Ogre News Archives
November 21, 2013: Ogre News Roundup
Some big things have been happening in the world of Ogre!
There was an unboxing video!
We gave some pointers on how to strengthen your tray insert!
That's a lot of stuff!
-- Brian Engard
October 16, 2013: A Special Thank You From Grand Prix International
Grand Prix International, the folks who did printing for Ogre Designer's Edition, sent a pretty awesome thank-you to us, now that the game is printed. Head on over to the Kickstarter update that talks all about it!
-- Brian Engard
October 10, 2013: Ogre Has Arrived!
September 11, 2013: Ogre Update Roundup
A lot has happened in the world of Ogre in the past month and change. Check it out!
- We visited the Hong Kong factory and took lots of pictures!
- The first two containers shipped!
- We went to Gen Con and showed Ogre off to the fans!
- We did an unboxing!
- Daniel had twins and is going back to Singapore to be with them (great for him, but we'll miss him)!
- The Classic Counters shipped!
- We initiated Wave Two reprints of Ogre Minis!
- We organized the upcoming Launch Party!
- We released the Quick Start Rules and Ogre Classic Counters electronically!
Whew, that's a lot of great stuff. Onward to victory!
August 6, 2013: Ogre Miniatures Wave One Restock -- Small Delay
Just to let folks know that Richard Kerr of Grey Cat Studios is still working on restocking certain Ogre Miniatures Wave 1 reprints like the Doppelsoldner.
Grey Cat had a small issue last week when the old gas controller for its melting furnace gave up the ghost and they needed to order a new one. We expect to take delivery of the Wave 1 restocks any day now. Thanks for your patience. It's really exciting to see the minis come in, after being out of print for so long!
August 1, 2013: Ogre Update Roundup
We've got a couple of updates on the Ogre front for you.
First, the latest from Phil and Sam's trip to Hong Kong. They got to look at the first production copies. Good news: they are awesome!
Second, a demonstration of how enormous the Ogre box really is. We told you!
July 16, 2013: Out Of Print Ogre Miniatures Are Back!
One of the Ogre Kickstarter stretch goals was to reprint the minis from Ogre Miniatures. We're pleased to announce that the first wave of reprints is now available from Warehouse 23. This includes many long-out-of-print Ogres like the Mark III and Mark V. If the minis sell out before you order, don't worry – we will get more cast. Don't get price-gouged on eBay – but don't bother trying to gouge others, either!
The second wave of minis will include rare buildings like the Combine Jammer and the Paneuro Laser Turret, and a never-seen-before unit, the Combine Unity Missile Crawler. Watch this space!
While we've unfortunately had to raise the price on the reprints to reflect the current cost of labor and materials, the existing stock of boxed sets are still available at the amazing pre-2002 price of $19.95 each. We expect these to sell out after Ogre Designer's Edition launches later this year, so be sure to grab these bargains now, if you want them!
June 28, 2013: Ogre Launch Paaarty Update!
We currently have around 200 folks coming to the Ogre Launch Paaarty on October 19 in Austin!
There'll be the chance for Kickstarter supporters to pick up the game plus extras, a goody bag for all attendees (age 14 and over) with a limited edition Launch T-Shirt and patch, signings by Steve, sponsored counters for sale, organized play, and more!
June 27, 2013: Ogre At Dexcon Next Week
Surely you haven't forgotten that next week is your chance to meet Steve and Daniel at Dexcon in Morristown, NJ, have you? Good!
Then I also shouldn't need to remind you that they'll be arriving in The Garden State with a veritable torrent of Ogre. They'll have samples on hand – for demos and for just general show and tell. But what you can really get excited about is the Ogre Macrotures event. The good folks at Dexcon will be filling an entire arena with an oversized Ogre game, featuring, as its centerpiece, a two foot long Ogre! Another event will have Steve playing 12 Ogre games simultaneously, attempting to crush 12 command posts at once.
If you have a chance to be at the con, don't miss these!
June 21, 2013: Pink GEVs!
SJGames.com forum user "Oracle" has painted these awesome pink-and-purple Anarchist Relief Front and Vatican Guard GEVs.
If you want to try your hand at your own paintschemes, you can order Ogre minis over at W23. They're currently fantastic value since they've not had a price increase for a significant while; we expect prices to go up once stock sells out.
June 18, 2013: New Ogre Patch And T-Shirt!
Sensors detect a blip on the horizon . . . it's back! The classic, ultra-retro Ogre tank silhouette on a T-Shirt. The huge lettering and menacing profile will intimidate your opponent into instant submission!
June 11, 2013: Launch Parrrty! Registration Now Open!
June 10, 2013: Ogre Launch Party And Release Dates
Ogre is now officially in manufacturing (cue delirious cheering here at the office). Following manufacturing comes assembly, then shipping, and then . . .
. . . the Launch Party will be on Saturday, October 19 in Austin. Watch this space for the registration announcement, coming soon. We'll start shipping Kickstarter games (and extras!) from our warehouse on Monday, October 21. Expect to see Ogre in stores in late November to early December.
These dates are final, barring something unexpected. We think there won't be any delays from here. What could go wrong? Something happening to the factory; assembly issues; enemy cyberships lying in wait outside Hong Kong harbor; BGG-Zilla coming to life and stomping all over. You get the picture.
Why It Took So Long
We're sorry about the delay in releasing Ogre. We underestimated the size of the game, and the effect the Kickstarter support had on what comes in the box. The pictures help indicate just how much game we're making. We're not kidding when we say that something this epic has never been attempted before in the industry!
June 6, 2013: Origins Just One Week Away!
By this time next week, the Steve Jackson Games booth at Origins will be set up and ready to run. Here are a few reminders on why you should head to Origins and come see us.
- You can play a preview set of Ogre Designer's Edition against Steve himself! He'll be squaring off against up to 12 opponents, taking them all on simultaneously in 12 different games. Ogre Line Editor Daniel Jew will handle another group of combatants. Get all the details in Daniel's post about the event.
- Meet other members of our staff. Play demo games with them!
- Check out previews of upcoming releases.
- You'll have your first chance to buy a copy of Castellan. This game has been a huge hit whenever and wherever we've demoed it. Origins will be your opportunity to grab it before anyone else. We expect to have only 72 copies on hand. There will be other cool pre-releases as well.
- The Origins Coupon Book will get you 10% off any purchase from our sales partner Adventure Retail.
- The back page of that coupon book is a cool Ogre promo you won't be able to get anywhere else!
- Other stuff!
Hope to see you there!
May 28, 2013: Steve And Ogre Storm The Garden State
We've already reported on Steve's upcoming visit to Dexcon later this summer. But apparently even an entire convention won't be enough Ogre, so he's taking it on a little tour.
While he's in New Jersey, Steve will be doing a couple of store visits with Ogre in tow. If you call the Garden State home, or just plan on being there on Tuesday July 2nd, he'll be at one retailer location and two other places:
Retailers can meet Steve at Peachstate Hobby Distribution's New Jersey location between 1 and 3 PM.
If you're not a retailer, come and see him at The Only Game in Town in Somerville from 5:30 to 7 PM.
And if you can't make it there, never fear! You'll be able to find him a scant half-hour later at The Fallout Shelter in Highland Park from 7:30 to 9 PM. Hope you can make it!
May 22, 2013: Lawn Ogres -- Much Better Than Gnomes!
So . . . you could have cute li'l lawn gnomes guarding your back yard, or you could go for something meaner and tougher. Like a lawn Ogre.
Check out how to make your very own lawn Ogre (Stormtrooper not included) at the Derivative Crafts blog.
May 21, 2013: Ogre Miniatures In Warehouse23!
Many Ogre minis are available at Warehouse 23, including boxed sets. We've also recently restocked individual minis. The price on these award-winning 1/285 or 6mm metal minis hasn't changed in over a decade, so they're a superb value.
May 20, 2013: Celebrate July 4th With Steve And Daniel At Dexcon!
Steve and Daniel are heading to Dexcon for one of the biggest Ogre events of the year. And I mean that quite literally since we're talking about the Ogre Macrotures Event Dexcon is presenting on Friday July 5th. What's an Ogre Macroture? Well, that's our fancy insider way of saying a really big honkin' Ogre mini. The one pictured in that link is a nice respectable 1/60th scale. The ones you'll find at Dexcon will be even bigger: 1/40th scale. The whole thing will be taking up a 50' x 20' arena and it will feature a humongous (over two feet long!) Ogre as the centerpiece. It will be a spectacle you will never forget.
Since you can never have enough Ogre, Daniel and Steve will be there for the entirety of the con answering questions and showing off samples. And be sure to check out the rest of the show too. Dexcon is known for its off-the-wall events, so there's going to be plenty of fun to be had!
May 15, 2013: Play The New Ogre Against Steve At Origins!
Defend your Command Post against Steve Jackson himself, in a sneak preview of the new Ogre Designer's Edition!
