Friday, September 30, 2016

The importance of playtesting

I had a chance to run the latest iteration of my Monopolis scenario for Ogre with some friends before I present it at MillenniumCon in November, and I'm glad I did. First, I was able to lay out all the terrain, and it looked cool. More important, however, I got some valuable feedback on my design.
The players were blunt about some problems with my setup: Mainly, that some objectives were too far for the attacking player to reach, and some parts of the map never saw any combat. I was told I went overboard with the terrain, and they're right. At the playtesters' recommendation, I am going to have the attackers come in closer to the city--and from more than one side of the map. I will also give the defenders some reinforcements.
Another thing they discussed were the objective cards I had printed out. They told me the cards needed pictures of the objectives (which I didn't have time to get for the playtest). I also realized that I forgot to mention that lasers can be used offensively as well as defensively, which I need to tell the players. This is something I will include in the player handout, along with other tips and hints that players unfamiliar with the rules as well might appreciate.
I enjoyed running the game, and even if the scenario wasn't perfect, I had a good time--and I think the players did too. Now, back to the drawing board!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ogre minis work in progress

Some of the miniatures on my painting table today in various states of completion. How's your weekend going?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My next gaming project

I won't start working on it until after Millenniumcon 19 in November, but I've decided what my next gaming project will be. More details later, but for now, here's a hint:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sunday Ogre games

This past weekend, I had a chance to meet up with a fellow member of the Steve Jackson Games Ogre and GEV message board for a couple of games.I brought my portable set (large-hex paper maps and 1" classic counters) to Great Hall Games for us to play.
We started out with the classic Mark III Attacking scenario from the original game. I played the defenders and set up with all my GEVs and most of my tanks forward. I kept my missile tanks, remaining heavy, and infantry at the back. Thanks to some good shooting at the treads, I managed to slow the Ogre down, giving my units a chance to keep up with it until I could immobilizing it.
Then we played the Raid scenario from the sequel. I took the attackers, concentrating on destroying town hexes and enemy units that I came across. The strategy worked for me until I got impatient and decided to send four of my GEVs into an overrun. I "won" that combat, if you can call trading three units for two a good deal. My force was much reduced, and I ended up sticking around too long and the defender was able to pick off all my GEVs, ending up with a marginal victory.

It was nice to find a fellow Ogre fan in the Austin area. We hope to make Ogre gaming a regular thing, and maybe even get some more players.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

GEO and Mark III comparison shots

At the request of a member on the Steve Jackson Games Ogre/GEV forum, here are some side-by-side shots of my kitbashed Ground Effect Ogre and an Ogre Mark III.
They;re about the same length, but the GEO is a little closer to the ground than its tracked brethren.
The width is pretty much the same as well. The Matchbox vehicle I used as the basis for the G-E Ogre was the perfect size for this conversion.
I want to see how the GEO compares on the battlefield. I need to playtest it against the defenders in the Mark III attacking the command post scenario. Meanwhile, it looks pretty good next to another cybertank.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Treasure of Goblin Forest (SoBaH battle report)

I got to play Song of Blades and Heroes with my wife this weekend. She'd never played before, so to draw her into the game, I created a warband for her that included her assassin character from our recent one-on-one D&D game.
In addition to the assassin, taken from the rulebook with the Leadership special ability added, she had a trio of elf warrior maidens, an elf wizard (with the magic changed to shooting for simplicity's sake and points balance), and a baby dragon that breathed blue flame. We called them the Hunters.
The goblin warband consisted of ten goblins, two spiders, and an ogre, all from the rulebook. Unfortunately, with no Leader special abilities in my group, they weren't very motivated. And it didn't help that my activation rolls resulted in turnovers quite often.
The scenario we played was Treasure Hunt, with the background that my spouse's character had been hired to recover a certain valuable item, the location of which had been narrowed down to somewhere in a goblin-infested forest. Most of the figures and terrain are Heroscape, while the treasure chests are Mage Knight.
The ogre quickly left his smaller teammates behind and got into the thick of things. The big guy attemted to stop the ladies from grabbing the treasure, but even with the help of the web-spitting Boris the spider, he was taken down by the Hunters and dealt a fatal blow.
The goblins (Pathfinder minis, by the way) and surviving spider were too slow to stop Casandra from grabbing the treasure and heading toward safety, although they did chase after the Hunters for a little while.
The evil creatures ended up contenting themselves with snaring the blue dragon, keeping it alive until it could be cooked properly back at their lair. I have it on good authority that the dragon later escaped.
The Hunters left the battlefield with their objective achieved. They killed the ogre and one spider, while I managed to take out only the small dragon. A lopsided victory for my wife. And she said she will play the game again, so that makes it a win for me as well.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Water hexes for Ogre

