon as possible.

Probably the best thing for you to do is to post what you think is a good starting gang here, then people can critique it and give advice.
 
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almic85

Cranky Git
Oct 30, 2014
2,365
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they only have one real long rage weapon, being the storm welder, which is bad on a cheap fighter and worse on a multi wound ogryn due to its ability to remove the shooter from the table on a bad ammo roll.

Other than that they are pretty much built for close combat.

As a point of interest it is usually not worth giving them a good close combat weapon and a bad close combat weapon as they actually end up losing attacks with the better weapon.

If you want to go two weapons then you are best taking paired augmetic fists for a leader or champion or taking brute cleavers for the AP-1 or something with a +1 to hit bonus.

Also lobo slaves are usually better than standard ogryns because they come with Neeves of Steel.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
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This thread may prove helpful:
 
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MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
706
505
98
Halmstad, Sweden
The slave ogryn list is really boring to me, since it stifles variety so harshly. There are a few options that are obviously so much better than anything else. For fighters, it's lobo slaves. For weapons, it's the arc welder and (possibly) paired augmetic fists.

You could have a leader and six lobo slaves, all equipped with arc welders and furnace plates. That's probably the best you can do with slave ogryns, but I think a lot of people would agree that it's not a very interesting gang, and not very fun to play or play against. But if you choose anything else, you are actively making your gang worse. House of Chains is not an example of good game design.
 
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Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
309
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Aaand here we go again one year later.

Only this time I actually have half a dozen games played with various Ogryn builds under my belt. We also recently started a campaign, where I'm running the chubbers.

First and foremost it's necessary to say that we're not playing RAW (and who does?) and are using some houserules which are relevant in this case:
  • Most if not all extra actions or activations are banned (Tactic cards which allow them, Overseer etc.). This nerfs HtH but it also nerfs shooting and makes the game healthier generally.
  • To move away from Gunline gameplay HtH has been buffed - it's possible to charge from Pinned but without any bonuses for charging (no +d3 move, no +1A), moving fighters are harder to hit (-1 if you moved more than your M, essentially).
  • To make HtH a bit less deadly it's possible to forego reaction attacks and roll I to attempt to "dodge" a single attack that hits. The decision has to be made by defending player before any dice are rolled.
  • Unstable weapons have been buffed to make them not terrible (aside from plasma, plasma's fine RAW) - the trait now doesn't automatically kill you, but instead hits you once with the relevant weapon profile. Plasma weapons have been upped in price since they were quite good even without Unstable nerf.
  • Falsehood is banned for gangs and only appears on pre-generated models like Bounty hunters, Dramatis personae and such. This item just doesn't make the game fun for anybody if you can put it on whoever you like.
  • Paired trait is nerfed and doesn't give any extra attacks. The ganger just counts as having two similar weapons with a discount.
  • Ogryns except for Lobo-Slaves are allowed to take Sawed-Off shotgun in their house list (that's partly because I had a reasonably good conversion and partly to give them at least some safe shooting option, but more on that later).
So with all that out of the way here are some of my personal thoughts on the Ogryn gangs and how to run them, based on my experience so far:

1. Number of activations is king. This is regardless of the gang you run, but with Ogryns you start to really feel it, since they are more expensive per body. Most gangs will start with 8 bodies, sometimes even 9 if the gang has good cheap juves. If you run 6 chubbers of even 5 as some people suggest you'll get out-activated and blown to pieces long before you make it close enough to charge. As such I opted for Boyz before Toys and squeezed 7 Ogryns into the starting gang. Yeah you start with less flashy toys, but you have more bodies to do stuff ingame.

