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Old 06-15-2014, 03:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ogre Designer's Edition Official Errata and FAQ (Draft of 14 June)

Originally Posted by ScarecrowKing View Post
I'm a little confused, though. The errata for the Mark III's attacking says that eight armor and six squads are added, instead of two armor. When did this change? The Pocket Ogre rules pdf that I have also says that the defender gets only two more armor units. The scenario has been the same for years. What happened?
Thanks for your question, Brian. This is one instance where old isn't necessarily best!

I suspect what happened is that the original scenario wasn't that tested (Ogre was brand new in 1977, after all). Since then, for whatever reason, feedback about balance hasn't found its way to each new edition.

It's fairly clear that the matchup was uneven. Compare these three:

A) Mark III Attack: (12 AU + 20 IU) vs (17 AU)
B) Mark V Attack: (20 AU + 30 IU) vs (25 AU)
C) Mark IIIs Attacking, original: (22 AU + 30 IU) vs (17 AU + 17 AU)

The numbers for C don't match up well with A or B, both of which we know are roughly balanced.

B provides a good clue to the pricing of IU in these scenarios: the 30 infantry are worth 5 AU (the difference between the Mk 5, worth 25 AU, and the 20 armor).

This matches up well with what we know: infantry are normally worth 1 AU per 3 IU, but tend to be worth less on the Ogre map. Three key features of infantry (good defense in terrain, low movement cost in multiple terrain types, and strength in overrun) are missing. Infantry are thus priced at half their normal value, which exactly matches up with B.

All this strongly suggests that the defenders are badly outnumbered in C, which is also borne out in playtests. Let's look at it two ways:

- Going from B to C, the Ogre team is now able to split the defense (by heading up separate flanks), and gains 9 AU worth, a 36% increase in force strength. The number of treads the defense has to kill (their basic win condition) has gone from 60 to 90, a 50% increase. Yet the defense only gets 2 more AU, a mere 10% increase in their armor units only. If we factor in the 30 infantry to be worth 5 AU (see above), then the defense gets a paltry 7.4% increase in force strength.

- Going from A to C, the Ogre team now has double the forces of A (100% increase), and is able to split the defense team. The defense however only gains an 83% increase in armor and a 50% increase in infantry. Logic suggests that for rough parity, the defense should receive a 100% increase i.e. 24 armor and 40 infantry.

Why then, one might ask, is the new Mark IIIs Attacking set at 28 armor and 36 infantry (i.e. somewhat higher than the 24 armor and 40 inf suggested by doubling A)? While this seems to overweight the defenders by about 3 armor units, the extra 3 AU factor in the following:

- The Ogre team can more easily concentrate force (two Ogres can stack next to one another much more easily than a bunch of armor)

- The Ogre team can more easily maneuver to weave apart (splitting the defenders) or come together (concentrating force) than the unwieldy mass of armor and infantry

Testing the new numbers has also borne this out, though we'd need a huge mass of game data from fans to fine-tune the exact balance (I'm willing to concede it might be out by +/- 2 AU).

28 AU for the defense is also slightly better number than e.g. 26 AU, because it divides well for a 4-player game (14 AU for each defender, meaning one player can take e.g. 7 Superheavies).

I hope that helps explain some of the change! Please feel free to post feedback from testing the new numbers!
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