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Subject: Ogre Redesign rss

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Kwanchai Moriya
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**Hi, if you are coming late to this party, just to let you know, Steve Jackson Games has removed all files and images related to my redesign. If you didn't get a chance to see it, well, it was pretty cool.
If you don't know what happened, I'll give you a miniature rundown:
1) I created and posted a redesign of Ogre with completely original artwork, but I included the use of the SJG trademarked name "Ogre" and a complete set of rules which were basically word for word. 2) It got downloaded a lot and jumped to #2 "hottest" download on BGG. 3) Steve Jackson Games had the files for the redesign removed from BGG, then a little while later, had images of the redesign removed from the Ogre BGG page, then a little while after that, had images of the redesign removed from my BGG personal gallery, then awhile after that, had blog posts featuring the redesign removed from my personal art blog.
**





The idea for redesigning Ogre came about sort of randomly. I was watching an episode of Family Guy in which Mayor West attacks an intruder with a "cat launcher," essentially a crossbow that fires live cats. I like randomness, so I thought it would be funny to draw a Nazi soldier equipped with Cat Launcher. Then my brain went about imagining other absurd Nazi military units. And so I drew a giant Nazi robot. And I thought, ‘If there was a game called ‘Giant Nazi Robot,’ I’d play it just for its name.’ And that’s when I thought about Ogre and its "one against many" game system.


I’ve been perusing old or out-of-print games, looking for a potential redesign project. I had originally narrowed my decision to either Hotel Life or Star Wars: Assault on Hoth, but I realized that I didn’t have the time or energy to launch into a project of that size right now. So when I looked at Ogre and saw its potential as a quick project: a small map with not too much going on, a small amount of counters, etc., I decided to do it.

So I set out redesigning Steve Jackson’s original Ogre; the redesign does not include G.E.V. The most obvious change is the theme and the artwork. The theme has been changed from "cybernetic supertanks in a bleak futuristic wasteland," to "clunky giant robots on the Western Front of World War II." Tanks are cool, but I just wanted to try something different. Also, I felt that the whole futuristic sci-fi genre was a little tired. One of my tangential ideas was to change the theme to "U.S. army fighting Godzilla," but I couldn’t figure out a way to reconcile Godzilla with an array of different weapons (and I figured MechaGodzilla was a bit too obscure). So the next best thing was a giant robot.

I took most of the look for the U.S. Ogre from Iron Giant and the robot from Zathura. And for the German Ogre, I took cues from Michael Salter’s robot installation pieces and the Stone Golem from Maplestory.



I wanted to make the feel of the game more light-hearted, using brighter colors and simple illustrations. As for the military units in the game, the Heavy Tank has become just a Tank, the Missile Tank has become a Missile Launcher, and the G.E.V. has become a Jeep. The infantry counters have also changed from representing squads to representing individual soldiers, so a 3-squad counter is now a 3-soldier counter and has an illustration of three soldiers on it.

 

Obviously, I never intended for my design to be a historical conflict simulation game or alternative history conflict simulation game. There are plenty of factual discrepancies, the most obvious being the existence of giant robots. Among other things, discrepancies include: the type of missile vehicle illustrated didn’t exist during WWII, the German’s never had a "Jeep" (I believe it’s called a Kubelwagen), and I’m sure you can find more.

The map has changed from a nuclear wasteland covered in craters and ridges, to a pastel-toned rural farmland with houses and trees. I was intending to create a map that identified more with the landscape of the WWII Western Front, but it turned out "looking like Ohio," (as one BGG’er said). Yep, it does. Oh well.

 

I tried to make the Ogre Record Sheets look like blueprints. Each Ogre has its own sheet. The only big differences here are that I changed the names of a few things. Main Artillery and Secondary Artillery are now Main Cannon and Secondary Cannon. I’ve also changed the Antipersonnel weapons to Flamethrowers. It’s funny, in general with this redesign, I’ve tried to drop any vocabulary that might be even slightly confusing to my wife ("artillery" would be confusing), in the hopes that she’ll play it with me more than once.