2. Have you heard the saying: "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight"? Well it's true, doubly so in 'Munda. And ogryns are not good at shooting, to put it mildly. But shoot you must if you want to do anything meaningful in this game. Your best bet are 5" blasts from grenades - they hit at least the intended target at least 5/9 of the time with BS5+ provided you aim them at the floor, and Ogres can lob bombs quite far - 10" or 15" depending on the type you chose.
  • The most cost-effective option is Blasting Charge, it's only 10" but it has a really solid chance to down it's target, moreso in ZM where you can often hit your target against the wall with Knockback for bonus damage. The only things at the start that can reliably shrug off Blasting Charges are Orlock Leaders and other Ogryns, so I took a couple at the start.
  • The next obvious choice is Incendiary - 15" range and Blaze on 4+ is nice, but they are more expensive and only have S3 D1, so don't expect to kill a lot of folks with blasts themselves. The control element is nice though. Do keep in mind that it can be countered entirely (I'm looking at you GSC!).
  • Demo charges are awesome if a bit pricy to take from the start. S6 -3AP D3 is just so reliable, they're worth the cost, IMO. Don't mind the Single Shot - you can safely assume that you won't get more than one shot from your other grenades as well, so having a guaranteed 1 shot isn't that much of a downside.
  • Less obvious options are Cursed grenades from the BM - Mindflect shards and Shard Grenades. I prefer Shard Grenades since they are cheaper and can deal D2 on a 6 to wound. Don't count on Insanity very much though - average Will is 7+, so it's more than 50% chance to pass it. But the threat of it is sometimes good enough.
  • Flashbang grenades are reasonably good - they deal no damage, but can blind one or more enemies at 15" range. Less useful against Escher gangs, but they are cheap enough to take anyway. That is if you can get your hands on them since they are rare and appear on TP and not BM.
  • Frag grenades aren't cheap enough to warrant spending money on them - Blasting charge is just 5 creds more but so much more killy.
  • Don't bother with 'nades that give -1 hit.
3. On the topic of shooting - Storm-Welders seemed like a joke at first. Then I started to consider them. Then we altered the Unstable rules. Then I figured that Storm-Welders are actually pretty goooood. That's very much dependent on the way your group treats Unstable rules, but Storm-Welder turned out to be somewhat decent even RAW. With weakened Unstable it's potentially devastating. It does have it's quirks:
  • First and foremost you don't choose what you target - the damn thing is Reckless. That's actually the worst thing and not the Unstable rule. So the best scenario to use it is to run the welder ahead of your other models, face him towards the biggest group of enemy models and Zzzzzap! You'll miss more often than not, but you'll be surprised how many stray shots will regularly hit some poor bystander. Just make sure it's not your models :) I've seen lucky Storm welder shots down 2-3 models, but then I've also seen it whifff spectacularly. Just remember that the threat of it going off will be enough in quite a lot of cases.
  • A model with Storm welder is helpless in HtH unless you give them at least a semi-decent weapon, so please do. because if you don't some maniac with a sword will charge them and potentially keep them locked in combat for longer than you'd like.
  • So in summary Storm-Welder is a viable option RAW, since it's your only "long range" shooting, it's even better if you houserule Unstable. The threat of a devastating S5 RF(3) volley is good enough at least at the start of a campaign.
4. Toughness. Yeah the Ogryns are tough, there's no question here. However according to my experience this toughness will generally last you 2-3 rounds, and then your merry oafs will start dropping due to weight of fire and special weapons (I'm looking at you GL!). So don't waste time and try to get stuck in early. It will almost often mean that you'll have to make sub-optimal charges and lose bodies in the process. But believe me, if you dawdle, you'll still lose that lobo-slave that didn't charge the enemy champ that he was really unlikely to kill, but you won't have a chance to deal damage.

5. Oh, did I mention your guys will go OoA a lot? 'Cuz they will. Especially the Lobos, them poor weak-minded brutes. Be ready for that.

6. On that note get ready to fail those nerve tests on your Champs. Due to base size and the way they play Ogryns tend to cluster together and thus if someone falls, everyone else is close enough to see the guts. And Ogryn Champs are surprisingly prone to running around scared. Lho sticks on your boss help with that somewhat so do get them ASAP it's only 5 creds.

7. On the subject of Lobo-Slaves - IMO they are the only Gangers you'll need from the get go. They're just better than regular Ogryns in so many ways and cheaper as well. Later on you might pick a regular Ogryn, but at the start I definitely would go for Lobos+Champs and Leader.

