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Subject: Ogre vs. Empire Strikes Back rss

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Darin Sunley
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I can't possibly be the only Ogre fan ever to have noticed that the Battle of Hoth, in Empire Strikes Back, is basically an Ogre boardgame "Smash the CP" scenario with only the thinnest coat of paint slapped over it. Besides the obvious attack on a command post, the points of comparison are obvious: the nearly invincible inexorably advancing attacking armor, the entrenched infantry and static defenses, and the zippy little hovercraft that can almost hold their own if they're piloted competently.

The resemblence was made even more obvious to me when I saw the map sheet for the Metagaming 1e [and the forthcoming Pocket Ogre edition], with stark white clear terrain and black crater hexes. Even the terrain color scheme looks like snow and ice and matches what ended up on screen! [The Denis Loubet orange map broke that resemblance though.]

And we know that Ogre predates ESB by a few years. [1977 vs. 1980]

And yet, I can't find any writing on the internet or any posts in the SJG forum archives discussing this.

Is there a history here? Was Lucas, Kershner, or one of the ESB screenwriters a big Ogre fan? Was there ever any consideration, by Metagaming or SJG, of seeking compensation? Has anyone ever acknowledged the similarity in public? Or is this "something we don't discuss with outsiders, and never mind why Steve's house is three times bigger than what you'd expect the head of a small publishing company to own."?
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Andrew Walters
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I'm tempted to quibble that AT-ATs are easier to stop than Ogres, or some such, but the more I think about it the more I think you may be right. It's not enough to sue over, but there are significant commonalities. The rebels only had GEVs and HWZs, though, no wonder they got over run. You need those HVYs.

Of course this suggests an Ogre scenario: three standard maps side by side, with three Mark IIIs or six Mark IIs roaring in. Could be fun. I have three standard maps with 1.5" hexes, and I have three Mark IIIs...
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Martin Gallo
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Maybe similar in idea but the execution is vastly different. No infantry on the "Ogre" side in Ogre. Also, no escaping trains...
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myles
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I don't remember if SJG ever credited the idea, but OGRE is basically based off the "Bolo" SCI-FI book series, which predates both properties.
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Russ Williams
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Great_Mazinga wrote:
I don't remember if SJG ever credited the idea, but OGRE is basically based off the "Bolo" SCI-FI book series, which predates both properties.

SJ credited several idea sources, including Keith Laumer's Bolo stories.
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Steven Parsonage
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Star Wars used "12 0'clock" high bomber dogfights for the tie fighters vs. Falcon, and "The Battle of Britain" (1969) for the x-wing vs tie fighters and "The Dam Busters" (1955) for the trench run (heck, even some of the dialogue is the same...).

I'm curious if anyone ever speculated on a movie that the Hoth Battle was lifted from?
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