Steve will play simultaneously – like a chess grandmaster – against up to a dozen opponents. There'll be prizes for participation, and (gasp) for beating Steve! Beginners welcome!
Where: Origins Game Fair
When: Wednesday, June 12, 2pm. Places are limited – you can register on the Origins webpage.
If you can't make that time, you can play against a much lesser mortal – namely, myself – at 5pm on the same day.
I'll also be running sneak preview events – playtests for new Ogre scenarios – at 2pm on Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14 (event registration required).
If you prefer to just drop in for an Ogre demo, or see the game pieces, you're welcome to come by the Steve Jackson Games exhibitor booth throughout the fair.
May 1, 2013: Ogre Thank You Certificates
Steve's right hand has taken on a life of its own – like a tiny automated Ogre, it just keeps doing its thing at staff meetings, breaks, event downtimes, you name it. I'm sure it even tries to run cycles during his sleep!
April 30, 2013: Over Twenty-Three Pounds Of Awesome!
We did the happy dance when a full set of Ogre arrived this week. We'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Above: contents of the Ogre Designer's Edition retail box. Yes, that's the orange crater map way off in the horizon. Production Manager and Line Editor not included
Above: contents of the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter box
Above: contents of the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter box, plus one of each sponsored sheet
The pictures above don't include the Read Me First sheet, or Pocket Ogre (which some Kickstarter supporters are receiving. Pocket Ogre will also be available separately).
The conference table is approx. 4 feet wide and 15 feet long. (Great for playing games!)
A Game System Of Truly Epic Proportions
For the retail box:
- Box size: 24 by 20 by 5.8 inches
- Box weight: 23.9 pounds
- Maps laid out: 31 square feet
- Maps laid out end-to-end: 13.8 feet long
- Counter sheets laid out unpunched: 25.2 square feet
- No. of 2-D counters: 1,051
- No. of 3-D counters: 72
- Total no. of counters: 1,123
We've mentioned that this should retail at around $400. We hope now you can see why. . .
In case you're wondering about the sponsored sheets, these aren't in Kickstarter or retail copies of Ogre Designer's Edition. They're a separate purchase.
May 7, 2013: Ogre: Operation Dragonmeet
One of the upsides of the resurgence of Ogre has been a new wave of (Wo)Men In Black, adding to the ranks of our dedicated demo team of volunteers.
If you're interested in joining our MIB team, you can find more info here.
May 2, 2013: Ogre Blog Article!
Ever had someone ask you "What is Ogre?" Have you wondered yourself what the Kickstarted game is about? Check out my second BGG blog entry, What is OGRE? Part I – Classic Ogre, in which I introduce new players to the classic "Ogre vs. Command Post" scenario.
You can help if you like, by giving your own tips and strategies in the comments!
May 6, 2013: Ogre: Thirdpower's Kickstarter Preview
He's also the sponsor of the "Nihon Empire: North American Divisions" counter sheet. It's available for pre-order, if you'd like to check it out!
April 25, 2013: Ogre Garage Open For Business!
We've received penultimate tray samples for Ogre Designer's Edition, which are a beautiful fit.
The great news is that it's possible to fit all the 3-D counters in the Ogre garage, even with the sponsored sheets. We'll receive the final trays (with minor tweaks) in the next week or two, but at this stage we're confident enough to proceed with production.
Sponsored Sheets Webpage
Our webpage for the $4,500 backer level sponsored sheets is up. These are a separate purchase. Three sponsors, Drew Metzger (see sponsored sheets page), Fire Mountain Games, and Thirdpower, have pre-orders available now.
April 29, 2013: Ogre Scenario Playtest
It's a big, two-map scenario, designed to showcase some of the different Ogres which come in the big box. A force of Combine Ogres is trying to do an "end run" across a series of bridges. The Paneuro forces aim to hold out until reinforcements – including a mighty Doppelsoldner – arrive.
We had a blast! And yes, Steve thrashed me. I blame the scenario – it's clearly imbalanced, and needs much more work!
April 24, 2013: Ogre War Room Now On Android
"Andros" means "man" in Greek. The English suffix "-oid" means "having the likeness of." Hence "android" – "a robot with the likeness of a human."
Is an Ogre an android? There are arguments both ways. But . . . is Ogre on Android? The answer is now, emphatically, yes! You can download the test version of Ogre War Room, our free helper app, on Google Play. Please send any feedback to our intrepid in-house coder, Keith Blackard (email@example.com).
If you're an IOS user and late to the party, never fear: Ogre War Room is also available from the Apple Store. If you're using a Windows Phone . . . we're working on it!
April 23, 2013: Updated Ogre Galleries!
Check out the new game piece pictures in our Ogre Designer's Edition product gallery!
And, just in case you missed the earlier announcement, you might want to take a peek at the Pocket Ogre page as well!
April 17, 2013: Ogre Gems Uncovered In W23
Our brave new Ogre Line Editor, Daniel Jew, climbed into his Battlesuit and took a solo sojourn into the dreaded depths of Warehouse 23, emerging not only alive, but with long-hidden treasure for all of you Ogre fans!
I'm impressed, but next time he goes digging, I hope he uses the buddy system. You never know what you'll find in there, man.
February 6, 2013: Tray Delay -- Good News, Bad News
One popular request for the storage trays is space for extra counters from the $4.5K backer level sponsor sheets.
The good news is that Sam has found extra room in the Ogre garage, in the striped areas:
I think you'll agree that the new art's pretty awesome! The extra spaces are designed to be flexible, and yet fit specifics like extra Mk IIIs, Mk Vs, etc. Not all the sponsor sheet counters will fit at once, but you'll be able to get quite a lot in! You can view some sheets here: Ogre: Nightfall, Ogre 6E: Nihon, BGG Exclusive Units, BGG Exclusive Terrain, Barbarians at the Gate. (We're also creating an area on our website for all the sponsor sheet info.)
The bad news is that we got confirmation this morning that the factory won't be sending out the second test tray before closing for about a month for Lunar New Year.
However, we've made good progress, and are reasonably – as in 99.42% – sure that the design above will be very close to the final spec. Unfortunately, the earliest Ogre will arrive in our warehouse is now June. We're awfully sorry about that, but the finish line's now in sight . . .
January 30, 2013: Daniel Launches Ogre Blog!
Check out my new blog on Boardgamegeek, "OGRE: How a Giant Cybernetic Tank Changed My Life."
As the new Ogre Line Editor, I give the inside scoop on Kickstarter, Ogre Designer's Edition, new releases, the Ogreverse, and . . . ALL THINGS OGRE!
One question we get a lot, from folks who've never played before, is "What is Ogre?"; The first posts are designed to introduce Ogre and its rich universe to new fans. You can help if you like, by giving your perspective in the comments!
January 15, 2013: Ogre Parking Causes Delay
Ogre Designer's Edition Status Update
- The maps, counters, dice and play references (rulebook, scenario book and reference sheet) were sent to print in November.
- More counter test sheets and color proofs have arrived, surpassing our expectations for vibrancy and die accuracy. We won’t know for sure that everything is 100% until all the tests come in, but we don’t anticipate these causing delays.
- Sam, our production manager, is working hard on getting the counter trays (for over1,200 pieces!) right with the factory. It’s like solving a gigantic 3-D puzzle, where Sam sets the parameters!
Unfortunately, the extra back-and-forthing to get the trays right means that the soonest the game will arrive at our warehouse is late May – if everything goes smoothly. This is partly due to the upcoming Year of the Water Snake – the extended Lunar New Year holiday season in Asia in February, when everything grinds to a halt. We might get a second test in before the factory closes. If so, that will help our schedule.
Ogre is now very close to the finish line, and we’re proceeding with all possible dispatch. We know that you’ve been very, very patient with us over the delays. We could rush it – and have a sucky tray forever – or beg a little bit more patience, and have it right for you when it arrives.
January 7, 2013: Happy 2013!
We’re back at work, the Ogre is grinding steadily forward, and on Monday, Daniel Jew will be here in the office as Ogre Line Editor!
PDFs Coming Soon
All supporters at greater than the $1 level are getting Ogre Miniatures (with the update). All supporters at $25 or more are also getting The Ogre Book and Ogre Scenario Book 1 (there are no other scenario books . . . yet). The first supporters to get these PDFs will be those who have e23 accounts under the e-mail address they gave us in their survey. The advantage to getting the files through e23 are (1) if your own copy gets corrupted, you can always download another, and (2) when we do an update, you’ll be notified by e-mail so you can download it free. Ogre Miniatures will definitely be getting an update, but honestly, we’ve held off too long already in getting you these PDFs, so the update will be distributed when it’s ready.
So . . . if you want an e23 account and don’t have one, sign up here. Remember to use the e-mail that you gave us on your survey, please!
We got another batch of 3-D counter sheets from the printers. These are full-sized but not die-cut. Since we got two of each, and we actually need only one of each, we’ll be sending the counter sheet sponsors some presents next week.
