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Subject: Played my first game of Ogre: Pocket Edition. Thoughts and questions. rss

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Ryan Tullis
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So last night my buddy and I picked up Ogre: Pocket Edition. We sat down to play, and first realized how hard the rulebook was to understand. No spaces between paragraphs and things like "See section 2.03.04" made the rules a pain. Fortunately, I watched a video of Steve Jackson himself explaining the game, and that made it a lot easier.

Anyway, here are my first thoughts.

Nobody wants to be the side without an Ogre. If I were to sit down and play Battletech, and I was like, 'Hey, man, this is a game where you're going to have a bunch of soldiers, and I'm going to be in an Atlus, and we're going to have a good time,' it'd probably not fly over well. Fortunately, the game offers scenarios where you both, indeed, have Ogres.

But we didn't play that. We played the traditional to get a feel for the classic game. I went with the Ogre. I tore my buddy apart. I think he could have played a lot more optimal. He just sort of rushed his troops forward to meet my Ogre in combat and they got ripped apart like so much paper while his howitzers sat far back in the map and useless. At the end of the game, I felt he would have done better to pull his troops back and wait for the approach of my Ogre, where he could have a positional advantage and have the use of his artillery.

Nonetheless, I really wish the game had a symmetrical set up. I'm hoping that someone will make a print out for a symmetrical map and a scenario where both sides have equal weaponry. Really, I just hope for more fan made maps/scenarios in general.

I think you can get a lot of mileage out of Ogre: Pocket Edition for three dollars. I think it's unfair to say, "Well, it's light and doesn't pack much of a punch." With online resources and the fact that both sides get tons of unit punch-outs, Ogre: Pocket Edition should provide hours upon hours of fun.

My questions... Can the Ogre fire over enemy troops to hit enemies behind them? I'd think not, but without rules specifically stating so, I guess it can?

Second, has anyone thought up a terrain that blocks line of sight? As it is right now, the Ogre can pretty much just keep moving forward having a field day, with units not able to take any sort of cover.

I don't want to give the impression that I feel like I wasted $2.95. I absolutely do not. The Ogre itself reminds me of a Battletech mech, keeping track of its weapons and such, but without as obsessive detail. I really dig that. And I think once my buddy and I play a scenario with multiple Ogres on the table, we'll really be enjoying the game more. And in all honesty, I'm excited to see what the community can bring to this cheap little game. I really believe with printable maps and scenerios the possibilities of this game are endless.





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Seth Owen
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The background info on the game explains why there are no lines of sight rules (basically all the weapons have some ability for maneuver and terminal guidance and so are not strictly line of sight)

The pocket OGRE is just the basic classic showdown. The Designer's edition expands into most of the directions you asked about.
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Richard Smith
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Hi Ryan,
Glad you enjoyed the game. Your points...

-- I think that there is a scenario where one mark v defends the CP vs two attacking mark iii's. Make sure you use the Ogre ramming Ogre rules.

-- It is harder to learn how to play the defence than the attacker. If the defence waits too long, the Ogre can burst in and wipe out the howitzers with the expendable Ogre missiles. With new players, I usually spot the defence an extra armor unit or two. When players are more expert, go with the standard set up.

-- Units can certainly fire over each other. An Ogre mark v is 15 meters long and the hexes are 1000 meters across. A unit does not 'fill' the hex in any sense.

-- The companion games GEV / Shockwave, have more terrain. Lasers can not fire over swamp, forest or cities. (Or rubble.) However the missiles and shells arc over ground cover. No standard scenario has rules for cliffs and steep hills that will block indirect fire.

-- The game has a 'move-fire' game sequence (so an out of range attacker can move and fire at defenders BEFORE the dug in defenders can fire back). So playing the defence is much harder in this game than it should be in reality. The game is wildly fluid, it is a game of tactical maneuver.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Warm regards, Rick.
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John Labelle
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It plays so fast that you can be the Ogre the first game and within a half hour or less, I can be the Ogre in the second. Or just make up or find a scenario with both playing the Beast.
It has a lot of depth.
Have fun!
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Todd Pytel
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Tryken wrote:
At the end of the game, I felt he would have done better to pull his troops back and wait for the approach of my Ogre, where he could have a positional advantage and have the use of his artillery.

