by Steve Jackson
The laser tower had a code designation, but its crews called it Longview and its systems answered to the name. Right now, Longview saw something it didn't like at all. The crew wouldn't like it either, once they knew about it, but that would take a few seconds. In the meantime, Longview gamed out the upcoming battle several thousand times.
It still didn't like it.
1.01 Overview. This scenario uses a GEV-style map to recreate the classic Ogre scenario with the addition of terrain . . . and a target that shoots back.
1.02 Necessary materials. The Ogre Designer's Edition is required.
2.01 Maps. This scenario uses the eastern 15 rows of Map S2. Row 16 and west are out of bounds (painter's tape is one good way to put an edge on the map). Towns are intact but uninhabited; roads and bridges are intact but may be destroyed during play.
2.01.1 Overlays. No overlays are required. (Note to playtesters: are there any places where an overlay is needed to make play less predictable?)
2.02 Combine Units. The Combine (red) forces are the attackers. They get one Ogre – either Mark III or Mark V. The Ogre enters on the first turn at the south end of the map.
2.03 Paneuropean Units. The Paneuropean forces (blue) set up as per the Mark III Attack or Mark V Attack scenario. The CP is replaced by the laser tower called Longview. This tower may be placed anywhere on the map; the far north, obviously, is safest.
The "North Area" is all hexes on or north of the line 0108, 0308, 0508 . . .
The "Central Area" is all other hexes on or north of the line 0118, 0318, 0518 . . .
Note that while any unit may be set up in the part of the Central Area that is south of the river, there's only one bridge. GEVs and infantry in that area will be able to cross the river to stay in the action; others may have trouble.
2.04 Cruise missiles. Cruise missiles are not allowed in this scenario (but see the variants).
3.0 GAME PLAY
3.1 Escape. The Ogre may leave the map only at the south end.
3.2 Ramming. Although this scenario is played on a green map, use the Ogre stacking and ramming rules, rather than overrun.
3.3 Laser Line of Sight. Because the ground has been prepared, and obstructing trees and even buildings removed, Longview can hit any road hex, even one that goes through trees or towns, if there is a straight row of hexes between the target hex and Longview.
4.01 Ending the Scenario. The game ends when all Combine units are destroyed or have left the map, or when all Paneuropean units are destroyed.
4.02 Objectives. The Combine goal is to destroy Longview; the defenders' goal is to protect it.
4.03 Victory levels.
- All defending units destroyed, and the Ogre escapes: complete Ogre victory.
- Longview destroyed and Ogre escapes: Ogre victory.
- Longview and Ogre both destroyed: marginal Ogre victory.
- Longview survives, Ogre escapes: defense victory.
- Longview survives, Ogre destroyed: complete defense victory.
5.0 VARIANT SCENARIOS
5.1 GEV Escorts. Mash up this scenario with GEV Escort. Give the attacker four escorting GEVs and experiment with what forces are needed to stop it.
5.2 Cruise Missiles. The attacker may fire two Cruise Missiles from offboard. The defender gets six extra armor units. The defender also gets one city hex overlay to place anywhere. Longview cannot be in the city hex but can be next to it. The attacker cannot fire the cruise missiles at or over any hex within 6 hexes of the city hex overlay. Other city hexes are fair game.
5.3 GEV Map. Play out the scenario, or either variant above, on the entirety of map S2. On the west side of the map, where the river loops to the south, all hexes on or north of the river are considered part of the Central Area and available for the defensive setup.
5.4 Small Map Changes. Overlays that can affect the game a lot include:
- A bridge across the river at 1414.
- Road from 1009 to 1013.
- Turn the southern swamp into forest, which can deprive Longview of a good shot early in the game.
6.0 DESIGN NOTES
This is what the basic scenarios might look like on a map with intact terrain. The laser tower, Longview, will chip away at the Ogre on every turn it is not distracted by an Ogre missile or a cruise missile. Ogres don't always have to think about defensive value of terrain, but in this scenario they certainly do.
(In my head, Longview has a good AI – not Ogre-smart, but more than human-smart. It controls its own fire in emergencies, but it is under the authority of its commanding officer. The commanding officer is experienced and always listens to Longview's advice unless he has to make an instant command decision. If you want a handle on Longview's personality, think of a very senior enlisted techie.)
Please give this scenario a try, and give us your comments – on game balance, clarity of instructions, or whatever else you think of – on our forums. The thread for commenting on this scenario is here.