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Old 08-01-2022, 01:43 PM   #1
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Tales from the Table

With the shutting down of the Ogre Discord server, I thought it'd be nice to have a thread in here for game reports - something to make it feel like, even if we're playing the game solo, we're still playing it as a community.

Has anyone been able to get Ogre onto the table lately?

Last edited by HeatDeath; 08-01-2022 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:44 PM   #2
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Tales from the Table

So yesterday I was able to get Ogre on to the table for the first time in ages.

I played two scenarios. The first was "Scenario 1: Diversion", from Brett Drake's brilliant "Jump Trooper: The Tarantuloid War" article, available for free here: http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/products...mptrooper.html

The layout consists of 8 CPs scattered around the norther half of the Ogre map, most of which are D0 but two of which, determined randomly, are D1. The player has 18 squads of infantry, dropping from orbit (which means they can scatter or even be lost before they land), and 11 turns in which to destroy 7 or more of the CPs.

Stopping the player from doing this are a howitzer, two stationary missile tanks (all of which deploy to random crater sometime on or after the second turn, and are destroyed by D results), and an unending swarm of bug warriors - basically slow (M1) 2-squad infantry units that are also destroyed on D results.

I deployed my infantry in the southern half of the map, consolidated the ones who got separated during the drop, and started working my way north. The bugs got a good roll with their howitzer deploy and it popped up in a position to cover most of their CPs. A smaller force of 6 squads headed up the eastern edge of the map to take out a couple of underprotected CPs.

At the beginning of the scenario the bugs are separated from each other, and will hit your force piecemeal. Keeping 6 squads together as 2 3-strength platoons lets you auto-kill individual bug units, at least in the beginning of the game - the bugs are slower than you so with a little care you can move up to them and take them out without them getting a shot. But the bugs get reinforcements from craters every turn, so even if you take out one per turn, they're gonna gradually build up - and as your losses from artillery mount (see below) it gets even worse. It's an interesting building tension, of a kind but quite different from that of the endgame in a Smash-the-CP scenario.

The turn sequence ends up being : Deploy bug reinforcements, Terran infantry move, Terran infantry fire, Bugs move, Bugs fire. Repeat.

Starting on turn 2, the bugs have the chance of deploying one of their stationary missile tanks ("light howitzer") or howitzers to a random crater. These can completely ruin your day. As infantry, you're slow, and you will have to spend several turns crossing the artillery umbrella to take one out, taking hits all the way. It's actually better if the artillery pops up right in front of your units, though the psychological effect is quite surprising the first time it happens.

It seems as if the bugs want their randomly deploying bugs to pop up right in front of you, but their artillery to deploy far away from you, which is an interesting assymmetry.

I ended up getting a tie - destroying 5 CPs before the clock ran out. If I play this again, and I suspect I will pretty soon, I will probably try deploying the infantry in pairs on top of the enemy CPs, going for the quick kills, instead of deploying in a large group. Pairs are sufficient for mutual support against isolated bug infantry, and dropping amongst the CPs will also reduce the amount of territory to cover under an artillery umbrella once they pop up, as well. I think that'll work. The scenario depicts a suicide mission - whether any of your INF survive is irrelevant, as long as you take out 7-8 bug CPs.

The scenario instructions discuss deploying the CPs and bug reinforcements randomly using chit pulls from a cup, which is a little awkward if you're playing using using miniatures, as I was. [Blue SHVYs for the D0 CPs, Red SHVYs for the D1 CPs, green missile tanks and a howitzer for the bug artillery, black plastic spiders for the bug infantry.] You can streamline the setup somewhat by just positioning the CPs on the hexes listed in the scenario, then randomly determining using die rolls which two are D1s. Bug reinforcements can be streamlined somewhat too, by just keeping your units off to the side and assigning them numbers and rolling a dice to determine which ones to deploy on a given turn.

[The black plastic spiders were originally purchased from eBay, using a link that was going around when this article first came out, and are virtually identical to these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/125412537688 ]

Last edited by HeatDeath; 08-01-2022 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:58 PM   #3
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Tales from the Table

The second scenario was a Smash-the-CP with an Ogre Mk IV. I used my metal Mark IV miniature against counters from the O6e box, and I think this may be the first time that miniature has ever seen combat.

I used the same defending force as in the Mark V Attack scenario - 30 squads of INF and 20 AU. I went firepower-heavy in the balance, while trying to respect the counter mix of the O6e box - 8 heavy tanks, 6 missile tanks, and 6 GEVs. I deployed the tanks and GEVs in a line abreast across the lower edge of the central zone, and the rest of the units in a line abreast across the upper edge of the central zone.

The plan was for the HVYs to take out the missile racks and main battery, and then for everyone to focus on treads. Sadly, no one could hit the broadside of a barn. Two of the missile racks stayed intact well into the endgame, being finally taken out only one turn before they would have been able to hit the CP. Ditto the main battery.

I was able to implement my single favorite tactic in the game - having a line of missile tanks paralleling the stricken Ogre up the board - too far away for the Ogre to fire back at, and too far away to for the Ogre to feel like it can reasonably deviate from the course towards the CP to go and eliminate them.

In the end, it was a heartbreaker for the defense (as this game so often is). The Ogre, at M1, with only 3 tread units remaining, moved into secondary battery range of the CP and finished it off.

[One more HVY strike on the treads would have done it! ONE!]

The defense immobilized it next turn, but it was too little, too late. The annoying part is they still had significant amounts of firepower on the board, just stuck out of position by the Ogre being in among the craters in the NE corner, and/or by having been left behind by the Ogre from being disabled while the Ogre was still fast.

The Mark IV is very interestingly different than the Mark V in this scenario, but I still found it very well balanced.
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