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Subject: Ogre: Generally Portable Edition rss

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Stephen Rochelle
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So by now many of you have seen Kuhrusty's hack (and I use that word in every conceivable sense of the term) to get Ogre Designer's Ed down to a reasonably portable size. And a reasonably portable size is good! But not everybody wants to wear a plastic armband for a whole year, either. Enter Ogre: Generally Portable Edition (hereafter OGPE for maximum confusion potential).
OGPE artist's conception

The genesis of OGPE came from noodling around with where to store my Nihon army sheets, which were the first extra I've ordered to arrive. I'd deliberately ordered enough so that the Nihon forces would be on par with the armies included in the box, and Kuhrusty's thread got me thinking: I've got an army in need of a home (with a full range of 2D Ogres), I've got an extra orange map in need of a home... I've got all the stuff for a second copy of Ogre without stealing anything of substance from the main box, provided I can find an appropriately sized box.

Ogre maps awaiting a home

The key to the box is the orange map. Fully folded, it's still the size of a sheet of paper and nearly an inch thick. None of my spare boxes (Dominion Guilds, Star Wars CCG, Lego DeLorean Time Machine) would cut it. Boardgame-specific parts sites don't have stuff to hack the depth without going way over on length and width. The internets are loaded with boxes of appropriate sizes at great prices, but only if you buy them by the case. Fortunately, FedEx sells a box for shipping tablets, 13" x 11" x 3" (approx) internal, and intended to be opened and closed repeatedly and securely. That's not too far over the size of the map and has sufficient depth to create a unit tray akin to that in Ogre.


Box in hand, I broke out my go-to design tool: PowerPoint. I'm not certain that PP is a great way to convey information to a large group, but configurable snap-to, lots of pre-made shapes, and to-the-hundredth size specification makes it a pretty good CAD-for-dummies tool. PowerPoint let me play around with layouts for the counter tray until I got everything reasonably organized with enough tolerance to glue a bunch of foamcore later. In contravention of my usual M.O., I then drew up a cut list in advance rather than just winging everything (and got about 95% of it correct up front, too, which is also in contravention of how these things usually go for me).


Most of the tray isn't actually very interesting -- it's just a box with enough clearance around the edges to grab the pieces but little enough at the top to reduce the chances of a mess while carrying OGPE. The biggest nuisance for most of this is that standard foamcore is 3/16" thick, which means you're dealing with sixteenths all the time. Doing all the cuts up front is good, but distinguishing the 13/16" x 2 1/8" pieces from the 15/16" x 2" pieces is a hassle.


The tray emulates the angled counter rows for large, medium, and small units used by the ODE tray, and I'll admit that I don't have a good process for those cuts -- I just line up the foamcore against a counter and mark where the cut needs to happen on one side to hit the corner on the other, and then try to drag a box cutter along that point. Fortunately, the mess is all hidden on the back side of the tray. Tacky Glue is a great aid for assembly, as even the off-center angled pieces (that can't stand in place on their own) are sufficiently set after 15 seconds to let go and get the cross pieces on.


Here's where I hit the only major error on the cut list: I realized partway through the build (there's the red flag!) that I needed a finger hole to lift out the map, and I figured about an inch below the map was plenty of space to hook a finger in. So I cut an inch-deep hole to one side of the main tray, forgetting that there's 7/8" of map to account for. An inch is plenty of room to grab the map. An eighth of an inch? Not so much. I opted for the quick and dirty fix of "carve off the bad pieces and glue new ones on", again figuring that the slop was generally hidden once assembled.


Anyway, other than that, everything came together nicely. The pieces fill their designated slots reasonably well, and I needed to steal almost nothing from the main set -- only the Nihon CP from one of the Kickstarter sheets, and for now a placeholder 3D Mark III while I wait for the Nihon Mark III from Uncommon Ogres to become available. Sure, this set is going to be Nihon-vs-Nihon games, but it's not hard to distinguish the Ogres, even the 2D ones, from the defenders. Conventional force attack (with the mixed Ogre/conventional defense) is about the only subvariant Ogre scenario that would be tough to accomplish with this box. And it's a great fit; I can flip OGPE around on all 3 axes and nothing budges from its slot. Also, Berry-colored Sharpie on the counter edges -- isn't that a great match? Also, there's that mystery slot on the right. It's there for holding copies of the CRT, Ogre record sheets, and the like.