8. As far as HtH weapon options go, here are some considerations:
  • RAW Paired Fists have the best chance to pound your target into the ground when you charge them (I don't use them due to houserules, but generally they are the best on offence). They start to lose some potential when the opponent gets some decent armour, but you'll still have enough opportunities to smash.
  • Las cutter is very good thanks to solid Damage and AP and Versatile, but has the nasty habit of running out of ammo at the worst moment. You'll also have to convert it from something :)
  • Ark-Welder is the best all-rounder "heavy" melee weapon, as it'll keep it's viability till the very end and it's relatively cheap.
  • Rock-Saw is good but even with a house list discount it's still better to take 2 Ark-Welders for the essentially the same cost.
  • Brute cleaver is the go-to "light" melee weapon - +hit and AP will keep it viable even later in the campaign and it's cheap enough. Good backup weapon for your Las-cutter models, and decent on Lobo-Slaves, especially when you can get a second one. Will require conversions.
  • Axe and more specifically Double Axes are a really cost-effective way to get +1A on your Lobo-Slaves. 4 attacks wounding most things on 2+ for merely 20 creds is nothing to sneeze at. Will Require conversions.
  • Don't bother with Spud-jackers - they're essentially axes, but 1.5 times more expensive. Just get axes instead.
  • Clubs are a joke in most cases, but with all the Boks of Such-and-such it's become pretty common to see gangers with no armour at all. Against them Clubs are a good cheap option, but that's it.
  • Don't neglect the option of just squeezing the life out of your enemies with bare hands - 5S is nothing to sneeze at. Especially at the start don't be afraid to run your Lobos with no weapons - you can always grab an axe/cleaver later on. If you are pressed for creds the Iron Fists skill even allows you to run champions bare-handed and still very much dangerous to most living things.
That's all i can think of for the time being, but most likely I'll get back with something else later.
 

Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
309
456
78
Like the title suggests, i need advice. how are slave ogryn gangs typically played? they look like they wanna be kitted out for melee exclusively since their BS is so low and their stats are so tough.

Edit: Gang list idea

"Marn" Leader: 245 credits
Paired Augmetic fists, furnace plates, stimm-slug stash

"Knockback" Champion: 205 credits
Paired Augmetic fists, furnace plates, Frag grenades

"Burnout" Champion: 245 credits
Arc Welder x2, furnace plates, Incendiary charges

"Blaster" Ganger: 145 credits
Blasting charges, furnace plates, spud jacker

Lobo(2): 80(160) credits
Axe

with this loadout what skills work with these guys? i considered NAAARGAH! on the champs and overseer on the leader for a potentially hilarious 6 actions worth of positioning or blitz but it seems overly gimmicky and makes the predictible even moreso
To answer your question about Skills - NGHAAAAHAHA! is a very solid option, it has numerous uses so basically can't go wrong here. It's also considered a bit cheesy more often than not, so maybe don't pick it on EVERY possible model ;)
Overseer tends to get banned or houseruled a lot, so I'd figure out how exactly it is handled by the group you plan to play with.

On a side note - NGYYYAAARHG! is a very rare example of good design in Munda. It's "extra actions done right" basically - it's really powerful, but you can't count on it, since there's an increasing chance to fail as the game goes on. Compare with Overseer, which always works and is commonly regarded as broken.
 

Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
309
456
78
You could have a leader and six lobo slaves, all equipped with arc welders and furnace plates. That's probably the best you can do with slave ogryns, but I think a lot of people would agree that it's not a very interesting gang, and not very fun to play or play against. But if you choose anything else, you are actively making your gang worse. House of Chains is not an example of good game design.
Having played with Ogryns I would disagree with that quite strongly.

In actual games Lobo-Slaves are not that survivable, since they tend to be focused a lot (they can't go to the ground willingly y'know). Sometimes a lucky shotgun blast to the face is all it takes. And opponent will most often than not have something better even at the start of the campaign - either Bolters, GLs or Plasma are nearly guaranteed to be around. A single GL toting champ can down 2-3 Lobos before you get stuck in, especially on a bigger and emptier SM board. And when you do get stuck in you will have fewer numbers, -hit from enemy fighters swarming you to give each other assist and will have to roll Bottle tests before you have even done anything meaningful.

In order to avoid that you'd need at least some credible ranged threat, and thus you need bombs, and thus you need Champs to carry those bombs and survive the ranged onslaught.
 

almic85

Cranky Git
Oct 30, 2014
2,365
4,253
163
Palmerston, ACT, Australia
I think it might be worth pointing out here that Naaargaahh only actually works with the arc welder (or other versatile weapons) because of how it gives the third action.

You can’t actually charge with it as the third action is declared and occurs AFTER the first two actions. Further because it automatically pins you afterwards it reduces your next turn to a single action where (again) you can’t charge.

It does work with versatile weapons though where you can double move and then just attack with the versatile weapon.

I tend to give my slave ogryn either Iron Man or Walk It Off which both give them a significant boost to survivability, especially against masses of small arms fire.

Grenades are also great for ogryn and make it really hard for opponents once they get close enough.
 

MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
706
505
98
Halmstad, Sweden
Having played with Ogryns I would disagree with that quite strongly.

