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Skaven Rat Ogres

Blood Bowl Skaven Rat Ogre

Skaven Rat Ogres Overview:

A Rat Ogre offers something different to a Skaven team compared to the other players available to them. Their main draw is that they are very strong adding some hitting power to an otherwise low to average strength team. Their speed is good for a big guy and offer some better though not brilliant armour. Rat Ogres also have some useful skills, Frenzy and Mighty Blow help with the blocking game and Prehensile Tail helps them tie players up giving them more hitting opportunities.

The downsides to them though as usually mainly their reliability. Like other big guys they have Loner limiting their ability to reroll and their negative trait is Wild Animal. As negative traits go though Wild Animal isn’t a bad one as long as they don’t end up isolated and you need them to move. Their agility is also below average though they aren’t likely to be anywhere near the top of your list for ball handling duty. They are also somewhat limited with their skill access only getting access to strength skills on normal. Lastly they are fairly expensive compared to the rest of your team, there is a trade off in team value that you may prefer as skills instead.

Rat Ogres under older rules were not often taken and most Skaven teams would usually not have one. The latest rules have seen their agility go down and their price go up. That may make you wonder why they are more commonly taken now and the biggest trade off was that they are now much less of a liability. Many coaches say if you aren’t going to take one then you might as well play Wood Elves. I don’t agree with that as they have Treemen and Skaven can cope perfectly fine without a Rat Ogre. If you do take one though I think they are best used to soak up some damage and keep them hitting the opposition. If you do get a change to get them next to the opposing ball carrier, then their Prehensile Tail can cause problems that way as well.

Hitting Skaven Rat Ogre:

The best way to make use of the high strength is to keep them hitting the opposition. Unfortunately without general skill access and having Loner this isn’t without risk. One way to help negate though is to give them Juggernaut and try to blitz with them. That can make up for their lack of Block and it also combines well with their Frenzy skill. Break Tackle will keep them more mobile and let you pick your targets. Stand Firm means they will be in base contact with opponents as often as possible. That will let be able to block as often as possible, help manage Wild Animal and also works well with Prehensile Tail. Options are a bit limited after this but Guard is never going to be a bad choice.

For doubles as usual for big guys without general skill access is between Block and Pro. Block will help negate their unreliability when hitting and keep them upright more often. Pro also helps negate poor reliability and makes getting isolated and needing to do move actions less of an issue. Stat increases are a marginal choice, strength can be great for getting three die blocks though some prefer to use the double roll for Block or Pro. An agility increase can let them dodge better and even handle the ball, though you don’t really need them to do that. Movement and armour could also be useful, though a double would perhaps be a better choice. I’d be tempted to skip all stat increases and take skills instead, doing that will also increase their value by less than the stat would.

Skaven Rat Ogre Overview:

If you want some extra strength and resilience on your team then a Rat Ogre can make a great addition to your team, as long as you can handle their reliability issues. With a somewhat limited choice of skills most will tend to develop along similar lines eventually. Depending on what your preferences are and what you want from them, you may reorder the skills and use them in a slightly different manner depending on what order you take them. The biggest decision perhaps to make is whether or not to take one on the team at all and would you rather have extra skills spread around the rest of your team at the comparable team value.

33 Responses to Skaven Rat Ogres

  1. Doover January 15, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I´m allways tempted to take Claws with a Double.

    Sure Block is allways a good choice for a Big Guy but I with Claws, MB and Frenzy you really have a killer there.

    • RaisouE September 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

      You need to remember, that with block you get more successful blocks, in addition to making you safer from other big guys (remember AV8). Claw is fun and all, but Block is the best skill in the game, and should never be underestimated. I’d consider it over pro, though.

  2. RedDevilCG January 15, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    I’m also a fan of claw, and I tend to lean towards it even more if I already have Juggernaut, but it’s really hard to not take block.

  3. Juriel January 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    At their current cost? Rat Ogre sucks.

    The rest of the team cannot support him, so his Frenzying AV8 ass will hit the ground hard against any bashy team where his strength would actually be needed. And against any agile team, they dodge away from him and his Wild Animal messes up any attempts to reposition…

    I just don’t see the use for him.

  4. Zweistein January 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    in my eyes its best use is of an roadblock. with blitzing option if possible.
    if you’re playing against an agile Team you can use him for direkt marking …
    but for Bash-Teams he should always seek the way out of it! thx to frenzy that is possbile! .. even surroundet you can chose the weak spot an drag yourself out. 😉 and most bashteam will try to take him out and need something like 3 players for the job. And that are the players not hunting the rest of the team! so you can outnumber them somewhere else, break your hole and let your gutters run for it.
    If you change the skillplan a bit, you can even Team him up wit a blitzer and be an even bigger thread.

