The Suicide Ogre
by Tim Solis
Lieutenant Nugent watched the horizon. The sensors in his helmet were picking up something... something big. Then, as he looked along the curving, battered highway, a distant flurry of dust became visible.
"Delta six," Nugent said into his microphone. "This is Victor seven. I've spotted something at about two o'clock from your position. Relaying visual now. Over."
"Roger, seven," Captain Phillips replied. "We've got visual now from a drone. Looks like an Ogre; Mark III, I'd say, moving directly toward us. No other units."
Another voice came in. "Delta six, this is Tango Sierra. We have target acquisition from drone and ground triangulation."
"Roger, Tango Sierra," the Captain replied. "Commence firing."
Safely off to the side, Nugent watched as the huge vehicle rolled toward the city skyline. It was as big as an Ogre. but it looked nothing like any Ogre he had ever seen before. It seemed more like some monstrous beetle, with the sun glinting off its smooth, rounded back. Then, suddenly, it disappeared in a veil of smoke and glare from Tango Sierra's howitzers.
The lieutenant looked at his men, who had now positioned themselves along the ridge, waiting for the order to attack. He spoke again into his headset.
"Delta six, this is Victor seven. We're ready to move in and close up the rear, over."
"Negative, seven," answered Captain Phillips. "Hold your position... Well, look at that! You oughtta see this, Victor seven. This Ogre's got no weapons, least not any we can see. Between us and Tango, it'll be finished in no time."
Still the enemy tank pressed on, although now at a much slower pace, through the artillery barrage until it reached the outskirts of the city.
Nugent listened as the Captain's voice crackled over his headphones.
"Cease fire, Tango Sierra. The Ogre's within range of my tanks – a sitting duck. We'll take it from here, out."
Nugent saw a blinding flash of light from the city and heard a burst of static in his headphones. Then a wall of air, travelling over 450 kilometers per hour, crushed him in his BPC-armored suit and threw his lifeless body, along with other debris from the nuclear blast, away from ground zero.
Meet Goliath – a Mark III Ogre, stripped of all missiles, batteries, and anti-personnel weapons. Because of its lightened load, it moves a little faster than a regular Mark III. But with no weapons to protect itself, Goliath is incredibly vulnerable to attack, especially by infantry units in an overrun situation.
Goliath 40 Tread Units starting at 4 MA. ooooo ooooo (M3) ooooo ooooo (M2) ooooo ooooo (M1) ooooo ooooo (M0)
As you've probably guessed by now, Goliath is a kamikaze tank. Its mission is to get within range of its designated objective, and then self-destruct. It can also be used to approach a strong line of defense and detonate, opening a gap for friendly units to pass through. Goliath can even be used to probe for mines when players decide to use that option.
Rules for Goliath
Goliath is subject to the same rules of movement, ramming, etc., as other Ogres, except that it may transport infantry (up to three squads) in a manner similar to light and heavy tanks. It rams like a Mark III.
Goliath may self-destruct at any time its owner wishes, with the following results:
- Any Ogre in the same or adjacent hex is destroyed. At a range of two hexes, all of an Ogre's missiles and half of its remaining secondaries, AP, and treads (round down) are destroyed. At three hexes, half of the missiles and a third of its remaining AP and treads (again, round down) are destroyed.
- Other units are affected as per the chart. Count the distance in hexes from Goliath to each other unit, and apply the attack odds (or automatic result) indicated.
- All mines within six hexes are detonated.
- If Goliath detonates in water, add three hexes to the effective distance to each unit – except that anything in the Ogre's detonation hex is still considered destroyed. Note that the use of Goliath does not require players to give the same self destruct ability to all Ogres in the scenario. In fact, if Goliath is used, other Ogres should be denied the self-destruct capability (unless extra armor units are "spent" to buy them the bomb to carry).
The only way to render Goliath unable to explode is to score a critical hit on it, "cracking" it open. For rules, see "The Golden BB."
Radiation / Fallout
As an option when using Goliath, you may use the following rules for radiation and fallout effects.
When Goliath detonates, the hex it was in and all adjoining hexes immediately become too contaminated for any non-Ogre units to enter for the remainder of the game. This contaminated area expands one hex in all directions at the beginning of Goliath's turn for the next two turns. On the third turn after detonation, a fallout corridor seven hexes wide begins advancing across the map. Roll twice on the following table each turn for direction and speed.
|1||N||1 hex per turn|
|2||NE||1 hex per turn|
|3||SE||1 hex per turn|
|4||S||2 hexes per turn|
|5||SW||2 hexes per turn|
|6||NW||3 hexes per turn|
The fallout corridor marches in a steady and leisurely way until it reaches the edge of the map. It remains in effect for the duration of the game. Any non-Ogre unit caught in or entering into the fallout corridor is destroyed.
It is recommended that you use blank counters to mark the corridor's progression.
Victory Points and Strategy
A trapped or detonated Goliath is worth 50 victory points to the opposing player. This VP cost will prevent a player from self-destructing any time a Goliath unit is stuck in a swamp or low on treads. There's no point in pulling the plug just to take a few measly enemy units with you... as long as there's some chance that your side will hold the field. Realistically, a Goliath device would usually be far too costly to waste unless the objective was considered crucial.
Take, for example, the Raid scenario in GEV. A prime target for Goliath would be the city and river bridge at the southeast corner of the map. Why? Because if Goliath is detonated in just the right hex, the attacker will receive a total of 80 points for the destruction of the bridge and town hexes – plus what ever he earns for any enemy units caught in the blast. Thus, even with a 50-point expenditure, he comes out ahead. Another good target in this scenario would be the city to the northeast, if it's occupied by enemy units.
In a scenario where a Mark V is worth 12 and a III is worth 8, a Goliath should be worth 5, and a bomb to provide self-destruct capability to any other Ogre should be worth 1. (Note that, as per GEV, these are not true costs; if one side doesn't take at least one Ogre, it should lose.)
Don't ever send a Goliath charging around the map as you would an Ogre. It can't protect itself and, once it blows up, it's gone. Use it carefully. You should probably provide some units to escort it to its objective and to help discourage a massive attack against it. The best escorts are GEVs (because they can get out of the way quickly) and Ogres (which will be undamaged if they move far enough away from the point of detonation).
Goliath should add a few twists to your strategies. It will solve some old problems – and provide some new ones.
Goliath Explosion Chart
|Road or RR||0||1||-||-||2||3+|
|Town or Forest||6||7||8||9||-||10+|
|D0 Command Post||5||6||7||8||-||9+|
|D1+ Command Post||3||4||5||6||-||7+|
|Nomenclature||Combine Mk III-G Special, "GOLIATH"|
|Optimum road speed||71.5 kph|
|Average speed||60 kph|
|Maximum armor||three meters BPC|
|Weapons||Self-detonating power plant equivalent to 7.627 megatons of TNT|
Essentially a self-propelled nuclear warhead on a modified Mark III chassis, the GOLIATH cybertank was first introduced on 20.4.2088. It met with limited success until the third battle for Roum, where a Goliath penetrated the Paneuropean lines and destroyed a large portion of the enemy's command centers, railways, and armor reserves.