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Entry updated 9 April 2015. Tagged: Game.

Board and counter Wargame (1977). Metagaming Concepts (MC). Designed by Steve Jackson.

Ogre is set during the Last War, a forty-year-long nuclear conflict between all the major power blocs of the twenty-first century. The stars of the game, and the source of much of its appeal, are the eponymous giant, malevolent Robot tanks, a concept influenced by Keith Laumer's Bolo stories. The game itself is simple to learn, with an asymmetric design in which one player controls a single Ogre, which their opponent must defeat using their own choice of smaller units, including artillery, tanks and infantry (see Worlds in Balance). Ogre was very influential, both for the elegance of its design and for the brutal realism of its setting.

Ogre's popularity ensured the production of several sequels. GEV (1978 MC) designed by Steve Jackson focuses on armoured hovercraft – GEVs or ground-effect vehicles – and other non-Ogre units, and introduces more realistic terrain rules, but is fully compatible with the original game. Shockwave (1984 Steve Jackson Games [SJG]) designed by Steve Jackson is an expansion set, featuring new units for both of the previous games. There have also been multiple editions of the core game, in 1977, 1982, 1987 (as Ogre Deluxe), 2000 (as Deluxe Ogre, and including miniature figures rather than counters) and 2012 (including miniatures, and incorporating the contents of GEV and Shockwave). The Ogre Book (anth 1982; rev 2001) edited by Steve Jackson is a collection of articles and fiction inspired by the game. A constant theme of the fiction is that, in the end, the Ogres will turn on their masters, making them the only true victors in the Last War.

Related works: Battlesuit (1983 SJG) designed by Steve Jackson is a spinoff Wargame set in the same background but dealing with infantry wearing Powered Armour; its use of a different map scale means it is not compatible with Ogre and GEV. Ogre (1986 Origin Systems, AppleII, Atari8, AtariST, C64, DOS; 1987 Mac, MSX) is a direct conversion of the Board Game to a Computer Wargame. GURPS Ogre (2000 SJG) designed by Jonathan Woodward is a Role Playing Game set in the Ogre world, using the GURPS (1986) system. Diceland Ogre (2003 Cheapass Games) designed by James Ernest and Falko Goettsch is a version of Ogre implemented using paper dice for the units, while Ogre Miniatures (1992 SJG) designed by Steve Jackson converts the basic game rules to a form usable with model pieces. [NT]


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