January 15, 2019: State Of The Ogreverse, 2019
How do you follow an Ogre-sized 40th Anniversary celebration? With an even bigger 41st year bash! Ogre had a fantastic year in 2018, completing a number of projects and many great Kickstarter campaigns.
We began the year with publication of our inaugural Ogrezine, a digital collection of fan-submitted art and articles for Ogre. This was met with enthusiastic appreciation by fans everywhere. So much so, that we decided to do it again, running a Kickstarter for Ogrezine II later in the year. We are currently releasing those submissions on our site and will be publishing it in its entirety this March.
As most of you know, Ogre Designer's Edition was a massive Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 that started Ogre on its current renaissance. That campaign generated a truckload of stretch goals and promises that we have been slowly completing ever since. 2018 was the year when we completed two of the very few remaining, and biggest, objectives: Ogre Miniatures, Second Edition and Battlefields.
Ogre Miniatures has needed an overhaul for years, having had digital updates published on occasion but no complete rendering of the new material under one cover. As promised in the Ogre Designer's Edition campaign, we finally completed that task, releasing Ogre Miniatures, Second Edition with complete rules, new photos, and lots of new accessories, useful to both miniature and boardgame fans alike.
Speaking of Ogre Miniatures, the Battle Box and Many Minis sets of miniatures were delivered to fans last year to positive acclaim. We packaged Battle Box as a complete game in itself, with a map, rulebook, and miniatures. Naturally, some of you still wanted more, so we took Battle Box and incorporated it into the Many Minis boxed set, delivering an obscene amount of Ogre miniatures in one package. We successfully avoided some of the shipping pitfalls that plagued us with Ogre Miniatures Set 1, so fans everywhere got to contemplate a mountain of plastic miniatures on their gaming tables. Don't blame us if you get cramps painting them all!
At the end of the year was our biggest Ogre Kickstarter since 2012: the Battlefields expansion set for Ogre. Ending as the fifth most backed campaign of the 20 Kickstarters we've run, Battlefields was an unqualified success, showing that love for Ogre is very much alive and well. Over the campaign, the set grew from having just three sheets of counters and 3-D constructs to 12 full sheets! The maps were expanded and improved, and lots of additional material was added to the set. Phil is just back from China, where he got "hands on" organizing the production of this beautiful set.
With Ogre Miniatures, Second Edition released and Battlefields underway, all of the Ogre-related stretch goals from 2012 have been completed. The sole remaining goal from that campaign is the new edition of Car Wars, and as many of you know, we are nearing completion of that task as well. This means Ogre can concentrate on looking forward, with new products and ideas.
Ironically, one of the ways we tried looking forward last year was to refurbish a well-loved idea from the past. The story and scenario rules for Iron Mountain holds a treasured place in many fans' hearts. A challenge has always been in making the map to play the game. Through the Ogrezine II and Battlefields Kickstarters, we are releasing counters for the scenario – and, more important, a beautiful 24"x24" playmat. This stunning map will allow players to play the scenario with their miniatures in 3-D glory. The use of playmats for Ogre started out as a small experiment for us, but has grown into four completely new, geomorphing maps (M1, M3, M4, and M5), representing the first new maps in over a decade for the game. I think it is safe to say you can expect to see more of the playmat idea.
We also brought back GURPS Ogre and The Ogre Book as print editions, leveraging the POD capabilities available to us. We will be releasing Ogre Scenario Books 1-3 and Ogrezine I & II in POD as well. Plus, we've released a large amount of free material on our site. Obviously, we are publishing the various Ogrezine II submissions, but PDFs of all six G and S maps for the game are available for download, as well as copies of the rules, reference cheat sheets, a tournament rule set, and more.
I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge our failures of the past year. Delivery of Ogre Miniatures Set 1 to our international fans was a disaster, taking months longer than it should and stretching into 2018. As alluded to previously, we learned a lot from that fiasco, and have avoided repeating our errors. Also, our promise of producing Nightfall once again got pushed back due to the demands of the other Ogre releases. I'm turning the flame up on that project this year.
Looking forward, we have more exciting Ogre projects brewing. Our iconic Pocket Box games will be making a return, and included on the list of titles for release are Ogre, G.E.V., and Battlesuit. These, and many other non-Ogre titles, will be straight reprints of the old games for those who have lost or destroyed their copies through play.
We've promised a Kickstarter for the monstrous Ogre Mark VI and Doppelsoldner miniatures. We hope to proceed with that in the coming year and we're investigating the various Combine units as possible sets, too. (Yes, I know everyone wants a pile of Mark I and Mark II Ogres!) Due to the success of Ogrezine and Battlefields, reprises of both of those campaigns are under discussion, possibly resulting in Ogrezine III (keep sending me your submissions!) and/or another expansion set (Battlefields 2?) for Ogre. Would brand new, mounted G4 and S4 maps be of interest to anyone?
Finally, we are looking at hosting our own mini-con here in Austin this April. Although there will be far more than Ogre being played, rest assured that the mighty tank will be out on more than one table over the weekend! I anticipate attending myself and am looking forward to meeting many of you.
Ogre rolls on, in no small part due to the support that it receives from all of you, its fans. I am humbled to be the editor and your servant to the game. Thank you! 2018 was a great year for Ogre, and 2019 is off to a wonderful start. I have all sorts of ideas that I'm looking forward to exploring within the world of Ogre; I'm excited to see where we end up!
-- Drew Metzger
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