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Subject: My take on the Ogrethulhu [Long and detailed] rss

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Darin Sunley
United States
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I just ordered an Ogrethulhu miniature from W23, and did some serious thinking on how it should work as a combat unit. I'd read some formulations of rules for it before, years ago, but I disagreed with their premises. Many rulesets I've read had the eye acting as a laser tower, and the claws acting as unmodified main batteries, and that just didn't sit right with me.

So without further ado, I present my own personal take on the Ogrethulhu. This is just a first draft, and guaranteed playtest-free. Please let me know what you all think. I hereby give SJG permission to rip off anything they like out of this for an Ogre Designer's Edition Ogrethulhu supplement.

Edit: Updated to clarify the mechanism of sanity attacks. Also changed references to "platoons" to "squads", per the usage in the 6e rules documentation. Also, it turns out the claws on the miniature do have visible gun ports, so added optional rule treating those as secondary batteries. Or you can decide the firing mechanisms were destroyed in the metamorphosis, whichever has better flavor for you.


Ogrethulhu Rules:

Strategic Overview:
The Ogrethulhu is not a creature of long range beam weapon or missile attack. The Ogrethulhu, after the pattern of the ancient being possessing it, attacks by striking fear and insanity into the hearts of its victims, and then crushing and devouring them using short ranged physical attacks. In any given attacking force, approximately one third of the battle-hardened soldiers will be reduced to gibbering madness by its unrelenting gaze. Another third will be temporarily incapacitated before finding the strength to face it. The survivors of this paralyzing fear, and the remaining third who have the ability to face this horror without flinching, will be best able to stop it by pouring long range fire into it. But first, they must survive contact. And in the meantime, their fallen comrades are being transformed into shambling terrors and turned back against them…

Movement (and how to stop it):
The Ogrethulhu's movement is functionally equivalent to that of the Ogre Mk.V it is possessing. It starts at 3 movement points, has 60 leg [tread] units, and loses one movement point for every 20 leg units destroyed. Leg units can be attacked by other units in the same manner as tread units on an Ogre: each unit always attacks individually, at 1:1 odds. "X" results destroy leg units equal to the attack factors used in the attack. "D" results are ignored. When the Ogrethulhu is reduced to zero leg units, it can no longer move, but is still a direct threat to any units in its hex, and the sanity of any units that gaze upon it - see "The Eye" below.

The Ogrethulhu can ram armor units during its movement phase, exactly as an Ogre Mk.V. It takes 2 leg units of damage when it crushes a HVY, and 1 leg unit of damage when it crushes any other armor unit.

The Ogrethulhu rams Ogres as an Ogre Mk.V, and is rammed (by Ogres or other Ogrethulhus) as an Ogre Mk.V.

Unlike normal Ogre weapons, both the Sanity Attacks and the Tentacles are used during the Ogrethulhu's movement phase, in addition to during its firing phase. The sanity attacks occur against each unit in any hex the Ogrethulhu passes through, and any unit in any hex the Ogrethulhu passes adjacent to. The tentacles can be used during the Ogrethulhu's movement phase to make consumption attacks against any infantry squad in the Ogrethulhu's current hex. Note also that the Ogrethulhu does not have conventional antipersonnel weapons [they were destroyed in the metamorphosis], and does not automatically reduce infantry by entering their hex.

The Eye (and how to close it):
To stare into the Eye of the Ogrethulhu is to stare into the abyss of madness and to fall in, possibly never to return. During and after its movement, the Ogrethulhu makes a "sanity attack" against each unit in its hex, or any hex it passes next to. Each unit can only suffer one sanity attack, after which it will be destroyed, or immune to further sanity attacks - see below. A sanity attack [when the Eye has not yet been destroyed] is a 1:1 attack.

A "D" result means that the personnel of the unit have suffered significant damage to their mental state: the unit cannot move or fire for one full turn, after which it will recover. During this turn of paralysis the unit can defend itself using its normal defense value. [Note that this is exactly the same effect a vehicle suffers when it is disabled, but that infantry units suffer this as well, instead of losing a squad.] Units that are paralyzed by a sanity attack can be attacked conventionally, but are immune to subsequent sanity attacks. [The mental damage has been done!] A unit in this state is considered disabled for the purposes of ramming by Ogres, Ogrethulhus, and other units.

An "X" result means that the crew of the unit have been permanently driven mad, and have possibly even killed themselves in their madness. The unit is effectively killed, but should be left on the map, because units "killed" by sanity attacks can be later consumed by the Ogrethulhu. Each vehicle "killed" by a sanity attack contains the equivalent of one squad of infantry that can be consumed by the Ogrethulhu's tentacles and redeployed via the Pods as possessed infantry. See "Tentacles and Posession" below.

Every unit that fires on the Ogrethulhu, regardless of range, also takes a sanity attack, unless they are already immune. [Any unit firing on the Ogrethulhu, even from several miles away, must first get a clear look at it though their targeting system. This is obviously not good for the crew's sanity.] The result of this sanity attack takes effect at the same time as the unit's conventional attack - the sanity attack, even if successful, does not prevent the unit's attack from proceeding normally.

