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A watered-down version of the LRB 4 Ogre team, they are no longer one for power-gamers. This team perhaps should be more rightfully called a Snotling team, and they usually play like one too. Still, if the Ogres can take out some of your opponents early, and if the Snotlings manage some successful aerobatics, this team might just manage to make a draw.
The Ogre team has the potential to have up to 6 Ogres on its roster, having an almost unmatched level of brutality for the early and mid TV's. With 6 Big Guys lugging around the field, it is very likely you are going to send some of the enemy players off into the K.O or casualty box. The Ogre team also has access to the tiny Snotling who has both Stunty and titchy, meaning they can dodge through almost any gap with ease. And lastly, like all Stunty teams, they have the potential to throw their players when things are looking rough.
While 6 Ogres grants the team a large amount of Strength and hurting power, it would not be a Stunty team if it did not hold some form of drawback. While the Ogres lack the loner of their regular Big Guy counterparts, they still suffer from Bonehead which can see your entire offense or defense stop dead in its tracks.
Furthermore the Snotlings are the most fragile player in the game and it is not uncommon to see them taken off field very quickly. Once the snotlings are gone, it is likely the Ogres will be grossly outnumbered and be pulled down by the opposing team. Any turn without a Snotling being removed from the field is a good turn!
The Ogre team is extraordinarily straight forward, even more so than the typical bashing teams like Dwarfs and Orcs. While many people consider Ogres the worst team in the game, their additional strength and highly reliable dodging (2+/2+) makes them arguably the most stable stunty team in the game. In particular their high strength allows them to face off reasonably against the stronger teams where the other stunty teams would struggle.
For those of you looking for an extremely quick guide how to play Ogres, it primarily comes down to two things: RR management and Bonehead management. This is essentially the foundation on what a good Ogre coach should understand if they are wanting to get something out of these big lugs.
The predominant idea is to not use a RR for Bonehead barring two exceptional circumstances:
- You are trying to move the ball carrier to get into the end zone.
- It is a situation where blocking or moving is essential i.e to break open a gap to free up players/open up the field for an advance.
This even includes a bonehead blitz. Bonehead should not be seen as something which is necessarily bad, it is inevitable and does not cause turn overs. Instead consider how important that immediate action would have been. For example: Failing a normal Bonehead on the LOS is not a major issue. If it looks like Bonehead is going to rupture your entire lineup, its sometimes better not to activate an Ogre at all to retain his tacklezones.
Similarly do not waste Re-rolls on blocks which did not knock over the opponent unless it was the ball carrier. Following the above steps is pretty much most of what an Ogre coach requires to know to use them effectively.
And lastly, be sure to always dodge out snotlings at the end of the turn. Restrict those blocks against your team! This rule obviously changes in the context of offense where it would be sometimes better to tie up an opponent than risk tripping.
First and foremost Ogre strategy is very simple if you just follow these two steps.
1. Block with the Ogres (ideally 3d blocks)
2. Dodge and foul (when necessary) with the snotlings.
You must restrict your opponent to one block a turn as leaving snotlings to be blocked is simply asking for trouble. It also applies pressure to the opponent to either commit to downing/marking Ogres or commiting too many players to mark up the snotlings who can very easily disengage and leave them in the dust. You are essentially trying to maintain your weak players for as long as possible while similarly trying to hurt the enemy line-up by pounding them into the dirt with your Ogres.
It is also important to note that if you are genuinelly looking to be somewhat succeseful with Ogres, the same rule applies with them as the other three stunties: Do not TTM unless its an absolute emergency! This even counts on Ogre defense, you are providing the enemy with a free armour roll against snotlings by doing so, which is just helping them to gain the numerical advantage.
You have enough strength (At least at low TV) to bring the fight to an enemy box, even Orcs. Do so! Blitz a corner with an ogre and send a second one to run in and fill that gap to engage the carrier. Place Snotlings in areas which will cut off squares which will provide assists and force the opponent to either dodge or engage in a scrum.Similarly, keep one or two ogres back field while at least three get stuck in to try to rack up the head count.
Defense is quite straight forward for Ogres, certainly more than you would expect. You should set up a 3 Ogre line of scrum. You're already working with the most fragile players in the game through snotlings, so it's best to reduce the chances of losing players to begin with. And three Str5 player on the LOS is nothing to scoff at. Keep all your snotlings 8 squares deep so the opponent cannot engage them in their first turn.
Set up two Ogres towards the center field of the pitch. As the drive unfolds, remember to always dodge snotlings out of Tackle zones to restrict the opposition to one Snotling blitz a turn. Keep at least one ogre as a line back and try to pound whichever enemy is in your Ogre tackle zones and keep the snotlings to provide screens to slow the opposition offense. Similarly, at least ensure that your Ogres take the fight towards the general vicinity of the enemy ball carrier once they begin to push. You're not like the other stunty teams, you can actually take an aggressive approach when fighting an enemy box or offense. Also with the best dodgers in the game (Snotlings 2/2+) you can easily ensure damage control can be levelled.
If the enemy is getting near the end-zone, charge all the Ogres you can at the enemy ball carrier or his screeners/boxers. Set up snotlings to screen and force them to dodge out. While this may sound difficult to execute, you would be surprsied how much pressure fighting up to five to six Ogres can have on an opposition coach.
For the start of offense, try to set up at least one 3d block for the opening punch and if possible, two. This way you save yourself the risk of a potential turn over and increase the chance to belt the enemy to the ground.
Following this and most important: An Ogre carrier is always an option.A To make this easier, set up both a Snotling and an Ogre backfield on offense ready to pick up the ball. Failing the first or second attempt (depending how fast your opponent), give it to the snotling.
With an Ogre as your carrier, the opponent has a very hard time trying to take him down safely in addition to the relative security you can move the ball. While you do sacrifice mobility in the form of stunty and titchy, you are just as fast, considerably stronger and durable as well as a lot harder to take down. If the Ogre carrier is locked down, try to blitz the opponent marking you and then move ahead. If multiple targets are marking him, attempt a chain push with clever use of the snotlings and a blitz from a nearby Ogre.
A snotling carrier on the other hand is much easier to get out of trouble and a smart opponent may try to pin your ogre carrier down. Keep a snotling by his side ready to take a hand-off in case things go south. If you use a snotling carrier, be sure to keep him safe behind a screen of ogres and snotlings.
And finally, be selective in your fouls. Fouling a lineman with a snot is still a good trade price wise, but its far more practical to risk losing a snotling by fouling an important player or positional.
Ogres have definitely been nerfed from their previous roster but far from what many coaches would believe, they are still very much playable and can still be a dreadfully terrifying team when the fists start flying and with the right coach.
Good luck and most importantly, have fun with your Ogres!