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Mark-O Polo

An Ogre scenario

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In most Ogre and GEV scenarios, the forces and objectives of both sides are known before the first shot is fired. This scenario is designed to restore the "fog of war" to the game.

The waves of radiation and debris slashed over, around and past 'Itchy', as the blast from the cruise missile obliterated the terrain surrounding him. The building Itchy had used to shield himself from the worst of the blast disintegrated, burying him in concrete, steel and rubble.

Grinding free of the remains of the building, the sound of a few gear trains being ripped from their casings echoed in the silence after the blast.

A systems status check indicated all offensive and defensive programs fully functional, and only minimal damage to mobility. But sensors had taken a severe blow, as most external sensor pods had been scrubbed from the tank, with a glowing stub remaining where the ubiquitous prow once stood. Referencing the civilian communication network in the Ogre's databanks, Itchy rumbled over a communication nexus in the road and sent a probe deep into the earth, tapping into the line.

". . . chi, update status. This is Command. Report Unit One-Nine-Six-Eight/Zatoichi, update status. You still with us, Itchy?"

"Affirmative, Command. I have sustained minimal combat degradation, despite complete loss of primary sensor arrays. Thermal imaging and spectrographic analysis are also off-line. Mass flow sensors, sonar transducers, and seismic gradient detectors are functioning at combat readiness."

"Good to hear you, Itchy! That was close! But if your report is correct, that means . . ." The sound of frantic voices arguing in the background came across the line. "Itchy, are you saying you're essentially blind and deaf?"

"Only in the human sense that I cannot detect signals in the visual spectrum nor most audio and radio frequencies. However, through characteristic seismic patterning, echolocation and analysis of ambient air disruption, I can still detect the presence of enemy units, if not the type. My data banks have all the required maps and the specifications of the target. I request permission to proceed with the mission."

There was silence on the line. And then, "Unit One-Nine-Six-Eight/Zatoichi, proceed with your mission. We need Target Tango Victor found and destroyed. Good luck, big guy!"

"Luck is irrelevant. Unit One-Nine-Six-Eight/Zatoichi out."

Itchy retracted the communication spike and turned towards the north. Accessing the data banks once again, the sounds of Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' could be heard emanating from the behemoth as it rumbled down the street.

Maps

The following three map-halves are to be used in Mark-O Polo:

  • G2-N upside down
  • G1-N
  • G2-S

Additional alteration of the maps is required to make the three halves 'mesh'. These changes are detailed under Overlays below. North is designated by the annotation on map G1-N.

A second identical set of maps may be helpful in tracking the hidden units, but not required.

Overlays

  • A Forest overlay should be placed on hex 0201 and hex 0306 on map G2-N.
  • A Beach with Straight Road should be placed on hex 1106 on map G2-N, connecting hex 1006 to hex 1205.
  • A Clear overlay should be placed on hex 1801 of map G2-N and 1901 of map G2-N (which is hex 0501 of map G1-N) as well as 0401 of map G1-N.
  • A Straight Road overlay should be placed on hex 1801 of map G2-N and 1901 of map G2-N (which is hex 0501 of map G1-N), connecting hex 1702 of map G2-N to hex 0401 of map G1-N.
  • A Curved Road overlay should be placed on hex 0401 on map G1-N, connecting hex 0402 on map G1-N to hex 1901 of map G2-N (which is hex 0501 of map G1-N).
  • A Swamp overlay should be placed on hex 1201 of map G1-N and hex 1301 of map G1-N (which is hex 1101 of map G2-N).
  • A Clear overlay should be placed on hex 1801 and 1902 of map G1-N.
  • A Town overlay should be placed on hex 2002 of map G1-N.
  • A Curved Road overlay should be placed on hex 2002 of map G1-N, connecting hex 2001 to hex 2103, both of map G1-N.
  • A Straight Road overlay should be placed on hex 2001, connecting hex 2002 of map G1-N to hex 0401 of map G2-N.
  • A Town overlay should be placed on hex 0411 on map G1-N.
  • A Clear overlay should be placed on hex 1611 on map G1-N.
  • A Curved Road overlay should be placed on hex 1611 on map G1-N, connecting hex 1511 on map G1-N to hex 1612 on map G2-S.