Counter Tray Samples
And just today we got factory samples of the counter tray. Big!
As 2012 wound down, we were contacted by CNN’s Money Magazine for a story about the top 50 Kickstarter projects. You can read it online, and (not surprisingly) a common factor they found is that the big projects ship late. There are three sidebar pieces that round out the story, including a chart of the top 50 scheduled to ship in November. You’ll find Ogre there, in the “Where the ^%$# is it!?” category.
It’s a very interesting analysis. It turns out that the issues we’ve had are the rule, rather than the exception. Unexpectedly high response (with no plans for "too much success"); stretch goals leading to increased scope; problems with the Kickstarter platform itself. And the article warns that we can look ahead to Shipocalypse . . . At least we didn’t have any issues getting our app approved by Apple!
Next time we'll do WAY better. And this writeup will help us. If you’re a fan of crowdfunding in general, you should really read this. (Including the little article on the successful Flint & Tinder project. I was a supporter and I’m happy with what I received. It’s good underwear, and I hope they build Flint &Tinder into a lasting business!)
December 5, 2012: Ogres, Assemble!
We got the first fully printed test sheets for 3-D miniatures (we had them make samples of Targets Go Boom 1). After admiring them gleefully – the colors are intense, surpassing my expectations – we punched them out and assembled them. Watch the video below! Nevertheless, we are going to do the “abundance of caution” thing and run a test of a sheet with Vulcans on it.
Ogre War Room 1.1 is now in the App Store. It fixes the reset bug, adds a pop-up to help players figure out how to un-mark things on the record sheet, and incorporates a few other small tweaks. Now to arrange ports to Windows Phone and Android!
That’s Where The Money Goes
We just sent a check for $548,000 to the printer. There have been, and will be, a lot of other expenses, but that’s the BIG one.
November 19, 2012: Progress Good! Virus Bad!
More than two weeks ago, I signed off on the final versions of the rulebook, scenarios, and reference sheet. Then I jumped on the plane for two convention appearances. It was amazing how much better I felt just knowing that those components were finally at print.
I got back to town last Monday night, woke up Tuesday in a great mood and full of energy . . . and then on Tuesday afternoon I started feeling tired and scratchy, and for the past few days I have accomplished nothing productive, unless you count coughing. So this report is just a bit delayed. But here’s our status:
All the actual game parts are at the printer. Phil and Sam visited our print reps a couple of weeks ago (and caught the edge of the storms). It looks as though the box will be 24” long, 20” wide, and – still a bit of uncertainty here – between 4 and 5 inches deep. We are going to order molds and make test samples of the vacuum-formed trays – the base tray and the two Ogre garages - before we declare the box final.
(And yes, we found the box mockups, on the fourth sub-level of the Warehouse, guarded by shoggoths and vicious miniature Mark Vs.)
Currently, we expect the entire Ogre shipment to fill 14 ocean containers.
Test Dies of Ogres
The printer ran up a red flag about how close some of the images were to the die-cut edges. The first word we got was that they were all bad, but before we went fully into panic mode, we got a clarification: SOME of the 3-D dies MAY be bad. All we can do at this point is run some fully printed and die-cut samples and see how they look. If they work, we’ll cheer, and if not, we’ll fix them. If dies have to be rebuilt, that’ll cost time; how many weeks depends on how much has to be done over.
Ogre War Room
Thanks to everybody who downloaded the beta version! We’ll fix the bug (just one!) that you found, add one suggested feature, and post the new version for download. And we’ll get coders started on the ports to other systems.
Those of you who are at BGGcon this weekend should be sure to check out the prototype Pocket Ogre sets that we’ve donated to the BGG library.
Phil Reed is about to launch the discussion forum for the new edition of Car Wars. If you’re not already a member of our forums, sign up at forums.sjgames.com.
October 30, 2012: More To Look At
Thanks to everyone who commented on the rulebook and scenario book. Here are a few more things for you. We really, really hope you don’t find bugs in these, but we know you want to see them:
- Ogre Record Sheet (the same one that is PDF’d in the War Room app). Feel free to start using this now.
- Ogre Miniatures Record Sheet. This will NOT be in the 6th Edition set, but it is also in War Room, and will be available for download.
- A sample counter sheet. This is B1, the Paneuropean armor and infantry. There will be four instances of this sheet in the box.
- A sample overlay. This is C1, the first and most basic overlay sheet. There will be six instances in the box.
Daniel Jew has been here for the past couple of days, checking out Austin and helping me go over the last round of comments. As of a half-hour ago (just before I sat down to write this update) I was finished with Ogre work for the first time in many months. Within a couple of hours I’ll have some more, but right at this second it’s all somebody else’s problem!
It is quite possible that the counters and overlays will go to press tomorrow. The rest of the game: soon, but probably not tomorrow.
Ogre War Room
. . . is now searchable in the App Store. (And yes, it is supposed to be available for all nations. Apparently propagation to some of the “sub-stores” is slow. )
You’ve found some actual bugs and we’re working on them (so there will be a maintenance release soon). You’ve made some suggestions and we’re thinking on them. Next step: ported versions!
October 26, 2012: Ogre War Room Now Downloadable
As of right now it still may not be in the App Store search index, but you can go directly to it here. It should be fairly self-documenting; if you need more instructions, that will be useful feedback for us.
One thing to note specifically: under Extras, you'll find links for three sets of record sheets: one for Ogre, two for Ogre Miniatures. The next edition of OM will change Ogre movement to make it more consistent with the boardgame. So this app includes both the current Ogre Miniatures record sheets and the ones for the next edition.
Try the app, and give us your comments, please! Then we'll start porting it to Android and Windows Phone.
October 25, 2012: A Toy That Makes Toys
We just supported the Form 1 project. If you want to get in on this 3-D printing system, you've got a bit less than a day. The project closes early Friday morning. It's already massively over goal: they were looking for $100K, and they've already broken $2.5 million.
Supporting this takes “giving back” a step farther. It’s supporting another Kickstarter project . . . to get a tool that will help us fulfill the stretch goals that you supported for Ogre!
So at some point we’ll be showing you some 3-D plastic tanks, and probably Car Wars cars too. And they’ll be built with a machine that was Kickstarted. A virtuous circle!
October 25, 2012: Scenarios Posted
And here's the Scenarios book PDF. Comment on our site or on BGG.
Daniel will be visiting Austin next week, so the deadline for comments on the Scenarios book is noon Texas time on Monday the 29th. Please comment in this thread.
You've gotten us several good comments on the rules material already (and some corrections have already been made). Let's say the deadline for comments on the rulebook and reference sheet is 11:59pm Texas time on Thursday the 25th.
October 25, 2012: Rulebook PDF Posted
Please don’t post the same comment on both sites, and if somebody else has already pointed out a typo, there’s no need to post “I see it too.” Of course, if a real “what does this rule mean?” question comes up (let alone a “this rule is a change from the old game and is stupid”), discussion will be appreciated!
This will be your first look at the Brandon Moore illustrations of our “portrait” supporters on the Ogre battlefield. I really like these. My thanks again to the supporters, and I hope you all survive into the next scene.
We expect to post the Scenarios book on Monday (with the rest of the portraits).
Daniel and I are still talking about a few lines in the rulebook, here and there, but only a few. He’s at Essen right now. If you’re there, drop by the Pegasus booth and say hi!
In-house checking of the counter and overlay sheets is now well along. No major problems found. We’re not going to post all 39 for comment, but we’ll put up a counter sheet and an overlay sheet so you can see them.
October 25, 2012: Not This Year...
I put off writing this update too long, because I wanted to report a solid milestone . . . preferably “It’s all at print and will now ship to you on XXX.” But I haven’t reached that milestone, and I’ve gone too long already without reporting “It won’t be in 2012 at all.” The fact is, we really don’t know how long it will take to get the game into your hands. We have progress, but not enough.
The status, in detail, is:
• The maps, the Pocket Ogre components, and the dice are all at print, and have been for some time.
• The counter/overlay sheets and the Ogre record sheets are completely finished and are getting their final in-house check as I write this. They’ll be at print very soon.
• The rulebook, scenario book, and player reference sheet have been laid out, reviewed, modified, re-reviewed . . . I spent the past few hours working on them – specifically, going over a lot of excellent and mostly tiny corrections from Daniel – and actually had hopes that I would finish tonight, but no, not quite. I’ll hit it again tomorrow, and I might get done, but I might also need to go back and forth with Daniel again. When we are provisionally happy with those components, PDFs will be posted for your review. Then, unless you find awful, awful things very quickly, they will go to print.
• The box and trays, and the carton they’ll be shipped in, present the greatest physical challenge because of their sheer size. Everything has to fit together well for shipment; then, after you have punched the counters and assembled the 3-D units, it STILL has to fit together well. And it has to be as durable as possible. The back-and-forth with the printers continues. Fortunately, the box is being handled by Phil and Sam, so it’s not stacked up behind the rules; it’s in parallel.
