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Subject: Dumb Rules Questions! rss

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Peter Bakija
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Yaa! Ogre!

So I played Ogre as a kid in the early 80's (between sessions of Car Wars…), but haven't played a game for probably close to 2 decades (three decades?). I picked up the pocket edition and have been messing around with it, and currently have the following questions that probably have easy to find answers (and I probably knew at some point 20+ years ago), but here they are anyway:

1) You can combine attacks from different units (or different Ogre guns) as you see fit, correct? Like, I can say "these two MkIII secondary guns with 3 attack strength each are firing at that Heavy Tank, for a 6-3 (i.e. 2-1) attack." This is a correct understanding, yes? And I could theoretically have a pair of Heavy Tanks (or whatever) both shoot at an Ogre's main gun for a single, good odds attack?

2) An X on the CRT will completely wipe out whatever (non Ogre unit) it hits, even a 3 point infantry, yes? (i.e. a D will turn a 3 point infantry into a 2 point infantry, but an X will just remove a 3 point infantry all together?)

3) A 3 point infantry *must* attack as a single 3 point unit or *may* attack as a single 3 point unit (or it can attack a 3x 1 point units)?

4) If an Ogre drives over an infantry unit (and it has any AP guns left), that infantry unit automatically loses a level (i.e. 3 goes to 2). What happens if the Ogre ends its move on top of the infantry? Do they both get to stay in that hex until someone moves again?


Thanks!
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Marcus
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Q1. Yes, you can freely combine attacks using different units as you see fit. You can also resolve an attack on the CRT before moving on to the next attack (i.e. don't need to predesignate attacks).

One basic tactic is to use mainly 1:1 odds attack, resolving them one at a time. Two 1:1 attacks are generally better than a single 2:1 attack in Ogre.

Q2. Yes. An "X" attack will destroy any targeted infantry or armor unit.

Note that you only destroy or damage an Infantry unit that you specifically target. The defender can split up his squads as he sees fit and you can't for instance target individual squads of a single 3/1 unit or 2/1 unit infantry counter. A "D" result will of course reduce any targeted infantry unit by 1 squad.

Q3. A 3/1 or 2/1 infantry unit can split up it's attacks (including different targets or even the same target multiple times) as it sees fit and resolve each attack separately before moving on to the next attack. Similar to Q1.

The Ogre battlefield probably supports some really awesome fire control/targeting software and a very robust battlefield wide data network backed up with an excellent sensor net...

Q4. Would have to pull out my rules book for this one...
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Karl Gallagher
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1. Yes, except for attacks on Ogre treads.

2. Yes.

3. May.

4. Yes, they share the hex until one moves out.
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Peter Bakija
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monstrooper wrote:
One basic tactic is to use mainly 1:1 odds attack, resolving them one at a time. Two 1:1 attacks are generally better than a single 2:1 attack in Ogre.


Thanks! Yeah, I think on this one, the main incentive (I can see) to combine weapons for attacks is to avoid odds rounding error--i.e. a 3 point gun vs a 2D unit (secondary battery vs GEV) is, IIRC, going to round down to a 1-1 (3-2 becomes 1-1, yes?), but two 3 point guns vs a 2D unit becomes a 3-1. I'm not a basic odds genius, but I think a single 3-1 is better than two 1-1's?
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Peter Bakija
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bakija wrote:
I'm not a basic odds genius, but I think a single 3-1 is better than two 1-1's?


Ok, so I just went and read the SJ "Odds in Ogre" article (links are around). Clearly, splitting attacks into multiple 1-1s when possible is clearly the way to go (i.e. 2x 1-1 is always better than 1x 2-1; etc.), but there wasn't info on the above.

Can someone who is better at calculating probability than me see which is better:

-2x 1-1 attacks

or

-1x 3-1 attack

(which is the result of having a pair of 3 strength secondary batteries to fire against a single 2D unit).

Thanks! I suspect that the single 3-1 is better than the pair of 1-1s, but it is certainly possible I'm wrong.
 
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Russ Williams
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bakija wrote:
Can someone who is better at calculating probability than me see which is better:

-2x 1-1 attacks

or

-1x 3-1 attack

(which is the result of having a pair of 3 strength secondary batteries to fire against a single 2D unit).

Thanks! I suspect that the single 3-1 is better than the pair of 1-1s, but it is certainly possible I'm wrong.


My quick analysis (corrections welcome) :

If you attack 1-1 twice, then there are 9 possible results, each equally likely: (XX, XD, X-, DX, DD, D-, -X, -D, --). Your probability of killing it is:

P(XX) + P(XD) + P(X-) + P(DX) + P(DD) + P(-X) = 6/9 = 2/3

Your probability of D is:
P(D-) + P(-D) = 2/9

Your probability of - is:
P(--) = 1/9

If you make a single attack at 3-1, your probability of killing it is 2/3 and your probability of D is 1/3.

