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Subject: What is your Ogre Story? rss

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Since the Ogre kickstarter is about to be over, I figured this would be a good time to ask yalls Ogre stories? Was your first game on a camping trip? Or maybe you use to walk five miles to a friends house to play after school each day?

My story:
In 2007 I saw a comic for Ogre in an old magazine, which is on here as Image: 104202, and it jogged some hazy memories of playing a boardgame with some guys at a scout camp in the late 80s. Then when randomly googling something I ended up on the site Goingfaster.com, and I read this story:
www.goingfaster.com/ogre/background.html
After that I remembered exactly what game it was and that even though I could not remember any of the specifics, this guys enthusiasm made me want to get another copy. I could not find a copy on sale but printed off a badly scaled version of the map (two badly spaced 8.5x11s in black and white) and hand cut out some counters on 110lb cardstock that I printed on a crappy inkjet printer. And after an hour of fooling around with the pieces to figure out the rules, I conned one of my cousins into playing it with me. The game took well over an hour. My cousin would not move the Ogre without first planning out several steps and variations of those steps. My understanding (and hazy memories) was that the Ogres turn should be less than two minutes, even in a beginners game, but at roughly five minutes a turn, well lets just stay the game lasted a long time. Because of this bad experience, I put the game in a box and forgot about it.

Fall of 2008 I was asked to run some boardgames at an anime convention in Atlanta called AWA. Since I had nothing else that weekend I showed up Friday midday with Battlelore, GASLIGHT, and a couple other filler games. Well when I was setting up GASLIGHT, I discovered in the box that copy of Ogre I printed out. I took it out of the box and put it on the table off to the side. After three hours of different games of GASLIGHT someone asked me what the game was in the plastic bag. I told him it was an old game about a big tank trying to destroy the other teams base and told him he could have it if he wanted it. He asked if I could teach him since it didn’t have the rules and so we began. I gave him a quick rundown of the rules that I remembered and said go for it. He opted to play the defense and I plodded my Mark III forward with haste. I don’t remember the details of the game (other than him beating me and deciding instead of taking my copy he would buy his own) but I do remember about five minutes into the game thinking that my cousin is an idiot. Ogre is a fast and fun game, not one that should last over an hour with tedious estimation on each turn. It is like speed chess. You should think ten moves a head in a dozen variables, but you should play from your gut (GEV on the other hand is a much more involved game that five minute turns makes sense in). Later that month, well I started purchasing minis…and the rest is history.

I now own a badly worn copy of the Microgame clamshell version, the big Ogre map, a full Combine force of minis, and Marks III, V, and Thulu of Ogres. Before the Designers Edition was announced, I was in talks with a friend of mine with a pc controlled hobby laser to engrave tiles for me but now she is just going to make me some peg based Ogre stat sheets.

So what are yalls stories?
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Tom
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What I remember were all the clam shell games I used to own, now that I remember, besides Steve Jackson games, there were a ton of TSR claim shells as well. What a weird way to release games. While I liked the orignal game, the new box sure beats the clam shell. I am even more excited about the prospect of Car Wars being re-released...how awesome!

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Tim Collins
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Ordered my first Ogre game after seeing an ad in Analog waaaaay back in 1977, cost a whole $2.95. Taught it to the youth leader at my church, he liked it so much he got his own copy and we taught some of the other kids. Bought a second copy and used hi-lite pens to make additional forces. One Friday night we wound up playing 4 or 5 ogres vs. two CPs, crowed map.
I've tried to teach my grandson but so far he doesn't have any interest in pushing little cardboard squares around, I think this version might change his mind.
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Brian Rayburn
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In 1986, I went to my first game convention. I was already heavily into rpg's at the time, but the con introduced me to several types of games new to me. I found out about LARPS, miniature wargames, card games, and... board games. There was this one that a couple of guys were playing, and fairly loudly at that. It was a little dinky black and white board, which I soon found out is called a 'hex mat', with a bunch of little square cardboard counters on it. Since I had a few minutes, I stopped and asked about it. Three hours later I left the table to go find a copy of my own. I found a dealer with a stack of Metagaming stuff. I walked away with Car Wars, Illuminati, and... Ogre.

Out of the three, Ogre got the most play. It could be set up quickly, and had enough bits in it so we could make our own scenarios. My friends and I quickly made up homebrew rules for new units, and new maps followed as soon as we found a store with blank hex paper. I remember so many afternoons of smashing CP after CP, then trying the other side. I can't count the number of games I played with my original little bagged version, or the deluxe edition from the late 80's. Even today, I won't turn down a game. Unless my kids are running around

-Brian
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Jason Clubb
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Back in the 80s when I was a kid, several of my friends were into Car Wars. I had Car Wars Deluxe, Dueltrack and many expansions(I still wish I had them!!!), and I had read about Ogre from the catalogs.