• We’ll finish the “Read Me First” after everything it’s documenting is really done. It will be the last thing to go to print. It will be the first thing you see when you open the box. Please, please, no kidding, read it first, because this is definitely a “some assembly required” game!
• The Ogre War Room app has been submitted to the App Store. We expect a routine approval in a week or so. We’ll report as soon as you can download it. The iPhone users will be our guinea pigs, and as soon as they can use it without dying in droves, we’ll start the ports to other devices.
So when will Ogre Sixth Edition actually ship?
It will be months. First, obviously, we’ve got to get everything actually finished and to press. That’s getting close, but it is NOT done. Then Phil says we should allow a month just for the questions from the factory. Then Chinese New Year will cost another month, more or less. Then printing. Then ocean freight. Best case: April? Maybe?
And it turns out that we will need a new BUILDING to house all these games and organize them for shipment. But until everything goes to press, we can’t estimate when we’ll need that building (rental? Huge temporary metal building?) or for how long. (For those keeping track of the successes and problems of Kickstarter projects: This is a DISeconomy of scale. With fewer orders, we could have done it in our existing warehouse. But I’m not complaining. It's a neat problem to have. I'm just reporting something that surprised us.)
We’ll keep you posted, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get you this not-definite-enough information. The next update will be soon.
Car Wars T-Shirts
And now the good news: The Car Wars T-shirts are shipping. Depending on where you live, you should see yours either Real Soon, Fairly Soon, or When The Trails Open Again.
October 12, 2012: Ogre At SPIEL 2012 In Essen
I'll be at SPIEL 2012 in Essen next week, with some prototype Ogre Designer's Edition 2-D and 3-D counters (including Ogres!), and reduced-sized map samples.
Do drop by the Steve Jackson Games booth if you'd like to see those, or try out a demo with one of our friendly staff or volunteers.
I'd love to meet you there!
September 26, 2012: The Ogre Box Is Not Too Big To Lose!
The stupidest news from Ogre Central right now is: Thursday afternoon we could not find either of our big prototype boxes. Did one go to the Alliance show with Randy? Even if it did, what happened to the OTHER one? Cue spooky music. Or maybe cue "derp" music. We wondered if perhaps we couldn't find the box because we were already inside it, but if that's the case we still haven't gotten out.
In other Giant Box news: We may have to add, literally, air holes to keep the lid from pulling a vacuum when you try to remove it.
Work on the app continues. All the features are now in. Most of the bugs are out. If the next build fixes all the known bugs, we'll release it as a beta and see what you all say. (This version is for Retina iPhones with 3.5" screens. We'll start coding for the big iPhone 5 at the same time that we start porting to Android and Windows. That is to say, when the iPhone feedback says the app is good.)
Thanks, everyone, for the Ogre name suggestions. I used one of the early ones: NWO, suggested by Joseph. I should point out that there are already Ogres called BOB (a Vulcan) and FNRD (in the ACD set).
Pix and Video
Look! A box of Ogres! And here are some bags of punched-out mockup counters, along with an unpunched counter sheet. Note that the slots will be punched out in advance; we hope that will make assembly faster. The two pictures together still don't show a complete set of counters, but this is close.
And here's a video of our laser cutter working on a prototype sheet.
September 17, 2012: Meet Daniel, Ogre Line Editor
Hi everyone, I'm Daniel, the new Ogre Line Editor (read: dogsbody, aide-de-camp, and general lackey for all things Ogre). I signed up in the wake of the hugely successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year – the position literally exists because of your support!
I'm currently a part-time contractor based in Cambridge, UK, but the wheels are in motion for a move to Ogre Command in Austin later this year.
It's my job to serve all you Ogre fans out there as best as I can. In the past month or two that has involved grappling with stats for some of the more esoteric units in the upcoming Ogre Designer's Edition (like the Doppelsoldner), proofing over a thousand counters, checking the Pocket Ogre rulebook, running competitions at Continuum and Congenial, moderating the Ogre boards, and a dozen other things. I'm loving every minute of it!
Besides my lifelong passion for board games, an interest in history (I majored in Classical Studies) and a background in teaching, writing, and editing help me out as I learn on the job. I enjoy all kinds of games, but my special loves are wargames and thematic games.
Guess what? Ogre – along with other scifi games like Battletech – is to me the perfect blend of the two. I love the rich and imaginative background universes which provide the backdrop for the action. I'm also active on BoardGameGeek as "Talorien." Feel free to add me as a GeekBuddy, and I'll return the favor!
September 11, 2012: Phil Reed Talks Ogre With BGG
W. Eric Martin spoke with our inestimable Phil Reed on behalf of BoardGameGeek at Gen Con this year. In the interview, Phil discusses some of the challenges of getting an ambitious project like Ogre to completion, and shows off some cool prototypes!
Our thanks to BGG for the interview, and check out some of BGG's other Gen Con 2012 coverage.
September 1, 2012: Ogre Is A Big Hit At Congenial!
With a great experience at Continuum under my belt, I felt a little more confident going into Congenial. It helped that it was held in my hometown of Cambridge, UK! My Ogre Miniatures demo set (starring "Dancer," my desert-yellow Mark III Ogre) got improved the week before the con, with the addition of a nice banding in sunburst yellow.
This time around, I had help from our two beautiful demonstrators, Ashley and Gareth (okay, I don't think I'm supposed to call MIBs – our selfless game volunteers – "beautiful;" how about "beautiful but deadly"?!). You can check out Ashley's sci-fi and minis blog "Paint it Pink" – with lots of Ogre – here.
On Saturday evening, Chris Potter, who was top of the Leader Board and in pole position to win the weekend's Ogre competition, threw down the gauntlet, challenging me to an exhibition match. Oh no, the pride of the demo team was at a stake! I was given the Command Post's defense forces. I admit this put me under a lot of pressure, since all my recent competitive games had been as the Ogre, trying to crush the Command Post. I was about to learn that it's much easier to take apart the defense than to stop the monster tank! Needless to say, Chris gave me a sound whipping, easily rolling "Dancer's" giant tracks over the CP. He then added insult to injury by escaping "Dancer" off the map with one tread remaining, in front of a small crowd, no less! It was only in the shower that evening – nursing a sorely bruised ego – that I realized that I could have suicide-rammed my last GEV to take out that track. Nuts! Such are the stresses of playing against the giant monster tank . . .
On Sunday morning, Frank Carver (Western Europe MIB Regional Director) and I took part in the "Gaming Reboots" panel. We had a great time talking about the Ogre Kickstarter, complete with examples from the music industry and lively audience participation.
Later that day, Ashley and Gareth decided that the demo team's reputation had to be defended, and threw the gauntlet right back at Chris! This time Ashley played the Ogre against Chris. In a nail-biting match – one of the best I've seen – "Dancer" ran through a murderous hail of fire to take out the CP before itself being blasted into an immobile hulk of scrap metal. Chris ended the weekend taking the top prize, a signed copy of GURPS Powers.
August 21, 2012: Ogre Competition Winners At Leicester!
I had a huge blast running Ogre events at Continuum in Leicester, UK in late July. It was my first time demoing, as well as my first visit to a UK con in several years, so I was quite nervous before arriving! I had stayed up the night before putting the final coat of varnish on my demo set of Ogre miniatures.
Keary Birch, one of the organizers, quickly gave me a warm welcome and put me at ease. He directed me to a demo table next to the very nice folks from 6d6 RPG (check out their innovative card-driven system). Keary also personally kicked off the proceedings with an assault on the Command Post by my newly painted Mark III Ogre, "Rommel." From then on the action was fast and furious as a steady stream of folks dropped by to learn (or in many cases, relearn) Ogre in the demo.
Many folks went on from the demo to enter the challenge competition: defend the Command Post against a rampaging Ogre, for a competition high score. Chris Killey, who had never played Ogre before, tried the demo, said, "This is a really good game!" and ended up coming back several times to perfect his defense of the CP. He earned top marks on day one, winning a set of Munchkin Impossible with his "two-Howitzer defense" strategy. On day two, Daniel Taylor also took two Howitzers, purposely channeling the Ogre up a tempting gap on the eastern flank. He took the day's top prize – a set of Revolution. Ashley Cox and Jake Talbot each won second prizes, and a ton of folks received Munchkin promo items as participation gifts. I was particularly pleased that three out of four of the winners were under thirty – the makings of a new generation of Ogre fans!
Folks kept telling me, "I heard about that Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter!" and "I love this game. I had the micro edition when I was in school!" They were thrilled to hear that we're releasing the latter as Ogre Pocket Edition next summer – at the original $2.95 price!
This was the first Ogre competition run by Steve Jackson Games since the Kickstarter relaunch, and hopefully a sign of great things to come for the future of our favorite cybernetic monster tank!