Any remaining hex at a junction between the maps that has half of the hex with forest and the other half with anything else should become a full hex of forest.

Setup

The attacker gets a Mark V Ogre. The Ogre was injured by a prior CruiseMissile blast; roll 1 die for tread damage incurred from attack. It enters from the southern edge of map G2-S.

The entrance hex counts against the allotted movement allowance. If the Ogre enters on a road, it gets the road movement bonus.

The defender has twelve buildings that are the possible targets for the Ogre.

The twelve buildings are placed on the following hexes:

    • Map G2-N
      • 0306
      • 0711
      • 0804
      • 1507
      • 1710
      • 2104
    • Map G1-N
      • 0305
      • 0510
      • 1005
      • 1503
      • 1608
      • 2102

In the base scenario, the defender can choose what building is placed on which hex.

Buildings:

  • Admin 10 SP
  • Admin 20 SP
  • Admin 30 SP
  • Admin 40 SP
  • Laser 20 SP
  • Laser 40 SP
  • Laser Tower 20 SP
  • Reactor 60 SP
  • Strongpoint 60 SP
  • Strongpoint 60 SP
  • Strongpoint 60 SP
  • Hardened CP - DC 3

The Ogre has the schematics of the target building, but does not know the exact location.

Until identified, all buildings will be represented by the yellow "Building ?" counter on the map. Buildings are identified when the Ogre passes within two hexes of the building, and the counter should be turned over showing the building details, and a 3-D building may be set upon it.

Note this is different from the 3-hex distance in rule 11.06 in Ogre Designer's Edition rulebook. This is due to the decreased sensor capabilities of the attacking Ogre.

Additionally, lasers will declare their position with firing.

The Admin 40 SP and Laser 40 SP may use the appropriate 20 SP counter turned over while in the hidden state, with a hidden notation off to the side as to which counter represents the actual 20 SP building and which is in fact the 40 SP building.

A pair of Admin 20 SP counters stacked should be used to designate the Admin 40 counter stacked with a Laser 20 SP counter should be used to designate the Laser 40 SP once those buildings are identified.

Also, use any "Building ?" counter to represent the Hardened CP; just make note of the alternate designation for that counter in that hex to be revealed when necessary. Once identified, the appropriate 3-D building may be placed atop the 2-D counter(s), which designate the SP of the building where necessary.

The defender gets 22 armor units and 27 squads of Infantry (any type, subject to the usual costs).

However, the defender only starts with 8 armor units and 18 squads of Infantry on the map when the game starts. The other 14 armor units and 9 squads of Infantry are held in reserve (see Gameplay below).

The 8 armor units can be set up anywhere north of the crease splitting the map G2-S in half. The armor units should be shown on the map with a numbered marker - "1", "2", "3", etc.

A list should be kept delineating which actual unit is represented by which number. Example: token "1" = Heavy Tank; token "2" = GEV; token "3" = GEV; etc. This list should have each unit on a separate piece of paper (sticky-note, index card, etc.) to facilitate revealing the unit when appropriate (i.e. just hand over the paper).

The Infantry may be set up anywhere on the map north of the crease as well. The defender should write down the map and hex that each squad is starting in, including the composition of the unit if it is of mixed Infantry types.

At the start of the game, there are no counters at all indicating where the Infantry is located on the map. As with the armor, it is helpful to have the squads' initial hex written on separate pieces of paper, thus enabling one squad to be revealed when appropriate without showing the other squads.

Infantry that start the game riding on a vehicle should be described in the armor unit description above. Those Infantry are hidden until they disembark or the unit is identified. The defender may choose to keep a 'master list' for personal convenience as well.

Cruise Missiles are not allowed in this scenario.

Gameplay

If available, it may be helpful for the defender to have a second map shielded from the attacker with their units displayed to better track the movement of Infantry and type of units.

The Ogre player randomly determines their target. Write all 12 Buildings on small pieces of paper, and blindly pull one out from a bag. Keep hidden from the defender, and set aside for confirmation at the end of the game. The Ogre moves first, entering from the south edge of the map, as described in Setup.

