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Subject: Game Report: War Room App and Ogre Mk1's rss

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Darin Sunley
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Draper
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I played a short game of Ogre over my lunch hour yesterday. I had two main goals. The first was to try out the War Room app in a proper game. The second was to play around with an idea that's been bouncing around in my head: a "Wolf Pack" of four Ogre Mk 1's as an opponent. I've been intrigued by the Mk. 1 since I saw that AMAZING picture in the 6e Scenarios pdf. I would very much like to have that picture as a high-res desktop image.

But I digress.

I played the standard scenario of an Ogre Mk3 attack on a CP, only with 4 Mk1s attacking instead. Both are worth 100 points, so it should be a reasonable trade, right? My initial plan was to have a platoon of 6 GEVs take the turrets off the Mk1s, then a platoon of Heavy tanks and infantry could demobilize them in relative safety, working with a howitzer.

Did not work at all. The GEVs, and indeed the entire defense rolled horribly, the infantry ended up totally out of place, and the attackers basically rolled right around them. And even if that hadn't happened, I underestimated the sheer zombie brickitude of an Ogre, even a "mere" Mk1. They may look like "mere" superheavy tanks, but even decapitated they can still grind their way through large multiples of their weight in GEVs and heavy tanks. And unlike normal armor, they simply cannot be killed outright by any weapon on the board. They have to be ground laboriously to a halt, tread point by hard-won tread point. The instant you allow yourself to forget this, you lose. The CP and all of the armor were destroyed, and all they had to show for it were 7-8 damaged tread units and one destroyed Ogre MB turret.

I think, looking back on it, that 4 Mk1s may be a significantly more difficult opponent to beat than a Mk3. A Mk3 loses a movement point every 15 tread points. A single Mk1 loses a movement point every 6, but that means that slowing the whole platoon down by one movement point takes 24 points! And it only takes one decapitated Mk1 with one movement point remaining to roll through the CP and ruin the defender's whole month. And if the platoon of Mk1s stay together and support each other, their collective 4 main batteries can be devastatingly effective.

If and when I try it again, demobilization of the Ogres becomes the first and only priority of the defending force. I don't think they have time to waste shots trying to decapitate these things. There are too many tread points to get, and too little map to do it in.

I continue to be intrigued by the idea of a "Wolf Pack" of smaller Ogres as an opposing force in scenarios set in the Factory States era. I could totally see the smaller sentient rogue Ogres forming packs for defense against their human prey (and their larger fellow rogues!). I'm glad the counter sheet shown in the latest Kickstarter update confirms that there will be at least 4 Mk1 counters in the big game.

Another "Wolf Pack" scenario I think I'll try soon will be 4 Mk1's trying to kill a single Mk3. Like a pack of raptors trying to take down a brontosaurus. I don't quite know how that will go. I'm pretty sure the Mk3 can decapitate the Mk1s before it runs out of weapons, but I'm not quite sure who wins the "grind each other to BPC sawdust" ramming match that follows. It'd be a fascinating fight to watch, from a long, long ways away!

I was serious wanting a high res copy of the Ogre Mk1 picture from the Scenario book. It's my favorite new piece of Ogre art, by far, and probably second overall, beaten only by the old Winchell Chung ink drawing showing the light and heavy PanEuropean tanks parked just in front of a Mark 3 or 5. That painting is an awesome piece of work. It gives a weight and reality to the Ogre that is very cool to see.
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Richard Smith
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Thanks for the report! I'm going to have to try out that scenario some time. Altho if the defence didn't start by rolling poorly, it may have been a different battle. Ogre is a game where early luck can compound.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Darin Sunley
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Ogre » Forums » Sessions
Re: Game Report: War Room App and Ogre Mk1's
Thanks.