I ended up getting Pocket Box GEV first, because my mom did not mind buying it due to the price not being all that high compared to the Car Wars stuff. I played it a few times, loved it, then had no one to play with. I ended up with a copy of Pocket Box Ogre because another friend did not like it, and I bought Shockwave to add to it.

After it sat for a few years, I ended up playing it with a High School friend. It now sits in my old closet at my parent's place, and I am currently working on getting it shipped back to me.

I am looking forward to having it again. :cool:
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Nevin Ball
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Way back in in 1978, when I was in junior high, I bought Avalon Hill's Battle of the Bulge game and was immediately hooked on gaming. Not long after, I found a game store at a local mall in San Jose, CA called The Game Chest. They had Ogre for sale along with others in Metagaming's line of microgames such as Chitin: I and WarpWar. That started my gaming addiction and of the 16 microgames I owned, I still have Ogre and GEV.
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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It was at a games club many many moons ago. I was at another table playing something and saw what I later found out was Ogre being set up. One black counter versus a sea of white counter. I kept glancing over to see the lone black counter inexorably chew its way through the white counters and start its way back again. Quite a different counter balance to the SPI and AH games I had played previously. I think I played my first game later that day and bought my own copy soon after.
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Andrew Walters
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Ogre got me into gaming. Twice.

As all fifth graders in the 1970s I was interested in WW2. While perusing the local bookstore I found and bought Luftwaffe. While I have more appreciation for that game now, it did not get me into gaming.

I saw an ad for Ogre in the back pages of Science News, a weekly newsletter. I ordered it. I can no longer tell you why. I loved it, we played it a ton, we ordered all the other microgames, we played them a ton.

The Space Gamer clued me into other games and other companies, and that was it. That's where I spent all my money.

Then I went to college, got busy, and quit gaming. Got a job, got married, had kids, bought a house. Somewhere in there the world wide web came into being. One day I was poking around for something interesting (there wasn't a lot on the web in 1997) and discovered someone's Ogre page, and it all started over again. Within months I was running conventions at gaming conventions, and now gaming is a huge part of my life again, to the betterment not only of myself but my wife, children and friends. My son was playing (sort of) Ogre at five and drawing pictures of the vehicles. Now as a teenager he's into roleplaying and has drawn a dozen or more of his friends into that world. Everyone is having bags of fun.

Thanks to Ogre. It wasn't my first game, but it was the game that made the difference, twice. So far.
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Schema Man
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I found my Dad's copy of Tactics II when I was a kid in the 70s. Tanks, infantry, paratroopers - awesome. I read the rules and thought it sounded cool, but didn't get to play it for a long time. However, it did twig me to games and game stores so I started checking out one that opened a few years later near my house. (Side note: the game store always smelled great. Something about all that new cardboard and paper packed into a fairly small place - you know what I am talking about).

Anyhow, I didn't have much money with me when I went the first time, so I couldn't get any of the big AH or SPI games, but I did spot some little games in bags near the cash register. I started checking them out and Ogre just jumped right out at me. Tanks, infantry - awesome. No paratroopers but that didn't matter because it had sci-fi tanks and hovercraft. Plus the box had cool looking sci-fi letters. I brought it home, my friends and I figured out how to play it and we had a blast. I was totally hooked and then bought GEV when it came out because, frankly, the GEVs were/still are my favorite units of all. I loved that game. A short while later I found Melee and Wizard (i.e., the Fantasy Trip) because of Ogre and always thought that set was way better than D&D. Then, I got $50 from my Grandma one birthday and blew the whole thing on Metagames because I thought they were the best thing ever. Eventually, my friends and I also started playing a bunch of SPI games (War in the Ice was my favorite from them and I still have a copy of that) and also waiting on the edge of our seats for the next issue of S&T to arrive.

So, I think Tactics II was the game that made me aware of wargames at first, but Ogre/GEV is what grabbed me by the collar and threw me into the whole gaming scene. I am so happy I grew up with wargames, because I am convinced playing them made me more aware of, and actually helped develop, skills around planning, thinking strategically and focusing on objectives. I even learned a little bit about ratios. I don't think wargames did much to help me meet girls, but that's why I got into music a few years later and started playing heavy metal around town in rock bands. That's a whole 'nother story. devil
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John Haire
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johnnyspys wrote:
What a weird way to release games.

You think that's weird, on the That's the Way We Roll podcast Steve Jackson said that the microgame format was the size it was to make it roughly the same size as a paperback book. Apparently the concept was to sell the games to bookstores and the size assured that the stores would be able to fit the games alongside paperback books.
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Ricatoni
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Back in the early 1980's I picked up an Ogre Game in a small plastic box. I had a couple of Metagames and was sold on the portability. When I opened it and read the rules I was pretty much sold. This was a straightforward game, elegant in its simplicity, but full of options. I found myself playing this over and over again...usually solitaire with random die rolls for the direction of the Ogre.

