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Subject: Ogre's missing something... rss

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Mark Sockwell
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I guess that the biggest disappointment for me is that over the decades that OGRE has been in existence, SJG has never harnessed the talents and imaginations of the fan base.

I mostly play ASL, and the fan base there is what drives the new products that are released. While MMP is the official licensee, submissions by regular players and third party producers are what continue to drive the game forward.

What would OGRE be with campaign games? Scenario packs? New counters? New maps? Alas, we'll never truly know, given how everything to tie into the official canon has to come from SJG. But I've seen a number of items, most notably "All the World's Ogres" by Franciso Cestero, that could have easily been imported into the OGRE universe.

And yes, I know that OGRE is Steve's first design and has been his baby since 1977. I understand why he wants to keep control over what is arguably one of the most popular games ever designed. But I also understand that OGRE does not financially drive SJG, Munchkin does, and as such, OGRE will always take a back seat to Munchkin. This is where creation, design and development from the fan base could have made (and could still make) OGRE so much more than it is today. Who among us wouldn't want to be a part of a playtesting group developing a scenario pack based on the Israeli/Arabian Confederation wars or a conflict between Nihon and the Chinese Hegemony that could then be submitted to SJG for printing? I know I would.

As always, I put my money where my mouth is, and if anyone from SJG or the fan base would like to contact me to help with things they are working on, please feel free to email me at masockwell@gmail.com

Cheers,


Mark
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Ken
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I don't know if this is true. SJ Games has even hired people from the fan base. For me, I don't mind that there is a 'gate keeper' that keeps the weird bits out of the game. It keeps it better.

And as for Ogre taking any kind of a back seat. I don't think so and I have a Tee-Shirt to prove it.

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There is nothing wrong with selecting a GEV / Shockwave map, and picking points. Why back then, overlays didn't even exist!
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Mark Sockwell
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
I don't know if this is true. SJ Games has even hired people from the fan base. For me, I don't mind that there is a 'gate keeper' that keeps the weird bits out of the game. It keeps it better.

And as for Ogre taking any kind of a back seat. I don't think so and I have a Tee-Shirt to prove it.




Ken, I agree a gatekeeper is a good thing. I just would have like to seen some creative expansion in the forces available and scenarios to play.
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Mark Sockwell
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GrauGeist wrote:
There is nothing wrong with selecting a GEV / Shockwave map, and picking points. Why back then, overlays didn't even exist!



True, but there is a vast untapped world out there revolving around The Last War.
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MAS01 wrote:
GrauGeist wrote:
There is nothing wrong with selecting a GEV / Shockwave map, and picking points. Why back then, overlays didn't even exist!


True, but there is a vast untapped world out there revolving around The Last War.


No argument there. Not that one easily exhausts the hex-and-chit contents of Ogre + GEV + Shockwave + ORP + Ogre Book before ODE was ever a thought.
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Michael Ptak
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sgbeal wrote:
brianmccue wrote:
Norsehound wrote:
My proposal is the 2x Ogre missile unit, because it already supports mechanics in the game (the Ogre missile weapon, ammunition counts on units like the missile crawlers)...

I would have said "is supported by mechanics already in the game," but either way I see that as a key point. In Orge (and in fact in wargames generally) I prefer new things that are created by recombining existing mechanics than new things that require new rules.


That case kind of does require a new mechanic: record-keeping for the two missiles, since those can't be tracked on a conventional Ogre-style counter. If you've got more than one in play, you need a way to designate each counter such that you can keep track of which has how many missiles. So far only Ogres requires record sheets (or SHVY's if you're using that variant of SHVY... which i don't, because record keeping is not something i enjoy). Adding record sheets for non-Ogre units would make me gag :/.


Those cruise missile carriers in ODE came with counters that were nothing but missiles, and they don't serve any other function and are, well, kind of redundant. But you could use the same idea for a standard unit and use the counters as ammunition.