So there it is: portable Ogre with ODE components, without making permanent changes to ODE. Counting the Nihon sheets, OGPE is a $30ish build ($20 for the Nihon sheets, $8 for the box, $2.50 for the sheet of foamcore), which I think is pretty reasonable. As for the exterior, I haven't done anything yet (the box is larger than what my home printer can handle, so I'm considering a print job at Staples or the like so I can wrap the box). I threw together the "concept" image above as a joke for this thread, because I didn't have a good lead-off image, but I find that I'm quite fond of just how silly the illustration looks (it's a bad phone camera shot of the DIY Mark III from the early Kickstarter PDF) - plus, I can use that Mark III image and "OGPE" without any IP issues. The size, though, is real: that's the box on my shelf. It parks with other things, which is nice. And if and when I need the Nihon units along with the rest of ODE for the Battle of Five Armies, I've got all their stuff in one place, sorted and ready to go.
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Stephen Rochelle
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OGPE layout and cut list
FedEx Tablet Box: https://smallbusiness.fedex.com/tablet-box
Internal dimensions are 12 5/8" x 10 3/4" x 2 7/8"

Top view of OGPE box insert

The .75" square at top right is my reference for margin; the Large unit box is .75" down and right of the top left corner of the counter tray, and .75" margin exists between all counter compartments.

Foamcore cut list (all from a single 20" x 30" 3/16" thick sheet)
Note that sizes are based on a double order (4 copies of sheet A6) of the Nihon North American Divisions sponsor sheet, available at http://daysofourtrailers.blogspot.com/p/ogre-6e-nihon.html.

Left Side spacer
10 3/4" x 2" (x1) top
10 3/4" x 2 11/16" (x1) right v leg
1 13/16" x 2 11/16" (x2 or x4) h legs
You can do just two h legs at each end of this assembly, or stick a couple more in the middle just in case. I opted for more, even though I don't think it's strictly necessary.
Add a 1" x 1" cut on the right edge of the top piece for the finger hole map grip (roughly halfway along the long edge), and a 1" x 1 13/16" cut on the v leg at the same spot along the edge.

Counter tray
10 3/4" x 8 1/2" (x1) top
10 3/4" x 1 13/16" (x2) v legs
8 1/8" x 1 13/16" (x2) h legs
The top piece benefits from a slight cut, 1" x 1/4", opposite the finger hole map grip cut detailed on the left side spacer below (so that you're actually grabbing the bottom of the map, not just its side). Also make a 1" x 1" cut along the matching v leg.

Right Side spacer
10 3/4" x 2" (x1) top
10 3/4" x 2 11/16" (x2) v legs
1 5/8" x 2 11/16" (x2) h legs
You can either stack this in with the top on top, for a nice flush look, or upside down for a large miscellaneous storage compartment. Mine's upside down, intended to hold CRTs, Ogre record sheets, and such.

Flat Ogres
This compartment is deep enough to put both the hex and rectangular counters in a single stack, or long enough to put them side by side.
2 7/8" x 13/16" (x2) v legs
1 5/8" x 13/16" (x2) h legs
2 7/8" x 2" (x1) bottom

Missile Crawlers
This compartment holds both the MCRLs and the CRLs, and can hold the CM markers if desired
2 5/8" x 9/16" (x2) v legs
1 5/8" x 9/16" (x2) h legs
2 5/8" x 2" (x1) bottom

3D Ogre
This compartment is intended to hold the Nihon-colored Mark III from Uncommon Ogres, but of course any other Mark III will fit. Right now mine has "REX" from the grey set.
3 3/8" x 1 13/16" (x2) v legs
1 5/8" x 1 13/16" (x2) h legs
3 3/8" x 2" bottom, cut from card stock, not foamcore

3D CP / Dice
These compartments are identically sized. The CP is the Nihon-colored Combine-style (i.e. long) CP from the KS-exclusive Vulcans sheet. The dice compartment will comfortably hold two 19mm (Ogre-sized) dice.
1 5/8" x 13/16" (x4) v legs
2" x 13/16" (x4) h legs
1 5/8" x 2 3/8" (x2) bottoms

Markers
This compartment is a catch-all for miscellaneous stuff. For now, mine holds "everything else" from the Nihon sheets -- defense markers, SP markers, Road Cuts, Disabled, hexside overlays, etc. Most of that I'll sort into the main ODE box at some point, but I'll retain defense, SP, and disabled markers here at a minimum.
2 1/8" x 13/16" (x2) v legs
2" x 13/16" (x2) h legs
2 1/8" x 2 3/8" (x1) bottom

The upcoming unit trays all have an angled component, which makes height matching tough. I recommend gluing the vertical and angled parts of the long legs together and then trimming the one-piece legs to match that depth (the one-piece legs are roughly 1/16" too long as is).

