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Frequently Asked Questions about Ogre

Updated May 15, 2012

Note that this FAQ does not cover rules questions – but see the Errata and Ask the Ogre files.


Q. Who's in charge of Ogre now?

A. At the moment, Steve's in charge himself. We are about to interview for an Ogre Line Editor. There will be a Daily Illuminator announcement.

Send reports of major problems with this site to the webmaster at webmaster@sjgames.com.

The mailing list is here.

Rules questions can go to the mailing list or to our Ogre forum. Yahoo Groups users will find several Ogre-related groups, including Ogre-GEV (discussions and PBEM), OGRE-Miniatures (miniatures, obviously), and SFBay_OGRE (scheduling of events in the San Francisco Bay area).

The Boardgames

Q. Is there a listing of all the Ogre games?

A. Yes. See the Ogre Ludography.

Q. Can I get Deluxe Ogre? What about Shockwave?

A. Deluxe Ogre and Shockwave are both currently out of print.

Q. Okay, what is in print for Ogre?

A. Several things, and more coming, now that the line has been relaunched. See the Ogre Products page for the most current information.

Ogre On Computer

Q. What about it?

A. Origin Systems did a game in 1986. It's long out of print. During the Ogre Kickstarter project, we promised that Ogre would appear in some kind of digital form. Therefore, it will. But details are hazy right now.

Q. I've seen an Ogre game for Unix.

A. That was unofficial, released without permission. The author wrote it for fun, and his office-mates put it on the net without telling him. He transferred all rights in it to SJ Games, and we would not be averse to getting it debugged and hanging a graphics front end on it, if we found someone interested in the project.

Ogre Miniatures

Q. Are the Ogre miniatures in production now?

A. No, but we still have some in stock at Warehouse 23. As a result of the Ogre Kickstarter project's success, we have committed to bringing them back at some point. Again, details are hazy at the moment . . .

Q. Where can I buy Ogre miniatures?

A. Warehouse 23, of course.

Q. I heard about a miniatures supplement called Killing Zone, but I can't find it.

A. It was never released . . . We may reuse the name at some point in the future.

Q. What are the Ogre "Macrotures" I've heard about?

A. These are giant (1/60) scale vehicles, cast in resin. Check the Macrotures page for current information.

The idea originated with the crew at Sci-Fi Supply in Orlando, FL. They built a number of Macroture units, with our blessing. They decided not to go into production, but they have run a number of events at GenCon and DexCon, using their prototypes.

Ogre on the Net

Q. Is there an Ogre mailing list?

A. Yes. It is a digest, and a mailing goes out every week or so. To join, click here.

Q. Does the official Ogre web page accept submissions?

A. Yes! We are especially interested in good vehicle photographs, scenarios, downloadable maps, and other resources for players. Contact our webmaster (webmaster@sjgames.com).

Q. Is there any chance that some of the out-of-print material will be placed on the web?

A. Certainly the old Space Gamer articles will be, and maybe some of the supplements. Many articles are already posted: see the articles area for most of them.


Q. Just how old is Ogre?

A. It was first released in 1977.

Q. Wasn't it originally a Metagaming release?

A. Yes. See the Ogre Ludography.


Q. Is Ogre based on Keith Laumer's "Bolo" stories?

A. No, it's a completely original background and technology. When Ogre was originally designed for Metagaming, the plan was to seek a Bolo license. But it cost too much to be worthwhile for such a small game (the original edition of Ogre was a $2.95 minigame). The owner of Metagaming said, "Invent a different background." Steve was happy to comply, as he had some ideas that were incompatible with the Bolo background. So it all worked out.

The Bolo stories remain one of the two original inspirations behind Ogre – the other being a story called "Gottlos," by Colin Kapp – and we acknowledge the debt to Laumer's apocalyptic vision!

Q. Are Ogres supposed to be intelligent and self-aware?

A. Because Laumer's Bolo supertanks ARE self-aware, the original Ogre background explicitly made the Ogres NOT self-aware. They are programmed with excellent personality simulators and seem self-aware, but that is just to make them easier to command verbally (as well as more terrifying to the foe). But they are just machines; they have no "soul." Some of Laumer's Bolo stores are quite sentimental . . . "monster tank with a heart of gold." The original Ogre background presented the contrasting view: they are simply engines of destruction, doing what they are programmed to do.

But a decade later, as the Ogre background developed, we decided that at the end of the Last War some Ogres did develop self-awareness. Why? Purely for literary and gaming reasons. Self-aware Ogres would behave in ways that "programmed" ones wouldn't, making for an interesting variety of opponents. Self-aware Ogres could even, conceivably, be used as player characters, and the Factory States period is intended as a roleplaying background. And it will let us explore some ideas of machine personalities that will be very different from Laumer's "gentle giant" Bolos!

Tournaments and Conventions

Q. Will you sponsor Ogre World Championships again?

A. Reply hazy. Ask again later.

Q. Does SJ Games offer prizes for Ogre tournaments at other conventions?

A. Absolutely. And for our other games too. See our convention support page. And check out the scenarios on the web; you're free to use all this material at conventions, whether we sponsor them officially or not.

Et Cetera

Q. Is there any chance of seeing a GURPS version of Ogre?

A. Yes; we produced GURPS Ogre for GURPS Third Edition.

Q. Has Ogre ever been released in other languages?

A. Yes; both the small-format boardgame and the computer version of Ogre were released in Japanese. But that's the only other language for it, so far. See the Ogre Ludography.

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