So... your probability of killing it is the same either way (2/3). But if you attack 3-1, then you have a slightly better chance of at least getting a D. You're sure you won't get a No Effect (-) with a 3-1 attack. So if this attack is your only possible target, then certainly a combined 3-1 is better.

On the other hand, if you attack 1-1 twice, you have a 1/3 probability of killing it with the first attack, leaving your other secondary battery free to attack something else. So if this unit is not your only target in range, perhaps you'd prefer to attack with a single secondary at 1-1, to have the chance to direct the other secondary at another target.
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Peter Bakija
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russ wrote:
So... your probability of killing it is the same either way (2/3). But if you attack 3-1, then you have a slightly better chance of at least getting a D. You're sure you won't get a No Effect (-) with a 3-1 attack. So if this attack is your only possible target, then certainly a combined 3-1 is better.


Thanks for the math! That is a lot cleaner than the math I was doing (which involved figuring out all possible results, one at a time…). So with a 3-1, you have the same chance of killing the target as you do with 2x 1-1 attacks (2/3), but with the 3-1, you have no chance at all of outright missing (you will always at least get a D), while with 2x 1-1, you have a 1/9 chance of an outright miss.

As you note, the advantage of the 2x 1-1 over the single 3-1, however, is you always might kill the target on the first shot, allowing you to take another shot at something else (assuming it is available, but when isn't there infantry to shoot :-)
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David Rock

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russ wrote:
So... your probability of killing it is the same either way (2/3). But if you attack 3-1, then you have a slightly better chance of at least getting a D.

It's not just a slightly better chance; you are guaranteed to get at least a D with a 3-1 (this is obvious just from looking at the CRT; no math needed).

bakija wrote:

Thanks for the math! That is a lot cleaner than the math I was doing (which involved figuring out all possible results, one at a time…). So with a 3-1, you have the same chance of killing the target as you do with 2x 1-1 attacks (2/3), but with the 3-1, you have no chance at all of outright missing (you will always at least get a D), while with 2x 1-1, you have a 1/9 chance of an outright miss.

As you note, the advantage of the 2x 1-1 over the single 3-1, however, is you always might kill the target on the first shot, allowing you to take another shot at something else (assuming it is available, but when isn't there infantry to shoot :-)


Another aspect of this to consider: using an attack 3 against a Defense 2 is a "waste" of one attack strength. The general case is that 1-1 attacks are your best bang for the buck (part of what this discussion is about), but you want to avoid wasting attack strength whenever possible. In other words, if you have A3, try to direct it toward a D3. This is especially important when attacking Ogre components. For example, using a HVY (A4) against a Secondary battery (D3) would waste one. You would be better off using it against a Main Battery (D4) or treads (always 1-1, and a hit would take out 4 treads).

Never forget the main goal is not to kill the Ogre, it's to stop it. Stripping batteries is important, but tread removal is required to win. It's almost always a better shot to shoot at treads than take overloaded shots that waste attack strength. This is even more true against Ogre components because a D is the same as NE. Once the Ogre is immobilized, then you can take as much time as you want to strip everything else off of it, especially if you have units that can stay out of range.
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Russ Williams
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granitepenguin wrote:
russ wrote:
So... your probability of killing it is the same either way (2/3). But if you attack 3-1, then you have a slightly better chance of at least getting a D.

It's not just a slightly better chance; you are guaranteed to get at least a D with a 3-1 (this is obvious just from looking at the CRT; no math needed).

Right, I mentioned that D or X is guaranteed with 3-1. With two 1-1 attacks, there's only a 1/9 probability that you'll get no effect, i.e. an uncommon situation to begin with, so a single 3-1 attack is merely removing that (rather small) 1/9 probability of no effect.

If we look at the ratio of P(at least D for 3-1) / P(at least D for 1-1 twice) = 1 / (8/9) = 9/8.

If we look at the difference of P(at least D for 3-1) - P(at least D for 1-1 twice) = 1 - (8/9) = 1/9.

So "slightly better" still seems a reasonable description to me.

But anyway, there are the numbers, and people can decide for themselves how significant they judge the difference to be.

Quote:
Never forget the main goal is not to kill the Ogre, it's to stop it. Stripping batteries is important, but tread removal is required to win. It's almost always a better shot to shoot at treads than take overloaded shots that waste attack strength. This is even more true against Ogre components because a D is the same as NE. Once the Ogre is immobilized, then you can take as much time as you want to strip everything else off of it, especially if you have units that can stay out of range.

Good point!
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David Rock

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russ wrote:

So "slightly better" still seems a reasonable description to me.

But anyway, there are the numbers, and people can decide for themselves how significant they judge the difference to be.


Yeah, I'm just being a pest. ;-)
Math is math; the results are open to interpretation. :-)

It's amazing how much you can learn about statistics from playing boardgames.
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David Lerda
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This question is for the original 1977 game from Metagaming Concepsts.

