Monday, November 8, 2021

The Path to Conquest

 Conquest is an annual wargaming tournament held in Christchurch since 2002 or there abouts. I attended to first 12 or so Conquests playing Flames of War and always enjoyed them so am looking forward to getting back into gaming. The location has changed since last time I played there and there has been a small cloud over whether the event will be able to be held due to two covid cases recently in Christchurch but hopefully nothing changes in the next two weeks and it is able to proceed.  

I have spent more evening than I‘d care to admit crunching lists on Easy Army, going in circles trying to find the “best” balanced list for my ogres and the way I want to play them. I had decided on a list I was going to take (the last list I fought Gordon with) but at the very last minute changed it, mainly as the Song of ice and Fire War Mammoths arrived and the mini’s are so awesome I could not take at least one, so dropped a unit of berserker braves and the boomer sergeant to squeeze in the mammoth. A wise choice? Probably not but the model is great and needs to see some action on the tabletop. I’ve not used the mammoth so it definitely is a wild card element to the list so we will see how the army performs on the table in a couple of weekends time.

 The final army list is as follows:

  • 1x Goblin scouts
  • 2x boomer regs
  • 1x beserker braves reg
  • 1x shooter horde
  • 2x siege breaker hordes- 1 with healing brew
  • 1x hunter horde- mead of madness
  • 1x mammoth
  • 1x warlock- inspiring talisman
  • 1x Nomgorok

My thoughts on individual units


1x Goblin Scout Regiment

Speed 10, Def 4, 14 attacks at 4+ and nerve 12/14. Thunderouse charge 1, vicious.

I know that troops of red goblins scouts often get used as chaff but they are taken off the board if someone as much as sneezes in their general direction. Regiments on the other hand are more robust and can really do some damage if they are able to get flanks. This unit is my fast moving flanking force/threat or even a reserve if necessary and if they can get flank charges to support other units then they can pack a punch.  The key to their use is going to be NOT throwing them away in the first turn or two if I can. I have a tendency to throw them towards sharpshooters (for instance) early and so lose them as a result so want to be less aggressive with them and make use of that speed.   Later in the game when opportunities open up.


2x Boomer Regiments @ 140 pts each

Spd 6, Melee 4, ranged 4+, Def 4, Atks 9, Nerve 12/14. Steady aim, piercing 1, range 12”

A lot of people ignore taking the boomer regiments preferring the horde which unlock and have 18 attacks for 230 points. And after several games I can see the strength in the horde. However, in most of my games I wanted to use them to screen my advance so although they are 50pts dearer than a horde there are some advantages.

1.    This is one of my chaff units, and intend to use them to screen the advance and act as disposable chaff if necessary.

2.    Two regiments means that I can either choose two different targets or concentrate on one, so have some extra flexibility there.

3.    US 2 each regiment means they add 1 extra to my overall unit strength.

4.    Anti-flyer unit. Being able to turn (90 degrees anyway) and shoot the Boomers can act as an AA unit vs enemy flyers.

5.    Flank support, 9 attacks becomes 18 if they ever are able to get flank charges- which when hitting on 4+s with CS 1 can be a great support unit.


1x berserker braves reg @140pts

My third unit that I consider chaff. The berserker braves Have wild charge D3, 15 attacks hitting on 4+ and Nerve of -/15. They are a solid wee unit and a popular choice as a result. Their defence 4 means they are susceptible to shooting but like the boomers I intend to use this unit either protecting a flank or screening the advance.

D3 wild charge means they have a 13-15 inch charge range which adds an element of uncertainty for opponents.

I am not 100% sold on the unit tohug and it was a toss up between taking the berserker braves or taking a third regiment of boomers instead. I think the extra attacks and nerve of the berserkers cold come in handy though so we will see.


1x shooters horde @230 pts

Another unit that seems to attract a lot of discussion. Many people over look them preferring the boomers who can move and shoot without penalty, while their is a smaller group of players who rate them highly. I definitely fall into the latter group. 18 attacks hitting on 5+ with piercing 2 is not to be sneezed at and with a range of 30” they have a good range too. Like most shooting units their defence is dodgy and they have potshot so -2 to hit and so half attacks when moving and shooting so the obvious solution is to position them with decent fields of fire and don’t move. Sensible. However, they also have 18 attacks, CS 1 and hitting on 4+ in melee so are IMO a versatile multipurpose unit more than capable of getting in hand to hand later in the game if necessary. 36 attacks hitting on 4+ CS 1 on a flank charge is definitely something that can swing a fight!

