By Terry Miesle - text © 2003
Images by john Lester - © 2003
The Ogre is the unquestioned king of the battlefield in Ogre, the Steve Jackson Games tabletop battlefield game. If you're familiar with Keith Laumer's BOLO tanks, then you get the idea of an Ogre.
In a world of Ground Effect Vehicle (GEV) hover vehicles, tracked and wheeled vehicles, the Ogre is the 800lb gorilla. Ogres mount enough firepower to shred multiple targets at once, from range or point-blank. The distinctive profile of the Ogre, with its tall sensor tower, is enough to make most units turn tail and run.
The Ogre Mk IV is a radical departure from this ideal. The Mk. IV mounts only one main battery, two secondary artillery pieces and point defense. Its main arsenal, however, are the three missile launchers in its second hull. These are designed to soften or destroy other large targets from quite a distance. Complementing this stand-off weaponry is incredible speed. Only GEVs move faster than the Mk IV, allowing it to maneuver away from main battle tanks or other Ogres. This speed and long-range firepower demands a sacrifice: durability. It is a strike vehicle, not a main battle unit. The game Ogre is conveniently based on points, making balancing that much easier.
Steve Jackson Games is well known in the gaming industry for quick, fun, and very well designed games. Many will know Steve Jackson from G.U.R.P.S., the Generic Universal Role Playing System which was designed to bring real world skills into the game universe, and meld them to other more specific skills. In essence, a person was designed, not a character. In the years since, Steve Jackson Games has blossomed into a good-sized gaming company supporting many different genres.
The Ogre Mk. IV is a white metal (lead-free pewter) miniature. Fully built, it measures 3½” (9cm) long, 1 5/8” (4cm) tall, and 1 ¼” (3.2cm) wide. It comes as the following parts: front and rear hulls, sensor tower, main gun barrel, two secondary gun barrels, and four track sections. The track sections are identical.
Assembly is straightforward. I did have difficulty aligning the tracks on the hulls, so I filed off the locating pins and eyeballed it. This was fine, the tracks pretty much center on the hulls. Cyanoacrylate glue (CA) is all that is needed to glue the tracks and the guns in place. The two hulls combine with a fairly tenuous joint, and I decided to use 5-minute epoxy for this joint. Some time later this joint failed – the epoxy just popped off the rear hull. However, then I had a large surface area for CA to work. This joint has held since.
Detail is good, more than enough for a miniature. The casting quality is top-notch, with only very fine seam lines to clean up. Overall I am very impressed with the model.
I used Reaper Miniatures Pro Paints almost exclusively to paint this. The base coat is Caucasian, an aptly named light tan color. Atop this color is a rocky terrain camouflage of Chestnut, Walnut and Olive Green. The camouflage paints were sealed with Future, and the model washed with Gunze Sangyo Smoke (a clear grey). This wash was directed into the recesses and joints, (with special attention to the spaces between the drive wheels), but was applied over the whole mini. After this, the mini was dullcoated with PolyScale Clear Flat.
I drybrushed a bit of oil paint on the edges to bring some details to the
surface, after which another coat of clear flat was applied. Details
include Gunmetal gun barrels, black and grey missile launchers, white
missiles with red tips, and some silver on the point-defense gun barrels.
The tracks are Gunmetal washed with GS Smoke.
The Ogre has a rising sun emblazoned on each side of the sensor tower, effectively spoiling the pretty rock camouflage. The rest of the tanks will not have this affectation. I’m painting a number of other GEVs and tanks with the same scheme.
That’s it, a relatively simple paintjob. I’ve seen good examples of very colorful Ogres on the Steve Jackson Website, so I decided to go more military.
Ogre is a long-lived game, and like any good game can be played by beginners using simpler rules or by experts using more demanding conditions. The miniatures are sized right to be used with other game systems, like Battletech, if you desire. The only tricky parts on the mini are the track alignment and the joint between hull halves. Just be aware of these, and you’ll have no problems.Many thanks to Paul Chapman at Steve Jackson Games for the review copy. Now I must obtain more Ogres…
This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 18 February 2003.