Or, you could make it a variant of a superheavy since rattlers are what, the size of a Light Tank? The idea of using a pair of rattlers on a tank doesn't have to be just with a standard unit.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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Norsehound wrote:

If I had the time I would totally sit down and design out new look and feel for distinct units of a new faction.


There's always the old fashioned way of doing it — just repurpose existing minis. We old-school miniatures gamers have always treated the minis as completely separate entities from whatever game system they were manufactured for, if they ever had a nominal system to belong to in the first place.

I have an extensive 6mm sci-fi collection that I've used for all sorts of games, including Ogre. Most anything that was ever available in plastic went into the collection, metals were a treat the budget couldn't afford in large numbers.

For a retro-looking faction all in bulk plastic: I've got plenty of Light Gun Emplacements and Light Tanks from Axis & Allies; Heavy Tanks from the Main Battle Tanks expansion for Supremacy; Helicopters, Light GEV's, and Light Trucks from Fortress America; battalions of Epic 40K infantry.

Many plastic hovertanks from FASA's Renegade Legion. Etc.
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Norsehound wrote:
If I had the time I would totally sit down and design out new look and feel for distinct units of a new faction.


You mean like Kwanchai's Ogre, using a Giant Robot (tm) instead of a cybertank?

The bespoke hex-and-chit game that got quashed for no good reason?

Like that?
 
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Stephan Beal
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GrauGeist wrote:
The bespoke hex-and-chit game that got quashed for no good reason?


It was explained by SJG why they squashed it: IP law requires them to, or else they risk weakening their claim to bespoke IP later on.

IP law: "Hate the game, not the player."

Edit: Kwanchai himself admitted that he was in breach of copyright law.

Edit: links added.
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sgbeal wrote:
boardgameTK wrote:


Where are you getting those blank(?) dice? i'd love to make a set of these, but only have ugly blank wooden dice. They can be painted with water colors, but it's a pain in the butt to do.


I bought mine here:
https://www.printplaygames.com/product/19mm-indented-dice

They get a little tedious cutting the squares and then applying them but it's worth it Imho. The only way to really appreciate what these do is to actually roll some on a tabletop and see for yourself. There are five D6 needed, one for each CRT odds 1:2/1:1/2:1/3:1/4:1 for one complete set.

If SJGs would make these available, we could just buy official ones from them instead...beautiful, colorful...OGRE AI CRT Dice!
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Michael Ptak
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GrauGeist wrote:
Norsehound wrote:
If I had the time I would totally sit down and design out new look and feel for distinct units of a new faction.


You mean like Kwanchai's Ogre, using a Giant Robot (tm) instead of a cybertank?

The bespoke hex-and-chit game that got quashed for no good reason?

Like that?


Er... that's a reach. I would be saying, "This is what I think Japanese heavy tanks look like, based a bit on Winchell Chung's art for Japanese Ogres, which is fine because there is no existing art for units of other countries."

Not, "This game is out of print, I love it, so I'll rebuild it from scratch with entirely new art and a new theme."

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Cat O\'Mighty
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boardgameTK wrote:
sgbeal wrote:


Where are you getting those blank(?) dice?


I bought mine here:
https://www.printplaygames.com/product/19mm-indented-dice

They get a little tedious cutting the squares and then applying them but it's worth it Imho.


I just put in an order for 50 of those, and pack of 5 of the pre-cut labels. Got extra sheets to allow for printing alignment trial and error, surviving extra blank sheets may come in handy for some other project.

I went for (10) each of White, Fresh Green, Standard Yellow, Standard Orange, and GF9 Red. Put together a swatch line up in a jpg so I could do a grey-scale test. These are all different tones, so should not be a problem except for the most severe colour-blind folks.



I had been pondering making a version of the single-die style CRT, but decided that would be too complicated to explain to a bunch of new gamers while running big games at conventions.