In actual games Lobo-Slaves are not that survivable, since they tend to be focused a lot (they can't go to the ground willingly y'know). Sometimes a lucky shotgun blast to the face is all it takes. And opponent will most often than not have something better even at the start of the campaign - either Bolters, GLs or Plasma are nearly guaranteed to be around. A single GL toting champ can down 2-3 Lobos before you get stuck in, especially on a bigger and emptier SM board. And when you do get stuck in you will have fewer numbers, -hit from enemy fighters swarming you to give each other assist and will have to roll Bottle tests before you have even done anything meaningful.

In order to avoid that you'd need at least some credible ranged threat, and thus you need bombs, and thus you need Champs to carry those bombs and survive the ranged onslaught.
I agree that slave ogryns have a huge problem when they run into a proper gunline. Especially if that gunline contains a fair number of grenade launchers, which, in the post HoC meta, is the answer to basically everything.

But there is nothing in the slave ogryn list that solves that problem better than lobo-slaves. Getting pinned means you will take even longer to reach the enemy lines, thus giving them more time to blast you into pieces.

Putting a ranged threat on the board is just not an option for slave ogryns. A BS of 5+ is not going to accomplish anything, even if they had the option of taking any good ranged weapons (which they don't).
 

Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
309
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But there is nothing in the slave ogryn list that solves that problem better than lobo-slaves. Getting pinned means you will take even longer to reach the enemy lines, thus giving them more time to blast you into pieces.

I wonder if you speak from experience here (i.e. have actually played and won games with that gang comp) or it's purely theoretical.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,471
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I wonder if you speak from experience here (i.e. have actually played and won games with that gang comp) or it's purely theoretical.
I have a feeling that you are misinterpreting stray shots or reckless trait wording. BS5+ model is just not going to hit anything with weapon which has a 8" short range.
 

Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
309
456
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I have a feeling that you are misinterpreting stray shots or reckless trait wording. BS5+ model is just not going to hit anything with weapon which has a 8" short range.
Well, I do agree that there are several ways to interpret the Reckless trait on ranged weapons. The main question is whether to count any target in weapon range as an eligible target or only the targets in the fighter's front ark. In our group we decided on the latter variant to preserve sanity. If your group is interpreting Reckless the first way then it's indeed nothing but useless.

As for stray shots, it's pretty simple - any targets in BtB with the initial target or in 1" of the line connecting the shooting model with the target can be affected 50% of the time if you miss your initial shot. If the shot caused more than 1 hit, you roll for each hit separately. Correct me if i'm wrong here.

So the basic method goes like this - you advance your Storm Welder model as fas forward as possible, face it towards the biggest group of foes and shoot. The target is chosen randomly, that's for sure, but provided you are facing more than 2 models in range and they are either roughly in a line (you'd need to flank enemy to easily achieve this) or clumped together, you are more likely to randomly choose a model that's not the closest to the shooter. Then you shoot the target. If you hit - you hit and will fry it or possibly spread the rapid shots to nearby models. If you miss (and this is more than likely) - you roll stray shots for every hit that you would have caused (and with RF(3) that's at least 3, but on average it's 5). So even if you miss, you still have very significant chances to hit something.

That's in no way a reliable or even decent strategy, but that's the best the Ogryns have when it comes to pure shooting. It's worked for me so far with several quite spectacular successes and even more spectacular failures.

Other than that you have only grenades, which are really good when they work (Blasting and Demo charges in particular), but they can't carry you through the entire game, since they run out. So if you fluff your initial tosses you have to rely on something else.
 
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JawRippa

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Mar 31, 2017
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I see. Well, this is basically using target priority and stray shots to your advantage - which is a neat trick in the case of ogryns. I wonder at times if they intended for stray shots to work like this - hitting targets in heavy cover on 4+ no matter how many negative modifers are there if you shoot behind them seems unintended.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
4,777
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Sevres 92130 France
I see. Well, this is basically using target priority and stray shots to your advantage - which is a neat trick in the case of ogryns. I wonder at times if they intended for stray shots to work like this - hitting targets in heavy cover on 4+ no matter how many negative modifers are there if you shoot behind them seems unintended.
I'm pretty sure Stray shot was primarly designed as a detterent for shooting at engaged fighters (so the designer needed a high enough chance to hit the other fighter, who was presumably from the same gang as the shooter). Everything else is unforeseen consequences imo, and they never realized Stray shot could be weaponized that way.
 

MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
706
505
98
Halmstad, Sweden
I wonder if you speak from experience here (i.e. have actually played and won games with that gang comp) or it's purely theoretical.
I think you misunderstood me. I am not necessarily saying that lobo-slaves are good, just that they are strictly better than regular slave ogryns. Both will be downed just as easily by grenade launchers, but when the enemy fails to wound you (or just inflicts a flesh wound), a regular slave ogryn becomes pinned and thus loses an action. Action economy is especially important for melee fighters.
 

Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
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I see. Well, this is basically using target priority and stray shots to your advantage - which is a neat trick in the case of ogryns. I wonder at times if they intended for stray shots to work like this - hitting targets in heavy cover on 4+ no matter how many negative modifers are there if you shoot behind them seems unintended.
Well in our houserules we changed the stray shot rules to only hit targets in cover on 5+ and in heavy cover on 6+, but Storm Welder still works reasonably well especially if you happen to target something further away and there are more valid targets between it and the target.

RaW Stray shots are pretty devastating if you have at least RF(2)

I'm pretty sure Stray shot was primarly designed as a detterent for shooting at engaged fighters (so the designer needed a high enough chance to hit the other fighter, who was presumably from the same gang as the shooter). Everything else is unforeseen consequences imo, and they never realized Stray shot could be weaponized that way.
Well in our games apart from a very specific example of Storm Welders stray shots still hit friendly fighters more often than enemies.

And IMO they are working as intended - it would seem strange that you shoot a volley of lead at a group of people, miss a single roll and hit absolutely nothing. After all machineguns were specifically designed to be effective against groups of people.

I think you misunderstood me. I am not necessarily saying that lobo-slaves are good, just that they are strictly better than regular slave ogryns. Both will be downed just as easily by grenade launchers, but when the enemy fails to wound you (or just inflicts a flesh wound), a regular slave ogryn becomes pinned and thus loses an action. Action economy is especially important for melee fighters.
That was exactly my point - Champs DON'T go down from a single Krak Grenade, since they have 3 wounds. And especially with NYAAAAA! they have ample opportunities to move up the board and dive into cover to avoid the dreaded 6S -2AP D2 shot entirely by being pinned in cover.

As for their ranged effectiveness - Demo and Blasting charges have an effective threat range of 20" (move 10" up the board and then toss it up to 10" away), although that requires some practice in eyeballing distances on the board from the player. Provided you aim at the floor near your target, with BS5+ they hit the intended target at least 5/9 of the time if there are no walls around, which is unlikely in 'Munda. And when they hit, Demo charges wreck almost anything that can happen at the start of a campaign with their 6S -3AP and D3. They even have decent chances to SI Orlock leaders and other Ogryn, which are notoriously difficult to deal with at the start.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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And IMO they are working as intended - it would seem strange that you shoot a volley of lead at a group of people, miss a single roll and hit absolutely nothing. After all machineguns were specifically designed to be effective against groups of people.
I'd argue that it is still not working as intended because it only triggers if you are targetting someone behind the original target - if you target someone closest, you still either hit with everything or miss with everything. Also Rapid fire rule allows you to split remaining shots on visible enemies next to original target, although for that you need to still hit.

Well in our houserules we changed the stray shot rules to only hit targets in cover on 5+ and in heavy cover on 6+, but Storm Welder still works reasonably well especially if you happen to target something further away and there are more valid targets between it and the target.
Regarding your group's houserules - they seems pretty neat. This is kinda a problem with modern Necromunda - when people talk about houserules they could easily mean changes to core mechanics, which makes discussing the game very hard unless you are the part of the same gaming group.

We are currently experimenting with the following houserule to emulate Sustained fire rule from old Necromunda - if you have a Rapid fire (2+) gun, you may hose the target with shots instead of doing a carefully aimed burst. You can add +1 to your to hit roll before rolling, but then you have to roll all firepower dice, resolve all rolled ammo checks and select 1 of the firepower dice with the biggest number of hits to discard. For rapid fire (3) this means that you can add up to +2 to your to hit roll, but will have to discard 2 firepower dice with biggest number of hits, resulting in 1 or 2 hits at best. So an ogryn with Storm welder could potentially be hitting at 3+, but it'll probably be just a single hit unless you get very lucky.

You are sacrificing number of potential hits to increase the chance to hit with at least something in the first place. So far this houserule seems like working out pretty decently.
 
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Squee

Gang Champion
Jan 11, 2019
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Almost everyone is playing their own version of 'Munda, that's true. That's exactly why I listed all relevant houserules we are using before giving my judgement. Somebody playing with different fixes may have a very different experience indeed.

And playing RaW 'Munda.... Well, Lord help you, if you do that :)
I really struggle to imagine a more frustrating endeavor.