August 15, 2012: Ogre Pocket Edition Sent To Printers
Ogre Pocket Edition is now at print! Not to be confused with the Ogre Designer's Edition – which is close to leaving our office and heading to the factory for manufacturing – Ogre Pocket Edition is a re-creation of the first edition of Ogre. Designed using the original cover, map, and counters that literally fit in your pocket, Ogre Pocket Edition is priced at it's 1977 MSRP of $2.95! (which in 1977 dollars translates to be over $10 today when adjusted for inflation; this is Steve's way of saying "thank you" for your support for Ogre over the last three decades.)
Despite its "pocket" size, Ogre Pocket Edition will have 140 counters. That's enough to play all five of the "Ogre vs. Command Post" scenarios. It includes two different conventional forces (a Black force and a White force), with a whopping eight White Howitzers! "Small but mighty" seems an appropriate descriptor – another is "bang for the buck!" That's a whole lot of gameplay for $2.95 – you won't find a better gaming deal in town.
We're really excited about Ogre Pocket Edition because it means that a whole new generation of gamers can discover Ogre for themselves. Ogre Kickstarter supporters who pledged $150 or more will receive a free copy of Ogre Pocket Edition when their Kickstarter rewards arrive (hopefully!) late this year. Next summer we'll offer Ogre Pocket Edition to everyone through our usual retail channels.
August 9, 2012: Ogre Rolls Into Congenial
The competition format will be to play the defense vs. the Ogre. The prize is a copy of GURPS Powers 4th Edition, as befits a roleplay convention. There will be Munchkin promos as gifts for participating in either a demo or competition. Can you stop the Ogre?
Additionally, I'll be sitting on a panel on "Gaming Reboots" on Sunday, Aug 12, 10am. Expect to hear lots about the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter campaign, which successfully raised almost a million dollars while rebooting Ogre for the 21st Century!
July 24, 2012: Ogre Status Report
Lots of Ogre components are coming together, and every day they take over more of the office.
Here's the Wall of Counters. Actually, this is just half of the Wall of Counters. These are reduced-size printouts of the finished counter sheets, front and back. The small tags represent counter sheets that aren't laid out yet. We have a ways to go . . . On the other hand, Ben finished another sheet right after I took this picture. Every little bit helps.
Here's a small part of the Shelf of 3D Stuff. These are full-size constructed prototypes. They have two purposes: for reference, and for being very cool to look at. That's the Vulcan at the right end of the line, and I see that this picture does no justice to its Huge Grabby Arms. So we'll take another one soon. Huge Grabby Arms for the win!
And here's the Table of Maps. On the right is a single full-sized prototype; to be completely honest, it's the ONLY one that we have built as a full prototype yet, because it showed us a glitch that we then went back to correct in all the map images. On the left are just-over-half-scale printouts of all four of the green maps, showing one of the 3.7 jillion ways that they link together to create a humongous gameboard.
July 25, 2012: Ogre Update, With Grabby Vulcan Arms
As promised last time: the Vulcan! With its huge grabby arms! There are two of these in the Kickstarter edition of Ogre. The rules will appear online. I expect that there will be a supplement featuring Vulcans, combat engineers, and rules for changing the map in more subtle and controllable ways than "Cruise missile . . . launch!"
Dice! The smaller one is a regular 16mm Munchkin die for comparison. On the right are big (19mm) shiny acrylic Ogre dice. The box will have a Combine red and a Paneuropean blue. The black and green ones will be available separately. (The red Paneuro and blue Combine die are just what happens when the factory sends a bunch of samples.) And on the right are pyramid, Cthulhu, and Munchkin dice made in the same 19mm size. Prediction: You will eventually be able to buy these.
And here we have the 12 pages of the Scenarios book, laid out on the table to compare one version with the previous one. You can't really appreciate Richard Meaden's beautiful layout, let alone the artwork. It's just a lot of pages on the table. Trust me, though. "A lot of pages on the table" is a long ways from where we were at the end of the Kickstarter, and it's getting closer to "a book at print."
June 12, 2012: Ogre Delayed
We suspected a couple of weeks ago that we would miss our original deadline to go to print, but we kept plugging away until we knew more. Now we're SURE we'll miss it.
We are dealing with an assortment of little issues, mostly involving physical production. The problem is that the production issues are interacting more than we expected . . . a fix in one place requires us to re-do days of work on something else, which opens up an opportunity to improve the game which takes more days not to waste . . . This has sucked up enough of my time that I'm not as caught up on rules editing as I should be. Fortunately, our new Line Editor, Daniel Jew, aided by the mass mind of Ogre fandom, is helping a lot with that.
All in all, we are (as usual) choosing to take the time to get it right, rather than to meet a schedule but deliver a sub-par game. I've heard a saying attributed to the Origin Systems team, back in the day: "It's only late until it ships, but it sucks forever." We'd rather be excellent forever.
So what's the new schedule? We now expect to take delivery of the Kickstarter games in early December, and start shipping them immediately, in hopes you have them to play during Christmas vacation. The regular edition will now be an early 2013 ship.
Thanks for your patience. We will continue to post progress reports and images of actual game components as we finish, so you can watch Ogre come together.
June 9, 2012: Ogre Art Contest
We would have posted this at least a week ago if we had thought of it. We didn't. So this is a very QUICK contest. Deadline is Monday, June 11, at 5pm Texas time. One more chance for the players to get involved in the new edition of Ogre.
Create an illustration of combat in the world of Ogre. What unit is fighting what - or whether you can even see more than one combatant - is up to you. Just don't make it look too much like any image we have already seen. For instance, the 3/4 view of the Ogre as seen on most of the game covers is right out!
Style is also up to you. Color, duotone, B&W . . . line art, fingerpaints, photorealistic . . . If we like it, it wins.
Need photo references? Here are a lot of images.
Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org as a CYMK file in .jpg format.
Final publication size will probably be either 4" wide by 2 3/4" tall, or 3 1/4" wide by 3 1/4" tall. However, just on general principles, allow for the fact that we might end up cropping it a bit.
The winner (and we reserve the right not to pick one at all, or to pick more than one) will be published in the upcoming edition of Ogre and paid at slightly better than our standard rates: $5.25/square inch of published size or $50 (whichever is greater). One picture will not pay for your next cruise. So you are not doing this for the money, but for the glory and to get on the list of artists we call for Ogre. All entries become our property for the standard boring legal reasons, but we will acknowledge all entries, we won't use any without payment and credit, and artists retain the right to post their work on their own pages for self-promotion!
Feel free to re-post this information where your artist friends will see it.
June 7, 2012: Ogre Death March Continues
Important! If you were a Kickstarter supporter, and you have not filled out your "What I want for my support money" survey, go to Kickstarter right now and follow the "survey waiting" link you should see at the top of the page! If you do not return this survey, whatever the reason, you may not get everything you wanted.
Almost everyone in the office is working on some part or another of Ogre Sixth Edition. Most horizontal surfaces, and some vertical ones, are covered with pasteups, proofs, and prototypes. The regular projected schedule board has been replaced with an "Ogre Central" magnetic schedule. Long hours are being worked. We knew this would be a big job. We had NO idea how big. One of our mottoes here is "Let's make it harder!" We did that, with a vengeance. Some of us are just a tiny bit tired, but oh, this will be something when it's done.
We will print at least 10,000 copies . . . more than three times as many as we originally planned. Yet orders through the distributor/retail chain are also significantly higher than the estimates we had gotten from distributors before Kickstarter happened.
I can't tell you what everybody did today, other than "Lots and lots!" But, to give you an idea, today I corresponded with sponsors about their counter sheets, reviewed designs for counters and overlay sheets, laid out another overlay sheet, turned in the counter list and rules document for Pocket Ogre, checked the Kickstarter comments page, read some Ogre forums and made some changes that the forumites had suggested on the record sheets, reviewed the first version of the rulebook and scenario book layout from Richard Meaden, admired some new art for buildings, worked with Phil to estimate the size of the plastic tray that will hold the counters, boggled when Phil said "This will have more than a thousand counters!", did a quick estimate and concluded that it will certainly have more than 950, wrote this Illuminator . . . And it's barely after 10pm.
So we're keeping busy. Even if you were not a Kickstarter supporter, you can visit the page and read back through our updates; they're not hidden. You may, at least, find some of the photos mildly amusing . . .
May 17, 2012: Ogre Progress
We are now accepting applications for the job of Ogre Line Editor.
I'm working away. So are a lot of other people! The deadline to get this to the printer is incredibly close.
Some FAQ and answers:
When will Kickstarter supporters get the "What extras do I want?" survey? Real soon now, and we ask that when you get it, you respond as quickly as possible. Many things, most importantly the Kickstarter edition itself, will be printed to order. Of course we'll order some extras of most things, but a stack of 20 extras does you no good if you are the 21st late response. We assume that most of you already know what you want and that this won't be a huge problem. Thanks for your help.
When will we hold the launch party? We have no idea! Stay tuned.
