Regardless, if I don't playtest this army I'll not win many games anyway, so let's get to the fighting!
I would be playing my mate whose usual army is High Elves. He felt a need for change for this battle, however, and decided to take his dark cousins for a spin.
Here are the armies:
Lvl 4, Pendant, Dagger <Shadow>
2*10 Crossbowmen, musician
40 Warriors, full command, shield
2*5 Harpies 30 Corsairs, full command
30 With Elves, full command
Not the nastiest DE list imaginable, but 2 Hydras are always annoying to face...
My force, pretty much unchanged from last time:
Slaughtermaster, lvl 4 <Maw>
Bruiser, BSB, Heavy armour, Ironfist, Banner of Eternal Flame
Butcher, lvl 2 <Heavens>
9 Bulls, ironfist, standard bearer, musician
9 Ironguts, musician, standard bearer, Standard of Discipline
8 Leadbelchers, musician
6 Maneaters, heavy armour, brace of pistols, full command, Gleaming Pennant
The only change I made was putting two single Sabretusks together in one unit because I'm not allowed to take the same Special Choice more than twice in the Tournament. Not that big a deal. Now I might even use the twin-tusks as a suicide character hunter unit...
We rolled for a mission and got a Dawn Attack, with the DE going first. Some poor rolling on his part meant that a fair chunk of his army was stuck on his left flank. His warriors, witch elves, and corsairs all had to deploy on that flank, together with his lvl 4 and his BSB. Luckily for me I didn't have to place anything on my right flank other than the lone Sabretusk. It looked like it would be ay least two turns before all those DE units would be in range to do anything.
I was able to deploy my Bulls and Ironguts in the middle, with the Leadbelchers and Ironblaster on my left flank. I chose to deploy my BSB with the Leadbelchers so they would benefit from having Flaming Attacks and could focus on killing the Hydras.
The rest of the DE were deployed in the centre, which meant there was a nice big gap on the DE right flank for my Maneaters to deploy in. Which I did, eventhough I shouldn't have. But I'll get to that.
On to the battle itself, which I'll describe in my usual manner. No turn by turn description, but just taking some important moments in the battle and analysing what could have gone better at the end.
> I managed to roll a six and got to go first. Mixed blessing as it meant I got to draw first blood, but it also meant my Leadbelchers were out of range of his Hydra and I couldn't start seriously shooting it until T2. And even then I only knocked off four wounds, leaving it alive to help kill my Bulls later on.
> Still very happy having chosen Heavens as the lore for my Butcher. This game he got off only one spell, but it was a large size Comet that I planted in the path of the three DE units out on his left flank. If they wanted to join the battle they would have to cross over the Comet Marker. Which they did, and the Comet ended up killing 25% of both the Warriors and the Witch Elves. Nice...
> My Ironguts and SM were a little too enthusiastic (or maybe that was me) as I seized on the earliest opportunity to charge the Warriors & Lvl 4. I rolled high enough on my charge roll, but was unable to break them in one combat (which, had I thought about it more, was never likely to happen). I think I was blinded by the opportunity to kill that lvl 4 as soon as possible (I hate Shadow Magic when playing with Ogres). I didn't even do a single wound on the wizard thsnks to that annoying Pendant! As it was, my Ironguts got flanked by the Corsairs T2 and I was lucky they didn't catch me when I fled after that combat.
> In the same turn my Ironguts charged the Warriors, my Bulls decided to charge a chariot standing in between his two Hydras. If all went to plan my Bulls would kill the chariot and I would overrun out of LOS of both Hydras. How hard could it be taking 4 wounds off a chariot, especially when I rolled 11 for my charge roll? Of course, I only did two wounds and the chariot stayed in place. Which meant my Bulls were the happy recipients of a Dark Elf War Hydra in each flank. It was only some very lucky break test rolling on my part that meant my Bulls stayed alive and in combat until DE T3. They managed to finish the chariot, but didn't so much as cause even a single wound on either of the Hydras.
> After fleeing with my Guts and SM, they fortunately rallied my T3 and were able to get back into the thick of it. By this time both our battlelines were gone and he was only able to charge my remaining Guts + SM with his Corsairs. After surviving the charge and staying put, my SM, who had two wounds left, decided that would be a great time to roll that 1 for my lore attribute (only 1 w left) and then miscast on his next spell and suffering another wound! Still, the Guts held out until they were flanked by a Hydra, the one that had just finished killing my Bulls.
> You may have noticed I haven't mentioned my Maneaters yet. That's because for the better part of the battle they didn't do anything! I had deployed them too far away on the DE right flank and they didn't contribute anything meaningful to the battle until my T4. They then took the final wound off the Hydra my Leadbelchers had shot at, and killed the BSB and half the remaining Witch Elves, before succumbing to.... Wait for it.... The other hydra! A pox on it and all its kin! Damn beast helped kill half my army and I didn't even so much as wound it!
> It wasn't all bad though, because the DE lvl 4 killed herself with a (self inflicted) miscast too. Overall, his magic really didn't play that big a factor in the game at all (apart from Withering, see below).
> I know I have said it before, and I'm probably going to say it a lot more, but I do love Hellheart. Once again it managed to completely cancel one Magic Phase as I caught both the DE wizards in its radius. I waited with using it until my SM was in base-to-base contact with his lvl 4, and luckily managed to get his lvl 2 in the blast as well. He probably shouldn't have let me even charge his lvl 4, but I rolled high on my charge roll and made it. Besides, it's not as though I was able to kill his lvl in combat anyway. Regardless, HH did its job perfectly, stripping both levels from the lvl 2 and putting a wound on the lvl 4. Sure, I suffered some wounds with my Ironguts as well from the blast, but who cares?
> On a more negative magical note, my Ironguts had Withering cast on them T1 and spent pretty much the entire battle having toughness 2. I never seemed to have enough dice left to dispel it...
> Just because I can use Scout to deploy my Maneaters in my opponent's deployment zone, does not mean I should. This is the second battle I did not use that unit right, and for those points, I really have to make them be more effective.
> I do not like Hydras.
> Although, having said that, 8 Leadbelchers with flaming shots is a pretty good way of dealing with Hydras. If you can catch them in the 24" range, of course.
> Overall, we ended up calling the battle at the end of T5 due to time constraints, and we decided it was a draw. So not doing too bad so far with my Ogres, and I'm learning more every time I play with them!
Next up: Orcs and Goblins! The battle that was supposed to happen a week ago is happening tomorrow. Not sure what exactly I'll be facing, but if I had to guess I'd say Spiders and Savage Orcs!