    My first skill would be Guard!

    So the Ratogre has a 2 dice to pull him to one side and the blitzer (hopefully with guard too) pushes the last opponent in basecontaced away. so this team is free again and there is just the option to surround (or even blitz) him and or his mate again. if this happens you can repeat your move and keep your RO hitting.

    You might even get the chance to blitz a corner of the cage with him.
    Then there is an St5 prehesil tail beast standing next to the ball. if you are even more lucky you might get the 2nd block an have a free corner at the ballcarriere to place an other player. a marking spezialist if possible.

    yes the Ratogre is unreliable, risky and pricy!
    but you have chosen to play an unreliable team! and [u]allway[/u] have to take chances! the Ratogre is just walking the same road as the rest of the team
    … and Big Guy’s generaly tend to be a gambel … so what.

    • Coach January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks for your input, I think the Rat Ogre is probably the single biggest Big Guy that coaches are split about being worth taking or not.

  5. Murkglow January 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    “At their current cost? Rat Ogre sucks.

    The rest of the team cannot support him, so his Frenzying AV8 ass will hit the ground hard against any bashy team where his strength would actually be needed. And against any agile team, they dodge away from him and his Wild Animal messes up any attempts to reposition…

    I just don’t see the use for him.”

    I can’t say I agree with this at all.

    Vs a bashy team the only support he needs is for players to remove enemy assists which skaven are easily able to do. Heck skaven are also great at getting players into possition to support his second hit on frenzy thanks to their high movement. And if he does need help in the strength department Skaven have that covered to with stormvermin getting guard easily.

    Vs Agile teams he’s no worse then most big guys and better then alot of them. He has Prehensile tail making dodges away from him a bit less sure (much like the Krox but unlike the krox he doesn’t lose his tackle zones if he fails his trait). If you get a mutation on him then he can have Tentacle which is a nightmare for Agile teams to deal with.

    He provides strength to a team which has none. He’s not required but then no big guy is (well there are some exceptions). I would hardly say he sucks or is useless.

  6. Vita January 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    i have never used ratogre in offense, because i play skaven agresively and always prefered faster agile rats for quick TDs
    in defense i have never putt him in LOS, especially against bashy team, they kick him on the ground easy (i hated black orcs when i was rookie)
    on the other hand he was always my muscle and my backup in defense
    as the 15th+ player (never bought him without having bench full of “normal” rats)
    and skill setup – guard, block, stand firm, juggernaut, break tackle and pro was my favourites but never had a chance to level my ratogre to lvl 7

  7. VELOX_NEB January 18, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    Definitely says something about the Rat Ogre that it took so long for the big dude to get a write-up.

    I’ve tried Skaven both with and without, and I must say that I prefer to run my team without him. Skaven is such a mobile team that using him as a roadblock player would be in direct conflict with most playstyles. He needs to be able to keep up with the rest of the swarm.

    The best use that I could see for mine was as a formation-breaker. With Break Tackle, +MV, and Block he would smash into cages, knock away whoever was marking my ball carrier, and crowd push whoever was stupid enough to stick by the sidelines.

    No development tips after this, because he of course died one game after getting Block. I have since sworn off the Rat Ogre entirely.

  8. Netsmurf January 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    I´m one of those who love the big bad rat. I use him as a safety. Set in the middle he can surf anyone stupid enough to go near the sideline so that effectively only leaves me with 11 Squares of pitch that I need to concentrate on. Of course there is side step, stand firm and fend to worry about but a fair number of teams play without that on many players.

    My first skill for him is either Break tackle or Juggernaut, depending on the league or the skill roll naturaly.

  9. JadedJasper January 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    After trying Skaven both with and without him, I think the Skaven really benefit from having the Rat Ogre on the pitch. I now always start my teams with one, as they’re difficult to level up and suffer if they get too far behind their opposition’s skill level. I find the extra bashiness the giant Rat brings takes a ton of heat off of the rest of your AV 7 team, making your line rats more likely survive and skill up — which is crucial.

    Play-wise, I think Frenzy is a great threat to have, and Skaven do an outstanding job of capitalizing on opponents that slip up and get crowd surfed. On defense this makes it easier to protect the sidelines, and on offense you can often blitz someone into position to be pushed off the pitch next turn, with Prehensile Tail making it difficult for them to escape the sideline pin.