I didn't support the project before the deadline! How can I get the game? From your local game retailer. If your retailer supported us, they may have some unallocated Kickstarter copies. At some point, we will post a list of all retailers who respond to our survey and say they WANT us to list their contact info. (Some retailers will have pre-sold everything they ordered already.) Otherwise, just tell your local retailer you want a copy of Ogre. The regular edition is, if I say so myself, worth about three times what you'll pay for it, even without the three exclusive Kickstarter counter sheets.
Same question, for swag! Most of it will be available in Warehouse 23.
May 12, 2012: Ogre News: Thank You, World!
The Kickstarter project closed at a staggering $923,680. Thank you, everyone. To break down what it means: When the distributor orders are factored in, Ogre - one of those games which our financials just listed under "Other" for many years - may represent nearly a quarter of our total sales for 2012. And that's even WITH Munchkin continuing to grow. Among other things, for those who didn't notice, this project created a professional job for a gamer. Quite possibly more than one.
We're going to have a lot of fun, which will be very hard work but STILL FUN, keeping our commitments. And Phil is now wondering whether it will be four containers dropped here, or five.
Go visit the project page, read the last update, and watch the final video. It's short . . .
May 10, 2012: Kickstarter: One Day Left!
And now for something completely different. Do you like LEGO? Do you like Ogre? You can (without spending money) give a +1 to the chance of an official LEGO Ogre. It's a million to one chance but it just might work. Here's a link to the Kickstarter update where I give the instructions. There are two different LEGO Ogre projects to support, two other projects by the designer of the LEGO models, and one really neat Old West-themed project that I am personally enthusiastic about and would like to push over the top. Go vote!
May 4, 2012: Ogre At Warehouse 23!
Here at Steve Jackson Games, it's been all Ogre, all the time for a while. With the success of the Kickstarter program for Ogre 6th Edition, we've gotten lots of requests at Warehouse 23 for . . . wait for it . . . Ogre!
To make things easier for our fans, we've assembled all of the Ogre items we have in stock into one easy-to-browse Ogre page on Warehouse 23. If you want miniatures, we've got 'em. Want maps? We've got those as well. Need to repair one of your well-loved minis? Why yes, we have repair kits, too!
But you'd better hurry. Ogre is moving out of the warehouse faster than we can whistle!
May 2, 2012: Ogre Designer's Edition Limited - Pre-Order Now!
The Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter project has been going amazingly well. Last week we announced the retailer support options (April 27 Daily Illuminator). Retailers do NOT have to support on Kickstarter to order the game; they can get it from their distributors. You have a choice. The Kickstarter edition has a couple of exclusive counter sheets but you pay in advance; the regular edition will come through your standard distribution chain on your standard terms. Do what is right for you. Retailers - see our Ogre Designer's Edition sell sheet for details, and talk to your distributor today to reserve your copies. It is is so heavy and costly to manufacture that we are printing to order only, and we have to receive all pre-orders this month. We can not promise to meet any late distributor orders!
For those of you who are not able to support right now, or just absolutely want to buy through your local game store: We have created a pre-order form for you to print out. This is not to be sent to us or to Kickstarter! It's to give to your local game store to make sure they know you want to buy Ogre from them. Then they can order from their distributor or support on Kickstarter, as they choose. (If you want them to support through Kickstarter, you should consider paying them in advance, because THEY will have to pay their pledge in May.)
If you're not sure where your local game stores are, use our online Store Finder (it's also a great tool when you need opponents). And retailers, please consider printing a copy of the pre-order form and hanging it in your store; the more pre-orders that you can get for the game now, the more happy customers you'll have late this year when we ship the Ogre Designer's Edition. We don't want anyone to miss it.
May 2, 2012: Ogre Kickstarter Update: Retailer Support!
Thanks again to everyone who has supported Ogre on Kickstarter. It's broken 2,100 supporters and most of the special rewards are sold out (which means we might have to figure out how to add some more). And we have, at last, been able to announce support levels at which we will ship games to Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Five custom counter sheets have been sponsored, and we even have a supporter for the super-powered custom-counter-sheet-that-you-get-to-sell-yourself level, too. In fact, we have the same supporter twice! Thank you, BoardGameGeek! Everyone look out for the blue-and-orange Ogre named Ernie . . .
We want to make sure the game's unexpected Kickstarter popularity is good for retailers. (After all, we're not idiots. The hobby needs the retail stores, and every sale by a retailer is a sale for us.) A lot of you folks will decide, sometime around the evening of May 12, that you really wanted Ogre after all, and it'll be too late to get one by supporting. But you have a friendly local game store, right?
A few days after we started, after reading the Kickstarter comments, we added a support level designed specifically for retailers. I quote:
"For brick-and-mortar retailers ONLY! For $300, you will receive four copies of the Kickstarter edition of Ogre, one T-shirt, and one extra Kickstarter counter sheet so you can show off the constructible Ogres and buildings. Your store name will be in the list of supporters. NOTE that we WILL call, and/or confirm with distributors, and/or send MIBs to your address, to verify that you are a genuine brick-and-mortar store. Any unverified supporters at this level will receive two copies of the game and nothing else! So do NOT choose this level unless you can prove that you are a real, currently operating, brick-and-mortar retailer. NOTE ALSO that this has to ship to an address in the continental US, but the store itself does not have to be in the US."
If you're a retailer and want to support, check it out. If you are planning to buy Ogre through your FLGS to support them, good . . . and please let them know about this deal in case it meets their needs.
May 2, 2012: The Ogre Keeps Rolling
The Kickstarter reaction continues to amaze us . . . and the new edition of Ogre, and your reactions to it, have really captured everyone's imagination here at Illuminati HQ. You will recall that more than once in the past few years I've said "Munchkin ran that project off the road?" Well, at the moment, Ogre is running right over the top of other projects.
But we DO have other projects, so tomorrow we'll meet again on Castellan (which everyone loved at both the GAMA and ACD shows). We have something almost ready to announce for Zombie Dice, and we have to squeeze out the time to make that happen properly. I have a great Munchkin Axe Cop contest about ready to launch. And so on.
But right now I'm thinking of everything in Ogre terms. For instance, my personal Ogre is a Mk. 1998 Corolla, and over the weekend I noticed that a couple of the tires were down to 1 tread unit, but I was many, many hexes from home at the time. Fortunately, I rolled well . . .
But you see what I mean? It's all Ogre right now.
May 2, 2012: Ogre 6th Edition On Kickstarter
Everything we told you April 1 was true. We have now launched the gigantic 6th Edition of Ogre as a Kickstarter project. It reached its funding goal in a bit over two hours, and now, as I'm about to leave the office, we've hit the first stretch goal. But the really exciting part will come if and when the later stretch goals are reached.
In theory, Kickstarter will let us reach more fans, and show how many fans we have reached. And, if the news is good, the game may be bigger and better than ever. Visit the project page for a full description. See me talk and show off the pretty tanks! Please support Ogre!
May 2, 2012: Kickstarter Progress
The Kickstarter project for Ogre is surpassing all expectations. We blew past Stretch Goals 1 and 2 in the first 24 hours, hit #3 only a little later, and passed #4 in the evening, forcing me to edit this posting after it was in the queue (awwwww! poor baby!). So to fulfill those stretch goals:
#2 ($75,000) - We will add an extra, exclusive counter sheet to all copies sold through Kickstarter. Survey coming soon for what we should put on that sheet! You don't have to be a current supporter in order to vote.
#3 ($90,000) - I have already started working on four new scenarios to be published in November. Working title for the first one is "Woodsrunners."
#4 ($100,000) - We add the Ogre blueprint poster to the set. And the cool thing is, the box is so big, the poster can go in flat!
The other part of the $100,000 level was that we'd announce another stretch goal. We actually announced two. At $110K, you get some 3-D building patterns for your homemade Ogres to shoot up. And at $130K, I have to write four more scenarios (awwwww! awwwwwwwww! POOR Stevie!)
If you have already supported, THANK YOU. If you haven't, please check out the project and support us. And if you are outside the US, we ARE working on how you can support and get copies. It's going to be expensive to ship that huge box, and we're trying to reduce that cost as much as we can before we ask anyone to commit.
April 11, 2012: Ogre 6th Edition On Kickstarter
Everything we told you April 1 was true. We have now launched the gigantic 6th Edition of Ogre as a Kickstarter project. It reached its funding goal in a bit over two hours, and is at 150% as I type this. But the really exciting part will come if the stretch goals are reached.
In theory, Kickstarter will let us reach more fans, and show how many fans we have reached. And, if the news is good, the game may be bigger and better than ever. Visit the project page for a full description, with video. See me talk and show off the pretty tanks! Please support Ogre!
April 3, 2012: Ogre Status Report
Ogre has been priority one, and pretty much priority ONLY, for several of us for the last few days. Phil and Sam have both lost some sleep over it, so if you see them at PAX East this weekend, tell them thanks.
