A million years ago I talked about the board game Ogre. Back then, I talked about the board game and how elusive it was and how awesome that they were finally reprinting it.
Well, they’ve done better than reprint it. They’ve released a vidja game for it. Available on Steam, you can finally get the joys of playing this game without the hassle of having people come over to your house (or having to leave your house in order to go to theirs).
The downside: the AI isn’t that great. The upside: if you looked at the board game and said “holy cow, that looks really interesting but the mechanics look too wonky and I’ll never pick them up”, then you should definitely get the video game and master such things as putting your infantry in your tanks or the nuances of getting across a stream with a vehicle before tackling the board game yourself (or playing multiplayer with other humans).
The game does a bang-up job of keeping track of the multitudes of little things that it’s easy to forget when playing a boardgame that you’re not familiar with. What gets dice rolls (like moving through a forest), the bonuses that cover gives you, the penalties that shooting at someone in cover takes away from you, and the joys of light tanks versus heavy tanks.
Now, as I said, the AI isn’t great. You’re going to win games against the computer that you’d never in a million years win against a decent human playing the board game. But that’s okay. If you’ve been thinking about playing this classic game with your group, the video game will teach you the mechanics and prepare you to be the decent human playing the board game yourself.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))