    The main problem (obviously) that I have is dealing with Wild Animal and Loner, but careful play can mitigate those to a large extent.

    The trick is to endeavor to keep him next to opponents (except when kicking off against Bashey teams!) so he can hit without blitzing, but to keep his position not critical to your defense of the endzone/ball-carrier. It’s often worth going for the longer term play of blitzing him into position, and playing it safe elsewhere in case he fails a Block or Wild Animal.

    Against the stronger teams you have to be careful of getting him in over his head and knocked down, and maybe use him as more of a cautious roadblock to make it harder for them to plow straight into you.

  10. Kobie May 6, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Can you give him tackle to make the most of the Prehensile Tail?

    Definitely going to take Claws, in agreement with RedDevil.

    Having played and won with Skaven on the board I’ve always fancied having a slightly bigger hitter. SPP without anything but casulties to go on seems tricky but I intend to try and get the big fella in for a touchdown or two early on against weaker teams. Maybe using him to blitz and marking free players with my other guys? An exploding cage?

    • Coach May 6, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      You could give him Tackle though it requires a double and I think most coaches would prefer to have Block, Pro or a number of other skills before considering Tackle.

    • Adrian February 3, 2016 at 8:48 am #

      For the same prize as Tackle (a double Roll), if you really want to get hold of opposing dodge players (generally ST3 or less) why don’t you take Tentacles instead? It bodes well with Wild Animal, and along whit Prehensive Tail, may directly deter coaches from dodging away with AG3-ST3 pieces (the most common ones in the game). Then later you can get Stand Firm on a single roll which has good sinergy with both P. Tail and Tentacles.

      • Coach February 3, 2016 at 10:09 am #

        The advantage I see in choosing Tackle is that it helps you when hitting those Dodge players. Casualties are your main source of SPPs on a Rat Ogre and Tackle will get you more knock downs, while Tentacles will just keep players next to you. It does admittedly mean you will perhaps have more chances to Block but overall I think Tackle just has that much more use (unless you are in a league without many Dodge players).

  11. Kobie May 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I was thinking Tackle and then Block with Claws afterwards as options for the double roll.

    It is difficult with Rat Ogres only having Strength related skills as their primary option.

    Being a Wild Animal he may spend time standing around but still able to tackle and also Tackle will help in blocking those with Dodge so it would be more than just a defensive skill.

    I’ll probably get stuff like Juggernaut and Guard from the easier Strength section earlier though.

  12. Runi May 9, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Actually I think Tackle is a bad idea on a rat ogre. I would never take Tackle on a Frenzy player. Frenzy is great for pushing players out and that won’t work really well if you knock them over too early.
    Apart from that, Block simply makes more sense. Because other than Tackle, it reduces your chance of a turnover.

  13. Kobie May 9, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Maybe I’ll take Block first and then Tackle then. I agree with the opening up of a gap argument and the Rat Ogre divsco88?? uses on his YouTube videos for “Let’s Play Blood Bowl Skaven” games doesn’t have Block and he’s constantly swearing at “Wrex” for losing on “Both Knocked Down” results. Block first and then Tackle for me. I want my Big Guy to be able to get hold of the Dodge players…

  14. Doover May 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    If you want to push someone out you don´t need to use tackle at all. But your opponent don´t need to use Dodge either so tackle doesn´t change anything for pushing out.
    But I wouldn´t give him Tackle with a Double… to many other good skills.

  15. Kaz August 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    How many doubles are you expecting on this Rat Ogre? Block and Claw and Tackle probably ain’t happening! Plan accordingly…

  16. Ratemis September 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Though, block/Pro are the best skills on a rat ogre on doubles. I have had some good experience with:

    Two heads, for breaking into cages on a 3+ with break tackle.

    Shadowing, at first I took it for a laugh but the amount of surprisingly useful tactical opportunities it presented made me reconsider it.

  17. Jasper September 16, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Hahaha! A Shadowing Rat Ogre is pretty damn funny. And I can see how that might actually pair decently with Prehensile Tail…

    Shadowing in general I think is an underrated skill. Even with an Assassin’s MV 6 I’ve caught players with it /far/ more often than I would have expected. I figure time gets short in a tense match and they must just forget it’s there.

  18. Meradanis October 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Personally I’d swap Stand Firm and Break Tackle. I use my rat ogre on defense to blitz people into the crowd or at least to the edge of the pitch. I don’t like my ogre to be crowdpushed himself the following turn, that’s why Stand Firm is such a great skill.