Infantry are revealed with A) movement outside of a Town hex, B) firing, or if the Ogre comes within one hex of them (the Honor System is in effect!). Infantry that start the game within a Town hex may move through any contiguous Town hexes without revealing their location. Infantry are also revealed if they are riding on another unit and that unit is revealed.

Armor units all start with a number token delineating the specific unit. Once that unit either A) fires, B) it is fired upon, or C) comes within a 2-hex range of the Ogre, the token is replaced with the unit in question. Use tokens #1-20 initially, then D1 & D2, plus SP10, SP20…SP60 as needed to indicate the individual units.

As units become identified, the numbered tokens can be reused for incoming replacement units as needed (see below). In the unlikely event that all 28 available tokens are used, alternative options include using the "Disabled", "Damaged", "Stuck" and "Road Cut" markers, as well as improvised options (coins, buttons, beads, etc.).

Additionally, a unit may be unmasked if acts in a manner that eliminates any other choices (e.g. if three squads of Infantry disembark from a hidden unit, that unit can only be a GEV-PC, and therefore should be unmasked). Any units that leave the map are considered lost.

The various Lasers may attack the Ogre, subject to the usual Laser rules regarding LOS, etc. Hidden Lasers that make an attack are considered revealed, and the counter may be turned over (and a 3-D Laser may be placed upon it).

Reinforcements

Beginning on turn 5 and every turn thereafter, the defender may get reinforcements from the reserve forces set aside at the beginning. The defender should roll one die at the start of their turn. If they roll a 1 or a 2, there are no reinforcements this turn. Otherwise, they should randomly choose from their remaining reserves; again slips of paper in a bag would work. The reserves should be divided prior to the start of the game into the following groups:

  1. 3 armor units
  2. 3 armor units
  3. 2 armor units & 3 squads Inf.
  4. 2 armor units
  5. 1 armor unit & 3 squads Inf.
  6. 1 armor unit & 3 squads Inf.
  7. 1 armor unit
  8. 1 armor unit

Reinforcement Variant

Instead of rolling a die to determine whether reinforcements come on any given turn, add the following shielded vehicles to the mix:

  1. 2 Hovertrucks & 2 Trucks
  2. 1 Hovertruck & 2 Trucks
  3. 2 Hovertrucks
  4. 2 Trucks

If using the Truck Variant, something enters the map every turn starting on turn 5 until all reserves have been used. If one of the Truck options is drawn, there are no combat reinforcements that turn. The defender can use the trucks to 'fake out' the Ogre. The trucks should have camouflage markers the same as any offensive unit, to be revealed when the Ogre gets within 2 hexes of them. Randomly determine the entrance hex as usual (see below).

The defender may decide the composition of each offensive group, but it must be done prior to the start of the game.

For example, the reserve group "A - 3 armor units" might be designated as three GEVs, whereas the group "B - 3 armor units" might be comprised of two Heavy Tanks and two Light Tanks. If "B" is drawn from the reserve pile, the defender gets the four tanks.

Once all eight groups (12, if using the Truck Variant) of reserves have been brought onto the map, there are no additional reserves. All armor units should be camouflaged with new tokens to hide the nature of the unit from the Ogre player. Reserve Infantry will be visible from the start, unless they are riding in/on another vehicle. Once the Infantry disembark, they are visible to the Ogre, even should they resume riding on the vehicle. Thus it is possible to know that there is an Infantry squad on a specific unit, but not know what that unit is. This should be designated when the reserves are written out prior to the start of the game.

Reinforcements will come from a randomly determined entry point each time. Roll one die for the entry hex:

  • 0104 on Map G1-N
  • 2304 on Map G2-N
  • 1611 on Map G2-N
  • 0104 on Map G2-N
  • 2304 on Map G1-N
  • 2315 on Map G2-S

Reinforcements are assumed to be on the road and thus gain the road movement bonus. The entry hex does count against their movement allowance.

Objective

The goal of the Ogre is to destroy the target building. The goal of the defender is to prevent that. The level of victory is dependent upon the ease with which each side accomplishes their task.

Victory Levels

Complete Ogre VictoryDestruction of the target building and Ogre escapes off the south edge of the map.
Marginal Ogre VictoryDestruction of the target building but Ogre destroyed.
Marginal Defender VictoryOgre destroyed but damage to the target building.
Complete Defender VictoryOgre destroyed and target building unharmed.

