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Ogre Update

by Steve Jackson

The second edition of Ogre, published in late 1977, incorporated a number of rule changes and revisions. These were designed to improve rules clarity and scenario balance, and to facilitate design of further games (such as GEV) that would be totally compatible with Ogre. The intent of the revisions was to change the actual play of the game as little as possible. Only two really substantive changes (the increase of the Heavy Tank's movement from 2 to 3 hexes and the cutting of the GEV's second movement phase from 4 to 3 hexes) were made; other change either involve the setup or would not be noticed by a casual observer of play.

Nevertheless, none of use have any desire to make the 8,000 copies of the first edition of Ogre obsolete. Therefore, as promised, here are the changes made in the second edition.

Counters

The only change in the counters is on the Heavy Tank. The new Heavy Tank has M3 – 3 movement points. (Physically, the second edition counters are better quality – white-on-black and black-on-white, on heavier, glossy stock.)

Map

The map has been reworked; the pattern of rubble and craters is superficially identical, but now occurs on a map having slightly fewer hexes. Since the map is shorter, the Ogre starts 1.5 km (3 hexes) closer to the rear edge of the map. (The map has also been redrawn in a less abstract style.)

Rules

A number of rule changes have been made – mostly for clarity, but a few are substantive, as stated above. The changes, point by point, are:

1.03 Basic scenario – setup changes. The defending player now gets any 12 armor units, and 20 attack strength points (squads) of infantry. Each howitzer taken counts as two armor units. All but 20 attack strength points of the defense force must be set up on or behind the line between the two craters at the map edges.

1.04 Advanced scenario – setup changes. As above, except that the defender now gets any 20 armor units, with HWZs counting double, and 30 points of infantry. All but 40 attack strength points of this force must be set up on or behind the line.

2.012 Rubble. Infantry, like Ogres, are now allowed to cross rubble lines at no movement penalty. No other units may cross rubble, ever.

3.015 Infantry counters. The basic infantry counter (3-1) is now designated as a 3-squad counter – not 3 platoons. (Its firepower may be better than a modern platoon – but "squad" designation is probably less confusing for a 3-4 man group.) This is a change in nomenclature only.

5.01 Movement. Movement is now described in terms of "movement points" for normal units – an M2 unit can move 2 hexes/turn, and so on. Reason: Conformity with standard game nomenclature. If you can't reform them, join them. No difference in play.

5.031 Ogre ramming. An Ogre is now specifically permitted to ram an armor unit twice (ensuring a kill) by expending one movement point but staying in the same hex. An Ogre loses two tread units (see Section 6.05) for ramming a Heavy Tank, and one tread unit for ramming anything else.

5.04 Infantry overruns. An Ogre cannot automatically reduce infantry by overrunning it, unless it has at least one AP gun left. (The Ogre isn't ramming those men; it's shooting them up.) The Ogre can expend another movement point, stay in the hex, and reduce the infantry a second time. (It's spending more time there, shooting.)

5.05 GEV double movement. The GEV still has 4 movement points for its first move – but it has only 3 movement points for its second-phase move.

5.06 Ogre movement factor. This is a nomenclature change only, not affecting play – but if you don't understand it, you'll get fouled up when you play with someone who has the second edition rules. The Ogre now has a given number of "tread units" which are destroyed as the game progresses – in other words, what the first edition calls movement points are now called tread units. This change was made because some people (believe it or not) saw the Ogre had 60 movement points and decided it could move 60 hexes per turn. Others wondered if it could move ONLY 60 hexes during the whole game... and so on. Besides – if we call the treads tread units and utilize the term movement points as it is used in the second edition, we can describe effects of various terrain (forest, etc.) by saying it takes two movement points to enter – and so on – and that is exactly how G. E. V. is working it.

6.05 Ogre movement factor. This rules is rewritten to conform with the above. An Ogre's movement factor (how many movement points it has) varies according to the number of treads it has left, as always. Same rules – different wording.

6.07 Combining attacks on Ogre tread units is not permitted. This is to solve the gripe, "What if somebody puts 20 attack strength points into one roll against the treads, and hits?" My gut response is "Well, he blows up 20 tread units – so what?" However, it makes it more interesting if each unit firing at treads must do so separately – part of the appeal of the game, to me, is that you have to make a whole bunch of die rolls. The odds tend to even out and the better tactician wins.

6.101 Reinstates the rule that when all AP are gone, an Ogre can no longer reduce infantry in strength just by entering its hex.

8.03 Mines. A mine now does the following damage on exploding: X result for armor, D result for infantry, and one die of damage to tread units of an Ogre. That is, if a mine goes off under an Ogre, roll one die; the result is the number of tread units the Ogre loses.

9.03 Mark III defense scenario. The defender gets a Mark III (anywhere) and 12 armor units and 15 strength points of infantry (behind the line). Attacker gets a Mark V.

Mark IIs attacking. Give the defender two more armor units than the standard advanced scenario.

9.05 Ogre defending. The "little help" to be given the watchdog Ogre is now defined as a standard-unit force equivalent in strength to half the attacking force. Best general tactic for this game: Defender keeps infantry back to screen CP, with his Ogre about 6 hexes in front of the CP. Armor deploys in a wider screen. Attacker can try to "attrit" defender and then punch through – or just smash through without formalities. It depends on the force he's chosen.

CRT changes

On the 1-2 column, a die roll of 4 now gives "no effect" instead of "D." The terminology "disrupted" is changed to "disabled." "Disabled" is a better word for a temporarily out-of-action tank.

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