Daily Illuminator

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.

-- Steve Jackson

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