Fans of the classic science fiction wargame Ogre were given a pleasant surprise in 2012 when Steve Jackson Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for a $100 Designer’s Edition. The Designer’s Edition was a well planned “premium upgrade” and the Kickstarter campaign raised $923,680. The original version of Ogre was the game that sparked the Microgaming boom of the late 70s and early 80s. For a mere $2.95, gamers were presented with a science fiction themed war game that contained much of the complexity of far more expensive war games. The Microgaming boom led to the production of a number of classic games like Car Wars, GEV, Starfire, Star Fleet Battles, Undead, Attack of the Mutants, Star Smuggler, Barbarian Prince, Saga, Vampyre, and They’ve Invaded Pleasantville. Those are but a few of the many excellent smaller scale war games that comprised a vibrant subgenre for almost a decade.
The new price tag of $100 of the newer version is a far cry from the $2.95 cost of the original game, but so are the components and the intentions behind the game. The original game was meant to be an entry point into science fiction gaming and the broader world of wargaming in general. This new version was a nostalgia fueled edition meant to provide years more play for those who had memories of the original editions.
At least, that was one of the goals of the new version. There were at least two other goals, provided as stretch goals to the Kickstarter, that included republishing the original edition at the original price of $2.95 and the creation of a new video game. Steve Jackson Games has been publishing the $2.95 Pocket Edition for a couple of years now. What is truly remarkable about the $2.95 price tag is that it is the equivalent of charging approximately $0.85 in 1977 when the first Ogre game was released. The reprinted Pocket Edition has changed Ogre from one of the best values for your gaming dollar to maybe the best value for your gaming dollar imaginable. In addition to creating a reprint of the original game, Steve Jackson Games promised to attempt to publish a new digital version of the game. The game was originally released in digital format by Origins Systems in 1986.
Now Ogre, the classic game of future tank warfare, is returning to computers with a PC version that will be distributed on Steam in late 2017. The game wwill be a hex/turn based adaptation developed by experienced Steam developer and publisher Auroch Digital. Given Auroch’s high quality digital adaptation of Games Workshop’s fan favorite chainsaw-punk solo board game Chainsaw Warrior, the new version might be as much an upgrade over the old Origin Systems game as Designer’s Edition is over the Pocket Edition.
The news of this final product in the Ogre development line comes just in time for Steve Jackson Games to launch a new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter, which we hope will come sooner rather than later.
— Christian Lindke