For the record, I love the CRT in this game, but also love cute dice ^,^ And these dice will help everyone around the table see the result when it's rolled.
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Stephan Beal
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Cat_O wrote:
I had been pondering making a version of the single-die style CRT, but decided that would be too complicated to explain to a bunch of new gamers while running big games at conventions.


i'm not convinced of that. See /filepage/141954 for an example.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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Stephen, I meditated for awhile on a couple of the one-die versions. The one you linked to would have to be a very large die to read the odds column out on the table. For stickered-dice, I greatly prefer the indented style, and that column would be a very tiny a font to fit.

I also did up a test image version of the style that shows the minimum odds needed to gain the result shown. This is a bigger font, but in the end I believe to be more complex than would be helpful when trying to explain to a group of 8 or so new players as happens at con games.

Here's my take on the 1-die.
D, X, or T [Tread hit] are automatic results.
Otherwise the shown result applies if you have at least the minimum odds shown; apply the worst of the 2 if both are met.


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sgbeal wrote:
GrauGeist wrote:
Kwanchai's Ogre - The bespoke hex-and-chit game that got quashed for no good reason?


It was explained by SJG why they squashed it: IP law requires them to, or else they risk weakening their claim to bespoke IP later on.


That's a crock, and you know it.

The Ogre game itself is a set of uncopyrightable, untrademarkable mechanics and statistics that has ZERO IP protection. To the extent that the specific wording is the only reasonable way to express a mechanic, that to is uncopyrightable.

Further that "Ogre" is a generic for large monsters. It's very much a Games Workshop-esque "Space Marine" position that SJG took.

It would have been enough to have Kwanchai modify the typefaces and labeling to create separation. To say that SJG was "required" to quash Kwanchai Ogre is clearly false.
 
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Jeff Saxton
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Except he was not doing just anything generic, and his Ogre clearly was built on the living bones of the SJG version. It would simply not exist without the SJG version to pirate.

Yes, living ogres are big monsters, generic in every right. But giant robot killing machines within a game setting? SJG owns that trademark outright, no ifs, ands, or buts. Strike One.

The Ogre rule set, as a text, like any book, is copyrighted; and if I'm not mistaken, Kwanchai uploaded that fully. Strike Two.

Was SJG supposed to wait for Strike Three?
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Keith Carter
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Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
Except he was not doing just anything generic, and his Ogre clearly was built on the living bones of the SJG version. It would simply not exist without the SJG version to pirate.

Yes, living ogres are big monsters, generic in every right. But giant robot killing machines within a game setting? SJG owns that trademark outright, no ifs, ands, or buts. Strike One.

The Ogre rule set, as a text, like any book, is copyrighted; and if I'm not mistaken, Kwanchai uploaded that fully. Strike Two.

Was SJG supposed to wait for Strike Three?


Wasn't there also a trademark issue?
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Stephan Beal
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Cat_O wrote:
Stephen, I meditated for awhile on a couple of the one-die versions. The one you linked to would have to be a very large die to read the odds column out on the table.


Indeed, a 30mm die is, for my eyes, the smallest usable size. Anything bigger is likely to be so heavy as to be a danger to the board and players :/.

Cat_O wrote:
For stickered-dice, I greatly prefer the indented style, and that column would be a very tiny a font to fit.


Having seen them first in this thread, i now prefer those as well.

Cat_O wrote:
I also did up a test image version of the style that shows the minimum odds needed to gain the result shown. This is a bigger font, but in the end I believe to be more complex than would be helpful when trying to explain to a group of 8 or so new players as happens at con games.


Agreed.

Cat_O wrote:
Here's my take on the 1-die.
D, X, or T [Tread hit] are automatic results.
Otherwise the shown result applies if you have at least the minimum odds shown; apply the worst of the 2 if both are met.


i'm having trouble visually parsing that :/.
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Stephan Beal
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GrauGeist wrote:
sgbeal wrote:
GrauGeist wrote:
Kwanchai's Ogre - The bespoke hex-and-chit game that got quashed for no good reason?


It was explained by SJG why they squashed it: IP law requires them to, or else they risk weakening their claim to bespoke IP later on.


That's a crock, and you know it.


You conveniently failed to quote the part where Kwanchai admitted to knowing that he was in violation of IP law.
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Michael Ptak
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Ogre had been out of print for a good while before Kawachi made his attempt....

