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Subject: How on earth do you stop an OGRE?! rss

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Eric Bridge
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OK, I just picked up this game and its expansions. I've played a few OGRE/GEV games so far, all solo, just repeating the basic scenario. If memory serves the default setup is 20 infantry and 12 armor units versus a MARK III. I used to think I was pretty good at games like this, but in only one of the 4 games or so I played did I even slow the thing to speed 2!!! Let me first admit that I've been doing some rather odd defenses. I've done 12 gev, then I did 6 howitzers, then I tried half GEV and half howtizer. Tonight I was just going to see what happens with 12 heavies, and then again with 12 missile tanks. Granted these are not "strategic" setups, but I want to get a guage as to which units do best toe to toe versus the OGRE. And on my infantry, is it better to have 20 separate guys running around, or keep them stacked in threes? Just to see what an OGRE could do I just ran straight at the command post, right into the line of fire. Even when the OGRE got swarmed, it would just be for a round or two and then he would crash through and the rest of the units tried to catch him. I tried taking the advice that I've read here before, focusing on treads only. Maybe I just rolled badly, but it seems to me that whatever fires at the treads only has a 1 in 3 shot of hitting anyway. You're going to lose 2 armored units to the missiles really fast, then the batteries will start disabling things. Unless it was right in front of me I ignored disabled units and just kept on moving ahead, knowing that they wouldn't be able to catch up. I'll know more of course after tonight when I try the heavies and missile tanks, but right now I just don't see how the non-OGRE player can win without a lot a lucky rolling. So I'm humbling admitting my bewilderment and just want to see what I'm missing. Please be gentle, as I've only been playing for a couple days. P.S. I DO LIKE THE GAME.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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1/2 GEV 1/2 Howitzer works well. Shoot n scoot. Carefully choose targets - if you attack treads, do only treads. The game is balanced, but it is far easier to understand how to play the ogre well.
 
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Jeffery Hatmaker
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Two things, shoot treads and only treads. The Ogre can't destroy your CP if it can't GET to it. Anything else is superfluous at best. Heavy tanks? Missile tanks? Forget 'em. Pile up on howitzers and G.E.V.'s, and do as Paul DeStefano suggested... shoot and scoot. If you go toe to toe with this beast, you'll be handed your head. Tread attrition is the only way to go. Move in with yer G.E.V.'s, pop a few treads and run... laterally! The wise Ogre player will travel unceasingly straight towards the CP. (If he dilly dallies with side trips to hammer your G.E.V.'s, your howitzers can pick off more treads at leisure.) Get threehowitzers. Space them VERY carefully so that you have interlocking fields of fire with at least two of them over the entire top 2/3's of the board. The closer he gets to your CP, the better chance of hammering away with all three howitzers. Place them in such a way that they're not in a direct line to your CP. I usually set the CP in the top, right hand corner of the board and have the howitzers set up in an interlocking arc way out ahead of it. If you space your Howitzers right, the smart Ogre will come straight up the right side of the board, and bee-line to your CP. If you screw up the spacing (interlocking fields of fire... it's a religion in OGRE), the sneaky sod will do an end run to minimize your effective fire. Again, if the Ogre indulges in a petty vengeance dalliance in order to destroy a howitzer, you've got a few free turns of fire to reduce the tread level. It gets even hairier with an Ogre Mk III on your side and an Ogre Mk V looking to tear you a new one. The Mk V player would do well to destroy the Mk III's weapons in order to preserve it's treads. Mk III's can ram, doing serious tread damage (to itself and the Mk V). It's a real hoot and I highly recommend you stay with it. Give me a shout (click on my icon and add me to your buddy list or just send me a private email) if you have any more questions. Maybe we could play through email some day? BGG provides a lovely program that generates maps, etc. for just that purpose, (cf, the OGRE game page under "files.") Good hunting!

powwowdancer out
 
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Robert Washington
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ebridge wrote:
OK, I just picked up this game and its expansions. I've played a few OGRE/GEV games so far, all solo, just repeating the basic scenario. If memory serves the default setup is 20 infantry and 12 armor units versus a MARK III. I used to think I was pretty good at games like this, but in only one of the 4 games or so I played did I even slow the thing to speed 2!!! Let me first admit that I've been doing some rather odd defenses. I've done 12 gev, then I did 6 howitzers, then I tried half GEV and half howtizer. Tonight I was just going to see what happens with 12 heavies, and then again with 12 missile tanks. Granted these are not "strategic" setups, but I want to get a guage as to which units do best toe to toe versus the OGRE. And on my infantry, is it better to have 20 separate guys running around, or keep them stacked in threes? Just to see what an OGRE could do I just ran straight at the command post, right into the line of fire. Even when the OGRE got swarmed, it would just be for a round or two and then he would crash through and the rest of the units tried to catch him. I tried taking the advice that I've read here before, focusing on treads only. Maybe I just rolled badly, but it seems to me that whatever fires at the treads only has a 1 in 3 shot of hitting anyway. You're going to lose 2 armored units to the missiles really fast, then the batteries will start disabling things. Unless it was right in front of me I ignored disabled units and just kept on moving ahead, knowing that they wouldn't be able to catch up. I'll know more of course after tonight when I try the heavies and missile tanks, but right now I just don't see how the non-OGRE player can win without a lot a lucky rolling. So I'm humbling admitting my bewilderment and just want to see what I'm missing. Please be gentle, as I've only been playing for a couple days. P.S. I DO LIKE THE GAME.