Sounds like it's time to play a second game and switch sides. I think you'll find there's quite a bit of depth to each one. If you play regularly with the same opponent, you'll see your strategies evolve over time. It's easier to win as the Ogre when you start, but the balance evens out as you learn more.

Quote:
Nonetheless, I really wish the game had a symmetrical set up.

To each his own, but that loses all the charm of the game for me. The additional GEV/Shockwave content in the Designer's Edition has conventional forces on each side, but most of those scenarios are asymmetric in some way as well.
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
I really wish the game had a symmetrical set up.

Part of the genius of the game is the asymmetrical setup.
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Ryan Tullis
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Oh wow. Thank you for all the responses!

I definitely think the game's strategy will open up with more play. I do plan to play the multiple Ogre scenario. And I think there is something to be said for the genius behind the asymmetrical set up.

The pocket edition includes conventional forces for both sides as well it seems, in case anyone was wondering.

Anyway, I'm excited to give the game more tries. I had a good time with it, and think that as I put more gametime in the more it'll open up to me.
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Jeremy Fridy
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You will definitely get your money's worth.
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Michael Ptak
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Came about even in the games that I've played. Use infantry as roadblocks, GEVs as harassment. Place your artillery in a way that the Ogre won't kill all of them on one pathway. Your heaviest hitters are going to be Heavy Tanks and Missile carriers.

When shooting an Ogre either go for the primary or knock the missiles out early.

I think it's a draw if the CP is destroyed. It's an Ogre victory if he can get back off his edge of the board.
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Russ Williams
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Norsehound wrote:
I think it's a draw if the CP is destroyed. It's an Ogre victory if he can get back off his edge of the board.


The rules I've seen say otherwise:
rule 1.03 wrote:
Victory conditions are as follows:
• All defending units destroyed: complete Ogre victory.
• Command post destroyed and Ogre escapes from the bottom of the map: Ogre victory.
• Command post and Ogre destroyed: marginal Ogre victory.
...
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David Rock

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Tryken wrote:
Oh wow. Thank you for all the responses!

I definitely think the game's strategy will open up with more play. I do plan to play the multiple Ogre scenario. And I think there is something to be said for the genius behind the asymmetrical set up.

The pocket edition includes conventional forces for both sides as well it seems, in case anyone was wondering.

Anyway, I'm excited to give the game more tries. I had a good time with it, and think that as I put more gametime in the more it'll open up to me.


Yeah, don't let the asymmetry fool you; that's one of the basic points of the game. Can a bunch of conventional forces stop one beast? You may be surprised to learn the answer is yes. Starting out, the Ogre player has an advantage because there's less to figure out, but as you get better, the play evens out.

You will find conventional vs conventional on the Ogre map is not the most interesting, but it can be done. They really come into their own on the G.E.V. maps with more terrain types (infantry, in particular, get a LOT more interesting). There is no Pocket version of G.E.V. right now, but you can still find it on ebay. We are really hoping that enough copies of Ogre Pocket Ed sell to show SJG that G.E.V. Pocket Ed is a good idea.

You may also be surprised to find that there _are_ a lot of people out there that prefer the conventional forces to using the Ogre (myself included). In my case, it's because I spent my first years of playing in the Ogreverse with G.E.V., not Ogre. It presents a very different mental exercise.



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John Labelle
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"Ogreverse"
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Juan Valdez
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granitepenguin wrote:
Tryken wrote:
Oh wow. Thank you for all the responses!

I definitely think the game's strategy will open up with more play. I do plan to play the multiple Ogre scenario. And I think there is something to be said for the genius behind the asymmetrical set up.

The pocket edition includes conventional forces for both sides as well it seems, in case anyone was wondering.

Anyway, I'm excited to give the game more tries. I had a good time with it, and think that as I put more gametime in the more it'll open up to me.