When I first ran my Monopolis game, I borrowed some river overlays from a fellow gamer. But sooner or later I needed to come up with my own way to represent water hexes in my large-scale Ogre games.
Eventually, I found some hexagons that are the same size (four inches across) as the spaces on my Corsec game mat.
I bought a pack of 99 cardboard beer coasters in an eBay auction. Some glossy blue spray paint gave me that game-map shade to represent water.
For ease of setup, I attached the hexes in strips of three using Elmer's glue and old business cards. This way I can quickly lay out rivers or large bodies of water for my Ogre games.
Now I can put in some water hazards on my maps, with plenty of room to play out all those aquatic overruns.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ground-Effect Ogre (GEO)

Take a Mark III, replace the treads with hover gear, and you have the Ground-Effect Ogre (GEO)--a fast, deadly, and extremely vulnerable cybertank.

Instead of tread units, a GEO has ground-effect units. While attacks against them are resolved just like for treads, the fragility of g-e units is reflected in their smaller number on the Ground-Effect Ogre's record sheet. In addition, GEOs take double damage from ramming (as attacker or defender). If a GEO loses all its ground-effect units while in a water hex, instead of being immobilized, the Ground-Effect Ogre sinks and is destroyed.

When resolving a cruise missile attack on a GEO, all systems are treated as standard Ogre components except ground-effect units. Use the line for "Any D0 Unit or Any GEV" on the Effects of Missile Explosion table to determine attacks against ground-effect units, but a D result still has no effect.

GEOs have split movement as shown on the record sheet. Terrain affects GEOs the same as any other ground-effect vehicle. All other standard rules for Ogres apply to GEOs.


WEAPONS            ATTACK  RANGE  DEF            
  1 Main Battery     4       3     4    O
  4 Secondaries      3       2     3    OOOO                
  2 Missiles         6       5     3    OO        
  8 Antipersonnel    1       1     1    OOOO OOOO 

MOVE RATE    |  3/2 |  3/1 |  2/1 |  1/1 |  1/0 | 0

The model started out as a Matchbox hovercraft. I added some bits from an Ogre repair kit and a bead from my wife's beading supplies for the ball turret. My attempt at using greenstuff for the armor came out horrible, but it shouldn't be too noticable on the tabletop at arm's length--and I can rationalize it as battle damage.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

More Oldhammer goodness

Once again, I had an opportunity to buy this Warhammer Armies book for WHFB 3rd edition, but I left it on the shelf. Months later, I was in the same game store, and of course it had vanished from where I last saw it. I lamented the fact that I had let this old-school find slip through my fingers.

So imagine my delight when I found this very volume a few shelves over. I took that as a sign that the purchase was meant to be, and I snagged this. Now to get an army put together and find an opponent to play some Oldhammer.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ogre update and pics

No, I haven't given up gaming (although it's been awhile since I've rolled any dice). As proof, here are some non-canon vehicles I'm working on for my next Monopolis scenario, which I plan on running at Millennium Con this November.
Above is a mobile jamscreen, with a PanEuropean heavy tank for scale. The model is actually a Micro Machines toy that will work nicely as an ECM unit in Ogre. I'm leaving the paint job (except for some detailing) so it can go with either side in my games.
I also got my armored boats looking how I want them. I sprayed them brown and then drybrushed with tan and light gray. I chose this color scheme so I could use them with my North American Combine (green) or PanEuro (gray) forces.
These submarines also look decent on the tabletop. Like my other nonstandard units, these are painted so they can go with either side. In this case, it's a flat black primer with a light gray drybrush.
Here's a size comparison for the aquatic units. For reference, the hexes in this photo are four inches across. So what's everyone else working on?