New Ogres on the Horizon?

OGRE and GEV are two old famous games that originated in the distant past (see their references on the Metagaming Index tab, above).  Essentially the first game (OGRE) is about a giant cybernetic tank that is pitted against a team of “Davids”.. smaller ground attack units, tanks and infantry and such.  GEV was the sequel, which pitted the small guys against other small guys.   I owned the first versions published by Steve Jackson Games when he left Metagaming to found his own company (SJG).  I played both games many, many times and probably have them downstairs somewhere in the basement in their original keen plastic pocket boxes.  OGRE/GEV have been released many times since– Deluxe OGRE (with the standup cardboard pieces), OGRE and GEV Deluxe (with metal miniatures), another version of the old hex and paper version, along with SHOCKWAVE (additional units), New Battlemaps, GURPS OGRE, and a few other products in the “OGREverse”.  The game is simple in itself– though I find the CRT mechanics a bit dated by the standards of today.

Today, SJG’s website “leaked” an interesting photo.  (see below).  OGRE 6.0, eh?

OGRE 6.0

OGRE 6.0 stuff in development at STEVE JACKSON GAMES, Austin, Tx.

We’ll see.  OGRE/GEV is a fun little system, but I don’t know what more you could do to it that hasn’t been done already.  We’ve already had OGRE Miniatures, and DELUXE OGRE/GEV, and the ‘big treatment”.   The only thing I think I could come up with would be to monkey with the hidebound CRT mechanics, and maybe make the game more open-ended.  And plastic miniatures– give it the Fantasy Flight Games treatment, including bound boards.  I’d pay for a game like that, I think.  Reprinting a glitzy version of the same game I bought as a student in 1982, though?  Nope, no thanks.  You can have that.

4 responses to “New Ogres on the Horizon?

  1. Dear Walt

    Well I was never a big fanof Ogre back then or now. I played it several times and it was OK but after a while the game sarted to cloy on me. There really is only ONE game there– isn’t there? The other problem I always came up with is in the conception. As doomsday devices aren’t Hydrogen Bombs cheaper? That of course is the beauty of the thing, I admit. Ogre is like one of those whacky wonderful rube-goldberg mouse-trap contraptions we used to look at. It’s marvellous and wonderful and neat, but on the whole the little chunk of wood with the spring-loaded arm is much more efficient at killing the little squakers.

    Battletech suffers from the same problem with me. The minis loo great but once you start thinking about it– it really is a dumb idea.

    Ogre itself lends it self to this.The collateral damage from an OGRE tank (or even a battletech machine) must be far worse than from a whole arsenel of nuclear weapons. So unless pure mindless destruction is required the concept pretty much falls flat. But even if just pure mindless destruction was the aimr– then we already built it– Project Pluto– a thermonuclear ram-jet (completely automated) that carried an arsent of on-board nuclear warheads that it could dispense at desired targets. It was designed to fly almost at tree-top level, but the nuclear ram-jet engine meant that anything underneath or within 53miles would be incinerated instantly, so it literally would (since there was no way to land or turn it off,) roam around the world incinerating everthing under it like peeling an apple.

    Well– we didn’t actually BUILD one of these things but we have the plans and it would have worked!

    That’s the problem with all “berserker” machines. It really destroyes the whole concept if you can shut it off.


  2. Sorry typo it should be 5 miles not 53 miles.

  3. I’m actually looking at my copies of the Metagaming versions of these as I write this. I always liked them too. Wasn’t Ogre the first of the Microgame line?

    One thing they could do (I don’t know if this has been done, because I never had any of the successors, though I have seen some of them) is a campaign game… maybe with options for you to command 1+ Ogres through several missions, or some of the small guys, or maybe a mix. You could have different skills (specialist in urban assault, artillery, maintenance or whatever) and develop those through the campaign.

  4. Hi, Jeff! Long time no talk to. Yep, OGRE was Metagame number 1 I think. It’s held up reasonably well but I think wargaming has pretty much left the CRT behind.

    I’d like to see the OGRE become a tad more complex– I mean, if the OGRE is, in fact, an artificial personality (not an AI, but a real personality) maybe it might balk at orders from time to time, or go nuts, or panic? That would be interesting.

    Maybe something more elegant for the infantry than just sacrificing themselves as speedbumps for the OGRE? Like specialist ambush teams that remain hidden and are specifically trained and equipped to blow treads out?

    And exactly why is there no air support of any kind in these things? Or even orbital weapons?

    There’s a lot of places you could go with OGRE.. retreading the basic game isn’t going to impress a lot of people. We’ve been there, done that, and NEW customers won’t flock to it just because the guy who made Munchkin made it.