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Reviews - Ogre Mark IV
by Matthew Pook

The Ogre Mark IV figureOgre MK IV
Published by Steve Jackson Games
Sculpted by Richard Kerr
Price: $16

As of 2002, the Ogre game became twenty-five years old. It was Steve Jackson's first design, and since its first publication by Metagaming in 1977, it has seen several editions, several supplements, a computer game, a GURPS sourcebook and in 2000, a 1/285th scale Deluxe game that made the transition from a boardgame to a miniatures wargame.

Essentially, Ogre is a tactical ground combat game set in the late twenty-first century when armored warfare has evolved into fast, deadly slugfests between hovercraft, tanks and infantry. Ruling the battlefield are the gigantic cyber-tanks known as Ogres, which act autonomously and without human guidance. Almost unstoppable, they have to be blown apart piecemeal until they are immobilized and then can be destroyed -- which is far from easy.

There are a number of different types of Ogre available: the one-gunned Mark I, the multi-weapon carrying Mark II, the Mark III and its up-gunned variant, the III-B, the quick Mark IV and the Mark V, the largest cybertank to see action, an unfeeling genius of a behemoth, armed with all the firepower of an armor battalion. The Mark V is designed to both field and withstand heavy firepower, whereas the Mark IV is meant for long range missions and quick strikes. The Mark IV carries just one main gun and two secondaries, but really its main weapons are the three missile racks at the rear, each with five rockets. Able to reach speeds near that of the GEV (Ground Effect Vehicle) -- 4-hexes/8-inches per turn -- the Mark IV loses some durability because of this and has only fifty-six tread units.

The Ogre Mark IV is the latest miniature for Ogre Deluxe, but isn't the first time its been sculpted for the Ogre line. The first was in 1993 when Ral Partha held the licence to produce miniatures for the Ogre line. Unfortunately that model never got beyond the prototype stage. With Steve Jackson Games now producing their own line of Ogre miniatures, Richard Kerr has had the opportunity to re-sculpt the Mark IV completely. The Mark IV also has its own web page where more images and notes can be found.

The miniature itself is only available through Warehouse 23 and then only as a single figure rather than in any of the boxed sets. It comes unpackaged -- that is, not in either a box or blister pack and is shipped to you in a ziplock bag. Inside the bag are four tread units, a front and a rear section, a sensor tower and the three gun barrels on a single sprue, for a total of ten pieces. The casting is very clean and there is very little flash, and the only mould lines to be seen lie along the gun barrels. Going over each piece with a file should take about ten careful minutes. The front and rear sections slot simply onto the treads, but without reference to the Mark IV's website or one of the rule sets it is not immediately obvious which way the rear section should be facing. The completed front and rear sections seem meant to be separate units, but sit close together during the game. The figure as a whole measures 3" long by 1" wide and just under 2" high, which forms quite a sturdy piece because it has fewer parts to glue together.

The addition of a Mark IV to the Deluxe Ogre game introduces a range of new tactics. Those facing the fearsome beast will find themselves up against a faster opponent that still has the ability to hit hard, but only as long as last the missiles last. When that fails, the Mark IV can still roll over targets! The Ogre will need to use its speed to its advantage and hope that its treads will last while it outruns opponents.

Any Deluxe Ogre fan will get something out of the possibilities that this new model allows. Perhaps a simple slip of paper could have been included to help the purchaser in constructing the miniature, but otherwise their Mark IV should be ready to roll very quickly.


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