Closing the Gap
by Drew Metzger
In 2012, Steve Jackson Games ran a Kickstarter to produce a tribute edition of a game long out of print with a modest goal of $20,000. A month and $923,680 later, Ogre Designer's Edition was forged out of the love and dedication demonstrated by both Steve Jackson and the many fans of the game over decades of play. This game had virtually everything; 3-D Ogres and structures, many counters of numerous units, and enough overlays to completely remake any map. This monstrosity quickly sold out, but interest in the game had rekindled in the hearts of many gamers. Ogre Sixth Edition was soon released, quickly followed by Ogre Reinforcements. These sets brought the game of Ogre to an entirely new generation; some argued that Ogre Sixth Edition was even superior to Ogre Designer's Edition, in that it had the same quality components in a much more portable package. Yet both Ogre Sixth Edition and Ogre Reinforcements were lacking in certain units. There were far fewer Marks of Ogres available in the sets (and none of the Paneuropean designs); with the exception of the Command Posts, all of the structures were non-existent; and many specialized or ancillary units were missing.
During the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter, the $4,500 pledge level was an opportunity for fans to sponsor a game sheet, consisting of different factions and/or units, different Ogres, and different overlays. Seven individuals or groups availed themselves of the opportunity to sponsor one or more sheets. These were later sold by the respective entities, or as in the case of the ACD Distribution sheet, given away. Many of these sheets contained units or structures that are not found within Ogre Sixth Edition and Ogre Reinforcements. When combined with the free Ogre Designer's Edition rulebook pdf (which may be downloaded here: http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/products/ogredesigner/img/ogre_rulebook.pdf), these sheets can fill in many of the gaps between Ogre Sixth Edition and Ogre Designer's Edition. What follows is a list of the "missing" units from Ogre Sixth Edition, and how they may be obtained through available counter sheets.
Specialized Infantry – Although Engineers may only be found on the Kickstarter exclusive sheets, Marines and Heavy Weapon Teams are available. The Nihon Empire: North American Divisions sheet has a single Heavy Weapon Team squad and a number of Marine units. These may be melded with the Combine units without issue. The Barbarians at the Gate set has a number of Heavy Weapon Teams for both the Vatican Guard and the Sons of Old Nassau mercenary outfit, which may be used to bolster the Paneuropean forces. All three of these specialist infantry squads will be available in the up-coming Battlefields release.
Missile Crawler – This fearsome unit (and the associated Missile and empty Crawler) may be found on a number of sheets. The BGG 3-D Unit sheet has a Paneuropean model that can easily be used with Paneuropean forces, as the color schemes are similar. Additionally, the Barbarians at the Gate set also has a pair of Paneuropean-style Missile Crawlers, one in the livery of the Vatican Guard and one with Sons of Old Nassau tiger stripes. These, too, may be used with Paneuropean forces as both are mounted on a counter with a white background. The Nihon Empire: North American Divisions has a Combine model Missile Crawler, which slots in well with Combine forces.
Trucks, Hovertrucks and Trains – These counters may be necessary to play certain published scenarios. Ogre: Nightfall has both Paneuropean Trucks and Hovertrucks available on the sheet. The Strategic and Tactical Objectives sheet has a Hovertruck for both the Paneuropean and Combine factions on it. Ogre: Nightfall and the Barbarians at the Gate set include Trains with the associated movement markers, permitting the play of "Casey Joneski" and other scenarios.
Ogre Mark I – This ubiquitous Ogre may be found on three of the Sponsored Sheets. Ogre: Nightfall and the Barbarians at the Gate set each have Ogre Mark I counters, and the Nihon Empire: North American Divisions sheet not only has some Mark I Ogres, but there are flat Mark II, III, III-B and V counters as well. A pair of Mark I Ogres will be found in Battlefields.
Ogre Mark IV – This fast strike raider Ogre is found on the Ogre: Nightfall sheet. It may easily be used with Combine forces on a map.
Ogre Mark VI – This massive Ogre was found on the BGG 3-D Units sheet, which just sold out in early August of this year. This sheet may be occasionally found in secondary markets such as Ebay.
Ogre Ninja – This specialized Ogre was not included in either the Kickstarter or the retail versions of Ogre Designer's Edition. It was only found on the BGG 3-D Units sheet, until recently available through BoardGameGeek.com. Battlefields will have two of these Ogres in the set.
Fencer and Fencer-B – These Paneuropean Ogres were available on the ACD Distribution sheet. Regrettably, they are sold out on Warehouse 23, but they frequently are available at reasonable prices on third-party reseller sites. One Fencer-B will be included in Battlefields.
Mark II, Mark III-B and Doppelsoldner – Unfortunately, these Ogres are not available outside of the Ogre Designer's Edition set (either version) at this time.
Vulcan and Vulcan Drones – This utility Ogre and its Drones were only available on the "Vulcan and Friends" sheets that were an exclusive to the Kickstarter Ogre Designer's Edition set. A Vulcan, with its four Heavy Drones, is in Battlefields.
Laser Turrets and Towers – The bane of Cruise Missiles, these 3-D structures may be found on a number of sheets. The ACD Distribution sheet, the BGG 3-D Units sheet (Laser Tower only), Ogre: Nightfall, and the Uncommon Ogres set all have these structures of Paneuropean make. Ogre: Nightfall has a Combine-style Laser Turret and Tower as well.
Reactors – This target was initially only in the Kickstarter version of Ogre Designer's Edition on the "Targets Go Boom 2" exclusive sheet. Now Reactors may also be found on both the ACD Distribution sheet and in the Ogre: Nightfall set.
Strongpoints and Admin Buildings – In addition to the standard CPs, these 3-D buildings represent possible targets of differing strength on the battlefield. ACD Distribution and Uncommon Ogres both have Admin Buildings whereas the BGG 3-D Units sheet has a Strongpoint. Ogre: Nightfall has both of these structures in the set.
G.E.V.-style maps – Ogre Sixth Edition has the Ogre map for gameplay while Ogre Designer's Edition included G.E.V. maps G1, G2, S1 and S2 as well. These four maps may be obtained through Warehouse 23 as the Ogre Giant Battlefield Set. Maps G3 and S3 are anticipated in the Battlefields expansion.
Overlays – Ogre Designer's Edition had many overlays that facilitated altering the map to suit the needs of the players or a scenario. The BGG Exclusive Overlays and Strategic and Tactical Objectives sheets provided overlays with specific locations on them, but there are few generalized terrain overlays. A couple of single hex overlays may be found in the Barbarians at the Gate and Ogre: Nightfall sets. Stream overlays may be found on W23 in our free pdf download, Ogre Stream Overlays. A stretch goal of the planned Battlefields Kickstarter might be a sheet of general terrain overlays including much needed water overlays.
Status markers – There are numerous small counters designed for use with the maps to further modify terrain, provide details for structures, or designate a unit's status. Examples include "Stuck"/"Road Cut", "Disabled"/"Damaged", "Dummy", "D1", "D2", "SP10", "SP20", "SP30" and "SP40". All of these may be found in the Barbarians at the Gate set, the Nihon Empire: North American Divisions set and the Ogre: Nightfall set. A pair of "Stuck"/"Road Cut" markers are on the Battlefields counter sheet.
Ogre Sixth Edition, when combined with Ogre Reinforcements, allows players to play most of the scenarios designed for use with the Ogre map. Through the addition of some of the above options, players with Ogre Sixth Edition will have almost the same level of gameplay as those with one of the Ogre Designer's Edition sets. With the exception of the map pack and the Ogre Stream Overlays pdf (both found on Warehouse 23), links to these sheets may be found here: http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/sponsored-counters/.