Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend OGRE/GEV gaming

After our game of Hordes of the Things on Saturday, I broke out my copy of OGRE Designer's Edition.  Instead of the traditional Toast the Post game on the orange map, we decided to play the Raid scenario on one of the GEV maps (G2, to be precise).  Rickey chose the attacking side, with 10 GEVs.  As the defender, I had 20 infantry squads and four armor units.  More importantly, I set up with my units camouflaged, and with a couple of dummy units as well.  I used numbered markers to indicate where my forces were set up; they were only revealed when they moved, fired, or were fired upon.  I also rolled for random reinforcements each turn.
While most of my reinforcements came into the game far from the action, from my edge of the map, I did have a pair of light tanks that showed up right next to the battle.  This armor helped support my infantry that was defending the towns to the south, but eventually those cities were destroyed by the attacker.  However, I had a nice surprise waiting as the GEVs headed north--a Howitzer set up in a city in the middle of the map.  I was able to take out more GEVs, but I also destroyed one of my own city hexes.  Still, I destroyed almost all the attacking force, losing a few infantry and a light tank for a decisive defender victory. 
We decided to replay the scenario, using the all-Ogre variant.  I had a lone Mark V in the middle of the board, and two reinforcement rolls each turn.  The attacker got a Mark IV (faster, and with three missile racks), and a half-dozen GEVs.  Poor Rickey had some terrible dice rolls--his Ogre fired all three of its missile racks at my cybertank, but didn't take out any of my weapons.  Of course, my dice were just as fickle--I expended all six missiles to destroy one of his missile racks, and had to take out the other two launchers with my mains. 

Meanwhile, he destroyed one mobile command post with his Ogre, and the other with his GEVs (I think those hovercraft were actually more effective than the Mark IV!).  This game, there was one reinforcement roll that was critical: I got a heavy tank that entered the town the Ogre was attacking.  With its defense doubled in the city, the armor unit avoided getting hit and added its firepower to my Ogre's, allowing us to take out its main and secondary batteries.
In the end, reinforcements from the North edge of the map fended off his GEVs, which were closing in on my final, immobile, command post.  They then sped south to assist my cybertank in destroying the enemy behemoth's treads, slowing it down and eventually stopping it from leaving the map.  Another decisive victory for the Paneuropeans.
It was a fun couple of games, for me and my opponent.  However, the losses taught us that in the Raid scenario, you need to focus on destroying objectives, and don't get caught up taking out defending units--use the mobility in those GEVs!  Additionally, I really liked the camouflaged and dummy units called for in the scenario--it gave a nice fog of war effect, and I will have to find ways to use that in more games.  I also liked using the terrain overlays that came with OGRE DE.  They make the terrain destruction rules easy to use, and I like the fact that the outcome of an attack can have an effect on the map.

I had a good time, and now I want to play some more OGRE!  Who's up for it?


Allandaros said...

I've only played a little bit of OGRE and loved it to bits - just the basic Ogre vs CP game, though.

The friend I was playing with didn't think too much of GEV, saying that without the time bomb of the Ogre bearing down on the CP, a lot of the game's fun disappears. What advice would you give for the prospective GEV player to make the game continue to pop?

(I suspect one major thing is use of objectives rather than a fight-to-the-death which my friend envisioned, but is there anything else you'd suggest?)

Desert Scribe said...

Play the Breakthrough scenario with your friend. The goal for the attacker is to get as many GEVs off the other end of the board as quickly as possible. The goal of the defender is to prevent this.

And the Raid scenario is also fun, because the reinforcements roll can sometimes give you just the right unit in just the right place to tip the game.

Has your friend actually played any of the scenarios included in the rules? The various objectives, turn deadlines, and victory points systems all result in fun scenarios that can go either way.