1x hunters horde @225pts

18 attacks hitting on 3+ with CS1, ensnare and pathfinder the hunters come with a highly recommended tag from a number of players. They are great for clearing units out of terrain and love lurking round in difficult going terrain to maximise their ensnare. Their main weakness if defence 4. They also have a 7” move and with the mead of madness a 15” charge range so they are for all intends and purposes medium cavalry. They are susceptible to shooting though so need to be screened/used carefully but when they do get into combat they never disappoint bu that being said are also a unit my opponents like to target


2x Siege breakers @240pts (1 with brew of healing + 5pts)

Many players consider siege breakers and auto include unit and I am definitely one of them. They are tough with def 6 from the front with their big shields, hit on 3+ with 18 attacks at CS 2. So far I have never lost both units in a game. They are damn tough and the main hammers in the army, which means they get targeted or avoided but also provide a key unit anchoring the mainline. Point at the enemy and off you go. However, they do need to be supported and can get bogged down easily but are in most instances the unit I most want to get into the thick of things.


Manny the Mammoth @220pts

A last minute call up simply due to the awesome model that demanded it be included Manny is the wild card in my list. Spd 7, 12 attacks on a 4+, Def 5, Nerve -/18.

Like most of the army he has Brutal, Crushing Strength (2), Thunderous Charge (2) and strider so like the hunters will be useful vs opponents in terrain. But like the hunters needs to be supported. I like using the giant + hunter together as combination and see Manny and the rangers working together as well. The giant I have tended use impetuously at times and see this potentially being a problem with Manny too but used wisely he should add another element to the army and make a good solid support unit.


1x Ogre warlock with the inspiring talisman- 115pts

This was probably one of the hardest choices. I really, really like the boomer sergeants- 8 ranged attacks, 4 melee attacks all hitting on 4+ for 90 points. They are damn useful (and make for very handy chaff units).  I have been vacillating between the boomer sergeant or the warlock as one of my two main characters (I happily included one of each until Manny got the call up and at that point it became one or the other). Brutal, Crushing Strength (1), Inspiring (Berserkers only), Nimble, Ogre Warlock, Lightning Bolt (3). What is not to like?

I am hoping the extra range of the lightning bolt will be useful over the course of the games and the inspiring talisman is make him the second inspiring character in the army. Definitely a support character but if he has 3 ogre units nearby he can generate a lightning bolt 6 which is not too shabby and why in the end I went for the warlock over the boomer sergeant. I hope it works but I am already missing my boomer sergeant which is in my opinion one of the best character choices for the ogres.


Nomgarok (aka Nom Nom)- 140 points

Another very popular character choice with ogre players. Nom Nom is a spellcaster that can also handle melee with 5 attacks on 4+. He has some good spell options and if he does heal a unit that unit gains vicious in melee special rule. Bloodlust, Brutal, Crushing Strength (1), Inspiring, Nimble, Ogre Warlock; Spells: Bane Chant (3), Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (4)



An important element of my list design has been the concept of battlegroups. The Germans in WWII used a flexible system of command called kampgruppes, by which they would assign and attach various formations depending on the mission. The US developed a similar system with its regimental combat teams. In my case I have developed two core battle groups which I try to coordinate and work together in most scenarios:

2x siegebreakers, 1x boomers, 1x berserkers + warlock

Hunters + mammoth + 1x boomers + warlock

As you can see one the hunters and mammoth are a bit more mobile (much more so if the goblin scouts are also assigned to this group) and so hopefully can act as a hammer while and the other battle group with the siegebreakers can be seen to be more of an anvil although they can act also make a damn fine hammer too.  

I can split the shooters and goblin scouts as flank protection or additional support for both battle groups or I can combine them to support only one as required. Thus there is quite a quite a bit of flexibility and I can change round the support options in different games as necessary but by having two core battlegroups it makes it easier for me to go into a game knowing which units I intend to work together.


Another area I have given quite a bit of thought too is deployment. Which units do I want to deploy where? Again, terrain does play a factor , as does my opponent’s forces but as I am most likely going to be out-deployed in most missions I try not to over think it or worry too much about what my opponent is deploying. I accept that most often I am going to be deployed before my opponent puts their important counters on the board so my typvial deployment is designed to keep my forces supporting each other and protecting each other.

Sure, the terrain can, and does, influence where some units are most likely to be deployed- the shooters ideally want some sort of area terrain to deploy in or an obstacle to shoot over to make them harder to hit but also need to have a reasonable field of fire to support the main combat units. Same goes with the hunters, they prefer a wood or other area terrain to lurk in if possible. Furthermore, with only two inspiring sources I need to be careful as to where my warlocks are going to be deployed to maximise the use of thre 6” inspiring circle. So I have a couple of standardised deployments that I try to use as much as possible. When I do follow my deployment plans my army tends to fight more cohesively.

One of my standard deployments.

Final thoughts

So there you have it, a bit of theory crafting for my army for Conquest. It is a small army with only 11 units and in my various playtests have found that it really doesn’t like to get involved in the grind aspect of the game and get bogged down. With a small unit count I am usually out deployed and although many of the units hit hard they are not very forgiving and easily outnumbered and overwhelmed. Still, I think it is a fun, flavourful list and I have thoroughly enjoyed putting it together.

Enough of the theory-crafting though. I am looking forward to giving it a crack at Conquest and see how it does vs a variety of opponents in a variety of missions. My goal is to try to win 2 out of the 5 games though would be very, very happy if I could win more. We will see.



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