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The Golden BB

Critical Hits in Ogre

by Steve Jackson

The Ogre rules require a defender to batter Ogres apart a piece at a time; they make no provision for the single lucky shot that might doom the giant cybertank. This plays well enough, and makes a certain amount of sense. Logically, weapons would be far easier targets than an Ogre's few vulnerable spots. But every thing has its weakness, and everyone gets lucky once in a while. It could happen.

The following "critical hit table" gives players the chance to try for a lucky shot. It was inspired by Tim Solis' "Goliath" article; in Tim's original draft, the only way to attack a Goliath was to shoot at the treads. When the last tread was gone, the bomb could no longer function. That's drawn straight from the Ogre optional rule for self-destruct . . . but I never liked that rule too much anyway. It seemed worthwhile to give another defense option and to protect that bomb!

Any or all of the units attacking an Ogre may be allotted to a critical hit attempt. Only one attempt may be made per Ogre per turn. The units attempting a critical hit may not attack other targets during the turn: instead, their firepower is totalled onto one attack and three dice are rolled on the table below. For instance, two Heavy Tanks, with a total attack strength of 8, would need to roll 16 or better to score a critical hit on a Mark III. A successful hit cracks the target open, eliminating it completely!

Attack StrengthDie RollPercentage Chance
30 or more1325.93


Subtract 1 from the die roll for a Mark V or VI, or for Goliath.
Read the table as written for a Mark III-B, IV, or Fencer.
Add 1 to the die roll for a Mark II. Add 3 to the die roll for a Mark I.

The variant is probably best for a miniatures game or a scenario involving several Ogres, In a straight game of Ogre, use of critical hit rules can turn the game into a rout if the defender tries for a critical hit and misses; a missed attempt at a critical hit leaves the Ogre undamaged and free to rampage through its foes. On the other hand, if the defender does score an early critical hit, the game is over . . .

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