ON THE TABLE: Ogre Battlefields
August 5, 2020
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I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this great new supplement for the gigantic Ogre: Designer’s Edition. Do I really need more maps and counters for this game? Probably not. Steve Jackson Games managed to close the deal thought by including a revised rule book that had the specialist infantry and combat engineering rules fully integrated into it. Finally! I can figure out what those weird Vulcan units were for!
Opening the box, I find the scenarios feature are updated variants of the classic G.E.V. scenarios all set to run on just one of the new map sheets, G3 and S3. This looked like a gold mine to me! I was afraid it was just going to feature gigantic multi-map scenarios that no one would ever actually play and this seemed about right.
Breaking out the Raid on map G3, we got to put several of the buildings into play. The offense gets a fearsome eight super-heavy tanks– just awesome! The defense gets eight light tanks, four light G.E.V.s, and two G.E.V.-PC’s. I traded in twelve of my infantry squads for six heavy weapons teams and placed them on the personnel carriers. Placing them on a road hex, they have a tremendous range. The super-heavy tanks weren’t going to go anywhere without getting the equivalent of six missile tank attacks.
How’d it work out? A wing of five super-heavies got their noses bloodied. In their follow-up attack they managed to roll ones against the two G.E.V.-PC’s. Doh! (Note that I did not elect to overrun them with the infantry because they are armed with AP weapons.) When the dust had settled the score was 40 for the defense and 64 for the tanks. The Combine wasn’t even close to ranking anywhere on the victory conditions.
Trying this again, my opponent opted to trade ALL of his infantry in for heavy weapons teams. He then had the novel idea of letting them all ride the light tanks into battle. He met my force head on and let everything loose. It was devastating. I fired back with what little survived to take out seven of those obnoxious infantry squads. The final score this time was 43 to 96,
Either we have misread a rule somewhere or else this particular scenario is grossly unbalanced. It might work a little better with the Ogre Mark V variant. I am starting to think that units like the super-heavy and the heavy weapons teams are going to work better in “Ceasefire Collapse” type scenarios where both sides can field them against each other. They just seem really out of place in anything like the original Ogre and G.E.V. scenarios to me.
I am completely sold on the awesomeness of infantry hitching rides on armor units. This is an extremely useful ability that I’d never tried out before. Sixteen heavy weapons teams riding on those super-heavy tanks would sure even the odds a bit more for this one, though. Agh!