Steve Jackson’s Ogre rumbles onto PC in October

Ogre

The video game adaption of Steve Jackson Games’ wargame Ogre [official site], which is about battles between super-powered AI war machines rather than man-eating giants, is coming out on 5 October, developers Auroch Digital have announced.

I haven’t played the tabletop version, but a glance at the rules reference sheet tells me that one player controls a single, immensely powerful Ogre and the other tries to fend it off with armoured hovercraft, big tanks and infantry. The video game version expands that formula with multiple units on both sides taking part in turn-based strategic combat on a hexy battlefield. The Ogres are still as scary, mind (there’s one in the bottom right of the picture above).

A new trailer, below, takes you through the history of the boardgame – which first launched in 1977 – and shows off some of the game’s combat:

Having not played Ogre, this one not been on my radar, but it’s clearly got people excited. The video game version only exists because it was one of the stretch goals on a new, Kickstarted version of the board game. Steve Jackson Games asked for $20,000 – they got more than $900,000.

Auroch Digital are something of a specialist at this type of thing, too: they developed the video game version of Games Workshop’s Chainsaw Warrior and are also currently working on GW’s Dark Future and its own Last Days of Old Earth.

Fans of the board game, what do you reckon about this version?

27 Comments

  1. Azhrarn says:

    Looks like it certainly took some inspiration from the Battle Isle series, but I must admit, that it looks a little disappointing.
    Perhaps a little too simplified on the graphical side?
    Considering how detailed the Battle Isle 3 models looked in motion (relatively low poly count, but detailed nonetheless), I’d have expected more from a game that’s coming out literally 22 years later.

    • Dilapinated says:

      It was first released in 1977, and had a 1986 videogame adaptation, so I strongly suspect the influence is the other way around on a 1990s game series (if there is a connection- hex based strategy games were not a new idea even back in 77).

      • Azhrarn says:

        Oh I know the board-game was there first, and that the BI games probably took inspiration from parts of it, but I was still a little disappointed that it’s such a relatively low fidelity game, though if it’s more designed as an electronic representation of the physical board game that is more understandable. :) The models are representative of the board game pieces, rather than detailed models, which would explain the lower fidelity.

    • Baines says:

      For the graphics, it is very much a “board game first” release. Like Samuel said in the article, this was a stretch goal for the very expensive physical board game Kickstarter. ($100 just to get a physical copy of the game with cardboard pieces, though you could get a PDF of the rules for $10.)

      The PC game stretch goal was only $50,000 higher than the preceding stretch goal, so SJG never treated it as a priority. The Kickstarter didn’t even technically promise a PC release specifically, it just said it would be a computer game for “some platform or platforms”. (It was also promised to ship in 2014.)

      • Azhrarn says:

        $100 isn’t too crazy for a big board game like that, there are plenty of games in that price-range these days, and this includes lots of big models to represent the Ogres.
        I own a copy of Kingdom Death: Monster, where the Core game is $400 on its own, and expansions really add up quickly if you want them all… ;) $100 is a bargain in comparison. :D

        • Baines says:

          Yes, I’ve spent way too much on board games to know their prices. But I still put $100 in the “very expensive” category.

          I also have a bit of a bug when it comes to the pricing of Steve Jackson Games products. Around the late 90s, when compared to other game publishers, SJG started seriously overcharging for what you physically received. Where other companies might charge $20 for a card game, SJG would put the exact number of the same quality cards into a big cardboard box and sell it as a $35 release. Heck, you might even get better quality materials and art in that $20 game. The “VHS box” reprint of Awful Green Things had a particularly absurd price when you realized the components inside were what SJG a decade earlier would have shipped in a low cost release. Basically, SJG started charging premium prices for what were moderate or even low budget productions.

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            Phasma Felis says:

            Fair enough, but Ogres Designer’s Edition is not that. The box is the size of a small tombstone and weighs like 20 pounds. The pieces aren’t just cardboard but heavy chipboard, and the Ogres are multipart 3D stand-ups. It’s got enough gameboards to cover a dining table. $100 for all that is cheap.

            And if you wanted a lite version, they also reprinted the 1977 edition at the 1977 price of $2.95. That’s the one I got. :)

        • malkav11 says:

          I don’t remember the exact figure, but they’ve suggested that retail pricing for everything that ended up being in the Kickstarter edition would have been much more than $100. I think it was at least $300.

          And it’s a gigantic box (literally the biggest boardgame box I have ever seen, big enough that it could be used as a small table in its own right) absolutely jam packed full of stuff. Now, it’s kind of silly money for a game that originally came in a $3 plastic bag, but hey.

          • Stromko says:

            I ended up getting the whole boxed edition, and I would have to say it’s a great deal for 100$ just considering the amount of unit counters, maps, and papercraft Ogres and buildings that came with it.

            But, it kind of feels like the original tiny version is more appropriate for the lightness and elegance of the game itself. The main benefit that the big box edition brings is that the pieces won’t fly away if you sneeze. With all the extra tokens and maps you do gain the capacity for a lot more and more diverse scenarios, but the basic army vs Ogre scenario in the basic set might still be the most compelling.

  2. Velthaertirden says:

    It’s all Ogre now.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    This just serves to remind me how much I miss playing Full Metal Planete.

  4. tentacle says:

    The 1986 computer game version of ogre was pretty cool. Aside from the usual ways to play, the ogre had a programmable AI, which was pretty amazing at the time.

    I would’ve loved this to be made as a WEGO game but that’s not likely. Ever since combat mission classic turn-based games have lost some appeal for me.

    Still, I’m interested to see how this turns out.

  5. Kolbex says:

    Ogre is old, the rules are simple and not super great, but you’d better believe I’m going to grab this immediately. I just hope they do Car Wars someday…

  6. wodin says:

    Car Wars..all I have to say..actually Car Wars game please..

  7. fuggles says:

    It must have been love… But it’s ogre now.

  8. merbert says:

    This is the gaming equivalent of ordering a deep fried Mars bar and finding out, after the first bite, that it’s actually a turd in batter.

  9. gwop_the_derailer says:

    BOLO!

    • STARFIGHTER says:

      The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
      But I have promises to keep,
      And miles to go before I sleep,
      And miles to go before I sleep…

  10. RaymondQSmuckles says:

    My high school buddy and I played Pocket Ogre at lunch every day. Making up maps and leading the charge against each other was great fun. I had the Amiga version of Ogre and it was fine. Basically I just want to be able to scratch my Ogre itch from time to time, and I’m totally cool with it replicating the board game in digital form. In fact, it is kind of what I was hoping they would do. Basically, these are the kinds of games I want AR/VR for. Big, sprawling board games without the storage/maintenance requirements. I’m all in on this one.

  11. jeremyalexander says:

    It makes me feel really old to point this out, but nobody seems to remember that this was also released as a PC game back in 86 by Origin Systems. That game is easily available for anyone that wants to get a taste for the combat. It even taught a bit of programming if I remember correctly as you could program the tanks AI.

  12. wombat191 says:

    ha I played Ogre back in the 80’s but yeah I have been spoiled by modern games, the graphics are a turn off for me

  13. Stromko says:

    I’m not bothered by the graphics, they look clean and legible. Sure it might be nice to have 3D trees and hills, but if they weren’t done very well they’d look worse than the flat map.

    A part of me wishes the Ogres absolutely dwarfed the regular units, but it’s probably more important that you can tell light and heavy tanks and GEVs apart, so I can understand why they kept a more balanced scale.

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