The Gamer's Magazine provided really engaging and innovative variants that I ate up and this kept me marveling at the flexibility of the game. It was and still is the one game I would take with me on a deserted island.

I had several friends that balked at the size and complexity of the wargames I had such as Squad Leader and Panzerblitz...but I could explain Ogre and later GEV to them in 5 minutes or less and have them neck deep in hostilities in 15. It was a segue game for newbies...even if they did not get into more involved wargames.

That is why I loved the whole Metagaming line. Whether it was Hell Tank, Warp War, Lords of Underearth, or when Steve Jackson branched off and did Car Wars, and Illuminati...the games were all highly playable, fun, engaging, and compact. Sure many of the Ogre and GEV counters were cheap, but the game was worth the $5, $6, or $7 one would pay.

Because of this I have given away half a dozen of the small plastic boxed Ogre games to players who ventured onto the irradiated battlefields with me.
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Bob Ramstad
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CaptainCosmic wrote:
First game I bought with my own money. Fall of 1979.


My story is fairly similar.

I had started playing basic Dungeons and Dragons with some friends, but none of us had much money. Typically we'd get games for Christmas, or possibly birthdays, but that was about it.

I liked to visit a gaming store Merlyn's in Spokane (I lived about 30 minutes away) whenever I got the chance, but being too young to drive, I rarely got the opportunity to visit the store.

When my cousin Josh was visiting from Canada, I managed to wangle a trip into town to show Josh Merlyn's. My mom wasn't entirely aware that we were both bringing our savings and hoping to find something cool.

It's hard for me to say with certainty that Ogre was the first game I bought with my own money -- I might have purchased a more traditional board game or three first -- but it was my first real game, period, end of story... a game that had strategy and tactics and could be replayed over and over.

My recollection is that I bought Ogre, and my cousin bought GEV, and we spent the rest of his vacation playing Ogre over and over again, then trying to mix some of GEV in, deciding the extra work wasn't making the game more fun, and going back to just plain ol' Ogre.

I have my copy somewhere in the garage, haven't seen it in years, but I'm sure it's there. Probably with my collection of back issues of Dragon magazine... The find of Ogre was strong enough that Merlyn's became a regular place for me to look around and see what was up in the gaming world, eventually when AD&D was released I got into that quite a bit, and gaming would remain a pretty constant influence on me until I left for college... too much work, not enough time, and the rise of computer games got me away from gaming for many years.

It's kind of cool, like some other people here, I've been enjoying board games again for a few years now, I have time for it these days, and opponents in house (kids!) which makes it extra fun.

As you might imagine, I was absolutely THRILLED when the Ogre 6E chatter first started up, what was that, maybe 18 months ago, as I was certain that my kids, growing up with video games, wouldn't be interested in playing traditional Ogre with me, just not enough pizazz.

The new edition looks super super cool, and I'm really looking forward to playing it with my kids!

(My biggest problem? The pledge and reward levels are confusing... I really want everything related to the actual game, couldn't care less about shirts or pins or whatnot, but the Pocket Ogre is only at $150 level or higher... and I don't see $50 in extras I want... and I don't really want the random swag at the $150 level... but I don't want to end up paying $25 or whatever for Pocket Ogre later if I can get some cool stuff now AND Pocket Ogre. Decisions, decisions. Nice problem to have though!)
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Russ Williams
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I bought the original edition (1977, $2.95, MicroGame #1 from Metagaming) and played it a lot, including frequently with a friend at lunch in high school.

As a budding boardgame geek, I'd bought a few SPI wargames and original white box D&D as well. The MicroGame series was attractive for its small portable (and inexpensive!) format and the easy to explain rules and short playing time, and I ended up buying most of the MicroGames which followed as well. Ogre was one of my favorites in the series.
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David Rock

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Christmas, 1979. I got two presents from my uncle; GEV 1st Ed and the Red Box D&D. I remember pouring over both of them for hours, but GEV was the one that really hit home. I used to play it with friends during recess (almost certainly how some of the pieces got lost, blowing in the wind), because it was that easy to throw a quick game together. My uncle also let me borrow his copy of Awful Green Things around the same time.

I remember wondering for years what the heck an Ogre was. It wasn't until the 1986 Computer Version that I finally got to find out, but that didn't stop me from trying to "wing it" with the Mk IV in GEV. IIRC, I actually didn't do too badly with figuring out how to use Ogres.

Somewhere along the line, there was a horrible accident with caramel and my GEV pieces, but that didn't stop me. I ended up using a 9-pin dot matrix printer and the AppleII Print Shop to make my own counters to replace the molten GEVs, Mk III and Mk V Ogres, and an Overrun counter to mark the hex where the Overrun was happening.

