When you start looking wistfully back on your misspent youth and wondering where the time went you really enjoy seeing classics coming back. After all, if it was good enough to suck you into a hobby then surely the younger generation will appreciate it as well. Right?
Well maybe. Kids these days are pretty sharp individuals who can spot a con a long way coming. Fortunately "OGRE/G.E.V" is a darn good game. First released back in the dawn of history (1977) by Steve Jackson Games (SJG), "OGRE." was an instant hit. A follow-on game, "G.E.V." soon followed. And now, 23 years later, you can get both games for the price of one.
Set in the tail end of the 21st century, "OGRE/G.E.V." is in reality two sci-fi wargames pitting high tech machinery against each other and the dreaded Ogre, a huge war machine bristling with nuclear tipped warheads. Tossed into the fray are the ever-suffering infantry, still out-gunned despite their battle armor. The rules between the two games are interconnected and virtually seamless.
One of the downsides of board wargaming (and arguably the main reason for its decline) is the complexity of the rules. Or, at least the appearance of complexity. "OGRE/G.E.V." manages to get away from this problem. Movement either costs one point or two depending on terrain. To attack you compare attack strength values vs. defense strength values and roll a die. Units are either killed or disabled and any unit getting two disables is dead. That is basically it, plain and simple. The rules are a total of 20 pages in a pamphlet sized rulebook (per game) and the mechanics are essentially the same between the two games.
Unfortunately, the packaging of the game ain't that great. The pieces are not die-cut which means taking the time to carefully cut them apart. The map is a flimsy paper that requires you to march down to Kinkos and get it laminated before it shreds from the fluttering of a passing butterfly. While you can argue that you get what you pay for, I would have liked to see the maps be on cardstock at the very least.
"OGRE/G.E.V." is a great game for those people looking to get into a wargame without having to invest in a ton of miniatures or needing a law degree to understand the rulebook. Granted, it isn't as pretty as a nicely constructed Warhammer battle, but the simplicity and elegance of the system make up for it. This is a great game to buy as a stocking stuffer for your younger brother or nephew, especially if you are hoping to entice them into this hobby.
Style: 3 (Average)