As someone who played the first edition, I'd say:

First get used to the idea of "acceptable losses" - you'll get nowhere coddling your troops. Almost any unit is worth losing if you can get even odds or better of taking out a priority target by letting it die.

Second, start using infantry to box in your target. An OGRE has to either expend movement points to overrun or stop moving, so a swarm can be used to block off its progress.

I preferred to use my infantry on treads and combine armor attacks to take out weapons by range; the longer the range, the higher the priority to take it out. This is intended to force the OGRE to get close, it is to be hoped demanding an overrun or AP assault to get the CP. Generally, I can wheedle it down to one or two medium-range weapons, forcing it to get close, which buys me more time, but eventually, treads and positioning become paramount.

As far as infantry organizing, it's all about how many you can squeeze into range - swarm in as amny as possible and keep anything that can't shoot this turn as a single so you can spread out and cover more ground. Remember, even a unit that gets turned into a greasy smear on an overrun attack is still depriving the OGRE of a movement point that turn.

Beyond that, keep the whole of the game in mind. Your targets are main weapons and treads; you can't possibly win just taking out one, and concentrating on one too much will leave the other too viable. Just keep your attacks balanced, and when you go for weapons, wipe out the big guns first - some people think hitting AP is good because it increases infantry usefulness, but the hit to their range capacity and overall odds make the Batteries your prime bullseye.

Hope this helps; OGRE is legendary for being one of the most solid challenges ever made, but it's not so beloved because it's impossible, just very very difficult...
 
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Steve Hastings
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I have been playing Ogre a bit recently.

For the defense, I recommend this article:

http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/articles/ogredef.html


In the basic game, I have successfully killed the Ogre. Not yet before it killed my Command Post, alas. Here is my advice, derived from that article:

* don't bother shooting at the Ogre's missiles, unless it's getting close to the command post. Usually the Ogre player will fire the missiles at your guys.

* don't bother shooting at the AP guns, but do take out the main battery. I have been ignoring the secondaries, and I have almost made it work, but I think I am going to try taking some of them out as well.

* Now start shooting at the treads. You MUST get the Ogre down to movement 2 as fast as possible. At movement 3, the Ogre will be upon your command post all too quickly; the board isn't really that big.

* With no main battery, and movement 2, the Ogre will be unable to do anything to your GEVs. Your missile tanks will also be able to stay in range to shoot the Ogre without the Ogre being able to shoot them. You will be amazed at how much of a difference it will make in the survivability of your tanks. (Infantry, sadly, will still die a lot.)

Try to concentrate all your firepower on the Ogre early. If you feed your tanks to the Ogre a few at a time, you won't get anything done and all your tanks will die. Try to swarm everything at the Ogre.

Also, don't set out any units where the Ogre can easily kill them when it enters. It will be able to kill some with missiles since the range is so long, but at least you can avoid having the Ogre use its guns on your tanks before they ever get a shot off. I made this mistake in my most recent Ogre game, and it became a one-sided rout. Ouch. (This rout was my first time trying the advanced game; a Mark V Ogre can really chew up your units if you give it the first shot...)

The bad news is that I haven't stopped the Ogre in time yet. The good news is that the game plays quickly once you learn it, and each game I feel I'm getting better at playing the defense, so I do believe that it will be possible to stop the Ogre in time.
 
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Will Douglas
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I've had three or four copies of the game over the years. It was the first wargame I ever got.

I learned the most from the old Apple ][ version of the game -- that was one wicked ogre! The day I won a decisive defender victory was a very happy day for me. Today? I can't remember a thing about that game except the rush I got from winning.

Check out the Steve Jackson Games website for good articles, or just get the Ogre Book (also by SJG).
 
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Reichart Von Zarquon
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steveha wrote:
I have been playing Ogre a bit recently.

* With no main battery, and movement 2, the Ogre will be unable to do anything to your GEVs. Your missile tanks will also be able to stay in range to shoot the Ogre without the Ogre being able to shoot them. You will be amazed at how much of a difference it will make in the survivability of your tanks. (Infantry, sadly, will still die a lot.)


