The Ogre tank faked out the humans.I recently discovered the Vassal game engine. It allows users to play board games over the internet. The program has a large list of games available. One such game is Steve Jackson’s “Ogre”. It’s a simple wargame where one player is a giant murderous tank with all kinds of guns, and the other is the defender trying to keep their command post alive. I downloaded the Ogre module and started fidgeting around with it while connected to the server, intending only to see how the program worked, and a player logged in. Next thing you know, I was in a game, playing as an Ogre! The game was a blast. I got the first shot and disabled a heavy tank. Then the fray got chaotic. Tanks and infantry started shooting parts of my Ogre, and my Ogre was blowing up tanks and running over infantry. I kept explaining what the Ogre’s servos were doing, like taunting tank drivers, and yelling at each other when a shot missed. Near the end, all that was left defending was three immobile howitzers and one GEV, a unit that moved fast and often, and it was hitting and running, and I had no weapons that could hit it. Then I realized I had been moving my Ogre one less that it’s movement the whole game. It’s movement had been lowered by its treads getting shot up, but I still could move two, but had only been moving one. This allowed me to move it in range of the GEV and destroying it! It was as if the Ogre had purposely made itself look weaker, then when it mattered, tossed off the disguise and attacked! The remaining problem was the long range howitzers defending the command post. My only hope was to get within range of my last missile (I started with 2) and fire it. The howitzers were targeting the Ogre’s treads and didn’t try to destroy the missile. I got in range and fired! The command post exploded! The howitzers still took out the tank before it got away, so it was only a marginal Ogre victory. It was a ton of fun, though. Now I’m trying to play Ogre with all my friends over my vacation. It’s great because we can even save and resume later if need be. Check out Vassal if you love board games and can’t always get together with your friends.
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