A video is in the works; you'll see it soon. I think it's pretty darn good, considering we don't do very many videos. This one counted as a whole lot of practice . . . Oh, darn. As I write this, at 11:20 Monday night, I realize that I didn't take any photos today. So pretend you are looking at a great big map and some new 3-D prototypes, including the Reactor, which Richard and Sam just finished.
Hmm. Is there any reason why an optional rule for the Reactor couldn't be "if it is destroyed, replace it with a Crater overlay" ? Maybe even "treat it as a cruise missile explosion" ? That would be cinematic, but fun in some scenarios, for the "You realize you just poisoned an area the size of Maryland" value of fun. I would hope that the future of Ogre would include safer nuke plants, but maybe it just has expedient ones. Cheap ones that blow up real good. And the Reactor model you are pretending to look at has the old-style "cooling tower" profile, because that is the best visual shorthand for "nuke plant." So maybe it really is just a bomb waiting to go off. And the Ogres don't care about background radiation, even though the crunchy humans do . . .
Gabby has been working to lay out the counter and overlay sheets. Right now we are at 11 sheets, and he's not quite done. Frankly, this worries me. We wanted a lot of counters, but this is way too many sheets and will kick our costs up more. OTOH, it may be that the counters can be interleaved more closely to take up less space. We'll work on it.
As for me, I have been reading the combined rulebook over, and over, and over, and over, trying to make everything flow smoothly, cross-reference where it's needed, and be generally easy to use. (A repeated question on BGG has been "will the game be 'modernized' to add reaction phases, opportunity fire, a more complex CRT, and so on? The answer is no. The Ogre rules are still stripped-down, basic, my-turn, your-turn, move and shoot. It's not a War College sim. It moves fast and minimizes rules arguments. There are some amazing, complex wargames out there now, and I'm not trying to refit this 35-year-old rule set to crowd into their space. Ogre remains old-school . . . lure your opponent into error, roll the dice, remove the dead, and hope you aren't the one who made the mistake.)
The farther along we get with this, the more my enthusiasm is re-kindled.
And right now I'm thinking: I should buy stock in a folding table company.
August 16, 2011: Ogre 6e Status Report: 2012
I haven't done a good enough job recently of communicating the status of Ogre 6th Edition. The status is: Still planned, still the super-fancy as per the prototypes you can see on that page (and which I expect will show up in the display case at PAX in a couple of weeks) . . .
And definitely still not on track for 2011. I warned everyone in May that it might not happen in 2011, and now I can say it definitely won't. I knew that at the end of June, before I took July off, and I should have shared.
There's no sophisticated marketing reason (and, for that matter, no sinister financial reason) for the delay. It's just "not enough hours in Steve's day." Ogre takes a certain amount of concentration and "getting into state" to do right. It's fun, but it's a lot more demanding fun than, say, making up Munchkin curses.
I continue to get more mail about this than any other upcoming project (definitely more than for any single Munchkin projects, probably more than for any two). I know you want it; I want to do it . . . it's just going to take more work.
May 12, 2011: Ogre 6th Edition Update
Yes, we're definitely going to do it. There was a lot of distributor support at the GAMA Trade Show, and I have gotten more mail about this game than about any announcement we've ever done before. So the game will happen, and it will go through the regular distribution chain. That means that you will be able to get it through your hobby shop.
Many of those letters said things like "If you want to do this game, don't let anything stop you." I appreciate that support very much.
Currently, we plan to print 3,000 copies, plus some extra maps and counters as a W23 offering. The retail price of the game will be an even $100.00.
Many of you have asked about pre-orders. Right now we're not taking pre-orders for any new releases. What we have done is set up a mailing list. You can subscribe to it here. This will be a very low-volume list. We won't spam you, but we'll update you on important milestones, tell you when it goes to print, and tell you when you can order it.
Answers to frequently asked questions, in my mail and online:
• When will it come out, exactly?
Good question. When I first started to write this Illuminator, more than a month ago, it said "it will happen this year." I'm not sure about that. I spent the better part of two weeks sick, at a bad time, and then that interesting Secret Munchkin Project opportunity appeared and distracted me from everything else. Now I'm about to go to Brazil. Distractions, distractions. But we'll keep working.
• Will it be in a scale big enough to use the Ogre miniatures?
Yes, absolutely. The map is made to work with the minis.
• I'm going to buy two copies!
That's not a question, but at least a dozen people said that. Now that's support! Thank you again.
March 24, 2011: Open (Ogre) Letter To Distributors
Later this year, we'll release Ogre 6th Edition. It will be a very, very deluxe boardgame, with all the rules and units from Ogre, G.E.V., and Shockwave, as well as things that have only appeared in magazines and miniature releases.
Why? Because I want to. Ogre was my first design, and the boardgame version hasn't been available for years. And people keep asking me for it. So some of our Munchkin money is going back to support the people who bought my very first game, by bringing them an edition with the best possible components.
It won't be "Euro" style. No meeples, no plastic. This will be the kind of hex wargame that we dreamed about 30 years ago, back when our heroes were SPI and Avalon Hill. HUGE double-sided map boards. HUGE full-color counters with HUGE type. A HUGE box to hold them in. And giant constructible Ogres!
So why am I writing this letter? Not to say "Hey, distributors, we'll do this if you like the idea." I'm going to release this game, no matter what. If we don't get enough distributor interest, we'll release it for direct sales only, with (probably) a lower print run, and (certainly) a lower price, since we won't have to build in the distributor and retailer margin.
But I don't want to bypass distribution. We went through this with GURPS Russia, back in '98. When we solicited it, the distributors said "Meh." We believed in the book, and printed a short run for direct sales. Suddenly everybody wanted it! It sold out quickly, distributors and retailers demanded it, and we ended up reprinting it for distribution! I won't go through that again.
Here's why you may not want this game: It's going to retail for $100, and it isn't full of plastic toys. It's a classic hex wargame, and those aren't in fashion. Here's why I hope you DO want it:
- It's a humongous, heavy box that will have a huge shelf presence. How big is it? Over twice the size of Munchkin Quest. It takes three copies of the original edition of Ogre to cover up the word "OGRE" on this box.
- It's got three huge mapboards with 1.5" hexes, and big full-color counters. The Ogre and building counters are 3-D constructible miniatures!
- I don't expect to keep this in print. Realistically, I expect to print it once and let people spend the next 30 years fighting over the remaining copies. The people who get it are going to show it off at parties and conventions.
- It's a pretty good game, if I say so myself. A lot of people remember it. (More than 25 years after its original release, Ogre won a spot in Hobby Games: The 100 Best.) Some of them would love to drop $100 for a beautiful version of the game they played 20 or 30 years ago, whether it was in high school, or in Germany or Kuwait or some classified spot in the middle of the Pacific.
June 11, 2010: Destroy All Munchkins
January 30, 2010: Lego Mark III
Look at this great Ogre Mark III done in Lego. We'd love to hear from the creator . . . all we can tell from the website is that the pictures were posted by someone using the handle JawaJim. The same person who built these small units? We don't know, and we'd like to find out and give proper credit!
Thanks to Kyle Miller for spotting these and sharing!
-- Steve Jackson
January 6, 2010: Look What's on the Worktable
This photo was taken earlier in the week. The project in question definitely qualifies as "larger-than-normal."
January 14, 2009: Ogre Art!
Back in the day, original art used to be sent to the publisher. It was a long process, with many opportunities for tragedy to befall the gorgeously delicate canvases. However, if you're careful, as we were, you have some very nice pieces of art to hang on the wall afterwards.
For instance, we've got the cover of Battlesuit just outside of SJ's office. I'd forgotten how cool it was – the battlesuited trooper standing over his fallen opponent is still evocative. It isn't actually on the wall yet, as it needs a frame that suits it better. But it and the cover of the original pocketbox version of G.E.V. are positioned (along with classic pieces from nearly everything we've published in the last 29 years) and should be gracing our halls very soon.
December 18, 2008: Ogre Scenario Book Now Available In PDF
If you're not familiar with e23, we sell PDF files free of any sort of DRM to interfere with your enjoyment of the product. Purchase does not require registration, although registration does have its benefits. For instance, if your hard drive ever eats your purchase, you can re-download it, for free. If we update the file, you can download that for free as well!
So surf on over to e23. You're only clicks away from enough scenarios to keep you busy during the entire holiday break!
December 8, 2008: Ogre On Your Tree
Although it is maple instead of BPC, the Ogre Christmas Ornament still carries the same sense of menace . . . well, it will at least mark you as a wargamer of taste and distinction to those who enter your home during the holidays.
November 3, 2008: Sneaky Ninja!
Two secondaries: $37 zillion.
One missile rack, with four internal missiles, and two external missiles: $497 bajillion.
ECM powerful enough that attackers cannot combine fire unless they're attacking from an adjacent hex: Priceless.*
* Technically, the Ogre Ninja is only $14, and the newly revised and recently released Ogre Miniatures is only $9.95. So while not "priceless," they're a heck of a lot easier on the wallet than actual cybertank weaponry. Or my credit card bill, even.
