Monday, December 2, 2013

OGRE Designer Edition: The Unboxening

I've talked in the past about OGRE miniatures that I've been painting for a friend of mine who helped kickstart the Designers Edition of OGRE.  In exchange for all the painted miniatures I've done for him, as well as helping him pack up some of the OGRE sheets he received for backing the kickstarter, I was given a little surprise:  My very own copy of the game!

So what does one do with a  brand new box of OGRE DE?  Why, you open it!  There is so much in this that the counters for the game, along with a sweet cutaway of an Ogre Mk V, that they're packaged in the shrink wrap on the box itself.

The insert in the back, titled "Read This First," warns the average person that there are over 1000 counters in the game, and to proceed with caution.  Listen to the sheet, it knows what it's talking about.  There are plenty of counters, and keeping them sorted will help avoid headaches later.  The vehicles on the sheets are separated by white lines to make assembly easier, and it's best to take this one at a slow pace.

That's about three sheets worth.  There were four bundles with the box, and each bundle has about seven or eight sheets.  What this means is that you read the insert and follow the instructions!  Moving on from the punch outs so far lets see what else came with my shiny new toy:

What you see above is referred to as the, "OGRE Garage."  While most of the counters are flat there are plenty of buildings and tanks that are a little more 3D.  The OGRE Garage was a stretch goal, and man oh man am I glad they had it in there!  This will help to keep my pieces both organized and safe, ensuring many hours of play for years to come.  The plastic is very sturdy, and has each of the containers labeled for quick and easy sorting.  This is *NOT* a throwaway container, and would easily set you back $20+ if it was sold separately (according to my personal estimation).

The OGRE box is too huge to be filled by just the garage though.  Here is what was underneath:

MAPS!  Lots and lots of maps!  Not just ordinary maps either.  These maps are folded cardboard just like the old boardgames we used to play.  Nowadays it seems like any map of appreciable size is a folded up poster, and while that isn't bad it's really incredible to know that I'll have a nice flat gaming surface for my OGRE operations.  There are ten maps in all; Two for the original OGRE scenarios, and an additional eight for the GEV Scenarios.  The aforementioned friend laid them all out, and the space came close to 25 square feet!  That's a lot of gaming space.

But wait, there's more!  Remember all those counters I mentioned earlier?  How about a place to store them all:

A thick durable plastic container with labeled areas for all your counter needs!  There's even several slots labeled, "misc," for things that don't quite fit elsewhere, or if you find some custom OGRE sheets (like the Nihon Empire) that you want to add to your collection.  One thing that struck me about this is the numerous slots for dice.  The game came with two high quality (19mm, acrylic) six sided dice, and while that's awesome it makes me wonder how many dice I'll need to play.

Speaking of playing I haven't even glanced at the rules aside from a quick picture:

The game comes with a scenario book, two quick reference sheets, two laminated stat sheets for OGRE pieces, and the rules for the game.  If you think that this game is going to be a small novel I'd like to assure you that the rules manual wasn't intimidating in the slightest.  I feel like I could go through it from cover to cover in about 20 or 30 minutes.  The laminated OGRE sheets are a nice touch since I can just grab some dry erase markers to use them for keeping track of wounds over and over again.

I've gone on about nearly everything in the box except those lovely 3D pieces so I suppose I should get to that portion:

What you see are the pieces from just one sheet.  It had an OGRE Mk V, 3x OGRE Mk III, a Laser Tower, a Gun Turret, and an Admin Building.  The cardboard is high quality, laminated, and the pictures are really neat.  Make sure you take care and punch out and then assemble one vehicle at a time.  From a non-assembled perspective the pieces look very similar, but as you put them together they begin to take on a life of their own.  If you look closely at the pieces I assembled you'll notice that the lines on them are black.  My friend informed me that a lot of people are taking a sharpie to the edge to give their pieces a cleaner look.  I thought to myself as I assembled the Mk. V (the big guy you see above) that I wouldn't waste my time doing that...then promptly grabbed a sharpie and did that for all those on that sheet.  One thing to note is that this is a bit more time consuming, and will slow you down from your quest to be the first to assemble all the pieces.

One of the stretch goals that tantalized backers was the hint of a return to OGRE miniatures.  The pieces you've seen me put up have been of the classic game, and Steve Jackson Games is a far reaching company with their designs:

On the left is a Pan-Euro Command Outpost (PECO?) miniature with a counterpart from the OGRE DE on the right.  While the one on the right stands a little taller the footprint is only slightly larger.  Having glanced at some assembled OGRE pieces side-by-side their 3D-punchout counterparts you can see that SJG is trying to keep things similar in size/scale.  This is kind of nice as it means I can take my painted OGRE miniatures and potentially swap them with the game pieces.

Overall I'd have to say that the quality found in this box is by far and way the best I have ever come across from any kickstarter.  There is so much here that it would've been easy for Steve Jackson Games to cut a few corners, but their dedication to their fans has produced a marvel for gamers everywhere!

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