Breaking down 3 of the Kragg units! (Ogre Berserker/Troll Crusher/Orc Goliath)
Kragg’s Ogre Berserker is an absolute Victory Point machine. It’s one of the very best scoring units and is relatively affordable for what it brings to the battle. The 5 attack attribute is going to maul opponents, if not destroy them outright, and it’s Natural Toughness makes sure that it’s not exactly an easy elimination, unlike a lot of offense-first units. Where the Ogre Berserker really goes from solid to top tier unit however is through it’s combination of Bonecrush and Onslaught abilities. Bonecrush scores you an extra victory point whenever the Ogre Berserker delivers 2 or more excess damage than necessary to eliminate a unit. With a vicious hack of 5 damage, that ability often kicks in. Looking at some basic data confirms this. Across all factions, the average health of a Factions: Battlegrounds unit is 3. This means that on average, the Ogre Berserker will likely secure that extra VP. Keep in mind, that is fore full health units.. As Kragg’s cheap melee attackers stick enemies for a few points of damage, Bonecrush becomes more and more liekly to trigger when the Berserker gets it’s chance. As for Onslaught, that produces an additional VP if the Ogre Berserker eliminates an enemy unit that has an equal or greater gold cost. At 6 Gold, the Ogre Berserker costs slightly more than the average Factions unit (The average unit costs 5.3 gold across all factions) meaning that again, there are significant opportunities to earn that point as well. This creates legitimate scenarios almost every battle where the Ogre Berserker could earn +2 VP ON TOP OF the points you’d receive for eliminating the unit. If it can reach high end spell casters, the Ogre Berserker can turn in massive points by almost always getting both Bonecrush and Onslaught to pop off. In a race to 30 (or 25) (or 40 for 4 player games) every point counts, and while 1 or 2 points may seem miniscule, the Ogre Berserker can rack them up in an absolute hurry.
While Natural Toughness helps ensure it’s a tough melee unit, there is some vulnerability to range and spells (like almost all of Kragg’s units), and with an average rank (like almost all of Kragg’s units) it might need some help from a captain to be effective. Despite sharing the same general issues that all of Kragg basically faces, the Ogre Berserker is a top shelf unit, and one of Kragg’s very best.
WHEN TO WARBAND: As probably the very best “3 level” scorer due to the constant opportunity for extra points, (can defend the basecamp, can score on the middle rows in the clashes over the resource centers, and then can rip through the fragile captains and spellcasters near the opponent basecamp) I almost always include the Ogre Berserker and almost always recruit it towards the halfway point of the battle after a few enemies have been banged up a bit. Factions with high cost melee units, such as Primus, and factions with low health, overly aggressive units like Moonshadow or Zyan give the OB plenty of chances to score big.
WHEN TO BENCH: While it can obliterate low health spellcasters and ranged units, getting it in the position to make a melee attack can be a challenge due to average rank and speed. For this reason, make sure you think twice against Zermano and Parada, and if you do include the Ogre Berserker, make sure you pair it with Captains and other tough units to ensure it can get across the battleground unscathed.
Another Bonecrush unit, and this one with range! The Troll Crusher is a really burly 5 health unit that has a really, really useful ranged attack. The Bonecrush at 4 damage is a bit less effective than the Ogre Berserker’s since the Troll Crusher’s attack is a bit lower, and it’s ranged attack can only be used once. However, that 4 damage on a ranged attack is tied with the Anubite Battlemaster for the most raw damage power in the game. After using the ranged attack, the Troll Crusher simply becomes an above average melee fighter… A bit redundant for Kragg but overall a positive. Troll Crusher’s 5 health is an important attribute because it really helps increase the odds that the Troll Crusher will be able to use that ranged attack at some point. In a faction like Kragg that is devoid of powerful spells, the powerful ranged attacks become extremely important.
For me, there are a few statistical “cut-offs” that are significant in Factions: Battlegrounds. The difference between 2 and 3 speed for example, as well as the difference between 2 and 3 health. Despite being a difference of 1, they hold more weight due than other cut-off points. One prime cut-off point for me is the difference between 6 gold/vp and 7 gold/vp.
To earn 7 gold, in most cases, it’s going to take an extra round than it will to generate 6. For example, if you control a gold mine, but no units, getting to 7 gold would take 3 rounds (and you’d be eliminated with 0 units on the board) but getting to 6 in that same scenario only takes 2 rounds. Also, if you have 2 units on the board that generate gold and 0 resource centers, it will only take 2 rounds to get to that 6 gold, but again, it would take a whole additional round to get to 7. From a victory point perspective, in games to 25, your opponent would need to eliminate 5 units that cost 6 gold, but only 4 that cost 7. This is a long-winded way of saying my personal cut-off: “average” costing units are 5 and 6 gold, and “expensive” units costs 7 and 8 gold. Thus, the 7 gold is a bit of a drawback for the Troll Crusher, bringing it below the “excellent” tier.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Kragg needs that ranged attack in the lineup in the worst way against factions with mobile captains that can overrun opponents, so against Doom Sand and Baazaria the Troll Crusher is going to really help.
WHEN TO BENCH: Some factions like Ihalaban have enormous units that Kragg’s slightly cheaper but slightly more violent melee fighters would have to engage in the trenches regardless of if they get hit with a ranged attack or not, while Moonshadow’s evasion and speed can limit or outright waste the ranged strike.
The 5 health is really nice for 4 gold, making the Orc Goliath a member of a rare club in which it’s health attribute is higher than it’s gold cost (Also in that rare club: Bonesteel Colossus, Battle Tembophant, Jungle River Kraken, Tortuloid Soldier, Tortuloid Bladebreaker, and Kraken Overlord)
Unfortunately, that 1 rank absolutely tanks that health of 5. Despite being affordable, the Orc Goliath has to wait allllll round before activating. You may think that can be mitigated with a Captain, but Kragg has a LOT of better units with average rank (still above a 1) and in order to compete in the rank cycle a Captain’s command is far better used on one of the 2 rank, more impactful units. Orc Goliath may be helpful against low attack attribute units that often make up vanguards, but in a vanguard it’s too limited and too behind to get resource centers consistently. A decent use is lumbering straight down the middle and absorbing attacks, but even that is hard to consistently do since your enemy is going to be teeing off on some of your more valued units before the Orc can get going. The Orc is at it’s best simply defending the basecamp and generating gold, but that is not nearly enough to keep it from being a bad unit overall.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Orc Goliath can be helpful against factions like Doom Sand and Zyan because they can cut off gold supplies for enemies easily. It’s high health allows it to stick around for a couple rounds generating some gold.
WHEN TO BENCH: Against factions where getting gold won’t be much of an issue. Orc Goliath has good melee attributes and is really affordable, but there are simply better options for Kragg’s assault most of the time.