Ogre 6th Edition: hard game board and 3D Ogres - what's not to like!?
Well, getting your CP squashed by a massive cybernetic monster, I guess...
I'll have to exert myself not to fawn and gush over this lovely game. In terms of play, it is an updated set of 6th Ed. rules from 2019 with options to use the traditional Ramming or updated Overrun rules, as well as options for some of the newer units: Mobile CP, for example. There's a lot on the internet about this boxed 6th edition of the original pocket game, and it is still in print.
Below, the counters punch out easily, are high quality, thick, sturdy, and nicely done, as you can see. The board is the wasteland with molten craters and is a hard board old school style, not just folded glossy paper.
Speaking of folded glossy paper, you can see the large hex GEV board that came with the miniatures box set under this game getting flattened out. Both board and the relative size of the pieces and ogres is about 6mm / 1:285 or 1:300 or so. One could easily use microarmor on these boards, and even more easily 3mm miniatures which are growing in popularity.
Close up of the Mobile CP, CP and Mk III Ogre. Paneuro is blue, Combine red.
You can add craters or ridgelines, OR hide craters and ridgelines, to give the board more variety - both impede movement of various vehicles so you can also use it as a handicap for either side. The small counters for ridgelines blend in well!
Above, now you see them....
Below, now you don't, and the landscape is quite different!
Below, the assembled Mobile CP and immobile CP - stand up and stand out!
Ogres in all their glory. Large Mk V and two small MkIIIs [small...relative to Mk V]. There is a grey cardboard edge to the assembled cardboard "miniatures" but that can be hidden with a sharpie.Closeup of Mk IIIs - nice details. Winchell Chung would approve, I believe.
Mark V - looks like it's generously weaponized.
So, how smooth does the updated 6th ed. rules play out? Must see! So grabbed Mr. Winkie and put him at the end of the table with me, playing against the Ogre. The Mk III Ogre was sort of computerized, in that when it had a choice of options I just diced for them, 50-50 or 1/3-1/3-1/3 with a d6. Our setup is below:
Ogre is salivating [dripping oily fluids] on a fairly direct route to the CP.
Below, Paneuros are looking at the approaching tower sticking out of the dust cloud. Some GEVs at the front with a missile tank and infantry, and behind a mix of heavy tanks, infantry, one howitzer and the CP.
Closeup, the counters look good. There are equal numbers of infantry figs as there are squads, so if you see three Infantry there's three squads.
above, the second line of defense - heavy tanks and infantry to get close, and a missile tank and a howitzer to strike from afar.
Below, three GEVs and a missile tank, and some infantry in the forward line.
The Ogre enters the board after dicing for which column it should enter. The GEVs dash out to harass it, hoping not to get smeared on the counter-punch.
A few turns in, the second line is engaging, and most of the first line is destroyed [at top right]. The Ogre hasn't taken much damage yet...
Finally, the moment to pounce! Paneuros close in and hit hard on Turn 5. The Ogre rolls poorly to ram a missile tank and shoot a heavy, both are only disabled...
Turn 6, despite a bunch of firepower, the Ogre is still running full steam - the howitzer has missed every shot at the treads. While the Ogre has lots its main gun, it still has some secondaries and all the anti-personnel guns.
Turn 7, the Ogre is starting to outrun the pursuit! Paneuro defenders failed to slow it to two hexes of movement. You REALLY need to roll average numbers of 5s and 6s to fight an Ogre!
Turn 8, the Ogre is slowed, but it is too late...
Mr. Winkie and his unhappy face. Our CP is destroyed by Fire. Just to have a little more fun, we played out the Ogre's retreat back to home base. Of course NOW our shooting starts to get hot!
"The only GOOD ogre is a DEAD ogre!" The last of Ogre's treads are destroyed, and it will be nuked to oblivion by the missile tanks from outside of its range, but the sector's CP is down and the wetbar was nuked. Sadness everywhere...
Sad to say, there's not a lot of good ogres around in 2080...
Well, we had a great time on a lovely board with great looking physical components. The game is just as much fun as ever and if you make a couple of errors or roll badly the Ogre will win.
I like that it takes a bit of finesse to make the Paneuro combined arms company work well. I think the easiest weapon is the missile tank, especially once the Ogre has only 2MP. The Ogre should have spent its missiles towards the beginning, and lost its main gun, so should be easily outranged. Then it is all about slowing it down. In this game, we failed critical rolls with heavy tanks, the howitzer, and most of the missile tanks, and then got 1:1 Hits with the infantry and GEVs, which didn't damage the treads fast enough due to their weak attack strength.
The game is a classic, and I can highly recommend the value of the latest rules, the optional rules, the lovely components and the lovely terrain as giving the game lots of replay. I've seen it for $40 or so, and think it is well worth it.
This has me stoked to continue developing some modern rules that are fast and easy to play. I think the basic decisions are easy to see in Ogre, a solid design, and kudos to Steve Jackson for designing and developing a classic that has people playing lots of games and thinking tactically over and over and over!