Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hypothetical Pocket GEV counter mix

With the release of Pocket Ogre, Steve Jackson Games gave fans a classic version of the old sci-fi tank game, with retro counters, retro map, and retro price. And it comes with plenty of counters to play the scenarios in the rulebook or to create your own.

There's talk of releasing the sequel to that game, GEV, in a similar format, but with the price adjusted for inflation to around ten bucks. So what counters should they include in this edition?

Since Pocket GEV will cost about what it cost to make Pocket Ogre, the sequel probably will include the same type of components as the earlier game: two die-cut counter sheets, a map on non-glossy paper, and a rulebook. To further keep costs down, I'm going to assume that SJG will use the same die pattern they employed to cut the Ogre counters, giving us 70 chits per sheet.

So with 140 counters, the game needs to include enough of each unit type to play all the scenarios included in GEV. It also needs to include all the units introduced in the original rules: light tanks, mobile howitzers, and trains. I also want to bring in a couple of units introduced in later supplements that don't require any new rules: light GEVs and superheavy tanks.

Taking all that into account, here's my suggested counter manifest (per sheet) for the proposed Pocket GEV:

UNIT      BLACK     WHITE     OTHER              
OGRE MK IV  -         -         2*     
CMD POST    -         -         3**
TRAIN       -         -         2***
L TANK      2         4         -
TANK      5         4         -
SH TANK     1         1         -
MSL TANK    3         3         -
LGEV        4         2         -
GEV         8         6         -
HWZ         1         2         -
MHWZ        2         1         -
INF (3/2)   2         3         -
INF (2/1)   4         5         -
*Black on one side, white on the other.
**CPs Alpha, Beta & Gamma; black on one side, white on the other.
***Gray; the first train counter has M0/1 on one side and M2/3 on the other; the second has M4/5 and M6/7.

So multiply the above by two, and that's the counter mix for my hypothetical GEV. With this loadout, a single copy of the game gives you enough of the specified counters to play all the advanced scenarios that came in the original GEV rules. It also includes the same number of Ogre counters as the first edition. Since we can't change the shape or size of the counters (we're stuck with the template from Pocket Ogre), the train requires a slight workaround: use two counters with the same speed to represent the train taking up two hexes.

Granted, there are not a whole lot of the newer units, but there are enough to give players some options. And at $10 apiece, a second copy for more counters isn't unreasonable. I think this roster will work, but I might have missed something. What units do you think Pocket GEV needs more (or less) of?

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