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Ogre: A Review

by Robert C. Kirk

Ogre is a lot of game in a little package. In fact, I was somewhat surprised when my copy arrived – the entire game comes in a 4 by 7 inch package. True, it is advertised as being small in format . . .

Anyway, the heavy paper map folds out to 8 by 14 inches and the sixteen page rulebook not only gives basic and advanced game rules, but fits in several optional rules as well. Miniaturized versions of the excellent graphics by Winchell Chung which illustrate the text are printed on the counters which come in three shades (white, light grey, and dark grey) to facilitate multi-player play.

The rules both read and play well. Read through them, play the basic game once with the booklet for reference, and you will have learned a new game. The only record sheets you need are easily whipped up in about 10 seconds on a piece of notepaper. They serve to record the progressive destruction of the Ogre.

When setting up the game, the non-Ogre player locates his command post, missile cannons, armored tanks, and infantry within the rubble area of the map. The rubble serves to hinder movement of anything less than an Ogre. The Ogre enters the map from the river at the far end. Combat results are designed so that the Ogre is blown apart a piece at a time. On the other hand, anything an Ogre hits, if not totally demolished, is at least temporarily out of action.

The Ogre's sole objective is to survive. The Ogre must be immobilized while it is still out of range – a weaponless Ogre can ram and crush the CP, an immobile Ogre can blow it to bits. If the defending general becomes too concerned about destroying the Ogre's arms, the brute will stoically drive right through the post. This is invariably fatal to generals, but doesn't even bruise Ogres.

Strategy is dependent on the player's skill and the composition and placement of forces. In general, the GEVs should not be overestimated – they're fast, yes, but the Ogre is almost as fast and has a longer weapon range. Howitzers are wasted at the edges of the map. Locate them centrally so they can fire to either side.

Ignore Ogre weapons and shoot for the treads – you'll lose some tanks until the Ogre runs out of missiles, but unless you can slow him down so that your own tanks can keep up, the Ogre can drive straight for the command post, ignoring anything in its way.

If you're the Ogre, keep as far away from those howitzers as you can. Don't waste missiles on them, use them on the enemy missile tanks – they have a range greater than your guns, and unlike the howitzers, they're mobile. Your mass is probably your greatest weapon – ram as often as convenient. If this doesn't kill the enemy tanks right off, it at least knocks them out for the next turn and makes them cheaper to kill.

Ogre is attractive, easy to learn, inexpensive, and fun to play. What more can a gamer ask?

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