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Old 12-01-2019, 12:47 PM   #1
mib5150
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vartofta, Sweden
Default Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

(If this is something that has already been discussed, I beg for forgiveness! Throw away this thread in that case!)

I sat this afternoon with GURPS Ogre and thought about the extensive timeline over the Ogre Universe presented there, and I got this idea:

A kind of card based system (or a book) over battles fought over time, where the outcome of the battles lead to other battles, or, at some points, definitive defeats for one side. It'll be a little like a Solo Adventure Book, where the decisions and outcomes tells you what chapter will be next.

For instance, say that the first battle is with a Combine Mark I meeting a Paneuropean army for the very first time. At the bottom of the card it could say "Complete Combine Victory: Go to Battle Card 61. Marginal Combine Victory: Go to Battle Card 84. Any Paneuropean Victory: Go to Battle Card 33." Perhaps Battle Card 61 in this case leads to another Mark I battle where Combine get some other advantages, and Battle Cards 33 leads to Paneuropean Army getting a huge opportunity to make a hammer blow against Combine in the coming Battle. And so on.

Each battle could give points to buy more and better equipment?

It would be really exciting to include scenarios/battles that are really tipping points for the entire campaign. Maybe Paneuropan are lucky and win over the entire Combine before even the Mark III is out in the fields? :)

(Perhaps the first battles will be fought BEFORE 2060, without Ogres, just as teaching scenarios?)

What do you think?
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
CoachAsher
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

I think that's a brilliant idea. I barely get to play very often the way it is, so it would be a challenge for me to find the game days and opponents, but it still sounds great.

Is this at all the same general concept of Nightfall?
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

Fun idea, and well worth developing!

Just be careful with your game balance, so the winner of early scenarios doesn't create a landslide in later ones.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:45 AM   #4
cephalopagus
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by mib5150 View Post
(If this is something that has already been discussed, I beg for forgiveness! Throw away this thread in that case!)

I sat this afternoon with GURPS Ogre and thought about the extensive timeline over the Ogre Universe presented there, and I got this idea:

A kind of card based system (or a book) over battles fought over time, where the outcome of the battles lead to other battles, or, at some points, definitive defeats for one side. It'll be a little like a Solo Adventure Book, where the decisions and outcomes tells you what chapter will be next.

For instance, say that the first battle is with a Combine Mark I meeting a Paneuropean army for the very first time. At the bottom of the card it could say "Complete Combine Victory: Go to Battle Card 61. Marginal Combine Victory: Go to Battle Card 84. Any Paneuropean Victory: Go to Battle Card 33." Perhaps Battle Card 61 in this case leads to another Mark I battle where Combine get some other advantages, and Battle Cards 33 leads to Paneuropean Army getting a huge opportunity to make a hammer blow against Combine in the coming Battle. And so on.

Each battle could give points to buy more and better equipment?

It would be really exciting to include scenarios/battles that are really tipping points for the entire campaign. Maybe Paneuropan are lucky and win over the entire Combine before even the Mark III is out in the fields? :)

(Perhaps the first battles will be fought BEFORE 2060, without Ogres, just as teaching scenarios?)

What do you think?
Outstanding!
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

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Originally Posted by schoon View Post
Fun idea, and well worth developing!

Just be careful with your game balance, so the winner of early scenarios doesn't create a landslide in later ones.
That's the trick isn't it?

Maybe the rewards for winning a battle would be territory (which could be tracked on the campaign map) and less useful intangibles, but nothing like extra production facilities or units, which would tip the balance too quickly.

What is there in the Ogreverse that's worth fighting for, besides factories and tanks?
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
offsides
 
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

I've mulled over Ogre campaigns for a long time, and I think they keys to making it work are as follows:

1) While there may be minor benefits/penalties for winning/losing a prior battle, each individual battle needs to be self-contained. For example, the starting forces for each battle should be (mostly if not completely) independent from what survived the prior battle. There may be one or 2 things that depend on previous outcomes (e.g., if you saved a particular objective you might have 1 or 2 extra units but nor a whole division, or maybe you get reinforcements a turn sooner), but nothing that's highly unbalancing.

2) Battles should be about objectives and not just annihilation. While blowing up your opponent to the last is all fun and good, it makes for a bad campaign setup. Both because losing a few of those kinds of battles can be depressing for the loser, and because it doesn't really advance a campaign in meaningful ways. In any long campaign, troops are going to try to minimize losses and either secure their objective or make a strategic withdrawal. So make campaign battles the same - both sides want to accomplish their objective(s) if possible, but if not they want to live to fight another day. Depending on the map and scenario, both sides may have objectives that allow them to "advance" should one side achieve them and the other doesn't, or it may be a case where one side can only "hold" their ground and prevent an advance while the other side can advance should they reach their goals. If you play the latter type of scenarios, make sure you alternate which side is trying to advance and which side is trying to hold, so that one side can't just steamroller over the other.

3) Big battles are fun, but small battles win the war. It's great to come up with big battle scenarios, but they take too long and too many wins on one side can smash the campaign quickly. Stick to mostly smaller skirmishes, saving the big battles for special occasions. Perhaps each of the smaller battles can influence the starting setup/reinforcements of a later big battle, with the caveats listed in #1 about not unbalancing things too badly.

4) Finally, don't make it too big. Yes, a global war is gonna take a huge amount of time to simulate, but you don't have to do it. Keep the total campaign to a small enough size that you can reasonably expect to finish it within 10-12 battles. That's not to say it won't finish faster if one side gets all the luck, nor do you have to stop cold when it's over (you can always roll into a new campaign right away). But it's not worth spending months planning a huge campaign that you barely scratch the surface of. That's not to say that I wouldn't do that at all (because I totally would :P), but isn't it better to play the campaign rather than just planning it? :)

I'm still percolating on my 'Tug-O(gre)-War' idea that essentially uses the campaign concept on a single Ogre battlefield setup as well, which has influenced some of these ideas. But maybe this discussion will kick that loose enough to finally write it up...
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:59 PM   #7
HeatDeath
 
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

The big dynamic to watch for in trying to set up grand strategic games that use tactical games to resolve conflicts is this:

Tactical games are most fun when the contest is approximately balanced.

But a skilled player at the strategic level will win by setting up as many /unbalanced/ tactical exchanges as possible.

It's actually very difficult to get a realistic, balanced strategic game to set up tactical exchanges that are actually /fun/ to play out in the tactical game.

If your goal is to generate a series of fun Ogre scenarios to play, as opposed to a long series of one-sided curbstomps for one side or the other, you may be better off building an intentionally designed scenario generator than a strategy game. Look into Battletech's War Chest campaign framework for examples of what a scenario generator system can look like, as opposed to a grand strategy game.

It looks like this is the direction you're already heading in.
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ogre Grand Massive Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoon View Post
Fun idea, and well worth developing!

Just be careful with your game balance, so the winner of early scenarios doesn't create a landslide in later ones.
One trick I've tried with some success is to let the campaign progress influence the quality of replacements – so in the final fight it's the OGREs versus the other side's cooks and bottlewashers, but a lot of cooks and bottlewashers. Thus the individual tactical games are still reasonably balanced but there's a visible benefit to winning.

Some sort of "ladder" setup can work well, pushing forces back and forth as ground is gained and lost. In particular, you can say that a particular spot on the ladder is played as a particular scenario: in the middle may be a meeting engagement, but by the time you get towards one end or the other the attackers are having to take on prepared positions and having a much harder job of it. (You could even give a winner the option to consolidate and lock in their gains, or to push on straight away…)
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