BTW, the War Room app fared very well. It's a little, silly thing, but the explosion sound effects the Combat Calculator makes on NE (whistling near miss, followed by distant thud), D (Boom), and X (earth-shattering Ka-Boom!) contributed to the feel a lot more than I thought they would, i.e. it felt /awesome/ Ergonomically, the app worked very well.

Because my only Ogre set is the 2000 VHS-box Ogre/GEV, my counter choices were somewhat limited. I represented the Mk1s with 4 PanEuro (black text on white) HVY counters. I found myself wishing the counters were numbered (like the counters in the SFB pocket edition I bought from e23 the other week), so that it would be a little less memory work to remember which Ogre was which counter, once they started having different capabilities due to damage.

That in mind, it's much more obvious to me now why you can set a color for each Ogre. That will be very nice when playing with the 6e set where the 3d Ogres come in several different colors each, though it won't help as much in situations like this with multiple smaller Ogres and/or SHVYs, which as far as I can tell will all be the same color and unnumbered even in the 6e set (a necessary evil, because the only way we get 4 Mk1 counters is to have 1 each on 4 identical countersheets. I don't begrudge that.). That isn't the app's fault, obviously, though I've made a feature request to SJG on their forums for a little feature (being able to edit the Ogre's name mid-game, or having an editable Notes screen for each Ogre) that would have made this situation a little easier to handle.

Conclusion: the app is very helpful, and brings a lot to the table even in its current beta stage. If you can run relatively recent iOS apps, go get it.
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Jefferson Krogh
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I haven't played with the War Room app yet, but I did want to make a general point about, well, points and scenarios. Points don't work very well in balancing scenarios, especially very specific scenarios like "Smash the CP." Everything about that scenario, including the map it takes place on, is balanced around the idea that the defense has a single foe. Can the defense concentrate its fire effectively and quickly to slow down that single opponent? When you replace the single opponent with four smaller opponents, that falls apart completely. Mobility is worth far more in "Smash the CP" than in some other scenarios. So the published point values for Ogres just don't work for balance here.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the standard defense would be better balanced against three Mark Is, and even then they might need a little boost to cover the broader front. It would be great fun to try it a few times until it felt just right, though!!
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Karl Gallagher
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I think I want to try this with two Mk1s and a Rattlesnake (Mk1 with a missile rack in place of the main battery). The Rattlesnake would be deadly if the Mk1s can keep a path cleared for it.

I'm glad to hear the app is working well. I'm looking forward to beta-testing the Droid version.
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John Brock
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Quote:
I think, looking back on it, that 4 Mk1s may be a significantly more difficult opponent to beat than a Mk3. A Mk3 loses a movement point every 15 tread points. A single Mk1 loses a movement point every 6, but that means that slowing the whole platoon down by one movement point takes 24 points! And it only takes one decapitated Mk1 with one movement point remaining to roll through the CP and ruin the defender's whole month.


I haven't played Ogre in many years, but even so I remember how critical it was to degrade the Ogre's movement. In a lot of ways the scenario is a race against time, and beating down the Ogre's tread count is buying you more time, with which to do more damage to buy even more time. So yes, that difference between 24 tread units versus 15 is absolutely HUGE.
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Andrew Walters
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Well, not only is slowing the Ogre down important, you must destroy all the treads to save the CP. An Ogre with a thousand tread points, a movement of one, and no weapons would always win (dull game, though). Destroying the weapons makes it easier to fight the Ogre and requires that it travel farther, but if you don't get every tread unit, you lose.

A Mark III has forty five tread points. Three Mark Is have 54. That's 20% more. Of course, you don't have to kill the missiles and the Ogre will destroy your units at about one third the normal rate, so maybe that's a balance, but maybe not.

There's nothing for it but to play it twenty times and find out.
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Talorien
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andreww wrote:
There's nothing for it but to play it twenty times and find out.


Looking forward to the results

My sense is that 3x Mark I might work out well.

Another option for balance is to place a second immobile D0 target, as per the Fencer Attack variant of the basic Mark III Attack scenario.



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