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Ask the Ogre!

Pyramid #2 (July/August 1993)

Does a Heavy Weapons Team make its missile attack instead of its regular attack, or in addition? And is this attack doubled in an overrun?

The Heavy Weapons Team missile attack is made instead of its regular attack. This attack is not doubled in an overrun. If the Heavy Weapons Team is involved in an overrun, it uses its missile on the first fire round. It fights as regular infantry, with the normal doubled strength of regular infantry, in following fire rounds.

Overrun combat involving an Ogre ends two fire rounds after the Ogre is weaponless. When an Ogre is overrun and all its weapons are destroyed except AP, what happens?

The intent of the overrun rule was to allow two "free" fire rounds when the Ogre couldn't fire back, but no more. The word "weaponless" was a bad choice – sorry! If the Ogre is fighting against infantry, and has legal targets for its AP, then the overrun combat lasts two rounds after the Ogre is literally weaponless. But if there are no legal targets for the AP, the overrun combat ends two rounds after the Ogre's larger weapons are destroyed.

Why can an Ogre ram only one armor unit per overrun, even if there are a dozen in the overrun combat?

An overrun combat is a relatively concentrated firefight, but it's still spread out over an area 2" across on the table – which represents a mile on the battlefield! And each turn lasts only two minutes. The Ogre can pick one enemy, head for it, and run it down, but it can't scoot all around that mile-wide circle squashing things. That's what it has guns for.

Pyramid #3 (September/October 1993)

Do Command Posts and similar structures get a doubled defense for being in a city, as per the old GEV rules? Do larger structures get a defensive bonus in town and forest, as per Shockwave?

Yes. Add the following paragraph under Towns on p. 45:

Structures: Any structure with a defense strength has that strength doubled in a town. If a structure has Structure Points, halve the strength of all attacks against it (except rams and overruns) when the structure is in a town or forest.

Add the following paragraph under Forests on p. 41:

Structures: If a structure has Structure Points, halve the strength of all attacks against it (except rams and overruns) when the structure is in a forest. Smaller structures get no benefit from forests.

The reference card and the text do not agree about the strength and range of Militia. What is right?

Militia have an attack range of 2" and a Move of 1".

In an overrun, if both the attacker and the defender have units that wish to ram, which goes first?

Ramming takes place once, at the end of the first fire round. Attacking units (those that survived the first fire round with movement ability) ram first, then any surviving defenders which still have movement ability.

What effect do point defense installations have on large structures which have Structure Points instead of defense strength?

Large structures may have up to two PD installations. Each one adds 10 Structure Points to the building's total.

Pyramid #4 (November/December 1993)

(Thanks to Henry Cobb for most of these questions, and for his suggestions as to answers.)

When infantry are involved in an overrun attack, the rules say that each squad fires and defends separately. What are the attack and defense values for each infantry squad?

Each infantry unit attacks at a strength of 2 . . . the base attack value of an infantry squad is 1, and infantry have doubled attack strength in overrun. This is also true for militia. Heavy-weapon squads on the attacking side also have an attack strength of 2 (the missile they carry is not suitable for a setup that quick). But when heavy-weapon squads are on the defending side in an overrun, they may use their missile on the first fire round or any later one. However, it is not doubled in value because of the overrun; it still has an attack value of 3. (Note that this amplifies the information in Pyramid 2.)

The base defense value for each battlesuited infantry squad is 1, and each infantry squad is a separate target in overrun. Militia, of course, have little defense. Double the attack strength of anything firing at militia in overrun. (Since all infantry is already doubled, that quadruples the final attack strength of infantry firing on militia.)

Infantry on the defending side get all normal bonuses for terrain type, as well as for any revetments, walls, hulks, etc., that they may be "behind" with respect to the direction the attackers came from. It may occur to the attackers to take a circular route so that the cover will no longer be between them and the defenders . . . but if the defenders could reach protection by moving a few feet or jumping to the other side of a wall, they will, so such tactics will normally be meaningless. Be logical.

Infantry on the attacking side do not get any bonus for terrain or cover. By definition, if they're on the attack, they're exposing themselves.

Another note: Realistically, if several different kinds of infantry are involved in an overrun, the opponents won't have time to decide which ones to shoot at. Therefore, a random determination can be made as to which squads are actually lost, rather than letting the enemy target the HW squads, engineers, etc., first.

If infantry entered the overrun combat riding on a vehicle, can they remount and continue their movement?

No. The vehicles can continue their movement, but the infantry must stay where they are . . . the time to rendezvous and remount would take up the rest of the turn.

Infantry riding a vehicle is considered stacked with that vehicle and shares the effect of attacks against it. But what's to stop infantry from dismounting at the end of each turn and remounting at the beginning of the next turn?

Nothing . . . but the combat result should be the same. Therefore, if an infantry unit is touching a vehicle and therefore eligible to mount it next turn and move with it, treat that infantry unit as stacked with the vehicle for combat purposes.

How many points does the GEV-PC cost? It says 6 on p. 13, but 3 in the reference table.

The uncertainty has to do with an ongoing argument in the Ogre world about just how good the GEV-PC is. It has the attack ability of an LGEV, less movement but better defense . . . and neither the attack nor defense will matter much if the unit is properly used, because what it's for is shuttling infantry around the battlefield.

The official point value is 6; in skilled hands, it's worth it. But if all you ever do with the GEV-PC is carry infantry into overrun attacks, or drop troops off at the front line and then suicide on the nearest Ogre, don't bother to take any at all . . .