Regarding custom dice, I was thinking of something like the Rebellion mechanic where you are looking for specific symbol results when attacking units.

For example, you have DISABLE and DESTROY results. A D6 has 2 blank, 2 DISABLE and 2 DESTROY results. You roll a number of dice equal to your attack value if the target is in range:

If DISABLE results equal or exceed the ARMOR value of the target, the target is disabled. -1 Infantry on a DISABLE result exceeding strength as well.

If DESTROY results equal or exceed the ARMOR value of the target, the target is destroyed.

Ogre subsystems ignore disable results. DESTROY results count towards DISABLE results if there is not enough to destroy the unit.

Units in cover (like Infantry, units in city/forest) remove 1 or 2 dice from the attacking dice pool when defending.


...that's all theory, and it would require practical testing and on-board paper pushing to see just how well it works. I wouldn't be surprised if it also required re-adjusting the combat values of all units, because this model may result with some units never being destroyed.

But it's a concept that asks players only to look for so many of X results on the dice, instead of consulting the unit's strength, the defender's strength, making a computation, and looking for a dice result. The game could flow so much better if you reduce the mental workload on the players, and it won't feel so dated.
 
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Stephan Beal
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Norsehound wrote:
But it's a concept that asks players only to look for so many of X results on the dice, instead of consulting the unit's strength, the defender's strength, making a computation, and looking for a dice result. The game could flow so much better if you reduce the mental workload on the players, and it won't feel so dated.


But certainly you admit that such mechanics would make it a completely different game (mechanically speaking), and not "Ogre as we know it". It would need a different name altogether or there'd be a tremendous outcry with pitchforks and torches and all that.
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Brian McCue
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boardgameTK wrote:
Regarding the OGRE CRT...I agree it is a simple odds ratio mechanic, however what I don't care for is it does in fact slow the flow of combat for me. In a game like OGRE, that can be a big deal for some people. I happen to be one.

Most responses have dealt with the interesting topic of creating special dice so as to obviate the CRT, but in my observation the part that people find difficult (if any) is the reduction of the odds to the values found in the table (e.g., taking 7:3 and turning into 2:1), which entails division, rounding, etc. Former math teacher that I am I usually tell them that if they want to conquer the world they need to be able to do 6th-grade math, but they don't all agree with me.

Separately, some wargamers object that the round-off step drives decision-making and yet corresponds to no imaginable real-world process. I somewhat agree.

It would be interesting to try to concoct a "buckets of dice" method of Ogre combat resolution that a) broadly reproduced the weapon-target relationships of the game, b) didn't use math other than counting, adding, and comparing, and therefore c) didn't have any rounding (because it didn't have any division).
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Cat O\'Mighty
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sgbeal wrote:

i'm having trouble visually parsing that :/.


The image was my first design draft. It's a flattened out D6, there are two rows of info on each face.

So the topmost face is:
D
X:1
An automatic Damaged result, or Destroyed if you have odds of at least 1:1. Equivalent to rolling a 5 on the CRT

The bottom-most face is:
D:2
X:4
A Damaged result if you have odds of at least 2:1, or Destroyed at 4:1. Equivalent to rolling a 2 on the CRT.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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brianmccue wrote:

Most responses have dealt with the interesting topic of creating special dice so as to obviate the CRT, but in my observation the part that people find difficult (if any) is the reduction of the odds to the values found in the table (e.g., taking 7:3 and turning into 2:1), which entails division, rounding, etc. Former math teacher that I am I usually tell them that if they want to conquer the world they need to be able to do 6th-grade math, but they don't all agree with me.


I like the CRT mechanism and see the CRT dice as just as a a fun way to implement it.

I also find the level of math involved in calculating odds and rounding to be much more pleasing than the quantity of math involved in so many of the Euro style games that are popular here on BGG, which for my tastes are dreary math tests put in the form of a game.

I do agree with your assessment that 6th-grade math is a reasonable pre-requisite for conquering the world! :3
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