Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New look on militia and grunts

So, there is a fight with conventional forces in South Africa where money and technology is NOT on the bleeding edge. Companies of men well armed with semi-modern assault rifles, tri-pod railguns and advanced RPGs fight along side older generation 2000-2010 era armored fighting vehicles.
The infantry are not protected from Nuclear, biological or chemical warefare but can move roughly three to four times faster than a regular man. Enter the augmented infantry exoskeleton. Basically this was the first generation of power armor. If you stripped off the second generation of power armor you would find this tough exoskeleton underneath.
This new type of unit has some advantageous properties:
1. Since the companies of men range into the dozens, if not hundreds, they are better distributed. Therefore this distribution of men in that 1500m wide hex equates to any DIS or X result only reducing the company by one (or about 40 men), not destroying all of them on that SLICS network completely.
2. They are wired into SLICS- Squad Level Integration and Countermeasures System as regular power infantry are, but it is much more diffuse. Therefore their attacks are as effective as clamshell mobile infantry but their defense is weak.
3. Since limited jet-assisted exoskeletons cost only about $5,500 by 2020, equipping a platoon of 120 individuals, or three augmented infantry squads, would be $660,000.

Since ONE modern battlesuit would cost $330,000, equipping a platoon of modern infantry would be about $2,970,000. Therefore, many third world countries buy these relatively older technologies to give their troops as least some mobility, if not half that of powered infantry for about 22% of the price per squad. In game a squad of powered infantry is 2vp. A squad of augmented infantry is 0.5vp.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Maybe this style will be good for infantry!

How about this style of infantry counter? You can have the orientation of the counter to determine the strength without changing out the counters for every DIS CRT result for infantry.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New infantry shapes for Militia, Infantry and Engineers

OK, so I was experimenting with new shapes to make infantry counters easier to handle. I have always not liked to moving around infantry counters because a squad (1/1), a platoon (2/1) and a company (3/1) all were 1/2"x1/2" counters.
Now I have made 1/1 infantry and 3/4 heavy weapons counters smaller so they fit into the slightly larger 2/1 infantry counters as well as the trucks. So instead of trying to explain what I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words and since I am a little tired right now, I will not type even close to a thousand words.

I did playtest these new infantry shapes and they were space savers - let me tell ya! Knowing that the smallest counters were 1/1 infantry and the 2/3rd sized counters 2/1 infantry easy to spot as well. I will soon playtest the triangular infantry counters in the post above. Imagine ... not having to change out infantry from each DIS result.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Experimenting with Counter Shapes...oh yeah - my new CRT dice!

OK, so I thought to myself that infantry were all the same ½" x ½" counter. Why not cut one counter so that 1/3 of the counter was the 1/1 infantry and the other 2/3 is a 2/2 infantry?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why the OGRE's APs are never taken out and how to fix that...

Why the OGRE's APs are never taken out and how to fix that...
I was thinking about this weapon on the OGRE - the antipersonnel battery. No one seems to want to take them out when they could take out a main, secondary, missile rack or treads.
I have two solutions to making the AP destroyed more often:
1. When battery or tread is successfully destroyed on an OGRE, there is a chance that an AP unit is hit as well. Roll for each attack and for every 6 rolled for each attack, an AP battery is attacked at 1:1 on the CRT (or on the CRT dice ... hehe).
2. When targeting an AP battery, the attack may attack up to three AP batteries with the same attack value from one source. For example, a Heavy Tank is sick of all those rotary infinite repeaters taking out the infantry screening for him. The Heavy Tank operator targets two AP batteries at 1:1 and the other at 2:1.
I have one solution for making AP batteries more valuable:
1. Allow them to attack immobile, disabled units. The number of AP batteries must equal to the defense factor of the attacked disabled armor unit and only a X result will destroy it. A roll of DIS does nothing to the disabled unit.

Friday, March 8, 2013

EA Games ...

OK, I am not going to lie, I found this picture on Ebaumsworld. Even though I try to keep original artwork on my blog, I deemed this picture too awesome to omit. When it comes to EA games, they are so correct. I fondly remember playing "Adventure Construction Set" when I was in my early teens. I must have spent HOURS making a five minute adventure on my old Apple ][. I bet a few of you out there know what I am talking about.
I have a firm opinion that the $60 game is dying. People will always wait for that title to come down to $20 or even $10. Companies are now putting out free or very low priced titles and then withhold the GOOD stuff about the game until you put out more money - but the thing is - the gamer has a choice. In a $60 game, you are given everything up front and you have the illusion that you own it. In a free or low cost game you have the freedom to download that new stuff for $10 or just put it down.
Once you taste cheesecake, do you just put down the fork?
Ask yourself that when you download that new game title for free and know that the people that made that game are not hippies in a garage with a full mission to make the world's gamers happier...

My thoughts on making change in life...

Someone wise once told me that lasting change is created with the thought of accounting in the end. This reduces the probability of your brain rationalizing changes to your end goal for a short term gain. That is what your brain does without a goal. Your brain "lives in the moment" seeking pleasure at every point in time and attempting to escape pain in every point in time. This makes operant conditioning yourself an exercise in developing permanence in slow, concerted change. Think about it like setting concrete. The faster the concrete sets artificially, it becomes cracked and weak. You add too much water and it never sets (or it sets years from now). Making permanent change to your brain is difficult - and it SHOULD BE DIFFICULT. You don't walk into a lifting gym, lift a few weights until you are sort of tired (stopping short of real pain) and expect an Atlas body?
Pontification over. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

E.C.M. in OGRE ... a second look at applying it simply in game.

