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Subject: Pocket Ogre Session Report rss

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D. Patton
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I picked up OGRE/GEV, the video cassette box version, back in 2000. I never really got into the game and wound up getting rid of it. Flash forward 15 years and the local game store has pocket OGRE for sale on their pegs at less than three bucks a pop. I picked up a couple of copies (knowing that Steve Jackson Games took 14 years to reprint the game, I wanted to have back-up copies) and took it home.

I've played the game solo several times and, for this report, once with my son-in-law. So far the OGRE has been victorious every single time. My strategy as the giant cyber tank is to bear straight for the command post for the scenario win. My son-in-law took a little different approach during our game.

We set up with standard scenario with me taking the allowed infantry and 12 armor units. I've been going with half a dozen GEVs and vary the heavy tank/missile tank inventory on occasion. This time I took two missile tanks and four heavies. After a couple of moments explaining the general concept to him, we were off to the races.

True to most of my games, I was really good at rolling 1's through 4's, which are pretty much useless against the OGRE. My son-in-law decided to not only destroy my CP but to go after every unit I had. Unable to destroy enough of his tread units to slow him down even to the next level, he took turn after turn grinding infantry and ramming and shooting my armor units like they were soap bubbles.

My last standing unit was the CP and other than missiles (which he had fired at my units) the OGRE was virtually the same unit that rolled on the board at the beginning of the game. OGRE is a fun, light wargame that's considered by most players to be a classic. I agree and hope to live to one day see that giant robot tank go down
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Ron A
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Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet-Gen. Mattis
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*cough* 4 howitzer defense *cough*
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Andrew Walters
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Since it's easier to learn to play the Ogre than the defense the Ogre tends to dominate when two new players sit down and play a few games. Soon, though, the principles of defense become evident and the Ogre starts to go down. Pretty often, actually.

Remember that the Ogre must exit the board for a complete victory. If you play two games switching sides between you can decide victory by who gets the Ogre closer to escaping back off the board.

The four howitzer defense, described in The Ogre Book, is a good defense. It can be fun to play, vexes the Ogre player terribly, and stands a good chance of winning. If you're a beginner 4xHWZ is probably better than just winging it. It has a few disadvantages, however...

1 - you don't learn about maneuvering, since most of your force doesn't move.

2 - you don't get to hammer the Ogre until pretty late in the day.

3 - you have fewer units, you'll be making fewer attacks, that's fewer die rolls, less chance for the die rolls to even out. If you roll low on too many of the early attacks there will be no chance to recover. Sure, when the dice swing back to your side you'll hammer the Ogre bad, but it will be too late. Especially if he takes out a couple HWZs.

There is some good help for learning defensive play here on BGG and definitely in the aforementioned tome of wisdom. Little is as gratifying as sending out your tanks and taking an Ogre apart decisively.

Get your HVYs behind him so he has to choose between getting hurt every turn and stopping to take a couple of them out. Quickly move all the infantry in front of the Ogre so they all get to participate. Take out the main battery first, defang him, then start on the treads and don't stop. Take out the missiles only if he's about to get in range of the CP. If he uses a missile on an armor unit, rejoice. Maximize your attacks, minimize his. Don't let a HVY or MSL get so far behind that they're out of the game. And most importantly... roll 5s and 6s.
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Juan Valdez
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andreww wrote:
Get your HVYs behind him so he has to choose between getting hurt every turn and stopping to take a couple of them out. Quickly move all the infantry in front of the Ogre so they all get to participate. Take out the main battery first, defang him, then start on the treads and don't stop. Take out the missiles only if he's about to get in range of the CP. If he uses a missile on an armor unit, rejoice. Maximize your attacks, minimize his. Don't let a HVY or MSL get so far behind that they're out of the game. And most importantly... roll 5s and 6s.


Concur, the force balance is actually weighted to the defense once you figure it out.

Andrew's advice is gold.

One thing I like to do is flank the Ogre with GEV's then harry it from behind. Once the GEVs are in position, it's like getting free shots on the Ogre every turn, with total impunity.

If you can take out the main batteries, and one rank of treads to reduce Ogre movement to 2, now your infantry can keep up, and again, really pester the Ogre.

Try to bait the Ogre into firing both the missiles. This means it has to get all up close and personal with the command post, which puts it 2, 3 or more turns *further* from escaping.

Have fun!
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D. Patton
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Was really getting frustrated (comparing OGRE destruction to seeing 3D images in posters they used to sell in malls----I never could see 'em).

Got my first victory against the OGRE ever this morning (playing solo).
I got more than my share of lucky rolls for defense and the OGRE was unable to take out my missile tanks (bad rolls). Managed to destroy the main gun early-ish on and lucked into wiping out his final treads about 6 spaces away from the CP.

Had I gone with a more aggressive approach with the OGRE, engaging more instead of driving straight onward, I think it would have won.
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Juan Valdez
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privateer4hire wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions.
Was really getting frustrated (comparing OGRE destruction to seeing 3D images in posters they used to sell in malls----I never could see 'em).

Got my first victory against the OGRE ever this morning (playing solo).
I got more than my share of lucky rolls for defense and the OGRE was unable to take out my missile tanks (bad rolls). Managed to destroy the main gun early-ish on and lucked into wiping out his final treads about 6 spaces away from the CP.

Had I gone with a more aggressive approach with the OGRE, engaging more instead of driving straight onward, I think it would have won.


FWIW, asymmetry is always tough for me. I played Battle for Moscow at least 5 times where the Germans always lost, and usually badly. But I've figured out how to play the Germans, and all of a sudden the Russian side feels a lot weaker. Going through the same process with Objective Kiev.

Stick with it!
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