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Old 06-26-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
Mack_JB
 
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Default Ogre AAR for Monday June 25th.

As a bit of background for those not following, I meet up nearly every week (opponent's health and our schedules permitting) with a local guy I met over on BGG. This time, we played a little differently, as in a prior thread here (I forget which one now) "TheAmishStig" (Andy Mull) had noted he had a scenario he was brewing, and was looking for input. I contacted him, and he sent a short PM outlining his thoughts. He prefaced his scenario with this: "To quote Star Lord, this is only 12% of a plan. It's barely a concept at this point. My main worry is that it makes the attacker too mobile by locking them into 'swarm' units like that." So I took to calling it "The Star Lord Scenario".

After sending Andy the AAR yesterday, he said to release it into the wild, and is asking for further development input, ideas, etc. He's noted he's working up some flavor/background text as to why this engagement happens, and the required victory conditions. We just used standard Ogre victory conditions as outlined in the ODE rules.

It's been over five weeks since we last played, but we finally met up yesterday, and I sprung the new scenario idea on my opponent (Martin Gallo, the guy from Ogrezine with the extended CRT). He's on BGG, but not here on SJG.

We played two games, and we didn't take copious notes -- I just scrawled some thoughts while we discussed each game at the end of each one.

Our playing style is pretty informal, we're not killing each other, and we allow a substantial number of errors to get corrected -- often saying to each other, hey, you forgot to fire this unit ... that sort of thing. Semi-cooperative at times, we're playing for enjoyment.

We set up the scenario as "TheAmishStig" presented, that is:

Orange map

Defenders are:

2x Mk.II
2x double-cost units (MHWZ / HWZ / SHVY)
12x squads Infantry
CP

Vs.

1x Mk.III
4x GEV
8x LT

Martin was particularly tickled that we finally had a reason to use the Mk II, as well as the heavier units.

Game 1:

Pre-game die roll saw Martin choosing attacker, and as defender I chose a SHVY and a HOW. CP was placed rear row, at about 10% left of centerline. HOW set centered to strike to both sides of map, and enough forward that it could always shoot backwards to cover the CP area. The two Mk II were placed behind the rear cratered line (marks on board), and the INF were split into six sets of 2/1 and placed in the middle of the board in a line across. Knowing his GEV and LT would only be 2 defense -- so a 3/1 INF would have meant lost attack strength nearly every shot on my part.

Martin came up the middle, and swarmed his units around, but behind, the Ogre. I stayed back and let him come into range, then moved stuff up to get the first shots. The INF hit first, and a few good rolls saw two LT gone. Eventually he used a Rattler against the SHVY, and it had only taken two shots, but had connected each time to take out a GEV. We whittled each other down, and once the Mk. III was in range, the Mk. II's started ramming. Each Mk. II takes five treads damage, and does one die roll damage on treads -- I got lucky with sixes a few times there, which made ALL the difference in the end. In fact, I had a few really strong rolls and took out stuff nearly every shot. The HOW got toasted by the remaining LT as they closed in, but hadn't really connected with anything so was a waste of fire power. The mass of tightly engaged units meant all weapons could fire each turn, so I'd ram with the II's, then shoot the LTs and GEVs, or treads.

I managed to take all his treads off six hexes from the CP, with 1 Rattler left, so he was stuck, one more turn and he would have smoked the CP. He then had one LT that was one turn away from taking out the CP, but it got nailed as well by one of the Mk. II. By the end I'd lost everything but the Mk. IIs, and he'd lost all the LT and GEV, his Mk. III had weapons, but no targets. My Mk. II's were down to one MP each, and half their weapons were gone.

So, Defender Victory, and it was close.

Game 2:

Martin had an idea, and asked if he could attack again -- no problem by me, we're playing to play, not win.

Same general set up for defender, except this time I replaced the SHVY with a MHWZ, and the CP went rear row, and about 10% from the right corner. Both MHWZ and HOW were set to umbrella side-to-side of board, with the HOW closer to the CP side of board.

This time Martin swarmed in again, and stayed together and behind the Ogre -- but upon contact, split the GEV off to end run, and the headed for the far left side, while the rest headed to the right. I had to split my Mk. II apart, and luckily between the one, and the MHWZ, got the four GEV before they got behind me.

The Mk. III though churned on, and my hits weren't happening. With only one Mk. II to ram, I was quickly too slow to catch him. He used one Rattler on the MHWZ, and the other on that near Mk. II's MB. The INF and the LT traded shots, each disappearing, except for those INF that got AP'd when run over. The Mk. II that had stopped the end run couldn't get back to the right soon enough, and the Ogre was able to take out the CP, while shaving weapons and treads off the closer Mk. II. Still, I had him down to just four treads left ... so attacker victory claimed when neither Mk II could catch and ram his III, and he could strip all their guns easily. He had two LT left as well. After the CP was gone, he could have started escaping South off the map, but chose to fight, and lost two of the remaining 4 LT.

Attacker victory.

So, afterthoughts.

A. The Mk. II's need to ram the III, they can't do enough shot damage without rams. They can get six good rams each if timed right -- for the possible removal of (top end) 36 treads from each Mk. II against the III. Thus rams alone could disable the Mk. III.

B. The Mk. III needs to roll well, or else they get behind very fast.

C. The LT, GEV, and INF all disappear much too fast (as always) ...

D. ... but not as fast as the double cost units. Having to take double cost units is one thing, but being able to have taken four HVY would have been a far better defense -- but them's the breaks with a war, you fight with what you have.

E. If the attacker splits into three groups, the defender has less chance to win -- so that could be a problem.

F. For a victory conditions, I'd add some sort of text that a few human units must also survive, so it isn't a complete cyber victory with no human face to it.


All-in-all, we had fun with it, and it kept us thinking, I think Andy has a really nice game scenario here.

Jeff
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:12 AM   #2
TheAmishStig
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lancaster, PA
Default Re: Ogre AAR for Monday June 25th.

As I'd mentioned to Jeff in PMs...I couldn't be happier that its first real test went over as well as it did! It needs some work to go from 'has potential' to 'worthy of a scenario book', and can't think of any better resource than you guys for getting it there, so when he asked if he could write an AAR I was barely able to stop myself from straight-up begging him to do so.

I really like the idea of "Bigger Ogre + Popcorn" vs "Smaller Ogres + Crunchy", especially to showcase the less-popular Ogres...but worry that the defender's problem comes down to "Not enough dice to overcome the odds on tread shots, + not enough units to hold a wide front" and the attacker's problem comes down to "Not enough incentive to do anything other than focus fire on the Ogre at first contact + Not enough Ogre to survive focused fire at first contact".

That's a tough dilemma. Not sure where to go for the first revision / refinement, as much bigger and the scenario becomes unwieldy, but mess with the counter mix too much and it loses a lot of its "mobility + big Ogre vs Firepower + small Ogres" flavor.

There's a thought...swapping for a III-B would give the attacker a little more oomph to defend itself with during the opening salvo, its higher VP cost gives the defender some extra firepower to work with [2 more double-cost units, which opens up "4HD vs Gnats"], and we may be able to swap the LTs for half-cost units of choice [LT or LGEV]. The math is close; that setup gives the defenders a 4VP advantage, by the numbers...but the swarm size should even that out, and if not it's easy enough to tinker with the number of INF squads until it does.
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Last edited by TheAmishStig; 06-26-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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