 

The CRT table I haven’t done much to, except polish it up a bit. I’ve added some symbols to the table for ease of use, and put illustrations at the bottom for some color.

 

And the inspiration for the cover design I ripped directly from the cover of the Squad Leader expansion Cross of Iron. I liked it, I stole it.

 

 

The game system itself (i.e. unit stats, map layout, tables, etc.) is identical to the original game. Only the theme and artwork has been changed. I’ve also rewritten the rules to fit this change.

I like how the early editions of Ogre were simple, compact, and portable; a whole game experience that could fit in your back pocket. My redesign won’t fit into your back pocket, but I’ve tried to keep all the components simple and compact. This way it’s not a big ordeal to print up and assemble, easy to stow in a bag and carry around, and doesn’t require much space to play.

And that would be my only semi-gripe concerning the final product: it’s really small. The counters might be hard to read for some. And it’s hard for me to pat myself on the back because I can barely discern the counter art, which is tiny, (though I don’t think they are any smaller than the average wargame). But to get the map to fit onto two sheets of paper, that’s what I had to do. And after playing a few sessions with it, everything seems just fine.

 

Other than for the creative thrill, the main reason I do a redesign is simply to get a chance to play the game. I only redesign games that I can’t get a hold myself, because they are out-of-print or hard to find. So I was disappointed when SJG announced that the Ogre 6th edition was being postponed until further notice. Hopefully my redesign will get new people interested in Ogre, so that when the new edition of Ogre does comes out, throngs of gamers flock to buy it, and Steve Jackson will personally thank me with a whole palette of copies of Ogre 6E. But, based on comments and threads I've seen about SJG, perhaps I should be prepared for the opposite?

The complete PDF should be up and available on BGG soon, at which time I'll add a link to the file download to this post.

Thanks and Happy Gaming!

~Kwanchai

*Okay the PDF is ready to download in the Files section:*
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/41717




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Krzysiek
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Your (re)design looks amazing, and this description of it coming into existence was a great read.

Nazis with cat launchers, you say? Now I really can't wait to lay may hands on the files...
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Murray Grelis
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Great work. I can't wait to get my hands on those files.
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Neil
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Brilliant work! What an awesome contribution to Ogre fandom!
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ketchupgun
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CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on this!

[/restating the obvious]
 
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Joe
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Wow. Looks awesome. The blueprints look especially fitting.

But..
What happened to the cat launchers?
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dedbob wrote:
Wow. Looks awesome. The blueprints look especially fitting.

But..
What happened to the cat launchers?



What talent!

Excellent work. I am ready to print it off and play it with my son.



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chuck smith
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Here's some more retro-robot goodness:
http://www.magicketchup.com/blog/?p=32

Scroll down to the entry "The famous Laputa robot sculpture"

It's a life size statue of a robot from the anime movie laputa. It may look kinda goofy....

***Movie Spoiler***
... but is slaughters a military research installation in the movie. In a rather OGRElike fashion I might add.

-Chuck
 
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John B
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Wow. Your work is incredible. I can't wait until you upload the files.
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Mont A.
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Ohmigosh, this is simply amazing. What a labor of love. I loved reading your description of the process, and the final result is stunning--simultaneously gorgeous and funny (which is a hard combo to pull off).

Even the die is green! laugh

I especially like that you differentiated the vehicle units by making them resemble their actual WWII counterparts: the tanks are clearly U.S. Shermans and German Tigers; ditto the G.E.V.s (U.S. Jeeps and German Kübelwagen).

It's all so cool and perfectly conceived that I hate to even ask, but.... any chance you could similarly differentiate the "howitzer" artillery units? The German 88 was such a canonical gun, and had such a distinctive profile, it would be awesome to see it represented on the German counters. Here are two images of the German 88 (from Wikipedia):




Can't wait to play your redesign!

