by Steve Jackson
The Light Artillery Drone is a new unit posted online as part of our Kickstarter stretch goals. You can see it at http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/new-units/lad.html.
Basically, it's a very light howitzer without human crew. It has attack 2, defense 1, and range 8. That's all you need for this scenario.
Represent the LADs by using both faction's howitzers, as they are not otherwise needed here.
The Ogre scanned its surroundings in a millisecond blink of calculation. It had no orders except to survive. It immediately saw that it was in a simulation, but that didn't affect its motivation; it was programmed to treat simulations with the same balance of aggressiveness and caution that it would bring to a real combat.
Fortunately, it was not programmed for despair, because there were enemy units all around it. This did not look like the winnable kind of simulation. Very well, then; it would lose . . . as destructively as possible.
1.01 Overview. The ideal tactical situation for an Ogre is "just enough targets within range to destroy." The worst possible situation is "surrounded by more targets than can be serviced." This scenario cuts out all the maneuvering and dumps the Ogre into a nightmare. It probably won't get out, but it's great practice.
This works well as a solo scenario or a quick demonstration of the game mechanics.
1.02 Necessary materials. This scenario works with either Ogre Designer's Edition or Ogre Sixth Edition. Use a unit that is not in the scenario to stand in for the Light Artillery Drones.
2.01 Maps. This scenario uses the top (north) half of the orange Ogre map. Partial hexes are ignored; they are not in play.
2.02 Overlays. Place a clear terrain overlay on the crater at 0907 (or just ignore the crater). Likewise, ignore the ridges surrounding and connected to that crater.
2.03 Combine Units. The Combine (red) player gets a single Mark V Ogre. This Ogre has only two missiles but is otherwise undamaged. It starts in the center of the board, in hex 0806.
2.04 Paneuropean Units. The Paneuropean forces get eight Light Artillery Drones (see box). These are placed in the eight corner hexes of the map: 0101, 0110, 0201, 0211, 1401, 1411, 1501, and 1510.
The Paneuropeans also get 6 each Heavy Tanks, Missile Tanks, and GEVs. These are placed randomly in the hexes 1 and 2 hexes away from the Ogre, so the Ogre is completely surrounded by a two-deep ring of enemies.
3.0 GAME PLAY
The Ogre player moves first.
The Ogre will do a lot of ramming. Remember, it is only allowed to ram twice each turn.
4.01 Ending the Scenario. The game ends when the Ogre is destroyed. Or, of course, when all the "Paneuropean" (referee's) forces are destroyed, but this is not likely.
4.02 Objectives. The Ogre's goal is to do as much damage as possible if it cannot survive.
4.03 Victory Levels. If the Ogre destroys all the enemy, it wins. Otherwise, its score is simply the number of enemy units it destroys. An average score is 14 kills of the original 26 enemy units.
5.0 VARIANT SCENARIOS
5.1 Mark VI. The Ogre is a Mark VI. Add 12 2-1 infantry units and put three in the hexes "in front" of each pair of LADs.
6.0 DESIGN NOTES
This is a microtactical exercise spawned by the question "what could we do with just half the Ogre board?" The answer here is "simulate a small room full of maniacs with shotguns." The real threat is the ring of armor units, but the LADs firing from the corners will give the Ogre a reason to try to move around while it still can.
Interestingly, the questions "should I fire all my missiles now?" and "should I shoot at the Ogre's missiles?" are still meaningful.
Salute to Drew Metzger, who actually beat this scenario and had six tread units remaining. Granted, he had good dice, but still . . .
Please give this scenario a try, and give us your comments – on game balance, clarity of instructions, or whatever else you think of – on our forums. The thread for commenting on this scenario is here.