Yeah, don't let the asymmetry fool you; that's one of the basic points of the game. Can a bunch of conventional forces stop one beast? You may be surprised to learn the answer is yes. Starting out, the Ogre player has an advantage because there's less to figure out, but as you get better, the play evens out.

You will find conventional vs conventional on the Ogre map is not the most interesting, but it can be done. They really come into their own on the G.E.V. maps with more terrain types (infantry, in particular, get a LOT more interesting). There is no Pocket version of G.E.V. right now, but you can still find it on ebay. We are really hoping that enough copies of Ogre Pocket Ed sell to show SJG that G.E.V. Pocket Ed is a good idea.

You may also be surprised to find that there _are_ a lot of people out there that prefer the conventional forces to using the Ogre (myself included). In my case, it's because I spent my first years of playing in the Ogreverse with G.E.V., not Ogre. It presents a very different mental exercise.



It may be hard to imagine, but the basic game is actually slanted in favor of the defense by two armor units.

Once you figure how defending works, systematically dismantling a Mark III is pretty easy. I'll take the defense any day at the stated force strength.

One other thing to understand if you're coming from games where maneuver matters: in Ogre, you generally (not always) want to be in position to be first to fire, then exploit that. And, most Ogre/GEV games play out pretty fast because the CRT rewards blowing stuff up. I'm not saying maneuver doesn't matter, because it does, but blowing stuff up matters a lot more.

And you're correct, it will open up with more game time.


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Bor Onx
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"We are really hoping that enough copies of Ogre Pocket Ed sell to show SJG that G.E.V. Pocket Ed is a good idea."

I see this often, but there's no way S.J. is making much profit off of the pocket edition. It's gotta be just a promotional stunt.

It worked on me. I'd known about ogre for years, but never tried it until the $3 price tag got me. Now I'm trying to find a copy of the designer edition.

As for nobody wanting to play the humans, sometimes the players are asymmetrical too. I've got a bunch of boys, and I just set up as humans, throw out two armor as for advanced players, and let one of them stomp all over me with the Ogre III. I'm learning and will have an ogre head on my wall soon.
 
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Philip Reed
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Boronx wrote:
"We are really hoping that enough copies of Ogre Pocket Ed sell to show SJG that G.E.V. Pocket Ed is a good idea."


If a Pocket GEV is made then the MSRP will be between $10 and $15.
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Juan Valdez
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PhilReed wrote:
Boronx wrote:
"We are really hoping that enough copies of Ogre Pocket Ed sell to show SJG that G.E.V. Pocket Ed is a good idea."


If a Pocket GEV is made then the MSRP will be between $10 and $15.


Works for me!
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David Rock

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wargamer55 wrote:

The pocket OGRE is just the basic classic showdown. The Designer's edition expands into most of the directions you asked about.


It's worth mentioning that the DE rules are available for free download if you want to see what the "other rules" are (terrain, LOS, etc).

http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/kickstarter/ogre_rulebook.pdf

Personally, I detest LOS in Ogre; it's the one thing from the original expansion that I feel really mucks up the simplicity of Ogre/G.E.V. (It was introduced with the lasers in Shockwave), but that's a personal preference. I understand why it's there (for lasers shooting cruise missiles, mostly).

Back to the point: If you want more symmetry (and a fuller Ogreverse experience); Ogre was the original, G.E.V. was the "other original" that expanded on the conventional forces but is its own standalone game, and Shockwave was the "main" expansion for both of these games that came out several years later.

If you get the classic counters (also free)

http://www.warehouse23.com/products/ogre-classic-counters-1

You will have the G.E.V., etc counters in a format similar to what's in the Pocket Ed (although the size is larger to match the DE size, you will have to scale them down). The only thing you will be missing is maps. A good way to get that is with the Ogre Reinforcement Pack.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7531/ogre-reinforcement-p...

It's OOP, but only just recently. It is still reasonably easy to find, and is basically replacement counters and maps for Ogre/G.E.V./Shockwave. That + the DE rules pdf and you will have 90% of what's in the DE box in the original pocket size.


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