I have to agree with these tactics. Typically I've found a mix of GEVs and HVYs to work best. The howitzers are a great "last line of defense" unit, but lack flexibility if the OGRE decides to Crazy Ivan around your firing range and are far too costly for their usefulness. By throwing up a few tanks flanked by GEVs, you'll find the two missles are used early and a concerted attack on the main batt will drastically improve the lives of your units (all of which can be pulled off in about the second or third friendly fire phase).
Also, don't be afraid to throw a few HVYs under the treads! If you shoot you have a 33% chance of nuking 4 treads and you might live to a second round(I'd say a 50/50 chance against a fully armed OGRE for a unit 1 hex away, falling to 16% for a unit 2 hexes away). If you kamakazi a tank, you are guaranteed to nuke 2 treads. Costly, but if well timed you can get a good pay-off. Remember, the slower the OGRE, the longer you have to nit-pick with your GEVs.
Oh, and infantry I tend to use as a constant annoyance against the treads to slow the bugger down. At a permanant 1-1, you loose little by swarming with infantry (and it really stresses the OGRE player), just try to stay out from under the tracks!
 
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Vera Sepulveda
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I'd have to concur about slowing the thing down. Those main batteries are rough, and you need to hit them too. Eat the missiles - he doesn't have all that many. Maybe even try to sucker him into wasting them on your suicide attacks. Get used to the idea of suicide. You're going to get a bloody nose regardles. Gumming up the treads with your infantry sounds like a good tactic. Wish I would have thought of that!

I like the "four howitzer defense" from The Ogre Book. Even then, with all kinda overlapping fire, it still seems to get through a lot of the time. I have killed ogres, but more often than not, my command post is a squashed beercan by then.

I just love the fatalism of this game!

 
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Inno Van
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The classic method is spelled out here:
http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/articles/ogredef.html

Or alternatively you can try the four howitzer defense
http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/articles/fourhwz.html

Before GEVs were nerfed to their current 4/3 movement, the all GEV offense toasted Ogre Mark IIIs quickly. http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/articles/another.html

Their shoot and scoot ability is still quite useful once you get them behind the Ogre. Then it's a tough choice for the Ogre player --keep ploughing towards the CP, which then puts you out of firing range of the GEVs at the end of your movement ...or reverse direction and attack the GEVs, which gives more turns in the game to the other player. Especially since a good player will divide his GEVs left and right, meaning going backwards will only let the Ogre player target half the forces attacking him.

GEVs are not built for frontal assaults. But not even Heavy Tanks are either --they have a tendency to be ran over and becoming just a tread bump.
 
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Mont A.
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Zarquon3 wrote:
Also, don't be afraid to throw a few HVYs under the treads! If you shoot you have a 33% chance of nuking 4 treads and you might live to a second round(I'd say a 50/50 chance against a fully armed OGRE for a unit 1 hex away, falling to 16% for a unit 2 hexes away). If you kamakazi a tank, you are guaranteed to nuke 2 treads.


Sorry to revive a thread three years old now, but I just got Ogre Deluxe and am learning the game for the first time....

My rules state that while an Ogre ramming a Heavy Tank will lose two treads, any armor unit (including thus, I guess, Heavy Tanks) ramming an Ogre will only destroy one of its treads. Is that right?
 
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Inno Van
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Infantry overruns = 0 tread units lost
Ogre running over GEVs, Heavy Howitzers, CPs, and anything else NOT a Heavy Tank = 1 tread unit lost
Ogre running over a Heavy Tank = 2 tread units lost
 
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Mont A.
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Innovan wrote:
Infantry overruns = 0 tread units lost
Ogre running over GEVs, Heavy Howitzers, CPs, and anything else NOT a Heavy Tank = 1 tread unit lost
Ogre running over a Heavy Tank = 2 tread units lost

Yes, but Zarquon is discussing what he calls "kamakazi" attacks.
Kamikaze doesn't imply letting an Ogre ram the Heavy. Kamikaze implies ramming the Ogre with the Heavy. And in that case, the rules say that the Ogre only loses one tread. No?
 
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Inno Van
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I believe that is true. Choosing to ram the Heavy at the Orge means only 1 tread lost, while if the Ogre chooses to overrun the Heavy Tank it's 2 treads lost.

Since you move, then shoot, it makes more sense to not ram Heavy Tanks and instead shoot the Heavys at the treads. You'll take out far more treads that way.
 
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Mont A.
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Innovan wrote:
I believe that is true. Choosing to ram the Heavy at the Orge means only 1 tread lost, while if the Ogre chooses to overrun the Heavy Tank it's 2 treads lost.

Since you move, then shoot, it makes more sense to not ram Heavy Tanks and instead shoot the Heavys at the treads. You'll take out far more treads that way.


Ah, gotcha. Thanks.
 
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C.A.
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The range of the infantry is 1. If infantry is firing at an Ogre, there's no way they can avoid being trampled since they need to be next to the target, with no cost to the Ogre.
 
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