Pyramid #5 (January/February 1994)

When a Cruise Missile goes off, what effect does it have on Ogre weapons within its blast radius? And are Cruise Missiles underpriced?

Ogre weapon systems are treated exactly like "units" within range. So, for instance, an Ogre weapon between 6" and 7" away from the blast will suffer a 1-1 attack.

I don't feel that they are underpriced, but I have observed that many players fail to defend effectively against Cruise Missiles. To take a Cruise Missile Crawler costs 18 points, so it must destroy, on average, 3 regular armor units. A CM fired from off the board costs 12 points, so it should destroy, on average, 2 units; reasonable, since it's easier to shoot down. Proper defensive tactics can limit your losses to an acceptable level. Facing an enemy with Cruise Missiles, you should take lasers if you can, and protect them! Either rush to close with the foe so he has to nuke his own units, or keep your units close enough together so that they can support each other with anti-missile fire. A loose wave of units is likely to be hurt badly by Cruise Missiles. A damaged and unsupported Ogre is meat for a missile.

Having said that, I'll add that a scenario with a few Cruise Missiles is fun, but I wouldn't want to play with a lot of them. An exception might be a game in which an attacker starts off with a huge force, and undergoes Cruise Missile bombardment. He must then pull the survivors together and complete the mission while the small defending force tries to exploit his disruption with a counterattack. This would be a good test of tactical skill, since there's absolutely no telling which units, where, would survive the bombardment.

Pyramid #7 (May/June 1994)

We had a batch of good questions about mines this month . . . good enough that now we have to add a rule or two.

If a unit is hit by the mines in a minefield, is the whole minefield, cleared, or just a 1" × 1" section, or none of it at all?

None of it is cleared. There are a lot of mines in a minefield. Trying to clear it by running units into each mine would be fruitless.

Can mines be placed in water?

Yes, they can. In deep water (e.g., ocean bottom) they are assumed to be on the bottom, and would not be triggered by anything except an Ogre or a large ship – like the ones we'll introduce later this year in Killing Zone. In shallow water (e.g., a lake or river) they would be triggered by GEVs, or even infantry, passing over them. Effects of mines in water, and rules for detection and removal, are the same as for regular mines . . . except that only a Marine Engineer unit can clear mines in the water.

Do minefields hit all units, or just enemy units?

Good question! The minefields described on p. 48 of Ogre Miniatures are smart, and have no effect on friendly units. But other types of mines are possible.

Cheap mines will ignore friendly units . . . most of the time. These cost only half as much as regular mines, and explode with the same effects. However, friendly armor units also roll (two dice) when they pass through the minefield. A mine is triggered on a roll of 9 or more for Ogres, 10 or more for armor units, and 12 for battlesuited infantry.

Compromised minefields are those whose precise type and location is known to the enemy. A defender can take a compromised minefield for half price, but must tell the enemy exactly where its borders are, and mark them clearly on the map, before the enemy even chooses his forces. Effects are normal.

Dumb mines treat all units as hostile. These can be bought, in a defending setup, for 1/3 the cost of regular mines. Or the referee may include dumb mines in a scenario, possibly as an unexpected leftover from a previous battle . . .

Yes, this means that you can take six square inches of dumb, compromised mines for only 1 point. Remember . . . the enemy knows about it, and may find a way to use it against you! And, for balance, the referee should not allow objectives to be set up on the edge of the map and ringed with huge minefields. The referee can always limit the total number of square inches that can be mined.

A referee may also set up interesting special effects. For instance, suppose the defenders start out with minefields. To their chagrin, though, the attackers seem to be immune to the mines. The attackers have the electronic code-key that lets them ignore the defender's minefields . . . but what they also know is that their stolen key will expire shortly after the engagement begins. A few turns into the game, mines will once again affect them. And perhaps they don't actually know exactly where those minefields are . . .

Pyramid #10 (November/December 1994)

A very frequently asked question: "What happened to the rule from the original Ogre about Ogres losing treads when they ram armor units?" Many people have assumed that that rule should be in there somewhere.

That rule is replaced, in the more complex miniatures version, by overrun attacks. Instead of automatic damage to the Ogres' treads, the victim gets one last chance to hit the Ogre with its weapon. Ogre treads are really too tough to be damaged by running over little tanks . . .

And another frequently asked question: "When will the miniatures be back?"

We now have a firm answer. Soldiers and Swords will ship the first set of new miniatures on September 15. It will include the Mark IV Ogre, the Combine Superheavy, the Combine MHWZ, and the Combine LGEV. More will follow each month, including Nihon and Chinese units.

[Note: Unfortunately, just before they were due to start shipping miniatures, Soldiers and Swords disappeared off the face of the planet. We believe they are now out of business. We still hope to get the miniatures back into production, but no promises as to when.]

Is an armor unit always destroyed by a second D result, even if the first did not come from enemy attack? What if the first D came from a GEV that missed its roll when it entered swamp?

An armor unit is always destroyed by a second D result, no matter where it came from. If the first D was from swamp, it just slowed the target down enough that the second attack could kill it.

Note that even spillover fire can destroy a unit if it results in a D on an already disabled unit.

Are Combat Engineers required to move Size 5 and 6 units off roads?

Yes, per the table on Ogre Miniatures, p. 17, at least one squad of Combat Engineers must participate in order to move units of size 4, 5 and 6. There is a mistake in that table, though . . . a size 6 unit requires 15 squads to move, not 5! (I suspect the reason that the error wasn't caught before is that very few people have played Mark II Ogres so far; the miniature isn't out yet. But it will be . . .)

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