Plus, if you already have a copy of Ogre Miniatures, all you need is the Ogre Miniatures Update, which is free – so that's getting closer to "without price."
October 15, 2008: Ogre Miniatures (Re)Released
After far too long, the PDF edition of Ogre Miniatures is available on e23. This project has been under way for years, but after I'd finished compiling my errata and change list, the whole thing got pushed to the back burner because redoing the photos would have been a huge project. So we decided to scan it and release it in PDF, instead. But that meant that instead of just correcting errata and adding new stuff, everything had to be collected on new pages, with links added from the old pages . . . and it had been so long since the original compilation that there were a lot of NEW ideas to add . . . It was a job.
But it's finally done. Thanks go to everybody involved: to all the forum-dwellers who commented on the new material as it was created, to Phil Reed for new record card graphics and Ogre Miniatures Lite layout, and to Nikki, Monica, and Fox for struggling through the various stages of layout and PDF creation on what turned out to be a far more complex project than planned.
For those who have the first edition and don't want to pay for the revisions: You don't have to. The Ogre Miniatures Update is available as a separate freebie.
August 18, 2008: The Ogre Ninja: Corporeal At Last
When I think "ninja" the first thing to pop into my head is a person in black pajamas creeping across the roof. (Okay, that's a lie. The first thing that pops into my head is a turtle, but this is a close second.) I do not, however, typically associate the word with tanks. Especially cybertanks. Especially cybertanks that tend to blot out the sun as they roll by. But I should. And you should. And we will. Because, defying all logic and reason, there exists a sneaky Ogre known as the Ninja. Sure, it might not be tiptoeing across a pond anytime soon, but it will flip out and kill just about everything. As far as I'm concerned, that's close enough.
So why am I bringing this up? We recently got a whole mess of these long-awaited shadow warriors cast and put up for sale in our online store, Warehouse 23. You can find them by utilizing this wondrous new invention called the hyperlink. Click, and unto you shall it deliver the craftiest, sneakiest, most imperceptible rolling building you'll ever see. (Or should that be "never see?")
And by "imperceptible," I of course mean "it will kill every single thing it comes in contact with, which - in an operational sense - is exactly the same thing as nobody having ever seen you in the first place."
July 24, 2008: Ogre Miniatures Lite Now Available!
Ogre Miniatures Lite is a brand-new version of the old "Ogre Lite" reference sheet. It isn't really Ogre Miniatures on two sides of an 8.5" x 11" sheet, because if we could do that we wouldn't need the rest of the book, but it IS a great cheat-sheet for experienced players, and a perfect handout for newbies at a convention.
And it's a FREE download on e23.
That's all very well, you ask, but what about Ogre Miniatures itself? When will it be out in PDF? Real . . . soon . . . now . . .
SJ decided to get the new Lite out of the way first, and it took longer than expected. Months longer. Don't ask. But now it IS out of the way, and he'll be looking at the actual Ogre Miniatures revisions again. They've been ALMOST done for those same months.
May 12, 2008: Slightly Heavier Metal
Okay, kids, it's time for another Good News/Bad News situation. Allow me to hit you with the Bad vibe first. The price of metal has gone up. Ogre minis, being made of metal, are more expensive to produce. What that means is come June 2nd, the individual Ogre minis will increase in price slightly. We're looking at about a 10% increase. Yeah, bleah, not exactly happiness. If you've been on the fence about filling out your army for The Last War, now is the best time to pick up those Raptors you've had your eye on.
This only affects the individual minis, mind you. The boxed sets will remain at their current prices.
The Good side? Your Ogre collection just jumped a little bit in value! Score!
(Hey, come on, lemme have my silver lining here, huh?)
March 19, 2008: Return From The Darkness!
It's been more than two years since any new Ogre support. We are happy to announce that that is changing.
A new edition of Ogre, with high-quality components, will ship later in the year.
A PDF edition of Ogre Miniatures will be available soon from e23. This will not be a brand-new edition; it will be a scan of the first edition, with the addition of many pages of new rules, record sheets, other play aids, and complete errata.
And a new version of Ogre Miniatures Lite will be available very soon as a free e23 download. Ogre Miniatures Lite is not intended as a stand-alone rules set (though it really does get most of the rules, and a lot of tactical advice, onto the two sides of a letter-sized sheet). It's intended as a quick reference for the experienced player and a quick-start handout to help new players, whether at a convention or in the living room.
For frequent updates on the new projects, visit the Ogre forums.
October 17, 2005: Peace On Earth, Goodwill Towards Giant Self-Aware Nuclear Tanks
Few things say "Christmas" like depleted uranium shells.
Well, the color they tend to make things is pretty Christmas-y.
Celebrate the holiday season with a bang. A very big bang from the primaries of an Ogre Mark V. These high-quality ornaments, etched from maple wood by laser, are sure to delight that wargaming fan in your life. If you find that you are the wargaming fan in your life, well, what are you waiting for? It's a tiny, laser-etched Ogre you can hang on the tree!
September 13, 2004: Miniatures AvailableHave you checked Warehouse 23's miniatures supply recently? Gray Cat Castings is keeping them well stocked. Now is the time to fill out your Ogre army!
January 13, 2004: Ogre Miniatures NewsMany fans of both Ogre and Ogre Miniatures have been wondering, some quietly, some not, about the status of SJ Games' miniatures production. Although in the past I have prided myself on maintaining a positive flow of information, of late I've expressed naught but silence.
The short answer to your questions is: SJ Games has ceased production of all miniatures. Several new miniatures (the Vulcan, the Doppelsoldner, and the Ninja) were indeed sculpted and mastered, but we weren't able to produce them before the final shut-down date. We are talking to a new caster, and I expect to have more news before the end of the month. Rest assured that the new caster will be able to produce the aforementioned figures.
Now, for those of you who have more free time and curiosity, I can expand a bit. In the second quarter of 2003, I watched the sales numbers of miniatures (all miniatures, I should note, not just Ogre) slowly sink. Alternatives to in-house casting were examined, and the decision was eventually made to close the casting department.
Around this time, our Traffic Manager decided to move on to other pursuits, leaving SJ Games without a key person in the command structure. I was moved over to the Traffic Department, and was quickly swamped with the tasks of maintaining the physical building, shipping both to Warehouse 23 customers and distributors, and closing down the Miniatures Division. Still, I had high hopes for releasing the new Ogre figures before the end of the year.
Then, the decision was made to move the warehouse to Las Vegas. Obviously, this required a whole lot of extra work that I had not planned on. Inventory needed to be counted, massive amounts of shipping materials needed to be purchased, and many, many, many pallets needed to be shipped and coordinated.
The area that was the casting room was stripped to make the extra room necessary to ship the massive number of pallets. This was done, unfortunately, before the new Ogre figures had a chance to enter production. It was my planning that failed on this point, a fact I'm not at all happy about. However, the move to Las Vegas was a solid business decision, and the timing was right, despite the stresses it inflicted on me.
Now? I'm back in Austin, after spending most of four weeks counting, packing, and shipping our inventory (and all of last week setting up the new warehouse!). I've got a list of "over-due" projects as long as my arm, and I'll be attacking them as fast as I can. At the top of that list is getting a signed contract out of the new caster, and being able to announce it. Only slightly less important is re-establishing the lines of communication between SJ Games and the Ogre fans.
In summary, I've been busy, but I am very sorry that we weren't able to get the new figures out as promised. Thanks for sticking around.
Steve Jackson Games
August 11, 2003: Miniatures Division Closing
As you may have read on the August 9th Daily Illuminator, the Miniatures Division will be closing at the end of the month. What does that mean for you, our loyal fans?
Not much, for the moment. We don't want anyone to miss their opportunity to fill out their collections, so we'll have the figures available for several months. The target is to run dry in December. We'll keep you informed which figures are getting low.
Any announced sets (Uplift Miniatures, Transhuman Space Miniatures, and Dork Tower Miniatures) will be released on schedule. In fact, Uplift Miniatures ships next week.
Of the "rumored but unannounced" figures, we have a few that are close enough to release that we will release – specifically, the Ogre Vulcan (and it's Heavy Drone), the Ogre Ninja, the Doppelsoldner, and the Ogrethulhu Swimmer. We also will release more Off The Wall Armies, as well as a couple of special Munchkin related figures. Unfortunately, that means there are some units we just never got to, like the Mobile Command Posts, GEV-Mobile Command Posts, and Cruise Missile Crawlers.
Not all of these figures are available for preorder through Warehouse 23 right now. Don't worry, we'll be putting up new figures every week for the next month or two.
It's been an excellent experience, and I'd like to thank everyone involved: Richard, Steve, Chris, and Doc. A special thanks goes out to Ed and Al at Reaper for help above and beyond.
I'm sure you have questions not covered here. As always, I'm at email@example.com for email, but I'll also be hunting questions on the Yahoo Ogre groups, and on the forums of both Pyramid, and The Miniatures Page.
Miniatures Division Manager