Any unit that gets an NE or D result from a sanity attack acquires a immunity to the Ogrethluhu's mindbending horror. They are the proud few who can stare into the heart of cosmic horror and not blink. They are immune to sanity attacks for the rest of the battle.

The Eye can be attacked, as an individual component of the Ogrethulhu. It has a defense of 3. If the Eye is destroyed, the Ogrethulhu still makes sanity attacks against non-immune units it passes during its movement, it finishes its movement adjacent to or in the same hex with, or that fire on it, but at 1:2 odds instead of 1:1 odds. [The Ogrethulhu is still madness-inducing, even without the Eye]. Units that have acquired immunity to sanity attacks (by surviving or recovering from one) are immune to these sanity attacks as well.

Sanity attacks have no effect on non-sentient Ogres, other Ogrethulhus [perish the thought of two of them!], or the possessed infantry of other Ogrethulhus. Sentient Ogres [whether an Ogre is sentient or not will be determined by the scenario, or by agreement of all players] that suffer a "D" in a sanity attack cannot move or fire any weapons for one whole turn. Sentient Ogres that suffer an "X" result cannot move or fire for 2D6 turns. [Ogres are, generally speaking, less prone to catatonia and madness than humans, even in the face of extreme horror.] A sentient Ogre, like any other conventional unit, can only be attacked with a sanity attack once. If it receives an "NE" result, it acquires the same immunity to sanity attacks that conventional units acquire. If it receives a "D" or "X" result, further sanity attacks will have no additional effect and it will be immune to further sanity attacks once it recovers.

Tentacles and Possession (and how to survive them):
The Ogrethulhu has 6 tentacles. Each can be attacked as a separate component, with a defense value of 2. Each tentacle allows the Ogrethulhu to attempt to consume one squad of infantry in its current hex during or after its movement. An infantry platoon is consumed on an "X" result on a 1:1 attack. "D" results are ignored. Each tentacle can make one consumption attempt per turn - if a tentacle is used to attempt to consume an infantry squad during movement, it cannot be used to attempt a consumption after the Ogrethluhu's movement is complete. The Ogrethulhu can also consume infantry squads and the crews of armor units that are currently paralyzed [received a "D" result] and have not yet recovered, or were "killed" [received an "X" result] by a sanity attack. No dice roll is necessary in this case, but consuming a vehicle crew or infantry squad counts as a normal consumption attempt - the Ogrethulhu must have at least one tentacle that has not yet been used that turn. A "killed" vehicle crew is equivalent to one infantry squad.

Keep track of how many infantry squads the Ogrethulhu has consumed. Each consumed infantry squad enters the pool of infantry that can be deployed by the Ogrethulhu, through its Pods, as possessed infantry. See "Pods" below.

Possessed infantry belonging to other Ogrethulhus can be consumed and redeployed, just like any other infantry.

Pods (and how to destroy them):
The Ogrethulhu has 6 pods. Each can be attacked as a separate component, with a defense of 2. Each pod allows the Ogrethulhu to deploy one squad of possessed infantry per turn during its firing phase, from the pool of infantry squads already consumed. Unless otherwise noted in the scenario, the Ogrethulhu does not start the game with any deployable possessed infantry in this pool. Possessed infantry squads deploy in a hex adjacent to the Ogrethulhu's hex, and can be deployed in groups of up to three squads, like conventional infantry. Possessed infantry have the same statistics as normal infantry. Heavy Weapons infantry squads, marine infantry squads, and engineer squads lose their special abilities when they are redeployed as possessed infantry. All possessed infantry act as conventional infantry.

The Claws:
The Ogrethulhu has 2 claws. In addition to ramming, the Ogrethulhu can attack units in its hex with one or both of its claws during its firing phase. Each claw has an attack value of 4, an attack range of 0, and a defense value of 3, and can be attacked as an individual component.

Claw Secondary Battery Variant:
Players may optionally, by complete agreement, consider one or both of the Ogrethulhu's claws to each contain one normal Ogre Secondary Battery. If a claw contains a secondary battery, it cannot make both a secondary battery attack and a claw attack with the same claw during the same turn. It can, however, make a secondary battery attack with one claw and a range-0 claw attack with the other claw. The secondary batteries, if present, are integral to the corresponding claw and cannot be targeted separately from the claw. Destruction of a claw destroys any secondary battery in that claw.

Destroying the Ogrethulhu:
The Ogrethulhu is destroyed when it has lost all leg units, the eye, all tentacles, claws, and pods. When this happens the Ogrethulhu abandons the shot-up hull of the Ogre Mk.V it has possessed, leaving only a hulked, destroyed Ogre Mk.V on the battlefield, and nightmarish memories seared into the consciousness of the horror-struck survivors.

Record Sheet:

Eye: A1:1 R1 D3 O
Claws: A4 R0 D3 OO
[Optional Secondary Batteries in Claws: A3 R2]
Tentacles: A1:1 R0 D2 OOO OOO
Pods: A- R1 D2 OOO OOO
Legs [Starts at M3]:
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Darin Sunley
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This first pass at these rules, and subsequent discussions, can be found in this thread at the sjgames forums:
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