Ogre mages - bad fat guys

The power of ogre mages - Eye of Kilrogg - Bloodlust - Runes - Human countermeasures - Orcish countermeasures

The power of ogre mages

Even without spells, ogre mages are the most powerful land unit in combat. Before these dumb creatures learn about magic, they can still be beaten by knights. But as soon as the get their spells, they rule the game - at least until the human players get mages. So as soon as you get bloodlust, attack! You should have done the scouting already so you can attack immediately. This is the moment when you rule the board (unless other players get ogre mages before you), and you have to use this advantage. Unless your opponent gets mages, you have won. If he does, things get tricky :-)

This table shows an overview of the three ogre spells: cost in gold and time to research, mana use, duration and shortcut key.

Spell Gold Time to research Mana usage Duration Range Shortcut
Eye 1000 * 250 * 70 20 s (765 cycles) - E
Bloodlust 1000 100 50 25 s (1000 cycles) 6 B
Runes 1000 150 200 (40 per rune) 1 minute (2048 cycles) 10 R

* cost for upgrading to ogres to ogre mages

Eye of Kilrogg Eye of Kilrogg icon

This spell is for free; otherwise, no one would buy it :-)
I rarely use it. You waste valuable mana for bloodlust, and scouting with zeppelins is far more effective. If you use the eye for scouting, you also lose a lot of time; because the eye can't see far, you always have to direct it and watch it flying around. A zeppelin has to be checked from time to time only.

You can use they eye to distract the enemy, though:

Bloodlust Bloodlust icon

This is the spell you should get ASAP, it is the most powerful spell orcs can have. As I have shown in the combat equation page, bloodlust triples the damage of ogres in head-to-head combat. Even if your ogres are outnumbered by twice as many foes, they win the battle. And enemy peasants drop like flies :-)

Only ogres have triple damage under bloodlust. Other units like death knights and axethrowers have a very high pierce damage and little or no basic damage. That's why bloodlust "only" doubles their damage - but that is still a great effect.

You can use bloodlust on all organic units, i. e. ogres, axethrowers, death knights and dragons. Bloodlust ogres before the battle and the DKs afterwards to destroy the buildings (they can do that much faster than ogres). Bloodlusted axethrowers take down a non-bloodlusted dragon easily. Dragons without bloodlust and haste are a waste of gold. A drawback of bloodlust is the sound that gives it away. Make sure that casting bloodlust only takes a few seconds, then attack so your enemy can't prepare himself against the onslaught.

You must cast bloodlust before the battle. If your ogres use magic during the fighting, they will stop hitting the enemy, and the improved performance will be spoiled by that. Of course this does not apply to bloodlusting axethrowers and DKs. You need a good scouting to bloodlust when being invaded; if you are already under attack, it is too late. What you have to do then is to separate an ogre with full or > 200 mana from the rest and bloodlust four or five others. Your ogre will be killed but the other ones will avenge him :-)

Be careful with bloodlust when invading an island. If you get attacked immediately, seperate one of your six ogres to bloodlust the other five. Don't bloodlust your ogres on your shore already; the spell will wear off before they reach their destination. In network games with no lag and if you only cross a narrow channel, this may work, but use one of your ogres to refresh the spell after your buddies have landed.

How to cast it

There are two ways of casting bloodlust:

I'd rather have one ogre without mana and the others with full mana than all with partially drained mana pools. Of course if you don't want to use runes, the first technique is equally efficient. The first way to 'lust has also a speed advantage because you don't have to wait until the bloodlust is casted before going on. Thanks to Danila for reminding me.
The best way to lust is a combination of both ways: use the first, easy and fast way to bloodlust all ogres in the group but leave one or two ogres with full mana and bloodlust them with an other ogre. Like this, you can still cast runes if you have to retreat - but you should not have to unless your scouting was poor.

A very annoying problem is the lag that bloodlust creates. In games with bad connections, bloodlust can freeze the whole game. You just have to be patient then, the bloodlust will be casted ... sometime.

Runes Rune icon

Runes are basically mines with a built-in self-destruction after about 2 minutes. They flash up every 15 seconds or so but are otherwise invisible to all units. They deal 50 damage to non-aerial units when they walk over it and kill both friend and foe.

When an ogre mage casts runes on an empty area, five of them will be placed in a cross-shaped way:


X
XXX
X

Defense

This means that usually only three runes are actually useful. When casting only three runes into a narrow channel, your mages will only use 120 mana; this is good to know. (Your ogre must still have 200 mana to be able to cast the spell.) You can refresh exploded runes by casting them again and only the lost ones will be replaced (the timer of the other ones will not be affected). More often than not, you will cast the runes in an area where you expect enemy units to walk through (e. g. before towers to kill sappers). Then you will waste 200 mana for two or three runes that will actually explode, but this means a killed unit and ergo the spell is very useful.

One use of runes is laying them in masses like this:


....2...4
...12223444
.11123334
1...3

This is useful in maps with crucial passages and bridges that can be easily sealed off for two minutes like that. On the shore, this might prevent some transports from landing; however, to kill a transport, you'll need three hits, so don't bet on it.

Offense

These uses are mainly defensive, but there are some cool offensive uses as well:

Human countermeasures

As a human player, you are in bad trouble at the beginning of the castle stage. So you must launch a preventive strike before your enemy gets ogre mages. Use your sappers and knights to kill as many ogres as possible; because your forces should be still equal, you can nearly finish off all ogres. On the other hand, an orcish player must protect his fat boys and wait with an attack after the Castle is finished.

Once the humans get mages, things get easier. You can

Orcish countermeasures

As an orcish player, you should

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