July 19, 2006

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The first was a computer-controlled main battle tank. It could be stopped.

The second was a computer-controlled main battle tank with two turrets. It could be stopped.

But the third... you could drop a nuke on it, and it wouldn't notice. It was 40meters long, could move over broken terrain at 45kph, and its armor thickness was measured in feet. And it was smart.

The Mk.III was the first cybernetic tank to be worthy of the name that the project had been designated:


And I grew up playing with them.

Or, more correctly, playing the game.

The first, and arguably the most famous, of Steve Jackson's games (Illuminati and Car Wars are two others by him), I started playing Ogre when I was in grade school, if you can imagine. By the time I was in high school, there had been two sequels (GEV and Battlesuit), a computer game, many magazine articles, a deluxe version of the original, and even miniatures.

Somewhere at my folks' place, I still have Laumer, my Ogre Mk.V miniature (named after Keith Laumer, the author of the many Bolo novels and short stories).

I haven't played in years, but the good times came flooding back when I read SDB's little piece about one of his readers' website.

Oh, and Steven? The defenders really do win around 50% of the time. That's how well the game is balanced... except with the "four howitzer defense," which really can be a gamebreaker.

Against a Mk.IV, on the other hand...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:57 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 We must have been doing something wrong, then, because the defenders never won against the Ogre Mk III that I recall. I think the best we ever did was a draw -- the Ogre was destroyed but the command center was, too.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 20, 2006 04:32 AM (+rSRq)

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