How many missiles does a missile tank have? The illustration in the rules shows three but nowhere in the rules is it explicitly stated.

I've found that several (3+) w/ 3 missiles each can pretty much blow an Ogre's main weapons (missiles, primary & secondary batteries)away.
 
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Stephan Beal
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PanzerGruppe wrote:
This question is for the original 1977 game from Metagaming Concepsts.

How many missiles does a missile tank have? The illustration in the rules shows three but nowhere in the rules is it explicitly stated.


The answer is moot because all units/weapons in the Ogreverse except for Ogre missiles and cruise missiles have unlimited ammo. i don't know if the first edition says so, but later editions certainly do.
 
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David Fenton
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PanzerGruppe wrote:
I've found that several (3+) w/ 3 missiles each can pretty much blow an Ogre's main weapons (missiles, primary & secondary batteries)away.

The number of missiles is irrelevant since they DO NOT launch multiple missiles per turn (not in any meaningful way...thematically they may launch more, but their attack value represents the "total volley").

They attack the same way as any other unit, as a single attack value of 3 per turn, so three missile tanks have a total attack strength of 9. That's only a single 2-1 attack on a main gun (50% chance...hardly "blown away").

They have weaker attacks than heavy tanks (3 vs 4), less defense (2 vs 3), and lower move (2 vs 3) but longer range (4 vs 2). The name "missile tank" is simply a name (they launch small missiles instead of using a cannon, thus the longer range), not an indication of special treatment or mechanics.
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David Lerda
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Got it. I got confused by the picture and thought each missile tank had three missiles w/ a strength of three and as they were fired or destroyed they were used up like Ogre missiles.

So three missile attacks could launch a combined attack against one Ogre missile at 3-1 or three separate attacks against Ogre missiles at 1-1 each.
 
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David Rock

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PanzerGruppe wrote:
Got it. I got confused by the picture and thought each missile tank had three missiles w/ a strength of three and as they were fired or destroyed they were used up like Ogre missiles.

So three missile attacks could launch a combined attack against one Ogre missile at 3-1 or three separate attacks against Ogre missiles at 1-1 each.


Yes, the picture is just that: a picture. It's artistic license that has nothing to do with the game mechanic. All armor in the original game is single shot each turn, unlimited ammo of a specific strength. The attack strength value is an abstraction of the overall strength of a single attack.
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David Lerda
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Thanks! Is the ammo for different unit types limited in the advanced versions? I have the original Metagaming version and the 6th edition and haven't had time to get to the 6th edition yet.
 
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Stephan Beal
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PanzerGruppe wrote:
Thanks! Is the ammo for different unit types limited in the advanced versions? I have the original Metagaming version and the 6th edition and haven't had time to get to the 6th edition yet.


The only ammunition which is limited in this game is Ogre missiles and cruise missiles.
 
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Andrew Walters
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The MSL's launchers reload from below like the Mk26 launcher on the Ticonderoga Class CGMs.
 
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David Fenton
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PanzerGruppe wrote:
Thanks! Is the ammo for different unit types limited in the advanced versions? I have the original Metagaming version and the 6th edition and haven't had time to get to the 6th edition yet.

I don't think there are any major changes between metagaming and 6th edition (not counting overrun rules).

Other than Ogres and cruise missiles, ammo is abstract. Does a heavy tank fire one shot or ten? Who knows? Does a Combine unit use the same ammo as a Panamerican unit? Doesn't matter. In one round, a heavy tank for either side has an equivalent attack of 4, and enough ammo to last the battle.
 
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David Rock

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PanzerGruppe wrote:
Thanks! Is the ammo for different unit types limited in the advanced versions? I have the original Metagaming version and the 6th edition and haven't had time to get to the 6th edition yet.


Nope. Ogre is still Ogre after 40 years. The only real difference is the size of the pieces. :-)

 
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granitepenguin wrote:
Yes, the picture is just that: a picture. It's artistic license that has nothing to do with the game mechanic. All armor in the original game is single shot each turn, unlimited ammo of a specific strength. The attack strength value is an abstraction of the overall strength of a single attack.


I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it astounds me somehow how people come up with these interpretations - well, not even interpretations, because they're pure flights of the imagination with literally no basis in the rules. Not specific to OGRE, although this was a corker.
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David Lerda
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Ok here's another one - does an Ogre have to move THROUGH a unit it rams or can it end it's movement phase there.

That's why the thread is called "Dumb Rules Questions"
 
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Andrew Walters
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The Ogre can ram a unit in the hex where it spends its last movement point. In fact, it can spend a second movement point in a hex to ram a second time.
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David Rock

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It also doesn't have to be the maximum movement. If you have M3 and ram on your first hex and stop, that's allowed, too.
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Keith Lewis
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Just remember that that hex is 1.5 km wide so the Ogre does a lot of stomping around before going on. So it basically does it's work and can then move on and do it again based on it's current movement allowance
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