by Matthew Pook
Ogre MK IV
Published by Steve Jackson Games
Sculpted by Richard Kerr
As of 2002, the Ogre game became twenty-five years old. It was Steve
Jackson's first design, and since its first publication by Metagaming in
1977, it has seen several editions, several supplements, a computer
game, a GURPS sourcebook and in 2000, a 1/285th scale Deluxe game that
made the transition from a boardgame to a miniatures wargame.
Essentially, Ogre is a tactical ground combat game set in the late
twenty-first century when armored warfare has evolved into fast, deadly
slugfests between hovercraft, tanks and infantry. Ruling the battlefield
are the gigantic cyber-tanks known as Ogres, which act autonomously and
without human guidance. Almost unstoppable, they have to be blown apart
piecemeal until they are immobilized and then can be destroyed -- which
is far from easy.
There are a number of different types of Ogre available: the one-gunned
Mark I, the multi-weapon carrying Mark II, the Mark III and its
up-gunned variant, the III-B, the quick Mark IV and the Mark V, the
largest cybertank to see action, an unfeeling genius of a behemoth,
armed with all the firepower of an armor battalion. The Mark V is
designed to both field and withstand heavy firepower, whereas the Mark
IV is meant for long range missions and quick strikes. The Mark IV
carries just one main gun and two secondaries, but really its main
weapons are the three missile racks at the rear, each with five rockets.
Able to reach speeds near that of the GEV (Ground Effect Vehicle) --
4-hexes/8-inches per turn -- the Mark IV loses some durability because
of this and has only fifty-six tread units.
The Ogre Mark IV is the latest miniature for Ogre Deluxe, but isn't the
first time its been sculpted for the Ogre line. The first was in 1993 when
Ral Partha held the licence to produce miniatures for the Ogre line.
Unfortunately that model never got beyond the prototype stage. With
Steve Jackson Games now producing their own line of Ogre miniatures,
Richard Kerr has had the opportunity to re-sculpt the Mark IV
completely. The Mark IV also has its own web
page where more images and notes can be found.
The miniature itself is only available through Warehouse 23 and then only as a
single figure rather than in any of the boxed sets. It comes unpackaged
-- that is, not in either a box or blister pack and is shipped to you in
a ziplock bag. Inside the bag are four tread units, a front and a rear
section, a sensor tower and the three gun barrels on a single sprue, for
a total of ten pieces. The casting is very clean and there is very
little flash, and the only mould lines to be seen lie along the gun
barrels. Going over each piece with a file should take about ten careful
minutes. The front and rear sections slot simply onto the treads, but
without reference to the Mark IV's website or one of the rule sets it is
not immediately obvious which way the rear section should be facing. The
completed front and rear sections seem meant to be separate units, but
sit close together during the game. The figure as a whole measures 3"
long by 1" wide and just under 2" high, which forms quite a sturdy piece
because it has fewer parts to glue together.
The addition of a Mark IV to the Deluxe Ogre game introduces a range of
new tactics. Those facing the fearsome beast will find themselves up
against a faster opponent that still has the ability to hit hard, but
only as long as last the missiles last. When that fails, the Mark IV can still
roll over targets! The Ogre will need to use its speed to its advantage
and hope that its treads will last while it outruns opponents.
Any Deluxe Ogre fan will get something out of the possibilities that
this new model allows. Perhaps a simple slip of paper could have been
included to help the purchaser in constructing the miniature, but
otherwise their Mark IV should be ready to roll very quickly.