Variant Scenarios

The Mission Brief: An option to this scenario would be to have all of the buildings locations known to the Ogre prior to the start of the scenario. The Ogre gets a mission update prior to proceeding, with the location of all militarily relevant buildings and a directive as to the target building. During setup, the defender places the buildings listed on the prescribed hexes as they wish. The Ogre player is aware of what buildings are placed on which hexes. The Ogre still determines the target building randomly, and keeps this information hidden until after the game. The defender gets an additional two more armor units and three squads of Infantry. This should be added as another reserve option (i.e. a second "2 armor units & 3 squads Inf." can be drawn). Gameplay and victory conditions are as above.

The Hand You're Dealt: To make life a little more difficult on the defender, have the buildings be randomly placed on the specific hexes. The Ogre still randomly determines its target, which is kept from the defender until after the game. Some games will favor the Ogre (an Admin 10 SP target placed in a southern hex) and some will favor the defender (an 80 SP Stronghold target in the far north), but that's the way the cards fall sometimes. The challenge is in making do with what's available, and the defender needs to guess as to where to commit their forces. Otherwise gameplay and victory conditions are as above.

The Near Miss: The Ogre was more damaged by the Cruise Missile than just treads. Prior to beginning the game, roll for damage to each non-tread component of the Ogre at 1-2 odds. Tread damage is still only 1d6 amount. Reinforcements for the defender only come with a 4, 5 or 6 on the die roll at the beginning of each turn. Otherwise gameplay is as above. Victory conditions unchanged.

FUBAR Lasers: The lasers are newly constructed, and due to wartime shortages and red tape, have yet to be brought on-line. They are not available for attacks against the Ogre. Otherwise gameplay and victory conditions are as above.

The Rocky Road: The defender has six mines to place in 1-6 hexes prior to the start of the game. These hexes should be written down and set aside. They are revealed to the attacker if the Ogre traverses the mined hex. Use rule 13.04 from the Ogre Designer's Edition rulebook. Mines may be placed in water hexes using the following rule:
Mines in Water - Mines placed in a water hex must be designated as being on the surface or underwater. Mines on the surface will affect GEVs, Marines on the surface and all other Infantry types. Mines underwater will affect Ogres, Superheavy Tanks and submerged Marines. A water hex may be mined on both the surface and underwater in the same hex. Otherwise use rule 13.04 from the Ogre Designer's Edition rulebook. Victory conditions and gameplay is as above.

Daredevil Strike: Replace the Mark V with a Mark IV. If needed, boost the defense with additional reserve units. In this case, the defender gets an additional two more armor units and three squads of Infantry. This should be added as another reserve option (i.e. a second "2 armor units & 3 squads Inf." can be drawn). Victory conditions and gameplay is as above.

Three Blind Mice: Replace Mark V with three Mark II Ogres. Victory conditions as follows:

Complete Ogre VictoryDestruction of the target building and all Ogres escape off the south edge of the map.
Marginal Ogre VictoryDestruction of the target building and one or two Ogres escape off the south edge of the map.
DrawDestruction of the target building and all Ogres destroyed.
Marginal Defender VictoryOgres destroyed but damage to the target building.
Complete Defender VictoryOgres destroyed and target building unharmed. Otherwise gameplay is as above.

Scenario Design Notes

Despite the mild attempts at adding some uncertainty in the scenario "Raid", there is very little mystery in an Ogre game. Thus the game loses the flavor of a true wartime skirmish, where commanders are trying to second-guess what units are available to their opponent and what is the ultimate goal of the attack. This scenario and the associated variants attempt to fill that void.

The variants have been designed to allow players to flex the scenario in favor of one side or the other, based upon the skills of the players, and perhaps the prior game's outcome. Options such as Mission Briefing, The Near Miss and Rocky Road can make the scenario harder on the Ogre, whereas the variants The Hand You're Dealt, Construction Delays and Daredevil Strike make life more challenging for the defense.

Additional ways of flexing the scenario in favor of one side or the other include adding or subtracting 1 to the die roll to acquire reinforcements; changing the turn reinforcements can begin either forward or back; and increasing or decreasing the SP of the target buildings. More than one scenario variant may be combined for additional game options!


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