    On a double, it really depends on the teamsetup and my opponents. In an open setting I`d take Block every time, in a closed league with fix opponents I like him to kill people, so it’s Claw on a double combined with Piling On.

  19. Jasper October 12, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Break Tackle is essential for sideline work, as without it you’re easily tied up in a way that doesn’t point out of bounds, and it’s difficult to replicate in another fashion. Opponents forget about it more often than I’d expected too.

    Stand Firm on the other hand can typically be compensated for by sticking a player on the weak point directly inwards from your sideline Rat Ogre, or by simply using extra movement to reposition after crowd surfing.

    The primary use of Stand Firm on a Rat Ogre isn’t so much sideline safety as to keep your Prehensile Tail marking a target, and to avoid being pushed away and left with the usual dilemma of needing to blitz with the Ogre to avoid the full brunt of Wild Animal.

    I might go for Stand Firm if I was fortunate enough to already pick up Block though, as you’d be more likely to be left standing after being blocked and in a position to counter block.

  20. Marc March 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I have gone back and forth on using a Rat Ogre. After playing pretty deep into a league with him I feel that he becomes less and less useful the better your other players become.

    A 160k Value Stormvermin is more reliable and useful than a 160k Rat Ogre.

    SV: Guard, Tackle, Mighty Blow, Stand Firm = 160k

    Imagine you have him sandwiched between 2 Linerats with Dauntless. Against ST4 Opponents he instantly gives them equal strength on attack. They also have 5/6 chance of having greater strength. Stand Firm and Mighty blow and tackle all give him some similar abilities to the Rat Ogre.

    Even if you give the Rat Ogre Guard, he’s still 20k more than the Storm Vermin. Stand Firm is another 20k. We’re looking at 200k for better attacking ability and a target not many other people want to attack (unless they also have Guard and Dauntless players next to him).

    Also a level 5 Strength Skill only Rat Ogre winds up being 240k. That’s 3 level 2 Linerats. I know that against physical teams I’d rather have more Linerats with Fend to take the blows and stymie them than 1 Rat Ogre who can be ignored.

  21. Jasper March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Whether the Rat Ogre is better than a Storm Vermin or not is moot, since you can and should take both. I also think you are substantially underselling the Rat Ogre’s ST 5.

    And yeah, the Rat Ogre isn’t as good as /three skilled linemen/ — then again, he only takes up one spot on your roster!

  22. Fallowheart August 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Why has noone mentioned tentacles? On a double if you are going roadblock duty with your Rat Ogre then that seems to be the most-likely candidate.
    Even if he goes wild animal on you your tackle zones are intact, and now you have a tentacled prehensile tailed terror to try and dodge away from. maximizes his strength I think. With Frenzy you can probably push to where you need and that would really be a pain for marking a cage.

    • Coach August 13, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Tentacles can be useful though Block and or Pro are probably going to be higher up in priority for most people when rolling doubles.

  23. Fenlander November 15, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I have played a Skaven team with and without a Rat Ogre. I find them expensive and unreliable for what they do. A 50/50 chance to pass a dice roll to get them to do anything is just to silly. I prefer to have reliable team members on the pitch and not one that will mess up a blitz by rolling a 1-3.

    When I have fielded one it seems to sit in an open space for 90% of the game rolling 1-3 on the Wild Animal dice roll wasting actions. So now I take an extra Gutter Runner and with 4 of those on the pitch I find my game a far better experience.

  24. Ratemis March 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    The trick is to block or blitz with them giving you +2 to the wild animal roll so you only fail on a 1.

  25. smileynazgul May 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    i think that this rat ogre could benifit from shadowing given his better MV then most big guys

    • Coach May 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      While it could be useful I don’t think I would want to use a double skill roll increase on it compared to more traditional choices.

  26. Catscratch August 16, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Some unexperienced noob thoughts on the big guy…

    After starting off playing without one and trying with one, I’m finding that the Rat Ogre really helps mitigate some of the strength disadvantage Skaven invariably end up having to deal with. Yes, a bashy team will sometimes have him flat on his ass and fouled off the pitch in a few turns. But what will more often happen against a bashy team is all of your players based, and you being forced to make a bunch of AG3 dodges or bad blocks to get your players free, or making the choice to leave them based and risk getting your whole team murdered the next turn.

    Having the big guy helps in dealing with that. He can take some heat off from the rest of the team, push away a high-strength assist, surf people, and generally add a lot of punch to your team.

    I love the idea of Shadowing, that sounds hilarious and awesome.

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