For the angled portions of these compartments, one side needs to be cut an an angle from the corner on one posterboard facing to a point about 3/32" below the corner on the other posterboard facing (just line the foamcore up against a unit counter to check that this angle is correct). The opposite end of the foamcore should be trimmed slightly to match so that you've got a little more surface for the glue to work with, but it doesn't require the precision.

Small Units
2 3/4" x 3/16" (x2) vertical v legs
2 3/4" x 3/4" (x2) angled v legs
2" x 13/16" (x2) h legs
3 1/8" x 1 1/4" (x1) bottom

Medium Units
4 3/4" x 5/16" (x2) vertical v legs
4 3/4" x 3/4" (x2) angled v legs
2" x 15/16" (x2) h legs
5 1/8" x 1 1/4" (x1) bottom

Large Units
3" x 7/16" (x2) vertical v legs
3" x 3/4" (x2) angled v legs
2" x 1 1/16" (x2) h legs
3 3/8" x 1 1/4" (x1) bottom

Finger Hole for Map Grip, left side
1" x 1 13/16" (x1) left v leg (right is open to reach under map)
1 3/16" x 1 13/16" (x2) h legs
1 3/16" x 1 3/8" (x1) bottom

Finger Hole for Map Grip, counter tray side
This one is best to cut to fit once the rest of the tray is assembled. I found it simplest to just fill the gap between the tray leg and the flat Ogre compartment.

I haven't glued the three major pieces (left side, counter tray, right side) together, mostly because a little give makes extracting the maps easier. The fit is sufficiently tight along the other axis that none of the foamcore is going to jump out of the box.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Excellent! You make some of us here look like rank amateurs, but of course I won't name any names, because I don't want to hurt my anyone's feelings.
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Slev Sleddeddan
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What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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kuhrusty wrote:
Excellent! You make some of us here look like rank amateurs, but of course I won't name any names, because I don't want to hurt my anyone's feelings.


Of course, NOW I want to make boxes for each of the fully-fledged sponsor sheets!
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Frank Müller
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nah, for counter storage the best are little plastic bags. The first I threw out in Ogre was this unnecessary bloatet black plastic inlay (the garages are fine, so I kept them)
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Stephen Rochelle
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Karl Gallagher
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enpeze wrote:
nah, for counter storage the best are little plastic bags. The first I threw out in Ogre was this unnecessary bloatet black plastic inlay (the garages are fine, so I kept them)


I'm contemplating that. Well, I'm too much of a pack rat to throw anything away, but it may wind up exiled from the box. I'm storing the counters in ziplocks broken out by tank/GEV/infantry/other.
 
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brendan b
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enpeze wrote:
nah, for counter storage the best are little plastic bags. The first I threw out in Ogre was this unnecessary bloatet black plastic inlay (the garages are fine, so I kept them)


What's holding garages up? Are the maps just sliding around?
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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So, months later and just in time for Gen Con, I finally got the rest of the art for this together and shlepped off to the printer.


Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to shape the files that I trusted to cover the side strips flanking the top cover (due to the flap/hinge nature of the box), so they were left bare. Not pictured is the box back, which includes some original game copy. It's nothing to write home about, but it feels more real for having actual descriptive text about Ogres:
Quote:
It is the year 2085
Advances in defensive technology
have made small units survivable
even on the nuclear battlefield.
Then the stalemate was broken....

Enter the Ogre
A 40-meter, 2000-ton behemoth,
this autonomous cybertank
dominates late-21st century
warfare. The question isn't
what it takes to stop one -
it's whether you even can.



Pretty good match against my original MSPaint masterpiece, eh?

Next up:
What will the SJG booth staff make of this?
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