Sunday, 6 July 2014

OGRE Big Boy Edition

Back last December I treated myself to Ogre Designers Edition, the utterly over-specced SuperDuperDeluxe version of a game that originally came with a single A4 mapsheet and a bunch of 10mm counters.

To be fair this is actually a collection of Ogre, and it's supplement GEV and Shockwave and far, far more counters and stand-up 3D Ogres than you would ever need. It did however come with it's own logistical issues.

Basically it turned out to be the only boardgame I ever owned where the box doesn't fit in the car. So the game was sitting there looking very lovely and unplayed until I realised that I'd have to decant it into smaller boxes to be able to take it down the club.

Quite ridiculously this is what it took - 3 A4 Really Useful boxes and 1 double-depth box. The bottom two boxes contain nothing but the boards for the GEV/Shockwave maps. 

Thirty-odd stand up Ogres, slotted together in the same fashion as those Pirates of the Spanish Main ships from a few years back. 30+! And that doesn't include about the same number of "flat" Ogre counters.

So, off to Stourbridge for a game of this last Friday, introducing Gary W to the game. The scenario was "Super CP", this is basically a much bigger game of the original "One MkIII Ogre versus a horde of cannon fodder", giving the attacking player (me) two MkV Ogres (scary) and giving the defender (Gary) two MkIIIs and an armoured command post. This latter feature proved fairly decisive - with an unarmoured CP, an Ogre really only needs to get into the next hex with at least one surviving Anti-Personnel battery to wipe it out, in this version heavier weapons or ramming will be required.

Gary was the Pan-Euro forces, I made like General Farage of UKIP leading an assault on enemy Europe.



(In a strange twist of fate, the random MKIII drawn out of the box of many had my name on the "conning tower". It's partner had the name of a player at the next table).

Pan-Euro federalists and deniers-of-any-structural-issues-with-monetary-union-but-no-fiscal-union set up with a double front line of assorted armour units and a second line of infantry spam. Just off camera here is the armoured CP hiding in the right corner behind two hexes of impassible... stuff. Lava? Nuclear polluted shit? Who knows?

BTW, the scale of Ogre is pretty vast. Each hex is 1.5km across. In our Ogre Miniatures games (played with Scrabble tiles - I shit you not), where 1" is 1.5km, a 6'x4' table can contain the entire West Midlands conurbation and a lot of the green belt around. I rather like nuking Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Broken through the first line with the usual ease that goes with the early stages when the Ogres are fresh and still have all their gun batteries. Pan-Euro Ogres coming into to support the defence, these are outclassed by the North American Combine MKVs but still annoying.

Infantry spam on a massive scale as Gary breaks down most of his 3-strength infantry units into three 1-strength counters. Couple of howitzers hiding in the mass of infantry as well which did serious damage to my Ogre tread units.

(David Luiz looks seriously unhappy about something.)

Silver going straight for the CP although attritional damage is starting to tell - IIRC at this point she had no batteries and was starting to take damage to treads. Still had most of the AP batteries so most of that infantry died in droves to machine guns, space-claymores, and the like. However the lack of big guns meant that Gary's Ogres could come into close range and blast away with relative impunity.

Oh look, it's the CP I promised you was there! Silver is down to 2 hexes a turn move now and lacking anything in the way of guns is simply aiming to ram into the CP, reverse back a bit, have another go, reverse back a bit, have another go etc. etc. Red is in better shape so ignoring the mass of infantry spam in front of it and heading straight for the CP. Those two impassible hexes in front of the target proved to be game-winning for Gary.

Nothing to stop Silver. Or is there? Now down to one hex a turn movement, every enemy save the mobile howitzers are faster. David Luiz and David Luiz still unhappy.

And that was the high water mark of the North American advance. Red did some damage to the CP with guns but lost them to incoming fire. Silver died when the blue Ogre rammed it, Gary was then able to turn his attentions to Red and reduced that to one hex movement, no main weapons at which point I conceded.


Fun, good looking game and very "trad"Ogre in that the early exchanges of fire are all so easy for the Ogres but they end up limping and dragging themselves forwards in a desperate attempt to finish off the job. Howitzers ability to blow away huge chunks of Ogre tread units and those two impassible hexes turned out to be the decisive element in the game although I suspect I might have been able to knock out the CP had I not somewhat squandered by missiles early doors when I got spooked by the proximity of a super-heavy tank and a couple of mobile howitzers.

So I hope Gary got a good taster of what the game is about. Next time this comes out I'd like to a big all-arms game on the GEV/Shockwave "green" maps.

1 comment:

  1. I spotted this -- still in its enormous box -- at my mate's gaming hut on Friday and I was asking him about it today as I've never played Ogre in any of its forms. What a huge, bristling-with-guns coincidence!