Electronic Counter Measures.
The game states that these technological elements are included in the attack and defense factors of each unit large enough to accommodate advanced electronics.
I would suggest that a more detailed version that is more Stratego based (for fun sake). Somehow hide the face of each counter of your force so you only see your counter face and not your opponents. Only through 'scouting' or lighting up the area with concerted ECCM and scans can you identify the unit hiding within that hex.
This adds a new strategy to OGRE/OGRE in that it is not just attack versus defense.There is now a fog of war in that if you commit forces to an area where the contacts are not specified you may be rolling (or walking) into a trap!

How it would work:
A unit may conduct ECCM at 150% range (rounded up) by 'attacking' an unknown contact with their attack rating. The target unit defends against this electronic searching through it's defensive rating. This gives long range units like the mobile howitzer and missile tank new life in the game where before they were only given a token place on the battlefield. Imagine the missiles shot from long range units possessed ECCM payloads that actively searched for anomalous, hostile electronic emissions and then transmitted them back to the searching vehicle. No more than a 1/3 of your VPs may be dedicated to any one specific unit type. 
If the unit scanned gets a DIS on the CRT result they have to reveal only one piece of quantitative information about the unit. This information would include only the attack rating, the defensive rating, range or the movement speed, If the unit is scanned again and the DIS comes up the counter is flipped over to reveal it's identity. The defender is given the ECCM strength (unit strength) and range at which the scan was taken (how far away the scanning unit is) and consults the CRT. The defender then tells the attacker if a NE, DIS or X is rolled and gives the information pertaining to the roll.
If an X is rolled on the CRT then the unit is flipped over and the opposite player may see the full counter.
Urban hexes double the ECM defense of a unit and if a unit is underwater, they are immune to ECCM scans. No surface units are fitted with sonar...
Do not use this rule set for OGREs as they are just too big to hide under an electronic blanket (or they already have rules for ECM.ECCM like the OGRE Ninja). 
This rule set should add a bit more strategy and memory work for the attack as well as for the defender. Part 'memory' and part 'Stratego'. Tell me what you think!

Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips

Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips. 
These chips have to be the best chips int he galaxy. If someone somehow found a way to keep the taste of these chips at 2 calories a gram instead of the 5 calories a gram that it currently is, I would give them a million credits!
These chips are the food that the mobile powered infantry use in the field and their N.B.C. clamshell armor has 200 lbs dedicated to delivering these tasty chips to the mouth of every infantry  war fighter in the field.
Man, 28 grams are 140 calories. At one time in my life I used to eat a BAG of these in one day. Imagine! Oh, the folly of youth when I could still fit into a Combine Mark 7 clamshell scout power armor...

Thank you for your kind words, my calorie counting and resin casting

First of all I want to thank all those kind people online that commented on my post. Over the years I have tried to make the game slicker and more streamlines to play. In doing this, innovative necessity is the mother of the cybermachine.  I actually timed myself playing the game 6 times using the regular counters, regular paper maps and normal 6-sided dice, and referring to the CRT chart after every attack. The CRT dice, the clear counters and the cloth map all dovetail into clearing up more than 25% less time spent on rolling dice, arranging the counters for both sides and carefully folding maps. That is 25% more time playing the game and drinking pop...
So, I am counting my calories - no big secret. This morning I was entering the grams of what I ate and I looked down to see how many calories I consumed.

That's right ... I consumed 666 calories! Is my diet doomed from the start? Are the demons of hunger and munchies going to bust through my office, cobbled up my hamster and drag me to donut hell as they did with Homer? 
Maybe I am just using my imagination, they wouldn't eat my hamster. My hamster led a good life but I would still be dragged into that dietary hole in the ground, kicking and screaming "I don't want to be fat forever!"

Well, I finally did it. I bought the material to make custom casting of resin miniatures. I think I will stick to 1/300 scale (OGRE/GEV mini scale). Below are the materials I have to help me get started. As I pursue this hobby, I will keep anyone interested in my progress (or mistakes) toward successfully creating the units I made with my clear counters with Visio Pro 2002 and Paint Shop Pro 6.
 These are my tools for making miniatures out of resin.
This is an example when you try to make a GEV out of bakable clay. You can see good detail but it is at best 80% accurate to the original. I am shooting for 95%+ accuracy in physical dimensions.

Monday, March 4, 2013

OGRE Cloth map!

Hey guys! Even though I probably do not get too many people reading my posts I will post anyways! Maybe someone in the future will read my posts and learn something about this awesome board game I seem to not have gotten bored with.
OK, so I realized that paper maps rips and ones printed on paper labels pressed onto cardstock warp in high humidity. Then I remembered that map from Ultima IV that I wish I still had.

So, one can send a full color picture file, up to about 20MB (though Eric likes pictures under 10MB) to this one website for $12 to print onto a 18" x 21" piece of cloth called a fat Quarter. I uploaded a 300dpi, 9" x 15" 1978 OGRE map. I happened to print my OGRE map onto  10 oz cotton from Fabric on Demand. My next few maps will be all the OGRE/GEV maps on cloth as I really do not like the sliding around counters do on laminated (or unlaminated) non-cloth surfaces. Mix this with my CRT dice I created and you have one fast, slick game!
See for yourself...
... I sent this one cloth map to Francisco, an internet friend of mine who is foremost expert and historian for the future of OGREs throughout 2020-2090 Earth.