Yeah, I pretty much blame my uncle for everything. :-)
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Jefferson Krogh
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It all started with D&D, in a group that also introduced me to Starfleet Battles when it was still a microgame. This was 1980 into 1981. My parents subscribed to Analog magazine, which for quite a while had a Metagaming ad in every issue. That's where I first saw Ogre and all the other microgames. They all looked incredibly neat, and at $2.95 they were actually within the imaginary budget of a 13-year-old.

So naturally, I ordered Black Hole first. (What, don't judge me. Black hole in a donut-shaped asteroid!!! Coolest. Thing. EVER!) My brother and I sussed out the wacky rules and played a couple of times. It was neat. I was hooked.

I would have bought it at a game store, but I didn't really go to real game stores much because they were all 20 miles away. At some point afterwards I decided to order Ogre and GEV directly from Metagaming. I had my mom write them a check and off it went!

A couple of weeks later, I got the check back with a form letter stating something about a Steve Jackson and not being able to sell the games anymore. I was very confused, and I stopped ordering things from Metagaming.

Time passed, and when SJG put out their pocked box editions, I bought them from a real game store. My brother and I played a bit in high school, but he didn't like it as much as I did. They mostly got put aside for about 15 years.

Then this dude named Andrew Walters popped up at a local convention, running an Ogre tournament (!) using oversized handmade 3-D foldup paper models (!). A bunch of people played, and I don't remember how well I did.

This was only a couple of years before Ogre Miniatures really took off with the Deluxe Ogre/Deluxe GEV set. I started buying and painting the minis. Since then, I've played once or twice a year in big convention games, with odd games at home with my wife or with Andrew.
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Raf B
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My first Microgame was Melee and, liking the format and affordability, I soon grabbed a copy of Ogre, not quite knowing what I was in for. It was around 1980 and it was a good game for 9th grade recess. Sometimes my buddy and I forgot to bring dice, so we marked the sides of a pencil with one to six dots and rolled that instead. One day when we did have dice, we were playing during a free period in a tucked away part of the main building when a school security guard found us and thought we were gambling. He made us pack it up and move on, but at least he didn't confiscate our precious Ogre game.
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Karl Gallagher
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I picked up a copy of Ogre in 1979 (I think. Long time now). I still have the counters but the rest is gone, either lost in a move or disintegrated from too much use. When GEV came out I truly fell in love with the game and have been playing ever since. Mixed with some writing about it. I tried getting into the minis but I've just wound up with a pile of unpainted metal. Now I'm getting the paper maps out again.
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Talorien
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selenite wrote:
Mixed with some writing about it.


Karl is being far too modest here.

He is the author of this famous OGRE article:

Poor Bloody Infantry

It has, amongst other things, rules for Ogre critical hits, missile reloads and entrenchments.

It also has four very good scenarios, including one of my favourites, "Convoy". This is the scenario which made me buy a lot of OGRE minis Trucks, Hovertrucks and GEV-PCs. Curse you Karl, curse you!
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Talorien
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My OGRE story

My best friend Chris: We should do something like sponsor a 3K sheet for Designer's edition

Me: You're nuts. We don't have the dosh. We have to feed your kids and stuff.

Him: We could see if folks want to sponsor names for units on the sheet?

Me: Hmm, it could work. But you're still nuts.

Him: OK I just reserved a 3K sheet in Kickstarter.

Me: Have I mentioned that you're nuts?

(Fast Forward ~20 Days)

Yes, the one on the right is the Mercs


Not one but two full Merc counter sheets in every box of OGRE, two surveys, Merc shot glass, green faction dice (but alas, no Merc logo), associated green Ogres and CP.

Man, it's been a wild ride.

A huge 'thank you' to our wonderfully generous sponsors who made all this possible.

They pay and get a name; everyone else gets counters for free.
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Josh Megerman
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Talorien wrote:
A huge 'thank you' to our wonderfully generous sponsors who made all this possible.


And a thank you for facilitating the project, and SJG for working with you to make it happen. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I have no regrets about supporting you guys and look forward to reducing hexes to craters with my personal unit
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David Valenze
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Must ... engage ... internal ... filter...

Wooh, that was close.
 
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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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My Ogre story.

I'm a regular at the FLGS (Manchester's Fanboy 3, it's in walking distance of my house!), and an uber-gamer - I play all manner of games.

A few years ago, an elderly woman came into the shop. She was recently widowed and her late husband loved his games. She asked Dave, the owner of the shop to procure good homes for them. Dave then proceeded to give various regulars a grab at the various games. He asked only that we play the games we claimed.

Amongst my claiming where pocket box (third edition) sets of Ogre and GEV. I later found they also included the map and tokens from Shockwave and the tokens from Battlefields.

Ogre was loads and loads of fun. I've still not gotten around to GEV yet...
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