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Ryan Powers
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Typhon wrote:

I especially like that you differentiated the vehicle units by making them resemble their actual WWII counterparts: the tanks are clearly U.S. Shermans and German Tigers; ditto the G.E.V.s (U.S. Jeeps and German Kübelwagen).




The German tank looks a lot more Mk IVish to me based on the road wheels. Which also makes it a better pairing with a Sherman.

Yes I know you could use the # of road wheels to argue differently (though you'd be hard pressed to find an actual match). But I'm merely referring to the fact that they're small and the presence of return rollers.

Of course, the boxy nature of both led to plenty of confusion in real life. Especially from allied tankers thinking they were facing off against Tigers.
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Eric Jome
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Too. Freaking. Awesome.
 
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Marshall Miller
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Can't wait to try it. I've been wanting to try OGRE for a long time. This may be the way to go... Will there be a rewrite of the rules?
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Daric Morris
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GREAT STUFF!
Reminds me of Globbo, a good light-hearted game that still had some strategy.

Also planning on printing this out ASAP
 
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Mont A.
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keethrax wrote:
Typhon wrote:

I especially like that you differentiated the vehicle units by making them resemble their actual WWII counterparts: the tanks are clearly U.S. Shermans and German Tigers; ditto the G.E.V.s (U.S. Jeeps and German Kübelwagen).




The German tank looks a lot more Mk IVish to me based on the road wheels. Which also makes it a better pairing with a Sherman.

Yes I know you could use the # of road wheels to argue differently (though you'd be hard pressed to find an actual match). But I'm merely referring to the fact that they're small and the presence of return rollers.

Of course, the boxy nature of both led to plenty of confusion in real life. Especially from allied tankers thinking they were facing off against Tigers.


Hah, your comments led me to spend a good half hour on wikipedia reading about German WWII tanks. Turns out I've been conflating the Mk IV and the Tiger (Mk VI) for my entire life. laughblush
 
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Gill
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AWESOME! I've been following your work since you did the redesign for ZimP and Zombie Plague. The graphics and artwork are outstanding everytime. Just like now.

If I were SJ I'd be thrilled someone like my game enough to do a variant and draw new people to it. My son saw it and is interested in Ogre now, where as before, he would rather have played Risk.


Keep up the good work. If you take requests, how about something involving martians or swashbucklers?
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tim allen
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Whoa...very kool indeed!

Have you given any thought to building Japanese and Soviet counter sheets as well?

Hmmm...I wonder what a Italian Ogre would look like?
 
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Marshall Miller
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Well, if we're talking requests.... I'd like to see a rethemed version that has antibodies fighting off a bacteria/virus/cancer. Terrain effects could be tissue types or cell types. Designing good immune defenses could help teach about adaptive immune response.
 
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tim allen
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Heck Bill, dont limit him; lest see martians And shwashbucklers...together!
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Ian McCarthy
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Wow, Ogre always looked like a game I wouldn't enjoy, i.e. like a medium heavy wargame. And I didn't think twice. Now, you've made it look like a game that I would really enjoy and I'm excited to find out if that's true.

Thanks so much.
 
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Gill
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TimAllen wrote:
Heck Bill, dont limit him; lest see martians And shwashbucklers...together!


Your right...something Steampunkish. That would be sweet.
 
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Peter Marchlewitz
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Awesome...looking forward to it!

 
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F H
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Oh boy!
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tim allen
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I only have one tiny quibble: The rocket launcher looks too modern. They should look more like ad-hoc creations. the Russians simply bolted a couple doz. launch rails onto the back of a truck. The Americans took a similar number of round rocket tube-launchers and normally mounted them on top of a Sherman tank. Only the Germans built a dedicated armoured rocket launcher, called the "Maultier". but Even that was based on a already designed half-track/truck.


Sorry; its the war-gamer in me!

 
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Mars
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dedbob wrote:
Wow. Looks awesome. The blueprints look especially fitting.

But..
What happened to the cat launchers?


Maybe it will be included in the GEV expansion? (German Esoteric Vehicles)
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