The boys were really keen on playing Ogre, but I steered them towards this classic G.E.V. scenario instead. One of them was especially excited about playing the defense, so we let him. The other two split the twelve G.E.V.’s between them.
The defense chose three mobile howitzers to go along with his twenty points of infantry. We had one false start because I’d forgotten that the city hexes were all rubble in this one, but it wasn’t long until we got some nice violent action. (Pre-teen boys tend not to suffer from analysis paralysis near as much as their forty year old counterparts!)
My son took what I thought was a risky move and got right up on the defense. His teammate subsequently chose to hang back rather than jump into the fray. (Doh!) The defense easily picked off two of my son’s G.E.V.’s which were in the water, Things weren’t looking good for the attackers…!
But then my son ended up taking out both mobile howitzers, though. He even had a shot left over and got a “D” result on an infantry unit, knocking out one squad there.
His teammate then came up, concentrated his firepower, and took a 2-to-1 shot against each of the infantry units. This left a single squad, which he chose to overrun in his second movement phase. This cost him one of his G.E.V.’s! (Thanks to their doubled combat power in overruns, infantry make for fairly nasty speed bumps!)
Then… things got weird. My son chose to enter the forest. His teammate followed his lead. (I have no idea why they didn’t think to go around the forest and through the water to escape.) Several G.E.V.’s got disabled. Others got shot. A stack of three disabled G.E.V.’s got a very impressive demonstration of spillover fire, too. It was a massacre! The attacking G.E.V.’s were only able to move four of their units off the board.
So my son got 16 points for moving two G.E.V.’s off the map, 24 points for the two mobile howitzers, and 2 points for the infantry squad– a total 42 points.
His teammate got 16 points for moving two G.E.V.’s off the map… and 10 more for killing five infantry squads– a total of 26 points.
Finally, the defense player got 48 points for killing eight G.E.V.’s. With a 32 point lead, the attackers actually had a marginal victory.
Better yet, the game was short and violent enough, the kids were clamoring for another game.
You know… the kids thought they wanted to play their little group solitaire Firefly board game. They were wrong. As soon as the big Ogre box started coming out again, they didn’t want to do anything that didn’t include direct conflict and player humiliation. There is something primal about the war cries and gloating that a good game of G.E.V. entails. They can’t get enough.
Sure, they see the big box of units and overlays as a bunch of toys. But even at their age, they are capable of grasping the fact that Ogre is a much better game when played without the Ogres!